Jul 20, 2023

Grid square calculator program used in Amateur Radio and GPS work

This is a program for translating maidenhead grid squares to and from lat/long. This is of most use to Amateur Radio operators but may be useful to GPS users.

Originally written by Harald M. Stauss harald.stauss@web.de DO1JHS @ DB0GR.#BLN.DEU.EU

The FreeBSD port “Locator” falls under the comms category and serves as an integral tool for communication operations within your FreeBSD environment. Serving as a subscriber locator for MBONE applications, Locator enhances the flexibility and efficiency of your tasks. In this blog post, we will delve into the intricate details of this FreeBSD port, including how to use it and its significant benefits.


The first step is always to install the Locator. As with many FreeBSD ports, the installation process is straightforward. You’ll simply use the command-line prompt to get it running on your system.

cd /usr/ports/comms/locator/ && make install clean

Alternatively, if you wish to install the binary package, use

pkg install locator

Presto! The Locator port is successfully installed! Let’s now walk you through its functionalities and how you can make the most out of it.

How to Use Locator

Running Locator is quite straightforward. With the program now successfully installed, you can launch it from your shell by simply typing ‘locator’ and hit ‘Enter’.

This will welcome you with the interface of the Locator tool where you have options to input specific parameters or data based on the task you are to perform.

In general, we would use the Locator in this format

locator [options] subscriber

Several command flags options can be used with the Locator to perform specific tasks

-d - Provides verbose debug information.

-h - Displays a short usage message.

-t - Set timeout in seconds default is 5 seconds.

For instance, if you wanted to locate a subscriber with verbose debug information, you’d use

locator -d subscriber

Remember that ‘subscriber’ in this context must be replaced with the name of the actual subscriber you wish to locate.

Benefits of Locator

  1. Efficient Resource Location Locator allows for the efficient location of resources subscribers within an MBONE application network. This simplifies the management and distribution of tasks within the network.

  2. Network Troubleshooting The debug feature is a useful tool for troubleshooting any issues within the network. This helps to locate anomalies and address them timely.

  3. Customizable Timeout Setting The flexibility to set your timeout adds an extra layer of versatility to the Locator, making it adaptable to specific needs.

  4. Lightweight Operation The Locator is a lean tool taking up minimal system resources. This makes it an efficient alternative to heavier, more resource-intensive communication tools.

Additional Resources

While Locator is a handy tool for MBONE applications, other ports could enhance your FreeBSD experience.

For security purposes, consider installing Nmap. The port scanner software is instrumental in IT security and network exploration or security auditing. Find more details about it [here]https//freebsdsoftware.org/security/nmap.html.

As you familiarise yourself with ports in FreeBSD, also, explore the comms category for other beneficial communications tools. You can do this by cd /usr/ports/comms/ and then ls to list all the available ports in this category.


In a nutshell, Locator is an instrumental port for handling MBONE applications in a FreeBSD environment. Its straightforward usage and beneficial features make it an optimal addition to your comms arsenal in FreeBSD. With this guide, you should be all set to harness the Locator in your FreeBSD operations. Let it be your prompt companion in subscriber location and network troubleshooting. Happy FreeBSDing!

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