Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Project #1 - CWeST

I suppose this is an announcement of my intention to construct a "Continuous Wave Serial Terminal". WTF, you ask? Well, I just got an arduino for Christmas, so I'd like for this to be my first real project besides making LEDs flash or a serial line level converter. I've been pondering applications for, and mentioned in passing this idea as a bit of a joke. [will find reference]

The background: A good portion of the amateur radio community believes that the morse code requirements for obtaining a ham radio license should not have been dropped. Anything Internet-related is held in disdain, as it isn't usually 100% RF, so things like Echolink and the recently hamsexy D-Star aren't really amateur radio.

To this, I say "Fnord!" and announce the intention to develop CWeST: a CW Serial Terminal, an arduino-based serial terminal for use with your straight or iambic key. It will feature audio output as well as a small LCD text display and several function/macro keys.

"Great," you may ask, "but what use is a serial terminal that uses a CW key for input?" Well, combined with a HSMM-Mesh node, connected through it's onboard serial port, you'll get access to a linux console for maintenance purposes as well as the ability to run applications.

The lack of communication applications for HSMM-Mesh not requiring another PC to do the heavy lifting (and power consumption) limits the practicality of the mesh by not providing applications native to and provided by the mesh hardware. Having a way to communicate through the mesh without needing much more than the mesh node itself.

In addition, the CWeST hardware itself could be used to operate other digital modes via CW, such as RTTY, PSK, tradional amateur packet, and even D-Star! Thumb your nose at teenagers on cell phones and try instant messaging or even sending SMS messages to cell phones via your paddle!

Since deciding to take this project on within the past couple days, I have found a good chunk of the arduino-based infrastructure at That thread mentions "the other way around", so hopefully this project will be little more than gluing everything together and modifying some arduino sketches. 

UPDATE: seems to be a robust 2-way solution, so I'll probably be using that, a display solution like, and maybe build a ps/2 keyboard adapter or use for version 2 (cuz I'm not a fist, so building version 1 will require me to relearn CW) to make it a more generic serial terminal.

Anyone interested in this project should contact me, whether to help development of the hardware or software, or just interested in using such a beast. IRC provides a great back-channel, is already "CW-friendly", and has been supported on mesh nodes already, so #hamradio on may be a good place to spam ;)

Happy New Year and 73 de KC2SDS

1 comment:

Jeff Archambeault said...

I am currently building a portable Raspberry Pi-based Packet/APRS tracker/terminal/workstation, and should be able to incorporate this, and other multiple rig-control functionality, as well as multiple VNC sessions.