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USB to Serial Adapter for antenna switch controller

edited October 2019 in SmartSDR for Windows
I would like to interface a Flex 6600 with a 2x6 antenna switch controller using the built-in USB port on the radio. 

The antenna switch is a KK1L 2x6 controller: http://kk1l.com/kk1l_2x6switch/

The USB to RS232 Adapter w/FTDI chipset for connecting rig to antenna controller is: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07589ZF9X/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

When I plugged in the USB-to-Serial cable into the radio, it was immediately recognized.  Great!  I set up the USB cable to be a "BIT" cable, and enabled all the pins with the trigger corresponding to the band the active slice was set to on the radio. Checking the voltages on the RS232 end of the adapter cable, I expected to see almost all the pins be high voltage.  Instead, only a few pins were high and the rest were ground.  Have I misunderstood how these BIT cables should work?   

Answers

  • Kari Gustafsson SM0HRPKari Gustafsson SM0HRP Member ✭✭
    edited October 2019
    Hi, is the switch of RS-232 type or BCD/BIT decoded? If the latter you need the other - not RS-232,- type of USB cable adapter.
  • Harold RoseeHarold Rosee Member ✭✭
    edited October 2019
    Grant,

    You will not see what you are thinking at the end of an RS-232 cable.  It transfers serial data and would be used as a CAT cable to am amp or some other CAT controlled device.  When you plug in into the controller you could probably measure it at the outputs to the relay board on your controller board.

    To see what you are thinking, individual bits, it would take a bit cable like this one Flex sells:

    http://cart.flexradio.com/USB-to-Parallel-adapter-for-the-FLEX-6000-series_p_1001.html


    I didn't look that closely at the controller board you have but if it accepts the DB9 end of the cable you reference it should work.

    I use a regular USB A to B cable plugged into this board:

    https://www.amazon.com/SainSmart-Eight-Channel-Relay-Automation/dp/B0093Y89DE/ref=sr_1_20?crid=1G2LN...

    It's plugged into the 6600M and switches as a bit cable turning on whichever relay I set it to in the USB menu.  There is a lot of info here if you search for it.

    Also I use this relay board.  He makes them in different combinations.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/KIT-4-1-remote-antenna-switch-DIY-cheap-SO-239-KIT/261669572320?hash=item3c...

    He makes a 6 position also.  Great kits and he ships quickly.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/KIT-6-1-remote-antenna-switch-for-SO-239-complete-KIT-without-the-box-and-S...

    It appears you are wanting to do 2 radios and I am not sure how that will work plugged into the flex.

    Hope this helps.

    Harold
    W5ZZT




  • edited October 2019
    It is BCD/BIT decoded.  I understand now.  Thank you for the reply.
  • edited October 2019
    Harold, thanks for the detailed response.  I understand now that I didn't select the cable adapter necessary to do what I want.  I think my options are to purchase the Flex USB to parallel cable (pricey), or USB A to B plugged into a Sainsmart relay board (or something similar).  I am familiar with these boards and they work great.  I use a pair of them to control some Dunestar band pass filters. 

    Currently, I can control the antenna selector box directly from the PC using LPT ports and a logging program such as N1MM or Logger32.  However, I was hoping to have the Flex radio control the antenna controller directly.  The advantage would be avoid having the PC handle it.  Also, I could get away from using LPT cables and switch over to more modern USB.  Finally, the SSDR USB bit cable is very easy to program and could be easily modified if my antenna selection options changed in the future. 

    However, I'm not sure there is a low cost way of interfacing the antenna controller to the Flex radio which doesn't involve pricey converter cables or additional relay boards. 
  • LZ2BELZ2BE Member ✭✭
    edited October 2019
  • edited October 2019
    Boyan, thank you for the tip.  I will check these cables out.

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