Welcome to K6TU.NET - Propagation as a Service
As a serious contester and DX'er, I started using Propagation Prediction tools to help me better plan my operating time and strategy. My pursuit for better quality predictions led me to the VOACAP prediction engine developed for the Voice Of America broadcast service. A lot of money and research effort went into developing this engine which had extensive validation comparing modelled results with real world propagation.
VOACAP has a steep learning curve and like many sophisticated tools, can generate misleading (or flat out wrong!) results depending on how its configured. The VOACAP engine works on Windows but the generation of large numbers of predictions (such as a full day for a particular band) is a laborious manual process.
As the former Vice President and Contest Chair of the Northern California Contest Club I found myself spending many hours preparing prediction for specific contests. I also had to use antenna configurations that were "middle of the road" - too big for some stations and too small for others! It was simply too much work to generate predictions for particular station configurations.
After doing this for several contests, I set out to completely automate the process of building predictions and remove as much of the learning curve as I could. Automation and the development of this web service took months of programming and a huge number of different software tools. Providing this as a web service avoids having to learn VOACAP in detail and download massive amounts of software.
I hope you find this service useful and I'd love to hear feedback from you!
Stu Phillips, K6TU has been a licensed Ham since 1973 where he got his Ham license in the UK as G8HQA. After operating for some time in California as G8HQA/W6, he got his first US callsign (N6TTO) in 1988. A professional engineer and business consultant by background, Stu's Ham Radio interestes include contesting, DXing and construction. He is a life member of the ARRL.