Tuesday 16 February 2010

Running Propagation Prediction Software on Mac OS X

I use a Mac for most of my work - I still have a couple of PCs, but prefer the user experience with a Mac. I gave PCs up after running anti-virus software, registry cleaners et al on my Windows XP machines every other day, but that is another story.

I can run Windows XP using Parallels on my Mac, but it is memory intensive and slows down the machine, not to mention making the fan run solidly. Also, while running XP the clock gets out of sync very quickly, making the IBP beacon software useless within a minute or so.

So can you run programs like W6ELProp and VOAProp on a Mac in any other way. Well, yes you can.

Download Wine for Macs or Wineskin and you can run PC emulation. This doesn't appear to use up as many resources as full-blown Windows and works well.

I now have both W6ELProp and VOAProp running as and when I want them, and the clock stays perfectly synchronised.

You can get Wine for Macs at http://www.winehq.org/ or Wineskin at http://www.winehq.org/

If you are not aware VOAProp was written by Julian G4ILO and is a brilliant HF prediction program that uses the VOACAP engine. It also has a real-time graphical display of the IBP beacon network. W6ELProp is older and written by Sheldon Shallon. It uses a Fricker model of the ionosphere and is better than VOACAP at low band (80m ) predictions. It is getting clunky now, but is still very useful.

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