Installing the ÁH Router

The disk image that contains the ÁH Router installer can be downloaded from here.

ÁH Router is a Universal application and requires at least Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) and continues to work with Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) and MacOS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).

ÁH Router is connected to a microHAM keyer through a USB connection. This USB connection emulates a 230,000 baud full duplex serial port using an FTDI chipset. Before using ÁH Router, please be sure to first install the latest FTDI driver for your specific computer. The router will not function if you don't have a proper FTDI driver in place.


Normally, there is no need to launch the ÁH Router by yourself. The application that uses the router should be able to launch it automatically for you.

If you have not used the router before, you might want to manually launch the ÁH Router once to set up your own Preferences. A simple test in the Preference panel will also test if the router can send commands to your microHAM device(s).

The router is usually run "faceless" with no active windows showing. Clicking the ÁH Router's icon in the dock will activate the router; you can then access Preferences under the ÁH Router menu and a simple test panel under the Window menu.

You can also access the two ÁH Router's panels by control clicking on its dock icon and selecting the panels that you want to open.


The Preferences menu opens a very simple panel with three tabbed views, one for each type of microHAM keyers, as shown below.


There is a small rectangular indicator that is grayed out if the device is not available. The indicator turns green if the device is available.

If you believe that you have the keyer properly connected and yet the small box is grayed out, check first to see that you have installed the proper FTDI driver. Next, check to see if your computer can actually see the keyer, and that the USB connection is not faulty.

To check the USB registry, you can use the application System Profiler in your /Applications or /Applications/Utilities folder. In the Contents view on the left of the Systems Profiler window, click on the USB item under the Hardware selection. The USB Tree for your computer should be displayed. An example is shown below:


A microKEYER will be enumerated as a "microHAM Multi Mode Keyer," a microKeyer II appears as "micro KEYER II," and a digiKeyer will show up as a "microHAM DIGI Keyer." If your keyer does not show up in this system registration, the ÁH Router will also not be able to find it.

(Note that if you are connected to a microKeyer II or digiKeyer, the sound cards in those devices should also appear in the USB tree right next to the serial ports of the keyers as "microHAM CODEC" or "USB Audio CODEC.")

Enable Checkbox

The Enable checkbox in the Preference panel can be used to ignore a specific keyer. A second application that is trying to talk directly to the keyer instead of going through the ÁH Router will cause conflicts that will cause neither application to work reliably. By unchecking the Enable checkbox, the ÁH Router relinquishes connection to the keyer, allowing your other application to have sole control of the keyer.

The small indicator in the Preference panel will turn yellow for devices that can be found but are not connected. If the device is not connected for other reasons than being disabled in the Preference panel, the reason for it is displayed to the right of the indicator.

Connection Test

There is a very simple test in the preference panel to check for actual data connectivity to the device. If power has been applied to the keyer (the 12 volts fed from the radio, for example), then the PTT Key button at the bottom of the preference window should light up the PTT LED on the keyer, if you have the PTT routing correctly selected in the keyer settings . If the PTT line is connected to the radio, your radio should also key into transmit mode.

Aggregate Timeout Field

When individual bytes arrives at the router from the microHAM keyer's radio (CAT) port, it is buffered and stored in the router until a timeout duration expires. The accumulated buffer is then sent as a single block to the client application. This can potentially improve the performance of the client if it is polling for data from ÁH Router. This parameter can be tuned to reduce the processor usage of the client processor (using, for example, /Applications/Utilities/Activity Monitor).

Config Button

This allows you to set up the microHAM keyer's configuation. Go to the Keyer Settings page for documentation on how to configure the keyer to your preferences..

Other Tests

The router comes with other tests to check out connections between the keyer and the radio.


As with the Preference panel, there are three separate tabbed views in the Test panel, one for each type of microHAM device.

The first section tests the flags channel to keyer, and this includes the PTT and serial CW lines. The two buttons should toggle the PTT and serial CW states of the keyer, depending on the mode the keyer is in. Please check the Keyer Settings page to determine the mode. The CW button is not operational when the Keyer is in digital moce, for example.

The next section tests the WinKey channel to the radio. WinKey is a chip that is included in the microKEYER and CW KEYER. This section of the test panel is grayed out when you select the DIGI KEYER. The WinKey chip allows well-formed Morse keying even when you are using a multitasked operating system such as MacOS X. Pushing Send should send the text field in Morse if your radio is set up to transmit in CW mode and operating in break-in mode (or if you'd first keyed the PTT line). The WinKey test requires the keyer to first be placed in CW mode. See Keyer Settings for information on modes.

The last section only works if you are connected to a Yaesu FT-1000MP or a Elecraft K3. Do not touch any of the buttons in this section if you don't have an FT-1000MP or a K3 connected to the keyer. Each of the mode buttons should command the CAT function of the radio to switch the radio to the corresponding modes. The Get VFO will test the reply from the radio and will display the main and sub VFO dial frequencies.

Stay Alive

When an application disconnects from ÁH Router, it has the option of asking ÁH Router to quit if no other application is still connected to the router; this is how cocoaModem uses the ÁH Router. When cocoaModem starts, it launches and connects to ÁH Router if the user has asked to use a microHAM device. Just before cocoaModem quits, it disconnects itself from ÁH Router and it asks ÁH Router to also quit if no one else is connected to the router. There is a Stay Alive option that forces ÁH Router to ignore the "quit if not connected" message.


One use of "stay alive" is for keeping the UTC clock running in the micrKeyer II's LCD panel.

Saving your Preferences

Once you are done with the setup procedure, quit the ÁH Router application. This will save the "Enable" checkbox states and all the Keyer Settings to be saved to a file called w7ay.mH Router.plist in your ~/Library/Preferences folder.