RMS Express runs in OS X and is able to exchange Winmor messages via a sound card and HF Radio

RMS Express is in the MacBook and it is operational both via Telnet and with Winmor via a sound card and HF Radio.

The setup was simple: The MacBook runs OSX 10.10.5 Yosemite and CrossOver v. 14 readily installed in that environment as another OS X “Application”. This software provides a platform for running Windows programs without having to buy and install a full version of Windows. It allows the creation of “Bottles” (a new name for a subdirectory Windows-style). Each of these bottles can be formatted in a different version of Windows. As indicated in a previous blog, the Windows XP flavour seems to be the most stable in CrossOver.

Hence, it was within a WinXP bottle that RMS Express was installed. This mail client allows the selection of different ways for messages to be sent: “Telnet” is via the internet, “Pactor WL2K” is via a Pactor TNC and “Winmor WL2K” is via an external sound card “in lieu” of the TNC. The latter is the mode that I’ve been trying to implement in the Apple.

The external card used for Winmor was the same I used for digital protocols with Fldigi when travelling with the MacBook: a tiny Sobrent USB audio card model USB-AUDD:

Sabrent

Two good quality audio cables connected the audio output (green) of the card to the microphone jacket of the KX3, and the earphone jacket of the KX3 to the (pink) input of the Sobrent card. The card was selected as default audio input and output in the “System Preferences” of the MacBook.

Besides those described in previous postings, there were a couple of additional glitches: on first attempt connections were not occurring and the RMS Express was outputting the message “Timeout in T>R Latency”. Increasing the volume of the audio both in the Sobrent USB as well as the KX3 seamed to solve the issue. Also, it was not possible for the program to automatically transfer the dialing frequency to the VFO of the radio (the radio connects to the computer via the Elecraft KXUSB cable) even if no other OS X running program was simultaneously taking “ownership” over the KX3 VFO, something that was readily achieved by other programs directly running in the OS X environment (i.e., Fldigi). Hence, the dialing frequency had to be manually tuned each time a new RMS frequency was chosen.

Having Winmor in the MacBook will permit access to Winlink messaging from remote places wherever I could bring the MacBppk Pro, the KX3, a power supply, an antenna and Sobrent USB. Since all these items have been already in my travelling backpack, access to WL2K will be possible without further increasing the carrying weight.

Here is the log of one of the first successful exchanges with an RMS via Winmor WL2k:

Untitled 7

——————-
Note added Sept 18, 2015:

Codeweavers was consulted re: the serial port issue. Here is their reply:

“Crossover does not support 3rd party hardware or drivers. This means that unless there is a Mac driver for this external device it probably will not work in Crossover at all. You can try our advanced settings here https://www.codeweavers.com/support/wiki/mac/faq/usbtoserial and see if works.”

I followed the steps on this usbtoserial page and a com1 new file did show up in the “dosdevices” subdirectory inside the bottle. However, RMS EXPRESS failed to acknowledge it in its Radio Setup window, and VFO control could not be transferred to the program.

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3 thoughts on “RMS Express runs in OS X and is able to exchange Winmor messages via a sound card and HF Radio

  1. I’m giving this a try. RMS Express is not listed as a support application this article glosses over this part. I’ve tried the “other” setting and pointed CrossOver at the RMS_express.msi file. When it comes to selecting a bottle CrossOver is just stuck analyzing bottle for compatibility with my selected application. a Little more detail about this step would have helped.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Brian Pietrzyk for your enlightening comment above. Having been for over a decade a user of Winlink with Pactor Modems, it was fun for me to be able to access Winlink just with a sound card and the MacBook Pro.

    I am not an expert in CrossOver, which seems to be an ingenious but rather limited way to run Windows-based programs in a Mac OS X environment. Sorry I did not warn my readers about the fact that RMS is not a “supported application”, but it never occurred to me that this could be of such importance since CrossOver is nevertheles able to run “non supported applications”. As for the “other settings” I am not sure what you are referring to, as my system never got stuck analyzing a bottle for compatibility. In fact, I believe I mentioned in the article that the bottle I used was WinXP, which according to the support expert in CrossOver is the most “compatible”. Not being a professional programmer or a writer of help files I am sure that many more details may have been omitted. My impression is that in the interactions between the Mac OS X, CrossOver and RMS Express there are many variables that can change from one setting to the other and that everyone may need to find its own path to get the whole thing to work. You may have noticed that in my own setting CrossOver fails to pass to RMS Express the correct COM port for controlling the radio. At CrossOver they think that this could be due to a glitch in my own setup. Hence, you may find out that this may not be an issue in yours.

    Good luck and have fun,

    73 Jose VA3PCJ/VE3DTI

    Like

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