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Using Several Apps Simultaneously to Control a Ham Radio Transceiver

A problem faced by a large number of Ham radio operators is the fact that only one serial port at a time can be accessed through the Windows operating system. If you want to use several applications at the same time with the same physical COM interface you will need to employ dedicated serial port splitting software.

Some standard issues encountered by Ham radio amateurs and the best ways to resolve them.

  • The station control software running on your PC needs access to the Ham radio transceiver through the COM port where it is attached. Other software such as a station book or logging software also needs access to the transceiver through the same serial port.

The native operating system does not allow the simultaneous connection forcing you to use only one app at a time as a workaround. This is the usual way of getting around this issue but it is not a very efficient or effective solution.

A better way to allow two programs to interact with the same serial port is to use a COM port splitter application such as Virtual COM Port Driver PRO.

Using VSPD PRO with Ham radio apps

Using this software solution enables you to take a single physical serial port and split it into a number of virtual copies. This allows the simultaneous connection of all your serial programs to the same real port. The virtual copies appear as distinct COM ports when in reality they are all employing the same physical interface. Using serial port splitting software will let you connect as many programs as you like to your Ham radio transceiver.

Virtual Serial Port Driver PRO can be used with 32 and 64-bit versions of Windows 10 as well as many older iterations of the Windows operating system.

  • Here is another case where Virtual COM Port Driver PRO can prove to be extremely useful.

If you have CW Skimmer, MixW, or some other specialized software running and want to use your logging program to control your radio, you again run into the problem of requiring simultaneous access to the same port. Using serial port splitter software this is an easy problem to resolve. Each application can simply attach to a virtual copy of your interface.

You also might consider Serial Sniffer by Eltima for your data logging software solution. It enables you to trace, debug, and monitor all of the serial ports in your environment and display all of the logged data in a number of convenient formats.

  • Another challenging situation is when a GPS user would like to share a single NMEA (National Marine Electronics Association) information stream with several applications.

Once again, we need the ability to split a single data stream into multiple streams or face the prospect of using only one application at a time. Virtual COM Port Driver PRO is an excellent and simple solution to this problem by allowing you to create as many virtual serial ports as you need from a single physical interface. This lets you share the information from the GPS unit with as many applications as you wanted. All programs will have access to the same data at the same time.

Split GPS data

As demonstrated above, you can see that Virtual Serial Port Driver PRO is one of the best Com port splitters available. Its advanced features can be very helpful to Ham radio operators using a PC to interact with their equipment. With Virtual Serial Port Driver PRO, you can:

  • split one serial data stream into multiple exact copies;

  • combine serial data from multiple sources into a single data flow;

  • use the same serial interface to connect to multiple serial applications;

  • create an unlimited number of virtual serial ports on your system;

  • merge multiple real and virtual COM ports in such a way that several hardware - devices and serial applications can exchange data with each other simultaneously.

Top comments (2)

tonymet profile image
Tony Metzidis

@helgayork did you want to start doing more #hamradio content? i was thinking of writing up some tutorials

helgayork profile image

Hi Tony,

if you could write how Eltima's software (like Serial Port Splitter, Serial to Ethernet Connector or VSPD) helped with your work or share your usage scenario of our software when you worked on your tutorials.

I will be more than happy to provide you with a free license copy for any software of your choice that we developed.

please e-mail me