Some of my Favourites and some software.

Last Edited 13 March, 2015 Old items removed.

Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD)

This  has advanced.  Nearly every rig with CAT is supported. 2014:- It is now commercial although for older rigs a free version is still available.

It is a comprehensive rig control program incorporating a super PSK31 application with a mapping facility. For the SWL it has database included. For satellite operators there is a tracking program with doppler shift compensation.  HRD can be "Bridged" to the DXLab http://www.dxlabsuite.com suite. 

 

Chirpview http://www.andrewsenior.me.uk/chirpview Chirpsounder monitoring. (I use the "Public Beta" version.)

I have been playing with "Chirpview", a program that records signals from chirpsounders. These use transmitters that smoothly move frequency according to an accurately defined schedule. Everyone must have heard them as they swish past a frequency, a typical one starts at 2MHz and moves up at the rate of 100KHz per second to 20MHz or more. A receiver synchronised to the transmitter records signals from the transmitter. They are often used to determine the best frequency to use over a particular path, or maybe just for research.

If, starting at the correct second, a receiver is stepped at the rate of 100KHz per second the sounder can be followed and Chirpview" will record the strength of pulses received, an ionogram can be plotted.

My initial thought was to use HRD's direct entry feature, "highlight" the 100KHz digit and press the "up" arrow each second. (One of the many frequency control features of HRD)
However, I thought of the risk of RSI or, more likely, boredom and came up with a solution.
I opened up an old keyboard and connected the contacts of a reed relay across the "up" key contacts, actuated the relay from the "one pulse per second" signal from the GPS used to synchronise "Chirpview".

Ionogram of propagation between Preston, Lancs and Cowes at 0845 on 19 March. Horizontal axis is frequency MHz. Propagation present between 3MHz to 8MHz. Vertical is propagation delay in mS, this is not accurate, the technique introduced an error.