The DX4WIN Data Updater (the "Updater Program") helps you update the DX4WIN data files. The Updater Program can update:

DX4WIN.AWD - award database
DX4WIN.CAL - DX calendar
DX4WIN.CTY - country file (including ADIF.PMP)
DX4WIN.MAS1 (DX4WIN.MAS) - master callsigns
DX4WIN.MAS2 - eQSL/LoTW users list
DX4WIN.TCP - DX cluster node internet addresses
DX4WIN.WPX - CQ WPX Honor Roll Deleted Prefixes
fullllist.xml - IOTA islands (island groups are part of the country file)

It does NOT update the DX4WIN program itself!

Version 9.3 of the DX4WIN Data Updater was released on 15 February 2017. If you are a new user, go to the Version History to download the installation program.

DX4WIN Data Updater

The Updater Program can be used to help maintain the data files associated with DX4WIN 4.07 and later. You should choose the update options that correspond to the version of DX4WIN for which you are licensed. The program will usually determine this on its own.

The Updater Program should run on the following versions of Microsoft Windows:

(*) untested

NOTE: at least one DX4WIN user noticed that Avast Antivirus software interferes with both installing and updating the program. There are also reports that Norton Security will block the program. You may want to temporarily disable your anti-virus software before performing an installation or update.

If anyone knows how to "register" a known-good program with any of the anti-virus vendors, please contact the webmaster address at the bottom of this page.


Quick Start

IMPORTANT: If you try to run the program and you see either of these two error messages pop up:

MSVCP140.dll is missing

or

VCRUNTIME140.dll is missing

then you must install the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015. When prompted, download and install vc_redist.x86.exe (not vc_redist.x64.exe).

If you are Windows XP user, and the Updater program runs without giving either of the above errors, check which version of the Redistributable library you have installed. Make sure it's Update 3 or later. There is a bug in earlier versions of the library that prevents the updater from getting the file information (date/time and size) for any file that is already on your computer. Thus, the Updater will try to update every file every time you run it!


Features


Disclaimer

The DX4WIN Data Updater is supplied "AS IS" without any warranties. Support is through the DX4WIN Reflector.

The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the use of the software, conveys no license or title under any patent, copyright, or mask work right to the product.

The author reserves the right to make changes to the software without notification. The author also make no representation or warranty that such application will be suitable for the specified use without further testing or modification.


Installation

After downloading the installation file from the Version History link below, run it to begin the installation. You will be prompted where to install the program. You must install it into your DX4W### directory (folder). This is the same directory where DX4WIN.EXE can be found (when viewed in Windows, there will be a dx4win "Application" and a dx4win "Icon" in that folder). Do not install it in your SAVE directory or anywhere else. When the Updater Program runs, it will check to see if it is installed in the correct directory.

Important

NOTE: Because the icon for the Updater Program is similar to the icon for DX4WIN itself (both yellow with red, except with the word Update near the bottom), there may be some confusion trying to tell the two icons apart on your desktop. The Updater Program will try to prevent you from updating any files while DX4WIN is running (see Running the Updater Program below). However, if you feel strongly about making the icons different, you can change the Updater Program desktop shortcut icon. Right-click on the shortcut icon and choose "Properties". When the Properties window comes up, click on the "Change Icon..." button near the bottom (see the Properties example below. If the window does not look like that, then you are probably trying to change the properties of the wrong icon.).

When the "Change Icon" window appears, copy the following file path and paste it into the field labeled, "Look for icons in this file:", just to the left of the "Browse..." button, then type <ENTER>:

%SystemRoot%\system32\SHELL32.dll

You'll get a display of the available Windows icons (note that the end part of "SHELL32.dll" is not visible because the line is too long to display in the input field):

Change icon

Choose whichever icon you like (note that there are more icons available than shown above, use the horizontal scroll bar to see the other choices).


Running the Updater Program

To run the DX4WIN Data Updater, simply double-click on the program icon that the installer added to your Windows desktop. You should see a window like the following:

DX4WIN Data Updater

Before trying to update any files, the Updater Program will first check whether DX4WIN is running. DX4WIN should not be running while you are updating files! If it is, the Updater Program will let you know:

DX4WIN is running

Windows 98 Notes

Using the check boxes, select the data file(s) you would like to update (see Data File Selection below). Some data files are not available to older versions of DX4WIN, and that choice will be grayed out. When you are satisfied with your choices, click the Update button to perform the update. The other buttons perform the following actions:

Reset
Removes all the files from the UPDATE directory. This forces the Updater to perform a fresh update on all selected files.
 
Help
Brings up this web page in your default web browser.
 
About
Brings up small window showing the program version, author and revision date.
 
Exit
Exits the program.

Exiting the DX4WIN Data Updater will save all of your selections in an initialization file which is stored in the same directory as the DX4WIN Data Updater itself. This initialization file is separate from your DX4WIN preferences, and therefore will not alter those preferences in any way. Your selections will be restored automatically the next time you run the Updater Program. Occasionally, the program author will make a change that is incompatible with the existing initialization file. In that case, the existing initialization file will be deleted and new default settings will be used. You can then make changes by hand to restore your previous settings. There is no way to export or import saved settings like the DX4WIN Preferences.


Data File Selection

Data File Selection

Many of the data files, like Custom Awards or Country File, simply have one checkbox to enable or disable the update of that data file (see above). Some of the data file type selections bring up a secondary selection window. Each of these secondary selection windows has a common set of features:

Here is some additional information on the secondary selection windows:

Calendar

Calendar events can be viewed when starting DX4WIN, or using the main menu selection File | Calendar. Clicking on the check box next to Calendar will bring up the Calendar selection sub-menu on top of the main window. The main window is disabled while the Calendar sub-menu is active.

DX4WIN Calendar Selection

By default, the Calendar will be opened when DX4WIN starts, in order to show upcoming events. If you want to disable this feature, uncheck the box in your DX4WIN Preferences, on the QSO tab, as shown:

A future version of the Updater Program may provide the option of merging only new events into an existing calendar, as well as removing expired events. That functionality is not presently available.

Master Callsigns

Master callsigns can be viewed by clicking on Windows | Master Calls in the QSO window. The MasterLookup window is updated as soon as you start typing a callsign into the QSO window. Clicking on the check box next to Master Callsigns will bring up the Master Callsign selection sub-menu on top of the main window. The main window is disabled while the Master Callsign sub-menu is active.

DX4WIN Master Callsign Selection

The user can select from two data sources:

Club Log Super Check Partial Files (contains over 150K callsigns)
Super Check Partial Database Files for Amateur Radio Contesting (contains over 45K callsigns)

Using both databases does not significantly increase the number of DX4WIN Master Callsigns, because most of the contesting callsigns are also in the Club Log database.

For users of DX4WIN 7.06 and later, the name of the master callsigns file is DX4WIN.MAS1. For users of DX4WIN 7.05 and earlier, the name of the master callsigns file is DX4WIN.MAS.The Updater program will automatically create the master callsign file with the correct name, based on the version of DX4WIN you are running.

Membership List

DX spots of callsigns matching one or more membership lists are shown in the Memb column of the DX spots window, as shown below:

Membership column

Clicking on the check box next to Membership List will bring up the Membership List selection sub-menu on top of the main window. The main window is disabled while the Membership List sub-menu is active.

Membership List selection

This selection box is different from the others. Each selection is made by typing a single letter A-Z, the digits 0-9 or the special character '@' into the empty box next to the description. Lower case letters are automatically converted to UPPER case.

You can have up to four different membership IDs active at once. This is not the same as the number of membership lists, because multiple lists are allowed to share the same membership ID.

When the '@' character is used as a membership list ID, it will change the priority of DX spots of those members to the highest priority. Thus, those DX spots will appear as an all-time new one for DXCC, typically on a yellow background.

To clear a selection, you may use the Backspace key on your keyboard, or highlight the letter by double-clicking and typing either the Delete key or the space bar. All other keyboard characters other than those previously mentioned will be ignored.

The Custom selection is special. You may create a plain-text file called "member.txt" in the same directory as the DX4WIN Data Updater. This is the only file name and directory that is recognized the by the Updater Program. This plain-text file should be created using an editor such as Notepad or Write. Do not, for example, use Microsoft Word to create the file! The file contains a list of callsigns you would like in a custom membership list, with a single callsign per line. For example, here is an example of the one I am using:

AD1C
W1JR
SV2ASP

# 2016 All Bulgarian Saints

LZ1012SGM
LZ389SGB
LZ300MSP
LZ1700SIP
LZ1867SEI
LZ425STA
LZ1886PGS
LZ1043PMU
LZ304MED
LZ935MWC
LZ960SPA
LZ463PP

I want to treat these callsigns as highest-priority (all-time new ones) whenever they are spotted. For example, I like to know when/if I am spotted. The LZ calls listed above are all for the 2016 All Saints Diploma offered by the Bulgarian Club Blagovestnik.

Blank lines are ignored, as well as any lines not beginning with a letter or digit.

DX Cluster Nodes

There are two choices for updating the list of DX Cluster nodes: TCP and "keep-alive". The difference between the two options is that TCP downloads a DX Cluster node list that does not have keep-alive. Keep-alive is a feature whereby DX4WIN periodically sends a character to the remote cluster node, usually after some period of user inactivity, to signal that the remote node should "keep alive" its connection to DX4WIN. You can learn more about keep-alive by following this link.

These two options both update the same file (DX4WIN.TCP), so you should choose one or the other. In fact, the Updater will not allow you to select both!

Keep-alive does not always do as good a job as one might expect. The CC User DX Cluster Client Program does a much better job of maintaining a solid connection to a DX Cluster node, as well as downloading any missed DX spots. This program works with nodes running CC Cluster and DXSpider software. It does not work for nodes running AR-Cluster. For more information about using the VE7CC client with DX4WIN, follow this link.

Updating the DX Cluster nodes will maintain your "favorite" nodes at the top of the list. Furthermore, any custom nodes you may have added will be preserved.


What the Updater Does

Updated files are first downloaded to the DX4W###\UPDATE directory, before being automatically copied to the appropriate target directory. The Updater Program will only download a file if it is newer than the version already in the UPDATE directory, or if it doesn't already exist. The Updater Program will create the UPDATE directory if it does not already exist. If you want to force an update of all data files, click the Reset button before clicking the Update button.

Before updating each target file, the current file, if it exists, is moved to the DX4W###\BACKUP directory. The Updater Program will create the BACKUP directory if it does not already exist. There is no option to restore files from the BACKUP directory without manual intervention.

The Updater Program will show a colored progress bar for each download, as well as the status for each data file. When it has completed its work, the window will look similar to the following:

DX4WIN Data Updater

And you will get a pop-up window with the update status:

Update finished

Click on OK to dismiss this window. If/when you are satisfied with the update, you may click the Exit button to close the program.

The window is divided into two sections. The section at the bottom shows the update status of each source file. This includes the files used to create the Calendar, Master Callsigns and Membership List. If the file is preceded by the word "Downloaded", then a new version of that file was downloaded. If it does not say Downloaded, the file you have is current. The file name will be preceded by the word "Downloading" while it is being downloaded. The section at the top shows each target file that was updated. If a target file was created from multiple sources, i.e. Calendar, Master Calls or Membership List, it is shown without a date.

When starting the DX4WIN Data Updater, it will automatically check if a newer version is available. This also helps the program detect whether a working Internet connection is available. If an update to the program is available, you will be prompted whether to download it.

New version

Click Yes to download the new version. After downloading, you will be asked if you want to use the new version, or continue using the current version. By clicking No at the above prompt, it will not download the new version, and you will be asked again the next time you run the Updater. Finally, if you click Cancel, the Updater program will "exit" without ever having actually started. It will not download the new version.

Before exiting, the Updater Program will check that the following required files are present.

A warning box will pop-up if any of the files above are not found. DX4WIN will not run properly if these files are missing.

When the Updater Program runs, it creates a log file in the same directory as the program. This file "dx4wupd.log" contains some information about the update, as well as the version of the program and the DX4WIN version you are running.


Options

The following options control the Updater Program operation. These options are added onto the command line that starts the Updater Program. See the end of this section for details on how to set the options.

–proxy : use a proxy address to get to the Internet.

This option allows you to specify the address of the proxy server you need to access the Internet. You must specify it exactly like this (don't include the <>):

	-proxy <IP address>:<port>

For example:

	-proxy 163.44.119.72:8080
–quick : faster program exit

This option does two things:

  • does not bring up the pop-window saying how many files were updated. The bold descriptions in the main window tell you what file(s) were updated.
  • does not prompt, "Are you sure you want to exit?" when clicking on the Exit button

–auto : run Updater Program without graphical interface
This option is useful if you want to run the Updater Program as a scheduled Windows task. You can review the log file to see what has been updated.

–debug :
This option writes additional debug information to the Updater Program log file. Only use this option if requested by the program author.

To add an option to the DX4WIN Data Updater, you must modify the properties of its desktop shortcut. Right-click on the DX4WIN Data Updater icon on your Windows desktop and choose Properties. Type the option, including the leading '–', at the end of the Target: field of the Properties window, as shown below. Make sure to include a blank space between the end of the line and between each option you add:

DX4WIN Data Updater Properties

Then click on the OK button to save the changes.


Update Rules

These rules define how/when files are updated:

DX4WIN.AWD - award database
DX4WIN does not modify this file.
It is downloaded when there is a new award database on this web site.
It is downloaded as a ZIP file, then extracted from the ZIP file to the SAVE directory.
 
DX4WIN.CAL - calendar
DX4WIN does not modify this file.
It is updated when at least one of the selected calendar sources changes.
 
DX4WIN.CTY - country file
DX4WIN re-writes this file every time you save your logbook or exit DX4WIN.
It is downloaded when there is a new country file on this web site.
It is downloaded as a ZIP file, then extracted from the ZIP file to the SAVE directory.
 
DX4WIN.MAS1 (DX4WIN.MAS) - master callsigns
DX4WIN does not modify this file.
It is updated when at least one of the selected master callsign files changes.
 
DX4WIN.MAS2 - eQSL/LoTW membership list
DX4WIN does not modify this file.
It is updated when at least one of the selected membership list files changes.
 
DX4WIN.TCP - Internet addresses
DX4WIN re-writes this file every time you connect to a different DX Cluster node.
It is updated when there is a new DX4WIN.TCP file on this web site.
 
DX4WIN.WPX - CQ WPX Honor Roll Deleted Prefixes
DX4WIN does not modify this file.
It is updated when there is a new file on this web site. The file is updated on an infrequent basis.
 
ADIF.PMP - ADIF mapping file
DX4WIN does not modify this file.
It is always updated at the same time as DX4WIN.CTY (see above).
 
fullllist.xml - IOTA islands
DX4WIN does not modify this file.
It is updated when a new IOTA list is available from the RSGB IOTA web site.

Notes


To Do


Version History

To download the installation program, click on the hyperlink containing the version number and date.

9.3 - 15 February 2017
Fixed problem where the Updater wanted to update itself immediately after installing the latest version.
 
9.2 - 15 February 2017
Fixed a problem with the Updater updating itself.
 
9.1 - 14 February 2017
Adding or removing selections in Master Callsigns and Membership Lists, when there are no updated data files, rebuilds those databases with the new selections, or creates empty lists if nothing is selected.
If you specify a custom member list, but one does not exist, a text editor will open to create it.
Duplicate calendar events are ignored (but logged), instead of a pop-up warning
 
9.0 - 23 January 2017
Complete re-write in C/C++ (vs. Perl) using native Windows API calls, resulting in faster operation and a much smaller executable image (100K vs. 5M bytes)
ARRL National Parks on the Air (NPOTA) support was removed
Always checks for new version of Updater at startup

8.05 - 10 July 2016
Bug fix: Remove duplicate calendar events
Bug fix: Additional error handling for corrupt or empty calendar sources
Bug fix: Don't report remote server errors as an Internet Firewall problem
 
8.04 - 8 April 2016
Bug fix: Crashed if date in NPOTA events calendar was 0000-00-00
Bug fix: Convert UTF-8 characters in calendar events to ASCII
 
8.03 - 9 March 2016
Bug fix: Most calendar events had wrong dates due to sorting error
Bug fix: Didn't always recognize that the list of upcoming NPOTA activities had changed
Bug fix: If the list of upcoming NPOTA activities changed, but no other membership list components changed (eQSL, LoTW, etc.), and NPOTA was included in both the calendar and the membership list, the membership list would not be updated.
 
8.02 - 15 February 2016
Feature: Report if the Windows firewall may be blocking Internet access
Feature: When a download error occurs, report it in the status section in red
Feature: Update results matching status section now written to log file
Bug fix: Sort calendar by event name (usually starts with callsign)
Bug fix: When running with –quick option, informational pop-up about a newly downloaded Updater Program was bypassed
 
8.01 - 14 February 2016
New major version:
  • User can select from multiple sources for Calendar and Master Callsigns
  • User has complete control over selection of Membership Lists (additional sources added)
  • Calendar is created in native DX4WIN format, no need to import a text file each time it is updated
  • Added support for ARRL National Parks on the Air to both Calendar and Membership List
  • Intelligent creation of Master Callsigns and Membership List based on DX4WIN version
Bug fix: -auto mode did not work properly
Bug fix: -prompt mode did not work properly
Bug fix: updating DX cluster nodes has been broken since version 7 (new nodes were not added)
Feature: progress indicator now goes away after update completes
Feature: update of Membership List disabled for DX4WIN 7 and earlier
Feature: default selection of data files to update for new users
Feature: Restore now does a little more, but can not actually restore files (yet)

7.13 - 9 January 2016
Improved error checking in a couple of places
Check size of downloaded file (except Calendar and IOTA)
 
7.12 - 25 December 2015
URL for DX calendar changed
About button works again
 
7.11 - 19 December 2015
Removed non-functional DX Summit URLs from Internet (DX Cluster) node listing
 
7.10 - 11 July 2015
Feature: now can update DX4WIN.WPX
 
7.03 - 19 April 2015
Bug fix: hang introduced in 7.02 (program was looking for non-existent file/directory)
 
7.02 - 19 April 2015
Feature: added support for download via proxy server (new command-line option)
Bug fix: -prompt command-line option didn't work as intended
Bug fix: fixed installer so the program doesn't try to update itself the first time you run it
Bug fix: if SAVE\DX4WIN.TCP does not exist, don't merge, just copy
Bug fix: backup versions of files were named incorrectly
Bug fix: if DX4WIN Data Updater was current, last update date wasn't shown
Bug fix: debug messages were only showing local file dates, now shows date/time like remote files
Bug fix: debug messages now always (only) logged to a file (dx4wupd.log) instead of the console
Bug fix: an error library wasn't loaded, causing the error reporter to fail
 
7.01 - 19 March 2015
Feature: real Windows installation program
Feature: Update button is disabled until the user chooses at least one data file to update
Bug fix: ignore corrupt DX4WUPD.INI (settings) file
Bug fix: use all possible methods for checking if DX4WIN is running
Bug fix: last line in DX4WIN.TCP (DX cluster nodes) wasn't being written. Apologies to ZS6RO
Bug fix: direct all internal errors to a pop-up error message window
Other: -help and -version options work on the command line (again)
Other: BIG code cleanup (Perl Best Practices, etc.)

6.09 - 6 April 2014
Allow Update to be run multiple times in same session
Changed color scheme for update progress indicator
 
6.08 - 16 December 2013
Changed timout from default to 10 seconds (when accessing web)
If there is a download error, show the response message in a pop-up window
 
6.07 - 29 July 2013
Report updated files in bold text
Update dx4wupd.exe in place (not via UPDATE directory)
Change download directory from "beta" to "download"
 
6.06 - 13 May 2013
Perl Best Practices cleanup, not released
 
6.05 - 15 April 2013
Prototype of Restore, not released
 
6.04 - 27 March 2013
To install this version, download the ZIP file from the hyperlink above. Open the ZIP file and run the SETUP.EXE program that is inside. Install the Updater program into your existing DX4W### directory (not the SAVE directory), allow it over-write the existing version.
Release notes
 
6.03 (internal development, not released)
 
6.02 - 26 March 2013 (beta test)
Release notes
 
6.01 - 25 March 2013 (beta test)
Release notes

5.1 - 25 March 2012
Don't pop up message box on completion when running in -auto mode
 
5.0 - 16 March 2012
Another Daylight Savings Time fix

4.6 - 8 December 2011
New: the Updater Program can now update itself in-place; there is no longer any need to copy or move any files after an update
Fix: the DST fix caused the IOTA fulllist.xml to download every time
 
4.5 - 7 December 2011
Fix: updater could update unnecessarily due to Daylight Savings Time
 
4.4 - 12 September 2011
Fix: IOTA fulllist.xml wasn't updating
Fix: Removed warning message when trying to update DX Calendar
 
4.3 - 5 September 2011
New: –cal downloads the DX calendar from the 425 DX News web site
 
4.2 - 27 August 2011
New: –auto exits the program, without prompting.
Change: fulllist.xml (IOTA Islands) updated more intelligently (faster). NOTE: you must delete fulllist.xml from the UPDATE directory before running this version for the first time.
 
4.1 - 7 June 2011
New: when prompted to update a file, you can check its revision history first by answering 'R' or 'r'.
Change: Fewer error messages if a downloaded .ZIP file is corrupt.
 
4.0 - 23 May 2011
New: –restore option returns data files to their previous versions.
New: –tcp and –kcp options take an optional file name of "preferred" nodes.
New: many options now have –no<opt> versions, meaning don't perform the action.
New: –debug shows all specified options and values.
Change: you will only be prompted to update files that have actually changed.
Change: –log can be specified multiple times to back up multiple log files.
Change: downloads DX4WIN.TCP from real file, less frequent changes.
Change: fulllist.xml (IOTA Islands) always downloaded, but more intelligently updated.
Change: can't use both –mas and –mas1 options at the same time (shows warning, prompts to exit).
Change: ignore unrecognized options in configuration file instead of reporting them as errors.
Change: removed –all option.

3.1 - 3 May 2011
New: –log option backs up DX4WIN logbook before updating data files.
New: –exe option downloads DX4WUPD.EXE program if it's newer than the current version.
New: can't use both –tcp and –kcp options at the same time (shows warning, prompts to exit).
Fix: –fg and –bg inhibited all updates if used by themselves.
Fix: –prompt caused prompts for all files to update, not just the ones specified in options.
Fix: –prompt and –all together should prompt before each file update.
Fix: –prompt showed "Working on ..." message when it shouldn't have.
Fix: when updating keep-alive version of DX4WIN.TCP, say so.
Fix: better handling of errors when trying to backup data files.
Fix: on exit, remind user that <ENTER> won't exit the program.
 
3.0.1 - 2 May 2011
Either ' ' (space) or '=' (equals) can be used between –fg/–bg and color. '=' wasn't working in RC file, fixed.
Configuration files can have comment lines beginning with '#'
–mas1 and –mas2 options weren't recognized in configuration file, fixed.

2.13 (test release) - 1 May 2011
Changed method to determine whether DX4WIN is running.
Added –fg and –bg options to specify window foreground and background colors, respectively.
Added –prompt option to force prompts before updating files.
Options can be read from DX4WUPD.RC file. Command-line options can override those read from the file.
 
2.12 (test release) - 30 April 2011
Check that DX4WIN is not running.
"Update (y/n)?" prompt now requires a SINGLE keystroke: Y/y, N/n or control-C. Don't use <ENTER>!
Exiting the program requires a SINGLE keystroke other than <ENTER>.
Program no longer generates error messages when control-C is typed at a prompt. Instead, it goes gracefully to the Exit prompt.
Fixed spurious "Could not create directory" errors, even when the directory was really created.
Less output when running in Interactive mode.
 
2.11 (test release) - 29 April 2011
y/N prompt now accepts <ENTER> (by itself) to mean No (now works as documented).
Program looks for SAVE and IMPORT directories (instead of DX4WIN.EXE) to check installation.
Better error checking/handling.
Program is associated with DX4WIN icon.
Help option displays URL of this web page.
Program banner also includes time as well as date.
 
2.10 (test release) - 28 April 2011
Complete re-write of the program in Perl. The program is self-contained and does not need any other programs installed to work.
Supports command-line options to specify files to be updated.
Checks that it's installed in the correct directory by looking for DX4WIN.EXE.