During my upcoming planned DXpedition (target to be revealed later) my prime focus will be CW.
Of course, phone contacts are indispensible, don’t worry ; -)
Although having successfully contested with N1MM-logger, in conjunction with its serial port interface,
I was thinking about eliminating of SPOFs (single point of failures) while abroad.
What if there is no power supply, other than some car batteries and/or my laptop fails?
Although my rig has an internal keyer, this feature has to be disabled when using e.g. N1MM-logger.
My first project was to assemble my low power K1EL K12 CW-keyer kit I bought a year ago.
This keyer was also a nice candidate to house a paddle I bought a while ago at a flea market for 1 euro.
Contrary to my Bencher this paddle is light weight (cf. travelling by airplane!).
My initial idea was to logical ‘OR’ the keyer and N1MM-logger with diodes with my rig.
This allows me to use the paddle when convenient, and also let the K12-keyer provide e.g. serial numbers
in contesting mode in case my laptop might fail.
After I showed the result of the keyer to one of my friends he advised me to get a ‘WinKeyer’,
for my convenience and let this WinKeyer do the CW-timing, instead. He also offered me one of his WinKeyers.
Despite the nice gesture I want to be as independent as possible, and decided to dig into the ‘WinKey’ matter.
A ‘WinKeyer’ is a stand alone CW-keyer which interfaces (through USB) logging software (e.g. N1MM-logger).
The logging software does not have to perform the CW-timing (I am told that this uses significant
amounts of CPU power in N1MM (???) ) and focuses on what it has to do: log contacts.
Preprogrammed function buttons (F1 – F12) now send a string through the serial/USB port towards the Winkeyer.
During my research I quickly found some Winkeyer alternatives, of which the Arduino CW keyer of K3NG
was the most elegant: simple, cheap, and … open source. More than perfect!!
Anthony reverse engineered the K1EL Winkeyer protocol (apparently the de facto standard in Winkeying).
Within no time I built the keyer with an Arduino Nano on a piece of breadboard
It worked very promising after disabling the auto reset (ASR) facility of the Arduino with a jumper.
There were some other operational issues, but these can be resolved in the (open) source code.
Contrary to the ‘well known’ commercial guys into CW-keying, Anthony K3NG is very co-operative.
Concerning his code he has an open and constructive mind towards requests, ideas, bugs etc.
After I mailed him some observations/suggestions he proposed solutions very quickly : -)
Below two pictures of my Artisan Keyer (how I call it). Note: the casings are home brew and have to be finished.