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SteppIR controller autotrack has stopped working.
6500, SSDR 2.8.1, SteppIR SDA-100 controller, Flex USB/serial adapter, Windows 11 22H2
So autotrack was working fine, just as it has for the past several years until yesterday when the SteppIR autotrack function stopped autotracking. (The controller remains in autotrack mode but it has stopped following the flex VFO.)
The USB CAT cable log shows the following:
21:59:39 (TX): IF000000000000010+0000000000010000000;
21:59:40 (RX): IF;
21:59:40 (TX): IF000000000000010+0000000000010000000;
21:59:41 (RX): I
21:59:42 (RX): F;
21:59:42 (TX): IF000000000000010+0000000000010000000;
21:59:43 (RX): IF;
21:59:43 (TX): IF000000000000010+0000000000010000000;
21:59:44 (RX): IF;
21:59:44 (TX): IF000000000000010+0000000000010000000;
This continues unchanged no matter what freq is dialed in. I haven't attempted to decode the CAT message but it sure looks like it's just null data. I had been running v2.7.6 and upgraded to v2.8.1 just now hoping that would shake things loose, but to no avail. Any thoughts before I submit a ticket?
Frank / WA3NHK
Post a screen shot of the Flex USN cable settings.
Here you go, Dave. Thanks for taking a look at this.
73.....Frank / WA3NHK0
On the SDA-100 setup menu, check the transceiver settings match the baud rate and set it for "Kenwood."
Yep, I just verified that these settings are still in place from when I stood-up the system a few years ago. I think my issue is that the 6500 is sending null CAT data out the USB/serial convertor.
It appeared to me, looking at the log, that the SDA-100 was not making a frequency request....Therefore, I suspected a problem on that end.
Just asking to make sure: you are using the top DB9 connector.
Also, check to make sure, on the Flex end, you are configuring the correct FTDI USB cable. Remove the cable from the Flex, and you should see the cable number disappear. Plug back in, and it shows up again.
Set Auto Report to enable and test.
Hi again, Alan.
My take on the log is that the SDA100 is indeed requesting the VFO frequency. That's what the "IF;" query is doing. Per section 4.4 of the Flex CAT s/w user's guide (SSDR CAT version, 09 July 2018), the reply from the radio should be "IF" followed by the data defined in the table on page 39. But in my case the IF reply is just null data. Doesn't seem right, but I have no idea how the radio would have transitioned from the "working" mode to the "hosed up" mode. I can't correlate the fault to any action or event.
Check on the top DB9 connector. Also, at your suggestion I unplugged the USB adapter and watched the "USB Cables" settings transition to a faded checkerboard with the data greyed out. When I then restored the cable the settings display transitioned back to normal.
I just enabled auto-report. (What does it do?) No change in behavior. The CAT traffic in the log is still just null data out of the radio. And the SteppIR controller is still showing "elements home" with auto-track enabled.
21:17:34 (RX): IF;
21:17:34 (TX): IF000000000000010+0000000000010000000;
21:17:35 (RX): IF;
21:17:35 (TX): IF000000000000010+0000000000010000000;
21:17:37 (RX): IF;
21:17:37 (TX): IF000000000000010+0000000000010000000;
Open a Help Desk ticket.
I do not have a SteppIR but worked with my friend in Hawaii to get the SDA100 controller to work with Node Red. We needed to use the SteppIR supplied jumper cable between the USB to serial cable and SDA100 Data Out.
Check page 12 of the Flex USB cable guide (link above). It refers to the SteppIR S12 cable. The guide gives pinouts of the cable. It uses only pins 2, 3, and 5. Also on SteppIR end jumper pins 7 & 9. No other pins.
Looking at SteppIR site the Interface cable guide mentions using the S12 cable with Flex and connecting to Data Out instead of Data In.
I think having all 9 wires connected may be causing the problem with the SDA100. SteppIR mentions there are non-standard signals on the remaining pins out of the SDA100.
Maybe also give SteppIR a call to confirm connections.
Concur on the ticket. Will do. BTW, I do have the S12 cable installed. Like I said up front, the system has been working fine for the past several years without a problem until it decided to stop working all of a sudden. So I'm sure my hardware configuration is good.
Thanks and I appreciate your time on this. Alan's, too.
73.....Frank / WA3NHK0
Just to be sure, with the S12 cable and USB to serial from radio, you are connected to Data Out? From what I read on SteppIR site, that is preferred connection with a Flex 6000 series radio as the S12 cable is wired null modem from their description.
Have you tried backing up your profiles anf factory reset of radio? You’ll need to reconfigure the radio USB.
Just a thought.
I'm connected to the Data-In port, just as I have been for several years. Can you point me to where on the steppir site it says that Data Out is preferred? I looked thru a couple of documents and couldn't find anything.
BTW, I was working with Ken at the help desk. He was a bit stumped as well. Fortunately, after yet another full cold-start reboot (DC power cycled) a miracle occurred and the CAT port started sending valid freq data. No clue as to why. A factory reset was my next step but for now I'll leave things alone until it happens again.
I have 6600 SDR v3.4.23. DB-36 SDR100. Used the Autotrack feature for years with K3 and 7610. Didnt use it for a year or so and cant get Autotrack to work on 6600.
Read all these msgs and in compliance, Hooked up a TS-2000 to data in and data out on SDA100 but no luck.
This leads me to believe the SDR100 is the problem
Using S12 cable.
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