FOSS for amateur radio

lwn.net
7 min read
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Amateur ("ham") radio operators have been experimenting with ways to use computers in their hobby since PCs became widely available—perhaps even before then. While many people picture hams either talking into a microphone or tapping a telegraph key, many hams now type on a keyboard or even click buttons on a computer screen to make contacts. Even hams who still prefer to talk or use Morse code may still use computers for some things, such as logging contacts or predicting radio conditions. While most hams use Windows, there is no shortage of ham radio software for Linux.
FOSS for amateur radio [LWN subscriber-only content]

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Amateur ("ham") radio operators have been experimenting with ways to use computers in their hobby since PCs became widely available—perhaps even before then. While many people picture hams either talking into a microphone or tapping a telegraph key, many hams now type on a keyboard or even click buttons on a computer screen to make contacts. Even hams who still prefer to talk or use Morse code may still use computers for some things, such as logging contacts or predicting radio conditions. While most hams use Windows, there is no shortage of ham radio software for Linux.

Utilities

HamClock, as its name implies, has a primary function as a clock, but it has several other features as well. It shows a world map, and the user can click anywhere on the map to see the current time and weather conditions at that location. It also shows radio-propagation predictions, which indicate the probability that a ham's signals will be received at any particular location on Earth. These predictions are available in numerical form and as map overlays. In addition to propagation predictions, HamClock provides graphs and images indicating solar activity such as sunspots, which strongly affect radio propagation.

Most hams keep logs of all contacts they have made over the radio; this was (and still may be) required by law in some countries. Historically, hams have kept logs on paper, but many now use electronic logging programs. There are several Linux-based, FOSS logging programs, such as FLLog (documentation/download) and Xlog. One logging-related program that is designed to work with other logging software is TQSL, which…
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