Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].
Over the past couple of weeks I have been dabbling with "all in one" radio software. I narrowed my search down to Ham radio deluxe and DXLab. In the past I had about 4 different radio software programs on my computer. I found that I used one for a month then switch to another one. I would once again have to hit the learning curve to get familiar with the program. A lot of time was wasted doing this and it could get very frustrating at times. So last month the decision was made to narrow my choice down to ONE and stick with it. So it was time to release the hounds and begin the chase!!!! It was recommended I give DXLab a shot. Up to that point I really had not heard of this program not sure why but just never had. After working with this program over the past month I have decided this is the program for me. DXLab's is made up of 8 applications ranging from rig control, logging and a web cluster app just to mention 3 of the 8 modules.
|My DXLab's desktop|
- You can pick and choose what applications you want to install.
- Once an application is installed you are able to customize it to your needs.
- Great support, the short time I was running DXlabs they released fixes and upgrades.
- Running all 8 applications did not seem to take up much of the PC's processor.
- Each Application has over the top documentation in great detail.
- It will start up 3rd party applications to run with DXLab. For me so far I have my LP-100A virtual meter starting up within DXLab.
Things you want to do if you chose the program
- Make sure you read the documentation to fully understand what each app can do.
- The first application you want to download is called Launcher. This app when up and running at the push of a button install each app you want to try. It also (when configured to) will check for updates of all the programs each time it opens. It will also with one click start-up and shut down all DXLab app's. I made the mistake of not using this program and I manually unzipped, created a folder and installed each application. The Launcher makes installation a painless experience.
- Join the DXLab yahoo group for outstanding support. I posted a questions and it was answered in 20 minutes.
Mike…I’m very glad that you have found DXLabs at last. I have been a user of the software for years. I also like DXLabs for many reasons. First, if there are any questions, suggestions, etc there is the Yahoo reflector where you will get good, educated, and kind replies and solutions that are helpful. This software just works good. It is geared more towards DX and other similar awards based programs (DXCC, Marathon, etc)
It may not have the glamour and glitz of HRD, but much of the operation can be much more user customized with DXLabs software. For instance, with DXLabs software for DX spotting networks you have much more control over what you want to filter out. For example, I can filter out 160M contacts in my local day between Europe and Asia…in most cases, no concern of mine to be bothered with. HRD’s DX cluster software will not allow this.
I do not mean to “bash” HRD…I do think it is also fine software…and FYI…it also can be used in conjunction with DXLabs software through the appropriate bridge on the DXL website…along with other digi software bridges. I do frequently use HRD with DXLabs as my mood sees fit. Mike…my habits are very much like yours. I switch from various pieces of software from time to time to “keep things” new. I do the same with my ham radio activities, as well as just what I enjoy doing with radio overall as a hobby.
All in all, I wonder why more people don’t use DXLabs, even if you prefer another software program, it may find errors in your logbook or provide “tools” that you didn’t have before. How about guiding you with detail in a DXCC QSL card submission so that it can tell you what order to have them prepared. It’s a phenomenal piece of software IMO…and for free.
It may seem daunting at first, but concentrate on what you need to know, learn more progressively, and by all means pose any questions on the reflector.
73 de W8RIT Dave
Good afternoon Dave, thanks for stopping by the blog and taking the time to post a comment. I too have used HRD and liked it my problem was I used HRD and others as well and was happy more or less with them all….BUT…when I changed up the programs so came the learning curve again. DXLab’s allows me to more than what I want to do and I am still finding out more and more about it.
Have a good weekend Dave
Thanks for your thoughts – I am in a similar position in that I have been using HRD for a long time, know it,and comfortable with it, but curious about more configurable setups. I have installed DXLabs and imported my contacts.
So far I haven’t determined if it is capable of merging logs with itself from a second computer. I have two stations I go between, and so far nothing has allowed a smooth integration of logs. I want to have a master log which either machine will either update automatically or merge.
I do like the dx spot ability to filter by band and/or mode. Haven’t tried any of the digital utilities yet; DM780 will be hard to beat I should think.
Thanks again for posting as it encourages me to keep looking into DXLabs.
Good morning Robert, the only app from DXLab’s I have not downloaded and installed is the digi portion. I have tried digi modes in the past and was very active with RTTY contesting and PSK31 QSO’s. Now that I have changed out my PC and my radios are all new I find setting up the sound card settings can be a real pain. I have tried and it’s just not worth the frustrations. I hope you are able to spend some time checking DXLab’s in more depth it is a great program.
Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.
Robert AK3Q, feel free to contact me to discuss options for synchronizing your two station logs. You’ll find my email address in QRZ.com .
Thanks Dave for the offered support.
hello friends, I use HRD since version 4
currently the HRD and paid version, and I’m also paid utlizando paid version 6.
but met DXLAB a long time not only thoroughly researched the program for finding very complex.
installed the 15 days the DXLAB and am testing and learning.
I found many resources that do not have the same HRD in the paid version.
I am lover of DX, and use a lot of self CQ caller
already went twice to fair Dayton – OH and requested the addition of self-cq in HRD logbook, and it seems incredible that I received a response that do not go to do is impossible.
I paid a high value on product improvements waiting for our use
and so am meeting others with best quality for use in DX
and so I always thought there was only the HRD for this and I’m wrong
the DXLAB and more that the HRD
Hugs to all
Transport ahead 2 years. Nice blog for a newbie like me!
I was given an old Yaesu FT-757GX in January and just got up a working. Just listening right now preparing to take my General in June.
It’s like me to take big bites and I wanted almost immediately to find a controller software for the ‘ol girl. After hours of reading this and that, I am glad I downloaded the DXLab suite this morning. I understand someone named Dave wrote and supports this software. Being a professional IT person I get hard hard that can be. Thanks Dave (AA6YQ ?) for your hard work! In just the 30 minutes I spent on it, I found that I understand it’s approach. Now the next thing is to find a cable to connect the transceiver! Argh!!