[WriteLog] Serial Ports Again Gasp!

Jon Harder jon@royal.net
Tue, 31 Oct 2000 17:01:06 -0000

>or is the issue primarily a hardware one?

Glad you posted this, Larry.  The battle goes on for many of us who still
really want to try running two rigs, using the stereo RTTY options available
in WL. (10.20 here.)

Making the most of four ordinary serial ports, two on-board and two from an
ISA plugin card, I had resorted to using data switches to select either of
two TUs for one rig and FSK/PTT for the other(an 850.)  The other two ports
are used for rig control.  (With a 200mhz Pentium box with 64K RAM and SB-64
AWE that always does just fine in this configuration.  Each port has its own
IRQ, no conflicts in either DOS or Windows. FSK sounds like it should in WL,

But I always wondered what two-rig FSK with the stereo soundcard setup would
be like.  Recently  I considered adding a USB to serial port dongle to do
rig control or FSK/PTT with the second rig (570.)  But WL reflector comments
on these converters really didn't inspire much confidence.   I decided
before doing anything that cost money  I'd disconnect the TUs and try plain
vanilla with two ports for rig control and two for FSK/PTT with FSK stereo
sound board on WL RttyRite.  (I also like CW in WL via an LPT port.)

RTTY results?  Great reception, good rig control, but FSK became intolerably
sluggish and unpredictable on either rig.  Tried reversing the ports to put
FSK/PTT on the mainboard ports 1 and 2, with  rig control via the Com3 and 4
from 16 bit ISA serial card.  Tried a bunch of variations for the port
settings in Win 98 Device Manager.  No improvement.  Keying not as erratic
as AFSK, but definitely not the nice crisp FSK diddles, Alt-K chatting, and
buffers I've gotten used to.  Always quite slow starting, and long waits
when sending anything.  Very similar to reports from those trying USB to
serial conversion, (as WA9ALS well-documented results, for instance.)  No go
even with "real" serial ports properly interfaced..

FWIW,  I have gone back to just one soundcard FSK window for one rig and
trusty HAL 8000 for the other.  Thought I'd post this experience here, in
case others want to comment either direct to me, or if this thread still has
any useful life (gasp! ) on the reflector.

Jon     K1US

----- Original Message -----
From: "Larry Benko" <benko@aztek-eng.com>
To: <writelog@contesting.com>; <dx4win@qth.net>
Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2000 6:00 AM
Subject: [WriteLog] Serial Ports Again Gasp!

> There have been a lot of of comments concerning how to get enough
> serial ports on a PC for rig control etc.  The problem has gotten
> worse with most new motherboards now having only one native serial
> port and no ISA slots.  This leaves us with either an external USB
> to multiple serial box or an internal PCI to multiple serial card.
> I understand the issues of 5 bit codes, FIFO buffering/latency,
> and some of the power on sequencing problems.  Recently Steve, NR4M
> was looking for suggestions for a DX4WIN solution and someone else
> had volunteered to collect a database.  What is the current status
> or results of these efforts?
> Would removing the 5 bit Baudot requirement (RTTY must be done via
> a sound card??) make a solution much easier.  My initial feeling
> would be that ignoring the 5 bit code requirement, a PCI card
> solution would/should be more universally compatible especially for
> the power up sequencing issues.
> A database and some suggestions posted perhaps to the Writelog or
> DX4Win websites would be very much appreciated.  Does the operating
> system Win98/ME/2000/NT4 affect the results (assuming a driver is
> available) or is the issue primarily a hardware one?
> Thanks,
> Larry Benko, W0QE
> --
> WWW:                      http://www.writelog.com/
> Submissions:              writelog@contesting.com
> Administrative requests:  writelog-REQUEST@contesting.com
> Problems:                 owner-writelog@contesting.com

WWW:                      http://www.writelog.com/
Submissions:              writelog@contesting.com
Administrative requests:  writelog-REQUEST@contesting.com
Problems:                 owner-writelog@contesting.com