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Re: [CQ-Contest] Radio appliances (long and OT)

To: "Robert Chudek" <k0rc@pclink.com>,"Joe Subich, W4TV" <w4tv@subich.com>, <cq-contest@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Radio appliances (long and OT)
From: "Kelly Taylor" <ve4xt@mts.net>
Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2007 08:21:47 -0500
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>

  Even today, anyone who has progressed beyond the shack on a
  belt level needs to understand how to connect a microphone
  and antenna to a radio - and determine if the antenna is for
  the correct frequency/band.  That same level of knowledge
  must be applied to the computer applications.  Users need
  to understand the basics of serial port communication -
  data rate, parity, stop bits, and the names/functions of the
  handshake signals.


Ahem. Why would anybody need to know the basics of serial port communication 
when computers don't even have serial ports any more?

We were forced into understanding 4800, n, 8, 2 by manufacturers who were 
struggling to provide basic connectivity at a reasonable price into a market 
that is very price sensitive at a time when interfaces beyond the TTL-levels 
in the early Kenwoods would have been costly. That doesn't mean it was good 
design. It was a good compromise at the time, but not good design.

I enjoyed building my own interface for my Kenwood (and later my Icom). It 
meant I did have to understand all that. But the end goal was NOT to learn 
that stuff, it was to connect computer to radio. Would I have preferred to 
plug a USB cable and be done? Probably. Would not knowing that stuff have 
impacted whether I needed to know the fundamentals of radios, antennas, and 
the like? Not at all. The computer just is an accessory to the main 
function: radio.

73, kelly
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