Marabella

FOC Marathon entry formatter
Helping members to score their Marathon entries since 2003

Developed for FOC by
John Linford
G3WGV
FOC 1600

   

This is the official site for G3WGV's Marabella program. Here you can download the latest Marabella and any data files you might need.

UPDATE 03-Feb-2014 @ 14:00Z

I have issued an updated version of Marabella, Version 2.16, adding yet another field to look in to find his FOC number. There are several other minor improvements, which are fully documented in the version file and in Help. Please use this new version.

Marabella is a simple utility designed to help with scoring and submission of FOC Marathon logs. It takes an export file (Cabrillo, ADIF or WinMarathon) from your logging program and converts it into an Excel spreadsheet entry form or a series of text files which can be submitted directly to the Marathon adjudicator. Please note that Marabella is not a logging program!

This is the only site that Marabella may be officially obtained from. If you want the latest software then this is the place to get it. If you want to feature this software on another site, please just provide a link to this page. Do not host the software on any other web space. Thank you.

Important note

From Marabella 2.11 onwards the default installation folder is now C:\FOC\Marabella. Marabella was previously installed in the Program files folder but that seems to cause problems with Vista and Windows-7, so I have decided to move it.

Marabella 2.16 introduces sub folders for input log files and output results files. This makes backwards compatibility difficult, so please uninstall any old versions and then do a new install on version 2.16.

File name
Version
Date
File size
Comments
2.16
03-Feb-14
697kB
Complete installation package for Windows.
Prefixes2.dat (zip file)  
10-Dec-13
17kB
This is the latest Prefixes database. If you are finding that the number of FOC countries is wrong this may fix the problem. Unzip the file and place it in the application root folder.

About Marabella

The Marabella project was conceived in 2002, when G3WGV had a particularly successful Marathon and became frustrated with the time it took to submit his entry. Marabella was first made available to FOC members in time for the 2003 Marathon, so 2014 marks the program's twelfth year of availability. The original Marabella only worked with one type of Cabrillo file and had a very basic user interface but it became quite popular with members and so in 2006 I launched Marabella II.

Marabella II permits a wide range of input log types and can either create Excel or text file outputs. It is therefore applicable to a wider range of logging programs and can be used on PCs that do not have an appropriate version of Excel installed. As time has gone on, I've added support for different variants of Cabrillo and ADIF although it seems that every year another format turns up. Operating systems move on and new versions of Excel have come and gone, so there are numerous combinations of software and file formats to consider. Generally though, Marabella seems to work most of the time.

What Marabella II does
  • Creates an Excel document or a series of text files comprising summary sheet, tick sheets and logbook in very similar format to the paper version, known to be acceptable to the adjudicator. The results can be sent directly to the adjudicator, via e-mail.
  • Fully and correctly scores the Marathon, including G*4FOC QSOs, 5/6 banders, Entity and Continent bonuses.
  • Creates a detailed error log to help you with fixing problems in your log.
  • E-mails your log to the adjudicator.
What you need to be able to use Marabella II

Your logging program must be able to create one of the following text formats:

  • The standard Cabrillo file format, sometimes referred to as the CQWW format. This is a very common format and all logging programs should be able to be configured to output Cabrillo in this format
  • The default TR Log Cabrillo file format. This format is produced if you operate TR Log in general QSO mode. It's preferable to operate it in CQWW mode if possible.
  • The FOC-BWQP Cabrillo file from N1MM Logger. This really is not recommended! Please set Logger to CQWW format.
  • The .LOG output format of W5ZR's WinMarathon. Although Marabella supports this file type, WinMarathon can also produce a Cabrillo file that works fine with Marabella and that is the preferred file format to use.
  • ADIF format. If your logging program cannot create a Cabrillo output file then you should use the ADIF format.

If you want to use the nice Excel formatting features then you must have standard Microsoft Excel on the machine that you use to run Marabella. I have tested Marabella against Excel version 6 (Excel 1995) upwards. Earlier versions of Excel will not work with Marabella. Neither will the Microsoft Works version of Excel, nor the free versions of Office sometimes shipped with new PCs. This is because these early/cut down versions do not support the OLE interface that Marabella uses to communicate with Excel. The so-called "Open Office" software doesn't work either, I'm told. It seems strange that in making a look-alike program they didn't include the OLE!

If you cannot meet the Excel requirements, or you experience other compatibility issues, you should still be able to use Marabella to produce text files.

Using Marabella II with Vista

Marabella was developed using Windows XP as the underlying operating system. As far as I know, Marabella should work OK with Vista and the latest versions of Excel but I have no way of checking that as I refuse to have Vista on any of my PCs! I would be pleased to hear of your experiences with Marabella and Vista.

Using Marabella II with Windows-7

I am advised that Marabella works fine in Windows-7 but some members have advised that they had to run it in XP compatibility mode. Others seem to be able to run in native W7 mode, so I'm not sure what's going on there!

Using Marabella with Windows-8

If you try Marabella with Windows 8 would you kindly let me know how you get on. Thanks.

Availability

Marabella is available free of charge to all FOC Members. The latest version is always available at the Marabella support web site, http://marabella.g3wgv.com. Please do not copy the software to other sites - provide a link instead. Always get updates from the official site.

You may give Marabella to any other FOC Member but please do not circulate it outside of the club. Please only distribute the full installation package, complete and unaltered.

Copyright

Marabella is created by and copyright of John Linford, G3WGV, FOC 1600.

Why "Marabella"

It's always nice to have an easy way of referring to a piece of software. I could have called it the FOC Marathon Cabrillo entry formatter by G3WGV but somehow that doesn't quite have the same ring about it. So, Marabella...

Mara... The first four letters of Marathon
bella... Something nice or good.

So now you know!

What members say about Marabella

"It worked right away and had no problem at all, very easy program to use, have used it several times in the past, and will also use it next year, if you still support it! Thanks a lot for supplying it to all of us in the club." Carsten, OY1CT

"On Monday I manually did the working out of my score.  A long and tedious process as you are so well aware.  Then I took a closer look at the cover sheet and read the information on the Marabella programme, downloaded it, made an ADIF file of my marathon log, and 'bingo', all done in a couple of minutes flat, and also came up with the same score as my manual effort.  I encountered no problems at all, and I can only thank you kindly for an absolutely amazing utility.  I would certainly be happy to recommend it to other members.  You have my total, utmost and unbounded appreciation.  Go well.  Keep up the good work." Joe, 7Q7BP

"Just a quick email to say a huge thank you for all the work you put into making our lives so much easier with Marabella etc. It is all "magic" to me, I have enough trouble using software let alone trying to write any. I had to do some Pascal at Uni but it taught me that I wouldn't ever make a programmer." Tony, G3ZRJ

"A big thank you for your support with Marabella! It works great." Karsten, DL8LBK

Tell me what you think

If you use Marabella, please let me know how you get on. If there is sufficient interest then I will continue to develop it. I am willing to provide basic support for this software, via e-mail. Please contact me at john@g3wgv.com if you need assistance.

Can't get Marabella to work?

Please let me know. I will always try to fix the problem as quickly as I can and you can help me.

Please don't just say "Marabella doesn't work"! I can't begin to work out what the problem is unless you give me full details. In particular, I will always need the log file that you are trying to use with Marabella. Please see Marabella help for more information.

Copyright © 2014, John R Linford, G3WGV. Page updated 03-Feb-2014