6700 to SPE 2K USB Interface

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I've seen a lot of posts and responses about interfacing a 6700 to an SPE 2K.  Using the USB interface and the recent 1.10 Beta release, I am wondering if power metering is included in the displayed information.  I understand the power control, etc.  My interest is in remote control using a Maestro and having full information exchange between the 6700 and the SPE 2K.

Thanks,
Rick N0YY
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Rick N0YY

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Posted 2 years ago

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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Official Response
Power metering from the SPE amplifiers is not displayed in SmartSDR, so you won't see it on your Maestro. If you use DDUtil on a PC, you can set it up so that DDUtil displays the power reported by the amplifier. You'll need either a USB connection to the amplifier's USB port or a serial connection to the control port. 
(Edited)
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Rick N0YY

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Thanks Ria - 

That seems to be a major disadvantage of an SPE amplifier for remote operation.  Having to remote access a local PC running DDUtil for power monitoring seems to defeat the use of a Maestro!

Am I missing something?

Thanks,
Rick
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I don't see it as a very major disadvantage but you could end up "flying blind" if you don't have a device to remote into an attached PC.  Power Genius XL may end up being a more integrated solution. 
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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OTOH - I consider the USB only interface to be a Major Disadvantage for Remote Operation as you cannot fully control the amp unless you use DDUTIL and a PC


BTW - I remote control my 2K-FA with DDUTIL and a PC and Parallel Access on my iPad at the remote location.. not ideal but it does give me total control

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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Ria wrote... "Power Genius XL may end up being a more integrated solution."

Power Genius XL will be a more integrated solution. 
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Peter Bentley

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I have just viewed Geralds Video regarding the Power Genius XL.
Very impressive, makes you want to order one.

I already have an Expert 2K and would have probably traded it for the Power Genius, however, the Expert 2k has 2 separate PL259 inputs as does the Flex product, but.... the Expert also has 6 antenna outputs, all remotely selectable. This is a very useful feature if you have an array of HF antennas.
Could this be a feature of the next generation of the Power Genius??

G4BIM
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Rick N0YY

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I think I am beginning to understand the issue.  My understanding is that the SPE 2K does not have a CAT interface - the implication is there is no real "data stream" between the 6700 and the SPE 2K.  While DDUtil simulates the front panel and button pushes - the result gets sent to the 2K.

I also understand there is an I2C protocol to consider.

Makes the decision more difficult.  I have seen multiple posts on how to work the SPE 2K using DDUtil.  I was trying to avoid that approach.  I had hoped that the new USB interfaces would help.

Thanks again for your quick response.

Rick N0YY
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Rick N0YY

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OK, Now I am even more confused...  Looking at the USB Guide it refers to SPE CAT which seems to imply there is a full information exchange between the 6700 and the SPE 2K.

To me that implies that power out information is being supplied.

In the PowerGenius XL video there is a display showing power out using the SmartSDR interface.  Should I assume that is only for the PowerGenius XL?

Again...  Am I missing something?

Thanks,
Rick N0YY
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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You do NOT have full Remote Control of the 2K-FA using just the USB interface

You need to use DDUTIL

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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Rick - the USB interface is designed for providing frequency information to third-party devices for automated band switching; it isn't a comprehensive control interface.  We may add this type of functionality in the future, but not in the near future.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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To further confuse you (or not) the SPE amps have 3 interfaces.

1. CAT for inputs 1 and 2. The sole purpose of this is for band data and drive power level data (specifically for flex radios since the older ones do not have ALC). This is serial on the 15 pin CAT A and CAT B ports, with different voltage levels to match different transceivers. This is equivalent to the CAT port on most radios. It passively listens for frequency data and communicates back drive power level via CAT serial protocol.

2. A control interface that allows control from a PC. This is either USB or serial. You can run either the "term" software or DDUtil or other software that is designed for it (the protocol is documented).

3. An "aux" port for connecting accessories made by SPE

And ne'er the 3 shall meet. No kidding. I found it a bit odd but these amps were designed for conventional transceivers, where you would want 2 CAT inputs for 2 radios and a separate control interface.

The control interface isn't even necessary. It just gives you a means to control the amp while you are away from it.

Also the amp doesn't report its power level as far as I know over the CAT interface, so that is a limitation on that end as well.
(Edited)
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John - K3MA

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Unless you use DDUtil for other functions I find using the SPE Term interface which shows a rendering of the amp front panel display (including power output when TX) and all the function buttons to be more useful.  As stated earlier it does not integrate with SmartSDR and you still need to have a connection with a seperate USB/Serial cable to the amp from a local computer near the amp.
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K1UO - Larry

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Hi Rick,  I can control and see all functions of my SPE2K over the Ethernet using a serial to ethernet adapter such as the MOXA NPort 5110 and using the SPE term serial interfaceApp on my home PC where the logging, RTTY programs and the Maestro is located.   The App is like looking directly at all the control buttons and display as if your SPE2K was sitting in front of you and can be fully controlled/monitored without using DDUTIL.  The SPE is wired to come on automatically when my 6700 is powered up. (Cable from Dan at Expert Linears)
Regards
Larry  k1UO
(Edited)
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John - K3MA

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Larry might you share some screen shots of the MOXA port setup in there management software.  I also have a MOXA Nport but could not get the setup working correctly with the SPETerm program.  email address K3MA@outlook.com
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Rick N0YY

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Thank you everyone for the help.  Your insights are very valuable.  Clearly there is more to consider than I had originally thought.  But you have also offered some solutions.

Back to the drawing board.

Rick N0YY