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Alert Message

A message presented to the user informing him of some event to be aware of. Not necessarily something to react to usually just information such as the following. This Alert message requires no action by the user and will fade out in about 10 seconds. It's appearance and position is similar to an Outlook alert that you have received a new email.

Binary-Coded Decimal

In computing and electronic systems, binary-coded decimal (BCD) is an encoding for decimal numbers in which each digit is represented by its own binary sequence. Its main virtue is that it allows easy conversion to decimal digits for printing or display and faster decimal calculations. Its drawbacks are the increased complexity of circuits needed to implement mathematical operations and a relatively inefficient encoding – it occupies more space than a pure binary representation. Even though the importance of BCD has diminished, it is still widely used in financial, commercial, and industrial applications. See this link for more information.


To BCD-encode a decimal number using the common encoding, each decimal digit is stored in a four-bit nibble.

Decimal:    0     1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9
BCD:      0000  0001  0010  0011  0100  0101  0110  0111  1000  1001

Thus, the BCD encoding for the number 127 would be:

 0111 1111

Since most computers store data in eight-bit bytes, there are two common ways of storing four-bit BCD digits in those bytes:

  • each digit is stored in one byte, and the other four bits are then set to all zeros, all ones (as in the EBCDIC code), or to 0011 (as in the ASCII code)
  • two digits are stored in each byte.

Unlike binary encoded numbers, BCD encoded numbers can easily be displayed by mapping each of the nibbles to a different character. Converting a binary encoded number to decimal for display is much harder involving integer multiplication or divide operations.


The CAT (Computer Aided Transceiver) system employed in most modern day radios is designed to allow the radio to communicate with a PC (Personal Computer). This communication enables software programs to control the radio. This control extends to the basic functions of the radio and includes ability to control frequency, mode, transmit and receive filter settings and many more functions. Most modern radios can be totally controlled by software programs such as the Flex radio family. See CAT Command for a discussion of the commands associated with the CAT system.

CAT Command

A CAT command consists of a prefix (preamble), a function identifier, a parameter list, and a terminator. Commands fall into one of three categories: Get (read) commands that request status information from the transceiver; Set (write) commands that change transceiver status; and Answer (response) commands that return information requested in a Get command or error codes. A correctly executed Set command does not return an Answer command.

The terminator for all CAT commands is the semicolon (;). CAT commands are not case sensitive. Get and Set commands must contain the correct number of parameter characters as shown in the accompanying table. Most Get commands are simply the prefix followed by a termination, but there are special cases where a Get command will require parameters.

ZZAG    Sets or reads the Audio Gain control
Get	ZZAG	;								
Set	ZZAG	P1	P1	P1	;					
Answer	ZZAG	P1	P1	P1	;					
Notes	P1 = 000 to 100.

Context Menu

A Context Menu is Help menu that is available by right-clicking the body of any DDUtil page or by right-clicking the DDUtil System Tray Icon. This menu gives access to help topics and commonly used functions. The Context Menu can be quicker to use than the main form menu's depending on DDUtil's visibility. The Context Menu is NOT available from the Mini Window.

Docking Windows

This concept allows child windows to be docked (positioned) within a container window. The user can move these windows around as desired for the most desirable viewing. The child windows may be collapsed (un-pined) to where only the title bar of the window is left showing in one of the margins. Hovering the mouse cursor over the collapsed window will cause it to open adjacent to the margin where it was collapsed.


Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In computing, the focus indicates the component of the graphical user interface (gui) which is currently selected to receive input. Text entered at the keyboard or pasted from a clipboard is sent to the component which currently has the focus.

The concept is similar to a cursor in a text-based environment. However, when considering a graphical interface, there is also a mouse cursor involved. Moving the mouse will typically move the mouse cursor without changing the focus. The focus can usually be changed by clicking on a component that can receive focus with the mouse. Many desktops also allow the focus to be changed with the keyboard. By convention, the tab key is used to move the focus to the next focusable component and shift + tab to the previous one. This feature was designed to make it easier for people that have a hard time using a mouse to use the user interface. In certain circumstances, the arrow keys can also be used to move focus.


Graphic User Interface See this link for a full discussion of this subject.


See this link for a full discussion of the hex number system.


Macros are a method to allow short sequences of keystrokes and mouse actions to be transformed into other, usually more time-consuming, sequences of keystrokes and mouse actions. In this way, frequently-used or repetitive sequences of keystrokes and mouse movements can be automated. Separate programs for creating these macros are called macro recorders.

For additional reading on Macros as related to Computer Science see this Wikipedia article.

Null Modem

Null modem is a communication method to connect two DTEs (computer, terminal, printer etc.) directly using a RS-232 serial cable. The original RS-232 standard only defined the connection of DTEs with DCEs i.e. modems. With a null modem connection the transmit and receive lines are crosslinked. Depending on the purpose, sometimes also one or more handshake lines are crosslinked. Several wiring layouts are in use because the null modem connection is not covered by a standard.

For additional reading on Null Modem and Null Modem Cables see this Wikipedia article.

Passive Listener

A passive listener is a device that receives data from a broadcasting source, but does not reply to the source. A broadcast radio is a passive listener where a telephone is an active device.

With regards to DDUtil a passive listener is any device that can accept CAT or BCD commands to perform a function based on the frequency of the radio that DDUtil is connected to. Where, the device is not required to communicate back to the broadcaster (DDUtil).

Polling Interval

Polling interval is defined as the length of time in milliseconds (MS) between each request from the Radio Control Program (RCP) to the radio asking for status. These status requests take the form of CAT commands that request VFO frequency, transceiver mode and numerous others. Traditionally, 100~500 MS is considered normal, but may vary depending on the requirements of the specific program involved.

Radio Control Program

In the context of DDUtil, a Radio Control Program (RCP) is a separate piece of software that has the capability to communicate bi-directionally with PowerSDR on it's own without assistance from any other entity. This RCP software has the capability to change the radio 's frequency, mode, power settings, filter settings or any myrid of other functions or properties accessible from the radio's CAT port.


Stands for Single Operator 2 VFOs With the Flex-5000 you can get the same results as having two seperate radios when contesting. Each receiver is totally independent of the other and the transmitter can be attached to the VFO of interest.


The tooltip is a common graphical user interface element. It is used in conjunction with a cursor, usually a mouse pointer. The user hovers the cursor over an item, without clicking it, and a small box appears with supplementary information regarding the item being hovered over. For more information on Tooltips you can start here.

Windows Device Manager

Device Manager is where you can look at all the devices internal and connected to your system. To get to the Device Manager follow these steps:

  1. Press the Windows key.
  2. Select Control Panel from the right side bar.
  3. In the Control Panel select Hardware and Sound then
    • Select Devices and Printers
    • Select Device Manager


The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a general-purpose specification for creating custom markup languages. It is classified as an extensible language because it allows its users to define their own elements. Its primary purpose is to facilitate the sharing of structured data across different information systems, particularly via the Internet, and it is used both to encode documents and to serialize data. For more information on XML you can start here.