xfhell User Manual

  1. Introduction
  2. Features
  3. Compilation
  4. Command line options
  5. Operation
  6. Bugs and annoyances
  7. Version history
  8. Copying

1. Introduction
xfhell is an X/GTK+-3 Linux application for Amateur Radio communications in the Hellschreiber "fuzzy" digital mode and it currently supports two modes, standard Pulse-modulated FeldHell and MFSK-modulated FMHell as per IZ8BLY's design. xfhell detects the pulsed/FM tone output of the receiver which represents the "dots" of Hellschreiber characters, by reading audio samples from the DSP in the computer's sound card, connected to the output of the receiver. The audio signal is processed by a Goertzel tone detector and is "painted" directly to the Receive window of xfhell. Thus there is no software decoding of the incoming signal, leaving the recognition of characters to the human eye/brain combination, hence the term "fuzzy digital" often used to describe the Hellschreiber system. An DFT based "Waterfall" display is available to help tune in signals.

Transmission of Hellschreiber characters is realized by writing pre-computed audio samples to the sound card's DSP and feeding the resultant audio signal to the transmitter's input. The transmitter must be in the SSB mode during transmission but for reception a narrow-bandwidth mode like CW-Narrow is preferable since Hellschreiber only occupies about 250 Hz of bandwidth. xfhell has built-in CAT control capability for the Yaesu FT-847 or FT857 and the Elecraft K2 or K3 Transceivers. When enabled, xfhell can change the operating mode automatically. xfhell now also has serial port RTS or DTR control to allow transceiver PTT-On/PTT-Off control.

Usage: xfhell [-hv]

-h: Print usage information and exit.

-v: Print version number and exit.

2. Features

Sound-card set-up
xfhell automatically prepares the sound card and sets the mixer Capture level to the value specified in the ~/xfhell/xfhellrc configuration file. For proper operation, the level of the input signal must be adjusted from the receiver, if volume control is available, or by changing the value of the Capture level in the ~/xfhell/xfhellrc configuration file, if audio is taken from a fixed-volume source, such as the "data" i/o port. The output audio level is also set to the Playback level specified in ~/xfhell/xfhellrc, although again this will need to be set-up properly for low-distortion transmission. Please see the Operation section for details on how to set-up the sound card.

Software Tone detector
xfhell was designed from the beginning to be simple and efficient, decoding Hellschreiber signals using mostly integer arithmetic and simple processing methods. It uses the computer's sound card to detect the pulsed/fsk'd tone signal that makes up the Hellschreiber characters, by implementing a Goertzel tone detector algorithm. The output from the detector is painted directly to the Receive window in continuous Gray scale so that there is no thresholding of signal intensity.

"Waterfall" display with CAT
xfhell has a "Waterfall" (audio spectrum) display derived from an DFT of the receiver's audio output. A vertical red line indicates the center frequency of the tone detector. When tuning a signal manually, its trace should be centered on this line for best results. Clicking with the center button on the display reverses the background/foreground colors of the display. The Waterfall display also indicates the spectrum of the transmitted signal.

xfhell has built-in CAT capability for the Yaesu FT847/FT857 and Elecraft K2/K3 transceivers. This is of course a limitation, but an attempt to convert xfhell to using the "hamlib" library was unsuccessful for various reasons. However, xfhell now also has serial port RTS/DTR control to allow transceiver PTT-On/PTT-Off control. The Waterfall display can be used to tune in a signal by clicking with the left mouse button near its trace. xfhell will scan a small section of the display either side of the mouse pointer, looking for the strongest trace and then tune the receiver so that the signal is centered on the red line. Since the FT847/FT857 has only a 10 Hz resolution when tuned by the CAT, there can be an error of +-5 Hz in the tuning of a signal. Other errors resulting from the finite resolution of the DFT can increase the tuning discrepancy and it may be necessary to fine-tune the receiver manually for best results. When using CAT with a K2 or K3, the 1 Hz FINE tuning step should be selected.

Signal Waveform Display
xfhell has a simple "Oscilloscope" display of the input signal. This appears when the button at the top of the frame is clicked and can be used to monitor both the received and transmitted waveforms.

Macros in Transmit mode
xfhell allows 9 prepared Macros to be sent by clicking on one of the nine buttons in the 'Prepared Macros' frame for easy transmission of repeated messages like call-sign exchanges, station info, BTU, sign-off etc. Theses Macros are stored in the 'xfhellrc' run time configuration file (in ~/xfhell/) and are invoked by clicking on the relevant Macro button. The keyboard keys F1-F9 can also be used to start Macro transmission.

Short labels for these Macros are also stored in xfhellrc and are displayed in the button labels. For even more operating convenience xfhell allows the use of 'tags' embedded in the Macros for automatic insertion of certain basic strings in the transmitted message: call-sign, RST, name, QTH and QTH locator for both the operator and the remote station, the current UTC date and time and the operating frequency. The program's version string is also available as a tag so that it can be included in a macro, e.g. there are 13 tags altogether in this version. Icons and smileys included in the built-in fonts can be transmitted if their glyph number is enclosed in angled brackets, please read the comments in xfhell/xfhellrc config file for more details.

QSO Recording and Logging
xfhell can save details of activity during its operation in three separate files on the disk:
1. In ~/xfhell/record.txt all characters printed in the Transmit window including Macros are recorded 'raw' e.g. in real time and unedited. This makes it possible to check everything transmitted during operation if something goes wrong.
2. In ~/xfhell/log.txt all details of a QSO entered in the QSO Record form (under the Receive window) are saved in text form with the addition of date and time to form a standard station log.
3. In ~/xfhell/log.adif an ADIF-formatted version of the QSO Record is saved for direct uploading to eQSL.cc or other sites that can accept ADIF formatted logs.
4. Additionally, when the Receive window is filled, it is saved as a jpeg image in the ~/xfhell/pixbufs/ directory as a direct record of received signals.

Built-in Fonts including Icons
xfhell has a set of built-in fonts in Adobe BDF format files in the xfhell/fonts/ directory. These were derived from font files kindly sent to me by Nino Porcino IZ8BLY from his own Hellschreiber program. In addition there are two non-standard font files with the font height reduced to 12 points instead of the 14 of normal Hellschreiber fonts. These fonts are not normally compatible with other Hellschreiber receiving systems but only with xfhell and are intended to speed up character transmission rate by removing redundant blank rows from the standard fonts. Update: With the addition of a 105 Baud rate, 12-point fonts can be used with programs running in standard 122.5 Baud/14-point FeldHell mode. Please see the README file in xfhell/fonts/ for details.

Single-row Display of Received characters
xfhell is probably unique in its ability to compensate for slight timing differences between transmitter and receiver, thereby making it possible to print characters on the screen in a single row only. It does this by using the blank rows of the Hellschreiber font as a synchronizing signal from which to derive and compensate for the timing errors. This feature is enabled by activating the "Deskew" button at the top left of the receiving window.

Different Operating Speeds available
xfhell can operate at sub-multiples of the standard 122.5 baud rate of the Hellschreiber system. These speeds are not compatible with other Hellschreiber programs but are experimental, mainly to test the Hell mode in very weak signal conditions. One such application could be in VHF/UHF EME operation were in conjunction with the more efficient 12-point fonts Hellschreiber could prove to be an effective mode.

3. Compilation
Please note that I use Void Linux AMD64 which is a "bleeding edge" type distribution, so there may be compilation and/or run time difficulties if you are using a relatively old distro. This is mostly true of the basic dependencies like GTK+-3, and there can also be sound card incompatibility problems at run time.

To compile the package, it may be preferable to first run the included "autogen.sh" script in the package's top directory, to produce a fresh build environment. Then the "configure" script can be run with optional parameters to override the default settings and compiler flags, e.g: ./configure --prefix=/usr CFLAGS="-g -O2" will override the default /usr/local installation prefix and the "-Wall -O2" compiler flags.

Running "make" in the package's top directory should produce the executable binary in src/. Running "make install" will install the binary into /usr/local/bin by default or under the specified prefix. It will also install the xfhell working directory and the default configuration file into the user's home directory. This will have to be edited by the user as required. There is also this hypertext documentation file which you can copy to a location of your choice.

The "xfhell" directory contains the "xfhellrc" configuration file, the "pixbuff" directory where xfhell stores screen captures of the Receive window and the "fonts" directory with various Hellschreiber fonts in Adobe BDF format. Also xfhell places three files in this directory, created during operation:
1. record.txt is a complete character-by-character record of everything that has been sent during a session.
2. log.adif is an 'ADIF' formatted record of the main QSO data e.g. call-sign, signal report, mode, frequency and date-time.
3. log.txt is a more detailed record of conducted QSO's in text format.

4. Command line options
xfhell can be invoked with the following options:

-h: Print this usage information and exit.

-v: Print version number and exit.

5. Operation

xfhell User Interface
xfhell is an X/GTK+-3 application for Linux. The main application window has the following widgets:

1. The Transmit window: Any text typed during transmission appears in this window, although please note that only when the "space" key is pressed are the buffered characters transmitted. This is to avoid idle characters in broken words. When the Transmit window is filled, it scrolls automatically so that the last line is always visible. It can be cleared by right-clicking in the window and activating the 'Clear Window' item in the pop-up menu. Clicking the middle button in the window toggles xfhell between the Transmit and Receive modes. Same also by clicking the "Transmit" button at the top left of the Transmit window. Next to the "Transmit" button there is a text field showing the name of the current Font in use for transmission.

2. The Receive window: Displays characters "painted" directly to the screen from the output of the tone detector. When the screen is filled, it is saved in the ~/xfhell/pixbufs/ directory as a jpeg image. It can be cleared by right-clicking in the window and activating the 'Clear Window' item in the pop-up menu. Clicking the middle button toggles xfhell between the Receive mode and Standby. If xfhell is in Transmit mode it is changed over to Receive, but if a Macro is being transmitted, then it is interrupted and xfhell remains in Transmit mode until another middle-click on either window. Same also by clicking the "Receive" button at the top left of the Receive window.

3. Character size and Contrast: In the main pop-up menu, the "Dot Size" sub-menu selects the size of the characters ("glyphs") painted on the Receive screen, by changing the pixel size of each "dot" of the Hellschreiber font bitmap. Default size is set in the ~/xfhell/xfhellrc config file and is 2x2 pixels/dot. Under the Receive Window, the Contrast slider adjusts the contrast of characters as they are painted on the screen. Already painted characters are not effected. The default value is 5, e.g. mid-scale.

Mode Display and Level Control: Under the Receive Window there is a text field that shows the current Mode of operation (FeldHell or FMHell) and the Baud Rate. Next to this there is a spin button for adjusting the Level controls of the sound card Mixer. This adjusts the Volume of the output tone (and hence the Transmitter power output) when in Transmit Mode. In Receive Mode, this spin button adjust the Capture Level control and hence the audio input to the DSP.

4. Waterfall/Waveform: The Waterfall/Waveform widget is an aid to tuning the receiver accurately to an incoming Feld Hell signal. The "Waterfall" displays the spectrum of the receiver's audio output or the spectrum of transmitted signals via the "loopback" arrangement. There is a CAT function associated with the Waterfall but only for the Yaesu FT847 or FT857 and Elecraft K2 or K3 transceivers, as there were problems adapting xfhell to work with the Hamlib library.
The Waveform display is a simple "oscilloscope" in which the receiver's output is plotted. The transmitted waveform is also displayed via a "loopback" arrangement from the transmit dsp buffer. The Signal Waveform display appears in place of the Waterfall when the right button is clicked in the window.

5. The QSO Record frame: In this frame there are seven entry fields in which basic QSO data are entered for saving in the text-format station log file and the ADIF-format log file in the ~/xfhell/ directory. The minimum requirement for a valid record is the DX station's call-sign, signal report and operating frequency. The mode and date are entered automatically by xfhell each time a new record is opened. If the transceiver in use is one of the supported types and CAT is enabled, xfhell will read the Transceiver status and enter the signal report and operating frequency automatically each time a new record is opened.

The buttons below the QSO Record fields have the following functions:
Open New Record: This button clears all but the 'Band' field and enters the mode (fhell) and the date and time to the QSO record buffer in memory. If there is a previous valid record then this is saved to the log files in ~/xfhell/ before a new record is opened.
Save Record: Opens a pop-up save dialog box. If the QSO Record is valid (call-sign, RST-out and Band have been entered) then a confirmation request for saving is shown, otherwise if not, a warning is given to that effect.
Clear All Fields: This button clears all entry fields. NOTE: This will clear the QSO Record buffer in memory, resulting in lost data if the record has not been saved first!.
Clear Windows: Clears the Transmit and Receive windows of all text/characters.

6. The Macro buttons frame: In this frame there are nine buttons that initiate the transmission of prepared macros, e.g. standard messages saved in the run time config file xfhell (in the ~/xfhell/ directory). Clicking on a button puts xfhell in Transmit mode and starts transmission of the macro, clicking again on any of these buttons interrupts the macro but leaves xfhell in transmit mode.

7. The pop-up menu: This opens on a right-click on the Receive or Transmit window. It has the following items:
Mode: Select Hellschreiber mode: FeldHell or FMHell.
Baud Rate:Select the operating Baud rate. This also results in xfhell automatically loading a Font file suitable for the current Mode/Baud rate combination
Font Selector: Select the Hellschreiber font to be used on Transmit. Font files are stored in the separate 12pt/ and 14pt/ sub-directories.
Show Font:Paints the current Hellschreiber font file onto the Receive window.
Dot Size: Select the number of Screen pixels for each dot of Hellschreiber "glyph" (character) painted to the Screen. The default is 2x2 (each dot has a size of 2 pixels wide and 2 pixels high). Enable CAT: Enable/disable CAT control of the FT847 or FT857 or Elecraft K2 or K3 transceivers.
Record QSO's: Enable/disable recording of everything printed in the Transmit window to the ~/xfhell/record.txt file.
Capitalize letters: Enable/disable capitalization of letters in Transmit mode.
Loopback Tx to Rx:When in Transmit mode, enables a loopback from the TX dsp buffer to the Rx buffer so that the transmitted waveform is decoded by the Receive functions of xfhell.
Identify in CW: Sends the station call-sign in CW/Morse code.
Quit: Quits xfhell.

Configuration and set-up
After compilation and installation, the ~/xfhell/xfhellrc run time configuration file MUST be edited for proper operation! To do this, load ~/xfhell/xfhellrc into your favorite editor and make sure that you review ALL the configuration fields in the file and that you properly edit all the ones that must be edited. There are four sections, Sound card, xfhell Run time, Operator/QTH info and Macros fields. Please review ALL and EDIT as needed!! There are more detailed instructions in the file itself so please follow them for a proper set-up. In particular, station details like Call-sign, operator's name and QTH etc must be edited for Macros to be usable.

Next, the sound card must be set up. For this to be done, the receiver's audio output should be connected to the computer's sound card (usually to the 'line' input) and the receiver tuned to some stable carrier signal with no am modulation. Modern HF transceivers have general coverage receivers with DSP audio filters down to 25 or 50 Hz bandwidth and this makes it possible to use a local MW broadcast station as a signal source.

With the narrowest bandwidth selected start xfhell, click the "Receive" button and disable the Receive de-skewing function by deactivating the "Deskew" toggle button. Fine-tune the receiver for a 500 Hz beat frequency output using the Waterfall display as a guide, e.g. tune so that the signal's trace is under the red line. Then right-click on the Waterfall display to switch to the "Oscilloscope" display: For the correct level of audio input, the signal trace must be a little below the top of the 'scope display. If the audio level is to high, reduce the receiver's volume level or if the audio output is taken from a fixed-level output (like the 'data' port), set the correct input level by using "Level" spin button. Then use the spin button's value as the Capture level option in ~/xfhell/xfhellrc file. Quit and restart xfhell so that it reads the new configuration and check that it sets up capture level correctly.

For Hellschreiber transmission, the DSP output level needs to be set up for linear modulation of the transmitter to preserve the "soft" keying waveform. The Playback volume level setting in ~/xfhell/xfhellrc can be edited to give the correct audio output level by first using the Level spin button to adjust the Playback volume while transmitting (a Macro, for example). Adjust the spinbutton to give a power output around 80% and then set its value to the Playback setting in xfhellrc.

If the setting is below approximately 20% then a simple resistive attenuator will be needed ahead of the transmitter's audio input. In each case the best way to set the sound card output level would be to have the transmitter's settings (Mic gain, ALC or other appropriate control) at an average or 'normal' level and adjust the sound-card audio level so that the RF output power is about 80% or less of the rated maximum power. This will ensure that distortion is kept to a minimum and the dissipation of the final stage within its ratings.

Receiving Hellschreiber signals
To receive Hellschreiber signals, start xfhell and tune-in the station as follows: Set up the receiver for a narrow-band mode (normally this would be CW-Narrow, or if available a DSP audio filter with a bandwidth of 250 Hz or so should be used). Then tune the receiver until the trace of the signal in the Waterfall window is centered under the red line. If you are using an FT847 or FT857 transceiver and the appropriate CAT control is enabled, clicking near a signal trace in the Waterfall should cause xfhell to change the main dial frequency so that the trace is centered under the red line. Some manual touch-up may be needed to fine-tune the signal, especially in FMHell mode since xfhell will tend to tune the Rx to one of the two traces that FM Hell leaves in the Waterfall.

Conducting a QSO
As usual to make a QSO with another station using Feld Hell you may call CQ or reply to a CQ. Calling CQ would normally be done using a prepared Macro by clicking on the relevant Macro button then during the course of a QSO, other Macros can be started as needed to send some of the standard messages that are usually exchanged. When the Macro is finished, xfhell will revert to Receive mode unless a tilde '~' is the last character in the Macro, in which case it remains in Transmit so that a manually typed message can follow the Macro. Reversion to Receive would then be done by middle-clicking on the Receive or Transmit window, clicking the "Receive" or "Transmit" buttons or using the F11 or F12 keys. Please note that Macro transmission can be interrupted by middle-clicking on the Receive or Transmit window or left-clicking on any of the Macro buttons.

When a station replies to a CQ it would normally be netted closely and characters transmitted will appear in the Receive window. If there is a significant frequency offset, it will weaken received characters but correcting this from the main dial may cause the remote station to miss reception. Using the RIT control may be advisable as this will help to avoid 'crawling' along the band as stations tune in to each other during the QSO.

Once two-way contact is established, at least the station's call-sign, RST, and the QSO frequency must be entered in the QSO Record's fields before it can be saved to ~/xfhell/log.adif and ~/xfhell/log.txt. BUT PLEASE NOTE: Always remember to click 'Open New Record' before entering any data otherwise the mode and date/time will not be entered to the record buffer by xfhell.

Any information entered in the fields is available to any relevant 'tag' in the Macros but please note that if any fields are not filled, xfhell enters blanks in place of tags! Please note that during transmission no entries should be made to the QSO Record fields since these will reflect in whatever tags are embedded in Macros.

To reply to a CQ, tune in the station accurately and type its call-sign, signal report and frequency in the QSO Record fields. Then prepared Macros can be used to reply to the call and conduct a QSO. Have a look in ~/xfhell/xfhellrc for some typical prepared Macros.
NOTE: You will need to edit at least some of these!!

It is now also possible to type in text into the Transmit window while xfhell is in Receive mode. This, in addition to the prepared macros, can help save some time in replying to the station in contact with.

6. Bugs and deficiencies
I have fixed whatever bugs I came across testing xfhell, but there may be some hiding, waiting for the right conditions to appear.

The tone detector algorithm may need further improvements to make it more tolerant to fading and noise. The biggest problem seems to be adjacent strong signals raising the AGC and reducing the level of the signal being received.

7. Version history

Version 0.1 First beta release of the basic xfhell application.

Version 0.2 Added Radio buttons to select the size of characters in Receive mode.

Version 0.3 Modified the QSO record so that the RST-out is before the RST-in field. Also changed the format of the 'log.txt' file that is used for logging QSO's to make it more printable.

Version 0.4 Added a Contrast control for the Receive window.

Version 0.5 Added an "Oscilloscope" display for Receive and Transmit waveforms.

Version 0.6 Added a simple DFT-based "Waterfall" (audio spectrum) display with CAT functions for the Yaesu FT847/FT857 transceivers. This allows tuning in a signal by clicking on its trace in the Waterfall.

Version 0.7 Added functionality to enable use of 12-point fonts and lower operating Baud rates.

Version 0.8 Replaced the quadrature tone detector with a Goertzel tone detector since it seems to produce a somewhat cleaner output. Also added a Volume control spin button to adjust audio output from the sound card and hence transmitter power.

Version 0.9 Modified my integer arithmetic version of the Goertzel algorithm back to the original floating point implementation, since on low baud rates there was a small mismatch between the transmit and receiver audio tones, due to the insufficient accuracy of integer arithmetic

Version 1.0 Added the IZ8BLY FMHell mode as it now seems to be popular due to its better performance in poor conditions.

Version 1.1 Changed the FMHell detector from a differential phase detector to a dual Goertzel tone detector scheme. The level of black/white tones is measured by a Goertzel detector set up for that tone and the black/white decision is made by comparing levels. Also arranged for a suitable default Font file to be loaded for the current Mode/Baud rate, see the README file in xfhell/fonts/ directory.

Version 1.2 Changed the Receive printing mode from 'wrap-around" to Scroll-up, e.g. when Receive is enabled, characters are printed in the bottom line of the receive window and scrolled up when the line is full. Also, when Deskew is disabled, printing is done in the traditional double row lines mode.

Version 1.3 Fixed a bug that skewed printed characters by one column between the upper and lower rows in the double-row printing mode. Also fixed a memory leak caught by Valgrind when changing baud rates.

Version 1.4 After a bug report from Juha Vierinen regarding seg faulting of xnec2c, my graphical adaptation of NEC2, I changed all "sprintf" commands to "snprintf" to avoid buffer overruns. Following on the above changes, I revised all similar situations in xfhell source code and changed all "sprintf" commands to "snprintf" just in case. While going through the xfhell source code, I also fixed some minor bugs like typos and tidied error messages and other aspects of the GUI.

Version 1.5 After a bug report from Pino Zollo ZP4KFX, I modified the waterfall display function to avoid a divide by zero condition that caused a SIGFPE crash.

Version 1.6 After a bug report from Pino Zollo ZP4KFX, I modified the GUI to allow the changing of the Receive window's height, through a check button, to half the normal size. This was needed to allow xfhell's window to fit in low height desktops. I also modified the program to hopefully correct GUI problems caused by glitches (race conditions) on start up, which caused incorrect initialization of the GDK pixbuf used to draw Hell characters in the receive window. I also fixed a similar problem with the Waterfall pixbuf.

Version 1.7 After a bug report from Pino Zollo ZP4KFX, regarding failure of "xdemorse" to start the Morse decoding loop after reading its configuration file, I have modified the functions that read this file so that more detailed error messages are printed if entries are malformed. I also added a menu item to select "Reverse Video", e.g. to transmit white characters on black background. This might give better results in noisy conditions.

Version 1.8 After a feature request by Pino Zollo ZP4KFX, I added serial port RTS/DTR line control to enable PTT-On/PTT-Off of transceivers other than FT847/FT857. But please note that no CAT functions will be available, e.g. clicking on the waterfall trace will not tune in the receiver and frequency/S-meter readings will not be available in the QSO records.

Version 1.9 Made the page size of spin buttons 0 to make setting of spin button values compatible with GTK 2.4.

Version 2.0-beta After many reports of difficulties and/or failure to set up and run xfhell, due to poor or non-existent support for some sound cards in ALSA's OSS compatibility layer, I carried out major changes in xfhell to use the ALSA sound API instead of the original OSS API. Because of very sparse or lacking documentation for the ALSA sound API, I had great difficulty getting xfhell to work under ALSA, especially the Mixer interface. I am releasing xfhell as version 2.0-beta for public testing, hoping it will be more successful with modern sound cards. Please don't blame me if it is not, even simple sound card programming with ALSA can be very difficult and/or tricky and buggy, since there are few if any tutorials available, especially for the Mixer interface.

I have also made several changes to the transceiver CAT code to deal with error conditions better and to be enabled by the "Receive" or "Transmit" buttons, so that CAT is enabled only when xfhell is actually receiving or transmitting hellschreiber signals. Please note that all the above changes inevitably resulted in regression bugs which I fixed, together with a few that were already there from the previous version. However, it is unlikely that I was able to catch all the bugs, so please do not hold me responsible for any problems xfhell may create while in use on your system.

Version 2.1 I modified the DSP_Write() function to write Tx data to the DSP in chunks equal to the Period Size of the codec, to avoid occasional "Broken pipe" errors (and resultant xrun recoveries).
Also fixed some "Variable defined but not used" warnings from GCC (due to some variables "left over" during development).

Version 2.2 I changed the modification to the DSP_Write() function, to fix a bug in the version 2.1 mods and to improve buffering.

Version 2.3 I added CAT support for the Elecraft K3 transceiver, which may also work with the K2 but I cannot verify this. It was necessary to make many changes to the CAT functions to do this, so that the CAT functions for the FT847/FT857 also had to be modified. I have tested the new code on my FT857 but I no longer have my FT847 so I cannot verify that the new CAT code works well with it, although I expect it will.
I replaced the GDK drawing primitives (gdk_draw_line() etc) with similar functions from the Cairo library. This has resulted in improved anti-aliased drawing of the waterfall and signal scope images. I have also changed the appearance of the signal scope to have a dark green background and bright green plots, and the waterfall to have a black background with color coded spectrum display.

Version 2.4 I made extensive modifications to the source code to silence a large number of warnings generated by the LLVM clang compiler when used with the -Weverything option. These were mostly cases of implicit conversions between variable types, like int to char or uint to int etc. In the process I made a few changes to the functionality in some functions, to improve reception of images over the firewire link. I also changed the type of functions that return errors, from int to gboolean, and modified the handling of error conditions were needed. I have updated the basic files of the GNU Autotools build system, to be compatible with the current version of these tools at the time of writing (February 2013).

Version 2.5 I have fixed a number of defects reported by the source code auditing tools of the Coverity Scan website. These were mainly related to programming practices and did not affect the operation of this application.

Version 2.6 I have fixed a bug that possibly was created in the above process and which disabled the choice of baud rates.

Version 2.7: After a bug report form Richard Lawn, regarding faulty CAT control of his FT847 by xsatcom, I borrowed back my old FT847 and after a lot of changes to the xsatcom CAT code, I fixed whatever bugs I found and incorporated some of those bug fixes into xfhell as needed. These bugs were a result of adding support to my ham radio applications for the Elecraft K3, without testing them on an FT847 as I no longer had my old rig.

Version 2.8: I have modified the file parser code so that it can read the config file with both the '.' and ',' as decimal point characters. This is necessary to make xfhell compatible with different locales.

Version 2.9: I have made changes to the text input code so that it is now possible to type in text in the Transmit window while xfhell is in Receive mode. This helps to save some time in typing in a reply to the station in contact with. I have also added code to allow the use of either the DTR or RTS line of a serial port for Transceiver control, through an interface device. RTS or DTR can now be chosen by a setting in the xfhellrc configuration file.

Version 3.0: Made several changes to both the Transmit and Receive code to improve Transmit waveforms and Receive rendering of Hell signals on screen. Also added SlowFeld baud rates to the Baud Rate menu, to allow operation in this mode.

Version 3.1: I made some changes to the Strlcat() function and its usage in the xfhell code, to improve safe handling of string concatenation operations. Hopefully this has not broken the handling of various strings in xfhell! ;-)

Version 3.2: Fixed a bug that caused xfhell to not send the time of a QSO in the final closing transmission. Also fixed a bug that on a particular combination of user actions could cause xfhell to crash by trying to write to the sound card DSP while the DSP write handle was closed.

Version 3.3: I made some changes to the DFT code used to produce the Waterfall display, e.g. to decimate the sampling rate by simple "box" averaging instead of skipping samples.

Version 3.4: I updated the GUI code to the latest GTK+-3.22. This made it necessary to make minor changes to the User Interface but functionality remains the same. An advantage of this version is that the GUI specification is in a Glade-3 XML file in the ~/xfhell/ folder (xfhell.glade), and this can be edited in Glade-3 if some cosmetic changes are desired. I migrated the internationalization system from "intltoolize" to GNU GetText, as the former is now considered obsolete. Also replaced the autogen.sh script with a newer version.

Version 3.4.1: I edited Makefile.am so that make install will now place relevant application files (documentation, pixmaps, desktop file, glade UI file etc) into the right places.

Version 3.5: I replaced the integer DFT functions with an open-source integer FFT function I found on the internet. This I had to modify to fit the needs of this application and this change resulted in a worthwhile reduction of processor workload.

Version 3.5.1: I have separated the pseudo-colorization code for the waterfall into a separate function and edited it to improve the colorization algorithm.

8. Copying This software package is released under the GNU Public License. Please see the COPYING file for more details.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

Last modified: Sat Mar 8 07:38:59 EET 2003