Working digital modes

Web Radio Control uses Hamlib rigctld server to control radios. Since Hamlib radio control is used by many other amateur radio applications, such as WSJT-X (e.g. for FT8 and WSPR digital modes) and fldigi (for a number of other digital modes), Web Radio Control provides a way to connect directly to the underlying Hamlib rigctld server from your local client computer. This connection allows you to run these applications locally on your client computer and still control your radios remotely while running Web Radio Control.

The connection to Hamlib rigctld server is established by installing and using a helper application called wrc-proxy, which opens a TCP server on your local computer and connects to a URL address that points to the remote Web Radio Control server. You can create a new Hamlib proxy URL address for wrc-proxy to connect to in Web Radio Control settings.

Note that it is still necessary to use a web browser to handle audio input and output, simply by starting audio streaming normally in the browser, because the Hamlib protocol is only responsible for transferring the radio control commands. The audio needs to be routed from the web browser to the application by creating local loopback sound card, sometimes called a virtual audio cable.

graph LR; subgraph Client computer DMA[Digital mode application] -->|Hamlib control commands, TCP connection| WRCPROXY(wrc-proxy) DMA -->|audio signal, virtual audio cable| BROWSER[Web browser, WRC user interface] end BROWSER -->|audio connection| WRCSERVER WRCPROXY -->|control connection| WRCSERVER(WRC server software)

Getting started with Web Radio Control and digital modes

In order to connect digital mode applications to Web Radio Control, you will need to install a helper application called wrc-proxy and virtual audio cable driver software. It is necessary to perform these preparations only once.

If you are about to use digital mode applications with Web Radio Control for the first time, please follow the instructions below for your operating system:

If you have already completed the initial setup, meaning that you have installed the wrc-proxy helper application and the virtual audio cable is ready for use, you can continue with the instructions below to connect a digital mode application to Web Radio Control:

Installing wrc-proxy

Installation of wrc-proxy is has to be done only once per computer. After installation you can always follow the steps above in Connecting a digital mode application to Web Radio Control.

  1. Download wrc-proxy installation package for your operating system.

  2. Extract the downloaded ZIP file to some directory. The zip file contains a single executable application file wrc-proxy / wrc-proxy.exe and an installation script.

  3. Run the installation script

    • On Windows, run install-wrc-proxy.bat and accept the registry changes the script makes. The wrc-proxy.exe application will be installed in the user profile directory.

    • On Linux, run install-wrc-proxy.sh. The wrc-proxy binary will be installed to bin/wrc-proxy in your home directory.

    • On Mac OS, an installation script does not exist yet, so you need to start wrc-proxy from the command line (Terminal). See below for instructions.