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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
Great piece of freeware.
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?
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:
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.
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.