linux #!/bin/bash

linux scripts

Utilities for Hams

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I can be a little slow on the uptake. After I do a 'thing' a hundred times or so, I finally say to myself: "Hey! I bet I can automate and simplify that!"

So, that's what you'll find here: A few *nix scripts that I wrote to help me do 'tasks'. And, often these tasks used to involve firing up a browser and wading past a lot of dancing elephants and flying pigs to get at a single piece of information.

There's nothing very fancy nor showy here. KISS is my programming mantra. If you're already an experienced linux user, you could probably crank out much of this stuff faster than it will take for you to read this web page and download the script.

In general, I try to make my shell scripts cross-platform compliant between linux and FreeBSD - the two shell systems I actively use. I employ a shebang line in the scripts of [ #!/usr/bin/env bash    ] -- which should work in nearly all cases. If not, you will need to change to a shebang line ala [ #!/bin/bash ] , or the like, to match the bash shell location on your machine [ which bash ].

Download the file(s) into a "work" directory -- doing a "Save As" if using a browser, or by using `wget` and the "Download xxxx.xx here" URL.

All the the single file scripts are compressed with gzip. Decompress the file [ gzip -d filename.gz ] -- and copy the script into your $HOME/bin/ directory [ cp filename ~/bin ]. Don't forget to set the executable bit: [ chmod 700 ~/bin/filename ]. Read the the first 50 or so lines of comments at the top of each program for more details.

The multi-file scripts are tar-gzipped. Download the xxxx.tar.gz file and extract the files with tar [ tar -xvzf filename.tar.gz ]. Move into the sub-directory that tar creates and review the README file for the installation instructions.

Several of these scripts are designed to run as click-able objects on your desktop. Since I have no idea what window manager you're running ( kde, gnome, xfce4, icewm, fluxbox, etc. ), you are on your own in setting that up. Most often it's a right-click-on-the-desktop action, and then select the 'create' option...

Feel free to modify and adapt these scripts to your own personal needs. Perhaps they might prompt an approach to solving some similar problem(s). I would be happy to get reports on such (re)work. Attribution will be given if any of your work is merged into these scripts. In any case, feedback is welcomed. Report problems to my email at the bottom of this page.

These scripts and programs are free software: you can redistribute them and/or modify them under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

These programs are distributed in the hope that they 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.

You should grab a copy of the GNU General Public License along with any program you download from here.

Most of these scripts rely on the format and content of external information. As well, they depend on the specifications of unique URLs. When any of that changes, the script will break. Fix it yourself, or come back here and see if I've fixed it and re-posted the script.

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`qth` script This is a script to fetch the address for a given US callsign from a copy of the FCC database at The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Amateur Radio Club,
a given Canadian callsign from The RAC web site.

To run it, either enter  qth  or  qth <callsign>   at the command prompt. The script returns the address information and prompts for another callsign. Enter more callsigns - one per fetch, or exit with "73", "qrt", "quit", or "exit".

To pull just one address and be done with it, enter  qth <callsign> 1  on the command line.

Download qth(.gz) here.

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`grid` script This is a script to fetch the grid square for a given callsign. Usually, but not always, the grid is determined by the license address in the FCC database. (Caveat: A P.O. Box address could result in a grid different from the actual QTH. As well, the grid information at can be changed by  the license holder.) Some DX callsigns are listed, and those grid square values (if any) will have been entered by hand.

To run it, either enter  grid  or  grid <callsign>  at the command prompt. The script returns the grid information and prompts for another callsign. Enter more callsigns - one per fetch, or exit with "73", "qrt", "quit", or "exit".

To pull just one grid square and be done with it, enter  grid <callsign> 1  on the command line.

As written (by design) it only supports the format of US/'VE'/'XE' callsigns -- or, others of that style. It will not handle something like: VE4/W3DHJ or 4W3DHJ.

21-Feb-13: New version due to changes in upstream access &/or data format &/or URL(s).

Download grid(.gz) here.

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NOAA Xray plot NOAA Aurora plot This is a trivial script that's designed to be executed as a 'click-able' object on the desktop.

The GOES Xray Flux plot is fetched from the NOAA web site <>, re-sized, and displayed using ImageMagick's `display` program.

The Statistical Auroral Oval plot is fetched from the NOAA web site <>, and displayed using ImageMagick's `display` program.

As a VHF Operator, I like to keep track of the 'space weather' and not miss anything that might affect propagation while I am otherwise slaving away at my computer keyboard. The Xray Flux plot can be especially 'exciting' around the sunspot cycle's peak.

What you will be served is a set of static displays. I.e., you will not get the every-5-minute, automatic updates that the browser display of the web page(s) will offer you.

Those of you on the upside-down half of the planet will probably want to select the "australis" image from the NOAA web site. HI!HI!

I use this same technique in a script that pops up 4-5 different web cam displays from around Pueblo, and in another script that pops up several regional weather radar images. Helps me stay connected with the outside world... HI!HI!

Download here.

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`proplog` scriptThis is a script that can display any of the prop loggers at What makes it special is that you can kill posts using user selected criteria, and - more importantly, perhaps - you can highlight posts using user choosen criteria. You can specify how often the display is updated, how wide the display is (line lengths), and how deep the display is (line count).

Each selected prop log display is associated with its own configuration file for all the options listed above. In the package I have included 'starter' configuration files for the 6M and 2M DXWORLD prop logs -- as well as a config file template from which to build your own config files for other prop loggers at DXWORLD.

The package contains
Download proplog(.tar.gz) here.   

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Real Soon Now.

If you have a "need" and if you are progamming adverse, suggest it to me. If you see a "need" and if I see it as "interesting", I just may take a crack at it.
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Constructive comments and/or bugs and/or discussion:
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 Last updated: 21-Feb-13