USB interface and SteppIR

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  • Updated 5 months ago
Trying to get the my SDA100 SteppIR controller working with a direct connection to my 6600M.

I have a FTDI cable installed and it was recognized by the Flex.

I have the SDA100 set to 9600 Data In and out and Kenw for the transceiver type.  Autotrack is on.

The Flex is setup as CAT and following the TX slice.  Under advanced, I have 9600, 8,N,1.  Flow control is NONE.

Having zero luck getting it to respond to the Flex.

I have power cycled everything. Still no joy.

Any thoughts?

Rich
kd0zv
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Rich McCabe

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Posted 5 months ago

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Larry - W8LLL

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You may have already read this but page 12 of the usb interface guide.

SteppIR S12 Cable

http://www.flexradio.com/downloads/usb-cable-interface-guide-pdf/
(Edited)
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Rich McCabe

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Thanks Larry, I did. That is where I got the setup info which I think is correct.

Rich
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John - K3MA

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If you have the interconnect cable from SteppIR you might want to check it as I found the the wires were not correct on one pin.  I switch the wire to the correct pin and it all worked.

John K3MA
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Rich McCabe

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John this is the USB FTDI  cable. So its plugged into back of flex USB port.

Rich
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John - K3MA

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What about the end that plugs into the SteppIR box.  That is the end that was a problem.  That end was a serial connector into the control box.
(Edited)
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Rich McCabe

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It works off Null serial cable in bottom serial port on the SteppIR using DDUTIL

The SteppIR instructions show it in the top port that says Data IN/Radio.

Not sure which is right?

Rich
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W1IMD

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Both are right.

The top connector is for passive listening to frequency messages (as I think you would use when connecting directly from your 6600M). I have not tried this myself.

The bottom connector is for use by programs like DDUtil, PSTRotator and N4PY's Pegasus program that communicate with the controller.

Using the bottom connector and one of the above programs will give you full control over the SDA 100. You can home the elements, reverse the pattern and perform a calibrate. The upper connector does not allow for those operations, only frequency changes.

For remote operations (my setup) you really need to use one of the above programs and the Data Out connector.
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Rich McCabe

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DDUTIL seems to work fine if I wanted to use that. But cant get the Flex direct.

Going to play with it more today.  I would fill out a help desk ticket but I think they are busy as it is so this is not life or death.

Rich
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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I moved to a new QTH at end of January so SteppIR has not been re-installed yet, but prior to the move I had a cheap ($12.99) USB to serial cable connected via a cheap USB hub which was connected to a USB port on the 6700. The serial end of the cable went directly to the SDA100 box.
As per settings, in the 6700 USB Cables the Cable Type: CAT, Source: Slice A, Auto-report: Enabled and under Advanced I see 9600, 8, none, 1, none are selected. On the SDA-100 the Xcvr setup was Kenwood and Din and Dout set to 9600. For it to follow Slice A, Autotrack must be ON.
This is what worked for me. DDUtil was not needed.
As per USB to serial cables, I got a couple of each length, 3', 6' and 10'. Going to use the 3' ones for PTT to laptop if/when remoting.The other lengths for in the shack.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QUZY4JC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
(Edited)
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Rich McCabe

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All the same settings and still does not work.

I can get it to work with DDUTIL and I can run the USB cable out of the Flex to my Palstar AT-AUTO and it follows however the SteppIR wont.
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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If you want to use the USB interface, you will need an FTDI to RS-232 and a proprietary Steppir cable, or one with the correct pin bridging. If you use DDutil and a serial port on your pc, a conventional serial cable is ok.
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Rich McCabe

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It was my understanding the steppIR cable is nothing more than a null modem cable?

Thanks Chris

Rich
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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i think a couple of the pins are jumpered together..
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Rich McCabe

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I sent Martin an email. I have solder DB9 connector. I have cut one end off and want to just make it and all one one cross-over with this pins jumped but still have not got it figured out.

Thanks for link Chris. That has me on right track.
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Frank WA3NHK

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The Steppir S12 cable is definitely not a null modem cable.  Yes, pins 2 and 3 are frogged between the flex cable and the steppir Data In port just like a null modem cable.  And Pin 5 is wired straight thru.  But the big difference is that at the steppir Data In port pins 7 and 9 must be jumpered together and not connected to the flex cable at all.  No other pins are to be wired.  It works fine for me.
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Rich McCabe

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Exactly right.  I have it working now. I started responding to your post Frank with a numbered picture and realized the last go around I jumped 5 and 8 and not 7 and 9. I guess it helps to take a picture and zoom up :)

Thanks for everyone help.

Rich

(Edited)
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Frank WA3NHK

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Yep, you got it.

73....Frank
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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I'm sure my USB to serial adapter (6' version) plugged directly into the SDA-100. Glad you got it going Rich.