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Flex 6600 to SPE Expert amp, help me understand

Ed N5DGEd N5DG Member
New guy with questions again, I would like my SPE 2KFA Amp to follow my new 6600 . I need some help understanding how the cabling works . Ria post how the pins wire up, shown below, she calls it (9 pin USB to Serial FTDI -----> 15 pin AMP) So my question is , do I cut one end off of a USB cable a solder on a 15 pin as Ria shows ? The 15 pin connects to the amp and the 9 pin USB connects to the 6600 ?

9 pin (USB to serial FTDI) -------->  15 pin (Amp)
Pin 2 (RXD)     ------------------>  Pin 9 (TXD)
Pin 3 (TXD)     ------------------>  Pin 1 (RXD)
Pin 5 (Ground) ------------------>  Pin 4 (Ground)

I also read that I need to buy a USB to RS232 Adapter with FTDI Chipset for the data . So is this a  USB on one end and a 9 pin male on the other ?? do I need or use both of these cables at the same time ? Where does this cable connect to and from ?

Now this is easy if you know how .. So those that do , give me a hand



  • David Decoons, wo2xDavid Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 11
    It requires two cables, one you purchase and one you make. You can buy a USB to serial “straight trhough”cable from Flex, Mouser, or other places. It needs to have a genuine FTDI chipset inside (there are cheap knockoffs). This will have a DB 9 male end. Next you make a DB 9 female to DB15 male cable wired as Ria outlined. The DB9 male of the USB serial cable goes to the DB9 female of the cable you made and the DB15 goea to the amp. Alternately, Dan Tassle makes cables already wired from the Flex USB to the amp DB15. Dave wo2x
  • Tim WTim W Member ✭✭
    edited July 2018
    Ed, I can confirm that the cable pin out provided in your message does work. I spent hours setting this up last weekend. As Dave advises, purchase an FTDI USB to serial cable (which must be known genuine).The serial end of that terminates on a 9 pin male D sub. So you make a 9 pin female to 15 pin male cable. The 15 pin male connects to one of the CAT ports on the amp. Next steps are to configure the serial port via SmartSDR and CAT setup on the amplifier. Don’t forget you also need a PTT/RELAY connection too. That can be a simple RCA male to male cable. Let us know if you get stuck and we can try to help more! Tim
  • Ed N5DGEd N5DG Member
    edited July 2018
    Thank you Dave and Tim, just the information I was looking for . I have Allied  Elc about 30 mins down the road , They will have everything I need . I saved the setup information I found here in the community but if have trouble , I'll ask for help.

    Tnx Agn , Ed N5DG 
  • Mark_WS7MMark_WS7M Member ✭✭
    edited July 2018
    Ed, you can also buy the custom cable part from Expert Linears in Texas.  Their instructions are to email Dan:  [email protected]

    He can make whatever you need.
  • Ed N5DGEd N5DG Member
    edited July 2018
    Mark, yes sir , I know Dan , he's been to my house  .. I have the hundred dollars for the PNP cable but I just like doing things myself . It's part of ham radio for me 

    73 Ed

  • Ed N5DGEd N5DG Member
    edited July 2018
    David , Tim W , I'd like to thank you 2 for the help with the Cable. I have it assembled and working . I went through all the bands 160 thru 10 tuning SWR at 20Khz intervals . Plus  setting the drive power for Low , Mid and Max out. My goal is to reach 3000 in the ARRL DXCC Challenge. I need + or - of the hard 150 to get there . Hopefully my new 4 slices  will give me an advantage .
    Mark , Thank you for the nice write up on setting the amp up .. the CAT and input power setting .
    73 Ed N5DG 
  • Tim WTim W Member ✭✭
    edited July 2018

    Thanks for being a gentleman. Always happy to help from this end where possible. I've only had my Flex for a few weeks now, so it was a real deep dive to get that connection to the SPE working. I will say that it's proven quite reliable so far, considering the amount of data that flows between the amp and SSDR. Whomever implemented the "logging" function to view the data on the FDTI cable did us a great favor!

    I have my 6400 on input 2 of the amp and my Icom 7851 on input 1. The SPE 2K is a good amplifier........

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