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Author Topic: a new ham operator's experience and comparison of Ham Radio Deluxe and DXLab  (Read 120657 times)
AK4YW
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Posts: 28




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« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2014, 12:47:31 PM »

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to read and/or comment on my post:)
My wife (who is not a ham) asked me why I took the time to write and post this, at the risk of getting flamed. (Apparently she has seen this happen when people give their opinion on other forums). The first thing that I do before considering a ham radio purchase is go to eham.net reviews to see what my fellow hams think about that product.  Both of these programs had at least 4/5; so then I spent a while looking for a side by side comparison. Not finding one, I used them both, and tried my best to give an objective obsevation.  This also codified my own checklist in a decision to purchase software.  By the time I finished writing this, I was sold on HRD.  Paycheck coming up, it's on sale, shut up and let me give you my money!

And then you responded...

Andy AJ0Z, a DXL user, gave me advice on how to use that program more effectively.

Scott N0IU indicated that he had buyer's remorse from his HRD purchase, and reminded me that there is an older, free version of HRD available.

Robert KD8MJR, an HRD USER, took the time to make suggestions and encourage me to contact HRD customer support about the one major complaint that I had about their product.

Dave AA6YU, owner of DXL, emailed me privately with suggestions and links on how to further enjoy his product and DXing in general.

WA9PIE Michael, an HRD owner, made a sarcastic comment about that one complaint that I had with the HRD logbook.

I did not ask for, nor did I expect, a response from HRD or DXL, but I got one. If you read this because you are trying to decide, as I was, which to suite to use; take the time to try them out for yourself.   I, for now, have decided that I will wait until HRD offers far more substance, and use my hard earned ham radio funds for something else. Again, thank you for your time.

Tim AK4YW
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AE4RV
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« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2014, 01:00:22 PM »

My $0.02 thinks DXLab is the way to go. HRD is pretty (and decent) but I'm a big fan of DXL. Really helped me get my DXCC in less than a year. Great support, oodles of features that you can easily ignore or grow in to slowly, and free.
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KD8MJR
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Posts: 5557




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« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2014, 02:04:03 AM »

Your choice Tim but I can assure you that time spent getting familiarized with HRD is time well spent.
At some point you will want to do something new and HRD has just about every base covered.
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“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)
K9IUQ
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Posts: 3049




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« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2014, 05:30:44 AM »

If you read this because you are trying to decide, as I was, which to suite to use; take the time to try them out for yourself.   I, for now, have decided that I will wait until HRD offers far more substance

I did not respond initially to your original post because
1. Your post was way too long
2. Discussing loggers on eham is fruitless as has been shown countless times here on eham..This kind of post almost always ends up in a my logger is better than your logger match. Be aware many posters are biased and have a connection to certain loggers.  Wink

The key word to me in your thread is New Operator. IOW you are pretty clueless when it comes to all things Hamradio. This is not a criticism, as all of us have been clueless early in our ham career. Unfortunately Someone of us stay clueless..

For someone to say HRD needs more substance shows that you are still clueless. You should not limit yourself to choosing between HRD and DXlabs. Be aware the Author of DXlabs is legendary in his promotion of DXlabs. It is not surprising he emailed you, he tries to push his logger onto the clueless at every opportunity, including constant advertising in eham forums.

There are many great loggers out there and each has it's own personality.  They all have free Demos and a smart (non-clueless) ham will try them all before deciding which logger is right for them.

Disclosure: I have been using Commcat Logger for several years. I am not a new Ham Operator and I am not clueless about loggers.   Wink Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

Stan K9IUQ

« Last Edit: September 25, 2014, 05:52:26 AM by K9IUQ » Logged
ILDARIN
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Posts: 51




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« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2014, 08:24:21 AM »

If you read this because you are trying to decide, as I was, which to suite to use; take the time to try them out for yourself.   I, for now, have decided that I will wait until HRD offers far more substance

I did not respond initially to your original post because
1. Your post was way too long
2. Discussing loggers on eham is fruitless as has been shown countless times here on eham..This kind of post almost always ends up in a my logger is better than your logger match. Be aware many posters are biased and have a connection to certain loggers.  Wink

The key word to me in your thread is New Operator. IOW you are pretty clueless when it comes to all things Hamradio. This is not a criticism, as all of us have been clueless early in our ham career. Unfortunately Someone of us stay clueless..

For someone to say HRD needs more substance shows that you are still clueless. You should not limit yourself to choosing between HRD and DXlabs. Be aware the Author of DXlabs is legendary in his promotion of DXlabs. It is not surprising he emailed you, he tries to push his logger onto the clueless at every opportunity, including constant advertising in eham forums.

There are many great loggers out there and each has it's own personality.  They all have free Demos and a smart (non-clueless) ham will try them all before deciding which logger is right for them.

Disclosure: I have been using Commcat Logger for several years. I am not a new Ham Operator and I am not clueless about loggers.   Wink Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

Stan K9IUQ



It wasn't too long for me.  In fact, it was perfect.
Just what I needed.
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KE4KY
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« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2014, 07:21:19 AM »

I have used several over the years:
HRD
ACLog
DX4WIN
DXLab

I currently find DXLabs to fit the bill for me.

As I follow N1MM Logger+ and its introduction/rewrite, I am really impressed on how those developers provide many "thumbs up" comments on DXLab and how it can incorporate with the N1MM+. Many kind words for its developer, its functionality, and its support.

Looked at Commcat Logger...the poorest looking program I have ever sampled.

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Glenn KE4KY - Ham since 1975
KD8MJR
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Posts: 5557




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« Reply #21 on: October 06, 2014, 04:55:22 PM »

DXLab vs HRD is not even a comparison for me.

One is free and looks and feels like a product that is free.

The other one costs $100 and is for people who want to pay for versatile software that has all the Ham Tools in one package.

I always find it interesting that when HRD 5.0 was Free and developed by Simon everyone loved HRD and the gripes about the hundreds of bugs was just a whisper, bugs that never got fixed even as years went by. Once HRD was Sold and was no longer free all of a sudden a select group of people started saying it's not all that great, it has bugs and it's too complicated.

I have both of them on my Desktop.  I cannot run 5.0 for more than 20 minutes without something crashing and that's with avoiding the numerous options that I know not to press (instant crash) and other options that flat out don't work.

With HRD 6.2 I have NO CRASHES!   It works for hours and hours everyday without an issue.  I also have lots and lots of new features. Greatly increased speed, lots more flexibility in the way it can be configured and the list goes on, it's just too numerous to list. Needless to say that HRD 5.0 was like having windows 95 and HRD 6.2 is like Windows 7 and trying to explain the differences between both is just as long and complicated. As for DxLabs, that was pretty much going up against HRD 5.0 and was having a tough time, it would not be fair to compare it against HRD 6.2


« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 05:04:55 PM by KD8MJR » Logged

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)
K9IUQ
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Posts: 3049




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« Reply #22 on: October 06, 2014, 05:59:08 PM »

DXLab vs HRD is not even a comparison for me.

One is free and looks and feels like a product that is free.

Once HRD was Sold and was no longer free all of a sudden a select group of people started saying it's not all that great, it has bugs and it's too complicated.

When anything is free you will rarely hear any complaints. Every one will love it no matter how poor the product is.  DxLabs is a good example.  Cheesy

Take DxLabs and charge $100 and you would see a vastly different outlook from users. Yes, I know the Great Logger Author has said he will never charge for his logger. I suspect he is smart enough to realize few hams would pay $100 for a dated product designed with VB6..

Has anyone noticed that the new free N1MM + logger has a new and modern look?  Wink
 

Stan K9IUQ
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KD8MJR
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Posts: 5557




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« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2014, 06:12:41 PM »

I suspect he is smart enough to realize few hams would pay $100 for a dated product designed with VB6..

Has anyone noticed that the new free N1MM + logger has a new and modern look?  Wink
Stan K9IUQ

Yes, I noticed.  I suspect that if DXLabs is not rewritten soon it's going to go the way of the Dinosaur.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 06:17:03 PM by KD8MJR » Logged

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)
AJ0Z
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Posts: 49




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« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2014, 07:58:00 PM »

I am just a little curious as to how many successful programs, those of you who are always complaining about the DXLabs interface and design, have produced and given to the Amateur community?

There are literally thousands of users DXLabs not having any issues with the design and interface and are perfectly happy with the suite, especially considering the amazing support and response you get from the author. Nothing else I have tried, and I try virtually anything that is free or gives a trial, provides as much information on screen simultaneously when I am operating than DXlabs.

If you can do better, do so and I will use your program.

Andy - AJ0Z
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KD8MJR
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Posts: 5557




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« Reply #25 on: October 07, 2014, 02:44:00 AM »

And Andy how many people have poured 1000s of hours to make software using QBasic to run under DOS?  Just like DXlabs that involved a lot of work and was marvelous software for the time. Unfortunately those languages get replaced and VB6 has been replaced many years ago by .net
Some people jump on the newer languages  because of the featured they offer and others are pulled in screaming and cussing or they end up having to upgrade at that point when the OS can no longer support the legacy software or the writer can go no further his development because the tools he needs are no longer being updated.  I know this because I spent 14 years writing VB6 software just like Dxlab and then MS screwed us with .net and gave us a choice to relearn and migrate your programs or watch them become obsolete.  Most of us chose the latter and the vb6 software chugs on but its abilities are pretty much stagnant. Trust me the  good looking GUI is only a fraction of what is lacking on older software, most of it is under the hood. This is one of the reasons why HRD 5 could not go any further and why every bug squashed created new ones. Simon had gone past the capabilities of vb6 and that's why version her 6 was re written in .net.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2014, 02:47:20 AM by KD8MJR » Logged

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)
AA6YQ
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« Reply #26 on: October 07, 2014, 03:32:32 AM »

And Andy how many people have poured 1000s of hours to make software using QBasic to run under DOS?  Just like DXlabs that involved a lot of work and was marvelous software for the time. Unfortunately those languages get replaced and VB6 has been replaced many years ago by .net
Some people jump on the newer languages  because of the featured they offer and others are pulled in screaming and cussing or they end up having to upgrade at that point when the OS can no longer support the legacy software or the writer can go no further his development because the tools he needs are no longer being updated.  I know this because I spent 14 years writing VB6 software just like Dxlab and then MS screwed us with .net and gave us a choice to relearn and migrate your programs or watch them become obsolete.  Most of us chose the latter and the vb6 software chugs on but its abilities are pretty much stagnant. Trust me the  good looking GUI is only a fraction of what is lacking on older software, most of it is under the hood. This is one of the reasons why HRD 5 could not go any further and why every bug squashed created new ones. Simon had gone past the capabilities of vb6 and that's why version her 6 was re written in .net.

HRD 5 was written in C++, not VB6. It was abandoned because it's architecture was a dog's breakfast, as Simon acknowledged in his "goodbye".

DXLab's modular architecture has supported more than a decade of user-driven increases in functionality, with multiple feature-bearing releases each month. Its backlog of reported but uncorrected defects has rarely exceeded 2, with most defects corrected within 24 hours.

Besides getting the facts wrong, you fundamentally misunderstand the relative importance of architecture and implementation language in building successful, long-lived applications. A decade from now, DXLab will still be accelerating.

       Dave, AA6YQ (author, DXLab)





« Last Edit: October 07, 2014, 03:37:14 AM by AA6YQ » Logged

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KD8MJR
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Posts: 5557




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« Reply #27 on: October 07, 2014, 09:37:02 AM »

DxLab will be accelerating using vb6? Grin  Grin
Well that will be the first vb6 program to accelerate with a language that stopped being supported about 8 years ago.
The reason you don't have many bugs is because you have added very little to the software over the years.  Obviously less code means less potential for bugs and making all your pieces separate also helps but it also makes for a bad experience for the end user. For example imagine if I wanted to run the spell checker in MS word and in order to do that I had to open a spell checking app then the document then save the copy to go back into the editing app.  It's all very clumsy.

As for Simon I don't remember him saying any such thing and I do remember him saying he had no more time for HRD and was now working full time on SDR software. That was after he kept trying to patch ver 4 then 5 and always going one step forward and one step back with each patch.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2014, 09:51:57 AM by KD8MJR » Logged

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)
K9IUQ
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Posts: 3049




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« Reply #28 on: October 07, 2014, 10:31:23 AM »


HRD 5 was ... was abandoned because it's architecture was a dog's breakfast,


Hmmm, So DxLabs must be what the dog leaves on the ground after breakfast............

Stan K9IUQ
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AK4YW
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« Reply #29 on: October 07, 2014, 10:41:21 AM »

One of the reasons that I took the time to use both of them and then write this as dispassionate as possible was because all that I could find online was fans of each suite sniping at each other.   In the world outside of ham radio, there is a similar "hate relationship between apple and PC users, yet both continue to thrive. 

Tim AK4YW
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