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FAQ

06/03/09 02:39:40 -0700

I have installed FSM in a different directory to the default, and I have problems

Problems transferring results by email using FTF

How do I get FSM to start with a different profile?

Can I copy profiles from one computer to another?

Is it safe to run more than one (concurrent) instance of FSM?

Why would I want to run more than one instance of FSM anyway?

Why should I want to specify a "Start in" directory?

Can I associate FSM with profiles

Starting FSM in debug mode

Adding a submenu to the Start/Programs/FSM menu for FSM profile shortcuts

I have installed FSM in a different directory to the default, and I have problems

The default program directory in the installation package is usually C:\Program Files\FSM . It is chosen to be consistent with Windows installation conventions and is a good choice.

FSM can be installed in a directory of your choice, and it does work properly.

Almost ALL of the support questions that I receive are from people who install FSM in another directory, and their problem is not FSM, it is related to their understanding of where the files are located, and since they often don't know where they are now located (the primary problem), I can't help them other than to advise them to reinstall FSM in the default directory so that at least I know the location of the files.

Because of the time wasted on resolution of these problems, I cannot give assistance to resolve problems where FSM is installed elsewhere than the default offered by the installer program. If you have problems, reinstall FSM using the defaults, see if the problem still exists, and if it does, then contact me.

If you think you have a need to install FSM in other than the default directory, read "Starting FSM in a different directory?" and "How do I get FSM to start with a different profile?". 

My own practice is that:

  • I always install FSM in the default directory;
  • I never "start" FSM in that directory; and
  • I do not store any data files or profiles in that directory.

Problems transferring results by email using FTF

FTF is designed to read plain text emails. Do NOT send HTML formatted emails to FTF.

  • In Thunderbird: go to menu Tools / Options and click Composition, click Send Options and add the domain of the FTF server (the part after the @ sign) to the Plain Text Domains tab so that all emails to that domain will be in plain text;
  • In Outlook express: when the email is composed, go to the menu in the composition window and select plain text: "Format / Plain Text" or Alt-o x.

Can I associate FSM with profiles

FSM can be associated with .fsm files so that double clicking a .fsm file or a shortcut to a .fsm file will start FSM using that profile.

Go to menu "Options / Associate .fsm files" and click it to set the association up.

Once the association is created, profile files (.fsm) are a very convenient way of starting FSM with a particular measurement configuration. The menu folder  below shows how to conveniently organise profile shortcuts. (See also Adding a submenu to the Start/Programs/FSM menu for FSM profile shortcuts.)

The properties of a shortcut are shown in the figure below.

 

Starting FSM with a different profile

By default, FSM uses a file named FSM.fsm in the Current Working Directory to store settings between sessions.

You can specify an alternate profile on the command line by using the positional argument <ProfileName>. This argument can be set in the Properties page of a shortcut (or Icon). See the example below, the shortcut name is "A-7MHz", it requests a profile of "c:\FSM\21MHz.fsm", and it starts in the "C:\FSM" directory. Note that the "Start in" directory is different to the directory containing FSM.exe, this makes it convenient to save results file in a directory separate to the program directory, which is a really good idea. Note that if you do not provide a path name for the profile argument, FSM will use the "Start in" directory for the profile.

You could use separate "Start in" directories for different projects and depend on the default profile file ("FSM.fsf") in each directory, or you could use several profile files explicitly in a "Start in" directory. The figure below shows how to specify the profile file on the command line.

The best mechanism for starting with a specific profile is to use the facilities described in the topic on association.

Copying profiles

Profile files are in standard Windows ini file format. They are text files and can be copied from one computer to another. They can be safely edited with a text editor, but be aware that the field sizes are limited in FSM, and the value associated with a particular key may be truncated when loaded into FSM, and FSM will save the truncated value back to the profile.

Running multiple copies (instances) of FSM

All instances of FSM use the same shared Windows sound resource, and they use it during the time after the Step 1, Step 2, or  Step 3 button is pressed and the "Working" window is displayed. Only one instance can be "recording" sound for measurement at any instant, so if you attempt to start a recording in one instance while another is "Working", you will get an error message that the sound resource is busy and you will have to retry it when it becomes free.

Each instance of FSM uses temporary files which are unique to the instance. The measured and calculated results will always be correct for the settings visible on the form.

 If multiple instances use the same working directory and profile name, then the values read will be the values last saved to that profile by any instance using that profile. An instance of FSM only saves to the profile when it is closed, or when a new profile is opened from the menu.

Why run more than one instance of FSM

If you intended to make a series of measurements on say, three frequencies over a couple of hours with one receiver and three different aerials, you could start three instances of FSM and fill in the scenario details for each configuration. (It may be wise to save each to a unique profile.)

You would then perform steps 1 to 3 in each instance with the appropriate antenna connected to the receiver. You could then switch antennas and  repeat Step 3 on the relevant instance of FSM from time to time, saving the need to rerun all of the prior steps.

If your test involved more than one receiver, you would also need to switch the correct receiver audio out to the sound card for each measurement.

Starting FSM in a different directory

By default, FSM will start in the directory containing FSM.EXE.

This is not a good place to store your data files, such as saved results and profile files.

You can specify an alternative working directory in the properties of a shortcut, see the topic Starting FSM with a different profile for how to set a different working directory.

Starting FSM in debug mode

FSM may be started in debug mode. Specific functions work differently in debug mode, do NOT use it unless directed. To start FSM in debug mode, insert the command line switch -d in the Target of the properties page for a FSM shortcut as shown below.

Adding a submenu to the Start/Programs/FSM menu for FSM profile shortcuts

A convenient way to access multiple profiles is to:

  • create shortcuts to the profiles;
  • create a submenu to hold the shortcuts to the profiles;
  • put the shortcuts into the submenu;
  • put a shortcut to the submenu on the desktop.

Carefully follow the following procedure to peform the above:

  1. use Windows Explorer to create a normal folder to hold your profiles, shortcuts and data files (do not use C:\Program files\FSM), lets use C:\FSM;
  2. start FSM from the Program Start menu and:
    1. click Menu / Options / Associate .fsm files;
    2. save a couple of differenct profiles into C:\FSM, lets use Example01.fsm and Example02.fsm;
    3. close FSM;
  3. create shortcuts to the profiles:
    1. use Windows Explorer to view the folder C:\FSM;
    2. right click Exampl01.fsm and select Create Shortcut
    3. rename the shortcut to Example01
    4. right click Exampl02.fsm and select Create Shortcut
    5. rename the shortcut to Example02;
    6. DO NOT CLOSE Windows Explorer, leave it showing the contents of C:\FSM;
  4. create a submenu for the shortcuts:
    1. use the Start menu to go to Start / Programs, right click on FSM and select Open (which will open the FSM menu folder);
    2. right click in a blank part of the files area of the folder and select New / Folder;
    3. rename the folder to "FSM Profiles";
    4. right click on the folder "FSM Profiles" and select "Create Shortcut";
    5. drag the new shortcut to your desktop and rename it to "FSM Profiles"
    6. go back to the FSM menu folder and double click on the folder "FSM Profiles" to open it;
    7. right click in a blank part of the files area of the folder and select View / Large Icons;
    8. DO NOT CLOSE the folder windows, leave it showing the contents of the "FSM Profiles" menu folder;
  5. go to the Windows Explorer which is open on C:\FSM and drag the two shortcuts named "Example01" and "Example02" to the "FSM Profiles" menu folder.

You should now have:

  • Two profiles in the C:\FSM directory;
  • a sub menu to FSM on your Start menu with shortcuts to the two profiles;
  • An icon named "FSM Profiles" on your desktop which will open the folder containing shortcuts to the two profiles;

Opening these profiles in the C:\FSM directory from any of the available options will start FSM in the C:\FSM directory, open the relevant profile, and data files will be save in the C:\FSM directory by default.

This is not only convenient, working in a directory other than where the FSM program files are installed reduces the chance of accidently damaging criticial program files.

 

 


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