(Long title, but had to cover all the bases)
For my radio, it was `/dev/cu.usbmodem53620077003`. Trying different order of operations (plug radio first, then start JS8Call vs start JS8Call, then plug radio) may have been what I needed to get the right serial port to show up in the list. Below is a screenshot of all the settings that seem to work.
Following this post by HB9TXB Branko, I did also check the list of serial ports using this command in the terminal: `ls -lrt /dev/tty*`.
Just like everyone else, I’m going to put down the settings that work for me, but they might not work for you. VARA was easier to get working with appropriate CAT control (changing frequency and keying PTT), but ARDOP was a pain. Maybe this will help someone else.
These settings are DIFFERENT than ones shown by SA7SKY here (at least, that’s where I found a copy). Looks like they were using Winlink Express 188.8.131.52. The images below are from 184.108.40.206.
With these settings, you cannot have flrig running at the same time, because flrig and Winlink are trying to use the same COM port. I’m still working on a solution to this.
Above, note that “Enable RTS” and “Enable DTR” are checked (differs from SA7SKY). Baud is set to match my IC-7300.
Below, the ARDOP_Win_Virtual_TNC window opens when you start the ARDOP session, but it is usually minimized by default.My settings above match SA7SKY.Above, “Use Radio’s Internal Sound Card” is checked (you’ll get an “are you sure” popup if you choose the Icom 7300 and don’t check this box), SA7SKY does not have it checked.
At some point over the winter, I started reading Thomas’s posts at QRPer.com. It may have been after I listened to one of his guest appearances on Ham Radio Workbench.
Long story short, last week I got a new Xiegu X6100 from Radioddity. I’ve been playing with it and a MFJ-1984LP EFHW antenna in the front yard for a few days now, and it’s been a hoot to chase POTA activators using only 5W. It’s definitely something I can do for 5 (let’s be serious, more like 15) minutes at a time in between other things.
Some early notes, maybe to follow up on in the future:
- There are at least two groups.io lists for this radio, either of which might help you find an answer to a question. Please note that if you haven’t bought the radio yet, stay away from posts before Spring 2022–the early adopters had some issues that no longer apply.
- The thin poly line used by arborists can burn when you release it from your hand, maybe use gloves when tossing (or get a lighter throw bag).
- My antenna is allegedly good for a bunch of bands, but I’m also not sure how the tuner will tell me that it can’t tune.
- The detent in the main tuning knob is either too small for my finger, or the whole knob is too small. I tend to just roll my finger around the edge to spin fast.
- The manual is useful to expand out the menu item names, but you need to know a bit about radios to know what they actually mean.
- Some weird “birdies” that swoop in from the sides, on some bands. See notes in the groups.io posts.
- CW decode doesn’t always work, but you may have to toggle between CW and CWR by pressing the mode button. Or it’s random chance that I got it to work.
- My attic fan dipole, although it covers everything from 40m to 10m bands, is not very sensitive on receive at all (or more likely is catching too much noise from inside the house). Yesterday I could see stations all over 20m when operating outside on the X6100, but only a few of them inside on the IC-7300 (which should have better receive in general).
- I don’t think this is because of bad coax, but it could be. I made some notes on my Mastodon account (that I need to write down somewhere else) about testing the IC-7300 with the EFHW and checking the noise floor.
There are probably more complete and better lists out there, but maybe I can list some off the top of my head.
- APRS digipeater/iGate
- Winlink gateway
- WSPR beacon
- JS8Call forwarder
- or is this just everyone running the program?
- CW Skimmer for Reverse Beacon Network
- VHF/UHF repeater
- TARPN/AREDN/Broadband Hamnet node
- I list these together because it seems to depend on the year who is gaining and who is losing ground. Maybe we need to make them interoperable?
These are mainly hardware solutions to get signals and data farther, faster, and in and out of the Internet. Ideas on the software side might be:
- Standardized packet or digital queries to get information
- weather (see Winlink)
- equipment setup help (???, although I’ve seen talk of Wikipedia access)
- disaster support (where to get food, water, shelter, etc. after a disaster in the area, although perhaps this fits broadcast best if local broadcast hasn’t been effected)
- APRS-style location information, without the overhead of APRS
- E.g., what if I could query a local computer using touch tones to get local information?
What are some other ways to contribute the “infrastructure” of ham radio, to help it remain resilient (and stay fun)?
I may add to these notes, but a key one was to make sure to give WSJT-X access to the microphone, even when using a USB cable to control the rig. Thanks to K3DCW for the tip.
I presume that you have a checkmark in the box labeled “PortAudio” next to the USB Audio CODEC device selectors. If so, then the only other thing that I can think of is that you haven’t given macOS permission to access your “microphone.” Many of these programs see/treat that USB Audio CODEC as a microphone input and failing to give it access to your “microphone” will cause it to not hear a thing. Go to the Security & Privacy pane and make sure that Fldigi has access to the microphone.
I also have iShowU Audio Capture installed (for OBS screen recording), which I thought might have been the problem. Here are my current working audio settings (Audio Midi Setup).
The rest of the settings described here work out well for connecting the IC-7300 and my MacBook Pro.
To get the gain right in the software, I used the RF Gain knob on the IC-7300.
There is a way to adjust this in the settings but I can’t find it at the moment. It’s the ACC/USB AF Output Level setting under MENU>SET>Connectors (make sure you scroll up and down the menu items as needed). All suggestions are to get the bar in WSJT or JTDX to about 30 dB.
I’ve expanded my search beyond what I introduced in APRS tracker/viewer build concept. Here I will attempt to organize projects some other folks have put together.
This has been sitting in draft mode for several weeks, but I’m pushing it out now and hoping to add more as I learn.
- APRS Trackers (transmitters)
- APRS transceiver bits
- Not APRS, but instructive
- Not APRS, mesh networks
- Meshtastic – Mesh text communicator built on various LoRa boards, includes location information in packets
- Disaster.radio – Mesh text communicator, similar to Meshtastic (I have not done a deep comparison, both look like they use similar hardware).
- QMesh – A LoRa-based Voice Mesh Network
- CellSol – A LoRa “not-quite-mesh” network
- TARPN – Terrestrial Amateur Radio Packet Network – setup requires more hardware, but pretty standardized and probably much more robust than LoRa systems.
- APRS, but on LoRa
Dire Wolf won’t let you save both a daily and single log file of packets received, but if you log daily with LOGDIR, you can write a script that bundles up all the log files and then produces a GPX file of the output. This is useful if you want an idea of the area your digipeater or iGate is covering without trusting to aprs.fi or aprsdirect.com, which only provide the actual path taken and drop duplicate iGated packets.
Simple script for Linux:
# merge log files
sed 1d *.log > log_merged.csv
# convert to gpx
log2gpx log_merged.csv > log_merged.gpx
(sed tip from Linux.com means you don’t need Python or similar)
Make it executable:
chmod +x merge_and_gpx.sh
Run or schedule in cron:
Writing this on the fly and hope to add links later.
I’ve been into APRS lately, which tends to yield project ideas. There are small trackers put there that aren’t cheap, cheaper trackers that aren’t small, and none of them do all of what you might want.
At an event (e.g., an endurance race in a remote location), you want everyone to know as much as possible. We’ve tried satellite tracking on racers to various success, but when the race course has little mobile data and barely SMS (if anything), satellites don’t help race directors very much.
Having enough amateur radio volunteers to set up a real net is the dream, but in absence, what else can we do? Enter APRS.
Build idea here is for an easy-to-install vehicle (staff and volunteer) tracker that lets everyone see other where other people are. A limited number of hams would enter data and send messages or bulletins, and the rest would be passive; not pushing buttons on the radio, but having access to received data.
Quick concept and then I’m done:
- Raspberry Pi Zero running Dire Wolf as a TNC.
- Will need USB port, maybe not the Zero?
- Cheap 2m radio, ideally mobile rather than HT so powering is easy. Doesn’t need any features!
- Custom cable to run the radio and sound in/out.
- USB sound card.
- APRSdroid pr APRSfi phone app.
See where im going? Need to run numbers on cost, because it’s adding up in my head.
Did some quick looking for information on Summits on the Air (SOTA), a ham radio contest to make contacts while either you or your contact are standing on top of a summit (mountain peak, usually) and highpointing, which is a hiking contest to stand on all the high points in a given set of jurisdictions (continents, counties, US states, US counties, etc.). Links below.
- https://www.sotamaps.org/ maps to help you find official SOTA summits, although determining which association you belong to is not especially clear. Minnesota is association K0M and North/South Dakota are association W0D.
- https://sotawatch.sota.org.uk/en/ SOTAwatch is a good place to let people know what peak you’ll be on so they can try to contact you
- SOTA summits in North Dakota and South Dakota: https://summits.sota.org.uk/region/W0D
- SOTA summits in Minnesota: https://summits.sota.org.uk/association/K0M
- Getting started with SOTA: http://www.pnwsota.org/content/getting-started-sota
- SOTA Minnesota association reference manual: https://sotastore.blob.core.windows.net/arms/ARM-K0M.pdf
- Joining in with SOTA: https://www.sota.org.uk/Joining-In
- How to activate a SOTA peak: http://www.pnwsota.org/sites/pnwsota.org/files/How%20to%20Activate%20a%20SOTA%20Peak.pdf
- Minnesota county high points: https://www.peakbagger.com/list.aspx?lid=13407
As I get back into ham radio and attempt to learn CW again (after I upgrade to General, one thing at a time), I want to put this here so I remember it: https://fkurz.net/ham/ebook2cw.html.
Sounds like a great way to re-read some of my favorite books and practice Morse receiving at the same time.
Also of note, this method seems to really work: http://www.learnmorsecode.com.