N4GN.com DX Log Search
Frequently Asked Questions

Following are some answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding the N4GN.com DX log search.

1) Why does it take so long to receive the results of my search?

The results will typically reach you in about one minute. There are, however, several factors that could cause slightly longer reply times:

  • Heavy usage of the N4GN.com DX log search, particularly during or immediately after major DXpeditions
  • Traffic congestion on various Internet links
  • Traffic congestion at the mail server on either end

Keep in mind that your e-mail client software may be configured to check for incoming messages only sporadically (typically once every ten or fifteen minutes), so you might have to force it manually to "send and receive" to get your reply more quickly.

2) How do the N4GN.com DX log searches work?

See the separate explanation page.

3) I never receive any reply to my search request. What is going wrong?

There are several possibilities. Here are some of the more common problems:

1) To send your request e-mail, you followed one of the "mailto:" links with your web browser, however your web browser was not configured with your correct e-mail address. Check the settings for your web browser to ensure that it indicates your current, valid e-mail address. Or use your normal e-mail client sofware, rather than your web browser, to send the request e-mail.

2) You used the web form and entered your e-mail address incorrectly. Remember, when it comes to e-mail addresses, spelling counts! Try again, carefully entering your e-mail address.

3) You are using spam filtering software that is trapping the reply message for some reason. Try adjusting your filter settings, or add a new rule or recipe specifically to allow incoming e-mail from the log search robot <search-result@n4gn.com>. If all else fails, turn off spam filtering before doing a log search.

4) The spam filtering at N4GN.com has trapped your request e-mail for some reason. Normally when this happens, a message will be sent to you explaining how you can bypass the spam filtering. But in a small number of cases, it is possible that you will not be sent any reply. Try using the web form.

5) To avoid mail loops, the log search robot will not reply to any "administrative" addresses (postmaster, root, mailer-daemon, etc.). Try sending your request from a different e-mail address.

4) The robot never seems to recognize the search call sign(s) in my request e-mail. What should I do?

Remember, the call sign(s) you wish to search for should be included in the first 100 characters of the Subject: header and/or the first 100 characters of the message body in your request e-mail.

The most common reason that the robot does not recognize call signs in your request e-mail is that you are using a character set that the robot cannot read properly. Japanese, Korean, Cyrillic, Chinese and other "double byte" character sets are particularly troublesome. Maybe I'll get around to supporting multiple character sets some day, but in the meantime, it's best to change temporarily to ISO-8859-1 or a similar western character set before sending your request to the N4GN.com log search.

Another problem seen from time to time is that there are extraneous spaces in the search call sign(s). Please do NOT search for "OH 4 GN" (with confusing extra spaces); search instead for "OH4GN" (no spaces).

5) I am getting back the search results I requested, but there are also some results for strange call signs that I didn't request. What's up with that?

In addition to the search calls you are specifically requesting, the log search robot is finding other words that look like call signs in your request e-mail. Perhaps it's part of your signature file.

Or perhaps your e-mail client software is adding attachments that you may or may not even be aware of. Microsoft Outlook is particularly bad about this. For example, if you configure Outlook to send e-mails in Rich Text Format (and for the life of me, I can't understand WHY you'd want to do that!), it will add a "MS-TNEF" attachment to your e-mail called winmail.dat. Try configuring your software to send e-mails as plain text.

There are also .vcf files that some well-intentioned souls actually attach to their e-mails because they mistakenly believe the entire world has been taken over by Microsoft and all the recipients of their e-mails will be able to read every detail about the sender. Well, the N4GN.com log search is NOT a Microsoft product, and it doesn't really care about your shoe size, your favorite color or your pet's birthday--it's just looking for words that appear to be call signs. Rather than blindly blasting out all this information in an attachment to every e-mail you send, why not disable that "feature" and send it only when someone requests it of you?


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