Amateur radio

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Amateur radio enthusiasts have been at the forefront of experimentation and development since the earliest days of radio. Radio amateurs (sometimes called ham radio operators or "hams") throughout the world use a wide range of modes and frequencies to communicate. This page lists software related to amateur radio that can be found in the AUR. Some of it is stand-alone while the various digital communication applications require interfacing to radio hardware and possibly the computer soundcard. Interface hardware can be purchased from vendors or home-built.

Note: International treaties require that users of amateur radio frequencies have a government-issued license.


  • Hamlib provides an interface between hardware and radio control programs. It is a software layer to facilitate the control of radios and other hardware (eg. for logging, digital modes) and is not a stand-alone application. It is available in the AUR.
  • Soundmodem was written by Tom Sailer (HB9JNX/AE4WA) to allow a standard PC soundcard to act as a packet radio modem for use with the various AX.25 communication modes. The data rate can be as high as 9600 baud depending on the hardware and application. Soundmodem can be used as a KISS modem on the serial port or as an AX.25 network device. To use soundmodem as an MKISS network device, the kernel must be re-built with MKISS modules. More information is in the Xastir wiki. Soundmodem is available in the AUR.
Run soundmodem as root:
# soundmodem
If you have configured soundmodem as a KISS modem, you will need to change permissions to make it user-readable:
# chmod 666 /dev/soundmodem0
  • grig is a simple control program based on Hamlib.
  • gmfsk is a user interface that supports a multitude of digital modes. It uses hamlib and xlog for logging.
  • lysdr-git is a highly customizable radio interface.
  • linrad Software defined radio by SM5BSZ
  • owx Command-line utility for programming Wouxun radios
  • cwdaemon cw keyer for serial or parallel port
  • fldigi Popular GUI developed by W1HKJ for a variety of digital communication modes
  • libfap APRS packet parser
  • aprx Lightweight APRS digipeater and i-Gate interface
  • xdx Network client
  • d-rats D-STAR communication tool
  • qsstv Slow-scan television
  • linpsk PSK31


AX.25 is a data link layer protocol that is used extensively in packet radio networks. It supports connected operation (eg. keyboard-to-keyboard contacts, access to local bulletin board systems, and DX clusters) as well as connectionless operation (eg. APRS). The Linux kernel includes native support for AX.25 networking. Please refer to this guide for more information. The following software is available in the AUR:


WSJT stands for "Weak Signal Communication by K1JT". WSJT was developed by Nobel Prize winning physicist Joe Taylor, who has the amateur radio callsign K1JT. The software offers offers a rich variety of features, including specific digital protocols optimized for meteor scatter, ionospheric scatter, and EME (moonbounce) at VHF/UHF, as well as HF skywave propagation. The program can decode fraction-of-a-second signals reflected from ionized meteor trails and steady signals 10 dB below the audible threshold.

WSJT is in ongoing, active development by a team of programmers led by K1JT. The latest verion of the software can be retrieved and built from the svn repository at using wsjt-svn in the AUR. WSJT (and the related program WSPR) has the option of being configured with

$ ./configure --enable-g95 


$ ./configure --enable-gfortran  

If you build with one and experience problems, edit PKGBUILD to try the other.


WSPR (pronounced whisper) is a Weak Signal Propagation Reporter. It was introduced in 2008 by K1JT following the success and widespread adoption of WSJT by the amateur radio community. WSPR enables the probing of propagation paths on the amateur radio bands using low power transmissions. Stations with Internet access can automatically upload their reception reports to a central database called WSPRnet, which includes a mapping facility. The package wspr-svn in the AUR builds the current version of the program from the svn repository.


Xastir stands for X Amateur Station and Information Reporting. It works with APRS, an amateur radio-based system for real time tactical digital communications. Xastir is an open-source program that provides full-featured, client-side access to APRS. It is currently in a state of active development. Arch users can install the bleeding-edge version of Xastir from the CVS repository on Sourceforge with xastir-cvs in the AUR.

Xastir is highly flexible and there are a wide variety of ways it can be configured. For example, it can be evaluated without radio hardware if an Internet connection is available. The wiki at is very thorough and gives excellent information on its range of capabilities and setup.

An optional speech feature can be enabled with the Template:Package AUR package; you will also need a speaker package such as festival-en or festival-english. If you want this option, festival must be installed on your system before building xastir. Launch festival before the xastir program is started for speech to function properly:

$ festival --server

or you can write a simple script to automate the sequential starting process. There may be problems if other programs such as a media player are accessing sound simultaneously.

The PKGBUILD automatically downloads an 850 kB bundle of .wav files and places them here:


These are audio alarm recordings of a North American English speaker that do not require the presence of festival to render. The audio play command `play' in the configure menu may not work; try `aplay' instead.

Analysis tools

  • fl_moxgen Moxon antenna designer
  • geoid Geodetic calculator
  • gpredict Real-time satellite tracking and orbit prediction application
  • splat rf signal propagation, loss, and terrain analysis
  • xnec2c Electromagnetic antenna modeler


  • callsign Callsign info lookup
  • cqrlog is a popular Linux logging program. Compiling from source, however, is a complicated process and no package is currently available in the AUR. Instead, a binary can be installed with a script: Go to the cqrlog website and download a version compatible with your architecture. Unbundle the tarball and run:
$ ./

then follow the directions. The only dependency is Template:Package AUR.

Morse code trainers


  • cwirc Send and receive Morse code messages via IRC