CW with WinWarbler

WinWarbler Online Help Contents

To begin CW operation, click the CW button in the Operating Mode panel located on the right side of WinWarbler's main window.  You can specify a set of commands to be executed whenever WinWarbler switches to the CW operating mode by setting up a CW startup macro.


Setting up for CW operation

To setup for CW transmission, you must first specify the means by which WinWarbler will key your transceiver. Your choices are

You can use an external interface between a serial port's modem control signals -- either RTS (request to send) or DTR (data terminal ready); this external interface must be designed to key your transceiver when presented with an asserted RS-232 modem control signal (nominally +12 VDC), and unkey your transceiver when presented with an un-asserted RS-232 modem control signal (nominally -12 VDC). Alternatively, you can use an appropriately-designed external interface between a specified parallel port data data bit and your transceiver; a PC parallel port uses TTL output levels. Configure WinWarbler to key your transceiver via the appropriate signal and port using the settings on the CW keying panel.

If your transceiver operates QSK, then a keying interface as described above will be sufficient. If your transceiver (or linear amplifier) does not support QSK, you can configure WinWarbler to place assert PTT (which places your transceiver into transmit mode) before sending CW and not de-assert PTT (which places your transceiver into receive mode) until after CW transmission is complete. If you wish to do this, use the PTT panel settings on the CW tab of WinWarbler's Configuration window; you can also enable or disable PTT during CW via the PTT checkbox on the Main window's CW Transmit panel. The means by which PTT is conveyed to your transceiver are common to all WinWarbler modes, and are specified on the Configuration window's PTT tab.

If you configure the PTT tab's mode panel to assert PTT via the PTT serial port -- either via RTS, DTR, or RTS + DTR in combination -- then you can optionally key your transceiver through the PTT port modem control signal that is not being used for PTT, thereby saving the need for a second serial port. For example, if you set the PTT mode panel to specify that the PTT port's DTR signal conveys PTT, then you can set the CW keying panel to key your transceiver via the PTT port's RTS signal;  if you specify that the PTT port's RTS signal conveys PTT, then you can set the CW keying panel to key your transceiver via the PTT port's DTR signal. 

If you set the PTT mode to RTS + DTR, as is required for soundcard RTTY operation, and you specify that CW keying be accomplished using the PTT port RTS signal, then during CW operation WinWarbler will use the PTT port's DTR signal for PTT; conversely,  if you set the PTT mode to RTS + DTR and you specify that CW keying be accomplished using PTT port's DTR signal, then during CW operation WinWarbler will use the PTT port's RTS signal for PTT.

With the CW Keying panel set to serial port RTS, serial port DTR, PTT port RTS, PTT port DTR, or parallel port, WinWarbler generates the timing of the signals used to key your transceiver, and (optionally) switch it between transmitting and receiving via a PTT signal. If you have a WinKey or an external modem capable of CW generation, such as a Kantronics KAM or Timewave PK232, you can set the CW Keying panel to WinKey or  external modem respectively. In these configurations, characters to be transmitted are conveyed to the keyer or external modem, which generates both the keying and PTT signals for your transceiver. External modems are typically capable of decoding as well as generating CW; to view decoded characters, check the display xmt/rcv characters box.

If you have configured WinWarbler to generate CW via a WinKey keyer but your WinKey is not responding - perhaps because it is powered down - the CW button caption in the Main window's Mode panel will be rendered in red; if your WinKey is responding properly, this button's caption will be rendered in black font.

If you're using a parallel port to transmit CW,

If you're using an external modem to transmit and/or receive CW,

Checking the CW transmit panel's cmd box will cause keystrokes in the Transmit Pane to be immediately sent to the modem even if transmission has not been initiated; this enables the transmission of keystrokes that place the modem into "command mode" and convey commands. Unchecking the cmd box will cause keystrokes in the Transmit Pane to accumulate until transmission is initiated.

If Commander is controlling a transceiver capable of CW transmission via CAT commands, the CW keying panel's Xcvr Ctrl App option will be enabled for you to select.

Operating in CW

To transmit in CW,

You can immediately terminate a CW transmission by clicking the Abort button (or striking the Esc or End key) - unless the CW keying panel is set to Xcvr Ctrl SW. In the latter case, a CW transmission initiated by WinWarbler can be immediately terminated by tapping the dot or dash paddle of a CW key connected to the transceiver. 

Clicking the right mouse button on the transmit display pane produces a pop-up menu with two commands:

Striking Ctrl-V in the Transmit Pane also initiates the Paste (insert Clipboard into Transmit Pane) operation.

If you check the CW transmit panel's Tune box with the CW Keying panel set to anything but external modem or Xcvr Ctrl App then clicking the Start button will immediately key your transceiver until you click the Stop or Abort buttons.

To see characters as they are transmitted, check the display xmt/rcv characters box.

You can adjust CW transmission speed by depressing the ALT key while striking the keyboard arrow OR page up/down keys, as well as by clicking on the Transmit panel's WPM controls:

Key Action
ALT - Left Arrow decrease WPM by 1
ALT - Right Arrow increase WPM by 1
PageUp decrease WPM by 2
PageDown increase WPM by 2
ALT - Down Arrow or CTRL-ALT-Left Arrow or CTRL-PageUp decrease WPM by 5
ALT - Up Arrow or CTRL-ALT-Right Arrow or CTRL-PageDown increase WPM by 5

If you have configured WinWarbler to generate CW via an external modem, WinWarbler will set the modem to transmit at the specified CW transmission speed rounded to the nearest multiple of 5 WPM.

If you have configured WinWarbler to generate CW via WinKey keyer, you can adjust the CW transmission speed using yourWinKey's  potentiometer by checking the WinKey Speed box in the Main window's CW transmit panel. You can specify the range in words per minute covered by this potentiometer, its connection scheme (standard 3-wire, or optional 2-wire), and a Farnsworth rate. Adjusting the CW transmission speed by clicking on the CW transmit panel's WPM controls or by striking the keyboard arrow keys will uncheck the WinKey Speed box, causing subsequent changes to WinKey's  potentiometer to have no effect on CW transmission speed until the WinKey Speed box is again checked.  If no potentiometer is connected to your WinKey keyer, uncheck the WinKey Speed box; otherwise, transmission speed will be held to zero words per minute.

If you have configured WinWarbler to generate CW via WinKey keyer and you plan to use paddles, set the PTT lead time and PTT lag time settings to ensure smooth operation.

Most of the substitution commands available for inclusion in macros can be used when operating with CW. A <cwspeed> macro makes it possible to set or adjust CW transmission speed from within a macro.

All of WinWarbler's logging facilities can be used with CW, including automatic interoperation with DXKeeper if its running.

Transceiver Control

WinWarbler automatically interoperates with Commander, an transceiver control program for Alinco, Elecraft, Flexradio, Icom, Kachina, Kenwood, TenTec, and Yaesu radios. If WinWarbler and Commander are running simultaneously, WinWarbler's Xcvr Freq panel will automatically track your transceiver's RX (receive) and TX (transmit) frequencies as you QSY; it does not matter in what order the two programs are started. 

Additional CW options

Some transceivers let the user operate CW on either the upper or lower sideband. If you are running Commander, you can specify that your transceiver be placed in either CW or CW-R mode when WinWarbler's Mode panel is set to CW via the Xcvr mode setting.

If your transceiver's frequency readout does display the actual transmitted frequency and your are running Commander, the CW offset setting can be used to display the correct frequency in the Main window's CW Receive panel, ensuring that an accurate frequency will be logged with the QSO.

After you initiate CW transmission by clicking the Transmit panel's Start button, WinWarbler will transmit the Morse code for each character as you enter it into the transmit pane; this is referred to as character mode. Alternatively, you can select word mode, in which WinWarbler waits to transmit a word until you strike a Space, Enter, Period, Comma, Exclamation, Semicolon, Colon, QuestionMark, Minus, Plus, Slash, Ampersand, LeftSquareBracket, RightSquareBracket, Equal, Asterisk, or Accent key; these keys are collectively referred to as trigger keys.

If you prefer to have CW transmission start as soon as you enter a character in the transmit pane, check the auto start box; this eliminates the need to first click the Start button in the Main window's Transmit Panel, or strike the F2 or ESC keys.

If you prefer to have CW transmission stop when there are no more characters to transmit, check the auto stop box; this eliminates the need to click the Stop button in the Main window's Transmit Panel, or strike the F4 key. If you have selected both word mode and auto stop, CW transmission will not stop if a partial word is waiting to be transmitted; you must enter one of the trigger keys to begin transmission of the waiting characters, after which CW transmission will automatically stop.

By default, WinWarbler uses the standard weighting for CW element types, as suggested by the ARRL Handbook:

Element Meaning Default time units
dot duration of a dot 1
dash duration of a dash 3
element space duration of the space between elements (dots and dashes) 1
character space duration of the space between characters 3
word space duration of the space between words 7

If you wish, you can adjust the weighting of transmitted CW using the weight panel settings; note that WinWarbler will maintain the specified transmission speed as you make these changes. If you have configured WinWarbler to generate CW via WinKey keyer, inserting the vertical bar character | will transmit insert a one-half dit-time delay.