What are people using in the way of Windows software to keep an eye on Sotawatch for spots of interest ?
Use this webpage - it’s the best! You can filter what comes up and select the alert tone between a fog horn and SOTA in morse.
Well, as I just mentioned in a PM to Ed a few minutes ago, the newest version of the SMP spots page will feature - when it goes live shortly - a number of different filtering options and alert tones.
Perhaps the best way of listing these is to give a preview of the new SMP site overview for that page:
The spots mapping page, showing SOTA spots as they are reported, has improved filtering options compared to the previous version.
Main filtering of spots is on a combination of:
- worldwide, continent or association/region,
- individual bands and/or modes, chosen to reflect the chaser’s antenna choices and mode(s) of operation.
In addition, visible signals can be activated to highlight activators and/or summits of interest. Activator callsigns and/or summit-codes can be taken from:
- manual inputs;
- the latest SOTA alerts;
- your own “summits to complete” list, which can be further filtered on association and/or region.
Visible signals can also be set to be displayed for a “spot age” time-frame chosen by the user.
Audible signals can also be activated whenever wanted callsigns and/or summits appear in the list. The program offers a choice of three audible signal types:
- sound-clip - the user can choose from a number of different sound-clips in a dropdown list;
- morse-code message - the user can choose a message to be played in morse-code when a spot of interest appears. Controls enable the user to alter the speed, frequency and Farnsworth setting (an extra pause after every character) of the message to be played;
- voice message - one of several available messages can be “spoken” by the program when a wanted spot appears. This option relies on the browser’s support of the underlying speech-synthesis software features and, since this technology is still (September 2018) in experimental form, such support cannot be guaranteed. Nonetheless, the voice message option seems to run in most modern browsers without a hitch, with the notable (and hardly surprising) exception of Internet Explorer. Available settings for this option are:
- the voice itself (chosen from the “voices” available on the user’s operating system, if any),
- voice pitch,
- voice rate.
Audible signals, once enabled, can also be temporarily muted for a short time-period chosen by the user: once this time-period has elapsed, the audible signals will continue to be played every time a wanted spot appears in the list. This option enables the user to concentrate on actually making the chase QSO, while the mute is active, without being distracted by audible signals from this program.
So, that’s part of what is coming soon in the new SMP for those who are interested…