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

To: "'Kelly Taylor'" <ve4xt@mts.net>,"'Robert Chudek'" <k0rc@pclink.com>, <cq-contest@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Radio appliances (long and OT)
From: "Joe Subich, W4TV" <w4tv@subich.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2007 20:45:45 -0400
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
> Ahem. Why would anybody need to know the basics of serial 
> port communication when computers don't even have serial 
> ports any more?

Because ... lacking a standard CAT protocol, VID/PID identifiers 
a database of supported radios and manufacturer provided, certified 
drivers USB interfaces default to a virtual serial port (serial 
port converter) mode.  Some manufacturers of amateur interfaces 
even hijack the VID/PID of the chip makers' "serial converters" 
rather than go through the cost and "hoops" to get their own 
drivers certified. 

It's not just the issue of serial protocols, RS-232 vs. TTL vs. 
USB.  It's a matter of differing control protocols and 
fragmented functions (radio control, vs. CW, vs. sound, etc.). 
Until the manufacturers start providing a USB port with registered 
VID/PID, a certified driver, and a fully standard and documented 
command sets, the amateur world will be stuck with understanding 
serial port communications and the application developers will 
have to put up with the fragmentation. 


   ... Joe, W4TV 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cq-contest-bounces@contesting.com 
> [mailto:cq-contest-bounces@contesting.com] On Behalf Of Kelly Taylor
> Sent: Friday, July 06, 2007 9:22 AM
> To: Robert Chudek; Joe Subich, W4TV; cq-contest@contesting.com
> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Radio appliances (long and OT)
>   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.
> Joe,
> 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
> ve4xt 
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