Ham and macOS (ham, not spam)

Ham Radio with macOS

I noticed there are several hams (amateur radio operators) here on the forums. Of course, we should use our Macs and iDevices for that.

So, here’s my workflow.
Since I am mostly into digital modes (PSK31), I need a program to assist me with that. There are several out there (cocoaModem, MultiMode), but the king of the hill is fldigi.

Fldigi supports most digital modes, allows „macros,“ has rig control and covers my needs. Where fldigi sucks is logging. That’s where RUMlogNG comes into play. MacLoggerDX would be a contender.

MacLoggerDX has a beautiful interface and a lot of eye candy. However, I prefer RUMlogNG’s workflow.

It’s a little bit of a hassle to get fldigi and RUMlogNG to work together. I want to work contacts in fldigi but manage my log in RUMlogNG. One option is to export ADIF files and import them.

fldigi can execute AppleScript. This script writes the current QSO into RUMlogNG:

set qsoCallsign to system attribute “FLDIGI_LOG_CALL”
set qsoFrequency to system attribute “FLDIGI_LOG_FREQUENCY”
set fldigiModemName to system attribute “FLDIGI_MODEM”
set qsoSentRST to system attribute “FLDIGI_LOG_RST_OUT”
set qsoRcvdRST to system attribute “FLDIGI_LOG_RST_IN”
set opName to system attribute “FLDIGI_LOG_NAME”
set opQth to system attribute “FLDIGI_LOG_QTH”
set opLocator to system attribute “FLDIGI_LOG_LOCATOR”
set qsoNote to system attribute “FLDIGI_LOG_NOTES”

tell application “RUMlogNG”
if fldigiModemName = “BPSK31” then
set mode to “PSK31”
else if fldigiModemName = “BPSK63” then
set mode to “PSK63”
else if fldigiModemName = “BPSK63” then
set mode to “PSK63”
else if fldigiModemName = “BPSK125” then
set mode to “PSK125”
else if fldigiModemName = “BPSK500” then
set mode to “PSK500”
else if fldigiModemName = “BPSK1000” then
set mode to “PSK1000”
set mode to fldigiModemName
end if
set callsign to qsoCallsign
set frequency to qsoFrequency
set rstTX to qsoSentRST
set rstRX to qsoRcvdRST
set nick to opName
set qth to opQth
set locator to opLocator
set note to qsoNote
end tell

Not by me, I think the author is K0PIR. With this script, you can log directly into RUMlogNG, either assigned to its own key/macro or added to any part of the QSO.

This is how my screen looks like (fldigi and RUMlogNG):

When accessing DX spot reports, I can shrink fldigi’s screen and have a terminal windows running in the upper right corner.

Added workflows:

  • automatic upload/download of QSOs through RUNlogNG to eQSL.
  • I still use QSL cards, also tracked through RUMlogNG. I print the recipients on adress labels and stick them to my cards. Done in seconds. When receiving cards, I just enter them and see which arrived or are missing

Additional software:

  • grpredict (through MacPorts) for satellite tracking
  • RUMlogNG2Go on the iPad for logging on the move (syncing sucks, better than nothing)
  • PSK31 on the iPad
  • WaveGuide on the iPad th check propagation
  • WSJT-X for low-power contacts

Gear I currently use:

  • MBP15
  • Yaesu 817nd
  • Tigertronic SignaLink USB interface
  • no-name CAT cable for rig control (USB to serial)
  • AlexLoop magentic loop antenna or one of a multitude of dipoles
1 Like

Thanks for sharing this!



Awesome workflow. K0PIR lives in the town I used to reside in. I have used come Mac apps with my radio setup.

I haven’t mastered fldigi, yet. It worked for about five minutes this Saturday.

Also, I’m trying to become more proficient with antenna modeling software.

I am playing with WSJT modes (WSJT-X). And trying to get proficient in CW.

Here is my shack. I built up a platform to hold the radios and my computer and second monitor.


I like that desk. Is the HF radio an Icom 718? What is the other radio?

Icom IC-718
Yeasu FT-8800

I posted some updates on fldigi+Big Sur+M1 here: Moving to the New M1 Systems - What Works and What Doesn't

The biggest issue for me right now is my CAT cable. There are no drivers (signed) available for PL2303 USB/serial controllers. For digital modes this is a pain. I am trying to solve this and will keep you posted.

Let us know, please. My Icom 7300 showed up this morning. I was able to plug my late 2013 iMac in to the USB-B port on the radio and make some of it work.

Trying to get FLDIGI to work is going to take some time. My logging software is working. It is nice for logging contacts.

Nice. I have a Yaesu FT-8900, Icom 7300, Yaesu FT-450D and an old Kenwood TS-520 in the shack. I have dual band radios in my pickup and Jeep and a FT-891 for portable HF use.

Do you have rig control? Or only “sound”?

Rig control for now.

Which OS?

I guess getting “sound” to work is easier than rig control. The 7300 would need (I think) a driver from Silicon Labs for that and (I think) there’s a signed one.

I think you’re correct. I will hopefully be able to tackle that today. I have other projects today. My office, and ham shack it turning into a study with plenty of books and a fireplace.


I have a CAT cable with Prolific PL2303 a USB/serial chip and couldn’t get it to work. There are no signed drivers out there.


  • I ordered a CAT cable with FTDI FT232R USB/Serial chip (you can find them on eBay)
  • Is supported by Big Sur out of the box (NO need to install drivers)

CAT cable is shown as:

        FT232R USB UART:

          Product ID: 0x6001
          Vendor ID: 0x0403  (Future Technology Devices International Limited)
          Version: 6.00
          Serial Number: AQ00SE0G
          Speed: Up to 12 Mb/s
          Manufacturer: FTDI
          Location ID: 0x02100000 / 9
          Current Available (mA): 500
          Current Required (mA): 90
          Extra Operating Current (mA): 0

AQ00SE0G shows which serial device to use: /dev/cu.usbserial-AQ00SE0G


  • flrig, fldigi, RUMlogNG, WSTJ-X are now running on my M1 Mac! :grinning:
1 Like