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Author Topic: Shortwave Broadcast Schedules Beta 0.0.1b3  (Read 55166 times)

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Shortwave Broadcast Schedules Beta 0.0.1b3
« on: September 22, 2013, 2114 UTC »
Shortwave Broadcast Schedules helps the SWL find shortwave broadcasts to listen to, as well as identify the station that is tuned in. You can double click on an entry to tune your radio to that frequency. You can also manually tune your radio, and the list of possible broadcasts will scroll along with the frequency, helping you identify the station.

It is available for Windows, Mac OS X, as well as linux.



This is the first public beta of the app. It is not yet completed, there are more features to add. It also likely has some bugs.

Presently, radio control is only implemented for Icom radios using the CI-V interface, as well as the SdrDx SDR app for Windows and Mac OS X. I do plan on adding support for additional radios, this is where users can help, by testing how it works with their radio. If you're interested in doing this, and you already have your radio connected to your computer via a serial cable, let me know what radio(s) you have.

If you'd like to try it out, you can download a copy using the following links:

Windows: http://www.radiohobbyist.org/blog/mypics/ShortwaveBroadcastSchedules-Windows.zip

Mac OS X: http://www.radiohobbyist.org/blog/mypics/ShortwaveBroadcastSchedules.zip

Linux: http://www.radiohobbyist.org/blog/mypics/ShortwaveBroadcastSchedules-Linux.zip

There is a ReadMe.rtf documentation file that comes with the download.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2014, 1816 UTC by ChrisSmolinski »
Chris Smolinski
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Offline Echo_One

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Re: Shortwave Broadcast Schedules Beta 0.0.1b3
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2013, 2117 UTC »
What a very nice thing.

I dont have an SDR or anything fancy - just a simple radio... Will I still be able to use it or only with an SDR program?
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Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: Shortwave Broadcast Schedules Beta 0.0.1b3
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2013, 2130 UTC »
If you want to use it to control your radio (or be controlled by your radio) you will need a radio that can be controlled by your computer with a serial link. Otherwise, you can always use it manually, without the radio interface, to see what is on.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
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NRD 545 / netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 270 ft west-south-west beverage / 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop

Offline skeezix

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Re: Shortwave Broadcast Schedules Beta 0.0.1b3
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2013, 2131 UTC »
Excellent.

Currently setting up one of my Macs to control a Yaesu FT-840. Have the USB-Serial adapter and the Yaesu RS-232 to TTL interface, but something isn't quite right and can't get the Mac to control the radio. Have an old Perl program I wrote for an FT-817 that used to work fine (with the 817), but its not working with the FT-840 yet. Could be the program, the FT-840, the serial cable, or who knows what.

Probably too early for a feature req, but will mention it anyway:
Put in a map with the rx location & the tx locations along with bearings to/from the station. For some distant version of the program, be able to click on a country/region on the map and it picks up all the xmtrs (where region is perhaps a user-defined radius from where someone clicks), along with the great circle path of the signal. However, that info would have to be gathered from HFCC or elsewhere, as EiBi doesn't have it. Lots of possibilities for map-based control/viewing, but considering the program is early beta, I'm sure there's a thing or three that must be done first.

Another one, that may not be so much work as the map thing:
With a radio hooked up, the program can poll the radio every second or something, then display station info for the frequency its on.


« Last Edit: September 22, 2013, 2135 UTC by skeezix »
Minneapolis, MN

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Re: Shortwave Broadcast Schedules Beta 0.0.1b3
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2013, 2135 UTC »
Nice App! I am running Linux Mint 15, a modified Gnome desktop. Minor complaint: The wording in the drop downs is cut off. I have not messed around to see if this can be easily remedied.

I have used the DXToolbox app to talk between SDRdx and either the local loopback, or over the LAN. Using the ports specified in SDRdx and DXToolbox, I will see if this works the same for me.

Ahh, Serial port....nevermind that "ports" stuff  ;)

Thanks for the work!
« Last Edit: September 22, 2013, 2139 UTC by rdla4 »

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: Shortwave Broadcast Schedules Beta 0.0.1b3
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2013, 2227 UTC »
Excellent.

Currently setting up one of my Macs to control a Yaesu FT-840. Have the USB-Serial adapter and the Yaesu RS-232 to TTL interface, but something isn't quite right and can't get the Mac to control the radio. Have an old Perl program I wrote for an FT-817 that used to work fine (with the 817), but its not working with the FT-840 yet. Could be the program, the FT-840, the serial cable, or who knows what.

Probably too early for a feature req, but will mention it anyway:
Put in a map with the rx location & the tx locations along with bearings to/from the station. For some distant version of the program, be able to click on a country/region on the map and it picks up all the xmtrs (where region is perhaps a user-defined radius from where someone clicks), along with the great circle path of the signal. However, that info would have to be gathered from HFCC or elsewhere, as EiBi doesn't have it. Lots of possibilities for map-based control/viewing, but considering the program is early beta, I'm sure there's a thing or three that must be done first.

Yeah, I will need to see what I can find with station location information.

Another one, that may not be so much work as the map thing:
With a radio hooked up, the program can poll the radio every second or something, then display station info for the frequency its on.

It should do that now, if you have a radio interface set up.

Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
NRD 545 / netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 270 ft west-south-west beverage / 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop

Offline refmo

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Re: Shortwave Broadcast Schedules Beta 0.0.1b3
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2013, 0224 UTC »
Trying out the windows version with a Kenwood TS-450,  the software appears to poll the serial ports when config is clicked and puts my transceiver into transmit mode a few times before opening the config window.
It does recognize my virtual usb serial ports without a problem.
I think the serial/CAT interface to these old Kenwoods is pretty simple, so may be a good place to start.

Skeezix has some good ideas for future improvements.  Also would like to be able to choose multiple items in the country/target/language filter dropdowns.
Also, would be nice to show a list of frequencies parallel to the one selected.

(I currently convert the Eibi list to Ham Radio Deluxe format and use that to control my radio.)
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 0227 UTC by refmo »
central Kentucky
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Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: Shortwave Broadcast Schedules Beta 0.0.1b3
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2013, 1537 UTC »
Trying out the windows version with a Kenwood TS-450,  the software appears to poll the serial ports when config is clicked and puts my transceiver into transmit mode a few times before opening the config window.
It does recognize my virtual usb serial ports without a problem.
I think the serial/CAT interface to these old Kenwoods is pretty simple, so may be a good place to start.

My guess is it is asserting the PTT (DTR line) as it enumerates the serial ports in the system. I'll see if there's a way to disable that.

Quote
Skeezix has some good ideas for future improvements.  Also would like to be able to choose multiple items in the country/target/language filter dropdowns.
Also, would be nice to show a list of frequencies parallel to the one selected.

(I currently convert the Eibi list to Ham Radio Deluxe format and use that to control my radio.)


Good ideas, thanks!
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
NRD 545 / netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 270 ft west-south-west beverage / 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop

Offline Ragnar

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Re: Shortwave Broadcast Schedules Beta 0.0.1b3
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2013, 2116 UTC »
Seems to be working well on Windows/SdrDx/NetSDR with the latest update (0.0.1b4).

 Couple questions / suggestions-
 
  • Which database is it using? (eibi?)
  • How will the updates occur with the next shortwave schedule? Will we have to re-download the folder or will it query EIBI online in the background.
  • I assume the entire shortwave database is stored locally in one of the Dll's?  Would it be easy to edit it? (love to take out a bunch of the crap stations I don't listen to to reduce the clutter [i.e. mil coms, Volmet]
  • It would be nice to coordinate with Ben to have a button on SdrDx to launch the program (would probably have to be loaded in specific location in the SdrDx program folder)
  • It would be nice to have an icon ( .ico ) associated with it to use on the shortcut I created for the link
  • Its "pushing" info to the radio by being able to change frequency, can it "pull" info too? I ask because if it could read what freq you are currently on, and know the time it is, it could give a constant read out of what freq you are on and what station you are listening to. (assuming the freq is in the database)  That would be a very nice feature. Tune to a frequency and have it display what the station is.   Hey! I guess it already does this, Nice!

 Thanks for the program, I realize its still in the development stage but it works well.

 
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 2335 UTC by Ragnar »
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Offline skeezix

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Re: Shortwave Broadcast Schedules Beta 0.0.1b3
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2013, 2233 UTC »
refmo-  What do you use to interface between the computer & the 450? I have a TS-690S which is the same thing, but with 6m. The Kenwood IF-232C interface is long since discontinued.

Found schematics for building one and a company makes one for $50. The homebrew one uses opto-isolators so the radio & computer are isolated, which is very nice.

Minneapolis, MN

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: Shortwave Broadcast Schedules Beta 0.0.1b3
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2013, 2343 UTC »
    Seems to be working well on Windows/SdrDx/NetSDR with the latest update (0.0.1b4).

     Couple questions / suggestions-
     
    • Which database is it using? (eibi?)
    • How will the updates occur with the next shortwave schedule? Will we have to re-download the folder or will it query EIBI online in the background.
    • I assume the entire shortwave database is stored locally in one of the Dll's?  Would it be easy to edit it? (love to take out a bunch of the crap stations I don't listen to to reduce the clutter [i.e. mil coms, Volmet]
    • It would be nice to coordinate with Ben to have a button on SdrDx to launch the program (would probably have to be loaded in specific location in the SdrDx program folder)
    • It would be nice to have an icon ( .ico ) associated with it to use on the shortcut I created for the link
    • Its "pushing" info to the radio by being able to change frequency, can it "pull" info too? I ask because if it could read what freq you are currently on, and know the time it is, it could give a constant read out of what freq you are on and what station you are listening to. (assuming the freq is in the database)  That would be a very nice feature. Tune to a frequency and have it display what the station is.

     Thanks for the program, I realize its still in the development stage but it works well.




    Yes, EIBI
    Right now it is hard coded, but eventually (hopefully shortly) you'll be able to update it, I suspect in two ways: Either with a update button, or by placing a copy of the EIBI CSV file in a certain place. That would allow you to edit the file as well.
    It's in the app now, but see above. Also, I plan on adding a way to restrict entries by country, target, and language (the iPhone version does that now) which helps in filtering out stuff you are not interested in. This will be in addition to the popup menus to select those criteria. There's also the ability to select the frequency range in the Configuration window, so you can set the lower freq to say 2000 kHz to filter out all the LW and MW stuff.
    Good idea, let me ask him about that.
    Yep, I need an icon. If anyone has any ideas...
    Yes, It does that now for the SdrDx and Icom interfaces. I am working on the generic serial interface now. Supporting 6.02e+23 different radio protocols would be... daunting. Since, AFAIK, they all seem to be ASCII based, there will be text that the user sets for their particular radio, to describe how to set the frequency, request the frequency, and parse the returned frequency. That's my plan, anyway. We'll see how it works.


    [/list][/list][/list]
    Chris Smolinski
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    eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
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    Offline skeezix

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    Re: Shortwave Broadcast Schedules Beta 0.0.1b3
    « Reply #11 on: September 24, 2013, 0010 UTC »
    More ideas:

    - Integrate with the solar data to give a small display of current propagation conditions
    - If you can use the HFCC DB, give a rough estimate of the propagation of the signals based on time, xmtr location, power, azimuth, and solar data.
    - List of favorites
    - Assemble a "playlist" of stations, which means can get a group:
    0000-0100 9700 AM RRI
    0800-1500 9580 AM R Aus
    2000-2100 12070 AM Deutsche Welle
    2300-2400 19000 AM R Aus

    With the ability to have different sets and assign them to days and/or dates. And it will automatically change the radio.
    Minneapolis, MN

    Offline thechoat

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    Re: Shortwave Broadcast Schedules Beta 0.0.1b3
    « Reply #12 on: September 24, 2013, 0203 UTC »
    Oooooooo  aaaaaaaaaaaaah.....
    lol good job Chris thanks!!
    central midwest
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    Offline refmo

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    Re: Shortwave Broadcast Schedules Beta 0.0.1b3
    « Reply #13 on: September 24, 2013, 0235 UTC »
    refmo-  What do you use to interface between the computer & the 450? I have a TS-690S which is the same thing, but with 6m. The Kenwood IF-232C interface is long since discontinued.

    Found schematics for building one and a company makes one for $50. The homebrew one uses opto-isolators so the radio & computer are isolated, which is very nice.



    I use the microHam Interface II (it will communicate fine direct to the Kenwoods).  I think they have the interface III now.  Works well , just hook up the cables, configure a virtual serial port, and start using it.
    I still occasionally see the IF-232C on QRZ.com, but the microHam works at least as well, and also provides a clean isolated audio interface.

    Another idea for future versions of the software:  implement a 'Favorite' button, so that I can mark the items I am most interested in.  And then be able to filter to only show favorites.  This would be an easy way to get rid of clutter in the list.
    central Kentucky
    Please eQSL to refmorefmo[at]yahoo[dot]com
    Radios: Afedri AFE822x, Airspy HF+, Kenwood TS450, Kenwood TS590SG, Tecsun PL880, Panasonic RF-2200
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    Offline refmo

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    Re: Shortwave Broadcast Schedules Beta 0.0.1b3
    « Reply #14 on: October 18, 2013, 0006 UTC »
    Chris, if you haven't lost interest, here is a manual about programming an interface to the Kenwood TS-450:
    http://www.tippete.net/radio/kenwood/TS-450S_pgmg_manual.pdf

    Pretty simple stuff - for instance:  "FA0006925000;" will set the frequency of VFO A to 6925khz.
    central Kentucky
    Please eQSL to refmorefmo[at]yahoo[dot]com
    Radios: Afedri AFE822x, Airspy HF+, Kenwood TS450, Kenwood TS590SG, Tecsun PL880, Panasonic RF-2200
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