You might want to skip this one if you have no interest in Linux v/s Ham Radio. It is no secret that yours truly is somewhat of a Linux enthusiast. “TUX” is the name given to the little penguin which became a symbol for Linux long ago, and you are currently reading this on InTUX 🙂 … These days, Heidi and I like Linux Mint, using Cinnamon for the user interface on our modern notebook computers, and I have Mate running on a 10+ year old Toshiba laptop in our shack. All are on version 17.3 as I type, but will soon be testing the upcoming version 18…
Earlier this week, one of our friends, also a member of ARCEC, asked me to take a look at a Ham package called CQRLOG – took a brief scan of what was said on eHam.net about it and I was off to the races.
“CQRLOG is an advanced ham radio logger based on MySQL database. Provides radio control based on hamlib libraries (currently support of 140+ radio types and models), DX cluster connection, online callbook, a grayliner, internal QSL manager database support and a most accurate country resolution algorithm based on country tables developed by OK1RR. CQRLOG is intended for daily general logging of HF, CW & SSB contacts and strongly focused on easy operation and maintenance.”
One of the lessons learned, back in the ’90s, was to expect poor documentation on just about any/all open-source projects. Cutting my teeth on “Slackware” around version 3, that was quite a source of frustration back then. However, that arena has definitely shown improvement by leaps and bounds as time has moved forward. Unfortunately, documentation continues to lag development on most projects I’ve seen – its simply not as bad as it once was.
The first pass at attempted installation was using Linux Mint’s “Software Manager” to download and install the package that was on their (Mint’s) package server at that time. Without going into details, that was not a good user experience, resulting in the package alarming – telling of missing dependencies with no effort on its part to install several those dependent packages, including MySQL Server and Client as an example. In my opinion, that package should not have been available on their server. Being a long-time command line user, I opened a terminal session and proceeded to clean everything back up. It was then time to see if there was a PPA repository available for CQRLOG and I discovered there was. There is a lot more to this story, but seeing your eyes glaze 😀 , (or is that my imagination?), in the end I discovered a good installation could be had with a single command in terminal mode:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ok2cqr/ppa;sudo apt-get update;sudo apt-get install cqrlog
That command, (described here for version 2.0.1-1), will first, add the ppa repository to your linux system’s list of authorized spots to check for updates, then update the system list itself, and finally install the latest version found in that repository. As I type, that is version 2.0.1 which has been fixed and does a complete install of CQRLOG and all of the packages necessary to run it. After a bit of a struggle, including cleaning up after those same previous abortive attempts at installation earlier described, CQRLOG has been running on the aforementioned friend’s Linux Mint Cinnamon 17.3 computer. I have had it running now for well over 24 hours on that very old laptop in our shack, without a single glitch or problem. Really looking forward to a deeper look at its capabilities, features, and nuances.
Not mentioned in the brief description of CQRLOG above is the capability to control your ham radio from the program via a CAT cable between the computer and radio. I will be attempting to explore that capability soon, (cable is on the way from another Ham operator’s eBay Store – BlueMax49ers – one whom I’ve had excellent results with in the past, solely as a customer/consumer).
More on that aspect later on….
Guess I really should add some form of disclaimer here – the above post describes my personal experience, from my own viewpoint, with installing CQRLOG on multiple Linux Mint computers this past week – YOUR mileage may vary. 🙂
Update: I have CQRLOG running under Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon back in our Shack and controlling our HF radio like a big dog. VERY happy with it. Spent a week or 10 days trying to chase down a problem, totally unrelated to Linux/CQRLOG, that was interfering with CAT on my system. When I blew everything away and went with a fresh install – it just worked!