EDX Wireless offers several support options. Either choose from the quick links above, the topics on the right or keep reading to see our entire support documentation.
Still have questions? Call us at 541-345-0019 or contact us.
What are the basic computer requirements for running EDX software?
EDX software products are computationally intensive programs with large file I/O requirements, and for this reason, it’s not just a simple matter of getting a faster processor or larger hard disk to increase performance. It’s further complicated by the choice of 32-bit vs 64-bit operating systems. Here are some considerations to guide you in choosing your computer hardware for use with EDX products.
32-bit vs 64-bit
One of the biggest boosts to performance can be the switch to a 64-bit operating system (OS). With current 32-bit processors and OS’s, there is a maximum limit 4GB of memory that can be used by Windows system processes. Our programs can access large data sets, and this can easily push the software processor memory needs past the capacity of Windows. The user will first notice the program slowing down; it will take more time to return mouse control, move through dialog boxes, and repaint the map display etc. In extreme cases, it can cause the program to terminate with “out of memory” errors. Switching to 64-bit removes this memory bottleneck since the operating system can access more processor space memory. Note, this only works if you have a 64-bit OS running on a 64-bit machine. Starting with version 8.0/11.0, EDX software is available in 64-bit for all products, except Building Editor.
Memory has been discussed above. Most computers available today have decent speed and quality memory.
Minimum recommendation – 4GB
Better recommendation – 8GB and 64-bit OS
Current CPUs range in speed from 2.5GHz to 3.5Ghz, with laptops generally being on the lower end and desktops on the higher end. Processor speed doesn’t make as much of a difference in performance with EDX software as you might expect. For example, a 3.5Ghz laptop represents an approximate 30% increase in speed, but you won’t see a corresponding 30% decrease in the time it takes EDX to do it’s work. Nevertheless, faster is better with the number of cores in the processor being another consideration. The trend has been to add more cores to the processors, rather than increase the processor speed. Currently, EDX software offers multi-threading in it’s building of displays, but not in the main calculation engine. So a multi-core processor will not help much now, but in the future it will. The exception to this is if you’re building a server with the intention of running multiple “virtual” instances of Windows/EDX Software. The EDX software wouldn’t necessarily benefit, but running multiple instances would.
Minimum recommendation – Intel Core 2 duo (or equivalent).
Standard recommendation – Intel Core i3. The Core i5 and i7 would be useful for the future, as their main advantage is multi-core, multi-threading.
High-end server recommendation – Intel Xeon 4 core (min) up to 8 core.
Hard drives are a place where you can gain some performance increases. A minimum of 20GB free is all that’s needed, and most computers today come with drives of at least 250GB or larger. Since a lot of our processing time comes with reading/writing to the hard drive, read/write/seek time can help, but having a high RPM is better. Another option that can dramatically decrease read/write/access times is switching to a solid state hard drive (SSD). However, not all SSD’s are created equal. There are issues relating to I/O and some questions on hard drive lifespan vs traditional hard drives. For a primer on SSD’s, click the following link(s):
Depending on your configuration, there are other options, such as running an external HD or SSD for your projects and data. It won’t run as fast as internal to the computer, but it can give you greater options in project and data portability.
Minimum recommendation – 250GB + 7200 RPM traditional HD
High-end recommendation – 250GB + SSD
Generally, EDX software does not require or use much in the way of processing for graphics. Since we are displaying bit-mapped images, study results or other maps and data, it’s more an issue of how much computer memory you have (see above). There are two applications that can benefit from a better graphics card:
1) Multiple monitors at higher resolutions. While the minimum specs do the job, having multiple monitors running at 1920×1080 gives you the ability to expand the application window over both monitors, giving you a huge workspace. You can look at a large area, have multiple views open side by side, or view EDX on one monitor and all your other apps on a second monitor. Windows supports dual monitors natively, so generally there is no need for a special graphics card. What is absolutely necessary is that the graphics bit-depth be 32-bit.
2) Ray-tracing. Some EDX ray-tracing models can take advantage of the GPU’s on NVIDA graphics cards (minimum of 96 CUDA cores). This is a specialty application, so contact EDX support for more information.
Minimum recommendation – 1024×768, 32-bit graphics resolution.
High-end recommendation – 32 bit multiple monitor 1920×1080 or larger resolution.
How do I install the EDX software?
In a nutshell, you install the software via an installation CD (which should autorun) or download (click on ‘Setup’), then after install is complete, plug in the hardware key, let Windows associate it with the HASP drivers (this may take a few minutes…check you system tray), and launch the software when complete. Here is a link to the EDX Quick Start installation instructions included with new licenses.
There are extra steps for using a network key after the above, which include downloading a license manager which listens for EDX requests to start, and possibly a nethasp.ini file, which goes in the bin directory of the install and tells the program where to look for the license manager and key. Chapter 16 of the reference manual goes into greater detail and shows how to edit the nethasp.ini.
Links to the related files can be found below:
Base device drivers for HASP keys required for all keys, installed when the EDX installation is run:
NetHASP License Manager listens for requests over TCP/IP to launch EDX software and compares to licenses stored in the HASP key. Required for operation of Network Keys:
Nethasp.ini is used with network installations to tell EDX where to look (ip address) for the license manager/network key:
If the above steps don’t work for you, contact EDX support.
My installation fails and does not complete!
If the installation fails, make note of the error (screenshots are best) and contact EDX support for resolution. In general, this indicates a problem with the installer, and needs to be resolved by EDX sending a new installer via CD or Download.
My software doesn’t launch!
After you have completed installation and plugged in the hardware key, if the EDX application fails to launch, make note of the error message. Common errors include:
No HASP Key Found! – No hardware key was found attached to local USB/parallel ports, or the hardware key drivers were not installed or associated with the HASP key.
No Network Key Found! – Similar to above, but after failing to find a locally running license manager and attached key, the software could not find a license manager on the local TCP/IP network. Could be same problem as above if using a stand-alone key, but also indicates the software couldn’t find a license manager if using a network key. If a license manager is running, and you can see the LM machine from your computer, a nethasp.ini might be needed or may be configured incorrectly.
Software Failed To Start! (or some variation) – Usually indicates needed application files are missing or out of date. Can also indicate missing Windows components, see more in “Running 32-bit versions on 64-bit machines.” Contact EDX support for resolution.
SignalPro has stopped working! (or some variation) – This is usually a Windows OS error message, and typically doesn’t give enough information to troubleshoot. Most commonly seen when loading a project, or at various times during operation of the software. Usually indicates a bad or missing file, or software study misconfiguration. Because of all the possibilities, it’s best to contact EDX support to troubleshoot.
Data use in EDX
What types of data does EDX use?
Broadly speaking, there are three types of data that get used in EDX software.
Data that affects the study results/calculations
This includes terrain, clutter, building databases/floorplans, equipment specifications and antenna patterns. All propagation models at minimum use terrain data. Some propagation models can also add losses specified by the clutter database. More rare are building databases/floorplans which can be used as shadowing/diffraction objects with most free-space and hybrid propagation models. They can also be used with advanced propagation models like indoor and outdoor ray-tracing to account for through-wall losses. Equipment specifications can be loaded by the user into library files which can then be accessed via drop-down menus in EDX software. Antenna patterns can be used to model directionality in both the horizontal and vertical planes. Be aware that not all projects need all of this information. At a minimum, terrain data, transmitter ERP, and transmit/receive antenna gains are required.
Data that is used for display purposes
Map images, road and street images, symbol files that represent locations etc, can be added to EDX through the map layers. These are usually graphic files like .shp or .mif files, which are interchange formats from industry standard mapping programs ArcView and MapInfo.
Location and measurement data
Location data would be locations of transmitter sites, CPE’s, meters; locations that EDX would use to place transmitters and receivers. Measurement data brings in measured values for display on the screen. It can be used as a visual comparison between what the program predicted and the measured value in the field. Measured RSSI and also be used to help “tune” a clutter database to ensure predicted falls as close as possible to measured values.
What format does my data need to be in?
This is a large topic, and probably best handled by calling EDX support. However, in general terms, terrain and clutter data needs to be converted into an EDX format; .201 for terrain, and .gcv for clutter. The easiest way to do this is to get the original data in an ArcView Binary Grid format, latitude/longitude, WGS 84, and convert it using the EDXCV program. If the data isn’t available in that format, contact EDX. It’s possible you may need to purchase data to suit your needs.
Building Data is not as commonly used. If you can obtain your own, it needs to be converted into the EDX .mcs format. The easiest way is to get the original data in ArcView .shp format, in UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator). It can then be converted using EDXCV. Otherwise, you may need to purchase data to suit your needs.
Equipment specifications can be put into 4 different files, and their format is specified in the EDX Appendices, section I:
Base station transmitter data – tx_data.dat
Base station receiver data – rx_data.dat
Remote/Mobile unit data – rx_mob_data.dat
Antenna types list data – antenna_types.dat
There is an editor within the EDX tool for these files under RF Equipment -> RF Equipment List. You can also edit these files in a text editor.
Antenna Pattern Files need to be in the EDX .pat format. This format is specified in Appendix I. We have a pattern converter called CVANT which is installed in the main product. In addition, there are standard formats that we can convert from. If your pattern doesn’t have a file in one of those formats, you may need to build the pattern from scratch, or from an Excel spreadsheet using specifications from the manufacturer.
Location data – can be base station locations, CPE locations, meter locations, etc. For base stations, point-to-point links and CPE’s, refer to chapter 9 of the reference manual. For meters, refer to chapter 3 of the SignalMX/Mesh design manual.
Measurement data – see chapter I of the appendices.
What data do I need for my project?
Data is not a “one size fits all” solution as it comes in many resolutions, imagery sources and acquisition dates among other variances. The type of data best for your project will depend on many factors. One easy way to determine this is to call EDX Sales or Support and talk to us about your needs and budget. We can help you determine what you actually need and the best sources for it.