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USB Cable weirdness with MultiFlex in V3

Gary NC3ZGary NC3Z Member ✭✭
edited April 2019 in SmartSDR for Windows
When I am running both the M front and SSDR my USB cable that drives my Elecraft KPA500 and KAT500 is getting erroneous slice data. It appears that both the M and SSDR is reporting the same Slice.

Example: If I have USB cables configured for Slice A then if I use A on the M it commands the equipment, but if I also A on the SSDR it gets commanded. Same for B.

But then there is a case when I set the cables config to work on Slice D and Slice C on the SSDR will command it. And it may change on next time I run SSDR.

Without MultiFlex it tracks fine.

Also if USB cables is configured to work with TX Slice or TX Pan it also gets confused.

As for the Active Slice option I would have thought that if the M is running then SSDR would populate it's first Slice as then next in line Slice position (e.g. If the M just had A active then starting SSDR would have B as it's first slice).

So as it stands now using the USB cable to drive an external device could become hazardous.

Comments

  • Mike-VA3MWMike-VA3MW FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager admin
    edited April 2019
    Hi Gary

    I opened a support ticket for this.

    Mike

  • Gary NC3ZGary NC3Z Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    OK Thanks Mike, wanted to make sure it was not just me and my config.

  • Andreas JungeAndreas Junge Member
    edited April 2019
    It's a feature. It reports the slice that had the "last" PTT action. 

    Hit PTT on the slice that you want to transmit on and the USB CAT reporting will switch over to the slice that had the last PTT.

    Andreas, N6NU

  • Lawrence GrayLawrence Gray Member
    edited April 2019
    I noticed the same thing.  At first I had them both on Slice A, which was I realized was not likely to work, since the TX flag was enabled on both slices.  When I put one client on A and one on B, my KAT500/KPA500 would switch bands as soon as I hit PTT.

    I tested this multiple times and it seemed to work fine.  I would prefer that it the software actually changed the TX flag of the slice, so that the slice TX flag would only be enabled in the slice that has Multiflex PTT enabled.  I think this would make the KAT500/KPA500 bandswitch as soon as the Multiflex PTT switched between clients.

    Again, this could just be "operator error" due to the lack of documentation of Multiflex setup/operation.


  • Lawrence GrayLawrence Gray Member
    edited April 2019
    I noticed the same thing.  At first I had them both on Slice A, which was I realized was not likely to work, since the TX flag was enabled on both slices.  When I put one client on A and one on B, my KAT500/KPA500 would switch bands as soon as I hit PTT.

    I tested this multiple times and it seemed to work fine.  I would prefer that it the software actually changed the TX flag of the slice, so that the slice TX flag would only be enabled in the slice that has Multiflex PTT enabled.  I think this would make the KAT500/KPA500 bandswitch as soon as the Multiflex PTT switched between clients.

    Again, this could just be "operator error" due to the lack of documentation of Multiflex setup/operation.


  • Gary NC3ZGary NC3Z Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    No it will not, that is how I discovered the danger of this. Even though we do not have a V3 manual I used the V2 are reference, when set to "Specific Slice" mode PTT has no bearing.
  • Gary NC3ZGary NC3Z Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Lawrence, can you elaborate a bit more on how you have this configed?
  • Ed.GEd.G FlexRadio Employee ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    When using multiFLEX with USB cables additional considerations need to be taken into account. Since each client can have it's own TX slice, active slice, and/or A/B slice the USB cable configuration may have to change. 

    For amplifiers (and other devices inline with the transmit path) the recommended configuration is to set the source of the USB cables to TX Antenna and assign it to the physical output that the amplifier is connected to (ANT1 or ANT2). This allows two clients to operate independently if they are using different TX Antennas just like a single client. 

    If both clients are using the same transmit antenna, the USB cable will report the frequency of the last client that transmitted. If a different client transmits (not the last transmitter) then the USB cable will report the new frequency and then transmit. In this configuration, an appropriate TX Delay may have to be set to allow the hardware to change to a new band. 

    You can also set the USB cable source to TX Slice which will function the same but it will not be dependent on the TX Antenna. This can be helpful in certain situations but for amplifiers (since they are physically connected to a TX Antenna port on the radio) the TX Ant source is preferred. 
  • Gary NC3ZGary NC3Z Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Thanks Ed, will try this combo. I was relying on info in the V2 manual as I can not find a 3 version.
  • Lawrence GrayLawrence Gray Member
    edited April 2019
    Gary,

    I tested it using 2 laptop Clients, Win7, nothing running but SSDR--no CAT or DAX on either Client.  Both using wired connections and neither using SmartLink.

    Like you, I have a KAT500/KPA500 with the USB connections directly to the Flex.

    I setup Client 1 on 20M, using my 20-SSB Global profile and using Slice A.  I setup Client 2 on 40M, using my 40-SSB Global profile, also using Slice A.  The 20M antenna is #1 on the KAT500 and the 40M antenna is #3 on the KAT500

    The KAT500/KPA500 USB cables were set on TX Slice.

    Using the MultiFlex window, I enabled PTT on Client 1.  When I pressed MOX or the foot switch on Client 1, the KAT500 and KPA500 switched bands and selected Antenna #1.  I then used the MultiFlex window to enable PTT on Client 2.  When I pressed MOX or the footswitch on Client 2, the KAT500 and KPA500 switched bands and selected Antenna #3.  So, the correct TX antenna and TX band were selected by the KAT500 and the KPA500.

    That takes care of switching to the correct TX configuration.  However, this does not address the need to provide the correct RX antenna to the "listening" Client machine.   The KAT500 is selecting the antenna used for both RX and TX in my configuration.    This not an issue with MultiFlex--it is an issue with the configuration of my antennas/antenna switching, which I need to work out.

    The USB cables appear to work fine with MultiFlex.
  • Gary NC3ZGary NC3Z Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    I was hoping for tracking without doing a PTT. *IF* MultiClient would name Slices in sequence of activation, verse have duplicate Slice A (or B) on the same radio it would eliminate the issue. 

    Thanks for your feedback.
  • Lawrence GrayLawrence Gray Member
    edited April 2019
    Or, the software could just remove the TX flag on the slice(s) when MultiFlex PTT is not enabled on a client?

    The Elecraft stuff doesn't really have an issue with bandswitching on TX, but I would prefer to have it switch when the MultiFlex PTT is enabled.
  • Gary NC3ZGary NC3Z Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Yes either way would magnify it's usefulness.
  • Lawrence GrayLawrence Gray Member
    edited April 2019
    The USB cable feature should bandswitch to the client with the MultiFlex PTT  enabled without needing to actually  TX to make the switch happen.  I tried every combination of USB cable settings and even set clients to different Flex TX antennas--no difference in operation.  I have a feeling that the USB cables feature wasn't tested very thoroughly?

    Again, we don't have much documentation, so it is hard to know how the designers intended MultiFlex to be setup/operated.

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