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Anyone Using SmartSDR for Mac with a Q5 5-band Transverter supplied with band data via USB Cable?

W6RWC
W6RWC Member ✭✭

I'm experiencing some very weird settings persistence and band switching issues with SmartSDR for Mac (1.9.02 on MacOS 10.15.7 and 11.3.1), using a Q5 5-band transverter, and a USB Bit Cable sending band data from the Flex 6500 to the Q5.

So far, I've:

Wired up a FTDI C232HM-EDHSL-0 USB cable to the 15-Pin D-Sub connector on the Q5 Transverter.

Set up the USB Cable in the Mac SDR client with the following configuration, and enabled it:

  • Type: "BCD"
  • Freq. Source: "TX Slice"
  • Type: "bcd_vbcd"
  • Polarity: "active low"

I've set up all 5 bands in the "Transverter" setup screen, and set appropriate settings for each band.

The transverter is wired to the radio and antenna as required for operation, and I've set the appropriate settings in "TX Band Settings" so that the transverter will be keyed by the RCA TX1 port on the back of the radio when an appropriate band is transmitting through the transverter port (along with other settings).


With this, I have a working transverter that will transmit and receive on the configured bands. Until I don't...

I've noticed that when I change bands (say from 2m to 70cm), the transverter doesn't always switch bands. Upon troubleshooting, I'm finding that the BCD cable settings in "USB Cables" are being changed by something. I've seen the Polarity swapped, the Type reassigned, seemingly at random. Sometimes both having been changed. I also notice that when I try to reset them, sometimes only one change will take effect, and I have to make the change, close out of the setting dialog... only to reopen the cable config dialog again, to make a subsequent change.

A second "failure" mode appears when the cable configuration isn't changed. In such a mode, going in to the "USB Cable" configuration shows correct settings. To restore proper function, I have to flip one setting to a new state (like inverting polarity), and then changing it back... the transverter instantly changes bands.

I'm also experiencing some oddities around the "Transverter" setup window. Specifically, I'm seeing the name of bands swap around between the rows. As an example, the 2m label and the 23cm label swap, and when I select 2m in the band selector, the 23cm band is shown in the panadaptor. I've also noted Max Power and RX Gain settings getting mixed up, during troubleshooting, and when this happens, each setting has to be fixed one at a time, with the dialog being closed out, and then reopened to make a subsequent change.

Has anyone else experienced these oddities, or am I one of the few using this combination of hardware?

I have no idea if this issue is also present on the SmartSDR for Windows client, as I'm unable to use it.

Any tips, tricks, or pointers welcome.

Robert - W6RWC

Best Answer

  • W6RWC
    W6RWC Member ✭✭
    Accepted Answer

    Closing this out... after working with Marcus (DL8MRE), it seems that I ran in to an obscure bug in the transverter setup screen within the Mac client, that will be fixed in version 1.9.03.

    It also appears that the USB Cables issues is a bug in both Mac and Windows clients (and may be an issue in the radio itself?). The fix on the Mac side will also be in 1.9.03.

Answers

  • Tim VE6SH
    Tim VE6SH Member ✭✭
    edited May 30

    Robert

    Let me check my settings (I am using a Maestro) with the Q5 and the USB Cable. I had to play around with the settings before it worked (I think I changed it to "active high"). I am away from the radio for a bit. Will check later today.

    73

    Tim VE6SH

  • Tim VE6SH
    Tim VE6SH Member ✭✭

    Yes, confirmed using a Maestro I was able to get the cable working by selecting the same parameters you have, but used "active high".

    Tim VE6SH

  • W6RWC
    W6RWC Member ✭✭

    That's where I landed as well. It's working flawlessly after setting "active high" and getting the client Mac update.

  • Tim VE6SH
    Tim VE6SH Member ✭✭

    Yes, confirmed using a Maestro I was able to get the cable working by selecting the same parameters you have, but used "active high".

    Tim VE6SH

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