Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Setting WSJTX and CQRLog

World pandemia make lot of people stay at home these months. It gives you time to do and done jobs that has been left for months before due to lack of time and willing to do them :)
Digimodes were on of them, left for better times mostly because of my dissapoint while working with Icom 706MKII.
Kenwood TS480HX is much more easier to set up to work with digi.
I made my digi cable using IU2MEH's guidance:  if you have old ps/2 keyboard there is chance to have enough wires in the cable to use it as a data cable for it. I tried with cable from ps/2 mouse but 3 out of 4 wires were correctly connected and the last one was connected to other pin. So, I use simple CAT5 cable, miniDin 6p and two 3.5mm stereo jacks. Do some tricky soldering of  miniDIN 6p and adter one destroyed miniDin jack, I made it :)
Here is link to manual: IU2MEH's SAT480 digi cable manual
I managed to set WSJTX and start work on digimodes.
I made lot of contacts and what I found litle bit tricky was importing every contact of WSJTX's adif log file to CQRLogm my program I use to work since I have HF radio.
So, I decide to find a solution how to make direct logging in to CQRLog. I know there is a option to use wsjtx but it is tricky to find it on the net. There is short instruction from OH1KH on Youtube so you can watch it there: WSJTX and CQRLog proper setting

In short: In WSJTX you have to choose HAMLIB rigctl given under radio option. Set Network Server to: Set LocalHost: xxxx , where xxxx is a port from a radio defined in CQRLOg radio settings.


Also in WSJTX in reporting tab you have to check boxes also where UDP is mentioned.

In CQRLog you just have to define WSJTX launch (in Ubuntu it is /usr/bin/wsjtx) path and check Run WSJTX efter entering.... option. This means that when you under File option choose remote mode for wsjtx, WSJTX will be automatically started. So take a note not to start WSJTX before entering remote mode from CQRLog. Also, please take a note that when you work like this, CQRLOg is in offline mode (that it should be) so do not worry.


When WSJTX started, minimize CQRLog and work normal with WSJTX. Every confirmed QSO in WSJTX is automatically logged in CQRLog also.
When you plan to end with your work, just close WSJTX and turn off enable remote mode for wsjtx in CQRLog under File option (previously choosen). Now you can continue your work with CQRLog and other modes with your radio.

That is it. Video guidance and above written is enough to start working digimodes.

73

Saturday, February 29, 2020

My new home and radio shack

Well it has been past 6 months since I moved to a new apartment. It is bigger than previous one so I have my own space for me :) . Unfortunately I  still at lower floors of the building (3rd fllor, around 13m above ground) and with a not so good options for my new antenna. Putting it on a roof require abot 30-40 meters of cable either Rg58 or Rg213, and a acceptance for mount of antenna, signed from 50% + 1 of neighbors living in my building. So I decide to temporarily put longwire (short, just 6.5m) from my balcony in orther to work. Got Kenwood Ts480HX as a base station and put my Icom 706mk2 in a suitcase for portable use. Helped by a friend, also a ham operator, that made for me noice cancelator, required for those ugly street led lights just below my window. Got used but good linear power supply 22amps and kept the old one, electronic-pulse, power supply for a backup. Have another two, one is halogen 30amps power supply and other is also linear but only 7amps, but due to limited space I am forces to keep them packed. 
For start it is not so much for a new shack. But it works :) and I started making qso's.  
Unfortunately lot of noise on 40m band due to some foreign radar interfere and also bad propagations, but it's satisfactory.
73
My new shack.
Good oldie but goldie Icom :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

XEOMA - webcam surveillance software review

Xeoma for me is not an unknown software. I've been using it 2 years ago. I decided to stop using it because there was not requirement for surveillance software that will record our activities and persons that come in and out in our company. Due to risen activities as a result of growth of our company, these days we faced requirement for software that will be active again as a surveillance for activities in our warehouse and office premises.
Browsing through my emails these days I noticed new email from Xeoma people, informing me about their latest software release. Knowing that this company can make surprise I decide to download their software, again :) .
Their latest release is Xeoma 19.4.22 and it gives fully functional image (one click run program file) of Xeoma software.
It run smoothly on my computer (Intel® Celeron(R) CPU G1620 @ 2.70GHz × 2 ) and it found my local installed IP cameras without any problem. What was surprising for me is that one of the camera's that require specific connection protocol, was accessed with ease and for a first time I saw image of my camera on other place beside my android phone :)
I am not such a great user and person that understand in cameras but I can say this software has good algorithm for processing of stream and images that result in very sharp and precise picture. Also tracking objects and sensors management is good and there are a lot of options and modules that can be manually be added in other to customize your camera monitoring procedure. What I like very much is face recognition and emotions modules where you can "train" your computer to recognize (by putting person(s) in front of camera for main setup of recognition) people you work with or some other unwanted persons and therefore to be able to inform you with email or other signalling procedure about it. Emotions module work similar except it detect emotions of the person and based upon it sending you report based on your settings.
Also, smoke detector is interesting for me as a simple solution where you can use this software for alarming when fire is present near camera view point.
ANPR sender to FTP is sensor in order to recognise plates of a vehicle and after that to send image to a programmed destination with a message-information about it. I did not tet it but i think it could be used in next period in order to make on-time information and recording of company car arrivals in order to track efficiency of  employees that work as merchandisers.
For first look, this software give lot of chances and options to keep you busy for a couple of days. It is easy programmable and easy to use and understand.
For me, the reason I return to this software after a while is a enough proof that simply it is best choice for surveillance software for personal and company uses.

Link to this software: Xeoma video surveillance software


Saturday, March 23, 2019

UNETBOOTIN's BLANK PROGRAM WINDOW

These days I suppose lot of Linux users face problem running Unetbootin blank program window.
Looks like some bug in a program and there is (I suppose) for now this solution:
Just make new shortcut in your Ubuntu or other Linux distribution (Applications-System tools-Preferences-Main menu for Ubuntu 18.04) with following command:

sudo QT_X11_NO_MITSHM=1 unetbootin

Also choose to run in terminal window so you can type your sudo password.

As far I can remember looks like it is somehow connected with latest kernel distribution of Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS so there should be soon new update for this problem.

73 de Z34PEC

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

How to install latest TQSL on Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS and 20.04 LTS

Hello friends,
these days I face interesting problem where I needed to install latest TQSL 2.4.3 on my fresh Ubuntu OS. Before I had installed repository version 2.3.1 wich did a job but due to full erase of my disk I decide that I should try install latest release 2.4.3.
First at all latest release could be found on ARRL's official web page in tar.gz format.
After downloading you should extract (usually right click -> extract here) it in one of your home folder(s). It is reccomended to read INSTALL file in TQSL folder extracted from tar.gz archive in order to be familiar what are you doing.
I must mention that installing "as it is",following suggested install procedure will result in lot of errors and unsuccessful installation of TQSL.
After browsing a little I decide to "take a shot" and started following suggested libraries that should be downloaded.
At least beside software center you should have installed Synaptic and use it with your installation procedure with required libraries and programs:

- sudo apt-get install synaptic

I do not know if MONO is obligatory for TQSL but I can suggest also to install this program with 

- sudo apt install mono

The reason why I suggest is that I noticed it is mentioned in some files/libraries that are installed trough Synaptic.

INSTAL suggest these installations to be present on your computer:

- OpenSSL (http://www.openssl.org/) - OpenSSL 1.0.1j was used for TQSL 1.14.
- expat 1.x XML parser library (http://expat.sourceforge.net/) - expat 2.1.0
- zlib (http://zlib.net/) zlib 1.2.8
- Berkeley DB (http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/products/berkeleydb/downloads/index.html) - BDB 6.1.19
- wxWidgets (http://wxwidgets.org/downloads) - wxWidgets 2.8.12.
- curl - (http://curl.haxx.se/download.html) - curl 7.39.0


Following libraries/files are installed in terminal with sudo:

1. Required for proper compiling of TQSL

- sudo apt install cmake 

2. As a part of OpenSSL:

- sudo apt install libcurl4-openssl-dev

- sudo apt-get install libssl-dev

3. BerkleyDB


- sudo apt-get install libdb-dev

- sudo apt-get install sqldeveloper-package 



4. Trough Synaptic, using search option you should install these libraries/files as a part of 

   4.1 wxWidgets:
                 
                 libwxbase3.0-0-unofficial

                 libwxbase3.0-dev


                 libwxgtk3.0-0-unofficial


                 libwxgtk3.0-dev


                 wx3.0-headers


                 wx-common


                 libwxbase3.0-dbg


                 libwxgtk3.0-dbg


                 wx3.0-i18n 


Please take note that when you search for files, Synaptic will give you 2 solutions with the same name and the difference is that one have V5 added in it description. For me, I installed both suggested trough my search for above mentioned libraries/files.

    4.2 Zlib , also installed via Synaptic. 
           For this library I installed all suggested that are listed starting with zlib1g in Synaptic. 

   4.3 CURL, check it also in Synaptic is it installed. If not please install it.

EDIT: We almost forgot


     4.4 Expat, do not forget to install expat :)


- Note for above libraries/files: It is enough to use first part of the name as a search criteria (ex. libwxbase3 is enough to search for libwxbase3.0-0-unofficial).



After this you are ready to install latest TQSL on your Ubuntu 18.04 LTS version.

Personally I installed it with root privileges sudo su , although you can install it also with sudo .
Just follow procedure describet in INSTALL:

From the parent directory where TQSL is extracted:
 

cmake .

make


make install


Take a coffee break and your TQSL should be installed in shortly.

Note: No shortcut is made in Menus so to check is it running just type in terminal : tqsl ,and it should start.

Now you only have to make a Menu shortcut and import your signatures in TQSL, following standard procedures for it.

73 de Z34PEC



Thursday, January 17, 2019

HOW TO PROPERLY SET XGGCOMMS'S DIGIMODE-3 INTERFACE TO WORK WITH UBUNTU 18.04


Hello to everyone.

    Recently I purchased a XGGCOMS Digimode-3 interface in order to take a step in to a digital world of FT8, JT9, PSK31 and other “egsotic” digital modes of work.
    I have second hand Icom 706MKII that works well and I thought buying a digi interface will be a good reason not to use it just for SSB modes of work but also trying to gain knowledge about new ways of usage of our ham equipment.
    After arrival I read manual published on seller’s site. It quite well (maybe it need some additional text inside) describe setting of Digimode-3 under Windows OS, but sadly there is no any written word or video record how to do it under Linux OS , especially with Icom 706MKII radio :)
    My first contact was so disappointing because no matter how much I tried , suggested ALC level stayed around 5-6 squares and even I managed to work some station with such a setup.
    There must be a way to do it under Linux, in my situation Ubuntu 18.04. And there is a solution. I do not know how much people who work HAM under Ubuntu or other Linux based system are experienced but for me I may say (middle experienced user) this OS is still sometimes a mystery. You do not see it on the menu bar or program bar, then you do not know that it exist :)

The fastest way to set digimode-3 is to do it with ALSAMIXER.

Note: My Ubuntu is set to work with gnome meta-city extension (oldie but Goldie) so this explanation is for this environment. For new Ubuntu 18.04 environment it is almost the same (sidebar).

1. Open with ctrl+alt+t terminal window and at the prompt write/start alsamixer.
- Choose proper audio device (C-Media USB set) with pressing F6 and select it from menu.
- In order to see all possibilities press F5  (View All).


Picture 1. Selecting Digimode-3 in alsamixer




- Moving around given settings is possible with your cursor keys left/right arrows.     Increase/decrease of values is set with up/down arrows.
- Go to Headphones.
- With Q/Z keys change of balance is made for left channel and with W/X keys you can balance right channel.
- Set to lowest possible value for both channels (around 33%) .


Picture 2. Help menu with keys


Note: Do not close or exit alsamixer and terminal window.

2.  From drop down menu Applications-System tools-Preferences-Settings-Sound select “Digital output S/PDIF – Audio adapter” . Set value of balance to be in the middle, and mic level should be minimum. Audio level should be at minimum or near minimum.
- Start WSJT-X and wait to load. From the right side, set power meter (gliding up-down bar line) to the middle or upper to ¾ of the bar.
- Set your radio to 50% of it power (I set mine to 50W for start) and get good SWR at 7.074 (FT8) or other work frequency of available digi modes.
- Set on your radio ALC level to be displayed.

3. In WSJT-X select option TUNE and get back to terminal window and alsamixer. For now, your radio should not transmit anything, because VOX level is not enough to activate TX.
- With Q/Z keys increment audio level ONLY to LEFT channel while right stays at it present level of 33%. Around 80% you should hear relay triggering TX on your Icom. Now it is transmitting and
ALC level should be absent (no ALC level readings on indicator).
- With W/X keys slowly increment ONLY RIGHT channel until you see only one bar of ALC level indicator. When you see it, get back one step lower. Now you have set best signal for digital work.
- Get back to WSJT-X and try to move power meter to higher position and get readings on your SWR/POWER meter. At present settings you should run around 20-30W of power without any ALC activation or distortion of signal.


Picture 3. Properly set of alsamixer and power meter (background)


- Deactivate TUNE option from WSJT-X.
- Close alsamixer (ESC key) and terminal window.

Your radio now is just one step from complete settings for digi work.

Note: If above settings (step number 3) did not trigger relay for TX, then slightly increase power meter in WSJT-X and try again will it trigger TX relay. Find the balance for trigger of TX relay ONLY with your LEFT channel and power meter. DO NOT TOUCH or set right channel, it is already set on it best value (for now). You can also try leaving your left channel value just below red zone and only try with power meter from WSJT-X. Changing values of power meter is best to be done with your mouse scroll wheel or touch pad trackball option.



4. Set MIC level (Microphone audio adapter) for good receive of signals. Suggested minimum signal level should be 30db (WSJT-X suggestion). Anything in the green zone is good signal value.


Picture 4. Setting MIC level for best receive signal




That’s all folks.
Now your digimode-3 is properly set to work with Ubuntu or other Linux based system.

Small note for authors of WSJT-X:
Increase/decrease of power in WSJT-X result with not so smooth change of output power like running under Windows. On my computer (Asus 1015PEM Intel Atom N550 dual core) there is some response delay of around 0.5 sec , difference between change of power and command reaction of the radio. Take note about this when changing power to new values.


73 DE PETRIKA
Z34PEC
KN01qx