Setting Up My First Shack, Part 1 – The Software

Much of what happens with amateur radio today involves computers. I haven’t been a Windows user in many, many years, but many of the core programs used by hams are freeware written for Windows. They even have that late 1990s freeware feel to them. (It’s made me a little nostalgic, honestly.) With my my other hardware ordered but not here yet, I spent some time this evening getting an old Windows computer out of retirement, getting it updated, and installing several amateur radio programs on it.

Here are the first amateur radio programs that went on my computer. Some of these were suggested by my amazing Elmer, Tim K8RRT, and some are just things I thought sounded interesting:

  • Logger32 – a general-purpose amateur radio logbook with computer control support for radios and other equipment
  • L32 LogSync – for automatically syncing logs from Logger32 to services like LotW
  • GridTracker – a map-based view of QSOs (contacts) you’ve made and tons of other features
  • WSJT-X – including the most popular digital mode currently, FT8
  • JS8Call – essentially chat over FT8
  • RX-SSTV – decoding ISS SSTV images
  • Audacity – audio wrangling
  • TeamViewer – remote help software, preferred by local Elmers

I’m ready to have some fun when the hardware arrives over the next few days! I’m sure there I’ll be adding more software in the weeks and months to come. I’ll write more about it as I do.