In-Shack Control of Externals by the Flex-6000 Radio?

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  • Idea
  • Updated 4 years ago
  • Under Consideration

Controlling In-Shack External Hardware via the Flex-6000 and SmartSDR (even if an add-in module) could be highly desirable.

Would seem an opportunity to push some of the core of what is another layer in "parallel programs" like DDUTIL into the SmartSDR software.

Would simplify LAN and later WAN control by putting all-in-one, including better building a "connection impaired/lost" set of rules for a shack's hardware.





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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Posted 4 years ago

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Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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My guess is that ́s for what the USB ports in the back will be.
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Ross - K9COX

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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Yes, very workable.  We call this "radio control point" functionality, meaning devices that must be physically located with the radio (amps, tuners, rotators, etc..) vs. Client Control Point devices like a FlexControl as one example.  We envision a remote operating configuration where there are no controlling computers located with the radio.  How all this may play out or what is will finally look like is all TBD, but we have done a proof of concept test by controlling an Alpha amp using the USB port on the radio, so it is doable.  There just isn't any time frame or current hard commitment to provide this type of functionality.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Tim, is the capability robust enough already to allow some user experimentation?


Steve K9ZW

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I would like to see this functionality also.  I am considering one of the fanless PC computers now for this purpose at my remote location.  Any update on time frame for release by Flex?
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W5XZ - dan

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or, maybe, some sort of I2C translator, for the 15 pin port ?
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Asher - K0AU

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I've had great luck using the Moxa ethernet to serial servers to control amps, rotators, wattmeters and other accessories.  The Moxa Windows drivers are fantastic and bulletproof.

I've found old-school RS-232 is slightly easier to deal with for remotes than USB.  Don't worry if you need to add a small distribution Ethernet switch next to your radio.  I have four switch hops and under 1ms of round trip latency.
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Al / NN4ZZ

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More background.

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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I think it would be very handy to have band data out of the radio. It's one of those "got to have it" kind of features.

But given that the on-wire protocol is public, I think the long term answer for controlling peripheral equipment is a dedicated network-attached box. It could connect to the radio and listen for band changes, tune requests, or whatever and provide the data in whatever format you want to control peripherals.

How cool would that be, right?

Use something like a PI2 with like 3 dozen digital I/O lines, and you have a lot of control possibilities.

I'm hoping to prototype something like this with Windows 10 on the PI2.

Peter K1PGV
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Just starting to work with a 4o3a Station Genius XXL and expecting the Antenna (Switch) Geniuses to arrive in the next 2-3 weeks, a combination that will add a fair bit of what I was envisioning.

May add the Rotator Genius, which pretty much leaves just the Amp, Antenna Tuner and SWR/Watt Meter to get working remotely.  (Alpha 95, Palstar HF-Auto and Array Solutions PowerMaster at the home QTH.  Expert Amp, Palstar/Kessler HF-Auto and a TBD at the weekend QTH. - so all should be fairly easy to do.)


Steve K9ZW