Got back into a little development on the Arduino Logger. I have now transfered over from using a Uno/Nano to now using a MEGA as i needed that little bit more overhead in Sram. So i have it all zipped up in a box now, and am slowly working on adding to the code to make it more usable. As you can see in the picture, there is now Operator and Station Calls in keeping with how the WWFF program wants the data formatted in CVS format.
Sometime ago after a long discussion with a fellow ham, we has concocted this idea to create a logging application using an arduino. The whole thing has sat stagnate for so long, with the parts to make it sitting in the box for many many months, that I decided it was time to pull them out and start to put some work into the ideas.
Basically you have an Arduino Uno, PS2 Keyboard, SD Card Reader, and 20×4 LCD with I2C to form up the basics of the unit. At a latter stage i may also include a RTC clock so that you do not have to manually enter date and time, but for now, i am not sure how will both the LCD and RTC would work together on the I2C port together and if one or the other is going to hog to much time slice.
The basic idea can be seen in the image above. Feature wise, it will be able to take your call, todays date and mode, their call, time, rpt rx, rpt tx, and some short notes like the name and location as well as being able to change mode on the fly and also being able to create a new log file as needed. This is something i wish to use myself while out portable, so i can leave my expensive laptops and their battery hunter or expensive tablet at home. Yeah i have had a tablet die on my portable and lost over 150 log entries from 3 WWFF parks. The way the data will be saved in my arduino logger will be every new entry a backup will be made and the new entry will be written to file, worst case scenario you lose 1 entry, not 100’s. Unless the card explodes and well then you are totally buggered anyway. Here is a small video of where we are at with the project and in a few days i should have something very usable happening.
Added in a real time clock so that there is no date and time entries, we can just poll the clock and get the data we need.
Finished off the basic setup, of Your Call, Band and Mode.
This project is based on the code found in the book Arduino for Ham Radio Book” By Glen Popiel, KW5GP I have not reinvented the wheel here or anything, but i have improved on and made fully usable this code. Its a CW keyboard with memory keying, it keys the straight key input on your radio using a relay to replace the straight key. This is obviously low voltage negative keying, and not suitable for old high voltage value systems etc.
So the changes i made have done added the following, firstly to make the default key speed to not be over ridden, currently this is set as 10wpm in code. Next i added in changing the key speed using the page up and down keys. Its very useful to be able to change your key speed to suit the person you are cw’ing with. Next i fixed an issue with the macros keying at a speed other than the current set keying speed. I also make it default to keying mode, not beeping mode. The software had 2 modes, keying the radio and beeping a buzzer for practice i guess, well it kind of seems redundant to key a buzzer with a keyboard when a radio has side tone already and i cannot see much practice value in keying a buzzer with a keyboard, its not really going to help you get better as cw operator.
These were all minor changes but ones that have made this project to be much more usable. I also simplified the schematic somewhat, pin 12 goes straight to the input on the relay board and the resistors on the LCD are not needed at all.
Here is my modified version of the code: CW_Memory_Keyer
My home brew cw station will consist of 3 parts, the receiver, the transmitter and the tuner. Each will be built separate of the others and brought together at the end as a whole and hopefully it works. The receiver will be direct conversion using parts of the schematic from Experimental Methods in RD Design by Hayward Et Al. The parts of that i will use are the preamp front end, the audio diplexer and LNA preamp and the headphone amplifier. The mixer will be an ADE-1 from Mini Circuits rather than a TUFF-1, the audio filters will be active OP Amp Salen Key types and the VFO will be an Arduino DDS VFO as you just cannot beat them for stability and easy of use and rather than headphones, the headphone amp will be use as a preamp to a conventional audio amplifier driving a 4ohm speaker.
IMG 1: Schematic from Experimental Methods in RD Design by Hayward Et A
IMG 2: Front view of the case
IMG 3: Arduino nano on etched board with DDS and TX RX switching relay.