29 October 2016

Mk II progress (2)

In part 1 I wrote about the I/O controller. With this working to a sufficient extent to start doing useful development on the host, that's where my attention has been for the past few days.

It quickly became apparent that there will be much greater flexibility with the host code running on a PC. The display can be anywhere you chose to put it and there can be other windows open in the application as required. On the other hand, it would be desirable to be able to operate using a small 5" screen, as before, so I have once again set the form size to 800 x 480 pixels - the size of the 5" screen.

The screen capture shows the limited progress so far. I can display the VFOs, various settings such as Tx, Tx, noise blanker, mode and RIT/XIT. This is enough for me to experiment and see whether the combination of I/O controller (the Arduino), Host (PC) and radio play nicely together. They do.

You can see that VFO-A is the RX VFO, it is locked and muted. VFO-B is the Rx and Tx VFO (a typical spit frequency DX chasing set up). It shows the split value, and the VFO is neither locked nor muted. Clicking on the various parts of the screen allows various switch functions to be initiated, just as on the Mk I controller.

Using this embryonic set up I was able to work ZL7G on 40m CW this morning. Always nice when one can use one's new toy to good effect!

There is now a lot of code to write in the host to bring full functionality to the Mk II. This will be a project for the next couple of months, perhaps more. In the meantime, I've also been thinking about physical implementation and that will be the subject of part 3.

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