After a second test resulting in a working display yesterday evening, my 2nd attempt to get a breadboard version of K3NG’s Arduino CW keyer up and running turns out to be a success!
This morning I soldered a female mini-jack and a speaker to the Arduino Nano and set the right pins in the Arduino IDE. After a upload/reboot the keyer came up and it works perfectly!
I really like this Arduino stuff. It is simple to figure out and the fact that it is open source (software as well as hardware) makes things easy and quick to work with. Hats off to the author of the keyer code: K3NG Radio Artisan.

I still have to try connect the keyer to a rig. The fact that you can use one paddle to key multiple rigs, I think is ideal. That way I never have to unplug my paddle from the TS-590 and plug it in the Elecraft K1 or the other way around. You can even connect as much as eight rigs! I don’t think a Arduino Nano has enough connections for it, but the software can do it.
Actually I think I will buy a Arduino Uno for this project so I have enough connections for all kind of options to activate. As controller I considering a rotary encoder. A separate power supply is needed too as you can see the display dimmed when the speaker makes sound.
And then the hardest part; find and build the whole thing in a nice case!

Arduino Keyer 1st attemptLast night at the radio-club I did some puzzling for my 1st attempt to build the K3NG’s Arduino CW Keyer. I want to build one especially to train Morse code keying. Therefor I need a display attached to the keyer and some training software.
I have a Hoxo 1621 4-bit 16×2 display laying around so I want to attach that to the Arduino Nano. After a breadboard session and some soldering smoke I have made the connection. Gave my first Sketch on Arduino a go, downloaded the source code of the K3NG Arduino CW Keyer from Github and walked by all settings. When I gave the compile a try, it error-ed on some libs missing. After some copy + paste the code compiled without problems (white smoke!). But when uploading to the Arduino I got again errors. The IDE did not see the Arduino although all port settings where correct. By then it was almost midnight and I wanted to go home for some sleep.
This morning I gave the compiling a second try on my Ubuntu desktop. This time compiling and uploading went without errors! Hopefully I was watching the display, but accept for the back-light nothing appeared 🙁
I don’t know if I made a mistake with this 1st attempt in pinout or if the HOXO 1621 is too much of a difference from a 1602. But some further investigation has to be done. I will be back with a 2nd attempt.

TS-590 firmwareThis page triggered me to check if my TS-590 needs a firmware update. In the olden days they use to say: if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it. But nowadays new firmware does not only fix problems/bugs but it also adds new features that was not possible before.
I checked and saw my TS-590 firmware was version 1.07 and the new one is 2.02! Whoops, missed a few releases!
Quickly update it.

According to Kenwood these are the new features:

“TS-590S Ver.2 firmware update” will be released at the end of January 2015.
October 2, 2014
We are to offer some of the new TS-590SG’s functions* to owners of our current TS-590S models via a free firmware download as “TS-590S Ver.2 update”. The updated firmware will be available at the end of January 2015.

The “TS-590S Firmware Updating Program Ver.2.00” can be downloaded from KENWOOD website as well as other current firmware updates. The ARCP-590 and ARHP-590 control programs will also be updated to “Ver.2.00” at the same time.

* The “TS-590S Ver.2 update” revises the functions which can be achieved by updating the TS-590S main CPU firmware. The “TS-590S Ver.2 update” does not include functions involving hardware updates, nor functions involving menu / display items which are controlled by un-updateable front panel CPU.

Main items of the “TS-590S Ver.2 update”.

Frequency setting and display functions.
1) Enables use of the new Split function (TS-990S-style) for quick split operations.
Hold down the [SPLIT] key, and the “SPLIT” indicator blinks. When the [5] key is pressed for instance, the split setting will be completed as “5kHz Up”.
2) Enables the XIT frequency to be set while pressing [TF-SET] key when RIT is OFF in simplex mode.
3) Enables FINE function to be set to ON/OFF in each mode. It may also assist in CW or DATA mode operation.
4) Enables display of the 1Hz frequency digit when the FINE function is turned on below 1MHz (except in transverter mode). It may also assist in 135kHz band opeartion.

RX functions.
1) Enables the status of FIL A/B to be set separately for VFO A/B. This is useful when switching VFO A/B (TX/RX) frequencies for monitoring in split operation.
2) Enables use of the RX ANT in 50MHz band. The status can be set separately in HF and 50MHz band.

TX functions.
1) Enables the setting of RF output power independently in DATA mode. (RF output power in HF SSB-DATA/ FM-DATA, 50M SSB-DATA/ FM-DATA, HF AM-DATA, and 50M AM-DATA can be set independently).
2) Enables setting of the voice message’s PROC level and MIC gain separately from the setting of usual microphone input’s PROC level and MIC gain.
(The optional VGS-1 is required)

General functions
1) Enables setting the RX equalizer / TX equalizer in each mode.
2) Enables deleting CW message memories by each memory channel.

Voice guide functions (The optional VGS-1 is required)
1) Enables announcement of the type of the transmission meter.
2) Enables announcement of the DRV OUT function ON / OFF status.
3) Enables announcement of the RIT/XIT frequency.

PC commands
1) Enables reading the status of the VGS-1 (if installed in the TS-590S).
2) Enables back up of the status of the AI function ON/OFF.
3) Enables deleting Voice messages from a PC.
(Details of the above-mentioned PC commands are described in the revised “PC command list”)

475kHz band*
1) Revises the band memory [GENE] 2nd setting to 472kHz / CW.
2) Enables output of the 475kHz band (472~479kHz) signal from the rear panel DRV (drive output) connector as well as 135kHz band.(1mW approx.)

* Regarding the TS-990S and the TS-590SG, the 475kHz band drive output will be also available from the next firmware updates which are released at the same time with the TS-590S Ver.2 update.