This application was written mainly for Amateur Radio Operators who are interested in the solar cycles and solar data. Tad Cook, K7RA, writes a weekly Propagation Forecast Bulletin that is transmitted by the Americal Radio Relay League on W1AW. This bulletin contains daily sun spot and 10.7mm solar flux values that can be plotted graphically to see trends in the solar cycle. This application can be used to plot the information in a graphic format on your screen.

Two versions are available for downloading; one for Windows 3.x and another for Windows 95 or Windows NT version 4.

Windows 95 / 98 / ME / Windows NT 4 -- Version 3.13w
System Requirements: Windows 95/98/ME or Windows NT Version 4.  Also reportedly works on Windows versions through Windows 10.
Appromimately 1mb of available disk space.
Installation Instructions: After downloading the file use Explorer to place the three files in the Zip file any place on your computer that you wish to.  There is no "Setup" utility any longer since the one that was included would not run on 64-bit versions of Windows.  The program itself does appear to run properly though.

The distribution Zip file contains the GRAPH.DAT file with data current through November 27, 2011. If you already have an existing copy of SOL3 on your system and want to keep your existing GRAPH.DAT be sure to make a copy prior to running the setup program. 

NOTE! Beginning with version 3.07, the data file structure will be modified slightly. The date field will be changed from a 2 character year to a 4 character year value in an effort to prevent any problems at the beginning of next year. If you choose to save your existing data file, it can still be used however when the program starts to open it a dialog will be displayed asking if you want to convert the format or not. You can choose not to convert the file, and it will still work with this release, however there are no guarantees that a 2 character date will be compatible with future releases.

Release History: Click Here For Version 3.x Release History


Download SOL313W.ZIP (173,620 bytes)

Updated Data File

Below is a link to an updated data file that is frequently more current than the file included in the distribution ZIP files.  If you already have version 3.08 (look at the title bar of the main application for the exact version number) all you need is the updated data file.  It contains data through February 1, 2023 (thanks to Tad Cook, Dave Edenfield, and AL - N1API for providing it).  As a matter of interest the data file now contains in excess of 34 years of solar data beginning with January 1, 1989.

Author's Note - I'm amazed that this software is still usable after all these years and also grateful that there are still people around who still find a use for it.  The original MS-DOS version was released on July 30, 1993 (see below) so the softare has been around in one version or another for almost 30 years.

During that time numerous people have helped with the software itself or maintaing the data file.  Among them are:

   Tad Cook - K7RA - For help with the initial program as well as creating the ARRL Propagaton Forecast Bulletins all these years
   Syd Horne - VE3EGO - For help in generating the initial 3 years of data
   Dave Edenfield - For helping keep up with the data file
   Al Kaiser - N1API - For helping keep up with the data file
   And the others whose names I cannot remember any longer but whose help is very much appreciated.

System Requirements: Windows 95 or Windows NT Version 4 and Plotting Utility version 3.08w or later
Installation Instructions: After downloading the file use PKZip or WinZip to extract GRAPH.DAT.  Windows XP or later users can just double-click the Zip file. Follow the instructions in README.TXT


Download UPDATE.ZIP (65,857 bytes)

Parsing Errors

Errors will occasionally occur when inserting the data into the database from a bulletin file or by using the internet download function of version 3.11 or greater.  This happens because the volunteers who write the bulletins can not be expected to know the rules that I use when parsing the data.  They do an excellent job of adhering to rules that they are unaware of though, and out of 370+ bulletins over a 6 year period there were only about 7 that would not parse properly.  I have set up a page that documents each of the errors that I am aware of and provided instructions for getting around the errors.

Parse Error Documentation

SOL Retrospective!

I found the original version of this software.  It was released on July 30, 1993, and looking at it really makes you realize how far we have come in the past 9 years.  Take a look at how we did things in the "Olden Times" by clicking This Link!

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