About the software
On my previous post I mentioned all radios and components that I´ve collected on my shack and this time I´m going to talk a little bit about the softwares. I´ve alway have been more of a plug & play kind of operator, when it comes to equipments and when it comes to programs (I tried learning coding but had to leave it), so most of my solutions have come with the help of existing programs and help from fellow hams.
I think I hold the world record on logging software testing. I´ve used or tested CommCat, DxLab, Logger 32, Log4OM, HRD, N3FJP, among many more. Currently I’m using Log4Om V2 and FRLogger (a multifunction logging program developed for Flex radios by WS7M, Mark). These logger not only help me log my qso’s but also upload them to the different online services (Lotw, QRZ.com, eQsl, Club Log, Hrdlog.net and so on), but also assist me on my rotor control, awards statistics, clusters and a whole lot more.
If you have a Flex I recommend you take a look at FRLogger (here) and also recommend Log4Om, the new version (here). The programs are robusts, complete, great support, great user communities and they are free.
Here I’ve done my share of testing and trying also, specially with my Icom rigs and I’ve narrow it to these two solutions: Win4Icom for my Icom 7300 and of course, SmartSDR for my Flex 6300.
If you use an Icom rig then I certainly recommend you invest in purchasing a license for this software, not only it can handle most (if not all) or the controls but also has an extraordinary GUI and a lot of capabilities. You can see it here.
I must begin with the obvious, I operate FT8 a lot and I really like it. Due to some of my current operations conditions I find myself operating remote from the shack most of the times and FT8 (among other digital modes) gives me flexibility to do it with ease. I´ve done my share of RTTY and PSK on the past, but not lately.
For FT8 of course I use WSJTX (the regular version, not the bot one) in conjunction with JTAlert, both of which are working nicely with the latest version of Log4OM and FRLogger. I must say that Laurie has done an enormous and great job with the software.
For the other modes I´ve recently been using FLDigi, but in the past also used HRD Digital Master.
There are other softwares and apps that are complimentary to my shack operations. I will only list, the ones I currently use:
Dimension4 for my computer clock sync
K9DUR´s SDR Monitor to monitor my Flex temperature and voltage
FRSTack to complement my flex operations and interface with my HF Auto Software
HF Auto Software to control my Palstar HF Auto Tuner
PSTRotator to control my DCU2 Hygain rotator control
SliceMaster to complement my Flex operations, specially to open multiple slices of WSJTX and FLDigi when doing digital
Green Heron Software, to control my Green Heron Select 8 wireless remote antena switch
Acom Director Plus to control my Acom 600s amplifier
As you can see, my objective is to be able to computer control all the components on my shack.
I´m in the process of incorporating another Green Heron product, a Green Heron Remote base so I can control a couple of A/B switches for choosing from the Flex and the Icom and to choose which radio gets the amp.
Ipad and Iphone
Because I use a Flex 6300 I´ve had the opportunity to use SDR for iOs both on my iPad and in my iPhone and can do SSB and FT8 remotely with the app.
I also must say that all these softwares and apps have reflectors and groups which are very useful and resourceful and the developers help everybody all the time.
And this is my friends how I came to the conclusion that I needed a better computer in my shack and ended up with a Gaming PC. Any questions, comments or recommendations please feel free to comment on this post.
Look at some of the screenshots of the softwares listed here in my gallery page.