Using the Bandspread Window to Change Frequency and Display Active DX Stations

Clicking the Main window's Bandspread button displays Commander's Bandspread window, which provides a vertical slide rule dial showing range of frequencies around your radio's current frequency, and a Band panel containing an array of buttons corresponding to the 160m through 2m amateur bands. You can resize the Bandspread window both vertically and horizontally.

The Range panel determines the range of frequencies depicted on the slide rule dial. You can vary this range from 1 kHz to 100 kHz in six steps; your radio's current frequency will always appear centered in the dial.

Clicking on the dial will QSY your radio to the associated frequency. Double-clicking the dial will QSY your radio to the associated frequency and then reduce the range by one step, unless the range is already 1 kHz. Allowing the mouse cursor to hover over the dial will produce a small popup showing the associated frequency to which your radio would be QSY'd if you were to click or double-click. You can also QSY via the PageUp andd PageDown keys.

If SpotCollector is running and Commander's Bandspread window is open, then SpotCollector will automatically send Commander reports of active DX stations operating on the transceiver's current band that meet SpotCollector's current filter criteria. Commander displays each active DX station on the Bandspread window's slide rule dial unless its age exceeds the specified lifetime:

As depicted above, you can adjust the width of the Bandspread window to include a Band panel. Commander remembers the last 5 frequencies you visited on each band, and the mode in use for each such visit; this information is stored in a Band Stack associated with each band. If you QSY the radio, and then let it remain on a frequency for longer than the dwell time setting, the new frequency and mode will be saved on the appropriate Band Stack. The Bandspread window's Band panel contains a button for each band between 160m and .33cm. Clicking a band button sets the radio's frequency to the most recent frequency used on that band, and sets its mode to the mode in use at that time; the Band Stack is then advanced, so that clicking the same band button a second time sets the frequency/mode to the next-most-recent frequency/mode used on that band. Using this mechanism, you can QSY to the most recent 5 frequencies.

Active DX stations that are close together in frequency are separated horizontally to form a list of up to 8 reports. For busy frequencies and a long lifetime, it may be necessary to expand the Bandspread window horizontally to see all of the reports; if the entire list of callsigns operating close together in frequency is not visible, the last character displayed will be a +, as illustrated in the left-most screen-shot above. Alternatively, zooming in to a smaller dial range may separate the report, or a smaller font size can be specified.

With the Digital Mode Application panel set to WinWarbler on the Configuration window's Bandspread tab and WinWarbler running, clicking the callsign of a station in the Bandspread window that is operating in PSK31, PSK63, PSK125, or RTTY will convey the entry's callsign, frequency, mode, and grid square to WinWarbler, which will populate its QSO Info panel with this information and direct Commander to QSY your transceiver to the appropriate frequency and mode. You can also configure Commander to convey information to WinWarbler when you click the callsign of a station operating in CW, SSB, FM, or AM, or to convey information to a digital mode application other than WinWarbler.


Recommended settings on the Bandspread tab of Commander's Configuration window:

  1. check the color-code frequency pointer box

  2. set the Orientation to higher frequency on top

  3. set the Band Stack panel's dwell time to 5

  4. set all of the Mousewheel motion panel settings to 1

  5. in the DX Spots panel

    1. check the hide duplicates box

    2. check the set Xcvr split box

    3. set the Spot Filter panel to none

    4. set the Log Filter panel to call

    5. set the Spot Lifetime to 1 hour

    6. if you're not using WinWarbler, MultiPSK, or FLDigi (via the FLDigi-DXLab gateway) for RTTY operation, set the RTTY mode if no Digital Mode App to the transceiver mode to be used when making RTTY QSOs

    7. if you're using WinWarbler, MultiPSK, or FLDigi (via the FLDigi-DXLab gateway) for CW operation, set the CW mode panel to CW via DMA; otherwise, set it to CW.

    8. if you're using WinWarbler's phone voice keyer capability, check the Phone modes panel's SSB via DMA box

    9. specify the name of the Digital Mode Application you are using:

      • WinWarbler

      • Multipsk
      • FLdigiDXLabsGateway
    10. clear the User-defined Sequence after Band Change panel's Name box (unless you have a user-defined command sequence you want executed after every band change).

    11. in the DX Spot Font panel

      1. set the Name panel's Large font to Arial

      2. set the Name panel's Small font to Small Fonts

      3. configure the Size panel:

      • Range

        Font Size

        1 kHz


        5 kHz


        10 kHz


        25 kHz


        50 kHz


        100 kHz


        500 kHz



You can reduce the number of callsigns displayed by reducing the Spot Lifetime in the DX Spots panel on the Configuration window's Bandspread tab. For example, setting the Spot Lifetime to .2 will limit the display of callsigns to those reported as active within the past 12 minutes.

The DX Spots panel's Spot Filter panel provides additional ways to control the display of active callsigns.

Changing Frequency

Getting Started with DXLab

ChangingFrequencyBandspread (last edited 2020-04-21 19:31:23 by AA6YQ)