Introducing StarSoftware

The FSDXA DXpedition management system, generically known as StarSoftware is a suite of programs designed and constructed by John Linford, G3WGV, specifically for use on FSDXA's major DXpeditions.

StarSoftware comprises a central server, StarServer, which may be duplicated for resilience, together with a wide range of clients which between them provide complete DXpedition management "from the first QSO to the last QSL". A brief overview of the principal clients follows and more detailed information can be found in the relevant client pages on this web site.

StarLog.  This is the workhorse of the software suite.  It is the way that literally hundreds of thousands of QSOs can be quickly, safely and efficiently logged.  StarLog can be used in a standalone configuration, or it can be networked via StarServer with up to 99 other logging stations located anywhere in the world.  The ability to network using the Internet makes it easy to train operators before they arrive at the DXpedition site.

StarMonitor.  Information dissemination can be difficult in large DXpeditions with many team members. It is almost impossible to get everyone together due to operator shift patterns. It is also highly desirable for operators to be able research what is happening in the DXpedition, for example propagation analysis, band/mode splits and so on. StarMonitor provides a convenient way to access all the DXpedition’s data on line and in real time.

StarSchedule.  A major problem in organising a major DXpedition is scheduling operator slots to maximise use of operator skills, equipment and band openings.  StarSchedule provides an on-line management system to assist with this process.  In addition, operators can manage their own operating slot bids, directly via the StarLog interface.

StarQSL.  Managing the QSL cards for a DXpedition of the size envisaged is an enormous task.  We have learned from experience that one person simply cannot cope with the workload but equally it is hard to maintain adequate control over the process if many people are involved.  StarQSL is designed to overcome this problem by linking many QSL managers together, via StarServer.  The result is that all managers, regardless of location, can see the entire QSL process and can quickly and efficiently respond to QSL requests.

There are other StarSoftware clients, mainly associated with managing the day to day operation of the DXpedition network and the many clients that use it. It is interesting to note that the supporting network for a large DXpedition is on the scale of a medium sized business, with upwards of 25 PCs networked together and all interacting with one-another. Building and maintaining such a large infrastructure in what are often quite hostile conditions is a major undertaking and tends to explain why G3WGV doesn’t get a great deal of operating in!