I tried to get my DG8SAQ-VNWA working on my Linux laptop in the Virtualbox WinXP machine. Unfortunately i found that there seem to be a lot of problems with loosing samples of USB sound devices within Virtualbox. This problem is reported at several points. For the VNWA this means it is not possible to calibrate the samplerate. Loosing samples means noisy traces and not doing proper measurements at all.
In the Yahoo group it was reported that it works under VMWare. So i thought i give VMWare a chance. Some information in the internet state that it should be relatively easy to export from Virtualbox to OVA files and import into VMWare. Unfortunately my VMWare always crashes when importing the OVA file. It seems the metainformation of the VM is not written or imported in a compatible way although this is defined in an open standard (whatever this really means).
After 3 days of experiments i found a solution. Now within VMWare the audio is working and i get perfect traces from the VNWA.
The way to convert was:
– uninstall the Guest extensions within the guest system when running Virtualbox
– export the VM using the OVA 1.0 format and write separate files (specify ovf file ending and you will get the vmdk file separate), 2.0 did not work.
– use the ovftool with option for relaxing the check for errors in the ovf file, otherwise ovftool will stop because of unknown identifiers.
for example ovftool –lax WinXP.ovf WinXP-vmware
– Import the newly created copy by importing the vmx file
After that i was able to boot the VM, start the software, recalibrate samplerate, calibrate, measure.
The version number of Virtualbox is 4.3.6 and VMWare 6.0.1.
CWSkimmer may work under Wine. To connect it to Quisk you can use the Alsa loopback device. The driver needs to be loaded, then start the skimmer.
Set it to softrock (not the IF version !). You may set a LO frequency and activate the telnet server and the remote control via telnet commands.
Set the Alsa loopback interface as soundcard.
Set the skimmer to 48kHz sample rate and start it. The waterfall will start but will not display anything.
Quisk needs to be configured to use the correct loopback soundkart for digital_in and digital_out. If this is ok start quisk and set it to digital iq mode.
You can now adjust the bandwidth to maximum (21kHz) and set the AGC to off and adjust it to a good value.
Now skimmer should show decoded signals within the 21kHz. If the waterfall looks like too strong audio you have most probably a wrong sample rate set in the skimmer.
If you enabled the telnet server you can login with “telnet localhost 7300”. You login with your call and get something like a dx-cluster. The frequency is still relative to the LO frequency. You can now adjust the mid frequency with “skimmer/qsy “. Now the display should be absolute. Remember that its not adjusted automatically if you change the LO in Quisk. Currently its not possible to use skimmer and do CW operation with Quisk in parallel.
Find a screenshot below.
Quisk & CWSkimmer
I tried to build something useful out of the equipment flying around here. My HiQSDR can now transmit in CW mode via external keying. Output power is about 10W maximum. The software is quisk which can be controlled by the very nice TLF log software via the hamlib library. TLF gets spots from the reversebeacon network to fill its bandmap which is afterwards browsable via shortkey. Quisk then tunes to the station automatically. In addition TLF can use the cwdaemon to generate CW signs via a serial port. With cwdaemon running on some embedded hardware close to the HiQSDR it would be possible to have the SDR PC somewhere just connected via the wireless network running all the control and audio remote. Find a screenshot below.
Quisk, TLF and cwdaemon running a HiQSDR under Linux