First of all let me say how much I appreciate all of your posts on
this reflector. Each day I make time to check the mail and read all of
the messages. Each has been very informative and educational, and
often very humorous to boot. This is certainly an illustrious crew,
and I have had the great pleasure to work many of you from my
pip-squeak station here in Auburn, AL. I consider myself fortunate to
associate myself with such fine gentlemen, especially in these days
when The Bar seems to get lower and lower in ham radio.
I have been a ham for 33 years and have done a lot of different things
in ham radio. But I am relatively new to RTTY, having only got into it
in the past year. My field is IT and configuration management, so I
get particular enjoyment from controlling my station with a computer.
One subject that I have seen pop up on occasion is how to control the
interface between the computer (that keys and sends audio input such
as a Rigblaster) while at the same time controlling the rig itself
through its built-in serial port. The dilemma is that many modern
computers only have one serial port available, and you can either plug
it in to the interface, or directly to the rig, but not do both
The common solution seems to be to try a number of different
USB-to-Serial conversion devices. But many of these don't seem to work
for all radios. And personally, I have never liked having to rely on
the operating system to establish something as routine as a serial
connection, Plug-n-Pray being what it is. An easy solution is to just
get another serial port.
Most modern computers have at least one extra PCI slot available.
PCI-to-Serial cards are about $10 US, and very easy to install. Add a
standard serial cable for connecting to the rig and you can control
both the keying interface as well as the rig itself.
NewEgg.com has several to choose from, but you can get them anywhere.
I just picked the cheapest (A Rosewill in this case) and it worked the
first time with no trouble. In less than five minutes I had complete
rig control through its serial port, while maintaining the
keying/audio control through the Rigblaster. Among other things, now I
never have to manually set the frequency in my logging program (WL). I
accidentally duped several stations in a recent contest because I had
changed the band on the rig, and had not changed it on the logging
program. I kept thinking, "What the !@#$% is the matter with these
guys?!" You know that hush that falls over the frequency when someone
tells you 'worked B4' ? That was me not saying anything. Extremely
embarrassing! Now I can delete that one F-Key that sends "D'oh!"
Thanks again for all the great info and the laughs. I hope this post
Cheers, 73, es Happy Holidays
Auburn, Alabama. USA.
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