WSPR on Linux Ubuntu

I am getting worried about myself, I am spending far too much time and paying far too much attention to little white toys.

I watch YouTube videos about the mods, watch them go for a song on Ebay, I even downloaded the Xandros Linux, just to feel nearer to them. Well what do you know, the Xandros is the only paid for Linux I have ever tried, (it is the 30 day trial version), it is also the only Linux I have installed for several years that does not work.

Look I do not want a little Computer with a screen resolution that we left behind with DOS and golly I have enough trouble with my fat fingers on a full size keyboard.

What I did want was WSPR working on a grown up Computer under Linux so I followed OH2GQC instructions for compiling the source. Whilst I was at it I installed a new Ubuntu Distro. OH2GQC was pleased when his WSPR worked, so was I, overjoyed, head ache, but overjoyed, as Kari says “that’s what Ham Radio is all about”.

Here is a nice big screen grab, Right click and select View Image to see it all.

I am no Linux expert I learned some more Linux during this exercise.

Asus EeePC and Ham Radio

I have pulled a quote from a group regarding installing WSPR on the Asus EeePC:-

“the experience is the ultimate proof that Linux will never succeed as an operating system, except as a plaything for computer hobbyists. It has taken me several hours to achieve what Windows users could do in about one minute and a few mouse clicks”

I was going to reply but the group is maybe not the place and I don’t want to start a debate there.

My thoughts are that ASUS have done Linux no service by using a non standard version on their little PC. Add to that the low screen resolution which makes any success at installing Amateur Radio software only a compromise and it is a nail in the Linux coffin.

It is not the fault of Linux that there are only a few Ham Radio antiquities available for use on the system. It is the Software writers. They have quite understandably concentrated their efforts where the masses are who will use the results, Windows.

It is not so that it takes several hours to install on Linux. Using a Debian based O/S and the Synaptic Installer it is easier to install and update applications than it is on Windows.

Author of WSPR, K1JT has made the source code available, all that is needed is for some capable soul to produce a Synaptic installable version for Linux. Someone, I have not checked who, has done WSJT5.x it installs and runs a treat.

For me it would be very time consuming struggle, I am now lazy, I just purchased a Sound Card that Linux can find for my newly built PC rather than try to compile a driver for the HD on board sound that confuses Linux.

This is a plea. We need some keen Linux Hams to produce Synaptic installable versions of some of the Windows Ham software. Alternatively I bet there are some guys out there who could write from scratch. All that is needed is a suite of the most used modes and we would have a superb, stable, world and Windows beating system.

SSTV is a bit of a pain on Linux, if only MMSSTV was available. Meantime I have tried to fly the flag for 10 years or so with my Slow Scan pictures.

The first Amateur contacts from Space

I heard on the news the other day that Owen Garriot’s son had lifted off on a Space Mission recently.

This spurred me to look out the audio tape that I made on December 5th 1983 when Owen W5LFL aboard the Shuttle Columbia was our first chance to contact a Ham in Space.

I erected an 8 element crossed Yagi on my shed and rigged ropes to steer it in Azimuth and Elevation. I programmed my Nascom Computer to, once I had the correct post launch parameters, produce accurate Orbit Predictions. I took time off work to be in the shack for the first available close pass.

The sound track on this video is the recording I made.