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Reviews Categories | Ham Software - Other than logging | BeaconSee Help

Reviews Summary for BeaconSee
BeaconSee Reviews: 6 Average rating: 4.2/5 MSRP: $Free
Description: HF beacon monitor software for Windows 95/98 PC with Soundblaster compatible sound card.
Product is in production.
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WA9ZOH Rating: 5/5 Jul 22, 2006 22:29 Send this review to a friend
Thus Far The Best  Time owned: more than 12 months
I would say, one couldn't go wrong with this software. It does everything it should. One can even save each days monitering so as to compare each days, weeks or months to see if the band or bands are improving.
AA7FV Rating: 5/5 Jan 23, 2005 12:54 Send this review to a friend
Superb  Time owned: more than 12 months
I run this program almost continuously in a Window on my PC. It runs perfectly on a very old 200 MHz system running W98. I control either an Icom PCR1000 or a TenTec RX320 with it, and usually let it scan all 5 DX bands continuously.
It gives a great idea, at a glance, of how conditions are, and which band to listen to at a given time for a given DX area. I wouldn't be without it.
ON4SKY Rating: 5/5 Sep 26, 2004 03:44 Send this review to a friend
Simply the best  Time owned: more than 12 months

Written by Bev Ewen-Smith from the Algarve Astronomy Club in Portugal (COAA), this program is on-the-air oriented.
It takes advantage of the sound card of your PC to display a relative indication of the signal-to-noise ratio of NCDXF/IARU beacons in real time.

Although it is aging, it stands always among the best products available by its accuracy and the quality of its display, simple but efficient.

It supports more recent transceivers including WinRADIO cards. It comes in two versions, the basic and the full version, this latter permitting to save automatically each display on disk (in various time intervals from 3 minutes to 12 hours or after a complete cycle, and in three formats BMP, GIF or JPG) or to build up a continuous monitoring without the least human intervention (band change on your receiver is then automatic).

In addition a grey line freeware map called BeaconMap is bundled when ordering the full version of BeaconSee.

The licence version must be registered on COAA website to get the key (different for each computer).

How it works ? First you must connect the DB9 serial port of your receiver to the one of your computer so that BeaconSee can switches automatically from one band to another (if you have registered the product and depressed all five bands buttons from 14 to 28). Then the signal must be displayed in the middle of the current frame. You set its amplitude with your receiver AF control (audio level, set like for a QSO) and you extract the signal out of the background noise setting correctly your DSP filters (e.g. CW Noise Reduction ON or EDSP ON, CW Bandwidth 200 Hz, Central frequency 800 Hz). In this way the signal will be well identified by the system if it can be read.
See a full operational and automatic BeaconSee system on ON5AU's website.

Each individual BeaconSee frame records a time slot of 2 hours from left to right, and displays the 18 HF beacons on each of the five bands from top (14 MHz) to bottom (28 MHz). Displayed like this, it also constitutes an excellent educative tool to understand visually how propagation conditions change according to the frequency and the sun position (e.g. DX beacons that are weak at daytime become much stronger close to the gray line, during quiet solar cycles bands over 14 MHz are almost closed, etc).

This application runs on all Windows plateforms with a 16-bit compatible soundcard (in practice on all Windows plateforms).
It requires a connection to a HF receiver (serial cable) and an antenna tuned on HF bands between 14100 kHz and 28200 kHz. Any additional DSP receiver-side will improve the signal strength.

Hope this helps

KT4OL Rating: 1/5 Jan 19, 2003 22:04 Send this review to a friend
No way  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I used this application and it ruined my other sound card applications for slow scan TV and PSK. For some reason the waterfall and spectrum scope is now only less than a mm wide where before it was of course across the window fully. It happened twice. No way.
KB9UMT Rating: 4/5 Oct 31, 2001 02:59 Send this review to a friend
Neat Program  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This really is a neat little program. I downloaded it and played some with it. I was using a 1000mp at the time and it interfaced fine with the radio and played the beacons on all the bands via the radio/computer/program setup. It was easy to use and easy to setup. So why the 4 rating and not the 5? Well, in my testing it was really slow but then again I have an older computer. You would have to have this program running for a number of minutes and maybe upwards to a half hour to get a good view of the data on all the bands/beacons. To me if the bands where even somewhat active or busy I would hear where the signals are coming from from stations or look on a dxcluster. But again ...if the bands where dead then this will pull any beacons out.

Give it a try! de KB9UMT Don
G4AON Rating: 5/5 Jul 21, 2001 16:20 Send this review to a friend
Unique?  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Being able to see what the HF propagation is like without having to listen to the beacons is useful to say the least. Being able to run the program after a few minutes download (690 KB file size) is brilliant.

The program is well described at the COAA web site and is very easy to setup and use. The only limitations are that a minimum display size of 800 x 600 is required. The program can control a number of different transceivers, although I've currently not got one with a remote control facility. Without remote control the program will only display one band, e.g. 14 MHz.

The unregistered version of the program is only limited by not allowing the propagation data to be stored, registration costs $29.

Give it a try, you have nothing to loose!

Dave, G4AON

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