hamlib-utilities man page

hamlib-utilties — radio and rotator control utilities of Hamlib

Description

Included with the Hamlib distribution are several utility programs. Besides providing a way for developers to test new code and bug fixes, the programs also offer a reference implementation for interfacing to the Hamlib library functions both through the C API (Application Programming Interface) and offering a network accessible API.

This page summarizes the two test programs, rigctl(1) for testing radio back ends and rotctl(1) for testing rotator back ends and the two network daemons, rigctld(1) and rotcltd(1) for radio and rotator access via network sockets. Also included are three demonstation utilities, rigmem(1), rigsmtr(1), and rigswr(1) which provide functional examples of how Hamlib may be used to accomplish various tasks.

rigctl

rigctl(1) is the most frequently used Hamlib utility. As the other ctl utilities share many of the same characteristics, much of the introductory information presented in this section is applicable to the other utility programs.

Introduction to rigctl

Most likely the first of the Hamlib utility programs that is used is rigctl(1). rigctl is a character based interactive program and a command line program able to set or query a radio's value with a single command. rigctl is invoked from a shell command prompt with various options and additional commands.

In its most simple use as a command line program, rigctl is used to set frequency and mode by typing commands after any rigctl options:

rigctl F 14205000
rigctl M USB 2400

and then query those values:

rigctl f
rigctl m

Entering interactive mode is a simple matter of not placing any commands after any rigctl options:

rigctl

Entering interactive mode allows successive commands to be entered without exiting rigctl. Recent additions to rigctl allow command editing and history recall through use of the Readline library.

Interactive mode is indicated by the spartan prompt:

Rig command:

Commands are given at the prompt and follow the general rule that upper case letters set a value and lower case letters query a value:

Rig command: M
Mode: USB
Passband: 2500

Rig command: m
Mode: USB
Passband: 2500

Rig command:

An additional prompt is printed when more information is required by the command. For M above, rigctl prompted for the Mode and Passband values. For m above, rigctl returned the Mode and Passband values without further prompts. The command prompt is returned after each command invocation.

The above examples invoked rigctl without specifying a radio model. This is a feature where the Hamlib internal radio model 1 dummy is used instead. The dummy radio provides a way to test Hamlib functions without the need for actual radio hardware. However, to develop the Hamlib backend capability for a given radio, having the actual radio connected to the computer is necessary for debugging.

For example, to quickly set frequency on an Elecraft K3:

rigctl -m 229 -r /dev/rig F 3900000

and to query the frequency and then mode:

rigctl -m 229 -r /dev/rig f
3900000

rigctl -m 229 -r /dev/rig m
LSB
2000

Note: the returned values do not have the prompt strings associated with interactive mode as shown above.

The -m option takes a numeric value that corresponds to a given radio back end model. The -r option takes the path to the port device on POSIX and the device name on Microsoft Windows.

Note: A complete list of supported radio models may be seen by use of the -l option:

rigctl -l
 Rig #  Mfg              Model         Version    Status
     1  Hamlib           Dummy         0.5        Beta
     2  Hamlib           NET rigctl    0.3        Beta
   101  Yaesu            FT-847        0.5        Beta
   103  Yaesu            FT-1000D      0.0.6      Alpha
.
.
.
  2702  Rohde&Schwarz    EB200         0.1        Untested
  2801  Philips/Simoco   PRM8060       0.1        Alpha
  2901  ADAT www.adat.ch ADT-200A      1.36       Beta

The list is long so use Shift-PageUp/Shift-PageDown on Linux, ScrollLock then PageUp/PageDown on Free BSD, or use the scrollbar to the virtual terminal window (cmd window on Microsoft Windows) or the output can be piped to more(1) or less(1), e.g. “rigctl -l | more” to scroll back up the list. The list is sorted numerically by model number since Hamlib 1.2.15.1. Model numbers of a manufacturer/protocol family are grouped together.

rigctl reference

The complete reference for rigctl can be found in the rigctl(1) manual page.

rotctl

Identical in function to rigctl(1), rotctl(1) provides a means for testing Hamlib functions useful for rotator control and QTH (Maidenhead gridsquare system, see Maidenhead Locator System) locator computations. As rotators have a much narrower scope than radios, there are fewer command line options and commands for rotctl.

Introduction to rotctl

rotctl(1) is a character based interactive program and a command line program able to set or query a rotator's value with a single command. rotctl is invoked from a shell command prompt with various options and additional commands.

In its most simple use as a command line program, rotctl is used to set azimuth position and (optionally) elevation by typing commands after any rotctl options:

rotctl P 145.0 23.0
rotctl M 8 25

and then query those values:

rotctl p

Entering interactive mode is a simple matter of not placing any commands after any rotctl options:

rotctl

Entering interactive mode allows successive commands to be entered without exiting rotctl. Interactive mode allows for command editing and history recall through the use of the Readline library.

Interactive mode is indicated by the spartan prompt:

Rotator command:

Commands are given at the prompt:

Rotator command: M
Direction: 16
Speed: 60

Rotator command: p
Azimuth: 11.352000
Elevation: 0.000000

Rotator command: p
Azimuth: 27.594000
Elevation: 0.000000

Rotator command:

An additional prompt is printed when more information is required by the command. For M above, rotctl prompted for the Direction and Speed values. For p above, rotctl returned the Azimuth and Elevation values without further prompts. The command prompt is returned after each command invocation.

The above examples invoked rotctl without specifying a rotator model. This is a feature where the Hamlib internal rotator model 1 dummy is used instead. The dummy rotator provides a way to test Hamlib functions without the need for actual rotator hardware. However, to develop back end capability for a given rotator, having the actual controller connected to the computer is necessary for debugging.

For example, to quickly set position for RotorEZ:

rotctl -m 401 -r /dev/rotor P 100.0 0.0

and to query the position:

rotctl -m 401 -r /dev/rotor p
100.000000
0.000000

The returned values do not have the prompt strings associated with interactive mode as shown above.

The -m option takes a numeric value that corresponds to a given rotator back end model. The -r option takes the path to the port device on POSIX or the device name on Microsoft Windows.

Note: A complete list of supported rotator models may be seen by use of the -l option:

rotctl -l
 Rot #  Mfg              Model         Version    Status
     1  Hamlib           Dummy         0.5        Beta
     2  Hamlib           NET rotctl    0.3        Beta
   201  Hamlib           EasycommI     0.3        Beta
   202  Hamlib           EasycommII    0.3        Beta
.
.
.
  1201  AMSAT            IF-100        0.1        Untested
  1301  LA7LKA           ts7400        0.1        Beta
  1401  Celestron        NexStar       0.1        Untested

The list is long so use Shift-PageUp/Shift-PageDown on Linux, ScrollLock then PageUp/PageDown on Free BSD, or use the scrollbar to the virtual terminal window (cmd window on Microsoft Windows) or the output can be piped to more(1) or less(1), e.g. “rotctl -l | more” to scroll back up the list. The list is sorted numerically by model number since Hamlib 1.2.15.1. Model numbers of a manufacturer/protocol family are grouped together.

rotctl reference

The complete reference for rotctl can be found in the rotctl(1) manual page.

rigctld

The rigctld(1) program is a network server that accepts the familiar commands of rigctl(1) and provides the response data over a TCP/IP network socket to an application. In this manner an application can access a rigctld instance from nearly anywhere (caveat, no security is currently provided by rigctld). Applications using rigctld do not link directly to Hamlib nor use its C API.

Introduction to rigctld

rigctld(1) communicates to a client through a TCP network socket using text commands shared with rigctl(1). The protocol is simple; commands are sent to rigctld on one line and rigctld responds to get commands with the requested values, one per line, when successful, otherwise, it responds with one line RPRT x, where x is a negative number indicating the Hamlib error code. Commands that do not return values respond with the line RPRT x, where x is zero when successful, otherwise a negative number indicating the Hamlib error code. Each line is terminated with a newline, \n, character. This protocol is primarily for use by the NET rigctl (radio model 2) backend.

A separate Extended Response protocol extends the above behavior by echoing the received command string as a header, any returned values as a key: value pair, and the RPRT x string as the end of response marker which includes the Hamlib success or failure value. Consider using this protocol for clients that will interact with rigctld directly through a TCP network socket.

Multiple radios can be controlled on different TCP ports by use of multiple rigctld processes each listening on a unique TCP port. It is hoped that rigctld will be especially useful for client authors using languages such as Perl, Python, PHP, Ruby, TCL, and others.

rigctld reference

The complete reference for rigctld can be found in the rigctld(1) manual page.

rotctld

The rotctld(1) program is a network server that accepts the familiar commands of rotctl(1) and provides the response data over a TCP/IP network socket to an application. In this manner an application can access a rotctld instance from nearly anywhere (caveat, no security is currently provided by rotctld). Applications using rotctld do not link directly to Hamlib nor use its C API.

Introduction to rotctld

rotctld(1) communicates to a client through a TCP network socket using text commands shared with rotctl(1). The protocol is simple, commands are sent to rotctld on one line and rotctld responds to get commands with the requested values, one per line, when successful, otherwise, it responds with one line RPRT x, where x is a negative number indicating the Hamlib error code. Commands that do not return values respond with the line RPRT x, where x is zero when successful, otherwise a negative number indicating the Hamlib error code. Each line is terminated with a newline, \n character. This protocol is primarily for use by the NET rotctl (rotator model 2) backend.

A separate Extended Response protocol extends the above behavior by echoing the received command string as a header, any returned values as a key: value pair, and the RPRT x string as the end of response marker which includes the Hamlib success or failure value. Consider using this protocol for clients that will interact with rotctld directly through a TCP network socket.

Multiple rotators can be controlled on different TCP ports by use of multiple rotctld processes each listening on a unique TCP port. It is hoped that rotctld will be especially useful for client authors using languages such as Perl, Python, PHP, Ruby, TCL, and others.

rotctld reference

The complete reference for rotctld can be found in the rotctld(1) manual page.

rigmem

rigmem may be used to backup and restore memory of radio transceivers and receivers.

Introduction to rigmem

Backup and restore memory of radio transceivers and receivers. rigmem accepts commands from the command line only.

rigmem reference

The complete reference for rigmem can be found in the rigmem(1) manual page.

rigsmtr

rigsmtr uses Hamlib to control a radio to measure S-Meter value versus antenna azimuth.

Introduction to rigsmtr

rigsmtr rotates the antenna from minimum azimuth to maximum azimuth. Every second, or time_step if specified in seconds, it retrieves the signal strength. Azimuth in degrees and the corresponding S-Meter level in dB relative to S9 are then printed on stdout.

To work correctly, rigsmtr needs a radio that could measure S-Meter and a Hamlib backend that is able to retrieve it, connected to a Hamlib supported rotator.

rigsmtr reference

The complete reference for rigsmtr can be found in the rigsmtr(1) manual page.

rigswr

rigswr may be used to measure VSWR vs frequency.

Introduction to rigswr

rigswr uses Hamlib to control a radio to measure VSWR (Voltage Standing Wave Ratio) over a frequency range.

It scans frequencies from start_freq to stop_freq with an optional increment of freq_step (default step is 100 kHz). All values must be entered as an integer in Hertz (cycles per second).

Note: rigswr assumes that start_freq is less than or equal to stop_freq. If it is greater, rigswr will exit without doing anything.

For each frequency, rigswr transmits at 25% of total POWER during 0.5 second in CW mode and reads VSWR.

Frequency and the corresponding VSWR are then printed on stdout.

To work correctly, rigswr needs a radio that can measure VSWR and a Hamlib backend that supports reading VSWR from the radio.

rigswr reference

The complete reference for rigswr can be found in the rigswr(1) manual page.

Copying

This file is part of Hamlib, a project to develop a library that simplifies radio and rotator control functions for developers of software primarily of interest to radio amateurs and those interested in radio communications.

Copyright © 2001-2018 Hamlib Group (various contributors)

This is free software; see the file COPYING for copying conditions.  There is NO warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

See Also

less(1), more(1), rigctl(1), rigctld(1), rotctl(1), rotctld(1), rigmem(1), rigsmtr(1), rigswr(1), hamlib(7), hamlib-primer(7)

Colophon

Links to the Hamlib Wiki, Git repository, release archives, and daily snapshot archives:

hamlib.org.

Info

2018-05-27 Hamlib Information Manual