Amateur radio software via synaptic package manager etc.

Richard Ferryman

I am running Raspbian with the latest firmware and software updates as they come along. I have WSPR 3.0.1 compiled and running reliably with full CAT control and internet access.

I have tried installing several applications using synaptic package manager (if you don't have it get it "sudo apt-get install synaptic"). The amateur radio section of the package list is quite large and I have tried several of them:-

gpredict works very well.

fldigi works but cpu is maxed out on all modes except wefax. I can't get good decodes of PSK31 with fldigi using portaudio although they are clearly on the waterfall but decodes work and CPU load seems lower if I install pulseaudio to handle the USB sound card. Cat control via hamlib works fine.

WSJT as installed by synaptic or apt-get does not work. I have download the code as recommended by Joe K1JT but get a load of errors during make and it does not run. This may be due to me using gfortran instead of G95 which I don't have.

I have installed some other psk31 and QRSS packages such as glfer, gmfsk, gpsk31 and phaseshift but these mostly expect a device at /dev/dsp which is not set up on the Raspberry Pi.

It seems that not all amateur radio software that uses the sound device for input handle audio the same way. Some require portaudio, alsa, labjack, or OSS and this becomes a minefield with which I am not very experienced! It is also almost essential to alter /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf to allow the external USB sound device to be grabbed first. I have yet to find any USB sound card that works perfectly although cheap devices using the CM119 chip seem to be the most reliable.

One lesson that I have learned is not to use USB->RS-232 adapters. I tried most variants and all were unreliable (although this has improved with the latest RPi firmware). I finally used the UART /dev/ttyAMA0 which comes out as 3.3V logic levels on the GPIO connector. This is utterly reliable for CAT control or connected to a TNC or GPS via a MAX3232 chip interface.

There is a lot of other stuff in the repositories and elsewhere but I have tended to look mostly at low speed data modes using sound input.

I'm not sure what is getting most of my attention these days - the raspberry pi or the new puppy but the XYL says it is not her!

Dick G4BBH