rotctl man page

rotctl — control antenna rotators

Synopsis

rotctl [OPTION]... [COMMAND]...

Description

Control antenna rotators. rotctl accepts commands from the command line as well as in interactive mode if none are provided on the command line.

Keep in mind that Hamlib is BETA level software. While a lot of backend libraries lack complete rotator support, the basic functions are usually well supported. The API may change without publicized notice, while an advancement of the minor version (e.g. 1.x to 3.x) indicates such a change.

Please report bugs and provide feedback at the e-mail address given in the Reporting Bugs section. Patches and code enhancements are also welcome.

Options

This program follows the usual GNU command line syntax, with long options starting with two dashes ('-').

Here is a summary of the supported options:

-m, --model=id
Select rotator model number. See model list (use 'rotctl -l').

NB: rotctl (or third party software) will use rotator model 2 for NET rotctl (rotctld).
-r, --rot-file=device
Use device as the file name of the port the rotator is connected. Often a serial port, but could be a USB to serial adapter or USB port device. Typically /dev/ttyS0, /dev/ttyS1, /dev/ttyUSB0, etc. on Linux or COM1, COM2, etc. on Win32.
-s, --serial-speed=baud
Set serial speed to baud rate. Uses maximum serial speed from rotator backend capabilities as default.
-t, --send-cmd-term=char
Change the termination char for text protocol when using the send_cmd command. The default value is <CR>. Non ASCII printable characters can be specified as an ASCII number, in hexadecimal format, prepended with 0x. You may pass an empty string for no termination char. The string -1 tells rotctl to switch to binary protocol. See the send_cmd command for further explanation.
-L, --show-conf
List all config parameters for the rotor defined with -m above.
-C, --set-conf=parm=val[,parm=val]*
Set config parameter. e.g. --set_conf=stop_bits=2

Use -L option for a list.
-u, --dump-caps
Dump capabilities for the rotor defined with -m above and exit.
-l, --list
List all model numbers defined in Hamlib and exit. As of 1.2.15.1 the list is sorted by model number.

N.B. In Linux the list can be scrolled back using Shift-PageUp/ Shift-PageDown, or using the scrollbars of a virtual terminal in X or the cmd window in Windows. The output can be piped to 'more' or 'less', e.g. 'rotctl -l | more'.
-i, --read-history
Read previously saved command and argument history from a file (default '~/.rotctl_history') for the current session. Available when rotctl is built with Readline support (see Readline below).

N.B. To read a history file stored in another directory, set the ROTCTL_HIST_DIR environment variable, e.g. 'ROTCTL_HIST_DIR=~/tmp rotctl -i'. When ROTCTL_HIST_DIR is not set, the value of HOME is used.
-I, --save-history
Write current session and previous session(s), if -i option is given, command and argument history to a file (default '~/.rotctl_history') at the end of the current session. Complete commands with arguments are saved as a single line to be recalled and used or edited. Available when rotctl is built with Readline support (see Readline below).

N.B. To write a history file in another directory, set the ROTCTL_HIST_DIR environment variable, e.g. 'ROTCTL_HIST_DIR=~/tmp rotctl -I'. When ROTCTL_HIST_DIR is not set, the value of HOME is used.
-v, --verbose
Set verbose mode, cumulative (see Diagnostics below).
-h, --help
Show summary of these options and exit.
-V, --version
Show version of rotctl and exit.

N.B. Some options may not be implemented by a given backend and will return an error. This is most likely to occur with the --set-conf and --show-conf options.

Please note that the backend for the rotator to be controlled, or the rotator itself may not support some commands. In that case, the operation will fail with a Hamlib error code.

Commands

Commands can be entered either as a single char, or as a long command name. Basically, the commands do not take a dash in front of them, as the options do. They may be typed in when in interactive mode or provided as argument(s) in command line interface mode. In interactive mode commands and their arguments may be entered on a single line:

Rotator command: P 123 45

Since most of the Hamlib operations have a set and a get method, an upper case letter will be used for set method whereas the corresponding lower case letter refers to the get method. Each operation also has a long name; in interactive mode, prepend a backslash to enter a long command name.

Example: Use "\get_info" to see the rotor's info.

Please note that the backend for the rotator to be controlled, or the rotator itself may not support some commands. In that case, the operation will fail with a Hamlib error message.

As an alternative to the Readline command history features a special command of a single dash ('-') may be used to read commands from standard input. Commands must be separated by whitespace similar to the commands given on the command line. Comments may be added using the '#' character, all text up until the end of the current line including the '#' character is ignored.

Example:
$ cat <<.EOF. >cmds.txt
> # File of commands
> set_pos 180.0 10.0 # rotate
> pause 30 # wait for action to complete
> get_pos # query rotator
> .EOF.

$ rotctl -m1 - <cmds.txt

set_pos 180.0 10.0
pause 30
get_pos 180.000000
10.000000

$

A summary of commands is included below (In the case of "set" commands the quoted string is replaced by the value in the description. In the case of "get" commands the quoted string is the key name of the value returned.):

Q|q, exit rotctl
Exit rotctl in interactive mode.

When rotctl is controlling the rotor directly, will close the rotor backend and port. When rotctl is connected to rotctld (rotor model 2), the TCP/IP connection to rotctld is closed and rotctld remains running, available for another TCP/IP network connection.
P, set_pos 'Azimuth' 'Elevation'
Set position: Azimuth and Elevation as double precision floating point values.
p, get_pos
Get position: 'Azimuth' and 'Elevation' as double precision floating point values.
M, move 'Direction' 'Speed'
Move the rotator in a specific direction at the given rate.

Values are integers where Direction is defined as 2 = Up, 4 = Down, 8 = Left, and 16 = Right. Speed is an integer between 1 and 100. Not all backends that implement the move command use the Speed value. At this time only the gs232a utilizes the Speed parameter.
S, stop
Stop the rotator.
K, park
Park the antenna.
C, set_conf 'Token' 'Value'
Set a configuration parameter. It is safe to give "Token" a value of '0' (zero). "Value" may be a string up to 20 characters.
See -L output
R, reset 'Reset'
Reset the rotator.

Integer value of '1' for Reset All.
_, get_info
Get misc information on the rotator.

At the moment returns 'Model Name'.
w, send_cmd 'Cmd'
Send raw command string to the rotator.
<CR> (or send-cmd-term, see -t option) is appended automatically at the end of the command for text protocols. For binary protocols, enter values as \0xAA\0xBB

Locator Commands

These commands offer conversions of Degrees Minutes Seconds to other formats, Maidenhead square locator conversions and distance and azimuth conversions.

L, lonlat2loc 'Longitude' 'Latitude' 'Loc Len [2-12]'
Returns the Maidenhead locator for the given 'Longitude' and 'Latitude'.

Both are floating point values. The precision of the returned square is controlled by 'Loc Len' which should be an even numbered integer value between 2 and 12.

For example, "L -170.000000 -85.000000 12" returns "Locator: AA55AA00AA00".
l, loc2lonlat 'Locator'
Returns 'Longitude' and 'Latitude' in decimal degrees at the approximate center of the requested grid square (despite the use of double precision variables internally, some rounding error occurs). West longitude is expressed as a negative value. South latitude is expressed as a negative value. Locator can be from 2 to 12 characters in length.

For example, "l AA55AA00AA00" returns "Longitude: -169.999983 Latitude: -84.999991".
D, dms2dec 'Degrees' 'Minutes' 'Seconds' 'S/W'
Returns 'Dec Degrees', a signed floating point value.

Degrees and Minutes are integer values and Seconds is a floating point value. S/W is a flag with '1' indicating South latitude or West longitude and '0' North or East (the flag is needed as computers don't recognize a signed zero even though only the Degrees value only is typically signed in DMS notation).
d, dec2dms 'Dec Degrees'
Returns 'Degrees' 'Minutes' 'Seconds' 'S/W'.

Values are as in dms2dec above.
E, dmmm2dec 'Degrees' 'Dec Minutes' 'S/W'
Returns 'Dec Degrees', a signed floating point value.

Degrees is an integer value and Minutes is a floating point value. S/W is a flag with '1' indicating South latitude or West longitude and '0' North or East (the flag is needed as computers don't recognize a signed zero even though only the Degrees value only is typically signed in DMS notation).
e, dec2dmmm 'Dec Deg'
Returns 'Degrees' 'Minutes' 'S/W'.

Values are as in dmmm2dec above.
B, qrb 'Lon 1' 'Lat 1' 'Lon 2' 'Lat 2'
Returns 'Distance' 'Azimuth' where Distance is in km and Azimuth is in degrees.

All Lon/Lat values are signed floating point numbers.
A, a_sp2a_lp 'Short Path Deg'
Returns 'Long Path Deg' or -RIG_EINVAL upon input error..

Both are floating point values within the range 0.00 to 360.00.
a, d_sp2d_lp 'Short Path km'
Returns 'Long Path km'.

Both are floating point values.
pause 'Seconds'
Pause for the given whole number of seconds before sending the next command.

Examples

Start rotctl for RotorEZ using the first serial port on Linux:

$ rotctl -m 401 -r /dev/ttyS0

Start rotctl for RotorEZ using COM2 on Win32:

$ rotctl -m 401 -r COM2

Connect to a running rotctld with rotor model 2 ("NET rotctl") on the local host and specifying the TCP port, and querying the position:

$ rotctl -m 2 -r localhost:4533 \get_pos

Readline

If Readline library development files are found at configure time, rotctl will be conditonally built with Readline support for command and argument entry. Readline command key bindings are at their defaults as described in the Readline manual (http://cnswww.cns.cwru.edu/php/chet/rea…) although rotctl sets the name 'rotctl' which can be used in Conditional Init Constructs in the Readline Init File ('~/.inputrc' by default) for custom keybindings unique to rotctl.

Command history is available with Readline support as described in the Readline History manual (http://cnswww.cns.cwru.edu/php/chet/rea…). Command and argument strings are stored as single lines even when arguments are prompted for input individually. Commands and arguments are not validated and are stored as typed with values separated by a single space.

Normally session history is not saved, however, use of either of the -i/--read-history or -I/--save-history options when starting rotctl will cause any previously saved history to be read in and/or the current and any previous session history (assuming the -i and -I options are given together) will be written out when rotctl is closed. Each option is mutually exclusive, i.e. either may be given separately or in combination. This is useful to save a set of commands and then read them later but not write the modified history for a consistent set of test commands in interactive mode, for example.

History is stored in '~/.rotctl_history' by default although the destination directory may be changed by setting the ROTCTL_HIST_DIR environment variable. When ROTCTL_HIST_DIR is unset, the value of the HOME environment variable is used instead. Only the destination directory may be changed at this time.

If Readline support is not found at configure time the original internal command handler is used. Readline is not used for rotctl commands entered on the command line regardless if Readline support is built in or not.

N.B. Readline support is not included in the Windows 32 binary builds supplied by the Hamlib Project. Running rotctl on the Windows 32 platform in the 'cmd' shell does give session command line history, however, it is not saved to disk between sessions.

Diagnostics

The -v, --version option allows different levels of diagnostics to be output to stderr and correspond to -v for BUG, -vv for ERR, -vvv for WARN, -vvvv for VERBOSE, or -vvvvv for TRACE.

A given verbose level is useful for providing needed debugging information to the email address below. For example, TRACE output shows all of the values sent to and received from the rotor which is very useful for rotor backend library development and may be requested by the developers.

Exit Status

rotctl exits with:
0 if all operations completed normally;
1 if there was an invalid command line option or argument;
2 if an error was returned by Hamlib.

Bugs

This suspiciously empty section...

Reporting Bugs

Report bugs to <hamlib-developer@lists.sourceforge.net>.

We are already aware of the bug in the previous section :-)

Author

Written by Stephane Fillod, Nate Bargmann, and the Hamlib Group

<http://www.hamlib.org>.

See Also

hamlib(3), rotctld(8)

Referenced By

rigsmtr(1), rotctld(8).

March 13, 2013 Hamlib Rotator Control Program