Has anyone figured out how to do FT8 with a Mac?

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The receive works fine but I get no audio to the transmitter so no output.  I have tried Loopback but the instructions are vague.  I can't see how they do the outputs.  Has anyone figured this out?
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Gordon, ve7on

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Posted 9 months ago

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K3DCW

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I'm not in front of my Mac, so I'm citing this from memory, but here it goes.

Using Loopback, create a single audio pipe. I simply called it AudioPipe. Set this as both the input and output audio device in WSJT-X.

Next, get the latest versions of xDAX and xCAT from http://dl3lsm.blogspot.de/.

Install them according to the directions.

That should be about it.  xDAX will route the audio from the Flex to the Mac in a similar fashion to DAX on a Windows computer. . 


This is a simplified description because, as I said, I'm not in front of my Mac.  You didn't mention xDAX and I think that this is the critical missing piece.


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Gordon, ve7on

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Thank you for the reply.  Yes I am using xcat and xdax, sorry I forgot to mention it.  I tried basically what you said but I am somehow missing something.  When you have time I would appreciate more detailed directions.  I am new to Flex and everything is very different from what I am used to.

Gordon
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K3DCW

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I won't be home for a couple of days.  With KF2T here and his status as an Elmer and his many QSOs, you should be able to get up and going.

How are you keying the transmitter in WSJT-X? Do you have the rig setup correctly as per the xCAT instructions?

What GUI are you using?  SmartSDR for iOS?  DogparkSDR?  Make sure one or the other is running when trying to do FT8.  At the very least, MacLoggerDX should be running as it talks to the box pretty well too.  You need to have one of these going to make sure the rig is accessible.

I'm sure there are other things to check, but hopefully KF2T will chime in with some better (more focused) advice.
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Gordon, ve7on

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A few days is fine.  I think I have it set up correctly but the instructions are vague.  This is not something I have had to do before.  Conventional radio's use sound cards and hard wiring.  This virtual stuff is foreign to me.

I have the 6600M and MacLogger and the screen on the radio.  I am not sure how MacLogger fits in to this.  I have fidigi and wsjt receiving ok but no transmit.  MacLogger was easy to get going with the Flex.  I feel like I am trying to reinvent the wheel.

Gordon
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Loopback and xDAX make it work very well. Thousands of FT8 Mac contacts in the log here.
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Gordon, ve7on

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So how did you do it?
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K3SF

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need to select TX dax  to get transmit audio
(Edited)
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K3DCW

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Good point. I forgot to mention that.  You actually have to click on the TX button in xDAX to enable the transmit audio to go to the rig.  

Thanks for bringing that up!

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Justin - KL2D

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Another option that I have been using very succesfully:

Run W10 virtual machine using Parallels. Use SSDR in the VM, and WSJT-X. You can set up multiple instances of WSJT-X and attach them to different slices to work multiple bands simultaneously. I use SmartCAT to create virtual TCP/IP ports for the instances to use. There are good tutorials by Ria N2RJ here on how to do that.

I use MacLoggerDX in the MacOS side, and use JT-Bridge to link the logging to the WSJT-X instances in the VM. It all works together seamlessly, and MacLoggerDX is a great native MacOS logging program.

Just wanted to throw out another option. But BE WARNED: once you start making FT8 contacts you will be addicted and probably want to sell your mic.... hi hi

Hope that helps a little, have fun!

73
Justin
KL2D
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Mario - DL3LSM

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Hi Gordon,

a couple of things to make sure the basics are covered:

You have to use a GUI client like dogparkSDR or SmartSDR iOS.

Is xDAX connected ("Radio connected" in the top right corner of xDAX)??

When you activate the TX stream in xDAX (pressing "TX" so the button is blue) does it say "Streaming"?? If not activate DAX input in the GUI client.

In Loopback I usually use separate devices for TX and the RX streams. I also set the devices to 48000 Hz in "Audio Midi Setup"). Make sure you select your device in xDAX (for the TX stream) and in WSJT-X.

If you have done all this and it's not working: does the level indicator for the TX stream show something while you're transmitting in WSJT-X??

Maybe we can work from here..

73, Mario DL3LSM
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Gordon, ve7on

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Mario,

I have the 6600M so I hope that is what you mean for a GUI client.

Xcat and xdax are connected and working.  I have got FLDIGI working and can send/receive RTTY.

Loopback is working.  It took me a while to figure out the the inputs and outputs are set in the MIDI setup.

The level indicators are showing that they are working.  I receive ok in FT8 I just can not transmit.

In the WSJT-X program the only rig setting that sort of works is Hamlib NET rigctl.  If I try Flex 6xxx the program hangs and I have to force quit to get out of it.  I start the program and hit the test cat button and it goes green.  I hit the test PTT button and I get "Hamlib error : Communication timed out while setting frequency".  The frequency display in the program is showing the correct frequency and I can change bands via the program.  All very confusing.

I am obviously missing something.

Thank you

Gordon, ve7on
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Mario - DL3LSM

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Gordon,

thanks you.. So it seems the audio part is working but the radio control does not. Have you set "Mask 6300" in xCAT? Can you please send some screenshots showing WSJT-X rig control settings and xCAT where I can see the ports for the slices. You can send vial email to dl3lsm@googlemail.com

Another thing, in xCAT you can log the activity on a certain port. You can select the port and press "Log...". Please do this before you start WSJT-X let it run a bit and then save and send me the log..

Thanks and 73
Mario, DL3LSM
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Gordon

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Thanks for all the replies.  With Mario's help it is working.  I now have FT8 and Fldigi working on my Mac.

73 Gordon

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