Revisiting my spotviz.info webapp: visualizing WSJT-X FT8 spots over time

A few years back I built an AngularJS webapp for visualizing JT65/JT9 spots over a period of time, logged as you run the WSJT-X app to decode FT8 signals you receive at your station. At the time I had it deployed on RedHat’s OpenShift, running in a couple of ‘gears’: one for JBoss hosting a REST API backend, a queue and MDB for processing uploaded spots, and one for a MongoDB database to store the collected spot info. Unfortunately the ‘bronze’ basic plan which was an incredible good deal for hosting apps at the time (at around $1 a month if I remember right) was discontinued, and the replacement plans were multiple times the cost, so I discontinued the app and didn’t redeploy it again after that.

At some point thought I was planning on taking another look at deploying it elsewhere, and if I’m going to pick it up again, I might as well take a look at refreshing the architecture. Here’s what the original v1 deployment looked like:

For personal projects I typically build them using some api or technology I want to get more familiar with. I remember at the time I had a need to refresh myself on JAX-WS SOAP based webservices, so the client that is monitoring the WSJT-X log file and uploading to the serverside for processing is a generated JAX-WS client to a webservice deployed in front of a queue; it receives the messages sent from the client and adds them to the queue for processing. If I had to refresh this part there’s no real need for this to be as heavy as JAX-WS and could be simpler with a simple REST api, so that’s probably how I’ll update that part.

I’m interested in something like Apache Kafka can be used to process high volumes of incoming data, so this might be a good refresh for the serverside queue and MDB.

I remember putting a lot of time into building my animated map display of received spots in the AngularJS app. This was back in 2015 I think, so this could probably do with a refresh to at least the latest/current Angular version, which would be a considerable rewrite I think. I’ll take a look.

Anyway, I haven’t run any part of this even locally in development for years, so that will be my first steps, get it up and running, and then start incrementally updating some of the parts.

This project is related to my recent experiments with getting WSJT-X and a SDRPlay RSP2 running on a Raspberry Pi, as a low cost FT8 monitoring station, so now that part is up and running, time to work on the software side again.

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