Is there programming software for Mac OSX?

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solserenade

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Hi Folks,

I have a RadioShack pro-137 - I really enjoy it, got a really low price, etc. I've been unable to find programming software for it or for any other scanner!

Since i enjoy the hobby, I am open to upgrading scanners -- however, it would be MUCH more difficult to for me to acquire and learn how to use a Windows computer.

Are there any scanners that are programmable by Macintosh computer?

Thanks *very* much!
 

ka3jjz

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In a word, no. Some packages have been reported working with Parallel or VMWare and a XP environment, though.

Hate to sound negative, but get over it - Windows is the way to go if you want a variety of programming software for scanners. Either get a Windows machine, or something that simulates a Windows environment.

73 Mike
 

solserenade

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In a word, no. Some packages have been reported working with Parallel or VMWare and a XP environment, though.
Hi Mike,
That is honestly what I expected to hear - I appreciate the quick reply and info.

I've talked to my more-computer-savvy brother about those Apps that run Windows .... ha, he gave me the impression that "it's not a picnic" to get all that set up to run on a Mac.

No problem - I'm having sixty-five dollars worth of fun with it even if it's slow/cumbersome to program :) .

Thanks - 73s
Rob.
 

kmbrly

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I have a Mac and a Pro-106.

I have been dragging this out longer than it should take because I was afraid that it would be a pain, but I just installed a virtual machine with Windows 7 on my iMac (running 10.6.3) using VMFusion. So far, so good with the installation. I am now about to see if I can install the driver for the RS USB cable. If that works, then I will download the firmware update for my scanner. If that works, then I will download a software program, most likely Win500, unless someone tells me that it won't work with the virtual machine or something else works better. :-\
 

kmbrly

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Update: The USB cable was successfully installed. The firmware has been updated successfully, as well.

Next up: downloading Win500. I'll let you know how it turns out, Rob.

Keep in mind that I am doing this with Windows 7 and on a new Mac. I don't know how older versions of Macs play with this or older versions of Windows.

If it turns out that you don't want to put Windows onto your Mac, someone mentioned in a thread I posted that a software program for the Mac is in the works. I needed to load up a virtual Windows machine on my Mac for other reasons, anyway, so I just went ahead with it. I don't think I would have wanted to spend $280 on software just so I could buy and run scanner software (if that were the only thing I needed Windows for). Manual programming works. It's slow, but not $300+ slow (at least not for me right now).
 

solserenade

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Hi Kmbrly,

Thanks very much for joining the discussion! :) To have another Mac-user around is re-assuring somehow, lol ... I'm glad you mentioned a program possibly in the works - that would be great.

I SO understand what you mean about the inconvenience, etc. vs. the $300 that it would take to get that software running cross-platform. At the same time, if you wouldn't mind the 'updates' as things happen, I'm very interested in knowing if, and how, you ultimately get it to work (with VMFusion or ?).

I'm *very* ignorant of the Windows system and versions; have only used Apples. What I have is a MacBook (Intel core-duo) ... and like I said have no idea of which version Windows to use, etc. I think it's over my head! :)

Well good luck - like I said, I'd be interested in knowing how you get it to run if/when you do - I hope it's when, not if.

Rob.
 
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kb0nly

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Just a suggestion....

For the cost of doing all that on the Mac go get a cheap/free used windows computer somewhere. I know i come across used desktops for $50 or less all the time in thrift stores, good will, etc..

You could even get a windows based thin client with USB and Serial, with embedded Win CE or XP and then use any of the scanner programming software and cables with that.

Or an old laptop running windows... You don't need much for programming.
 

kmbrly

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Rob, I'll be happy to update as I go along. I'm still trying to figure out what I'm supposed to be doing with the scanner and software, regardless of the running-Windows-on-a-Mac issue.

I was able to download the Win500 30 day trial. I think it's working... I haven't gotten very far, yet. I have a Windows laptop that I can download the trial software on, too. So, if I get too bogged down, maybe I will run it with that and see if anything is different (I think the bulk of my problems right now is due to user error - still trying to figure out what the heck I'm doing). I'm running it on my Mac because I like working with my Mac so much. Bit, if it turns out to be more of a hassle than manual programming would be, I'll consider jumping ship, so to speak. I'll let you know how it goes.
 

solserenade

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Thanks for the update, Kmbrly.

kbOnly - hey there, thanks, that's a very good idea! Would ya mind if I asked a follow-up question? :)

I have never used a Windows computer (so that's gonna be interesting!) - So, what OS should I be looking for do ya think? Is there a particular version to avoid, or better, one that you would recommend?

edit: I did find this: Scancat-Lite-Plus works on Win 95/98/98SE
WIndows 2000 and Windows ME/XP
And VISTA

Would that be just about all of them? (back to 95 anyway)
 
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ka3jjz

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Stay VERY far away from Scancat Lite Plus. There have been numerous reports of that software causing nothing but issues.

These 2 articles are a good summary of programming software and the radios they support;

Popular Software for RS/Uniden Scanners - The RadioReference Wiki

Popular Software for GRE Scanners - The RadioReference Wiki

At a minimum, I would go with a XP environment. Vista has seen more than its share of issues, and Windows 7 is very new (although it does seem to be better than Vista in many ways)

73 Mike
 

solserenade

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Stay VERY far away from Scancat Lite Plus. There have been numerous reports of that software causing nothing but issues.
Mike, thanks *very* much for the warning. I appreciate the links on software.

At a minimum, I would go with a XP environment. Vista has seen more than its share of issues, and Windows 7 is very new (although it does seem to be better than Vista in many ways)

73 Mike
Ah, O.k. - that's just the kind of info I need! Thanks.

Rob.
 

h8tdigitalradio

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Hello,

kmbrly, thanks for your updates regarding MAC OS X, Windows and VMWare Fusion 3. I recently purchased a 17" MacBook PRO Intel Core i7 with 8GB of RAM. I will install Windows 7 Ultimate x64 and VMWare Fusion 3. I have about 15 different scanner software programs to install, USB-1 Cable, GRE USB Cable, and a KeySpan USB to Serial dongle. I am hoping my installation will be as painless as yours. :) There are times when I will use BootCamp, or VMWare. I also have some software that is Windoze only, and no Mac equivalent.

It is hoped that one day, the Scanner Software coders will show some love for MAC OS.

73

Dave AKA The Tripzter
 
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kb0nly

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Thanks for the update, Kmbrly.

kbOnly - hey there, thanks, that's a very good idea! Would ya mind if I asked a follow-up question? :)

I have never used a Windows computer (so that's gonna be interesting!) - So, what OS should I be looking for do ya think? Is there a particular version to avoid, or better, one that you would recommend?

edit: I did find this: Scancat-Lite-Plus works on Win 95/98/98SE
WIndows 2000 and Windows ME/XP
And VISTA

Would that be just about all of them? (back to 95 anyway)
Older PC's running XP are a dime a dozen these days! So i would go with something running XP. At least then you should have fairly decent hardware, not always but should. If something has 98 on it chances are its so slow and ancient it won't be worth it.

Vista is ok... But having been a long time Vista user than is now on Windows 7 i think Vista sucks personally... LOL Win 7 has been so smooth and fast for me.

But, to get a computer running Win 7 your going to be putting down a lot more money. So like i said go with a cheap PC or Thin Client running XP for your programming needs. I just saw a laptop running XP with a broken keyboard in a local thrift store for $40 with an external keyboard hooked to it, a keyboard for it from eBay would be $10. So there is plenty of possibilities out there! If you have a local Good Will or similar store check them too!
 

loumaag

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I am going to throw my $0.02 in here, just because I am a long long time PC user and retired developer, who just recently moved (in February) to a Mac as my prime machine.

I am running a 17" MacBook Pro, I am using Parallels to run Windows 7 Professional in a virtual machine, but could just as easily set it up in boot camp with no added expense for the VM software. Remember the current Mac's (those that are running Snow Leopard) are Intel based machines and as far as Windows is concerned an apple is an apple (pardon the pun). The only software/hardware conflict I have had (in reference to my scanning/radio hobby) is one of my old USB-->RS232 adapters has not had a device driver update for Windows 7, so it won't run in the virtual machine, but then, it wouldn't run on any Windows 7 machine so that is not the fault of using it on a Mac.

The advantages of running the software in the Windows VM and keeping the data on the Mac side of the drive is safekeeping and security. Using Time Machine through my Air Extreme keeps all my data nice and backed up on an hourly basis. Yes it is more expensive, yes it is different than using a PC and yes there are some things I don't like (or maybe am just not used to) in the Mac when comparing it to the PC interface, but given the scarcity of Macs in relation to the PCs in the world, I am happy to live in both worlds with the setup the way I have it. (Not to mention it interfaces with my iPhone just wonderfully :wink: )
 

kmbrly

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I downloaded Win500 and subscribed to RR. So far so good. The only real issue I am having is that sometimes, Windows 7 does not recognize that my USB cable is still plugged in. Win500 will tell me that either my driver needs to be updated or I don't have the cable plugged in. When I check the device manager, the cable is not there. So, I simply unplug it and plug it back in and wait for Windows to see it. Once it appears, everything is fine. The computer and scanner appear to communicate well. Win500 is able to download from RR without problems, so far, as well.
 

loumaag

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I downloaded Win500 and subscribed to RR. So far so good. The only real issue I am having is that sometimes, Windows 7 does not recognize that my USB cable is still plugged in. Win500 will tell me that either my driver needs to be updated or I don't have the cable plugged in. When I check the device manager, the cable is not there. So, I simply unplug it and plug it back in and wait for Windows to see it. Once it appears, everything is fine. The computer and scanner appear to communicate well. Win500 is able to download from RR without problems, so far, as well.
I would guess that this is a function of it not being used for a long period. I suspect, if the USB -> RS232 circuit is inactive for a while that Win7 tries to recover the resources. I don't know this but it would seem reasonable. This is something that probably needs to be addressed in the cable driver code and not something you can do anything about except mention via user feedback to the cable folks. Of course in your situation it might just be the VM is turning the resource loose, any chance that when this happens it shows up on the Mac?
 

kmbrly

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That sounds reasonable - I have been just leaving it plugged in, even when not in use. It could be VM turning it loose when suspended. But... as part of the suspension process, all the settings are supposed to be saved.

I haven't noticed it on the Mac side, unless it is one of the "untitled" devices.

I am going to try it again and see if it shows up on the Mac side, I didn't see it there before.

Weird thing, though... the other night, I suspended VM and left the Mac on. I left the computer for the night and when I returned the next morning, I had a warning message on my Mac that one of my USB devices was drawing too much power from the computer, so all the USB devices were deactivated.

I ejected the USB devices on the Mac side after giving each a title (I had neglected to do so before - I had about three untitled devices). When I plugged each back in, they worked.

I'm relating this next experience for the sake of anyone else who might find themselves in a similar situation:


I just plugged the RS USB cable in, and Mac did not recognize it or indicate that anything was plugged in. I opened VM to work with Windows and it did not show the RS USB cable in the device list (it's labeled correctly in Windows, btw). I unplugged and replugged and it still was not showing up. So, I got to looking around and found a USB icon on the bar beneath the Windows window. There's no text when I just hover my pointer over it, so I did not realize you could click it until I tried. I clicked it and a bar of text showed up beneath the icon that said, "Connect to Future Devices USB <-> Radio Scanner Cable." Upon hovering over that text, it was highlighted. I clicked the highlighted text and the cable popped up in the device manager. It's odd, because other device are automatically highlighted on that bar. I didn't realize that the content could be highlighted and clicked until just now. So, there you go. If you open VM and don't find your USB <-> Radio Scanner Cable (and likely any other device that you had previously installed), look for it on the VM bar beneath the Windows window.

Another thing that I noticed is that my Mac got a little quirky the other day when I used the printer. This has happened only after installation of VM. Windows recognizes my printer and has probably claimed it as its own. The printer is most likely suffering from an identity crisis. Well, that's another problem for another day (and forum).

I'm getting ready to dive back in and work with the Win500. I'll make sure to eject the cable when I'm done, this time.
 

ka3jjz

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To kmbrly and all the others who have knowledge of USB devices and Mac interfacing...

It would be quite helpful to create a wiki article of all these little tricks and issues. That way if someone comes along with similar issues, we have something to which that person can go.

It does not have to be in any format to start; I would, in fact, suggest a Word document. There is a Word macro you can use to translate that into Media Wiki format, but first let's get it all together first. One of us (Bob, Ben or myself) can then translate it and link it into the wiki.

73 Mike
 

h8tdigitalradio

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Hello,

VMWare Fusion 3 and Win7 Ultimate install went well. The GRE, USB-1 and KeySpan USB to Serial Dongle Drivers were installed on Win7 side of VM. So far, no issues communicating with scanners. FreeScan works. Will try sometime in the next few days WinXX software and GRE Cable. It seems the GRE Cable is not hot swappable in VM, and has to be ejected. The USB-1 and KeySpan Dongle are hot swappable.

73

Dave AKA The Tripzter
 

loumaag

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kmbrly & other users of VMWare Fusion:
Using Parallels, I can only address this from that standpoint; however, my experience (novice to be sure since I am only a recent Mac convert) seems to indicate that I can make Parallels (or the Mac) remember that when I plug in my USB->RS232 adapter it belongs in the VM and Windows as opposed to the Mac side. I am pretty sure I tested it with the VM not running once and the Mac recognized it as an unknown device but since I keep the VM running at all times I know that when I plug it in now it is just associated with the VM machine automatically since I requested it to remember that association. Since there is no Mac based radio software, I am unlikely to ever need to use the adapter on the Mac side in any case. ;)
 
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