Topics

Keying interface for PC


Jim, N5IB
 

A few days ago I was reading Terry's (WA0ITP) description of a keying interface he made in order to use N3FJP contest and general logging software to send CW . His interface connected to a PC's printer port.
<http://www.wa0itp.com/cwinterface.html>

With the demise of real serial ports and printer port on laptops, I decided to make an interface using a USB to serial adapter module that I had on hand. As long as it brought out the needed modem control lines (RTS in this case) it ought to work. I made a quick toner transfer PC board, and exercised my recently acquired 3D printer to make an enclosure.

Attached is a PDF document of the project. It works fine - and just in time to get ready for November Sweepstakes.
Additional support information can be found at <https://qsl.net/n5ib/>

73,
Jim, N5IB


Wayne Dillon
 

Seriously nice job Jim, thanks muchly for sharing.
Wayne - NQ0RP

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Johnny AC0BQ
 

Gm Jim 
I have to agree with Wayne.
Great Job!
I have been trying to figure out how to key my radio with the N3FJP software.

Now I need to get busy and build one!!

Thanks
73
Johnny ACØBQ 

On Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 10:49 AM n5ib_2 <n5ib@...> wrote:
A few days ago I was reading Terry's (WA0ITP) description of a keying interface he made in order to use N3FJP contest and general logging software to send CW . His interface connected to a PC's printer port.

<http://www.wa0itp.com/cwinterface.html>



With the demise of real serial ports and printer port on laptops, I decided to make an interface using a USB to serial adapter module that I had on hand. As long as it brought out the needed modem control lines (RTS in this case) it ought to work. I made a quick toner transfer PC board, and exercised my recently acquired 3D printer to make an enclosure.



Attached is a PDF document of the project. It works fine - and just in time to get ready for November Sweepstakes.

Additional support information can be found at  <https://qsl.net/n5ib/>



73,

Jim, N5IB















--
Check out the 4SQRP website at 4sqrp.com


Jim, N5IB
 

I should append a note about using the keying interface with rigs other than the K2...

The 4N25 optoisolator's output transistor is rated at 70 volts C-E breakdown and 50 mA continuous collector current. So the voltage won't be an issue with any solid state rig (tube rig ops beware!), but the current and saturation voltage might be, as Terry had noted.

The K2 draws less than a mA on key-down and has enough voltage margin to accommodate the C-E voltage of the opto plus the diodes used for the "straight-key-sensing" circuit.

Other rigs might sink considerably more current through the key, or require a "harder" ground condition. For instance, a Bayou Jumper passes the full Tx current, about 700 mA, through the key, so no way the little opto could handle that. To test, use your DMM as an ammeter across the rig's key line to measure the "short circuit current." If less than 30 mA or so then no worries.

Worst case - you might have to add a more robust keying transistor stage at the output to handle an beefier keying circuit, or if the opto doesn't pull the line close enough to ground.

I'll make a test with my IC-706 and TS-430S and report back, though I seem to recall using a similar opto isolator with the 706 a few years back with no issues.

I wish I could find a serial BlueTooth module that managed the modem control lines properly, but the ones I've tried, even those with a pinout for RTS, DTR, etc, didn't seem to control them.

I gently prodded N3FJP a couple years back to add program support for Elecraft rigs' ability to send CW via a command over the CAT link, but to date he hasn't had occasion to implement it. Perhaps a "re-prod" is in order :^))

If that feature were included, then my little wireless BlueTooth CAT adapter:
<https://qsl.net/n5ib/Elecraft%20K2%20Bluetooth%20Interface%20Overview.pdf>
would handle rig control and CW keying over the same link.

Jim, N5IB


Jim, N5IB
 

Update: it's amazing what you can learn just by "doing your homework" :^))

Scott (N3FJP) has in fact already implemented an "almost as good" feature for sending CW over the CAT connection to the Elecraft rigs (and others that support a similar feature, like the Icom 7600 and 7610)

In the CW transmit settings, if the function key stored messages are prefixed with "RI:" then the characters that follow will be sent over the active CAT link as command(s) rather than used as text to key the transmitter over a separate keying link.

See the Elecraft KIO2 programmer's reference, page 9:
<https://ftp.elecraft.com/K2/Manuals%20Downloads/KIO2%20Pgmrs%20Ref%20rev%20E.pdf>

and N3FJP's CW transmit settings instructions (quoted below):
".....
With version 1.1, I have added the ability to play saved CW strings stored in your rig (for rigs equipped with this feature). To send a command to your rig instead of sending the string, precede the text with RI:. For example, when placed in an F key string, the following will trigger the Icom 7300 and Icom 7610 internally recorded voice messages: (you must have rig interface enabled and be connected by a com port)......"

For example, if the F4 key is loaded with "RI:SW16;SW08;" then pressing the F4 key will send the message stored in the K2's message memory #1.
the SW16; simulates a tap of the MSG button, and the SW08; simulates tapping the "1" button.

In like manner...
"RI:SW16;SW09;" sends memory #2, "RI:SW16;SW10;" sends #3 and so on.

So in one swell foop [sic] I've almost obsoleted my wired USB keying interface LOL and designated the wireless BlueTooth CAT link as a the keying interface.

What is lost in the scheme is the ability to auto-insert callsigns, serial numbers, etc into a stored message. So Scott still owes us some midnight oil... Break's Over, Scott!! LOL

Jim, N5IB


Johnny AC0BQ
 

Thanks Jim
I appreciate you digging into this.
I am trying to key my Kx3 for the upcoming NAQACC N3A event.

I was thinking that it required two port connections, but I couldn’t figure out how to do that?

The little interface would still be a great asset on a simpler QRP rig.

Thanks again
73
Johnny ACØBQ 

On Sat, Sep 26, 2020 at 11:48 AM n5ib_2 <n5ib@...> wrote:
Update:   it's amazing what you can learn just by "doing your homework"    :^))



Scott (N3FJP) has in fact already implemented an "almost as good" feature for sending CW over the CAT connection to the Elecraft rigs (and others that support a similar feature, like the Icom 7600 and 7610)



In the CW transmit settings, if the function key stored messages are prefixed with "RI:" then the characters that follow will be sent over the active CAT link as command(s) rather than used as text to key the transmitter over a separate keying link.



See the Elecraft KIO2 programmer's reference, page 9:

<https://ftp.elecraft.com/K2/Manuals%20Downloads/KIO2%20Pgmrs%20Ref%20rev%20E.pdf>



and N3FJP's CW transmit settings instructions (quoted below):

".....

With version 1.1, I have added the ability to play saved CW strings stored in your rig (for rigs equipped with this feature).  To send a command to your rig instead of sending the string, precede the text with RI:.  For example, when placed in an F key string, the following will trigger the Icom 7300 and Icom 7610 internally recorded voice messages: (you must have rig interface enabled and be connected by a com port)......"



For example, if the F4 key is loaded with "RI:SW16;SW08;" then pressing the F4 key will send the message stored in the K2's message memory #1.

  the SW16;  simulates a tap of the MSG button, and the SW08; simulates tapping the "1" button.



In like manner...

"RI:SW16;SW09;"  sends memory #2,  "RI:SW16;SW10;"  sends #3 and so on.



So in one swell foop [sic] I've almost obsoleted my wired USB keying interface     LOL    and designated the wireless BlueTooth CAT link as a the keying interface.



What is lost in the scheme is the ability to auto-insert callsigns, serial numbers, etc into a stored message. So Scott still owes us some midnight oil...       Break's Over, Scott!!       LOL



Jim, N5IB













--
Check out the 4SQRP website at 4sqrp.com


Charles W. Powell
 

FYI: The Hilltopper, with serial firmware and a USB-Serial cable not only read frequency out to your logging software, it can also key CW macro messages.  I used the KX3 setting with mine and it worked perfectly.

72,

Chas - NK8O

On 9/26/20 11:48 AM, n5ib_2 wrote:
Update: it's amazing what you can learn just by "doing your homework" :^))

Scott (N3FJP) has in fact already implemented an "almost as good" feature for sending CW over the CAT connection to the Elecraft rigs (and others that support a similar feature, like the Icom 7600 and 7610)

In the CW transmit settings, if the function key stored messages are prefixed with "RI:" then the characters that follow will be sent over the active CAT link as command(s) rather than used as text to key the transmitter over a separate keying link.

See the Elecraft KIO2 programmer's reference, page 9:
<https://ftp.elecraft.com/K2/Manuals%20Downloads/KIO2%20Pgmrs%20Ref%20rev%20E.pdf>

and N3FJP's CW transmit settings instructions (quoted below):
".....
With version 1.1, I have added the ability to play saved CW strings stored in your rig (for rigs equipped with this feature). To send a command to your rig instead of sending the string, precede the text with RI:. For example, when placed in an F key string, the following will trigger the Icom 7300 and Icom 7610 internally recorded voice messages: (you must have rig interface enabled and be connected by a com port)......"

For example, if the F4 key is loaded with "RI:SW16;SW08;" then pressing the F4 key will send the message stored in the K2's message memory #1.
the SW16; simulates a tap of the MSG button, and the SW08; simulates tapping the "1" button.

In like manner...
"RI:SW16;SW09;" sends memory #2, "RI:SW16;SW10;" sends #3 and so on.

So in one swell foop [sic] I've almost obsoleted my wired USB keying interface LOL and designated the wireless BlueTooth CAT link as a the keying interface.

What is lost in the scheme is the ability to auto-insert callsigns, serial numbers, etc into a stored message. So Scott still owes us some midnight oil... Break's Over, Scott!! LOL

Jim, N5IB


Charles W. Powell
 

Single cable to the KX2/KX3 will take care of keying and frequency readout for loads of loggers.  I'm currently using CQRlog under Linux but I was using it previously with RUMlogNG under Mac.  It's brilliant.  Honestly CQRlog is a little clumsier to use but it still works great.  You don't need to store message on the KX2/KX3.  The macro keys or pre-programmed RUN or S&P messages are sent from your computer.

72,

Chas - NK8O

On 9/26/20 1:01 PM, Johnny AC0BQ wrote:
Thanks Jim
I appreciate you digging into this.
I am trying to key my Kx3 for the upcoming NAQACC N3A event.

I was thinking that it required two port connections, but I couldn’t figure out how to do that?

The little interface would still be a great asset on a simpler QRP rig.

Thanks again
73
Johnny ACØBQ 

On Sat, Sep 26, 2020 at 11:48 AM n5ib_2 <n5ib@...> wrote:
Update:   it's amazing what you can learn just by "doing your homework"    :^))



Scott (N3FJP) has in fact already implemented an "almost as good" feature for sending CW over the CAT connection to the Elecraft rigs (and others that support a similar feature, like the Icom 7600 and 7610)



In the CW transmit settings, if the function key stored messages are prefixed with "RI:" then the characters that follow will be sent over the active CAT link as command(s) rather than used as text to key the transmitter over a separate keying link.



See the Elecraft KIO2 programmer's reference, page 9:

<https://ftp.elecraft.com/K2/Manuals%20Downloads/KIO2%20Pgmrs%20Ref%20rev%20E.pdf>



and N3FJP's CW transmit settings instructions (quoted below):

".....

With version 1.1, I have added the ability to play saved CW strings stored in your rig (for rigs equipped with this feature).  To send a command to your rig instead of sending the string, precede the text with RI:.  For example, when placed in an F key string, the following will trigger the Icom 7300 and Icom 7610 internally recorded voice messages: (you must have rig interface enabled and be connected by a com port)......"



For example, if the F4 key is loaded with "RI:SW16;SW08;" then pressing the F4 key will send the message stored in the K2's message memory #1.

  the SW16;  simulates a tap of the MSG button, and the SW08; simulates tapping the "1" button.



In like manner...

"RI:SW16;SW09;"  sends memory #2,  "RI:SW16;SW10;"  sends #3 and so on.



So in one swell foop [sic] I've almost obsoleted my wired USB keying interface     LOL    and designated the wireless BlueTooth CAT link as a the keying interface.



What is lost in the scheme is the ability to auto-insert callsigns, serial numbers, etc into a stored message. So Scott still owes us some midnight oil...       Break's Over, Scott!!       LOL



Jim, N5IB


Johnny AC0BQ
 

Thanks Charles
I’m using N3JFP AC log right now.
I bought his whole package so I can get unlimited updates.
72
Johnny 

On Sat, Sep 26, 2020 at 5:00 PM Charles W. Powell via groups.io <doctorcwp=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:










Single cable to the KX2/KX3 will take care of keying and

frequency readout for loads of loggers.  I'm currently using

CQRlog under Linux but I was using it previously with RUMlogNG

under Mac.  It's brilliant.  Honestly CQRlog is a little clumsier

to use but it still works great.  You don't need to store message

on the KX2/KX3.  The macro keys or pre-programmed RUN or S&P

messages are sent from your computer.




72,



Chas - NK8O




On 9/26/20 1:01 PM, Johnny AC0BQ wrote:






Thanks Jim


I appreciate you digging into this.


I am trying to key my Kx3 for the upcoming NAQACC

N3A event.







I was thinking that it required two port

connections, but I couldn’t figure out how to do that?







The little interface would still be a great asset

on a simpler QRP rig.







Thanks again


73


Johnny ACØBQ 







On Sat, Sep 26, 2020 at

11:48 AM n5ib_2 <n5ib@...> wrote:




Update:   it's amazing what

you can learn just by "doing your homework"    :^))











Scott (N3FJP) has in fact already implemented an "almost as

good" feature for sending CW over the CAT connection to the

Elecraft rigs (and others that support a similar feature,

like the Icom 7600 and 7610)











In the CW transmit settings, if the function key stored

messages are prefixed with "RI:" then the characters that

follow will be sent over the active CAT link as command(s)

rather than used as text to key the transmitter over a

separate keying link.











See the Elecraft KIO2 programmer's reference, page 9:





<https://ftp.elecraft.com/K2/Manuals%20Downloads/KIO2%20Pgmrs%20Ref%20rev%20E.pdf>











and N3FJP's CW transmit settings instructions (quoted

below):





".....





With version 1.1, I have added the ability to play saved CW

strings stored in your rig (for rigs equipped with this

feature).  To send a command to your rig instead of sending

the string, precede the text with RI:.  For example, when

placed in an F key string, the following will trigger the

Icom 7300 and Icom 7610 internally recorded voice messages:

(you must have rig interface enabled and be connected by a

com port)......"











For example, if the F4 key is loaded with "RI:SW16;SW08;"

then pressing the F4 key will send the message stored in the

K2's message memory #1.





  the SW16;  simulates a tap of the MSG button, and the

SW08; simulates tapping the "1" button.











In like manner...





"RI:SW16;SW09;"  sends memory #2,  "RI:SW16;SW10;"  sends #3

and so on.











So in one swell foop [sic] I've almost obsoleted my wired

USB keying interface     LOL    and designated the wireless

BlueTooth CAT link as a the keying interface.











What is lost in the scheme is the ability to auto-insert

callsigns, serial numbers, etc into a stored message. So

Scott still owes us some midnight oil...       Break's Over,

Scott!!       LOL











Jim, N5IB

























--
Check out the 4SQRP website at 4sqrp.com