New eQSO Profile Manager|
Posted Apr 24, 2003 - 08:26 PM
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We've just launched our very first Windows application. A "Profile Manager" bolt-on for M0ZPD's excellent eQSO software, and the heart of our PMR446 Gateway network.
Now Version 2.0 with audio profile saving.
(c) www.446user.co.uk 2003
Freeware - if re-distributed please acknowledge our copyright.
If you use the ham rooms on eQSO as well as run a 446 gateway then you may find this new application useful. It lets you store and recall a set of user-defined "profiles" allowing you to switch between, for example, your PMR446 gateway settings on our server and your ham settings on the eQSO server.
<Added 12th July 2003. Version 2.0 now released. This saves your audio soundcard settings for each profile>
As a general reminder, if you do also use the ham rooms on eQSO's server, please remember to change your callsign to "SWL-xxx" or your ham callsign so that the admins there know that you are not connecting a PMR446 gateway to a room containing ham band links. If you connect to any ham rooms with a "UK00X-L" callsign they will think that's exactly what you have done and you are likely to get booted out or muted!
This application makes switching between ham rooms and your PMR446 gateway automated.
It's also useful to those of us that like tweaking our settings and want to save a backup just in case we completely mess up that sweetly tuned gateway.
The application is very simple, it stores in an small text file 'Profiles' that you save for later recall. These profiles contain all of your important eQSO settings including Rig Keying, Squelch Settling, Vox level and silence level settings together with your soundcard levels and input selections.
The application is now listed and available to download under the "eQSO Utilities" category of the downloads section of this website. To go there now, click here.
To keep this simple, there is only one file. However, the application on being run for the first time creates two .ini files for itself (one to store your created profiles and another to store the applications own settings). I wouldn't recommend putting it on your desktop for this reason because you will end up with 3 files on your desktop, not one.
The best policy would be to unzip the application into your existing eQSO directory, or create a new directory (eg "eQSO Profile Manager") and unzip the file into there. When launched, eQSO Profile Manager will create the two ini files in the directory in which it resides.
If you don't know how to "unzip" a zip file, please see www.winzip.com.
The screen shot below shows the screen you see when you launch the application. I've tried to keep it as simple as self-explanatory as possible.
The screen is split into two halves, with the left side showing information relating to the main settings within the eQSO gateway client (callsign, audio squelch settling, vox levels etc). When run, the application automatically gathers the current settings from the eQSO application, whether it's running or not.
The first thing you should do, assuming that you have your gateway up and running sweetly and want to save those settings, will be to save all the current settings into a profile.
To do this, click on the "Save Profile" button or hold down "ALT" and press "S" on the keyboard (ALT+S). You are then presented with the "Save Profile..." dialogue in which you type a name for the profile, for example "My 446 Gateway" and click "OK". on doing so, you are then taken back to the main screen and you will see that your new profile has been placed into the "My profiles" drop down menu on the right side of the screen.
Now, no matter what you do with the eQSO Gateway application, you will always be able to revert to these settings by exiting any running instances of eQSO Gateway, then selecting this profile in "My Profiles" and clicking on the "Upload Now" button (ALT+U). Doing this sends these saved settings back to the eQSO Gateway's own .ini file.
Clicking on the "Help" button (ALT+H) takes you to this page on the website.
Clicking on this tab shows your current soundcard settings which will be saved with your profiles. Due to the differences between varying Windows soundcards, the inputs may show as either Line In/Mic selected or Line In/Mic muted.
Clicking on the "Settings" button (ALT+E) takes you to the following dialogue where you can eQSO Profile Manager about various settings that you would like.
Modes of Operation
This application essentially will run in three different modes:-
1. Launch mode
In this mode, when run the application opens up as a very small size window with just a couple of controls. The idea is you select a profile from the drop down list and click launch. Profile Manager then sets the profile up for you, runs the eQSO Gateway Client and exits itself.
To use the software in Launch Mode, simply check the "Launch mode" checkbox and re-start the application. If you have "Save settings on exit" checked, it will continue to run in Launch Mode until you set it otherwise.
2. Simple Mode
This is similar to launch mode in the sense that it makes the application window as small as possible, but this time you select a proflie and upload it to eQSO Gateway without automatically launching it.
Again, if you have checked "Save settings on exit" the application will continue to run in this mode until you set it otherwise.
3. Advanced Mode
This is the mode that the application first launched in. This displays all current settings and is useful for checking values. For example, if someone asks you "What is your VOX level set to?" rather than reply "about 3/4 from the top" you can say "3654" !
"Save settings on Exit" does exactly what it says on the tin.
"eQSO Gateway software location" tells eQSO Profile Manager where the eQSO Gateway Client application resides. This is only used by the software in "Launch Mode" where once determining the profile you wish to use the Gateway application is automatically run for you.
The "Delete profiles" box allows you to select a profile that you wish to delete, and click "Delete" to do so.
Setting the eQSO Gateway Client location
Click on the "Change..." button to open the dialogue below which lets you select the "Client_M0ZPD.exe" file so that eQSO Profile Manager knows where it is.
This software has been tested on the following:-
And should run on any of those without any problems (actually, there's no reason it won't run under Windows 95 but it hasn't been tested).
It currently only works with the Gateway application as that's where its main use lies. If anyone wants a similar thing for the PC Client version of eQSO, let me know and I'll see what I can do.
Any problems, comments or suggestions please report to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to TJ, Dr Rob, David 2E1EHM and Rupert for the input and suggestions.