Radio Amateur Software

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Since I am a retired IT manager it only stands to reason I would embrace all forms of radio computer interfacing.  I also enjoy the digital modes of amateur radio as well as the good ole CW mode. With this said let me put my two cents in on my experience with software for our hobby. As you will read it will be easy to see that I am biased towards DXLab and for good reasons.

I have used many software packages both free and purchased. The mere fact that you pay your good money for software does not guarantee quality nor does free mean inferior. I have used the following software:

bulletDXLab    totally free, upgrades are automatic but you have to initiate the install by a simple click of a button.
bulletHRD Ham Radio Deluxe    No longer free, 30 trial and than $99.95, requires a yearly fee for upgrades.
bulletTRX-Manager     registered user $79
bulletLogic 8    registered user $129, Logic 9 is now available.
bulletN1MM & N1MM Logger+    totally free
bulletCW Skimmer    registered user $75
bulletAwh_MC    Yaesu FT-2000 software only package    free but support has been discontinued.
bulletDX Atlas    registered user $29.95
bulletDX4WIN    registered user $89.95, Jan 30 2011 was the last update, now that is keeping up with changes.
bulletVQLog 3.1    registered user $30 for 2 years of support. Current version 3.1 has not been updated for a couple years.
bulletMultipsk    Free, has many features but the interface is cluttered. Interfaces nicely to DXLab suite. There is a $45 fee to activate all features.
bulletFLDigi    totally free but not a good interface to logging programs, I also have problems with it on Windows 7.
bulletMMTTY    totally free, interfaces with WinWarbler for RTTY.
bulletFT2000RC    Another FT-2000 package like Awh_MC, free, great features.
bullet WSJT-X    This is a free package for JT-65, MSK144, WSPR etc.
bulletJTAlert-X    This is a free package that interface with WSJT-X
bulletJT65-HF    This is a free package that also does JT-65
bulletPSK Reporter    Allows you to view digital activity around the world. This works most of the time.
bulletHam Spots    Allows you to see if anyone is copying you and what level. This works most of the time. 

I have used each of the above software packages and provided hot links to their web site.

I would not waste your money purchasing software when there is a lot of good free software with maybe a couple exceptions. They say you get what you pay for but I have not found that to be true in all cases.

DXLab, what can I say about it, REALLY GOOD, does not cover! It has all the features you need for the casual to advanced radio operator. Dave, AA6YQ, does a superior job of updating and incorporating suggestions. I switched from HRD and struggled a bit through the learning curve but Dave stuck with me and I am a happier ham for it, thanks Dave! If I have any complaints it is the fact Dave will not implement FT-2000 rotator control, He told me Yaesu did such a lousy job that the software overhead would be too much. I also admit that I still like DM780 better then WinWarbler but I am getting use to it. There is a DX bridge to DM780 you can also interface Multipsk to it as well.

HRD I used for several years but updates were slow as well as LoTW features. I really like DM780 and super browser but to this date they do not play well with other radio control packages. If you want all the features of it I suggest using HRD. They are now charging for the product.  No longer free, 30 trial and than $99.95. You can use it for ever after you pay for it but if you want updates and support then you must pay yearly, I don't think so but some people do.

Logic 8 and TRX-Manager are okay products but too expensive. Both are good software packages but not for the money.

N1MM & N1MM Logger+ are packages for contesters. I have used it but it does not give me enough of the overall radio interface that I am looking for. It has been completely redone and is now N1MM+.

CW Skimmer    Great for use in pile-ups and with version 1.7 it is now Windows 7 compatible. It is good software but you still need to know the code, nothing beats the ear for decoding CW.

Awh_MC is a very good package to interface to your Yaesu FT-2000. I would recommend it just so you can set and extract information and setup your radio from your radio. The downside is that when it comes to logging and other needed features on the air they do not exist nor can you interface to them. Despite the downside this is a great radio interface package.

DX Atlas    A really nice addition to DXLab software, a must have for $29.95. I would recommend DX Atlas since it does interface with other packages and works on Windows 7. DXLab suite does a very nice job of interfacing to this package.

DX4WIN is a very complete and rather complicated package. It will take time to learn it but in the end it is too costly for what it does. Registered user $89.95, Jan 30 2011 was the last update, now that is keeping up with changes.

Multipsk    This package does it all for free and does even more if you pay $45 to activate additional features. It interfaces well with DXLab and is a good alternative to WinWarbler. My biggest complaint is that the interface is very cluttered and until you get familiar with the interface it is hard to use.

VQLoq 3.1 Is an incomplete package, rotator control is missing. I can see no reason to pay $30 for something that is not nearly as good as DXLab suite. When individuals want to sell their product they should be ready to support it.

FLDigi    I have not used it on Windows 10 64 bit, WinWarbler is what I currently use. It works well on my Ubuntu OS.

MMTTY    Interface very well with DXLab. I have more RTTY recently and not much PSK.

FT2000RC    This is a package like Awh_MC but with many more features. It can also be used with the FT-950 and 5000. Its features include Log Book, K1EL WinKey CW Interface, microHAM Router Interface, Telnet DX cluster access, a Band Map, a grid to filter DX spots and much, much more. A Remote Connection Monitor shows the performance of the internet connection to your remote base server by evaluating current and average latency times. The latest version is 2.7 dated September 2015. Click on the FT2000RC and you will see a full view of the radio with DX Cluster running, If I still had my FT2000 I would be tempted to use this interface.

WSJT-X    This is the interface I use for JT-65, MSK144 etc. It works very well with my ICOM 7600 and interfaces to my DXLab software. The setup takes a little thought but once you have it running then JT-65 is a breeze. I also suggest JT-Alert, a must have. As soon as I complete my WSJT page I will activate a link to it.

JT-Alert    This interfaces with WSJT-X and JT65-HF. It provides audio and visual alerts to what it is they are decoding.

JT65-HF    I have loaded this app but have not used it since WSJT-X works well for me.