Big Red Bee Software Under Linux

Discussion in 'Rocketry Electronics and Software' started by John Kemker, Nov 8, 2019.

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  1. Nov 8, 2019 #1

    John Kemker

    John Kemker

    John Kemker

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    Since most of my computers run Linux in one form or another, I downloaded Beeline from the Big Red Bee pages and tried using it with WINE, the Windows emulator for Linux.

    Success!

    I've been able to run it and talk to the transmitter using both the RS232 adapter and the USB adapter with no problems. Here's the steps to do it:

    RS232:

    1) You'll need a USB to RS232 adapter. Under Linux you will NOT have the same problems as others encounter with the Prolific drivers, as Linux doesn't care if you're using a genuine Prolific chipset or a Chinese clone. Connect it to an available USB port on your Linux machine.

    2) Open a terminal window and at the shell prompt, type "lsusb" to see what USB devices are on your machine. Example:
    Code:
    $ lsusb
    Bus 002 Device 002: ID 8087:0024 Intel Corp. Integrated Rate Matching Hub
    Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
    Bus 001 Device 003: ID 067b:2303 Prolific Technology, Inc. PL2303 Serial Port
    Bus 001 Device 002: ID 8087:0024 Intel Corp. Integrated Rate Matching Hub
    Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
    Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
    Bus 003 Device 003: ID 046d:c534 Logitech, Inc. Unifying Receiver
    Bus 003 Device 002: ID 1908:2310 GEMBIRD
    Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
    $
    You can see in the above example that I have a Prolific Technology, Inc. PL2303 Serial Port on Bus 001 Device 003.

    3) Now, look in /dev to see what ttyUSB devices you have:
    Code:
    $ ls /dev/ttyUSB*
    /dev/ttyUSB0
    $

    Be careful to use the asterisk (*), as it is the wildcard character in Linux. If you have more than one USB to serial device attached, you'll see more than just one ttyUSB device.

    4) Your Linux user must be a member of the "dialout" group in order to be able to read/write to a tty device other than the one you're logged in through. (Replace username with your login.)
    Code:
    $ sudo adduser username dialout
    [sudo] password for <yourlogin>: 
    $

    5) Using a file manager application, navigate to where you've downloaded beeline.exe and double-click on the file to run it. WINE will start up in the background and start the Windows app. (You will need to extract the beeline.exe file from the beeline.XXX.zip file it comes in.)

    6) Back in your terminal window, you now need to find out which COM port the USB device has been assigned to:
    Code:
    $ ls -l ~/.wine/dosdevices | grep ttyUSB0
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 w5nnh w5nnh 12 Nov  7 20:38 com33 -> /dev/ttyUSB0
    $

    We can see that com33 is a symbolic link to the device /dev/ttyUSB0.

    7) Going back to our beeline.exe window, we'll type "COM33" into the "COM port" field. (You won't be able to use the drop-down menu if the COM port is higher than COM9.)

    8) Hook up the Big Red Bee transmitter to the RS232 adapter and connect the battery.

    9) Click on the "Read" button and the application should talk to your transmitter and read its configuration.

    10) Make any modifications, including your callsign in the "ID String" field and click on the "Write" button. beeline.exe should write your configuration to the transmitter.

    11) Test your work by clicking on the "Run" button. Have a receiver tuned to your choice of frequency nearby and you should hear the transmitter send your callsign, followed by 10 beeps. (Or, however many you've told it to send between IDs.)

    Using the USB adapter is pretty much the same, except you won't see a "Prolific" device in your lsusb output, but a "Future Technology Devices International" (FTDI) device, instead. While I have both, I much prefer the USB adapter, as I can also use it to charge the battery.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
    plugger and dhbarr like this.
  2. Nov 11, 2019 #2

    John Kemker

    John Kemker

    John Kemker

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    Forgot to mention: This works under Linux Mint 19 "Tessa" and wine-4.0 installed.

    Code:
    $ uname -a
    Linux MyDesktop 4.15.0-66-generic #75-Ubuntu SMP Tue Oct 1 05:24:09 UTC 2019 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
    $ wine --version
    wine-4.0
    $
    
     

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