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Old 17-11-2014, 14:44   #1
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Airmail and Pactor use on a Mac

Hello all,

After several days of pulling my hair out, I'm coming to you all to see if I can get some help. We inherited a Pactor IIusb modem on the sailboat that we purchased, and we're very excited about getting it up and running. We recently installed a brand new SSB system, getting the M802 from I-com.

We already own a Macbook pro laptop, and I'd rather not purchase another computer, just to have a PC onboard. So, we've set out to get airmail set up on our macintosh. I'm using Crossover to emulate a windows environment, and it seems as though the airmail software is installed and running just fine. As I go through the set-up wizzard, I can't seem to get my Pactor to communicate with my mac. I'm using a Standard USB B to Standard USB A cord to connect the pactor with the mac. The computer is recognizing the device, as I can see it from the System Information window. (Photo Attached)

As I go through the set-up wizzard, I arrive at the window to select which HF-Modem I have, which COM Port it's using, and the Baud rate. This is where I get hung up. I have everything turned on and connected (radio, pactor, and laptop), but when I click search, it tells me that I have no pactor family modem connected.

I thought there was a driver I was missing (the old CD that came with the pactor is no where to be found), so I downloaded the pactor II driver into Crossover.

Still no change.

Does anyone out there use a mac laptop and a pactor (and obviously the ssb too) to connect to Airmail? Does anyone use Crossover? I've already paid for the software (stupid I know, but I wanted to get things in order while I still had reliable wifi), so I'd like to troubleshoot this configuration as much as possible before I throw it out the window.

I'm already read the "Using Airmail on a Mac" from the sailmail website, but they use Parallels and I'd need a Windows instal CD available, which, of course, I don't have.

If anyone is in the same situation as I, I'd love to hear how you worked this all out.

Thanks so much!
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Old 17-11-2014, 15:35   #2
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Re: Airmail and Pactor use on a Mac

I don't know about the current version of Crossover, but in the past, it did not support programs that used serial connections - which is what you need for the Pactor.

You may be able to use a terminal session to look for a Pactor device file and create a symbolic link of that file to a com port.

I have no idea if that will work, or if the Pactor even creates a device file - but it is worth a shot.

Alternately, you can use Parallels or VMware Fusion - I know these work. For a Windows install, there are lots of avenues to get free copies of XP and W7 - just find someone with an old OEM install disk, or take a registration key off an old unused computer. Since you are only going to use it for Pactor, security and support are meaningless because it will be isolated when running.

Mark
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Old 17-11-2014, 15:43   #3
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Re: Airmail and Pactor use on a Mac

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I don't know about the current version of Crossover, but in the past, it did not support programs that used serial connections - which is what you need for the Pactor.

You may be able to use a terminal session to look for a Pactor device file and create a symbolic link of that file to a com port.

I have no idea if that will work, or if the Pactor even creates a device file - but it is worth a shot.

Alternately, you can use Parallels or VMware Fusion - I know these work. For a Windows install, there are lots of avenues to get free copies of XP and W7 - just find someone with an old OEM install disk, or take a registration key off an old unused computer. Since you are only going to use it for Pactor, security and support are meaningless because it will be isolated when running.

Mark
This DOES WORK.
CROSSOVER DOES SUPPORT SERIAL and USB connections to PACTOR

AIRMAIL and SAILMAiL work. for certain on Mavericks ( OS X 10.9) , with latest Crossover, and I believe I had it working as well on a Yosemite (OS X 10.10) based mac.

I shall try to give directions shortly. Unfortunately I am in the middle of a deadline and am unable to give proper directions until 4 hours from now.
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Old 17-11-2014, 16:08   #4
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Re: Airmail and Pactor use on a Mac

Great information, thank you both so much. We've been reading a lot about using Terminal to create a link to our com port, but we aren't getting the same read outs when we punch in commands as others online. So, we are feeling a little roadblocked there, but maybe we need to alter the commands we are using.

h20man, I've been reading a few of your posts today on other sites, and I'm so glad to see you pop up as the expert here. Sorry for the online stalking. Take your time, and don't worry about us while you have a deadline. We are excited to hear what you have to say, but we are patient. We just appreciate the help!

Thanks so much!
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Old 18-11-2014, 14:13   #5
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Re: Airmail and Pactor use on a Mac

If h20man's solution does not work for you, (although I am confident he has forgotten more about these kinds of things in the last hour than I will ever know), for what it is worth I have had no problem using with Parallels on my Mac and was able to do email and get GRIF charts without difficulty.

Regards,
Ron
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Old 18-11-2014, 20:59   #6
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Re: Airmail and Pactor use on a Mac

To all who were waiting, sorry for the delay. I just went through and reinstalled on my mac, as I had an older version. Here are the steps in all their GORY detail.

This is begging to be automated...

I look forward to comments. I put step by step instructions up on one of my clients servers (with their permission).... so Enjoy.. I am sure that I may have made some errors, so please PM with feedback.

Best to all.
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Old 19-11-2014, 12:25   #7
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Re: Airmail and Pactor use on a Mac

Wow, thank you so much for all your hard work on this! It's tremendously appreciated.

I'll give it a try very soon, and let you know if it works.

Thanks again!
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Old 20-11-2014, 19:35   #8
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Re: Airmail and Pactor use on a Mac

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Originally Posted by Errantries View Post
Wow, thank you so much for all your hard work on this! It's tremendously appreciated.

I'll give it a try very soon, and let you know if it works.

Thanks again!
ARG. Not so fast... I just spent a morning getting #15 to work. And I shall have to modify the instructions.

They had a Bluetooth enabled and it was a SCS P4dragon DR-7403.

And they had a virgin mac.

So, there are SEVERAL things that are different and have to be changed. I would appreciate it if you can tell me WHAT pactor you have, and what means of connection you are using.

Many thanks..

(BTW, we were successful in getting AIRMAIL to work, talking to the modem over bluetooth all good.. ) so there is hope... Just it appears that each installation is a bespoke ... So, sorry, but the instructions are not as simple... If you get me your modem and means of communication I think there may be way of getting something that will work.

Sorry for the problems...
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Old 21-11-2014, 11:02   #9
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Re: Airmail and Pactor use on a Mac

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Originally Posted by h20man View Post
To all who were waiting, sorry for the delay. I just went through and reinstalled on my mac, as I had an older version. Here are the steps in all their GORY detail.

This is begging to be automated...

I look forward to comments. I put step by step instructions up on one of my clients servers (with their permission).... so Enjoy.. I am sure that I may have made some errors, so please PM with feedback.

Best to all.
I am crying... tears of joy!!!

I will follow your directions for my new 801E with Pactor 4 modem. Been looking everywhere for a solution.

A thousand thanks.
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Old 21-11-2014, 11:05   #10
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Re: Airmail and Pactor use on a Mac

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Originally Posted by Eleuthera 2014 View Post
I am crying... tears of joy!!!

I will follow your directions for my new 801E with Pactor 4 modem. Been looking everywhere for a solution.

A thousand thanks.
To insure they are tears of joy... Can you give me the model number of the modem you have?

Thanks

I want to insure the instructions shall work for your model.
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Old 21-11-2014, 11:11   #11
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Re: Airmail and Pactor use on a Mac

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Originally Posted by h20man View Post
To insure they are tears of joy... Can you give me the model number of the modem you have?

Thanks

I want to insure the instructions shall work for your model.
Luckily, I have the kit in front of me in miserable rainy London UK.... waiting to get shipped to Turkey to complete the refit.

I have a MacBook Air, repeat Air... not many plug ins... running Yosemite 10.10.1. Parallels installed including Microsoft Windows 10... yep 10.

The Pactor is a 4 (model DR7400) on Bluetooth.

Thank you for your help... beholden to you!
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Old 21-11-2014, 11:16   #12
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Re: Airmail and Pactor use on a Mac

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Originally Posted by Eleuthera 2014 View Post
Luckily, I have the kit in front of me in miserable rainy London UK.... waiting to get shipped to Turkey to complete the refit.

I have a MacBook Air, repeat Air... not many plug ins... running Yosemite 10.10.1. Parallels installed including Microsoft Windows 10... yep 10.

The Pactor is a 4 (model DR7400) on Bluetooth.

Thank you for your help... beholden to you!
Super... The pactor kit is the same that we just got running on a VIRGIN macbook pro 15" running yosemite and crossover. 14.

The instructions are NOT going to work for you.. BUt I know how to make it work.... and am modifying instructions to be correct. More shortly.. do not cry... all shall be good.
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Old 21-11-2014, 11:22   #13
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Re: Airmail and Pactor use on a Mac

Superb stuff. About to set off RTW... if you want a leg on my boat, just say the word..
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Old 22-11-2014, 08:08   #14
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Re: Airmail and Pactor use on a Mac

Hello,

Found a good amount of time this morning to sit down and get this all sorted through. I have a Pactor II-usb, with the Pactor III license upgrade.

The first thing I realized was that I was completely confused about the drivers before. My first mistake was not having the correct FTDI driver downloaded on the mac side of the equation. I thought the PC drivers that come downloaded with Airmail would work to force Airmail to communicate with my hardware, but, of course, this was wrong. PC drivers aren't going to work to talk to the mac hardware that I'm using. Mistake #1.

This was obviously the root of the Terminal problem in which I wasn't seeing an any additional devices after plugging in my modem and running the "cd /dev/" command.

So, I think I'm well on my way to getting this to work. I'm not sure which step is #15, but, since I'm not using bluetooth and simply plugging the USB into my mac, maybe it's easier.. ? Turns out it was numbered COM 3 for my left-side USB port on my MBP Retina. I have several pamphlets from Dock Side Radio that helped tremendously with the Airmail side of the installation.

I don't have great propagation at my location at the moment to do more trail-and-error with the actual sending of email. But it seems like it's all set up.

Again- thank you SO much for such hard work to help out a stranger! We are in the Bahamas at the moment, so if our paths ever cross, I'd love to buy you a beer. Well, many, that is. This is worth a least a case of Sands. There are several of us with tears of joy on this forum now! Myself included.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
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Old 11-12-2014, 07:01   #15
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Re: Airmail and Pactor use on a Mac

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Originally Posted by Errantries View Post
Hello,

Found a good amount of time this morning to sit down and get this all sorted through. I have a Pactor II-usb, with the Pactor III license upgrade.

The first thing I realized was that I was completely confused about the drivers before. My first mistake was not having the correct FTDI driver downloaded on the mac side of the equation. I thought the PC drivers that come downloaded with Airmail would work to force Airmail to communicate with my hardware, but, of course, this was wrong. PC drivers aren't going to work to talk to the mac hardware that I'm using. Mistake #1.

This was obviously the root of the Terminal problem in which I wasn't seeing an any additional devices after plugging in my modem and running the "cd /dev/" command.

So, I think I'm well on my way to getting this to work. I'm not sure which step is #15, but, since I'm not using bluetooth and simply plugging the USB into my mac, maybe it's easier.. ? Turns out it was numbered COM 3 for my left-side USB port on my MBP Retina. I have several pamphlets from Dock Side Radio that helped tremendously with the Airmail side of the installation.

I don't have great propagation at my location at the moment to do more trail-and-error with the actual sending of email. But it seems like it's all set up.

Again- thank you SO much for such hard work to help out a stranger! We are in the Bahamas at the moment, so if our paths ever cross, I'd love to buy you a beer. Well, many, that is. This is worth a least a case of Sands. There are several of us with tears of joy on this forum now! Myself included.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
Ok, I've attempted to update the instructions, and had a colleague I work with get a little script to automate as well as can be expected in a short dev cycle.

It is not a little mac program (rather it is a terminal script) but...it should talk you through what needs to be done and should help.

As to bluetooth, if you pair with Bluetooth first (follow the new bluetooth instructions) it should create a port that appears only for a short while. I did not see any serial info on the port, so I've just had my colleague hard code it in the install script.

I look forward to more comments, and hopefully soon people shall be able to use technology as a NORMAL tool, rather then feel used by technology.

Best
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