DDUtil/Method to control Amplifier

PaulManc
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DDUtil/Method to control Amplifier

Postby PaulManc » Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:07 pm

Trying to find a way of connecting my Anan to a friends amplifier. If succesful, he will be upgrading to a 7000DLE MKII himself.

Currently using Thetis 2.6.9 / Com0Com / DDutil 3.2.6.22 to get my logging software (log4om). The amplifier is from Poland SPert1200 and it seemingly has a DB15 on the rear for connecting in for band decoding (below)
BandDecode.PNG
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It would seem a physical connection cable needs to be made but best from Anan OC or DDutil LPT and how do we go about that please?

TIA
Paul
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w-u-2-o
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Re: DDUtil/Method to control Amplifier

Postby w-u-2-o » Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:53 pm

You don't need DDUtil or com0com to do this.

You do need a real serial port attached to the PC running PowerSDR (or Thetis). That probably means buying a USB to serial adapter.

You will need to make a cable that connects TXD to RXD, RXD to TXD, and GND to GND. Three wires is all you need. You can look up the pin assignments for the PC side via Google very easily. For the pin assignments on the amplifier connector you will need to refer to the amp manual.

After that, go into Setup > CAT and choose one of the four available CAT instances to assign to the COM port on the PC, and set the baud rate and other serial parameters per the amplifier manual.

On the amp make the settings that necessary to process Kenwood band data over it's serial port. Again you'll have to refer to the manual.

I an English manual even available for this amp?

I'm curious what your friend paid for it.
PaulManc
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Re: DDUtil/Method to control Amplifier

Postby PaulManc » Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:23 pm

Attached the manual (now in English).

Photo of the rear of this one below

IMG_9656.JPG
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The specification of the amp was to be able to use remotely. As such the USB plug is a serial connection and came with a cable USB>DB9M which can be plugged into an RS232 to ethernet. I have managed to get it connected to the PC like you said with a cross over cable and serial to USB and the PC gave it com9. This however is ONLY for use with their pc software not to communicate by CAT

App.PNG
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So, it still needs another cable making from what I can gather from either the Anan OC using BCD or possibly DDutil using LPT. This is where im now lost. It is in the manual for CAT using TRX DB15.
Remotetrx.PNG
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Any help gratefully RX -TIA
Attachments
SPert1200HYDRO_English.pdf
(364.33 KiB) Downloaded 8 times
Paul
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Re: DDUtil/Method to control Amplifier

Postby w-u-2-o » Wed Sep 30, 2020 1:45 am

Wow, that manual is a train wreck of a translation! :shock:

However, again, there is absolutely no evidence that you need to use anything other than RS232 serial CAT. No need for OC outputs or DDUtil.

Looking at the manual, it would appear that you can use RS232 serial connections to the Kenwood signals marked in green on either the DE15 or DE9 connectors on the back of the amplifier. The manual is not clear on three points:

1. If these are normal RS232 levels.
2. If you can use those signals interchangeably on the DE15 and DE9 ports.
3. If TX and RX assignments are relative to the amp or the PC.

The easiest thing to do is to simply try it just like I described in my post above. Set up a serial port on your PC. Assign it to one of the CAT instances in PowerSDR/Thetis. Match the baud rate and other settings on both the PC and amp side, and set the amp to Kenwood CAT. You may need to use a null modem configuration on the TX and RX data line connections--only experimentation will determine this because the manual is not specific enough.

It would appear that you will be able to use the remote control app and the CAT connection simultaneously using two separate COM ports. That's a really neat feature. I can do something similar with my Elecraft KPA500, it's quite wonderful.

What Ethernet to serial device server are you using? I use a Moxa Nport here. Great stuff!

P.S. it would appear they are using some sort of Arduino, Pi or similar in the amp, and that the USB port really is a USB port but they reserve it for use by only a compatible USB to serial adapter cable.
PaulManc
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Re: DDUtil/Method to control Amplifier

Postby PaulManc » Wed Sep 30, 2020 7:24 pm

Thanks Scott.

The feedback from the Author is " the serial port in the amplifier is only for communication with our software. Bands can be changed in BCD, ICOM (voltage) or Kenwood (after CAT). Depending on the selection in the INTERFACE tab in the amplifier menu"
He is controlling his amplifier by a SUN trx using BCD commands and the DB15 TRX Remote plug on the amp.
sunsettings.PNG
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I have tried setting the amp interface to Kenwood and in Thetis using com9 but nothing happens when band switching.

I am not using the Serial to ethernet (it was only supplied IF remote outside local was required). Scott, the one supplied is USR-TCP232-302 small box (see below). I am using a serial to USB lead as mentioned to test Kenwood CAT. It would seem I need to connect to the DB15 to get CAT working and if Kenwood is the flavour, then ok.
box.PNG
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Currently, my buddy is using a 7300 from the Accessory port to the DB15 plug, it controls everything from that. The DB9 on the rear of the amplifier is connected to the SPert 1200 external tuner that sits on top.

TIA
Paul
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w-u-2-o
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Re: DDUtil/Method to control Amplifier

Postby w-u-2-o » Wed Sep 30, 2020 7:42 pm

This entire mess sounds like an "English as a second language" problem. It would appear the amp supports three different serial ports based on the previous discussion and your latest post:

1. The USB port, configured with a USB to serial adapter: for use with their software only.

2. The DE9 port: for use with their tuner only.

3. The three Kenwood serial lines provisioned on the DE15 port: this must be the Kenwood CAT port.

So still absolutely no necessity to use OC outputs or a BCD interface. If you've got the parts, whipping up a quick, 3-wire test cable with a DE15 on one end and a PC-compatible DE9 on the other should take about 5 minutes with a soldering iron. The only question is the sense of the TXD and RXD pins--you may have to swap them in the cable.
PaulManc
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Re: DDUtil/Method to control Amplifier

Postby PaulManc » Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:52 pm

Thank You.

I used Google for the translator so not the authors fault :lol:

I'm sure I have some spare 9&15pin plugs at work so tomorrow evening I will do as you say. BTW Is that a straight thru cable you refer too ? Of course I will need to use the serial to USB cable as I no longer have a PC with that and no serial PCI !

Thanks for the guidance. Will feedback soonest.

Good evening.
Paul
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Re: DDUtil/Method to control Amplifier

Postby w-u-2-o » Wed Sep 30, 2020 11:14 pm

Technically not straight through since the pinning on the two connectors is different. However, if you mean TXD to TXD vs. TXD to RXD your guess is as good as mine. You may have to try both.
PaulManc
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Re: DDUtil/Method to control Amplifier

Postby PaulManc » Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:43 am

Yes I meant TX>TX etc. OK will follow your lead. I will of course be using the Serial to USB cable as I have no other way.

Thank You.
Paul
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Re: DDUtil/Method to control Amplifier

Postby K9RX » Thu Oct 01, 2020 12:11 pm

It is unfortunate but the DCE vs. DTE format is not always followed on devices.

[these tests are done with the amp not connected to anything on the RS232 lines]

So ... It's easy to determine which is which - TX vs RX.... use a meter - assuming you know which pin is ground (test to chassis if you don't know - not guaranteed but likely connected) put the black lead (-) on this pin. Then with the amp on and being careful check the other pins using the red (+) lead - the ones you suspect as either TX or RX. If RX it will be at 0V .. if TX it will be at -5 or lower. The RS232 spec is minimum -5 and max -12 ... if they're using an FTDI part it's going to be in the -8 to -9 range. (there are other RS232 driver chips that output closer to 5V, I prefer the higher voltage for higher margins). Knowing which one is TX you can then tell which one is RX (I'm assuming they're marked at least as TX and RX).

Then on the PC side, if you have a USB to Serial converter (I HIGHLY recommend a Keyspan/Tripplite USA-19HS as MANY of the USB convertors out there are not reliable for old fashion serial comms due to block size and timeouts), and it is a DE9 9 pin connector (not DB!) then pin 5 will be ground. You can confirm, once again, which pin, 2 or 3, is TX by checking the level. The one that is a negative voltage (of at least -5V) is the TX from the PC.

Finally connect the PC's TX to the amps RX and vice versa.

As a side note: when testing a female connector grab a short wire piece cut off a resistor or capacitor to insert into the hole of the female connector. If the wire is really thin tightly fold it in half to double it up for about 1/4" (6mm) and insert it - touch the probe to this.

If you document this on the amp side mark the TX (the one you measured as negative) as "TX TO PC" and the RX as "RX FRM PC". On the PC side mark it as "TX TO DEVICE" and the RX "RX FRM DEVICE".

[NOTE: as Scott pointed out it MIGHT be that these are not RS232 signals (which by definition are ± voltages), they might be just serial TTL levels in which case you'd measure, probes set up as I described, +5V on the RX signal and 0 on the TX signal ... you'd need to either connect this to another set of TTL Serial OR get a device that allows TTL input and has RS232 output]

Gary
K9RX
PaulManc
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Re: DDUtil/Method to control Amplifier

Postby PaulManc » Thu Oct 01, 2020 8:23 pm

Thank you Gary for the very cool explanation and tips.

I have asked the maker to clarify a few things Scott, his kind reply is below.

The amplifier has no USB - it's just a socket like USB. There are TX and RX signals in it as for RS232. Through this port you can:

- connect to SPertControl on the local computer (at the amplifier)
- connect to SPertControl on a computer outside the amplifier's installation location via a modem that acts as a cable between two RS232 ports. This cable is the Internet

We connect the transceivers to the DB15. All radios except Kenwood, which does not produce transistor amplifiers, work with the amplifier (band selection) in BCD (Yaesu, Elecraft, Anan, SunSDR etc.) or voltage (Icom, small Yaesu) systems. For Kenwood, we had to add some CAT controls. Additionally, ALC and PTT are needed. On some radios all these signals are in one socket, then one cable between the radio and the amplifier is enough. PTT and ALC are brought out both on the DB15 and separately on the CHINCH sockets. They are the same signals, they can be connected anywhere more conveniently.

The parallel port only has the ability to set levels 0 or 1 on the outputs D0 to D. This is often used to control amplifiers, antenna switches and other devices. These outputs are configured in the software itself (logging, competition or remote control). The D0, D1, D2, D3 outputs can be used as equivalents of the ABCD code as in Anana or SunSDR. Hence the table I sent you. DDUtil also has the ability to control via LPT, this is often described as an antenna switch driver, but works exactly the same as the band switch in the amplifier. The bands are coded in the bcd code: 1 - 160M, 2 - 80m, 3 - 40m ...... 9 - 10m, 10 - 6m, respectively. The table in SunSDR gives a negated BCD because in the amplifier all ABCD outputs are at a high quiescent level. To get a low level they are rolled to the ground.

In ANAN, you need to connect ABCD to ABCD in the amplifier, program the levels as in the table to the SunSDR I sent you and connect the PTT. If there is no ALC (there is no SunSDR), the output power is generated by adjusting the input power from the radio from 0 to 20W.


TIA
Paul
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w-u-2-o
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Re: DDUtil/Method to control Amplifier

Postby w-u-2-o » Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:45 pm

The maker does not understand that ANAN radios (really PowerSDR/Thetis) speak Kenwood CAT.
PaulManc
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Re: DDUtil/Method to control Amplifier

Postby PaulManc » Sat Oct 03, 2020 6:16 pm

If you've got the parts, whipping up a quick, 3-wire test cable with a DE15 on one end and a PC-compatible DE9 on the other should take about 5 minutes with a soldering iron. The only question is the sense of the TXD and RXD pins--you may have to swap them in the cable.

I thought I had the hardware to make a cable......thanks to ebay we have the stuff coming this week so will update the thread.

On the DB15 Pins 6,7 & 14 it says Kenwood (OTRSP) - Not sure if that OTRSP affects anything
In Thetis CAT control do I need to tick anything for it to work with the device.

Again TIA
Paul
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w-u-2-o
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Re: DDUtil/Method to control Amplifier

Postby w-u-2-o » Sat Oct 03, 2020 11:59 pm

That means Open Two Radio Switching Protocol. Not sure how it is relevant here.

Nothing special to tick, just set up the CAT instance properly.

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