Hamlib and virtual serial ports

Sometimes it seems as if half the posts in this blog relate to trouble with computers.

After I got back from the hospital today I thought I would try some WSPR for a change. Paul PC4T had mentioned that conditions on 80m were good. 80 is not a band I often use so I thought I'd try there. But no sooner than I had tried to change band than the software beeped rudely at me. The console window contained an error message: serial_open: Unable to open COM13 - Invalid argument.


COM13 is a virtual serial port splitter on COM3 which I'd created using Eterlogic's Virtual Serial Port Emulator, VSPE. I've used this utility for years to create virtual serial ports so that more than one program can open my radios' computer control ports at the same time. I'd used one to try out CW Skimmer with KComm before Christmas. As I'd uninstalled Skimmer I removed the virtual serial port. WSPR, which does its rig control through hamlib, then opened COM3 up just fine.

That's a temporary solution, but I haven't given up the idea of running other ham software alongside KComm for good. I think there are other serial port splitters out there (there's com0com which was far too complicated for me to figure out) but VSPE has always worked for me until now. Don't you just love computers?
Julian Moss, G4ILO, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cumbria, England. Contact him at [email protected].

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