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VCI version 1.23

Variable Communications Interface

AutoDial and Extended AutoDial

Use arrow keys to select phone number (or a callsign, in Extended Auto Dial - SAC#) to be entered or changed. (Selection will be highlighted in white). Use Page Up/Down Keys if all Data is not on the screen.

Then type the new phone number (or callsign, in Extended Auto Dial) followed by the <RETURN> or <ENTER> key. Do NOT type the access code.

Example: to program phone number 555-1212 Type: 5551212<ENTER>

Example: to program callsign VE3PSW

Use the arrow keys to indicate which access code this callsign is to be associated with.

Then type: VE3PSW<ENTER>

Note: Spaces should not be typed between the letters of the
callsign, i.e. Do NOT type V E 3 P S W <ENTER>

After all changes have been made press the <ESC> key to return to the main menu.


Morse Code

Pressing function key <F5> causes all characters following to be pro- grammed in CW. The following CW characters may then be entered:

Letters A through Z
Numbers 0 through 9
Punctuation characters / ? .
Letter group DE
(wordspace - by using spacebar)
HL (set to high amplitude)
LL (set to low amplitude)
P6 (set ptich to 697 Hz
P7 (set pitch to 770 Hz)
P8 (set pitch to 852 Hz)
P9 (set pitch to 941 Hz)
P12 (set pitch to 1209 Hz)
P13 (set pitch to 1336 Hz)
P14 (set pitch to 1477 Hz)
S13 through S21 (set speed 13 through 21 words per minute

Example: To program message DE W9XYZ /R in CW type:

<F5>DE W 9 X Y Z / R<ENTER>

Note: a single space is used following each character within the message. This example has a wordspace after the letter Z so an extra space is typed after the letter Z to create the wordspace.

Another example: To program the message DE W9XYZ /R to be sent at 19 words per minute at a pitch of 1209 Hz type:

<F5>S19 P12 DE W 9 X Y Z / R<ENTER>

Note: special character groups S19 and P12 are used to specify the speed and pitch. Spaces are used to separate the character groups.

Touch Tone signals (DTMF)

F-key <F8> allows DTMF tones to be sent in messages. Tones corresponding to tonepad keys 0 through 9 and # may be sent.

Example: To program a message consisting of DTMF tones corresponding to tonepad digits 5551212 type

<F8>5 5 5 1 2 1 2<ENTER>

Note: In programming this message
- A single space is typed between each digit within the message
- The <ENTER> or <RETURN> key is used to end the message


Logging On

If "Setup" has NOT been used to record the PROGRAM ACCESS CODE then you will be prompted to enter it. It will remain valid until Log Off and will not be retained on file.

Example: If the Program Access Code is 321 (factory default)

Type: 321<ENTER>

If the software cannot log on, you will be prompted to use "Setup", or to Dial Again, or to return to the Menu Bar. The most common causes of failure at this point are:
- an incorrect setup of the Modem at the Repeater Site.
- incorrect Baud Rate setting in the MK4
- incorrect Program Access Code
- excessive line noise for the baud rate (very rarely)
- incorrect additional Modem Setup strings



Use to select the "Start" operation or parameters to be examined or changed and press the <ENTER> or <RETURN>. At any point, use <ESC> to return to the Menu Bar.

After making a selection data will be downloaded from the Mark 4. This may take several seconds depending upon the data link speed being used.

IMPORTANT: To exit from this program first return to the Menu Bar
by pressing the <ESC> key then select the QUIT (LOGOFF) option.
Using QUIT insures that the repeater is returned to normal oper-
ation (i.e program mode turned off, patch restored).

Specific in context "Help" is available from each screen after it has loaded. More general "Help" subjects are available from the Menu Bar. When in "Help", you may scroll up/down all help subjects.



IMPORTANT: You MUST press <ENTER> to validate changes.

Data Rate (Bauds):
For direct Serial port connections, this setting MUST correspond to the setting at the Repeater (factory default is 1200) - if not, the system will crash.
For Modem (phone line) connections, this should be set to the speed of the SLOWEST modem or 9600 if both modems are faster. You MUST ensure that the Repeater Modem has been setup for NO hand- shaking (XON/XOFF off, CTS off, RTS off). In some documetation this is referred to as "Dumb modem operation". Nearly every data link failure is due to incorrect settings of the Repeater Modem.

Modem Setup strings:
Normally not required, the software automatically includes 'E1Q0V1' which are standard and required in all cases. The aim is to get a response 'CONNECT 9600/NONE' on screen after dialing but V42BIS does not appear to hurt performance. Other setups may be required - refer to YOUR modem manual, nothing is standard - to remove all handshaking protocols. Again, nearly every data link failure is due to incorrect settings of the Repeater Modem.

Com Port and IRQ:
The software will accept Com Ports 1 through 4 and IRQs 1 through 15. These should be set to match your computer settings for your Modem (phone line connection) or Serial Port (direct connection). Non "Industry Standard" combinations will flash on the screen, but WILL BE USED be used by the software. NOTE that incorrect IRQ's are probably the fastest way to crash completely.

Default 100% - but if downloads keep repeating (the 'waiting' message flashes and the graph does not advance) try say 50% and build back up towards 100% little by little. This can happen with very fast machine speeds (Pentium at 166Megs or more. Conversly, some older CPUs (486DX/25 for example) in trials have supported up to 145%

Force AutoPatch Busy:
Default "Yes". Any Repeater user attempting an Autopatch will be given a "BZ" signal.

Save to File:
During download, raw data from the repeater is saved to file, allowing you to review the MK4 setup 'offline'. Yes to save, 'No' for slightly faster dowloads and less disk space for files. Do not attempt to edit the file "FDATA.BI" - it would serve no purpose, and is extremely sensitive to the slightest changes.

Phone #, Pulse/Tone, Program Access Code:
These will be filed for use every time you use the software. SECURITY: if you prefer to leave any or all of these blank, the program will prompt you for the relevant data for each new Log On.

MM Message Master (voice tracks) --------------

Function key allows messages to be programmed with Message Master recorded voice tracks on units equipped with the Message Master option.

Message Master tracks can be included in messages by entering the letter T followed by the track number.

Example: Program a message with the Message Master tracks 5 and 13,

T5 T13<ENTER> Notes: - The <ENTER> or <RETURN> key is used to end message programming.

- This programming assigns Message Master track 5 to a message. It is necessary to record a real voice message on track 5, etc.


Use arrow PgUp and PgDn keys to select a message to be changed. Selection is shown by highlighting of the access code.

To change a message type the words of the new message followed by the <RETURN> or <ENTER> key. Do NOT type the access code of the message to be changed.

Example: to set tail 1 message to "showers tomorrow"

1. Use the arrow and page keys to highlight the
tail 1 message - access code (9)26

2. Then type: showers tomorrow<ENTER>

Notes: - the words "showers" and "tomorrow" are separated by typing a space. - words may be typed in upper or lower case. - for messages containing numbers type the numeric value (e.g. 17)
NOT the word (e.g. NOT seventeen)

Typed words produce Multifax words in male voice unless female voice or CW or special message characters are selected (see the Mark 4 manual for valid male female and CW words and letters.)

The function keys <F4> through may be used to other than male voice as follows:-
<F4> Female voice
<F5> CW
Message Master tracks (on units with Message Master option)
Clock receiver and A/D convertor messages
<F8> DTMF tones
Sequential tones (on units wired for sequential tones)
User function output toggling

Function key may be used to select male voice in the middle of a message. (See examples below)

Example #1: to set ID 1 message to "W9XYZ/R" in CW

1. Use the arrow and page keys to highlight the ID 1 message.

2. Type: <F5>W 9 X Y Z / R<ENTER>

Example #2: program message "the time" in female voice
followed by "A1" in CW
followed by "RT hours" in male voice

Type: <F4>the time <F5>A 1 R T hours<ENTER>

- function key may be used to select male speech within a
message. It is not necessary to use to select male speech
at the beginning of a message.

- spaces are used to separate words and letters but spaces are
NOT used immediately after a function key is pressed.



Function key allows user function outputs toggling to be contained within a message as follows:

Type to toggle user function output
------- ------------------------------
U5 5
U6 6
U7 7
U8 8
U9 9

Example: To program a message which will toggle user function outputs 3 and 6 type:



Function key allows two-tone sequential paging tones to be sent in messages on units wired for paging tone generation. Tones are programmed into messages by entering the digits corresponding to the two paging tones desired.

Example: To program a message consisting of paging tone 8 followed by paging tone 4 type



Function key allows the following special information to be included in messages:

Type Information included in message
-------- --------------------------------------
RX Receiver readout (deviation, signal strength,
frequency error)
CK Clock time
TEMP Temperature based on A/D convertor 1 value
A2 A/D convertor 2 value
A3 A/D convertor 3 value
A4 A/D convertor 4 value
A5 A/D convertor 5 value

Example: To program a message consisting of clock time type:


Another example: To program the message E T PHONE HOME followed by
the clock time in female voice type

<F4>E T phone home CK

Parameters - Status

Displays show current repeater parameters (NOW) plus contents of five parameter sets (P1-P5). Use arrow keys to examine different parameters.

To change a parameter type the appropriate access code followed by the <ENTER> or <RETURN> key. Only the current parameters may be changed by entering individual access codes.

For commands which require additional data type the data following the access code as is done when entering commands from a touchtone pad.

Example: to set the Mark 4 clock time to Thursday at 2:55 PM

Type: 91931455<ENTER>

Note: - Some commands require that a # be used when entering the command from a touchtone pad. With this program the # is not needed and should NOT be typed.

- Some commands require that the Mark 4 be put into the program mode before commands can be accepted. With this program it is NOT necessary to put the Mark 4 in the program mode before typing any command.

When you are finished examining and changing status press the <ESC> key to return to the MAIN menu.

Phone Connection

Ensure that the "ring times" of the repeater (recommended 5 secs) and the modem (recommended 4 rings) allow Modem use after sending Command Code (9)180 to the Repeater. The Repeater "Reverse Autopatch" must NOT handle the phone line prior to Modem response.

If the Telephone # and Pulse/Tone information is not found from filed information, you will be prompted to type it in, then <ENTER> as required.

If the Telephone # and Pulse/Tone information has been recorded in "Setup", it will be written to screen. Press <ENTER> to continue making your connection. (You may at this point type in a new number, but it will not be filed for your next session; "Setup" information, even if blank, will take precedence.)




One single digit for the day of the week 1=Sunday through 7=Saturday, plus 2 digits hours plus 2 digits minutes (24 hour clock)

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November 19, 1998   Copyright © 1998
Stormy Weather SoftWare Ltd