unixcw/cwdaemon and SDR support

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unixcw/cwdaemon and SDR support

Matthew Balmer
I have used tlf for not too serious CW contesting over the past few years. I really like the software and appreciate the active development. I have a Hermes-Lite 2 SDR (and amp):


I have forked linhpsdr and added a cwdaemon port into the SDR software. This allows TLF to key the Hermes-Lite 2 via linhpsdr (all neatly taken care of in software). Linhpsdr also has CAT and works nicely with tlf. My fork can be found here:


I set about modifying the cwdaemon code for this task, so was using unixcw underneath this. I very quickly realised that neither pulseaudio or alsa worked for me out of the box. I connected up a USB serial adapter and looked at the appropriate serial lines on a scope. NULL option works perfectly, but (obviously) has no sidetone. Alsa, produced sidetone, didn't call back correctly to the cwdaemon function call, no keying. Pulse, really choppy keying via the cwdaemon function call. However, although with pulse the keying is choppy, sidetone is fine, so you might not realise it. I have been through the archives on this list and there seem to be some knowledgeable folk in cwdaemon/unixcw. Could anyone confirm if either pulseaudio or alsa are working for them as expected in cwdaemon? I really don't want to get into custom kernels, these bugs seem audio related and I don't think they should need custom kernels? I tweaked some pulse settings and got it to work for me (see fork here):


Although I have something that works for me. It just feels like it is going to be problematic to support reliably across a range of flavours of Linux with different audio systems. I appreciate this list is related to tlf, but I would welcome any people who use tlf/cwdaemon together to comment. I feel like I am better starting from scratch with this now.

Cwdaemon like functionality has also been added to SparkSDR http://www.ihopper.org/radio/sparksdr2.htm so there are a couple of options that may be of interest to people. This type of setup lends itself very well to remote contesting radio operations.

Related, I would like to see about overlaying what I see on the band map in tlf onto the linhpsdr SDR panadapter. The following image should give you an idea of what I mean:


But I would like to view based on the filtering I have set for the band map (mults etc.) in tlf. Will the tlfmarkers file give me everything I need for this? Does this file contain raw from the cluster or have filters (e.g. mults) applied?

73 Matthew M5EVT.