SmartCAT questions

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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I have a couple programs that recommend using the Com0Com program.  From what I'm reading the SmartCAT program will do the same thing, problem is I can not seem to get it to work.  In Com0Com the cat pair is a com port plus another at plus 10.. example com6/com16 pair.. now with the new SmartCAT program the pair is plus 100.. example Com6/Com106 pair.

Now here is issue I'm running into, I set the pair then setup the programs, one operating on com6, the other on com106.. yet the program on com106 throws an error or does not communicate properly.

And is it my imagination or did the previous version of SmartCAT make the offset of ports the same as Com0Com program does now?  i.e. a plus 10 offset rather then a plus 100 offset.. any reason for the change?

I wish I could get into more specifics but these are MARS programs and would need to discuss one on one with a fellow MARS operator.


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David Warnberg

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Posted 3 years ago

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Ken - NM9P

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Official Response
You need to establish a second port.  You are trying to connect your second program to the radio "end" of the same cable.

The "other end" of the COM pair of 6/106 is for the radio.  It is like having a physical serial cable.  each cable has two ends.  one end is called COM6 and is what is entered in your Digi program.  The other end of the cable is labeled COM106 and is connected to your radio.  When doing it with hard cables, the whole cable would have been connected to one physical serial port on the computer.  But with Software Defined Radio, the "Radio" is in your computer, so to speak, and the computer needs to have both ends defined with a different label.  Once you wrap your mind around this piece of "virtual" reality, it becomes simple.

If you want two programs to run at the same time, you need to establish a second port, for example 7/107 .    Then you have one program using COM6 and the other program using COM7.  A third program would need a third pair....8/108...etc.

The "other end" of the virtual port is used by the radio and never entered into any of your programs.  Some of the digital programs out there do not have a CAT Command TX trigger and require a COM Port PTT.  SSDR allows you to configure a port dedicated as a virtual PTT Com port for these cases.    

Ever since the newer CAT program allowed the user to specify the "other end" of the cable with splits as wide as 100 or more, I have reconfigured all of my ports in order to make room for more ports with a low number.  This makes life easier with some of the older, more restricted programs.  Some of them still will not recognize a port number higher than 10 (or 16 in some cases).  Now it is nice to have several pairs such as 5/105  6/106  7/107  13/113  etc.

Hope this helps,

Ken - NM9P