Dxtra's WorldStation™ 3.4 User Guide

WS 3.4 is a powerful new release of the WorldStation™ 3.x series from Dxtra ( pronounced DeeXtra) that has much to offer the shortwave listener. About three years of full-time effort have gone into the development of WS 3.4. The program is very reliable, bug free and and based on the proven WorldStation™ 3.1 code base, this program is a unique and entertaining approach to "computerized" shortwave listening. The beauty of the program is that it automates much of the tedium of manually slogging through hundreds of shortwave channels. With HyperScan™ and ILG database integration you get a panoramic "real-time" visual picture of your favorite shortwave bands as never before. About the "DX" in our name - "DX" is a famous telegrapher abbreviation from the 19th century that means "distance". The term today is commonly used to indicated the activity of seeking out "DX" or distant stations.

4/30/05 - New Dxtra Sales and Support SIPPHONE.COM Internet phone number is 1-747-601-0703

12/8/04 - HFCC Database Support Now Integrated Into Releases WS 3.4 - click for details

10/30/04 - Dxtra Is Now A Dealer For the Powermate USB Tuning Knob - click for details

Click Here To Join Dxtra's Yahoo User Group For the Latest Software Development News


  1. What's New in WorldStation™ 3.4
  2. If You Are Upgrading From A Previous Version - Create A New Directory
  3. Supported Operating Systems
  4. Installing WS 3.4
  5. Running WS 3.4
    1. The Client / Server Approach
    2. Advantages of the Client / Server Approach
    3. Running WS 3.4 Across A Network
    4. You Can Keep the Server Running
  6. Stopping the WS 3.4 Client and Server
    1. Click the Power Button
    2. Stopping the Server
  7. The Tables Menu in the GUI (Graphical User Interface)
    1. Sorting Tables In General
    2. All Tables Rows Are Point and Click
    3. The Band Table
      1. Sorting the Band Table Is Advisable
      2. Using the Band Table
      3. Customizing the Band Table Using Notepad
      4. Scanning A Band Is Easy
        1. Real-time signal averaging
        2. Scanning Color Coding
        3. Clicking into a band panel sets the frequency
        4. The Min / Max Algorithm
        5. The Mini tuner
    4. The Memory Table
      1. Scanning Individually Selected Channels (Rows)
      2. Scanning A Group of Channels (Rows)
      3. The Pseudo Band Algorithm
      4. Adding A Channel
    5. The Schedule Table
      1. Adding An Entry
      2. Selecting a Schedule Interval
      3. The "SKIP" Option
      4. The "RECORD" option
      5. The EVENT Playlist option
      6. The Audio Directory
        1. MP3 ID3 Tagging Is Done Automatically
        2. Playlist Generation Is Automatic
      7. Why You Might Want To Set-Up Streaming Audio
      8. Streaming Audio Programs Are Free
        1. The Shoutcast DNAS Server
        2. The Winamp MP3 Player
        3. The Oddcast streaming audio feed
    6. ILG Tables - A Shortwave Database
      1. Downloading the ILG Database - Which One?
      2. Converting the ILG Database
      3. Configuring ILG in the "dxconfig.txt" file
        1. Languages
        2. Excluded Text
      4. The ILG "What's On" Table
      5. The ILG "Frequency Lookup" Table
      6. Integrated Scanning With ILG
  8. The "Tools" Menu
    1. Creating ILG tables
    1. The "Motifs" Menu
  9. General GUI (Graphical User Interface) Primer
    1. GUI Tool Tips Are Built-In - "Mouse Hover"
    2. Keyboard Shortcuts in WS 3.4
      1. "Right-Arrow" Key
      2. "Left-Arrow" Key
      3. "Up-Arrow" Key
      4. "Down-Arrow" Key
      5. "b" Key - Band Table
      6. "m" Key - Mute Speaker
      7. "p" Key for PBS
      8. "v" Key for Volume
  10. Tuning in WorldStationTM 3.4
    1. Entering a Frequency Manually
    2. The concept of GUI "Focus"
    3. Mouse Wheel Tuning
    4. Griffin Powermate Integration
    5. Using the Main Tuning Slider
    6. Fine Tuning Slider
    7. Tuning Rates
      1. Importance in USB / LSB tuning
      2. Importance in Shortwave Listening
    8. What are Modes?
      1. Importance of SYNC-L and SYNC-U Modes (Tuning Offsets)
  11. Bandwidths
    1. Setting Default Bandwidths
  12. Advanced Topics
    1. What is Clustering?
    2. Your "Primary" Radio
    3. Setting Up A Cluster
    4. "Turbo Mode"

    What's New In WorldStation™ 3.4

    This is a powerful new release of WorldStationTM from Dxtra (DeeXtra) that has much to offer the shortwave program listener. Highly reliable and based on the proven WS 3.1 code base, this program is a unique and entertaining approach to "computerized" shortwave listening. The beauty of the program is that it automates much of the tedium of manually slogging through hundreds of shortwave channels. With HyperScan and ILG database integration you get a panoramic "real-time" picture of your favorite shortwave bands as never before.

    The highlights of the new release are:

    1. The program Scheduler now has full automated MP3 and Playlist generation. Also event triggers to regenerate the Playlist at the beginning of any broadcast at any time. So you can now record your programs for playback over Shoucast or other streaming server of your choice. Or just listen to your programs by opening the Playlist in Winamp.

    2. Scanning is now fully integrated with the ILG database and Dxtra's Memory Channel database. Assuming you have the ILG tables open - ILG data will now appear as "tooltips" on the Scan Panel. You can see this data in real-time as scanning is taking place!

    3. There is a high-performance web interface for the RX-320 now available in the "Web Enhanced" version of the software. This ia a real-time interface that also integrates the ILG databases. You can tune to any station in the ILG "What's On" database. All code is dynamic HTML.

    4. Extensive infrastructure upgrades as detailed below.

    5. New HTML help system

    6. Extensive set of keyboad shortcuts now available.

    7. Mouse-wheel tuning enabled

    8. Real-time NOAA propagation alerts from the web

    9. NEW - HFCC Frequency database support now incuded - see hfcc.org

    The below list just covers the major enhancements. The following are developer notes take from Dxtra's WorldStation Yahoo bulletin board:

    I've been going over the code base from WS 3.11 and making a raft of changes and improvements. Some of these changes will not be apparent to an end-user, others will be. The development system is an Athlon 2800+ with Windows XP Pro.

    Keeping a 25,000 line code base evergreen requires a pretty big maintenance effort, partly because the underlying technologies (i.e. python, the GUI toolkit) themselves keep on changing and improving. I'm not talking about enhancements here, just upkeep.

    The rate of change and improvement in open-source software technology is simply amazing when compared to Microsoft and others. Dxtra contributes part of its profits to open source vendors.

    Here is a list of changes and enhancements so far:

    Client Side (GUI):

    1. Added focus methods for more keyboard interaction including up/ down arrow keys, single key control of various GUI functions etc.

    2. Integrated the Griffin Powermate USB external controller. You can now tune the radio with the very nice polished aluminum control
    knob. Pushing down the knob mutes the radio. See http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/powermate/

    3. Programmed a new subsystem that interfaces the Web controller to the client. When you use the web HTML GUI all commands are reflected back to the GUI. In English, when you press a button on the web controller / browser, you will see the corresponding button on the
    GUI pushed also! Note: the Web Controller will not be included in the basis WS product.

    The Web Controller requires that you download and install the Apache web server from apache.org - takes 2 minutes (really). The beauty of
    the Apache Windows installer is that the web server runs as a standard windows service with an easy to use console to start or
    shut down the server. Apache is the most widely used web server in the world and is rock solid.

    4. Researched and integrated open-source technologies to support the real-time Web Controller. New tools include: Apache 2.0 web server
    among others. The Web Controller, in effect, uses the Apache web server as an application server.

    5. Researched and proved with external (open internet) testers that the the new SIP protocol for VOIP is vastly superior to the old Netmeeting. Basically SIP overcomes firewall issues, is easier to use, and has the same or better real-time audio codecs.

    6. I am polishing and enhancing the Web Controller code this week, adding new concepts as they occur to me. Version 1.1 now display status information from the radio (frequency, bandwidth, tuning rate etc. with each browser refresh). Added CSS (cascading stylesheet support). The browser now initializes with the current radio settings as well. See siphone.com for details. If you want to listen to remote real-time audio this is the way to go. You will need the deluxe software from Xten. The free base one does not have auto-
    answer. The deluxe softphone is only $7.95.

    7. I finished the coding and testing of the enhanced scheduler in WS 3.4. I wanted to make this a complete solution for automatically streaming programs unattended To do this I had to solve numerous integration problems. Here is a quick summary of the new scheduler feature set:

    1. Automatically can schedule stations: daily, weekly, calendar date, day of the week, weekend, Saturday, Sunday etc.

    2. Option to record to an mp3 file format

    3. File name and ID3 mp3 meta tags are auto-generated and updated.

    4. Option to skip a scheduled item by right-clicking the mouse and toggling the SKIP option

    5. Option to record a scheduled item by right clicking the mouse and toggling the RECORD option.

    6. There is a new config file option to set the directory where the mp3 files will be stored. If the directory doesn't exist, it will be auto-created.

    7. A winamp style playlist is automatically generated each time a scheduled broadcast is triggered. All mp3 files in the audio directory are
    included in the playlist.

    8. An event trigger option was added to cleanse the playlist at your discretion. Otherwise the playlist would contain entries going back indefintely.The PLAYLIST trigger erases the m3 files in the working directory. Hence you could auto-generate a new playlist every day, as new audio files accumulate.

    It should be noted that all recording operates in background. There is expansion capability built-in to add an unlimited number of specific trigger events.

    Server code changes:

    1. Upgraded to Python 2.3.4 from Python 2.2. Version 2.3.4 is 20%-30% faster than the 2.2 version. See http://python.org/2.3/highlights.html for details if you are interested.

    2. Replaced and upgraded license key encryption code due to deprecated encryption (i.e. obsolete module)

    3. Upgraded license key code generator to include new web controller option.

    4. Major upgrade to the server code messaging back-end system that receives messages from the client GUI, parses the messages and calls the routines associated with the messages. Upgraded to an object dispatch model for increased performance and reliability. The number of discrete message commands supported by WS is about 100 at this time. This effort took a solid week of careful work to restructure the code.

    5. Upgraded the code that handled shutdown procedures for the various client radios, including the Orion dual-GUI controllers.

    6. Simplified the offset code calculation for the RX-320. Research showed that one offset curve is not sufficient. Created a custom
    offset curve for the AMBC band. There are now only two sets of offsets. These offsets are used in the on-line demo, which will soon be open to the public.

If You Are Upgrading From A Previous Version (Important)

Make sure to create an empty directory for the new installation. Don't try to overlay an older version of WorldStationTM.

Supported Operating Systems

Supported operating systems are Windows XP Pro, Windows XP Home, Windows 2000 and Windows ME. Windows XP Pro is recommended.

Installing WS 3.4

1. Download and install (i.e. double-click) the WS 3.4 runtime environment from the website. The URL web address for this file is in your confirmation email - just click on it*. This install is fully automated.

2. Unzip the file attachmment that was sent to you in your confirmation email and move all files into c:\dxtra_ws34. The zip file contain your license keys and several other critical files. If you are MISSING this file it means your email provider deleted this attachment. Please contract Dxtra via email and we will manually re-send the file to you.

2. Hook up the radio to serial port COM1 (you can change this port** if needed at any time). Hook up the radio's audio cable to the line-in of your sound card. Hook up an external antenna if possible.

3. Double-click (in Windows Explorer) "server" to start the server. (Note: the full file name is "server.exe:). The server will open a DOS console window and wait for a client connection.

4. Double-click (in Windows Explorer) "client". (Note: the full file name is "client.exe"). You will note that the server console window shows a bunch of connection messages.

5. At this point you should see the client window (i.e. GUI Graphical User Interface) come to life.

* The runtime contains all the needed bolier-plate code to support WS 3.4. Rest assured, the runtime installer DOES NOT touch the Windows registry. Double-click the runtime "exe" file to install. A default directory is automatically created for you called c:\dxtra_ws34. Please note that a packing list is displayed showing all the file that were installed.

** Double-click on the file "dxconfig.txt" - you will see the entry for serial port COM1. Simply change it to any legal Windows COM port. Save the file and restart the server and client.

Troubleshooting Tips:

If the server console window "disappears" when you run the client program, then you are missing files from the installation - don't panic! Some customers download the runtime but fail to install it - please double click on this file to install. Please make sure your file attachment is present and that you moved all files from the zip file into c:\dxtra_ws34. If you are having a problem using the built-in Windows "zip" utility wa better option is to use the utility from "winzip.com".

WS 3.4 is a certified program - meaning there are no "bugs" that prevent normal operaton of the program. Most install issues result from the customer simply leaving out an installation step. You can verifiy your installation by opening Windows Explorer (Start->Programs->Accessories->Windows Explorer.

1. Your install directory should contain your license keys. They are called "masterkeyfile". There should be three of them.

2. You should see two file called "client" and server"

3. You should see files called "python23.dll" - this is from the runtime installer. If you don't see this file it means you didn't download and/or install the runtime environment.

4. In all you should see about 65 files in the install directory.

5. Please use your Windows sound mixer correctly. Make sure the" line-in" control is selected and the volume is turned up. Make sure that your speakers are correctly hooked up to the speaker out port on the sound card and that your speakers are powered on. Some speakers also have an additional indepenedent volume control. Please make sure that control is turned up.

If you are missing the email zip file attachment it means that your email provider or configuration deleted it. Please contact dxtra via email and we will be happy to re-send it manually for you.

Running WS 3.4

Because the radio spectrum is split up into "bands", the first thing to do is open the "Bands" table from the main GUI "Tables" Menu. You can also use the "B" shortcut. Please make sure that you have selected the GUI, by clicking on the "metal" interface. Click on a band table heading to sort the table and click on a row of the table. Notice that the tuning rate, min and max frequency of the band is now set up for you. This greatly eases band navigation and keeps you within the band limits automatically as you tune. Note that you can easily now scan a band by simply clicking the Scan button.

    The Client / Server Approach

    For years, commercial systems have split complex programs into a client and server part. WS 3.4 follows in this tradition. Division of program labor helps to manage the program complexity and WS 3.4 is a very complex program.

    Advantages of the Client / Server Approach

    The primary advantage is that is allows for control over a LAN or the Internet. A small but growing percentage of Dxtra's customers do this today.

    Running WS 3.4 Across A Network

    1. Install the software on the target client and server PC's - note the IP address of the server PC.

    2. Start the server on the server PC

    3. On the client PC - open a DOS window, using the "CD" command in DOS, change into the WS directory and type "client.exe <server IP address>" to connect to the server. You can always put this command into a batch file (.i.e.." .bat file").

    Keep the Server Running

    When you power off the WorldStationTM client, there is no need (unless you want to) to shut down the server. The server will sit and wait for a connection using no system CPU resources.

Stopping WS 3.4 Cleanly

For a clean shutdown, click the POWER button on the client GUI and then close the server window. Upon shutdown the client stores your settings for the next time you start the client.

    Click the Power Button to Stop the Client

    The Power button or the "File->Exit" menu selection will shutdown the client. Shutting down the client write out settings to the server.

    Stopping the Server

    Click on the "X" at the right of the console window. Make sure the client is stopped first. As noted elsewhere, you can keep the server running with virtually no CPU usage.

The Tables Menu in the GUI (Graphical User Interface)

WS 3.4 is a table driven system. Unlike other programs on the market, WS doesn't attempt to squeeze all program functions into one window. On larger screens the windowing approach is much easier to use - you see more data at once. Windows XP will stack all WorldStationTM open windows into a convenient button stack automatically for you.

    Sorting Tables In General

    All tables in the program work the same as far as sorting is concerned. Just click on column heading to sort. Clicking the column heading again will reverse the order of the sort.

    All Tables Rows Are Point and Click

    Clicking on a table row will set the radio's frequency, mode, tuning rate and other parameters.

    The Band Table

    The Band Table is your key to the radio spectrum. Use the "b" key or the Tables menu in the main GUI to access the band table. If you try to open a double-copy of the Band table, the currently open table will open and maximize for you. If the band table is iconized, it will also maximize.

    Sorting the Band Table Is Advisable

    In general, you want to sort the Band table in order to group like bands together such as the SWBC (Shortwave Broadcast bands)

    Using the Band Table

    Click on a band row to activate that band. Notice that the band name, band min and max frequencies, starting frequency, mode and tuning rate step size are set. The starting frequency is sometimes used on amateur bands where a common calling frequency is in use. The default is to set it to the same frequency as the band minimum.

    Customizing the Band Table Using Notepad

    The Band table is just a text file so you can edit it in Notepad. It is advisable to make a back up copy of the file before you start editing. The best way to add a new band is to copy an excising line and make changes.

    Scanning A Band Is Easy

    First you must click on a Band table row to activate that band. Then click on the Scan button at the top of the Band table to start scanning.

    Real-time signal averaging

    WS 3.4 automatically averages the signal strength data it receives from the radio. You will notice that the scanning bars will start to stabilize as more data is collected. This process is automatic.

    Scanning Color Coding

    The bars in the Scan panel are automatically color coded according to what "bin" the signal strength for a frequency falls into.The height of the bar is also adjusted according to the bin. This process is done automatically.

    Clicking into a Scan panel sets the Frequency

    Clicking into a running Scan panel will cause the scanning to stop and the radio to be set on that frequency. If you are using the Cluster version of WorldStationTM, your scanning will be continue uninterrupted since the primary radio is always available for listening.

    The Min / Max Algorithm

    Everyone's antenna system is different. So WS uses a dynamic "mini/max" algorithm to continuously adjust the display of data based on the real-time minimum and maximum signal strength coming back from the radio. So the Scan panel can show the relative signal strength instantly adjusted for any antenna system.

    The Mini tuner

    You have some convenience mini-tuner controls available on each Scan panel, so you don't have to jump to the main GUI each time you want to tune.

The Memory Table

The Memory table contain about 1,000 commonly used utility frequencies. Here you will find FEMA, NASA and of course military aero frequencies.

    Scanning Individually Selected Channels (Rows)

    Using the standard Windows "ctrl-right mouse click" technique you can select a random grouping of rows to scan and click on scan

    Scanning A Group of Channels (Rows)

    This technique is a huge time saver. First sort the table in the desired fashion. Then use the standard Windows "SHIFT-right mouse click" to select a group of rows at once and click on scan. Note: this technique also works on the Band table where you might want to launch a scan of multiple bands at once!

    The "Pseudo Band" Algorithm

    When doing a Memory channel scan WS first sorts the selected rows from low to high frequency and then creates an artificial"band" or grouping of those channels. In this way the behavior of the of the Scan panel is identical to that of a regular band. When you click into a scan panel composed of memory channel, you are clicking into an individual channel.

    Adding A Channel

    Just click on add channel and enter the data. This feature can be used as a logging feature.

The Schedule Table

This facility is designed for the program listener. It provides a powerful facility to listen and and record your favorite broadcasts. You can even use the built-in calendar to schedule a one-time recording on a given date and time! All recording is automated, with Mp3 file recording, tagging and playlist generation done automatically. Program listening is becoming much more important with the advent of DRM (www.drm.org) which provides FM mono broadcast quality over shortwave. DRM was the motivation to add the mp3 recording capability to the software. You can "right-click" on the Schedule table to select dome "toggle options" - see below

    Adding An Entry

    The Add entry screen is for the most part intuitive. Special features are explained below.

    Selecting a Schedule Interval

    You can select a schedule interval of Today, Daily, Weekday, Weekend, Day of the Week or a specific calendar date using the built-in calendar.

    The "SKIP" Option

    This allows you to temporarily skip a broadcast. You can toggle this option at any time by "right clicking" with your mouse while hovering over the Schedule table

    The "RECORD" option

    This flag allows you to record a broadcast. You can toggle this option at any time by "right clicking" with your mouse while hovering over the Schedule table

    The "EVENT" Playlist option

    The playlist event causes the playlist to be re-generated and all audio files to be erased from the directory. Why would you need that? If you wanted to generate a new playlist every day at a specified time for example. Without the playlist event you would have to manually manually maintain the audio directory.

    The Audio Directory

    The default audio directory is "c:\dxtra_audio_files" which is set in the dxconfog.txt file and is user changeable. In Windows, the mp3 tagging will appear as file descriptions in the audio directory.

    MP3 ID3 Tagging Is Done Automatically

    There are so-called "ID3" tags like Title, Author, Track etc. that can be embedded into the binary format of the mp3 file. WS 3.4 embeds these tags automatically for you when creating mp3 files and reads them back when generating a playlist.

    Playlist Generation Is Automatic

    Ever time a new recording is completed the Playlist file in the mp3 directory is appended to. The Playlist event can truncate this file and start a new playlist.

    Why You Might Want To Set-Up Streaming Audio

    According to the recent press (10/04), about 60 million Americans have broadband in the home. Increasingly, we would like to use our computing resources, but with the convenience of not being tied to our PC. Audio streaming wireless routers like the Apple Airtunes can bring your old stereo equipment back to life. But you still need an audio feed. There are tons of links on Google for setting up audio servers.

    Streaming Audio Programs Are Free

    Audio streaming programs have been available for at least five years and are easy to set up. You can stream your own audio at home, or listen to your WorldStationTM scheduled feed live or pre-recorded Playlist.

    The Shoutcast DNAS Server

    The Shoucast server is one such streaming server. It can be download at www.shoutcast.com. Another is available at www.icecast.org. There is ample documentation on how to configure and run the server on the Shoutcast site You should set the default IP address of the server to an IP other than port 8000 as this interferes with WS sockets.

    The Winamp MP3 Player

    You will need a player like Winamp at www.winamp.com to play the playlist and act as a go between the server and the audio source.

    The Oddcast streaming audio feed

    Oddcast is a Winamp plug in that streams the audio from Winamp to the Shoucast or Icecast server. It is available at www.oddcast.org.

ILG -A Shortwave Database

    The ILG radio database is a free shortwave database put out and maintained by a German company and is not associated with Dxtra. Their main web site is www.ilgradio.com and the www.ilgradio.com/ilgradio.htm link gets you directly to the download page.

    Downloading the ILG Database - Use the dbase (*.dbf) Version

    Under the Tools Menu there is a slection to download the ILG zip file database. The URL (i.e. web site address) for this download is defined in the dxconfig.txt file. When you download this zip file you will need to extract "*.dbf" file into a known directory.

    Converting the ILG Database

    Tip: Before you convert the file, you might want to set your Latitude and Longitude in the dxconfig.txt file. The URL for looking up your coordinates is http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabulary/tgn/index.html. "Lat" and "Long" are used to compute Distance, Sunrise and Sunset.

    Open the "Tools" menu in the main GUI and select the "Convert ILG" option. On a fast PC this file conversion process takes a couple of minutes. You will get voice feedback as the conversion progresses. If you can guess who the voice is, congratulations you win a WS trivia point! WS 3.4 will automatically index the file for stations that are playing each minute of the day, by frequency, check for incomplete records, and a host of other functions.

    Dxtra enhances the ILG with customer indexes. It also adds computed columns, namely Distance, Sunrise and Sunset. Sunrise and Sunset can be used for so-called greyline propagation.

    Configuring ILG in the "dxconfig.txt" file

    There are some filtering option in the config file that may be of interest to some users - Latitude and Longitude were already mentioned. You do not need to modify these options if you don't want to.


    You can filter for languages in stations that will appear on the active lists. An example is given in the config file.

    Excluded Text

    You can exclude stations with specific call signs, or indeed any type of free form text. Just keep the text comma delimited. An example is given in the config file.

    The ILG "What's On" Table

    You can open this table from the Tables menu in the GUI. The table is auto-updated every minute. You can set this to manual if you like. Clicking a row in the table will tune to that station. Note that if the table sees activity it will wait a minute before beginning to auto-update again. You will notice stations "roll" on and off the list as their broadcast window begins or ends.

    The ILG "Frequency Lookup" Table

    You can open this table from the Tables menu in the GUI. This table gives you a high-speed lookup of every station listed in the database as being on at that time. This table deliberately does not filter any records. It does this because many times you might want to ID a station in another language, not just English.

    Integrated Scanning With the ILG Database

    WS 3.4 adds a very powerful feature that seamlessly integrates scanning and the ILG database. In shortwave listening, you always want to know what stations are playing. But you also need to know how the scheduled stations are doing relative to band conditions. So the Scan Panel will show you signals of interest (i.e. band conditions) and ILG will show you "What's On" a particular channel. All you have to do is "mouse over" a Scan Panel and the ILG data will be updated as a "tooltip" in real-time. This process works whether scanning is running or stopped. All you have to do is make sure that the the ILG tables are runing. You can minimize them once they are open. The integration of the two software objects: the Scan Panel and ILG is done automatically for you.

The "Tools" Menu

General utilities section of the program.

    Creating ILG tables

    This is discussed under the ILG section of this document.

    The "Motifs" Menu

    You can switch the "metallic" faceplates of the program.

General GUI (Graphical User Interface) Primer

The GUI (Graphical User Interface) in WS 3.4 comprises literally thousands of lines of code all designed to make control of your radio easier. Many of the controls are linked together to lessen your workload. For example, notice that when you change Mode the Bandwidth automatically compensates.

GUI Tool Tips Are Built-In - "Mouse Hover"

WS 3.4 is loaded with helpful GUI "Tool tips" - just "mouse hover" over a control for a couple of seconds and you should see a brief description of that control appear.

Keyboard Shortcuts in WS 3.4

Keyboard shortcuts free you from using the mouse for every function - especially tuning

    The "Right-Arrow" key

    This key tunes up the selected band.

    The "Left-Arrow" key

    This key tunes down the selected band.

    The "Up-Arrow" Key

    This key moves the selected bandwidth up.

    The "Down-Arrow" Key

    This key moves the selected bandwidth down.

    The "b" Key - Band Table

    Opens the Band table. Hitting 'b' again will maximize the table.

    The "m" Key - Mute Speaker

    Mutes the Volume control in the GUI. Hitting "m' again un-mutes the volume.

    The "p" key for PBS

    This is a fine tuning control. Used in combination with the "+" and "-" keys. Hitting 'p' again resets PBS to the zero or neutral position.

Tuning in WorldStation™ 3.4

There are a number of methods available to tune your radio, depending on how your use the program. You could simply use the "point and click" ILG tables and never manually enter a frequency, or simply tune from Scan Panels.

    Entering a Frequency Manually

    You can click into the Frequency text box in the main GUI and enter a frequency using your numeric keypad. Entering a shorthand frequency of less than 30 will cause the program to multiply by 1,000 to get kilohertz. Also, if you have mouse focus anywhere on the main GUI panel (i.e. click on the "mettalic" part of the GUI faceplate), you can just type in a numeric frequency. The entered numbers will are programmed to apear in the frequency display.

    The concept of GUI "Focus"

    Clicking anywhere on the "matallic" portion of the main GUI will give you "mouse focus" . You can then enter a frequency without having to click into the frequency text box.

    Mouse Wheel Tuning

    You can use the mouse wheel to tune either on the main GUI or if you click into a Scan Panel (to get mouse foucs). If you are tuning through a band the mouse wheel will observer the usual tuning rule of looping back to the beginning of the band.

    Griffin Powermate Integration

    This ia a handy USB powered controller knob that can be used to tune your radio - through WorldStationTM. Just enter the Powermate menu and tag the controller movements to the shortcust keys described here.

    Using the Main Tuning Slider

    When you click on a Band table row, you set the band limits. The main slider allows you to quickly navigate through the band by dragging the slider or clicking into the slider window.

    Fine Tuning Slider

    This control is linked to themain slider and is promarily designed for navigating through the amateur (ham) and utility bands. These are non-channelized bands where signals are often very close together. The Shortwave and AM bands are channelized at 5Khz and 10Khz setps respectively. This slider will automatically reduce the tuning rate for you.

    Tuning Rates

    For the most part, tuning rate slection is determined by your settings in the Band table. You can over-ride this setting at any time by simply selecting a tuning rate. Again, you will most likely do this on the ham and utility bands.

    Importance in USB / LSB tuning

    On the non-channelized bands, fine tuning is a must. When "tuning in" a ham voice sugnal, you might need a step size of 100 hertz or less to get clear reception.

    Importance in Shortwave Listening

    Many shortwave beginners forget that the shortwave bands are similar to our domestic AM bands - except more crowded. In fact, the station separation is only 5 Khz. The Band table enforces this rule for the shortwave bands, so that the tuning rate jumps in 5 Khz increments.

What are Modes?

You can select a mode in WS 3,4 by clicking one of the Mode buttons. Modes are a shorthand term for "modulation". In shortwave there are several major kinds of modulation: AM which we are familiary with, and Single Side-Band or SSB. SSB as the name suggests has sidebands: USB (Upper) and LSB (lower). Hams and utility stations are the biggest users of the SSB mode. A key fact to note is that any AM signal can be listened to on its sidebands! See the SYNC-L and SYNC-U discussion. Mode is set for you when your click on a Band table row. You can at any time overide a suggested mode by clicking on a Mode button.

    Importance of SYNC-L and SYNC-U Mode

    The RX-320 has a special wide-band USB and LSB modes for use with SWBC (Shortwave Broadcast Band) signals. These modes give you the ability to listen to either sideband of a broadcast signal to eliminate interference. Using these modes can make a huge difference in signal clarity - under noisy band conditions with adjacent channel interference. In the RX-320 you need to program the offsets first. Open the dxconfig.txt file and you wil notic an offset section for the RX-320. Slect four shortwave broadcast frequencies and tune them in SYNC-L or SYNC-U mode until they sound "clear". Below is an example of how Dxtra's RX-320 was tuned. Your results will be differenct because each RX-320 has a different offset curve. Remeber, you are not limited to the frequencies below, you can select your own.

    ############################################## Ten-Tec RX-320 General Frequency Offsets ###################################
    # Frequency offset section for RX-320, first parameter is kilohertz frequency
    # The second paramter is the tuned frequency that "sounds good" to your ear
    # Use USB mode or SYNC-U mode on a shortwave AM broadcasts when tuning
    # If you are in the USA, you can use the WWV time frequencies of 5000,10000,15000 and 20000 Mhz
    # Tip: it is better to listen to music than to speech to get a more accurate fix on the correct offset frequency
    # The following offsets are given as EXAMPLES - you should change them for your radio
    *There is a similar section dedicated to the domestic AS broadcast band


Bandwitdhs simply refer to the audio bandwidth you wish to listen to. On AM and Shortwvae broadcast signals a wider bandwidth usually works best. Likewise "narrow band" signals like SSB require a narrow bandwidth. CW or morse code requires yet a narrower bandwidth. The SYNC modes choose a wider than normal SSB bandwidth because you are listening to a broadcast band (wideband) signal.

    Setting Default Bandwidths

    When you click a Mode button an automatic default bandwidth is selected for you.

    The dxconfig.txt file has a section for each radio's default bandwidths. You can change these with Notepad to suit your listening preference, although the defaults selected for you are perfectly fine for most listeners. Here is what the default bandwidth section in the config file looks like for the RX-320:

    ################## Ten-Tec RX-320 Default Bandwidths ####################################################

    If you decide to change the default bandwidths, make sure to use a legal value - use the GUI bandwidth control as a reference to acceptable values. Each radio is different.