Downloading and Installing tk Radio Software
on MacOS X-Based Systems

This is experimental software and probably contains defects. It remains under development. When available, newer versions of the tk radio software will be made available for download at this web site.

All my tk radio software is written in Tk/Tcl and designed to run on several different platforms, including MacOS X. I do not have a MacOS X system nor do I know much about them. However, MacOS X owners Ben Mesander and Debbie Fligor have successfully installed and run some of the tk radio control programs on their systems and provided these tips.

Downloading and Installing a tk radio program for MacOS X

  1. If you don't already have fink, learn about it from the fink download page and install it on your system.
  2. Use fink to install the free tcltk package (with any needed dependencies).
  3. The version of wish (windowing shell) that comes with the fink install of tcl/tk uses Xwindows to display, so install Xwindows and XDarwin server as well if you don't have it. I recommend the fvwm2 window manager with this for a .xinitrc file (note: if you don't already have a preference and want to run "Rootless" -- you gracefully quit X by exiting the shell in the console window):
    	exec fvwm2&
    	exec xterm -sb -title console -name console -iconic
  4. NOTE: The following steps use tk545 as an example, but are applicable to all the tk radio software (e.g., tk2, tk7, tk75, tk120, tk500, tk545, tk8500, etc.).

    Remove the old .tk545rc configuration file if it exists from a previous installation.

  5. Download the gzipped Linux version of tk545 (the .tar.gz file) from the Linux version web page.
  6. Unzip and untar the file. (Tip: If you double click on it in a finder window, UnStuffit will do both for you). Move the folder it creates to the location you want the application to remain in.
  7. Prior to running the application, start a new terminal or use an xterm window in XDarwin and setup an environment variable named tk545 like so:
    setenv tk545 /whereever/you/put/tk545
    or, if you're using a non-csh shell,
    export tk545=/whereever/you/put/tk545

    To make this change permanent, put the appropriate export/setenv command in your shell's profile, e.g., in /Users/loginname/.tcshrc for the default shell in OS X, or /Users/loginname/.kshrc if you've installed ksh instead.

  8. After you have defined the tk545 environment variable, the actual program is started by typing:
    /sw/bin/wish $tk545/tk545.tcl
    if you used the default fink install location, otherwise "wish" might not be in /sw/bin.
  9. When prompted, enter the name of your serial device, e.g., /dev/cu.USA28X214P2.2 or /dev/tty.USA28XP2.2 are both version of a Keyspan USB-Serial adaptor plugged in various ways.


  1. If your Keyspan USB-Serial adaptor employs DIN-8 style connectors for the RS-232 end, you will need to purchase a DIN-8 to DB-9 adaptor to connect it to the RS232-to-TTL level converter for your radio.
  2. See the Release notes.
  3. If you are using tk75, tk545, or tk8500, power your receiver on before starting or else the program will freeze.

Revised January 30, 2003

Copyright 2003, Bob Parnass