Flrig

29 August 2013, Version 1.3.13


Flrig is a transceiver control program designed to be used either stand alone or as an adjunct to fldigi.  The supported transceivers all have some degree of CAT.  The flrig user interface changes to accommodate the degree of CAT support available for the transceiver in use.

Three different main dialog aspect ratios can be selected to suit the computer screen dimensions and operator preferences.  The wide aspect ratio can be resized horizontally.  The narrow aspect ratios are fixed in width and height.




The back end control code for each transceiver is unique to flrig.  No additional libraries or definition files are required.

Supported Transceivers - Main Dialogs


Elecraft
Icom
Kenwood
Ten-Tec
Yaesu
Other
K2 IC-703 TS 140 TT 516 FT 100DRAY152
K3 IC 706 MK IIG TS 450S TT-535
FT 450PCR1000

IC-718 TS 480HX TT 538 FT747GX


IC 728 TS 570 TT 550 FT 767

IC 735 TS590S
TT-563 FT 817

IC 746 TS 2000 TT-566
FT 847


IC 746 Pro
TT-588 FT 857D

IC 756 Pro II
TT-599
FT 897D

IC 756 Pro III

FT 950

IC 910H

FT-1000MP

IC 7000

FT 2000

IC 7100


FTdx3000

IC 7200

FTdx5000

IC 7600




C 7700



Click on name to see screenshot

Setup

Select the transceiver with the "Config / Xcvr select" menu item.

Check:
  • Restore Freq/Mode and flrig will read the current frequency / mode from the transceiver at start.  It will then restore those at exit.
  • Keep Freq/Mode and flrig use the transceiver frequency and mode for it's initial startup values.
  • Tooltips and a small popup information box will appear above most controls when the mouse is allowed to hover over the control.
  • Small sliders to compress the user interface as above in the right hand panel.
Xcvr select

Select the rig in use from the "Rig" combo box.

The default values associated with that transceiver will be preset for you.  These have been verified by the test team but might require some tweaking for your particular h/w.

You may prefer to use h/w PTT signaling instead of CAT PTT.  Not all transceivers support the CAT PTT function, but it will be preset to on if the selected transceiver supports that command.  The h/w PTT may be shared with the CAT serial port.

If your serial connection is a CI-V device you might need to check "Echo" and also set either RTS or DTR to +12 if CI-V power is derived from the serial port.


Your PTT h/w control may also make use of a second serial port.

You might also need access to special h/w functions.  flrig provides this via the DTR and RTS signal lines of an independent serial port.  Additional main dialog controls are enabled and shown if you select anything other than NONE (the default) on this tab.



Providing you transceiver supports the various meters and controls, you can elect to poll these every time the poll cycle occurs.  Polling a value causes flrig to follow and well as control a particular transceiver function or control.  The polling cycle will slow down as you elect to poll more and more values.

Testing your transceiver commands.  flrig might not support a particular CAT command for your transceiver.  You can test the support for a particular command using the "Send Cmd" tab.  The command string must comply with the transceiver requirements.  If ASCII text is used, as with transceivers based on the Kenwood command set you enter the string without spaces, i.e.

FA;
to read the A vfo .

For binary strings, used in older Yaesu transceivers, and all Icom CI-V type transceivers you need to enter the string as space delineated hex values, i.e.

Yaesu:  x00 x00 x00 x01 x05

Icom: xFE xFE x70 xE0 x1A x05 x00 x92 x00 xFD

Press the SEND button to transfer the command to the transceiver.  The response will appear in the lower text control.




Additional control settings may be available depending on the transceiver being controlled.  These are in a drop-down area toggled by the arrow button to the left of the attenuator button on the small aspect ratio dialog view.  These are the controls for the Yeasu FT950. 


Select the toggle button "Small sliders" on the Config menu for 1/2 size sliders and a dialog layout that uses less vertical space. 

User interface

How to adjust colors

Right click on the main dialog power meter scale to open up this selection dialog.  Each of the 4 scales and the "Auto scaled" box are buttons.  Press the one you want to use.  Auto-scaling adjusts the meter scale to the smallest scale consistent with the current measured peak power.  If that power is fluctuating near the transistion point between two scales you might want to fix the scale to either the larger or smaller.

Operating Controls



The frequency display is also a control.  Each numeric is sensitive to mouse left/right buttons for up/down and to the mouse scroll wheel for rapidly changing value.  Put the mouse over any of the numeric segments and you can enter a new frequency using the keyboard numeric keypad.  If you make an error simply enter a non-numeric key.  Set the newly entered frequency by pressing the Enter key.

To paste a frequency from the clipboard (kHz only), press control-V followed by the Enter key

Vfo-A and Vfo-B are separate control, A on the left, B on the right.

Left click on the A->B button to swap vfos.  Right click on the A->B button to transfer vfoA to vfoB.

When the mouse pointer is over the frequency display you can also change frequency values using the arrow and page key buttons:
  • left / right arrow - increase / decrease 1 Hz
  • up / down arrow - increase / decrease 10 Hz
  • Page Up / Page Down - increase / decrease 100 Hz

The buttons that have a light box are toggles - activated when the lighted box is colored.  Some of these are linked to a slider.  If the button state is inactive then that associated slider will be greyed out.  In the example the volume control is active and the NR control is inactive.

Operating flrig with fldigi requires a simple setup in fldigi.  Deselect all but the "xmlrpc" rig control.  Xmlrpc is used via a local socket device for the two programs to communicate.  fldigi acts as the server and flrig the client.  There is no requirement for start / stop ordering of the programs.

Flrig sends rig configuration data to fldigi when the two programs initially recognize each other.  This data is used to populate the rig name, the available modes and the available bandwidths.

After this initial communications the operator can set the paired controls from either fldigi or flrig.  The two programs will remain sychronized.  The data from the computer to the transceiver is always from flrig.

PTT can be activated at flrig or using the T/R button on fldigi.  fldigi also engages the PTT via the macro <TX> <RX> tags.  When operating digital modes with fldigi you should use the PTT from fldigi.

Meter filtering

You can control the behavior of both the average and peak values of the S-meter and Power out meters.  Setting the controls to 1 for both average and peak will simply display the latest value available from the transceiver.  The average setting results in the display showing the average of the last N readings.  The peak value will display the average peak value over the last M readings.

The event log is opened from the "Debug" menu.  It allows you to view the serial and xmlrpc data exchanges between flrig, fldigi, and the transceiver.


Multiple configuration directories:

Flrig honors the command line switch --config-dir <DIRNAME> where <DIRNAME> is a fully qualified path name as in: /home/dave/flrig.tt538 or "C:/documents and settings/dave/flrig.tt538"

The desktop icons shown at left are from an Ubuntu desktop and where the properties Command entry for the respective icons are set up as:
  1. /usr/local/bin/flrig --config-dir /home/dave/flrig.tt538
  2. /usr/local/bin/flrig --config-dir /home/dave/flrig.tt516
  3. /usr/local/bin/flrig
The last one simply defaults to the ~/.flrig directory.

The TT538 and TT516 use separate serial ports, so both may be active at the same time.  Configuration or operating changes in one do not effect the other.  For my purposes the 3rd icon launcher is used for testing purposes and is not usually connected to a "real" transceiver.

TT 550

The TenTec Pegasus, TT-550 is a computer only transceiver.  Flrig controls all aspects of this transceiver: TT-550 (Pegasus) operating instructions

IC 7600

Andy's (VE3NVK / G8VTV) IC7600 How-To