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USB FTDI cable/null modem to SteppIR not talking

N8FNRN8FNR Member
I bought a FTDI USB /Serial cable from Amazon made by Cable creation and one from UGreen. Plugged it into my 6400 and it was reconized by the rig. The SSDR USB setting is thus: cable type CAT,source Active slice, 9600, 8 N 1. Flow control none. Made a null modem cable with pins 2 - 2, 5 - 5 and 7-9 on the Steppir side. Set the Steppir controller (the old original version) to 9600 and rig type Kenwood. After hooking this up it the Steppir does not change frequency when I tune around. Tried both USB FTDI cables and neither work. But when I plug in my original serial cable that goes to my PC and run DDUTIL it does track frequency changes. Tested both USB FTDI cables with my KPA 500 and they both communicate with the rig so the are fine. Also verfied with a multimeter that the serial plugs are soldered correctly.

Any thoughts as to what I am doing wrong?

Zack N8FNR

Answers

  • KENT HUFFORDKENT HUFFORD Member ✭✭
    edited June 18
    What did you do with pin 3?
  • N8FNRN8FNR Member
    edited August 2018
    Not doing anything with pin 3. The instructions I found here were for only pins 2 - 2, 5 -5 and 7 - 9. https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/usb-cables-with-old-steppir-controller
  • KENT HUFFORDKENT HUFFORD Member ✭✭
    edited August 2018
    "I use a normal DB9 null modem cable (female to female, pins 2/3 reversing),"

    Yea, below that it doesn't say anything about pin 3.

    For 30 years, I have always known a DB9 serial had to have pins 2,3 (send,receive) 
    and pin 5, ground. A null modem adapter would cross pins 2 and 3 and leave 5 straight though.

    I have my FLEX 6600 hooked to my StepIR controller with a USB cable and null modem adapter, and it works fine. And also a USB cable to my KPA1500, working great. 


  • KENT HUFFORDKENT HUFFORD Member ✭✭
    edited August 2018
    From the FLEX USB guide..  "...cross pins 2 and 3 will also work"

    image
  • N8FNRN8FNR Member
    edited August 2018
    I will give that a try. Thanks!
  • Frank  WA3NHKFrank WA3NHK Member
    edited August 2018
    The flex guide isn't totally accurate.  You need to wire 5-5 as well, which is the ground return for the SD and RD signals.   In RS-232 speak it's called "signal ground".  This is how I wired my cable, which works perfectly....

    Pin 2 Blk ---- Pin 3
     Pin 3 Red ---- Pin 2
     Pin 5 Grn ---- Pin 5
     Pin 7 and 9 are  jumpered internally on each connector so that RTS is looped back as CTS.

     73....Frank
    image
  • edited August 2018
    Hi, you just need the pins 2, 3 and 5. Do not care about the rest, they will come into the game when using Flow control. I do not know any modern serial device needing hardware flow control any more... 73 Henning
  • N8FNRN8FNR Member
    edited August 2018
    Tried the above 2-3, 2-3, 5-5 and 7-9 on the controller side. Still no communication (sigh).
  • Jon_KF2EJon_KF2E Member ✭✭
    edited August 2018
    Try plugging it into the data out port on the steppir.
  • N8FNRN8FNR Member
    edited August 2018
    Tried the data out too but no joy.
    Tried picking a different Source in the USB Cables setting. Now it says Type Invalid and I can't edit or delete it. Great. Can't believe that this is not working. It is just 4 wires on two connectors.
    Put it back on the DDUTIL cable and it tunes just fine but still can't edit the USB Cables setting.
  • Frank  WA3NHKFrank WA3NHK Member
    edited August 2018
    Zack....you said you connected 7 & 9 together on the "controller" side.  Do the same on the connector facing the radio as well.  Also make double sure that your bit rate and parity config are consistent.
  • Geoff AB6BTGeoff AB6BT Member ✭✭
    edited August 2018
    Just curious...why would you connect RTS to RI?
  • Frank  WA3NHKFrank WA3NHK Member
    edited August 2018
    Actually, I had a minor brain burp.  Pins 7 and 9 need to be made common on the steppir controller connector only.  They can remain unconnected at the radio end of the serial cable.  The steppir controller uses them for some sort of TTL-level pass-thru. within the connector  Not entirely sure why, but it's mentioned in a flex PDF regarding the different USB cable options.
  • WD4EGFWD4EGF Member
    edited August 2018
    The USB Cable manual mentions crossing pins 2 and 3... 2/3 on this end go to 3/2 on that end, as well as the 7/9 connection at the Steppir end.  5 to 5 for ground too, though the manual doesn't say that explicitly.  Looks like the CAT command comes from the Ant Controller, requesting the freq as per the source you setup in the radio, so the serial cable has to have both send and receive circuits in place.

    Good Luck, Don
  • Frank  WA3NHKFrank WA3NHK Member
    edited December 2018
    Zack,

    Take a look at this thread from earlier this year on this very same subject.  Toward the bottom you'll see my post of the same cable info I've given you.  In this case everything worked fine after he reworked his cable.  Perhaps something else in this thread might be of help.

    https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/usb-interface-and-steppir

    Oh, and be sure you're plugged into the "Data In/Radio" port.

    73....Frank

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