Federation Secretaries System
An East Coast
Software License and Warranty
The software, which accompanies this license, is the property of East Coast Software and is protected by copyright law.
(1) use one copy of the software on a single computer;
(2) make one copy of the software for archival purposes or copy the software onto the hard disk of your computer and retain the original for archival purposes;
(3) transfer the software on a permanent basis to another person, provided that you retain no copies of the software and the transferee agrees to the terms of this license.
You may not:
(1) copy the documentation which accompanies the software;
(2) sublicense, rent or lease any portion of the software;
(3) reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble , modify, or make any attempt to discover the source code of the software.
East Coast Software warrants that the media on which the software is distributed will be free from defects for a period of thirty days from the date of delivery of the software to you. Your sole remedy in the event of a breech of this warranty will be that East Coast Software will, at its option, replace any defective media returned to East Coast Software within the warranty period or refund the money you paid for the software. East Coast Software does not warrant that the software will meet your requirements or that operation of the software will be uninterrupted or that the software will be error-free.
Disclaimer of damages:
East Coast Software will not be
liable for any consequential losses, including lost profits or lost data
arising out of the use or inability to use the software. In no case will East
Coast Software’s liability exceed the purchase price of the software.
This software was designed to work with Windows 10. It will work with XP but it has not been tested with any prior operating system.
When you are asked to “Click” on something, it means, put the mouse pointer on to the object to click on and click the left mouse button. You may be asked at times to “Right Click”, it is as above but now click with the right mouse button instead of the left one.
There is a lot of help for when you are not certain what to do. When in any form, if you press the F1 on your keyboard, you will get context-sensitive help, i.e. help about the form you are in. You can also browse the help system by choosing Help, Contents. Besides this, there is an on-disk manual that you can open and read. To access this, click on the Windows Start button, All Programs, FSS and a sub-menu will open. One of the items in this sub-menu is the on-disk manual.
Before installing the Federation Secretary’s System (FSS5), make sure that your screen is configured to at least 800 by 600. How? With nothing running on your computer, right click on the background screen (not on an icon). Then click on Properties. This will open a window with several tabs. Click on the tab labelled, Settings. In the resulting window, find Desktop Area and if it says 640 by 480, move the slider to the right until it says 800 by 600. If it is already at 800 by 600 or greater, do nothing; just shut the window down by clicking Cancel. If you have altered the setting click Apply then OK. Even larger numbers will give you a larger work area, as all forms will be smaller.
Put the CD in your drive and wait several seconds. It should start up and install itself. If it fails to do this, click on Start then Run and type D:SETUP in the box provided (assuming your CD drive letter is D, if not, substitute the drive letter for D). Click OK.
As the installation starts up, you will be shown a form where you can choose where to install the system. If you have only one hard disk (C:) then just accept the defaults. If you have partitioned your hard disk or have more than one hard disk, you may want to install it on a disk other than C:. This is the place to choose. It is recommended that you leave the directory or folder (the bit after C:\) at the default (Program Files\East Coast Software\FSS).
This software can be removed from your computer using the standard windows ‘Add/Remove Software’ feature. To do this click Start, Control Panel, double-click on the icon for Add/Remove Programs and find the FSS in the list. Click on this to highlight it and then click the Add/Remove pushbutton.
As an alternative, you can click Start, All Programs, FSS, Uninstaller to start the process.
In this version of FSS you can open as many forms at once as you need. The second form to be opened will be situated just below and to the right of the first one. Grab the title bar – the thick blue area at the top of the form – and drag it to where is most convenient to you. When you have many forms open, one may be hidden behind others. If you can see any part of the form you want, simply click on it and that will “give the form focus” and bring it to the front. Another way, particularly useful if you cannot see any part of the form, is to click on the Window menu item and click on the form name there. That will give the form focus and bring it to the front. For a quick way to close all forms when you have many open, click on Window then Close All.
When you first start FSS, it has no data in it. It makes no sense to try to enter races and results until you have members and their race start points. You are in for a great deal of work to enter these.
The starting screen for the FSS has, across the top, several menu words. Initially some will be inaccessible and lead you to what is required. They start with ‘File’ and end with ‘Help’. The first thing to do is to choose the start points/liberation sites that you intend to use.
If it is used as a federation system rather than a club system, add the names of the member clubs in the federation. If you are using the system for a club rather than a federation, you must add the name of your club under Maintenance, Clubs.
You must have both race start point names and clubs entered before you can access Maintenance, Members.
You must have both race start point names and have defined at least one pool under Maintenance, Pools before you can add races. If you do not use pools, just add a penny pool and do not use it.
You cannot edit or delete a race until you have defined a race.
You must have at least one race defined and have members and their start point distances entered before you can add results.
When selecting the report pushbutton on most forms you have the option to preview the report before printing. This is the normal way to use the system. If the ‘Preview’ tick box is selected then a preview will be generated when you click the ‘OK’ pushbutton. You should have selected the printer you wish to print to. If you have selected the ‘Generic Text only’ printer your display may have a number of lines of text on top of one another. If this happens close the preview and select the printer you have installed with your computer and which you wish to print to.
If you wish to print more than one copy of this report you can either do this from the print options page or when selecting the print icon from the preview page the spin box for number of copies will be active.
Click on Maintenance then Choose Liberation Sites. This will give you lists from which you can choose. At the top of the form there is a drop-down list where you can choose which Union’s sites you require. You may only want to choose sites from, say, RPRA official sites. Drop the list and click on the Union. You may choose lib sites from as many Unions as you want but bear in mind that ALL selected sites, including any duplicated sites, will appear on the second page of the member’s form where his/her distances are entered.
These lists have been populated with data provided by the various Union secretaries. These lists do change from time to time. A lib site may be dropped, it may be changed or a new one may be added. If you find that a site you want is not in the list, you must choose Maintenance, Manage Liberation Sites and add the required site there.
Once you have flown races from a particular start point it should NEVER be unselected otherwise race details depending on it will be in error and unpredictable things may happen with the system.
Click on Maintenance then Clubs. If you are running the FSS as a Club system, you need only enter your club name. If you are running it as a Federation system, enter the names of all the member clubs. Because of the width of printouts, you must enter a 3-character (maximum) abbreviation for each club name. This abbreviation will appear on printouts.
If your Federation is divided into sections, this is where you allocate the member clubs to their sections. There is a limit of 9 sections for a federation. ALL clubs must be in a section if you create federation sections.
Creating Sections. The first small form that appears when you choose Maintenance, Create Federation Sections contains only a spin box that you spin up or down to the number of sections you require. When you click the Do It button, you will get another form where you can move the clubs into their sections. Initially ALL clubs appear in section 1. There will be a table with a short entry field above and a Send Back button below for each section. The club names in these tables cannot be altered in spelling. Choose Maintenance, Clubs to do that.
Allocating clubs to sections. To send a club from section 1 to another section, click on the club in table 1, set the spin box just below the section 1 table to the value of the section you want to send it to then click the Send To button. The club name will disappear from the section 1 table and appear in the section table you set in the spin box. To view the clubs allocated to sections 2-9 click the section pushbutton at the top of the form.
Naming sections. You must give each section a name. The place to enter this is the small entry field above each section table. The name is limited to 2 characters. You may, for example, want to name sections something like N (north), E (east), W (west) and FW (far west). The need for such a short name is because of the amount of information that is printed horizontally for each result in the Fed/Open/Section results sheet.
Mistakes. You sent a club to the wrong section, what do you do? You cannot send a club from a section other than 1 to any other section. You must click on the club in the section table where it has been mistakenly sent to then click the Send Back button. Then you can alter the spin box and send it to the correct section.
New seasons. Why is there a Send ALL Clubs to Section 1 Button? For two reasons; one, you have gotten into a right mess and want to start again, or two, more importantly, you are starting a new season with fewer sections than you had last season. Suppose you were running with 4 sections last season, a reorganisation has taken place and there is now a need for only 3 sections. When you set the number of sections to 3 on the small form that appears before the large one does, you will find that those clubs that were in section 4 last season can no longer be accessed. Clicking this button will get all clubs back to section 1, including those from last season’s section 4, and you can re-allocate all clubs to their relevant sections.
Note: Section 1 is NOT the Federation. The Federation comprises ALL sections. Do not create one more section than you think you need because you thought section 1 was the fed.
This represents the greatest data input you will have. Click on Maintenance then on Members. You will get a 2- or 4-page form depending on whether you run an ETS system. On the first page are the details of the member. Forename, surname, address, phone number, latitude and longitude of his loft. You may not want to enter any details except the member’s name and club. This is OK. You enter as little or as much as you need or want to. You must, of course, enter the name and club.
If you want to make use of the facility to automate the entry of distance data sent by the RPRA, you do need to record the members’ RPRA Number, as this is needed by the automated system.
If you enter the member’s surname in the surname field, it will be easier to find each member. I have seen entries in surnames of “Mr & Mrs Whatever” or “M/M Whatever”. This makes it more difficult to find a particular member. If you have lots of Mr & Mrs you will have to search through them to find the one you want. Put “Mr & Mrs” in the forename field and just the surname in the surname field.
You will see a yellow field on the first page of this form. This is a “seeker”. If you start to type the surname, you will see the records moving towards the name you are seeking. For example, start typing “s” and you will be on a record for, say, “Samuels”. Now, continue typing with “m” and you will be on, say, “Smailes”. Type an “i” and you will be on “Smith”. If this is not the Smith you want, use the Next and Previous buttons to find the one you want. The seeker will place you on the wanted record usually in about 3 keystrokes.
If you do record the latitude/longitude for each member, successive clicks on the entry field at the right will change the values from N (W) to S (E) and vice versa.
Clicking on the tab at the bottom of the form accesses the second page of this form.
NOTE: You cannot move the record pointer or tab to the second page if you are in Add or Edit mode. First Save or Cancel before doing so.
This second page contains all the start point distances for the member. Although this is the greatest data input you will have to do, it is done only once and will be remembered. If a member leaves the sport, do not delete him until the end of the season. Any races involving him will need his details there until you delete those races or start a new season. If a member moves his loft, you will have to edit all his start point distances.
If a member belongs to more than one club, he/she must be entered once for each club he/she belongs to.
If your liberation sites are all RPRA start points and you have applied for a member’s distances to be sent, you will receive a text file from the RPRA. You can update members’ distances automatically in this case. Choose Tools, Members’ Distances, Import. You must know where the file sent by the RPRA resides on your computer and your members must have their RPRA Numbers recorded else the automated import will not work.
If you have opted to use the Unikon ETS system, two more pages will appear on the member’s details form. The third page is where you will record the clock number(s) for each member who has a clock or clocks.
The entry of the member’s clock(s) is straightforward.
The fourth page is where each member’s race birds are recorded.
It is easier to record the birds here using a full-size keyboard than the one on the ETS base station. When all birds have been entered, it is very quick to transfer them to the clock. The buttons along the top of the form allow you to clear all birds from the form, clear all birds from the clock or send birds in the list to the clock.
If you fly in a union other than those already entered into the system, you must add the union details by choosing Maintenance, Unions. Your union will not appear in the drop-down lists of the Choose or Manage Lib Sites until you do this. After that you need to add the liberation sites that your union flies from by choosing Maintenance, Manage Liberation Sites.
If you click on Maintenance then Pools, you will get a form that allows you to set up to 10 pool values and how the pools are awarded to winners.
The name of each pool is limited to 3 characters. You can call the pools whatever you like but it makes sense to name them for the values they represent. For example, if you have a 25p pool, call it 25 or 25p. If you have a Nomination, call it NOM etc. The maximum pool value is £99, which should be more than sufficient! Use the tab key (the one on the left of your keyboard, 3 keys down with a right and left arrow on it) to move forwards through the fields. Hold down shift and then tab to move backwards through the fields.
Fill in as many pool values as you require and leave any blanks on the right hand end - they will be moved to leave any blanks on the right anyway. Then, if the pool is divided between more than one bird, enter the number of birds sharing the pool. This defaults to 1 initially but as you enter a number greater than 1 (the maximum you can enter is 5), you will be presented with my guess as to how you want to divide the pool. Alter these numbers to suit yourself but they MUST add up to 100. You will get an error message until they do add up to 100. For example, if you choose 3 birds to share the pool, the default will give you 50% to the first bird, 30% to the second and 20% to the third. If you or your club prefer a different split of the pool, enter your preferences as long as they add up to 100%.
The system allows you to tax each entry for the club/fed coffers. Payouts will be adjusted if you set the system to remove taxes.
The values you enter here will be remembered from race to race but you can alter them any time you want. Whenever you take a print out of a race result, the values currently in this form will apply. i.e. don’t alter these values then print out the results of a race which had different values or you will get an erroneous result.
If you click on Maintenance then Pools, you will get a form that allows you to set up to 14 pool values and how the pools are awarded to winners.
Tip: Use the tab key (the one on the left of your keyboard, 3 keys down with a right and left arrow on it) to move forwards through the fields. Hold down shift and then tab to move backwards through the fields. This applies to all forms in this application.
The top row of entry fields. This is where you enter the names of the pools. The name of each pool is limited to 3 characters. You can call the pools whatever you like but it makes sense to name them for the values they represent. For example, if you have a 25p pool, call it 25 or 25p. The maximum pool value is £99, which should be more than sufficient! Fill in as many pool names as you require and leave any blanks on the right hand end - they will be moved to leave any blanks on the right anyway.
Note: This is very important. The naming of pools is used when automatically counting the numbers of birds entered in each pool in the Fed Printing part of the program. There are some rules to apply to ensure that the count is correct. Always start the name of the pool with the value numbers - see the 10N example below. Any pools that are less than £1, i.e. valued in pence, must be entered to the left of any containing a £ sign. For example, suppose you have the following pools:
10p, 25p, 50p, £1, £2, £10, 10N (this last is a £10 NOM)
and you want to add, say, a 25p Charity pool. Call it something like 25C and enter it BEFORE the £1 pool, anywhere before the £1, it doesn't matter, but NOT after, otherwise it will be counted as a £25 pool and the number of birds will be calculated as a hundredth of the real value. Any pool entered to the right of a pool containing a £ sign will be evaluated in pounds. If you entered the 10N pool above to the left of the £1 pool, it would be counted as a 10p NOM pool not a £10 pool.
If you have divided the clubs in the Federation into sections, you will also have to define the section pools in a similar way to the Fed/Open pools (click Pools, Section pools) before you can print a Fed/Open/Section results sheet.
The radio buttons. Underneath each pool name there is a set of two radio buttons. The upper button must be clicked if there are a fixed number of winners for that pool. Clicking the lower radio button for each pool means that there is a variable number of birds sharing the pool winnings. As an example, you may want to allocate the pool to one bird for every, say, 5 entries in the pool.
Fixed number of shares. The upper radio button has been clicked. You can choose to allocate the pool winnings to 1 or up to 10 birds. If the pool is divided between more than one bird, enter the number of birds sharing the pool in the entry field that will appear. The number you enter here will make that number of entry fields appear beneath that entry field. If you enter 1, the resulting single entry field will have 100 in it - the birds gets 100% of the winnings (but see Tax below). These entry fields will be filled with my guess as to how you want to divide the pool. Alter these numbers to suit yourself but they MUST add up to 100. You will get an error message until they do add up to 100. For example, if you choose 3 birds to share the pool, the default will give you 50% to the first bird, 30% to the second and 20% to the third. If you or your club prefer a different split of the pool, enter your preferences as long as they add up to 100%.
Variable number of shares. The lower radio button has been clicked. Two entry fields will appear under the radio button. The top one is the number of birds determining the number of winners e.g. 1 winner for every 20 birds requires you to enter the 20 here. Fill in the upper entry field with this value. If you want to limit the number of winners for a pool, enter the maximum of winners in the entry field below. The pool will then be allocated to the smaller of:-
(a) the number of birds entered in the pool divided by the upper number
(b) the number in the lower entry field
Tax. Near the bottom of the form is a spin box that you can alter to determine the amount of “tax” removed from the pools for Fed funds. This value will NOT alter the number of shares, just the value of the share. The value here will be applied to ALL pools, any Section pools as well as Fed/Open pools. Obviously, if you enter zero here, no tax is removed.
The values you enter on this form will be remembered from race to race if you click the Save button but you can alter them any time you want. If you start to alter the values on this form then discover that you should not have done so, you can forget all the changes if you click the abandon button but this must be done BEFORE clicking the Save button. Once the Save button has been clicked, the new value will be applied and reverting to any old values will require you to enter them all again.
Whenever you take a print out of a race result, the values currently in this form will apply, i.e. don’t alter these values then print out the results of a race which had different values or you will get an erroneous result.
Click Maintenance then Award of Points and you will get a form that allows you to set the points awarded to winning birds. The maximum number of birds getting points is 40. Most clubs/feds use a smaller value than this.
Enter the number of birds to which points will be awarded in the box at the top of the form. The appropriate number of spin boxes will appear for points and for point’s money. Once again the points spin boxes will default to my guess what they should be but you are at liberty to alter them to what you require. You must also fill in the point’s money spin boxes with what you require. The amount of money won is calculated by multiplying the points by the point’s money. For example, if the first 20 birds get points and the default points values are accepted, the first bird gets 20 points down to the 20th bird getting 1 point. If each of the points money boxes is filled with, say, 30, the winner will get 20 times 30 pence = £6, second will get 19 times 30 pence = £5.70 down to the 20th getting 30p.
Click Maintenance then Race Types and you will get a form that lets you define the types of races for which points will be accrued for the end-of-season awards. For example, you may want Old Bird races kept separate from Channel races and kept separate from Young Bird races. You can define as many race types as you need. You may have a few “special” races throughout the season and want to keep these results separate from the rest of the season’s races. Make a new race type and call it “Special” and make sure, when defining the race that you mark the appropriate ones as special.
Define your race types here and at the end of the season - or throughout it - you can see who is top of which race type.
The titles appearing on results print outs can be altered here. Click Maintenance then Titles.
You are only allowed to alter the name of the president, the secretary and the person to whom race objections are sent. The Club or Federation name is “hard wired” to prevent piracy of the software. Whatever you enter in the name of the secretary will appear under the club or federation name on printouts. You can add a phone number here if you want but you are limited to a total of 35 characters.
You can choose what columns to include on the results sheet and which page orientation you want – portrait or landscape. Obviously, the more columns you include, the smaller the text will be and, at the bottom of the form in blue letters, there is an approximation of the text size. If the text is too small, leave out some columns or print the results in portrait mode. As an example, if you are printing results for a single club, why include the club name at all? It will be printed in the header anyway. You have a lot of flexibility in the results sheet.
If you want to use this facility, you can set the number of birds to be nominated by each member and also how many nominated birds you want to count in each race result. Each can be set from 1 to 99.
The next form allows you to choose the birds nominated by each member for the short, medium and long distance races.
A check will be made that the maximum number of nominated birds cannot be exceeded. If a member already has the full number and one of his birds has been entered wrongly, you must either delete the wrong one and re-enter or edit it so that it becomes the right one. If you do use this facility, you must remember to define any nominated bird races appropriately. See next paragraph.
To enter a race into the system, you must first “define” the race i.e. fill in all details of the race. Click on Race then New Race and you will get a form to define the race.
The race start point can be chosen from the drop down list, which is populated with the race start points you entered under Maintenance, Choose Liberation Sites. Click on the one you want until it appears in the top of the box.
The race date is the date the birds were released not necessarily the date they were planned to be released. If there has been a holdover, you must enter the release date in this box. To the right of the box there is an up-arrow and a down-arrow. This type of box is known as a spin box and you can spin the dates up or down with these arrows. A single click on either arrow will give today’s date. If you want to, you can right click on the date box and a calendar will appear. Choose the month and year on this calendar by clicking the arrows then click on the date you require and it will be put into the date box.
The next three boxes are for the release time in hours, minutes and seconds using always a 24-hour clock. Again, these are spin boxes so use the arrows to the sides of the boxes to spin to the value you require or tab into each box in turn and type the required value. You can alternately right click on these or any spin box to display a keypad entry where you can enter the value required and click ‘enter’.
There is a space to enter a short note about the race - usually weather conditions. You are limited to 60 characters.
If the race is a one-day race just leave that setting as it is but if it is a 2 or 3-day race, then click the appropriate radio button. Multi-day race resting times default to a six-hour period from 22h30 to 04h30. This can be altered if your times are different.
In the next group of boxes you can enter the numbers of club, federation and combine birds. The maximum values that can be entered in each of these boxes is 99,999 but you can leave any or all blank if you wish to or do not know the numbers.
The next box on this form allows you to choose the type of race and the list is populated with the type names you entered under Maintenance, Race Types. It is essential to choose the type of race if you want to make end-of-season awards based upon the different race types.
At the bottom left hand, there is a group of radio buttons that allow you define the type of race for nominated birds as short, medium or long distance or to set it as not counting for the nominated birds.
At the bottom right hand corner there are three radio buttons that allow you to define the race as a “Normal” race or a 2- or 3-bird race. 2- and 3-bird races use the mean of the 2 or 3 bird’s velocities to determine the order of winners.
On the second page, there are the pools that you defined under Maintenance/Fed Pools. To move back and forward between pages click the tabs at the bottom of the form. Enter here the total value of money in each of the pools. The maximum values that can be added are £9999.99 in each pool.
If you entered sections in the fed and divided clubs amongst these sections, you will have a third tab at the bottom of the form labelled Section Pools.
When you are sure that the race details are correct, click the Save button. You can abandon the race definition at any time by clicking the Abandon button. This will lose any data you have entered into this form.
The form for choosing a race appears under several menu items.
It is a simple form that ensures you are dealing with the correct race. On this form is a drop-down box containing the race start points for those races you have defined. When you click on the start point you require, a date or dates will appear in the box to its right. Click on the race date you want then click the OK button. If no dates appear in the box then you do not have any races for that start point and you will get an error message if you click ‘OK’. This will lead you to other forms where different operations are available depending on the menu item that you chose to get you here.
You can edit anything about a race definition by choosing Edit race under Raceon the main menu. These facilities are for you to alter mistaken data you have entered or data that was not available when you first entered details of the race. This may be the case if you use an ETS system. The form insists that you enter a liberation time for the birds but, if you have entered all races at the beginning of the season, this data is not known and a fictitious time will have been entered which needs to be edited when the liberation time is known.
If you change the values of the race date - which is the release date whether planned or delayed - or any of the release hours, minutes or seconds, or change the number of race days for channel races, then these changes have implications on the velocities. If you have already entered any birds in the results part of the system then choose to edit these race details, the velocities of the already-entered birds must be recalculated. Do this by choosing Results Add Resultsfrom the main menu and Edit and immediately save each bird - making sure that all other details are correct, of course.
NOTE: If you have already printed out the race results and then choose to alter some of the race details, you should print out the results again, for example, you alter the race type after printing the race results. The summary data for the end-of-season awards will be wrong. Printing the results again, answering the questions appropriately, will get the end-of-season summary data corrected. If you alter the pools moneys after printing the race results, the winner’s moneys will be wrong so print it again to get the right values.
When the race results have been printed and issued and the date for protests/objections has passed, you may decide that keeping that race’s data is unnecessary. Choose this menu item to delete all race data for each race. You will get a form on which all the race start points and dates are displayed for those races still on your computer. Click on the one you want deleted and click the Delete button. It will be argued by some that a full season’s data should be retained until you are about to start the next season. This way, any mistakes that have been made can be rectified. Others argue that once the date for protests/objections has passed, there is no point in retaining the race and results data - apart from the end-of-season data, which is not deleted in any case. It is your choice. The facilities exist for either way of operation.
When you have defined a race, you can enter the results for that race. Click on Results then on Add Results. This will take you to the Choose a Race form where you can select which race it is that you want to enter results for.
When you have chosen the race and clicked on OK, you will be presented with a form with many objects on it.
Across the top is the race start point name and the date with the time the birds were released. You cannot change these parts of the form and they are there to reassure you that you have selected the correct race. There is also a red reminder at the top right that you must always use the 24-hour clock. Failure to do this will result in the wrong velocities being calculated.
At the bottom right hand side of this form is a yellow seeker field. Use it just like the one in the Maintenance/Members form. It will quickly get you to the member whose birds you want to enter results for. Under the seeker there is a name field with next and previous arrows. You have got to the surname you want but it isn’t the right one so click the arrow keys to move to the next or previous name until you find the one you want.
Under the name field is a field indicating the club the member belongs to. You cannot alter this field and it is there so that if the same member is in more than one club, or there are 2 people with the same name, you can be sure which result you are entering. There are also 2 fields showing the flying distance to this member’s loft from the race start point chosen. These also, cannot be altered here.
NOTE: If you have not entered start point distances for a member, these fields will be red and show zero as the distance. It makes no sense to add results in this case until race point distances have been entered under Maintenance/Members. The Add button will be disabled.
Near the top of this form there are entry fields for the set and open date and times of the member’s clock and the master timer. Use the date spin boxes to spin up the correct dates or right click on them to have a calendar appear from which you can double-click on any date for it to be entered into the date field.
Under these is a large table with headings, Bird, Hrs etc. This is for display only and you cannot enter results directly into this table. Initially this table will be empty but, as you enter results, they will appear here. To enter results, click on the Add button and a series of entry fields will appear for you to fill in.
The first of these fields is for the bird ring number. This field is likely to cause more problems than any other. Because it is not reasonable to expect a club or fed secretary to keep definitive lists of each member’s birds up to date, this field is free-form entry rather than a choice from a drop-down list. There can be no checks as to the accuracy of this entry. It is up to the user to ensure that this field is correct. You will not be able to use any separators except spaces in ring numbers. For example, if you try to use a dash as a separator and enter, say, GB98F12345 as GB-98-F-12345, these two ring numbers are NOT the same - one contains dashes - and the dashes will be automatically removed. If you transpose letters or numbers, a common fault for everyone, the bird will be entered inaccurately.
What difference does it make if you do enter the same ring number differently? For a single race, it probably doesn’t matter but think about the end-of-season results. Throughout the season, birds and members accumulate points. If a bird is entered differently and gains points each time, its total points will be ascribed to different ring numbers and so its position in any results will be lower than it should be.
Next to the bird ring number is a field to enter colour and sex. You are limited to 3 characters for this entry. It’s up to you as to what you enter here. A blue chequer cock would likely be entered as BCC, a red hen as RH and so on.
Next is the member’s clock time for the bird in hours, minutes and seconds - don’t forget to use the 24-hour clock for this and all other times. Next to this are 2 entry fields for inner and outer rubber ring numbers. These can be used or left blank as you wish.
Under these are a series of check boxes representing the pools you set up under Maintenance, Pools. Click on those that this bird was entered in. If you use the tab key to move from field to field (and Shift-Tab to move backwards), you can press the space bar to check/uncheck these pools boxes. If you made a mistake and clicked a pool the bird was not entered in, just click it again and the check mark will disappear.
At the right-hand side there is a spin box to enter the number of birds sent to the race by this man.
When you are satisfied that the entry is correct, click the Save button. If you click the Abandon button, the entry for this bird will not be recorded. At any time after entering a bird’s results you find that there is an error in the entry, click on the entry line in the central table then click on the Edit button.
You can then alter any part of the entry and click the Save button to save the altered values. There is a Delete button, which will remove any entry highlighted in the central table.
If you have already printed out the results of a race and then find errors that you want to correct, you must do the print out again to get corrected values in the print out and corrected entries in the end-of-season summary table.
When you have entered all the results you require, click the close button.
If the race has been defined as a 2- or 3-bird race, another entry area will appear to allow you to nominate the appropriate birds. Click the check box to nominate a bird, click it again to remove the nomination. If you have already nominated the correct number of birds, you will not be allowed to nominate any more. You can correct a mis-entry by editing a wrongly nominated bird to remove its nomination.
All birds for 2- or 3-bird races must be entered and the birds nominated before a correct result can be printed.
If you have chosen ETS from the main menu, a new button will appear on the Add Results form that is labelled ‘Add from Unikon.’ When the member’s clock is in the base station, clicking this button will import all the results from the member’s clock and calculate the velocities. The system checks that the connected clock is registered to the member selected. As normal, when all clocks have been entered and all members without clocks have had their data entered manually, a result sheet can be printed.
Click on Results then Print Results. This will reveal a sub-menu where you can choose from Normal, 2-bird or 3-bird results. This will lead you to the Choose Race form you have seen with several others of the menu options. Choose the race and click OK. You will get a form which, at the top, reassures you of the race start point, the date, the birds up time and the race type. None of these entries can be altered.
Under these there is a central table showing the name of the member, the actual flying time in hours, minutes and seconds, the distance flown, the bird’s ring number, the colour/sex abbreviation and the velocity. Again, you cannot alter any of this data. If you think any data is wrong, you must go back to Add/Edit Results to edit the wrong data.
At the top right of the form are 2 radio buttons labelled All Results and By Club. They default to All Results and this is what you see in the central table. You can view results for a single club by clicking the By Club radio button and choosing the club to view from the drop-down list. This list is populated from the clubs you entered under Maintenance/Clubs.
Under the central table there is an empty box into which you can enter any notes you want to appear under the results when they are printed out. The sort of thing you may want to enter here are notices of a future meeting or competition, the sale of rings or congratulatory messages about a member who has done particularly well in the race or anything you want. Lay the text out, as you want it to appear. For example you may want a short message appearing centred. Use the space bar to “push” the text to where you want it. This box is limited to 7 lines of text. If it is a long message, let the text wrap automatically at the end of the line rather than inserting hard returns.
Under this box is an area about printing. The number of copies to print is chosen from the spin box on the printer selection form. This is limited to 99 copies, use the spin arrows to spin it up to the value you require. The spin box to the right of the print button allows you to choose the fastest how many birds you wish to print. This has a maximum value of 999.
When you click the Print button, a 2-page report is printed. On the first page you will get the results for the number of birds you chose plus any notice you have entered in the box under the central table. The second page shows the winners of the pools and points moneys as you defined them under Maintenance/Pools and Maintenance/Award of Points. The pools moneys will be shown correctly for those pools where the pool money is divided between more than one bird.
The contents of the first page of printed results can be defined using the ‘Maintenance’, ‘Define results’ sheet option. Select the columns that you want included on the printout by ticking the required headings, as shown below.
Only those races defined as 2-bird races will be choosable when you choose a 2-bird result. The same applies to a 3-bird race. The results will show only the member, the 2 or 3 bird’s ring numbers and the mean velocity on screen.
However, when you choose to print the result, the columns printed will be the member’s name, each of the 2 (3) birds ring numbers and their individual velocities and the mean of their velocities. The results are ordered in descending order of mean velocity.
You also have the option to produce the results in HTM format for posting to your web site or attaching to an email.
This form will produce a printout similar to the National print outs in the British Homing World. There are no points tables printed but all pools moneys and prize moneys are printed along with the results, which are in velocity order. Before printing results from this form you must have:
(a) entered all required results - choose Results, Add Results.
(b) defined any pools you use - choose Maintenance, Pools, Fed Pools and Section PoolsSet_pools.
(c) allocated clubs to sections - choose Maintenance, Create Federation Sections.
(d) entered the pool moneys collected - choose Race, Add or Edit, go to 2nd page.
(e) allocated the prize moneys - done from a button on this form.
Top part of form. The Race Start Point, Date and Birds Up times are there to assure you that you have chosen the correct race. You cannot alter the values in these entry fields.
The middle entry fields. The 2 small entry fields in the middle of the form show how many birds have been entered in the results form and how many pages will be printed when you print these results. Neither can be altered and they are there purely for information.
Bird numbers in pools. The number of entry fields appearing in this part of the form is dependent upon the number of pools you have defined and the number of sections you have created. The number of birds in each pool is calculated from the amount of money entered in the pool - second and third pages of the Race definition form. You must be sure to name the pools you use in such a way that the numbers of birds can be calculated. See Set/Edit Pools. However, if the papers supplied by the section secretaries contain numbers of birds entered into each pool, and this differs from that calculated, you can alter the numbers. If this is the case, you must ask yourself why. You will be responsible for the accuracy of the data entered.
If you leave any entry field blank, you will not be able to proceed and you will get an error message. If you have left a field blank because no birds were entered in that pool, simply enter a zero (0) and you can then proceed.
Allocating prize money. The print button will be disabled until you have allocated the prize moneys for the Fed/Open and for any sections that you have created. You do this by clicking the button at the bottom of the form. The first time you use the system, you will need to allocate all prize moneys. Click on each radio button in turn, one for the Fed/Open plus one for each section and then click the Add button. Entries/edits are made in the entry fields below the central table. The values in the central table cannot be altered directly. To edit any value, click on it in the central table then click the Edit button and apply any changes to the entry fields. After Adding or Editing, you must click the Save button. Clicking the Abandon button will “forget” any changes you have made to an entry. Whichever you choose, you MUST Save or Abandon before proceeding. To delete a prize, click on the entry you wish to delete in the central table, then click Delete.
When you are happy with the entries here, click the Close button and you will find that the print button is now enabled. After the first time of use, you will still have to click the Allocate Prize Money button but, if you are satisfied that nothing has changed since the last time you used the application, simply close the form and the prize money allocations will be set the same as the last time you set them.
Number of Copies. Finally, set the number of copies you require on the spin box on the printer selection form. The total number of pages printed will be this number multiplied by the number of pages displayed in the entry field in the middle of the form. The pages will not be collated.
Tip: As the pages come out of the printer, remove them and place them face down on one another. This will get them in the correct order. Or: if you know how, and your printer is capable, set it to print in reverse order.
You can limit the number of results printed if you want to. Simply spin the value in the Print fastest to how many birds you want results for.
If you have a web site, the race results can be converted to an HTM file as well as being printed. You must know how to upload files to your web site. FSS cannot do that for you.
When you choose Results, Print Fed/Open/Section results, one of the questions you will be asked is, "Do you want to output the results to a file for posting to your web site?" If you answer, "Yes" you can choose a name and a place (folder) where the HTM file will be written. If you do not choose a name or a place, the file will be called "RESULT.HTM" and it will be written to the folder where FSS is installed. If you choose a file extension other than HTM it will be altered to HTM.
If you intend to have only one result posted on your web site and you intend to over-write the result each time a new one is produced, it would be simpler to leave the name as the default, "RESULT.HTM" If, however, you intend to post results and allow them to accumulate over the race season, then change the name to something more meaningful. For example, if the result were for a race from Bonn, it would make sense to call the file "BONN.HTM". Always keep the file name length to eight or fewer characters long and without spaces, dots or hyphens etc and ending ".HTM" This means that for a race from, say, Maidstone, you will have to shorten the name to, say, "MAIDSTN.HTM".
When the file has been generated, you can see how it will look on your web site by double-clicking it in your explorer. It will open in your browser and you can scroll through it as you would on your web site. The HTM file can also be attached to an email for posting to your membership.
If you select this option under Results/Points table, it will display a list of all the points-scoring birds recorded in the system where results have been printed. Those accruing most points being displayed at the top of the list.
Obviously, you must have printed the race results first for any races you want to count in this table. If you edit the details of a race, such as the race type, you must print out the results of the race again to update this table before printing it out.
There are four selection boxes at the top of the form where you can limit the selection of clubs, members, start points and race types. The list is altered automatically as you limit the selection. At the bottom of the form are two tab boxes, which lead to a page for best loft and best bird. When you select the ‘Best Bird’ page you will get a list of birds and points in descending order that relates to the selections made on the first page.
For all three pages, when you choose to print the results by clicking the Report button, you will be given the option to save the results to an HTM file for posting to your web site. You will also be given the option of attaching the HTM file to an email.
Similarly for the page for best loft you will get a list of members and points accrued in descending order.
From these pages you can select the number of lofts/birds you want to print.
This form is a 2-page form. The first page shows the number of birds gaining points for each race in the selected distance.
Change the race displayed by clicking on the race you want in the list box at the lower right hand side. This also shows the total points gained to date by those birds.
The second page shows all nominated birds for that race distance in descending order of points gained. If you choose to print the results, all races in that distance will be shown with points gained by each bird and the total points gained by all birds.
At the end of the year, or at any time, you can calculate and print the average velocity achieved by any members for any races. The member must have flown birds in every race you choose. Any who failed to fly in all of the races will be flagged up and will not appear in the resulting print out. The results of this averages print out will appear two members to a page and will be in alphabetic order of members surname, not in velocity order.
Choose more than one member or more than one race by holding down the CTRL key on your keyboard as you select the second and subsequent ones. If a group of adjacent members or races is to be selected, hold down CTRL, click on the top one then hold down CTRL and Shift keys and click on the bottom one. Try it out several times until you understand the significance of the CTRL and Shift keys in this selection process. If you select a large number of members for this averages calculation and you know that many of them did not fly birds in all races, you will only be presented with many messages saying that the members will not be included in the calculation. It is better to be fairly sure that all those chosen have flown birds in all races chosen.
You can print certificates for any race. You can print Fed or Club certificates. You can choose how many certificates to produce – first 4 places or as many places as you choose, up to a maximum of 99 – provided there are that many results! The certificates are printed at A5 size with first in a red border, second in a blue border, third in a green border and subsequent positions in a yellow/gold border. It is expected that you will be printing on A4 card stock. The wording below the two rectangles tells you how many sheets to put in the printer. Obviously, the cards will run out when only half the required certificates have been printed. This is the time to rotate the cards through 180° and replace them in the printer for the other certificates to be printed on the other ends, so using the minimum of card stock. If you have already printed the certificates and a change is made (because of an objection or any other reason), you can re-print a specific certificate. If you choose to print a specific certificate (the lower radio button), the wording surrounding the spin box will change from “How many to print?” to “Which one to print?” Simply spin up the number of the one you want re-printing.
There are a few tools provided to make life a bit easier. These are accessed under Tools in the main menu. There is a temporary reminder, a permanent diary, an ad hoc velocity calculator, a calendar and a simple accounting system.
This is a temporary reminder into which you enter notes of things you want an automatic reminder for.
On the form there is a spin box at the top, which you set for the number of days ahead you want reminding. For example, you may want to put a notice out on the results forms for two weeks before club or federation subs are due. If you click on the Add button, some entry areas will appear. The first is a date spin box, which, like those you have already met, can be spun to the date, you require or you can right click on it for a calendar to appear and when you double click on any date, it will be placed into the date field. Next, tab to the short note field where you put in words that will remind you what you want to remember. If you want longer notes, enter them in the box at the bottom left of the form. When you click the Save button, the reminder will be entered into the central table. You cannot change things in this central table. Click on Edit to do that.
Any entries you have made which fall inside the number of days you set on the top spin box from the date for the reminder will be displayed as you start up the FSS. For example, if you set the days ahead to 14, when the current date gets to 14 days before the remind date, each time you start FSS, that reminder will be displayed. As the remind date is passed, these entries are automatically deleted. You can re-set the days ahead at any time.
A good use for this is to enter your wife’s/husband’s birthday. After all, you spend so much time with the pigeons that a few brownie points gained by remembering their birthday will be valuable.
The permanent diary is very similar to the reminder except that entries are not automatically deleted. You decide when and if you want individual entries deleted. It is permanent and you can view its contents whenever you want.
This is added to provide a means of checking velocities when enquiries are made or to determine the velocities of birds on training flights. Its use is straightforward and on multiple-day races a darkness allowance can be made or neglected as you wish.
This calculator uses the following equation to calculate great circle distance:
Distance, D =
R * 2 * asin(sqrt((sin((lat1-lat2)/2))^2 + cos(lat1)*cos(lat2)*(sin((lon1-lon2)/2))^2))
where R = radius of the earth, latitude and longitude are measured in radians.
The earth is not really round. It is an oblate sphere. Because of this the radius of the earth changes depending on where you are. For example, the radius at the equator is 3963.189 miles whereas the polar radius is 3949.901 miles. You can see an explanation at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_radius.
The radius therefore changes slightly with latitude. The equations used to calculate great circle distances use the radius of the earth. Calculation of great circle distances, taking into account a change in latitude over which the distance is measured and, therefore, small changes in the radius of the earth, is more complex than this program can deal with.
A fixed radius has been calculated as the mean between the radius at Southampton and at Aberdeen. This has been calculated as 3958.660 miles. If you think you need to use a different radius, you may enter that radius in the form and calculations will use that new radius.
East Coast Software makes no claims about the accuracy of these calculations compared with any other method.
This accounting system is very simple and should not be used to replace a proper audited accounting system. Its operation is straightforward and similar to other forms in FSS. Add a new entry by clicking the Add button, edit mistakes in an existing entry by clicking on the item in the central table then clicking the Edit button. When in edit mode and the credit/debit check box is highlighted, you can change it either by clicking on it or by hitting the space bar on your keyboard.
When new items are added or the amount or whether it is a credit or debit are changed the current balance is calculated automatically. The accounts form looks like this:
To remove ALL entries click the clear button. This action is not reversible.
Address labels can be printed for groups of members or individual members. The address details are taken from those entered when the Member details are entered. The label format is taken from the standard Avery label type numbers. This is selectable from the drop down list on the labels form. Selecting ‘Tools’, ‘Address Labels’ from the main menu, accesses this. Once the labels selection form is displayed you can select the group of people required using the buttons at the top of the form. If you select the 'Select members' button then you can select any or all of your members using the arrow pushbuttons in the centre of the form.
An option to print member’s distances is available. There are two options you can either print distances for each member on a separate page or as a summary listing. To print individual pages select ‘Tools’, ‘Members Distances’, ‘One Page per Member’. To print a summary select ‘Tools’, ‘Members Distances’, ‘Summary’, ‘Distances’. You can also print a summary of members lat/long coordinates by selecting ‘Tools’, ‘Members Distances’, ‘Summary’, ‘Lat/Long’. The selection procedure for which members to print is the same as that for selecting members to print address labels for.
Member’s distances can be automatically added/edited provided that (a) the liberation sites used are RPRA sites, (b) You have recorded the member’s RPRA Number in the Members Details and (c) you have received a text file containing the additions/changes from the RPRA and have saved that file to your computer.
If you choose Tools, Members Distances, Import you will get a form that will allow you to navigate to where the RPRA text file resides and will import the data automatically.
This is an option to set a basic colour scheme for the background, menu and border.
This is an option to set a report font for printed reports and membership cards. The size and style of font is set by the program.
It is advisable to check the printouts and membership cards when selecting a font as selecting a wide font can give unpredictable results resulting in the print being too large to fit the page or label.
A number of date formats can be selected from the ‘Tools’, ’Date Format’ menu option. These are as follows:
The date format selected is used in entry, display and printing of dates. Whichever one is selected is used throughout the system and remains selected until it is changed from the menu. The initial default setting is British.
There is currently only one electronic timing system supported by East Coast Software applications. That is the Unikon system. It is not the intention of this help system to teach you how to use the Unikon system – Deister Electronics will supply that information. This help is to teach you how FSS communicates with the Unikon clock.
If you want to use the Unikon system, click on ETS in the main menu and choose ‘Use ETS.’
This will do several things. It will enable the other menu item under ETS, it will show 2 extra pages on the members’ form where clocks and birds can be entered and it will show an extra button on the results form to allow results to be read from the Unikon clock.
If you have chosen to use the electronic timing system from the main menu, the menu item, “Send races to ETS System” will have been enabled. When you click on this menu item, a form will open already populated with the races you have defined under Race, New Race.
This form allows you to choose which races to send to the clock. You can, if you wish, define all your races at the start of the season and send them all to the clock. The form has buttons at the top that can select all races and un-select all races. You can also select races one at a time by putting a tick in the Selected column for those races you wish to select.
Note 2 The race definition form demands that an up-time is entered for the birds before the definition will be accepted. Since the liberation time is not recorded in the Unikon clock, you MUST edit the race definition when the liberation time is known. In fact, with race holdovers, the date may also need to be edited before sensible velocities can be calculated.
The File menu is the first one at the left of the top of the starting form. It contains Reindex, Backup, Restore, Start a New Season, Picture Display and Exit. The Delete item leads to a further three sub-menus Delete Old Data, Start a New Season and Clear Accounts.
Choose this only when things seem to go wrong - data is in the wrong order, data you know to be there does not appear or error messages about indexes appear. Use it also after deleting any data. It should not really be necessary then but it will make sure that the indexes are in good order after deleting partial data.
This facility will allow you to backup to any disk except a CD-ROM. It will even allow you to backup to the disk where the Federation Secretaries System is installed but this would be the height of folly. If you lose the hard disk where FSS is, you also lose all your data as well! The system cannot tell if a D: drive is a separate physical drive from C: or if it is just a logical partition. It is NOT good practice to backup to another partition on the same physical disk as your FSS but it is good and speedy to do so to a separate hard disk.
The system automatically creates a directory/folder to back up to. A ‘FSS6’ folder is created on the drive selected. The system will always look for a ‘FSS6’ backup on the drive selected. If a ‘FSS6’ folder does not exist on the selected drive then you will be asked if you want to restore from an earlier version backup. If you select ‘Yes’ the browser will appear and you will be able to navigate to the drive and folder containing the backup.
The best time to take a backup is after an inputting session. Please do take a backup after changing. Computer hard disks are robust but do occasionally fail. If you have spent several hours entering data a few minutes it takes to do a backup is insurance against having to enter all that data again.
The facility for entering photographs can utilise disk space very quickly. We recommend that you scan passport-sized photographs and save them in the ‘JPG’ format initially.
This version of software installs the software and records to two separate folders. Records are always stored in a designated ‘ProgramData’ folder. The pathname of this folder is ‘C:\ProgramData\East Coast Software\ FSS6\<refno>’. If you want to make a manual backup this is the folder to backup. If you have more than one clubs records there will be more than one <refno> It is very important to use separate USB drives to backup records from different clubs to prevent one backup overwriting the other clubs backup.
An ‘Autobackup’ is also made to an ‘Autobackup’ folder at this location. This can be used to restore from but as it is not on a separate drive it should not be relied on. If you have a fault with the software or fault with your computers drive you can re-install the software and import your records from a separate drive.
The browse button at the bottom of the form allows you to search all drives and folders for the place you decide to backup to or restore from. The best time to take a backup is after an inputting session. One backup I would suggest you keep separate is when you have entered all clubs, start point names, members and their flying distances. Do a backup and label it something like <your fed name> federation (or club) Basic data. These are the data that would cost you the most time and effort to re-type into the system so it makes sense to keep them separately.
Please do take a backup after changing data - say each week of the racing season. Computer hard disks are robust but do occasionally fail. If you have spent several hours entering data about members and their race start point distances, a USB flash drive and the few seconds it takes to do a backup is a very low cost insurance against having to enter all that data again.
This is the reverse of the previous paragraph. The hard disk was lost, the data could not be recovered but you had a backup. After the hard disk is repaired or replaced and FSS re-installed on it, it is very easy to put the data back on the system - provided a backup has been done before the disk crash.
If you haven’t done a backup, after the disk repair you can easily re-install FSS but without the backup, you face a long period of typing before you are back to where you were before the disk crash.
At the end of a racing season or prior to starting a new season, you must get rid of the data on your computer referring to the old season. Choose this menu item to do this.
All races, results and end-of-season summary data will be deleted. You will be presented with a form that reminds you to take a final end-of-season print out and gives you information on what is happening and you can back out of the operation by clicking the Close button.
If you have not deleted any races during the season and want, for some reason, to keep that season’s data, you can choose File, Backup Data to Storage and copy the data that way before choosing Start a New Season. If you do this, label the disk with the season year and do not use it for future backups. Keep it for archival purposes. There is no real reason to do this but it is available if you so choose. None of the member data start point names or club names are affected at all by this process. If at the end of the season you wish to delete a member who is no longer a member, you must do that separately.
This is a facility, which will display pictures of your choice in the centre of the screen on system start-up. You can add any picture of your choice to this provided you have an existing disc file containing this image. Pictures can be added to or deleted at any time but there must always be at least one picture recorded in the system. If you have a number of pictures the system will pick a different one at random each time you start-up.
This is the ONLY way to safely exit FSS. ALWAYS exit this way. If you choose to exit any other way, data you have just entered may not be recorded. Never just switch off at the wall but that applies to ANY Windows program you are running not just FSS.
When installing, one or two users have received the error message, "Invalid driver name or insufficient system resources" followed by a file name. This is caused when you have a fax allocated as your printer driver or when your printer driver has a fault. Workaround: install a printer driver for a printer that uses paper - use the generic drivers supplied with Windows if you do not have one for your printer.
If when opening up the system you see the error message “Database Engine Initialization Error”, “Cannot Initialize with Different Configuration File”. You are currently running another application, which uses the Borland Database Engine (BDE), and you must close this application before opening the software.