6400M - SmartSDR AMP control and band data

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I've been away from the Flex community for a while, and just ordered a "certified used" 6400M.
While that transaction is executing, I need to figure out how to connect my amps, antenna swtiches etc.

I currently have two HF amps installed, a 600W solid state and a 8877. Currently, the PTT controls for those are hardware interlocked so that only one amp can be keyed at a time. My questions are:

(1) Does SmartSDR have amp online/offline control that will enable/disable the rear-panel RCA jacks?  I have my own interlock logic, a single AMP control would do. (The SmartSDR manual talks about using the new Flex amp in this way, I want to be able to use my HB amps in the same manner)

(2) From skimming the hardware guide, it appears that band-select data is obtained by using a FTDI USB-serial dongle. I didn't see where the various USB modes are described, but I assume that info is available. Am I correct in that this is the currently recommended method?

(3) Again assuming I'm correct about the band-select data, is there a USB mode that I could use that offers both band-select and PTT data?  That way I could rework my current MCU design to utilize that data in one box to control both the amp and antenna selector logic.

Thanks!
Jim N7CXI


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Jim - N7CXI

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Posted 3 months ago

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K3SF

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(1) Does SmartSDR have amp online/offline control that will enable/disable the rear-panel RCA jacks? 

>>>>simple answer>>>>> Y E S

there are three on the 6400M .they are TX1, TX2 and TX3


see section 5.3.16 on the manual for details



(2) From skimming the hardware guide, it appears that band-select data is obtained by using a FTDI USB-serial dongle. I didn't see where the various USB modes are described, but I assume that info is available. Am I correct in that this is the currently recommended method?

See section 22 and 23 of the manual

Depends on how the AMPs accept band data input. Flex has various usb cables available to interface with various amps





(3) Again assuming I'm correct about the band-select data, is there a USB mode that I could use that offers both band-select and PTT data?  That way I could rework my current MCU design to utilize that data in one box to control both the amp and antenna selector logic.....

simple answer  >>>>> NOPE  <<<<<



Basically you wont need the MCU as those features are part of the 6400M

couple RCA cables for amp PTT
and
couple usb to (amp interface) cable for band control of the amps


6400M manual can be found here
http://www.flexradio.com/downloads/flex-6400m-and-flex-6600m-user-guide-pdf/


This is how i interface my 6600M to my Elecraft KPA500



(Edited)
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Jim - N7CXI

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Thanks!
First, the manual I got was from the Wiki and apparently out of date.  Got the latest manuals from the Downloads section on this site, and based on those :

One of the sections of the 6000 manual does show the 3 RCA jacks and I understand about the setup panel, but what I can't find is whether the one-touch AMP button on the SmartSDR display (and more importantly the Maestro) works with amps *other than* the PowerGenius XL. The reason I'm pushing that point is because the manual specifically talks about use with the  PowerGenius, and  nothing else.

- and thanks for the pointer on the cable. I did find a USB to BCD cable listed on the accessories page. If I don't use the MCU board on the SS amp, I'll need to build some kind of buffer to go between the cable and the amplifier LPF relays. I assume docs for the cable specs are available somewhere. The amp was designed and built back in the mists of time, and doesn't have a separate buffered band-select interface. The 8877 on the other hand is manual tune, and unless I want to work harder than I'm likely to probably won't be used remotely - I can enable/disable it from the control panel on the RF deck.

Thanks,
Jim N7CXI

(Edited)
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Jim - N7CXI

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Let me re-phrase to only the critical question. Can amp keying be enabled/disabled easily from the Maestro, 6400M front panels and the SmartSDR GUI?  A Maestro is in the plan for armchair use and SmartSDR for RV'ing.

I understand I can get into the TX panel and fiddle things there using SmartSDR, but since I enable/disable amp keying quite regularly based on need, I'm looking for something a little more straightforward. I also don't know if access to that panel is provided with the Maestro, although I assume so? (I haven't ever had hands on these things, so don't know)

All things will become a little more clear when the rig shows up, but I'd like to have parts I may need on order by then.

Thanks,
Jim N7CXI

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Jim - N7CXI

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Spoke with an OM last night, and his 6700 doesn't show the AMP symbol, so I have to assume the answer is "no". 
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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The Amp symbol is only if you have the Flex Power Genius XL integrated via the network.

For what you want I would recommend DDUtil if using SmartSDR on a pc. DDUtil allows the amp operate/standby which allows toggling of the TX1 (or 2&3) on in operate and off in standby.

Also if you use DDUtil’s Autodrive feature it will set your drive power per band to values you specify to drive the amp and when in standby set radio power back to 100 watts.

There are other features in DDUtil also.

Dave wo2x
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Jim - N7CXI

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Thanks, Dave.  I used DDUtil when I had a 5000A - a few years back.
We'll see how it works out.

Jim N7CXI