09 April 2014

HowTo install WSJT-X with JT9 on a CubieBoard 3

I made some changes in the text.

Sometimes you need a little bit more patience, some hints and the right reading. When I partly solved my power level settings I reread the article of Joe Taylor Quest for Optimum Coding and Modulation Schemes for EME. Although it is a paper presented some years ago and I have no possibilities to do EME (Earth-Moon-Earth) QSOs, it was more than interesting to read - It pushed me into new directions. (I know, that I am sometimes a little bit slow.) The essence after WSPR, there is more to come JT-9.

During my tests of WSPR some of my friend said, with WSPR you can not do a real QSO, this is no two way communication. But communication ways have changed and I replied: If I get a feedback, that's also kind of reply!. After reading the aforementioned article I got excited: K1JT wrote that he made WSPR QSOs with a special version of WSPR. But I had no luck to find that version. But I had already tried JT-65 and it worked. You need some time to do a QSO, but I had been successsful even with my poor antenna and only some watts.

While reading further on the pages I found what I was looking for: WSJT-X with an implementation of JT9.

JT9 is optimized for HF and lower frequencies.  JT9 is about 2 dB more sensitive than JT65A while using less than 10% of the bandwidth.  World-wide QSOs are possible with power levels of a few watts and compromise antennas.  A 2 kHz slice of spectrum is essentially full when occupied by ten JT65 signals.  As many as 100 JT9 signals can fit into the same space, without overlap.(cited from J. Taylor) 
I had looked at it before it before, but somehow I was too interested in WSPR and when I tried to install it on the BeagleBone Black it crashed due to my wrong compilation and lack of memory.

So I wanted to give it a new chance. Altough there are some pre-compiled packages for Debian and Ubuntu. I could not use them. They were compiled for the wrong processor. I had to do it by myself. In the WSJT-X User Guide way down I found everything I needed.: The WSJT-Developer Guide.

At first I hesitated. There were too many libraries not found on my system:

sudo apt-get install gcc g++ gfortran make libfftw3-dev \libpulse-dev libhamlib-dev qtbase5-dev pulseaudio subversion \libgfortran3:i386 libc6-i386 libqt5multimedia5-plugins \qtmultimedia5-dev

When I tried to do it in a one way  step, there were more errors, than I could count on. So as always I had to do it slowly:

  • gcc                         ok
  • g++                        ok
  • gfortran                  ok
  • make                      ok
  • libfftw3-dev           ok
  • libpulse-dev           ok
  • libhamlib-dev         ok
  • pulseaudio              ok
  • subversion              ok
  • libgfortran3             ok
  • libc6                        ok 
I had part of the packages already installed or found them in my usual sources (/etc/apt/sources.list) and there were pre-compiled versions for the armhf processors.

deb http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian stable main contrib non-free
deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian/ wheezy-updates main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates main contrib non-free
deb http://packages.cubian.org/ wheezy main
deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian wheezy-backports main
But there were still three packages missing:

  • qtbase5-dev
  • libqt5multimedia5-plugins
  • qtmultimedia5-dev 
If you are in trouble just look at the Debian packages site. As usual I found the software and they should be in jessie (testing). Hmmm, I tried it on the USA site, on the xx site, until I found them here:
  • deb http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian/ jessie main
But be careful: Just enter the line, do an update and install what you want. Don't do an upgrade until you have put the "#" before the line, to mark it as comment!

After I had everything together I started the provided script wsjtx-compile.sh, the computer was compiling, there was no error or warnings, but when I wanted to start the program: Nothing worked. So I did it again the slow way and worked line by line through the script. 

The only error I found was in the program KVASD, which seemed to be compiled for another processor.

I wrote Joe Taylor and he answered me:
As described in the WSJT documentation, kvasd is executable program for the closed-source Koetter-Vardy Algebraic Soft Decision decoder for the RS(63,12) code used in JT65.
When you are interested, you can with the permission of JT get a copy of the compiled code from me. Just write me a short eMail.

Now WSJT-X is running on the CubieTruck without any problems and there is still some computing power left, to do other things. And my screen is too small. I only see 1800 Hz ;-(  I will report:

Stay Tuned!