SteppIR EZNEZ STUDY

TARANTULA MIGRATION DXPEDITIONS:  2004  2006

USS RONALD REAGAN

CQ DIABLO

IN MEMORIAM

FGA     WHY HAM RADIO IS DYING


AMATEUR RADIO SOFTWARE

I use computers extensively while operating for a variety of purposes with the exception of rig control.  I enjoy tuning my radios manually, so I do not use computers to control my radios.  Here is a list of the programs I use frequently.  Each of the links will pop up a new browser.  These are the best software packages in each category I have found.  (All links open new windows.)

  • Logic8:  Logging software.  I recently upgraded from Logic6 to Logic8 and am very pleased with the new features.  Logic is very complex and it does have a learning curve.  But once you've figured it out, it is clearly the best out there if you want an advanced full featured logging program.  It does a lot more than logging.  Here's what my screen looks like (this is a wide image, you'll need to expand the popup and zoom in).
  • DxAtlas:  World atlas.  This is one of the best amateur programs around.  It is a world atlas that is integrated with call areas, call signs, Iota's, grids, information on cities.  Punch in a call sign and it takes you to that part of the world instantly.  Beam headings, distance calculations, propagation prediction and a lot more.  The program is also integrated into Logic8 Logging software.
  • Digital Mode Software: 
  • EZNec:  Antenna Modeling.  Great for designing and testing wire antennas.  All of my loops were designed and tested with EZNec.
  • CIA World Fact Book:  Yup, it's the CIA information files on all countries in the world.  65 megabytes of information from population, government type, economics, transnational issues and a great deal more.  You can view online or download. (now included in Logic8)
  • VOAProp:  Propagation prediction software.  Of all the propagation software I have tried, this one really is easy to use and is very useful.  It clearly shows you where in the world you can expect to contact by band.  It has a beautiful world map including beacons.  Click here to see the main window.  The program allows you to id your location, and download current solar indexes and active beacons.  You can view the available dx world by selecting the various band tabs.  The software is written by and available from Julian Moss, G4ILO through this link.  You will also need to download and install the VoaCap files which is easy.  Highly Recommended.
  • WX Track Satellite tracking software.  Simply the best satellite tracking software made.  It also provides frequency listings for all amateur and weather satellites.  It provides not only time and elevation predictions, but footprints as well.  There is a lot of other great software on this site as well.
  • WXtoIMG:  Weather satellite decoding software.  Automatically decodes all weather satellites and WeFax transmissions.  Multiple filters and the ability to piece together multiple images including GOES movies.  It also can produce a stereo 3D image. The NOAA image on the homepage was captured and decoded with this program.
  • Ultramon:  If you run dual monitors (or greater), this is a must have piece of software.  It allows you to individually control each monitor better than the monitor support included in Windows.  Among its many features, you can place a single background image (wallpaper) to span both monitors, or different background images on each monitor.  You can move windows from one monitor to the other, or span both monitors using hotkeys; you can also define taskbars for each monitor.  The software supports more than a dozen monitors.  There's a free 30 day full function demo available.
  • VoiceKeyer:  If you have a rigblaster or other computer/radio interface, then this software based voice keyer is for you.  I have searched and searched for a really good software keyer and this one is superb!  You can record up to 12 playback memories of any length each of which has a screen where you can type in what you have recorded so you won't forget.  It has a loop function with adjustable delay, microphone gain controls, output levels...the works!  You can download it here.  It is written by Grant Connell, WD6CNF so if you use it, drop him a line thanking him for a wonderful piece of software.  I have used it extensively in contesting and late night cqing.  Fantastic, A+++ software!  Grant has a website at www.hotamateurprograms.com.  He has audio software and a variety of other great freeware.
  • NSAudit Network Security Auditor::  NSAuditor is an Internet analyzer I use to monitor the connections to my computer.  You might call it the most intelligent firewall you can get because you control what and what does not connect to your computer.  It's also the most powerful monitoring software you can get for $49.  The Network Monitoring control shows all of your IP connections and allows you to identify, filter or block completely any connection to any port on your computer from a remote server.  While running a Google search, for example, NSAuditor will allow you to see any other connections to other websites opened without your knowledge during the search or while visiting any of the links provided by the search.  It will also identify programs running on your computer that are communicating to any server out on the Internet.  The documentation for the software isn't great and it assumes you are an experienced network administrator.  But the learning curve isn't steep and you'll be amazed at the number of connections your computer makes while you surf the internet or visiting your favorite site.
  • Network Traffic Monitor: In the realm of network monitoring software, I recently found this little gem.  It's a small application that displays your network traffic, both upstream and down.  Ever wonder how many megabytes your feeding your machine?  Download this application and know for sure.   SCREENSHOT  Great piece of freeware.
  • NASA's WorldWind Global Imaging Software:  Call it Google Earth on steroids and its absolutely free!  WorldWind contains beautiful terrain data that allows you to fly over any part of the world and see features in 3-D.  In addition, because it's opensource, WorldWind has dozens and dozens of Add-Ons that permit visualizations of weather patterns, global features, demographics and dozens and dozens of scientific and nonscientific items.  Support is available on Wiki.  FREE FREE FREE...did I say it was all free?
  • Willing Software WebCam:  Recently, I purchased a very cheapo webcam camera.  I think it was about $10.  So, I looked around for some good software to run it.  I tried almost all that was available either freeware or for small bucks.  The best one I found was WillingWebcam available at WillingSoftware.com.  I use it to power my ShackCam.  It's simple, easy and cheapo!  I have mine set up to upload a single image every 7 seconds.  It will do realtime video, but that takes quite a bit more effort and not everyone has the requisite system resources to view it without a lot of problems.  So, I am satisfied with streamed still pictures.  Very cool stuff.
  • STAR TREK COMPUTER SOUNDS:  Everyone knows that the computers on Star Trek have the best sounds. I have searched the web for two years trying to find these sounds.  My search was not in vain as I have just found some of these wonderful sounds:
         DOWNLOAD.  Unzip the archive to your Windows/Media subdirectory.  USE:  Most people under-use their sounds.  If you're a power computer user, then you already know that by linking defined sounds to the various computer processes, you'll have more info as to what your computer is doing.  I have mine set up so that when an executable file is launched, a particular sound is played.  This is helpful because many executable files used by your various programs turn such files on and off while you're using your computer, and can be identified through your Windows Task Manager/Processes and Applications tab upon hearing the sound.  Viruses, trojans and spyware all use executable files that run in the background and attempt to hide themselves.  If these programs turn on, you'll know by the distinct sound.
        INSTALLATION:  After you have unzipped the files to your Windows/Media subdirectory, open the "Sounds and Audio Devices" icon in your Control Panel.  Click on the Sounds tab, select any sound, Asterisk for example, then scroll down the list of sounds until you find a group of sound names begin "Star Trek".  Pick and chose the various ones.  You'll find that after you play with this awhile, you can find a set of sounds that works best for you.

These are the programs I use nearly every day.  I try a lot of different programs as I find them.

 

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