Serial port for logging and amp control

WB8LBZ
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat May 13, 2017 3:59 am
Location: El Paso, TX

Serial port for logging and amp control

Postby WB8LBZ » Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:42 pm

Almost 10 years ago, I had a Flex 3000 and used DDUtility for interfacing interfaces external to the radio. I'm using AC Log and have an SPE FA-1K amp I would like to use. Suggestions and advice are welcome.

73,
Larry, WB8LBZ
8000DLE - SN:46
El Paso, TX
good in QRZ
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w-u-2-o
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Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:47 pm

Re: Serial port for logging and amp control

Postby w-u-2-o » Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:56 pm

Larry,

Unless you need some specific feature of DDUtil, you do not need it to interface PowerSDR mRX to any logger or amp.

PowerSDR mRX is capable of connecting to up to 4 serial ports, virtual or real, simultaneously (Setup > CAT Control > CAT and CAT+).

For your logger, assuming it is running on the same computer, you will need to install some sort of virtual serial port software. The three most common choices are com0com, VSPM and VSPE. I like VSPE the best even though it costs a few bucks (I find it the most stable, and it can create "splitters").

For your SPE you will need to provision an actual hardware COM port, either USB or a PCI card. For SPE configuration I suggest you start a thread in this forum: viewforum.php?f=15, it would be really great to have a thread there on SPE setup.

73,

Scott
WB8LBZ
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat May 13, 2017 3:59 am
Location: El Paso, TX

Re: Serial port for logging and amp control

Postby WB8LBZ » Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:01 pm

Thanks Scott.
I'm using the amp with an Icom 9100 and the CIV port for band change. I will go with the serial port on the back of the amp for control and the logger will do the changes in the control program.

73,
Larry, WB8LBZ
8000DLE - SN:46
El Paso, TX
good in QRZ
User avatar
w-u-2-o
Posts: 1739
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:47 pm

Re: Serial port for logging and amp control

Postby w-u-2-o » Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:04 pm

Larry,

Be advised that the SPE amp has two interfaces that are of interest to you: the USB interface (really just a USB serial port), and the actual DB style serial port. I don't have an SPE amp, but if I remember correctly you use the DB style serial port for CAT control, and the USB connection is used for the SPE remote control application, but I may have that reversed. You don't need the remote app, obviously, but it's pretty cool to have the SPE front panel up on your PC screen while operating!

I hope someone with an SPE amp can chime in here.

73,

Scott
HK4L
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Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:59 pm

Re: Serial port for logging and amp control

Postby HK4L » Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:52 am

Hi Larry, you can control the SPE Expert directly from the computer through the Expert's DB15 connector related to the radio rtx1 or rtx2 you are connected to i.e. CAT1 or CAT2 and this is the option of choice better than DDutil. This is the connection I'm using.
You must use the diagram in page 38, sec 12.5 of the manual. It is a simple serial 3 wire connection.
Once you have the physical connection, and you have created a virtual com pair, you must define one side of the virtual pair, in the openHPSDR setup, CAT+, define speed and 8n1, same as you will be using in the amplifier. The corresponding end must be defined in the Expert's options CAT menu. Define the radio as a FLEX. If everything is ok the Expert must start following the Anan, band change and frequency. Next step is to program the drive power in the Anan for each band and power level of the amplifier. Follow the procedure in the same Manual's section 12.5. This is a very important function specially if the radio hasn't an ALC signal input, like the Anan 200D. The DDutil can't do that. The driver levels remains in the Expert memory.
You can also connect the Expert to the radio instead of the computer, but I haven't tried it yet.
In the CAT+ menu of the openHPSDR you can define two more cats for logging and lets say wsjt.
Hope it helps.
Best regards
Luis F.
HK4L
WB8LBZ
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat May 13, 2017 3:59 am
Location: El Paso, TX

Re: Serial port for logging and amp control

Postby WB8LBZ » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:10 am

Thanks Scott and Luis,
That is how I'm driving it with the Icom through Cat1.

73,
Larry, WB8LBZ
8000DLE - SN:46
El Paso, TX
good in QRZ

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