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  Topic: Dahditdah program does not like my laptop (22 replies)
#11     Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:16 pm
KB4T
Holly Hill, FL
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 23
Subject: QSL

Rich:

I understand what you are saying. I'll experiment and see what configuration actually works.

To do what you suggest, I would think that I would have to go into the Device Manager and disable the onboard integrated non-sharable-with-Windows WDM-KS sound card. Then be sure the USB sound card is inserted as the machine boots in order to hear all the sounds my notebook normally makes when it starts and runs.

I'll report back once I get the Amigo and see what color smoke it makes on my notebook.

Thanks & 73,

Frank KB4T
Florida
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#12     Fri Sep 07, 2007 12:03 am
WB0WLS
Grand Island NE -- Let's work some CW -- CW, music to a ham's ears
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 105
Subject:

Ok Frank... well, it seems you are maybe making it more difficult than it has to be. I leave the Amigo in 100% of the time... no pulling it out or putting it in after or before booting up the laptop, etc.

The only thing you have to do is select the Amigo sound card rather than the built in sound card from your menus with every program that uses sound.

For example ... when I first put in the sound card, CQ100 still was using the internal soundcard so I had to go to "audio output" and "audio input" on the cq100 and then instead of on the internal card listed there was now also the Amigo card listed so I had to select it in order for the sound to now come through the Amigo and my headphones.

If I wanted to listen to music Windows Media Player or Musicmatch Jukebox, I again had to go to the drop down menus on those programs and select the Amigo card rather than the built in card.

The new Amigo card automatically appears in your choices on any program that involves sound.... but until you select it, the built in card will continue to work.

On echolink, if I didn't make the new selection, the sound would continue to come from the laptop speakers instead of via the Amigo and the headphones plugged into the Amigo.

I'm probably telling you things you already very well know... sorry if that's the case.

rich
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#13     Fri Sep 07, 2007 12:33 am
KB4T
Holly Hill, FL
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 23
Subject: Roger

Rich:

Thanks for the detailed explanation. I understand completely.

Since I travel a good bit, my notebook spends a fair amount of time in its carrying bag. I don't believe I can leave the Amigo plugged in full time since the fit of the bag is very snug. Everytime I setup the notebook I have to connect the power supply, cellular aircard, mouse and soon the Amigo. This is not a bad thing since the exercise keeps my brain and fingers working! The rest of the puzzle is how to fit all the hardware on the skimpy desktops offered in most hotel rooms!

My internal sound card works well. No issues other than it won't allow CQ100 and Dahdidah to share it. Dahdidah doesn't remember the setup (yet) so each time you run the program one has to choose the hardware parameters. Since Dahdidah is the only application which causes me to need the Amigo, and since I have to configure Dahdidah everytime I use it, choosing the Amigo is a simple matter.

With CQ100 automatically choosing the internal sound card and working well with it, I'm hoping that the process of choosing and using the Amigo will allow me the use of Dahdidah as intended. For all other applications, the internal sound card is satisfactory and doesn't require anything hanging off the notebook.

Your explanation answers my questions about setup and it would seem a simple matter to use the Amigo for the specific application. I will know soon when the Amigo arrives. I appreciate your response and advice. Thanks.

Hopefully my next notebook (in about 2 years) will be more cooperative.

73,

Frank KB4T
Florida
__________________
#14     Fri Sep 07, 2007 7:15 am
WB0WLS
Grand Island NE -- Let's work some CW -- CW, music to a ham's ears
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 105
Subject:

Hi Frank... right, you can't leave the Amigo in when it's in the case, etc., but there is nothing to reset when you do plug it in once you initially make the settings on your laptop, they will reamin.

As for the Dahdidah software, you do have to reset it every time you open it up (choice of serial port, driver, start button, speed, etc. etc.). It doesn't retain those settings once you shut it down.

I should go back to my internal sound card settings and see if my CQ100 and dahdidah work together without the use of the Amigo.

rich
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#15     Fri Sep 07, 2007 7:33 am
WB0WLS
Grand Island NE -- Let's work some CW -- CW, music to a ham's ears
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 105
Subject:

Frank... I just tried changing back to my internal card and it does in fact react the same as yours. The Windows WDM-KS will not work but the Windows DirectSound does work. As for the delay, I don't notice much and also didn't try adjusting the Latency.

If I have just the Dahdidah open by it's self, it still won't work with the Windows WDM-KS. So it doesn't seem to be a problem of CQ100 and Dahdidah running at the same time.

I assume your Amigo will allow the WDM-KS to run as it does on mine.

rich
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#16     Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:27 am
VE3EFC
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 724
Subject:

Both CQ100 and Dahdidah allow you to pick from a list of available sound cards. Many other programs always use the default sound card.

Windows Control Panel has a setting for which sound card is the default.

Some sound cards will automatically set themselves as the new windows default when they are installed.
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#17     Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:12 am
KB4T
Holly Hill, FL
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 23
Subject: Dahdidah & Notebook Issues Resolved with External Sound

Friends:

I have finally gotten Dahdidah & CQ100 to work together with my notebook PC.

The Problem:

Running alone, CQ100 works great on the notebook PC. By itself, Dahdidah works great on my notebook PC. If CQ100 and Dahdidah are run simultaneously, CQ100 fails to produce receive audio. No combination of workarounds (without adding any new hardware) produced a workable solution.

Using the ASIO4ALL software did not correct the problem.

Using any driver other than the Windows WDM-KS driver resulted in an unacceptable lag between the time the keyer paddle was operated and the CW was produced. Impossible to cope with at any speed (at least for me.)

My Notebook: Toshiba Satellite 256 MB RAM, Mobile Pentium CPU, RealTek AC97 sound electronics, 3 USB ports, Windows XP Home Edition SP2.

Finding the fix:

I learned through research that some (many??) notebook PCs have difficulty sharing their internal sound cards with 2 or more applications. Since CQ100 allows the user to choose among different sound card hardware on the same PC, the solution likely rested in adding one more sound card to the notebook PC.

Others in this forum have enjoyed success with the Voyetra Turtle Beach Audio Advantage Amigo (gotta love that name!) USB external sound card. I ordered one and added it to my notebook PC.

The Fix:

Installing the Amigo was simple. I configured CQ100 to use the Amigo for the Audio Out. I configured CQ100 to use the internal Realtek AC97 for Audio In. Imagine having to adjust 4 sets of sliders! (Recording Control and Volume Control for each sound card.) Set all volume sliders to max. In Recording Control, Stereo Mix to the first "tick" mark. Microphone slider set to midway.

Now the Amigo was handling the RECEIVE Audio and the Internal RealTek AC97 was handling the "Transmit" Audio. CQ100 and Dahdidah were both running and CQ100 was producing receive audio. First problem solved. ( I suspect that the audio electronics could be configured in the opposite manner and still work as well. I chose this arrangement so my transmitted audio ( Voice and CW Monitor ) would be lower in level through the smaller built in speakers. Receive Audio was routed to either a nice set of powered computer speakers or a simple single muff headset.

In Dahdidah, the Windows WDM-KS remained the only driver that allowed keying without any noticeable lag. I set CQ100 to VOX, adjusted the VOX LEVEL to about 8 and the DWELL to about 1.0. Keying the paddle put the CQ100 into transmit. Adjusted the AMPLITUDE in Dahdidah to produce "10 Over" output signal level on the CQ100. I had a nice chat with someone at 30 to 35 WPM CW on QSONET and everything worked great. The Keyer Paddle was good to go. Next was the Straight Key.

Swapping out the straight key for the keyer paddle produced good results. There was occasional "crackling" from contact bounce but it was barely noticeable. Next was the bug.

I have two bugs for my portable operations. I started with the Vibroplex Standard Original circa 1960. Connected directly to the cable, the keying was intermittent, loaded with scratchiness and basically awful. I took some time to carefully clean the contacts but nothing would correct the problem. My second bug, a 1950's vintage Vibroplex Lightning Bug was even worse. It would barely key the Dahdidah even after I cleaned the contacts. Evidently there is sufficient resistance in the underlying interconnections on the bug to keep the pc keying inputs from working. I'll have to overhaul that bug.

Testing with a simple code practice oscillator proved to me that the bugs were OK. Clearly, the keying input to the PC was very sensitive to contact bounce. I use a cable made up exactly as specified in the Dahdidah manual connected to a USB-to-serial adapter connected to a USB port. This input to the computer is very sensitive. Experiments with bright shiny new contacts on relays of various types produced similar results. Even if I connected both keying lines (DSR & CTS) to the keys or relays I still had contact bounce issues. I don't understand why using the keyer paddle doesn't produce this problem. Perhaps the transition between DSR & CTS to DTR keeps the bounce problem under control. I even tried a jig where the bug keyed a 12 volt reed relay which then keyed the keying lines of the PC. This jig produced cleaner CW but not perfectly clean CW.

There was only one simple way to fix this: Put a capacitor across the connection terminals for the bug. Experimentation showed that a .5 MF cap resolved the contact bounce problem and had minimal impact on the keying behavior of the bug. With the cap in place the keying was smooth and clean with both bugs.

The cap even helped the straight key sound cleaner. I was finally done.

Summary:

I bought the Amigo from the manufacturer's web site. I paid $39.95 plus a few bucks for shipping. The capacitor came out of the junk box. The cable was a serial cable I cut to length and added 3 gator clips to the proper leads so I could clip onto whatever key I want to use.

Setting up to work CW on CQ100 with the notebook involves adding the Amigo, connecting the key, configuring CQ100 for proper sound card setup and setting levels. It takes me about 5 minutes. The payback is the ability to use any keying device I choose. Now I can enjoy the CW ham radio experience from any place I can access the Internet. I travel around Florida a good bit every year as part of my work. Now those long lonely evenings in the hotel room will be a good deal less boring.

My thanks to the Dahdidah development team for investing the time and energy to create a great CW add-on to CQ100 for those of us who really enjoy CW. I'm completely delighted with all of the capabilities QSONET now offers to me.

73,

Frank KB4T
Florida
kb4t@kb4t.us
__________________
#18     Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:44 pm
VE3EFC
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 724
Subject:

Hi Frank. Many thanks for researching this problem and explaining all the details so clearly.

Your 0.5 MFD capacitor acts as a traditional key click filter. We will look into providing a debounce delay into the software, but it might increase the lag. Perhaps the metal body of the bug or hand key was picking up hum. With serial port keying, none of the wires are grounded.

Rich AE0K solved his problem of unwanted opposite side closures by putting three .001 MFD capacitors from all 3 paddle wires to com port #5 ground pin. I think Riches problem was not the same as yours.
__________________
#19     Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:36 pm
WB0WLS
Grand Island NE -- Let's work some CW -- CW, music to a ham's ears
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 105
Subject:

Frank... glad you got it all going with your keys and Dahdidah.

I'm still fighting breakup issue with my laptop. The Amigo sound card took care of the static I get from time to time. But the pops and crackles, etc. happen much to much (not just those few seconds at the beginning) on this laptop. When I listen to my old windows 98 machine, the CW is clean after that first couple of seconds as things are "locking in".
On a RARE moment there may be one little pop or crack... but on the laptop it's just kind of an constant "here and there" happening... sometimes worse than others... some days worse than others. Yet, everytime I go back to the old desktop, the audio is clean.

The local store which is a full service computer shop and where I have my on line service sent my laptop back to the factory and they put in new speakers... well, I could have told them that wasn't the problem... anyway, now I have used the little sound recorder in the computer to record about 15 samples of the static (when I'm using the built in sound card), pops, crackels, etc. I have recorded files of CW and voice on CQ100 but also on regular CD music files so they can hear that the problem is not just with CQ100.

So, I'll take it back so the local techs can listen and hear what I have been telling them about. It's difficult to walk in and explain and try to get them to take the time to listen and hope the problem shows up like it does here. With the recordings, I can instantly present to them the proof.

Until I get something fixed, I'm probably going to do most of my CW from the 98 desktop and just use the keyboard for CW, which I actually enjoy just as much as using the paddle.

In the mean time, I'm kind of on lookout for a new desk top to replace the 98. But, with all the problems I hear about with VISTA, I'm not sure that is the answer at this time. (SEE MY POST ABOUT "CQ100 AND VISTA) in the GENERAL discussion threads.

I may see if they will build me a new computer but use the old XP software... I'm pretty sure they can and will do that.

rich... ae0v
__________________
#20     Sat Sep 15, 2007 12:52 pm
KB4T
Holly Hill, FL
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 23
Subject: Getting a Notebook with XP - Easier to find Hen's Teeth!!

Rich said:

"In the mean time, I'm kind of on lookout for a new desk top to replace the 98. But, with all the problems I hear about with VISTA, I'm not sure that is the answer at this time. (SEE MY POST ABOUT "CQ100 AND VISTA) in the GENERAL discussion threads.

I may see if they will build me a new computer but use the old XP software... I'm pretty sure they can and will do that.

rich... ae0v"

Rich: Find a gray market PC builder in your area (possibly the folks you use now) and ask them if they sell AOPEN equipment. AOPEN Desktop & Notebook PCs can be ordered with Windows XP installed. :!:

Many small "local" personal computer companies sell desktop PCs built on the AOPEN foundation (Case, Motherboard, Power Supply and basic peripherals) with great success. Most buy from a wholesaler who builds the systems using AOPEN foundations. The beauty of this is that they can have any operating system they need LEGALLY installed on these new PCs. :D

When notebook PCs from Toshiba (my personal favorite), Dell, Gateway, and HP were no longer available with Windows XP, I found out that AOPEN notebook PCs had all the power, capability and quality of the Big 4 but were available with Windows XP. I know many happy owners of such notebooks. My next one will likely be an AOPEN.

Buying from a local vendor who provides good support at a fair price is your best option in my opinion. Big Box Bozos don't care and are rarely qualified to do more than nuke your hard drive and start from scratch. Speaking to someone in India, the Phillipines or Central America can be amusing but is often non-productive. Buying a notebook from a local means you can get the help you need without most of the hassles. For any notebook purchase, consider the 3 year extended warranty. One ooops :oops: and it pays for itself! Do your homework and you will enjoy portable computing.

Over the course of the last 20 years that I have been playing with personal computers I have consistently found that the "gray" market PCs ALWAYS outperform the Big 4 or Big 6. The "homebrew" PCs are more "compatible" and more flexible. They are easier to expand and aren't locked to one vendor's anything.

I wish I had a nickel for every painful story I've endured from the millions of unhappy e-Machines, HP, Compaq, Dell, Gateway, PeoplePC owner I've encountered. I blissfully enjoy my computing experiences because I have quality built, high performance computing equipment supported by a wonderful local provider who treats me right.

Your mileage may vary. Good luck!

73,

Frank KB4T :lol:
Florida
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