Can steppir share cat port with spe amp

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Can I use a y cable to split the cat port so a steppir can follow the frequency, or should I use a separate usb to serial?
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Jamie WW3S

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Posted 2 months ago

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Andy

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Jamie, when you get an answer please let me know as I also have a SteppIR. Am running the control box manually.
Andy...W3LI
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Ted VE3TRQ

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With multiple USB ports available on a 6xxx, it would seem quite easy to run separate serial (or BCD / bit) connections to your devices. USB/Serial and USB/Bit adapters are pretty cheap and available. Just remember to get ones with FTDI chips, avoid Prolific.
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Tim VE6SH

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Or use PSTrotatorAZ which connects via LAN to the Flex and via com port to the SDA100. Presently, I have the SDA100 connected via one of the USB ports on the 6600 to the SDA100 controlling a BigIR at my remote site and that works very well, but I cannot home the elements (I change the frequency to 50mhz before shutting down). I will however use PSTRotator once I get back to the site as it works very well at my home station.

73

Tim VE6SH
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Rick - N4RZ

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This doesn't address whether you can share the Cat port or not (my guess is you'll have issues), but the easiest way with a SteppIR and an SPE amp to share the frequency to both is to connect the SPE amp to one of the USB ports on the Flex via an FTDI serial adapter.  This will go to one of the 15 pin Cat ports on the back of the amp, I use a cable I got from Dan at Expert Linears to make this connection.  You can then run a cable from the Port connector on the back of the amp to the SteppIR control box to share the frequency with it.   One advantage of this method is if you have a second radio connected to the amp it can also have its frequency sent to the antenna when it is being used.  When connected this way the amp will handle the fact that the radios may not be of the same type and will send the frequency to the antenna controller using the command set the controller expects. 
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Jamie WW3S

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Thanks Rick, sounds like a way I can keep both the Icom and Flex connected to the Steppir controller.....do you know what parameters you set the controller for, Kenwood, 9600 N81 ?!?!
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Rick - N4RZ

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The Kenwood commands should be fine as long as the SPE amp, the SteppIR controller and their connection are all set up for Kenwood.  The best reference here is the manual for the SPE amp.  
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Michael Walker, Employee

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Official Response
So, if it isn't clear, you can have as many RS232/Kenwood/CAT or BCD devices connected to the back of any 6000 series radio as you require.   There is even a TTL option.

Simply put, your radio can drive an Amp (or 2 amps), Steppir, Transverters, etc.  

Next, you set up each cat device to either follow the Band for the TX Slice or the Active antenna (there are a few more options - check the manual).

This is leaps and bound ahead of every other manufacturer HF rig out there.  All other radios have 1 port available and then you have to get creative with additional complicated plumbing.

Flex 6000's radios do it out of the box by adding either the Serial USB adapter or the Parallel USB adapter (available in the store).   

I am sure others will jump in with configurations they are using.  Let's see what you have -- diagrams help.  This is my high level overview.  In my case, I use PSTRotarAZ to have the Steppir track.

Mike

(Edited)
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rjguidrysr

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nice way to show it all working 
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Jamie WW3S

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I understand that Mike, but that wasnt the question.....with my other radios, Icom, Yaesu, K3, I was able to simply use a "Y" cable between the CAT and the Steppir controller, so using only one FTDI USB adapter....I'll just build the cable and try it, now that I'm retired, I have time to experiment. 
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Michael Walker, Employee

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You could and it would work, some of the time since the Steppir will be receive frequency data from both radios at the same time, and I am sure that is not what you want to do.  Imagine if your one radio is on 15M and the other is on 20M.  Where would the Steppir be?  As well, the Steppir can only listen to 1 CAT format / baud rate at a time.  Since the Flex only sends Kenwood format, then you would need to figure out how to use your Icom or Yaesu.

If you really want to be creative, then some logical device would decide which radio the Steppir would listen to by which footswitch was active.  

Short story is to use PSTRotator on a windows PC and have PSTRotator send steppir commands to the antenna controller.  PSTRotator will use OmniRig to communicate to all your radios.  You just need to select the active radio.  

Mike 
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Michael Coslo

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Whoa - a split Cat port with two devices running off one? If this works, I'd love an update with a description. I'd definitely use 2 separate USB to CAT adapters, but would love to hear if sending down the same serial commands to two different devices actually works - it would be an interesting tool in the arsenal.
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rjguidrysr

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As long as you only send the RS232 TX out you should be fine with "Y" but I had four "Y"s to make my K3S work with everything, not now.  No Y for me.
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Michael Walker, Employee

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How did you decide which radio controlled the antenna?