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6. Installing the software

Ensure that your CVS session or your WINunZIPped file have left you with a directory "C:\spider\local" and C:\spider\local_cmd"; if not, go to "C:\spider\" and create them. If "C:\spider" is missing, go back and figure out why, because it shouldn't be.

Now create your own local copy of the file by:-

copy c:\spider\perl\

Now you'll need to edit this file using a text editor. If nothing else, you can simply

cd \spider\local

and then


to bring up an editor window containing the file. As an absolute minimum you must adjust the following items in

You really also ought to update the $myqth and $myemail variables. And unless you are absolutely certain you know what you're doing, you should change nothing else in this file. Note that if you use an "@" or a "$" character in one of the above strings (typically in $myemail) you must write them as "\@" or "\$".

6.1 Incoming telnets

If you want to enable inbound "TELNET" connections (or you are running Windows NT, 2000 or XP), you've got a little more work to do. From a handy "DOS box" that's not doing anything else, do the following:-

copy \spider\perl\ \spider\local
cd \spider\local

The following lines need attention:-

["", 7300],

On my machine, I've simply uncommented the "" entry by removing the '#' from the front of the line.

You MUST carry out this step if you are running on a Windows NT, 2000 or XP based system

If you don't have a static hostname for your machine, and you intend to allow folk to connect to your machine across the internet, then I'd suggest you pay a visit to and create one for yourself. While it's free, it will take a modest an amount of effort on your part to read, understand and implement what needs to be done to set this up.

If your machine is connected to the internet and you don't want to allow your machine to be visible to the outside world you should change the "" to "" [which is "localhost"]. This will then only allow connections from inside your machine. As was said earlier: if you aren't running Win9x (or you want to use DXTelnet or somesuch), then you need to have the machine listening at least to "" ("" means all IP addresses).

6.2 The AGW packet engine

On the assumption that you'll be using the SV2AGW Packet Engine to interface your radios to the cluster, you should now create your own local copy of by:-

copy c:\spider\perl\

and then


to bring up an editor window containing the file. You must consider adjusting the following items in

6.3 Setting up the initial user files

Next you need to create the initial user files, etc. A tool is supplied which will do this for you. To run the tool:-

cd \spider\perl

If all goes according to plan, you will see no output from this program, and after a brief wait, your DOS prompt will be returned.

Depending on how brave you are, you might now care to try the following:-


If you did everything you were told, your DOS window will now hold a display which looks something like:-

DXSpider DX Cluster Version 1.47
Copyright (c) 1998-2001 Dirk Koopman G1TLH
loading prefixes ...
loading band data ...
loading user file system ...
starting listeners ...
Internal port: localhost 27754
load badwords: Ok
reading in duplicate spot and WWV info ...
reading existing message headers ...
load badmsg: Ok
load forward: Ok
load swop: Ok
@msg = 0 before delete
@msg = 0 after delete
reading cron jobs ...v cron: reading /spider/cmd/crontab
cron: adding 1 0 * * 0
reading database descriptors ...
doing local initialisation ...
orft we jolly well go ...
queue msg (0)

Now, if that's what you've got, you are very nearly home and dry (in as far as these particular experiments are concerned, anyhow)

If you are running Windows 9x you can access your new cluster (from the local machine) by finding yourself another "DOS box" and doing the following:-

cd \spider\perl

If you are running Windows NT, 2000 or XP then does not work. We don't know why other than this seems to be some kind of incomaptibility in perl. You can achieve the same thing by telnetting to the port you defined in (7300 as default), thus:-

telnet localhost 7300

On getting the login: prompt, enter your sysop callsign (the one you put in as $myalias).

I would recommend strongly that you obtain a better telnet client than that which comes with windows (I use PuTTY).

Anyway, if you are rewarded with a display which looks something like:-

Hello Iain, this is GB7SJP in Amersham, Bucks running DXSpider V1.47
Cluster: 1 nodes, 1 local / 1 total users Max users 2 Uptime 0 00:00
M0ADI de GB7SJP 4-Mar-2001 1511Z >

You've arrived. Try some commands, and see how they feel. (In case you were wondering, "Iain", "M0ADI" and "GB7SJP" all came from the version of that was on the machine when I started the

The interface is very basic. It is a simple command line. There are better looking interfaces. Most of the "standard" logging and DX Cluster access programs that are capable of connecting via a TCP or telnet connection will work as a "Sysop Console" client. You connect to "localhost" on the port that you defined in (usually 7300). I recommend packages like DXTelnet.

6.4 Connecting to other clusters

If you want to connect this to another cluster, then you'll want to negotiate a link with someone. For experimental purposes, I'm happy to allow folk to connect to GB7DXA (, on the understanding that the system may or may not be there and may or may not be connected to anything particularly useful at any given moment. Contact me by Email if you want me to set up a connection for you.

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