SPE Expert Amp Interfacing

WB8LBZ
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SPE Expert Amp Interfacing

Postby WB8LBZ » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:39 pm

I'm trying to get this working and have not had much luck. I did get the amp to follow the radio via RS-232. I have tried
DB9 DB15
Pin 5 Pin 4 Ground
Pin 2 Pin 1 TX 232
Pin 3 Pin 9 RX 232

This let the amp follow the radio band changes but put the drive level at 100 percent.
I could turn the output of the radio in the setup but I didn't want to do that just yet. I wanted to
have the drive level adjustable. I tried swapping the wires to pin 1 and pin 9 with no luck.

What are other users using?

73,
Larry, WB8LBZ
8000DLE - SN:46
El Paso, TX
good in QRZ
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w-u-2-o
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Re: 8000 DLE with SPE 1K FA

Postby w-u-2-o » Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:18 pm

I don't have an SPE amp, but your pinning seems wrong, Larry.

First, make sure the SPE is set up to receive Kenwood CAT data, and that PowerSDR is set up to advertise itself as a TS-2000.

Then the RS-232 TX output from a PC serial port is on Pin 3 of the DE9M connector on the PC. This RS-232 TX output needs to be applied to the RS-232 RX input on the SPE, which, according to Page 38 of the SPE manual, is on Pin 1 of the 15 pin connector on the SPE.

Your ground connection looks correct.

You do not want or need to hook up the RS-232 TX output from the SPE to the PC, at least not the one from the 15 pin connector.

73,

Scott
WB8LBZ
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Re: 8000 DLE with SPE 1K FA

Postby WB8LBZ » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:57 pm

Thanks for the info Scott.

I was under the impression I needed to tell the amp I was using a Flex.

I'll try the pin change. I'm NCS on the QCWA net in the morning but I'll try the changes in the afternoon.

73,
Larry, WB8LBZ
8000DLE - SN:46
El Paso, TX
good in QRZ
WB8LBZ
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Re: 8000 DLE with SPE 1K FA

Postby WB8LBZ » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:14 am

Thanks Scott,
It is working. The drive power is much less than I thought. I was thinking I needed 30 Watts and I'm using about half of that. I set the Cat tab to ID as TS-50, enabled the PTT Control and I used Com 1 at 9600-n-8-1. I have the PTT connected from the back of the transceiver to the PTT on the 1K. I changed the CAT in the 1K to Kenwood.

73,
Larry, WB8LBZ
8000DLE - SN:46
El Paso, TX
good in QRZ
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w-u-2-o
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Re: 8000 DLE with SPE 1K FA

Postby w-u-2-o » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:11 am

Good news, Larry. What did you do with the wiring of the RS232 connection?
WB8LBZ
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Re: 8000 DLE with SPE 1K FA

Postby WB8LBZ » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:49 am

I used
DB9 DB15
Pin 5 Pin 4 Ground
Pin 2 Pin 1 RX 232
Pin 3 N\C

It worked :)

73,
Larry, WB8LBZ
8000DLE - SN:46
El Paso, TX
good in QRZ
AndrewK
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7000DLE MKII and SPE Expert 1.5

Postby AndrewK » Mon Nov 29, 2021 4:08 am

I made a cable to go from the PC DE9 COM1 port to the SPE DA15 CAT port.

Settings and pinout other members have used successfully did not work for me.

Set the SPE CAT to Kenwood and tried 9600 and 4800 rate.

DE9:DA15
5 4 Ground
2 1 Rx
3 9 Tx

I have tried leaving pin 3 and 9 disconnected and also swapping Rx to pin 3 on the DE9, have not tried the jumper across DE9 pin 7&8 as no one else has reported that it was required.

In Thetis I used the CAT tab and tried all 3 Kenwood ID options.

Not sure what to do next, perhaps see if I get a signal out at the DA15 pin 1 when I switch bands in Thetis?

Cheers Andrew
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w-u-2-o
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Re: SPE Expert Amp Interfacing

Postby w-u-2-o » Mon Nov 29, 2021 2:40 pm

Andrew -- I've merged your topic with the original SPE amp topic. I've also changed the overall title to be hardware generic. It doesn't matter if it's a -10, -100, 7000 or 8000, because all interfaces are between Thetis (or PowerSDR) and the amp, it has nothing to do with the ANAN hardware.

It would seem that you have read the original topic and are trying to duplicate that work, which is a good thing.

Disclaimer: I don't own an SPE amp.

A few things to consider:

1. You don't "try baud rates". You set them to match on both devices and that's it. Other than that it should not matter.

Double check you explicitly set Kenwood and 9600 baud in the SPE CAT menu.
Double check you explicitly set the Thetis CAT instance you are using to 9600N81.

2. Per the documentation, pinning should be as shown in this thread: PC pin 5 to SPE pin 4, PC pin 2 to SPE pin 1, PC pin 3 to SPE pin 9 (DE9M on the PC side, DA15F on the SPE side). I've always been a little suspicious that 2 and 3 might need to be swapped on the PC side, but per this thread the book values seem to be correct.

3. It is very unlikely you need to strap pins 7 and 8 on the PC side, but it can't hurt to do so.

4. Are you using a USB-to-serial adapter on the PC, or an actual PCI board? In the former case drivers have often proven to be a problem. In either case making sure the drivers are correct and the interface is working is very important. Do you have any way to test this? One way is to provision two identical serial ports on your PC, wire them in null-modem configuration, and set up a pair of terminal emulators to type at each other with. Or use two PCs, same thing.

5. Selecting Kenwood TS-2000 identification in Thetis (PowerSDR) is correct, but this thread has not made clear whether the "Allow Kenwood AI Command" option is necessary. You might try that option.
AndrewK
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Re: SPE Expert Amp Interfacing

Postby AndrewK » Tue Nov 30, 2021 2:09 pm

Hi Scott,
I am using the PC serial port, not an adapter.
All the settings are correct, tried the link on DE9 pins 7&8 still no good.
Also should have said that selecting the "Allow Kenwood AI Command" makes no difference.

Today I bought a USB to RS232 converter, updated driver for Win11, No Joy.

Also on the SPE forum found a post where the Cat communication stopped for a SPE Kenwood user after SPE firmware update.
Have asked the local SPE agent to follow this up for me.

Cheers
Andrew
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w-u-2-o
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Re: SPE Expert Amp Interfacing

Postby w-u-2-o » Tue Nov 30, 2021 2:42 pm

Andrew -- now that you have two serial ports, one being the USB adapter, you could try to validate that they are working by connecting them together with a null modem adapter and using a couple of terminal emulator app's, just to be sure that's not the issue. Regarding the SPE firmware update, is it possible to downgrade the firmware to an earlier version?
AndrewK
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Re: SPE Expert Amp Interfacing

Postby AndrewK » Wed Dec 01, 2021 12:29 pm

Scott, I can not downgrade the SPE firmware, need to reinstall and SPE dont make this readily available you have to request. I will give my agent a bit of time to see what he can find first.

I will look into the null modem connection and emulator apps, have not done this before.

Thanks Andrew
AndrewK
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Re: SPE Expert Amp Interfacing

Postby AndrewK » Fri Dec 03, 2021 12:55 pm

SUCCESS

But I can not believe how much time I wasted, almost did a full circle back to where I started to get it going.

Below is the pinout working for me and is what the SPE manual specifies. Scott you also stated this.


PC DE9 : SPE DA15
GND 5 : 4 GND
RX 2 : 9 TX
TX 3 : 1 RX
7&8 looped RTS/CTS

Does not matter which Kenwood ID is selected, TS80, TS480, TS2000 all work.
Does not matter if the "Allow Kenwood AI Command" is checked or not.

Anyone interested in using the "Test Cat Commands" function below link is for the Kenwood CAT codes.
https://www.kenwood.com/i/products/info ... 480_pc.pdf

Cheers
Andrew
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w-u-2-o
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Re: SPE Expert Amp Interfacing

Postby w-u-2-o » Fri Dec 03, 2021 2:14 pm

Andrew: your published cable wiring conflicts with Larry's wiring in the first post. However it is in accordance with what I wrote above, "I've always been a little suspicious that 2 and 3 might need to be swapped on the PC side".

Or did you make a typo in your post?
AndrewK
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Re: SPE Expert Amp Interfacing

Postby AndrewK » Sat Dec 04, 2021 2:19 pm

Hi Scott, it is in conflict to what Larry wrote.

I made a second cable for a friend today and tried to replicate Larry's configuration, once again no good for me.
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w-u-2-o
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Re: SPE Expert Amp Interfacing

Postby w-u-2-o » Sat Dec 04, 2021 2:59 pm

Thanks for the confirmation, Andrew! No doubt this will help the next person to make a cable.
Bagabonz
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Re: SPE Expert Amp Interfacing

Postby Bagabonz » Sat Jan 01, 2022 8:05 pm

Hello and Happy New Year to the group!
I have a new to me Anan 7000 dle mkll. I am a fairly new ham having been a general only since last March and Technician before that in Sept. 2020.
I am trying to work out the best way to control my SPE Expert 1.5 with the 7000 and my laptop. If I understand correctly, the 7000 will control the band-switching and my pc the ptt. My laptop only has USB ports. If someone can kindly point me in the right direction or possibly link me to someone who can make the cables for me that would be much appreciated. I have the DB9 and DB15 connectors and modest soldering skills so I may be able to make them myself. My electronics and back office pc skills are a work in progress. I'm not afraid to try just not sure whats the best way to go. Thanks for the great resource!
Steve
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w-u-2-o
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Re: SPE Expert Amp Interfacing

Postby w-u-2-o » Sat Jan 01, 2022 9:00 pm

Bagabonz wrote:If I understand correctly, the 7000 will control the band-switching and my pc the ptt.

That is not correct. Did you read through this entire topic, or just tack onto the bottom?

It's actually exactly the opposite. PTT out comes from the PTT out connector on the back of the ANAN hardware. Band switching information is output on a serial port from the PC, controlled by whatever software you are using, Thetis or PowerSDR.

My laptop only has USB ports.

That's perfectly fine. You simply need to buy a USB to RS232 serial port interface cable.

If someone can kindly point me in the right direction or possibly link me to someone who can make the cables for me that would be much appreciated. I have the DB9 and DB15 connectors and modest soldering skills so I may be able to make them myself. My electronics and back office pc skills are a work in progress. I'm not afraid to try just not sure whats the best way to go. Thanks for the great resource!

Can't say I know anyone who will build the cables for you, but everything you need to know about required cable from the output of the USB-to-RS232 interface cable and the amp control input is in this topic right here. Just read the entire topic.
Bagabonz
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Re: SPE Expert Amp Interfacing

Postby Bagabonz » Sat Jan 01, 2022 10:34 pm

Thanks for your reply Scott. I have read the thread many times. My lack of experience has so far prevented me from understanding completely.
I started to make the cable from the pin outs discussed above and have made the DB15 end. I will complete the DB 9 end and acquire a USB to RS232 adapter. The RCA PTT out on the back of the Anan will then go to the Relay on the SPE I assume? I had thought the band data came from the open collector port on the Anan.
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w-u-2-o
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Re: SPE Expert Amp Interfacing

Postby w-u-2-o » Sat Jan 01, 2022 10:55 pm

Bagabonz wrote:The RCA PTT out on the back of the Anan will then go to the Relay on the SPE I assume?

Yes, that's correct.

I had thought the band data came from the open collector port on the Anan.

It can come from there, but only if you laboriously program the OC Control pins properly in Thetis setup and build a much more complex cable. Why go to all that trouble?

These days most modern equipment moves frequency data via some sort of serial data connection. Much, much easier. And since Thetis supports up to 4 serial CAT connections simultaneously, there's no shortage of connections that can be made.

It's unfortunate that some amp manufacturer's make you jump through hoops with weird cable connections. I just had to do this myself with my new amp (a KPA1500--when I get a spare minute or two I'll document what I did in the forum). It would be much better if all amp's came with a standard DE9 serial port connector, pinned properly for direct connection to a PC serial port. Heck, it would be even better if the industry would agree on a standard for network communications and we got rid of this nasty serial port nonsense once and for all. At least it's better than parallel port BCD connections like the OC control pins might be utilized for.
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oe3ide
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Re: SPE Expert Amp Interfacing

Postby oe3ide » Sun Jan 02, 2022 11:06 am

It's unfortunate that some amp manufacturer's make you jump through hoops with weird cable connections. I just had to do this myself with my new amp (a KPA1500--when I get a spare minute or two I'll document what I did in the forum). It would be much better if all amp's came with a standard DE9 serial port connector, pinned properly for direct connection to a PC serial port. Heck, it would be even better if the industry would agree on a standard for network communications and we got rid of this nasty serial port nonsense once and for all. At least it's better than parallel port BCD connections like the OC control pins might be utilized for.


I little bit off-topic:
SunSdr has introduced the TCI protocol. There are now numerous programs that support TCI. Possibly a good idea for the future to also implement TCI in Thetis ...

73 Ernst
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w-u-2-o
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Re: SPE Expert Amp Interfacing

Postby w-u-2-o » Sun Jan 02, 2022 2:49 pm

Interesting subject, Ernst. I will start a separate topic on this so this thread doesn't drift.
AndrewK
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Re: SPE Expert Amp Interfacing

Postby AndrewK » Tue Jan 04, 2022 1:30 pm

Hi Steve, as Scott said much easier to use USB/Serial adapter. I use my notebook as a backup like that, adapter is very cheap $7AUD.
I ended up making 3 cables and have one spare, unfortunately wrong country to send.

Happy New Year to all.
Andrew
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Re: SPE Expert Amp Interfacing

Postby ULTIMAX » Fri Jan 07, 2022 7:30 pm

I would like to know if anyone had any issues with the 1.3FA and the pure signal not working or working in/out
I had an LDMOS amp before and I always had issues where the pure signal will not correct at all, but as soon as I when to a ceramic tube amp it works just fine, can someone help me with this.
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w-u-2-o
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Re: SPE Expert Amp Interfacing

Postby w-u-2-o » Fri Jan 07, 2022 10:15 pm

On both my KPA500, and KPA1500, which use LDMOS output transistors, I find that turning on both the PIN and STBL options, with MAP left off, seems to work quite reliably. You will find those settings in Linearity > Advanced.

It also seems to help to increase AMP Delay in 50ns increments until you find a sweet spot, although that can certainly be subjective. With the KPA1500 I have it set to 350.

Finally, and very important, are you reliably driving up into the positive side of ALC? With the ALC Group meter selected, you want to see frequent peaks of +1 to +3. PureSignal will only kick off an adjustment when ALC ≥ 0.

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