NCDXF/IARU Beacon Tracking Program
There are a bunch of nice, graphical HF beacon tracking programs around, but, as a modern primitive, I'm usually logged into 'nix machines running telnet sessions or Emacs shell buffers, and an X server is not to be found. So, when checking HF propogation, all I really wanted was a command-line program to display the currently transmiting NCDXF/IARU Beacon on the console. When I couldn't find one, I wrote one. (If you use Windows, a command-line version for the Win32 console is now available below.)
Here is what running it looks like:
wardw@hawkline:~$ ./beacons 10 NCDXF/IARU HF Beacon Tracker by KG6HAF - 1.0 - 22Feb03 10 Meter Beacons - Tune to 28.200 MHZ Control-C to quit... Slot Now Transmitting Next Up ----- ----------------------- ------- 02:30 : --> Kenya 5Z4B (Israel 4X6TU) 02:40 : --> Israel 4X6TU (Finland OH2B) 02:50 : --> Finland OH2B (Madeira CS3B) 00:00 : --> Madeira CS3B (Argentina LU4AA) 00:10 : --> Argentina LU4AA (Peru OA4B) 00:20 : --> Peru OA4B (Venezuela YV5B) 00:30 : --> Venezuela YV5B (United Nations 4U1UN) 00:40 : --> United Nations 4U1UN (Canada VE8AT) 00:50 : --> Canada VE8AT (United States W6WX) 01:00 : --> United States W6WX (Hawaii KH6WO) 01:10 : --> Hawaii KH6WO (New Zealand ZL6B)
...and so on. (Every ten seconds on the tenth second, a new line is displayed until you hit Control-C.) The usage looks like this:
NCDXF/IARU HF Beacon Tracker by KG6HAF - 1.0 - 22Feb03 Usage: beacons band_number Where: band_number is one of 20, 17, 15, 12 or 10 (meters) For example: beacons 20
Good News! Greg, N7YAP, took the time to modify the source and make a Win32 console program. So now you can run the program under Windows when using command.com, 4DOS, or an Epsilon or Emacs process buffer.
I wrote and compiled this on a Debian Linux box that uses NTP (chronyd) to keep an accurate clock. (NTP works fine too, of course) The compile command was:
gcc -o beacons beacons.c
I have since compiled this on FreeBSD 5.2 as well without any trouble. This program should compile anywhere standard C and a POSIX interface is available. The program does use the POSIX sleep() function from unistd.h -- that might be a wrinkle in some environments. The call can be removed at the expense of more processor cycles being used.
The 'nix source is here . Save this link to disk and compile away. (If you are on a Windows box using IE you may see some dire warnings about the file. It is only C source code. Save it to disk and open it with an editor that understands the Unix EOL convention -- like Visual Snootio or Wordpad, or a GOOD editor like Epsilon -- Notepad won't cut it.)
This program is freeware. Enjoy. Lemme know if you find bugs or typos.