Mac Amateur Radio Digital Applications
The Mac-Based Amateur Radio Digital Applications - Installation and Integration guide below is a guide for setting up your Mac-based system interfaced with an HF transceiver for operating casually in various modes (e.g.: CW, SSB, digital, etc.), HF digital modes using digital applications (the main thrust of the document), or in contesting.
Capabilities being addressed from a Mac-based processing platform are:
Logger and digital applications’ interfacing and configuration
Call Book or call lookup data
Digital signals’ encoding and decoding. While the main digital signals being covered are PSK31 and FT8, others can be processed with their respective applications.
Problems or “gotchas”
The primary and Mac-based applications addressed are: MacLoggerDX (MLDX), fldigi, and WSJT-X. SkookumLogger and WinKeyer USB (with the MacWinKey app) are now included too. The main Mac refereced is a MacBook Pro (16-ich, M1, 2021) running MacOS 14.1 - Sonoma. The HF transceivers described are a Kenwood TS-990S HF/50 MHz Transceiver, a Kenwood TS-590S HF/50 MHz All Mode Transceiver, and an Icom IC-7300 HF/50 MHz Transceiver, and a recently acquired Yaesu FT-710 HF/50 MHz Transceiver. Other late model Kenwood HF transceivers may also be quite successfully integrated since being within the Kenwood family. As with the hardware, each of the applications described and highlighted are with current versions.
The catalyst and then goal for this guide several years ago was documenting the many various configurations and settings in how things came together and successfully worked. Hopefully, that will also save you from going through the hassles and frustration that I experienced – the hours, days, and weeks trying to tie-up various and fragmented bits of information, those that appeared to help at times, those that led down many “bunny holes”, and in discovering ways until finally getting it right. That was especially true for configuring and integrating fldigi with MLDX. There may even be some "nuggets" of information in there too.
The information, details, and recommendations are those of the author as leveraged from what was learned from the applications’ documentation and corresponding with a few persons such as Don Agro, VE3VRW; Tom Lindner, DL2RUM; and Dave Wright, K3DCW. What is being presented is what worked. There is no intent in countering any information from any online or product documentation source.
RUMlogNG as the logger is being considered for being completed at a later date. RumlogNG was integrated and working previously with the digital applications referenced.
This guide's new version, version 3.0, had an extensive rewrite. Shortly after starting the update from the prvious version, version 2.1, a significant revelation appeared – the topic areas previously believed to be logically presented just were not. The areas were found to be fragmented where you needed to go back and forth between areas to make sense of it all. Yes, there was a lot of information and details, but the “flow” in how things initially come together, and then build from, was missing. With that, this revision’s focus evolved to its restructuring and quite a bit of rewriting getting some logic into the flow of events needing to occur prior to subsequent events happening. My hope with this version 3.0 update is now having the various parts in a more straightforward or aligned approach.
Also with this revision, each of the transceivers - the Kenwood TS-990S, Kenwood TS-590S, Icom IC7300, and the Yaesu FT-710 - each transceiver appears in the various configuiration areas addressing thier specific setups.
If you have successfully ingrated a transceiver using MLDX, WSJT-X, and fldigi not listed in the guide, then I would gratly appreciate receiving your integration screenshots, pictures, and configuration details in how you made it all work. I will very gladly cite and reference your contribution.
Of course, your comments, ideas, suggestions, and feedback are very much welcomed. The Mac-Based Amateur Radio Digital Applications - Installation and Integration document will be updated as needed for corrections, updates, and revisions.
Mac-based Amateur Radio Digital Applications -- Installation and Integration, v. 3.0
The Mac-Based Amateur Radio Digital Applications - Installation and Integration, v. 3.0 document is a low resolution PDF document mainly for quickly viewing online. While the low resolution PDF file can be downloaded as is, the figures and screenshots may be a bit grainy. A larger, higher resolution, PDF file can be downloaded using the green button directly below in the Downloads area.
The guide is up-to-date for all firmware and application versions.
The guide should be good for Macs running MacOS 11, 12, 13, and 14 (and maybe even 10).
The guide will be updated dynamically.
This current high-resolution Mac-Based Amateur Radio Digital Applications - Installation and Integration, v. 3.0 PDF file can be downloaded by clicking on the Mac Ham Dig App, v. button. The figures and screenshots should be quite good showing good detail when viewed either with a PDF viewer or when printed.
The small "brute force" application file, fldigi_PTT_K7UF_WR5E.app, as referenced in the Mac-Based Amateur Radio Digital Applications document version 0.993 is zipped in a zip file. Download the zip file with the fldigi->MLDX Zip button. Then, unzip and install the application as mentioned in the older version of the Guide.
The fldigi_PTT_K7UF_WR5E.app application file is no longer being used nor recommended for use. It has not been used since 2022 - there are better, more elegant methods for getting log information from fldigi to MLDX.