Getting FT8 running on an ARM SBC

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Daniel Wee
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Posts: 2328
Joined: Wed 25 Feb 25 2009 8:00 pm

Getting FT8 running on an ARM SBC

Post by Daniel Wee »

Depending on the SBC, this might be slightly easier or not. For Raspberry Pi's, there are are quite a number of pre-compiled armhf installation packages that can be used for both WSJTX and JTDX. With WSJTX you can essentially install this using:-

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sudo apt install wsjtx
This will, however, give you an older version. To get a more up to date version, you will need to add:-

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deb http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian buster-backports main 
to the /etc/apt/sources.list followed by a

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sudo apt update
Installing JTDX is a bit more involved, requiring the downloading of one of the armhf libraries found here:-

https://jtdx.tech/en/

The three possible candidates are the Raspberry Pi3, the Orange Pi or the TinkerBoard versions (assuming you do not want to compile from source). One of these should work with dpkg -i but installation may halt due to missing the Qt packages. To fix that, you will need to:-

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sudo dpkg --fix-broken install
After that, follow these instructions:-

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sudo apt install gqrx-sdr
pacmd load-module module-null-sink sink_name=Virtual_Sink sink_properties=device.description=Virtual_Sink
This should set up the audio sink device, which gqrx will need to be set to output to, and WSJTX/JTDX must use as the audio input device.

https://www.onetransistor.eu/2019/11/ft ... f-sdr.html
Daniel Wee
Site Admin
Posts: 2328
Joined: Wed 25 Feb 25 2009 8:00 pm

Re: Getting FT8 running on an ARM SBC

Post by Daniel Wee »

Performance on the Rock64 SBC is mediocre at best but it does work.
Daniel Wee
Site Admin
Posts: 2328
Joined: Wed 25 Feb 25 2009 8:00 pm

Re: Getting FT8 running on an ARM SBC

Post by Daniel Wee »

For HackRF to work properly with gqrx, the scan bandwidth should be set to 8MHz. Audio bandwidth can be user defined to about 4kHz and the mode should be USB. In order to JTDX to talk to gqrx, the "Remote control" under the "Tools" menu should be enabled.

At the same time, in JTDX, the radio should be "Hamlib Rig Control" and the address set to:-

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127.0.0.1:7356
Due to the sluggishness of the Rock64, this connection might fail when the CPU gets too busy. Just clicking "Retry" should usually resolve this problem.
Daniel Wee
Site Admin
Posts: 2328
Joined: Wed 25 Feb 25 2009 8:00 pm

Re: Getting FT8 running on an ARM SBC

Post by Daniel Wee »

It seems that the 8-bit ADC of the HackRF is limiting it's ability to hear the weaker stations buried in the noise. It is quite okay for strong stations most of the time.
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