Connecting a key/paddle to your Windows PC

Straight Key or Paddle

If you have a laptop or Desktop PC and it does not have a serial port, you need to use a USB to Serial Port adapter cable. They are available from Belkin and are also available elsewhere on the internet.

[www.belkin.com]

Belkin F5U409-CU USB/Srl Port Adapter

To get CW into HamSphere using an external key, you also need a keying program. The one I use and is compatible with HamSphere is EHOCW available for free download at www.f8eho.net

Firstly download and install the program.

Then, plug the USB connector into the USB port on your laptop/computer and connect your key to the 9 pin serial connector. You can use an old 9 pin serial mouse to connect the key. Cut off the mouse and strip back the cable to bare the wiring.

Set up the keying program to use the correct port.

Connect the cable to the terminals on the key (work out which are the correct wires to connect by trial and error – key the key until you hear dits or dahs).

If you don’t want to use the mouse option then you can use another adapter like the one shown below. They are available for purchase via the internet. (search for Serial to RCA adapter)

Srl Port to RCA adapter

Simply plug this serial adapter into the serial port receiver on the USB to Serial Adapter cable, or the serial port on your computer if you have one and plug your key into the RCA plug.

Once you have it all set up and working, to transmit CW in Hamsphere, press the PTT button and send CW. At the end of your transmission, press the PTT button again to return to receive mode. DO NOT use the CW Mode button on the HamSphere panel as it does not work for external keying!

Remember to keep your output in the green zone on the signal strength meter or otherwise you will incur the wrath of other band users.

Touch Keyer

Another option which is the easiest way to use an external keyer in HamSphere, is to use a CW Touch Keyer Model P1 as this method does not require any additional software programs or require the user to configure serial ports to use with HamSphere.

CW Touch Keyer Model P1 Front

The Touch Keyer operates on an internal 9 Volt battery or can use external 6 – 13.8 volt DC power source.

To use the Touch Keyer with HamSphere, simply turn the unit on, connect a 3.5mm male stereo plug from the speaker outlet at the rear of the unit into the 3.5mm microphone in socket on the PC soundcard and adjust the audio levels for optimum output the same as you would do if you were using a microphone.

CW Touch Keyer Model P1 Rear

[www.cwtouchkeyer.com]

To transmit CW in HamSphere, press the PTT button and send CW. At the end of your transmission, press the PTT button again to return to receive mode. DO NOT use the CW Mode button on the HamSphere panel as it does not work for external keying!

Remember to keep your output in the green zone on the signal strength meter or otherwise you will incur the wrath of other band users.

73
Bruce


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