Running VOACAP under Apple Macintosh OS X

VOACAP Quick Guide: Home

The following is a quick guide to compiling, installing and operating a text-based version of VOACAP under Apple Macintosh OS X. This guide requires familiarity with UNIX-based operating systems. If you don't feel comfortable with this guide, please do not continue. This guide has originally been tested with Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard); however, afterwards, some changes have been made in Jim Watson's voacapl package, and so, this guide may or may not be 100% accurate in that respect.

1. Installing the XCode Tools from Mac OS X disks

The Mac OS X Xcode Tools package provides additional tools that you will need to install to round out your development environment. These are not part of the default installation, but are essential to you. They contain some of the most important tools, such as the compiler (gcc) and debugger (gdb).

You can find the Xcode Tools Installer on your Mac OS X DVD (or as one of the CDs in the CD version). In Leopard, this is the Installer Disk 2.

2. Installing the GFortran compiler

The ready-built GFortran Compiler for Mac OS X is available for downloading at Download the appropriate installer. GFortran is available as a nice Apple-style installer for Mac OS X Tiger (10.4), Leopard (10.5) and Snow Leopard (10.6). Install the package. The binaries will be installed under the /usr/local/bin directory.

3. Compiling the VOACAP engine (VOACAPL)

  • Get the voacapl source code package for Jim Watson's site. Unzip it.
  • Open the Terminal app and go to the directory of the unzipped voacapl package.
  • First, enter the following command to build the Make file:
    • sudo ./configure
  • Your password will be prompted, and then the Make file will be built.
  • Then, to build the voacapl application, enter:
    • sudo make
  • After a successful build (and a lot of warnings), install the app by issuing
    • sudo make install

By default, this will install your voacapl binary under the /usr/local/bin directory.

4. Compiling the ITSHFBC components

  • After you have compiled the voacapl application, type
    • sudo makeitshfbc

    This will compile the coefficient files, needed for running VOACAPL, for you. If you need assistance in compiling and installing the necessary files, please visit Jim Watson's site at

5. Running VOACAP predictions

Now you can try that everything works, by entering the following command
voacapl ~/itshfbc

This should output something like this to the screen:

jpe:run jpe$ voacapl ~/itshfbc
 Run Directory      : /Users/jpe/itshfbc/run
 Opening Data File  : voacapx.dat
 TRANSMIT=2-D Table [default/const17.voa  ]=Const 17dB  beam=   0.0  az=  57.4
 RECEIVE =2-D Table [default/swwhip.voa   ]=SWWhip.VOA  beam=   0.0  az= 254.7
 Method 30 Jun 100ssn  Freqs=  6.1  7.2  9.7 11.9 13.7 15.4 17.7 21.6 25.9

Now you know that voacapl works well for you.

Using the previous example, you can investigate the result file e.g. as follows:

less ~/itshfbc/run/voacapx.out