CW training frm pc

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by MM6AHJ, Nov 4, 2010.

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  1. MM6AHJ

    MM6AHJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Is there a way I can connect a key to the computer to practice my morse?

    I guess Im just cutting an oscillator out of the loop, so maybe its a 'is there a software CW oscillator?' question. Most of the CW/PC query results come back as the usual keyboard/pc sending and decoding. Im only interested in sending with a key in reply to a CW training program, if such a thing exists of course.

    I also need a simple oscillator circuit/webpage thats sounds like CW and not some irritating buzzer, or cheap doorbell ? Some way of varying the frequency would be a welcome bonus. Im happy to build a basic audio amp if required and fit the whole lot into a project box.

    Bill
     
  2. NC4JB

    NC4JB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm not sure about plugging a key into a computer but I know there are a lot of practice oscillator circuits out there using some variation of a basic 555 timer oscillator. The Radio Shack Mini Engineer's Notebook of 555 timer circuits has a pretty good basic code oscillator circuit, and this page has one using only discrete components http://www.qrp.pops.net/multivibrator.asp

    Here's another one using a 555 http://www.sentex.ca/~mec1995/circ/morse1.htm. You can adjust R1 and R2 (or use a pot for either/or/both) to change the tone frequency to suit your tastes. Even my notoriously bad circuit building skills can usually get one of these babies to work so I'm sure you'll have no problem with it.

    As for interfacing with a computer, you might look into some of the various microcontroller kits like Arduino or PIC (to name a few) since you're basically just inputting on/off states in a serial manner. Hope this helps!
     
  3. MM6AHJ

    MM6AHJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Managed to find an application that recognises keyboard input and can accept a key via serial port, prob now is my lappy doesnt have one. The larger pC does but I use the laptop more.

    Found USB > Serial adaptor cables, but if Im only connecting to another cable, can simply connect to the proper wires in a USB cable?

    I must admit that even tapping a key gives a more realistic feel than simply pressing the correct key on a keyboard ! The obvious step is get to use a proper key.

    So....how do I connect the key to USB? And would it work?
     
  4. M0PNN

    M0PNN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi

    Bill

    do you have a radio that produces side tone ? I connect a stereo cable between my 857d and sound card input. I use Ham Radio Deluxe (dm 780)to decode my sent cw.

    Cheers

    Paul

    m0pnn
     
  5. NG7IL

    NG7IL XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    FWIW, I use a microphone on top of my keyer to input the audio to my soundcard. The CW programs decode it from there. Of course you will need a key and a keyer or CPO. You need the key anyway if you are going to transmit. I built a keyer from Jackson Harbor and practice with it. I use it with and without my PC or laptop. A CPO would do the same thing.
    73 de KF7KPL
     
  6. MM6AHJ

    MM6AHJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a couple of keys and both my sets have a sidetone as far as Im aware, but I thought they would have to be in transmit mode to work, even if that meant TX'ing into a dummy load? (got one those as well)

    I used that mic option way back and it worked then, but not really what I want just now. Found an app that will come up with a letter and I have to 'send' it back, or repeat what its just beeped at me? The response from a key on the keyboard is OK'ish, but a proper key would be much better.
    The program itself will let me do that, but it needs a serial port which the laptop doesnt have, or possible a serial to usb cable, that currently looks like robbery in mu neck of the woods.
    So that led me to consider converting an existing usb cable to accept the key making a connection and thence working the program??

    It will get there...with a little help
     
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