Wireshark USB - JS8Call Rig Control Error - Part 1 (by Paul Offord)
Updated: Mar 1, 2020
I'm into HF amateur radio - the HF range is 3 Mhz to 30 Mz. HF operators send a signal from an antenna, bounce it off the ionosphere and hope it will come down onto another operator's antenna. The condition of the ionosphere varies a lot with time of day, time of year, earth weather and space weather. A key space weather condition that affects signal propagation (as we call it) is the Solar Flux Index, which gets boosted by sun spot activity. There has been very little sun spot activity this year and the Solar Flux Index has been in the doldrums.
You can't beat challenging conditions to drive innovation. There have always been digital transmission modes, even Morse Code can be considered a digital mode, but some clever people have come up with digital modes optimised to weak signal propagation situations; JS8 is one such mode. In this mode, we connect a computer to a HF transceiver and send messages around the world.
I started playing with JS8 using my Icom IC-7200 transceiver, but I hit a problem. Every so often the JS8Call software I use stops talking to my 7200. This video begins the story of how I used Wireshark to investigate the problem.
If you are an amateur radio enthusiast, this technique may be useful to investigate USB problems. If you are a fan of Wireshark, through this video you'll discover how it renders USB. The USB Device Viewer (USB View) can be downloaded as part of the Windows SDK - see https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/drivers/debugger/usbview
Author: Paul is Head of Site Reliability Engineering at Northern Trust. He has authored some Wireshark plugins and holds an Advanced Amateur Radio License (callsign M0PXO).