6300 to Logger32 to SteppIR - Problem(s)

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  • Problem
  • Updated 3 years ago
  • Solved
OK. I know there are 100’s of posts about this, and trust me, I’ve read them all, and tried countless solutions with no luck.

Many are years old referencing old software versions, or want me to use (and set-up) yet another program (DDUtil) that I should not have to do.


All I want to do is have the Steppir move along with the radio and the logging program. I do not need any ”advanced”  features, just fq control.


I am using a 6300,  SmartSDR (ver 1.10 beta). Everything seems to work!

I have SSDR running on one screen, and I fire up Logger32 (ver 3.49.3) on the other.


The SmartSDR Cat program opens with the following info:

 Serial COM 7, slice A, Process Logger 32.

TCP: Port 5002, Slice A

Serial Com 9 Slice A, Process none.


All works well! I click on a spot, the flex qsy’s, I click on the flex panadapter screen, the logger program enters the fq.


I should add that in Logger 32, I have it set for radio 2,  Com 7, Radio Kenwood all, (I have also tried radio choice powerSDR... no difference), 9600 baud 8, N, 1. Box: Set RTS high is checked.

As I mentioned, all works like it should. If I didn’t have a stepper, I’d be great here.

OK, time to interface the Steppir Controller. It is the older model controller, not the SDA100, but the data interface is the same. It works fine with all my other rigs in the station.

I change the controller to radio Knwd, 9600bd, yes to save settings, power cycle the box, and switch it to Gen mode. Routine stuff when changing radios.

 

I plug in the FTDI USB/SERIAL cable into the 6300. Going to USB settings I see NEW USB CABLE, the serial number, Type: CAT and the enabled box is lit.

 
From the female end of that cable I made the following cable with specs from the Flex USB data sheet.  Pin 2 to pin 3 on the controller. Pin 3 to pin 2 on the controller. Pins 7 & 9 shorted on the controller plug.  (I have read posts that said to connect pin 5 straight through, and to also short pins 7 & 9 on the Flex end also. I’ve tried all combos, all with the same results). This is plugged into DATA IN on the controller box. Flex also says that this cable can be used instead of the Steppir S12 cable. ( Tried to order this first, but Steppir hasn’t answered their phone in a few days so I figured I’d make my own to “flex specs.”).


Plug it in, and the controller doesn’t move. I check the USB cable menu in on the Flex screen, and the USB cable is there, but there is no new info.

 
To make matters worse, after about 30 sec with the cable plugged into the Ant controller, SmartSDR shuts down!  I get the message: Smart SDR has lost connection to the radio. OK, I go to reconnect, and I get the message, Radio in use. I go to click on the lit Disconnect user button, and nothing happens.

The only solution is to re-boot the 6300. I feel that this has to be related to my plugging the USB/SER cable from the flex via my adapter cable into the Steppir controller. This never happens when I disconnect the cable from the antenna controller. I have tried re-booting my computer many times. I’ve re-booted it more in the last 10 days than I have in the last 10 months. I am constantly re-booting the 6300 as well before and after every change.

 
This should be an easy solution, considering the logger32 and flex seem to be in sync, all I’d like to do is control the steppir.

Am I missing something simple here? I’ve done nothing with SDR Cat, except read what it says when it is connected. I would really prefer not to use DDUtil. It looks difficult to set up, and I don’t want to risk messing up the other ports on the computer.

I have contacted Flex, and all I get is to RTFM, (did that, made the cable) or email USB support at flex.


Needless to say I have checked and tested my cable many times.


Any ideas here?  I’m sure that this is an obvious problem in the ESO  (Equipment Superior to Operator) code of the flex.
I’ve wasted countless hours screwing with this and it’s time to reach out, or just move on from Flex. 

Bill, K1SM
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Bill Hassan - K1SM

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Posted 3 years ago

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Mike va3mw

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Bill

Can I summarize and correct me where I need to be corrected.

Logger32 works fine and the radio tracks are required using CAT on the PC. Correct? If so, we can ignore the Logger32 part as it has no impact.

For the Steppir, it is going to be controlled by the 6300 and nothing else, correct? You have a FTDI USB/RS232 cable on the 6300 connected to DATA IN.

If that is the true so far, then let's focus on the Flex controlled Steppir. It sounds like you have triple checked your wiring. So, if it is correct due to the Flex documents, so that isn't part of the problem.

That leaves 2 things. Either the radio or the RS232 cable plugged into the radio. Do you have another one you can test with?

What happens with the RS232 cable installed and NOT connected to the Steppir?

Mike va3mw
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Mike va3mw

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Bill

I reviewed the diagram supplied by Steppir from http://www.steppir.com/wp-content/upl....

On the DATA In Connector

Pin 2 to Pin 2 for Data on the (this might be pin 3 if Pin 2 doesn't work)
Pin 5 to Pin 5 for GND
Pin 7 jumped t Pin 9

Do not hook up pin 3 on the DATA In connector. It is not required as the Steppir controller does not send data back to the radio. It only listens.

Mike
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Larry: KE2YC

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Hi Bill,

I would try to switch the cable that you made like the s12. What I am saying is to reverse the cable you made. So that the ends are j1 to usb cable and j5 to the steppir or v/s j1 to steppir and j5 to usb cable.
If you have tried this than i would check the cables for connections
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Larry: KE2YC

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Bill,

What com port is the usb cable set too?
and do you have a cat set to that com port?

Larry ke2yc
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Michael Coslo

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Why wouldnt you want to open a support ticket?
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Bill Hassan - K1SM

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Thanks for all the replies.

From the top:

Mike W: You make a great point. Forget about the Logger32 program and just work about whats happening between the 6300 USB port and the Steppir Data IN. - On your other post, I made the cable to the Flex specs, I, will now make one to the Steppir specs. Good idea.

Larry: Interesting idea. The reason I didn't "flip" the cable I made was the flex data sheet said to short pins 7 & 9 on the connector end. I''ll give this a try as well. Larry point 2: I have no idea what port the 6300 USB cable is. When I view the USB dropdown menu all is says is :New cable, the SN, Type CAT, and enabled. 

Mike C. - I did, reply was to read the USB manual, or email interagrations @flex.

I'll play with this stuff today and let you know.
Thanks all again.
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Mike va3mw

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Hi Bill

If there is a problem with the wiring, let us know and we will get the documents amended accordingly.  

You only need 2 wires as I mentioned as the Steppir is a passive listening only device.  

Good luck, we are close.

Mike va3mw
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Bill Hassan - K1SM

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HNY! - Messed with the cable this morning for a while. No luck. When I decided to try all of the connection options again with another FTDI USB/SER cable as suggested I noticed an interesting occurrence.
I unplugged the cable from the flex, went and tried to click on the remove button,and nothing. The USB dropdown menu still had the Cable listed. I rebooted the 6300 w/ no USB cable attached, dropdown menu still had it listed, but now I was able to click remove cable, and it went away.
I plugged in another USB/SER adapter able, and it was recognized, but with the same SN as the first cable. Not sure if this has anything to do with things, but it did seem strange. It's as if the USB port is "locked".
Perhaps later I'll try and do a full reset to the 6300, start the software downloads again and start the process over. Meanwhile I'll check around and see if I can find my DB9 breakout box, before I start the next round of cable options.
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Larry: KE2YC

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Hi Bill,

Did some checking on cables.  The S12 is as follows:

pins                  pins
J5                     J1

2          X            3
3          X            2
5      Connect     5
7----|Jump         7-----|Jump
9----|Jump         9-----|Jump

Make sure that cable is set to Cat and also on controler that set to Kenwood and 9600Bps.

Connections as I mentioned before do not make any difference.  They work either way.  I am using tx slice and all works great.  Hope this helps.

Larry ke2yc
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Bill Hassan - K1SM

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Official Response
Thanks all for the help! 
Got it all working. The magic combo was a dbl female DB9 cable with pin 2 to 3, Pin 3 to 2, pin 5 to 5, and pins 7 & 9 jumped on each end. This jumper cable connected between the USB/SER cable from the Flex and the Data In jack on the SteppIR controller.
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Mike va3mw

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Bill

Excellent. You can remove the 7-9 jumper on the Radio end. It has now value. I'm pretty sure you can also remove the cable that ends with pin 3 on the Steppir end. If you could test that, I will make sure the documents get updated as well.

73
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Bill Hassan - K1SM

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... removed 7/9  jumper on the Flex end and pin 3 from the SteppIR end and it still works well. Mny tnx!
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Mike va3mw

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Bill.

Wonderful news!  So, you only have 7-9 on the Controller and pin 3 from the Flex to Pin 2 of the Steppir?  

I want to get the documentation updated if that is right.

Correct?  
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Bill Hassan - K1SM

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... and pin 5 to 5.