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Setting up WSJT-x on a MAC by Rick W7RNB / WI2XJQ

– Posted in: 630 Meter Instructional Topics, 630 Meters

Rick, W7RNB / WI2XJQ, shares his experiences of setting up WSJTx on a MAC as an alternative to Windows and Linux – enjoy!

Lately there has been discussion on the ON4KST blog about some stations moving to LINUX to run the WSJT-x software instead of WINDOWS. Here is another alternative –

Joe Taylor and his team have seen fit to provide a great software package for the MAC system O/S. Being a Mac user I found it curious to try out. The results are excellent. I won’t go into a the setup because there is a read me file that explains how to do that. It is very straight forward and easy to follow. It does require that you have some knowledge of your MAC to get into the TERMINAL mode but the installation is pretty simple.

Download WSJT-x for MAC – then click on the ‘.dmg’ ICON and it will start. It’s going to bring up a window that has the application, the ‘read me’ file and a ‘sysctl.conf’ file. Drag and drop both the ‘Read Me and sysctl.conf’ files to the Desktop. Open the Read me file and print it out because you will need to refer to it as you move around your MAC. The WSJT instructions will have you type commands into ‘Terminal’ and execute them. Don’t fear this, just make sure what you type has no errors.


Getting into terminal mode — Open ‘Finder’ — Open ‘Applications’ , then scroll down to the bottom and open the ‘Utilities’ folder. Scroll down and click on ‘Terminal’ and a window will open.


type ‘chpass’

type a password you can remember, hit return

Start the Read Me procedure.

Things to know about using MAC O/S.

If your thinking of using a MAC, that has an older O/S installed. There is a version of WSJT available for O/S 10.6.8. However, it did not work for me. I could not get it to run for more than about 3 minutes before it quit. Consider running under the two newest O/S, 10.11.1 and 10.12.1 ( El Capitan, and Sierra ) as they works flawlessly. As can be seen here in the photo below.

Another advantage of the MAC over WINDOWS is that there is no need for anit-virus software. MAC O/S is pretty much immune those issues. Should the machine slow down a simple reboot will take care of it. Nice feature –

Once you have made necessary memory allocation change per the ‘Read Me ‘ file, and rebooted the MAC, you can start the program.

As a side note, I suggest that you move the WSJT program into the Applications folder, then drag and drop a second ICON onto your Desktop for convenience. Then start the program.


Next –

I did my testing using a Tigertronics interface( with an integrated sound card) and cables for my particular radios. The cables required come with the unit and one is USB the others interface to your radio(s). The software will detect the Tigertonics and connect it right up.

What may not happen is to establish the audio path necessary for both TX and RX. In that case, you will have to go into System Preferences and select the audio ICON to make sure that the MAC knows your going to use the CODEC for both input and output. Going into the setup on WSJT too; make sure that it sees the CODEC. Run the program, set your levels and your good to go.

If your not using the Tirgertronics, you can still use the MAC by making cables with 600 to 600 ohm line transformers in them. One cable goes to the line / microphone input (RX) and the other to the earphone/speaker system output.(TX microphone input) Then you will control the levels from the Audio ICON in ‘System Preferences’. Once those are set then the program levels can be used to fine tune your input and output as required.

Hope this information helps – Rick W7RNB / WI2XJQ