[ct-user] CT automation with two radios

John Loftus John Loftus" <John_Loftus@vettweb.net.au
Tue, 4 Aug 1998 20:09:05 +1000

Dear Ken and CT community,

In the quest for continuous improvement in contest operations, I am 
seeking advice on how to improve my semi-automated switching systems 
with CT and two Kenwood radios.

My current configuration uses CT 9.37 running under DOS on a laptop PC 
with two serial ports and one parallel port.

COM1 goes to radio 1 and COM2 goes to radio 2. This works great for the 
selection of mode, frequency, band, and band map to each radio.

LPT1 provides the desired CW keying and PTT control to a single radio, 
and currently relies on manual switching between radios.

This two radio arrangement still leaves many functions that are yet to 
be automated.

Firstly, when CT changes radio (Alt .), I would like to automatically 
switch the following items between radios:

    a.. microphone
    b.. CW keyer
    c.. CW paddles
    d.. PTT control
    e.. footswitch control

This would be a relatively easy task if CT provides a signal on LPT1 to 
designate the current radio. However, I have not been able to find any 
signal on LPT1 to initiate the desired automatic switching. Please let 
me know if I have missed a simple way of doing this.

Secondly, when CT changes bands, I would like to automatically band 
switch the following devices associated with the current radio:

    a.. band pass filter (each radio has access to a separate set of 
    b.. amplifier (each radio has access to a separate amplifier);
    c.. antenna switching matrix (each radio has access to any antenna);

I am aware of the 4 bit BCD outputs with band data on LPT1 - this is 
fine for single radio control. I am not aware of a way to apply the 
single BCD output to two radios. Two sets of 4 bit BCD outputs on LPT1 
would do the trick nicely. Otherwise, I can=92t see a simple way of 
keeping separate band data for the devices associated with each radio.

Apart from a natural desire for continuous improvement, the risk 
associated with manual switching of so many devices (in the right 
sequence, in the heat of a contest, with a lack of sleep) places the 
goal of full automation high on my agenda.

I would be pleased to learn how others have met the challenge, and will 
be happy to summarise any direct replies. I=92m sure that many others 
would be interested in the solutions.





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