LHS Show Notes #033

All of us at Black Sparrow Media wish to express our sincere condolences to Richard on the passing of his mother. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Richard and his family. He won't be joining us this time, so we'll carry on with a round table episode.


  • Ted WA0EIR, in snowy Iowa, Andy aka Integgroll on IRC, and Bill KA9WKA join us for a round table discussion.
  • Jay writes in about the Linux Journal episode (#029) and the analysis of the Amazon Kindle and DRM issues. Our panel talks about the Kindle , e-readers in general, and DRM issues. Russ mentions how Amazon retracted a couple of George Orwell titles.
  • Google alert tells us that Linux in the Ham Shack and other amateur radio podcasts are being played over a local repeater by Tony VK7AX for the enjoyment of listeners in SE Australia and Tasmania. Good on ya', mate!
  • LHS was mentioned on Joe's (WN2SYZ) blog. Thanks, Joe!
  • Dave, KG4GIY, posted another mention of LHS at Linux Journal when we talked about software-defined radios (SDR) in Episode 26. Thanks, Dave! Check out the Linux Journal amateur radio content.
  • Chris, Twitter ID WOKNSS, tweeted about catching up on back episodes of LHS. Thanks, Chris!
  • LHS was mentioned at the Low SWR podcast website. Low SWR is an amateur radio podcast produced by Rich KD0BJT and Brady KD0BJS. They're up to eight episodes already! Good job, guys!
  • The Axis wrote to us, Mint Cast, and The Linux Link Tech Show to thank us all for content about the Linux program screen. We're glad you enjoyed it. A possible application might be operating digital modes remotely. (Bonus Show Notes Content: The February 2010 issue of QST has a Short Takes article about the Glentek Radio-to-Ethernet Controller. Glentek has a variety of products to facilitate remote operation of an amateur radio station. -Ed.)


  • Texas Linux Fest is April 10, 2010 at the Monarch Events Center in Austin, TX. You might find Richard or Russ there, so say Hi!
  • Donations: We've achieved our goal! Walter, KV6M, made a second donation (thanks, Walter!), and the remainder was supplied by Beth Lynn Eicher of the Ohio Linux Fest. Thank-you, Beth Lynn! Look for the Linux in the Ham Shack booth at Dayton Hamvention 2010. (Note: the podcast incorrectly identifies Walter as WN3LIF, another Walter that also contributed.  We apologize for the confusion. -Ed.)

Links and Notes:

  • From the chat room, Ronnie K4RJJ, asks what PDAs would work with sound card digital modes. There's i-PSK31 that will allow you to use PSK31 with your iPhone and radio. It's also available via the iTunes store. (Note: I mistakenly said the price was $1.99. The actual price is $5.99. Sorry. -Ed.) There is also some documentation on how to wire the headphone plug for the iPhone for connection to your radio.
  • Ted rants about the use of macros in digital conversations, and the panel discusses.
  • The panel discusses the appropriate power levels for digital modes. Lower power, say less than 35W, is usually enough. There are devices, such as the PSKMeter, that attaches to your transmitter output and, along with software, will display your signal so you can avoid splatter. PSKScope is another program for the PSKMeter that provides additional functionality, such as automatic audio drive level control, but only in the Windows version. A Linux version of PSKScope is available, but does not have the automatic drive level control. The other device discussed is the IMD Meter, which is a standalone device that displays your IMD while you are transmitting. No computer or software is necessary.
  • Next, the panel talks about operating via VHF/UHF satellites. (There's a good introductory article on the AMSAT web site. Randy, K7AGE, has produced several YouTube videos of various amateur radio activities, including this one where he operates AO-51. Another video from the 2007 Dayton Hamvention shows a similar system.
  • Bill introduces the microHAM USB Interface III. (That's the Americas website. There is also a site for Europe. The panel discusses the merits of the device.
  • We then move to a discussion of Linux Mint 8 "Helena".
  • Bill rants about Yaesu microphones on their VHF/UHF radios.
  • Russ talks about some cloud computing applications: Ubuntu One and Dropbox. The panel discusses the relative risks and advantages of using such services.


  • "Don't Go" by TenPenny Joke from the album "Ambush on All Sides".
  • "Mirror of Humans" by Amity in Fame from the album "Dinner for One".

LHS Show Notes #023


  • Jeff has switched to Linux Mint. He asks about iPod syncing programs. He has tried Banshee and Amarok, and is not impressed. He'd like to use iTunes, perhaps under Wine. Russ suggests trying Songbird, if it supports your device. Check their wiki page to see if your device is supported.
  • Tweet from M0GLG regarding Echolink under Wine. He says it works with no real issues other than configuring the sound devices. He hasn't managed to get it to work with USB devices, yet.
  • Comment on the website about episode 20 from Matt, KC8BEW. He is looking forward to seeing Russ at Ohio Linux Fest.
  • Look for Richard at the upcoming Belton, TX hamfest.
  • LHS was mentioned on Jonathan Hardy's blog KIX-online in the August 30 post.
  • John, EI7IG, posted a message in the forums providing a link to information on compiling XASTIR from source, and mentions the Linux RMS Gateway software for accessing Winlink 2000 networks. He also says the Windows Winlink 2000 client, Airmail, works fine under Wine.
  • Clay, K6AEP, writes that he has an Eee PC 1000he and 702, and says you can use applications on the smaller screens. In eeebuntu 3.0, hold down the Alt key and you can move the screen around to see the rest of it. Crossover 8 has allowed him to avoid using Windows except for a couple of programs, such as Echolink. It seems to install fine, but mic audio doesn't work. He's tried SUSE 10 and 11, CentOS 4 and 5, Slackware 12.2, Ubuntu, Mint, Extreme Ubuntu, and Debian, and a variety of computers. He likes Ultimate Edition Linux 2.3, based on Ubuntu 9.04, even better than Mint 7.
  • Gary, M0TXD, comments that he has just installed Ubuntu on his hamshack computer with four serial ports, but can't get them to open. Russ suggests that it's a permissions problem on the devices.


  • Russ was invited by Klaatu of Linux Cranks to join their fourth roundtable discussion. The topic is the most common Linux applications on the desktop. Look for it on Hacker Public Radio (.mp3 file).
  • Linux in the Ham Shack has become an official sponsor of Linux Mint.
  • lhsinfo.org now has streaming audio links.
  • Check out Ohio Linux Fest. Russ will be there. Will you?
  • Question from the chatroom: How do I change from Ubuntu to Linux Mint? 1) Download the .iso and install it, but that will likely overwrite everything on your machine. 2) Get the sources.list file from a Mint installation (if you are on Ubuntu 9.04 already and want Mint 7) and update the repositories, then do an apt-get dist-upgrade. Russ tried that, and it worked pretty well, but there were a couple of package conflicts that had to be handled manually. The safest and easiest is to just install from the .iso, especially if you already have your /home directories in a separate partition. No matter how you do it, you should backup your system first.



  • "Give In Give Out" by Plunkett from the album "Plunkett"
  • "Dale" by Mutandina from the album "Mutandina"

LHS Episode #001

Welcome to the first episode of Linux in the HAM Shack. In this episode, we give you a brief introduction to the podcast, explain who we are and what our backgrounds in Linux and Amateur Radio are. And we give a brief overview of what topics we’ll hope to cover in future episodes.

We sincerely hope you enjoy our opening episode and we look forward to hearing from you, the listener, about anything you’d like to say. We’ll be posting these episodes every two weeks on Tuesday morning. There’s a link to the RSS feed on the left hand navigation of our site, and you’ll be able to subscribe to our feed at iTunes, Feedburner and other popular feed management sites.

Anyway, enough rambling. On to the podcast.

73 de Russ and Richard