Author Topic: DX ToolBox 5.0.0 Beta for Windows and macOS  (Read 464 times)

ChrisSmolinski

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DX ToolBox 5.0.0 Beta for Windows and macOS
« on: October 08, 2017, 1932 UTC »
I've been hard at work (or is that hardly working?) on a new version of DX ToolBox. This version adds many new features and windows related to SWBC listening. It's still in beta, but you can download a copy to try out, and of course make suggestions, report bugs, etc.

First, it adds a Logbook. Now you can log your various catches (SWBC and otherwise). It stores all the usual information for a logbook, plus you can directly store the program details, and keep track of reception reports sent and QSLs received. The logbook is still under development, so don't set about entering thousands of loggings into it just yet.

Second, it adds a reminders window. You can add scheduled transmissions to this window, and see a chronologically sorted list of what is coming up throughout the day. You can also get notifications, even if DX Toolbox is running in the background. I've found this to be very useful, to not miss broadcasts I want to hear.

Third, right clicking an entry will give you a popup menu with options to get a window with other transmissions by the same station, on the same frequency, from the same country, in the same language, or to the same target. And you can right click entries in this new window as well, to get other related windows. And so onů  I find this to be very handy when you stumble across a station (live on the air or via schedules) and want to look for other listening opportunities.

Beta copies of DX ToolBox for Windows and macOS can be downloaded from the bottom of this page: http://www.blackcatsystems.com/download/dxtoolbox.html
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 2203 UTC by ChrisSmolinski »
Chris Smolinski
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ChrisSmolinski

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Re: DX ToolBox 5.0.0 Beta
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2017, 2203 UTC »
I've released another beta version of DX ToolBox 5.0.0 for Windows and macOS. I'm continuing to work on SWBC related features. This update adds search features to the Logbook which is new to version 5, and some more tweaks to the Reminders window.

Some notes on what I've been adding to these beta versions:

The Logbook works just like a traditional logbook, where you can log reception of stations with all the pertinent details (station, time, date, frequency, signal, country, program details, QSL sent/received, etc). The logs can be searched, making it easy to find particular entries. You can even get lists of which stations you've send reports to, and are still waiting for QSLs back, so you know when to send followup reports.

The Logbook is tightly integrated with the SWBC schedules window. Say you're tuned into a frequency, and use the SWBC schedules window to identify the possible broadcasts it could be. Once you've decided on the station, you can right click on that entry from the schedules window, and a new log for the transmission is created with many of the fields already filled in for you. Just add/edit whatever additional information you wish, and log the broadcast.

You can right click on entries in your logbook, and automatically search the current schedules for other transmissions by this station, on this frequency, or from this country.  You can also do this from entries in the schedule window. Say you find a station or transmission of interest, but can't hear them right now. By right clicking, you can bring up a list of other transmissions or frequencies used by that station, so you can try them. Or you can get a list of other stations on the same frequency, to see what other stations could be on right now, making it easier to guess what you might be hearing.

One of the most powerful new SWBC related features of the DX ToolBox betas is the Reminders window. When you find transmissions you want to tune in to later, just right click on them to add them to the reminders window. This window is sorted chronologically, and continuously updated every minute. You can glance at it to see what broadcasts of interest to you are on now, or coming up. And the same right click options are available to log transmissions, or look for other transmissions on the same frequency, by the same station, etc. This is a great way to keep track of what you want to listen to, and not forget about them until it's too late and they've signed off.  You can also get a OS notification from DX ToolBox that a reminded broadcast is coming up, even if it is in the background.

If you want to give DX ToolBox a try, you can download the beta versions here, scroll down to the bottom of this page: http://www.blackcatsystems.com/download/dxtoolbox.html
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! Send to: csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
JRC-NRD 545 / RF Space netSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft beverage / 43mb sloping folded dipole / Crossed Parallel Loop

ChrisSmolinski

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Re: DX ToolBox 5.0.0 Beta for Windows and macOS
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2017, 1930 UTC »
A youtube video showing some of the new features I am adding to DX ToolBox. Note that much of this still works even if you don't use SdrDx with it: https://youtu.be/KnYcxXQhrhQ
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! Send to: csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
JRC-NRD 545 / RF Space netSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft beverage / 43mb sloping folded dipole / Crossed Parallel Loop

ChrisSmolinski

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Re: DX ToolBox 5.0.0 Beta for Windows and macOS
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2017, 2058 UTC »
And another beta... 5.0.0b which includes some bug fixes for Windows, and adds a few more SWBC related windows that update the grayline map with paths.

Download a copy from the very bottom of this page: http://www.blackcatsystems.com/download/dxtoolbox.html

I've also made another video showing some of these new features in use: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xV2lrrEioGQ&feature=youtu.be
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! Send to: csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
JRC-NRD 545 / RF Space netSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft beverage / 43mb sloping folded dipole / Crossed Parallel Loop

VK3BVW

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Re: DX ToolBox 5.0.0 Beta for Windows and macOS
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2017, 0550 UTC »
Chris, this looks great! Very interested in the new version.

Will this version still retain all the propagation facilities of the previous versions? If so, it's going to be one powerful app!

Cheers, Rob VK3BVW
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ChrisSmolinski

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Re: DX ToolBox 5.0.0 Beta for Windows and macOS
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2017, 1055 UTC »
Chris, this looks great! Very interested in the new version.

Will this version still retain all the propagation facilities of the previous versions? If so, it's going to be one powerful app!

Cheers, Rob VK3BVW

Yes, everything else remains. You can download a copy of the beta right now to see all the new features.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! Send to: csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
JRC-NRD 545 / RF Space netSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft beverage / 43mb sloping folded dipole / Crossed Parallel Loop