Manager - NA4M
Manager Notes

Reviews For: DXLab Commander

Category: Ham Software/Apps - Other than logging

eMail Subscription

Registered users are allowed to subscribe to specific review topics and receive eMail notifications when new reviews are posted.
Review Summary For : DXLab Commander
Reviews: 11MSRP: free
PC control of Icom, Kenwood, TenTec, and Yaesu transceivers

Online support:

Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
W7LB Rating: 2021-03-31
Makes "Tuning Around" a Breeze Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I spend much of my time in front of the radio tuning around to see what is on the bands and also checking out DX spots to see if I am receiving them. The DX Lab suite has really facilitated my ability to do these things, so it saves me a lot of time and makes it all the more enjoyable and "productive". In this regard I want to highlight a few specific aspects of the program.

The CAT control module (Commander) allows you to save up to 100 separate frequencies (and an associated Mode) for easy recall. Commander's fairly diminutive window is laid out very efficiently such that you can point and click on saved frequencies and also write-over an existing saved frequency to change it. Commander's main page reflects one of ten banks of individual saved frequencies at a time. This one particular feature is one that I am using constantly as I jump around the bands and switch from CW to SSB mode (because it will also change the mode).

Next I would point to the effectiveness of the DX spotter program SpotCollector. It has a stronger suite of filters than I have been able to find in other dx spotting programs so I end up chasing down fewer dead-ends. Also, when you click on a "spot" it will trigger the radio to change frequency and mode and set up the Logger module (DXKeeper) with frequency, name, location and associated information from the robust look-up function.

Overall, DXLab offers a strong set of integrated features combined with a lot of flexibility, not only in terms of picking and choosing which features you want to use, but also in terms of being able to size and re-size the window for each module the way you want and then being able to place each window how you want on your computer screen (or two screens).
K1YPB Rating: 2017-09-04
Great Radio Interface Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Works very well with my Kenwood TS-2000 and Acer Aspire Inspire 722 laptop with Windows 10. Interfaces WSJT-X to the rig well.
WB4SLI Rating: 2012-02-12
must have port below 17! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
If you have a COM port below 17, then this may be a good piece of software. My USB Com ports are 26 and 29. The sofware does not recognize them. Since it cannot connect to my rig because of the limitation above I cannot say anything more bout it. Nice try, but more refinement is necessary to make it aceptable for me.

NI0C Rating: 2008-12-12
Very nice accessory for K3 Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I really like using this program to change bands, frequencies, and modes on my Elecraft K3. You can even adjust filter bandwidths and shifts with it. Although Commander is designed to be used with the other programs in DX Lab Suite, it works nicely with DXBase 2007 and N1MM when the COM port is split using Eterlogic's free Virtual Serial Port Emulator (VSPE) program running in the background.
KV9U Rating: 2007-11-28
Indispensible with Multipsk Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Since I use Multipsk, this program module is superb in interfacing the digital data program with rig control and even with logging.

I do find that DXLab products really should run with Windows XP and later. The programmer has updated all of the DXLab suite programs to run with MS Vista in order to get around a very serious Vista bug that is expected to be fixed with SP1.
AA6YQ Rating: 2006-11-10
Commander works fine on Win98 Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Due to severe architectural defects, Windows 98 does require care and feeding, but when properly configured can support Commander and other DXLab applications. Anyone needing help wiht this should join the DXLab reflector on Yahoo and ask for help.


Dave, AA6YQ
KB6NU Rating: 2006-10-28
Didn't Work on my Win98 Laptop Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This looked liked just the thing I needed, especially after finding out that the first program I tried didn't support my Icom IC-746PRO (despite claims on the website that it did). Unfortunately, I could not get this program to run on my Windows 98 laptop. This is not a complaint about the program--I really should upgrade my laptop--but rather a warning that if you have an older computer, like mine, you may have some trouble with Commander.
N5WE Rating: 2006-08-11
Excellent Application! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Commander is the rig control portion of AA6YQ's excellent DXLab suite of programs, giving the user a completely computerized interface to Ham RAdio activities.

The previous review, while quite old, has some issues that have been addressed in the past few years. Commander is a very capable stand alone product, however its ultimate intention is to run along with all of the other applications in the DXLab suite. Installation and update proceedures have been vastly improved and automated via the DXLauncher program, and documentation and setup couldnt be better.

In the entire suite of apps, its a must for automatic frequency tracking, rig control, and station settings. As a stand alone application, while it may not be as flashy as some programs, its got by far the smallest footprint, and setup is a snap. Its not a huge download, and doesnt require the entire suite to get rig control. I routinely recommend it for users looking to troubleshoot rig control in other programs.

Finally, support is second to none. Reasonable requests for enhancements and fixes are answered almost instantaneously and the price cant be beat.

VE6XL Rating: 2003-08-21
Great software considering it is free..... Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Considering this software is free it is very good leaving us no room to complain.

Once I figured out how to properly connect my radio to my PC it worked right away. Possible improvements would be:

*Easier setup. Moving files around an copying the updated patch is a bit of a pain.

*More customized GUI (Graphical User Interface) for each radio. This software is designed to work with several radios so the interface is quite generic.

*Instructions are a bit shaky.

Users are able to customize the software, however it takes a while to figure out. You can even customize a combination of keys quite easily once you know how it is done.

All this being said I would recommend anyone interested in controlling their Tranceiver via PC to download this software and to try it. Whoever wrote this software put a fair amount of effort into it and has done a good job.
W7TI Rating: 2003-08-14
Outstanding program Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Commander is a free program written by Dave, AA6YQ, which provides extensive rig control for Icom, TenTec, Kenwood, Elecraft, and Yaesu radios using a Windows computer. It is part of the DX Lab suite of programs and it can be run either in stand alone mode or integrated with the other DX Lab software. Commander is astonishingly capable. I have only scratched the surface of its capabilities, but let me tell you what I have found.

My favorite feature is the memory bank. Most radios have memories these days, but I'll bet none are as convenient as Commander's. The memories are laid out in banks of ten, with ten memories in each bank for a total of 100. Making an entry into memory is absolutely as easy as it could be. With your radio tuned to the desired frequency and mode, just mouse-click the button to the right of the chosen slot and the frequency and mode are entered automatically. To recall the frequency and mode, click the button to the left. Nothing could be simpler or more foolproof. I use Commander on both a Kenwood TS-870S and a Yaesu FT-100D, and the way I can hop around the bands with a single click is amazing. Once you use it, you'll be hooked. Each bank and each slot within a bank can be labeled too, so you don't have to memorize all 100 frequencies!

Multiple rig control is a new feature in version 4.4.3. You can configure Commander to control one, two or three rigs as needed. After setting the com port and data parameters for each rig, just click the button for the desired rig and the change is immediate. All 100 memories are available for each rig, or you can set Commander so a particular frequency calls up a particular rig. For maximum convenience, each rig should have its own com port, but you could use a manual switch box if your computer lacks extra ports. Inexpensive cards can be purchased to add more ports.

Commander is capable of controlling all the main functions of the rig, to the point where you could almost put the rig in a closet somewhere and forget about it. Commander can tune up and down, display the frequency, change bands, switch between VFO A and VFO B, equalize A and B, operate split, display the S-meter, do PTT and just about any thing else the rig is capable of under software control. Commander is also capable of sending user-designed command sequences to the rig, something I haven't tried yet, but Dave assures me it is a very powerful tool.

Probably the best part about Commander is Dave himself. I have yet to meet anyone who is more helpful or more dedicated to improving his products than Dave, and I have been a computer user for fourteen years now. That's a lot of software and a lot of tech support, and Dave is the best, period. Give Commander a try, you won't be disappointed. Available at: along with the other DX Lab products and a link to the DX Lab reflector.

Did I mention it's free?

73, Bill W7TI