Archive for September, 2013

Ham Radio Software

September 3, 2013

I’ve had a chance lately to look at software related to ham radio. I’ve gotten some new programs up and running here in the shack.

VE3NEA has written several interesting programs. Check out this web site: http://www.dxatlas.com/ Some of these programs are freeware, some are shareware.

I think Ionoprobe is well worth $20. I’ve used it off-and-on for years. It automatically downloads solar data and displays it in a nice, neat format. It also retrieves a number of text bulletins with solar information.

I recently downloaded and tried BandMaster. This program grabs cluster spots and displays them on a “band map”. If your rig is set up for computer control, you can click on a callsign and your rig will go to the frequency where the station is spotted. You can tell the program which countries you need and it will highlight spots of those countries, although this can’t be done on a per-band basis. Still, this looks like a great program for $25.

The other Afreet shareware programs are not as interesting to me. CW Skimmer is great software but I don’t have much use for it here. A number of hams put CW Skimmers on the Internet (see http://www.reversebeacon.net/skimmers/detail.php ) and I have gotten a lot of benefit from these. DX Atlas has a lot of interesting functions but nothing of great benefit to me. Faros monitors the HF beacon network, but this is something I don’t do.

Among Afreet’s freeware programs, take a look at Morse Runner. This is a very nice CW contest simulator. You have seen me talk about RufzXP (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=we9cWDDkpmY ) which throws callsigns at you. But Morse Runner integrates sending callsigns with a contest logging program. So, all aspects of contest operation are simulated.

I’m also had more time to play with my Perseus software defined receiver (SDR). A number of people have put their Perseus units on the Internet, and anyone with the Perseus software can connect to these. Also, I will put my Perseus online now and then for others to use. If you have the Perseus software, watch for my receiver to show up on the map now and then.

And They’re Off

September 3, 2013

College football season started this past weekend. Mark Stoops lost his first game as Kentucky coach, as Western Kentucky beat the Cats in Nashville 35-26. Kentucky’s defense is not expected to be much better this year, and so far that prediction has come true.

Ohio State beat Buffalo 40-20. The Bucks opened a 23-0 lead, only to have turnovers allow Buffalo to cut the lead to 10. I’m not convinced that Ohio State deserves its #2 national ranking.

The big matchup for the first weekend was Georgia at Clemson, won by the Tigers 38-35. Georgia had a long stretch in which it generated no offense. The Dawgs might have won if they hadn’t gone to sleep during that stretch.

Here is the link to the new video of the Aetna & Baker City model railroad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4Z1dwbo39o