Flwkey – Lightweight Winkeyer Support on OS X

The Winkeyer units by K1EL have become a staple in many ham shacks around the world. These units provide consistently perfect Morse code regardless of the quality of the operator’s fist. Whether purchased in kit form or included as a chip in high-end interfaces, the Winkeyer is considered by many CW operators as a must-have item in the shack. Support for Winkeyer is widely available in most contest software and many logbook programs on OS X. However, where do you turn when opening the logbook to get access to Winkeyer control may be overkill; such as when you just want to knock out a quick QSO with a DX station, or when you want to run a friendly rag chew without worrying about logging contacts? That is where Flwkey comes in. Described as a “simple interface” for the Winkeyer Morse code generators, Flwkey provides a basic two-pane interface similar to many digital mode program. The transmit pane, on the lower half, includes a place to type text as well as buttons for preprogrammed macros such as may be used during a contest. The upper pane provides information and feedback from the Winkeyer unit itself. Flwkey includes a basic logging feature that saves contacts in ADIF format and also provides some fundamental contest features such as support for serial/exchanges and dupe checking. Full control of all Winkeyer settings is available through the configuration menu and CW speed can be adjusted on the fly as needed.

Flwkey is part of the Fl* suite of programs developed by Dave Freese Jr, W1HKJ; the winner of the 2014 ARRL Technical Excellence Award. Like all of the Fl* suite, Flwkey is developed using the Fast Light Toolkit and is an open-source, cross-platform solution running on OS X, Linux, BSD, and Windows alike. While you could build the software from source on OS X, Dave kindly provides a standard .dmg file with pre-compiled .app files for installation. Additionally, unlike most other modern OS X software, the entire Fl* suite will run on OS X using either Intel or older PowerPC chip sets.

You can download Flwkey, or the entire Fl* suite from Dave’s website at www.w1hkj.com/download.html.

As of this writing, the current version of Flwkey is v1.1.6.