[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[linrad] Linrad for Windows FT1000 addon

Hello, All!

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 emails.

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 Windows XP.

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 bandscope computer.

\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 settings.

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!


Roger Rehr

Roger Rehr

This message is sent to you because you are subscribed to
 the mailing list <linrad@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>.
To unsubscribe, E-mail to: <linrad-off@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To switch to the DIGEST mode, E-mail to <linrad-digest@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To switch to the INDEX mode, E-mail to <linrad-index@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Send administrative queries to  <linrad-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>