Creating Durable Systems – Station Software, Software Licensing and Alternatives

Creating Durable Systems within the K9ZW Main QTH Shack is a series started with:

The Software, Software Licensing and Alternatives systems can be broken down further into Essential Software and Convenient Software :

Basically the divide is segmented by what do you HAVE to have running to run the station vs what would you ALSO like to run to make it nice and easy.

Essential Software

Essential Software in a FlexRadio based station is more extensive than other station hardware builds.  A huge amount depends on SmartSDR and it’s related programs (DAX, CAT, PGXL-Utility, TGXL-Utility, SmartLink and the drivers behind).

As a software defined radio (SDR) you simply must have software to run the station.

In Essential Software I am including a running compatible OS (Operating System).  Mostly using Windows FlexRadio clients, I do have macOS clients.  For my non-FlexRadio software I am using Windows, macOS, Linux (Mint mostly), and Chrome.

Convenient Software

Convenient Software are the WSJT, flidgi, DDUTIL, FlexStack, N4PY, Ham Radio Deluxe, Grayline, TimeSync, Loggers of all flavors, types of software.  You would run this software unless it added to your station, but if the software wasn’t operating/available you could still do some communications with it.

I would also throw in this category Antenna Modeling, Productivity Software (Word processor, Spreadsheet and such) and many utilities/services.  One example of Convenient Software would be Sonos APP, as when running digital at home I will use Sonos plus a streaming software to listen to podcasts or music.

These two categories are not hard and fast, and depending on operating style some Convenient Software will be Essential Software for a particular operator.

The needs for its final build-out, testing and commissioning include all the usual purchase if that is required, download and installation.

In way of documentation to make future troubleshooting and repairs easier the links are mostly on my software page.  I’ve implemented an internal Wiki-style station notes system where settings, licensing information, and configurations are included.

To keep all of versions mostly the same, a copy of downloadables is kept on a USB Flash Drive in addition to local copies at each of the three QTH’s station computers.

In terms of Redundancy/Backup/Failure Options, if I cannot keep the respective hardware going enough to reinstall the archived software, then I will have to move to backup radios.  Two of the three station computers have formal backup systems, and the third is used only on some weekends, and the data is pulled to a USB drive, but as the risks to integrity would so closely parallel the station computer itself, a formal back up is only done periodically manually.

This is an area where my station could streamline down and double down on having redundancy.





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