Sunday, 10 March 2013

PSK31 on the Raspberry Pi - Part 3

Launch the "LinPSK" application and click on "Settings" on the LinPSK menu bar and then "General Settings" to display the following window:

Enter your Callsign and Locator. For the "PTT Device" enter "/dev/ttyUSB0" as shown in the above screen shot. This instructs LinPSK to use the USB to Serial converter to key your transceiver. If you want to log your contacts (highly recommended) then you'll need to enter the necessary details under "Logging". I am saving my log to the file "mylog" in the "/home/pi" folder. Click "OK" to save your settings. Please note that LinPSK should create the log file automatically, but if you find you are unable to save log entries then you may need to create a blank file with your chosen name using "File Manager".

It is a good idea to check the operation of your setup before going live on the air. Connect a dummy load to your transceiver's antenna socket and tune your transceiver to one of the commonly used PSK31 frequencies. Click on the large square "RX" button on "LinPSK"

This will set LinPSK to receive - the button should now have a green dot on it and be labelled "TX". Click on the button again and check that your transceiver switches to transmit.

The button will now have a red dot on it (warning you that you are transmitting) and be labelled "RX", and the waterfall display on the bottom left corner of the screen will disappear.

Click on the button again to switch back to receive.

Finally, you will probably want to define a few macros to save you from having to type the same information repeatedly. You will be familiar with how to do this if you've used PSK31 (or any other data mode) before, but the process is quite simple. Click on "Settings" on the LinPSK menu bar and you have a number of options available to you for creating and editing macros (such as "Add Macros", "Edit Macros" etc).

For example, the macro I created for calling CQ is as follows:

pse k

Note that the macro switches the transceiver to transmit, sends the message, and then switches back to receive. You can create macros to almost fully automate your QSO's, but some people don't like this as it makes the contact very impersonal, but there is no question that macros are useful for standard calls and replies. The macros you create appear as buttons on the bottom right of the LinPSK screen.

The large text area on the top right displays the decoded text from the received signal, but the smaller text area just under it allows you to type "free text" for transmission. When your transceiver is switched to transmit anything you type here will be encoded and transmitted as you type. When I wish to chat freely I use a macro to switch my transceiver to transmit and give my callsign:


Then I type whatever I want into the transmit text area and when I've finished I use another macro to end the transmission and switch my transceiver back to receive:

pse k

Once you have the macros set up to your satisfaction you are ready to operate PSK31 using your Raspberry Pi.

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