Thursday, February 23, 2017

Andy's Ham V20 Virtual Machine Update

When last we left Andy's Ham, in this post, I had Andy's linux ham radio distribution installed in a virtual machine running on a Windows 10 host under Virtualbox. The installation was successful, but I still had to run some software.

The first step was to get the virtual machine to recognize my my Signalink USB. After starting up the VM, in Virtualbox, I went to "Settings/USB" and found "Burr-Brown from TI USB Audio Codec." I ticked that, and for a couple of weeks I could not get the VM to do anything but freeze up.  I was pretty sure that that was the Signalink, so I scoured the interwebs for information, to no avail. In desperation, In installed AndysHam on a different physical machine and plugged in the Signalink. The same option appeared in USB settings, and it worked. This time I notice the options for USB controller: 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0.  In both cases I had ticked 2.0.  However, the computer with the VM has some USB 3.0 ports (see this post on my upgrade). I had not noticed that I had plugged the Signalink into a 3.0 port (I just reached around to the back of the computer and plugged it in where I could). I went back and ticked 3.0 and all was well. The VM did not freeze and the Signalink showed up as an option in the software (fldigi and WSJT-X).
VirtualBox USB settings for Signalink (be sure to enable the correct USB controller)

If I have WSJT-X (e.g.) running on the host, the guest grabs the USB port for the Signalink and holds it until the VM is shut down. So, I can run the software on the guest, but not the host. On the host, the Signalink is not an option for sound card until the guest is shut down. It may be necessary to redesignate the sound card every time--however, if you plan to use the Signalink in the guest only, this is not an issue.

So, I got AndysHam to work in two environments--on a stand-alone machine and as a guest machine under Virtualbox.  There are a couple of things I need to get used to. First, JTAlert does not run on linux.  I have been enjoying the features, so I'm not sure I want to give that up. Second, I find the set up a little inflexible.  I'm sure I can do what I want to do, but it's been set up to provide most things, and for under-powered computers--which mine is not.  

I'll work with it some more, and if I have anything useful to say in the future I will post it here.