Section: Hamlib Utilities (1)
ampctl - control radio amplifiers
[ -m id
[ -r device
[ -s baud
[ -t char
[ -C parm=val
Control radio amplifiers.
from the command line as well as in interactive mode if none are provided on
the command line.
Keep in mind that Hamlib is BETA level software. While a lot of backend
libraries lack complete amplifier support, the basic functions are usually
Please report bugs and provide feedback at the e-mail address given in the
section below. Patches and code enhancements sent to the same address are
This program follows the usual GNU command line syntax. Short options that
take an argument may have the value follow immediately or be separated by a
space. Long options starting with two dashes ('-') require an
'=' between the option and any argument.
Here is a summary of the supported options:
- -m, --model=id
Select amplifier model number.
See model list (use "ampctl -l").
(or third party software using the C API) will use amplifier model 2 for
- -r, --amp-file=device
as the file name of the port connected to the amplifier.
Often a serial port, but could be a USB to serial adapter. Typically
/dev/ttyS0, /dev/ttyS1, /dev/ttyUSB0,
etc. on Linux,
etc. on MS Windows. The BSD flavors and Mac OS/X have their own designations.
See your system's documentation.
- -s, --serial-speed=baud
Set serial speed to
Uses maximum serial speed from amplifier backend capabilities (set by
above) as the default.
- -t, --send-cmd-term=char
Change the termination
for text protocol when using the
The default value is ASCII CR ('0x0D'). ASCII non-printing characters
can be given as the ASCII number in hexadecimal format prepended with
"0x". You may pass an empty string for no termination char. The string
to switch to binary protocol.
For example, to specify a command terminator for Kenwood style text commands
pass "-t ';'" to ampctl. See
- -L, --show-conf
List all config parameters for the amplifier defined with
- -C, --set-conf=parm=val[,parm=val]
Set amplifier configuration parameter(s), e.g.
option above for a list of configuration parameters for a given model number.
- -u, --dump-caps
Dump capabilities for the amplifier defined with
above and exit.
- -l, --list
List all amplifier model numbers defined in
The list is sorted by model number.
In Linux the list can be scrolled back using
or using the scrollbars of a virtual terminal in X or the cmd window in
Windows. The output can be piped to
e.g. "ampctl -l | more".
- -i, --read-history
Read previously saved command and argument history from a file (default
for the current session.
is built with Readline support (see READLINE below).
To read a history file stored in another directory, set the
environment variable, e.g. "AMPCTL_HIST_DIR=~/tmp ampctl -i". When
AMPCTL_HIST_DIR is not set, the value of
- -I, --save-history
Write current session (and previous session(s), if
option is given) command and argument history to a file (default
at the end of the current session.
Complete commands with arguments are saved as a single line to be recalled and
used or edited. Available when
is built with Readline support (see
To write a history file in another directory, set the
environment variable, e.g. "AMPCTL_HIST_DIR=~/tmp ampctl -I)Rq. When
AMPCTL_HIST_DIR is not set, the value of
- -v, --verbose
Set verbose mode, cumulative (see
- -Z, --debug-time-stamps
Enable time stamps for the debug messages.
Use only in combination with the
option as it generates no output on its own.
- -h, --help
Show a summary of these options and exit.
- -V, --version
Show version of
Stop option processing and read commands from standard input.
Some options may not be implemented by a given backend and will return an
error. This is most likely to occur with the
Please note that the backend for the amplifier to be controlled, or the
amplifier itself may not support some commands. In that case, the operation
will fail with a
Commands can be entered either as a single char, or as a long command name.
The commands are not prefixed with a dash as the options are. They may be
typed in when in interactive mode or provided as argument(s) in command line
interface mode. In interactive mode commands and their arguments may be
entered on a single line:
Since most of the
operations have a
method, an upper case letter will often be used for a
method whereas the corresponding lower case letter refers to the
method. Each operation also has a long name; in interactive mode, prepend a
backslash, '\', to enter a long command name.
Example: Use "\dump_caps" to see what capabilities this amplifier and
The backend for the amplifier to be controlled, or the amplifier itself may
not support some commands. In that case, the operation will fail with a
A simple example:
$ cat <<.EOF. >cmds.txt
> # File of commands
> F 14250000
> l PWRINPUT
> l PWRFORWARD
> l SWR
$ ampctl -m1 - <cmds.txt
Amplifier command: # File of commands
Amplifier command: F 14250000
Amplifier command: f
Amplifier command: l PWRINPUT
Level Value: 0
Amplifier command: l PWRFORWARD
Level Value: 1499
Amplifier command: l SWR
Level Value: 1.000000
Amplifier command: \dump_caps
Caps dump for model: 1
Model name: Dummy
Mfg name: Hamlib
Backend version: 0.1
Backend copyright: LGPL
Backend status: Alpha
Amp type: Other
Port type: None
Write delay: 0mS, timeout 0mS, 0 retries
Post Write delay: 0mS
Has priv data: N
Get level: SWR NH PF PWRINPUT PWRFORWARD PWRREFLECTED PWRPEAK FAULT
Has Init: Y
Has Cleanup: Y
Has Open: Y
Has Close: Y
Can set Conf: N
Can get Conf: N
Can Reset: Y
Can get Info: Y
Overall backend warnings: 0
A summary of commands is included below (In the case of
commands the quoted italicized string is replaced by the value in the
description. In the case of
commands the quoted italicized string is the key name of the value returned.):
- Q|q, exit ampctl
Exit ampctl in interactive mode.
When ampctl is controlling the amplifier directly, will close the amplifier
backend and port. When ampctl is connected to ampctld (amplifier model 2),
the TCP/IP connection to ampctld is closed and ampctld remains running,
available for another TCP/IP network connection.
- F, set_freq 'Frequency'
Frequency may be a floating point or integer value.
- f, get_freq
Returns an integer value.
- l, get_level 'Level'
Returns Level Value as a float or integer for the Level token given.
Passing a '?' (query) as the first argument instead of a Level token
will return a space separated list of amplifier backend supported get level
tokens. Use this to determine the supported levels of a given amplifier
- w, send_cmd 'Cmd'
Send a raw command string to the amplifier.
This is useful for testing and troubleshooting amplifier commands and
responses when developing a backend.
For binary protocols enter values as \0xAA\0xBB. Expect a
from the amplifier which will likely be a binary block or an ASCII string
depending on the amplifier's protocol (see your amplifier's computer control
The command terminator, set by the
option above, will terminate each command string sent to the amplifier. This
character should not be a part of the input string.
Return certain state information about the amplifier backend.
- 1, dump_caps
Not a real amplifier remote command, it just dumps capabilities, i.e. what the
backend knows about this model, and what it can do.
TODO: Ensure this is in a consistent format so it can be read into a hash,
dictionary, etc. Bug reports requested.
This command will produce many lines of output so be very careful if using a
fixed length array! For example, running this command against the Dummy
backend results in a number of lines of text output.
- _, get_info
Return information from the amplifier backend.
- R, reset 'Reset'
Reset is an integer value: '0' = None, '1' = Memory reset,
'2' = Fault reset, '3' = Amplifier reset.
- set_powerstat 'Power Status'
Power Status is an integer value: '0' = Power Off, '1' = Power On,
'2' = Power Standby (enter standby), '4' = Power Operate (leave
library development files are found at configure time,
will be conditonally built with Readline support for command and argument entry.
Readline command key bindings are at their defaults as described in the
sets the name "ampctl" which can be used in Conditional Init Constructs
in the Readline Init File
by default) for custom keybindings unique to
Command history is available with Readline support as described in the
Readline History manual
Command and argument strings are stored as single lines even when arguments
are prompted for input individually. Commands and arguments are not validated
and are stored as typed with values separated by a single space.
Normally session history is not saved, however, use of either of the
options when starting
will cause any previously saved history to be read in and/or the
current and any previous session history (assuming the
-i and -I
options are given together) will be written out when
is closed. Each option is mutually exclusive, i.e. either may be given
separately or in combination. This is useful to save a set of commands and
then read them later but not write the modified history for a consistent set
of test commands in interactive mode, for example.
History is stored in
by default although the destination directory may be changed by setting the
environment variable. When AMPCTL_HIST_DIR is unset, the value of the
environment variable is used instead. Only the destination directory may be
changed at this time.
If Readline support is not found at configure time the original internal
command handler is used. Readline is not used for
commands entered on the command line regardless if Readline support is built
in or not.
Readline support is not included in the MS Windows 32 or 64 bit binary builds
supplied by the Hamlib Project. Running
on the MS Windows platform in the 'cmd' shell does give session command
line history, however, it is not saved to disk between sessions.
option allows different levels of diagnostics
to be output to
and correspond to -v for
or -vvvvv for
A given verbose level is useful for providing needed debugging information to
the email address below. For example, TRACE output shows all of the values
sent to and received from the amplifier which is very useful for amplifier
backend library development and may be requested by the developers.
if all operations completed normally;
if there was an invalid command line option or argument;
if an error was returned by
for am Elecraft KPA-1500 using a USB to serial adapter on Linux in interactive
$ ampctl -m 201 -r /dev/ttyUSB1
for an Elecraft KPA-1500 using COM1 on MS Windows while generating TRACE
> ampctl -m 201 -r COM1 -vvvvv
Connect to a running
with amplifier model 2 ("NET ampctl") on the local host and specifying
the TCP port, setting frequency and mode:
$ ampctl -m 2 -r localhost:4531 F 7253500
This almost empty section...
Report bugs to:
Hamlib Developer mailing list
This file is part of Hamlib, a project to develop a library that simplifies
radio, rotator, and amplifier control functions for developers of software
primarily of interest to radio amateurs and those interested in radio
Copyright © 2000-2011 Stephane Fillod
Copyright © 2000-2018 the Hamlib Group (various contributors)
Copyright © 2010-2019 Nate Bargmann
This is free software; see the file COPYING for copying conditions. There is
NO warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
Links to the Hamlib Wiki, Git repository, release archives, and daily snapshot