Wednesday, April 29, 2020

FlexRadio: Remote Control ON/OFF State

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FlexRadio makes controlling the ON/OFF state of their ham radio rigs simple.   Basically a "short" across the RCA jack on the back labeled REM ON will start the rig and an "open" will power the rig down.
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Here's how we did it for the FlexRadio 6400 (video below).

- From SmartSMR go to Setting / Radio Setup.... (I wish SmartSDR would just use CTRL R for this and similar for other menu commands).   In the screen make "Remote on: Enabled":
- Now you need some hardware.  Most hams will have plenty of the wire, wall warts, and connectors gathering dust that are in the diagram below.   However, two items may need to be purchased.  Don't worry; they're cheap:

     - This 120VAC outlet that can be controlled via your smart phone.  Cost from Amazon ~$10.
- A simple relay to "short/open" the REM ON labeled RCA jack on the back of the rig.  Cost for three was ~$8 from Amazon.

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You will need to download an app for your smart phone to control the AC outlet.  Then hook things up like this (click to enlarge image):

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Here's vid of the whole enchilada in action:
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It took us more time to document the project than to actually do it.   It's simple.  Hope to catch you on the air.   dit dit.
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Monday, April 13, 2020

3D Printed "Cootie" Key for CW/Morse Code

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May 2020 Update:  This key was gifted to KK5PJ who was extremely patient with me in my very first CW QSO and the many practice sessions that followed.  THX.
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CW or Morse Code is a way ham radio operators send messages with a simple tone of two durations.  It was a must before the days of wireless voice communications and still remains popular because it is a fun challenge.  Also, due to its efficiency messages can get through with limited power or in poor conditions.
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There are no shortage of morse code key designs, but in general they fall into a few categories that are discussed here.  We decided to DIY a "cootie" or "sideswiper" key and used our 3D printer to produce this design from Thingiverse.
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The result was surprisingly fantastic in both look and feel.   Now, to practice.


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