DXLab Suite

DXLab Suite Automatic Installation Using Launcher – Installing Commander & DXKeeper

In Software by K0PIR9 Comments

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I’ve been looking at DXLab Suite for a long time. At first glance I was intimidated by all of the applications and configuring them to work. However, I have been using it for a little while now and I like it a lot. Both the Icom 7300 and Icom 7610 are easy to setup and we get a Spectrum Waterfall on the PC monitor! It is intimidating at first, but I’ll show you how I did it and if you want to give it a try, this should help. There’s also a video below.

DXLab SuiteWhy DXLab Suite?

  • It’s FREE!
  • I really enjoy using WSJT-X and JT Alert. JT Alert logs the WSJT-X QSOs into DXLab DXKeeper!
  • DXLab has been around a very long time and many, many Hams are using it. It is arguably the best PC program for DX chasing and awards.
  • It has a very substantial support group (5,000+ users) in the Yahoo groups DXLab forum.
  • Winwarbler can use MMTTY and I can operate RTTY (FSK). I have never had any issue with MMTTY and RTTY (FSK). It works perfectly, every time!
  • It uploads QSO’s automatically to eQSL.cc and LOTW. There is a add on application (Log Publisher $12) to upload automatically to HRDLog.net and QRZ.com.

DXLab Suite Launcher Installation Windows PC

Install this little app (Launcher) and you can install everything else using it. (This is called the automatic way on the website, instead of the manual way which is installing each application individually.)

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The DXLab Launcher makes it easy to control individual DXLab applications, or a specified group of DXLab applications. With the Launcher, you can

  • Install new DXLab applications, and update or restore already installed DXLab applications
  • Start, minimize, restore, or stop individual DXLab applications

I would not install all of the applications together at once because it’s pretty overwhelming at first. Once DXLab Launcher is installed I started with two applications, Commander and DX Keeper. There is so much to DXLab Suite it takes time to learn it.

Here are the DXLab Launcher instructions and download links from the website, DXLabsuite.com.

DXLab Suite Commander Installation Windows PC

With Launcher installed it’s easy to install DXLab Commander.

Commander allows you to control your radio from a PC running Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, or 8; both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors of Windows are supported.

Just click on the “cmd” button in Launcher. It will ask you if you want to install Commander. Click Yes and it will walk you through the installation.

Next, you will want to configure it to connect to your radio. If you have used radio control programs like this before it is easy. See the video below.

DXLab Suite DXKeeper (Logger) Installation Windows PC

It wouldn’t be much fun without a logging program, so install DXLab DXKeeper. Just click on the “dxk” button in Launcher. It will ask you if you want to install DXKeeper. Click Yes and go through the installation.

I just need a simple logging program to keep track of my QSO’s, integrate with WSJT-X (JT Alert) and upload to my online logbooks. DXKeeper goes way beyond that. Please visit the DXLabssuite website for DXKeeper intstallation or see the video below.

Next, you will probably want to import you log from another logging program into DXLab DXKeeper.

Here’s a video on installing Commander, configuring Commander with the IC-7610, installing DXKeeper, exporting HRD Logbook and importing the log into DXKeeper. (Please pay attention to the import settings, and especially the QTH. If you make a mistake you can import again)

Video

More DXLab Suite

More DXLab suite software for free amateur radio use:

  • Pathfinder – locate QSL information from web-accessible sources
  • WinWarbler – conduct QSOs using the PSK and RTTY modes with multi-channel decoding
  • DXView – displays DXCC info and country maps, and plots spots, beam headings, solar position, and the solar terminator on a world map
  • PropView – displays minimum and maximum useable frequencies between specified locations
  • SpotCollector – captures spots from multiple DXClusters in a database with powerful searching and sorting facilities

I’ll be busy for a while getting more familiar with DXLab Suite and using it logging QSO’s.  It is working great with WSJT-X and JT Alert.

I hope this helps. If you are considering a new logging program, have a look at this one.

Up Next

In the next post I’ll show what I did to integrate DXKeeper with LOTW, QRZ.com, eQSL.cc and HRDLog.net. There will be more on Commander and a surprise for Icom 7300 and Icom 7610 users, the Spectrum – Waterfall Display!

Thanks for coming by and thank you for watching and participating on the YouTube channel. I have a new Facebook page and if you are a Facebook user, please visit and “Like” it.

Best 73! – Rich, K0PIR

Sources:

DXLab Suite Website

Here are the DXLab Launcher instructions and download links from the website, DXLabsuite.com.

Screen captures from my IC-7610 menu.

Screen captures from my IC-7300 menu.


Comments

  1. Love your videos! Thought I’d mention that I’ve been using the DXLab software for several months and I, like you, really enjoy using JTAlert and WSJT-X. I have found though, that I do not need to use Commander with these programs. JTAlert interfaces with DXKeeper and adds the log record as soon as you send your “73”. I also find that it is much easier to switch bands using WSJT-X.

    1. Author

      Hi Tom,

      It’s good to hear from you and thank you for commenting. Thank you for watching the videos.

      I am using the IC-7610 right now and I don’t believe that WSJT-X has rig control for it yet. It may be sometime before HamLib and other Ham Radio software app have the IC-7610 included. DxLab is one that has the IC-7610. There are a couple of others.

      You must be using another radio with WSJT-X and can use it for the rig in WSJT-X??? Since the 7610 isn’t in WSJT-X I’m using DXLab Suite Commander as the rig in it. I have JT Alert as you say and it is working FB with DXKeeper. That was one of my reasons for switching to DXLab. I think I’ll do a video on it.

      Thank you for providing the information, it will be a benefit to others as well.

      Best 73,
      Rich, K0PIR

  2. Rich,

    Yes, you are correct, I have an Elecraft K3S, not the IC-7610. I didn’t know that your radio has not yet been added to WSJT-X. I’m sure it will be added soon with as popular as that radio is.

    In any case, the DXLab Suite is excellent software and it is regularly updated. Takes a while to work through all the options and settings but it works flawlessly once you take the time.

    73,
    Tom AF4TD

  3. Hi Rich

    After 2 months of absolutely no problems with my IC-7610, DXLabs and WSJT-X setup I have how develop a problem I can’t solve.
    Every thing was working perfectly then I down loaded WSJT-X V1.9.0 RC2. Then the trouble started.

    First thing I did is go back to version v1.8.0 but the problem was still there.

    When I hit “test PTT” in WSJT NOTHING HAPPENS.
    I get an error message (rig failure) DXLabs suite commander rig did not respond to PTT; ON

    1. Author

      Hi Bill,

      If nothing has changed in the radio and DXLab Commander then it’s probably just the settings in WSJT-X.

      One thing you could check first is PTT in Commander. In the Commander window (middle) you’ll see PTT:Rcving. Click on the TX button and see if it switches to Xmitting.

      If that’s okay, just go over the settings in WSJT-X Radio tab. Check CAT Control for DXLab Suite Commander. PTT Method should be CAT.

      What happens when you push Test CAT?

      Rich, K0PIR

      P.S. You could also try restarting your computer 🙂

  4. Hi Rich
    Thank you the reply, lets forget about WSJT, with only commander running and nothing else. No mater what I do there is a 3 second delay on CAT. I change band, frequency, mode ECT. there I about a 3 second delay.

    I have rebooted my computer

    All setting in commander appear to be correct. like I said everything was working for several months. I am using the Icom IC-7600

    1. Author

      Hi Bill,

      Yep I experienced the same.

      In the radio go to Menu>Set>Connectors>CI-V and turn CI-V Transceive OFF. It’s rarely used and only used in RS-BA1 that I’m aware of.

      Open Commander and go to the Config>General Tab. Check Interrogation and the 5 check boxes below Interrogation are UNchecked.

      On that same window, enter 20 in the Command interval (ms) box. I was as low as 10ms and it worked. I am at 20ms to be safer.

      Try that Bill and we’ll see about WSJT-X.

      Rich, K0PIR

  5. Looks like that is the fix…….Thank You

    I had interrogate and verify C-iv checked, I was at 200 MS

    WSJT is also working.

    If your ever in MA. I will treat you to a big cheese burger……thank again

    1. Author

      Hey Bill that’s great!

      Thanks for posting and thanks for the comment.

      I’ll take you up on that someday.

      Best to you and yours, have a Happy Easter.

      Rich, K0PIR

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