Sunday, September 04, 2011

Howto: Run the Alinco DJ-G7 Clone tool in WINE

Well - I did this today. 

Just thought I'd throw it out on the interwebs so that the other 1 or 2 total geeks that own this radio AND run Linux out there somewhere have a chance of finding it and saving some time:

For the 99.999% of those reading this - Yes it's a ham radio.  Fairly obscure even at that - but a very unique and even pretty awesome rig once you get onto how to program it.  For details please visit the Alinco website.

Once you have read the manual 6 or 7 hundred times and are still confused,  you will easily lay out the funds for a programming cable and download the "Clone Tool".  Which will let you program the radio on your pc.  

If you are one of the Windows running sheeple - you are all set.  Good luck finding and installing and then re-installing the driver for the USB to serial chipset in the cable. You have been warned. Now go away.

If you are running a Mac. Just do this in Parallels or some other virtualization software.  Yes you will need to install the drivers twice to get them working.  Yes Windows sucks that way.  That's why you use a Mac.  Deal.

Going the virtualization route also works on Linux of course.  You will need the full version of Virtualbox - not the OSE edition.  (On any recent distro you won't need the Linux driver) You will need to give access to the USB device in Virtualbox and go through the aforementioned windows driver hell though.

Now, on to the good stuff:  To run this most efficiently and natively on LInux under Wine - here are my notes.  (I'm assuming you already have WINE installed and running other things or you wouldn't still be reading this story.)

Running on my Ubuntu 10.10 laptop.

The software installs like any other Windows app and runs without a hitch.  If using the USB cable however you will need to do the following:

Plug in the cable and see what device it is assigned:

ls -l /dev/ttyUSB*

Normally it will be assigned ttyUSB0 but do the ls -l to check the time stamp and make sure you don't point WINE at your internal modem or something.

Then create a symlink for WINE by running:

ln -s /dev/ttyUSB0 ~/.wine/dosdevices/com1

Then run the clone tool and configure it to use com1.  Easy peasy.

When done (before unplugging the cable from the system) remember to remove the symlink by running:

rm ~/.wine/dosdevices/com1

That's it.  Too bad USB to Serial adapters are such weird beasts with no real standards so that wine could do all of this for you.

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