Getting Started with DXLab

Welcome to DXLab! The DXLab Suite is a free set of applications that support DXing activities. You can use them individually, but when multiple DXLab applications are running they detect each other's presence and interoperate automatically. One benefit of this approach is that you can learn applications individually. It doesn't matter where you begin, or what sequence you choose: start with one application that satifies an interest or need, and get comfortable with it. Then choose the next application that suits your fancy, and repeat the process. What's important is taking your time and having fun.

Each DXLab application's primary functionality is accessible from its Main window. The Main windows of some applications are tabbed, with each tab focused on an activity; buttons that activate windows that provide secondary functionality may also be provided. Every application's Main window provides a Config button that displays a Configuration window that makes the application's settings accessible; some applications employ a tabbed Configuration window organized around functions. Letting the mouse cursor hover for a few seconds over any button or setting will produce a popup explanation of its function.

Reference Documentation

Each DXLab application has reference documentation that describes its capabilities and options. To get comfortable with a DXLab application, start by scanning this documentation to create an inventory of the application's features that you plan to use first. It's important that you ignore all details and secondary features during this scan!; you can always return for the details when needed, and you can always return to scan for secondary features once you've mastered the most important ones. Reference documentation is available in an online (HTML) format that you can view with your web browser, and in a downloadable PDF format that is easy to search or print:

Application

Functions

HTML Reference Documentation

PDF Reference Documentation

Commander

Transceiver Control, Bandspread

Commander

Commander

DXKeeper

Logging, QSLing, Award Tracking

DXKeeper

DXKeeper

DXView

DX Information, World Map

DXView

DXView

Launcher

Suite Control

Launcher

Launcher

Pathfinder

QSL Route Discovery

Pathfinder

Pathfinder

PropView

Propagation Prediction and Monitoring

PropView

PropView

SpotCollector

DX Spot Management

SpotCollector

SpotCollector

WinWarbler

CW, Phone, PSK, and RTTY operation

WinWarbler

WinWarbler

To search for specific information, use the appropriate application's PDF file, as it provides all information within a single file. When you install a DXLab application, a local copy of its HTML reference documentation is created in the application's Help folder; Help buttons in the application provide immediate access to this local copy without internet access delays.

After scanning an application's reference documentation, start that application, choose an interesting function, and refer to the documentation to help you configure the application to support that function. For example, if the application is Commander and the function is transceiver control, then the minimum configuration would be choosing a radio model, choosing a serial port, and setting that serial port's parameters. Then choose the next interesting function and get it going; repeat this process until the application is doing everything you need.

Task-oriented Documentation

In contrast with the reference documentation, task-oriented documentation describes how to perform specific procedures, step-by-step:

Downloading and Installing DXLab Applications
* on Windows NT, 2000, or XP
* on Windows Vista
* on Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10
* on Linux
* on Macintosh

Upgrading an Installed DXLab Application
 

Getting Started with Transceiver Control
* Alinco
* DZKIT
* Elecraft
* Icom
* FlexRadio
* Kachina
* Kenwood
* Software Defined Radios
* TenTec
* Yaesu
 

Getting Started with DX Information and Mapping
* Using Overrides to Deal with Ambiguous or Non-compliant Callsigns
* Using Overrides to Specify Additional Information for a Callsign
* Viewing a Station's QRZ Web Page
 

Getting Started with Antenna Rotator Control
 

Getting Started with Logging
* Capturing
* Displaying
* Filtering
* Sorting
* Importing
* Exporting
 

Getting Started with QSLing
* Cards and Labels
* eQSL.cc
* LotW
 

Getting Started with Award Tracking
* Getting Started with CQ DX Marathon Award Tracking
* Getting Started with DXCC Award Tracking
* Getting Started with IOTA Award Tracking
* Getting Started with Leaderboard Tracking
* Getting Started with Maidenhead Field and Grid Award Tracking
* Getting Started with USA-CA (US County) Award Tracking
* Getting Started with VUCC Award Tracking
* Getting Started with WAS Award Tracking
* Getting Started with WAZ Award Tracking
* Getting Started with WPX Award Tracking
 

Getting Started with QSL Route Discovery
 

Getting Started with CW, Phone, PSK, and RTTY Operation
* CW
* Phone
* PSK
* RTTY
 

Getting Started with Spot Collection
 

Getting Started with Propagation Prediction
 

Interoperation with Other Amateur Radio Applications
 

Each of the above articles in this Wiki provides an entry point to a task-oriented article in a specific domain. You can also find task-oriented articles via the FindPage tab in the upper-left corner of each Wiki page; when clicked, Title Search and Full-text Search capabilities become available; the FindPage tab also provides access to a TitleIndex and a WordIndex. Each article also provides Titles and Text search buttons in its upper-right corner.

Unlike most Windows applications, DXLab applications do not provide menu bars at the top of their windows. In applications with large amounts of functionality, such menus make it difficult to quickly locate the function you need. To configure a DXLab application, click the Main window's Config button. A Configuration window bearing settings will appear. If the text accompanying a setting is too terse to understand, place the mouse cursor over the text box, selector, radio button, checkbox, or slider in question for second or two, and an explanatory popup will appear. These popups are provided for all user interface controls in DXLab applications, not just those on Configuration windows.

DXLab Yahoo Group

At any stage, don't hesitate to post a question or suggestion on the DXLab reflector . Yahoo's search facilities have improved to the point where searching for previous posts can be fruitful, but no one will ever criticize you for asking an already answered question, or for asking a question whose answer lies in the documentation. To search the Yahoo DXLab group's message archives,

  1. navigate here

  2. at the top of the page, in the relatively wide textbox containing the words Search Conversations in light grey font,

    1. type the word or phrase describing the information you seek
    2. strike the Enter key
  3. Yahoo will display a list of posts containing the word or phrase you specified

If Something Isn't Working

If one of your DXLab applications seems to not be working correctly, please don't panic. In particular, do not attempt to uninstall and then re-install the application, or to delete files you believe may be responsible, or to re-upload all of your QSOs to eQSL or LotW; these actions can create larger problems than the one you're confronting. If you've joined the DXLab reflector, post a message there that includes

If you haven't joined DXLab Yahoo group, you'll likely get a faster response by joining and posting a message there, but you can also send an email message containing the above information to the author at aa6yq (at) ambersoft.com.

Installing and Running DXLab on Windows

DXLab applications run on Vista, 7, 8, and 10 in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors, if installed as described in the articles below. DXLab applications also run on on Windows NT, 2000, and XP; some DXLab applications can be individually run on Windows 95, 98, and 98SE.

Installing and Running DXLab on a Macintosh or on Linux

Additional Information

Moving DXLab

Technique

Hygiene

Additional Topics

Index


Post a question or suggestion on the DXLab reflector

If Something Isn't Working

GettingStarted (last edited 2014-11-23 22:42:53 by AA6YQ)