The next step: controlling your radio. Why would you want to do that?
- Never forget to QSY in the log; push buttons on the radio and the computer follows you
- Fast QSY by using Alt-F1, Alt-F2 or simply by entering a frequency
- Log the exact frequency of QSOs - so you can later analyse your operation
- Use the Band Map (with or without DX Cluster)
- Point and click to jump to a needed station and return to your frequency
In order to connect your radio to the COM port, you will need additional hardware in most cases. Most transceivers' serial ports come with TTL level while on the COM port you need RS-232 level. You have the option of buying a commercial interface for your radio or build one yourself.
Second, many modern computers lack a serial COM port. Some years ago it was a standard to have COM1 and COM2 but nowadays there are few applications for these ports. However, the ubiquitous USB port allows you to generate virtual COM ports again, often called COM5, COM6 etc.
Next, setup your radio in the Configure Interfaces dialog in the Option menu. Select the correct settings for your radio. Kenwood, for example, usually requires 4800 bit/s 8N1.
Close the setup menu and enter a frequency in the callsign entry field like 7033. The radio should now jump to 7.033 MHz.
When that works, go to the next step. Open up the Radio 1 band map window through the Windows | Radio 1 menu. Watch the frequency display move when you turn the VFO.