- June 28, 2017 at 10:50 am #19339
The short version:
Winkeyers do not need a battery when used with USB, BUT turn off the USB automatic power down or the WinKeyer will hang.
Once again we lost CW FD QSOs when the WinKeyers stopped working. It appeared to be battery related. Replacing or even disconnecting and reconnecting the battery seemed to fix the problem.
A review of the WinKeyer’s schematic shows it having a 2 diode “wire-OR” circuit as seen in Figure 1. The VCC label is the power bus to all of the WinKeyer esxcept the FT232RL USB to serial converter which is only powered by the USB VBUS when USB is used.
With this circuit a low, or even missing, battery should not prevent the WinKeyer from functioning when connected to USB.
Opening two WinKeyers I found the DA2 diode were installed. With the USB attached and the battery removed I confirmed the WinKeyer worked with just USB power. After a few hours it finally stopped working even though the power was still appeared normal.
I attached a Beagle USB 12 Protocol Analyzer and started the experiment again. After several hours the WinKeyer stopped functioning even though the power appeared normal. Reviewing the packet data I believe I have found the problem. To conserve power Windows will turn off the VBUS +5V to unused USB ports even when the computer is in use and otherwise “awake”.
To prevent Windows from “managing” power to your USB controller or devices, follow these steps:
Open Device Manager by typing devmgmt.msc in the Start > Search panel.
Expand the USB Ports (not the PORTS (COM & LPT) , right click the USB serial controller
Turn off the Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power by unchecking the box then click the OK button:
After I did this the WinKeyer remained attached and functional for over 24 hours. The second WinKeyer has been attached since late yesterday and is still functioning normally.
You must be logged in to access attached files.June 28, 2017 at 11:38 am #19342
Thanks for posting this Hamilton. It looks like all we’d need to do is to remove the batteries completely and the units would then be USB powered correct? Have you had a chance to try this?June 28, 2017 at 11:45 am #19344
They will hang some of the time on a USB power cycle without the battery. They hang every time with the battery.
Remove the battery and turn off the Windows auto USB power management and you should not see any problems. Time will tell.
Amherst, NHJuly 9, 2017 at 9:59 pm #19666
I used a WinKeyer all week during Thirteen Colonies without a single fault. The battery was removed and the PC’s internal USB hubs were set to not power down when inactive.
The PC was shut down every day.
Amherst, NHJuly 10, 2017 at 10:25 am #19672
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