See only the spots that matter to you!

The DX Spot Wizard is an Android app for filtering spots from the DXSummit web site. This page tells you how to configure the application. Run the application and use the menu key to access the setup screens. The primary setup menu looks like this:

General Preferences

There are five general preferences as shown in this screen capture:

Use the callsign setup to enter your callsign. If you purchase the app, your callsign is used to generate a license key and might be used in future versions to sign into telnet clusters.

The wake lock setting is currently ignored. In a previous version, setting this checkbox caused the app to prevent the phone CPU from sleeping. The current app version uses the Android AlarmManager to wake up periodically.

The poll rate is the period at which the app polls the DXSummit web site. The default is 120 seconds. A smaller value is not recommended.

You can select one of three notification settings.

The second setting attempts to show one "DX Spots Available" notification if the DX Spot Wizard is not showing or if the phone screen is off. Clicking on the notification will take you to the app. The last setting produces a notification for each spot, and information is included on the DX's prefix and the spotter. Notifications play the default notification sound and turn the LED blue if possible.

The Unlock Key option allows you to input a license key. Without the key, the app operates in trial mode and will only save five spot filters.

Spot Filters

The spots filter setup screen looks like this

The prefixes colored in yellow are the ones that are active. To change the setting for a prefix, click on it to go to the prefix configuration screen. The screen for the 3B9 prefix looks like this:

After configuring a prefix, be sure to key either "Save" or "Cancel". If "Save" is not clicked, your changes will not be saved. "Disable All" disables all modes and bands while "Enable All" enables all modes and bands. "Any Mode" selects all bands, while "Any Band" selects all bands. You can optionally use the individual mode and band selections. (Note that the figure is truncated, but the screen includes all HF bands plus 6 meters.)

The DX Spot Wizard will produce spots for the given prefix on the selected bands filtered by the selected modes. Please note that mode determination is tricky. The app guesses at the mode based on band plans, and the result is inexact. Use of "Any Mode" is recommended. If you want to select digital modes, it is best to select both "RTTY" and "Other Digital."

In trial mode, you can only save five filters. To delete one of the five filters, click the Disable All button which will enable the save button. Then click save to delete the prefix filter.

Spotter Filters

You can configure spotter filters so that prefix spots are only produced if they come from specific entities, U.S. states, or Canadian provinces. The spotter filter setup looks similar to the spot filter setup:

The two radio buttons at the top can be used to enable or disable spotter filters without changing the settings for individual prefixes, i.e., spotter filters can be disabled temporarily and then re-enabled without you having to reconfigure individual prefixes. Clicking a prefix will toggle its status. Yellow prefixes are enabled.

The "K" and "VE" prefixes are different. Clicking them will take you to a state or province configuration screen. The U.S.A. configuration screen looks like this:

To disable or enable the spotter state filter, click either "Entity Disable" or "Entity Enabled" and click "Save". You can then select the individual states from which you want spots. The setup screen for Canada is similar.

Special Calls

For special callsigns, the app might not be able to determine the entity from the callsign, e.g., North Cook and South Cook callsigns typically do not indicate the entity. The "Special Calls" setup lets you add the callsigns that you want spots for in addition to your prefix settings. Use the text box and "Add" button to add a callsign or click on a callsign you wish to remove.

Excluded Spotters

The DXSpotWizard allows you to exclude certain spotters by callsign. Some "big gun" spotters might be able to hear DX stations that more modest stations cannot routinely hear. The Excluded Spotters configuration is similar to the Special Calls configuration screen. You can add and delete spotters whose spots you do not want to see.

Import/Export Settings

You can either save or restore your preferences and filter settings using this section of the setup screen. Preferences are saved and restored from the file dxwiz.properties in the root of the SD card. Click "Export" to save your settings and click "Import" to reload previously saved settings. The settings can be taken from or used in the desktop version of the spot wizard. The file is a Java properties files. You can view it in a text editor; however, you should not edit the file.

Having a backup of your current settings is always a good idea.

Notes

If the app cannot determine the prefix of spot, it will not notify you of the spot. If you are using state or province spotter filters, a spot will not be filtered if the spotter state or province cannot be determined.

The standard use of the back button at the top level of an application is to kill it. Use of the back button on the main UI screen will kill the activity and the background service.

In the current implementation of the app, battery life is a concern. The background service has to wake up periodically even when the phone is asleep. Several wake up methods have been tried; however, battery life is still a problem.

This app relies on the DX Summit web site and Hamdata.com. Changes in these sites might cause the app to stop working. Please contact the author if you have problems.

Privacy

This app uses several permissions in addition to the defaults: Internet access, wake lock access, and SD Card access. Internet access is required to access the DXSummit and sites that contain the state/province information for spotters. The wake lock permission is used to keep the phone awake while spots are being scrapped from the DXSummit. Finally, the SD card access is used for importing and exporting the app settings.

The app does not "phone home". It collects no data related to your Android device, you, or your usage of the app. No data is sent to the author or anyone else.

Acknowledgment

Thanks to Jim Reisert, AD1C. His country files were used to construct the prefix database used by the DX Spot Wizard.


Portions of this page are reproduced from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License. (This statement refers to the modified Android logo at the top of the page.)

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