Automation in Amateur Radio: RS-232 for local and remote applications

 If you are a modern radio ham, you deal much with the RS-232 Serial standard. High-Frequency ham gear has had a computer interface since at least the 1990s.    The common name for this interface is Computer-Aided Transceiver -- CAT -- a term coined by Yaesu I believe.      Using the CAT interface, one can read or change the frequency of the radio, change bands, and adjust the majority of controls found on the faceplate of the radio. CAT is a "staple", and the minimum level of automation for both local and remote control of an amateur station.   Some modern radios use USB (The Universal Serial Bus) for CAT.   USB is bit harder to automate in remote situations, but not impossible. Beyond CAT control of the radio, there is control of other auxiliary components in the station -- amplifiers, rotators, antenna switches, and keying mechanisms for CW/PTT. RS-232 and the modern Windows computer In order to interface your radio or other peripheral to your PC, be it a laptop or desktop

About this blog

Hello, I'm Gerry, W1VE, among many other calls.   I've been an amateur radio operator for some 45 years.   My primary operating activities are HF (shortwave) radio, using morse code (CW), and participating in contests (Radiosport).    My vocation is software engineering.  Luckily, I've been able to combine my hobby with my vocation in interesting ways. For the past 10 years, I've been involved in a rapidly-advancing component of the hobby -- remote radio operation.   This means operating a radio in another part of the country or world using a remote connection -- typically the Internet. Why operate remotely?   That question has many answers.   Some people want to operate remotely because they live in an apartment or antenna-restricted location.   Others choose remote because they are interested in understanding propagation from different places on the globe. As a radiosport operator, I enjoy helping multi-operator teams working together to build winning teams and statio