1.10.15 and SteppIR 100 controller

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  • Updated 3 years ago
Today I did get the SteppIR to follow the radio directly but it would not work at 9600.  In order to get it to work I had to set both the CAT and the port on the SteppIR 19,200.    I did not try another speeds to see if this is just a 9600 issue.  The SteppIR port has worked on 9600 in the past.  I am not sure if this is just an issue with my system.
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Paul Mandel

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Posted 3 years ago

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Mack McCormick, Elmer

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Works at 9600 baud here.

Alpha Tester
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Andrew Rose

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 I am considering purchasing a “step-BigIR 40m - 6m Vertical + BigIR 80m coil” when the warmer weather arrives.

Could anyone recommend this set-up.

But most important how easy is it to interface with a Flex-6500 and how is it done?

Sorry if I am posting out of context.

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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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There are two ways to do it.

One is with the USB cable feature connected to the radio where the controller simply listens for frequency data. This is the most basic connection and all you will be able to do is tune the controller as you QSY. There is no indication within SmartSDR that the SteppIR is still tuning so you have to be careful when you transmit or use the tuning relay (either N8LP or the board from SteppIR installed inside the SDA100.) With the SDA100 you connect the cable to the top "data in" connector and I believe you need the kenwood cable. 

The other option is with an attached PC and DDUtil and the SteppIR connected via a null modem cable to the PC. You connect to the bottom "data out" connector. This allows more control, allows you to do 180 and bi-dir modes from your desktop as well. It also has a handy transmit inhibit feature which will prevent transmission when tuning so that you don't damage your brushes or copper tape. 
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Burch - K4QXX

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I use this antenna with the 80 coil.  It's basically my only HF antenna for 10-40 meters.  I sometimes use it on 80 meters but my 1/2 wave dipole works better.  As far as interfacing, it is very easy.   I use DDUtil to control the SteppIR 100 controller.  As Ria mentions, using DDUtil has the transmit inhibit which keeps you from transmitting while the antenna is tuning.  However, the transmit inhibit doesn't always work on my setup for some reason but 90% of the time it works.  I have not tried using the USB feature directly on the Flex since DDUtil works so well.  You get more functionality and control using DDUtil.


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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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If all you ever want to do is have it change frequency then the USB port is good enough

However I strongly recommend using DDUTIL so that you have full control of the antenna and it also gives you transmit inhibit while changing frequencies.

I installed one of the first ever BigIR with 80M for WA3IHV in Escondido CA ... you have to make sure that you put in lots of tuned length radials for it to work Ok

The antenna has really great low angle radiation and works remarkably well for very distant DX.

However like all verticals it works equally poorly in all directions.

When we put in a SteppIR Trombone MonstIR at WA3IHV the BigIR became a diversity receive antenna but is still used for really far DX..

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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Well, not all of them. I use a vertical on 80 and it performs really nice. Of course I would rather have a yagi but I would probably want a Ferrari first :)