CW on Surface Pro 4 Remote ...

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  • Updated 2 years ago
I've gone back and read thru many of the relevant posts but clarity hasn't bubbled to the surface as of yet. I'm old, I'm slow ... 

With all the Maestro excitement I dusted off the Surface Pro 4 and ran SSDR remote. Works a treat as they say ... 4 panadapters, 4 waterfall displays, CWX with a keyboard, I can run all the ancillary programs I need, and check my email at the same time! Not to say I won't ultimately have a Maestro in the mix .. but it has left me wondering about CW remote with my current configuration. 

What occurs on the Maestro to support CW remotely that cannot be done in some fashion on a remote PC? Is it just the lack of the hardware interface between paddle and computer? Is there a USB solution available? Local sidetone and a USB mini-paddle would be fun. Something to map contact closures to Flex keyer commands.

What am I missing? Be kind please ...

W7NGA  dan
San Juan Island, Wa.
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W7NGA

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Posted 2 years ago

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Mark Erbaugh

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I don't see that the Maestro adds any remote CW functionality that you wouldn't have with a remote PC, assuming you can connect the paddles to the remote PC. Also, the Maestro currently does not provide anyway to do keyboard CW.

N4PY's Pegasus Plus software supports a feature similar to what you describe with the TenTec Omni VII in Ethernet remote mode. You connect a K1EL WinKeyer to the remote PC. The Pegasus Plus software captures the characters sent (the WinKeyer convers paddle input to characters) and sends those to the Omni VII. Pegasus Plus also supports (very nicely), the Flex 6000 series radios, but I don't know if it supports the WinKeyer for remote keying.

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W7NGA

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> I don't see that the Maestro adds any remote CW functionality that you wouldn't have with a remote PC, assuming you can connect the paddles to the remote PC.

Except the Maestro has a key jack. I want to utilize a USB interface from paddle to PC (Surface Pro 4) thru the net (WiFi) to the Flex radio keyer.
(Edited)
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Hi Dan,
Check out this post. It is from 2 years ago but Steve said they have a plan to support a key/paddle on a remote PC/laptop/tablet. Several methods were discussed.

That committment was pre-Maesteo and while I haven't seen any retraction, there is no telling when it might get done Both options have their pros and cons. The laptop approach gives you SSDR, CW Skimmer, a logging program and othe apps all on one device. And you could also have a FlexControl knob. For a CW operator running remote this might be a preferred approach.

https://community.flexradio.com/flexr...

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
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W7NGA

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Steve seemed to indicate that, at the time, the Surface products had little traction. I don't think that is correct presently. I have no interest in using a tablet without hardware interfaces such as USB. My Surface Pro 4 has a USB port that I can plug in a Flex Control. So, why not a paddle interface and run CW remotely as one can do now on a Maestro?
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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Hi dan.. this is a great question and you are on the right track.  Of course you can send via CWX using a keyboard with full side tone now.  You can also use a locally installed N1MM or other program and hear the side tone. That functionality exists.  

-however-

using a key with sidetone remote is a different problem.  For Maestro you have local side tone, it has a local winkeyer built in. If however you key the flex 6000 remotely (like a local install of N1MM keying via SSDR cat) you will NOT hear that sidetone through the Maestro.  This is an issue that is documented and on the table for resolution if possible.

Currently the only solution I have found that reasonably creates a local remote side tone and can key a rig is a Remote Rig system.  a bit bulky but mates with another unit on the remote side that keys the cw on the radio and will then produce a local sidetone on a remote pc installation of SSDR.
(Edited)
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W7NGA

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Scenario - I have a USB paddle and run Winkeyer. I want to hook to SSDR remote and run CW remotely. Isn't the bottleneck SSDR not hooking to DAX/CAT or other interface to input my bodacious keying? My paddle should look much like Flex Control to the radio.
(Edited)
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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I edited my response above with a solution that works to the best of my knowledge... :-)
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W7NGA

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Bear with me ... as I mentioned in a previous post, I have no problem with a buzzer across the key for local sidetone when operating remotely. Just like when I was a novice in 1965! I have to think that sidetone is available thru Maestro and that there is a Winkeyer or some form of interface that maps paddle contact closure to something that is sent over the net and that the Flex radio consumes and triggers the Flex keyer (as if a key was connected at the radio). 

If the Flex radio supports this via Maestro, why not the same interface via SSDR remote and a USB paddle? If the firmware already supports this, isn't it just a matter of SSDR remote hooking to DAX or some form of connection to the USB paddle?

Is the Maestro CW (remote) integration documented somewhere?

73's
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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Yes correct. The Maestro has an integrated winkeyer as part of its core circuitry.  The Flex 6000 does not.  It does have a winkeyer emulator.  It also has a physical plug where you plug the paddles into it to key the cw.  

This is not the case with SSDR.  Perhaps plugging in a winkeyer into a computer running remote with SSDR is in the roadmap for WAN remote, and pehaps not..  I honestly dont know.  Its also possible that the codebase they used in maestro could enable that down the road with ssdr, but again its hard to tell if they will go down that road.  Maybe a set of USB paddles for SSDR??  I dont know.  

For now though, there are a limited number of working solutions that provide a local side tone that keys the transceiver remotely.  The one that is the best out there, that I can send 30wpm remote by ear is the remote rig system at this time.  I can also do this via my Maestro. 

~C./N6WM
  
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W7NGA

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Thanks Chris. Sidetone is generated at the radio and piping it back to the Maestro or remote PC would be unacceptable due to latency. So, I build my Arduino Paddle to USB interface and SSDR remote might ultimately support that. Isn't there a software Winkeyer emulation as well? Whatever Maestro incorporates to support remote CW should be doable on the remote PC assuming a paddle to USB interface. Correct? Just doesn't seem like a huge stretch since most of the work has been done vis-a-vis Maestro.

And I am still somewhat confused. Flex Control exists via USB ... so why not something similar as a paddle key? Gives me local sidetone and I have little desire to send 50 wpm.
(Edited)
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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The USB interface is "jittery" due to the PC clock and for CW keying, timing has to be very strict and reliable across all PCs; not an easy task.  It may not be usable on some PCs.
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W7NGA

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Thanks Tim ... well, I am running out of interfaces on the Surface Pro 4.

How about Bluetooth?

I would be thrilled with 25wpm and my sending is bad enough that I am sure most stations wouldn't notice jitter amongst my own jittery fist!
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km9r.mike

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Seems to me this would be do able. If the flex SS rig can acknowledge the integrated winkeyer in maestro, then I do not see why a winkey usb plugged into your surface pro running SSDR wifi remote could not also be recognized by the flex SS rig but as of now I do not think it is.
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W7NGA

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Thank you KM9R .. you have expressed succinctly exactly what I wish I had said if I had the ability to articulate what I hear in my head!
(Edited)
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km9r.mike

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Simply said the same but differently and I too think this would be a neat addition : )
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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There is no doubt that this would be a good feature, and one extremely important to me as a hilltop contest station owner.  Not only would i like it to work but work well.

  I imagine some of these types of things that support practical remote option would be part of SSDR 2.0 WAN support.  Its easy to get wrapped up in the whole direct connect without vpn thing.. but there are alot of other little nuances, such as this that need to be considered during implementation.
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John-K3MA

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Not sure but this might do the job.

http://www.remotehams.com/orb-control-device.html

John
(Edited)
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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The orb may work.. Brandon works for Elecraft and its a very K3 centric setup but it may do the job for several hundred bucks cheaper than the RRC.