Linrad support: The hardware related parameters
(Oct 22 2010)
This page is for X11 under Linux and should be accurate for Linrad-03.16. Click these links for Microsoft Windows
or Linux with svgalib

Running Linrad for the very first time under Linux with X11.

A Linrad installation consists of 3 files. The executable, xlinrad (or xlinrad64 on 64 bit systems) plus two plain text files help.lir and errors.lir.

When Linrad is started for the very first time you will see this message:

This message is not an error, but an indication that setup
has not yet been done.
Setup file par_userint missing.
Use W to create a new par_userint file after setup.

Note that the following keys have a special meaning in Linrad:
ESC = terminate Linrad
 X  = Skip whatever process you are in and get one level
      upwards in Linrads menu tree.
 G  = Make a .gif file with a screen dump of your current screen.

 -----------  GLOBAL PARAMETERS SETUP -------------
     (You might want to edit par_userint instead)
Press N for NEWCOMER mode.
Press S for normal mode.
Press E for expert mode.
Then press enter
If you are a newcomer, press N and then Enter.
The next choice is what screen to use. Under Linux X11 you will see:
Percentage of screen width to use(25 to 100):
After you have entered your choice the next question would be:
Percentage of screen height to use(25 to 100):
Do NOT select 100% for the screen height. The graphical operating systems have panels and headers that occupy some fraction of the screen vertically and they would make part of the Linrad screen invisible. Start with a modest requirement like 80% and see what you get. It may be possible to disable panels or to move the Linrad screen vertically, but it depends on what system you have. Make sure to not ask for a bigger percentage of the screen than you really can display.

After choosing the display size you will see the Linrad main menu.

The main menu for newcomers has a limited number of choices. The number of choices in each receive mode is also limited. It will be a good idea to investigate the effects of those parameters that you can change in newcomer mode before you switch to normal mode.

If you did not select newcomer mode you would also be asked for a font size. The smallest font 1 will give most screen area for waterfalls and spectra, but if your screen has a large number of pixels you may want to select bigger fonts.

When you press 'W' on the main menu, Linrad will save your choices to the file par_userint and subsequent runs of Linrad will present you with the main menu directly. In case you want to change the user mode or any of the screen parameters, the command is 'S'.

Selecting the Rx input under Linux.

In a new installation Linrad would not know anything about what hardware you want to use. Regardless of what you select you would be prompted to the function 'U=A/D and D/A setup for RX' which displays the current settings for the receiver hardware. This is the screen under Linux. It is the same for X11 and for svgalib.
Here the user must specify what hardware to use and how to use it. It is possible to disable hardware input in which case Linrad will only allow processing of data that is recorded on the hard disk. The soundcard output can also be disabled. That may be useful if network output is in use and the soundcard output is needed for some other program that might be processing the data from the network. (That could be another instance of Linrad.)

The input has to be selected first. (The reason is that some soundcards do not allow full duplex.) The input select list of Linrad-03.16 looks like this:
If you are not a newcomer you can also select Network input here. The list of supported hardware may increase in case manufacturers make officially supported APIs available. When pressing 'A' for soundcard input the following screen might appear:
This screen shows that there is no OSS device. This is because alsa-oss is not properly configured. This screen was captured on a Debian sid (=testing) system. After re-installing various sound packages the following screen was obtained:

Linrad has probed all devices /dev/dsp0 to /dev/dsp62 as well as /dev/dsp. The table shows what seems to work and what info the device has returned. In case the screen is wide enough the green text will be present (it is from the sndstat file.) It is not obvious how the devices are numbered. In this case the numbering is:
/dev/dsp = Intel ICH5
/dev/dsp1 = Ensoniq ES1371
/dev/dsp2 = Delta 44

The oss devices under ALSA can be opened at arbitrary speeds because ALSA supplies a resampler. Make sure to select a speed that is really supported by the hardware.

It is a good idea to not use alsa-oss under modern Linux kernels. Select native ALSA with 'Y' on the U menu instead.

In case 4Front OSS is used the RX input soundcard select screen might look like this:

There are five different devices for the Delta 44 that can be opened for input. That does not mean that all the devices work for input, only that they can be opened without errors. The working device is /dev/dsp2 for Delta 44. It can be opened only for 96 kHz sampling speed. To make it work at another speed one must use a separate program ossmix

If the ALSA development package is installed it is possible to select native ALSA in Linrad. The soundcard select screen will then look like this:

Native ALSA allows a more verbose presentation of the input devices. Choosing the desired input is easy here.

Selecting the radio interface.

After having selected the input device and the desired sampling speed with alsa-oss the next screen looks like this:

Under native ALSA it is similar:

If your soundcard has only two channels the fourth choice will not be present. What to select depends on your radio hardware. Press F1 for help. If you want to use Linrad to process the output of a standard transceiver in SSB mode, use 1. If you have a standard transceiver with two channels like FT1000D and others, use mode 3 (but the channels must have common oscillators so the phase information is preserved.) Single channel direct conversion like Softrock would be mode 2 and a two channel direct conversion radio like WSE would use mode 4.

The next screen is this one:

Here you can just select what hardware you have in front of the soundcard. Be extremely careful to always make sure that the chassis of the computer is in good electrical contact with the chassis of any hardware that communicates via the parallel port. With printers etc this is normally ensured by the grounding through the mains cable which should be connected first. A WSE system is typically not grounded through the power supply but through the cable to the Delta 44 which has to be connected first. It is always a good idea to have an extra ground connection as a safety precaution.

Actually configuring that hardware is done on the main screen of the A/D and D/A setup for RX function which might look like this when setup (for a newcomer) is complete:

A = Change the input settings is described above. The remaining functions should be self-explaining. If your system has Portaudio you will be asked if you want to use it for the output. Normally it should not make much difference. Select Portaudio if you want to send the Linrad output to some other software through Jack. Do not forget to press W to save your new parameter selection in the dsp_uiparm file after you pressed X.

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