My new class started. It is a Senior Capstone. Basically I have eight weeks to design a software project. I chose to build a CAT cable for my Kenwood TS-450S and write software to control said radio. I ordered the CAT cable parts from Jameco and built the cable/electronics this weekend. I am happy to say that it works! I am still in the ground stages of writing the software but have had success with reading and writing frequencies to the radio. I will try to post the source when I finish. Overall, it has been an excellent learning experience for me because I have always wanted to control something via the computer's serial port. The board (pictured below) is basically a converter that changes the RS-232 signal which has the logical bits swinging above and below ground to a standard TTL level. It was fairly easy to build and implement.
I was given a big surprise by my fellow amateur co-worker. He dropped off a Bencher paddle at my desk and said "here, this is yours"....!!!! It made my homebrew paddle go obsolete immediately. I must say I was happy to build my own paddle, but having a heavy commercially built paddle wins for me! With that, I have made a few digital QSO's as of late and a few CW QSO's. Most of my time now is spent trying to debug the CAT software.
My new bencher!
Hope to hear you soon!