[CQ-Contest] RE: SO2R with KENWOOD Radios +++

Gerry Hull windev at inetmarket.com
Sun Jan 23 09:39:23 EST 2005


I've been messing with the band-decoder/radio switching issue for some time.
Depending on which contest software you use, it's a pretty simple problem to
solve, no matter what brand/age of radio you are using.
If your radio can get frequency information to the contest software, and you
can get that frequency information, then a band
Decoder becomes a trivial matter.

I use Writelog.   It takes one line of visual basic code to get the current
frequency from the application.  Two lines if you want the frequencies of
both radios.

Once you have the frequency, then you can drive any number of parallel-port
or serial port relay boxes by creating a decision tree based on frequency.
My favorite is the K108 --- RS-232 to 8 SPDT relays.  In non-kit form,
avaiilable for $60 -- or cheaper if you search the net... Here is one link:

There are lots of people who make the same thing for USB, if that's what you
prefer.  In fact, there is a Vectronics USB Experimenters kit for under $20
which gives you 8 transistor saturated-switch outputs.

If you want to do a little work, you CAN get band decoding without buying a
bunch of expensive gear.

If people are interested, I'll publish some relay driver code on my web


Gerry, W1VE

-----Original Message-----
From: cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com
[mailto:cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Joe Subich, K4IK
Sent: Saturday, January 22, 2005 5:18 PM
To: 'Pete Smith'; 'George Fremin III'; 'Eric Hilding'
Cc: cq-contest at contesting.com
Subject: RE: [CQ-Contest] RE: SO2R with KENWOOD Radios +++

> It seems as if this job could be reasonably done with some sort of 
> serial-to-bcd converter, appropriately programmed for the Kenwoods, 
> followed by the TopTen style decoders.  The trouble with this 
> new-generation stuff is that it's really pricey, so far.

The problem is the need to "read" the serial data stream and catch the
proper VFO commands.  That requires a UART in, some intelligence (PIC or
more advanced microprocessor), a UART out and a parallel driver.  

> Another, somewhat related topic.  Ultimately, parallel ports are going 
> away too.  Is there any SO2R hardware out there that can sense Radio 
> A/B toggles from any source except LPT pin 14?

Not to my knowledge ... I know of one vendor working on a standard 
for serial control using USB virtual ports and custom hardware.   
Unfortunately, this will take a serial port of the "opposite" sense of the
normal PC port.  The PC port (DTE) has only two controllable output lines:
DTR and RTS ... while the opposite port (DCE) has four
controllable outputs: DSR, CTS, CD, and RI.     

> Is there any logging *software* that provides serial A/B switching?

Not to my knowledge.  


   ... Joe, K4IK 

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