Pathloss 3.0

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Version 3 support

Upgrading Pathloss version 3.0

Pathloss version 3.0 update to the June 1998 build

This build corrects installation problems on certain computers running later versions of Windows95 and Windows 98. If your computer is unable to read the Setup Disk and continues to prompt to insert the Setup Disk in Drive A, the program must be updated to the June 1998 build. The update procedure modifies the files on Program Disk 1 and on the Setup Disks and reinstalls the program.

Step 1 - Download maintenance files

Download the following files to a temporary directory on your computer:

[plw_inst.exe] and [plw_mu.exe]

These are both WinZip self extracting executable files. The file PLW_MU.EXE contains replacement files for Program Disk 1. The file PLW_INST.EXE contains replacement files for the Setup disks.

Close all programs including Windows Explorer.

Step 2 - Upgrade program disk 1

In this step, the existing files on Program Disk 1 will be overwritten with new files. Alternately you can use a blank formatted high density (1.44 Mb) floppy disk to create a new Program Disk1.

Place the Program Disk 1 (or the blank disk) in drive A and execute the program PLW_MU.EXE. Click OK on the "Pathloss 3.0 Maintenance Update - June 8, 1998" message box.

Click Unzip to update or create a new Program Disk 1.

Step 3 - Upgrade the Pathloss setup disk

Place the Setup Disk in drive A and execute the program PLW_INST.EXE. Click OK on the "Pathloss 3.0 Setup Update - June 8, 1998" message box.

The "Overwrite Files Without Prompting" box must be checked. Leave the "When Done Unzipping Run A:\SETUP \U" box check if you wish to immediately reinstall the program.

Click Unzip to update the Setup Disk. Note that a password may be required to reactivate thehard disk lock. Contact CTE for this password. We will require the serial number of the Setupdisk.

If the error message "Error writing to A:\.... Possible cause: disk full" appears and the programterminates, proceed as follows:

The complete setup disk contains the following files:

^Name ^Size ^ ^ |SERIAL.NUM |18 |original file - unchanged | |INSTALL.EMF |41,036 |updated file | |INSTXXXX.EXE|143,360|original file - unchanged. | |PLINST95.EXE|170,496|updated file - required for Windows 95/98 only| |PLINSTNT.EXE|169,472|updated file - required for Windows NT only | |SETUP.EXE |92,268 |updated file | |PLW_INST.HLP|29,172 |original file - unchanged | |DISK_0.LST |108 |updated file | |INSTALL.WMF |19,594 |original file - unchanged |

Erase any file which are not in this list and rerun the PLW_INST.EXE program. The file INSTXXXX.EXE must not be erased.

If the "When Done Unzipping Run A:\SETUP /U" box has not been checked, then click Start - Run and enter the command line A:\SETUP /U (the letter U must be a capital).

Complete the installation in response to the prompts.

Key disk issues

The usual causes of problems with Version 3.0 on Windows NT, 2000, ME are not having administrator privileges, conflicts with anti-virus software and trying to run Setup.exe from File Explorer. Please confirm that you have permission to install software on the computer, disable any anti-virus software and always run Setup.exe from the START - RUN window. Pathloss version 3.0 has never been tested on Windows XP and is not supported. Version 3.0 is a 16 bit program designed for Windows 3.1. Pathloss version 4.0 will operate on all newer Windows operating systems.

If the problem persists, you should try installing the program on another machine. If the program still does not initialize you can return the disk to CTE and we will replace it :

Our address:

Attention Warranty Services

Please declare the value of the disk as $0 and warranty return to avoid any customs delays.

Hard disk lock problems

Hard disk lock re-initialization required

When the Pathloss program is started the following Message appears "Hard Disk Lock Re-Initialization Required", followed by a prompt to place the Setup Disk in Drive X.


This problem usually appears after a defragmentation program has been run on the hard disk where the Pathloss program has been installed.


Run the Setup program and select "INSTALL" followed by "RESET HARD DISK LOCK", the program will ask you to verify the Pathloss directory. When finished the Pathloss program will run normally. If the program returns with the message "HARD DISK LOCK NOT VALID" you must regenerate the Hard Disk Lock and reinstall the Pathloss program. If you have problems running the Setup program click here.

The Hard disk lock has been lost


This can be caused by a number of things including a drive failure or moving the program to another drive.


In the event that a hard disk lock is inadvertently lost, a password can be supplied to reactivate this feature. There are several levels of passwords. When you run the Setup program, The required level is shown at the bottom of the screen (Hard Disk Lock Installed (Level 3). Send the Setup disk serial number and the lock level to CTE with a description of the failure and a password will be supplied to reactivate the hard disk lock.

Start the Setup program using the following command line:


When the installation program starts you will be prompted to enter the password. Note that the password is case sensitive. All alpha characters must be capitals. Once the password has been entered, you must completely reinstall the program to regenerate hard disk lock. Note that the passwords are valid for one installation only. If your Setup program does not display a Level number or does not prompt you to enter a password when started as above, then you must update your program.

Windows NT problems

Hard disk lock now supports NTFS drives

Changes to the Borland object windows library (OWL)

Borland redistributable dynamic link libraries are supplied on Program Disk 2. These are supplied as part of the original shipment and have not changed since the original release of the program.

Under Windows NT, the original dynamic link library, OWL31.DLL, has some undesirable side effects. Your screen saver may pause or freeze. Other applications may run slowly. Performance Monitor will show CPU usage at 100%, even if the program is running in the background, idle.

Both the Pathloss and Map Grid programs will produce these symptoms.

To solve this problem, a new OWL31.DLL is included in the self extracting file PLW_MU.EXE. The date on this file is January 1997. Note that the maintenance update feature in the Setup program will not copy this file to the Pathloss directory. You must do this yourself. You can also download this file at [[1]]

Setup program operation

When the setup program starts it first checks the operating system. Different installation programs are used for Windows 3.1, Windows 95 and Windows NT. Note that all of these require the file INSTxxxx.EXE.

Initializing Setup

Setup then creates a temporary directory on the first local hard drive with sufficient free space to hold the installation files. Setup will not create a temporary directory on a network drive. The temporary directory is named PLW30TMP0. If this directory already exists, the directory name will increment to PLW31TMP1, PLW32TMP2.. until a unique name is found. If the directory name reaches PLW39TMP9, Setup will fail on the following attempt.

The required files are copied to the temporary directory.

Activating the installation program

When the files have been copied, Setup activates the installation program. The installation program first verifies that the correct Setup disk is being used.

On Windows NT, there are several conditions which may cause the verification to fail.

  • You must have administrator privileges for the floppy disk drive containing the Setup disk. This is equivalent to saying that you are authorized to format a disk in this drive.
  • No other applications can be running when the Setup program is started. In particular, if there is a command prompt active the drive is set to the same as the Setup disk, the verification will fail.
  • The first attempt at verifying the Setup disk may fail without actually verifying the Setup disk due to timing issues. The "Key Disk Required" dialog box will appear immediately after the installation program starts. Just verify that the drive number is correct and click the OK button.

The Setup disk has a 720K format with three defective sectors on one side of track 79. The interrogation process reads these sectors. Windows NT is a high security operating system and tries very hard to recover the data on these sectors. The process can take some time and therefore operating the Pathloss program in the key disk mode is not recommended.

On Windows NT, the Reset Hard Disk Lock menu selection is not available. A different security scheme is used and this feature is redundant. Disk optimization /defragmentation programs do not affect the operation.

Cleaning Up

When the installation program terminates, the Setup program reactivates and will attempt to erase the installation files and temporary directory. This will fail on both Windows NT and Windows 95 if Windows has written any files into the temporary directory during the installation process. These are hidden files with the suffix "GID".

Check for the directory PLW3?TMP? on Drive C. If it exists you should erase it is just taking up space.

If you do not see the message "Cleaning Up" when the installation program terminates, the communication between Setup and the installation program has failed and you must manually erase the installation files and the temporary directory.

Upgrading from Windows 95 to Windows NT

If the Pathloss program has been installed on Windows 95 and the system is upgraded to Windows NT, no changes are required.

Installing Pathloss on a dual boot system

If your computer is equipped with two operating systems (for example Windows 95 and Windows NT). The Pathloss program must be installed using Windows 95 to operate on both operating systems.

If you first install the program on Windows NT, then it will be necessary to reset the hard disk lock under Windows 95.

Single user license on a network drive

In general a single user licensed Pathloss program will not operate on a network. This depends on the specific network, however the automatic network, backup procedures, will result in a hard disk lock failure.

Version 3 revision history

Changes in the January 03, 2000 Release

All computer generated dates have been removed from the program. In the print profile module, the date can be manually entered in the title block dialog box.

Changes in the June 8, 1998 Release

Changes have been made to allow installation without using safe mode on Windows 95

Changes in the March 9, 1998 Release

Changes have been made to allow hard disk operation on Windows NT - NTFS formated drives

Changes in the December 30, 1997 Release

Changes in the November 26, 1997 Release

Converting Grid ASCII files to the binary format could cause a program crash if elevations were encountered with more than 11 characters. This occured for elevations near zero which are expressed as 0.0002344553 for example.

Changes in the November 5, 1997 Release

Microwave Worksheet - ITU rain calculations

The effective path distance was calculated with the actual 0.01% rain rate. This version uses a maximum rain rate of 100 mm/hr for the effective path length

Changes in the September 29, 1997 Release

Terrain Data

Support for the DGM (German) terrain data base has been added.

It was impossible to enter coordintes less than one degree on either side of 0 degrees without changing the geographic defaults. For example -0 23 33 would be entered as 00 23 33 N if the default hemisphere was set to north. Pathloss Version 3.0 Program Revision Status

Changes in the September 11, 1997 Release

Microwave Worksheet

The RTF File option in the worksheet report caused a program crash

VHF-UHF Worksheet

Radio lookup tables did not bring in the receiver sensitivity in dBW

Changes in the April 30, 1997 Release

Microwave Worksheet

Several row header formatting errors occurred as a result of the addition of severely errored seconds and unavailability in the microwave worksheet. This release corrects these. These format errors occur only in the April 22 release.

Planned Additions and Changes

Diffraction loss does not handle a range of trees

The curved earth - curved axis profile display format will be revised to better fill the page.

Changes in the April 22, 1997 Release

Worst month unavailability - severely errored seconds reliability format has been added to provide ITU compatibility.

Planned Additions and Changes

Diffraction loss does not handle a range of trees.

The curved earth - curved axis profile display format will be revised to better fill the page.

Changes in the April 09, 1997 Release

Diffraction Loss

The existence of certain diffraction loss calculations involving irregular terrain could cause a program crash when the diffraction module was reopened.

The TIREM algorithm can cause a program crash on path profiles less than 1 km when one site is extremely blocked. The sub algorithm can either be an effective knife edge or rough earth diffraction. The problem arises with the height gain term of the most severely blocked site. These paths are outside the intended range of the algorithm. This release fixes the problem by assigning a zero value to the height gain term whenever the argument of a logarithm is less than zero.

Microwave Worksheet - ITU 530 Rain

This release contains a preliminary release of a revised ITU 530 rain calculation. The 0.01% rain rate is shown in the dialog box and a safety factor. The effective 0.01% rain rate is calculated as the product of the 0.01% rain rate and the safety factor. The reports and the calculation display will be revised to show this effective rain rate in a forthcoming release.

Planned Additions and Changes

Diffraction loss does not handle a range of trees

The curved earth - curved axis profile display format will be revised to better fill the page.

Changes in the March 07, 1997 Release

Revisions to the French language screen. The minimum distance between points has been set to 0.001 miles or 001609 kilometers when using a digitizing tablet to generate terrain profiles..

Planned Additions and Changes

Diffraction loss does not handle a range of trees

The curved earth - curved axis profile display format will be revised to better fill the page.

Changes in the January 23, 1997 Release

Canadian DEM Files

The DTED-USGS Files data base selection will handle the new Canadian DEMS up to 68 degrees latitude. Below this latitude, the files correspond to one degree by one degree blocks with a elevation density of 3 seconds in latitude and longitude.

Changes in the January 16, 1997 Release =

This release will operate on Windows NT Version 4.0

Terrain Data

Reference ellipsoid added for the South American datum of 1969 (Major axis 6378160 - Minor Axis 6356774.719)


The calculation of obstruction radius in the NSMA diffraction algorithm only has been changed. Three points are determined by the horizon points and the intersection of the horizon rays. The radius is determined from these points. This change has been agreed to by the NSMA Working Group 2 OHLOSS

Planned Additions and Changes

Diffraction loss does not handle a range of trees

The curved earth - curved axis profile display format will be revised to better fill the page.

Changes in the December 11, 1996 Release

Terrain Data

USGS 7.5 Minute Data Base (30 meter grid)

Some files ordered directly from the USGS do not conform to the standard file naming convention. When converting from ASCII to binary, the program will determine the correct file name and prompt the user to change the name if it does not agree with the ASCII file name.

7.5 Minute Terrain Data for Hawaii

The boundaries of some maps for Hawaii do not fall on 7.5 minute boundaries. The main island of Hawaii is OK. The islands of Maui, Molokai, Lani and Kahoolawe have boundaries which are offset by 5 minutes north and west.

The December 11, 1996 of Pathloss program takes into account this shift and will convert files from ASCII to binary and generate profiles in this area taking the shift into account.

At this time Map Grid does not report the correct map names for these islands.

The boundaries for island groups of Oahu and Kauai do not conform to the standard; however, this will be corrected in a future release of the program.

EDX Version 8 File Conversion

Support has been added for EDX version 8.0 file formats

Planned Additions and Changes

Diffraction loss does not handle a range of trees

The curved earth - curved axis profile display format will be revised to better fill the page.

Changes in the November 18, 1996 Release


The dispersion analysis screen could cause a program crash if the path was not line of sight.

Planned Additions and Changes

Diffraction loss does not handle a range of trees. The curved earth - curved axis profile display format will be revised to better fill the page.

Changes in the October 30, 1996 Release

Print Profile

The "flat earth K on beams" profile display shows the Fresnel zones as a series of 's, measured from ground or from the top of a structure as applicable. A memory leak was detected in this module which may account for reported problems with this module under heavy usage.

Planned Additions and Changes

Diffraction loss does not handle a range of trees The curved earth curved axis profile display format will be revised to better fill the page.

Changes in the October 23, 1996 Release


This release includes the preliminary release of the French Language screen displays.

Terrain Data USGS 7.5 ' Data Base

Certain USGS ASCII files produced a file read error when converted to binary.

Terrain Data CRC Data Base

The October 9 release did not correctly read CRC data base formats after August 1992.

Changes in the October 9, 1996 Release =

Terrain Data CRC Data Base

An option has been provided to read versions of the Canadian CRC terrain data base formats prior to August 1992 and after August 1992.

Changes in the October 3, 1996 Release

Microwave Worksheet

The criteria for the effective radiated power warning on short paths was revised for the new FCC rules (101)

Changes in the September 26, 1996 Release =

Area Coverage

When printing coverage radials which span multiple pages, all of the radials may not be printed if the display had been moved on the page

Changes in the September 11, 1996 Release

USGS 30 Second World Data Base

Changes were made to handle different formats in the header file. A profile which went outside of a map area could be corrupted.

Grid Ascii Data Base (Australia 9 second)

A profile which went outside of a map area could be corrupted.

Terrain Data Radial Profiles

If a UTM bearing reference was selected in the southern hemisphere, the bearings were inverted north to south.

Changes in the July 17, 1996 Release

Area Coverage

When processing CVG files, the program checks for duplicate radial bearings and that all parameters which affect the results are the same in all cvg files. This includes elevation, antenna heights, frequency, polarization, diffraction algorithm, K and the measurement units (metric/english) If a difference is detected, a "Parameter Conflict" error message is issued and process terminates. On some computers, this error caused a program crash.

Changes in the July 15, 1996 Release

Microwave Worksheet CCIR Initial Planning Method

The geoclimatic factor was saved as a zero value in files which used the CCIR initial planning method. This caused a program crash when the file was retrieved and the microwave worksheet selected.

Changes in the July 2, 1996 Release

The display zoom feature used in Map Grid and the Diffraction and Antenna Heights module produced an inverted zoom display under Windows 95

Terrain Data

Support for the USGS 30 second data base has been added. The image files are available over the Internet and provide world coverage. Support for ARC/INFO GRIDASCII files has been added. This was specifically developed for the AUSLIG 9 second data base.

Changes in the June 13, 1996 Release

Microwave Worksheet

When using lookup tables with diversity antennas, the antenna gain did not immediately update in the data entry form if the form was visible (ie not behind the lookup table). This change has no effect on the calculated results or reports.

Changes in the June 11, 1996 Release

Area Coverage

Line widths must be set to 0 when plotting area coverage on a pen plotter. The line widths for the title block, contours and reference arrows are automatically set to zero if a pen plotter is detected. The radial line widths must be set to zero in the line attributes dialog box. If a VHFUHF worksheet is used to enter data into the equipment parameters form, the fixed and mobile antenna gains were reversed if Site 2 transmit was selected. Note that Site 1 is always the fixed station and Site 2 is always the mobile station.

Map Grid

A scale has been added to permit map crossings to be shown in inches or centimeters when using one of the non defined map references (Other)

Changes in the May 20, 1996 Release

Changes were made to the Spanish translation. The worksheet data on some older Pathloss files (pl2) were not correctly converted.

Changes in the May 2, 1996 Release =

EDX File Conversion

Some EDX files reported an Incompatible File Format Error

Changes in the April 24, 1996 Release

USGS 7.5 Minute Data Base

The April 13, 1996 release did not convert elevations to metric as stated stated. This has now been corrected.

Changes in the April 13, 1996 Release

USGS 7.5 Minute Data Base

Single or multiple directories can be used for the binary files. The subdirectory naming convention can be based on the file latitude or longitude. Multiple ASCII files can be selected and converted to the binary format in one pass.

Some USGS 7.5 minute ASCII DEM's have their elevations in feet. Previously it was assumed that all elevations were in meters. This release convert the data to meters in the binary file if the ASCII file is in feet.

RMC 3 Second Files Data Base

Single or multiple directories can be used for the binary files. The subdirectory naming convention can be based on the file latitude or longitude. This will allow files on CDROMS with an non standard directory structure to be read.

AUSLIG 3 second Data Base

The AUSLIG files are in 0.5 degree blocks. If the south west corner coordinates were not whole degrees in latitude or longitude (eg 115.5), the profile did not generate.

Changes in the March 24, 1996 Release =

Terrain Data

An option has been added to the Phoenix data base to support the UNIX file format.

Map Grid

Site coordinates can be optionally displayed on the drawing.

Changes in the March 14, 1996 Release

Several changes were made to both the Pathloss and Map Grid program to resolve problems with the operation under Windows 95. The changes included increasing the program stack size and reworking the printer setup dialog.

Changes in the March 10, 1996 Release

Microwave Worksheet

An upper limit has been placed on the availability results. This limit affects the following calculations: Worst month one way (%) Annual one way (%) Annual two way (%) Rain Availability (%) Multipath + Rain (%)

In the availability option is selected, the limit is 99.999999 In the unavailability option is selected, the limit is 0.000001

Terrain Data

When converting USGS 1:250000 ASCII DEMs to the DTED format, the map index was updated with a longitude increment of 18 seconds. The correct value is 3 seconds for latitudes less than 50 degrees.

Known Problems

Pen plotters do not print the vertical axis in the correct orientation in the Print Profile module.

Changes in the March 4, 1996 Release

The microwave worksheet report caused and GP Fault on some computers on Windows 95. A "Maximum Number of Users Exceed" could be reported on a single user license installed on a network

Changes in the February 27, 1996 Release

Reports can be printed to a DOS text file.

Microwave Worksheet

A warning feature has been added if the EIRP exceeds the minimum values specified by the FCC. The minimum depends on the frequency band and path length. The calculation is shown in red if the minimum EIRP is exceeded. The "FCC ERP Warning" must be selected in the Microwave Worksheet Options to enable this feature.

Map Grid

The program produced a GPF if more than 302 sites were entered. The maximum number of sites has been increased to 490 and an error message now appears. Future releases of the Map Grid program will allow an unlimited number of sites.

USGS 7.5 Minute Data Base

The ASCII to Binary file conversion feature produced an "Incompatible File Format" error on some DEM files even though the files were of the correct format.

Changes in the February 17, 1996 Release

Microwave Worksheet

The effects of interference can be entered either as a threshold degradation of as interference fade margins. If the dispersive antenna spacing was blanked out, a math error could occur. This error existed since the upper limit to the diversity improvement factor feature was added to the program. If the dispersive antenna spacing is blanked out, the actual antenna spacings will be used to calculate the diversity improvement factor.

Terrain Data Module

The data base selection includes the Air Touch Cellular Phoenix 3 second terrain data base.

A feature to calculate vertical angles measured from site 1 has been added. This allows a comparison of the measured and vertical angles. The angles are measured from the zenith.

Map Grid

The following features have been added to the Map Grid Program: DXF file generation capability, Import a text file containing site names and coordinates, A map drawing mode which allows the user to specify the extents of the drawing and optionally disable the geographic grid.


The left and right side angles displayed with the Ins key, has been expanded to display the angles measured from both sites and from the cursor location.

Changes in the December 31, 1995 Release

Preliminary Spanish screen displays and reports have been implemented in this release. The language selection is made under the Setup menu on the main Pathloss window menu bar. The Coverage module and the dialog boxes under the Setup menu are still in English; however, all reports and graphics will be printed in Spanish. The language components are embedded in a resource file in the Pathloss program and cannot be edited with the use of a resource editor. If any changes to the language are required, please FAX a copy of the required changes to: Contract Telecommunication Engineering FAX 604 522 0624 and the changes will be incorporated.

Changes in the December 16, 1995 Release

Terrain Data Module

The digital map index in USGS_DTED Files has been expanded to include the latitude and longitude increment. This was required to accommodate non standard increments.

Changes in the December 14, 1995 Release =

Map Grid

A DXF file save feature has been added. The method of selecting a line by double clicking on it used a Windows polygon region. This had a side effect of dramatically reducing the resources available to Windows. If the display was zoomed, the reduction in resources could become critical. In addition, the region creation on a zoomed display could fail and it would not be possible to select a line. The line selection has been completely revised.

The menu which appears when a line is selected has been expanded to include a line delete option. Previously it was necessary to select the Line Attributes dialog box.

Path Profile

If all Fresnel zone references were deleted, the last fresnel zones drawn would remain.

Microwave Worksheet

Using the Canadian version of CCIR 530, a negative or zero value could not be entered for the logarithmic geoclimatic factor.

Terrain Data

The disable profile drawing button had stopped working

Diffraction Variable Parameters

When the variable parameters display was printed, the text below the graph showed the global values of frequency and K.

Changes in the November 27, 1995 Release


Two new methods of defining a reflective plane have been added. The previous version developed the plane using a least squares fit to the terrain points. In addition to this a plane can now be defined at a fixed elevation or directly between two points.


A pathloss file containing an off path structure could not be used as a worksheet template. A file read error was reported. Loading a microwave worksheet template would also load the transmit frequency assignment, and the expanded header lines. A microwave worksheet template now includes the maximum receive signal. If a microwave worksheet included expanded header lines, printing the worksheet through the clipboard could result is clipping at the lower edge.

Terrain Data

An option to convert version 7 of the EDX Rpath file has been added.

If a profile is reversed immediately after using the strip redundant points or expand flat terrain feature, the marked points would be reset to normal. Latitude and longitude crossings in the Inverse Coordinates data entry form have been revised to use the same algorithm as the Map Grid program. The old version used a great circle arc. The revised method uses an iterative technique to determine the crossings using the currently selected datum.

Map Grid

Accumulated distance has been added to the map crossing report.

Changes in the October 31, 1995 Release

Terrain Data

A binary file information function has been added to the USGS 7.5 minute data base. The major use of this function is to display the datum for the file (NAD27, NAD83, WGS72 etc).

Microwave Worksheet

An upper limit can be set for the diversity improvement on both space and frequency diversity systems. The maximum value is set in the Diversity Dialog box in the Microwave Worksheet module. The default value is 200. If the entry is blank, the theoretical values are used. Equation (25) for the space diversity improvement factor in IF combining systems has been changed to the same equation used for baseband switching systems. The only difference between the two methods is the effect of the thermal fade margin improvement. The reference for the original formula is considered to be specific to one radio type and the Vigants formula represents the general case.

When a version 2.2 data file contained rain calculations was loaded into the version 3.0, the main antenna data could become corrupted.

Changes in the October 17, 1995 Release


Worksheets did not correctly update if the diffraction loss was changed from some value to zero.

Terrain Data

Capability to read the USGS 7.5 minute data base using either the Micropath or SoftWright file naming convention has been added. Provision is also included to convert the USGS 7.5 minute ASCII files to a binary format. The SoftWright binary format is used in all cases.

Changes in the October 3, 1995 Release


It is now possible to associate a pathloss data file with the program in File Manager. A new instance of the Pathloss program will be created each time a file is selected.


Data entries from lookup tables did not set the data changed flag.

Map Grid

Files created with releases of the Map Grid program prior to Sept 04 could not be read with the current version. This has been corrected.

Changes in the September 17, 1995 Release

Map_Grid Utility

The map crossings now give the name of the topographic map for US 1:24,000 scale (7.5 minute) maps and Canadian 1:50,000 and 1:250,000 scale maps. The naming convention is set in the Grid Size dialog box. Crossing distances from the corners are given in inches and centimeters in addition to kilometers.

Pathloss File Format Change

The following new fields have been added to the microwave worksheet: Maximum Receive Signal Emission Designator Bandwidth TX Frequency Assignment In addition it is now possible to add two additional lines to the microwave worksheet header which previously consisted of only the site name.

The effect of these changes is that earlier of the program cannot read files which contain any of these new fields. The current program will read any of the Pathloss file formats. This is important if you exchange files with other users with an earlier version. In this case, you can make a copy of your Program Disk 1 and sent it to the other user to make a maintenance update. Alternately Program Disk 1 is available on the CTE BBS in the self extracting file PLW_MU.EXE.

Lookup Table File Format Changes

The microwave lookup table has been expanded to include the following additional fields: emission designator maximum receive signal operating frequency When a radio is selected into the worksheet, the frequency in the worksheet and the global value is set to the frequency in the worksheet. The file format has also been changed to delimit the fields with commas instead of the fixed field positions previously used. The program will accept either file format.

Terrain Data Module Digitizer

Unfortunately, our documentation did not state that Windows will lock out a serial port if an error occurs when using certain communications functions. This can occur when creating profiles using a digitizing tablet. When this occurred, it was necessary to close the Pathloss program and in some cases shut down windows to reenable the serial port. This has now been corrected.

Changes in the September 04, 1995 Release


The dynamic link libraries PLW_LIB.DLL and PLW_DBSE.DLL have been modified to allow the map_grid program to access routines in these libraries. The net effect of these changes is that the file PLW_LIB.DLL is now required to run the MAP_GRID.EXE program.

Terrain Data Module Digitizer

If a digitized profile had less than 10 data points, a GP fault could occur if any of the cursor keys were pressed when the digitizing was terminated.

Terrain Data Module RMC Files Data Base

The requirement to generate a map index for RMC 3 second files has been removed from the program. The Rocky Mountain file naming convention is now used to determine the required map file. Provision has been made to specify the file name suffix to accommodate both CDROM files and files supplied on floppy disks.

Microwave Worksheet

Average annual temperature can be a negative value. Note that this will not affect the annual outage times as a negative temperature is outside the allowable range in both degrees C and F.

Map Grid Utility

The following new features have been added to MAP_GRID.EXE:

Provision to enter coordinates in UTM format in the Site Data entry form. You can create a pathloss file directly from the map grid program. The file does not contain a profile.

Map crossings based on the grid lines can be determined. The latter two functions are invoked by double clicking on the line joining two sites. The specific selection including the line attributes are made from a popup menu. The drawing extents are automatically determined based on the latitude and longitude increments and the site coordinates. There is no longer any provision to enter the specific map corners.

The grid axis font size and attributes under the default menu had no effect.

Changes in the August 20, 1995 Release

Area Coverage Module

Contour drawing capability has been added to this module.

Map Grid Program August 18, 1995

Adding a new site to an existing drawing could cause a GPF if any of the sites were joined with lines. Map Grid support is also available on the BBS in the file MGRID_MU.EXE

Changes in the August 11, 1995 Release


Changes have been made to allow the program to be used on Microsoft Windows for Workgroups network. Procedures for installing Pathloss on a WFWG network are included at the end of the manual and are available on the BBS in the file NET_DIAG.ZIP.

Terrain Data Module

Changing, antenna heights, frequency or polarization in the Initial Parameters data entry form did not erase any diffraction calculations. If a profile with two ranges separated by one profile point was reversed, the display corrupted.

Map Grid

The Save and New menu items are disabled if there is no data. The New File selection updates the caption. When entering site data, the down arrow key now shows the new line number.

Changes in the July 23, 1995 Release

Windows 95 Pre Release 2 June, 1995

Changes were required to operate the Pathloss program under Windows 95. These changes included a new setup program and a modified installation program. Without these changes, it was necessary to disable the 32 bit file access to operate the installation program.


Error handling added to check for a default printer. In particular, the map_grid program cannot be used unless a default printer has been selected. Terrain Data Radial Profiles Additional error handling has been added to the radial profile generation using DTED map files. When using a DTED CDROM, it was necessary to confirm the CDROM file name for each radial profile. The site 2 coordinates on radial profiles are now always set to the last valid point read for all situations including a file read error, user termination and no digital maps.

The file verification routine for DTED files on CDROM using the Canadian file naming convention did not verify the entire file.

Additions in the July 13, 1995 Release

Map Grid utility has been added as a separate utility. This program creates a system diagram of radio sites on a geographic grid.

Changes in the July 9, 1995 Release


A check for a non zero start distance has been added to the file load procedure. This situation could only occur if the data file was externally generated. Duplicated distances are also checked; however, there is no check for non sequential distances. A math error handler has been added. Underflow is set to zero and no error messages are issued. Any other math error other than divide by zero will be trapped and an error message reported.

Terrain Data Module

An option has been added for the DTED CDROM data base selection to provide for the non standard DTED directory structure used by the Canadian Energy Mines and Resources. A GP Fault could occur using any of the terrain data base options if the path name of the data base file exceeded 20 characters. The limit is now set to 80 characters.

The Accept/Reject Changes menu function is enabled if duplicate points exist. All duplicate points can be stripped using this function.

Print Profile Module

Batch profile printing has been corrected to allow files located in different directories to be specified. The unique file name restriction remains.

Changes in the July 05, 1995 Release

Microwave Worksheet

Polarization is always printed in the report. Previously polarization was only printed if a rain calculation existed.

VHFUHF Worksheet

Saving a lookup file could cause a general protection fault. The lookup table was correctly saved. This error did not occur in the microwave worksheet.

Changes in the June 5, 1995 Release

Terrain Data

The data entry prompt was not reset when the delete all points function was used.


When more than one page was required for a worksheet report and the include notes options was selected, the worksheet lines did not format correctly.

Text Reports

Minor changes made to correlate screen font and printer font sizes

Changes in the May 26, 1995 Release

Reflections Module

A negative value of K using divergence produced a log10 domain error in the null depth report

Changes in the May 17, 1995 Release

The following changes and additions have been made to earlier BETA releases

Terrain Data Module

Stub code for a user supplied dynamic link library to read a terrain data base has been added. The source code for the stub is given in the directory USER_DLL. Coordinate formatting revised to show the exact number of decimal places specified in the geographic defaults section. Previously the format did not add zeros e.g. 49 34 15.00 would have been displayed as 49 34 15.0

South Africa National Exchange Standard terrain data base support has been added. Geographic defaults was revised to use either UTM or Gauss Conformal coordinates. The latter was used in the development of the NES data base and is only applicable to the conventions used in South Africa. Australian AUSLIG 3 second terrain data base support has been added.

Coverage Module

Printing before the processed data file was saved caused a general protection fault. The title block scale did not correctly format for short distances.

If the title block on a separate page was selected, the title block was always printed even if the no title block option had been selected.

Microwave and VHFUHF Worksheets

Additional checks have been added to blank out the calculation display if parameters involved in the calculation have not been correctly entered

Other Changes

A calculation and status summary has been added at the bottom of all graphic display prints. This can be switched off in the Page Layout dialog box located under the Print menu selection on each applicable screen

Changes in the April 21, 1995 Beta Release

Terrain Data Module

Adding or Deleting a single or offpath structure did not register a change to the user data.

Coverage Module

Equipment parameters can be set to the values in the VHF UHF worksheet using either site 1 or site 2 as the transmit site. Clipboard and Windows metafile coverage printing has been added.

Antenna Heights Module

The Path Clearance report now measures the horizontal clearance to off path structures expressed as clearance to first Fresnel zone ratio in percent.

A GP fault occurred when the calculate clearance criteria was opened on an obstructed path.

Diffraction Module

On obstructed paths, the foreground loss using the Pathloss LOS option did not calculate on the left side of the path. Note that the default foreground loss method is scaled height gain in Version 3.0.

Reflective planes were not printed TX and RX antenna gains used in tropospheric scatter loss can now be individually not included. This will allow one site to be a terrestrial station and the other to be an earth station.

Multipath Module

Constant gradient ray trace used different densities on milesfeet and kmsmeters measurement systems


Additional editing keys have been added to Lookup Tables: F4 copies the entry above the cursor F3 erases antenna radome loss in antenna lookup tables erases dispersive fade margin in the microwave radio lookup tables. This key has no effect on other entries.

The file name extension, "tpl" is automatically added to template file names without any suffix in Save Template for both the microwave and VHFUHF worksheet.

Other Changes

When the program closed, the windows utility Dr. Watson reported unknown errors in the dynamic link libraries PLW_LIB.DLL and PLW_DBSE.DLL. This has been corrected.

Initial Beta Release March 31, 1995