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Band Data

Bob G   W1GLV
Bob G W1GLV Member ✭✭
Does FRS know what scheme they are going to use to provide Band Data? I'm sure that many people are interested to know this and when.

Answers

  • Steve-N5AC
    Steve-N5AC Community Manager admin
    edited June 2020
    We are expecting to provide it as a 4-bit band data or individual bits per band, your choice.  As for when, we've been working on this internally and are prototyping, but I can't yet tell you when we'll have something in your hands.  As soon as we know more, we'll come back here and provide some details.
  • Bob G   W1GLV
    Bob G W1GLV Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    thanks, appreciate it.
  • k0eoo
    k0eoo Member ✭✭
    edited March 2017
    Hi Steve, It would help us all if FRS could make the band data scheme be as compatible as possible with existing amps, switches and the like....  Oh, and before I forget, THANKS for the GREAT radio!!
  • Steve-N5AC
    Steve-N5AC Community Manager admin
    edited June 2020
    Post your favorites (schemes) here and we'll do our best. Also please note if you'd be interested in testing before we release.
  • k0eoo
    k0eoo Member ✭✭
    edited March 2017
    From what I've been able to discover over the last week or so, most tranceivers on the market, except ICOM, use the 4-line BCD format (the Unified Microsystems plan).  ICOM uses a single line with band data represented by a voltage between 0 and 8V.  The manual download from this link http://www.ameritron.com/support.php?productid=ARI-500 has quit a bit of information on the subject....  Thanks for asking.


  • James Kennedy-WU5E
    James Kennedy-WU5E Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016

    can't wait - looking forward to it.

    Jim WU5E

  • Bob G   W1GLV
    Bob G W1GLV Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Steve, I think the 4 bit band data would probably be the best way to go.
  • Roger Rockwell/na4rr
    Roger Rockwell/na4rr Member ✭✭
    edited February 2017
    Where is it going to be ?  On the acc connector?

    Roger
  • Greg
    Greg Member ✭✭
    edited February 2014
    That's what I am trying to figure out. Needs to be direct from the radio I would think. And hopefully more than one so we can control amps and antennas. I look forward to one day soon to take the micro ham stationmaster out of the equation even though it works well.
  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited March 2017
    It's not clear whether "providing band data" means there will be a hardware solution included or not.  It could just be that the data will be available from the software via an API call or other means.     

    Eventually a hardware solution will be needed to connect the various peripherals that need the data.   As Greg mentioned, ideally this would be either directly from the radio or from a dedicated micro controller connected to the radio.  There are a number of previous posts on this subject and some of the potential solutions.  Here is one of the posts:

    https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/looking_all_over_for_band_data

    We'll need to wait for further clarification from FRS to understand the scope of what is planned. 

    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com




  • Greg
    Greg Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    To me this sounds like a perfect use for one of the USB ports on the back of the radio.  A smallish USB dongle with two or three sets of isolated BCD data signals and one CIV output.  Even a step further and  include a 12V relay driver for two sets of 6 outputs (antenna switches) one set for each SCU.  Or just one set of 6 and be able to connect two dongles, one for each SCU.

    73
    Greg

  • Ernest - W4EG
    Ernest - W4EG Member ✭✭
    edited January 2015


    I support that ide!

  • Sergey R5AU
    Sergey R5AU Sergey Member ✭✭
    edited December 2017
    Hi All, what can be easy instead DDutil + http://www.ebay.com/itm/SainSmart-8-channel-12-V-USB-Relay-Board-Module-Controller-4-Automation-Robo...  for some body who are looking for HW solution, work properly, do we need anything else ? I am using it for external BPF with SO2R
  • K1UO Larry
    K1UO Larry MaineMember ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Hi Sergey,  Yes..there are numerous 'solutions' and workarounds but all require additional external software and or Hardware to use.  I think many are looking for as much interfacing to be provided by the Flex6700 as possible..at least I am. I.E CW Skimmer, Band Data (via usb interface is ok :-)), FSK etc.
     For sure there are many really good external 'solutions' to connect to the F6K series available... but all add to the complexity and are still workarounds at this point.
  • Greg
    Greg Member ✭✭
    edited April 2017
    Hey Sergey!  I agree...in the shack when running computers that is sufficient.  But many expect to remote this radio as I do from another room on my LAN (diff building).  So dedicated hardware connected directly to the radio would be the best solution.

    Are you controling the USB relays with DDUtil?

    I have the USB setup and a 12 port Ethernet version but have not done anything with them  yet.
  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited April 2017
    Hi Sergey,
    I also use DDUtil currently to control my amp, bandswitch, etc.   It is a good program, works well and I'm glad to have it.  But there is a drawback.  It requires a local PC running Windows.   PCs can lock up, need periodic rebooting, and may require remote logins to manage them or launch programs.    

    The stated long term vision for the 6000 is to connect to the internet for remote capability and to remove the need for a local PC, (i.e the "computer in the middle").   See snapshot.  Most of us have station peripherals like amps, band switches, etc.  If we are not going to use a PC then we need some other way to control them.   Even if you just want to operate your radio from another room or out by the pool, it would be better to not have to rely on a PC to control your peripherals. 

    Eventually (maybe many years away) I think most peripherals will support being network attached.  In the mean time I think a good solution is for someone (FRS or some enterprising third party) to build a dedicated peripheral controller.  It could attach to the 6000 via the network or the usb port or the accessory port.  It could provide all of the various protocols and connectors (usb, serial, CIV, BCD, ethernet, relay contacts, etc).  Rather than put all of the legacy protocol software in the radio, put it in the external dedicated controller.  Rather than building a number of dedicated hardware solutions in or attached to  the radio, put them in the external dedicated controller.  

    Sort of a like having "DDUtil in a box."  
     
    Sorry for being long winded....hihi 

    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com

    image

     
  • Sergey R5AU
    Sergey R5AU Sergey Member ✭✭
    edited April 2015
    Well Greg, i used multiple HW with F6799, where reason to prevent any cable exhange or other switches, yes, a main multiplexer is DDutil which driving with my Solid state: 2k-fa, via additional FTDI usb->com, driving external prselector and driving external Bandpass filters for SO2R. Hownestly speakin i am vouting too for some USB dongle for 6000 with different kind of the output data. Larry you are right with Skimmer as one of the most wanted feature, however with FSK, i guess no big reason for implementation of that with separate input for keying, better solution to use DAX for it with RTTY mode, where SW of the 6000 will detect freq. of generated into DAX signal(ex. RTTY) with further syntezing crystal clear RF signal for transmission, i think in this case user will be more flexible with remote setup.
  • Sergey R5AU
    Sergey R5AU Sergey Member ✭✭
    edited May 2015
    Al, i am fully with you for middle and long term perspectives where radio with PA should be an separate unit of staff with complete remote access and remote usage of them, any SW on PC side for the moment a temporary solution, some add-on usb microcontroller base unit for band data management can be successefully utilized for connectivity to other RF units for remote control.
  • k0eoo
    k0eoo Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    If I understand the slide bullet correctly, the only issue I see with a PC in the middle is most low cost Amps, like the ALS-600S and many others do not have a PC interface.  If they  did we wouldn't have an issue today and wouldn't need BCD band data....  DDUtil could do the interfacing like it does for the high price spread....

    For this to work don't we need a direct connection from the amp controller to the F6000 via the ACC connector....  Or something like that....
  • Bob G   W1GLV
    Bob G W1GLV Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    i second the idea.
  • Roger Rockwell/na4rr
    Roger Rockwell/na4rr Member ✭✭
    edited February 2017
    I wouldn't like to go to a 3rd party for something as basic as Band Data to control an amp

    roger
  • Bob G   W1GLV
    Bob G W1GLV Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    The ALS-600 does have direct connection with a radio via the ARI-500 interface, which works very well. Personally I would like to dump DDUTIL from my software arsenal. 
  • Greg
    Greg Member ✭✭
    edited February 2014
    Not me.  DDUtil is great to use while in the shack.  

    Another function I would like to see on a dongle would be serial data on a DB9 connector for at least rxd, txd and ground for passing (one way only) outbound serial data.  This would be great for things like auto tuners that can follow frequency data and auto band change.

  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    At one point I was looking at using the BCD capabilities from DDUTil for my DX2400 amp.  I ended up using a different method but here are some notes Steve / K5FR sent me on how to do it.  This may be helpful for interfacing the ALS-600s.

    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com

    Q- Is there support to interface the DX2400 using DDUtil for the BCD band decoding using a parallel port?

    A - You will have to fab your cable as the DX2400 plugs are not common.  The protocol is BCD (4 wire) and you will need a parallel port on the PC to drive the band switching on the amp. I'll dig out my owner's manual to get the plug pin out and send a follow up message with the pin connections. 73, Steve K5FR

    DDUtil setup is as follows:
    1) Enable the parallel port on the Ports tab.
    2) Select your port number from the list if you have a motherboard port or see this link if you have an add-on card.
    http://k5fr.com/Docs/PortAddr.htm
    3) Load a data file on the BCD tab. The default data file provided with DDUtil is the correct one.
    4) Setup the Auto Drive feature.
    http://k5fr.com/ddutilwiki/index.php?title=AutoDrive

  • pa0bie
    pa0bie Member
    edited February 2014


    Band data is important. But a 4 bit code ??   As I wanted to see at the band tabs not only 136 and 477 KHZ but also a again a GEN tab , it is not flexible enough.  With DDutil You can only control one USB-8 relay board.  Sometimes I need also the infomation wich antenna and wich mode I have in use on a partically Slice. That is why it is would only be possibble with a micro-processor controlled external interface connected to the I2C bus on the acc. connector.

  • k0eoo
    k0eoo Member ✭✭
    edited March 2017
    Thanks Al for the comment about using DDUtil for the BCD data, never thought of that....  I use the parallel port/.BCD output from DDUtil to drive my remote antenna switch but I see no reason at this time, why that wouldn't work for the ASL-600S or other amps as well....  At least until FRS gets something going so we can plug directly into the radio....
  • Stan VA7NF
    Stan VA7NF President Surrey Amateur Radio Communications Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016


    Steve,

    As you were mentioning 4-bit band data, I was considering what may be needed for transverter operation.  There are 18 ham bands including 2M and up (2M because the XVTR port must select a power amp). 

    Meanings such as on HF:
    1-11:  Main power amp bands 160 through 6M
    12-13: RX only (GEN1, GEN2)
    14-15: Potential special "out of band" TX user (USR1, USR2)
    0:      Undefined or "Figure it out by frequency sampling"

    Then for XVTR, assuming ONLY ONE transverter, the same 4 bits could be re-used such as:
    0       No mapping (0-77) 
    1       No mapping (0-77 + 135-165) 6700/6700R only
    2-6    High IF transverters (220, 430, 902, 1240, 2300)
    7       High IF Other - i.e. Manual select - No automation

    8       Reserved
    9       Low IF transverter for 144
    10-14 Low IF transverter as 2-6
    15     Low IF Other - i.e. Manual select - No automation

    This usage prevents these same 4 bits being used concurrently for multiple HF, or a mix of HF and XVTR.
     

    The whole scheme falls apart as there may be up to 8 slices requesting concurrent HF + transverter setup(4 high band and 4 low band); unless there is direct communications with each HF and transverter device such as a IP, CAT, separate cable, or on the coax as DC pulses.

    My view is the 4 line band switching has no value as soon as multiple outputs are required (Ant1, Ant2 and/or XVTR which counts as many outputs) except for backward compatibility. 

    Respectably and 73
    Stan 

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