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Author Topic: USB Keying Interface and Software  (Read 1045 times)
K3AN
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Posts: 787




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« on: March 26, 2004, 02:06:58 PM »

With the slow demise of "legacy" ports on computers, and the standardization on USB for everything, ham software will soon need to support USB for station control, CW keying, etc.  Does anyone know of plans for a "USB keying interface" or is such a device already available? Also, with the appropriate DLLs, can Visual Basic 6 communicate with USB devices?

K3AN
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K0HZI
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Posts: 470




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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2004, 09:29:24 PM »

Check MixW Rig Expert USB Transceiver Interface: http://www.mixw.net/RigExpert/readme.html
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KC0LBZ
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« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2004, 12:15:42 AM »

Actually, you should be able to use existing software with a USB-to-serial interface.

- Sam
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W4PC
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2004, 09:21:21 PM »

If a USB port fully supports A UART in software, it will handle DTR or RTS keying for PTT/CW and even FSK with Txd on some.

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K3AN
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Posts: 787




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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2004, 03:30:23 PM »

I checked out the MixW Rig Expert and it is far more than a USB to serial converter. It's also an AFSK generator, PTT relay and more.

Does anyone know of a source for a simple piece of hardware with a USB port or cable on one end, and a DB-9 on the other? I imagine it would also have to include software drivers to tell the operating system that it's a COM port.

Thanks in advance for any help.

K3AN
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K3AN
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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2004, 03:53:57 PM »

Just found the answer to my own question.

http://www.usbgear.net/item_288.html

This appears to be exactly what I am looking for.

K3AN
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2004, 05:25:32 AM »

Take a look at the Belkin F5U409 ; it works fb for me.

http://www.epinions.com/pr-Belkin_USB_Serial_Portable_Adapter_F5U409-CU_Serial_Adapter

     73,

        Dave, AA6YQ
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K4IA
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Posts: 67




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« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2004, 02:35:47 PM »

Check out the box from microHam.  It not only does the USB<->DB9 conversion but has a cable out for CW and PTT and a jack in for a footswitch.  They will make it up for any radio or to your specifications.

It works great with Writelog and my Orion.  Reviews are here on eHam.  
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N4ZOU
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Posts: 340




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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2004, 10:33:14 PM »

I just uploaded an article on using the FTDI USBMOD3 development board for Transceiver control. It has all serial lines supported so you can put PTT and CW Keying circuits on it. The input and output levels are TTL +5 volts and ground on the other side of the USB port. This allows hooking up RXD, TXD, and ground directly to a transceiver that uses TTL level. No other chips or passive parts like capacitors, diodes, or resistors are required. The board only requires a single capacitor and and two jumpers for selecting the mode of serial operation. As for PTT control you can use your sound card transceiver control function to command PTT on and off. This eliminates the requirment for PTT circuits in the sound card interface. ICOM transceivers have isoltaion circuits behind the ACC1 port so all you need for interfacing a sound card from there is two resistors in the speaker or line out sound card jack. These can be mounted inside the DIN-8 (a DIN-5 also works) plug which makes it very easy to use the sound card. The Rig expert also uses the FTDI chip set. To make a clone of the Rig expert Simply use the FTDI USBMOD3 board and a USB audio device to replace the internly mounted sound card. A Google Search for USB Audio will turn up many of these devices starting around $39. If you want high performance in your sound card modes try a Creative Extigy USB audio interface. You will be shocked at how well it works! It's shielded from the very high noise enviroment found inside the computer case where a normal sound card resides. At first you might think something is wrong with the Waterfall display, then you figure out just how much noise the internal sound card is being subjected to and the resulting noise showing up on the display.
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K3AN
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Posts: 787




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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2004, 11:58:08 AM »

To N4ZOU:

Where can I upload the article you mentioned in your post?  Thanks.

K3AN
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KB7QWZ
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Posts: 10




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« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2004, 12:00:30 PM »

I found a F5U103 Belkin USB Serial adapter worked for me. It has a DB9 and DIN plug out and will automatically find a com port. It also has software for WIN 98. I found it on ebay for $18 and it designated a com 6 port on my computer for transferring data back and forth to my VX7 HT.

73
Dave
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