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OCTL is an experimental program to monitor and control functions of the Ten-Tec Orion transceiver. In version 0.1, OCTL tries to replicate the information available to the Orion LCD display. The serial port interface does not fully support this, but we do what we can.

OCTL in its current form is not meant to be an especially practical program, but it demonstrates a lot about how to communicate with the Orion.


OCTL is written in Python, a modern, object-oriented, semi-interpretive language. Python comes out of the Unix/Linux culture, but versions are available free for Windows and Macintosh. OCTL was developed under Fedora Linux (FC1). It should be compatible with other platforms, but this has not been tested. OCTL relies on the pyserial package for serial port I/O. Python's "curses" package displays data for the screen, emulating the cursor management of old-style "glass teletypes". Yes, you will be able control your Orion with a VT100 terminal.

OCTL is copyrighted, but is freely available in source form for download and user modification. If you modify or redistribute this program, please give an appropriate citation.

View or download OCTL:

Yes, there are some bugs. For example, ATTN and STEP for the sub-receiver don't work. The values shown are for the main receiver. This is a problem with the Orion firmware. Orion also does not provide (documented) access to the NB/NR/NOTCH/AM parameters. The program is likely to get confused if you spin the VFO knobs too aggressively for too long. The update cycle is fairly slow (1-2 seconds), but the CPU utilization (on my AMD Athlon XP 2000+) is very low. The speed is determined by Orion's serial protocol and processor speed.

Further bug reports and suggestions are welcome to martin .at. This software is supplied "as is" and is not warranted for any purpose whatsoever. While we welcome comments and questions, we cannot promise any support for this program.

Wikified 7/6/2010