Flex Control Knob over network

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  • Updated 3 years ago
How do you use the K6TU knob remotely? I would like to run ddutil on a local computer, which will connect to both the K6TD/K6TU knob and a local instance of N1MM. Then, somehow transport the CAT controls to a remote flex 5000 over a LAN. I plan to use VNC to remote the sceen and use a pair of remote rig boxes for audio/cw. (I plan to use the remote rig for the CW portion, otherwise, skype, etc would do.)

The idea is to let the operator at the local end use the knob and have the frequency on the remote flex change. The network will be a 802.11g link.

I tried using VSPE (serial port emulator) with a tcp client/server pair and local cables. But the flex spews out ZZDU packets (status words) and ddutil didn't work consistently. It would be helpful to turn off ZZDU status words, too, but I couldn't find a way.

Thanks for your help.
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Stu Mitchell

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Posted 3 years ago

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Stu Mitchell

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I figured out a partial solution, which uses VSPE and DDUTIL. There are two computes involved, the 'local' and the 'remote'. The remote runs PowerSDR connected to a Flex radio. The local runs DDUTIL, the Flex Control Knob and perhaps N1MM. The DDUTIL serial port connects to the remote CAT port over the network. This lets the local operator use the knob to change the frequency on the remote PowerSDR. I used Windows RDP to remote the desktop. (much better than Tiger VNC.)

Here's what I did. This links together the COM ports like this:

DDUTIL - COM15 - COM5 - TCPClient - Network - TCPServer - COM5 - COM15 - PowerSDR CAT

On the remote end:

1) On the remote end (with the Flex running PowerSDR), install VSPE. http://www.eterlogic.com/Downloads.html. Create a serial 'pair'. For example, COM5 and COM15.

2) Create a TCPServer using COM5 as the source and the IP address of the computer as the Interface IP. Click the 'settings' button to set the baud rate. (e.g. 38400)

3) Start PowerSDR and configure the CAT port to use COM15 (the other end of the virtual serial port pair) and use 38400 as the baud rate. (8n1) Note, you have to create the 
serial pair first, so PowerSDR lists the virtual COM port as an option. When you're done, the CAT control on the Flex is connected to a virtual serial cable, which connects to a TCPserver.

On the local end:

1) Install PowerSDR on the local computer, which installs the drivers for the Flex Control. (I couldn't find the stand alone Flex Control drivers.) Plug in the Flex Control knob, which will assign a serial port to the knob. (e.g. COM3)

2) Just like the remote end:  A) Create a virtual serial pair. (COM 5 and COM15). B) Create a TCPclient. Use COM5 as the data source  and enter the IP address of the remote end. Set the baud rate to 38400.

3) Set up DDTUIL to use COM15 as the legacy COM port. (setup/Open Setup Form and Features Tab). This will connect DDUTIL to one end of the virtual cable pair, which in turn connects to the remote computer over the TCP network link.

7) While on the setup form, set up the TKnob. Select the COM port assigned to the knob. (e.g COM3) and check the 'enable' box.

8) Close the DDUTIL set up form.The Knob should control the remote FLEX radio.

I'm using the RemoteRig to handle the Audio and CW. Today, I tested the RX audio and CW. Worked great. I was able to work two stations on 6M (GA and FL) from VA. I'm looking forward to making the cables for the MIC and PTT.