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flex 6500 direct control of SPE 2k-FA

Michael ReidMichael Reid Member ✭✭

The Flex 6500 connects to my PC by an Ethernet cable.  The Flex rear panel USB connections are not
used.

The 2k-FA has 2 cables: 

  1. USB cable from 2k-FA rear panel to pc USB receptacle, and

  2. A proper DB15 to DB9 cable to a FTDI chip conversion of RS232 to USB and then to pc USB receptacle.

The SPE software “Term-2k-USB.exe” controls the 2k-FA as expected but frequency / band information is not passed from Flex to 2k-FA without performing a Flex Tune to utilize the 2k-FA internal frequency counter to jump to the proper band.

How do I get the 2k-FA to automatically follow the flex changes in bands, without having to initiate a Flex tune? 

Do I need to use the Flex rear panel USB receptacles, with a USB cable from Flex to the pc?  Or, the Flex USB to “USB – RS232 FTDI chip conversion to DB15 connector” cable directly to the CAT port of the 2k-FA?

Thanks for any advice.

Mike, K6DRY

Completed · Last Updated

Answers

  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited November 2019
    You can either use DDUtil, and select a port to follow the radio which will allow operation of ONE input to the amp. 
    OR

    You can use the USB cables on the back of the radio which will allow two inputs to be used (for SO2R). This also does not need a running Windows PC.

    There is another very recent (today) thread about this. I don't feel like retyping everything so if you could go there you'll find everything you need. 

  • Mark ErbaughMark Erbaugh Member
    edited February 17
    Mike,

    You want to connect  the FTDI cable to one of the USB ports on the 6500 rather than the PC. Then go into the Setting menu in Smart SDR and select USB cable. Configure the USB port as SPE Amp. I'm using the setup here and it works fine. The amp changes antenna and tuning for each band and segment within the band as I change frequency on the Flex (I have a 6700). The amp also automatically reduces the RF power setting when I switch the amp to operate as to not overdrive the amp. Consult the SPE documentation on how to set the RF level.

    I have multiple antennas for some bands (as well as port 6 on the amp is connected to a dummy load). I use Term-2k-USB to switch antennas as well as going between standby and operate. 







  • edited April 2018
    Buy the cable from Expert Linear.  I had mine made by them and it works perfectly on my 6700. Runs from a USB port on the Flex. 
  • dj3cqdj3cq Member
    edited September 2017
    as Ria said, often discussed and easy. I'm running your configuration for a long time without problems. Buy a FTDI cable, connected between the 6500 and the amp.
    Configure the 6x00 as Mark said.
    A diy cable is needed from FTDI DB9 to the amps DB15. This cable is vy simple, just rx, tx and ground.

    Works fine, the amp is following the Flex like a well educated dog should do :-)

    73, Jo
    dj3cq

  • on5poon5po Member ✭✭
    edited November 2019

    Hello everyone,
    a question for the connection spe 2fa and flex 6500
    I have a USB cable -> DB9M, ftdi
    I think it is possible to make a DB9F and DB15M adapter, to use my cable
    is my question, do you think it will work using
    db15 1-rx232 <-> 3tx 232 db9
                 9-trx232 <-> 2 RX 232 db9
                 4 gnd <-> 5 gnd db9

    Thank you for answering me

  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited May 2018
    This is correct. No other connections other than RF and RCA PTT are needed.
  • on5poon5po Member ✭✭
    edited May 2018
    TKS Ria 
    Regards 
    on5po, Janny
  • on5poon5po Member ✭✭
    edited November 2019
    I just thought of one thing,
    if in my cable usb -> DB9 ftdi the rx and tx, are reversed, how to check ??, in the adapter DB9 / 15, I have to leave them RX -> RX and TX -> TX
    You confirm me
    Thank you
    on5po, Janny
  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited May 2018

    RADIO -------------------------->  AMP

    Pin 2 (RXD)     ------------------>  Pin 9 (TXD)
    Pin 3 (TXD)     ------------------>  Pin 1 (RXD)
    Pin 5 (Ground) ------------------>  Pin 4 (Ground)

  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited May 2018
    If they are reversed just swap pins 2 and 3.
  • on5poon5po Member ✭✭
    edited May 2018
    ok, if I look at the USB connector from right to left 4-3-2-1
    what correspondence must have in my DB15 connector
    like that I could know if the crossing is done in DB9 or finally in DB15image
  • on5poon5po Member ✭✭
    edited February 17
    without shema, impossible to control because of ftdi certainly, no continuity
    is there any danger, if the rx, tx are not crossed, will I realize this?
  • Mark ErbaughMark Erbaugh Member
    edited May 2018
    Don't worry about the  USB connections. Just plug the FTDI USB to 9 pin serial adapter in directly. Then build your DB9 to DB15 adapter as Ria describes above.  The AMP is the 15 Pin side, the RADIO is the 9 pin side. Once you get it wired up, try changing the band on the Flex. If all is correct, the amp display will indicate the band change. Another thing to try is to switch the amp from Standby to Operate (use the front panel button or the terminal program). When the amp is in standby mode, the Flex power setting can be adjusted. When the amp is in operate mode, the amp sets the Flex power to whatever level you have preset in the amp setup and it can't be changed in the Flex software. If both the band and power changes are working, the and the Flex are communicating and everything should be okay.


    If you are concerned about transmitting when the amp is not ready, you can do the above tests before you connect the RF and PTT cables.
  • on5poon5po Member ✭✭
    edited May 2018
    TKS, 73
    on5po, Janny
  • on5poon5po Member ✭✭
    edited May 2018
    Hello everyone,
    I will soon have my SPE 2K, I'm still with Win 7, I7, flex version 1.9.13.89, I tried version 1.10.12 and 1.10.15, did not work, I have since returned to version 1.9 .89, and everything works fine,
    My question is the cable Db15 / USB connection spe / flex, will it work, the USB ports of my flex 6500, does it work ??
    I can not find the USB port in the setting, does not seem to support before version 1.10 ??
    is there a solution
    thank you for answering me
    73 on5po, Janny
     

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