Omni VI and Computer Control

Dale Martin
Mon, 24 Jun 1996 22:14:48 -0500

Field Day was interesting.  My remote antenna switch, controlled from =
the DB-25 connector on the Omni worked like a charm.  The Computer =
Control, however, did not. =20

We experienced many lockups with the units.  I identified the problem as =
being with the Omni and not the laptop because even the keying from an =
external keyer, connected in parallel with the laptop keying line, would =
not key the radio.  One way to resolve the problem was to push the USB =
button, then the CW button and all would be hunky-dory for a while.  =
Frequently, while calling CQ or a sending a report, the laptop display =
would show the out of band message. Also, and I have not had a chance to =
correlate it to any particular activity, the tuning rate would drop to =
its lowest speed.  Bummer!!

Fortunately, we had a good signal and could hold our own on the =
frequencies where we found productive spots, otherwise, tuning around =
would have been a real problem or having to do a reset would have been =
worse.  We were just about at the point where we were going to pull the =
plug on the computer....the computer control interface plug, that is. =20

Anyone have any ideas?  We were running at 4800 baud.  Should we have =
tried a higher or lower baud rate?  Anyone else experience and solve a =
similar problem?

When the computer control interface worked, it worked well.  Nothing =
like being able to change bands with the press of two keys =
(alt-f1/alt-f2) or one button (keypad bandswitch) and everything =
(computer, radio, antenna) changes.  Neat!!

Next year, two tribanders, a 40m beam, maybe, an 80m inv vee.  With a =
switch to select either (NW or NE) or both tribanders. =20

Also, this was apparently the first time some of the Texas DX Society =
members had an opportunity to operate an Omni VI.  The comments that I =
received about its performance (outside the lockup problem--everyone =
else blamed the computer) were very positive.  That was very reassuring. =

Dale, KG5U