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Author Topic: Wants Computer CW Software  (Read 10378 times)
KD4SBY
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« on: January 16, 2014, 11:24:05 AM »

I like to get with Cw on the air, but am somewhat handicapped and can not use my key anymore. Does anyone know of a Computer generated CW program that uses an Interface that I can build? I used the have one on the TRS80, that used the cassette relay to key the transmitter. Do they have any programs available that use the serial port leads (as the RTS,DTR) as keying signals? Or can you use the sound card as a source?
Any help here is appreciated.
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N4IAG
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« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2014, 12:33:42 PM »

I've never tried one, but how about something like a K1EL keyboard interface? You just plug a standard PS/2 keyboard into it.

http://k1el.tripod.com/K42_C.html
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AG1LE
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« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2014, 12:35:28 PM »

I like to get with Cw on the air, but am somewhat handicapped and can not use my key anymore. Does anyone know of a Computer generated CW program that uses an Interface that I can build? I used the have one on the TRS80, that used the cassette relay to key the transmitter. Do they have any programs available that use the serial port leads (as the RTS,DTR) as keying signals? Or can you use the sound card as a source?
Any help here is appreciated.
Have you looked at FLDIGI?   It is a free open source software that you can get from here http://www.w1hkj.com/download.html
You can use your sound card as interface or build something like this http://w1sul.com/files/interfacedoc.pdf


Here is the FLDIGI manual page for CW:
http://www.w1hkj.com/FldigiHelp-3.21/html/cw_page.html

73
Mauri AG1LE
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HURRICAINE
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« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2014, 01:02:18 PM »

Most any computer program designed for use with digital modes offers the CW option.

MultiPSK

Hamradio Deluxe

Digipan

FlDigi

The set back is that you either have to have a computer interface - Signalink to attenuate your audio into the computer and radio, or you use the sound card in the computer, along with the computer microphone.  The downside is you will get laughed at if you try to use the computer sound card and speaker - while holding your microphone near the speaker - because it will not send as true CW.

Most digital modes allows you to set up macro's - pre arranged comments such as CQ, a reply, a fairwell etc..
Some people do not like these generic canned replies.

A person that can use the newer voice modes such as DRAGON can speak into a microphone and the computer interface will tap out in perfect code what you say.  The downside is that it types out each and every individual letter of the word and some hams don't like that.  Usually the same ones that complains about the kids text messaging on their cell phones.

Some computer programs such as Windows 7 and Windows 8 might have accessibility options that offers free Dragon type software embedded into the software in the computer.

Hope this helps - good luck!
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WB3CQM
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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2014, 02:55:12 PM »

I like to get with Cw on the air, but am somewhat handicapped and can not use my key anymore. Does anyone know of a Computer generated CW program that uses an Interface that I can build? I used the have one on the TRS80, that used the cassette relay to key the transmitter. Do they have any programs available that use the serial port leads (as the RTS,DTR) as keying signals? Or can you use the sound card as a source?
Any help here is appreciated.
I use Writelog to send cw with also N3FPJ contact log. As some also show you there are other software  programs that work also. I have used them as well , But mostly send cw by using N3FJP software. I use the F12 key which puts the N3FPJ software into the cw sending mode. It is type ahead as well. Or you can set the software up to use the F keys for different messages and logging . You could use the same contact log for a contest log I would think. Other logging programs will do the same.


If you go to  N3FJP  page which also show you how to build your own cw keying interface .
Hosenosedotcom also sells W1GEE cw interface and other cables.
WinKey is top of the list and great choice also.

I have used the W1GEE CW Interface for few years now :W1GEE Products provides PC Serial Interfaces. The serial module has been designed to provide a hardware link to the transceiver from your computer's DB-9 serial port using the DTR (pin 4 of the DB-9 connector) lead as the active signal and SGND (pin 5) as reference ground.

73 Jim


« Last Edit: January 16, 2014, 02:57:51 PM by WB3CQM » Logged
VA7CPC
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« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2014, 05:10:24 AM »

W3YY makes a really nice CW interface kit:

http://w3yy.com/fsk.htm

It require a serial port, and W3YY can supply a USB-to-serial adapter.

That's for "hard-keyed" CW.   I've used CWGet software to "read" CW, and there's a matching "CW sending" program:

. . .     CWType


Since I already have a soundcard interface that works for PSK31 (and other audio-based "digital modes"):

. . . In your situation, I would probably use "fldigi" in "CW" mode, and send audio to the rig.

.       Charles
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N3HEE
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« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2014, 07:12:40 AM »

I've never tried one, but how about something like a K1EL keyboard interface? You just plug a standard PS/2 keyboard into it.

http://k1el.tripod.com/K42_C.html

I have the K1EL K42 keyboard interface.  It is absolutely fantastic.  You can connect a keyboard, paddles or straight key, it has a built in reader and will key just about any rig out there including vintage tube gear.  No computer required.  First rate customer support.  $109  -Joe n3Hee
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KD4SBY
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« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2014, 09:16:42 AM »

I have the K1EL K42 keyboard interface.  It is absolutely fantastic.  You can connect a keyboard, paddles or straight key, it has a built in reader and will key just about any rig out there including vintage tube gear.  No computer required.  First rate customer support.  $109  -Joe n3Hee
Thanks fellows for your input. I looked at the different (free) programs available for CW, and HamScope looks very promising. The decoding of CW is somewhat disappointing, however, and that brings me to ask N3HEE how he might rate this feature with the K1EL K42 keyboard?
A good working decoder would be a help in learning how to get better in receiving CW.
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N8XI
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Posts: 159




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« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2014, 11:53:01 AM »

Here is a good CW copy program.
You need to set up your microphone input for it.

http://www.dxsoft.com/en/products/cwget/


This is a fairly nice cw keyboard program.

http://www.dxsoft.com/en/products/cwtype/

Go here for a simple NPN CW Keying circuit.
I used a 2n2222.

http://www.aa5au.com/rttyinterface.html

I built the complete interface for RTTY/CW & PTT.

I don't need the PTT when operating CW...
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N8XI
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« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2014, 12:08:09 PM »

Or if you are afraid of ground loops and want a signal lamp (LED)

http://www.qsl.net/sv1bsx/keyer/key.htm

73, Rick - N8XI
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KD4SBY
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Posts: 225




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« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2014, 07:50:23 AM »

UPDATE - I looked at FLDIGI because DIGIPAN can not be used for CW as far as I can determine. Unfortunately, I can not get FLDIGI to work on CW, because there is no way to set which lead will correspond to the CW code output. Neither the DTR or the RTS leads will work in that capacity, no matter how I configure the program. (I do not want to use the microphone input as a morse code driver.)
Since either one will work, however, when they are set to be used as the PTT lead in the PSK mode, I know that the RS232 port works. (The COM port is an original one, not an USB port, but I tried a USB one with the same results.)
I have the same problem with the EhoCW program. In this program, you CAN select which of the two leads you want to be the CW output. Unfortunately, the results are the same, neither lead  works  using the same ports.
I looked also at the several Interfaces recommended. I can not use either of them because they all use the DTR/RTS leads to interface to the radio. What I need is an audio to pulse converter interface to get the programs to work with the audio output of the programs.
I am thinking about just buying the K1EL K42 keyboard and get it over with.
Any comments, anyone?
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K7MEM
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« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2014, 09:35:04 AM »

UPDATE - I looked at FLDIGI because DIGIPAN can not be used for CW as far as I can determine. Unfortunately, I can not get FLDIGI to work on CW, because there is no way to set which lead will correspond to the CW code output. Neither the DTR or the RTS leads will work in that capacity, no matter how I configure the program. (I do not want to use the microphone input as a morse code driver.)
Since either one will work, however, when they are set to be used as the PTT lead in the PSK mode, I know that the RS232 port works. (The COM port is an original one, not an USB port, but I tried a USB one with the same results.)
I have the same problem with the EhoCW program. In this program, you CAN select which of the two leads you want to be the CW output. Unfortunately, the results are the same, neither lead  works  using the same ports.
I looked also at the several Interfaces recommended. I can not use either of them because they all use the DTR/RTS leads to interface to the radio. What I need is an audio to pulse converter interface to get the programs to work with the audio output of the programs.
I am thinking about just buying the K1EL K42 keyboard and get it over with.
Any comments, anyone?

I find your posting a little confusing.

I like Fldigi and EhoCW and they both are easy to implement and use. I suspect that there is something that you are misunderstanding.

To receive/decode CW, both pieces of software use the audio output of the radio connected to the sound card input of the PC/laptop.

CW transmission can be handled several different ways. If your rig is in the SSB mode, you can tie the audio output of your PC/laptop directly to the microphone input of your radio. Then enable the VOX so that when a tone is generated the VOX puts you in transmit. This kind of CW transmission is indistinguishable from regular keyed CW.

Or you can configure the software to use a serial port (real or USB) to key the transmitter directly. However, to do this you will need a one transistor interface to go between the RS-232 output and the CW keying input.

I find EhoCW especially nice because I can connect a set of paddles through the RS-232 Serial port and use the built in keyer.

With these two software, it doesn't matter whether you use a "real" serial port or a USB/RS-232 converter cable. They both work the same. It's only when you are using something like HRD to communicate with the CIV port on a transceiver, do you have to be careful. There are some USB/RS-232 converter cables that won't do the job but a "real" serial port always works.

Maybe if you tried to explain your issues again, we can get you going.

Just a little add on, I just remembered that Fldigi does not have direct CW keying. However, a small interface (simple diode detector and driver transistor) can be built to use the audio output for direct keying. However, a Serial port can be used for Rig Control, with an appropriate interface.

« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 09:46:36 AM by K7MEM » Logged

Martin - K7MEM

http://www.k7mem.com
KD4SBY
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Posts: 225




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« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2014, 12:22:40 PM »

I find your posting a little confusing.
Maybe if you tried to explain your issues again, we can get you going.
Let me try to explain it again, for it is a little confusing.
First of all, I like to avoid using audio tones to send morse code through the microphone, as you suggested. I am afraid of overdriving the stage, which is easy to do and difficult to monitor.
Further more, I did not think it would be necessary, for I thought that either the RTS or the DTR lead could be used to send the generated morse code to the radio. (trough an small, 1 transistor interface)
It turned out that I could not get FLDIGI to work that way. What ever I did, I could not get the RTS or the DTR lead to output the generated morse code.
That is my trouble in a nutshell. The program does not work in the CW mode as I thought it would.

In the mean time, I tried CWdecoder XP, and found out that program works with the RTS lead ouputting the morse code to drive the transmitter. That again proves that my RS232 ports are working, and I must assume that I am doing something wrong with FLDIGI. The question is, what?
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AJ8MH
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« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2014, 10:22:50 AM »

I like to avoid using audio tones to send Morse code through the microphone, as you suggested. I am afraid of overdriving the stage, which is easy to do and difficult to monitor.

Smart man.  I hear way too many wide touch-tone signals on the bands, and I believe the signals are from soundcards.  From what I can tell, FLdigi doesn't have a keying output.  I use audio from the sound card to drive a circuit that keys the rig through the key jack.  A diagram is attached.  Hopefully, you have a ham friend that can build it for you.

http://webpages.charter.net/aj8mh-radio/images_projects/My%20PTT%20Circuit.jpg
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K7MEM
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« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2014, 01:07:13 PM »

I find your posting a little confusing.
Maybe if you tried to explain your issues again, we can get you going.
Let me try to explain it again, for it is a little confusing.
First of all, I like to avoid using audio tones to send morse code through the microphone, as you suggested. I am afraid of overdriving the stage, which is easy to do and difficult to monitor.
Further more, I did not think it would be necessary, for I thought that either the RTS or the DTR lead could be used to send the generated morse code to the radio. (trough an small, 1 transistor interface)
It turned out that I could not get FLDIGI to work that way. What ever I did, I could not get the RTS or the DTR lead to output the generated morse code.
That is my trouble in a nutshell. The program does not work in the CW mode as I thought it would.

In the mean time, I tried CWdecoder XP, and found out that program works with the RTS lead ouputting the morse code to drive the transmitter. That again proves that my RS232 ports are working, and I must assume that I am doing something wrong with FLDIGI. The question is, what?

There is really nothing wrong with Fldigi. Your just trying to force it to do something you "think" it should do. But that isn't how it's designed

I included a paragraph, at the end of my last post, that said Fldigi does not do direct keying, but with a small interface it can. There is the link provided by AJ8MH or the one below.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jt7npAl58t1uaKVCCdDD9g3tHAhxzD0bXas1b565kJI/edit?pli=1

Or make up your own. It's pretty straight forward. The output is fully described in the manual.

However, doing it directly with audio is easy to control and easy to monitor. If you do any of the other digital modes that use direct audio (PSK31,RTTY, etc.), the control is the same. If you control it correctly the signal is indistinguishable from directly keyed CW.

Personally, I only use direct keying, but that is because I use one interface on multiple rigs. And some of the rigs simply don't have microphone inputs. I just want to keep it consistent across different rigs.

Now if you want something that is really simple, I have system that I built for CW over 20 years ago. The receive interface is a set of op-amp filters that feed a op-amp detector. The output of the the interface goes to a old Sub Note laptop running Windows 3.1 with 64 KBytes of memory. The CW program is written in C runs under DOS. All CW input and output go directly through a serial port, only. So the interface also contains a RS-232 to CW keying interface circuit. The laptop doesn't have a sound card. The system still works and still works better than most of the new programs. Best of all, there are no external controls at all. You just tune in the signal to the center of your filter and go. Receive speed is fully automatic.

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Martin - K7MEM

http://www.k7mem.com
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