Posts Tagged ‘VOAProp’

SSN data file goes AWOL

I’ve not updated the VOAProp file ssn.txt for a while as some irritating health issues kept on getting in the way. I thought I would have a try today butit seems the NOAA data file Iused to update it from  has moved to a new address. Does anyone know where it has gone to?

RR9O back on the air

ChangeDetection sent me an alert that the International Beacon Project web page has changed. The Hawaii beacon KH6WO has gone off the air.

The Russian beacon RR9O is still shown as off the air but I noticed today that Faros has recorded several spots of this beacon on the 17m and 12m bands. Other amateur beacon monitor sites have recorded it as well. I have updated the beacons.txt file for VOAProp with both changes.

VOAProp Repackaged

If you are a user of my program VOAProp you probably know by now that it has a problem due to NOAA having made a slight change to the format of the WWV solar data report. I cannot fix the problem in the program as I no longer have the files needed to rebuild it. Thanks to Mirek, OK1DUB a solution was found that involves changing the web address of the solar data file to download a slightly edited version from Mirek’s web site. The Troubleshooting page in the VOAProp help was updated to include this information. Unfortunately hams never read the frigging manual and so I have had to use the holiday absence message of Gmail to send a rather annoying automatic reply directing those with a question about VOAProp to the aforementioned page in order to save myself the even greater annoyance of receiving several emails a week about it. (It would be really nice if GMail’s Filters could include the option of sending an automatic reply only if an email meets certain conditions.)

It occurred to me this morning that I could fix the problem for new installations by including a configuration file containing the address of the file on Mirek’s web site. So I rebuilt the setup file including this extra file and have now uploaded it to G4ILO’s Shack. It will not help existing users if they download the new file as the installer will not overwrite their existing configuration file so as to preserve the user’s settings during an update. As emails about the issue are still coming in I will have to continue sending the automated reply to everyone who writes to me.

Beacon update

I have updated the beacon data file for VOAProp today. The NCDXF/IARU beacons in Kenya (5Z4B) and Argentina (LU4AA) are back on the air after a long absence.

The thought crossed my mind: Now we have WSPR and remote beacon skimmers covering all bands, does anyone use these beacons any more?

VOAProp and WWV

A couple of days ago I received an email from Mirek, OK1DUB, to let me know that, due to a small change in the format of the Geophysical Alert from WWV (http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/latest/wwv.txt) VOAProp is no longer able to process it, reporting that the format is invalid.

Mirek has written a PHP script to run on his server (http://ok1dub.cz/ham/) which reads the original WWV file every 5 minutes and creates a new version using the old format. This file can be accessed at http://ok1dub.cz/wwv/wwv.txt . When I first tried it, the server was very slow to respond and I was afraid that it might not be able to handle the hundreds of daily requests made by the tens of thousands of copies of VOAProp that are out there. But this was apparently only a temporary problem. I have tried the file again today and it loads quickly. Mirek says he is happy to allow public usage.

A page explaining what Mirek has done (and disclaiming responsibility for any error) is here.

What you need to do is:

  • In VOAProp, click the Solar Data button to open the window that displays the WWV file.
  • In the Data URL field, enter the address of the replacement file which is http://ok1dub.cz/wwv/wwv.txt .

I am grateful to Mirek for providing this solution and hope that other VOAProp users will be too. To those who emailed and did not receive a reply (or received a rather tetchy one) instead of checking the Troubleshooting help page that I updated to point to this post, sorry, but this issue has put me on the receiving end of an unwanted email pile-up.


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