We are getting a lot of questions about the upcoming release. The purpose of this newsletter is to provide an update on product development.
Thus far, there are fourteen items that are completed and will be included in the release. These items include fixes for the Fox Delta ST2 rotor interface, SRX/STX exporting and field mapping (in DM-780), label start position and “via” cut-off for label printing, update to ARRL Sections for changes in Canada, solar cycle progression, and Selections in Logbook.
DX Cluster performance is dramatically faster.
HRD Alert is substantially complete. [Editorial Note: I’ve been using this feature in alpha versions and I’ve added a couple dozen band slots to my DXCC Challenge totals. It can become a bit of a “challenge” to add band slots once you’re over 2,000 (I’m presently at 2,137).]
There are some visual items we will be changing to make it easier to use. There are two significant changes we’re making that are related to this new feature – new filters and new alarms. These will be available to both the DX Cluster and HRD Alert. In general, these two additions expand the ability for HRD Logbook to filter and alarm beyond just DXCC Countries.
The new Worked Status Indicator (WSI) filters and alarms are being added for Grid, CQ Zone, ITU Zone, Continent, State or Province (for any Country), and US County. Previously, it was necessary to build and maintain a list of “wanted” DXCC Countries. While you can still build a list of “wanted” DXCC Countries, Logbook will now have the ability to filter and alarm by automatically building a list of “needed” items from these new WSIs. You will be able to select which of the WSIs get filtered or generate alarms.
So, if you’re a “DXCC fan” like me, the WSI filters work the same. But the alarms for what you “need” to work builds automatically.
If you’re a fan of WAS, WAZ, ITUZ, WPX, “grid-chaser,” or you’re a “county hunter,” then you will have new tools in both DX Cluster and HRD Alert to help you make progress. It is these new items for filters and alarms that have taken us a bit more time in development.
We have added a new group of developers to the team. They are putting full-time effort into Ham Radio Deluxe development. This is the first time we have ever had more than one developer working full-time. Their level of expertise is excellent.
As the new developers have reviewed our code, their “fresh pairs of eyes” are seeing under-lying items that need to be fixed. These are items that make “changing the code” difficult and cause performance issues in certain circumstances. Some of these items will be included in this release. Some will come in the following release. But overall, the team is committed to the foundational improvement of the software.
It is our intention to have this release out before the Dayton Hamvention (mid-May).
We have built a list of items that we believe are necessary in order to progress to “version 7” (“v7”). There will be significant new features added, along with a couple new applications. “v7” will get a “face-lift” and will have a brand-new “look and feel,” without being hard to adjust to.
Significant focus will be made towards making Ham Radio Deluxe easier to use. There will be a consolidated wizard that will guide operators through the installation and configuration. There will be one configuration screen that will be common to the entire suite of applications.
We will eliminate Microsoft Access as the default database and move to a more modern technology.
Where appropriate, the Rig Control screen can be displayed to look exactly like the front of the radio.
Overall, a substantial investment will be made in modernizing the full suite of applications.
There is more work going on in Ham Radio Deluxe development now than at any time in the past 10 years.
That said – we’re a bit behind where we wanted to be. Once this release is complete, we will move closer towards (4) quarterly releases and at least two substantial new features per year.
Thank you all for your patience. I am working to make sure that what we release is “worth the wait.”
73 de Mike, WA9PIE
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