Update: 2017-05-09. Hits:  since 20050614.

Compact MS-Soft

Computer control of transmission provides major advantages not only for commercial meteor links, but also for Amateur Radio Meteor Scatter users. For this purpose I collected bits and pieces and put them together in a one package. Compact MS-Soft has been the most versatile and wide spread software written for Ham Radio Meteor Scatter during the 1990s. This project began in 1982 on Commodore VIC-20 and C-64 platforms and upgrades have required hundreds of hours of work. Now the data gathering and updating/data distribution takes some 30 hours / year, plus what it may take to fix or change the receiving setup and the software if equipment changes cause such need. Several har disks have been consumed, 4th laptop is taking the data and another 4th laptop is transferring the data for real-time web viewing.

No major changes are in sight and it looks the version 5.x is pretty much the thing it has eventually evolved. Recently I have used my time only for updating the data files. This is done merely to promote the use of Meteor Scatter propagation mode and create activity on VHF bands. I was proud to receive the 1996 Lindell's Prize for technical achievements in Ham Radio from SRAL, the Finnish Radio Amateur League.

The 5.2 version has no CW transmission or sked editor. They were stripped off for lack of need and lack of compiler memory while editing and debugging.

Number of users by country

Statistics on MS-Soft users based on available information in 1998.

The Compact MS-Soft 5.2 includes these main features:

See the latest MS-Soft's release at this site and get the zip file, if it has been updated. The software is written with DOS complier, but runs under anything that can run DOS programs: from Windows 3.x,  to Windows XPs
and with Windows 7 and up, using DosBox under the handy D-Fend Reloaded user interface.

Shower prediction quality control?

The past beahavior of meteor showers, specially that of the outbursters, do not reflect their future behavior in a simple way. Only the Rezhnikov/Asher/Lyytinen-type models of meteor stream trailet evolution have proven to give satisfactory results so far on some 5 showers (Leonids, Perseids, a-Aurigids Draconids and Ursids) regarding their outburst behavior. The rest of the showers are expected to behave much like on previous years because the computational model can not be used since the parent comet is either on a short period orbit or is not known at all. This is the long story in short form. Overall the best of the predictions produced by the models are only as accurate as weather predictions are and for some tricky cases there are no valid methods, if you don't count mere intuition on predicting their behavior, such as the Quadrantids shower with it's periodic variations.

MS-data on 12 major showers are annually added on the website in January. Showers on the list are either annual showers: Quadrantids, Lyrids, eta-Aquariids, Arietids, zeta-Perseids, delta-Aquariids, Perseids, Orionids, Leonids, Geminids or outbursters with low annual activity: alpha-Aurigids, Leonids and Ursids.

The MSDATA receiving setup was changed in April 1998, November 1998, February 1999, January 2000, August 2013 and October 2014. The statiosn receivd now are OIRT band FM station from heading south, that shut off during night time hours and a low powered 50 MHz ham radio beacon a bit too close for meteors from north, which also brings occationally some AuE propagation to become detected. The detection levels changed too many tomes to keep track and the scaling to original 1990's counts have no longer been done. The longest reflection parameter suffered from wide band FM modulation for this cause it's acquisition became discontinued in Nov. 1998. The raw data is scaled from raw data to xxx.M files, but no longer matches data taken with the old setup 1993 to 1997 for comparison viewing with MS-Soft.

Click here to see the screens the different software versions produces. (120 kb GIF animation).


Copyright 1997... 2017  Ilkka Yrjölä.