Rig Monitoring with
DXLab Comander

 

   This article is for sight-impaired amateur radio operators interested in using DXLab Commander for rig monitoring.

   Commander is a program in the DXLab suite of DXing applications. It provides transceiver control for the other applications in the suite, but Commander can also be used as a stand-alone program. It requires a CAT serial connection to the radio, as described in the article on the basics of rig monitoring.

   Commander also can interoperate with a number of other programs, including MultiPSK, fldigi, DM780, and MixW. Bridging software for each program is available on the DXLab Web site.

   DXLab is freeware developed and distributed by AA6YQ.

Visibility

   On a typical 22" screen with a "Large Scale" 120 dpi setting in Windows Operating System, the control panel (Figure 1) text is 0.1" high. The VFO-A readout is 0.35" high.

Figure 1. Commander control panel for Icom 746PRO (actual size).

 

Controls

   Commander includes an S-meter and various ways to tune—a slider, arrow buttons, direct frequency entry, and an interactive Bandspread scale. VFO-switching, mode changes, and transceiver keying via the CAT serial port are supported. If the receiver bandwidth can be controlled by a computer, the controls are in a filter sub-panel.

  The Memory Banks button brings up a memory management sub-panel (Figure 2). You can save in computer memory, recall, and continuously scan up to 100 channels that specify frequency, mode, and filter settings.

Figure 2.  Memory Management sub-panel (actual size).

 

User-Defined Controls

   The control panel can be customized with additional control buttons, indicator lights, and sliders. The required scripting language is described in the online Help pages.

For More Information

   The program documentation is organized, well-written, and highly detailed. A "Getting Started" tutorial for Commander also is on the DXLab Web site.

   There is an active Yahoo DXLab User Group. AA6YQ is a regular participant.

Summary

   DXLab Commander monitors and controls a useful subset of radio functions, including tuning, mode, and filter selection. It includes a control panel for 100 additional channel memories. User-defined controls can be added via scripting.

   A large screen and magnification software may be helpful for sight-impaired hams.

Acknowledgment

   Thanks to Dave, AA6YQ, for developing and supporting DXLab.

 

Author Information

   AE7PD is an Extra Class amateur radio operator in the U.S. This Web site has no ads or conflicts of interest.
Email:  HamRadioAndVision "at" gmail "dot" com.

rev. 7/1/2012

                      Related Article:  Accessibility of DXLab

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