Elecraft Utilities

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Elecraft Utilities

Ken G Kopp
Wayne and Eric:

PLEASE don't cave in to the requests of those on the reflectors who are
asking
you to disclose the "genetic makeup" of their radios by publishing the
software
that would enable anyone to modify how a given radio operates.

I see this as no different than a breeder of a thoroughbred breed of dog
opening
the pen and letting all comers mate with the females.  You would end up
with a
"contaminated" breed.

I envision an increased workload at Elecraft in dealing with the customers
who
manage to "mess up" their radio's "brains" and want help in restoring them
to
the original state.  Nothing but non-profit overhead.

I would be wary ... read "never" ... of buying a used Elecraft product for
fear
that it's genetic makeup had been altered and really wasn't an Elecraft
anymore.

Perhaps I'm not understanding something ...

73!

Ken Kopp - K0PP
Full K-line, KX3, PX3, KXPA100, K2/100, W2's, etc.
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Re: Elecraft Utilities

lstavenhagen
Might I ask what you're referring to?

Thanks,
LS
W5QD
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Re: Elecraft Utilities

Jessie Oberreuter-2
In reply to this post by Ken G Kopp

W5QD et. al.,

      Ken is referring to the following message, which essentially requests
a simple command-line firmware loader program.  Note that this is NOT a
request for DNA level access to the radio's internals.
      The communication protocols for most of the Elecraft radio functions
are described in the public documentation, enabling people to write their
own code for most functions.  The firmware loading protocols, however, are
not. The only way to update the firmware (not generate our own!) is to
download and run platform specific GUI applications from Elecraft.  For
most users running Windows or MacOS, this is fine: virtually all of these
users expect GUI software, have their computers directly connected to
their radios, and aren't aren't running on unusual computer hardware.
      For those of us running Linux (or even more obscure operating
systems), a GUI application that only works on x86 machines that are
directly connected to the radio is awkward.  My laptop and all of my shack
machines are ARM based, so when I need to upgrade my K3, I need to extract
it from all of its cables and haul it over to my x86 work machine.  My
work machine is running 64bit linux, while the Elecraft tool is 32bit, so
I also need to install 32bit versions of several libraries to run it.
Similarly, all of my radio gear at home is actually hooked to a
serial-to-ethernet device, which is great for all of the software I use,
but not fine for K3Util, which expects to talk specifically to a directly
connected hardware serial port.
      There are several approaches to solving this problem.  The first is
to ask Elecraft to provide more versions of their software: can I get an
x86_64 build?  ARM7 please!  Actually, I use my Android for everything ...
can I get an Android app?  Fortunately, we recognize that Elecraft is a
/radio/ company, /not/ a consumer software company, and we don't want to
ask them to spend time supporting dozens of firmware loaders.  Ideally, we
would like to see or, with access to the protocol documentation, develop
an open-source library for updating the firmware. Then we can build our
own firmware loaders for whatever platforms we choose.
      Recognizing that this may be asking for proprietary and/or licensed
information, Bruce has suggested a middle ground -- offer a simple "glue"
interface (a command line firmware loading tool) that would be much
simpler for Elecraft to build for lots of different platforms and would be
more in line with the linux philosophy of starting with light weight
command line tools, and adding far more difficult to develop and maintain
GUIs on top as desired.

      Perhaps a simpler option would be to offer a library or command line
tool in a portable format that still obscures the proprietary protocol
implementation.  Java is a good candidate for this, as there are Java VMs
for practically every platform out there.

-kb7psg


Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2016 17:52:34
From: Bruce Nourish <[hidden email]>
To: Elecraft Reflector <[hidden email]>
Subject: [Elecraft] Feature request: Command line firmware updater

Hi folks,

As the subject suggests, I'd like to put in a feature request, for a
simple, command line firmware updater tool, for all applicable Elecraft
rigs. To update the firmware on my KX3 and PX3, I need to download and set
up two separate programs, most of whose functionality I won't ever need.

Such a tool would be easy for Elecraft to write and maintain, and would be
easy to make work on different platforms, which brings me to the next part
of this feature request. I'd like to be able to run this tool both on my
Intel Linux machines, and my Raspberry Pi, which is hooked up to my KX3
and PX3 whenever my KX3 is home. Cross-compiling such a simple tool should
also be pretty easy.

I'm sure there are other people who're in similar situations, and would
appreciate something to address these use cases. Firmware updates are one
of the few things where you can't roll-your-own.

Thanks.

Bruce



On Fri, 8 Apr 2016, Ken G Kopp wrote:

> Wayne and Eric:
>
> PLEASE don't cave in to the requests of those on the reflectors who are
> asking you to disclose the "genetic makeup" of their radios by
> publishing the software that would enable anyone to modify how a given
> radio operates.
>
> I see this as no different than a breeder of a thoroughbred breed of dog
> opening the pen and letting all comers mate with the females.  You would
> end up with a "contaminated" breed.
>
> I envision an increased workload at Elecraft in dealing with the
> customers who manage to "mess up" their radio's "brains" and want help
> in restoring them to the original state.  Nothing but non-profit
> overhead.
>
> I would be wary ... read "never" ... of buying a used Elecraft product
> for fear that it's genetic makeup had been altered and really wasn't an
> Elecraft anymore.
>
> Perhaps I'm not understanding something ...
>
> 73!
>
> Ken Kopp - K0PP
> Full K-line, KX3, PX3, KXPA100, K2/100, W2's, etc.
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
> Message delivered to [hidden email]
>
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Re: Elecraft Utilities

Mike Markowski-2
This would be a fantastic, much appreciated tool!

73,
Mike ab3ap, decades long Unix(-like) user

On 04/08/2016 04:24 PM, Jessie Oberreuter wrote:

>
> [...] the following message, which essentially
> requests a simple command-line firmware loader program.  [...]
>
> -kb7psg
>
> Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2016 17:52:34
> From: Bruce Nourish <[hidden email]>
>
> As the subject suggests, I'd like to put in a feature request, for a
> simple, command line firmware updater tool, for all applicable Elecraft
> rigs. [...]
>
> Thanks.
> Bruce
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Re: Elecraft Utilities

Gary Gregory-2
In reply to this post by Ken G Kopp
Ken,
For the very reasons you mention I cannot imagine for a moment that Eric would allow the release of their code.
Gary

-----Original Message-----
From: "Ken G Kopp" <[hidden email]>
Sent: ‎9/‎04/‎2016 4:09 AM
To: "[hidden email]" <[hidden email]>; "[hidden email]" <[hidden email]>
Subject: [Elecraft] Elecraft Utilities

Wayne and Eric:

PLEASE don't cave in to the requests of those on the reflectors who are
asking
you to disclose the "genetic makeup" of their radios by publishing the
software
that would enable anyone to modify how a given radio operates.

I see this as no different than a breeder of a thoroughbred breed of dog
opening
the pen and letting all comers mate with the females.  You would end up
with a
"contaminated" breed.

I envision an increased workload at Elecraft in dealing with the customers
who
manage to "mess up" their radio's "brains" and want help in restoring them
to
the original state.  Nothing but non-profit overhead.

I would be wary ... read "never" ... of buying a used Elecraft product for
fear
that it's genetic makeup had been altered and really wasn't an Elecraft
anymore.

Perhaps I'm not understanding something ...

73!

Ken Kopp - K0PP
Full K-line, KX3, PX3, KXPA100, K2/100, W2's, etc.
______________________________________________________________
Elecraft mailing list
Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
Post: mailto:[hidden email]

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Re: Elecraft Utilities

Lynn W. Taylor, WB6UUT
In reply to this post by Ken G Kopp
On 4/8/2016 11:08 AM, Ken G Kopp wrote:
> I see this as no different than a breeder of a thoroughbred breed of dog
> opening
> the pen and letting all comers mate with the females.  You would end up
> with a
> "contaminated" breed.
The utilities are not the same as the internal radio firmware.

To take your horse breeding analogy, it's like the type of feeder the
horses are eating from.  They can be metal, or plastic, or rope netting,
and it doesn't change how the horse runs.

The radio internals should not be open source.  The external utilities
are a fair topic for discussion.

73 -- Lynn
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Re: Elecraft Utilities

lstavenhagen
In reply to this post by Jessie Oberreuter-2
Yes, my question was partly rhetorical - I don't recall seeing any requests for access to any of Elecraft's proprietary code, or the ability to modify it. So I was also a bit mystified by Ken's post.

I think you make a good point but, like you said, Elecraft is primarily a hardware company, not a software company. A layered approach to something low-level like firmware that maintains the secrecy of what needs to be kept secret but at the same time presents an interface to customers that does everything needed isn't an easy or quick thing to design and implement. It's a non-trivial thing to do both from a technical and confidentiality standpoint.

So I'm sympathetic, but it might not pass the cost/benefit threshold for Elecraft to do that. It's probably cheaper right now to simply maintain and distribute a limited set of binaries for this at the current time than to go to a major development project like a firmware SDK and all the language bindings that would be needed and so forth.

I doubt it'll be possible to "rewrite the DNA" of an Elecraft rig anytime soon, if ever, so I wouldn't worry about that either.

73,
LS
W5QD

 
Jessie Oberreuter-2 wrote
W5QD et. al.,

      Ken is referring to the following message, which essentially requests
a simple command-line firmware loader program.  Note that this is NOT a
request for DNA level access to the radio's internals.
      The communication protocols for most of the Elecraft radio functions
are described in the public documentation, enabling people to write their
own code for most functions.  The firmware loading protocols, however, are
not. The only way to update the firmware (not generate our own!) is to
download and run platform specific GUI applications from Elecraft.  For
most users running Windows or MacOS, this is fine: virtually all of these
users expect GUI software, have their computers directly connected to
their radios, and aren't aren't running on unusual computer hardware.
      For those of us running Linux (or even more obscure operating
systems), a GUI application that only works on x86 machines that are
directly connected to the radio is awkward.  My laptop and all of my shack
machines are ARM based, so when I need to upgrade my K3, I need to extract
it from all of its cables and haul it over to my x86 work machine.  My
work machine is running 64bit linux, while the Elecraft tool is 32bit, so
I also need to install 32bit versions of several libraries to run it.
Similarly, all of my radio gear at home is actually hooked to a
serial-to-ethernet device, which is great for all of the software I use,
but not fine for K3Util, which expects to talk specifically to a directly
connected hardware serial port.
      There are several approaches to solving this problem.  The first is
to ask Elecraft to provide more versions of their software: can I get an
x86_64 build?  ARM7 please!  Actually, I use my Android for everything ...
can I get an Android app?  Fortunately, we recognize that Elecraft is a
/radio/ company, /not/ a consumer software company, and we don't want to
ask them to spend time supporting dozens of firmware loaders.  Ideally, we
would like to see or, with access to the protocol documentation, develop
an open-source library for updating the firmware. Then we can build our
own firmware loaders for whatever platforms we choose.
      Recognizing that this may be asking for proprietary and/or licensed
information, Bruce has suggested a middle ground -- offer a simple "glue"
interface (a command line firmware loading tool) that would be much
simpler for Elecraft to build for lots of different platforms and would be
more in line with the linux philosophy of starting with light weight
command line tools, and adding far more difficult to develop and maintain
GUIs on top as desired.

      Perhaps a simpler option would be to offer a library or command line
tool in a portable format that still obscures the proprietary protocol
implementation.  Java is a good candidate for this, as there are Java VMs
for practically every platform out there.

-kb7psg


Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2016 17:52:34
From: Bruce Nourish <[hidden email]>
To: Elecraft Reflector <[hidden email]>
Subject: [Elecraft] Feature request: Command line firmware updater

Hi folks,

As the subject suggests, I'd like to put in a feature request, for a
simple, command line firmware updater tool, for all applicable Elecraft
rigs. To update the firmware on my KX3 and PX3, I need to download and set
up two separate programs, most of whose functionality I won't ever need.

Such a tool would be easy for Elecraft to write and maintain, and would be
easy to make work on different platforms, which brings me to the next part
of this feature request. I'd like to be able to run this tool both on my
Intel Linux machines, and my Raspberry Pi, which is hooked up to my KX3
and PX3 whenever my KX3 is home. Cross-compiling such a simple tool should
also be pretty easy.

I'm sure there are other people who're in similar situations, and would
appreciate something to address these use cases. Firmware updates are one
of the few things where you can't roll-your-own.

Thanks.

Bruce



On Fri, 8 Apr 2016, Ken G Kopp wrote:

> Wayne and Eric:
>
> PLEASE don't cave in to the requests of those on the reflectors who are
> asking you to disclose the "genetic makeup" of their radios by
> publishing the software that would enable anyone to modify how a given
> radio operates.
>
> I see this as no different than a breeder of a thoroughbred breed of dog
> opening the pen and letting all comers mate with the females.  You would
> end up with a "contaminated" breed.
>
> I envision an increased workload at Elecraft in dealing with the
> customers who manage to "mess up" their radio's "brains" and want help
> in restoring them to the original state.  Nothing but non-profit
> overhead.
>
> I would be wary ... read "never" ... of buying a used Elecraft product
> for fear that it's genetic makeup had been altered and really wasn't an
> Elecraft anymore.
>
> Perhaps I'm not understanding something ...
>
> 73!
>
> Ken Kopp - K0PP
> Full K-line, KX3, PX3, KXPA100, K2/100, W2's, etc.
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
> Message delivered to [hidden email]
>
______________________________________________________________
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Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
Post: mailto:[hidden email]

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Re: Elecraft Utilities

Tim Henrion
In reply to this post by Jessie Oberreuter-2
People building their own firmware loaders is a really bad idea if one possible outcomes is brick’d radios. Consider the potential support costs of these types of things. Java is not the answer. It is too dependent on the quality/buginess of VMs on less mainstream platforms.

I’m a Mac guy and I can’t tell you how many pieces of embedded hardware I own whose updaters only run on Windows. There’s a real easy solution. Get a cheap Windows machine, run the software under VMware or Wine or whatever you need to get the job done. The LAST thing I’d want to see is Elecraft wasting valuable development time on stuff other than designing/building radios. Multiplatform software, unless its the primary business you’re in, is a sinkhole waiting to happen from a development and especially support perspective.

Tim, KC1EOQ

> On Apr 8, 2016, at 4:24 PM, Jessie Oberreuter <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>
> W5QD et. al.,
>
>     Ken is referring to the following message, which essentially requests a simple command-line firmware loader program.  Note that this is NOT a request for DNA level access to the radio's internals.
>     The communication protocols for most of the Elecraft radio functions are described in the public documentation, enabling people to write their own code for most functions.  The firmware loading protocols, however, are not. The only way to update the firmware (not generate our own!) is to download and run platform specific GUI applications from Elecraft.  For most users running Windows or MacOS, this is fine: virtually all of these users expect GUI software, have their computers directly connected to their radios, and aren't aren't running on unusual computer hardware.
>     For those of us running Linux (or even more obscure operating systems), a GUI application that only works on x86 machines that are directly connected to the radio is awkward.  My laptop and all of my shack machines are ARM based, so when I need to upgrade my K3, I need to extract it from all of its cables and haul it over to my x86 work machine.  My work machine is running 64bit linux, while the Elecraft tool is 32bit, so I also need to install 32bit versions of several libraries to run it. Similarly, all of my radio gear at home is actually hooked to a serial-to-ethernet device, which is great for all of the software I use, but not fine for K3Util, which expects to talk specifically to a directly connected hardware serial port.
>     There are several approaches to solving this problem.  The first is to ask Elecraft to provide more versions of their software: can I get an x86_64 build?  ARM7 please!  Actually, I use my Android for everything ... can I get an Android app?  Fortunately, we recognize that Elecraft is a /radio/ company, /not/ a consumer software company, and we don't want to ask them to spend time supporting dozens of firmware loaders.  Ideally, we would like to see or, with access to the protocol documentation, develop an open-source library for updating the firmware. Then we can build our own firmware loaders for whatever platforms we choose.
>     Recognizing that this may be asking for proprietary and/or licensed information, Bruce has suggested a middle ground -- offer a simple "glue" interface (a command line firmware loading tool) that would be much simpler for Elecraft to build for lots of different platforms and would be more in line with the linux philosophy of starting with light weight command line tools, and adding far more difficult to develop and maintain GUIs on top as desired.
>
>     Perhaps a simpler option would be to offer a library or command line tool in a portable format that still obscures the proprietary protocol implementation.  Java is a good candidate for this, as there are Java VMs for practically every platform out there.
>
> -kb7psg
>
>
> Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2016 17:52:34
> From: Bruce Nourish <[hidden email]>
> To: Elecraft Reflector <[hidden email]>
> Subject: [Elecraft] Feature request: Command line firmware updater
>
> Hi folks,
>
> As the subject suggests, I'd like to put in a feature request, for a simple, command line firmware updater tool, for all applicable Elecraft rigs. To update the firmware on my KX3 and PX3, I need to download and set up two separate programs, most of whose functionality I won't ever need.
>
> Such a tool would be easy for Elecraft to write and maintain, and would be easy to make work on different platforms, which brings me to the next part of this feature request. I'd like to be able to run this tool both on my Intel Linux machines, and my Raspberry Pi, which is hooked up to my KX3 and PX3 whenever my KX3 is home. Cross-compiling such a simple tool should also be pretty easy.
>
> I'm sure there are other people who're in similar situations, and would appreciate something to address these use cases. Firmware updates are one of the few things where you can't roll-your-own.
>
> Thanks.
>
> Bruce
>
>
>
> On Fri, 8 Apr 2016, Ken G Kopp wrote:
>
>> Wayne and Eric:
>>
>> PLEASE don't cave in to the requests of those on the reflectors who are asking you to disclose the "genetic makeup" of their radios by publishing the software that would enable anyone to modify how a given radio operates.
>>
>> I see this as no different than a breeder of a thoroughbred breed of dog opening the pen and letting all comers mate with the females.  You would end up with a "contaminated" breed.
>>
>> I envision an increased workload at Elecraft in dealing with the customers who manage to "mess up" their radio's "brains" and want help in restoring them to the original state.  Nothing but non-profit overhead.
>>
>> I would be wary ... read "never" ... of buying a used Elecraft product for fear that it's genetic makeup had been altered and really wasn't an Elecraft anymore.
>>
>> Perhaps I'm not understanding something ...
>>
>> 73!
>>
>> Ken Kopp - K0PP
>> Full K-line, KX3, PX3, KXPA100, K2/100, W2's, etc.
>> ______________________________________________________________
>> Elecraft mailing list
>> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
>> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
>> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>>
>> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
>> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
>> Message delivered to [hidden email]
>>
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
> Message delivered to [hidden email]

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Re: Elecraft Utilities

Gary Gregory-2
In reply to this post by Lynn W. Taylor, WB6UUT
And the rub for me is, IF Elecraft did develop what is being asked for, what cost would they place on it, what ongoing costs are involved and who pays?
If this would add to their overhead, there will need to be a cost recovery mechanism and would this be passed on by way of a hardware price increase?
I don't want to see my future purchases increase in cost to cover "features" I am not likely to use in my lifetime.
Call me selfish if you like but I don't have a bottomless pit of money to spend on a hobby.
Just sayin....
Gary

-----Original Message-----
From: "Lynn W. Taylor, WB6UUT" <[hidden email]>
Sent: ‎9/‎04/‎2016 6:53 AM
To: "[hidden email]" <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: [Elecraft] Elecraft Utilities

On 4/8/2016 11:08 AM, Ken G Kopp wrote:
> I see this as no different than a breeder of a thoroughbred breed of dog
> opening
> the pen and letting all comers mate with the females.  You would end up
> with a
> "contaminated" breed.
The utilities are not the same as the internal radio firmware.

To take your horse breeding analogy, it's like the type of feeder the
horses are eating from.  They can be metal, or plastic, or rope netting,
and it doesn't change how the horse runs.

The radio internals should not be open source.  The external utilities
are a fair topic for discussion.

73 -- Lynn
______________________________________________________________
Elecraft mailing list
Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
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Re: Elecraft Utilities

Don Wilhelm-4
In reply to this post by Tim Henrion
To ask Elecraft to provide Utilities for any and all small operating
systems is unreasonable IMHO.  The mainstream OS of Windows, Mac and
Linux *are* supported, but recently there have been a number of OS
variants that have appeared on the horizon (and there are likely to be
more to come) and that includes the Rasberry Pi, and several other
'computers' that have recently appeared on the hobbyist market.

Just because the most recent device can do RS-232 (or USB)
communications does not mean it should be individually supported by
hardware manufacturers.  It would be more productive to encourage those
writing software for those devices to request that they emulate Windows,
or Mac, or Linux in all aspects so one could use the applications
written for those mainstream OS versions to run without problems on
whichever platform those "hobby" devices may be using.

If the Rasberry Pi OS becomes stable over time, and is in use for a
significant percentage of the Elecraft community, then it may eventually
be supported on its own,  but for the time being, as I understand the
Raspberry Pi, its OS is a version of Linux, but not everything works
like the main Linux platform -- so until you can convince the Raspberry
Pi developers to create a version of its OS that is compatible in all
respects to Linux, you will not have success.  The market penetration
for Raspberry Pi is just not great enough at this time for manufacturers
to create software that will run on it.  Much to the dismay of those who
have Raspberry Pi running and controlling their ham stations.

73,
Don W3FPR


On 4/8/2016 4:57 PM, Tim Henrion wrote:
> People building their own firmware loaders is a really bad idea if one possible outcomes is brick’d radios. Consider the potential support costs of these types of things. Java is not the answer. It is too dependent on the quality/buginess of VMs on less mainstream platforms.
>
> I’m a Mac guy and I can’t tell you how many pieces of embedded hardware I own whose updaters only run on Windows. There’s a real easy solution. Get a cheap Windows machine, run the software under VMware or Wine or whatever you need to get the job done. The LAST thing I’d want to see is Elecraft wasting valuable development time on stuff other than designing/building radios. Multiplatform software, unless its the primary business you’re in, is a sinkhole waiting to happen from a development and especially support perspective.
>
>

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Re: Elecraft Utilities

Eric Swartz - WA6HHQ
Administrator
In reply to this post by Tim Henrion
Agreed.  Let's end the thread for now. (feel free to email with any questions.)

I apologize, but open sourcing the utility would create a number of problems and
significant extra support expense that we can not afford. Improper use of that
proprietary interface can certainly brick the radio, and in some cases actually
damage the hardware. That's something that would not be a warranty repair..

We are not staffed to develop and support utilities for a wider range of
hardware and operating systems right now. We're already support multiple
versions of Windows, Mac OSX, and some versions of Linux. That's a lot more than
most radio companies. Continually expanding beyond that also becomes
exponentially expensive in a specialized market the size of this one.

That's likely the max we can do in the near term as we're primarily focused on
designing new cool products for everyone. I'm not ruling out other OS utilities,
but its likely nothing will appear near term as we have our hands full on other
projects.

Feel free to email me directly with any questions.

  73,

Eric
moderator
and COO
/elecraft.com/

Eric
/elecraft.com/

On 4/8/2016 1:57 PM, Tim Henrion wrote:

> People building their own firmware loaders is a really bad idea if one possible outcomes is brick’d radios. Consider the potential support costs of these types of things. Java is not the answer. It is too dependent on the quality/buginess of VMs on less mainstream platforms.
>
> I’m a Mac guy and I can’t tell you how many pieces of embedded hardware I own whose updaters only run on Windows. There’s a real easy solution. Get a cheap Windows machine, run the software under VMware or Wine or whatever you need to get the job done. The LAST thing I’d want to see is Elecraft wasting valuable development time on stuff other than designing/building radios. Multiplatform software, unless its the primary business you’re in, is a sinkhole waiting to happen from a development and especially support perspective.
>
> Tim, KC1EOQ
>
>> On Apr 8, 2016, at 4:24 PM, Jessie Oberreuter <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>
>> W5QD et. al.,
>>
>>      Ken is referring to the following message, which essentially requests a simple command-line firmware loader program.  Note that this is NOT a request for DNA level access to the radio's internals.
>>      The communication protocols for most of the Elecraft radio functions are described in the public documentation, enabling people to write their own code for most functions.  The firmware loading protocols, however, are not. The only way to update the firmware (not generate our own!) is to download and run platform specific GUI applications from Elecraft.  For most users running Windows or MacOS, this is fine: virtually all of these users expect GUI software, have their computers directly connected to their radios, and aren't aren't running on unusual computer hardware.
>>      For those of us running Linux (or even more obscure operating systems), a GUI application that only works on x86 machines that are directly connected to the radio is awkward.  My laptop and all of my shack machines are ARM based, so when I need to upgrade my K3, I need to extract it from all of its cables and haul it over to my x86 work machine.  My work machine is running 64bit linux, while the Elecraft tool is 32bit, so I also need to install 32bit versions of several libraries to run it. Similarly, all of my radio gear at home is actually hooked to a serial-to-ethernet device, which is great for all of the software I use, but not fine for K3Util, which expects to talk specifically to a directly connected hardware serial port.
>>      There are several approaches to solving this problem.  The first is to ask Elecraft to provide more versions of their software: can I get an x86_64 build?  ARM7 please!  Actually, I use my Android for everything ... can I get an Android app?  Fortunately, we recognize that Elecraft is a /radio/ company, /not/ a consumer software company, and we don't want to ask them to spend time supporting dozens of firmware loaders.  Ideally, we would like to see or, with access to the protocol documentation, develop an open-source library for updating the firmware. Then we can build our own firmware loaders for whatever platforms we choose.
>>      Recognizing that this may be asking for proprietary and/or licensed information, Bruce has suggested a middle ground -- offer a simple "glue" interface (a command line firmware loading tool) that would be much simpler for Elecraft to build for lots of different platforms and would be more in line with the linux philosophy of starting with light weight command line tools, and adding far more difficult to develop and maintain GUIs on top as desired.
>>
>>      Perhaps a simpler option would be to offer a library or command line tool in a portable format that still obscures the proprietary protocol implementation.  Java is a good candidate for this, as there are Java VMs for practically every platform out there.
>>
>> -kb7psg
>>
>>
>> Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2016 17:52:34
>> From: Bruce Nourish <[hidden email]>
>> To: Elecraft Reflector <[hidden email]>
>> Subject: [Elecraft] Feature request: Command line firmware updater
>>
>> Hi folks,
>>
>> As the subject suggests, I'd like to put in a feature request, for a simple, command line firmware updater tool, for all applicable Elecraft rigs. To update the firmware on my KX3 and PX3, I need to download and set up two separate programs, most of whose functionality I won't ever need.
>>
>> Such a tool would be easy for Elecraft to write and maintain, and would be easy to make work on different platforms, which brings me to the next part of this feature request. I'd like to be able to run this tool both on my Intel Linux machines, and my Raspberry Pi, which is hooked up to my KX3 and PX3 whenever my KX3 is home. Cross-compiling such a simple tool should also be pretty easy.
>>
>> I'm sure there are other people who're in similar situations, and would appreciate something to address these use cases. Firmware updates are one of the few things where you can't roll-your-own.
>>
>> Thanks.
>>
>> Bruce
>>
>>
>>
>> On Fri, 8 Apr 2016, Ken G Kopp wrote:
>>
>>> Wayne and Eric:
>>>
>>> PLEASE don't cave in to the requests of those on the reflectors who are asking you to disclose the "genetic makeup" of their radios by publishing the software that would enable anyone to modify how a given radio operates.
>>>
>>> I see this as no different than a breeder of a thoroughbred breed of dog opening the pen and letting all comers mate with the females.  You would end up with a "contaminated" breed.
>>>
>>> I envision an increased workload at Elecraft in dealing with the customers who manage to "mess up" their radio's "brains" and want help in restoring them to the original state.  Nothing but non-profit overhead.
>>>
>>> I would be wary ... read "never" ... of buying a used Elecraft product for fear that it's genetic makeup had been altered and really wasn't an Elecraft anymore.
>>>
>>> Perhaps I'm not understanding something ...
>>>
>>> 73!
>>>
>>> Ken Kopp - K0PP
>>> Full K-line, KX3, PX3, KXPA100, K2/100, W2's, etc.
>>> ______________________________________________________________
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Re: Elecraft Utilities

NK7Z
On Fri, 2016-04-08 at 15:33 -0700, Eric Swartz - WA6HHQ, Elecraft
wrote:
> Improper use of that proprietary interface can certainly brick the
> radio, and in some cases actually damage the hardware.
> That's something that would not be a warranty repair..
You might be overlooking a profit center here...  <snicker>.  

Sorry I had too...

--
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Dave (NK7Z)

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Re: Elecraft Utilities

Don Wilhelm-4
Dave,

What is the "profit center"?
Elecraft provides the firmware at no cost, and the Utilities to load
that firmware at no cost to the customer - that is an expense, not a profit.
Additional support is a loss to Elecraft because of the development
dollars.  The Raspberry Pi (and its variants) element is small compared
to supporting the mainstream OS Utility applications.

73,
Don W3FPR

On 4/8/2016 7:00 PM, Dave Cole wrote:
> On Fri, 2016-04-08 at 15:33 -0700, Eric Swartz - WA6HHQ, Elecraft
> wrote:
>>   Improper use of that proprietary interface can certainly brick the
>>   radio, and in some cases actually damage the hardware.
>>   That's something that would not be a warranty repair..
> You might be overlooking a profit center here...  <snicker>.
>
> Sorry I had too...
>

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Re: S: Re: Elecraft Utilities

Andy McMullin
In reply to this post by Don Wilhelm-4
Don,

Just to clarify. The Raspberry Pi uses a range of completely standard Linux operating systems EXCEPT that it does not use the X86 range of processors. It uses the ARM range instead. It does not need to “emulate” Linux in all aspects — it IS Linux in all aspects. Applications that are correctly compiled work just like those for other Linux systems. For example, the standard FLDIGI source for Linux just recompiles under Linux on the Raspberry Pi and then works.

The designers of the Raspberry Pi are unlikely to rework their hardware to use a different processor — especially when the ARM one powers so many smartphones and other modern devices and the X86 one is hamstrung by needing to retain backwards compatibility with a design from over 30 years ago.

On the other hand, for the Elecraft Utilities to work on the Pi, all that would be required would be to compile the Linux source BUT for the ARM processor rather than the X86. Either Elecraft could do it or, as was suggested, they could release the source and (almost) anyone could do it.


Regards
Andy, G8TQH


> On 8 Apr 2016, at 23:32, Don Wilhelm <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> To ask Elecraft to provide Utilities for any and all small operating systems is unreasonable IMHO.  The mainstream OS of Windows, Mac and Linux *are* supported, but recently there have been a number of OS variants that have appeared on the horizon (and there are likely to be more to come) and that includes the Rasberry Pi, and several other 'computers' that have recently appeared on the hobbyist market.
>
> Just because the most recent device can do RS-232 (or USB) communications does not mean it should be individually supported by hardware manufacturers.  It would be more productive to encourage those writing software for those devices to request that they emulate Windows, or Mac, or Linux in all aspects so one could use the applications written for those mainstream OS versions to run without problems on whichever platform those "hobby" devices may be using.
>
> If the Rasberry Pi OS becomes stable over time, and is in use for a significant percentage of the Elecraft community, then it may eventually be supported on its own,  but for the time being, as I understand the Raspberry Pi, its OS is a version of Linux, but not everything works like the main Linux platform -- so until you can convince the Raspberry Pi developers to create a version of its OS that is compatible in all respects to Linux, you will not have success.  The market penetration for Raspberry Pi is just not great enough at this time for manufacturers to create software that will run on it.  Much to the dismay of those who have Raspberry Pi running and controlling their ham stations.
>
> 73,
> Don W3FPR


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Re: Elecraft Utilities

Victor Rosenthal 4X6GP
In reply to this post by Jessie Oberreuter-2
Reading this thread, I wonder how many actually do recognize this!

I was a field tester for the K3 and therefore also for the K3 utility.
I'm a retired software developer, and I had great respect for the
developer of the K3 utility as I watched him great pains to develop a
robust program with the ability to recover from almost anything that
flaky serial and serial/usb connections could throw at it. Nobody wants
to brick your K3/KX3, least of all Elecraft!

Remember, software is a cost center for them, not a profit center. And
so is support. Do you think they want to take calls of the form "I built
my firmware loader following the specifications to a T (except...) and
now my K3 has become unresponsive?"

In my opinion Elecraft went over and above by providing versions for
Windows, 32-bit Linux and Mac OS. Some manufacturers would give you
Windows only, and it would be full of bugs, too!

73,
Vic, 4X6GP/K2VCO
Rehovot, Israel
http://www.qsl.net/k2vco/

On 8 Apr 2016 23:24, Jessie Oberreuter wrote:
> Fortunately, we recognize that Elecraft is a /radio/ company, /not/ a
> consumer software company, and we don't want to ask them to spend time
> supporting dozens of firmware loaders.  Ideally, we would like to see
> or, with access to the protocol documentation, develop an open-source
> library for updating the firmware. Then we can build our own firmware
> loaders for whatever platforms we choose.
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Re: Elecraft Utilities

Bill-3
This goes back to the unbeatable product support we get from Elecraft. I
can honestly say that had I not received some really great support from
the "home office" - I would not be the happy K-Line owner that I am
today. That level of support is not available from any other ham radio
manufacturer.

Bill W2BLC K-Line
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Re: S: Re: Elecraft Utilities

Kevin Stover
In reply to this post by Andy McMullin
Well....
Elecraft have decided to do neither for the time being so....

On 4/9/2016 3:20 AM, Andy McMullin wrote:

> Don,
>
> Just to clarify. The Raspberry Pi uses a range of completely standard Linux operating systems EXCEPT that it does not use the X86 range of processors. It uses the ARM range instead. It does not need to “emulate” Linux in all aspects — it IS Linux in all aspects. Applications that are correctly compiled work just like those for other Linux systems. For example, the standard FLDIGI source for Linux just recompiles under Linux on the Raspberry Pi and then works.
>
> The designers of the Raspberry Pi are unlikely to rework their hardware to use a different processor — especially when the ARM one powers so many smartphones and other modern devices and the X86 one is hamstrung by needing to retain backwards compatibility with a design from over 30 years ago.
>
> On the other hand, for the Elecraft Utilities to work on the Pi, all that would be required would be to compile the Linux source BUT for the ARM processor rather than the X86. Either Elecraft could do it or, as was suggested, they could release the source and (almost) anyone could do it.
>
> —
> Regards
> Andy, G8TQH
>
>
>> On 8 Apr 2016, at 23:32, Don Wilhelm <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> To ask Elecraft to provide Utilities for any and all small operating systems is unreasonable IMHO.  The mainstream OS of Windows, Mac and Linux *are* supported, but recently there have been a number of OS variants that have appeared on the horizon (and there are likely to be more to come) and that includes the Rasberry Pi, and several other 'computers' that have recently appeared on the hobbyist market.
>>
>> Just because the most recent device can do RS-232 (or USB) communications does not mean it should be individually supported by hardware manufacturers.  It would be more productive to encourage those writing software for those devices to request that they emulate Windows, or Mac, or Linux in all aspects so one could use the applications written for those mainstream OS versions to run without problems on whichever platform those "hobby" devices may be using.
>>
>> If the Rasberry Pi OS becomes stable over time, and is in use for a significant percentage of the Elecraft community, then it may eventually be supported on its own,  but for the time being, as I understand the Raspberry Pi, its OS is a version of Linux, but not everything works like the main Linux platform -- so until you can convince the Raspberry Pi developers to create a version of its OS that is compatible in all respects to Linux, you will not have success.  The market penetration for Raspberry Pi is just not great enough at this time for manufacturers to create software that will run on it.  Much to the dismay of those who have Raspberry Pi running and controlling their ham stations.
>>
>> 73,
>> Don W3FPR
>
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Re: S: Re: Elecraft Utilities

Elecraft mailing list
X86 processors are now being placed on Arduino sized boards.  There are
also full X86 computers as small as an over sized dongle. The Raspberry
Pi is a beautiful piece of engineering.  But, it is only a matter of
time before you can buy an X86 in a similar package running Windows 10.  
Microsoft has already released Windows 10 for Raspberry PI and the Intel
Edison is just the first shot at bringing X86 down to the Pi level.  
It's probably just a matter of months before you can choose a Pi or an
Intel equipped X86 equivalent.

That said, jumping on the Pi train might be short-lived trip.  It's
probably possible to diddle the compiler settings and get the Utilities
working on Pi.  But, are there really enough interested parties to make
that worth while?  Hard to say.

Meanwhile, I love my little Pi boxes and continue to be amazed at what
they are capable of.

Doug -- K0DXV

On 4/9/2016 5:52 AM, Kevin Stover wrote:

> Well....
> Elecraft have decided to do neither for the time being so....
>
> On 4/9/2016 3:20 AM, Andy McMullin wrote:
>> Don,
>>
>> Just to clarify. The Raspberry Pi uses a range of completely standard
>> Linux operating systems EXCEPT that it does not use the X86 range of
>> processors. It uses the ARM range instead. It does not need to
>> “emulate” Linux in all aspects — it IS Linux in all aspects.
>> Applications that are correctly compiled work just like those for
>> other Linux systems. For example, the standard FLDIGI source for
>> Linux just recompiles under Linux on the Raspberry Pi and then works.
>>
>> The designers of the Raspberry Pi are unlikely to rework their
>> hardware to use a different processor — especially when the ARM one
>> powers so many smartphones and other modern devices and the X86 one
>> is hamstrung by needing to retain backwards compatibility with a
>> design from over 30 years ago.
>>
>> On the other hand, for the Elecraft Utilities to work on the Pi, all
>> that would be required would be to compile the Linux source BUT for
>> the ARM processor rather than the X86. Either Elecraft could do it
>> or, as was suggested, they could release the source and (almost)
>> anyone could do it.
>>
>> —
>> Regards
>> Andy, G8TQH
>>
>>
>>> On 8 Apr 2016, at 23:32, Don Wilhelm <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>> To ask Elecraft to provide Utilities for any and all small operating
>>> systems is unreasonable IMHO.  The mainstream OS of Windows, Mac and
>>> Linux *are* supported, but recently there have been a number of OS
>>> variants that have appeared on the horizon (and there are likely to
>>> be more to come) and that includes the Rasberry Pi, and several
>>> other 'computers' that have recently appeared on the hobbyist market.
>>>
>>> Just because the most recent device can do RS-232 (or USB)
>>> communications does not mean it should be individually supported by
>>> hardware manufacturers.  It would be more productive to encourage
>>> those writing software for those devices to request that they
>>> emulate Windows, or Mac, or Linux in all aspects so one could use
>>> the applications written for those mainstream OS versions to run
>>> without problems on whichever platform those "hobby" devices may be
>>> using.
>>>
>>> If the Rasberry Pi OS becomes stable over time, and is in use for a
>>> significant percentage of the Elecraft community, then it may
>>> eventually be supported on its own,  but for the time being, as I
>>> understand the Raspberry Pi, its OS is a version of Linux, but not
>>> everything works like the main Linux platform -- so until you can
>>> convince the Raspberry Pi developers to create a version of its OS
>>> that is compatible in all respects to Linux, you will not have
>>> success.  The market penetration for Raspberry Pi is just not great
>>> enough at this time for manufacturers to create software that will
>>> run on it.  Much to the dismay of those who have Raspberry Pi
>>> running and controlling their ham stations.
>>>
>>> 73,
>>> Don W3FPR
>>
>> ______________________________________________________________
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>>
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>> Message delivered to [hidden email]
>
>

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Re: S: Re: Elecraft Utilities

James Bennett
In reply to this post by Andy McMullin
After reading a half-bazillion posts on this I feel compelled to add my two cents worth.

I've been around computers a very long time, starting my career back in the days of IBM's "big iron" mainframes. Have had my share of Windows-based PCs at work and at home, and ten years ago converted to being a "Mac head". Early last year I got my first Raspberry Pi and more recently acquired the newer version 3. I also run a Ubuntu Linux guest on my iMac under VMware Fusion. My primary reason for having these Ubuntu and RPi Linux instances was to set up WSJT-X, WSPR, and Quisk so I could experiment with and operate a tiny QRPp SDR while my K-line is used as my primary station rig.

What I see as huge stumbling blocks in this whole Linux thing are twofold: the need in many cases to compile an application, and having to deal with pre-requisite packages. A pre-built package, with everything in it, is IMHO, the only way to go. I can't begin to count the number of hours I've spent dorking around with this pre-req crud and getting an application correctly compiled. These are hours I would have much sooner spent actually using the application instead of tracking down what the correct version of pre-req I need, where to get it, yada, yada. That stuff is fun for a while but not how I want to spend my time.

Anyone new to Linux and used to simply downloading an application from the web or dropping a disk into their machine on Windows or a Mac will have a real eye opening experience when they first attempt compiling an application on Linux. The opportunity for failure is huge and thinking that Elecraft would consider for one second having to support this sort of thing - hahahahahaha!!!! Yeah, if you are a Linux guru it might be a piece of cake for you, but for the rest of us - major PITA.



Jim Bennett / W6JHB
Folsom, CA
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Re: S: Re: Elecraft Utilities

Brendan Minish
I think that all most of us would need would be a command line utility that
can be used to update firmware and perhaps back up settings.
Either making this open source or just releasing the protocol spec would be
all that's needed.
This would not require the firmware to be open sourced, it would just mean
that the Elecraft provided firmwares can be uploaded  to the radio.

Icing on the cake would be the ability to make radio backups
On 9 Apr 2016 16:28, "James Bennett" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> After reading a half-bazillion posts on this I feel compelled to add my
> two cents worth.
>
> I've been around computers a very long time, starting my career back in
> the days of IBM's "big iron" mainframes. Have had my share of Windows-based
> PCs at work and at home, and ten years ago converted to being a "Mac head".
> Early last year I got my first Raspberry Pi and more recently acquired the
> newer version 3. I also run a Ubuntu Linux guest on my iMac under VMware
> Fusion. My primary reason for having these Ubuntu and RPi Linux instances
> was to set up WSJT-X, WSPR, and Quisk so I could experiment with and
> operate a tiny QRPp SDR while my K-line is used as my primary station rig.
>
> What I see as huge stumbling blocks in this whole Linux thing are twofold:
> the need in many cases to compile an application, and having to deal with
> pre-requisite packages. A pre-built package, with everything in it, is
> IMHO, the only way to go. I can't begin to count the number of hours I've
> spent dorking around with this pre-req crud and getting an application
> correctly compiled. These are hours I would have much sooner spent actually
> using the application instead of tracking down what the correct version of
> pre-req I need, where to get it, yada, yada. That stuff is fun for a while
> but not how I want to spend my time.
>
> Anyone new to Linux and used to simply downloading an application from the
> web or dropping a disk into their machine on Windows or a Mac will have a
> real eye opening experience when they first attempt compiling an
> application on Linux. The opportunity for failure is huge and thinking that
> Elecraft would consider for one second having to support this sort of thing
> - hahahahahaha!!!! Yeah, if you are a Linux guru it might be a piece of
> cake for you, but for the rest of us - major PITA.
>
>
>
> Jim Bennett / W6JHB
> Folsom, CA
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