CW keying from Android device

Hi all,

Does anyone know working solution for sending CW preferably along with logging for Android devices?
A brief Google search gave me some leads for the software designed for KX3 and several other radios. But I’m looking for something that would work with my 817 or any other generic rig.

CW keying from a computing device requires hardware. In the old days this would be a parallel printer type port or a serial port, these days it’s more usually a USB connected device.

Can your Android device have a serial or USB device connected?

I’ve got tow pieces of HW which are a USB2RS232 adapter and a CW interface made of two transistors to key the radio.

I guess I can get a USB device connected to my Android tablet, though I’ve never tried to do this personally. Is there any Android logging SW that is known to be capable of doing the job similar to what N1MM and other Windows apps can do?

I have not searched, but there are several Linux apps that do that so it is possible that someone has ported one.

A problem you will meet is that Android USB expects to a device and not a USB host.

The USB sockets on a PC/laptop are USB hosts and a USB memory stick or a USB serial port are USB devices. The USB host controls the USB device connected to it. When you connect an Android USB socket to your PC, Android acts as a device and the PC controls it. This lets your Android phone appear as a memory stick or maybe a modem to the PC.

To make the Android phone/tablet control something connected to its USB socket requires the Android unit support USB OTG. This is a method where you can switch the device to be a host. Not all Android devices can do this, some need special software or drivers. So you will need to solve this before you can go further.

You could consider making a simple VOX circuit and use the audio output of the Android unit. Playback tones into the VOX and use it to key the 817.

Check out “Wolphi” (Wolfgang Philipps W8DA)'s website at he has been creating Ham Radio software for Android phones and tablets for a few years. He covers not only CW, but also PSK31, RTTY and SSTV - interface is either, put the microphone to the speaker or he does a Android phone headset socket (4 pin 3.5mm jack) to FT817 accessory socket interface called “Wolphi-link” (which of course is far better avoiding external noise).

With the current cables the “Wolphi-link” interface will work with transceivers FT-817, FT857, FT-897, IC703 and IC-706. Wolphi-Link will work with DroidPSK, DroidRTTY and DroidSSTV for TX and RX and Morse Decoder, HF Weather Fax and DroidNavtex for RX only.


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But not with the original Nexus tablet, only the second generation one :cry:

I’m guessing this is the headset vs headphones issue?

All phones support external microphones through the 3.5mm jack, many tablets only support earphones from this jack - i.e. no external microphone.

I ended up with a cheap ASUS 7" tablet simply because it supports an external microphone.


Thanks for a good lead, Ed. Although it doesn’t directly address my issue, it can be quite handy for working in digital modes.

Once you have the phone-rig interface link in place, you would need one of the Morse Keyboards that are on Google Play - you specifically said that you need one that keeps a log, so perhaps simply switch to the morse keyboard and use any text editor? This would only record what you are sending of course, not what is being received. Make sure the morse keyboard you chose has audio tones when you are sending though.


Morse Code Keyer even supports iambic (paddle) keying: