WSJT-X Setup on macOS

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.

List of #APRS Projects (and interesting alternatives)

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.

Bulk Convert your Dire Wolf logs to GPX

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:

#!/bin/bash
# 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:

./merge_and_gpx.sh

APRS tracker/viewer build concept

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.

Summits on the Air (SOTA) and highpointing

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

 

Ebook to Morse code (CW)

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.