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[CQ-Contest] Control Ameritron RCS-4 Coax Switch with my PC

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Subject: [CQ-Contest] Control Ameritron RCS-4 Coax Switch with my PC
From: "FritzOAQ" <fritz@k4oaq.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2016 09:55:05 -0400
List-post: <cq-contest@contesting.com">mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
I'm tired of switching thu my 4 beverages after every CQ with a rotary
switch on my RCS-4.

I've looked at the RCS-4 schematic & it looks like it wud be pretty simple
to fish the wires connected to the rotary switch out to some switches I can
control with my PC.

Many many years ago I keyed my xmtr with a little reed switch & pgm I wrote.
Frankly, I don't remember whether I did it with my Commodore 64 or on a PC.
I do remember there were plenty of pins that one cud programmatically turn
off & on (RS232 & COM ports). Now I look at a USB plug & it looks like two
wires to me.

Obviously I've been on vacation for the past 30 years but I want to get back
into the game. I have recently learned a little java but haven't been able
to see where I mite possibly talk to a com port. Then there's the
electronics that I never was very good at. I suspect there's some IC that's
just the thing I need to use. So, I'm looking for some direction as to what
web sites I mite look at that wud get me going in the right direction. And
also that maybe I shud learn C+ since it seems everybody & his brother are
using it for ham apps.

Where I want to end up with this project:

Phase 1: Computer pgm switches to next beverage every X seconds. Esc stops
it switching. Double click Esc stops it & switches back to prev beverage.

Phase 2: Computer listens for a signal & stops if it hears one. I know, in
practice this one mite not work as well as I hope. Like how does one detect
the diff between a real CW signal & noise?

Phase 3: Computer completes QSO & wins many contests in my name . GUYS! Just


Fritz K4OAQ




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