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Athena

Athena, some history

Athena is the goddess of wisdom, peace, warfare, strategy, handicrafts and reason, shrewd companion of heroes and the goddess of heroic endeavour

The goddess Athena was a superb strategist and many of the Greek myths recount tales of her help given to various gods, goddesses, and heroes as they went into battle or faced seemingly impossible tests. Although she was widely known in one of her roles as "Athena Goddess of War", it was as a mediator and a planner that she excelled. She always worked to prevent war, but once war had been joined the goddess Athena fought efficiently for her side.

In this constellation Athena will be used as a graphical interface to display N1mmLogger compatible real time contests statistics including goal data. Athena can help you with the best strategy and do welll in e.g. the CQ "Worldwide War"contest....

Overview

Athena provides the following features

Athena was developed to provide a (near) real-time insight in how the contest is progressing; How many qso's, multipliers have been worked and what the current score is. This data is presented per band and/or as a total view for all bands. Operator specific data can be shown to see how your operators are doing individually. In addition goal data can be added to the band graphics to get a feeling how thing are going. This goal can be imported from previous contest or build up from scratch. Goal data can be easily saved and read back as requested. Due to the fact that the current goal implementation of n1mmlogger is rudimentary the goal data of n1mmlogger is not used.

Athena will only read data from n1mmlogger and will not make any alteration to any n1mmlogger file, including the precious database file (.mdb). Statistics will be calculated on the fly and stored in between. Only the created goal data will be stored on the file system in a XML file format. Athena user setting (a.o. last contest, or if operator data is enabled) will be stored per (windows) user in the user data application directory

Main screen

Athena Main Window

Main screen will be displayed when Athena is started and will reflect the last state (contest, graph options, etc) as saved on previous exit.

Band graphs

Athena Band Graph Window

Band graph window will give the requested statistics (near) real-time. Dependent on the options set it will give QSO, Multiplier, Points and Score information as aggregated per hour and as a cumulative running total. In addition, goal and operator specifics are shown

Vertical axis will be automatic scaled, horizontal (Date) axis can be set to a pre-defined set of choices (see below the right click menu options)

A portion of the graph can be zoomed in by "drawing" a rectangle with Left mouse button clicked

Right Click menu options

Goal data

In addition to the real time contest data, static goal data be displayed on the same graph as well. Goal data is displayed as a separate trace and will give the accumulated values. It can be set for each band separate, for the total (all bands) only or both.

Goal data can be build up from scratch or based on a previous contest (i.e. the contest results you achieved last year) and altered to suite your needs. More than one set of goal data could be prepared in advance, stored and applied quickly to accommodate different scenario's (good conditions or major aurora...). Goal data is saved as an .xml file and therefore can be just read for convenience with a normal text editor if needed.

Athena, Goal main window

Athena, Goal editing and entry

Editing of goal data is done by providing hourly based goal data. The date/time of this goal data should match exactly the date/time of the active contest. In the Tool menu a handy tool is provided to shift all date/times by a fixed amount.

Goal data is edited by using 2 tables, left table will display/edit the data on a per band bases and the right table the "all bands total" data. Both tables can be "connected" in a sense that the "all bands total" table will automatically calculate the totals of all bands. If "not connected" the "all bands total" tables can be edited as needed, but will not present necessarily the correct totals !, although the edited goal data for the individual bands and the "all bands total" will be shown on the relevant graphs. Use of the "not connected" mode would be to just provide "all bands total" data in case you are not interested in the individual bands. Athena, Goal data bands

Goal Tools

Athena, Goal offset tool

To shift the present goal data by a fixed amount in a handy way an offset value can be applied. This offset value can be calculated or direct input. An offset value (hours) will be calculated based on the two date/time values. Initially both Date/time boxes will be preset with the date/time value of the first qso in the active contest and the first qso in the present goal data, but can overriden as needed.

How can this functionality been used:

  1. Open the contest whom statistics need to be shown/followed
  2. Start the contest in the normal way, presumably in the first hour you will make at least one qso :-)
  3. Enable Athena's goal window and load goal data from previous yearís contest via File/Open and select the appropriate n1mmlogger database and contest instance
  4. Open the goal tool "offset date/time". Automatically the needed offset will be calculated and can be applied to the present goal data
  5. Save the goal data, and load it as the goal data to be used

End result is that previous yearís contest results are automatically aligned with this year contest date/time and on the different graphs last yearís results is shown as the to be beaten score!

Statistics

Current contest statistics are given numerical in this window, together with some indication how much a new multiplier would be "worth". Athena, Statistics numerical

In the above picture one multiplier would add 6200 points to the score (the amount of total points gained so far). Also if you would need to add 6200 to your score by making only qso's you would need by average (up till now) 5 qso's and with the present rate this would mean (on average) 4 minutes.

At the moment I think this indication is fairly rudimentary, so if you have a better algorithm, drop me an email....

Deployment

To deploy Athena, please unzip the latest athena.zip (see the "resources" tab) and store both files in the same directory. Athena consist of 2 files; the actual executable (athene.exe) and a DLL (zedgraph.dll) which provides the graphical engine (Zedgraph is an open source project)

As pointed out above, Athena gets the real-time data by reading the active n1mmlogger contest instance periodically. This contest instance resides in the active n1mmlogger .mdb database (e.g. ham.mdb). This database will be read and written by n1mmlogger in the normal way when using the n1mmlogger application. Normally you would like to have Athena run on a different computer as the one on which n1mmlogger runs and actual contest logging is done. A number of deployment scenario's come to mind:

Development

Athena is developed using Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Express as a Window Forms .NET (v3.5) application using c#.

Computer requirements are moderate, a common personal computer with SVGA screen and running XP or Vista is sufficient. However, .Net 3.5 should be installed. Host should be network connected to the n1mmlogger network (see "Deployment")