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Author Topic: HRD 5.0  (Read 19249 times)
KB1NXE
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« on: July 08, 2009, 11:40:55 AM »

Ham Radio Deluxe 5.0 is out as a Beta and available for download.  There have been many improvements to this software and it's value continues to increase.

For those who don't keep up with Rig Control Software, this FREEWARE (Donations welcomed) collection of programs gives you the most comprehensive station control in one package you could ever imagine.  To list:

Rig Control
Logging Software with contest submission and award analysis
Digital Mode Software
DX Spotter
Satellite Tracking
Rotator Control
Solar weather and prediction
Automated updates and information collection

One of the benefits of the new logging software is it allows you to place the log file on a computer and share that file out to several operators.  Great for club station, contests or even if you have multiple rigs and computers (like I do)  Logging allows you to enter the call, (and with a subscription to QRZ or loaded on your computer) check the call and populate all the fields automatically.  With some rigs, it'll read your S meter and complete the RST.  The Logging software, the digital software and the rig control all interface with one another giving you unprecedented control over all aspects of your station.

This is software written for Amateurs by Amateurs.  It's an international effort, and very well written.  Certainly worth the download and the price is as always - free.  Find it at www.ham-radio-deluxe.com
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2009, 01:07:58 PM »

Jim KB1NXE, I've not yet looked at HRD 5, though I have noticed the flurry of traffic its produced on multiple reflectors. Since you're clearly quite familiar with it, perhaps you could answer these questions:

Does it enable a user to

- display frequency-dependent settings for devices like tuners and amplifiers?

- define buttons and sliders that control the active transceiver via CAT commands?

- rapidly search the more than 80 or so web-based sources of QSL information (e.g. online country-specific callbooks)?

- perform a callbook lookup on a group of logged QSOs en masse (e.g. after a contest)?

- generate progress reports for the DXCC, TopList, Challenge, VUCC, Marathon, WAS, WAC, IOTA, WAZ, WPX, USA-CA, Canadaward, DOK, WAE, WAB, DDFM, SRR, RDA, WAJA, JCC, JCG, or AJA awards?

- automatically identify unconfirmed QSOs whose confirmation would advance DXCC or WAZ award progress?

- directly print QSL cards and labels from logged QSOs?

- directly print addresses on envelopes or on envelope labels from logged QSOs?

- automatically identify confirmed-but-unverified QSOs and generate the required DXCC submission paperwork?

- rapidly synchronize (upload and download) with LotW?

- accurately modify many logged QSOs simultaneously (without requiring the user to edit ADIF files)?

- collect DX spots from multiple clusters simultaneously, and combine spots of the same DX station into a single entry showing when the station was first spotted and most recently spotted?

- provide comprehensive spot filtering -- including by spotting station location?

- identify spotted DX stations known to participate in LotW or in eQSL's Authenticity Guaranteed program?

- identify and audibly announce DX spots "needed" for DXCC or WAZ?

- QSY the transceiver and antenna to a DX spot in a single gesture (including setting the transceiver to the correct split)?

- generate point-and-click propagation forecasts using a modern prediction engine (e.g. VOACAP or ICEPAC)?

- monitor the NCDXV/IARU HF beacon network to assess actual propation?

    73,

        Dave, AA6YQ
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KB1NXE
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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2009, 08:32:30 PM »

Wow, lot's of questions.  I'll answer them below if I can.

Does it enable a user to

- display frequency-dependent settings for devices like tuners and amplifiers?
No.  But then, it's rig control software, not amplifier or tuner control software.

- define buttons and sliders that control the active transceiver via CAT commands?
Yes, as long as those sliders and buttons have rig specific commands to control them at the rig.  Most of the obvious one's are included in the default setting for a particular rig.  You can add others if you wish and almost all of them are pre-configured.  For instance, for an Icom IC-756 PIII, there are pre-configure menu items to add sliders for TX and RX bass and treble.

- rapidly search the more than 80 or so web-based sources of QSL information (e.g. online country-specific callbooks)?
No.  QRZ Online/Offline seems to be it's mainstay.

- perform a callbook lookup on a group of logged QSOs en masse (e.g. after a contest)?
No, does it during log entry.

- generate progress reports for the DXCC, TopList, Challenge, VUCC, Marathon, WAS, WAC, IOTA, WAZ, WPX, USA-CA, Canadaward, DOK, WAE, WAB, DDFM, SRR, RDA, WAJA, JCC, JCG, or AJA awards?
Yes, via the log analysis feature.

- automatically identify unconfirmed QSOs whose confirmation would advance DXCC or WAZ award progress?
Not 100% sure of your question.  I believe you want real time log analysis based upon whether or not you have a confirmed QSO.  If that's the case, then no.  In the log, while using the spotter window, if the entity in the spotter is in your log (dup) or the prefix is in your log, it will identify it differently (dup = a plus sign and check mark, you have the prefix it's just a check mark).  If you have not worked the prefix before, it is marked with a 'X'.

- directly print QSL cards and labels from logged QSOs?
Does address labels.

- directly print addresses on envelopes or on envelope labels from logged QSOs?
Never tried, but as it does labels, it should be capable.

- automatically identify confirmed-but-unverified QSOs and generate the required DXCC submission paperwork?
No.

- rapidly synchronize (upload and download) with LotW?
Creates ADIF files to wash through TQSL to create the TQ8 file.

- accurately modify many logged QSOs simultaneously (without requiring the user to edit ADIF files)?
No, but not sure why you would need this...

- collect DX spots from multiple clusters simultaneously, and combine spots of the same DX station into a single entry showing when the station was first spotted and most recently spotted?
Yes.  It also displays the DX spots on a rather neat slide rule by frequency

- provide comprehensive spot filtering -- including by spotting station location?
Yes.  You must build your own filters

- identify spotted DX stations known to participate in LotW or in eQSL's Authenticity Guaranteed program?
No.  But is that information accurately identified in spotter reports?  As a LotW participant, I know of no way to 'declare myself' authentic.

- identify and audibly announce DX spots "needed" for DXCC or WAZ?
Yes.  Also capable of alerting via cell phone text message or E-Mail.

- QSY the transceiver and antenna to a DX spot in a single gesture (including setting the transceiver to the correct split)?
Double click on the DX Spot entry will QSY and change mode, but not set up a split as that may or may not be available in the DX entry.  Also, they are working on adding the feature to rotate your antenna while you QSY.  It will also initiate the log entry if you do make contact and therefore just may need to update times (single click).

- generate point-and-click propagation forecasts using a modern prediction engine (e.g. VOACAP or ICEPAC)?
No.  It is built in - however.

- monitor the NCDXV/IARU HF beacon network to assess actual propation?
It's software and can't monitor anything.  It compiles data on space weather and displays that information for your own interpretation.  You do set it to gather the information for the sources you wish.


Well, for free software, it seems to almost grant all your wishes.  Why don't you try it out and see if you agree.  It won't cost you a thing and if you know of a better package for the same price, please let the rest of us know.

I also hope many of your questions were rhetorical. This is free software and a volunteer effort by other hams.  This is not software produced by some multi-employee software sweatshop.  It's an effort of other Hams offered as a labor of love for free to the rest of us.
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2009, 09:23:02 PM »

>>>AA6YQ comments below

- display frequency-dependent settings for devices like tuners and amplifiers?

No.  But then, it's rig control software, not amplifier or tuner control software.

>>>Many hams use tuners and/or amplifiers, and most of these are not PC-controlled. The usual solution is to work out the setting for each frequency, and scribble them on a piece of paper that is taped to the tuner or amplifier, and falls off every couple of weeks. The alternative is to use a transceiver control application that lets you specify your tuner and and amplifier settings for each frequency range, so that the transceiver control application can use its knowledge of the transceiver's current frequency to display the correct tuner and/or amplifier settings.


- perform a callbook lookup on a group of logged QSOs en masse (e.g. after a contest)?

No, does it during log entry.

>>>Performing a QRZ.com lookup over the internet before logging each QSO is often too time-consuming during a contest or when you're on the pointy end of a pileup.


- automatically identify unconfirmed QSOs whose confirmation would advance DXCC or WAZ award progress?

Not 100% sure of your question.  I believe you want real time log analysis based upon whether or not you have a confirmed QSO.  If that's the case, then no.  In the log, while using the spotter window, if the entity in the spotter is in your log (dup) or the prefix is in your log, it will identify it differently (dup = a plus sign and check mark, you have the prefix it's just a check mark).  If you have not worked the prefix before, it is marked with a 'X'.

>>>The desired function is "generate outgoing QSL cards for every unconfirmed QSO that if confirmed would advance my DXCC/Challenge or WAZ award progress. To do this, the user must be able to specify his or her DXCC award objectives and WAZ award objectives (e.g. pursuing 5BDXCC but not challenge, pursuing WAZ mode awards but not WAZ band awards) as well as maintaining realtime award status for entities, entity-modes, entity-bands, zones, zone-modes, zone-bands, and zone-band-modes.

>>>Accurately highlighting and announcing needed spots also requires the same knowledge of award objectives and award progress. From your response above, it sounds like this information is only available at the level of entities worked.


- directly print QSL cards and labels from logged QSOs?
Does address labels.

>>>Address labels aren't QSL cards.


- rapidly synchronize (upload and download) with LotW?
Creates ADIF files to wash through TQSL to create the TQ8 file.

>>>Manually uploading to TQSL does not provide a way to update one's log to reflect the acceptance of uploaded QSOs by LotW, or to reflect the confirmation of QSOs by LotW.


- accurately modify many logged QSOs simultaneously (without requiring the user to edit ADIF files)?

No, but not sure why you would need this...

>>>There are countless examples:

- add 1 hour to the start time of each QSO made during the FOOBAR contest because someone set the timezone incorrectly on the PC you used during the contest

- compute the BAND_RX for each QSO that specifies an RX frequency

- set the station callsign to N6YBG for all QSOs made between 1990-03-15 and 1990-06-22

- set my location to "Wayland, Massachusetts" for all QSOs made between 1997-06-15 and 2009-07-11

- etc.


- collect DX spots from multiple clusters simultaneously, and combine spots of the same DX station into a single entry showing when the station was first spotted and most recently spotted?

Yes.  It also displays the DX spots on a rather neat slide rule by frequency

>>>If 701DX is spotted on 7001 and then is spotted on 7005, does the "slide rule" show one entry for 701DX or two?


- provide comprehensive spot filtering -- including by spotting station location?

Yes.  You must build your own filters

>>>Recent answers on the HRD reflector indicate that filtering is done by the Cluster. This precludes defining a filter like "hide all 6m spots not posted by stations within 250 miles of my QTH".


- identify spotted DX stations known to participate in LotW or in eQSL's Authenticity Guaranteed program?

No.  But is that information accurately identified in spotter reports?  As a LotW participant, I know of no way to 'declare myself' authentic.

>>>To declare yourself an LotW participant, visit

http://www.hb9bza.net/lotw/

>>>HB9BZA collects logs containing LotW confirmations, and uses these to maintain a database of known LotW participants. Such a database can be used to identify spotted stations known to participate in LotW.

>>>eQSL provides a similar database containing the callsigns of participants of its Authenticity Guaranteed (AG) program; only QSOs with AG members "count" towards CQ magazine awards like WAZ or WPX.


- generate point-and-click propagation forecasts using a modern prediction engine (e.g. VOACAP or ICEPAC)?

No.  It is built in - however.

>>>VOACAP and ICEPAC are well-calibrated for HF propagation prediction.


- monitor the NCDXV/IARU HF beacon network to assess actual propation?

It's software and can't monitor anything.  It compiles data on space weather and displays that information for your own interpretation.  You do set it to gather the information for the sources you wish.

>>>Software can command a transceiver to monitor the IARU/HF beacon frequencies -- by band, by location, or by any other combination -- to rapidly allow the user to assess actual propagation.


Well, for free software, it seems to almost grant all your wishes.  

>>>Your answers are mostly "no".


Why don't you try it out and see if you agree.  It won't cost you a thing and if you know of a better package for the same price, please let the rest of us know.

>>>The answer to every one of those questions for DXLab is "yes", and has been for years (with the exception of realtime award tracking for WAZ, which was added last month). The DXLab Suite is entirely  free, and available via www.dxlabsuite.com


I also hope many of your questions were rhetorical.

>>>No, they were a response to your claim that "The Logging software, the digital software and the rig control all interface with one another giving you unprecedented control over all aspects of your station."

>>>There is nothing wrong with promoting the virtues of an application you use and appreciate. Claiming that it provides "unprecedented control", however, prompted my Socratic response.

    73,

        Dave, AA6YQ
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KB1NXE
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2009, 08:54:52 AM »

Bob,

   Thank you.  I guess I wasn't misinterpreting the tone of the questions.

   FWIW, I have tried DXSuite and found it very cumbersome.  Unloaded it from my PC.  The UI was way to complicated and not well thought out in my humble opinion.  I like the look and feel of HRD much, much more.

   I make my living in IT, so software that I feel is daunting must be for the true Uber Geeks.  Not for the average or casual user.  I also don't like spending a dozen hours configuring software.  I'd rather spend 11 of those hours making contacts.

Jim
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KB1NXE
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2009, 09:35:09 AM »

Dave,  AA6YQ,

  Thanks for living the dream and keeping the reputation and name of Mass residents alive...
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2009, 11:26:33 AM »

K0BT wrote "A Socratic discussion usually involves a debate. This looked more like an ambush...

Both apps are good. Each has its place and supporters. There is no need to prove one is superior."

There was no claim of superiority in my response, nor was there any critique of HRD, whose author I work with and respect.

KB1NXE asserted that HRD provides "unprecedented control over all aspects of your station". I posed a set questions whose answers demonstrate otherwise, and provided follow-up where his responses were unclear. This is hardly an ambush.

   73,

        Dave, AA6YQ
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2009, 11:29:07 AM »

KB1NXE wrote "Thanks for living the dream and keeping the reputation and name of Mass residents alive..."

Descending to personal attacks only highlights the weakness of your position.

   73,

       Dave, AA6YQ
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KB1NXE
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2009, 05:59:09 PM »

What attack?  Just like there was no ambush.
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KB1NXE
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« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2009, 06:30:40 PM »

In all fairness to DX Lab Suite of programs, yes it does do all of the things mentioned by AA6YQ.  In MY OPINION, it's UI (User Interface) is not up to the standards of HRD and therefore, I claim HRD to be without peer.

Using an Icom IC-756 Pro III, I was daunted by all the various setting, knobs and subscriptions (yes, registration is required on many of the web sites feeding data to DX Lab) that needed twiddling in DX Lab.  As compared to HRD, which requires less configuring and selecting of options.  This makes it IN MY OPINION more desirable to the casual user.  This is why I deemed it unprecedented.  HRD also has features I prefer and are not available in DX Lab (like the bandscope on the rig control  screen).

As with any thing, the choice is yours.  I was trying to aide fellow HAMs and that has seemed to ruffled the feathers of another HAM.  Oh well.  Can't make everyone happy.
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2009, 06:45:57 PM »

KB1NXE wrote "What attack? Just like there was no ambush."

You still claim that being asked to answer a set of straightforward questions of the form "Does HRD do X?" constitutes an ambush?

Suppose before responding, you had taken the step of Googling my callsign and discovered my involvement in transceiver control software development. How would that have changed your answers to those questions?

    73,

       Dave, AA6YQ
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2009, 07:26:36 PM »

KB1NXE wrote "In all fairness to DX Lab Suite of programs, yes it does do all of the things mentioned by AA6YQ. In MY OPINION, it's UI (User Interface) is not up to the standards of HRD and therefore, I claim HRD to be without peer."

The statement you made in your original post was "The Logging software, the digital software and the rig control all interface with one another giving you unprecedented control over all aspects of your station." Your claim is clearly based on functionality not user interface.


KB1NXE wrote "Using an Icom IC-756 Pro III, I was daunted by all the various setting, knobs and subscriptions (yes, registration is required on many of the web sites feeding data to DX Lab) that needed twiddling in DX Lab."

Your claim that registration is required is an outright lie. The DXLab distribution site at www.dxlabsuite.com requires no registration of any kind, as anyone can easily verify. No registration is required to download, install, upgrade, or run any DXLab application. There is also no advertising of any kind (other than that generated by QRZ.com in one embedded browser window), and there are no requests for contributions. DXLab does support expedited access to QRZ.com for those with a data access subscription, as does HRD.

Configuring DXLab to run a ProIII requires

1. setting a "Radio Model" selector to "IC-756ProIII"

2. selecting the serial port to which the transceiver is connected, and setting its baud rate, word length, parity, and stop bits

3. setting DTR or RTS to "always on" if your CI-V interface uses either of those signals as a power source

These are the same configuration steps required by HRD and every other competent transceiver control application. It is true that DXLab provides many additional options -- the ability to run with the radio's "CI-V Tranceive" option enabled (required by certain amplifer and antenna controller configurations), or the ability to obtain both VFOs from the transceiver before logging a QSO (to compensate for a deficiency in the Icom CI-V instruction set) -- but all such advanced options default on installation to benign states that users can ignore.


KB1NXE wrote "As compared to HRD, which requires less configuring and selecting of options. This makes it IN MY OPINION more desirable to the casual user. This is why I deemed it unprecedented."

In the absence of controlled A vs B user testing, UI discussions are subjective. Had your original post focused on what you consider to be HRD's advantages in this area, there would have been no need to respond. Your original statement, however, was "The Logging software, the digital software and the rig control all interface with one another giving you unprecedented control over all aspects of your station." -- which contains no reference to UI whatsoever, and remains demonstrably false.

   73,

       Dave, AA6YQ
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KB1NXE
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« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2009, 02:17:05 PM »

Grow up
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N0AZZ
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« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2009, 06:56:39 PM »

Well I have tried them all over the last 3 years using HRD and DX Lab newest vers. and betas in the end I decided to buy a program. After a lot of research the decision was made from eham reviews and talking to other hams at the ARC that I belong to I purchased Logic8 and I have been using it for some time. This is something I should have done long ago this is a great program for what I use it for I really like the seamless uploading, downloading of LOTW and eQSL and all features with this program it does truly have it all IMHO.

73
Fred
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KR4EY
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« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2009, 12:45:07 PM »

HRD has zero LoTW integration. To upload a log file in HRD as it now you have create a .adif file in HRD, go to your TQSL program, find the the file you created, sign it and create a .tq8 file. Login in to LoTW account through your web browser and upload your .tq8 file.

I would say DXLab is much easier.
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