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Reviews Categories | Interfaces, Radio to computer, amp, rotor, coax switch, internet | W3YY FSK/CW Optically Isolated PC Interface Help

Reviews Summary for W3YY FSK/CW Optically Isolated PC Interface
W3YY FSK/CW Optically Isolated PC Interface Reviews: 15 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $25.00
Description: FSK/CW Optically Isolated PC Interface Kit for Keying Ham Transmitters and Transceivers
Product is in production.
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N5EP Rating: 5/5 Jan 23, 2010 13:54 Send this review to a friend
Great product, great service!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Don Hill’s “Getting Started on RTTY” web pages were a great help to me when I decided to get into RTTY. So when I decided that I wanted FSK instead of AFSK, I turned again to Don for advice and found his “Simple Interfaces for FSK, PTT & CW KEYING” (, which provides simple transistor circuits that will do the job. Don also mentions a circuit from W3YY (Bob Peterson) that uses opto-isolators, or optically isolated couplers, instead of transistors, thus providing complete electrical isolation between the computer and the transceiver, so I checked it out at, and it looked like just what the doctor ordered. According to Bob, the optical isolators used have an NPN-type output and act as a common collector switch.

Bob’s interface is available in three forms: As a kit, as an assembled and tested board, or as a complete interface unit with case and cables. Although I began with the idea of building the kit, or at least providing the case and cables myself, eventually lack of time and energy pushed me to give in to convenience, and I ordered the completed unit with cables.

At the time, Bob’s website provided links to “Installation Guides” containing recommended interconnection diagrams and notes for a number of major rigs, but not the Ten-Tec Omni VII. I had a few questions about how his unit would connect to my Omni VII, and Bob was very responsive with full information. After a few back and forth email exchanges, we decided that his output cable for FSK and PTT simply had to terminate in male RCA phono plugs that would mate with the accessory cable that Ten-Tec supplies with the Omni VII. (The resulting “Installation Guide” for the Omni VII has since been added to the web site.)

The unit arrived about a week after finalizing the details. Installation was trivial (plug the DB-9 plug into a COM port on computer, plug the male phono plugs into the correct female phono plugs on the Ten-Tec accessory cable, plug the 1/4 inch phone plug into the rig’s key jack), and all I had to do was reconfigure my software (MMTTY and DXLab Suite) to send PTT, FSK, and CW keying signals through a COM port to the interface. I am now on the air with FSK. The interface works great.

Although I’ve mostly used it for RTTY, I did check the CW keying output to make sure it will key my rig. I set up Winwarbler to send CW, and the interface worked just fine.

For those with newer computers that lack the older RS-232 serial interface with its DB-9 jack, Bob does have offer a USB-to-Serial Port converter. I didn’t need this, but it’s nice to know that it’s available.

I recommend Bob’s interface highly, and Bob is a pleasure to work with.

Steve Westfall, N5EP

NT9M Rating: 5/5 Nov 15, 2009 17:52 Send this review to a friend
Just what was needed  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I attempted to homebrew an FSK interface once, but ran into problems. So when I saw the W3YY kit I got one.

W3YY answered some preliminary questions by email promptly, and sent another email when he received my payment and shipped the kit.

All parts were accounted for and the kit went together easily. I built it into a project enclosure from radio shack using phono jacks on the panel. I did this because I wanted the interface to be flexible enough to switch from a TS-2000 to a 706MKIIG with minimal fuss. This was accomplished with the help of LDG's RCA-14 break out box.

Had to wait to pick up the break out box, but today was the big day. All connection were patched and the interface is keying the rig in FSK perfectly using MMTTY.

After six years I can finally use the narrowest FSK filters on the radio's DSP instead of leaving the barn door wide open on AFSK. Can't wait for the next RTTY contest.
W8JXM Rating: 5/5 Nov 15, 2009 07:50 Send this review to a friend
Great Product/Super Guy  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bob is one nice fellow. I bought the completed unit. The unit was well built and arrived safely. Bob packed it well. Plugged it into the rig and I was transmitting BUT no receive. Several e mails later Bob promptly advised on some tips to get it working. Presto, I am now receiving and transmitting. Am a novice at computers so of course I had the cable from computer to radio misaligned. You can not go wrong for the price, quality and cutomer service. BUY ONE !!!!! Let the fun begin...
K1WVU Rating: 5/5 Nov 4, 2009 10:39 Send this review to a friend
Great Product,Great Value, Great guy to deal with  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My TNC bit the dust, went to MMTTY wasn't thrilled about using the sound card for TX. Have FT-2000D and FT-1000D both generate FSK from the radio.

Saw the W3YY FSK/CW Optically Isolated Interface and it looked simple and efficent.

Wrote to Bob and had a reply in one hour. Ordered the assembled version. Got it in less the a week.

Plugged it in and worked a ZS on rtty five minutes later.

The Interface is professional, well built in a solid RF tight box, cables for the radio and sound card all there.

The kit is a great value, But between failing eye sight and arthritic hands, thought I better let Bob do it..

Great product, great value and Bob is great to deal with. Kept me updated every couple of days till it arrived on my door step.

Need a superb interface to work RTTY/CW and want FSK with a modern tranceiver this is it.
KA6SGT Rating: 5/5 Sep 23, 2009 22:54 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic! Just the right FSK interface for my IC-703  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The W3YY FSK/CW interface is simple, yet highly capable under competive conditions. In moving beyond my RigBlaster PnP interface, I was looking for an optically isolated CW keing circuit that wouldn't falter past 35WPM in the heat of a contest. In addition, I've been searching for an FSK interface to take advantage of the "true" RTTY capabilities of the ICOM IC-703. In this circuit, I found the solution to both requirements.

Although available in pre-built form, the kit takes only an hour to organize and assemble. The challenging part is housing it and wiring the interface to your radio and computer. Bob makes available connection diagrams and documentation for many of the popular competition-grade transceivers, the IC-703 presented a slightly different challenge. The problem has been on the end of ICOM and their connecting documents for FSK RTTY mode. To be sure, I checked with other postings on the Yahoo! IC-703 Group and found other complaints of poor documentation.

Bob's assistance in this matter was phenominal! By sending him a copy of the IC-703 connection and pin-out diagram, he promptly responded with a set of great suggestions. After assembling the interface board, I wired the DB9 plug (finally found a use for my old serial cables) on one end, and the 13-pin ACC plug to the ICOM. Next I selected the correct COM port from the WriteLog program, then connect the 13-pin ACC plug to the IC-703. Next I generated a test message using RTTY (FSK) mode and, much to my delight, heard a clean FSK signal from an adjacent SW receiver. I also tested the CW interface feature and found I could transmit beyond 45WPM without any faltering or keying delays.

This kit is a great value! My next application is to bring out the FSK features on my old Yaesu FT-980 (circa 1983) with a second FSK/CW Optically Isolated PC Interface. Many thanks go to Bob, W3YY!
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