Welcome to the new FlexRadio Community! Please review the new Community Rules and other important new Community information on the Message Board.
If you are having a problem, please check the Help Center for known solutions.
Need technical support from FlexRadio? It's as simple as Creating a HelpDesk ticket.

Flex 6600 to SPE Expert amp, help me understand

Ed N5DG
Ed N5DG Member
New guy with questions again, I would like my SPE 2KFA Amp to follow my new 6600 . I need some help understanding how the cabling works . Ria post how the pins wire up, shown below, she calls it (9 pin USB to Serial FTDI -----> 15 pin AMP) So my question is , do I cut one end off of a USB cable a solder on a 15 pin as Ria shows ? The 15 pin connects to the amp and the 9 pin USB connects to the 6600 ?

9 pin (USB to serial FTDI) -------->  15 pin (Amp)
Pin 2 (RXD)     ------------------>  Pin 9 (TXD)
Pin 3 (TXD)     ------------------>  Pin 1 (RXD)
Pin 5 (Ground) ------------------>  Pin 4 (Ground)

I also read that I need to buy a USB to RS232 Adapter with FTDI Chipset for the data . So is this a  USB on one end and a 9 pin male on the other ?? do I need or use both of these cables at the same time ? Where does this cable connect to and from ?

Now this is easy if you know how .. So those that do , give me a hand

Ed

Answers

  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 2020
    It requires two cables, one you purchase and one you make. You can buy a USB to serial “straight trhough”cable from Flex, Mouser, or other places. It needs to have a genuine FTDI chipset inside (there are cheap knockoffs). This will have a DB 9 male end. Next you make a DB 9 female to DB15 male cable wired as Ria outlined. The DB9 male of the USB serial cable goes to the DB9 female of the cable you made and the DB15 goea to the amp. Alternately, Dan Tassle makes cables already wired from the Flex USB to the amp DB15. Dave wo2x
  • Tim W
    Tim W Member ✭✭
    edited July 2018
    Ed, I can confirm that the cable pin out provided in your message does work. I spent hours setting this up last weekend. As Dave advises, purchase an FTDI USB to serial cable (which must be known genuine).The serial end of that terminates on a 9 pin male D sub. So you make a 9 pin female to 15 pin male cable. The 15 pin male connects to one of the CAT ports on the amp. Next steps are to configure the serial port via SmartSDR and CAT setup on the amplifier. Don’t forget you also need a PTT/RELAY connection too. That can be a simple RCA male to male cable. Let us know if you get stuck and we can try to help more! Tim
  • Ed N5DG
    Ed N5DG Member
    edited July 2018
    Thank you Dave and Tim, just the information I was looking for . I have Allied  Elc about 30 mins down the road , They will have everything I need . I saved the setup information I found here in the community but if have trouble , I'll ask for help.

    Tnx Agn , Ed N5DG 
  • Mark_WS7M
    Mark_WS7M Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 2018
    Ed, you can also buy the custom cable part from Expert Linears in Texas.  Their instructions are to email Dan:  [email protected]

    He can make whatever you need.
  • Ed N5DG
    Ed N5DG Member
    edited July 2018
    Mark, yes sir , I know Dan , he's been to my house  .. I have the hundred dollars for the PNP cable but I just like doing things myself . It's part of ham radio for me 

    73 Ed

  • Ed N5DG
    Ed N5DG Member
    edited July 2018
    David , Tim W , I'd like to thank you 2 for the help with the Cable. I have it assembled and working . I went through all the bands 160 thru 10 tuning SWR at 20Khz intervals . Plus  setting the drive power for Low , Mid and Max out. My goal is to reach 3000 in the ARRL DXCC Challenge. I need + or - of the hard 150 to get there . Hopefully my new 4 slices  will give me an advantage .
    Mark , Thank you for the nice write up on setting the amp up .. the CAT and input power setting .
    73 Ed N5DG 
  • Tim W
    Tim W Member ✭✭
    edited July 2018
    Ed,

    Thanks for being a gentleman. Always happy to help from this end where possible. I've only had my Flex for a few weeks now, so it was a real deep dive to get that connection to the SPE working. I will say that it's proven quite reliable so far, considering the amount of data that flows between the amp and SSDR. Whomever implemented the "logging" function to view the data on the FDTI cable did us a great favor!

    I have my 6400 on input 2 of the amp and my Icom 7851 on input 1. The SPE 2K is a good amplifier........
  • jan
    jan Member
    hello all
    have some amateur,s hier a schematic off the whole story
    we go from usb flex 6xxx serie,s to db 15 connector
    why do we neet the FTDI USB to serial cable ???
    with my old ic 7700 only neet a 3 wires gnd rx tx cable
    and alc cable and a tx relay cable
  • Not sure exactly what you are asking.

    The back of the Flex has two USB ports. There is no serial port. You need a USB to serial cable to

    connect from the Flex to the serial port on the amp. In order for the Flex to recognize the adapter it must use the FTDI chip. Prolific chip cables will not work.

    Dan Tassel makes a presided cable for the Flex to SPE amp

    Dave wo2x

  • Patrick
    Patrick WH6HI KauaiMember ✭✭✭

    As David said, no serial available. You need the FTDI USB. When you plug into the flex USB and the SPE Amp open the Flex USB IN settings, name it, enable it. Then in the SPE go into the config and select Flex . Works very well. Also I use the SPE CABLE from Dan, and the 2KFA app. The app requires another USB connection to the computer to allow Flex/comp/amp communications and control. Added feature for Dan’s cable allows the Flex to control power on/off function. Never hav to touch the amp. Allows fail safe power control of the Flex/Amp.

  • Hi Patrick, I’m interested in Dan’s cable’s ability to switch the Amp’s power on and off. I made my own cable up from the Flex USB connection to the 2K-FA incorporating a FTDI USB to DB9 cable and, as long as I leave the main 2K-FA main rear switch in the ON Position (up), the SPE app will Switch the AMP on and off. Does Dan’s cable do it differently or perhaps switches the the entire amp off?

    I operate 100 percent remotely and I’m wondering if Dan’s switching arrangement might provide some additional benefit for unattended service or other safety issue. In addition, any potential saving of power could be helpful as the remote site is 100% solar powered.

    Any further details would be very much appreciated.

    Winston VK7WH

  • Patrick
    Patrick WH6HI KauaiMember ✭✭✭

    The amp is switched by the radio, when you press the on/off button. Remember I also use the SPE 2KFA app. Not sure how you would do the amp control functions. I would do a phone call to Dan, pick his brain on remote opps.

  • The penny has finally dropped, Patrick. I see it now. 13.8 Volts is probably being supplied from the Flex auxiliary connector when it is turned on and then supplied to the SPE aux connector to turn the amp on. I now recall reading a post along these lines some time ago. I will scope this out to verify the details. In the mean time I can continue to use the my remote PC to do the job, via the installed SPE App.

    Thanks for your heads up

    Winston

  • Bob KC9RF
    Bob KC9RF Member ✭✭

    Ed

    I had posted the cable wiring a while back but couldn't find the link. Have uploaded my old article on Expert cable wiring and setup. pages 1-4

    Have Fun

    Bob KC9RF

  • Steve...
    Steve... Member
    I want to use my SPE 2K-FA with a 6600M. Since the SPE operates with two radios in SO2R, I need a two such ports / cables, one for each CAT input on the SPE..

    Is it possible to use a single FTDI USB adapter that provides four RS232 ports, then wire two of the ports as above to the CAT port inputs on the SPE, one for each radio?

    Or should I make two such cables and use two USB ports on the Flex, one for each radio?

    Or is there an even better way?

    Tnx!

    Steve...K3SW...
  • Steve...
    Steve... Member
    I want to use my SPE 2K-FA with a 6600M. Since the SPE operates with two radios in SO2R, I need a two such ports / cables, one for each CAT input on the SPE..

    Is it possible to use a single FTDI USB adapter that provides four RS232 ports, then wire two of the ports as above to the CAT port inputs on the SPE, one for each radio?

    Or should I make two such cables and use two USB ports on the Flex, one for each radio?

    Or is there an even better way?

    Tnx!

    Steve...K3SW...
  • Steve...
    Steve... Member
    I want to use my SPE 2K-FA with a 6600M. Since the SPE operates with two radios in SO2R, I need a two such ports / cables, one for each CAT input on the SPE..

    Is it possible to use a single FTDI USB adapter that provides four RS232 ports, then wire two of the ports as above to the CAT port inputs on the SPE, one for each radio?

    Or should I make two such cables and use two USB ports on the Flex, one for each radio?

    Or is there an even better way?

    Tnx!

    Steve...K3SW...
  • Steve...
    Steve... Member
    Sorry for the multiple posts! System was very very slow so I clicked three times it seems!

Leave a Comment

Rich Text Editor. To edit a paragraph's style, hit tab to get to the paragraph menu. From there you will be able to pick one style. Nothing defaults to paragraph. An inline formatting menu will show up when you select text. Hit tab to get into that menu. Some elements, such as rich link embeds, images, loading indicators, and error messages may get inserted into the editor. You may navigate to these using the arrow keys inside of the editor and delete them with the delete or backspace key.