Sunday, January 20, 2013

Ham radio software on MacOS - try wine

MacOS users sometimes feel like second class citizens with so much great Ham Radio software for Windows and increasingly Linux. But I've found that many of the Windows versions of programs work brilliantly under the Wine windows api emulator. Here's WSPR for windows:

WSPR shows that audio in and out works well. One thing to note is that you run the installer and then must run the installed program which ends up at ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/WSPR/wspr.exe so I run it by:

  • cd ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/WSPR/
  • wine wspr.exe

Here's FreeDV receiving:

Here's me transmitting using the display microphone:

Audio actually works a little better than under real Windows where I'm unable to mix USB and on board audio. MacOS seems to have better built-in audio support. FreeDV is simply downloaded as a zip archive of a directory containing the exe and some shared libraries.

WSPRX unfortunately doesn't run by the way.

Building Wine

Windows are displayed using XWindows and for that you need to install XQuartz.

To install wine I recommend homebrew. I'm on MacOSX Mountain Lion and the build gets a link error and I needed to do this:
  • brew update
  • brew doctor # which reports that all is well, if not take advice
  • brew rm libpng
  • brew install libpng --universal
  • brew install wine
So, great work by the wine and hombrew folks.

MacOS X users are not really short of Ham Radio Software

My opening remark gives the wrong impression, there's actually great Ham Radio software for MacOS these days. Machamradio has a great list.

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