HamPod PM2 MeterReader

 

   The HamPod PM2 MeterReader provides spoken readouts of power and SWR measurements by an Array Solutions PowerMaster II digital meter. It also adds an audio tone tuning feature and provides access to the PowerMaster II configuration menus.

   This review is based on the PM2 MeterReader user manual and information from the HamPod developer, K6DQ.

   The PowerMaster II is described in a separate article.

HamPod Station Accessories

   The PM2 MeterReader is developed by Rob Santello, K6DQ.

From the user manual:

   "The HamPod series of amateur radio station accessories are stand-alone, microprocessor-based text-to-speech devices designed to provide speech output and accessibility to common station equipment such as transceivers, antenna controllers and rotor controllers, SWR/Power meters, and other equipment capable of serial data exchange. The voice synthesizer utilizes the popular Double Talk voice synthesizer and is customizable to your personal preferences."

HamPod PM2 MeterReader

   The HamPod device (Figure 1) is 5.3" x 4.0" and 1.9" high, including the attached 16 button keypad and enclosed speaker. It communicates with a PowerMaster II SWR/wattmeter via a supplied serial cable. The firmware is updatable with a Windows computer.

Figure 1. HamPod PM2 MeterReader                 hampod.com

 

   The HamPod has two male DB9 serial ports. With the supplied firmware it can switch between two PowerMaster II Wattmeters. A different build of the firmware combines the HamPod K3 Reader on port 1 with the PM2 MeterReader on port 2. In that case, pressing the [D] key for one second can switch between an Elecraft K3 (or KX3) transceiver and a PowerMaster II wattmeter.

   The K3 Reader is described in a separate article.

Operation

   To hear a spoken measurement you press a key on the HamPod. For example, pressing the [1] key announces the forward power in watts; pressing the [2] key gives the reverse power; and pressing the [3] key gives the SWR.

   The audio tone tuning feature queries the PowerMaster II meter continuously and sounds a tone that increases in pitch as the power or SWR increases. For example, holding down the [1] key for 0.5 second turns on a tone to monitor forward power.

   Pressing the [C] key for one second switches to Configuration mode for changing settings in the PM2 MeterReader. Changes persist when the device is restarted.

Configuring the PowerMaster II

   The Array Solutions PowerMaster II user manual describes how to configure the device using the two buttons on the front panel. Pressing the Menu button steps through the list of menus, and pressing the Mode button steps through the options for that menu. The name of the menu and the selected option are shown on the LCD screen.

   When a HamPod PM2 MeterReader is connected, it automatically speaks the contents of the LCD display, for example, "Alarm Trips Amp...Yes." (With this selection the power alarm actuates the PTT/ALC relay in the meter.) If you press the mode button to select the next option, the Reader says "Alarm Trips Amp...No."

Sumary

   The HamPod PM2 MeterReader is a convenient, well-designed accessory that blind and vision-impaired hams can use to monitor RF power and SWR measurements by a PowerMaster II digital meter. It also adds an audio tone tuning feature and access to the PowerMaster II configuration menus.

   There are two serial ports, so one HamPod device can switch between an Elecraft K3 or KX3 transceiver and a PowerMaster II device.

Acknowledgment

   Thanks to Rob, K6DQ for information about the PM2 MeterReader.

Author Information

   Peter DeNeef, AE7PD, is an Extra Class amateur radio operator in the U.S.  Email: HamRadioAndVision "at" gmail "dot" com.

2/25/2015

HamPod W2 MeterReader

HamPod K3 Reader

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