ALS-1306 Remote RS-232 Operation

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  • Updated 7 months ago

I am attempting to run my new ALS-1306 with the RS-232 remote port for the first time. I am running a Flex-6400 so I have 2 options. I can run straight off the RS-232 port on the computer using DDUtil. Or I can use a FTDI Chip USB to RS-232 from the back of the Flex.

Here is the interesting part. I have tried BOTH methods with a home made cable. The cable has the DB9 computer end using pins 2,3 & 5. The DB9 on the Amp end is using pins 3,4 & 6. TX and RX are reversed. In both scenarios the amp has both the PA and REM lights flashing indicating improper cable or data. The interesting part is that the AMP actually changes to the correct radio band and briefly lights the appropriate band LED then the band LED goes out. I am close but something is a miss.  

Is the problem with the cable or does the AMP have an issue? I have checked continuity from the DB9 Amp pins 3, 4 and 6 to the RJ1-A plug on the Amp control board. Not sure what to try next. Any ideas?

TIA!  73 de Dan KG0AQ 

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Dan KG0AQ

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Posted 2 years ago

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Wendell Abernathy

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Hi Dan,
I can't answer the question about whether it is the cable or the AMP, but I can say that mine is working fine.  I wimped out and got the Ameritron cable for the Kenwood radios and I am using a null modem FTDI cable from Amazon.   https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008634VJY/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1 .
I do know, as you probably do as well, that not all FTDI cables are created equal.  I tried a couple that didn't work.  The combination I am using is one suggested by someone of the forum.  I am sorry but I don't remember the original poster. I am using the 6600M's USB ports to control both my ALS-1306 as well as a SteppIR Big IR and they both are working great.  Good luck.

Wendell - N4VLK
(Edited)
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Dan KG0AQ

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Wendell,

Thanks for the quick reply. I ruled out the FTDI cable because I get the exact results from a "real" RS-232 port using DDutil. Do you know the pinout on your kenwood cable db9 to db9? I received most of my pinout info from older conversations on this support reflector.  I have tried other pinout combinations and I only get flashing lights. At least I get band switching with the current pinout, but the REM and PA lights are still flashing.

73 Dan KG0AQ
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Wendell Abernathy/N4VLK

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Dan,

I pulled the cover on the 1306 end ( the Flex end was molded) and checked the pins with a meter and it appears to be as follows:

1306 (end)        Flex (end)
  3 ----------------- 2
  6 ----------------- 5
  7 ---|   7 & 8 on 1306 end
  8 ---|   are bridged.

So... it appears only two wires are necessary since the 1306 is only a listening device.  With the Ameritron cable, I did have to use a gender changer.  Perhaps bridging 7 and 8 will cure the problem, but then again the bridge might be necessary for one of the two other cables coming from the 1306 on the Ameritron cable.   Anyway, it won't hurt to try.

73

Wendell - N4VLK
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Dan KG0AQ

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Wedell,

I just tried your configuration exactly and I received the same results as before. It changes bands but the REM and PA lights still keep flashing.  Thanks for the info.  I am beginning to think this might be an amp issue?  

73 Dan KG0AQ
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Jon - KF2E

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Did you read this thread?

https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/need-help-to-interface-a-als-1306-and-a-flex-6500

Read down and you will see a post from wx7y that explains the cable wiring.

Jon...kf2e
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Dan KG0AQ

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Jon,

I followed that tread from the start and wired my cable exactly as WX7Y explained. 


"Quote"

The easiest is the FTDI USB to RS-232 UT232R200.

Mating to the UT232R-200 FTDI USB to Serial adapter (Computer or Radio) end of the cable

AMP End                                                                                             Radio End

DB9F on the AMP                                                   DB9F, mating cable to the FTDI UT232R200 cable

3=RX Data  (reversed so NO Null Modem adapter required)    ---     2=RX Data

4=TX Data  (reversed so NO Null Modem adapter required)   ---      3=TX Data

6=Ground                                                                                 ---       5=Ground

end quote"


However, my PA and REM led continues to flash with that exact pinout? Hence, my issue still exists.

73 Dan KG0AQ
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jfischer

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Here is a question I have not heard much about, which of the Kenwood cables are you using, I think there are 2 of them.

AME-DB-DB8MK
AME-DB-DB7DK
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Wendell Abernathy/N4VLK

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I went through the same delima about the cables.  The one I am using which I know works is the DB7DK.  This cable does need a gender changer.
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WW1SS - Steve

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Thinking about getting a 1306 . . . Would you guys recommend it??
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Dan KG0AQ

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Steve,

Yes, it is a great SS Amp that that puts out 1200 watts + on all HF bands. 1000 out on 6 meters. I had the ALS-1300 for several years and it was solid too.  Now if I could just get the RS232 remote features to behave!

73 Dan KG0AQ
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Don Babcock

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You and me both!
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Wendell Abernathy/N4VLK

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I love mine also, absolutely no problem.  I have an number of the MFJ, Ameritron products and unfortunately they do sometimes suffer from QC problems.  I have an ALS-600 which blew finals, but were replaced with no problem within warranty.   I have a friend who has a 1306 which has had a final to blow twice with no abuse.  Ameritron said they were apparently "weak" transistors.  They even paid return shipping for him the second time. - Yes i would recommend the amp.  The return for $ is great for a SS amp.
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Larry - W8LLL

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Ate there any baud rate settings that need to be matched?
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frank cotton

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Not as I can remember, as I Did it over a year ago.
How ever I do recommend you buy the serial adapter from FLEX. Might be a little bit more money but it eliminates a lot of grief. Not all adapters work as promised. A good friend fought for a few months and then relented.
Kc4vfi , Frank
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Dan KG0AQ

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I have the baud rate set to 9600.  I have tried this cable WITHOUT the FTDI USB adapter using DDutil and a real RS-232 port. Same results.  I am going to find a late model kenwood and test the cable with it. Still thinking the issue is with the amp.  Thanks for all the input.

Dan KG0AQ
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Dan KG0AQ

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Q1 on the control board CB1 was bad. Works perfectly now.