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2.5.3 Supported Hardware

1. Windows and External USB Peripherals

One word of caution about external (USB) sound cards ... and other USB peripherals.

Windows can only address the "USB root hub" ... they are directly connected to the internal PCI bus. Windows will process data from all "Root Hubs" in a machine in parallel. However, all of the "child" devices are like leaves on a tree, each leaf which "grows" from the same "root" receives a time slot (generally 16 msec) in turn. If you have too many "leaves" on one root hub, the delay can become excessive and result in communications failures (time outs) with the controlling software (Logger).

This can be particularly problematical with some software that polls every 50 to 100 msec and will timeout if a response has not been received before the next poll interval. USB can easily handle the aggregate throughput (it will do something like 240 mb/sec) but the delays can be a problem if the software writer does not account for them.

Be particularly aware of this issue if you use external hubs and add many devices - particularly devices like memory sticks and "thumb drives."

73, Joe Subich, W4TV

For much more information about specific USB to serial adapters and similar hardware, see USB Interface Devices.

2. Green Heron Engineering Inc. - GH Everyware (rotator control)

N1MM Logger can send bearing information direct to the Green Heron GH Everyware software. N1MM Logger must be configured to send rotor information over the network (using UDP packets). This can be done by editing the N1MM Logger.ini file. Information regarding this is given in the supplied documentation with the Green Heron software, which is bundled with Everyware Remote and Base hardware and not sold separately.

Please refer to the Everyware documentation for further details.

3. Ham Radio Solutions - EZmaster

EZ Master is an LPT port and USB Device that interfaces your PC with several devices in your shack like radios, antennas, filters switching, microphone, headphones etc. Including PHONE, CW, RTTY, DIGITAL Mode interface and internal DVK, CW Keyer and SO2R switching.

More information can be found on the Ham Radio Solutions website.

4. K1EL - Winkeyer

Winkeyer is an external keyer chip designed by K1EL and G3WGV, which combines full electronic keyer features with a serial interface to a computer. Winkeyer is intended to interface with compatible Windows software and produce CW from ASCII characters sent to it, avoiding CW timing problems caused by multitasking.

N1MM Logger was one of the first Windows logging program to support Winkeyer, and it has become a favorite CW solution for N1MM Logger+ users. Serial or parallel port keying may work fine, particularly with faster computers, but using Winkeyer can enable you to get by with a slower machine or run other programs in conjunction with N1MM Logger+, while keeping your CW perfect. Stand-alone keyers are available, and the Winkeyer keyer chip is also used in multi-function interfaces such as Ham Radio Solutions EZMaster, RigExpert, and several microHAM interfaces.

More information can be found on K1EL's website.

A full explanation of setting up N1MM Logger+ to work with Winkeyer is found in the Configurer section of the N1MM Logger+ Manual.

5. microHAM - microKEYER

The authoritative source for information on configuring N1MM Logger to work with various microHAM products is the microHAM web site which offers a variety of "Example Configurations". These configurations are also accessible through the Help menu of the microHAM Router software, under "Document Download."

5.1. Tentec ORION + "Mute mic on supported radios"

In the Configurer dialog, Other tab, make sure that "Mute mic on supported radios" is *NOT* checked. If that is checked, the Logger mutes the microphone and turns on the AUX input during DVK operation. By design the microKEYER routes DVK audio to the microphone input.

5.2. ICOM CI-V Interfaces + Transceive on/off Features

How to connect microHAM devices to N1MM Logger+ together with, for example, a SteppIR antenna which needs Transceive ON to know the radio frequency while N1MM Logger+ likes to see Transceive OFF.

  • connect all of the CI-V devices in parallel (tip to tip, ground to ground)
  • turn off Transceive in the Icom rig
  • turn ON "polling" in microHAM Router
  • turn OFF "polling" in microHAM Band Decoder


The microKEYER (Router) will poll only when the logging software is not polling (for example, Router will poll even though N1MM Logger+ does not). The Router polls will keep data flowing on the CI-V bus to allow the SteppIR and other similar hardware to stay "in sync."

The microHAM Band Decoder will provide antenna switching (including support for multiple antennas per band with the appropriate external switch) according to your normal programming , provide drive for bandpass filters (several brands) and can do "format conversion" which will allow a Yaesu (Quadra, FL-7000) or Icom (IC-2KL, IC-4KL, IC-PW1) solid state amplifier to work with any other (supported Yaesu, Kenwood, Icom, or TenTec) radio.

The same capability exists with non-Icom radios.

5.3. N1MM Logger+ can't read the RX frequency (shows as 0) - frequency shown fine in microHam router without the Logger

N1MM Logger+ polls for slightly different data than Router (VFO A and VFO B vs. "Current operating frequency") so Router "times out." Solution:

Open Router | Control | Set and uncheck "Disable router queries" .

5.4. Truncation of Messages (When Using Winkeyer Keyer)

Symptom: Sends all the macro CW messages except the last letter and then goes back to receive. The solution is to add a space or the | character (the shifted \ character) at the end of the macro message. The | character is about 1/3 of a space.

6. microHAM - MK2R/MK2R+

  • To set up MK2R+ with N1MM using LPT control see: http://www.microham.com/Downloads/MK2R_N1MM_Setup.pdf
  • For a set-up using only USB see "USB-only SO2R.pdf" by N4ZR in the N1MM Logger area on Yahoo (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/N1MMLogger).


Q. When I load N1MM logger the message shows: "Winkeyer v2 detected, Only Winkeyer v4 and higher are supported in N1MM."
A. That's a Winkeyer initialization error of some kind which shows when the MK2R+ is not switched on when N1MM logger is started.

Q. How many serial ports are needed by MK2R to fully work
A. In any case, one only needs five ports for a fully functioning system with N1MM (Radio 1, Radio 2, PTT 1, PTT2, and Winkeyer). Any other functions (Packet, rotor control, etc.) do not need
to be in the "first eight." MMTTY/Digital Interface will share a port with PTT (and CW if you are not using Winkeyer) ... and MMVARI or MMTTY in AFSK mode does not require a port at all. Even if/when the SO2R control signals get mapped to serial handshake lines or the software adds support for the microHAM control protocol (on a virtual port) one additional port will not push most systems "over the line" - although the ability to start the block of eight other than at COM1 would provide a bit of insurance.

73, Joe, W4TV

An example setup

microHAM Router

  • VOICE Audio Switching for both radios: CmCmCm

FT1000MP, Proset Plus plugged to front mic jack.

N1MM Logger (6.10.9 or higher)

  • Configurer >Audio tab
    • 2 - Single Card - Two Radio, No sound card SO2R
    • Select Device = USB Voice CODEC
    • Select Input Line = Microphone
    • Select Line to Mute = Microhone
    • Recording bits = 16
    • Sampling rate = 22050


Ctrl+Shift+Fx to record, Fx to playback.

6.1. USB-only SO2R Support

With USB-only SO2R support using the the MicroHam SO2R protocol, an LPT port to command various SO2R functions with the MK2R/MK2R+ is no longer needed.

Designate a virtual COM port as your MK2R control port in N1MM logger. To do this, check the CW/Other box for the port, click on 'Set', and check the MK2R box on the port details dialog. Then go to the SO2R tab on the MicroHam Router, select Microham SO2R protocol with the "radio button", and identify the COM port in the drop-down list just below. Finally, if you want to use program-derived band data, on the ACC tab change the Radio 1 and Radio 2 options to "SO2R protocol controlled". If you want to control band decoders for two radios, you may need to wire up a new cable to get Radio 1 data from pins 6-9 on the ACC connector, and Radio 2 data from pins 10-13.

Record-on-the fly within the program is supported using USB-only.

6.2. Suggested Port Setup by Joe, W4TV

"The MK2R/MK2R+ operates very well with six total ports (I will use A - F to avoid particular numbers):

MK2R/MK2R+ with 6 Total Ports
Port Connected Device
COM A Winkeyer (it is best to assign Winkeyer to the "lowest" port to avoid loss of CW if another port is activated for CW)
COM B Radio #1 (PTT and Footswitch is optional on this port)
COM C Radio #2 (PTT and Footswitch is optional on this port)
COM D Digital #1 FSK and PTT for Radio #1 (assign Radio 1)
COM E Digital #2 FSK and PTT for Radio #2 (assign Radio 2)
COM F MK2R (protocol port)


A user who does not choose to do FSK (uses AFSK only) can survive with FOUR virtual ports as PTT can be enabled on each of the radio ports - even with radios that normally expect "handshake" - as the MK2R does the handshaking and frees both RTS/DTR lines for control functions."

The COM D and COM E PTT settings (or the optional radio port PTTs) are necessary if you wish to use the built-in N1MM Logger "DVK" with PTT (rather than VOX). This does not mean that you have to designate COM 5 and 6 on the Ports tab as PTT - instead you can just make sure the PTT box is checked on your two FSK ports in Router. If you wish to use the MK2R's built-in DVK instead, you will need to check the "DVK" box on the port you are using for the MK2R.

6.3. On-the-Fly Recording from within N1MM Logger

In order to make on-the-fly recording with Ctrl+Shift+Fx work with N1MM and the MK2R+, there are a couple of unusual requirements:

  • if using the MK2R SO2R protocol (USB-only), you need to use MM 7.10.9 or later
  • If your computer uses the Realtek or Soundmax chips for its on-board sound, then you will need temporarily to set the USB Voice CODEC to be the default sound device in Windows and be sure to turn off all Windows sounds for the duration, also in the Control Panel. There's a glitch in the Realtek/Soundmax drivers that doesn't let mic audio get through to the MK2R+'s USB Voice CODEC (which it uses to record and play Function Key messages) unless you do this.

7. RigExpert

When installing drivers for RigExpert Std or Plus, it creates 4 virtual COM Ports on your computer along with USB Audio Codec (for its internal sound card). Some users of the RigExpert TI-5 interface have reported that the 4th virtual port, for FSK keying, does not work with MMTTY. It is still possible to key FSK RTTY, using the 2nd virtual port (PTT/CW/SoftFSK) using the version of EXTFSK supplied with the RigExpert, and configuring MMTTY to use EXTFSK.
Click on "Show Serial Ports" (ListRE program which comes with RigExpert software) and write down COM port numbers for CAT and PTT/CW for future reference.
Then run your N1MM. (Make sure you are not running other logging programs at the same time to avoid port conflict).
Go to Configure and click on Configure Ports, Telnet Address, Other. Click on Hardware. You will see a selection of COM port from COM 1 to COM 8. Select the proper COM port number for CAT (the one you memorized before), select your radio model and in Details select the proper parameters for your radio (baud rate, etc.). Then select proper COM port number for CW/PTT (check CW/PTT) and in the details set DTR to CW and RTS to PTT. If you are using RigExpert Plus, then you may also set a separate COM port for Winkeyer.
If you want to use RigExpert as your Sound card (for SSB messages or RTTY) you may go to Audio (under the same Configurer menu) and select USB Audio Codec as you Sound Device.
Don't forget that you can not run two programs that use the same USB Interface at the same time.
If you have older RigExpert - SD or 2.2, you still may use it with N1MM, just need to install additional driver (REAUDIO).

When RigExpert SD is used with N1MM for Voice Keying, in the Configurer's Audio select "RigExpert" as a Device. Then configure the Recorded wav file path in the "Files".
The older RigExpert models,need to have REAUDIO installed. For newer RigExpert models REAUDIO is not needed "USB Audio Codec" in the "Select Device" menu should be seleceted.

8. Top Ten Devices - Automatic Band Decoder and DX Doubler

To replicate the default Top Ten Devices behavior, you would need to set up Configurer >Antenna tab as shown in the Interfacing section.

8.1. Hardware Update: 'Both Ears on the Inactive Radio' versus 'Both Ears on the Active (or Run) Radio' from the Keyboard

I wanted to go one better and mimic the "PTT" operation of the DXD, which puts both ears on the INactive radio for aggressive S&P, but still be able to put both ears on the Active (or Run) radio from the keyboard, to help pick up weak answers to my CQs while HC8N is blasting on the S&P radio at S9 +40. You can do this manually by switching the DXD audio mode switch from PTT to Auto, but I'd rather keep my hands on the keyboard.

After corresponding with George, W2VJN and Dave, N3RD, of Top Ten, and entirely thanks to them, I have it working. I also owe a vote of thanks to Terry, N4TZ/9, whose article in September/October NCJ describes modifying the DXD to do the same trick, but with a footswitch, and got us all thinking.

First, put the DXD jumpers (2) in their CT/Writelog/TR/MM position. This has the effect of isolating pin 5 of the LPT port. Then put a 2N2222 open collector switch between pin 5 and the Auto terminal of S3 on the DXD (that's the audio mode switch). Specifically, pin 5 drives the base of the transistor through a 1K resistor connected to the high side of R22, just like the basic CW keying interface. The emitter is grounded to the ground side of R22, and the collector is wired to the switch side of R29. I mounted the transistor next to R22 with double-sided tape. Ugly but effective. That's all there is to it.

 DX Doubler on port other than LPT1

When using the DX Doubler on a port other than LPT1 check out the proper addresses.


73, Pete N4ZR

9. West Mountain Radio - RIGblaster

9.1. CW and Digital Setup RIGblaster Plus

Inside the RIGblaster Plus set the following jumpers on the P5 jumper block: D9 and D12, corresponding to RTS on PTT and DTR on KEY. Switch the port on which the RIGblaster is set from DIGITAL to OTHER. In N1MM's configuration use DTR (pin 4) set to CW and RTS (Pin 7) set to PTT. Using this configuration, everything works properly generating CW from N1MM and furthermore, this combination will allow the other soundcard related things to work (MMTTY, SSTV, PSK, Voice Key Express, etc). (by David, K1TTT)

 CW key down problem and RIGblaster Pro

When your radio in CW stays in key down position try setting DTR to CW

9.2. SSB Setup RIGblaster Plus

  • Serial port setup (configurer)
    • Com2 (any com port will do)
    • DTR: Always OFF
    • RTS: PTT
  • On the RIGblaster itself
    • Set the Tx/Auto switch to Auto.
  • Sound Volume Level
    • Use your soundcards volume control

With it set up this way, it correctly mutes the microphone while transmitting a wav file and the VOX works when not transmitting a wav file.

9.3. RIGblaster Advantage

A number of our users have experienced difficulty setting up the RIGblaster Advantage to do various modes. The following is based on information from West Mountain Radio's support department, but any errors are ours alone.

When you load the RIGblaster driver onto your computer (we won't document that process here, because it is well covered in the Advantage manual), you will see a new virtual COM port and a new USB Audio Device reflected in your computer's Device Manager. Make note of the COM port's number

The virtual COM port can be used for PTT using RTS), CW or FSK (using DTR) keying, and control of your radio. The USB Audio device (called "RIGblaster Advantage Audio" in Device Manager) has both playback and record channels, and can be specified anywhere you are asked to specify a sound card.

Control of your radio is available from the Advantage in one of two forms - an RS-232C level DB-9 connector, and a TTL level 3.5mm stereo jack. The TTL jack (labeled CTL IN/OUT) is suitable for controlling radios that use TTL-level control - such as Icom's CI-V remote jack and the 8-pin mini-din CAT jack found on some Yaesu models. It is not suitable for driving older Kenwood radios which employed a "negative TTL" scheme (such as the TS-440S and TS-850). Your best bet in this case is to buy or build an adapter to convert the Kenwood control setup to basic RS-232.

The Advantage's RS-232 port can drive many RS-232C equipped radios with one proviso - the transceiver must not require hardware flow control. Otherwise what happens is that the radio holds RTS high and the Advantage will be stuck in transmit.

Many Yaesu radios have a menu option "CAT RTS" which can be disabled - this will get CAT working on those radios with just a straight serial cable between the Advantage and transceiver.

The FT-847 actually requires a null-modem cable but this is the only radio WMR knows of which does. Because the FT-847 does not require flow control this works fine with the Advantage.

Kenwood radios without the ability to disable flow control require a modified serial cable which shorts RTS/CTS at the radio end, to fool the radio into believing flow control is active. This works in practice on most radios we have tried it with, but has not been tested with N1MM Logger. A more elegant solution is just to use a separate USB to RS-232C adapter cable, giving you a second virtual COM port in Windows which is dedicated just to radio control. In this configuration, the Advantage COM port is used only for PTT and CW keying.

The Advantage has a 3-position toggle switch on the front panel to determine how PTT is handled. In the "COM" position, PTT is under the control of the RTS line of the Advantage's virtual COM port. The center position, "OFF", disables PTT and CW through the Advantage. The third option is "VOX", which is derived from the audio signal itself in phone and data modes using AFSK.

Remember that if N1MM is configured for PTT by radio command, the Advantage has no way of knowing this and will not go into transmit even though the radio does. Always make sure that PTT is done by RTS if under serial port control, or use the VOX position if using PTT via radio control.

In summary, most radios can be set up for PTT (using RTS) and CW/FSK keying (using DTR). As long as the radio has either an 8 pin round mic jack or an RJ-45 mic jack it will work, because this is how audio and PTT get to the radio. For many radios, CAT can be achieved with a simple cable. For radios equipped with RS-232C jacks and which insist on flow control it is probably just simpler to use a separate USB to RS-232C cable.

9.3.1. Setting Up N1MM Logger with the RIGblaster Advantage


Now we get to the easy part. Go to Config > Configure Ports. Open the hardware tab.

Image

Select the virtual COM port number you will be using for radio control. Select your radio from the drop-down list. Click "Set". Do not select PTT via Radio Command. Make sure the communication parameters match between the program and your radio (found in its manual). If you do not need the RigBlaster CW/PTT interface (using just a single COM port for all functions), set DTR to CW and RTS to PTT (if needed), check the CW/Other box and you're done.

Image

To configure the RigBlaster Advantage for CW/PTT, select the Advantage's COM port, check its CW/Other box. Click "Set" for the Advantage's COM port. Set DTR on that port to CW, and RTS to PTT (if needed). Typically the radio will require hardware PTT, radio command PTT, or the radio's VOX to be enabled.

Image

10. Transverters

N1MM Logger+ has transverter support in the form that per bandmap an offset frequency can be set. Right click menu bandmap and select Set transceiver offset frequency. Enter the transceiver offset frequency in kHz (minus is allowed). Example: 116000 when using a transverter from 28 MHz to 144 MHz (144000 - 28000 = 116000). The same for other bands (up or down). This can be set per bandmap so when using two transceivers with transverters they can each be on a different band. The offset is saved by the program so after a restart the offset is still there.

11. Unsupported Hardware

11.1. W5XD MultiKeyer

The W5XD MultiKeyer is not supported and there are no plans to do so. SO2R support is provided by sound cards and Winkeyer or by other external hardware using serial and parallel ports.

12. Other Hardware Information

All by Joe Subich, W4TV

12.1. USB Soundcards

The manuals for the soundcards below (in alphabetic order) indicate they have independent microphone and stereo line inputs.

  • Audigy 2NX External
  • Creative SoundBlaster MP3+
  • Turtle Beach "Audio Advantage Roadie"


The "low price option" below does not have an on-line manual but the specs on the web site show separate mic and line jacks.

  • Byterunner UA-580
    • appears to be the recommendation for those who need an external sound card (laptop, etc.).

12.2. Other Soundcards

  • SoundBlaster Live 24 External
    • The one issue with the Live 24 External is that you cannot use the mic and line inputs at the same time (connecting the mic will disconnect the line). It will work fine for internal DVK in N1MM but you cannot "record QSOs" and use DVK at the same time if you loop the microphone through the Live! 24 External.

12.3. External versus Internal Soundcards

There are claims that External USB soundcards work substantially better (and should be used) than internal soundcards (on digital signals).

Joe, W4TV: The claimed "advantage" comes from flawed tests which fail to properly set the input level to each sound device to take maximum advantage of its dynamic range.

Except for the very worst sound cards or exceptionally noisy systems, internal sound cards have at least 60 dB of usable dynamic range (the better 16 bit cards have 80 dB of dynamic range and 24 bit cards with high level inputs can have dynamic ranges that approach 100 dB). If the audio from the transceiver is such that the receiver noise floor (no antenna) is six to ten dB above the noise floor of the sound card, the software DSP (MMTTY, etc.) will be able to operate at its full capacity. Receiver AGC, etc. will limit the receiver output to a level well below the input capacity of the soundcard. Most receivers will not vary more than 30 to 40 dB from quiet band to S9 +40 dB receive signals. Soundcard performance is not a matter of internal vs. external. It is a matter of careful attention to setting the proper level to allow the soundcard to function properly.

Last Modification: 25 May 2017 22:36:51 EDT by K3CT.