Active Beacon Wizard++ by KU5S
Active Beacon Wizard++ was written by Jim Tabor, KU5S, and creates a window showing a world map with all the NCDXF beacons marked. This is a 32-bit Windows 95 program which also runs under Windows 98 and Windows NT. The currently active beacon is highlighted. The map shows the solar terminator and which parts of the world are in darkness and light.
In addition, if you are connected to the internet, the program makes it easy for you to synchronize your local clock using one of the internet time servers and to download a whole bunch of current propagation information from NOAA, the most familiar being the propagation information broadcast by WWV.
This program can be downloaded at http://www.taborsoft.com/softstuff/ABW_Page.html. I downloaded and tested version 22.214.171.1247 and it worked great. It has good help information, good use of hints, allows many kinds of customizing, and lets the user easily change the information about which beacons are off the air. I didn't begin to explore the usefulness of all the propagation information that is available, but it was neat to be able to get the information broadcast by WWV without having to wait for it to be sent over the air. This would be a good program to run for visitors to your shack. You can contact Jim by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An earlier version of Beacon Wizard was written for Windows 3.1. Jim keeps it available for people who have not yet upgraded from this older version of Windows. You can find my review of the older version at Beacon Wizard.
Since Jim so kindly provides the Beacon Wizard software for free, I should mention the programs which he sells over the net through his company, Kangaroo Tabor Software. One program called CAPMan predicts propagation and forecasts best time, best frequency, signal level, and path probability percentages and much more. Another, called WinCAP Wizard 2 is a simpler program to use and is oriented more specifically for amateurs. WinCAP Wizard 2 incorporates an enhanced version of Beacon Wizard and makes it easy to predict the propagation from the beacons to your QTH and then listen to the beacons to see if the prediction is correct. Pretty cute! Check it out http://www.taborsoft.com/.
(Review by N6EK)