Virtual Serial Ports

Discussion in 'OS: Mac OS' started by K8CD, Apr 26, 2019.

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  1. K8CD

    K8CD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Can a Mac support multiple virtual serial ports? For instance, can you run a winkeyer, radio, and a controller, for example, each with their own COM port? I'm trying to make a decision on sticking with Mac in the shack or begrudgingly going back to PC.
  2. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Mac OSX doesn't use COM port numbers in the DOS style, but you can put as many serial ports on a mac as you can manage to plug in. With big usb hubs chained together, that can be dozens, easily.

    They'll have names like "usbserial-AF001ebc" that don't make a lot of sense. Most software that interacts with serial ports will let you chose your port from a list of those connected to your computer. If you're familiar with the command line, "ls /dev/tty.*" will show them to you.
  3. K8CD

    K8CD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ok. I thought I had read somewhere that the Mac had an issue with multiple virtual serial devices. Glad to hear it may not be an issue. I'm running my MBP in the shack right now and want to keep it, but I'm finding a lot of radio software is windows only (controllers and amps). SO I'm trying to decide whether to stick with my MBP or go back to windows. I'd rather stick w/ my MBP.
  4. K3DCW

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

    As AC6QR said above, macOS can handle all of those serial devices with no issue.

    A majority of ham radio software is indeed for Windows, but most of the software for the Mac is outstanding software: quality over quantity. Make sure you check out for a long list of software for the Mac as well as updates on new releases. For logging/rig-control, your big three are MacLoggerDX, RUMlogNG, and Aether. For contesting, there is also SkookumLogger as a dedicated logger. If you're into digital modes, then the Fldigi-suite will do almost every QSO mode and WSJT-X with the JT/FT modes also works just fine on Mac. Depending upon the brand of your amp/controllers, there may be dedicated software out there. For example, Elecraft supports the Mac extensively with software that is the same as the Windows equivalent. The other big rig providers, like Icom, Yaesu, and Kenwood will tell you that they don't support the Mac, but the drivers for macOS are out there and easily installed, after which all of the virtual sound and com ports work 100% perfectly. In short, for almost everything you want to do, there is a Mac software package that will do the trick for you.
    WV8A likes this.
  5. KA8NCR

    KA8NCR Ham Member QRZ Page

    You can use socat. Install either via homebrew or mac ports.

    sudo socat -d -d pty,link=/dev/ttyS10,raw,echo=0 pty,link=/dev/ttyS11,raw,echo=0

    Binds /dev/ttyS10 to /dev/ttyS11

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