Setting up SHACKLOG to capture DX spots from the Internet

 

This page explains how to set up SHACKLOG to capture DX Cluster spots via the internet. First you need to install two additional pieces of software. These are currently available free of charge.

 

VE7CC's AR Cluster/Dx Spider User Program (referred to from now on as AR)

AR captures DX spots from the Internet much the same way as SHACKLOG captures DX spots via Packet Radio. The important thing is that AR also has the ability to pass the spots on to logging software via TCP/IP. However, SHACKLOG cannot accept TCP/IP. That's where the next piece of software comes in!

Download AR here.

HWGroup's HW Virtual Serial Port (referred to from now on as VSP)

VSP sets up a virtual serial port (you don't need to have any physical COM ports on your PC) that can be used as a TCP Client. So, you can make SHACKLOG think it's connected to a COM port (just as if you were using a TNC), and AR can send spots to VSP which will pass them on to SHACKLOG.

Download VSP here. Please note that VSP only supports Windows XP and Windows 2000.

Installation and Setup

Here are the steps involved

Download and install AR using the instructions on the above web page.
Download and install VSP using the instructions on the above web page. Don't set up a virtual COM port yet.

If you have a Firewall (you should have!), update your Firewall settings to make IP address 127.0.0.1 a trusted IP address for VE7CC.EXE

Run VSP. On the Virtual Serial Port tab, set IP address to 127.0.0.1 and set the Port to 7300. Choose a spare COM port in the range 1-4 and select it in Port Name. Don't click Create COM yet.

Run AR and on the Configuration menu, click Ports/Logging Program. Now check the Telnet box under Logging Program Connection. Your screen should look something like this.

Click Apply.

Go back to VSP and click on Create COM. You should see a 'connected' message, and after a while your screen will look something like this:

If you get Winsock Error 10061, your Firewall is probably barring the IP address, so please go back and check the Firewall settings.

Now start SHACKLOG and go to the CONFIGURE COMMS screen (<F4>, <F7>). Set PACKET PORT to the COM port you created in VSP. Set the PACKET PORT ADDRESS and PACKET PORT IRQ as per the following table:

PORT  

IRQ

ADDRESS

COM1

4

3F8

COM2

3

2F8

COM3

4

3E8

COM4

3

2E8

Set ENABLE PACKET to Y. Press <F5> to save.

You should not need to change the baud rate, parity, stop bits or data bits settings, as VSP seems to set itself to whatever SHACKLOG is using.

You should now see the following in AR if you click the Settings tab. The important thing is that the message "Logging Program Connected x 1" is displayed.

You should also see spots appearing in SHACKLOG:

Normal Use

Once you've got everything set up as above, further use is much more straight forward. I suggest the following sequence for starting up the software: 

Start AR and connect to your cluster node

Start VSP and click 'Create Port'

Start SHACKLOG

That's it. I am sorry, but I cannot offer support for AR or VSP. There is an AR Reflector - just click on the Reflector button in the program. 

My thanks to Lee, VE7CC and Ian, GM0UHC for help in getting this working.