The personal website of Scott W Harden
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Articles typically receive this designation when the technology they describe is no longer relevant, code provided is later deemed to be of poor quality, or the topics discussed are better presented in future articles. Articles like this are retained for the sake of preservation, but their content should be critically assessed.

Overseas QRP Transmission

While working on the spectrograph software I'm trying to complete this spring break, I happened to capture a cool signal from Italy. IW4DXW was sending some cool signals that I captured around 10.140 MHz. See how his call sign is written "visually" on the spectrogram? I thought I'd post it because it's an encouraging sign that my software is going in the right direction. Also note the numerous QRSS FSK signals around it! So cool.

I sent an email to the operator and he responded with station information:

Hi Scott! Thank you so much for nice report. This is a short description of my homebrew beacon. The audio source is a normal MP3/WAV player. The file (.WAV) of my hell message (8x8 char) is generated using Chirphel (program by DF6NM) with a fmax~=800Hz and BW=5Hz, and processed with Csound to obtain the phase relation R = L + 90° between channels (hilbert function). A 10.140MHz oven xtal oscillator (adjusted for +880Hz) is a PLL reference used to obtain a x4 frequency. This clock with the 2 audio channels are applied to a “Softrock style” SSB phasing modulator (double H-mixer with 74HC4053 ic).

The LSB output signal (10.140,080MHz @ ~ -3dBm) is amplified by a 2N2222 (driver stage) and a 2SC2314 (linear PA stage ~1W P.E.P. max, but 100 – 200 mW of average power). I’m using a 30m dipole (inverted vee @ about 50 feet). 30 meters looks good today! My signal heard in VK2 too…

Greetings from north Italy, dear Scott!

73
Riccardo, IW4DXW

200mW? That's awesome! Maybe one day I'll build something cool like that! I will now return to the programming project that has been eating-up my spring break.

Here's a screenshot of what I'm doing now I'll keep for the future memory of this break. Yes, I'm on a Windows machine. I'm at the W4DFU radio club station (they have nicer computers than I do!)

This article's source was last edited on September 10, 2020.
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⚠️ Warning: This article is obsolete.
Articles typically receive this designation when the technology they describe is no longer relevant, code provided is later deemed to be of poor quality, or the topics discussed are better presented in future articles. Articles like this are retained for the sake of preservation, but their content should be critically assessed.

Dynamic Logo Generation with Python

I'm working on a software project and I'd love the startup screen to be unique. I want the splash image to be generated programmatically. I have to generate it from the script, but how can I reliably print text on an image with fonts vary across operating systems? Keep in mind many OS's don't have "arial.ttf", or no truetype fonts at all!

First, I created a 2D binary array to represent the alphabet using pixel fonts such as this as a reference. The word I'm trying to create is "QRSS VD" (the name of my program). I store the data in strings, as seen below. I use 1's to mark pixels, and spaces to mark empty spaces.

data="""
1111 1111 1111 1111   1  1 111
1  1 1  1 1    1      1  1 1  1
1  1 1111 1111 1111   1  1 1  1
1 11 1 1     1    1   1 1  1  1
1111 1 11 1111 1111    1   111
"""

Once I think it looks nice, I replace the spaces with zeros to make it take up a lot of visual space...

data2="""
1111011110111101111000100101110
1001010010100001000000100101001
1001011110111101111000100101001
1011010100000100001000101001001
1111010110111101111000010001110
"""

Then I further obscure it by replacing linebreaks with a different symbol, such as the number 2, then break the lines so they're not lined up...

b="1111011110111101111000100101110210010100101000010000001001010012"
b+="1001011110111101111000100101001210110101000001000010001010010012"
b+="1111010110111101111000010001110"

The result is a pretty cool way to obscure the text. I don't know why you'd want to, but if you want to make sure that no one goes in and changes the letters around (at least without making them think pretty hard about it) you could look at ways to further encrypt this data stream. From here, I create an image using the Python Imaging Library, setting pixel values to 255*b[x,y] (so 0 stays 0 and 1 becomes 255, perfect for an 8-bit image). After enlarging, here's the result:

Now let's make it a little bit less pixelated. It's not a cure-all method, but blurring it up a little with a bilinear filter helps a lot...

Then I apply the code below which applies a cool colormap to the pixel values. I'll provide cleaner code for this later (I have a really cool way of generating colormaps and saving them as arrays of RGB tuples). Then I go through and plot some random sin wavs on top of it. Sweet! Here are 6 images generated from the program run 6 times. Notice the randomness of the sine wavs!

A different image is generated every time the script runs, and it requires no external files (bitmaps or fonts) and should work well on all operating systems.

from PIL import Image
from PIL import ImageOps
from PIL import ImageFilter
from random import randint
import scipy


def genLogo():
    colormap = [(0, 0, 129), (0, 0, 134), (0, 0, 139), (0, 0, 143), (0, 0, 148), (0, 0, 152), (0, 0, 157), (0, 0, 161), (0, 0, 166), (0, 0, 170), (0, 0, 175), (0, 0, 180), (0, 0, 184), (0, 0, 189), (0, 0, 193), (0, 0, 198), (0, 0, 202), (0, 0, 207), (0, 0, 211), (0, 0, 216), (0, 0, 220), (0, 0, 225), (0, 0, 230), (0, 0, 234), (0, 0, 239), (0, 0, 243), (0, 0, 248), (0, 0, 252), (0, 0, 255), (0, 0, 255), (0, 0, 255), (0, 0, 255), (0, 2, 255), (0, 7, 255), (0, 11, 255), (0, 14, 255), (0, 18, 255), (0, 23, 255), (0, 27, 255), (0, 31, 255), (0, 34, 255), (0, 39, 255), (0, 43, 255), (0, 47, 255), (0, 51, 255), (0, 54, 255), (0, 59, 255), (0, 63, 255), (0, 67, 255), (0, 71, 255), (0, 75, 255), (0, 79, 255), (0, 83, 255), (0, 87, 255), (0, 91, 255), (0, 95, 255), (0, 99, 255), (0, 103, 255), (0, 107, 255), (0, 111, 255), (0, 115, 255), (0, 119, 255), (0, 123, 255), (0, 127, 255), (0, 131, 255), (0, 135, 255), (0, 139, 255), (0, 143, 255), (0, 147, 255), (0, 151, 255), (0, 155, 255), (0, 159, 255), (0, 163, 255), (0, 167, 255), (0, 171, 255), (0, 175, 255), (0, 179, 255), (0, 183, 255), (0, 187, 255), (0, 191, 255), (0, 195, 255), (0, 199, 255), (0, 203, 255), (0, 207, 255), (0, 211, 255), (0, 215, 255), (0, 219, 254), (0, 223, 251), (0, 227, 248), (2, 231, 245), (5, 235, 241), (7, 239, 238), (11, 243, 235), (14, 247, 232), (18, 251, 228), (21, 255, 225), (23, 255, 222), (27, 255, 219), (31, 255, 215), (34, 255, 212), (37, 255, 208), (40, 255, 205), (44, 255, 203), (47, 255, 199), (50, 255, 195), (54, 255, 192), (57, 255, 189), (60, 255, 186), (63, 255, 183), (66, 255, 179), (70, 255, 176), (73, 255, 173), (76, 255, 170), (79, 255, 166), (83, 255, 163), (86, 255, 160), (89, 255, 157), (92, 255, 154), (95, 255, 150), (99, 255, 147), (102, 255, 144), (105, 255, 141), (108, 255, 137), (112, 255, 134), (115, 255, 131), (118, 255, 128), (121, 255, 125), (124, 255, 121),
                (128, 255, 118), (131, 255, 115), (134, 255, 112), (137, 255, 108), (141, 255, 105), (144, 255, 102), (147, 255, 99), (150, 255, 95), (154, 255, 92), (157, 255, 89), (160, 255, 86), (163, 255, 83), (166, 255, 79), (170, 255, 76), (173, 255, 73), (176, 255, 70), (179, 255, 66), (183, 255, 63), (186, 255, 60), (189, 255, 57), (192, 255, 54), (195, 255, 50), (199, 255, 47), (202, 255, 44), (205, 255, 41), (208, 255, 37), (212, 255, 34), (215, 255, 31), (218, 255, 28), (221, 255, 24), (224, 255, 21), (228, 255, 18), (231, 255, 15), (234, 255, 12), (238, 255, 8), (241, 252, 5), (244, 248, 2), (247, 244, 0), (250, 240, 0), (254, 236, 0), (255, 233, 0), (255, 229, 0), (255, 226, 0), (255, 221, 0), (255, 218, 0), (255, 215, 0), (255, 211, 0), (255, 207, 0), (255, 203, 0), (255, 199, 0), (255, 196, 0), (255, 192, 0), (255, 188, 0), (255, 184, 0), (255, 180, 0), (255, 177, 0), (255, 173, 0), (255, 169, 0), (255, 165, 0), (255, 162, 0), (255, 159, 0), (255, 155, 0), (255, 151, 0), (255, 147, 0), (255, 143, 0), (255, 140, 0), (255, 136, 0), (255, 132, 0), (255, 128, 0), (255, 125, 0), (255, 121, 0), (255, 117, 0), (255, 114, 0), (255, 110, 0), (255, 106, 0), (255, 102, 0), (255, 99, 0), (255, 95, 0), (255, 91, 0), (255, 88, 0), (255, 84, 0), (255, 80, 0), (255, 76, 0), (255, 73, 0), (255, 69, 0), (255, 65, 0), (255, 62, 0), (255, 58, 0), (255, 54, 0), (255, 51, 0), (255, 47, 0), (255, 43, 0), (255, 39, 0), (255, 36, 0), (255, 32, 0), (255, 28, 0), (255, 25, 0), (255, 21, 0), (253, 17, 0), (248, 14, 0), (244, 10, 0), (240, 6, 0), (235, 2, 0), (230, 0, 0), (225, 0, 0), (221, 0, 0), (217, 0, 0), (212, 0, 0), (207, 0, 0), (203, 0, 0), (198, 0, 0), (194, 0, 0), (189, 0, 0), (185, 0, 0), (180, 0, 0), (175, 0, 0), (171, 0, 0), (166, 0, 0), (162, 0, 0), (157, 0, 0), (152, 0, 0), (148, 0, 0), (144, 0, 0), (139, 0, 0), (134, 0, 0), (130, 0, 0), (134, 0, 0), (130, 0, 0)]

    def red(val):
        return colormap[val][0]

    def green(val):
        return colormap[val][1]

    def blue(val):
        return colormap[val][2]

    def colorize(im):
        r = Image.eval(im, red)
        g = Image.eval(im, green)
        b = Image.eval(im, blue)
        im = Image.merge("RGB", (r, g, b))
        return im
    b = "1111011110111101111000100101110210010100101000010000001001010012"
    b += "1001011110111101111000100101001210110101000001000010001010010012"
    b += "1111010110111101111000010001110"
    b = b.split("2")
    im = Image.new("L", (33+15, 7+13))
    data = im.load()
    for y in range(len(b)):
        for x in range(len(b[y])):
            data[x+6, y+6] = int(b[y][x])*255
    scale = 15
    im = im.resize((im.size[0]*scale, im.size[1]*scale))
    data = im.load()

    def drawSin(width, height, vertoffset, horizoffset, thickness, darkness):
        for x in range(im.size[0]):
            y = scipy.sin((x-horizoffset)/float(width))*height+vertoffset
            for i in range(thickness):
                if 0 <= y+i < im.size[1] and 0 <= x < im.size[0]:
                    # print x,im.size[0],y+i,im.size[1]
                    data[x, y+i] = data[x, y+i]+darkness

    for i in range(5):
        print "line", i
        drawSin(randint(5, 75), randint(-100, 200), randint(0, im.size[1]),
                randint(0, im.size[0]), randint(3, 15), 70)
    for i in range(10):
        im = im.filter(ImageFilter.SMOOTH_MORE)
    im = colorize(im)
    return im


im = genLogo()
im.save('logo.png', "PNG")
This article's source was last edited on September 10, 2020.
Have something to say about this article? Let me know!

Spring Break Software Project

Wow, I can't believe I took-on such a massive challenge this week! Ironically I've worked harder and learned more in the last 4 days than I have over the last 9 months of dental school. This is an incredible feeling of accomplishment. My program, coded from scratch, polls the sound card continuously and makes extremely large spectrographs. It's not finished, but it's working. I'm impressed!

The image above is the actual-size display of the image below. The image below was actually cropped to less than 3,000 pixels high, whereas the original is over 8,000 pixels high!

Note from Future Scott (ten years later, August 2019):

I remember this day! It was the first time I completed a big software project, and it was a great feeling. It motivated me to continue working on software for years to come. I also got a kick out of this quote from early-dental-student Scott: "I've worked harder and learned more in the last 4 days than I have over the last 9 months of dental school."

This article's source was last edited on September 10, 2020.
Have something to say about this article? Let me know!
⚠️ Warning: This article is obsolete.
Articles typically receive this designation when the technology they describe is no longer relevant, code provided is later deemed to be of poor quality, or the topics discussed are better presented in future articles. Articles like this are retained for the sake of preservation, but their content should be critically assessed.

Smoothly Scroll an Image Across a Window with Tkinter vs. PyGame

The goal is simple: have a very large image (larger than the window) automatically scroll across a Python-generated GUI window. I already have the code created to generate spectrograph images in real time, now I just need a way to have them displayed in real time. At first I tried moving the coordinates of my images and even generating new images with create_image(), but everything I did resulted in a tacky "flickering" effect (not to mention it was slow). Thankfully I found that self.canv.move(self.imgtag,-1,0) can move a specific item (self.imgtag) by a specified amount and it does it smoothly (without flickering). Here's some sample code. Make sure "snip.bmp" is a big image in the same folder as this script

from Tkinter import *
import Image
import ImageTk


class scrollingImage(Frame):

    def go(self):
        self.canv.move(self.imgtag, -1, 0)
        self.canv.update()
        self.after(100, self.go)

    def __init__(self, parent=None):
        Frame.__init__(self, parent)
        self.master.title("Spectrogram Viewer")
        self.pack(expand=YES, fill=BOTH)
        self.canv = Canvas(self, relief=SUNKEN)
        self.canv.config(width=200, height=200)
        self.canv.config(highlightthickness=0)

        sbarV = Scrollbar(self, orient=VERTICAL)
        sbarH = Scrollbar(self, orient=HORIZONTAL)

        sbarV.config(command=self.canv.yview)
        sbarH.config(command=self.canv.xview)

        self.canv.config(yscrollcommand=sbarV.set)
        self.canv.config(xscrollcommand=sbarH.set)

        sbarV.pack(side=RIGHT, fill=Y)
        sbarH.pack(side=BOTTOM, fill=X)

        self.canv.pack(side=LEFT, expand=YES, fill=BOTH)
        self.im = Image.open("./snip.bmp")
        width, height = self.im.size
        # self.canv.config(scrollregion=(0,0,width,height))
        self.canv.config(scrollregion=(0, 0, 300, 300))
        self.im2 = ImageTk.PhotoImage(self.im)
        x, y = 0, 0
        self.imgtag = self.canv.create_image(x, y,
                                             anchor="nw", image=self.im2)
        self.go()

scrollingImage().mainloop()

Alternatively, I found a way to accomplish a similar thing with PyGame. I've decided not to use PyGame for my software package however, because it's too specific and can't be run well alongside Tk windows, and it would be insanely hard to add scrollbars to the window. However it's extremely effective at scrolling images smoothly. Anyhow, here's the code:

import pygame
from PIL import Image

im = Image.open("1hr_original.jpg")
graphic = pygame.image.fromstring(im.tostring(), im.size, im.mode)
screen = pygame.display.set_mode((400, 300))
clock = pygame.time.Clock()
running = 1
x, y = 0, 0
while running:
    clock.tick(30)
    for event in pygame.event.get():  # get user input
        if event.type == pygame.QUIT:  # if user clicks the close X
            running = 0  # make running 0 to break out of loop
    screen.blit(graphic, (x, y))
    pygame.display.flip()  # Update screen
    x -= 1
This article's source was last edited on September 10, 2020.
Have something to say about this article? Let me know!
⚠️ Warning: This article is obsolete.
Articles typically receive this designation when the technology they describe is no longer relevant, code provided is later deemed to be of poor quality, or the topics discussed are better presented in future articles. Articles like this are retained for the sake of preservation, but their content should be critically assessed.

Realtime FFT Graph of Audio WAV File or Microphone Input with Python, Scipy, and WCKgraph

I'm stretching the limits of what these software platforms were designed to to, but I'm impressed such a hacked-together code produces fast, functional results. The code below is the simplest case code I could create which graphs the audio spectrum of the microphone input. It seems to run fine with about 30+ FPS on my modest machine. It should work on Windows and Linux. I chose not to go with matplotlib because I didn't think it was fast enough for my needs in this one case. Here's what the code below looks like running:

NOTE that this program was designed with the intent of recording the FFTs, therefore if the program "falls behind" the real time input, it will buffer the sound on its own and try to catch up (accomplished by two layers of threading). In this way, all audio gets interpreted. If you're just trying to create a spectrograph for simple purposes, have it only sample the audio when it needs to, rather than having it sample audio continuously.

import pyaudio
import scipy
import struct
import scipy.fftpack

from Tkinter import *
import threading
import time, datetime
import wckgraph
import math

#ADJUST THIS TO CHANGE SPEED/SIZE OF FFT
bufferSize=2**11
#bufferSize=2**8

# ADJUST THIS TO CHANGE SPEED/SIZE OF FFT
sampleRate=48100
#sampleRate=64000

p = pyaudio.PyAudio()
chunks=[]
ffts=[]
def stream():
        global chunks, inStream, bufferSize
        while True:
                chunks.append(inStream.read(bufferSize))

def record():
        global w, inStream, p, bufferSize
        inStream = p.open(format=pyaudio.paInt16,channels=1,
                rate=sampleRate,input=True,frames_per_buffer=bufferSize)
        threading.Thread(target=stream).start()

def downSample(fftx,ffty,degree=10):
        x,y=[],[]
        for i in range(len(ffty)/degree-1):
                x.append(fftx[i*degree+degree/2])
                y.append(sum(ffty[i*degree:(i+1)*degree])/degree)
        return [x,y]

def smoothWindow(fftx,ffty,degree=10):
        lx,ly=fftx[degree:-degree],[]
        for i in range(degree,len(ffty)-degree):
                ly.append(sum(ffty[i-degree:i+degree]))
        return [lx,ly]

def smoothMemory(ffty,degree=3):
        global ffts
        ffts = ffts+[ffty]
        if len(ffts)< =degree: return ffty
        ffts=ffts[1:]
        return scipy.average(scipy.array(ffts),0)

def detrend(fftx,ffty,degree=10):
        lx,ly=fftx[degree:-degree],[]
        for i in range(degree,len(ffty)-degree):
                ly.append(ffty[i]-sum(ffty[i-degree:i+degree])/(degree*2))
                #ly.append(fft[i]-(ffty[i-degree]+ffty[i+degree])/2)
        return [lx,ly]

def graph():
        global chunks, bufferSize, fftx,ffty, w
        if len(chunks)>0:
                data = chunks.pop(0)
                data=scipy.array(struct.unpack("%dB"%(bufferSize*2),data))
                #print "RECORDED",len(data)/float(sampleRate),"SEC"
                ffty=scipy.fftpack.fft(data)
                fftx=scipy.fftpack.rfftfreq(bufferSize*2, 1.0/sampleRate)
                fftx=fftx[0:len(fftx)/4]
                ffty=abs(ffty[0:len(ffty)/2])/1000
                ffty1=ffty[:len(ffty)/2]
                ffty2=ffty[len(ffty)/2::]+2
                ffty2=ffty2[::-1]
                ffty=ffty1+ffty2
                ffty=scipy.log(ffty)-2
                #fftx,ffty=downSample(fftx,ffty,5)
                #fftx,ffty=detrend(fftx,ffty,30)
                #fftx,ffty=smoothWindow(fftx,ffty,10)
                ffty=smoothMemory(ffty,3)
                #fftx,ffty=detrend(fftx,ffty,10)
                w.clear()
                #w.add(wckgraph.Axes(extent=(0, -1, fftx[-1], 3)))
                w.add(wckgraph.Axes(extent=(0, -1, 6000, 3)))
                w.add(wckgraph.LineGraph([fftx,ffty]))
                w.update()
        if len(chunks)>20:
                print "falling behind...",len(chunks)

def go(x=None):
        global w,fftx,ffty
        print "STARTING!"
        threading.Thread(target=record).start()
        while True:
                graph()

root = Tk()
root.title("SPECTRUM ANALYZER")
root.geometry('500x200')
w = wckgraph.GraphWidget(root)
w.pack(fill=BOTH, expand=1)
go()
mainloop()
This article's source was last edited on September 10, 2020.
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