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[linrad] Linrad for Windows FT1000 addon
- Subject: [linrad] Linrad for Windows FT1000 addon
- From: w3sz <comcast.net; w3sz@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2006 00:01:45 -0400
I hope you are all having a good summer. Below describes some slightly
silly programming I did to slightly enhance my use of Linrad for Windows.
Delete now if you tend to be bored or annoyed by my long and rambling
Read on if you like to criticize / comment or have lots of free time ;)
When Linrad for Windows became available, I wanted to extend it so that it
would work with my [Linrad for Linux] addon that allowed Linrad to control
the frequency of my FT1000MP. Not being a computer-literate person, I was
not able to get a Windows XP COMport solution to work with the mingw32
compiler that Leif uses to compile Linrad for Windows, and I was not able
to rewrite the makefile so that Linrad could be compiled with one of the
free C compilers that works with one of the various COMport solutions for
So I 'solved' the problem in a brute-force way by having my addon to
Linrad for Windows write to a file the frequency that is to be sent to the
FT1000MP whenever 'Q' is typed in Linrad, and then having a Visual Basic
program read this file and send the frequency to the FT1000MP via the
COMport. This works well for controlling the FT1000MP frequency via a
COMport from my main Linrad for Windows computer.
For the June ARRL VHF contest I set up 4 instances of Linrad running
simultaneously on an auxiliary computer so that I could at all times
monitor the 50, 144, 222 and 432 MHz bands with Linrad, so that if there
was a band opening for example on 50 MHz while I was on 144 MHz, I could
see it quickly and QSY to the appropriate band.
During the contest, I discovered that it would be really nice if I could
use the 'Qsy' function in the add-on I wrote to Linrad to 'Qsy' the
FT1000MP to whatever frequency I was seeing on any one of the auxiliary
Linrad bandscopes, rather than having to tune the 1000MP manually each
time I wanted to 'hunt and pounce' in this manner. Translated, I mean it
was VERY annoying to NOT have this function during the contest ;)
It turns out that because of the 'brute force' method I am using to get
data from Linrad to the FT1000, adding this is trivial, and with a
keystroke the FT1000MP can be put on frequency in the blink of an eye from
any of the auxiliary bandscopes as well as from the main instance of
Linrad running on the main Linrad computer. I merely have each of the
four Linrad bandscopes write to a common "frequency file" which is located
on the auxiliary computer that is running the bandscopes. This computer
runs a Visual Basic program that, when this frequency file is changed as a
result of typing "Q" from any of the 4 Linrad bandscopes, reads this file
and writes the frequency information to another frequency file on the main
Linrad computer that, when modified, causes a Visual Basic program on that
computer to send the new frequency value to the FT1000MP via the COMport.
This file on the main Linrad computer is also written to by the main
Linrad bandscope running on this main Linrad bandscope computer. Thus
typing "Q" from any one of the five instances of Linrad [one of the four
bandscopes on the auxiliary computer or the main bandscope on the main
computer] places the FT1000MP on the desired IF frequency in a fraction of
a second. Another click of the keyboard then switches the correct
transverter online via the 'RoverLog' software bandswitch, and I am ready
to pounce with the FT1000MP on the frequency spotted on the Linrad
bandscope on the auxiliary computer. It takes much longer to describe
than to actually do this.
The chain of events is as follows:
Linrad.exe runs in four separate instances on the auxiliary computer.
Each instance has its own directory of arbitrary name.
\lin2ft\ft1000file exists on the auxiliary computer and is written to by
any of the instances of Linrad for Windows running on the auxiliary
computer. It stores the frequency being received by Linrad at the moment
that "Q" was typed from within Linrad.
network-lin2ft.exe is a Visual Basic program that exists in an arbitrary
directory on the auxiliary computer. It reads the file \lin2ft\ft1000file
generated by Linrad.exe and when that file contains new frequency
information it sends it to the file \lin2ft\ft1000file on the main Linrad
\lin2ft\lin2ft.exe is a Visual Basic program that exists on the main
Linrad bandscope computer that has the COMport that controls the FT1000MP
frequency. It reads the file \lin2ft\ft1000file that exists on the main
Linrad bandscope computer and when it detects a change in that file sends
the new frequency information out the COMport to the FT1000MP, putting it
on the correct frequency.
\lin2ft\ft1000file is as just described in the paragraph above.
The linrad.exe programs running each of the 4 auxiliary bandscopes on the
auxiliary computer and running the main bandscope on the main Linrad
computer are identical, except that to minimize my confusion the Linrad
screen is labeled with the band [50,144,222,432] for each of the auxiliary
bandscopes so that in the heat of a contest when I am sleep deprived I
don't have to remember that 50 comes before 144 comes before 222 comes
before 432 and that the screen is read from left to right and top to
bottom in order to figure out which band I am watching. Each instance of
Linrad runs in its own directory so that each can have separate parameter
The Visual Basic file lin2ft.exe that runs on the main computer must be
contained in the directory [lin2ft] placed in the root directory on a hard
drive on the main computer with the COMport that runs the FT1000MP. As
noted above, this is the directory to which the instance of Linrad running
on the main computer writes the frequency file [ft1000file], and to which
the auxiliary bandscope computer programs write the same information [to
the same file]. This drive must be designated as the "Z" network drive on
the auxiliary computer.
I have uploaded a zip file called linft1000.zip to www.nitehawk.com/w3sz
that contains two directories; one called lin2ft that is to be placed on
the main computer as noted above, and one called lin2comp2 that is to be
placed on the auxiliary computer. A directory called [lin2ft] needs to be
created in addition on the auxiliary computer. As noted above, the
auxiliary Linrad bandscopes will write the file ft1000file to this
directory, and network-lin2ft.exe will read this information and send it
across the network to the other computer. The directories in the zip file
contain the linrad.exe file that contains the addon to make all of this
possible as well as the Visual Basic files appropriate to the specific
directories, and necessary support files as well as a copy of this rft
file and a jpg file of the four bandscopes running during the June ARRL
contest. You should be able to extract the directories with the files
they contain and put them in the appropriate locations as noted above and
be off and running. I forgot to include in the zip file my
wuser_hwaredriver.c file, and since it is on the computer at my remote
location I can't add it to the zip file now. But I will try to get to the
remote site later this week and will add it then.
To use these files when you are using the SDR14 with Linrad you of course
set the IF frequency to zero in the user-window I added to Linrad.
To use these files with the Softrock you set the IF in the user-window I
added to Linrad to the negative of the IF frequency. For example, if your
Softrock is centered at 28.110 then you enter "-28.110" into the user
window. Linrad will then do the math and the appropriate frequency will
be sent to the FT1000MP. This assumes that Linrad and your Softrock are
setup so that that the frequency progresses in the proper direction as you
click from left to right on the Linrad bandscope ;)
This technique would work extremely well for use during an HF contest
where you had a softrock set up to monitor each HF band. Hitting "Q" in
the appropriate Linrad bandscope would immediately bring the FT1000 to
that band and frequency and you could just 'play the bandscopes' hunting
and pouncing among all the HF bands with no more effort tnan it it were
all just one big band ;)
That?s all for now.
Comments / suggestions /constructive criticism welcome!
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