Adding an external keypad to the K3

Genovation KeypadThis article on adding an external keypad to the K3 was created to make it simpler for the next poor sod down the road to add a Genovation CP48USBHID, 48 key keypad, or the Genovation CP24USBHID, 24 key device to their K3/P3 devices.  I initially learned about the Genovation keypads on the Elecraft mail list.  It sounded to me like several people were talking as if they had them working, so I asked how to set one up, and got nothing back…  I asked again a few weeks later, only this time on both the Elecraft, and the Yahoo mail lists.  I received several replies, all saying they would like to have one of these working as well.  I did get one lone reply from a person who said, “yes, but I did it a year ago, and have now forgotten how”.  From that I concluded I was on my own in getting these two devices connected.  Given I agreed with the general premise that having a keypad available to send macros to the radio would be good, I decided to move forward with this project and see how far I might get.  I contacted the Elecraft support team first, and got, “only the listed keyboards will work”, response.  However, in the discussion, I got what would later turn out to be a vital piece of information in making the connection between these two devices work. Continue reading

I have RFI, now what– Locating it

Annotated 40 meters showing various RFI events

Annotated 40 meters showing various RFI events

As the name suggests, this article, “I have RFI, now what– Locating it”, will show how I located several RFI sources in my area.  This is part three of a three part series–  Part one covered what tools I needed to locate RFI, while Part two covered internal removal of RFI sources within the shack, and finally, Part three covers how I located a number of RFI sources external to the shack, and how I got them corrected.  A new section has been added to this site, showing the SDR based signatures of various RFI events, or look over the entire RFI series here.

Over the past few years, I have been plagued with RFI on 40 and 80 Meters.  Most of it has been Horticultural lighting, (read that as Grow Lights), and most of it has been pretty easily located.  In fact most have been found in under 15 minutes!  For the most part the folks I have contacted have all been decent types, and have all to a fault, done what it takes to either remove the RFI, or stop generating it.  For that I am thankful to them, it saves me the time in getting the Federal Communications Commission, and the ARRL involved.  It also saves the person generating the RFI, the problem of federal involvement.

I suspect a lot of this “good luck” has been because I never threaten, or wave the Federal Communications Commission at anyone.  I simply tell them, in writing, what I will do to get the RFI to stop, by giving them a handout our club created, which approaches the entire issue in a kind, friendly manner.  The goal is to solve the RFI problem at the lowest possible level, not just go straight to the Federal Communications Commission, but to give the person a chance to solve the issue locally, so I don’t have to involve the Federal Communications Commission. Continue reading

MixW Telnet DX Cluster Setup

MixW Multimode Software full screen view

MixW Multimode Software

This article will cover MixW Telnet DX Cluster Setup.  MixW is an old, and unsupported program, save for the Yahoo MixW group.  MixW is also the best program I have ever used for RTTY contesting, bar none, and around 4000 other users agree if the membership of the Yahoo MixW support group is any indicator.  I moderate that group, and of late (2014), DX Summit changed it’s format and has broken some functionality of MixW for using DX clusters.  I thought it might be good to put together a guide for how to set up MixW to use Telnet, as opposed to web-based DX cluster population of the cluster selection window.  For some reason many people are not using telnet, but web-based cluster population methods, it seems to me that telnet is much faster, and better, as it relies not on a single site to maintain a set format, for the rest of time, but a set of software packages, (DX Cluster servers), to keep the current formats.  So here is a short tutorial on how to set up MixW for DX Cluster use via telnet.  The steps will be as follows:

  1. Remove all Web-based support.
  2. Modify a script for use.
  3. Add that script
  4. Implement the changes to be automatic on MixW start.

Continue reading

I have RFI, now what– Quantification

Example of RFI as displayed by both Spectrum Lab, and S-Meter Lite.

Example of RFI

So I have RFI, now what– Quantification, gathering the tools:

This first part will cover gathering the software tools I used for RFI location and removal, while part II covers cleaning your own RFI up.  Or look here for the entire series.  Quantification, followed by location of the source, that is the first thought that came to my head when I discovered the RFI being sprayed all over the area I live in.  In this set of articles, I will describe the process I used to locate and mitigate a few RFI sources around my area.  Your mileage may vary, and you will need to remember, this is what I did, and not a guide for you, but more of a chronicle of events and actions I took to solve my RFI problem.  Here is the legal disclaimer: None of this should be construed to be a suggestion as to what you should do, that is something you need to decide on, this is what I did, and am doing. Continue reading

Review of N3FJP’s AC Log 4.x



This is the review of N3FJP’s AC Log, One of the best logging program available just got better!  Scott Davis, (N3FJP), has announced his completion of the rewrite of the popular logging program called “Amateur Contact Log“, version 4.0 from Visual Basic to the C# language, moving the version number from ACL3.4x to ACL4.x.  See my review of ACL3.4 here.

N3FJP's AC Log, ACLog 4.x full screen view.

ACLog 4.x, click for larger view

Alas, I had hoped that the next rewrite might make it possible to port to Linux…  This rewrite does not do that, (thank you Microsoft), but, it does run under VirtualBox, and I hear under Wine for Linux as well.  So it looks as if I will be keeping  my VirtualBox Windows XP box for a bit longer…

Overall the program seems more mature, the look and feel are better, the fonting seems better, but there are a few foibles in it yet, not many, and nothing bad so far.  Overall the program is well written, seems a tad bit slower than 3.4, (which is not a surprise), but has several new features which make it a good change.  Best of all, N3FJP makes the update available free to registered users.  Something that surprises me.  Most vendors will charge for a major version change.  Perhaps given that this was not really a massive change, (to the user, but a total re-write to the author), no charge was levied. Continue reading