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What Cable to use to connect ACOM 1200S amp to Flex 6400M?

ldcarson
ldcarson Member ✭✭
Evening everyone - I contacted FLEX, no help as it is third party issue for them. So I have this great radio but not sure exactly what I need or how to hook it up. Some posts say configure like a Kenwood, others detail buying a female to female DB9, cut it in half, buy another DB9 (Null modem) reverse pins 2 and 3, add ground and viola, FLEX has a USB DB9 cable on their website but unknown if it works. IS there anyone out there that can tell me WHAT I need to make this work. Just looking for what specifically I need, and some help on the how as I would like the AMP to be controlled by radio etc...(What goes where as I don't want to fry anything)
Thanks

Best Answer

  • Jeff Schwartz
    Jeff Schwartz Member ✭✭
    Answer ✓

    The USB - DB9 serial converter from Flex is required, or some other brand with an FTDI chipset.

    A DB-15 to DB-9 cable is required from the 1200s to the USB -DB9 cable from Flex. If you buy a cable from DX Engineering for a Kenwood transceiver you will need to reverse Pins 2 and 3 on the DB-9 end of the cable. If you don’t want the struggle of changing pins 2 and 3 from the pre made cable the other non solder option is to insert a DB-9 / DB-9 Null Modem cable between the DB-9 connectors coming from the 1200s and the Flex.

    This works fine with our club setup with the 1200s and the Flex 6400M. You can see the set up at WC7WB on QRZ.com. You can email me at: [email protected] for any more required information.

Answers

  • BTW, if you want to make your own cable use the Kenwood diagram off the ACOM website but again, you must reverse pins 2 and 3 from their diagram in order to work with the Flex radio.

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin

    We don't have OEM amps to test with, but my guess is the setup is the same at the KPA500 from Elecraft.

    It is outlined in this document.


    Since you are dealing with low voltage signals, you can easily test without the Null Modem. It will either work, or it won't. You will need to make sure the baud rate is configured correctly on both the radio and the amplifier end.

    9600 is plenty fast enough as the data being exchanged is trivial.

  • I had let Val know at ACOM the wiring requirements for the Flex radio interface sometime in the past when I was doing my cables for the 2000A as well as a 600s I once had and then a 1200s most recently. As far as I know they never updated their cable diagrams to include the Flex radio on their website.

    If the cable is wired for a Kenwood radio it will not work with Flex unless a null modem cable is used between the two cables or the p DB-9 plug is rewired as mentioned previously. if a null modem is not used no harm comes to the radio but it will not work. Been there done that

  • ldcarson
    ldcarson Member ✭✭
    Thank you Mike and Jeff. OK now I I have a place to start putting together some the items needed which I will start on right away.
  • ldcarson
    ldcarson Member ✭✭
    Jeff - Is this the Cable you were talking about the FLEX USB to DB9 Converter?
    https://www.flexradio.com/products/usb-to-serial-adapter-for-the-flex-6000-series/
  • Yes. That the cable Flex sells that will work with your setup. DX Engineering sells a pre made cable for Kenwood that will work with an additional null modem cable. The part number is: DX Engineering Transceiver to Amplifier Interface Cables DXE-ACOMSS-KWD


  • ldcarson
    ldcarson Member ✭✭
    Thank you...Got them ordered....
  • To keep it simple with no soldering required you need three cables: The DXE-ACOM-SS-KWD cable, a DB9 null modem cable and a Flex USB - DB9 serial adapter cable.

  • ldcarson
    ldcarson Member ✭✭
    HI Gang - Finally got all the cables in but still cannot get this thing to work. Got the Flex USB cable, got the DB9 null modem cable, Got the DX engineering kenwood cable, I have tried all known settings in the AMP (ACOM 1200S), does anyone have the exact setting that should be set. Currently am set for TTL Command set 3, 9600Baud, radio is set for 9600 Baud and it show CAT error. In fact the only time the error clears is when I select voltage, but then amp locks up on 10.230 mhz? Tried a different null modem cable same issue. Thoughts?
  • Thomas PA1M
    Thomas PA1M Member ✭✭
    [{"insert":"Hi, you have to use the db15 connector on the back of the amplifier. Not the DB9 connector which is used for instance for retrieving log / error files. Then using USB cables with 9600 bd and the nul modem cable it should work. I believe you have to use command set 5 with the Flex. Hope this helps a bit. The above by memory when I did this a few months ago for a local ham. \n"}]
  • ldcarson
    ldcarson Member ✭✭
    edited January 5

    Yes I have the DB15 connector from the Kenwood cable connected to the Amplifier. The other end (DB9) is connected to null modem cable, then the FLEX USB to DB9 is connected to the DB 9 side of the null modem then USB to FLEX. I just reset to command 5, 9600 0 byte spacing, and 300 polling set for TTL, verified radio is at 9600 8,N,1 flow=none. Stumped as I checked continuity on all cables except the USB flex cable. Thanks for your input. Will keep trying.

  • Thomas PA1M
    Thomas PA1M Member ✭✭
    I had to inverse the two wires to the db15 connector. This was not correct on the schematic. I made my own cable. 83’ Thomas
  • ldcarson
    ldcarson Member ✭✭

    Well touch wood, its working now. Still shows a captioned "CAT ERROR" but it changes band, i can tune up on external tuner and testing is showing good wattage going out. Now to actually try and make a contact and see how it sounds. Thanks everyone. Just a quick question, is it normal to have the CAT ERROR display but the system work?

  • ldcarson
    ldcarson Member ✭✭

    Spoke too soon, still no band switching.

  • Thomas PA1M
    Thomas PA1M Member ✭✭
    CAT error we see pretty often but it works even with these errors. No solution found for these errors yet. Would be great to geven them resolved.
  • ldcarson
    ldcarson Member ✭✭

    OK think it is sorted. It does allow band switching but only after the tuning process and it does show a constant CAT error message. Out of curiosity, has anyone used ACOM director plus?

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