Friday, July 24, 2009

Ham Radio Deluxe and USB to Serial Port Adapter

I was able to get Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD) running on my computer with my Radio Shack USB to Serial Port adapter cable. I don't think it is the best way to do it, or at least it could still run better. However, I have been able to get full control over my TS-2000 through the computer with HRD.

The new version of HRD also supports turning the rig on and off via the serial port! This is pretty cool. I will have to get a long serial port cable so when I am writing my blog posts and doing other things on the computer I can bring up HRD and fire up the station from across the room! Ok, maybe that would just emphasize my laziness...

In any event, the USB to Serial Port adapter doesn't like to connect all the time. When I try to turn the radio on it does so but then HRD does not connect. It gets the "on" command through (however it does that) and then it doesn't let the rest of the information through right away. So it takes a few tries to connect. This usually happens when I start the program with the rig off - as HRD starts up it automatically starts the connect sequence on my default rig (the TS-2000 since that is all I am using the program with). I can set it to not automatically connect, so maybe I will try that.

I do like the new version of HRD. The basic layout has remained the same design. Once you get the hang of the controls it is very easy. I still haven't figured out how to use the DX spotting system, or if it even has that. I remember with an older version of HRD I had there was a DX spotting page that allowed me to click on spots and automatically take the rig to that frequency and mode (regardless of band). I will have to play around with this some more. There are a bunch of other neat features to the program as well.

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