Sunday, September 13, 2015

Remote CW part Due

I acquired all the parts to build IW7DMH's Remote Morse Key.  Here is a pic of my Arduino with ethernet that I plug into the key port of my 6500

The finished board consists of a Arduino UNO R3, a HanRun Enc28J60 ethernet shield, a prototype shield, a 4n35 optoisolator a couple of resistors and a DB9 connector and housing from radio shack

The DB9 was particularly nice since I could include the 6.8K resistor and 100nf bypass inside the case and a RCA female connector exactly fit as well, making for a nice tidy construction.

Most of the parts were purchaded from China off ebay. including the Arduino, the Ethernet shield, the Prototype board, and the 4n35.  I used a 8 pin radio shack socket I had in the junk box to socket the 4n35.  All totaled the Chinese parts were $9.69

Arduino  $3.69

HanRun $2.77 with shipping

Prototype $2.17 with shipping

4n35 $0.99

The Arduino came with a USB cable, and the prototype came with a bread board, which I did not use.  It turns out the prototype board has some switches and LED's already on board so I wired up one LED to pin 7 which is the output pin so I could watch my CW as well.

It was interesting to learn how to load a program into the Arduino.  I have programmed raspbury pi and beagle bone black computers in the past, but this was my first swing at a Arduino and I knew absolutely nothing about it.

You start by installing a IDE programming tool downloaded from
Make sure you use as there are 2 competing groups out there and not everything is compatible in both camps.  The libraries used in this project are .cc compatible and I'm not smart enough to modify or debug if things go south.  The code is C/C++ and is straight forward.  I've never used C++ but I was able to
 write and load some little routines to get a feel for how things work.  The point being it ain't very scary.  Once I got ethernet going I was able to configure and ping both fixed IP and DCHP addresses

The remote board requires no connection to a computer, just 5v and a way to the router.  In my shack I have a 5 port switch which connects my computer. my 6300, my 6500 and now this remote CW switch back to my router.

Enzo and Ihad to do a little troubleshoot as I couldn't get any packets to pass in the version of the "sketch" I was using.  (A sketch is what the little program you write is called), but after some chin scratching we got the sucker running.

On the remote computer there is a little program tha connects the keyer to the switch.  I use a little K1EL battery powered K12 keyer to drive the DB9 serial port.  My computer has 2 DB9 serial ports, neither of which would work.  I did have a USB<> serial port in the junkbox so I plugged that in and set the program correctly and it fired right up

What the program does is send out UDP packets on port 6000.  Since I use a lo
cal keyer (K12)  I only use one of the possible 2 connections, specifically CTS or pin 8

With a key output closure from the keyer a L1 packet is generated on port 6000.  When the closure ends a L0 packet is generated.  The arduino sniffs port 6000 looking for L1's and L0's.  When it senses a L1 it turns on the 6500.  When it senses L0  the 6500 turns off.  There is a means to sends Iambic output but I didn't bother with that.  I like having the sidetone, speed controls and memory function/buttons of the keyer local.

How's it work?  It works great!  The lag is considerably less than the winkey remote setup, it's WAY cheaper, and no computer is needed to run the connection.

Included is a video of the keyer in action

I set the 6500 to full breakin, but I turned the power to 0 watts so as not to interfere.  Almost NO lag and perfect code!

My first contact was PV8ADI running a little pileup on 20M  Broke him first call with 100W on a vertical.  Much superior to the WinKey setup for DXing and ragchew.

Here is a pic of my remote CW setup, N3ZN SL-1 paddle and a K1EL K12 keyer in a Altoids tin.  The keyer drives the Remote CW program in my computer via a serial port in the following fashion

Paddle > Keyer > serial port to computer > Remote CW program >   ......Ethernet......  Arduino > 6500 in the shack.

73  W9OY