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Andy's Ham Radio Linux v15 and QtRadio.

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Article Index --- click here to unfold ---
Newest Pages NEW: Trumpists Kicking the Hornets Nest
NEW: Introduction to Catbird Linux
NEW: Skywave Linux Updated to ver 4.1
NEW: i3wm: Using i3-ipc to Float Windows
How to Record from WebSDR and OpenWebRX Sites
Programmatic RTL-SDR Frequency Claibration
Public KiwiSDR Lists
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17: Simply Mass Murder
The Anonymous Cathay Pacific Employee Letter to Hong Kong
For For Cathay Crews Crossing Borders With Electronics
Photo Gallery 9: The New Life Movement in China, 1944
E Pluribus Unum: From Many, One, Dammit
HFGCS Quick Tune SDR List
The Robert Mueller Iron Triangle Speech
A Rant About One Party Rule
Best OpenWebRX and WebSDR Servers
SDR School via YouTube
ADALM-PlutoSDR on Linux Systems
MOFO Linux: Defeating State Censorship and Surveillance
Linux: Distros, Code, and Nifty Software NEW: Introduction to Catbird Linux
NEW: Skywave Linux Updated to ver 4.1
NEW: i3wm: Using i3-ipc to Float Windows
Skywave Linux: HPSDR, WebSDR, and RTL-SDR ready to run.
Siduction Linux with the Cinnamon Desktop
Siduction Linux with the LXQT Desktop
Andy's Ham Radio Linux 15 and QtRadio
Booting Multiple Linux Disc Images with Grub2
Porteus Linux Hard Drive Installation
UPDATED: MOFO Linux - For Unrestricted Internet
Aptosid with LXDE
Asus EeePC 1215N with Linux
Autostart Tweaks for KDE3 and KDE4
Broadband Speed Tweaks For Linux
Fixing the Firefox 3 Rendering Bug
Linux on Solid State Drives
Linux Wireless Interface Driver Updates
Setting Polkit to Automount USB Devices
Sidux with LXDE
Fixing Skype Inverted Video
SLAX Remix - kernel upgrades
Flash Drive Linux - Introduction
Flash Drive Knoppix 5.3 - Part 1
Flash Drive Knoppix 5.3 - Part 2
Flash Drive Knoppix 6.0 - Part 1
Flash Drive Knoppix 6.0 - Part 2
Flash Drive SLAX - Part 1
Flash Drive SLAX - Part 2
Flash Drive Bluewhite64 - Part 1
Flash Drive Bluewhite64 - Part 2
Flash Drive Linux - Basic Customization
SLAX Customization - Part 1
SLAX Customization - Part 2
Bluewhite64 Customization - Part 1
Bluewhite64 Customization - Part 2
Long Range Wi-Fi Basics of Long Range Wireless Networking
Linear Focus Parabolic Wi Fi Antenna
High Gain Wi Fi Dish Antenna
High Gain Helical Wi Fi Antenna
High Gain Yagi Wi Fi Antenna
High Power Wireless Adapters
Wi Fi Extender Antenna for Routers
Belkin F5D7050 External Wi Fi Antenna
Linksys WUSB54GC External Antenna Mod
Compat Wireless Linux Drivers
Installing WPA_Supplicant for Wi-Fi Security
Linux Wireless Interface Driver Updates
Linux Wireless Interface Driver Support
NetworkManager and Consolekit
RT73 Wireless Drivers for Linux Kernel 2.6.27+
RT2860 Wireless Drivers for Linux Kernel 2.6.27+
Radio: Amateur Radio, Aero Radio, Shortwave, etc NEW: Programmatic RTL-SDR Frequency Claibration
NEW: Public KiwiSDR Lists
NEW: GHFS Quick Tune SDR List
UPDATED: Best OpenWebRX and WebSDR Servers
UPDATED: Skywave Linux: HPSDR, WebSDR, and RTL-SDR ready to run.
CubicSDR on Debian, Ubuntu, and Linux Mint
Dump1090 for Linux Mint 17.1 and Siduction 2014.1
Software Defined Radio - An Introduction
QS1R Direct Sampling SDR
Chaining SDR Audio Interfaces
FLEX-6000 Direct Sampling SDR
UPDATED: RTL2832 Software Defined Radio
WebSDR Digimode Reception
Enabling FLASH in Jack Audio
Realtime Software Audio Processing
Liberation Technology MOFO Linux - For Unrestricted Internet
Veracrypt Encryption for Linux
Veracrypt Encryption for Windows
Using Google Within China
Popcorn Time and Flixtor for Uncensored Streaming Media
DNS Encryption using DNSCrypt
Galaxy Nexus Privacy and Robustness Enhancements
Galaxy SIII Privacy and Robustness Enhancements
Flash Drive Encryption for Linux
Flash Drive Encryption for Windows
Multihop VPN Connections for Strong Internet Privacy
Open and Free DNS Server List
OpenVPN Cloaking against Deep Packet Inspection The Serval Mesh Phone Project
Skype's Robust Security
Man in the Middle Wireless Security Risks
Wireless Security and Surveillance
Digital Audio Adjusting Audio Dynamics in VLC
Backing Track Prep Guide
Ipod Music Processing Guide
How To Record Record Live Music Performances
Realtime Software Audio Processing
Chaining SDR Audio Interfaces
Aerospace Radio, Aviation, Pontification, and Opinion NEW: Trumpists Kicking the Hornets Nest
NEW: The Anonymous Cathay Pacific Employee Letter to Hong Kong
NEW: For For Cathay Crews Crossing Borders With Electronics
NEW: E Pluribus Unum: From Many, One, Dammit
NEW: HFGCS Quick Tune SDR List
NEW: The Robert Mueller Iron Triangle Speech
NEW: A Rant About One Party Rule
Captains Authority Versus Autocratic Airline Management
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17: Simply Mass Murder
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 - A Media Circus
High Gain Air Band Antennas
Apollo Unified S Band Communications
Chinese Anti-Stealth VHF Radar
Oceanic Communications - Procedures, Equipment, Voice and HFDL
Boeing 737NG Radio Equipment
Boeing 767 Radio Equipment
NAOC-TACAMO Monitoring
My Flight on 9/11
Joshua Chamberlain's Leadership Tips
Special Operations Forces Truths
TWA 800: Just Give Me Some Truth
Photo Gallery Aviation Photo Gallery 1: Snapshots From My Journeys
Aviation Photo Gallery 2: On the Road With ATA Airlines
Aviation Photo Gallery 3: More ATA Airlines
Aviation Photo Gallery 4: Southwest Airlines is the Borg Empire
Aviation Photo Gallery 5: Starting Over, Moving On...
Aviation Photo Gallery 6: More Viva Macau
Aviation Photo Gallery 7: Mainland China Airline Flying
Aviation Photo Gallery 8: Chinese Smog and Fog
NEW: Photo Gallery 9: The New Life Movement in China, 1944
Broadcasting BBC Radio Blooper - Adolf Merckle
TV DXing the World Trade Center
New York TV after 9/11
Live Music Recording Adjusting Audio Dynamics in VLC
Backing Track Prep Guide
Ipod Music Processing Guide
How To Record Record Live Music Performances
Radio Poetry and Arts In Distress, by David Wagoner
Just A Radio Operator, by Robert A. Wallace
Radio Circuit Modifications ATS-909 Modifications
ATS-909 Manuals
ATS-909 Alignment Procedure
ATS-909 Alignment Spectrograms
Very Low Frequency (VLF) Radio Internet Based VLF Radio Listening
Windows Tips Windows Performance Enhancement Tips
A Faster Windows 7
Windows 7 SSD Setup

First, an Intro

Andy's Ham Radio Linux is now up to version 15, and hit the wires about ten hours ago. I've been quite happy with version 14, so was pleased to see an even fresher version of Andy's Ham Radio Linux. If you're not familiar with this distro, it is the "cat's meow" of Linux systems focused on amateur radio. Non hams will also find it useful as there are plenty of smoothly running apps supporting satellite tracking, digital mode radio operation, software defined radio, special calculators, and so forth.

Downloading the DVD iso file from Andy's Sourceforge page was moderately fast. I've uploaded it to Linuxtracker, and the download should be blazing fast due to plentiful seeders on line sharing the file. After downloading the iso, I immediately used unetbootin to install it on an SD card to carry around and use on several different computers.

Once the system is started, the desktop appears....

The desktop of Andy's Hamradio Linux.
Andy's Ham Radio Linux, ready to run some apps!

Andy's Ham Radio Linux has GNU Radio already installed, with GQRX as a very nice GUI for many kinds of software defined radios. I have enjoyed using it with an RTL-SDR to tune the local FM band (in clean stereo!) and aircraft communication bands. For ADS-B, an application called "Dump1090" is ready to run. Other modes such as PSK-31, WSJT, RTTY, and others are available.

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Satellite tracking is something else I tried with Andy's Ham Radio Linux. I was able to track NOAA weather satellites, the International Space Station, and OSCARs. My RTL-SDR is not very effective for weak signal work, so I was just barely able to detect the weather satellites. With a better antenna, the included software should decode the signals nicely.

Installing QtRadio

One of my favorite SDR programs is QtRadio, which has very well written code from the ghpsdr3-alex project. It can run a local DSP server for various SDRs and also stream audio from remote SDRs around the world. Like GNU Radio, it can be a laborious task to download, compile, and install the software. I didn't want to alter the software setup on my main comuter system, Siduction, which runs Debian Sid. Andy's Ham Radio Linux seemed like the perfect place to put QtRadio. It was not easy to work out the kinks, but I now have a running version! If you want to install it, follow the instructions below.

Note: This will cause removal of Jack Audio packages. I use one version of Andy's Ham Radio Linux for QtRadio and another for GNU Radio and the Aack Audio routing system.

First, freshen the system and install the prerequisite packages. Some are already installed in Andy's Ham Radio Linux, so open a terminal and do an update. Remember, the "$" means do it in the terminal as a normal user. For root permssions, the normal user will use "sudo":

$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

Remove Qt version 4, which is one of the packages which comes installed in Andy's Ham Radio Linux.

$ sudo apt-get remove qt4-default

After the update is completed, several new packages must be installed. It is not possible to paste into the terminal as the system is configured. Work around the limitation by installing from a list within a text file. Create a file called newpackages.txt with the following content:

automake
qt5-default
libqt4-opengl-dev
qtmobility-dev
qtcreator
libusb-dev
libfftw3-dev
portaudio19-dev
libpulse-dev
libsamplerate0-dev
libtool
libusb-1.0-0-dev
libconfig8-dev
libortp-dev
gcc-multilib
libssl-dev
libevent-dev
libglu1-mesa-dev
freeglut3-dev

Save newpackages.txt in the home directory. Next, install using tha apt utility:

$ apt-get  install $(< newpackages.txt)

Then install codec2-dev:

$ cd
$ svn co https://freetel.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/freetel/codec2-dev
$ cd codec2-dev
$ mkdir build_linux
$ cd build_linux
$ cmake ../
$ make
$ sudo make install

Codec2-dev, due to some recent software changes, does not put the compiled files where ghpsdr3 expects to find them during the build process. Manually move all of the newly written codec2 files from /usr/local/include/codec2/ to /usr/local/include/:

$ cp /usr/local/include/codec2/*.* /usr/local/include/

Finally, begin getting qtradio from git:

$ cd
$ git clone git://github.com/alexlee188/ghpsdr3-alex
$ cd ghpsdr3-alex

You can compile and install using any of the branches developers are working on. For example, the iw0hdv branch has RTL-SDR support being developed. Other branches are working on advanced DSP processing with graphics cards, different codecs, and so on. If changing branches after building another, clean up first!:

$ make distclean && sh cleanup.sh

Configure git to use the master branch for the best stability and fewer troubles with unstable builds:

$ git checkout master

First set the path to the version of qt you are using. E.g. for qt5 (Debian's qt5-default package):

$ export PATH=/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/qt5/bin:

Compile, build, and install QtRadio with these commands in the terminal:

$ autoreconf -i
$ ./configure
$ make -j4 all
$ sudo make install

The whole installation process above takes some time to accomplish on a typical home computer or laptop. Watch the output for error messages and address whatever comes up. On a fresh version of Andy's Ham Radio Linux 15.1, there should be no error messages.

After the build process finishes, start QtRadio with this case-sensitive command:

QtRadio

Start to finish time was about an hour on a modest dual-core laptop, with a 3 megabit internet service (choked down to 100 kbps or less by the beastly Great Firewall of China), and four gigabytes of memory. While working out the kinks to write this page, I burned about one day and consumed way too much coffee and beer... The net result is a nice system enabling the user access to high performance SDRs around the world as well as another means of offering, on a global scale, access to local radio spectrum. Enjoy it!



Tags: andy's ham radio linux, ghpsdr3-alex, Qtradio, ubuntu 13.10

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