02/23/13

HRD is all setup…

Maybe it’s me but my Ham Radio Deluxe setup took a little polishing. Obviously the actually components in the software worked as they should, just based on the fact it installed correctly on my PC. But what took a little worked is controlling my radio via HRD and then the remote server setup.

Controlling my radio via HRD

So the first hurtle I came to was getting HRD to control my Yaesu FT-950. The FT-950 has a 9-pin serial port on the back. This relatively expensive modern radio doesn’t have a USB plug. O well. The even better catch is you need a very specific serial cable to make the CAT interface work correctly. The first serial cable I bought, I bought before knowing that a specific 9 pin cable was required. It was hard enough finding a female-female cable. At was actually difficult sourcing locally a 9-pin serial cable.

The second cable I bought was a straight-thru 9-pin serial cable. I thought this would be correct because at this store the only other options was a Null modem cable. That’s what I bought first and was wrong. I get this home and it’s a no go as well.

So at this point I’m rather annoyed. I’ve got two 9-pin serial cables that I will literally never ever use and HRD won’t work my radio. And by now I’ve also done a hard reset to ensure that the settings are stock. Then I’ve gone through a couple tutorials on the HRD forum to get the FT-950. specifically, to work. No go.

The three cable. I looked up in the CAT manuel for the radio and found the name of the specific cable I needed. This time I hit up my go to store, Amazon.com. I searched and found several different ones. Read about them and ended up with a “DB9 9 Pin Serial Port Cable Female / Female RS232” and it’s worked. I plugged in the cable to the computer and to the radio. Figured out which Comm port it’s on and  the baud rate. Set it all and hooray, it’s now running my radio. I’ll include the link to the cable below.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003UKEIWI/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Setting up the Remote Server Option in HRD

By now I’ll tickle to death that my computer interface controls my radio. I don’t know why per-say since my radio is literally 9 inches from my arm on my desk, but I am. I think it is probably because it will automatically record the frequency of my QSO when I am logging it.

As some may or may not know HRD has function to install on your computer a server process that can be accessed remotely. Basically imagine this. My radio is hooked to my tower PC at my desk in the office/guest bedrm/radio rm and I want to work it from my laptop in the living room. Once I have the remote server setup, I bring HRD on my laptop. Then enter in some specific settings in HRD on my laptop to connect and ba-zing, connected. Now if you have the skill to set it up you can indeed access you radio on the radio remotely.

Here’s the setting up of the remote server on Windows 7 Pro.

  • First open HRD and then go to ‘Tools” > ‘Programs’ > click ‘Remote Servers’
  • Next make sure, unless you know not to, that the left blue box “HRD Remote Server” is selected and the click install below that.
    • Side note, if it tells you that it’s not available option or it can’t, close HRD then reopen it as administrator just once to install this.
  • Next you must configure the configuration file for your server. Just watch the video for that.

Now you have the remote server setup and you can probably connect to it.

Trouble shooting:

  • HRD Remote Server uses port “7805” which my have to be opened in your Windows firewall
  • Also don’t try to connect remotely to your radio while your connected locally to it. I did this and for half an hour couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t connect. It ties up the Comm port the radio is on.

Once I get a robust remote setup for outside my network I’ll do another write up. But this simple explanation should get you going in the right directly. If not working completely.

02/19/13

Ham Radio Deluxe and the Griffin Powermate

griffen_powermateControlling Ham Radio Deluxe with the Griffin Technology Powermate

Now this will go much smoother if your at least fimiliar with Ham Radio Deluxe. I’m not going to here because it’ll make my post to long winded, so there’s plenty of resources on the web to tell you about HRD. But I will give you a very little overview. HRD is a ham radio software suite. It has a logging portion, there’s radio control software build in to it, there’s rotor control in it, there’s various IP functions and plethora of other things.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fd7sIuIzA10

This is a pretty decent overview of HRD.

What we are interested in today is the portion of the suite that interfaces with your radio and specifically the frequency scope. Now you can see from the screen shot that you have control what your radio can do. Specifically frequency is what we are looking at here. For my Yaesu FT-950 you see that my bands 160m – 10m are selectable in the center toward the middle of the GUI. Fine frequency control is right up that and fast freq control is right above. The selected freq in large numbers is near the top and to the left and right of that are radio settings control.

HRD FT-950

Again what I’m focusing on today is frequency control. When using HRD you may change frequency by interfacing directly with the VFO knob on your radio or use your mouse to control it via software.

Whats my point?

Well I live in an apartment with my wife and we share a desk. I hope to get my radio working with HRD in such a manner it can be moved from the main surface area to a rack off the desk with it’s power supply. Thus freeing much room on our desk. I love the feel of the large VFO friction knob on the FT-950, so when it comes to running frequency with the mouse. I’m not super excited. Nor with the arrow keys. It just doesn’t feel like ham radio to me. I want a knob to turn.

Now comes the Powermate by Griffin Technology. This is a programmable USB digital knob. For all intentional purposes it’s a USB digital potentiometer. With the included software you are able to assign 6 tasks that the knob does to a piece of software currently open and upfront on your PC. You can setup it up to have specific settings with multiple software suites. When you change what program your using it knows and it uses those assigned tasks.

Controlling the HRD Frequency

At this point the device is plugged in and HRD is open and loaded. The screen above is what you see when your radio connects. Now you need to also have installed Powermate software. Available at Griffin Technology’s website.

You want to Click ‘Applications’, select ‘Add’, chooses the open available software to add, and click ok. Go through and select each knob action and set it up like the picture below. That will give you fine tuning by turning the knob, fast tuning by holding down the knob then turning, and pushing down give the keystroke of F7 which will open the ‘Add QSO/Contact’ dialog in the logbook. But you must have it open in the background.

The settings you see:

Simulates Keystrokes=fine tuning

Scrolls Up/Down = “Fast” Style tuning

Simulates Keystrokes F7 Key = New QSO Entry

gtpm2