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Re: [TenTec] Slowly into the 21st Century - Interfacing an Omni VI

To: Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment <tentec@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [TenTec] Slowly into the 21st Century - Interfacing an Omni VI
From: Rick Denney <rick@rickdenney.com>
Reply-to: Rick Denney <rick@rickdenney.com>, Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment <tentec@contesting.com>
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2008 14:35:22 -0400
List-post: <tentec@contesting.com">mailto:tentec@contesting.com>
Ron, K5XK writes...

> a. Interface an OMNI VI+ to my shack computer for DX PacketCluster, rig
> control & logging...

I use the TigerTronics Signalink USB with my Omni V.9. It connects to
the audio in and out and the PTT jacks. I use it for the digital

For control and logging, my Omni V.9 (which has the N4PY chip, which
changes the serial protocol to CI-V similar to the Omni VI) is
connected to the serial port on my computer directly. I use the N4PY
control software, and it writes a file on the computer similarly to
the Pegasus control software for interfacing with my logging software
(DXLab Suite). DX Commander, which is part of DXLab, will also control
the rig directly if I'm not running the N4PY rig control software. The
serial connection really only needs three wires, but some pins need to
be jumped on both ends. That should be in the manual from Ten Tec.

> b. How to key the OMNI from computer logging software...

My Tigertronics interface will key the rig for the digital modes by
sensing when the computer is sending data to the rig in the form of
modulated audio. It then closes the PTT contact. I believe your Winkey
USB will plug into the Key jack on the rig, and your key will plug
into the Winkey. It will key the rig either from the paddles or the
computer. On the Omni V, my recollection is that the RTTY jack is the
same as the keying jack (both are ignored in sideband mode), and can
be used to key the rig in CW or true FSK mode. With that, it would be
possible, I think, to use two keying sources. But with the Winkey USB,
I wouldn't think that would be necessary.

> I've read that Win XP does weird things to a CW note, so among my keyers, I
> have a WinKey Serial & WinKey USB keyer.  The computer is an IBM PC with USB
> and what I 'think' may be serial and parallel connections.  I assume I'll
> need some type of outboard keying interface...what are the best options?

Isn't the WinKey USB already an outboard keying interface? What am I
missing? I know that the Omni VI has an internal keyer, and I'm
assuming that it has a setting for a straight key, which would work
with an outboard keyer.

The serial port is a 9-pin DB-9 connector. The parallel port is a
25-pin DB-25 connector on IBM-style PC's. Nothing else uses those
connectors. My shack PC (which is an actual IBM) has a single serial
port in addition to USB. But I have the rig and a rotator that require
serial control, so I use a Keytronics serial/USB interface. Unlike a
cheapie interface that I tried, the Keytronics makes no RF and times

Rick, KR9D

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