The program sounds interesting, but I was wondering just how to apply it
on a day to day basis. The way I have been doing DX is just work the
bands every chance I get and hope the propagation is in.
Steve, W3HFOnis -
That's what I end up doing, but then again, I only have a dipole. I
think if I had a directional antenna, I would use the program for:
1. calculating antenna bearings
2. trying to guess propagation conditions to different locations from
gray line positions, and pointing the antenna appropriately
You can also use it to find the location of a station from an obscure
prefix. For example, if I heard a C9 station, and didn't remember
what that was, I could sort the prefix list by prefixes and find out
that it's Mozambique. Then I could click on the listing to pinpoint it
on the map, or right-click on the listing to show details, like which
CQ or ITU zone it's in, or the bearing/distance to it.
It can also be useful to see the call district divisions in other
countries. (You have to zoom the map to see this.) All US hams
understand our own 10 districts (I hope), but I am pretty uninformed
of the way other countries define their districts. For example, I
didn't realize that the two members of the 070 club that live in
Turkey (TA7I and TA9J) both live in the eastern part of that country,
and that the low numbers (2, 3, 4, and 5) are more to the west.
For now, the program is more of an interesting way to explore the
DXCC list graphically, instead of perusing a 12-or-so-page text file
printout. And there's a little bit of a history lesson there, with the
deleted prefixes still in the database.
By the way, Alex is interested in any comments or suggestions
people have for future releases. Things he's planning to do some
1. Maidenhead grid squares (I don't know if it's only 4-digit or all the
way to 6-digit)
2. IOTA listings (if the RSGB allows him to)
I've suggested things like manual entry of the home location, and
user-defined "other" locations that can be saved (like stations you
have a sked with, etc).
I'd be glad to forward any suggestions to him if anyone wants to
send them to me instead of to him.
And thanks for asking.
Just for information, the software I'm using for the digital modes is MixW 2.0.
That program shows automatically where to turn the beam and which dxcc it is
when you double-click on the callsign on your screen. You can combine it also
with the common call book CD's.
If you are interested you'll find a link on the home page of WA2VOS/Jim.
the address is www.nvbb.net/~jaffejim .