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usb interface for twin paddle

trying to figure out openwrt was making me crazy, so i took apart a mouse and made an interface for my kent tp1.

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i am learning how to use a twin paddle. i can do that by turning on the keyer and turning off the transmit function of my 817 but that seems like overkill. i found a travel mouse (small, retractiable cord) at the thrift store and made a simple interface to connect my tp1 to the usb port.

after bricking the ar-150 router for the fifth or sixth time, i decided i wanted a project for which success was relatively assured. and since i am learning morse code, connecting my key to my laptop seemed like a good idea.

i found a "travel" mouse at the local thrift store. it was small, had a retractable usb cable, and was cheap. the first photo show it take apart and the two momentary contact switches unsoldered from the board.

three pieces of hookup wire, one to ground and one each to what was the non-grounded side of momentary switches. connect the ground to the sleeve of a 3.5mm stereo plug, and the other two to the ring and tip. mount the stereo plug on the cap of a pill bottle, cut a little notch for usb cable (one advantage of using the travel mouse: the cable is small and flat.), slip the board into the bottle. done.

the second photo shows the the interface connected to my kent tp1 and plugged into a usb port on my mac.

  • 1 × ihome travel mouse little mouse with retractable flat cable and three buttone
  • 1 × 3.5mm stereo plug
  • 1 × 1.5" dia. pill bottle with lid

  • actually using the interface...

    worsthorse12/02/2016 at 06:05 0 comments

    harder than building the interface was finding any software, at least on the mac, that allows one to use a usb-based key. one or two windows programs do, but most assume a serial interface, rather than mouse-click input.

    I found this page from AD5DZ, which is powered by a small javascript program, and works pretty well. the code is on github, too. Apparently, fldigi can be used, too, but I am too lazy to figure that out this evening.

    i am new to cw, so there could be latency issues and such, but i don't send fast enough for that to be an issue.

    tomorrow i will see if can find a slight shorter pill bottle and make a neater enclosure. i considered using an altoids box but i like seeing the lighted up LED!

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