Frustrated fldigi newbie

Discussion in 'Mac Ham Radio on macOS & iOS' started by W3PNM, Dec 28, 2016.

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  1. W3PNM

    W3PNM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Can anyone on the forum point me to a well illustrated resource showing how to set up fldigi with ElCapitan? I'm trying to get it working with my K3S but have had little success to date. Although I am able to receive PSK31 and CW, I still can't get the rig to transmit via fldigi. I'm sure the answer lies somewhere in the many setup options but has this old man stumped. The radio works fine as I've had many SSB and CW (with a key) qso's. I posted this same request on Elecraft's reflector and got zero response. So either no one in ham radio land likes me or fldigi information for the Macintosh is really hard to come by.

    Bill - W3PNM
  2. EA3HOE

    EA3HOE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm using a TS-590S, so i may not be able to fully help you, but what are you struggling with? CAT control? Audio? Does the rig PTT? I have not been able to send CW using fldigi, but PSK31 works fine here, so maybe that's a start?
  3. WV8A

    WV8A Ham Member QRZ Page

    There isn't really much exclusive about fldigi on macOS than on other platforms. In what ways do you not have TX success- no PTT key up, no audio to rig? The user guide is pretty good at explaining the settings tabs. There apparently are some things that the Elecraft radios do a little differently, a Google search for fldigi with KX3 brings up many hits that may be helpful. No experience with Elecraft here (unfortunately!).
    How are you controlling the radio- USB cable, FTDI (good) or Prolific (not so much) chip set? What is your audio interface from the computer to the radio? How are you keying the rig up- VOX, PTT with CAT? More info will help get your questions answered and you on the air.
    I've been using fldigi and flrig for a few years with macOS since old G4 to present MBPro/Sierra and FT-897D.
  4. K3DCW

    K3DCW QRZ Lifetime Member #212 Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Very true. Instructions and guides for one OS will largely carry over to the others.

    The best advice I can offer is to join the Linuxham mailing list on Yahoo Groups. It is the official support email list for all of the FL* programs on Linux AND macOS. There are a lot of macOS users there with lots of experience with troubleshooting.
  5. K3DCW

    K3DCW QRZ Lifetime Member #212 Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    So, you have the sound card settings in Fldigi set correctly, most likely. What are you using for an interface/connections for audio between the Mac and the K3S?

    Which rig control method are you using? RigCAT works 100% perfectly with the K3(s); it was what I used to use when I had my K3. Simply download the XML definition file from the website, install it in your Rigs folders in the Fldigi Config folder (accessible from the File menu), select the correct port and speed, and then hit Initialize and Save. You should be running. It sounds to me that you're simply not triggering the rig to go into Transmit mode.

    Have you tried it using VOX on the rig? That will tell you if you're getting audio to the rig at least.

    In order to provide more detailed help, we'd need to know the following to avoid just shooting in the dark:

    1) What kind of connections are you using between the rig and the Mac? Specifically, what audio connections and what rig control connection?

    2) Are you trying to use the internal USB on the K3S? Have you installed the drivers for that connection?

    Fldigi, the K3(S) and macOS work wonderfully together. However, you do have to make sure you have your setup configured correctly.
  6. W3PNM

    W3PNM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am using Hamlib. When I tried RigCAT, flidigi would not track the frequency shown on the K3S digital display as to does with Hamlib. Half the people I talk to say I should be using RigCAT and the other half say to use Hamlib.

    VOX works fine when I'm using SSB. The rig transmit great on SSB and CW

    I have the rig's mode set for DATA but under the DATA MD button on the K3S I'm not sure if I should have it set on DATA A or PSK31

    I'm using the internal USB on the K3S. The only connection that I have between the K3S and the Mac is the Elecraft supplied USB cable. I've installed the latest FTDI driver for my version of OS X which is 2.3.
  7. K3DCW

    K3DCW QRZ Lifetime Member #212 Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    RigCAT won't work unless you download and install the XML definition file. Have you done that? Use the K3 file found at, save it to your computer. Open Fldigi, File, "Fldigi Configuration Folders" and then copy the downloaded XML file to the Rigs folder. Go to the RigCAT tab in the Fldigi config screen, select the correct port for your rig (CU.XXXX or TTY.XXXX), and the XML file. Make sure the "CAT Command for PTT" option is checked. Hit initialize then Save and then Close.

    You may have to tweak the Init Delay, Return interval or Write Delay a bit to find a value that works well for you.

    You can use VOX for Data modes too. That was what I was asking about.

    As per the manual, use DATA A. The PSK31 mode uses the rigs built in decoder and encoder and isn't what you want to use.

    If you go to the Terminal in OS X and type

    cd /dev

    ls tty.*

    What is your result? This will help us determine whether the USB driver is properly installed. Yes, 2.3 is indeed the latest version.

  8. W3PNM

    W3PNM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here is my result when I do that from within terminal:
    tty.Bluetooth-Incoming-port. tty.usbserial-A5041FGN

    I think I found my problem. I had the K3S set for PSK D 31 bps instead of DATA A. When I switch to DATA A and click the T/R button in fldigi, the rig transmits! Can I assume I need to keep the K3 in DATA A to try other op modes such as RTTY and CW?

    I also moved the K3.xml to the .fldigi rigs folder. I'm still not sure whether I should be using RigCAT or Hamlib as both seem to work. Why is one preferred over the other?

  9. K3DCW

    K3DCW QRZ Lifetime Member #212 Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Obviously, tty.usbserial-A5041FGN is your connection to the rig. I presume that's what you have set in Fldigi. Yes, leave the rig in DATA A for use with Fldigi. Fldigi uses AFSK for all modes (even RTTY and CW).

    RigCAT is developed was developed by the developer behind Fldigi. Thus, I always preferred using it. Ultimately, it is your choice whether to use it or Hamlib.

    Glad to hear you're on the air. Now, make sure you have your audio configured properly for AFSK operation, and you'll be operating one of the cleanest digital rigs on the air. Read this FAQ from Elecraft and follow step 1 and step 7 particularly close ( audio). If you set your ALC to 4 bars of action, you'll be perfectly clean on the air. Other rigs require no ALC action, but the K3 is different. If you follow the common advice of no ALC action, you'll end up causing the DSP to "pump" in an attempt to raise the audio level up to an acceptable level and will induce lots of spurious and harmonic noise. Once you have that audio level set, you can control your transmit power level with the power knob on the K3. This is also something different than advice given for other rigs, but is the way the K3 is designed; once the audio is properly set, you can go from 0.1 to 100w without changing anything other than the power knob. That's a beautiful thing with the K3!

  10. W3PNM

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