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Cant the Palstar HF-Auto be read band & frequency changes directly from a 6700's USB port?

Roy LauferRoy Laufer Member ✭✭
I was trying to recall if SSDR in its latest iteration is capable of sending its frequency data directly via its USB port to the Palstar HF-Auto?

I am not talking about using DDUtil and a PC, I am talking about a direct 6700 USB to the Palstar RS232.

I am also talking about the present Palstar HF-Auto NOT the older AT-Auto.

I recall a thread about this, but I can't seem to find it (if I did not imagine it).

Any thought's? Anyone with first hand experience?

Thanks!

73,
Roy AC2GS

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Answers

  • Rick LotoczkyRick Lotoczky Member
    edited May 2017
    Hi Roy,

    Why go through this extra work? The HF-Auto will read the frequency internally and self adjust. At least that is how I use it with my 6700.

    Rick
    WC8D

  • MackMack Member ✭✭
    edited November 2019
    Roy,

    Yes, I use two of these directly connected to the Flex via USB to serial cables. You must use FTDI chipset cables. The details for connection are listed in the Flex USB Cable guide on their website. The settings shown are those I'm using successfully with my tuners.

    Rick,

    The advantage of using frequency data is the tuner starts tuning immediately to the proper  frequency without sending any RF. It saves a step and prevents QRM.

    73,

    Mack
    W4AX
  • WB9IXSWB9IXS Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Roy,
    I assume that the 6500 will do the same ? I am currently using the HFAUTO V3.2.5 software and DDUtil  with the Palstar . It works good but would rather not have the computer in the link.

    Thanks
    73
    Jim

  • K5CGK5CG Danny Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Please check that Palstar model again. I have an HF-AUTO also (not an AT-AUTO as Roy initially pointed out) and I am told that the serial protocol on the Serial port of the HF-AUTO is proprietary. How did Flex get hold of that serial spec to build that into the Flex USB serial data?

    There is no HF-AUTO mentioned in the Flex USB Cable Guide. Please confirm.

    The only application I am aware of that knows this proprietary serial protocol is made by Terry W1TR. It can accept UDP data from N1MM+, DDUtil, FLDigi.
  • WB9IXSWB9IXS Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Danny
    I opened up the serial document and did not see the HF Auto. You are correct so how does it work? 
    Jim

  • K1ESEK1ESE Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    The HF-Auto (not AT-Auto) serial protocol is proprietary.  It is not designed to follow a radio using serial commands from a Flex 6500. 

    The software you are using - W1TR's HF-Auto application - is the only way to access the HF-Auto serial commands and it needs separate radio input in the form of UDP packets.  UDP packets can come from N1MM+ or FLDIGI or DXLab Commander or others. 

    But, it takes a lot of software to avoid just putting out a carrier for a second or two.

    73 de K1ESE
    John
  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    The HF-Auto appears to only use the serial port for firmware updates. As a result you cannot control it with your transceiver.

    The AT-Auto is a different model which has CAT control. Ria
  • K5CGK5CG Danny Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Ria, that is one function of the serial port. It is also used for remote operation where the tuner can be nearest the antenna and an optional controller can be in the shack. Terry, W1TR, uses THAT protocol to control the tuner with his application. The application requires UDP data to get the current frequency so that it can tune before transmitting anything.
  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Even in that case if it does not accept CAT data, BCD or can be bandswitched primitively using addressable bits, there is no way to get band data from the radio without intermediate software like N1MM. Firmware 1.10.16 on the 6000 series can only output Kenwood protocol CAT, BCD or control the lines as individual bits. There are a few other things it can control like the DEMI LDPA and DV dongle. Palstar tuners aren't directly controllable.
  • Rick N4RZRick N4RZ Member ✭✭
    edited February 9
    I have an HF-Auto and a Flex 6500.  I use the W1TR HF-Auto program and the W1TR Rig Control program and it allows the HF-Auto to follow the radio's frequency.   While it doesn't remove the need for a computer it does eliminate ddutil from the equation. 
     
    Note:  As was mentioned before the Palstar serial protocol is proprietary and was designed to work with their remote.   However, they allowed W1TR to use it for his HF-Auto program and I believe so far he is the only third party they have given it to.   
  • K5CGK5CG Danny Member ✭✭
    edited May 2019
    Going the serial port route is one way, the most complicated probably.

    A simpler solution is to just publish the UDP data (per slice) in SDRCat as I requested here https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/udp-broadcast-for-frequency-data

    Please feel free to Upvote this. It would eliminate one piece of the middleware but would still require the W1TR app right before the tuner.
  • David Decoons, wo2xDavid Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 11

    DDUtil does supply the UDP XML frequency data to the W1TR HF Auto program, eliminating the need for W1TR Rig Control. Information on how to set it up is available on the DUTIL WiKi.


    Dave wo2x


  • David-N5PSMDavid-N5PSM Member
    edited May 2019
    Mack, are you talking about the AT AUTO?
  • MackMack Member ✭✭
    edited May 2019
    Sorry for any confusion. Yes, I am talking about the AT-auto. Mack
  • David-N5PSMDavid-N5PSM Member
    edited June 11
    It seems to me that it would not be too difficult to insert a "small" computer in the line. Such as an Arduino to go from cat to udp...... Wish I had access to the proprietary protocol. I would to it and make it opto isolated as well. Then publish the compiled load file without giving away their secret s.........
  • David Decoons, wo2xDavid Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2019
    I attempted to broker communications between Paul at Palstar and Flex back when Flex was developing support for USB cables to the radio. Paul wanted nothing to do with it. Paul released the source code for the commands to the tuner to Terry, W1TR who wrote a program that receives UDP packets containing frequency and band info and tells the tuner where to tune. Neither Paul nor Terry will publish the code. A shame but since Paul got burned by Don Kessler with the AT-Auto he now wants nothing to do with remote control.
  • K5CGK5CG Danny Member ✭✭
    edited May 2019
    SmartSDR could send UDP data without an Arduino if there were a CAT port type for it. Do it in software, you remember, that "flexible" thing FlexRadio champions as a reason to buy a Flex radio in the first place.
  • Rick N4RZRick N4RZ Member ✭✭
    edited May 2019
    This is not a FlexRadio issue. As David noted above, the API for the HF-AUTO is not available to Flex or anybody else other than W1TR.  I currently use the W1TR Rig Control program to obtain the frequency from my 6600M via SmartCat which it then sends by UDP packets to the W1TR HF-AUTO Application which finally forwards the information to the tuner using Palstar's proprietary API.  
  • David-N5PSMDavid-N5PSM Member
    edited May 2019
    I have some hacking to do............if I can rewrite the forth language from an object code dump I can certainly do this... .may take me a while.....I used to decode the commodore serial bus with a separate CPU and a logic probe. I now have a scope that has serial decoding functionality.......he he

    ............To be continued.....
  • K5CGK5CG Danny Member ✭✭
    edited May 2019
    @Rick, I use the W1TR HF-AUTO control program as well but I'm using DXLab's Commander to take CAT data and convert it into UDP XML packets.

    You say your 6600M can do that with SmartCAT alone? Screen cap that for me please. I'd like to see what that looks like.
  • David Decoons, wo2xDavid Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2019
    No, he said he is using the W1TR helper app as middleware, similar to using DDUtil or Commander.

    Dave wo2x

  • K5CGK5CG Danny Member ✭✭
    edited May 2019
    Hi Dave. I misunderstood, it's easy to do. The only rig control program I see on Terry's software page is W1TR_RigControl V1.0.0.0 2014-08-29 0417.msi" and there is a comment
    "(works for TS-2000 / Apache Labs 100D only at this time, ICOM in the future)". Maybe it doesn't work with Flex radios (the rig control aspect) but it still can translate serial to UDP? In that case you are correct in that it's another middleware like the others. I'd really like to have SmartCAT do UDP XML without them. :)
  • David Decoons, wo2xDavid Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2019
    That's the program. You can use a Flex SmartSDR CAT virtual port to talk to it. It then sends UDP to his W1TR HF Auto app. 

    If you use Commander, N1MM+, or DDUtil then his Rig Control app is not needed.

    Dave wo2x

  • Rick N4RZRick N4RZ Member ✭✭
    edited February 9
    In addition to their own command set Flex Radios will also work with Kenwood commands so in the W1TR Rig Control program my radio is set up as a TS-2000.
  • James SkalaJames Skala Member
    edited May 2019
    I would buy it if you make it. @David-N5PSM
  • Did anyone on this thread manage to figure out the protocol? I just spent an hour sniffing traffic and it doesn't look very obvious.

  • someone on another forum mentioned trying to sniff the protocol and Paul from Palstar threatened the gentleman with legal action for patent infringement. Paul is very protective of his code since he was burned by Don Kessler in the AT-Auto patent lawsuit.


    Dave wo2x

  • ka9eeska9ees Member ✭✭

    Paul was nasty to me ten years ago. I forget what I called him about. Not ever interested in buying anything from him...

    Ed KA9EES

  • I dealt with Paul about a month ago helping my friend with a problem with his tuner. Paul took the time to answer my questions and verify I had it narrowed it down to the correct board. I guess it depends on the topic and day you speak to him.


    Dave wo2x

  • ka9eeska9ees Member ✭✭
    edited September 12

    I think he thought the question was silly. And he was way busy. I remember what it was. I was getting erroneous readings from a power meter. It was supposed to have been power with 12vdc. Something in my great wisdom. I hadn't done. Now that I think of it. I would have been just as grouchy as he was. I withdraw my last statement. I would buy something from him. If I had the funds. It would be an AT-Auto.

    Ed KA9EES

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