A Soft Panel Application for the K3
I have recently built a small application for controlling the K3 using the SioElecraft.DLL, a DLL I wrote several years ago for use with CQ/X. This project was started in response to a number of requests in which the interest of the user in such an application was piqued by the K3 interface included in CQ/X and described in some detail here. Although interested in the interface the potential user, not being a mobile contester, typically considered the CQ/X part of the application extra baggage which brought along an additional learning curve. So the following K3 Soft Panel application was developed with the idea of including just enough functionality wrapped around SioElecraft.DLL to make it useful but with a small learning curve for someone already familiar with the K3. The main user interface, shown below, consists of controls placed on a high-res screen shot of the K3 front panel, a small area for logging QSOs, and a menu system along with associated dialogs to tie the whole application together. Another goal was to do all CW keying via the K3 internal keyer, to provide some means of defining a small set of user-configurable messages along with a keyboard function for use in more free-form conversation.
Since the underlying DLL containing the panel image and associated controls is the same as the one used in CQ/X and previously described here the interested reader is referred to that page for a more detailed description of the functionality of the panel, including some features of the soft panel that have been included to augment the functionality of the actual panel. Only the functionality added to make the DLL into a viable application will be discussed in this section.
Logging Grid – This grid is laid out similar to a single line of an ARRL log book and is used to record an in-progress contact. The FREQ, MODE, and POWER entries are filled in by data received from the radio and the other entries are the result of operator entry. To begin a QSO click on or tab to the UTC-ON column which will set the DATE and UTC-ON time. Type in the call of the station being worked in the STN.WRKD column. If the station is listed in a OperatorNames.csv file in the Documents subdirectory the name will be inserted and if a member of FOC and/or CW Ops that information will appear in the ORGS column if the logging menu items Show FOC (CWO) Members have been checked. Once the QSO is over click on the UTC-OFF column to record the ending time of the QSO. Click on the Log button or use the F7 key to log the QSO and clear the logging grid. QSOs may be logged to a default log file, a log file defined by the user or via a real or virtual serial port to another separate application for logging.
Radio Menu – Use this menu to configure various parameters associated with the radio that are not part of the K3 Config and Main menus. This includes the following items:
Messaging Menu – For operating CW you can use this menu item to setup six messages for use in keying the K3 via its internal keyer. These messages, which are defined in a template, can be linked to entries in the logging grid using certain symbols to represent placeholders for the actual data. The Messaging menu includes the following items:
Logging Menu – Use this menu item to control the following small set of logging features.
Additional details are available in a small set of user notes that are included in the download.
Availability of the Application -If you are interested in using the application you can download it using the link below. I am particularly interested in receiving feedback related to any problems you might encounter and ideas you might have for enhancing the application, and in how the application works in a remote control environment. While it is not intended that this application be developed into a full-blown contest or general purpose logging application, I am open to suggestions for improvements that users of the program might find useful, including those of a contesting or general logging nature.
Downloading the Application - To begin the download of the latest version (1.1.0) right click on this link K3 Soft Panel Download Package and elect to save the file to a directory of your choosing.
Upzip the Package - Once the download is complete unzip the package. This will result in two files: a user notes pdf file and a setup exe file.
Install the software - Run the exe file to install the software.
Support - Once the software is installed you can access the user notes from the Help menu should you have questions. If you continue to have questions after reviewing the user notes feel free to contact me via the email link provided on the CQ/X Support page.
Updates - There is currently one update patch to the program which can be downloaded from here.
Issues - You can check on any known issues here.
Copyright: C.W. Sanders, NO5W
Last Updated: 18-March-2014