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Palstar HF-Auto

Tim VE6SH
Tim VE6SH Member ✭✭
Is anyone using the Palstar HF-Auto and DDDUtil? I followed the tutorial prepared by Dave WO2X, and downloaded the HF-Auto program, but cannot connect it to DDDUtil.

The setup box for HF-Auto in the "other" tab of DDDUtil is missing (I have the latest version of DDDUtil). I have searched the help pages for DDDUtil, but cannot find any reference to this issue.

Any ideas?

73

Tim VE6SH

Completed · Last Updated

Answers

  • Paul - K6HR
    Paul - K6HR Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Hello Tim, The manual for the HF-AUTO says the COM port is for firmware updates. My DDUtil has nothing for the HF-AUTO, and I believe it never has...If the port on the HF-AUTO has been repurposed, I'd like to see those details if you don't mind.
  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 2020

    Download the latest DDUtil released on 12/24. Version 3.2.0.5.01 is latest.

    The setup guide for using the HF Auto tuner, DDUtil, and W1TR's HF Auto app are available here..http://k5fr.com/binary/Palstar%20HF%20Auto%20Setup.pdf

    Dave wo2x

  • Tim VE6SH
    Tim VE6SH Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    Thanks Dave!

    73

    Tim
  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 2020
    You are welcome!

    And thanks to Terry W1TR and Steve K5FR for their excellent apps.

    Dave wo2x
  • Paul - K6HR
    Paul - K6HR Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Fantastic new addition for Flex users! Thanks K5FR, W1TR and WO2X!
  • Tim VE6SH
    Tim VE6SH Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    Yes, thanks to all! Works very well!

    73

    Tim
  • Tom K3TF
    Tom K3TF Member
    edited March 2017
    Tim,

    Which model of the Palstar HF Auto do you have? The original design by Kessler had an analog cross needle meter on the front. This model can be programmed to change settings via the RS232. The new design, been out about a year, has no analog meter but rather has a large LCD display which shows Power and SWR. The new model has an RS232 port but only used to update the firmware. 

    My Palstar HF Auto is the newer model and my understanding is you can not control it via the rs232. Unless some wrote new firmware for it, which I sure would be interested in.

    Please let me know,
    Tom....


  • Tim VE6SH
    Tim VE6SH Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    Tom

    I have the new model from Palstar. Follow the link above from Dave. You need to run the latest version of DDDUtil and the  HF-Auto program from Terry.

    73

    Tim
  • Tom K3TF
    Tom K3TF Member
    edited March 2017
    Tim,

    Thanks, that is great news. I have been getting tired to pressing the tune button every time I change bands.

    Tom....

  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 2020
    The original was the AT-Auto, not HF Auto Dave wo2x
  • Tom K3TF
    Tom K3TF Member
    edited December 2016
    Dave,

    Your right. My bad.

    Tom.....

  • N3WWL
    N3WWL Member ✭✭
    edited July 2017
    I followed the directions on the above link but have been unsuccessful. I have a 6300 and a new Palstar HF Auto with version 2.36. I downloaded and installed W1TR's HF Auto application as well as DDUTIL. I think the HF Auto application is working but I can't seem to figure out DDUTIL. The link mentions something about N1MM+ which I don't have. Am I required to download and install that to get things working also? Frankly, I'm not overly savvy. I'm completely confused. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 2017
    Jay, contact me via email. My callsign at Arrl.net Will be easier one on one. 73 Dave wo2x
  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 2020
    For those that are wondering, here is what I sent privately to Jay. This info should be a good troubleshooting guide to get DDUtil and the HF Auto working with the 6000 series radios.NOTE - When changing bands on the Flex it is necessary to move the VFO knob to get the radio to send out the FREQ info to DDDUtil. One of the quirks I found.


    Dave wo2x

    **************

    Here’s a few things to check first:

    After installing DDUtil, make sure you select Signature Series for radio type. It should see the 6300 and in the title bar of the main DDUtil program it should show your operating frequency and mode.

    In the Others tab of DDUtil you need to enter the actual LAN IP address of your PC (you can go to start/run and type CMD, then in that window type IPCONFIG. It will show you the LAN IP address (probably starting with 192.168. Type that address in the HF Auto area and also put port 12070 and check enable.

    Now I use HF Auto app version 2.0.0.8 since I do not need the extra features in 3.2.0.5, although you can use either version. There is a known issue with 3.2.0.5 where it will sometimes crash with a .Net framework error. Terry has said the bug is there but he has not gotten time to address it yet.

    You need a physical com port from your PC to the HF Auto tuner. It can be a port on the PC (built-in or a add on card) or a USB to serial adapter. I prefer not to use the adapter since it ***may*** be subject to RFI, although the RTS-03 that RT Systems sell are fine. In the HF Auto program change the view to 7 to see all the fields you need to modify. Towards the bottom half of the app you enter that serial port number (Under where it says Antenna) then click the disconnect button. It should go red and say connected. Now the app is talking to the tuner.

    Next you need to modify the HF Auto config file in two areas the first area allows DDUtil to talk to the HF Auto app via UDP XML packets. Here is the section from my config

    [Network]

    UDP_Broadcast=192.168.9.255:12080 127.0.0.1:12030    ; UDP Broadcast Address / Port List

    UDP_Receive=12040 12060 12020 12070 8000                    ; UDP Receive Port List (addr 0.0.0.0)

    USER.CAT_Source=DDUTIL                          ; Source Name in GUI for User Defined CAT Info

    USER.XML_DocName=DDUTIL                   ; XML Document Name for User Defined CAT Info

    USER.XML_FreqField=FREQ                         ; XML Field Name for User Defined CAT Frequency In

     

    Notice I added 12070 as a port and changed USER.CAT_SOURCE and USER.XML_DocName to DDUTIL

    Last, you need to edit the BANDS section to allow the HF Auto program to know how to operate. Since my Yagi is a 5 band Yagi and resonant on 10,12,15,17 & 20 meters  and I use a G5RV dipole for 30 meters and lower plus 6 meters mine is fairly simple. I defined three entries I called Low (1.830 to 13.9oo MHz), High 14.00 to 30.00 MHz) and 6m (49.9 to 54.0 MHz).

    The Low and 6m are set to select the G5rv and put the tuner into AUTO mode (so it will tune).

    The HIGH range is set to choose the Mosley TA-53M 5 band Yagi and puts the tuner into BYPASS mode since the antenna is resonant.

    If you have multiple antennas and receive antennas for out of band, etc, this section can get complicated. If you are using only one antenna and want to have the tuner in circuit all the time then it is very easy. The key is the name for that entry, the start and end frequency, the mode of the tuner (AUTO or BYPASS) and a name for the entry (what shows up in HF Auto app.

    Here is my entry for BANDS. Please note the punctuation between each field on each line. BTW, any line starting with ; is a comment line and no action is taken on that entry.

    ;===============================================================================

    ;               BANDS

    ;===============================================================================

    ; NOTE: These Rules are for Example Only - for W1TR Installation

    ; User Must Create Appropriate Rules for Their OWN Individual Installation

     

    [Bands]

    ; Rules are Applied in the following order

    ; <Band>=<LowFreq>,<HighFreq>,<ANT>,<MODE>,<Antenna>

    ; NOTE: <Band> must be a unique identifier among all the rules

     

    Low=1830,13900,ANT1,AUTO,Dipole

    High*=14000,30000,ANT3,BYPASS,Yagi

    6m=49900,54000,ANT1,MANUAL,Dipole


    Last, you need to have the following checked in the HF Auto app.

    image

     

    This should be enough info to get you going.

  • N3WWL
    N3WWL Member ✭✭
    edited July 2017
    Successfully operational with Dave's assistance. Thanks Dave!
  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 2017
    You are welcome!
  • Mark_WS7M
    Mark_WS7M Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 2018
    I love the HF auto.  I have hacked the RS-232 protocol somewhat to do what I want but Paul from Palstar is being dumb.  Sorry to say it but he obviously had a rough time in some lawsuit and decided he'd paid a fortune for his firmware and won't release the protocol to talk to the tuner.

    It is lunacy as he is cutting out a market of people, like myself (although I still bought one) that would love to integrate this tuner into an automated station.  I''m sorry but Terry's software is clunky and doesn't do what I need.  So I hacked it and made my own.

    I wish hams in general would realize that part of what makes this hobby fun is the ability to customize things and make them work in unique environments.  Paul for whatever reason feels he doesn't want to release his protocol and sent me, a paying customer a rather nasty note about it when I requested it.

    Just ****.  Sorry to say.   He tried to protect something he thought was so vital to his unit and I hacked it in under 2 hours.  I won't release what I know but it isn't that hard.

    M
  • Paul - K6HR
    Paul - K6HR Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    Same here. So, I bought an AT-AUTO and it's Plug and Play from the USB port on my 6300. (using the FTDI cable) No extra program required. For all intents and purposes, it provides the same tuning solution for my needs as the HF Auto did before.
  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 2017
    The one thing I like about the HF auto setup vs the AT-Auto is the ability to have full control of the tuner remotely. Using the USB to CAt direct from the radio to the AT-Auto allows the tuner to follow wherever you go but it does not allow switching antennas manually or changing modes, manually tuning, etc.

    The AT-Auto solution is fine for operation locally though.

    Dave wo2x

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