Month: July 2014

Sound problem with Qtel (open source Echolink) in Ubuntu 14.04

If you are looking to get set up Echolink on your shiny new Ubuntu 14.04 machine, be sure to read the how to article I wrote before.

However, even after having such a formidable victory and feeling waves of joy when the repeater list finally populated Qtel on my Trusty Tahr, I had a less-than-raring experience of not being able to hear the ECHOTEST server, or any other repeater, sound.

I remember VA7OBI told me that he had success when he opened 5200 TCP but when I tried everything it didn’t work for me.  In fact, remind me to publish the way that this frustration led me to fighting my ISP and how I got two months free internet out of the deal…but I digress… After I did a DMZ on my computer it instantly started working so it was definitely a port problem.

Here is what solved my problem *instantly*.

1. Open router or modem/router configuration page

2. Go to your firewall settings. 

3. Open (or often called ‘port forwarding’) the following port range:

5198-5199 UDP

4. Make sure this new rule in your router/modem is pointing to the machine (or multiple machines) where Qtel is installed.  In my case it was to show an example IP address.

If you don’t know how to find your IP address, it’s very easy in Ubuntu.  Just open your terminal (control + alt + t) and type this:


you will see this kind of spew:

eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:16:76:b4:24:17
inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
inet6 addr: fe80::216:76ff:feb4:2417/64 Scope:Link
RX packets:11386 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:10070 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:9551513 (9.5 MB)  TX bytes:1181280 (1.1 MB)

eth0 is your hardwired connection which mine, obviously is.  If your machine is connected by wifi, it will look roughly the same but you will see ‘wlan0’ or something like that which will have your ipaddress beside it like mine above.

Now just make sure those 5198-5199 UDP ports are open and pointing to that machine where qtel is.

Final note: your modem/router may, from time to time, send out new IP addresses to your computer(s).  If Qtel stops working one day again, it’s probably just a matter of running this tutorial again and updating your IP address in the port forwarding rule in your router/modem.

If you feel really saucy and snazzy, you could set a static IP address for your machine and never run this tutorial again. I’m too lazy for now so I’ll risk having to do this again, ha.

Take it easy and keep on being Ubuntu


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Audible for Ubuntu: Epic Fail

Trying to listen to an audio book from on your Ubuntu machine?  Spare yourself the pain, and just ask to cancel and get your money back.  They have no plans to help you.  I hope I can one day edit this post with some good news, but until they they are in bed with proprietary operating systems of the world.  All you need to do is read this live-chat transcript I just had with them and the picture should be very clear:

Audible Your

Message From Customer Service


Here’s a copy of the chat transcript you requested:

Initial Question: Technical support
I’m trying to listen to my book on my Ubuntu machine. Please tell me how to do it. Thanks

04:39 AM PDT Rose(Audible): Hello Wayne, thank you for contacting Audible. My name is Rose. I’ll be happy to help you today.
Is it running Windows?
04:40 AM PDT Wayne : I’ll repeat, it’s an Ubuntu machine.
04:40 AM PDT Rose(Audible): Let me check.
04:40 AM PDT Wayne : Thanks. Much appreciated.
04:41 AM PDT Wayne : I followed the instructions: Listen on computer, click download button under ‘listen’ and it downloaded a .aa file which does not launch an audio player.
04:42 AM PDT Rose(Audible): Just to make sure, is it Linux operating system?
04:43 AM PDT Wayne : based on the fact that you are asking me this question, I will giev you a short answer: yes
04:44 AM PDT Wayne : (it’s the fastest growing OS in the world so I’m quite surprised that you asked)
04:45 AM PDT Rose(Audible): Linux-based operating system is not supported by Audible.
04:45 AM PDT Wayne : What are audible’s plans to help me?
04:46 AM PDT Rose(Audible): Do you any other listening devices?
04:46 AM PDT Wayne : Do you have a release date planned or any work planned?
No. I use just Ubuntu. I don’t have money for other players
04:46 AM PDT Rose(Audible): To see the list of compatible devices, please click here
04:46 AM PDT Wayne : or another computer. I can’t afford to buy an operating system just to listen to the book I just bought from you.
Can you send me the file as an mp3?
or .wav?
04:47 AM PDT Wayne : Or why can’t I live stream it?
04:47 AM PDT Rose(Audible): Our files cannot be converted into MP3 or any other formats. The measures taken by are required to protect both the intellectual property rights of our Content Providers, as well as the authors.
04:47 AM PDT Wayne : That was a nice copy/paste. I understand.
So how can I listen?
04:47 AM PDT Rose(Audible): Do you have a mobile phone? Like Smartphones?
04:47 AM PDT Wayne : It’s running ubuntu.  Do you support Ubunto Mobile?
04:48 AM PDT Wayne :
04:50 AM PDT Rose(Audible): Do you have Play Store or Market?
04:50 AM PDT Wayne : I want to share something else while you are checking that. I do not recall reading anywhere that you did not support Ubuntu. Nor do I recall reading what you do support (ie. Windows/Apple only). Before someone like me gives you money I deserve to know that I will be facing this kind of problem.
04:51 AM PDT Wayne : No. I will repeat. I cannot afford to buy a smartphone to listen to my simple audio book.  I thought I would be logging into the website and listening.
04:52 AM PDT Rose(Audible): I’m pertaining to the Ubuntu mobile.
At this time, we are working with the open-source developers of Linux to see if we can make our file format compatible with their operating system. If that happens, we do expect to expand our support to Linux computers in the future. We would love to make our content available to Linux users as soon as possible, as we often hear from Linux fans regarding Audible playback.
04:53 AM PDT Wayne : This was a copy/paste again. It was the same one I found online from 2013. This is a disappointing conversation, Rose.
So, let me keep it simple: Unless you buy me an operating system that you support I cannot listen to my file. Will you credit all my fees for the last two months (I didn’t have time to listen) and cancel my subscription please?
Immediately, please.
Or buy me a smartphone or new computer.
04:54 AM PDT Wayne : You can keep your credits until you finish your promise of making it available on linux.
04:54 AM PDT Rose(Audible): I am sorry to hear that you are looking to cease your Audible membership. No
Although I am sad to complete this request for you, I can definitely help you with your concern.
04:54 AM PDT Wayne : Thanks.
04:55 AM PDT Rose(Audible): With that being said, I have gone ahead and cancelled your Gold Monthly Membership which will ensure that you receive no charges from us. You will also receive an additional confirmation email regarding this cancellation.
$29.90 will be going back on your account within 2-3 business days.
04:56 AM PDT Wayne : You are amazing.
Great work, Rose, and I hope i can be your customer very, very soon.
Can you please put me on a list of people who want to give you money?
I am ready to give audible money when I can listen on my Ubuntu machine.
You can see that I have money to give you. I already gave it to you.
04:58 AM PDT Rose(Audible): Thank you for contacting us with your concern about downloading books on your Ubuntu machine. We appreciate your feedback on making it available on Linux OS in the future. I’ll be sure to pass it along to the department in charge.
04:58 AM PDT Wayne : Thank you so much for making the cancellation and credit fast and easy.
This was smart and good.
04:58 AM PDT Rose(Audible): Sure my pleasure. Is there anything else?
04:58 AM PDT Wayne : That’s it. I just want your books. 🙂
04:59 AM PDT Rose(Audible): That’s great to hear then. No worries, I’ll pass it along.
Thank you for contacting Audible! We look forward to seeing you again soon. Please click the end chat link to close this session. Have a great day!
04:59 AM PDT Wayne : Thanks. See you.

Thank you.

This email was sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming email. Please do not reply to this message.


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How to Use Echolink (QTEL) on Ubuntu 14.04

Thanks to Joe for actually searching the solution(s) and emailing me.  I figured we should publish this for others.  I figured worst case scenario, I would probably need to log these solutions for later when I forget, ha.

First of all, you can apparently use the native Echolink windows app using Wine in Ubuntu. But that’s kind of like praying while sitting on the toilet – it might work but it just feels wrong.  But I digress.

I will use this outdated tutorial designed for Ubuntu.   This is kind of like roasting your own coffee – it might be hard, and there might be a faster way to do it but nothing compares to that first sip if you sweat it out.  But I digress again…

Let’s put this Qtel thing onto our Fresh and Saucy Ubuntu 14.04 machines so we can ham with our homeboys in Nunavut.

Edit 140728 – It seems that Joe’s ports 5200 below did *not* help me but, everything was solved when I opened port range 5198-5199 UDP only in my router.  Instantly my Qtel sound was working on Ubuntu 14.04.  I hope this helps you all!  I’ll so another post exclusively on this issue.

Edit 140718

So, if you want the long and painful story of what I had to go through before I finally got Qtel (echolink) working on my Ubuntu 14.04 machine, please take all the time in the world and read through the story. It’s kind of funny if you like watching people suffer.  Otherwise, I’m just leaving it below to hopefully catch a bunch of SEO and save other people from the certain loss of hair and sanity as they try to figure it out.  The solution turned out to be very fast and easy, thanks to Joe (VA7OBI).  All of that will begin under the header “The Long Battle” below.

How to Get Qtel (Echolink) Running on your Ubuntu 14.04 machine

First, we  are not sure if you need this PPA added to your machine.  Both of us added it before doing this so let us know this tutorial works without adding it as we are both curious (sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-hams-updates/ppa) .  If this tutorial doesn’t work for you, come back and add that repository.

1. Add the “Felix Repository”

In your terminal (control + alt + t) enter this verbatim and press enter: sudo apt-add-repository ppa:felix.lechner/hamradio

2. Open software center. Go to Software Sources

Should see something like this list:

Go through and find the ‘felix repository’ which will look something like this but the end will be different (maybe):


3.  Click ‘edit’ and a box will pop up like this.  Change ‘trusty’ to ‘raring’ in that field.  If you are still on ‘Raring Ringtail’ then you don’t even need this tutorial because it should work as is now. For those of us on 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) Just change it back to ‘raring’ like this image:


Click ‘ok’ and then ‘save’ or whatever the option is.  Then, do the same thing for the ‘source code’ line as well. Do ‘edit’ and change the name to raring so you end up with it looking like this


4. Now, go back to your terminal and run these two commands one after the other:

sudo apt-get update

(this one puts felix in your list of software sources so you can actually download and install the Qtel app)

sudo apt-get install qtel

 (this one installs the qtel app)

That’s it!  It should work. Now you can just start typing ‘qtel’ in your HUD (or however you like to find your installed apps) and click it.  It should open and prompt for your ham radio license and password.

Note: In my case, it seems like it’s working just fine.  In the case of Joe, he had to open ports 5200 (UDP and TDP) in his router. If you don’t know how to open ports in your router, this website has been amazing for years.

We hope this has helped you and that you will look me up on Echolink and send me a note. I think it supports voice and chat.


The Long Battle

Below are the details of the things I tried before finding the quick and easy solution.  I never got to the final solution because the above solution happened right before, ha.

Edit 140717 7:30am-8:30

I contacted VA7OBI on the ham (it’s cooler to fix ham issues on the ham) and we walked through this.  Joe in a moment of revelation decided to click the qtel .deb file and badda bing/boom it started installing with the software centre.  It gave a warning of bad quality but I also got this method to start to work and it shows it as installed now.

Edit 140717 5am-7am – Current situation: FAIL! Do not do anything in this post yet if you aren’t pretty advanced because I mucked up my computer doing some of this, but please feel free to help me!

What I’m going to do is follow these steps provided by Charles Socci K1DNR verbatim and if they work, you’ll have screenshots and stories along the way.  If there are hiccups, hopefully I’ll find them and fix as we we go.  Let’s begin:

1 – Download packages from or…-debian.tar.gz.

Comment: second link didn’t work but it went to a kind of cool blog.  Use the first link.  What I’m going to do is save the file as download and then move it to my documents directory in one I just named QTEL.

2 – Extract

Comment:  I did a right click on the tar file and ‘extract here’

3 – Install getlibs – (

Comment: What the heck is a ‘getlib’? Sounds like a domain for promoting the liberal party…but I digress..  And I will install…ok, so this link doesn’t work.  I knew this would happen so that’s why I’m making this post. Now I went back and read this post referred by Charles which turned out to be quite interesting.  Maybe don’t do anything yet until I find out it’s necessary but note that it expands on the original Charles Socci post and may solve issues I don’t here.

Dang… that took a while.  Finding getlibs was hard but I found it on this page somewhere in the middle.  Save yourself the time and just put these in your terminal one at a time and hope it works (seems to have worked for me without a hitch)(thanks Jeff Hendricks whoever you are…):

wget -c

sudo dpkg -i getlibs-all.deb

4 – Type: sudo dpkg -i –force-all qtel_0.11.0-2_i386.deb (or whatever the name of your qtel .deb file is – we won’t be using the other deb files you extracted)

Comments: I’m going to first check the file name of that thing I extracted to see if it’s the same as this file name here…it indeed appears to be the same.  I’ll try just plopping this in the terminal to see what happens…error. No directory.  I figured.  So I obviously have to direct my terminal to this first.  I will type:

cd /home

cd /usernameofcomputer

cd Documents


cd qtel-debian

now I will try it again: sudo dpkg -i –force-all qtel_0.11.0-2_i386.deb

It did something…maybe…it worked? Next!

5 – Type: getlibs /usr/bin/qtel

Comments: Not looking good. Here is what I got:

No match for
No match for
No match for libqt3-mt
No match for libjpeg62 libsigc++-1.2-5c2
No match for
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
Package libqt3-mt is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source

E: Package ‘libqt3-mt’ has no installation candidate

But what I noticed is that at least some of these ‘no match’ folks are in the qtel directory debian file I just downloaded above…. Weird? I’ll just try to open the software and see what happens:

Fail. It did not open by clicking app icon, nor did it open by entering ‘qtel’ in terminal. By doing the latter, though, it showed it to be missing the echolib file…

–> cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

Back to this dude’s blog to try that install order…

Install in this order:

1 getlibs-all.deb
2 echolib_0.13.0-2_i386.deb
3 libasync_0.16.0-2_i386.deb
4 libsigc++1.2-5_1.2.7-2_i386.deb
5 qtel_0.11.0-2_i386.deb

I’m trying this in my terminal in the qtel directory:

1. (already done above)

2. sudo dpkg -i –force-all echolib_0.13.0-2_i386.deb (seemed to do something but I am out of order from this dude’s blog since qtel is already installed…)

3. sudo dpkg -i –force-all libasync_0.16.0-2_i386.deb (seemed to work, though forced)

4. sudo dpkg -i –force-all libsigc++1.2-5_1.2.7-2_i386.deb

5. (already done above)

Now I’ll try step 5 again:

5 – Type: getlibs /usr/bin/qtel

Not looking good again: libqt3-mt
No match for libjpeg62 libqt3-mt
No match for libjpeg62
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
Package libqt3-mt is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source

E: Package ‘libqt3-mt’ has no installation candidate
E: Package ‘libqt3-mt’ has no installation candidate

I’ll just try entering qtel in terminal again and see what happens this time…

FAIL: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

I’m going to try now to remove qtel since it was out of order in my install.

sudo apt-get remove qtel

Now I’m going to install it again by going to that package directory with debian files and typing this again:

sudo dpkg -i –force-all qtel_0.11.0-2_i386.deb

It ‘seems’ better:

dpkg: error processing archive –force-all (–install):
cannot access archive: No such file or directory
Selecting previously unselected package qtel.
(Reading database … 272460 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack qtel_0.11.0-2_i386.deb …
Unpacking qtel (0.11.0-2) …
Setting up qtel (0.11.0-2) …
Processing triggers for gnome-menus (3.10.1-0ubuntu2) …
Processing triggers for desktop-file-utils (0.22-1ubuntu1) …
Processing triggers for bamfdaemon (0.5.1+14.04.20140409-0ubuntu1) …
Rebuilding /usr/share/applications/bamf-2.index…
Processing triggers for mime-support (3.54ubuntu1) …
Errors were encountered while processing:

Try again qtel in my terminal:

FAIL! same error: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

what’s this libqt thing? I want to kill you slowly and painfully!

Try clicking icon app through super key:

FAIL! Nothing.

I’m going to sudo-apt-get-remove-kill-and-destroy all of them now and do them one at a time again…

1. sudo apt-get remove getlibs

2. sudo apt-get remove echolib

3. sudo apt-get remove libasync

4. sudo apt-get remove libsigc++

5. sudo apt-get remove qtel

Man. Doesn’t seem to want to uninstall qtel. I might have goofed by not listing the full package names above.  Maybe I messed up my computer and should have followed verbatim these package names when doing the sudo apt-get removes….

I will try install again…


wget -c

sudo dpkg -i getlibs-all.deb

2. sudo dpkg -i –force-all echolib_0.13.0-2_i386.deb

3. sudo dpkg -i –force-all libasync_0.16.0-2_i386.deb

4. sudo dpkg -i –force-all libsigc++1.2-5_1.2.7-2_i386.deb

5. sudo dpkg -i –force-all qtel_0.11.0-2_i386.deb


how to get you!

This nasty thread probably has some answers. I will do it for the team 🙁

and by the way I screwed up my software centre at some point so it’s messed. May need full new OS.

Time for a break.  I’m calling Joe!



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Amateur (Ham) Radio: No, Officer, I won’t Pay That ‘Use of Electronic Device Ticket’ This Time

I’m sick of it.

I have gotten 2 violation tickets for allegedly using an electronic device while driving.

The first time I was at a red light and I moved my cell phone from my dash (it was sliding around), checked the time on the phone’s clock, and put it on my passenger seat.  The officer behind not only pulls me over, but actually writes me a ticket for ‘use of electronic device.’  Stupid me, I paid it.  Well, no.  Not stupid me.  I weighed up the time I would spend fighting it and decided not to bother.

The second time I had the phone mounted on my phone mount thing suction cupped to my window.  I was told that I could do a one button ‘push’ to start a call and one to end it.  So I did.  When I did it, the officer behind me pulled me over and wrote me up – again!

The good news is that I’m an amateur radio operator licensed with the government.  There is a special and not well known regulation under the motor vehicle act under section 214 (Use of Electronic Devices) that makes amateur radio users exempt.  Read it for yourself, here, if you don’t believe me.  You should read this PDF anyways for your own interest.  If you are a licensed operator, you need to print this and keep a copy in your car at all times.

So, once again, I decided to fight this.

Here is a point form summary of the events with the officer’s name removed (because the story ended well):

-I was driving and speaking to my crew on my amateur (ham) radio

-A police check for electronic devices was set up and an officer pulls me over

-I asked why I was being pulled over and he informed me that I was using my electronic device while driving

-I explained to him that I indeed was, and that I am a licensed amateur operator and exempt from the law.  I did *not* have a printed copy of the Act with me.

-He was young, and he looked at me like I was from Mars and he went back to his car for a very long time.

-He came back and said “I’m writing you the ticket anyways.  If I find out what you say is true I’ll toss the ticket”

-I explained to him this would be a colossal waste of his time because I was correct on this topic.  He handed me the ticket anyways

-I called the next day on time to ask if my ticket had been thrown out.  No reply.

-I called again the next day. No reply.

-I called the Sergeant above him.  No reply.

-I called the Sergeant above him again.  He finally called me back and said in a voice mail “There is nothing I can do.  The officer who wrote it is the only one who can toss a ticket.  I still don’t believe this but…”

-I called the officer again. No reply.

-I called the RCMP front desk.  She patched me straight through to him in his patrol car.  The officer said ‘Can you email me the law on that?” I laughed and said sure and then emailed it.

-No reply.  Ever.

-I call a lawyer who immediately, after quickly reviewing the law, advises me to call the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP for writing a ticket when they knew it was not needed.

– I file the complaint (which incidentally took two calls which took three days between!)

-As soon as the lady from the Commission called me and heard the story she immediately called some kind of person with a title like “Professional behaviour blah blah”.

-This person immediately called me back to tell me that the officer was on a honeymoon.  She apologized and said the officer would address this as soon as he got back.

-As soon as he got back I got a one line email “Your ticket has been thrown out.”

I got the ticket on May 16th.

The ticket was thrown out on July 8th.

Yes, it took a lawyer and nearly two months of follow ups to wipe my ticket.

I hope you will save the time and annoyance by keeping a copy of this in your car and *not* accepting the ticket.  Do *not* accept it.  Fight it politely as hard as you can while you are in your car.  That’s what I say!

I hope this helps my ham bros. out there.


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