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write your own review of the DXAID.
Sep 26, 2004 03:48
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A dwnsized IRI model at your fingertips
Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Written in 1996 by Peter Oldfield, and updated in 2002, DXAID is today at version 5.02.
This is one among a handful propagation prediction programs using a down-sized set of the IRI model. Its forecasts are statistical, and like all applications based on foF2 data, they are monthly median values.
A Help file explains how to use the application and what to expect from its predictions.
Input parameters are both home and target location (manually entered or read from external data files), date and time, coefficients to use (Oslo or URSI), solar (SSN) and planetary indices (A, K), QRM level at target location, emitting power, transmit and receive antenna gains. Circuit parameters are automatically saved in CFG files. You can also customize databases listing transmit and receive locations. The format is explained in the help file. DXAID supports also the mouse.
Predictions can be displayed in various maps ("Maps" menu, in equi-distant, cylindrical or polar projection) showing on request and in real-time or using a faster delay (15x or 60x) the gray line, the sun position, the auroral oval, the short or long path, and clicking the mouse of the map the distance and beam heading. The update rate can be set between 5, 30 and 60 seconds.
About the auroral oval, note that this event is rarely displayed in amateur programs, and if the NOAA auroral map is given in terms of auroral activity, DXAID uses K-index for the corresponding levels of magnetic activity. At last, a routine called LOPROP checks out areas of the globe that are open to long distance multihop top band propagation, as a function of time. The arrow keys permit to go back and forwards in time. The current map can also be saved in 640x480 16 color PCX format (Alt-S) and recall later.
Several tables are also provided. First an astronomical table ("Solar" menu) displays hours of sunrise, sunset, dusk and dawn (astronomical, civil and nautical), the equation of time and sun declination. Then several prediction tables ("Forecast" menu) are calculated for either major broadcast bands (SWBC) between 4.9 and 25.9 MHz or ham bands in spot check mode (selecting a target on the world map) or for the concerned circuit. A bar-graph shows field and signal strengths (in S-unit, dBmV, dBm) and S/N at the target location as well as the transmit and receive antennas takeoff angle and bearing. These tables can be printed on several printer models connected to the LPT port.
In Addition, a tool permits to run a calendar, a calculator and to export or import data as text file.
DXAID results are among the most accurate available. It was considered as one of the best amateur HF propagation program for years.
Unfortunately, created at the time of MiniProp Plus and CAPMAN, DXAID runs in DOS protected mode and uses the EGA Hicolor resolution with all constraints of this environment. For example, a runtime error 207 ejects you from the system if you don't validate the current conditions before to run the forecast ("Forecast" menu, Set Current conditions). But it is as much a programmation error not handled by the system as an user error who wants to go faster than the system in "cutting corners" of the validation process, Hi !
DXAID is available in two DOS versions, one supported by Windows 9x, the other by Windows 2000/XP/ME. It can be purchased by emailing the author in Canada (as of Sept 2004).
A new Windows version is under development.
Hope this helps
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