[ct-user] Well now I need some advise

Al - N1API n1api at cox.net
Thu Nov 24 06:30:45 PST 2011

Hi all

This will be probably a long email.. sorry

It seems that over the last four weeks since my radio computer died the 
person working on it is nearing an end where he may say nothing can be 
fixed.  The mother board died.  It is an older computer set up with 
Windows XP three serial ports and an parallel printer port.  It did have 
a number of USB ports.  I guess it sort of was a second generation type 
of 'newer" computer loaded with Windows XP, and a second drive formatted 
in Windows 98 DOS which I booted and ran CT on for most contests, except 
the RTTY ones.  That I go back into XP and run N1MM on.  I also used the 
computer for PSK on 10 meters with DIGIPAN and RTTY DXing and Contesting 
with MMTTY.  When not contesting I kept a DXCluster up and on the screen 
for chasing DX.  (The HDs were SATA drives)

The interface was a RigBlaster Plus, (older one with no USB interface).  
The radio is a 1000 MP MK V.  Rig / Frequency control was through a 
serial port cable from the computer to the 1000 MP.  CW for CT and CW 
TYPE was from Parallel DB25 pin connector with an interface built into 
it.  There was one serial port to a TNC for packet radio for the W1NRG 
DX Cluster which currently is not on the air and finally the digital 
duties where handled through the Rigblaster Plus going to microphone 
cable when I wanted to do RTTY or PSK.

So now I may have to come up with something new.  I don't know where to 
go now.  I may need a new desktop but it will not have serial ports or a 
parallel printer port.  And I'm not really wanting to do USB to parallel 
cables and all those gender changers needed, it would just be a mess of 
wires and gender changers, and of course CT DOS is out because none of 
the modern computers support DOS.

I know a lot of questions but it's either figure something out of 30 + 
years of contesting is over!  And I go back to being a SSB DXer.

There is an outside but slim outside chance that the fellow working on 
the old computer will figure something out but if so not for the CQWW CQ 
Contest this weekend.  So I was pretty much dead for the major DX 
contests this year except for some CQ SSB time before I lost power.  If 
so then maybe I won't need the advise but it is appreciated any way.

To sum it all up..  What do I need /if/ I have to buy a new modern 
desktop with USB ports?  I want to hook up a 1000 MP MK V for radio 
control, CW and Digital to use for contesting and DXing.  I know I am 
gong to have to install new software and N1MM and MMTTY are good choices 
but my major concern is doing the hardware hookup with the least wiring 
and hardware required.  I do want to mention that I also use a MFJ Voice 
Keyer so when I do digital I unplug that and plug in the Rigblaster.  If 
possibly I would like to go directly into the back jacks of the radio so 
I don't have to move wires around all the time.

Sorry for the long detailed post, but I am scrambling right now to 
figure out how to get back to contesting with a new set up a quickly as 

-73-  Al  N1API
[If you would rather chat on the phone let me know
and I'll send you my number]

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