CAT Output for Flexradio 6500

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  • Updated 2 years ago
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Hello, I would like to control from my computer (FLDIGI) the Flexradio AND my power amplifier Expert 1.3K by CAT. FLDIGI can control ONE CAT output only.  I currently use it to control the Flexradio.

But HOW do I control the PA that also needs CAT commands to change bands.

Thank for your help, Herby, DB2HTA.
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Herby

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Posted 2 years ago

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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Herby

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I need a solution in hardware.
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Varistor

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I'd like to revisit this topic as well as I am also looking for a hardware solution. My station automation is based on the Hamation product line along with microHam MK2R+ for SO2R.

I don't want to run a computer for each radio just for CAT (can I run multiple DDUTIL on the same computer, one for each radio?). Presumably Maestro eliminates the need for a computer so that's another reason I don't want to add one.

Any suggestions other than "get a computer"?
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Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

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You wrote"Presumably Maestro eliminates the need for a computer so that's another reason I don't want to add one".

Sorry to disappoint you, but the Maestro is just that: a computer. It even runs
Windows, but it is more expensive and not as flexible as a notebook,
athough it has knobs ;-)

Having said that, I recommend a notebook and DDUtil. That works quite
well.

73, Alex - DH2ID
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Varistor

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One thing that drives me nuts is canned answers that don't really take into consideration the actual ask.

So let me restate- I have automated antenna switching, bandpass filter selection, so2r control, etc. HARDWARE that requires HARDWARE CAT from the rigs.

The hardware CAT from each radio goes into the microHam so2r controller that does audio switching, CW keyer, FSK modulation, etc. It also outputs BCD data that controls the Hamation bandpass filters and so2r remote switches. The so2r controller also mirrors the CAT data to microHam station masters that do intelligent antenna control on a per band basis (think of it as a replacement for rotators and 4SQ direction selectors).

Finally, I have several transceivers and want to be able to run the station regardless of what transceiver is being used. All the station automation hardware is already in place, is flexible, and runs flawlessly during contests.

Bottom line is that I need a hardware CAT.

If there are no third party solutions, can DDU run multiple instances concurrently? How would I take the output from it and send it out via RS232 as CAT?
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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First you do not need all that extra hardware to run SO2R. THE 6000 series is SO2R in a single box. Look at K9CT postings as to how they came first in NA in using Flex as SO2R with no external hardware.

Second, I do not understand the use case in a contest of running without a Computer

Third take a look at antenna genius and antenna genius from 4O3A. The devices are all ethernet enabled and worked seamlessly with Flex
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pa0bie

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There is NO hardware solution for the control between de FLEX and the Espert PA. Bohe are working with a software port.  That is why You NEED DDutil.
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Herby

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Expert PA HAS a Hardware CAT input.
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pa0bie

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The only hardware of the CAT port is a 15 pin D-sub connector. The FLEX does not know the software commands for the Expert PA.  The Expert PA does not know the software commands from the FLEX.    DDutill does the translation for that.
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Walt

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if you want a single RS-232 port out of a computer to be connected to two devices usiung hardware only, google up . . .

Serial Port Combiners

you will have to make sure the commands and protocols do not cause conflict between the devices, but this is a way for one RS-232 port to send data to other ports at the same time without using any other software on your PC.  

Please read the info for these port sharing boxes so you know how and why the data from the devices are sent back to the PC and how the PC handles it all.  It can be tricky and a bit of work.

oh - and these boxes can get pricey  -  The Black Box company makes them, but so do others.

Good Luck !
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Herby

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CAT / CI-V is not REAL RS-232, it uses TTL level signals (5 V / GND) , NOT +/- 12 Volt.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@Herby

I use DDUTIL and my Flex to control an Expert Amp, SteppIR MonstIR, Rotor, LP100A and all my CAT enabled logging and digital programs.

DDUTIL is your friend..read the section on the Expert Amps.  You need a Serial Port and a USB port to control your expert amp

If you do not have enough serial ports on your computer you can use USB ports or an combination of USB ports and USB Hubs.

Suggest you SEARCH this Community for Expert Amps.. we have written extensively how to do this

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Herby

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It is FLDIGI's job to control the rig and the PA for digital transmissions (Olivia, MFSK). I don't think this works with DDUtil.
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pa0bie

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FLDIG controls the RIG. The PA is controlled by the RIG through DDutill. That works !!

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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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OF COURSE FLDIGI WORKS WITH DDUTIL to control Both the Rig and the PA

I have been using DDUTIL for years  it is the traffic cop and translator between all your devices.

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Herby

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I'm not so happy to have to install and use YET another program for such a simple job. Only ONE small TTL signal from the Flexradio to the Expert PA ...
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Herby,

RS232, CIV, etc.. for CAT is the old fashion way... you have up to 8 receivers that can send "CAT" commands.... what we need is for manufactures of ham gear to get on the TCP/IP wagon.
It kind of sucks that I cannot control my Expert 1.3k remotely. I would love to send TCP/IP messages to it.

DDUtil offers a plethora of things for Flex users and once you start using it with AutoDrive, Macros, etc... you will not go back.

DDUtil connects to your Flex through TCP and Expert 1.3k to your PC through USB. You do not need to create a cable to connect Flex and Expert.... I find installing DDUtil easier than creating the cable to connect the amp and the radio.

Good luck... and do not get discouraged, it is a bit of a learning curve but worth the effort.

73s
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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ONE SMALL TTL SIGNAL

No Computer puts out a TTL signal.   you need a level translator to convert TTL to RS-232

The TTL CIV is an ancient SLOW ICOM Standard

Modern equipment has started to use Ethernet