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Author Topic: Signal being sent to USB adapter with every key press on the keyboard!  (Read 2194 times)
AA1LN
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Posts: 4




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« on: July 22, 2010, 06:05:59 AM »

Hello All-

I just switched to a new laptop for contesting and logging. A Lenovo with Vista Business installed. The machine is a hand me down as my preference would be for XP Pro so I'm just trying to get this to work for me without a complete reinstall of the OS.

My problem came last night getting ready for the NAQCC cw sprint. I'm using a Belkin USB to serial adapter. The drivers for the Belkin installed just fine and the belkin adapter is working FB with N1MM contest logging software.

When I tested the communication to the N1MM software everything was fine. It keyed my rig with perfect CW.

The problem came when I started to type in a call sign in N1MM's logging window, the computer sent a signal to the USB port/adapter with every press of the keyboard and it keyed my rigs in odd, garbled ways. I'm not hearing letters and numbers being keyed but just random long and short tones that do not make any sense. I quit N1MM and did some more typing - same thing. Every time I press a key on the laptop a strange signal gets sent to the USB port and it keys my rig in gibberish.

I am wondering if anyone has experienced this problem before and knows where to look for a solution. Is it the adapter, Vista Buisiness, or the Lenovo that is to blame? Maybe something else I am overlooking in the software??

Any hints would be great and save me hours of trouble shooting!

The hardware works perfectly on my old Sony laptop running XP Pro.
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N5XTR
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Posts: 108




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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2010, 08:54:28 AM »

Windows Vista - The virus disguised as an Operating System.

I would go back to XP.
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KM3K
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Posts: 299




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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2010, 06:07:27 AM »

I had trouble with Vista and a Keyspan USB-to-RS232 adapter.
I had the latest driver and even downloaded it several times over different days in case there was a download problem.
After hours and hours of doing all sorts of testing with programs that I never ever knew existed, I gave up on the Keyspan.

I bought a Radio-Shack GigaWare adapter and it works.
I'd recommend buying the Radio-Shack device.
If it works, fine.
If not, you've got 30 days to return it with no questions asked.

Your time is important; you never get it back.

73 Jerry KM3K
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AA1LN
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Posts: 4




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« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2010, 06:13:13 AM »

Sage advise Jerry - After spending several more hours yesterday trying everything under the sun I have come to the same conclusion. I never thought of Radio Shack having the right product, but I have 2 near me and will give it a try. Thanks!

73, Nick NT1A
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KG4RUL
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Posts: 2720


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« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2010, 07:04:59 AM »

The Windows Operating System - A Science Project Gone Scarily Awry!!!!
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AA1LN
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Posts: 4




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« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2010, 07:20:55 AM »

One last thought - I'm not totally convinced that this problem is only software related. I called Belkin yesterday and they suggested manually changing the com port assignments of the usb to serial adapter. Doing this had no effect except when assigned to com port 1 or 2 - then the problem became much worse. I would press a key on the keyboard, any key, and a signal would be sent to the usb adapter and never shut off. Its possible that the issue involves both hardware and software. My plan now is to cut bait - use my other laptop when I want to use N1MM to key my rig. But when I play in the QRP sprints to just send the code by hand being very careful to send the numbers properly.
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12832




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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2010, 09:02:31 AM »

I don't think its a Vista problem. I use USB-Serial adapters all the time with Vista and as long as you have the right driver it works fine. If you have the wrong driver installed then usually the OS becomes unstable (blue screen of death, even with the adapter not connected). Sounds like it might be a computer hardware issue.

Actually, using a USB-Serial adapter for timing related stuff like trying to use a control signal to key a CW radio is not a good idea anyway. You'll have varying delays depending on what else the OS is doing at the time. You'll probably notice a big difference from one adapter to another depending on the chip set used.

It's a pain in the neck that RS-232 serial ports are going away.
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