[WT-support] how to increase the WT network reliability?

Zoli Pitman HA1AG ha1ag at yahoo.com
Fri Apr 5 15:10:07 CEST 2013

Hi Tonno, 

If a computer loses its existing network connections I would suspect either IP numbering conflicts or RFI on the network. I would exclude the application itself. 

You will also be told not to use DHCP but assign fix IP addresses. This will only help if you have a badly configured and maintained IP range for DHCP. DHCP happily serves big corporate networks with a bit more traffic than what WT generates... :)  What could help if you invest an other 20 euro and set up an other WLAN AP with a different IP range for smartphones, guest PCs present on your station. That would simplify managing your network. 

In my experience a properly set up OS with a stable connection does not 
deliver any problems in WT. 15 PCs with the data amount WT is sending 
around must not be any problem even with wireless 
what I prefer. The only load issues I
 have seen with WT were related to DXC and PKT files bloated by Skimmer 
or WW traffic but Laurent kindly and swiftly took care of it - these load issues were only present on the computer but not on the network interface!

IMO the most common problem in contest operations is the multitude of different computers brought into one WT network. These are mostly private computers with different OS levels or even OS's, lots of "uncontrolled" SW, different WLAN managers, VPN clients, security and firewall solutions, proxy or auto-proxy configurations etc etc.

I suggest you to dedicate computers to contest. They don't have to be modern, pricey computers but some with reliable HW and minimally sufficient SW on it. In my experience Dell D830, HP NC6000 and Lenovo/IBM T60 series are perfectly suitable. 1 GB RAN, internal WLAN and a relatively stable battery you need on a plain vanilla XP OS. If you want to do some of the fancy stuff like multi-decoder rtty you might want to get something with a bit more RAM or CPU power, just keep the following:

- identical OS
- no VPN, proxy, firewall solutions installed (unless you strongly wish to spend endless hours to troubleshoot them)
- identical WLAN managers (XP's internal WLAN manager suffice)

In addition, make sure your router does not get sick of RFI. You can have RFI issues via the router or its PS. However that is mostly perceived as packet loss across the network and not loosing network connection (semi)permanently. Monitoring packet loss (freeware tools are available) in a network with a simple network load generator (download) while you are transmitting would indicate the presence of such a problem.

I hope I could help to bring you closer to a solution. If you wish, give me a call on skype and we can discuss further.

73, zoli ha1ag

 From: Tõnno Vähk <tonno.vahk at gmail.com>
To: support at win-test.com 
Sent: Thursday, April 4, 2013 9:36 PM
Subject: Re: [WT-support] how to increase the WT network reliability?

Thanks Peter and Luca,
But I do not complain about synchronization. Yes, of course I have the syncrhonization activated (Disable.. not checked) and the synchronization works OK. SYNC command is not needed. So when one computer drops out of network and either WT reload or computer restart restores the network then all the QSOs are usually nicely synchronized. The problem is losing the network (network being disabled by WT or other reasons) for some reason once in a while.
I read from WT wiki that fixed IP is recommended. So maybe that is what I should do to avoid trouble? 
But is there any reason to believe cable ethernet is better than WIFI?
From:support-bounces at f5mzn.org [mailto:support-bounces at f5mzn.org] On Behalf Of Luca NCJ
Sent: Thursday, April 04, 2013 10:15 PM
To: support at win-test.com
Subject: Re: [WT-support] how to increase the WT network reliability?
have you never tryed to use the command "SYNC" instead of reload?
Last year in D4C M/M using 7 PC's some of them connected with cable (3 if I rememeber well) and the rest via local WI-FI and the differences between logs were really minor after 48 hours (and not present in all logs).
We used same IP category both for cable and WI-FI and with automatic IP Address.
2013/4/4 Peter <pc2a at pi4cc.nl>

At PI4CC we run M/M up to 12 computers and find always that all the computers has the same log.
If a computer has a outage/crash of if a new computer plugged into the network it fills automagic with all the qso's without any command.
I have never used the command reload

But all the computers are connected via cat5


Op 4-4-2013 20:46, Tõnno Vähk schreef:
We and I think most other multi op stations are used to the network problems
that cause one computer lose network and RELOAD is needed to restore the
connection. There are different kind of error messages about non-unique QSO
identifier, some erroneous UDP sockets or whatever...

I find this an unavoidable part of multi op operation. We did MM for the
first time in WPX SSB with ca 15 networked computers. The amount of needed
RELOAD's also went up. And now there were at least 3 times when reload did
not help and computer had to restarted to restore network. It was strange
that packet spots were flowing but QSOs did not and synchronization did not
function also before restart was done.

We used a mix of cable and wifi network. Of course making sure no computer
had both enabled. For cable
 had mostly determined IPs and for WIFI

My question is - can anyone say or recommend:

Is it better to use cable rather than WIFI?

Is it better not to mix two?

Is it better to use determined IP instead of automatic? Does it make any

Any other ideas how to make the network more reliable and save the trouble
of frequent reloads and restarts?`


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Luca IK2NCJ 
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