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. Here's a summary of DXLab's capabilities.
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:
HTML Reference Documentation
PDF Reference Documentation
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.
In contrast with the reference documentation, task-oriented documentation describes how to perform specific procedures, step-by-step:
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.
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.
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.
If Something Breaks
If one of your DXLab applications stops 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 describing the problem; if you haven't joined, send an email message describing the problem to the author at aa6yq (at) ambersoft.com.
Installing and Running DXLab on Windows
DXLab applications run on Vista, 7, and 8 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