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Radio Mobile is a fantastic program for predicting links and radio coverage. However, it does take some time to get to know and the user documentation is not the best! So here is the G8GTZ how to get started guide.
The program is located at http://www.cplus.org/rmw/english1.html.
Go to download page and you need to download and install the following:
1) Visual Basic Runtime service pack.
2) Zip file containing Radio Mobile executables,
3) Zip file containing Radio Mobile supplement File
4) File jpeglib.zip to be able to produce JPEGs as well as bit maps.
Run the Visual Basic Runtime service pack and unzip the program and other zips in to the same directory. You can't use it yet as you need the map data!
Go to the "Where to get elevation data" page on the Radio Mobile site and use the link to the NIMA website, to get the DTEDs mapping data file. http://geoengine.nima.mil/
This site is a bit unfriendly and slow to use but in the bottom frame enter "London" and "UK" (or your capital city and country if not in the UK) and press "go". This will get you roughly in the right area for your first download - you are bound to come back for more!
When the site has located the area, click on the download tab select "windows" and "DTED" and follow the instructions. You will end up with a DTED Zip file being downloaded.
Copy the DTED zip file in to a new directory under the main program directory called something like c:radiomobile\data. Double click on it to unzip it and extract the unzipped files in to the same directory. It will create 2 directories called dted and text and a file called dmed.
If you download additional DTEDs, extract them in to the same directory - it doesn't seem to matter about overwriting the files that are common - it just adds some new data.
You are now ready to run Radio Mobile!
Run Radio Mobile and do the following:
Then click apply and it should draw a default map centred on London
Close the picture and go "File - New picture". Try selecting different types of picture - "Colored slope (relative)" I think produces the best effect.
Note - you can click on the map and it puts a cursor up - you can now read the lat and long of that position and if you go "View - Elevation grid" and it puts a small grid so you can accurately move the cursor to the correct height position.
The actual area the map covers and hence the detail is determined by the "height" you enter in the map properties field.
You can name the site and add it to the permanent cities database so it always appears on every map by clicking "Add to cities database"
Before you can see the coverage of the various stations, they have to be in a radio network.
Click "Apply" It will draw the paths between your stations on the map. on the map
To see the coverage from a unit close the existing picture.
It will draw the coverage and ask, "leave in picture?". Answer yes if you want to either save the picture as a bit map or you want to draw anther coverage area on the same picture - useful for adjoining repeater coverage or seeing the different frequency coverage form the same site.
Answer no if you want to see another coverage without the old one coverage plot.
If you click anywhere on the link diagram, this puts the cursor on the main map so you can see where the high hills are that are obstructing the path!
Now the smart bit - you can overlay a road map from Map blast on your coverage plot!
You can download mapblast pictures for use at a later date.
This will give a clean copy of Mapblast that you can save for later use.
To use this, draw your coverage plot and leave it open.
I'm sure there is a lot more you can do but I have not found it yet - have fun!
Noel - G8GTZ
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