It’s January 2011 and I want to wish everyone the best for the coming year. I’m really looking forward to it!
I’m excited to start the new year, and I’m going to get it started the right way – with new kits! Within the next couple of days I should have the hardware built for the new USB rig interface kit. In the mean time I am working on the firmware. This new kit will be all through-hole, the only exception being one very easy to solder connector. Unlike the last kit there will be both a 1/8″ (3.5mm) 4-conductor jack, and a DB9 serial connector. This kit will work with pretty much any rig that has a serial control interface, including CI-V, Yaesu CAT, most handies, and nearly all devices using regular RS-232 interfaces as well. Firmware will be user-upgradeable via the USB port without even opening the case.
Speaking of the case — this kit will have an optional extruded aluminum cabinet with end panels pre-cut for the connectors. I am adding a small CNC milling machine to the workshop, and am very excited about the prospect of offering end panels and enclosures for this and other kits that require no additional drilling or cutting. I’ll be announcing more information in a couple of months, as it will take me a while to get up to speed with the new machine. As time permits, and as I run out of parts for older kits, I will look at re-designing them for new enclosure options.
I have a couple of other kits in the works, including (finally) one for PSK, RTTY and other sound card digital modes. I hope to be able to introduce at least one new kit per quarter this year. I will announce new kits as I get close to having them available, and I hope to have at least two ready in time for the Dayton Hamvention.
I’ll wrap up this month’s newsletter with a word about product reviews. Word of mouth, and “word of web”, have been the greatest advertising since the beginning. I have said it before, and I’m saying it again: If you truly believe your HamGadgets kit or MasterKeyer deserves a “5 out of 5″ rating, then please let others know. Post a review on eHam.net and/or other ham radio web sites, let your local club’s newsletter editor know, and tell your friends about it. If you don’t think it deserves a top rating, if there is some problem that you have or something doesn’t work right, please let me know. I want to know what people don’t like as much as what they do like, and if you have a kit that doesn’t work or a problem you can’t get rid of, I want to get it fixed. It’s really that simple!
Thanks & 73,
Dale – N0XAS