Dirk Koopman G1TLH

Last modified: Fri Jul 20 21:21:00 GMT 2007


The DXSpider DX cluster system is written in perl 5.004 running under Linux as an exercise in self-training for both protocol research and teaching myself perl. It also runs perfectly happily under Microsoft Windows from Win98 upwards using either Activestate perl or one of the unix subsystem/environments for windows such as Cygwin.

What is a DX Cluster?

A DX Cluster is a means for Amateur (Ham) Radio operators to tell each other, in realtime, about DX stations (other interesting or rare Amateur Radio stations all over the world).

To quote what is probably the most comprehensive source of DX Cluster related information, the DX PacketCluster WebNet, a Cluster is:-

One station is set up with PacketCluster and is linked to one or more other stations who have installed the software. These nodes when connected are called a cluster. Clusters are connected to clusters, expanding the network. Individual users connect to the nodes on a frequency different from what the node stations are linked on. Users are capable of announcing DX spots and related announcements, send personal talk messages, send and receive mail messages, search and retrive archived data, and access data from information databases among its many features.

It's a rather specialised (and not as robust) form of IRC really.

The original package runs under DOS and was created by Dick Newell AK1A but is no longer under active development. Most replacements also run under DOS and/or are closed source. I wanted something in open source (so I don't have to do all the work) and for Linux. A side benefit of writing the program in perl is that it works perfectly well on other versions of unix as well as all flavours of Windows from Win98 upwards.

This document will contain all the instructions for its installation and use - eventually...


  1. Download the software and any patches.
  2. DXSpider Installation manual.
  3. DXSpider Administration manual.
  4. DXSpider User manual.
  5. DXSpider Filter manual.
  6. We have a new Wiki where, hopefully, more up to date versions of the documentation can be found (this is work in progress).
  7. Peruse the FAQ
  8. If you are on the bleeding edge, see the CVS Addendum.
  9. Browse the Git Repository.
  10. Explaining the client programs.
  11. Periodic jobs, e.g. starting connection to other clusters.
  12. Programming new commands or altering existing ones.
  13. Local customisation of the cluster daemon.


Copyright © 1998-2004 by Dirk Koopman G1TLH. All Rights Reserved