Tag Archives: ham

tlf: I’m so superficial sometimes

I’m going to list tlf here today, just because it’s Friday and because I’m feeling frisky.


It’s in both AUR and Debian, if you’re keeping score. Borrowing from the home page, tlf is “a curses-based console mode general logging and contest program for amateur radio.”

Having said that, I still haven’t got a clue what to do with tlf. It’s very pretty though, and we all know how I get all wobbly-kneed when I see a text-based program that uses color.

I suppose a long time ago I should have started filtering out all the software that I have no frame of reference for. It would have saved me the embarrassment of holding out programs like tlf (or a lot of other ham radio applications) and not knowing a single soul-loving thing about it. 😳

I haven’t been this lost since dxcc.

But I suppose arbitrarily lopping off titles from The List would have left me without the experience of learning a lot of new things. So perhaps it’s for the better.

And like the man said, knowing that we know what we know, and knowing that we don’t know what we don’t know, that is true knowledge.

Now if only I knew what that meant. …

For now I’m going to go back and look at how pretty tlf is, and watch the numbers spin past as I type. I’m so superficial sometimes. … 😐

morsegen and morse2ascii: Since we’re on the subject

I have a couple of other small Morse telegraphy tools in my list, and since we covered cwcp in the last post, it’s probably a good time to throw them into the mix. Here’s morsegen, from Luigi Auriemma.


As you can see, morsegen is very straightforward, and really only reads text files and converts the contents into dash-or-dot sequences. No flags or frills, unless you consider the readout of Luigi’s fixed header to be a frill.

In that sense, I would prefer morsegen work a little more like morse, and accept text either as a target, or through a pipe. morsegen seems hard-coded to look for a target file, and read through that.

Which is all neither here nor there, and perhaps if you like, you can ask Luigi’s permission to adjust morsegen. I wonder if that wouldn’t make morsegen nearly identical to morse, though.

Here’s something a little more ambitious, by the same author: morse2ascii.


The inner workings of morse2ascii are beyond me, but suffice to say that it reads through a wav file, senses the tones, and converts them into text. You can see the analysis and the results in the screenshot, taken from a random sound file borrowed from The Internet. 😕

As far as I can tell, as someone unskilled in the art of decoding Morse telegraphy, morse2ascii is doing a good job. The file I borrowed was supposedly a training session, working through basic letters and digits before moving into specific sequences. It looks right, anyway.

morse2ascii has the same arrangement as morsegen though, and won’t accept strings and wants a target file. So if you want to stream audio through morse2ascii, you might need to first capture the broadcast, then feed it to morse2ascii. I leave it to you to solve.

Both programs compile and run fine in Arch; morse2ascii is in AUR if you prefer. Debian has both prepackaged. Debian users get all the cool toys. … 😉

cwcp: Learn to walk before you run

I found qrq a week or two ago, and while qrq is probably a very useful program for people who need to improve their skills with Morse telegraphy, it might be geared more towards those who have already mastered the basics.

If you’re a newbie, cwcp might be more to your liking. Here’s the Linux Mint version.


Much is the same between qrq and cwcp, but it’s also clear that their target audiences are different. cwcp has speed and volume controls, but also has controls for adjusting tone and other audio cues.

qrq seemed to focus on recognizing call signs and building proficiency and speed, while cwcp starts with letter and number groups, and works up through English words and into other categories. cwcp also lets you type in your own text, and will replay it as tones.

Like qrq, cwcp will need a little nudge with the alsa-oss package. I don’t see where that’s listed as a dependency in Debian, but I don’t know that oss is necessarily out of fashion, particularly among Debian fans.

In any case, if you’re not hearing anything, that might be the reason. cwcp is part of the unixcw package, so it might be that you get more “modern” sounds support by bringing in the qt rendition. Try it and tell me.

cwcp alone is not in Arch, but the unixcw suite is in AUR. If you only want the one program, it may be possible to carve it out. And if you’re an Arch user you probably can handle that. 😎

cwcp has color, as you can see, and I should note that cwcp seems comfortable arranging its layout to just about any terminal size, but only on startup. If you change dimensions after you begin your tutorial, cwcp might not notice it.

I think that’s about all I can think of to say about cwcp. It’s definitely every bit as fucntional as qrq, but intended more as a learning activity than as a speed and proficiency drill. Enjoy. 😉

qrq: How little I really know

I found qrq by way of a brute search through the Debian archives for anything text-related, and even though I haven’t a clue what to do with qrq, I’ll show it here out of fairness.

2014-12-11-6m47421-qrq-01 2014-12-11-6m47421-qrq-02

That’s only partly true — I do have a small idea what to do with qrq. The home page is very helpful, and the program itself has more than enough help just in its startup screen to keep me from shrugging with complete bewilderment. And I imagine if you’re learning or use Morse telegraphy at all, it will be very interesting.

It’s also worth highlighting that qrq involves some sound support. Very few console applications take the time to incorporate an audio element, unless they’re specifically intended for audio playback.

At this point I should mention that I have no training whatsoever with Morse code aside from learning about it in primary school. Or maybe tinkering with morse. So properly using qrq is well beyond my ability.

On the other hand, I do like the interface, even if it is pinned to 80×24. qrq has no flags that I could find, and the man page gives only a little more information than you’ll get from starting the program.

I noticed that qrq is in both Debian and Arch, and the Arch version will pull in alsa-oss when you install it. That might suggest that qrq is a little beyond the most recent developments in Linux audio, but I had no problems with qrq’s sound playback.

Other than the fact that I have no clue what those beeps and boops mean. :\

Between this and yfklog, I’m beginning to expect more from text-only applications intended for the amateur radio demographic. … 😐

yfklog: A text-only ham radio log

My daily adventure with ls vimwiki/ | shuf -n1 has dropped me off in the deep end again, this time with a lovely little application that I know ab-so-lutely nothing about.

2014-10-04-6m47421-yfklog-01 2014-10-04-6m47421-yfklog-02

That is yfklog, which is a ham radio log that … I just don’t have any frame of reference for. I know so little about ham radios, I’m embarrassed to say anything about it at all for fear of embarrassing myself on a worldwide scale.

On the other hand, today is Sunday, so it’s unlikely that anyone would travel across this page and see my blunder. … 😕

I can tell you that it has a nice color scheme that is easy to read. I can tell you it has a menu-driven layout and is very easy to navigate.

And I can tell you the one shortcoming that I could see, that it didn’t resize cleanly to terminal dimensions other than the specific size you see above.

Now I am afraid I have to end this, because until I learn something about ham radios, and then learn how a logging tool would be useful, and then learn how to use yfklog … well, I’m wasting your time. 😦