K1TTT MOF/LOF Propagation Program


COPYRIGHT NOTICE:  This program is not for sale, it may be freely copied and
distributed providing no charge is made for it.  Updates when they are made
are available from me by supplying a formatted disk and prepaid mailer.  I
will of course not refuse any money donated to the cause, but would rather
get contest logs to add to my database for future improvements to this
program.  Logs from multi-ops during major contests are especially useful.





                             MOF(DOS) USERS MANUAL

1. SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

2. USING PROGRAM
    A. CALCULATING PATTERNS
	 B. REPLAYING FILES
	 C. CHANGING DISPLAY GRANULARITY
	 D. CHANGING CONSTANTS
	 E. EXAMINE INTERMEDIATE CALCULATIONS

3. CALCULATIONS EXPLAINED

4. FUTURE PLANS AND NOTES

REFERENCES:

"MINIMUF-85: An Improved HF MUF Prediction Algorithm", D.B. Sailors,
R.A. Sprague, W.H. Rix  July 1986.
Order copies from  National Technical Information Service, U.S. Dept of
Commerce, Springfield, VA 22161.  Document number ADA-178-305. (printed
copy cost $23 in 1990, phone 703-487-4650 for more info or ordering)

LOF calculation information from a program that included methods from
several authors.  I believe all the LOF formulas were from work done by
Piggot, George, Samuel, and Bradley.  And included into a program by Hans
Bakhuizen, Propagation Unit, Frequency Bureau, Radio Netherlands, PO BOX 222,
1200 JG Hilversum Holland.



1. SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

    This release requires an EGA or VGA color display.  It may work with a
B&W display but I don't know what it would look like.

    You must have 'DEVICE=ANSI.SYS' in your CONFIG.SYS file to run this program
if you are going to be displaying any of the maps.  It is not required for just
running calculations and saving to a file for later replay.

	 The granularity of calculations and display is now user selectable.  If
you run out of memory or calculations take too long see the section on
how to set the display granularity.

    A math co-processor is not required, but calculations run very slowly
without one.

    When doing calculations this program uses most of the basic 640k of MS-DOS
memory.  It does not require any extended or expanded memory.  Replaying
files requires much less memory.

    On my 24Mhz 80386 with 80387 machine it takes about 15 minutes to do a
24 hour prediction.  Without an 80387 it jumps to about 1 hour.  Slower
machines will take much longer, I estimate that a 12 Mhz PC/AT without an
80287 coprocessor will run 4-6 hours.  If you have a fast machine you can use
to do calculations you can save the replay files for later viewing on slower
machines.  During playback there are very few calculations so it is not
affected as much by a slower machine.




2. USING PROGRAM
	 This program is meant to be used before a contest to help predict
propagation conditions.  It uses an adaption of the MINIMUF-85 Algorithm from
NOSC for MOF calculations and a different one for LOF displays.  The output
is normally saved in a file for replay during planning.  Because of the long
time required for calculations I recommend running this ahead of time, maybe
overnight, for a range of Solar Flux values then picking the best one just
before the contest for planning.

    After a contest the contest log can be used to generate another file using
the MMPRINT program that can be played back to see what areas were worked
during the contest.  This display can be easily compared with the calculated
pattern.  I plan on collecting actual contest results for comparison with
predictions to help improve the usefulness of this program over time.

    There are 2 different 'modes' used in the program, calculation and replay.
The calculation mode does the world-wide calculations and creates an output
file that can be saved and the replayed later.  The replay mode uses the
pre-calculated MOF/LOF data or MMPRINT output file for rapid replay.  It
provides for automatic cycleing of display for an animated map, overlay of
great circle paths, sunrise/set lines, and comparison of 2 input files.

2.A. CALCULATING PATTERNS

Start program with or without a file specified like:
    MOF
or  MOF FILENAME.EXT

DOS ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES:
MOFMEMORY
	If this environment variable exists the amount of memory used will
	be reported at various times.  Also the total time spent running
	actual calculations will be reported.  Use dos command:
	SET MOFMEMORY=YES   to turn this on.  This can also be done by adding
	the switch '-m' to the command line.  like "MOF FILENAME.DAT -M".

MOFADVANCED
	If this environment variable exits the advanced user can examine
	intermediate calculations and change constants.  If it does not
	exist then most of the startup questions and advanced features are
	disabled.  Use dos command:  SET MOFADVANCED=YES   to turn this on.
	This can also be done by adding the switch '-a' to the command line.
	Like "MOF FILENAME.DAT -A".

MMDATA
	This defines the path that will be used to find the MOF.DAT file if
	you do not set MOFADVANCED=YES, or if the file is not found in the
	current default directory.

    If no file is specified when you select "CALCULATE MOF/LOF DISPLAYS" off
the menu you will be warned that any results will not be saved for playback.
If you do specify a file it will be created or overwritten and filled with the
new propagation map for playback later.

    If you don't supply a filename and don't want to examine calculations then
the program returns to the main menu since there won't be any output generated.

    You will then be prompted for the input data needed for calculations.  The
default value will be shown in [] for each prompt, if you just hit return you
will get the default value.  The data required is:

STATION LATITUDE(90(N),-90(S))[42.5]?
    Fill in your latitude.  Positive for North, negative for South.  Use
    degrees and decimal for parts, not minutes or seconds.

STATION LONGITUDE(0-360 WEST)[73]?
    Fill in you longitude in degrees and decimal parts west of Greenwich.

MONTH(1-12)[1]?
    Put in the number of the month you want to calculate for.

DAY(1-31)[1]?
    Put in the day of the month.

SF_INDEX[200]?
    Enter the Solar Flux value reported by WWV at 18min past hour.  If value
    has been rapidly rising or falling you may want to average out a few days
    worth to get a better value.  Or if there are strong trends in the values
    you may be able to guess what it will be on the day you want.
    Various predictions are available based on a 28 day repetition pattern to
    get flux predictions up to a month in advance that are usually in the
    ball park.  You will notice that a change of 10-20 in the flux has a minor
    effect on overall predictions.

STARTING TIME(0-23)[0]?
    UTC time to start calculations for.

ENDING TIME(1-24)[24]?
    UTC time to end calculations.

TIME STEP(.1-24.0)[1]?
    Amount of time between calculations.

	 If you are going to use output file to compare with contest results
you should just hit enter for the last 3 time questions.  The output
from MMPRINT is 24 displays spaced an hour apart, if you use
a different setup for calculations the times will not match when the files
are replayed.

    As calculations progress you will get several messages to let you know
how far along they are.  First you will get "WORKING, TIME= xx" to say that
calculations are in progress for time 'xx'.  Then there will be counts
displayed as the ionospheric values and the actual MOF/LOF values are
calculated.  After this the file will be written and you will be allowed
to examine the calculations if you requested that option.

    When calculations are done you will be returned to the main menu.  If you
select "REPLAY MOF/LOF FILES" at this point you will replay the file you have
just finished calculating.  NOTE! if you select "CALCULATE MOF/LOF DISPLAYS"
at this point you will overwrite the calculations just completed.

2.B. REPLAYING FILES

Start program with one or two files specified like:

    MOF FILE1.EXT
or  MOF FILE1.EXT FILE2.EXT

    If you select "REPLAY MOF/LOF FILES" the program will take the input files
and display them for review.  The top line of the display will show the time
and other data from the display file.  Various keys control what is
displayed and other features.  The keys available are:

1 = Short path MOF
2 = Long path MOF
3 = Composite long and short path MOF
4 = Short path LOF
5 = Long path LOF
6 = Composite long and short path LOF

P = Overlay display with great circle paths
S = Add or remove Sunrise and Sunset plus local QTH marker
A = Automatically sequence through file, hit again to stop auto sequencing
ESC = Escape key = Quit and return to menu
ENTER = Go to next time in file
T = Switch to other file display (if 2 files were specified)
R = Switch to rectangular projection (default)
X = Switch to north polar projection
G = Switch to polar projection with you at center
D = Dump video to file.  This appends the current display to the specified
    video file.  Using this you can select individual screens to put together
    a custom playback sequence.
M = Make movie of video to file.  Will save all screens from current one
	 to the end of the MOF/LOF data file for replay.  This will use the
	 current projection and display options.
F = reverse video of map backround, useful for using dos 5 graphics print
    screen function.

    The colors used are as follows:

    COLOR    MOF    LOF
    BLUE     20M    40M
    GREEN    15M    80M
    RED      10M   160M

    LONG PATH LOF and MOF are shown by vertical striping of the same colors.

    On the 'composite' screens the 'better' for the long or short path LOF or
MOF is displayed.  Where the color is striped the long path has is better.
Where the color is solid the short path is better.  I define 'better' to mean
the higher frequency MOF or lower frequency LOF.

    Sun rise is the line of solid white blocks, sun set is striped white.

    Your lat/lon is marked by a solid white block.

NOTES:
    In a file from MMPRINT there will not be anything in the maps for 2,5,C
keys.  And the displays for 3 and 6 will be the same as 1 and 4.
    The great circle path display will only work properly if one of the files
is a MOF generated file. (i.e. if you are comparing two contest.prp files 
there is no lat/lon info available to generate great circles from)



2.C SETTING DISPLAY GRANULARITY

	There are 3 different levels of calculation and display granularity that
can be selected.  If you run out of memory or calculations take too long
on your computer you may want to change the granularity of the calculations
for running this program.  The 3 different levels are:

	1 = 35 x 80
	2 = 22 x 40   (default)
	3 = 11 x 20

	There are several ways to select the level you want to use.  If you decide
to change from the original level you must also use the new level when you
create files from contest logs or you will not be able to compare them with
the calculations.  At this time if you want to compare 2 files they must both
have the same format.

	I will describe 2 methods of changing the granularity and what their
effects are.

1. If you do not use 'SET MOFADVANCED=YES'
	You will be asked everytime you start up the program what level you want
	to use.
2. If you do use 'SET MOFADVANCED=YES'
	You will be asked when you start up the program if you want to change the
	display granularity.  Just answer 'Y' and select new level.  If you write
	a new MOF.DAT after that it will save the selected granularity for the
	next time you start the program.  (note: this is just a special case of
	the general 'CHANGING CONSTANTS' section described later.  See that
	section for more details on use of MOF.DAT files)



2.D CHANGING CONSTANTS

    When running the program in the 'advanced' mode you have the option of
changing various constants used in calculations.  The 'diddle constants'
function lets the program vary each constant by a variable amount up and down
and compare the calculations to a contest log.  The results of each change
in variables are written to a report file that can be used to find constants
to change to improve predictions.  BE WARNED... the 'score' that is reported
is not the last word in what constants to change, if you really want to
change something you should visually compare the results with the contest log
and then evaluate the change to other logs to be sure that you are not over
adjusting based on a single assumption.  It is fairly easy to increase the
'score' by 20%, but it tends to result in un-realistic predictions.




2.E EXAMINE INTERMEDIATE CALCULATIONS
	If the  -A switch is used on the command line or the MOFADVANCED
environment variable exists you will be able to view
the results of intermediate calculations that go into the MOF and LOF
results.  This option takes much more memory than just plain calculations
and may require some users to remove some TSR's from their config.sys or
autoexec.bat files before using this feature.  If you try this and run out
of memory you can use the MOFMEMORY to examine memory usage.  You need to
have about 520k free when the program starts to successfully use this
feature with the finest grain display.  Set display grain level to 2 to
greatly reduce memory usage.
	When you use this feature you will get a menu of available variables to
examine after each time period is calculated.  You can select one of the
numbers off the menu or hit ENTER to continue with the next time period.
While a plot is being displayed the following keys can be used to control
the display:

ENTER = go back to menu to pick another variable
ESC = escape key = same as ENTER.
R = Rectangular projection (default)
X = Change to north polar projection.
G = Change to polar projection with you at center.
D = Save video screen to file for replay later.
M = Make movie of video for later replay.  This will automatically save the
	 video display in the current projection then continue on with the rest
	 of the time period calculations.  It will save each time period to the
	 file and end when last time is done.
P = Overlay with great circle paths
S = Overlay with station location and surface sunrise/set lines
UP ARROW = View next variable in list
DOWN ARROW = View previous variable in list
F = reverse video of map backround, useful for using dos 5 graphics print
    screen function.



3. CALCULATIONS EXPLAINED

    The file MOFCALC.LIS gives an overview of what variables go into which
calculations.  Using the 'EXAMINE INTERMEDIATE CALCULATIONS' feature you can
look at intermediate calculation values.

4. FUTURE PLANS AND NOTES

Reduce size of files.  I think I can reduce by a factor of 4 to 8 without
too much trouble.  If you need to save space you can use a file compressor
like PKZIP to compress files for storage or transport.

Add lat/lon info to MMPRINT generated files for great circle path display.

Allow starting at any point in file for replay.

Improve the backround map, it is slightly distorted so that some countries are
not at exactly the right spots.  This is most noticeable in the contest replay.

Use different display types.

Write a program to merge data from different contest logs for display and
comparison against calculations.  Having several logs from the same area
merged should provide a better comparison to predictions.  May not be needed
with more memory and ct's merge utility.

Improve mmprint to breakdown big country zones.   Especially Russia,
Australia, U.S., and Canada.  

Change to windows interface?  Turbo-Vision dos interface?

Create full 32 bit version to see if that is much faster.

Analyze more log data.  Improve diddle method.