USB Cables with Old SteppIr controller

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  • Updated 2 years ago

Is anyone using the old SteppIR controller with the USB cable interface available in 1.10?  I have been running the controller successfully with DDUtil in passive mode via the data-in port, but I thought I would try running the controller directly from my 6700.

 I switched the SteppIR S12 cable to the Flex USB to Serial cable. I followed the Flex USB Guide directly.  The cable configured ok in SmartSDR, basically the only configuration I needed to add to the defaults was changing the cable name to "SteppIR". 

When I first powered up controller the antenna tuned to my operating frequency, but would not respond to any subsequent frequency or band changes.  I went back to the DDUtil configuration to verify I hadn't broken anything; it worked fine.  I power cycled everything and when I returned to the USB cableconfiguration I had the same behavior - initial tuning, but no further response.

Any ideas or do I need to trade in my old tried and true SteppIR controller for an SDA100.

I have searched the archives, but not seen anything like this.

Thanks - Keith - AC9S

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Posted 2 years ago

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Photo of Larry: KE2YC

Larry: KE2YC

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You have to use a null modum cable from the old controler with the USB cable to flex

Larry ke2yc
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Thanks Larry,  I think that is what the SteppIR S12 cable is - a cross over.  Are you successfully using the old controller with the new USB interface?

Thanks - Keith - AC9S

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Martin Ewing AA6E

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I use a normal DB9 null modem cable (female to female, pins 2/3 reversing), with an extension to pull up the Request to Send signal at the SteppIR box.  Without pulling up RTS, no data transfer happens.  This may be due to my using a no-name USB-serial adapter.  (Cheaper than $50!)  It may not do RTS/CTS as well as the Flex cable.

The SteppIR controller is set up for "Kenwood" and 9600 bps.

cable (male)  --  SteppIR (female)
pin 2 -- pin 2
pin 5 -- pin 5
n/c --             jumper SteppIR side pin 7 to pin 9 

extender with jumper, photo: (Not my best style!)

and the setup that I see in SSDR:

SteppIR reference:

GL/73 de AA6E
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Thanks Martin,

Great info - I really appreciate your input and effort.  I think our club has a breakout box which I am going to use to verify what works before I wire up a permanent solution.   I'll bet RTS is the solution.  I have exactly the same configuration, but saw nothing with logging enabled.  

This community is a real asset to Flex owners.

Keith - AC9S


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I have an old STEPIR controller for my Big IR III. I just plugged in the USB to SERIAL adapter into the flex 6500, made a null modem adapter, plugged it into the Stepir controller, and set the controller to KENWOOD, and it works great.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I had the old green display controller which I traded up for a SDA100. It will work in kenwood mode with the kenwood cable. Just make sure it's set properly and the baud rates match. I found that to get it to track I had to power cycle the controller.

I have a SDA100 now with the ALP module which is 100% better since it has socketed driver chips and diagnostics on the control cable so if there is a short or open it will tell you.

The old controller didn't really have an in and out serial port. They were simply wired together and either one will work.