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Version 3 is Now Available

DDUtil Version 3 is now available for download. Click on the link and read about how v3 has been totally redesigned and has a new look.

Download

Get the Latest Revision here.

Equipment Links

Introduction

This wiki is devoted to the development of a small program I call DDUtil, which is short for Data Decoder Utility. DDUtil was designed to enhance the operating experience for Flex Radio users by providing advanced connectivity to peripheral equipment and Radio Control Programs (RCPs) not before available.

DDUtil provides the automation required to decode and present transmit frequency data to select frequency sensitive devices such as linear amplifiers, antenna controllers (SteppIR), antenna tuners, antenna band switchers, etc. DDUtil may be used in a stand-alone mode or with up to four (5) Radio Control Programs (RCPs) running simultaneously.

DDUtil automatically senses when a RCP is trying to communicate with PowerSDR and modifies it's mode of operation accordingly.

An XML file is used to provide the reference data needed for the BCD output data. A sample file is included with the distribution files to serve as a guide. This file may be created from scratch or modified from the sample provided and then saved with an appropriate user name. All file modification may be accomplished within the program or may be done in any XML file editor of the users choice. But, unless the user is familiar with XML file editing it is recommended that XML file modification be confined to DDUtil until proficiency is obtained. Please note that this file requires a specific format see the BCD Data File Format topic in Setup / Other Topics for details.

The initial release is designed for the Flex family of radios including the SDR-1000, Flex-5000, Flex-3000 and Flex-1500 series, but *MIGHT* be extended to other radios in the future.

Note: See the Design Concept, Setup and How To sections of this document for more information and configuration help.

Features

Flow Chart

  • Send PowerSDR transmit frequency information to RS-232 Passive Listener devices such as SteppIR antenna controllers, linear amplifiers, antenna tuners and other similar devices. This data is provided on the pc's serial communication port commonly known as COM1 - COMn.
  • Send PowerSDR transmit frequency information to Binary-Coded Decimal (BCD) enabled passive listener devices such as band switching linear amplifiers like the Yaesu Quadra, antenna switches and other similar devices. This data is provided on the PC's parallel port commonly known as LPT1 - LPTn.
  • Send PowerSDR transmit frequency information to CI-V enabled devices such as band switching linear amplifiers like the Icom IC-PW1.
  • Slave (Sync) another radio to PowerSDR so it will follow the PowerSDR frequency. Useful for users of Soft Rock receivers and other SDR receivers with limited or no transmit capability.
  • Build and maintain the BCD data file used by the parallel port without having to use a separate program for creation/editing.
  • Act as Message Director for PowerSDR and up to four (4) Radio Control Programs simultaneously. These programs could include DXLab Commander, Ham Radio Deluxe, Mix2W or any multitude of other Radio Control Programs that use standard Kenwood CAT commands.
  • Macro commands for controlling PowerSDR & DDUtil functions.
  • Start and Stop FlexProfiler from within DDUtil.
  • Rotor Direction Control for selected rotors. Antenna bearing for short path and long path is provided from dx station prefix or entity selection. Additionally, dx station latitude, longitude, distance, continent, CQ/ITU zones, IOTA number, time zone and local time is displayed.
  • Display Digital Wattmeter readings.
  • SteppIR antenna support. Inhibits the transmit function of PowerSDR (while the antenna is adjusting) if the SteppIR controller is connected via it's data out connector.
  • Requires little or no screen space, depending on requirements and/or features selected.
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