Sunday 14 March 2010

CQ for the Constitutionally Idle

Band conditions not being up to much today, I needed a simple project about the shack.

I decided to look into extending my keyer to automatically send CQ, thereby avoiding glass arm, RSI and the rest (rubbish - I was just looking for something to entertain myself with for the afternoon!)

I'd previously made a keyer based on a 16F84a PIC by modifying code produced by Eamon "Ed" Skelton, EI9GQ, as described in an earlier blog. It didn't take too long to get a subroutine together to send a single morse character, using the same delay routines Ed provided originally and some simple parallel - serial ideas.

I was planning to write a nice routine to scan an arbitrary array of alpha-numeric characters saved in the PIC's memory, translate them and send them as morse, but enthusiasm drooped and I ended up writing brute-force routines to send the groups "cq", "de" "m0xpd" "fists" and "pse k" by calling the "SND_CHR" subroutine above.

I set up two extra hardware lines as inputs on the PIC and connected a couple of push buttons to pull them low - one gives a 3 * 3 call and the other a 3 * 3 "cq fists" call.

The inside of the keyer is a bit of a rats nest as you see...

... it certainly isn't pretty but it works fine.

The buttons are seen on the front panel - press "black" for CQ and "red" for "CQ FISTS"...

You can listen to the result using the console below...

Tell you the truth, I doubt I'll use this feature much - but I knew it could be done easily enough and I was troubled by all that potential being wasted in the keyer's PIC, which sat there twiddling its thumbs in a loop before.

Joseph, F6GGO/qrp, was the first to answer my new automated CQ (sent from the Funster Plus) - but, unfortunately, I lost him in QRM.

Sri, Joseph.

...-.- de m0xpd

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