Author Topic: WinKey emulator issue: Why is space(s) required at end of N1MM+ F-key command?  (Read 12030 times)

w2huv

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I am a www.remotehamradio.com (RHR) member.  I use an RRC-1258 MkII to interface with my Elecraft K3/0 Mini and the N1MM+ logger.   I have modified stock N1MM+ Function Key Files to use the K3 KY command and the N1MM+ CATA1ASC command to transmit ASCII characters to a remote K3 for nearly a year, because this is what RHR tells you to do.

Recently, I determined how to use the WinKey emulator to key a remote K3 directly using the stock N1MM+ Function Key Files.  Initially, the remote K3 hung up frequently.  That is, the TX light stayed lit after a command was completed.  This was accompanied by either a K3 ERR KEY or ERR PTT message.  I tried everything to eliminate this issue.  The extent of the issue varies from station to station.  Finally, I discovered that if I added a couple of spaces at the end of each N1MM+ logger function key command, the issue appeared to go away.

However, during the CQ160CW contest this year, the issue occurred often enough that I switched back to the KY CATA1ASC Function Key File.

My question is why is it necessary to add one of more spaces to the end of each N1MM+ logger function key command?


I just updated the firmware to version 2.90, but that did not resolve the issue.  Right now I am testing with only one space at the end of each command.

W1UE

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I have used what I think is the same setup, but not with RHR.  I've used the RR Control Box internal Winkey emulator for the past year on 4 or 5 different remote units (all with my control unit) and have not seen that problem.  I don't know enough about the differences between the RHR system and a regular RR setup to comment on how best to setup your unit, but it seems that RHR should be knowledgeable about what you would need to do.  Have you asked them for their recommendation?

All I can say here is that a similar setup works without that problem.

Dennis W1UE

Jan (Microbit)

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I am a www.remotehamradio.com (RHR) member.  I use an RRC-1258 MkII to interface with my Elecraft K3/0 Mini and the N1MM+ logger.
Whích type of Com/serial port are you using?
Always include type of hard/software and version when asking for support.

M0BPQ

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I've had a similar issue with my ts-480 set up. After half an hour or more or normal use, N1MM+ stops sending the last character of my cw message (e.g. I send M0BP when in S&P). Inserting a space at the end of the command string in N1MM+ returns me to M0BPQ.

I also found that shutting N1MM+ down, rebooting my "face plate" RRC and reconnecting resets everything and the space is no longer required - for another half an hour or so.

Its been rather frustrating in contests, but I'm not serious enough about them for it to be a game changer!
73
Steve, M0BPQ
 

w2huv

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W1UE - RHR tried out the WinKey emulator a couple of years ago and had so much trouble with it that they don't mention it's use to RHR users.  In other words, they didn't have time to play with it.  Instead, they advise users to use the KY CATA1ASC macros.  The KY CATA1ASC macros have that advantage that you can hear the remote receiver during gaps.

Jan (Microbit) - I use virtual port 3 (RRC1258Extra) to connect the N1MM logger to the WinKey emulator.

M0BPQ - How do you clear the ERR KEY or ERR PTT error message?  I hit the dot lever on my Vibro Keyer.

Jan (Microbit)

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Jan (Microbit) - I use virtual port 3 (RRC1258Extra) to connect the N1MM logger to the WinKey emulator.
Forgot to ask about which Windows version? W10 has some strange things going on regarding virtual (USB) Com ports.
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w2huv

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Jan (Microbit) - I am using Windows 10.  The virtual ports that I see in Device Manager are as follows:

RRC1258 COM0 (COM11)
RRC1258 COM1 (COM10)
RRC1258 COM2 (COM19)
RRC1258 COMExtra (COM12)

I doubt that it has anything to do with Windows 10, but I have observed that the reliability of the RRC1258 COM1 virtual connection does not match that of an RS-232 to USB connection from the COM1 port on the RRC-1258 to my PC.  I thought that it would be neat to run a cable from the USB connection on the RRC1258 to my PC to accommodate the COM1 and COExtra connections needed to use the WinKey emulator with the N1MM+ logger.  However, the N1MM+ logger connection to RRC1258 COM1 (COM10) was lost frequently.  I had to restore the RS-232 to USB connection from the COM1 port on the RRC-1258 to my PC, meaning that I had to use two cables.

Jan (Microbit)

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It has in fact everything to do with Windows 10 and its USB virtual Com port driver usbser.sys(from Microsoft), which we are using for the virtual com ports in the RRC and the 1216H products. Yesterday I had the opportunity to try a demo version of an usbser.sys replacement driver from a German company that made the virtual Com ports work just fine with the Win-Test program. I would say that it's very likely that driver would make N1MM+ and other program work much better too. The troublesome part with that driver is its price, so it would really be good if there was a fix or some workaround making it work with usbser.sys.
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W1UE

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Right now, there are issues on both the WinTest and N1MM+ reflectors concerning Win10, radio control, and virtual com ports.  I know one of the Microbit software guys is actively working on the WinTest issue; it will be interesting to see what they come up with.

Several years ago, I don't believe the Winkey emulator in Remote Rig was working correctly. You have to get version 2.87 before everything seemed to be working correctly, and that has a date of last year sometime.  I have had zero problems with getting the Winkey emulator to work here, and only an occasional problem with the Microbit USB connection to the radio stopping, and I am a rabid contester that has used the combination for some 150+ rate hours, and frequent 100+ rate hours.  So, if the RHR experience is from several years ago, I'd suggest revisiting it.  It only requires changing one item in the Control RRC, and the proper setup in the logging program.

I'll also admit, I chose to stick with Win7 and am glad I did.  There still seem to be many issues with Win10 and ham software that I don't wish to spend on time.

Dennis W1UE

Jan (Microbit)

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The latest news is that the maker of Win-Test did a test version for us at Microbit with a small change when reading data from the serial port and it seems to work-around the usbser.sys issue :)
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Jan (Microbit)

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Win-Test will contain that change in coming versions according to the maker  :)
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w2huv

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Jan (Microbit) - Thanks for enlightening me!  Are you saying that the only way to get the German drivers is to purchase Win-Test?

W1UE - I am revisiting the WinKey emulator experience for RHR.  By
Quote
... It only requires changing one item in the Control RRC, and the proper setup in the logging program.
, are you referring to the following or something else?

1.  Change mode for "COM3(Extra) mode (USB-COMFSK)" to "Mode-8, WinKeyer".
2.  Add Radio 'None" connected to the above virtual USB port, check CW/Other, click "Set", check WinKey and click OK.  Make sure that CW/Other is NOT checked for the Elecraft K3 or other Radio.

BTW, for what its worth, here are the mode and speed settings used in my RHR configuration:

COM0, 14-Elecraft K3 Twin, 38400
COM1, Mode-7, CAT to COM2 (Remote), 9600
COM2, Logical parallel with COM0, 38400
COM3, Mode-8, WinKeyer

W1UE

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These settings are for Control RRC only.
Com0-same
Com1- same, except "Use USB Comport as Com1" is "Yes" and baud rate is 38400
Com 2- same
Com 3- Mode 8- Winkey

If you have a serial cable connecting the computer to the Control RRC that was being used for radio control, remove it.
Make sure the USB cable is connected between the computer and the Control RRC.
Go into Control Panel and find the Comports that Windows has assigned to the Microbit Com 1 and Com 3.
Go into N1MM+.
Whatever methods you are now using for radio control and cw keying in N1MM+, turn them off.
Assign the Com 1 port to radio control, matching baud rate.
Assign the Com 3 port to the Winkey.

N1MM+ messages should now use the RRC Winkey Emulator.  N1MM+ should now be using the USB cable for radio control.
I plug my paddle into the Control RRC Paddle jack to hand send CW when I need it.

Dennis W1UE

Jan (Microbit)

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Jan (Microbit) - Thanks for enlightening me!  Are you saying that the only way to get the German drivers is to purchase Win-Test?
No, I am saying that we(Microbit) would have to buy it and include it in our software, but it is too expensive, so we are hoping that the software developers that develop PC programs using serial ports will implement the work-around in their software.

The change in Win-Test is not connected to the German driver and will be done in any case.
« Last Edit: 2016-03-12, 20:01:10 by Jan (Microbit) »
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w2huv

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W1UE - That's exactly how I had my system configured when I experienced the unreliable connection to COM1, except that I had the baud rate set at 9600 because RHR advised that is all that is necessary.  I don't recall if I tried 38400 baud, so I will try it now.

Jan (Microbit) - Ok, you are hoping that the Microbit software developers will implement the work-around in their software.  I am going to try increasing the COM1 baud rate to 38400 as suggested by Dennis and see what that does.