Getting Started with DXLab

Welcome to DXLab!

DXing is the art and science of making two-way contacts with distant amateur radio stations using phone (voice), CW (Morse code), or digital modes.

The DXLab Suite is a free set of applications that support DXing activities. You can use them individually, but when multiple DXLab applications are running they detect each other's presence and interoperate automatically. One benefit of this approach is that you can learn applications individually. It doesn't matter where you begin, or what sequence you choose: start with one application that satisfies an interest or need, and get comfortable with it. Then choose the next application that suits your fancy, and repeat the process. What's important is taking your time and having fun.

Each DXLab application's primary functionality is accessible from its Main window. The Main windows of some applications are tabbed, with each tab focused on an activity; buttons that activate windows that provide secondary functionality may also be provided. Every application's Main window provides a Config button that displays a Configuration window that makes the application's settings accessible; some applications employ a tabbed Configuration window organized around functions. Letting the mouse cursor hover for a few seconds over any button or setting will produce a popup explanation of its function.

DXLab applications expect that you have Windows configured to the correct time zone and time. Use the Windows Control Panel to run the Date and Time applet in order to set the correct time zone and time within that time zone.

Introductory Documentation

Reference Documentation

Each DXLab application has reference documentation that describes its capabilities and options. To get comfortable with a DXLab application, start by scanning this documentation to create an inventory of the application's features that you plan to use first. It's important that you ignore all details and secondary features during this scan!; you can always return for the details when needed, and you can always return to scan for secondary features once you've mastered the most important ones. Reference documentation is available in an online (HTML) format that you can view with your web browser, and in a downloadable PDF format that is easy to search or print:



HTML Reference Documentation

PDF Reference Documentation


Transceiver Control, Bandspread




Logging, QSLing, Award Tracking




DX Information, World Map




Suite Control




QSL Route Discovery




Propagation Prediction and Monitoring




DX Spot Management




CW, Phone, PSK, and RTTY operation



To search for specific information, use the appropriate application's PDF file, as it provides all information within a single file.

When you install a DXLab application, a local copy of its HTML reference documentation is created in the application's Help folder; Help buttons in the application provide immediate access to this local copy without internet access delays.

After scanning an application's reference documentation, start that application, choose an interesting function, and refer to the documentation to help you configure the application to support that function. For example, if the application is Commander and the function is transceiver control, then the minimum configuration would be choosing a radio model, choosing a serial port, and setting that serial port's parameters. Then choose the next interesting function and get it going; repeat this process until the application is doing everything you need.

Goal-oriented Documentation

In contrast with the reference documentation, goal-oriented documentation describes how to accomplish an objective by taking specific actions, step-by-step; this is often referred to as how to documentation:

Downloading and Installing DXLab Applications
* on Windows NT, 2000, or XP
* on Windows Vista
* on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 or Windows 11
* on Linux
* on Macintosh

Upgrading an Installed DXLab Application

Getting Started with Transceiver Control
* Alinco
* Apache Labs
* Elecraft
* FlexRadio
  - Signature Series
  - SDR-1000, SDR-1500, SDR-3000, and SDR-5000
* Icom
* Kachina
* Kenwood
* TenTec
* Yaesu
* Software-defined Radios, Consoles, and Panadaptors
* Interoperating with the SatPC32 Satellite Tracking application
* Remotely Controlling a Transceiver over the Internet

Getting Started with DX Information and Mapping
* Using Overrides to Deal with Ambiguous or Non-compliant Callsigns
* Using Overrides to Specify Additional Information for a Callsign
* Viewing a Station's QRZ Web Page

Getting Started with Antenna Rotator Control

Getting Started with Logging
* Capturing QSOs in real time using the Capture window
* Logging completed QSOs, e.g. from a paper logbook
* Displaying, Selecting, and Modifying QSOs
* Filtering QSOs
* Sorting QSOs
* Importing QSOs
* Exporting QSOs

* Switching to DXKeeper from Another Logging Application

Getting Started with QSLing
* Cards and Labels
* LotW
* Club Log

Getting Started with Award Tracking
* Getting Started with CQ DX Marathon Award Tracking
* Getting Started with DXCC and TopList Award Tracking
* Getting Started with IOTA Award Tracking
* Getting Started with Leaderboard Tracking
* Getting Started with Maidenhead Field and Grid Award Tracking
* Getting Started with FFMA Tracking
* Getting Started with NPOTA Tracking
* Getting Started with USA-CA (US County) Award Tracking
* Getting Started with VUCC Award Tracking
* Getting Started with WAS Award Tracking
* Getting Started with WAZ Award Tracking
* Getting Started with WPX Award Tracking

* Tracking Progress Towards AJA, Canadaward, CQ DX, CQ DX Field, DDFM, DOK, FFMA, Holyland, JCC, JCG, RDA, SOTA, SRR, TopList, USA-CA, WAB, WABP, WAC, WAE, WAHUC, WAIP, WAJA, WIA, and WITU Awards

Getting Started with QSL Route Discovery

Getting Started with CW, Phone, PSK, and RTTY Operation
* CW
* Phone

Getting Started with K1JT modes like FT8 and FT4 using WSJT-X and DXLab

Collecting Spots: Active DX Identification and Analytics

Propagation Prediction and Monitoring

Getting Started with Contesting

Interoperation with Other Amateur Radio Applications

Each of the above articles in this Wiki provides an entry point to a goal-oriented article in a specific domain. An index of all articles is here. You can also find goal-oriented articles via the FindPage tab in the upper-left corner of each Wiki page; when clicked, Title Search and Full-text Search capabilities become available; the FindPage tab also provides access to a TitleIndex and a WordIndex. Each article also provides Titles and Text search buttons in its upper-right corner.

Unlike most Windows applications, DXLab applications do not provide menu bars at the top of their windows. In applications with large amounts of functionality, such menus make it difficult to quickly locate the function you need. To configure a DXLab application, click the Main window's Config button. A Configuration window bearing settings will appear. If the text accompanying a setting is too terse to understand, place the mouse cursor over the text box, selector, radio button, checkbox, or slider in question for second or two, and an explanatory popup will appear. These popups are provided for all user interface controls in DXLab applications, not just those on Configuration windows.

DXLab Discussion Group

At any stage, don't hesitate to post a question or suggestion on the DXLab Discussion Group. Searching for answers in previously posted messages can be fruitful, but no one will ever criticize you for asking an already answered question, or for asking a question whose answer lies in the documentation. To search the DXLab group's message archives,

  1. navigate here

  2. click the Search button at the top of the page

  3. in the Search window that appears, type a word or phrase describing the information you seek, and then click the window's Search button; for an exact phrase match, enclose the phrase in double quotation marks, e.g. "improve propagation"

  4. a list of messages containing the word or phrase you specified will be displayed

Installing and Running DXLab

Installing and Running DXLab on Windows

DXLab applications run on Vista, 7, 8, 10, and 11 in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors, if installed as described in the articles below. DXLab applications also run on on Windows NT, 2000, and XP; some DXLab applications can be individually run on Windows 95, 98, and 98SE.

Installing and Running DXLab on a Macintosh or on Linux

If Something Isn't Working Correctly

If one of your DXLab applications seems to not be working correctly, please don't panic. In particular, do not attempt to uninstall and then re-install the application, or to delete files you believe may be responsible, or to re-upload all of your QSOs to eQSL or LotW; these actions can create larger problems than the one you're confronting. Instead, follow this procedure.

Additional Information

Relocating DXLab

Problems Caused By Anti-Malware Applications

Hygiene: if you don't control your computing environment, it will control you



Relevant Technologies

Additional Topics

Article Index

Post a question or suggestion on the DXLab Discussion Group

If a DXLab Application Isn't Working Correctly

GettingStarted (last edited 2023-11-16 19:11:32 by AA6YQ)