Probe Software
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The New Probe 4
Click to visit the Probe World gallery
About methodology
Download Probe 4 Help File
Click to visit the Probe U.S. gallery
Digital TV and LPTV Studies using OET-69
Probe Introduction Video (YouTube)

V-Soft's New Plus Pack



Spectacular Signal Mapping!

Propagation Software for Communications, DTV, FM, LPTV


Probe gives you the ability to map out broadcast FM, TV and communications coverage in the 20 to 20,000 MHz range. Probe 4 offers many powerful features, flexibility and speed, including the ability to take advantage of multiple program threads and dual core or quad core processors.

Probe is designed to be fast, efficient and highly accurate as it calculates the propagation variables for multiple communication services.  From 800 MHz two-way communication performance to the the interference analysis between FM broadcast stations, Probe is the choice as the universal propagation prediction tool.

Critical to Probe's success is its professionally integrated, world wide, geographic mapping engine which combines the best polygon mapping graphics available with precision coordinate information and map projections. Probe produces absolutely stunning maps with appearances that rival even the best of the traditional atlas map makers.  All background colors, highway colors and road markers, city names, river line-thickness, lake and ocean colors and label font names and sizes are fully user-selectable. You can configure every aspect of Probe's  maps to make them look perfect to the intended reader. The program contains a complete set of editing and drawing tools for adding text, pointer arrows, circles, squares, lines and other information to the maps. 

Probe's "What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get" (WYSIWYG) interface provides you with a screen view of the exact printed output. The program builds in a mouse-zoom feature which enables the you to enlarge any rectangle you select on the map to full screen so that the area can be examined in detail or printed.  Maps, scaled selected to your choice, can be sent to color or black and white printers or can be internally converted to graphic files. 

Probe 4 offers a polygon drawing tool that allows the user to enhance maps by highlighting certain areas. When the tool is used in the polygon mode, users can form a shape on the screen with the mouse and Probe will calculate the population and area within the shape.  This tool is particularly useful for calculating the population and areas of odd contour overlaps or interference area shapes. Probe features a hot cursor that, when placed over a detail on the map, will display the coordinates, elevation, land-cover, signal levels or interference U/D at the cursor location. The terrain profile tool will draw a terrain profile graph, complete with Fresnel clearance between any two spots clicked by the user on the map interface. 

Single or multiple station communications or broadcast coverage studies, incoming or outgoing interference studies, highest signal two-way coverage are all available for user selection. For broadcast related interference studies, Probe automatically identifies the stations to which interference is caused, as well as those stations which cause interference to the user's reference station facilities.

Probe uses any of the numerous V-Soft Communication's terrain elevation databases. (Databases of 3 arc-seconds are available from V-Soft Communications for Canada, USA, Mexico, Caribbean, Central America and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.)  Thirty arc-seconds resolution terrain databases are also available for anywhere in the World.  In addition to the Longley-Rice (TECH-NOTE 101) methods, Probe also uses the ITU-R Model, the Federal Communication's Commission "FCC" propagation model, the Okumura/Hata/Davidson and Cost-231/Hata propagation models as well as the FCC's proposed PTP (Point-to-point) methods, versions one and two. (The PTP method, authored by the FCC's Harry Wong, is primarily based on Fresnel clearance.) Terrain Integrated Rough Earth Model (TIREM) methodology is available as an option.  Our highest resolution terrain database for use with Probe 4 in the U.S. is the 30 meter National Elevation Database. 

ITU-R Propagation Model P.1546  

This propagation model is based on the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) rules and regulations. This is a significant propagation breakthrough that allows our Probe 4 to be used in tandem with our world-wide SRTM 03 arc-second digital terrain elevation database to predict signal coverage and interference in accordance with the ITU standards anywhere in the world. The ITU model can be used either as a contour method or grid/area system that uses colors to differentiate between signal levels, similar to the current Longley/Rice propagation model. 

For DTV analysis, Probe's optional DTV OET-69 module calculates the population and area of broadcast TV interference using the precise method prescribed by the FCC.

Tabular signal level output is available for all methods including a complete array of tabular outputs in the Microsoft Excel format... thus facilitating importing to spread-sheets. Probe also includes a MapInfo input and output format so signal information can be exported to various GIS systems and geo-map data can be imported into Probe.

For U.S. and users in other world locations, A detailed census block-level database is included which allows the tabulation of, county by county, ethnic demographics and household and population totals. In the coverage mode, Probe features a hot cursor that, when placed over a detail on the map, will display the coordinates, elevation, land-cover, signal levels or interference U/D at the cursor location.

Probe will also do ILLR calculations using the Longley-Rice "individual mode", 03 sec terrain database with 0.1 kilometer sampling as is required under the FCC's latest rules relating to the Satellite Home Viewers Act. The user can input a street address and Probe will identify the location and determine the signal strength at the point.

The profile tool (see below) will graph the elevation and signal profile between a transmitter point and a desired receive point at a user selected earth curvature. Probe also has a line-of-sight mapping mode that will identify all ground locations where a line-of-sight is available to the transmitting antenna.

Line-of-Sight Radio Path  

Probe has an interactive directional antenna editor and comes packaged with the latest TV, DTV and FM FCC engineering and directional antenna databases, the U.S. 2010 SF1 population database, a land-cover database and a high resolution polygon mapping database (Global databases are available.)  Click one of the extended feature links at the top of this page for more information or visit our on-line Probe US or international galleries.

For more details on Probe 4 please download the Probe 4 manual (~11.2 Meg).

For a price quote or more information on Probe or any of V-Soft Communications' propagation prediction software products call: (319) 266-8402 or (800) 743-3684 or email


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