AN OVERVIEW OF THE
CE-232 SCANNER/COMPUTER INTERFACE

This article is copyrighted 1998 by Bill Cheek. Permission to
reprint for FREE access and FREE use by others is automatically
granted so long as this entire article, including signature box at the
end are retained intact and unaltered.

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WHAT IS THE CE-232?

The CE-232 Scanner/Computer Interface is a device that does
almost whatever you want it to do.....and more.  It's not like other
interfaces that do only what their manufacturers let them do. The
CE-232 starts out doing what we let it do, which is a lot, but if you want,
you can take over and make it turn the lights on at 5:30am, if that trips
your trigger. And I'm not kidding! The CE-232 is open-ended, you see....
It lets you possess the power and the force.

Read on and take your time......or save this page for reference.

The CE-232 Scanner/Computer Interface is a 2.5" x 3" electronic board
(with a socketed 68HC11 microprocessor and seven IC's) that goes between
a COMport of an IBM-PC/XT/AT/386/486/Pentium-compatible computer
and a supported scanner.

The CE-232 is a -smart- RS-232 Interface controller and powerful data
acquisition system for the PRO-2004, PRO-2005, and PRO-2006 scanners
and at least a drudgery-free automatic programmer and remote controller
for all supported scanners.

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FEATURES AND BENEFITS for all supported scanners

The CE-232 offers some very powerful capabilities described below:

AUTOPROGRAMMER (all supported scanners)

The CE-232 eliminates the drudgery and hard labor of scanning by
its ability to "AutoProgram" up to 999 memory channels from a
plain ASCII text file in a short time, error-free and exactly the
way you want it.

For more information on the AutoProgrammer, see:

Article Title                                       Text filename
CE-232 AUTOPROGRAMMER     1_autpgm.htm

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REMOTE KEYBOARD CONTROL (all supported scanners)

The CE-232 also allows control of the scanner from the computer's
keyboard; a strong plus for handheld scanners and those with hard-to-
operate keyboards, like the PRO-43, PRO-2035 and PRO-2042.

The CE-232 is a one-way controller and AutoProgrammer like described
above for MANY scanners, including the PRO-2004/5/6, PRO-2042,
PRO-2035, PRO-2022, PRO-43, PRO-39, PRO-37, PRO-34, PRO-26, etc.

For more information on the Remote Control feature see:

Article Title                                       Text filename
CE-232 REMOTE CONTROL         2_rmctrl.txt

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FEATURES AND BENEFITS just for the PRO-2004/5/6 Scanners

The CE-232 is a two-way controller and data acquisition system for the
time-honored PRO-2004, PRO-2005, and PRO-2006 scanners which have
unique circuitry that allows the CE-232 to do a lot more than just AutoProgram
and Remote Control, including AutoLog data on "hits", AutoReject undesirable
signals, AutoLookUp data about a certain frequency, and much more described below.

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AUTOLOGGER (PRO-2004, PRO-2005, PRO-2006 only)

The CE-232 acquires and logs data to a file with the AutoLogger
feature. The AutoLogger creates plain ASCII text files that are
easy to export to a database or just to use in original form.
Most every aspect of the scanner's operation can be AutoLogged,
notably including channel, frequency, date, time, and duration of
the transmission; but much more, too.

For more information on the AutoLogger, see:

Article Title                               Text filename
CE-232 AUTOLOGGER             3_autlog.txt

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AUTOREJECT (PRO-2004, PRO-2005, PRO-2006 only)

The CE-232 can AutoReject "birdies" and any other undesired
signal so that the Search and Scan functions won't be disrupted
by the scanner locking onto signals that don't interest you.

For more information on the AutoReject feature, see:

Article Title                           Text filename
CE-232 AUTOREJECT        5_reject.txt

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AUTOLOOKUP (PRO-2004, PRO-2005, PRO-2006 only)

The CE-232 can AutoLookUp and display information about the
frequencies that are programmed into the memory channels. If you
have all 400-channels programmed, or even a hundred, there's no
way to remember right off what each frequency is assigned to. The
AutoLookUp feature can lookup the information and show it to you
on screen, within an instant of the scanner stopping on that signal.

For more information on the AutoLookUp, see:

Article Title                              Text filename
CE-232 AUTOLOOKUP         4_ lookup.txt

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SCRIPT AUTOMATION (primarily for the PRO-2004/5/6,
but can work to a limited extent with other supported scanners)

The CE-232 comes with an easy Script or program language of about
40 commands, six operators and a handful of parameters that let you
automate the entire process of scanning and searching!

A Script resembles a DOS batch file or a simple BASIC program, but
it's easier than either. Automation of scanning and searching doesn't take
the fun out of it; to the contrary, it opens up a world of radio for which
you might never have had the time for in the past.

Scripts can make logical decisions based on IF - THEN - ELSE - AND
- OR logic, so "IF this happens, THEN do that; ELSE do something
different". There is no real limit as to what you can accomplish
by scanning with a Script.

For more information on Script Automation, see:

Article Title                 Text filename
CE-232 SCRIPTS       7_script.txt

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ENHANCED USER FACILITIES (primarily for the PRO-2004/5/6,
but can work to a limited extent with supported scanners)                

The CE-232 offers several special features that can't be described
very well because they are reserved for the User to decide how and
for what they are used. Here is a brief explanation, though:

USER SWITCHES: Four solid state switches are on the CE-232 board
for the User's pleasure. These are SPST switches that can be controlled
from the PC keyboard, or by automation from a Script. In other words,
the User Switches can control a host of other mods and unique circuits.
If you want something to be turned on at 3:00AM on September 30, 1999,
so be it - a script can do it for you! The status of each User Switch is
AutoLoggable for a permanent record.

INPUT STATUS: Six input binary registers or ports are available
on the CE-232 for the User's purposes. The Status Input bits accept
0v and +5v, and thus, serve a lot like "idiot lights" in a car. These six bits
are displayed in the main screen of the CE-232 control program. If you
need an indicator that can also be recorded and AutoLogged (like for an
S-meter!), then the Status Input bits will do nicely!

INBYTE BITS: Eight more input binary bits or ports, exactly like the
Status Input bits described above, are available for the User's
purposes. The only difference is that the InBytes are not displayed
on the main operating screen, though there is another screen on which
their status can be viewed. Like the Status Input bits, the InBytes
can be AutoLogged, tested and read by a Script; and decisions made in
an automated manner.

OUTBYTE BITS: Eight output binary bits or ports on the CE-232
board are available for the User's purposes. Just the opposite of (B) and
(C) above, the OutBytes are user-controllable logic-level outputs of
0v and +5v. If you need a logic bit to turn something on or off, the OutBytes
just might be the ticket!

ANALOG/DIGITAL CONVERTES:  Eight channels of 8-bit A/D
Converters
are on-board the CE-232. The standard MS-DOS program
that's supplied with each CE-232 does not support these A/D converters,
and so we've never mentioned them in the past.  But now.......?

But now, a new Windows program called Pro-Turbo    does support and
take advantage of these eight A/D converters. You can use one A/D as
an S-Meter and another as a Center Tune Meter, and what's more, all
A/D data is AutoLoggable! For more information on the optional and 3rd party
Pro-Turbo, see a file called: PROTURBO.TXT

NOTE: each bit of the Status Inputs, InBytes, and Outbytes and each of
the 8 A/D channels is independent of the rest. No one bit or channel
affects the status of any other. Therefore, there are 14 Input bits and
eight output bits that are completely available to the User for his own
purposes. The four User Switches can be used independently as four
separate switches, or together to create a 4-bit binary "byte" for sixteen
combinations of external switches or whatever. The A/D converters can
be used for anything you want, just like a PC-interfaced digital voltmeter.

For more information on the User Facilities, see:

Article Title Text                           filename
CE-232 USER FACILITIES          6_tools.txt

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WHAT ARE THE MINIMUM HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS?

The CE-232 is supported only for the IBM-PC/compatible, however we
know a gentleman who supports it for the Macintosh platform, and now
Pro-Turbo (optional 3rd party program) supports Windows 95/98/NT4.

Our MS-DOS program on the PC platform requires MS-DOS 3.1 or higher,
with 512-k RAM (min), a free COM1/IRQ4 or COM2/IRQ3 port, and a hard
disk drive with about 3-Mb of free space. The CE-232 also runs fine in a DOS
box under Windows 3.1, 3.11, and Windows 95. The CE-232 can be configured
to run from a floppy disk for old XT/AT's and old laptops that don't have a hard drive
or not enough free space. Floppy disk operation isn't especially recommended, but
there are situations where nothing else will work.

NOTE: Pro-Turbo (optional 3rd party program) supports all four COM1-4.

The scanner must not have been speeded up by any crystal replacement
means. However, diode speedups are okay, as are all other mods that
come to mind right off. We do not support "other mods" to work with
the CE-232, but only because we have no control over what the User
does and doesn't do. But frankly, the only mod we've found over the
years that's incompatible with the CE-232 is the crystal-swap speedup.

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WHO CAN BUILD AND INSTALL THE CE-232?

Virtually anyone not unduly physically handicapped. Soldering skills
are certainly helpful as is a basic savvy of electronics. I have, however,
guided many a non-technical hobbyist to success at assembling and
installing the CE-232 Interface. The main thing here is PATIENCE
and the ability to read and follow instructions in English. Depending
on your skill level, free time, and patience, the CE-232 is available
in several different ways, one of which can suit most people.

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AVAILABILITY

The CE-232 is available in four different ways:

1. Roll your own, by yourself, totally from scratch. The complete
    plans, schematic diagrams, and PCB layout, including parts list,
    are presented in my third book, THE ULTIMATE SCANNER (Cheek3) by
    Bill Cheek, ISBN: 1-56866-058-8. This book is sold by mail order
    radio dealers around the world, and I carry it, too. (autographed)

2. Roll your own from a professional Kit of all essential parts,
    including PCB, detailed instruction manual, and program disk.
    I can supply this Kit.

3. Roll your own from an Assembled and Tested Board, with detailed
    manual, and program disk. I can supply this Kit, as well.

4. I can do everything, from build the CE-232 to install it in your
    scanner and test it for proper operation.

For more information on availability and prices, see:

Article Title                                           Text filename
CE-232 PRICES/OPTIONS/AVAIL     9_prices.txt    (Standard pricing)
                                                              9_sale$$.txt    (Special sale price)

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OTHER INFORMATION

Inquire by e-mail, postal mail, web, or FTP as shown below for more
detailed information about the CE-232 Scanner/Computer Interface,
including prices and specs.

A series of tutorials and detailed explanations of all the features
and aspects of the CE-232 is available under article titles and/or
text files mentioned and linked throughout the above article, or
as conveniently itemized below:.

ARTICLE TITLE                 FTP FILENAME  COMMENTS
-------------------------   ------------  -------------------
CE-232 INTRO & OVERVIEW        0_oview.htm    This page
CE-232 AUTOPROGRAMMER          1_autpgm.htm   AutoProgrammer Tutorial
CE-232 REMOTE CONTROL          2_rmctrl.txt   Rem Control Discussion
CE-232 AUTOLOGGER              3_autlog.txt   AutoLogger Tutorial
CE-232 AUTOLOOKUP              4_lookup.txt   AutoLookUp Tutorial
CE-232 AUTOREJECT              5_reject.txt   AutoReject Tutorial
CE-232 USER FACILITIES         6_tools.txt    User Features Intro
CE-232 SCRIPTS                 7_script.txt   Script Tutorial
CE-232 TECHNICAL SUPPORT       8_suppt.txt    Tech Support Info
CE-232 PRICES/OPTIONS/AVAIL    9_prices.txt   Prices & Availability
CE-232 SPECIAL SALE PRICE      9_sale$$.txt   Special Sale w/terms
CE-232 DEVELOPER'S INFORMATION devdoc.txt     Programmer's Information
PRO_TURBO for HB/CE-232        proturbo.txt   3rd party Windows program
TRUNKTRACK W/O A TRUNKTRACKER  trnkscan.txt   No TrunkTracker needed!
CE-232 WARRANTY & FINE PRINT   warranty.txt   Warranties & disclaimers
--------------------------- ------------ ----------------------
CE-232 PRODUCT INFORMATION
    ce232.zip      All the above, zipped

============================================
Bill Cheek - President/CEO/Publisher
COMMtronics Engineering/World Scanner Report
Box 262478 ~ San Diego ~ CA ~ 92196-2478
Voice: 619-578-9247 (1:30-5:30pm, PST, M-F)
   Fax: 619-578-9247 (any time, day/night)
E-mail: bcheek@comtronics.net
   Web: http://www.comtronics.net
============================================

Copyright 1998 by Bill Cheek, December 6, 1998

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