KJ7NZL → Robert V. Bolton

Linux For Ham Radio #

Introduction #

This page is to serve as a repository of information for using Ham Radio with Linux. I currently run MX Linux 21 with a Yaesu FT DX 3000. Some of the information may not work exactly as I have documented, but should provide you with a starting point to getting Linux working for you.

Rig Control #


FLRIG is my preferred software for controlling my Yaesu FT DX 3000. It’s straightforward to configure and provides a clean interface that tailored to the rig connected. The fundamental reason I prefer FLRIG over hamlib is the support for the Yaesu FT DX 3000. When selecting your rig FLRIG will default to the appropriate settings to interface with the radio. You shouldn’t have to adjust any of the settings other that the serial port the transceiver is connected to. Hamlib doesn’t include a direct configuration, so the recommended approach is to use the configuration for the Yaesu FT DX 3000 5000. This has caused issues for me and thus I use FLRIG over hamlib. I have yet to experience any issues with FLRIG.

FLRIG Settings for Yaesu FT DX 3000 #

There are two serial ports detected by MX Linux 21 when the Yaesus FT DX 3000 is plugged in. For me these normally appear as /dev/ttyUSB0 and /dev/ttyUSB1. However, I have found these serial ports will sometimes change on me if I plug another USB device into my computer. Therefore, I’ve started using the device aliases under /dev/serial/by-id/. This has allowed FLRIG to maintain a connection to the appropriate serial port should the underlying configuration change when a new USB device is plugged in.

naughtrobot@hackshack [09:30:30 PM] [~]
-> % ls -l /dev/serial/by-id/
total 0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 13 Oct 22 20:12 usb-Silicon_Labs_CP2105_Dual_USB_to_UART_Bridge_Controller_00C97BC6-if00-port0 -> ../../ttyUSB0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 13 Oct 22 20:12 usb-Silicon_Labs_CP2105_Dual_USB_to_UART_Bridge_Controller_00C97BC6-if01-port0 -> ../../ttyUSB1

Digital Modes #

FT8 #


WSJT-X works well without the need for any additional configuration outside of the settings withing the application. Since I use FLRIG configuration is relatively straightforward. I need to set the PTT method to DTR and selecting the correct serial interface to the rig, and setting the mode to Data/Pkt. There are two alternative options you can implement if you want to work split operations. Either let WSJT-X fake it by adjusting the pitch of the audio tones generated to be within the 1500Hz to 2000Hz range so that audio harmonics cannot pass through the TX sideband filter or operate the rig’s multiple VFOs. Either method is reliable and both help produce a cleaner transmitted signal. Since the Yaesu FT DX 3000 has two VFOs I use the Rig setting and let the radio split both the transmit and receive frequencies.

Settings to configure WSJT-X to interface with FLRig and the Yaesu FT DX 3000.

Settings to configure WSJT-X to interface with FLRig and the Yaesu FT DX 3000.

The power slider adjust the audio output to the Yaesu FT DX 3000.

The power slider adjust the audio output to the Yaesu FT DX 3000.

Reducing In-band Harmonic Distortion #

WSJT-X allows for easy operation of FT8 and other digital modes. This ease in use can also facilitate bad operating happens. One that is often seen is in-band harmonic distortion caused by over driving the audio signal into the radio. You can prevent this by adjusting the power slider in WSJT-X until it barely triggers the ALC on the Yaesu FT DX 3000. I have found that adjusting the output until one or two tick marks register on the ALC meter to be the ideal setting. This allows me to maintain the maximum transmit power without distorting my signal.

The audio output from the PC should barely engage the ALC.

The audio output from the PC should barely engage the ALC.

Configuring the Yaesu FT DX 3000 for Digital Modes #

I have found that the following menu options work well with the Yaesu FT DX 3000. The rest of the digital mode settings are kept in their default configurations.

065 MODE CWPC KEYINGDTRMethod used for the computer to PTT, this setting works well with FLDIGI and WSTJ-X.
067 MODE DATADATA MODEOTHERSEnable for additional options beyond the PSK settings.
069 MODE DATAOTHER DISP (SSB)1500HzThe audio bandwidth needs to be shifted from the dial frequency to correctly cover the FT8 band spectrum.
070 MODE DATAOTHER SHIFT (SSB)1500HzSame reason as above.
071 MODE DATADATA HCUT FREQOFFYou want to receive the largest bandwidth possible to maximize the number of stations heard.
073 MODE DATADATA HCUT FREQOFFAs above to maximize the bandwidth.
075 MODE DATADATA IN SELECTUSBUse the audio coming from your PC via the USB cable.
076 MODE DATADATA MIC GAIN25This is the gain setting for the digital audio.
077 MODE DATADATA OUT LEVEL5The radio massively overdrives the output audio level to the PC, thus this needs to be turned right down.
Last Updated: 2021-10-31 #