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Topics - Discriminator

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I have added PDW Support (other languages) for those users who are fluent in e.g. German, French or Swedish but not in English.


New Members / MOVED: PDW
« on: 10 Apr 2020, 18:33:48 »

Data Slicers and Interfaces / FSK to USB Interface Enclosure
« on: 13 Sep 2019, 15:26:01 »

Based on user requests, it has been a long cherished wish to realize a matching enclosure for the USB interface. With the recent purchase of a Prusa I3 MK3 3D printer, finally these requests can be accommodated.

The enclosure comes in 3 colors: black, red and silver. Quality PLA filament is used on a powder coated steel bed, which gives the enclosure a nice looking textured surface. The lid is mounted on the case by a snap-fit connection.

Prices and 'Buy Now' buttons for instant ordering can be found on the Order page.

Discriminator Outputs / 'Is a resistor necessary?'
« on: 14 Feb 2019, 18:48:56 »
Today in my email, a question about the need to use a resistor in a discriminator output. My reply:

Is safe sex necessary?  ;) - 'Discriminator Outputs', Question 6 -

'What's the function of the resistor?

Connecting or disconnecting an interface to the discriminator output might cause a short-circuit. The limiting resistor prevents the discriminator IC from being loaded or damaged. Further to that, it prevents your PC's microphone or line input from being overloaded.'

I'm happy to announce that the 4 level interface is available again. Although the demand has decreased considerably over time, I have received several requests for the interface, mainly from the US.

Main hurdle to continue the interface was the circuit board. I have found a supplier that can produce quality boards in low volumes at an economically feasible price.


Information and Announcements / SSL/HTTPS
« on: 29 Sep 2018, 14:30:47 »
Today, I have installed an SSL certificate on this site. That means that all communications between your side and, including the contact form and this forum (login/password) is encrypted.

Data Slicers and Interfaces / 4 level interface discontinued
« on: 06 Feb 2018, 19:48:15 »
After almost 15 years, I have decided to discontinue the 4 level interface. Due to reduced sales over the last few years, it is not economically feasible anymore to produce this interface. Due to the complexity of changes needed to PDW, there are no plans to develop a USB version of the 4 level interface.

The circuit board design and component list is available on my site if you wish to build the interface yourself. Upon request, I will be happy to share the Eagle circuit board design file.

All boards sold through have two years warranty. After the warranty period, repair is always possible for a reasonable price.

Information and Announcements / The site and forum have moved
« on: 20 Oct 2016, 19:06:14 »
Over the last couple of days, I have moved and the forum to a new hosting provider. If all is well, you will not have noticed this. However, in the process files may have been lost or corrupted. Please let me know if you find anomalies.


PDW Development / New PDW version with SSL support
« on: 20 Aug 2016, 12:28:31 »
Today I have released a beta version of PDW. Andrey Grodzovsky has taken on PDW's email function. Thanks to him, it now supports SSL as well. I have tested the new version with Gmail. Your experiences and bug reports are welcome below ;)

Download PDW 3.2b01

As of today, a new version of the USB interface is available. Due to the issue with cloned FTDI chips on the USB modules, a new circuit board has been developed. It incorporates an FTDI FT230XS chip and has a slightly smaller size.

Left: FSK to USB version 1, right: FSK to USB version 2.

Data Slicers and Interfaces / USB Interface - FTDI Drivers
« on: 09 Nov 2014, 08:07:15 »

Over the last couple of weeks, an issue has arisen with the latest FTDI driver. It appears that there are a lot of cloned FTDI chips on the market. The latest driver resets the PID (Product ID) on cloned chips to 0000. The result is that Windows doesn't recognize the device anymore. See -'Driver controversy' or google for 'FTDI clone'.

My USB modules from eBay all appear to have cloned chips. I have discovered this after some 3 or 4 interfaces were sent. These customers have been contacted for a remedy. On current USB modules, I replace the cloned FT232 chips by genuine parts from a reputable supplier. This needs some microsurgery on a very small SMD part. It ensures that the latest FTDI drivers will fully support the interface.

Data Slicers and Interfaces / Working on a new USB interface
« on: 07 Sep 2014, 19:10:41 »
I'm currently developing a new version of the RS232 interface. I'm incorporating a custom USB module.

Main advantages:
- Interface gets its power from the USB port, so no separate power supply needed
- No RS232 to USB cable needed
- The module uses an FTDI chip; stable drivers available for most operating systems

Next steps:
- Design an adapted circuit board
- Build and test a prototype
- Have the final version of the circuit board produced professionally

I expect the new interface to be available later this year.


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