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Questions and Answers

Program Operation

Q: What kind of cables do I need to connect my receiver to my computer?

A: This really depends upon what type of receiver you are using. I have photos of real cables and connectors, which I have labeled to help you. I did this after a suggestion by one of my users who was having trouble finding the right cables to connect his R-20 COmmunications Receiver to his laptop. These are the same connectors and cables I use on my own receivers. Look under my 'Information' section of this web site.

Q: I have lost my control.ini file and the software won't start up. What do I do now?

A: You can download a generic one from my web site under the 'Support' section. Be sure to download the correct one and the correct version.

Q: I keep getting an error when I try to record a waterfall spectrum and then I checked to see if I had any files in my Spectrograph subdirectory and there was nothing in it. What do I do now?

A: This directory must have a spectrogram.html file stored in it for the program to process the recorded files. The program should always check to see if one is there at all times, but just in case something unexpected happened, you can download a generic file from my web site under the 'Support' section. Place the downloaded file into the directory and everything should be ok.

Q: I got a new computer and I want to re-install the Signal Capture and Analysis software on my new machine. Can I transfer my audio files, log files and other data from my previous use of the software into my new computer?

A: Yes, once you have the software set up and running on the new machine, just copy the files from each directory and place them into their respective directory on the new machine and everything should be as it was before.

Q: I have both the VR-5000 Signal Capture and Analysis software and the R-20 Signal Capture and Analysis software can these program use the same control.ini files?

A: No, the ICOM R-20 and Yaesu VR-5000 have a different step ranges and mode settings. The VR-5000 doesn't go above a 500 kHz step setting, where the R-20 can step as much as 10 MHz. Also, the VR-5000 is cable of wide AM (WAM) and Narrow AM (AMN) mode, where the R-20 does not have these modes available. Based on these differences, your select window settings may be very different too.

Q: I made several recordings with the recording controls, but how do I listen to them? Where are the files stored?

A: Previous versions of my software included playback controls, but to keep the install footprint as small as possible and reduce the amount program overhead , I decided to let users export the files to whatever player they choose. Since, that is what most people like to do anyway. The files are stored under the program install directory such as the C:\R20SigCap\Audio or the C:\VR5000SigCap\Audio directories. You can copy or remove any of these files from the directory (but don't remove the directory) without affecting the operation of the program.

Q: Do I have to use your software to generate log files? Can I make a log file in excel or OpenOffice and export them as a 'CSV' file (comma delimited fields) for use in your software?

A: Yes, you can easily do this for my new versions of my Signal Capture and Analysis software. This was just one of the many reasons I upgraded the software. Just be sure all data fields are filled in/completed and use the correct data values and dates in the frequency, mode, signal and date/time fields, which are compatible with your version of the software. So, the log file will correctly function and sort the data in the program as you are using the log during listening sessions. Also, you will need to place them into the 'Logs' folder under the program install directory to access the new files. If you know how to use excel or some other spreadsheet program this is a great way to take shortwave schedules and import them as logs into my software. You can look at a program generated log to see how it is structured to get an idea how to get started.

Q:I have both the VR-5000 Signal Capture and Analysis software and the R-20 Signal Capture and Analysis software. Can I use logs files generated from one program in the other program?

A: No, Although the signal, date/time and comment fields are the same, the frequency and mode fields have some differences that make them incompatible with each other. This is due to fundamental differences between the receivers.

Q: When I make one recording of the spectrum waterfall, the next time I record a signal, the old one is overwritten. How can I save each spectrum recording without overwriting the old one with a new recording?

A: Navigate to the Spectrograph subfolder in the program install directory and place --> A COPY of the recording (all the files in the Spectrograph subdirectory) in another file folder and then the original will not be overwritten with a new one. You will need to do this for each recording. If you remove the files, the program will error. The recorder must have (at a minimum) a 'spectrogram.html' file in the Spectrograph subfolder to process the next recording.


Software Development

Q: Why the new look?

A: It is my intention that my software for each receiver should parallel each other. The user can expect each edition of my software to have the same features with the possibility of additional tools included, which may be specific to each receiver. I have had a lot of users wanting something that would work on lower screen resolutions and take less desktop space. I wanted versitility in how my software users could configure the software to fit on their desktop. This is what I call the 'Radio Desktop.'

Q: Why not package the different versions of your software together? Wouldn't be easier to maintain?

A: Ultimately, it would make the install too large and unmanageable for me and for my users. Also, these receivers are completely different in behavior, communication protocol, serial port speed and s-meter data. Each version has been tailored and optimized for the specific receiver it controls.

Q: What about making a version for the ICOM R-10 handheld communications receiver?

A: Sure, I can make a version for the ICOM R-10 handheld receiver. It is a very simple change. Of course, I would need someone to loan me an ICOM R-10 for a few days to test it. However, I haven't heard of anyone wanting one...yet.....I'm still waiting...

Q: Is a new version coming out for the PCR-1000?

A: The irons are still on the edge of the fire on this one. If there is enough demand, yes. If no one cares, then no. The PCR-1000 is a wonderful 'black box' receiver. I am getting a few requests for a version that runs under Windows Vista and Windows 7. Maybe, eventually I will get around to it. You tell me.

Q: What happened to the Apple Macintosh R-20 Lite version of your software?

A: No one ordered it for over a year, so I retired it. If you need to run my software and you have a Mac, get Parallels or Virtual Machine(free but some things are slower on it than Parallels), that's how I run it and it works just fine on my Mac Book Pro.

Q: What other receivers are you coding for?

A: I am contemplating writing a transceiver version of my latest software for the Yaesu FT-817ND. This transceiver has a lot of possibilities. Also, I have thought about creating a special version for the ICOM R-75 communications receiver. If you have any suggestions or ideas, I would certainly listen.


Purchases

Q: I lost my license code and my software, will you send me another copy?

A: It would be a tremendous burden for me to manage all the license codes and software that I distribute. It would simply take too much time and I would not be able to use my time to improve my software for my users. I highly recommend that once you receive your install files, you should backup your install files and license code and keep it somewhere other than on your computer, in case you need to reinstall the software due to some unforeseen accident. It is your responsibility to manage the software you use.

I cannot replace your missing software except to sell you another copy for the current price of the software for the above mentioned reasons.

Q: Do you have a demo available for your software?

A: Demonstration programs are another great way to pirate software. Once pirated, the pirated demonstration program is all people will ever know about my software and they will never want to pay for something that they have illegally downloaded from someone else. Also, since it is an illegal derivative of my original work, I canít control the quality of pirated software as it becomes a misrepresentation of what a legally licensed copy of my software can do. Pirated software is more often than not, unstable, can behave in unpredictable ways and may have unforeseeable effects on your system. It simply just isnít worth the price you pay in the long run to use pirated software, not forgetting the legal ramifications it can have if you are caught using illegally obtained software on your system. My software is inexpensive and not over priced for everything that it can do. I have tried to keep the price as low as possible in order to expand my user base. If for some unforeseen reason the user has purchased the software and it doesnít work on their system, I work with the user to correct any issues they may have. Most people who purchase my software know what they are buying because I have made it clear what the product is and what it represents and most purchasers of my software usually ask questions before they buy. I expect my users to be as informed about my products as I am about their needs.

Yeah...I can hear all of the little wanna be hackers going...Yeah...Yeah...Yeah...Blah...Blah...Blah.

Q: Do you offer discounts to previous users of your software?

A: I Don't. The new versions are completely written from the beginning. The old code was just not going to work in the new operating systems. I had to rethink the things I was doing and come up with a new way of coding audio and radio control in my programs. This is the main reason it took me so long to release new versions of my software.

Q: How do I purcahse a licensed copy of your software?

A: Well, I use PayPal and most people prefer it. PayPal is safe and secure for all transactions on the web. On occasion, I will accept a personal check, but I will need to wait for it to clear. I am a premier member of PayPal and I normally send a 'Request for Money' (It's like and invoice) to your email. Once I receive a confirmation of payment from PayPal for the ammount on the 'Request for Money,' I will email the software to your email address. It is that easy and you can start using your software as soon as you receive it in your email. I do request that you supply me with an email account that will accept files. Some email systems such as Gmail, hotmail and business emails just won't let me send you the files. They scan for things like exe and zip files that can contain viruses. I have found Yahoo works well for file transfers.

Q: Do you give refunds?

A: I don't. Software is out there once it has been licensed under a user. So, it would be very easy to copy, pirate or hack it so everyone could use it freely without my permission. Once it is out there, it is out there for all to steal. I use a specific licensing structure that makes it very easy for me to track theft. Like I mentioned in my other Q/A: If for some unforeseen reason the user has purchased the software and it doesnít work on their system, I work with the user to correct any issues they may have. Most people who purchase my software know what they are buying because I have made it clear what the product is and what it represents and most purchasers of my software usually ask questions before they buy. I expect my users to be as informed about my products as I am about their needs.

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This page was last updated: June 20, 2011

Copyright 2011, Kenneth Stevens, KE7ATE

ke7ate@yahoo.com