Well, the changeover to 2017 and the insertion of a leap second, widely anticipated to cause caos to NTP servers and GPS timing and frequency references passed with exceptional understatement.
I had hoped to get the very basics of a sketch working for the Arduino to read a DIL switch, as a substitute for the Clansman PRC320s frequency selector switches, to allow me to work out a technique to convert the '320s truth table into something I can send to the controller. For this end im grateful to members of the Arduino forum for help with the C++ code. Sadly, for some reason I couldnt get the USB driver to work on the laptop! So testing that will now have to wait.
The laptop in question was Sams old one which ive just acquired. It was running rather slow, so since I couldnt get any further with the Arduinos, I decided to give it a complete fresh start, format the hard drive and re-install Windows 7. That all went nicely to plan. Trouble is, Its now a stand alone machine - until I can get the drivers on it for the Ethernet and WiFi modules!