Monday 18 February 2013

Ham radio Deluxe 6.0

HRD V6 in use
Ive been using HRD for many years now, I joined the band wagon back in Version 4 then onwards to Version 5. Now I have jumped again and moved up to V6.0

The development of HRD v6.0 is well disputed on with many voices moaning that the “free” software is now a paid up version. I on the other hand feel it’s a justified cost. Every time I switch on the radio I use HRD. Its been my constant companion now for 5 years.

So while the dispute carries on, Let me give you the low down on the updated version.

On the website the new set of features includes more Cluster filtering a new awards section, Added QSX spots for some radios, QSL and address printing, more rotator support and some excellent new features in DM780.

From the beginning there is lot of improvement for me. I use the DX cluster a lot, I also own a radio which has had some new support features added. I already have played with the new filters on the Cluster and they work a treat. The cluster now reflects DXCC I want, and when its spotted from my continent.  So now I wont see Spots for VK, ZL from Hong Kong, instead I will see them from Europe.

Another big bonus’s here is the strip printing facility that allows you to print labels that get affixed to the QSL cards.  You can either choose address (for direct) or QSO details etc. At the time of writing I can confirm there is a bug with this, but a fix will be released in the next version.

The QSX spots initially caused me an issue on my FT2000. When adding a call into the log book the radio would switch between VFO A & B. not great, but again a support call and within  5 minutes it was resolved by deselecting 3 tick boxes.

When I updated the software, it was a seamless, almost boring exercise. The screens looked exactly how they did before. But the first thing I noticed was how much quicker the software loaded. When my configuration starts it opens the log book, rotator controller all at the same time and now it opens super quick, connects and is ready within a very short space of time.

So would I recommend the V6.0 ? yes I would. I always support companies / software that I use on a regular basis.  The 2 support calls I placed I had instant answers, in very little time.  And that’s exactly what I want from a company that sell the product with support.  I know the debate still rages on other sites, but without our support the development will stall and that is to the detriment to us all.

Sunday 10 February 2013

RSGB Centenary Morse key

Last October at the RSGB convention I put my name down for one of the RSGB Centenary Morse keys. Im lucky enough to be No.12 on the list, which is no mean feat. The first 10 are reserved so I was No 2 on the list. Ive always wanted a Vibroplex key and this seems the perfect excuse to have one. Although my wife doesn't share the same rationale on me getting "More radio Junk"

I should be receiving the key early in March, so it will be perfect timing to use it when the Wessex boys take the G100RSGB call sign in April.