RMS ChartMaker Application
The RMS ChartMaker application lets users create two types of band
scan charts, summary charts and "peak and valley" (i.e. line) charts,
from a set of scan files.
Summary charts display average S-meter readings for a specified
frequency band over a specified time period. A summary chart consists
of a matrix, where each cell in the matrix is colored to indicate the
average S-meter reading at a given time and frequency. The x-axis of
a chart is time, ranging from 00:00 hours to 23:59 hours, where each
column of the matrix represents a 30 minute interval. The y-axis
lists the frequency settings for the selected frequency band, where
each row of the matrix represents the frequencies in 5kHz increments.
Separate summary charts can be created for each (frequency band,
location) pair, or they can be created for each frequency band and
Line charts display the actual s-meter readings, for one or more
locations, over a given frequency range. The x-axis is the frequency
range of the frequency band being graphed (in kHz); for example, the
x-axis values for the 7MHz band range from 7100 kHz to 7600 kHz. The
y-axis is the actual s-meter reading values, which can range from 0
to 255. If more than one location is being graphed, then the data for
the first four locations encountered will be color coded and all
subsequent locations will be assigned a "other" color.
RMS ChartMaker lets users identify the set of scan files to be
processed by filtering on the following criteria:
- One or more locations (e.g. VIEN, HONG, etc.) or "All"
- One or more frequency bands (e.g. 6 MHz, 9 MHz, etc.) or "All"
- Date range (e.g. 06/15/99 to 07/15/99) or "Any Date"
- Time range (e.g. 10:00 to 14:00) or "Any Time"
For each frequency band selected in a ChartMaker "scan query", a
separate HTML document is created which contains the summary chart or
line chart for that band. In addition, a "Table of Contents" HTML
file is created. This file contains a summary of the band scan query
performed, and it provides links to each of the HTML chart files
created. This allows you to open the "Table of Contents" file in a
browser and easily view the various summary charts.
A Windows compatible version of RMS ChartMaker is also available
which supports the same functionality as the Mac version.
CPU: Macintosh: Any PowerPC Macintosh, PowerBook, or clone. Windows: any Windows compatible PC
Memory Usage: 4.6MB
Disk Usage: 4.6MB + however much space is needed for the HTML chart files
Network: none required
OS: Macintosh: System 7.5 or later, including System 8 or 9. Windows: Windows 95/98/NT
- RMS ChartMaker application (v9.8.5)
- Java enabled browser such as Netscape Navigator (v4.04 or
later) or Microsoft Internet Explorer (v4.0 or later)
- Locations (sample file for Macintosh), Locations.txt (sample
file for Windows)
- Bands (sample file for Macintosh), Bands.txt (sample file for
- For Macintosh, copy the application file "RMS ChartMaker" to a
folder on the Mac's hard disk. For Windows, copy the application
file "RMS ChartMaker.exe" to a folder on the PC's hard disk.
- For Macintosh, copy the "Locations" and "Bands" files to the
same folder that contains the RMS ChartMaker application. For
Windows, copy the "Locations.txt" and "Bands.txt" files to the
same folder that contains the RMS ChartMaker.exe application.
- Install Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer using the
installer provided by the respective company. Make sure the Java
option is enabled in the target browser.
Before you begin creating charts with RMS ChartMaker, you must
first make sure the Locations (or Locations.txt) and Bands (or
Bands.txt) text files contain the location and band settings
appropriate for the data you wish to analyze. Most likely the Bands
file will not need to be changed, since the standard Bands file
contains a description of all the standard frequency bands used by
the RMS software. However, you will likely need to update the
Each line in the Locations file contains a single text string,
which represents a single location; for example, "VIEN" represents
the Vienna RMS location. Location strings are limited to four
characters. To edit the Locations file:
- Open the Locations (or Locations.txt) file in the BBEdit (or
NotePad) application. Simply add/change/remove strings from the
text file and then save the file. Note that all leading and
trailing spaces on a line, as well as blank lines, will be
ignored. The next time you run the RMS ChartMaker application, it
will utilize the new Location settings in its scan query
Each line in the Bands file contains a single text string, which
describes the frequency band in MHz and the frequency range for the
band; for example, "9:9300-9995" represents the 9MHz frequency band,
with a frequency range from 9300kHz to 9995kHz. In general, lines
within the Scans file have the following format: "<frequency band
in MHz>: <minimum frequency in band> - <maximum frequency
in band>". To edit the Bands file:
- Open the Bands (or Bands.txt) file in the BBEdit (or NotePad)
application. Simply add/change/remove strings from the text file
and then save the file. Note that all leading and trailing spaces
on a line, as well as blank lines, will be ignored. The next time
you run the RMS ChartMaker application, it will utilize the new
Band settings in its scan query dialog.
For summary charts, the s-meter ranges assigned to each color can
be changed. Simply invoke the Preferences command in the File menu. A
dialog appears in which to change the various s-meter ranges.
- When you run RMS ChartMaker, it displays a window containing
controls which let you specify the scan query to perform. In
addition, the window lets you specify where to search for scan
files and which folder to save the HTML chart and table of
contents files RMS ChartMaker creates. To terminate the
application, simply choose Quit from the File menu or click the
window's close box.
- Before performing a scan query to generate one or more band
scan summary charts, you must first specify the folder which
contains scan files that are to be searched. In the "Input Folder"
box, click Select Folder to select the folder to search. RMS
ChartMaker will search the selected folder and all embedded
folders for scan files which match the scan query.
- To define a scan query, you must specify the set of scan files
to search for. In the Locations list box, select one or more of
the locations you wish to include in the scan query, or select the
"All" entry to include all locations. Use the shift key or the
command key in combination with clicking on the location names in
order to select more than one location. In the Bands list box,
select one or more of the frequency bands you wish to include in
the scan query, or select the "All" entry to include all bands. As
with the Locations list box, you can use the shift and command
keys to select more than one frequency band. For each frequency
band selected, a separate HTML chart file will be created. Only
those scan files which are included in the selected set of
locations and frequency bands will be processed by RMS
- In addition to specifying the set of locations and frequency
bands to search for, the RMS ChartMaker window requires you to
specify a target date range or "Any Date". Only those scan files
which fall within the specified date range will be processed.
Likewise, you must also specify a target time-of-day time range or
"Any Time". Use the time range setting controls to specify the
desired time range. Only those scan files which fall within the
specified time range will be processed. Defining the set of
locations, frequency bands, the date range and time range allows
you to control which set of scan files are to be included for
processing by RMS ChartMaker.
- Two radio buttons, with associated icons, are available to
select whether to generate line charts or summary charts. In the
case of summary charts, you can additionally select whether to
generate one chart for each (band, location) pair, or one chart
for each band that includes all locations.
- The last item to specify before beginning the chart making
process is to specify the folder in which ChartMaker will create
the HTML chart files and the table of contents file. In the
"Output Folder" box, click Select Folder to select this target
- To begin the process of creating the HTML chart files, click
the Make Charts button in RMS ChartMaker's main window. A status
dialog is displayed indicating that RMS ChartMaker is processing
the scan files in order to create the charts. If you wish to
terminate the operation, hold the command key down while typing
the '.' key (on Windows use <control key>-T to cancel).
After a few moments, RMS ChartMaker will terminate the operation
and redisplay its main window.
- Once the chart making operation is complete, open the folder
which you designated as the location where RMS ChartMaker should
create the chart files. In this folder, you'll find a table of
contents file, one or more chart files and either the Java applet
file, ScanPlotApplet_24Hour.jar or ScanPlotApplet.jar. Following
is a description of each of these files:
- Table of Contents file - As mentioned previously,
this file contains a summary of the band scan query performed,
and it provides links to each of the HTML chart files created.
Opening this file in your browser allows you to easily view the
various summary charts by simply clicking on the links to the
chart files. The table of contents file is named "Summary
Charts TOC YYMMDD.htm", where YYMMDD represents the starting
date of the scan query. If "Any Date" was chosen, the YYMMDD
string will be replaced with XXXXXX.
- Summary Chart file - Each summary chart HTML file
contains the information necessary to chart a single frequency
band you've selected in the original scan query. To view the
summary chart for a specified frequency, simply open the HTML
chart file in your browser. Each chart file is named according
to the following format: <frequency band> Scan Chart
YYMMDDHHMM.htm", where <frequency band> specifies which
frequency was sampled and YYMMDDHHMM specifies the starting
date and starting time of the scan query. For example, the
chart file titled "15MHz Scan Chart 9906150105.htm", represents
the 15MHz band's data, for the scan query with a starting
date/time of 99/06/15 at 0105 UTC. If "Any Date" was chosen,
the YYMMDD string will be replaced with XXXXXX, and if "Any
Time" is chosen, the HHMM string will be replaced with
- Java applet files - In order to draw the summary and
line charts in your browser, the chart files utilize the
ScanPlotApplet_24Hour.jar and ScanPlotApplet.jar Java applets.
These applet files are automatically created by the RMS
ChartMaker application, and it places a copy of the Java
applet(s) in the same folder as that containing the HTML chart
files. This file is required by the HTML chart files, so be
sure to always leave the Java applet file(s) in this
- When RMS ChartMaker has finished processing, you can either
quit the application (i.e. choose Quit from the File menu or click
the window's close box) or enter a new scan query to process.