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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:31 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:29 am
Posts: 4
Good afternoon to all on the HR-50 Forum

I hoping that someone can help me with my port assignments as I try to get the HR-50 band-switching correctly and at the same time have a logging program also working via CAT using a Flex 1500. I want to have the HR-50 band-changing via PowerSDR when I change bands, but also need to achieve the frequency changing within the logging program - currently PZTlog (I've tried Log4OM also without success).

With PowerSDR set to COM4 on the CAT page, all works well as the HR-50 is COM4 - no issues, band switching is fine.
However I need PowerSDR to also to control the frequency in the logging program, and maybe a digi-mode program too at some point.

I'm using Eterlogic VSPE (Virtual Serial Port Emulator) to gain multiple virtual ports using the PowerSDR CAT COM port as a source. This works very well with my Flex 5000 controlling Logging, Digi-modes, etc. but of course that's all software and the HR-50 is Hardware. Laptop running Win-7 32-Bit with 4GB RAM.

If I set PowerSDR CAT to COM5 and use VSPE to split that COM5 to multiple virtual COM4 ports, the logging program works fine set up for COM4, but now the HR-50 no longer changes bands even though it uses COM4? I can't use VSPE to split out COM4 as it's not available - the HR-50 is already using it.

I'm hoping their are other HR-50/Flex 1500 users who have got around this challenge - I'm still trying but getting nowhere at the moment?

Please can anyone offer advice / assistance? Many thanks in advance.


73

Mick M0GWD
Portsmouth, UK


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 5:50 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:25 am
Posts: 1143
Hi Mick,

You could try the HW VSP utility available here:

http://www.hw-group.com/products/hw_vsp/index_en.html

It is designed allow you to set-up a virtual COM port that is then routed via TCP/IP to hardware serial port on another system. In you case you could set it up so that the remote com port is is actually on the same computer and use 'localhost' as th IP address.

Then you might be able to use VSPE to send the data to you logging program and to the logical port that gets relayed to the hardware port connected to the HR50.

Sounds complicated but it might work.

73,
Jim WA2EUJ


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:28 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:29 am
Posts: 4
Hello Jim, good morning

Many thanks for your reply and advice.
I will print off and keep on hold for a while, but I think after two days of effort I've solved the problem.
I'm now using VSPE virtual ports in conjunction with an old version (1.8) of DDUtil, as I couldn't get more up-to-date versions (2 and 3) to work.

It seems that the MCP2200 USB driver doesn't like data flow on associated virtual ports at the same time, but I've now got around this.

I'll soak-test for a while and if still OK I'll post on this forum how I've done it.
It may help other Flex 1500 / HR-50 users with there set-up.

Thanks again Jim and all the best from the UK.

73

Mick
M0GWD


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:02 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:29 am
Posts: 4
Good morning all

After having posed this question some time back I now have resolved my port assignment issues.
I have also prepared a block diagram using Pageplus DTP program. It is too big to upload here as a jpeg. Please e-mail me at m0gwd@fparc.org.uk if you want a copy.
If you are running PagePlus (free version) I can just send you the block diagram file.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Port / Virtual Port Set-up for the Portable SDR Station

Basic Information:

My Flex 1500 seems to be allocated COM3 for its USB connection to my Laptop,.
My Hardrock 50 amplifier uses COM4.
Your ports may differ in which case please amend the text to suit.

Switching On Order:

1. PSU 2. Flex 1500 3. Hardrock 50

Software Applications must be opened in this order!

1. VSPE - open first before anything else from the saved file and minimise this application
2. PowerSDR (this must be opened before DDUtil to provide DDUtil’s Source Data Port)
3. DDUtil (configured purely to supply band change data from PowerSDR to the Hardrock 50)
4. 3rd Party Software Programs, e.g. PZTlog, WSPR, etc.

The following set-up allows band changes within PowerSDR to change bands on both the Flex 1500 and the Hardrock 50 amplifer. Also it allows 3rd Party Software Programs, e.g. PZTlog, to obtain Frequency / Mode information from PowerSDR and also allow tuning of the Flex 1500, via PowerSDR by the said 3rd Party Software Programs.

Configs:
1. VSPE (Virtual Serial Port Emulator) is configured as follows:
Device, Create, Connector, select COM5 (this is the same as the PowerSDR CAT Control Port)
Device, Create, Splitter, Data Source Port select COM5, Virtual Serial Port select COM6
The above duplicates the PowerSDR Port (COM5) within VSPE, allowing it to then be split to as many applications as you wish, all of which need to be configured as COM6
The bottom half of the window should show initialisation successful on both counts.
Minimise VSPE - do not close it down!

2. PowerSDR CAT is configured as follows:
Open PowerSDR but do not press Start.
Go to the Setup Menu, then select CAT Control.
In my case, select COM5 (COM5 is a Virtual Port and would not exist if the previous set-up with VSPE had not been done!)
Select Baud - 19200, Parity - None, Data - 8, Stop -1. Enable CAT, then Apply, then OK.
Press Start and PowerSDR

3. DDUtil (Version 1.8.7) is configured as follows: (you may wish to use a more up-to-date version of DDUtil)
Remember! - the Hardrock 50 amplifier must be switched on at this stage, so that it provides its COM4 Port.
Under the Ports tab, in the Serial Ports section:
Select COM6 for the Radio CAT, then select COM4 for Pass Listen (Passive Listening)
At the bottom, in the Slave Radio section:
Tick Follow SDR, select Kenwood for Slave Radio Type, for PL/Radio Comm select 192008-N-1 and finally ensure boxes are ticked for both DTR and RTS.
Go to Options at the top, select Profile Save and Save as SDR Portable Station 01 in the DDUtil set up folder within the DDUtil on the Drive of your choice.
Minimise DDUtil - do not close it down!

4. 3rd Party Software Program 1 (PZTlog) is configured as follows:
Open PZTlog, select Simple Mode, then select Settings, then select DX Cluster / CAT
Click on OmniRig Config button (OmniRig had been downloaded and installed earlier)

Select as follows:
Rig type - PowerSDR
Port - COM6
Baud Rate - 19200
Data Bits - 8
Parity - None
Stop bits - 1
RTS - High
DTR - High
Poll int. ms - 500
Tim out ms - 400
Click OK, then Save Settings.

If all is well, the log page should show Mode/Frequency to match PowerSDR
Tuning or or band-changing in PowerSDR should change logged frequency, same with Mode change. Also adjusting Frequency within PZTlog should change PowerSDR frequency and tune the radio.
-----------------------------------------------------------

Here it all works very well. For those using a Flex 1500 Transceiver and HardRock 50 combination, I hope that you find this useful.
Please feel free to reply with any variation on this theme for the benefit of other users. Many thanks.

73

Mick M0GWD
Portsmouth UK


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:03 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2016 3:41 pm
Posts: 16
Thanks Mick.

I implemented your suggestion to use VSPE and to configure DDUtil as a passive client. Works a charm. I'm now able to run concurrently PSDR, Logger32, N1MM. I can also key CW via all three programs while they run concurrently. Next step: Digital. The 1500 and HR50 now work as if they are a single unit. Really neat and the operation is just what I'd hoped for. Total integration.

Couple other notes:

1. I added one more COM port to split. This is for keying the CW from outside programs. Both my logging program (Logger32) and Contest Program (N1MM) work with the Flex to do keyboard and shortcut keying. I created a COM6 and split it as COM7 on my unit.

2. RFI connecting the HR50 via USB: The initial setup generated a significant RFI response to the PSDR display. They went away when I disconnected the USB cable. Completely went away. So much for junk box USB cables. Also the noise floor went up one or two S Units. In response, ferrites were added to the USB AB cable and also I connected a ground between the computer and the HF gear.

3. The HRD port would sometimes get hammered with the RFI causing it to no longer be recognized by Windows. Initially my reaction was to reboot the computer resetting all the COM port designators. I now simply reboot DDUtiL which solves the problem for me


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:11 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:29 am
Posts: 4
Hello Mike

Glad that you got things working at your end and that my description proved useful.
Your additional notes are most welcome and also should assist those experiencing similar RFI issues.

Thanks for replaying to my posting.

Cheers Mike, all the best

73

Mick
M0GWD


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:05 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:45 am
Posts: 1
Mick's solution worked perfectly for me - this is recommended and opens up all kinds of other opportunities to use other bits of software as well (I can now run HRD control simultaneously as well!)

mike@palomonet.com wrote:

2. RFI connecting the HR50 via USB: The initial setup generated a significant RFI response to the PSDR display. They went away when I disconnected the USB cable. Completely went away. So much for junk box USB cables. Also the noise floor went up one or two S Units. In response, ferrites were added to the USB AB cable and also I connected a ground between the computer and the HF gear.

3. The HRD port would sometimes get hammered with the RFI causing it to no longer be recognized by Windows. Initially my reaction was to reboot the computer resetting all the COM port designators. I now simply reboot DDUtiL which solves the problem for me


I was having the same issues, and added ferrites to the USB cables, which helped. In addition, I tested out a USB line isolator (this one in particular). There are a whole slew of these available, mostly based on the ADuM4160 chip. This does a good job of isolating all data and power, with two caveats. 1) The device must be self-powered, not USB bus powered (the HR-50 is self-powered), and 2) it adds a small amount of latency in the USB connection (not relevant for the HR-50, but likely so for the FLEX-1500).


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:01 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2016 3:41 pm
Posts: 16
Thanks Thurmond,

I did use ferrites on the USB line, which proved to be not enough isolation. I understand the next version of the HR-50 will include optoisolation, which will be very nice. I understand further that will be available as a mod to existing units. I've been holding out for that change.

And thanks to Mick for his fine work on port sharing with the 1500. With his work as a springboard, I ended up buying the VSPE (Virtual Serial Ports Emulator) software from http://www.eterlogic.com and have been using that in lieu of DDUtil.

The HR-50 / Flex 1500 combo have been working solid for me.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:25 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:25 am
Posts: 1143
We are actively working on the new layout right now. One potential issue with the retrofit is that the opening in the rear panel around the USB connector is very tight and the outside of the USB connector is the USB ground. If the connector touches the case the two ground will short together restoring the ground loop. On the new amps we'll make the rear panel opening slightly larger to insure clearance but retrofitters will need to file the opening to insure a gap or insulate the outside of the connector with electrical tape.

73,
Jim WA2EUJ


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:43 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2016 3:41 pm
Posts: 16
Quote:
One potential issue with the retrofit is that the opening in the rear panel around the USB connector is very tight and the outside of the USB connector is the USB ground. If the connector touches the case the two ground will short together restoring the ground loop.


Jim, would this also be a problem with a plug-in isolator of the type Thurmond is suggesting? I guess I am asking if the rear cover USB hole should be enlarged regardless. I've noticed on my case that there is contact between the USB plub and the case.

Thanks.


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