MESTOR is about (unattended) scheduled recordings on JAGUAR LITE.

The PERSEUS.EXE program requires you to be present to initiate a recording, but JAGUAR LITE does not. You can create a schedule for daily recordings, the only limit to such recordings being your hard drive space. DXers have successfully used just a few lines of script code to make recordings for several weeks.

For setting recording times and other parameters, you will need to create some MESTOR scripts and put them in the [MESTOR] section of JAGUAR.INI. To run scheduled recordings, MESTOR.EXE is no longer used; it's built in.

With the SET command you can set the directory (path) for the files to be recorded, the center frequency and bandwidth. In the old MESTOR, the bandwidth range allowed varied from values from 1 to 5, where 1 uses the sampling rate of 125 kHz and 5 uses the full 2-MHz sampling rate. In JAGUAR LITE, only '5' (= 2 MHz, "the full MW spectrum") is supported. SET ATT determines the Perseus attenuation level (values from 0 to 3).

JAGUAR LITE stays awake so that you can get enough sleep. TOP (short top-of-hour)/TOH (extended top-of-hour)/TOHH (extended top-of-hour, short half-hour) commands offer various options to record around the top of the hour.

For example, TOP 22-05 would record for 2 minutes starting at 59 minutes past each hour (the first recording starting at 2159 UTC and the last recording ending at 0501 UTC). TOH 22-05 would start recording at 59 minutes of each hour and end at 7 minutes past the hour - good for North American stations. TOHH adds a two-minute recording at 29 minutes past each hour. Alternatively, you can set the beginning time and duration of each recording separately.

Examples of MESTOR scripts

To give you an idea what you can do with MESTOR, here are a few example scripts. You can be creative and combine them for your own purposes. Place all of your MESTOR scripts in the [MESTOR] section of JAGUAR.INI.

Important note about the time format in MESTOR scripts: We strongly recommend that you always use the colon (:) as a separator between hours and minutes (hh:mm). The apostrophe (') is supported but there has been some confusion earlier due to some apostrophe-resembling characters such as single quotation marks or accents, which do not work in the scripts. Using the colon is the safest option.

Example 1: Extended (8-minute) top-of-the-hour

SET 1000/5
TOH 21-05

This script will record "extended top-of-the-hours" using the default center frequency of 1000 kHz, the default sampling rate of 2 MHz, and the default recording length of 8 minutes. The start time is at xx:59 (including 2059 and 0459 UTC). All the recordings will be saved to the default root folder.

Example 2: Short (2-minute) top-of-the-hour and bottom-of-the-hour

SET 1000/5
TOP 22-06
BOT 22-06 
22:54 COPE (7) M-F

There are a few nice functions in this script. First, the recordings will be saved in the folder F:\DX. If the folder name includes spaces, you will need to use the citation marks around the name, e.g. SET "D:\SDR Files". Second, we will create short 2-minute "top-of-the-hour" (TOP) recordings between 2200 and 0600 UTC (starting at 21:59 and ending 05:59 UTC). Third, we will also have a short "bottom-of-the-hour" (BOT) recordings between 2200-0600 UTC (the first will be 22:29-22:31 and the last 05:29-05:31).

There is one exception, however. 2300 UTC will not be included in the top-of-the-hour recordings because another function overrides it: 22:54 COPE (7) M-F . This command will record the COPE local break which starts at 2254 UTC and lasts for 7 minutes. The filename for this function will be suffixed as ".... COPE.WAV" and is recorded only from Mondays to Fridays as per the "M-F" definition. Consequently, standard TOPs starting at 2259 UTC will be run only on Saturdays and Sundays.

Please note that there is no MESTOR definition to explicitly make recordings on Saturdays and Sundays!

Example 3: Custom top-of-the-hour

SET 1000/5
21:54 (15)
22:54 (15)
23:54 (15)
00:54 (15)
01:54 (15)
02:52 LONG (200) 

This is a more complicated script, filled with a number of useful functions. We have defined our own "top-of-the-hour" function: at every hour, the recording starts at xx:54 and lasts for 15 minutes. We have also defined a longer recording in the morning which starts at 0252 UTC and lasts for 200 minutes. This filename will be suffixed as "... LONG.WAV".

All the overnight recordings (including the evening before midnight UTC) are saved in the same folder as the morning recordings because the "SHIFT" option has been used.  The overnight recordings will use the attenuation (ATT) level 1 (-10 dB) but in the morning the attenuation level will be 0 (zero = no attenuation).

Example 4: Extended (8-minute) top-of-the-hour and short (2-minute) half-hour

SET 1000/5
TOHH 21-08

This simple script is a good example of how to record extended top-of-the-hours from xx:59 to xx:07 as well as half-hour spots from xx:29 to xx:31. The default settings are: the center frequency of 950 kHz, the sampling rate of 2 MHz (or, the recording bandwidth of 1.6 MHz), using the default folder.

Example 5: Super-scheduler

SET 1000/5
21:58 (12) x10

First of all, this script is an example of a super-scheduler which is of format HH:MM (mins) xNN. It will record [mins] minutes starting at [hh:mm] and recording takes place [nn] times, x = "multiplier", [nn] can be between 1...24, [mins] can be between 1...60. The hourly start (or BREAKPOINT) happens always at the minute given in [mm].

So, 21:58 (12) x10 will record 12 minutes at each top-of-the-hour (TOTH), starting at 2158 UTC. This happens 10 times so the last recorded TOTH will be between 0658-0710 UTC.

Another example:

19:54 (60) x20

records 20 hours daily from 1954 UTC with breakpoints at every xx:54:00  Secondly, an extra disk drive (only one drive) can defined in case the primary drive gets full. Use the command SET OVERFLOW d: (d: = the drive label). All new spectrum recordings will be saved onto the “overflow disk drive” if the free space available on the primary disk is less than 4 GB. If you use folder names in the path, those folders must exist also on the “overflow” drive (in this example, only the drive name is given).

Example 6: Greyzone recorder

SET 1000/5
SET QTH HELSINKI, 60.17, 24.64

This script, called GREYZONE RECORDER, is an example of a dynamic script. The recording time is determined by the sunrise and/or sunset times at the location of your Perseus SDR. The recording time will vary day by day. For this script to work properly, make sure that the QTH parameter (the coordinates of your receiver) is accurately defined.

You can make your daily SUNRISE and SUNSET recordings run with a user-defined length (default = 60 minutes) and shift from the sunrise/sunset times.

In the example above:

SUNRISE-30 records 60 minutes daily starting 30 minutes before your local sunrise
SUNSET-30  records 60 minutes daily starting 30 minutes before your local sunset

Other examples:

SUNRISE         records 60 minutes daily starting at your local sunrise
SUNRISE (30)    records 30 minutes daily starting at your local sunrise
SUNRISE-15 (90) records 90 minutes daily starting 15 minutes before your
                local sunrise
SUNSET          records 60 minutes daily starting at your local sunset
SUNSET+30 (45)  records 45 minutes daily starting 30 minutes after your
                local sunset

Example 7: Setting your own VFO frequency list and using POWERSAVE

SET 1000/5
SET VFO 1130,1470,1510,1520,1560,1570
SET QTH HELSINKI, 60.17, 24.64
20:58 (4) x12
SUNRISE-60 (120)
12:00 POWERSAVE 20:00

With this script you can record 4-minute-long TOHs which start from 2100 UTC to 0800 UTC (= 12 times) plus two hours each day beginning 60 minutes before the local sunrise. These recording times can be overlapping. When the disk space on the F: drive runs out, recordings will be saved on the G: drive.

In addition, the standard VFO frequency list is replaced by your own list so after pressing the V key you can scroll the frequencies shown in your own list.

Moreover, in this example, your computer will be hibernated at 1200 UTC and will wake up again at 2000 UTC. This feature is perfect for battery-driven "mobile DX" JAGUAR LITE setups (= a zero-Volt system state during non-DXing periods).

Please note that if you use POWERSAVE, your computer hardware must support wake-up timers and they must be enabled.

Also, the wake-up logon must be disabled:

Go to Control Panel > Hardware and sound > Power Options > Change plan settings > Change advanced power settings

Then set:
  • Sleep: Allow wake timers: Enabled.
  • (For current plan): Require a password on wakeup: No (This can be greyed out. If so, then click "Change settings that are currently unavailable". Now also the "No" option becomes available).
  • Other sleep options should be "Never".


Checking the MESTOR syntax

After you have created the MESTOR scripts in the [MESTOR] section of JAGUAR.INI and launched JAGUAR LITE, the program will check the script syntax and try to build the MESTOR Setup Table based on the given scripts.

MESTOR Setup Table. Details from left to right: Start time UTC, length in minutes,
number of days, attenuation, center frequency, bandwidth, file to save.
This example shows the output from two scripts: TOP 22-06 and BOT 22-06.

Sometimes an error message may be displayed if a fatal error is found, for example, if the hard disk drive where you want to save your recordings, is missing.  After every change in MESTOR scripts, it is always a good habit to check the contents of the control tables by selecting MESTOR SETUP under the Info icon on the toolbar.

If you are happy with the recording scheme displayed, just leave JAGUAR LITE as is. You can leave it in the ARCHIVE mode or in the Live mode, running or paused, or even in the Sleep state. JAGUAR LITE will take care of the recordings at the programmed times whatever mode JAGUAR LITE is in.