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Remote Footswitch - How to (LAN/ VPN solution)

Mike va3mw
Mike va3mw Member ✭✭
edited June 2020 in New Ideas
First, I want to thank Al, K0VM for this solution.  He provided it just as I needed it.

I operate remotely 99% of the time, however, when I don't have my Maestro handy, I still want my foot switch.  

This works for SmartSDR CAT both with and without SmartLink running (updated since previously written).  mkw - 03/2019

Using CAT and SSDR, it is very simple to make a remote footswitch.

Take any RS232/USB adapter that is recognized by windows.  Check in Control Panel to make sure you can see it.  In  my case, it was Com80 (I need to clean up some ports :) ).


image

Now, with that running, head over to CAT and Create a New PTT entry.
  • Serial Port - Existing - this means you are using a physically installed port on your computer (RS232/USB adapter)
  • CAT COM: - the same port you set up above
  • RTS is selected
  • Polarity - Active Low
image

Lastly, you need to know make up an adapter for your foot switch (or hand switch).  

Wire your foot switch to:

Pins 7-8 if you select RTS above
Pins 4-6 if you select DTR above.

If you can't solder, these are a quick solution.
image


There you go.  Now, when you push the footswitch, the radio will go into TX while running SSDR remote from the radio.

Again, thanks to Al for the idea.

Mike va3mw
3 votes

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Comments

  • WX7Y
    WX7Y Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 2020
    CAT does work through SmartLink. 
    DAX doesn't work!

    WX7Y

    image

  • Mike va3mw
    Mike va3mw Member ✭✭
    edited September 2017
    Thanks!  I stand corrected.  I should have know that.  :)  

  • Marc Lalonde
    Marc Lalonde Member
    edited April 2019
    This is also a solution  ,i use it trough  SoftEther VPN   ,this way DAX work for my USB mike

    https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/usb-ptt-foot-switch

    Marc  VE2PN
  • John WA7UAR
    John WA7UAR Member ✭✭
    edited November 2018
    Just documenting that DAX now does work through SmartLink after its recent update (also xDax and xCat work too on the Mac side of things)
  • rgracer
    rgracer Member
    edited November 2018
    I have run into the same problem using my USB mic. I’m not sure what type of cables to use for the above mentioned fix. Do I need another RS-232 type plug to plug into the end of the USB to serial adapter? I’m assuming that this plug then goes into the accessory plug on the back of the flex. In the documentation it says that pins 7 and 8 are both grounded. I’m quite confused. Any step-by-step help would be appreciated. Thank you, Richard W6RIG
  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager admin
    edited December 2018
    Richard

    You need a USB/RS232 cable to plug into your laptop.  The foot switch would connect to this device.  

    No hardware plugs into the radio as this is for remote operating and you  use our CAT control to send the PTT command to the radio.

    Have a look at the instructions above for the step by step layout.

    Mike

    image
  • rgracer
    rgracer Member
    edited November 2018
    Thank you.
  • Larry _ NY8T
    Larry _ NY8T Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2019
    Anyone else having issues with this remote microphone keying solution after ver. 3 upgrade?

    6700 aready tried a factory reset.

    Some times it will key, some times it will not and some times it will key and stay keyed until re keying and un keying the trigger.
  • Dudley  WA5QPZ
    Dudley WA5QPZ Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    Make sure you connected SmartCAT to your remote PC , in the selection window at the top.
  • Larry _ NY8T
    Larry _ NY8T Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Yes that has been done, I run remote 100% of the time in the living room. i can go back to v 2.49 and all is good again. Something seems to be unstable now with v 3.
  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager admin
    edited April 2019
    Let me open a support case on this for you.
  • WX7Y
    WX7Y Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 2019
    Same here Michael 2.49 works fine
    Bret

  • Goran Andric
    Goran Andric Member
    edited August 2019
    Hi! I would like to use my primary PTT input connected to radio as PTT sliceA and when using "this external USB ptt input" to set TX on sliceB. Would this work?
  • WX7Y
    WX7Y Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 2019
    Should work but not sure if the USB foot switch can produce a DTR / RTS closure because the USB foot switch is made mainly for music applications I think.
    At present version 2.5.1 and 3.0.27 CAT port PTT has a bug that sometimes causes problems. Flex seems to think and makes sense that there needs to be a debouncer put on the PTT switch in software.
    I use FRSTACK for the Remote serial port PTT which works perfect, Not sure it will work with a USB Foot switch but it sure works great with the USB adapter Serial port so there you go.
    Good luck and hope it works 

    Bret
    WX7Y
  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager admin
    edited August 2019
    Hang on Bret.  Yes, this does work as described (not a USB musical foot switch) but a simple mechanical foot switch like we use for radios.    Yes, FRStack works great. 

    The debouncer bug is not related to everyone.  I tried for hours to recreate it, but I could. not.  And, this was on 2 different computer and multiple FTDI and non-FTDI USB serial devices that were connected to the foot switch.

    Goran

    In CAT, when you create the PTT Serial port on an Existing serial port, you have to specify which VFO slice it is attached to.  You then may or may  not want to turn Auto Switch TX Slice on or off.  You will have to test it to see if it works the way you wish.

    For the actually 'real' PTT lead on the radio, it will always key the radio slice that has the active TX focus.   

    I hope that makes sense.

    Mike




  • Goran Andric
    Goran Andric Member
    edited August 2019
    HI!

    I found in my old docs that I used sometimes http://www.telepostinc.com/downloads.html LP-FootSwitch2 which transleted one Com to another for my remote PTT at those times...maybe this could be anwser. Will let you know as soon I test it at my friens place.  73CUL

  • Gary W9GD
    Gary W9GD Member ✭✭
    edited December 2019
    Larry,

    I ran remote just fine with 3 different PC'S , since ver 3 upgrade non of them work with the remote cat port . I keep looking for a post of a solution. Just using the MOX button and mouse to get bye for now.

  • Mark_WS7M
    Mark_WS7M Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2020
    With todays released 3.1.11 this foot switch works about 2/3 of the time.  The other 1/3 of the time the radio seems to key,  The MOX button turns a color but grays out and there is no audio from USB PC Mic.

    Let up on the foot switch key again and you might just get it audio and all.

    Disappointing as I wanted to use this tomorrow.

    I will likley try implementing my own and use FRLogger to send the TX.
  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager admin
    edited May 2020
    Mark, if you go back to 3.1.8 does it improve?

    You can also  use FRStack for remote PTT.

    Mike 
  • Mark_WS7M
    Mark_WS7M Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2020
    I haven't had time to check going back to 3.1.8.  I might take a look at FRStack but it would probably take me 5 minutes to make this work in FRLogger.
  • Joel Lobão
    Joel Lobão Member ✭✭
    edited May 2020
    Hi have the same problem with V2.61. Please let me know if you find some solution
  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager admin
    edited May 2020
    I gather you are using the com port method like I drafted above?  

    I don't see the same issue.  I wonder if I am doing something different than you that I might be able to test.  

    Mike
  • Joel Lobão
    Joel Lobão Member ✭✭
    edited May 2020
    I tested with FRStack and work fine. Could be some problem with SmartSDR CAT. Thank you Mike.
  • Richard - W1RW
    Richard - W1RW Member
    edited May 2020
    I am having the same problems as Mark-WS7M above regarding... 

    The MOX button turns blue but the letters "MOX" gray out and there is no audio from PC Mic but the panadpter shows the radio is being keyed but nothing is going out.

    Let up on the foot switch key again and you might get it to work correctly.  I'm using Version 2.6.1

    When it does work, the MOX button turns blue and the letters "MOX" are white and not gray.  (By the way, there are no loose connections and he mic works fine.)

    Any suggestions to get this working more consistently other than using FRStack or other third party programs (no offense intended, I do like FRStack)?

    Could it possibly be some type of de-bounce with the foot switch closing on and off.  It seems only the foot switch.  I have another desk switch and I can't get it to happen with the desk switch.
  • Mark_WS7M
    Mark_WS7M Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2020
    I went to using FRStack because it is reliable.  I do feel this is a bug in SmartCat or its linkage to SmartSDR however.
  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager admin
    edited May 2020
    I find it interesting that some people have an issue and some it works without issue.   Odds are that if it was a problem in SmartSDR CAT, then everyone would see this failure.  This is why I am looking elsewhere for the solution.

    If you check in your advanced settings on the physical COM port (in Device Manager) and under Flow Control see if you have it set to Hardware, after all, that is the RS232 levels we are using.    I can't test mine at the moment.  

    Also, for those that are having an issue, what is the Chipset of the physical COM port you have the foot switch connected to?

    Thanks in advance.

    Mike

  • Joel Lobão
    Joel Lobão Member ✭✭
    edited May 2020
    I also have this problem. My desktop have a rs232 port. With FRStack work good. I set flow control to hardware and the problem continue. It work sometimes, but other time fails.image
  • Joel Lobão
    Joel Lobão Member ✭✭
    edited May 2020
    Another curiosity, in FRStack only work with CTS High, but in the SmartCAT is with Active Low.
  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager admin
    edited May 2020
    What Chipset is your device?  Prolific?  FTDI?

  • Joel Lobão
    Joel Lobão Member ✭✭
    edited May 2020
    Where can i see that? The chipset is on motherboard.

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