Wednesday, May 27, 2009

KTune - remote tuning for the K3

As I mentioned in a post about a week ago, I added support for tuning the K3 using a Griffin Powermate USB knob into the next, unreleased version of KComm. I found this to be a very comfortable operating feature, allowing you to tune the radio while sitting relaxed in your chair instead of leaning forward to spin the dial. With my back trouble, that's a real help.

I thought it would be nice to have this capability when other software - or even no software at all - was loaded. I also thought it would be nice to have the tuning commands respond to global hotkey events, regardless of which application is in the foreground. The programming tool I use, Lazarus - an excellent free clone of Delphi, does not support global hotkeys so the implementation of the feature in KComm only works when the KComm main window is in the foreground.

To overcome these problems I knocked together a little standalone application using a different programming tool. It is called KTune. It sits in the Windows system tray and responds to keystrokes generated by the Griffin PowerMate by sending UP and DN tuning commands to the Elecraft radio.

You need to program the PowerMate to send the keystrokes KTune responds to. If you want to use it at the same time as another logging or datamode program then you will also need to set up a splitter using the Virtual Serial Port Emulator, which very fortunately is freeware.

It will probably be a while before I get around to making a proper web page for the program but if you have enough savvy to get it set up by yourself then you can download an installer for the program and try it.

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