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 13.3 - Ventura. 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. 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 new version of the guide, version 2.1, was completely rewitten weaving-in the Kenwood TS-590S and the Icom IC-7300 with the Kenwood TS-990S. Prior versions of the guide had the Icom IC-7300 included as an Appendix. It just seemed to make sense to rewrite the guide when merging-in the Kenwood TS-590S configuration details.
There should be an update to the guide in the near-term covering the integration of a newly-acquired Yaesu FT-710 HF/50MHz Transceiver (bought at the 2023 Dayton Hamvention).
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. 2.1
The Mac-Based Amateur Radio Digital Applications - Installation and Integration, v. 2.1 document is a low resolution PDF document mainly for viewing online. While the low resolution PDF file can be downloaded as is, the figures and screenshots will be a bit grainy. A larger, higher resolution PDF file can be downloaded using the 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 all Macs, even those Macs running MacOS 11 and 12 (and maybe even 10).
The document will be updated dynamically.
Mac-based Amateur Radio Digital Applications -- Installation and Integration, v. 0.993
Note: No longer supported
The Mac-Based Amateur Radio Digital Applications - Installation and Integration, v. 0993 document is a low resolution PDF document mainly for 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 button directly below in the Downloads area.
This document will remain available for a while. It is mainly being retained for those possibly using a non-current MacOS (most likely due to MacOS limitations with an older model Mac).
This older document was based on running MLDX with etiher WSJT-X or fldigi on a Mac PowerBook Pro (2019) with MacOS 11.n, Big Sur; or with 12.n, Monterey, and having the following application version recommendations/requirements:
MLDX version 6.31 (or later)
WSJT-X version 2.3.0 (or later)
wsjtx ver. 2.3.0 runs good on Intel and M1-based Mac provided the Release Notes are complied with.
The wsjtx ver. 2.3.0 rc2 downloaded from SourceForge does not run on Big Sur (causing a memory allocaiton prompt to appear). WSJT-X ver. 2.2.0 does run good with Big Sur 11.n.
fldigi version 4.1.16.02 (or later)
The document is no longer being updated.
This current high-resolution Mac-Based Amateur Radio Digital Applications - Installation and Integration, v. 2.1 PDF file can be downloaded by clicking on the Mac Ham Dig App, v. 2.1 button. The figures and screenshots should be quite good showing good detail when viewed either with a PDF viewer or when printed.
This older version and medium-resolution Mac-Based Amateur Radio Digital Applications - Installation and Integration, v. 0.993 PDF file can be downloaded using the Mac Ham Dig App, v. 0.993 button. The figures and screenshots should be pretty good showing more 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.