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Antenna Genius Control

Is a Flex radio the only LAN control for the Antenna Genius?

Here is my situation. I have an Elecraft K4D. The K4 provides CAT control to a TGXL and BCD to the PGXL. Frequency is read by the TGXL and band data is read by the PGXL. I would like to add an Antenna Genius to the system and have it controlled over the LAN.

I assume this cannot be done because the CAT control to the TGXL is read-only by the TGXL and the information is not forwarded. The Windows application for setting up the AG uses a LAN interface to talk between the station computer and the AG. My read seems to be that logging software that broadcasts CAT information could be used by the AG, but I cannot confirm.

I really want automated antenna selection and using the OM module relays to have taps changed on my vertical feed inductor at different frequency thresholds.

Is this possible? If so where can I get info on how to do this?

Thanks,

Rick N0YY

Answers

  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator

    Use PG XL 3.8.4 (or newer) and TG XL 1.1.20 or 1.2.11 (or newer 1.2.x). In TG XL under Genius Integration tab check PG XL and enter IP of PG XL. Enable Band A only (if using port A, otherwise Band B Only).

    CAT from K4D to PG XL. Use straight DB9 with gender changer. Enable CAT in PG XL for correct port and set to Elecraft 2 and correct baud rate.

    Run BCD from K4D to AG using custom cable (N6TV can make cables and Y box if need3d). On AG set DIP switch 1&2 for port A or 3&4 for port B for BCD (check AG manual).

    Amp get freq, band and mode via CAT from radio.

    TG XL gets freq from amp via LAM, AG gets band from radio via BCD.

    NOTE - custom BCD cable only uses 5 wires and pinout is different on each end.

    Dave wo2x

  • Rick N0YY
    Rick N0YY Member ✭✭

    Dave,

    Thanks for your answers. You did clear up the point of where CAT is integrated.

    My real issue is that BCD control for the AG falls short of what I am trying to accomplish. Here's the scenario:

    A - I have an 80M vertical that requires frequency referenced switching. e.g. 3500 - 3600 = Match #1, 3600 - 3750 = Match #2, and 3750 to 3850 = Match #3. 3850 - 4000 is Bypass. I wanted to use frequency bounds to drive the OM module relays for the different Match solutions.

    B- I have two different bands where I have two antennas. I want to be able to manually select which antenna (per band) using the Windows app.

    Neither of these are available using BCD control of the AG. From what I can tell the frequency info stops at the TGXL and the AG only has auto band switching.

    If I understand your response correctly it requires a Flex radio to do what I want - LAN control of the AG.

    Thanks,

    Rick N0YY

  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator
    edited January 16

    Hi Rick,

    probably requires LAn control as only one BCD code pattern per band.

    I’ve done it using Node Ted to read radio frequency along with the AG API and defining custom bands foR 80.

    We have a Groups.IO group for Node Red and ham radio. Do a Google search foe

    Node Red ham radio

    It ia not supported by Flex but I will help you get going with it there if you like. Early on with my K4D when I had one, I used Node Red to have the AG follow K4D without need for BCD.

    Dave

  • Rick N0YY
    Rick N0YY Member ✭✭

    Dave,

    I knew there was a work around! Let me ponder the Node Red solution. I'll admit that my approach to SO2R is relay logic based but the potential to simplify the rat's nest of wires is appealing.

    Thanks for providing the appropriate background info. I'm going to change some of my cabling to move the CAT interface from the TGXL to the PGXL and let the LAN work between them. I had hoped that the AG would follow that lead for non-Flex radios.

    Rick N0YY

  • KI5RLR
    KI5RLR Member ✭✭

    Do you have any sort of tutorial on the cable? I want to make 100 percent sure I have this correct before I throw this B2BCD in the trash and never look back.

  • n8wrl
    n8wrl Member ✭✭
    edited January 25

    I am trying to do this very thing. In my case, I can get frequency from DXLab's Commander. I want to send that frequency via the LAN to my AG.

    I will dig into the NodeRed stuff to see if that helps me. I need to learn about the "AG API", but the only thing I can find online is the github link that covers configuration, not actual control, if that makes sense.

    Dave, are you saying you can send TCP/IP commands to the AG telling it what frequency is in use? That's what I'd like to do...

    73

    -Brian n8wrl

  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator

    I have taken radio frequency, then have a frequency to band converter, take the band info to select proper antenna. Advantage is you can custom define bands if you have two antennas on a band (one for CW portion, one for SSB).

    There are also hardware available to take CAT or CI-V and provide BCD out.

    Dave wo2x

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