Sunday, March 9, 2008
Yesterday built the WinKeyer Kit from K1EL. The project was pretty simple to solder together, the surface mount USB interface chip was already mounted on the double sided board. The other two IC's went into sockets and the whole kit went together and was tested in a couple of hours. It took Almost as long to get the drivers working in VISTA as it did to put it together. The new eMachine Celeron with Vista Home Basic has been very stable except when I have exceeded the memory limits. Twice though I have had a time getting new devices reognized even when manually installing the proper driver. It seems to take more than one restart and maybe more than one install of the driver to get everything lined up. This seemed to be the case with the WinKeyer too. Once it connected though it seems to work FB. The two programs I have been using this winter both support the WinKeyer; HRD/DM-780 and N1MM interfaces both seem to work well with the CAT interface running on COM 1 and WinKeyer on USB Comm 4. It's not like the old DOS days when you could use a simple one transistor interface off the Comm Port to key the radio. The WinKeyer does operate in a stand alone mode too and that may be handy for some of the QRP contests in the field. There is a battery holder for 3 'AAA' cells and a diode sensor to switch the power from either the batteries or USB power if available.
There are two sets of Keying and PTT ports on the back of the keyer so if you want to use it as a SO2R CW set up it seems like this is all set to go.
For more info visit http://www.k1el.com/