Setup

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Contents

Ports Tab

DDUtilPorts20828.jpg

Serial Ports

Now would probably be a good time to talk about Virtual Serial Port Planning before you get to far down the road setting up the various ports.

  • In the Serial Ports group select the CAT Port you will use to talk to your radio. This will be one of a virtual port pair like the com0com utility provides. In this illustration PowerSDR is set to port 31 and DDUtil is set to port 30. If you are new to Virtual Serial Ports see this Flex Knowledge Base article on how to set them up.
Note:
If using com0com:
1. Make sure to check the enable buffer overrun check boxes in the 
   com0com Setup Manager for each port in each pair. Failure to do
   this may result in DDUtil hanging when starting and or numerous
   errors in DDUtil's error log.
2. All port names must begin with COM. Failure to observe this will result
   in a startup crash or a message being displayed.
  • Optionally, select from the drop down box the Passive Listener Port you will use. Usually COM1, but may be any RS-232 compliant hardware serial port connected to your PC including add-on cards or USB to serial adapters.
  • Optionally, select from the drop down box the Radio Control Port you will use. This will be one of a virtual serial port pair like the com0com utility provides. In the example below the Radio Control program (HRD, etc.) port is set to COM4 and DDUtil is set to COM5.
  • In the setup section of the Radio Control Program set the radio type to Kenwood, the speed parity and stop bits don't matter on virtual serial ports.
  • Set the Cat Polling Interval. This interval determines how often DDUtil checks the radio for frequency and mode status. The built in default is 500 which equates to 1/2 second. Lower numbers speed up the polling time, but increase CPU utilization so caution should be exercised when setting this number. 500~1000 has proven to be satisfactory intervals. Please note this interval only applies if NO RCP's are running!. Else, the RCP controls the polling.

Serial Port Notes:

A typical virtual ports setup for DDUtil could be:

DDUtil CAT COM30 <-> COM31 PowerSDR CAT

MixW CAT COM7 <-> COM17 DDUtil RCP1 CAT

Power

See the Remote On page for discussion of this feature.

SerMacPort

The Serial Macro Port is a special RS232 serial port used to send String (text) data to specially designed devices to use as command data. These devices are a new group of Micro Controllers used to control station activities like antenna switching and rig selection to name a few.

  • Use the DDUtil macro command DDPS or DDPQ to send data to this port.
Note: if a ; (semi-colon) is needed as a terminator for the string command use the DDPQ command.
  • Additionally, this port has the ability to capture switch closures for the CD, CTS and DSR control lines. Switches attached to these lines can direct macros to perform functions that are free of focus issues.
  • Use the following connection data when wiring up the switches. The resistor capacitor combination is required to de-bounce the switch contacts. Failure to do this can result in multiple events being fired when the switch is opened or closed and may cause multiple macro firings.
Note: For best results use a separate capacitor/resistor combination for each control pin (1,6,8).
Connection Data
---------------
DB9F pin 4|7 -- 10k ohm resistor ----o |
                                       |-| switch 
DB9F pins 1|6|8 ---------------------o |
                                     |
(CD #1, CTS #8, DSR #6)             --- .1 uFd
                                    --- capacitor
                                     |
DB9F pin 5 --------------------------o

Parallel Port

  • In the Parallel Port group, optionally, select the parallel port you will use. Usually LPT1, but may be any parallel port including add-on cards.
  • If your not sure what your port numbers are you can get help here finding out if you have any parallel ports and what their numbers are.
  • If you are using an add-on board or USB to Parallel adapter for your parallel port the port address will have to be entered manually. Click here for a guide on how-to find the address for your non-standard parallel port and enter it into DDUtil.

Data Signals

  • In the Data Signals group, select the device you want to use as a file source for the BCD data. In order to make this selection you will have to go to one or more of the device tabs and setup a source. See the following section for advice on this.

Slave Radio

  • Follow SDR - Select this check box if you want to Slave another radio to PowerSDR in-lieu of a Passive Listener device. This feature allows another radio to follow PowerSDR's frequency, which is handy if your SDR is an old three (3) board stack or SoftRock. Be advised that in this mode receiver muting and antenna switching is required when transmitting from the slave radio or bad things will happen to your SDR.
  • Follow Mode - Select this check box if you want the Slave radio to use the same mode as PowerSDR. If left unchecked the Slave radio will not follow the PowerSDR mode.
  • Slave Radio Type - Select the radio type you wish to use as the slave.
    Note: Right-click on the form background to display a menu of options and select "Slave Radio Info" for the radio models in each radio type.
  • PL/Radio Comm - Selects serial communication parameters for the Passive Listener port. Consult your radio users manual for this if necessary.
  • DTR - Select this check box if your CI-V adapter or other equipment requires power from the DTR line. Check the manufactures instructions.
  • RTS - Select this check box if your CI-V adapter or other equipment requires power from the RTS line. Check the manufactures instructions.
  • CI-V Addr - Sets the appropriate CI-V Hex address if using an ICOM radio. Consult owner's manual for information on this.

Note: For more information on how to configure these functions see the How To section.


Other Controls

For a description of the other controls at the bottom of the form please follow the link.

BCD Tab

DDUtilBCD20719.jpg

  • This tab is for configuring the BCD data file. This file is needed to set the parallel port BCD codes for a frequency dependent device and will vary according to the device's configuration and design criteria. The following is an example of the codes required for a Yaesu Quadra amplifier to automatically switch bands as PowerSDR changes frequency.
160 = 1, 80 = 2, 40 = 3, 30 = 4, 20 = 5, 17 = 6, 15 = 7, 12 = 8, 10 = 9, 6 = 10
You input a digital number for a specific frequency and the decoder converts it to BCD at the parallel port (i.e. 7 = 0111)
The third column (macro) if greater than zero (0) will execute the corresponding Macro in lieu of the binary data.
  • This page is pretty self explanatory, here is a description of the controls functions.
  • Device Name = Give this device a suitable name to distinguish it in the device list on the Ports tab. This name will be transferred to the device tab name for easy recognition.
  • Enabled = indicates the device is available for selection by the Ports page Data Signals Device selector combo box.
  • Data Grid = Display and/or edit the Frequency / Data pairs. This is the data used by the BCD converter to output on the parallel port. See Other Topics for a discussion on BCD data file format.
  • File Name | Select = When pressed brings up a file dialog where a file may be selected for input into the data grid.
  • File Name | Re-Load = Will re-load the displayed file. This is intended to allow salvaging a file that has been edited and the user decides to abandon it due to errors or whatever.
  • File Name | Save = After creating or editing a file in the data grid pressing this button will save it to the file named in the File Name box.
    Note: This will overwrite whatever file is in the file name box. Be careful!
  • Help = Invokes the help file.

Note: For more information on how to configure a BCD device see the How To section.

Manual Control

This group is intended for users to be able to temporally disable the auto frequency update feature in favor of manually changing the BCD device. This is especially useful if you have a antenna switch hooked to the BCD port and want to check one antenna against another antenna for the best signal reception. Say a dipole vs a vertical.

Toggling the Override check box will enable/disable this function and alternately enable/disable the auto frequency update function. The Manual Control Override check box is not remembered and will not persist between sessions.

CX-Auto

Controls for the Kessler Engineering CX-Auto antenna switch

Aux BCD Control

This feature is for the user that needs more finite control over the BCD data than can be afforded by the Data File alone. Each bit can be individually set by the user while not affecting the others.

Features

  • Full control of the data byte by the user.
  • Optionally, the user can elect to use the frequency following ability of the BCD data file.
    • Bits 1-4 are reserved for the frequency data.
    • Bits 5-8 are available at the user's discretion.
  • Optionally, the data byte can be loaded from a macro command.
    • The macro command may be presented either from one of the macro buttons or from one of the special mode change commands.

Controls

  • Data bits 1-8
    • Set as required by hand or with the aid of the BCD macro.
  • Enable
    • When selected control of the BCD data is transferred to the Aux BCD data word.
  • Follow Freq
    • When selected forces bits 1-4 to follow the original BCD data file frequency.
    • Bits 1-4 are not available for use when checked.
  • Allow Macro
    • When selected a special macro command can send data to the aux data byte.

Macro Operation

  • Command Format
DDBC     Sets the Aux BCD data byte
Set	 DDBC P1 P1 P1 P1 P1 P1 P1 P1 ;							
Notes	 P1 = 0 for off, 1 for on.
Example  DDBC01010101;
Sends decimal 85 (0x55) to the BCD port.
  • May be assigned to any user accessible macro 1-16.
  • Or, assigned to any of the mode specific macros 17-20.

Note: The first four bits (1-4) are not available when the Follow Freq option is used.

For more information on setting up, programming and using Macro commands see the CAT and How To sections.

RCP Tab

DDUtilRCP20719.jpg

Controls

This tab is for configuring the other Radio Control Programs (RCP) ports.

This page sets up and controls additional RCP programs. These are programs that can be used in addition to the Main RCP program setup on the "Ports" tab.

  • CAT Port is used to select one end of a virtual serial port pair used to connect DDUtil with the RCP.
  • B Cast (broadcast) if selected, will automatically output VFO A frequency and mode and VFO B frequency as described by Kenwood CAT commands IF & FB. These commands are output if VFO A or B frequency changes.
Warning!
The B Cast feature should only be used for a very few programs that don't poll the radio themselves but expect frequency and/or mode data to be present (Passive Listeners). And, by software developers for experimentation purposes. Use this feature with care as unexpected results may occur if used with some polling programs.
  • RCP Rotor Port Select one end of a pair of virtual serial ports to connect your RCP's Rotor to DDUtil. See the following for a description of using Rotor Functions in DDUtil.
  • Program Memo use this text box to keep track of what RCP's are attached to what ports. It's very easy to lose track of them.

Special Ports

The following ports are used for special purposes and not intended for normal RCP programs.

  • CWS this is a special port configured especially for CW Skimmer users to be able to click in the CWS water fall window and QSY either VFO A or VFO B depending on how the radio is configured. This is especially handy for pile-ups when you hear the DX station (working split) call someone and you can see that person in the water fall window answering. With this feature just click the answering station and you've nailed the frequency where the DX station is listening.
  • Log 2, Log3 these ports are used for WriteLog when used in the SO2R mode. See the Contesting page for details.
The following table defines the results of using different operating configurations when clicking the CWS water fall.
Radio Mode Sets VFO Freq
RX1 RX2 Split Diver VFO A VFO B TX VFO
x x
x x x
xx x
xx xxx
xxxx x
Note: For more information on using the CWS Port see W9OY's Blog.

Repeater 1/2

These groups is intended to serve two purposes:

  1. As a conduit to the radio CAT port for programmers that want to send/receive CAT commands using their own software program.
  2. Connect non-standard RCP's to DDUtil, including:
    • microHam Band Decoder.
    • Palstar AT-AUTO tuner when wanting to use the tuner's programming commands.
    • Hamation ShackLan4 console.
    • microHam Station Master
  • Station Master Users
    • Select Port number
    • Set Comm settings to match your tuner setup
    • Select Station Master in the Data Type group.
    • Check the Enable check box.
    • See the Station Master manual for more information.
    • Note: checking the VFO B check box will cause the Station Master to follow VFO B only
  • Palstar AT-AUTO Users
    • Select Port number
    • Set Comm settings to match your tuner setup
    • Select PalStar in the Data Type group.
    • Check the Enable check box.
    • See the Palstar manual for using the command mode.
  • ShackLan4 Users
    • Select Port number
    • Set Comm settings to match your ShackLan4 setup
    • Select ShackLan4 in the Data Type group.
    • Check the Enable check box.
    • See the ShackLan4 manual for using the command mode.
  • MicroHam Band Decoder Users
    • In the DDUtil Repeater Group
      • Set the port number and baud rate.
      • Select Normal as the data type.
    • MicroHAM Device Configurator software:
      • Select Kenwood TS 2000 as the RIG (band data source.
      • Press the Advanced Settings button on the bottom left corner of the form.
    • In the Band data source tab select the following parameters.
      • Rig Interface = RS232
      • Baud Rate to match the setting in DDUtil using the highest rate possible.
    • In the Configuration Menu select Write to Device to save the new configuration to the decoder.
    • MicroHam Band Decoder
      • Connect a Null Modem cable to the RS232 port on the decoder and to a PC port. In the decoder manual this cable is identified as RIG232.

Watt Tab

DDUtilWatt20719.jpg

Power Master

(version 1.6.8)

The Array Solutions Power Master digital watt meter may be remotely read using this setup group.

The following controls will need to be setup to enable this function.

  • Port - Select the port number you have the Power Master attached to. Configure this port to match the Power Master serial port requirements.
  • Comm - The communication Baud Rate for the serial port. Select to match the Power Master control unit.
  • Enabled - Indicates you want the Power Master Forward and Reverse power readings to be displayed on the DDUtil form.

Note: Only one watt meter may be selected at a time. Enabling one will disable any other.

LP-100

If you own one of Larry Phipps's (N8LP) LP-100 Peak Reading Digital Vector Wattmeters and have an additional serial port on your PC, this option may be useful for you.

The forward and reverse power readings from the LP-100 can be displayed at the bottom of the DDUtil form. This is handy as you won't have to look away from the monitor to see the wattmeter readings.

The following controls will need to be setup to enable this function.

  • Port - Select the port number you have the LP-100 attached to. Configure this port to match the LP-100 serial requirements.
  • Interval - The interval in milliseconds (ms) DDUtil will use to poll the LP-100 for readings. This number needs to be fairly small or there will be a lag in readings from the LP-100. I have found a range of 80 - 200 ms to be suitable.
  • Enabled - Indicates you want the LP-100 Forward and Reverse power readings to be displayed on the DDUtil form.

Note: Only one watt meter may be selected at a time. Enabling one will disable any other.

WaveNode WN2

(version 1.5.9)

The WaveNode WN2 Peak Reading Digital watt meter can be remotely read using this setup group.

Select the Enable check box and pick the sensor you want to read and set it's type, everything else is automatic. No additional serial port is required as the WN2 is a USB device. Starting with version 1.6.7 the sensors may be controlled by a band matrix. With this matrix different sensors may be used on different bands. Press the small Green button to display the sensor matrix screen as shown below.

WN2Matrix.jpg

The readout is shared with the LP-100 and automatically changes readout configuration depending on which one is selected. The WN2 has an additional Peak reading the LP-100 doesn't offer. Additionally, the WN2 allows up to four (4) sensors to be connected to your station and you can select which one you wish to monitor.

Warning: 

DO NOT start the WN2 furnished software prior to starting DDUtil. 
If the WN2 software has been started after the WN2 has been powered up DDUtil 
will not connect and the WN2 will have to be powered down and back up again.

Note: Only one watt meter may be selected at a time. Enabling one will disable any other.

Elecraft W2

Setup for this watt meter is as simple as setting the port and checking the Enable check box.

Controls mimic the W2 front panel and perform the same functions. See the users manual for descriptions.

Alpha 4500

This watt meter supports on forward and reflected power remotely.

Set the serial port and check Enable to use.

SWR Alarm

If any of the above watt meters Or supported amplifiers are used then you may set this control to inhibit PowerSDR from transmitting if the SWR exceeds the setting in the number box. Pressing the up/down arrows will set the SWR not-to-exceed value in 0.5 increments.

If the SWR Alarm trips, a message window is displayed describing the problem and allowing the user to dismiss the window and reset the alarm. There is also a High SWR message displayed just under the title bar on the main DDUtil form.

HighSWRmsg175.jpg

Power Alarm

If any of the above watt meters Or supported amplifiers are used then you may set this control to inhibit PowerSDR from transmitting if the Forward Power exceeds the setting in the number box.

If the Power Alarm trips, a message window is displayed describing the problem and allowing the user to dismiss the window and reset the alarm. There is also a High Power message displayed just under the title bar on the main DDUtil form.

PowerAlarm.jpg

Amps Tab

DDUtilAmps20910.jpg

This tab is for selecting a specifically supported linear amplifier. These amplifiers have built-in functionality to allow direct communication between the amp and DDUtil.

Expert 1K-FA

This little amplifier packs a lot of punch in a small package and can be remotely controlled for unattended operation.

Alpha 9500

When your ready for the best.

Alpha 87A / ACOM 2000A

Either of these amplifiers can be selected to display here. To select an amplifier model:

  • Open the Options menu (top of form) and select your choice from the Tube Amps heading and the specific controls will be configured for the amplifier that was chosen.

Below is the description for the Alpha 87A and in the How-To section of this document is the description for the ACOM 2000A.

  • Serial Port
    • Select the hardware serial port to which your amplifier is connected. Note: A port must be selected before the amplifier may be enabled.
  • Enable
    • Select the Enable check box to allow use of the amplifier.
  • Baud Rate
    • Select the baud rate (4800/9600) your amplifier is setup for.
  • Interval
    • Select the interval to poll the amplifier (1000 = 1 second). It is recommended this be set to a high number (60,000 = 1 minute) as frequent polling is not necessary.
  • Freq
    • Displays the last frequency sent to the amplifier.
  • Power
    • Pressing this button toggles the amplifier's Mains Power On/Off.
  • Oper
    • Pressing this button toggles the amplifier's Operate/StandBy mode .
  • Tune
    • Pressing this button toggles the amplifier's Auto Tune mode Off/On.
  • HV
    • Pressing this button toggles the amplifier's High Voltage from High/Low .
  • SF
    • Pressing this button displays the amplifier's Soft Fault Log. If a Soft Fault warning has been received the Soft Fault log will be automatically displayed in the Message window and the push button will change to "Yellow".
  • HF
    • Pressing this button displays the amplifier's Hard Fault Log. If a Hard Fault warning has been received the Hard Fault log will be automatically displayed in the Message window and the push button will change to "Red".
  • Band
    • Displays the current Band (160M-10M) the amplifier is set to as reported by the amplifier.
  • Seg
    • Displays the current Band Segment (1-5) the amplifier is set to as reported by the amplifier.
  • Message Window
    • Displays various messages including the Hard and Soft Fault logs.
  • Tune
    • Displays the current setting for the Tune control.
  • Load
    • Displays the current setting for the Load control.

The major controls may also be viewed from the expanded Mini Window


MiniWinExp167.jpg

Other Tab

DDUtilOther21001.jpg

SteppIR

This setup is for users that want to use the extended features of the SteppIR control box beyond just following frequency. These features include:

  1. Changing the beam direction to Forward, 180 (Reverse), Uni-directional and 3/4 mode (verticals only).
  2. Home the elements.
  3. Calibrate the antenna.

Additionally, the message Transmit Inhibited is displayed near the top of the DDUtil form whenever the antenna is adjusting and the radio is disabled from transmitting during this time.

  • Select the port number connected to the SteppIR controller Data Out port.
  • Select the Comm setting to match your setup. For best response use 19200 8N1.
  • Select the Trans Inhib (Transmit Inhibit) check box to disable PSDR from transmitting while the antenna is moving

Note: See the Rotor tab for the control interface for these features.

Auto Drive

This feature allows automatic management of the PowerSDR Drive Level when driving a linear power amplifier.

IC-PW1

If you wish to have your ICOM IC-PW1 linear amplifier follow PowerSDR automatically from band to band this control group is where you set it up.

You will need a CT-17 or some other CI-V level converter.

Note: Even though a CT-17 will work, it is suggested that a Single Radio CI-V Interface, such as the ones sold by W2ENY, be used in lieu of the CT-17. The reason for this is the CT-17 re-broadcasts every message it receives back to DDUtil which increases the CPU overhead and cuts down the efficiency and response time in DDUtil.

Also, the following controls will need to be set for this function.

  • Port - Select the hardware port number, from the drop-down list, you wish to use to connect your IC-PW1 via a CI-V level converter.
  • Enabled - Check to enable the function.
  • Disable Broadcast - When checked will turn off the broadcast of frequency data to this port. Leave this control un-checked so frequency data will flow to the IC-PW1.
  • CI-V Address (ra) - This is the address of the IC-PW1. DDUtil will automatically pick this address up when the IC-PW1 polls DDUtil. No action is required on the user's part and the ra box is not accessible and is shown for information purposes only.
  • CI-V Address (ta) - This is the hex address used by DDUtil during communication with the IC-PW1. It is suggested that the default address of 33H be used, but any other address between 00~7F may be used.
  • DTR - Select this check box if your CI-V adapter or other equipment requires power from the DTR line. Check the manufactures instructions.
  • RTS - Select this check box if your CI-V adapter or other equipment requires power from the RTS line. Check the manufactures instructions.

Additionally, The user will need to follow the "Program the CI-V address" procedure in section 3 of the IC-PW1 Instruction Manual. If you don't have a copy of the Instruction Manual one can be downloaded here. The following is a summary of this method.

  1. Remove all connections from the PW1's ACC-1 connector
  2. While simultaneously pushing your PW-1's UP, and DOWN buttons, push its POWER button.
  3. Power-down the PW1
  4. While pushing your PW1's INPUT button, push its POWER button which places your PW1 in programming mode. The INPUT 1 light will begin blinking. If after 10 seconds the the INPUT 1 light has not stopped blinking, change the PSDR frequency slightly to force DDUtil to send frequency data to the PW1. The INPUT 1 light should now be glowing steadly indicating that PW-1 programming is complete.
  5. Push your PW1's POWER button to record the programming results and power off your PW1.
  6. Reattach the PW1's ACC-1 connector.
  7. Push your PW1's POWER button to power on your PW1, which will from now on track your transceiver's frequency.

This procedure is mandatory for the PW1 to track PSDR frequency. This only takes a few seconds and only has to be done once, normally.

See the How To section for additional information on this function.

KPA500

Elecraft KPA500 solid-state 500w linear amplifier.

Functions

  • 160-6m operation
  • Remote operation
  • Automatic band switching
  • Automatic drive control when the DDUtil Auto Drive feature is used.
  • Amplifier fault alert and reset control.

Please see the owners manual for a more complete description of controls and amplifier functionality.

Controls

  • Enable
    • Select to enable the amp.
  • Serial Port
    • Select the serial port to which the amplifier is attached.
    • Note: baud rate is fixed at 38,400 (8N1). Make sure the amp is set accordingly.
  • Fan Speed
    • Sets the amplifiers base fan speed. Double-click to change base speed.
    • Note: the amplifier controls fan speed based on PA temperature. See owners manual for info.
  • Temp
    • Displays PA Temperature in centigrade.
    • Note: background color changes with temperature increase.
  • Band
    • Located between the enable check box and the Pwr button this label shows what band the amp is selected to.
  • Pwr
    • Toggles the main power to the amplifier.
  • Mode
    • Toggles the amplifier mode (Operate and Standby).
  • Fault
    • Alerts when the amp has experienced a hard fault. The Fault button turns pink, a warning message is flashed on the screen and the fault message is displayed in the KPA500 message window.
    • Press the Fault button to reset the amplifier and the Fault button color.
  • PA Volts
    • Displays the PA volts.
  • PA Amps
    • Displays the PA current.
  • Message Window
    • Displays system information and fault messages from the amplifier.
    • Double-Click to clear.
  • Additionally, there is a sub window that can be viewed to save screen space if desired that is available from the main menu Wind selection.

KPA500Sub20717.jpg

Macro Switch

By connecting a SPST switch across the signal pins CTS (pin 8) and DTR (pin 4) of a standard DB9F RS232 connector you can trigger an event to fire that will allow any properly formed PSDR CAT command to be sent to the radio (PSDR) for processing on switch open or close changes.

Additionally, DDUtil Macro commands are also recognized.

It's advisable to use the following connection data when wiring up the switch. The resistor capacitor combination is required to de-bounce the switch contacts. Failure to do this can result in multiple events being fired when the switch is opened or closed and may cause multiple messages to be displayed.

Connection Data
---------------
DB9F pin 4 ---> 10k ohm resistor ----o |
                                       |-| switch 
DB9F pin 8 --------------------------o |
                                     |
                                    --- .1 uFd
                                    --- capacitor
                                     |
DB9F pin 5 --------------------------o

An example of this could be turning PowerSDR on/off or any of many other appropriate radio functions.

Controls

  • Enable
  • Port
    • Select the serial port where the switch is attached.
  • ON
    • The CAT command(s) to be sent when the switch is closed (on).
  • OFF
    • The CAT command(s) to be sent when the switch is open (off).
  • Event Message
    • The message to display when the Macro Switch Event fires.
    • Double-clicking this window will display this help information.

Operation

The On and Off windows require properly formed and recognized PSDR CAT or DDUtil commands. See the following references for a list of these commands.

  1. PowerSDR CAT Command Reference Guide]
  2. DDUtil Macro Command Dictionary.
  • Enter an appropriate message to display for the event. This message can be multiple lines long if needed. Use the enter key to add a new line and use the up/down arrow keys to move between the different rows.
- Note: Leave this window empty if no event message is desired.

Mac1 Tab

Mac1 20828.jpg

This tab is for configuring Macro commands used to instruct the radio and/or DDUtil to perform actions remotely. These actions can include setting almost any control or function on the radio console. Typically, commands might be attached to one of the macro buttons labeled FR Net (Flex Radio Net). These commands will; Change frequency to 14,319.000, Set Mode to USB, Set Transmit Profile to PR781+EQ, Set PA Power to 100 watts, Set RX Filter to 2.7K, etc.

The Mac1 tab is divided into two areas.

  • Data Grid is the upper portion of the tab and is used to input the button names and command strings. Also, at the far left of each line is an M indicator that refers to the sequential number of the Macro button the line is assigned to.
Note: The Data Grid and the Data File areas may be hidden/unhidden from view by clicking in any open area of the Macro tab. A good spot is at the end of the Data File Group in the open area.
  • Data File is at the bottom of the tab and is where the file name for a group of commands is designated. This group contains three controls to manage the data file.
    • File Name - Name of the file containing the macro commands.
    • Save Button - commits contents of the Data Grid to the file name in the File Name window. Use this feature to save the contents of the Data Grid after editing.
    • Load Button - Opens a File Dialog window where a file is selected for loading and then the Data Grid is loaded with the commands in that file.

For more information on setting up, programming and using Macro commands see the CAT and How To sections.

Mac2 Tab

Mac2 20828.jpg

This tab contains an array of buttons that allows access to the Macros on the previous tab (Mac1). Access to the macros is available from the following methods.

  • Button Press press a button for the desired macro.
  • Short cut Keys combinations are available to any of the 48 keys.
    • DDUtil must have program focus for the short cut keys to work.
    • See the legend on this tab for button key combinations.
  • DDME macro command used from another macro.
  • [Ctrl+Shift+M] key combination when used from any selected macro in the data grid.

Extended Feature

There are a total of forty eight (48) assignable buttons that can be used to execute any of the commands in the Data Grid on the Mac1 tab.

Suppose you have a lot of macros and are running out of buttons and would like to use the Tuning Knob Switch buttons 30-38. Any macro can be re-assigned to any of the 48 buttons and the original macros are still available to the Tuning Knob Switches (in this case) or by using the DDME macro command.

  • Pressing the Button Matrix Form button will bring up the following form.

MacroAssign20828.jpg

  • To re-assign a macro
    • Replace the number inside the box just to the right of the button number with the macro you want the button to execute.
    • To save the replacement macro hit the [Enter] key or [Tab] key.
  • Re-assigned macros will show up Pink also so they can be readily identified as being a re-assignment.
  • Re-assignments are saved in the users settings file and will persist beteen sessions as long as the same macro data file is used.
  • Pressing the Reset button will return the re-assigned buttons to their default state.
  • The title bar of the Macro Button Matrix form also contains the total number of macros in the data grid as a reference.

Caution!
Re-assignments are only effective for the currently loaded file. Loading a new (different) file will delete all re-assignments and are not recoverable.


Additional Macro Functionality

  • Mode Macros

A Mode Macro form is available for defining macros to be executed when the radio mode changes.

  • SO2R Exit Macro
Macro  29 executes when SO2R is disabled.
  • Tuning Knob Auxiliary Switches

There are nine (9) macros set aside to service the three (3) Tuning Knob auxiliary switches.

Macro  30  31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38
TK Sw   1   2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9
  • Any combination of commands may be strung together to execute when the mode changes. As an example, one user uses CWSkimmer and the RX2 for CW operation. This requires the Direct IQ Output to VAC check box to be checked and the RX2 turned on. But, he wanted this check box unchecked and the RX2 turned off when changing to Digi mode. This requires a number steps each way to accomplish, but is totally automatic when macros are setup for these functions.

Programming Note:

If using the Transmit Profile (ZZTPnn) command be advised this command will set the Power Level to what is stored in the Transmit Profile.If you want some other Power level set it after you set the Transmit Profile. Or, always set the Power Level as the last command in the macro.

Rotor Tab

DDUtilRotor20719.jpg

This tab is for controlling your rotor direction either by turning the antenna to the short path bearing or to the long path bearing.

Setup

Before using this feature you must go to the Setup tab and configure the parameters for your rotor. Otherwise the short path and long path buttons won't be active.

If you are planning to use the Rotor Pass-Thru functions in any of the RCP's it's important to understand how DDUtil implements these functions. Please see the article on Rotor Functions in the How To section of this document.

Operation

To find the antenna bearing for a country perform one of the following actions.

  • Call Prefix
    • Enter the first two characters of a special call sign prefix.
    • These prefixes are not ARRL DXCC prefixes, but special prefixes assigned to many countries for special events or other uses.
  • Prefix
    • Enter a call sign prefix in the Prefix text box.
    • Select a call sign prefix from the drop down list in the Prefix window.
  • Entity
    • Enter a entity (country) name in the Entity text box.
    • Select a country name from the drop down list in the Entity window.
  • Press the appropriate Heading SP or LP button (Short Path/Long Path) to start the rotor turning.
Heading20506.jpg
Note: pressing Ctrl+SP or Ctrl+LP or the Red Stop button will stop the rotor if turning.
Note: To select an active rotor click the heading of the desired rotor. The selected rotor's heading will be outlined in a black box and the heading itself will be colored red.
  • Location Data is provided for information about the entity chosen.
Note: Short path distance is shown in red. Double-clicking the Distance window will show the distance for long path in blue.
  • Rotor Presets
Bearing presets are provided when the operator wants to move the antenna in a general direction without doing a Prefix or Entity lookup. Simply select the preset and the antenna will position itself to that heading.

Information!
In addition to the main Rotor tab above there is also a Rotor Sub (daughter) window available that contains the major Rotor controls while being greatly reduced in size.

Tips for Entering Heading Data

The prefix and entity controls keep track of what has been entered progressively as you type. This means even though you can't see what you are typing, in some cases, it's still there. If you didn't find what you wanted due to entering the wrong data and need to start over one of the following actions will reset the control buffer.

  • Press the Enter key
  • Press the Tab key to leave the control
  • Click on the control you are using

Grid

As an additional feature to the DXCC Prefix look up function, the Grid group performs antenna heading calculations and distance measuring for any Grid Square on earth from your QTH. To use this feature follow these steps. See the graphic below for this alternate configuration.

  • Important: Make sure your grid square is entered correctly on the Setup tab in the Station Info group. It is needed for the calculations and errors will occur if it is missing or not correct.
  • Enter the target Grid Square in the top window of the Grid group.
    Note: Only a standard six (6) position Maidenhead Grid Square number (XXnnXX) as shown below will work.
  • Either press Enter or Double-Click the target Grid Square window to start the calculation.
  • The antenna heading will appear in the Short window in the Heading group.
  • The distance in Statute Miles and Kilometers to the target Grid Square is displayed in the two lower windows in the Grid group.
  • In order not to confuse the user, any pre-existing DXCC Info is blanked out in the display and is replaced with the Latitude and Longitude for the target Grid Square in the Location Data group.
  • Pressing the SP button will turn the antenna to the indicated heading.
  • To restore standard DXCC prefix and entity look up operation, simply select a prefix or entity from their drop down boxes.

This link is an excellent source for Grid Square information world wide.

DDUtilRotorGrid20506.jpg

SteppIR Control

The following controls affect the SteppIR antenna modes:

  • Fwd (Forward) selects the forward mode of the antenna.
  • 180 selects the 180 mode of the antenna.
  • <--> (Bi-Directional) selects the Bi_Directional mode of the antenna.
  • 3/4 (3/4 wavelength) selects the 3/4 wavelength mode of the antenna (verticals only).
  • Home button retracts the elements then disables the SteppIR check box (Other tab).
  • Calibrate button retracts and then re-extends the elements to the correct frequency.

ExtCtrl Tab

DDUtilExtCtrl18303.jpg

This tab is for enabling support for two 8-bit ports that are wired to the VHF+ band select buttons in Power SDR. When enabled these matrices allow signals to be sent to the assigned Parallel Port addresses shown in the port boxes. Additionally, HF band buttons 6 and 2 are also available if needed.

Note:
If you intend to use the HF 6 or HF 2 band buttons DO NOT setup these
frequencies on any of the VHF+ buttons or the VHF+ buttons will take
precedence over the HF buttons and the output may not be what you expect.

If you don't intend to use this feature make sure to disable both ports as this function can double the load time of DDUtil due to the number of controls that have to be initialized.

Controls

  • Invert
    • Some devices such as the UCB (Universal Controller Board) requires negative TTL logic logic to operate properly. This check box will cause the logic from the matrix to be presented properly to these devices.
  • Enable
    • Allows the matrix to be selected.
  • Port A/B
    • Assigns the address for the parallel port that outputs the matrix data.
Note:
- This box will be grayed out if the FlexWire selection is chosen.
- The port address must be entered in Decimal and not Hex notation. 
Note: 
If using both ports and/or the parallel port on the Ports tab, 
make sure the port addresses are different for each port or 
unintended results will occur.

This link will help you find the port address you will need.

  • Clear
    • Pressing this button will clear all check boxes for the Port.
  • Band
    • Displays the currently selected VHF+ band (0 - 13) and HF bands 6 and 2.

UCB Operation

The Universal Controller Board may be used with the External Control Matrix by building a custom cable assembly to connect the UCB to a PC parallel port. I have included a drawing showing example connection information.

Note:
You must provide an external +5vdc source to the UCB connector pin #14 and
you must check the Invert check box on the ExtCtrl tab in DDUtil
for the port you are using.

One Final Caution:

The output of a PC parallel port WILL NOT drive antenna relays directly. You must use a suitable relay driver capable of the voltage and current for the particular relay(s) you intend to use. Typical parallel port output voltage is 3~5vdc at < 20ma. these ports are intended to drive other electronic circuits such as printers. Failure to observe this can result in a blown port.

One source of a relay driver board can be found here and is quite reasonable.

Setup Tab

DDUtilSetup20828.jpg

This tab is for configuring the rotor and other station information.

Rotor Setup

If you plan to control a rotor from DDUtil this setup is mandatory.

  • Rotor (select)
    • Select the rotor you want to be the active rotor.
Warning!
If you select a rotor that has no port assigned, the Enable check box will be un-checked thereby disabling all rotor activity. Watch this as it can bite you.
Notes:
  1. Only one rotor may be used at a time.
  2. Rotor model, port, speed, comm data and Azimuth Offset are saved for each rotor selection.
  • Model
    • Select the rotor model you are using for the selected rotor.
  • Speed
    • Select a speed setting for the selected rotor if your rotor (Orion, Yaesu) is one of the models that require a speed be set.
  • Serial Port
    • Select the hardware serial port your rotor control box is connected to for the selected rotor.
  • Com Data
    • From the drop down list select the proper communication setting to match your rotor control box for the selected rotor.
  • Enable
    • Select the Enable check box to complete the Rotor setup.
Note: There is only one Enable control for all three rotors. It must be selected at all times for the rotor functions to work.
  • SteppIR Dipole
    • Select this check box if you have a SteppIR yagi antenna with the 80 meter dipole option.
    • DDUtil will modify the beam heading when on the 80 meter band to be Broad Side to the station heading selected.
    • Will take the shortest path to the Broad Side position from the last heading entered.
  • True Azimuth
    • Select this check box if you want the antenna heading displayed to be the intended antenna direction. If un-checked the actual rotor position (intended direction +/- offset) will be displayed.
Notes:
  1. This check box only applies if the offset is other than zero (0).
  2. Selected is the default condition.
  • Az(imuth) Offset
    • If you need an azimuth correction for the selected rotor enter it here. Offset numbers must be in the range of -180 to 180 degrees. Numbers may be entered as either 1, 2 or 3 digits or -1, -2, or -3 digits. i.e. 25 or -25.
    • The new heading will be either added or subtracted to the desired heading before being sent to the rotor.
  • Refresh Rate
    • This is the rate which DDUtil scans the Active rotor port for bearing information. Using this method guarantees that even if the rotor is moved manually the correct bearing data will be displayed in DDUtil.

Station info

This information is required for the Heading and Location Information lookup routines to function properly on the Rotor tab.

  • Set your station Latitude and Longitude settings in decimal degrees. If you don't know these settings they can be obtained from QRZ.com using your call sign and then looking under Detailed Info.
  • Enter your Grid (optional).

Flex Remote

Setup for the Remote On Power feature.

VSP Manager

To be able to start the VSP Manager program from DDUtil place the location of vspMgr.exe in the File Location window.

Alternately, you can double-click the File Location window and a file dialog window will come up where you can select the file location.

To start the VSP Manager program from within DDUtil, open the Tools menu and select the Start VSP Manager option.

Watch Dog Timer

When selected this feature will shut down the transmitter if it is keyed continuously for a period exceeding the setting in the Period window.

To use, select the Enable checkbox and enter the time in minutes for the timeout you want.

If a timeout occurs a message is presented to the user and it must be dismissed before the transmitter can be keyed again.

Program Features Check Boxes

Audio On

Select the box to enable a sound when an Alert Message is displayed. This sound is intended to draw attention to the message. To use your own sound file place it in the DDUtil directory and name it Alert.wav.

HPSDR

When selected will allow DDUtil to interact with the PSDR program of W5WC (v2.2.3.1 or later). All features are accessible that are installed in an HPSDR radio.

On Top

Select this check box to force the DDUtil for to stay on top of all other forms.

Tool Tips

Select this box to enable ToolTips, clear the check box to disable.

Mode Chg

Select to execute a macro when the PSDR mode changes. Open the Mode Change Macros form from the Options menu and assign the macros for the modes of interest.

Uses for this function could be:

  1. Set meter = Mic, transmit profile = AM, power = 50 for Phone mode.
  2. Set meter = Fwd, power = 100 for CW mode.
  3. Set meter = Mic, power = 50 for Digital mode (PSK/RTTY).

For more information on using and programming Macros see the Macro Tab in this section and the How To section Setup_Macro_Commands.

Programming Note:

If using the Transmit Profile (ZZTPnn) command be advised this command will set the Power Level to what is stored in the Transmit Profile.If you want some other Power level set it after you set the Transmit Profile. Or, always set the Power Level as the last command in the macro.

Space Wx

When selected will enable DDUtil to download the following Space Weather info and display it in the Status Bar of the main DDUtil form (bottom)

  • Solar Flux Index (SFI)
  • Planetary "A" Index (Ai)
  • Planetary "K" Index (Ki)

Start-up Macro Check Box

When selected the macro number in the adjacent text box to the right will be executed on DDUtil start-up. The referenced macro can be any single or series of recognized Flex CAT (ZZxx) or DDUtil function (DDxx) commands. For more information on setting up and running macros in DDUtil see the following links. Macro Tab, CAT, Setting up Macro Commands

Disable Short Cuts

When selected DDUtil will no longer display Tool-Tips when the cursor is hovered over a control.

Show CW TX

When selected and when PowerSDR is in Split mode will cause the Yellow Transmit Filter Line to display in the Panadapter window. This serves as a visual indicator where your transmit frequency is relative to the receive frequency which is a real help when your trying to squeeze into a slot of the pile-up.

Tune Detect

When selected the macro number in the adjacent text box will be executed when the PSDR Tune button is engaged. When the PSDR Tune button is dis-engaged the macro number in the second text box is executed. Normally, this function is used to trigger a remote tuner, but any activity could be activated that is based on the status of the PSDR Tune button.

Remote Tuner Operation

If you want to activate a remote tuner to tune itself when the Tune button is pressed perform these actions in DDUtil.

  • On the Macro tab create two (2) macros to control the DTR (pin #4) or RTS (Pin #7) lines of the SerMacPort.
    • Label one macro as Tune On with the command DDDT1; (DTR) or DDRT1; (RTS).
    • Label a 2nd macro as Tune Off with the command DDDT0; (DTR) or DDRT0; (RTS).
  • Open the Setup tab.
    • Check the Tune Detect check box.
    • in the text box closest to the check box enter the number of the macro you created for Tune On.
    • In the second text box enter the number of the macro you created for Tune Off.
  • Open the Ports tab.
    • In the SerMacPort drop-down box select the port you want to use to control the remote tuner.
  • Connect a relay driver circuit to pin #4 (DTR) or pin #7 (RTS) of the SerMacPort (Ports tab).
Caution! The DTR and RTS lines won't drive a relay coil directly and a suitable hardware circuit is required to key the tuner. Similar to the circuit shown below. R1 is non-critical ~10K ohms.

RelayDriver20622a.jpg

SO2R

Stands for Single Operator 2 Radios and is used by *SERIOUS* contesters to improve their scores in the contests.

DDUtil can achieve this with a Flex-5000 and an added receiver (RX2).

See the SO2R page for complete details on using this feature. BUT, be advised this feature is NOT for sissies or the faint of heart ;>).

Knob

This tab is used to interface the K6TD & K6TU Tuning Knob (aka Flex Control) hardware.

Other Controls

Follow this link for the Other Controls located below the Tabs area of the form.

Mini Window

MiniWin184.jpg

General

This window is intended to be used to conserve screen space and provides only limited readings and functions. During normal operating most of DDUtil's settings are already established and don't require further adjustment. The main form can be minimized to the task bar and the Mini Window displayed by selecting Show Mini Window from the Tools menu or by pressing the Alt+M keys when the main form has focus.

The following information & functions are available in the Mini Window:

  • Watt Meter readings are displayed from any of the supported digital watt meters listed on the Watt tab.
  • PO/PC buttons open/close the Flex Profiler program.
  • PA Temperature reading from the Flex 3000/5000 transceivers.
  • FZ button toggles the Main form on/off.
  • BCD numeric read out (6) shows the current band data value.
  • OPER/Stby button. Pressing this button will toggle the PTT line between Operate and Stand By.
  • SteppIR Antenna Controls if using the Active mode of the SteppIR controller
  • Rotor Control enter heading and press Go (Ctrl+Go to stop the rotor).
  • Quick Memory See the previous heading in this section for an explanation for these controls.

Starting in version 1.7.3 additional controls are available by Double-Clicking the window background. A second Double-Click will hide the additional controls.

A note on Mini Window Sizing
It is possible to get the Mini Window sizing out-of-whack. If double clicking the background produces undesirable effects move the bottom border just under the last row of controls (Quick Memory controls). See the image above and this should fix the problem.

MiniWin+20420.jpg

These additional controls allow access to some of the lesser used functions and many users won't ever need them. These additional controls are described as follows:

  • Macro Buttons These buttons access the macro functions previously setup on the Macro tab. Additionally, the short cut keys F1 - F12 and Shift+F1 thru Shift+F4 will access these functions as well while the Mini Window has focus.
  • RCP 2-4 Check boxes will enable/disable the Radio Control Programs attached to them.
  • On Top Check Box when checked forces the Mini Window to remain on top of all other windows.

Operation

  • All functions and readings are dependent upon the proper settings on the main form. The Mini Window is only an extension of, and is dependent on, the main form.
  • The main form is still available and MUST be left open when the Mini Window is open. The main form is minimized in the Task Bar.
  • The Mini Window may be reduced further in height and/or width if desired. If the third and/or second lines of information is not needed the form may be re-sized. Place the cursor on the bottom border of the window where a double ended arrow will appear, left click and drag the window upward to re-size to the desired height. Width re-sizing is accomplished in the same manner except from the side border.
  • Screen Position and Location of the Mini Window will be remembered if the window is closed using the 'X' on the right hand side of the Title Bar.

Note for ACOM 2000A & Alpha 87A Amplifier users

Starting with version 1.6.7 an expanded area of the Mini Window is available for Alpha 87A and ACOM2000A users. Just drag the right margin to expose the controls for the selected amplifier. Also see the Amps Tab for more information on this feature.

Using DDUtil

Using the DDUtil is straight forward and shouldn't require more than a minimal amount of familiarization for the user to be comfortable with it's use.

Note: For more information on how to configure these and other functions see the How To section of this wiki.

All control settings on the DDUtil forms are stored and remembered from session to session.

Hardware Setup

The following information is required to connect DDUtil to your device.

  • What kind of device do you want to control (amplifier, antenna switch, etc.).
  • Is the device RS-232 or BCD driven.
  • If RS-232 driven, set the device receiving the data to a Kenwood or Yaesu model and speed to match 9600 8-N-1.
  • If BCD driven, you must:
    • Know the BCD scheme (what codes do what) See the manufactures user manual for this.
    • Build a cable configured to fit your hardware setup (DB25M to your device input port). See the cable drawing for example information.

Program Operation

The following operations assume the proper setups have been performed on the Ports and Device tabs.

  • DDUtil as stand-alone.
    • Start PowerSDR, start DDUtil.
    • If all is setup correctly you should see the frequency and VFO A in the header bar as [7,033.83] (VFO A/B). If instead you see [not connected] there is a problem and some back tracking is in order. The most common problem will be wrong port setup for PowerSDR (CAT) port or the CAT Polling Interval is way off, try 1000 for this setting.
  • DDUtil used with a radio control/logging program.
    • Start PowerSDR, start DDUtil and you should now see connect data in the title bar that looks something like [7,033.83] (VFO A).
    • Start your radio control/logging program. If everything is working right you should see something like [RC] [7,033.83] (VFO A) in the title bar of DDUtil and your radio control/logging program should show it has control of PowerSDR.
    • Note: The [RC] stands for Radio Control program is in use. If the [RC] is not in the title bar the program is in Stand-Alone mode.
  • Tool Tips (description of control function) are available for all controls by hovering the mouse over the control momentarily.
  • Once setup, DDUtil can either be minimized or reduced to a minimal size for normal operation. Shrinking is accomplished by right clicking anywhere on the form (except the title bar) where a menu will appear giving the options of Shrink & Restore. Additionally the borders of the form may be resized as desired.

Important Notices Please Read

  • When connecting to a amplifier remember that Flex radios DO NOT have any ALC control circuitry, yet! It is up to the operator to make sure the drive power level is adjusted properly in PowerSDR or the amp may be over driven which could result in distortion and/or the amp being damaged.
  • Parallel ports can come up in any configuration when the pc is booted up. My pc defaults to 4 (00000100) which equates to 30 meters when it boots up. You could quite easily have your BCD device set to the wrong band if caution is not exercised. It is a good policy to not turn on your BCD device until after DDUtil is up and running as the program will configure the port based on what transmit frequency it receives from PowerSDR.
  • In it's current state PowerSDR has a timer that will not allow devices to connect to the CAT port if PowerSDR has been running for 10 minutes or more without a CAT connection. So if it fails to connect (displays [not connected] in the title bar) close PowerSDR and restart it. This will reset the CAT timer and DDUtil should now connect.

Other Topics

  • BCD Data File Format (Ports tab)
    • The BCD data file has a specific format that must be adhered to. The frequency must be in multiples of 100 kHz (7000, 7100, 7200) due to the way the BCD lookup algorithm is constructed. The data itself can be any decimal number from 0 - 255. An example setting 14,100 would be freq = 14100, data= 5 which equates to binary 00000101. See the Devices tab.
    • Please note that this file format is specific to the BCD device you are using. The file furnished with DDUtil is for a Yaesu Quadra and may or may not work with any other device. See the manufactures information for the format for your device.
  • BCD Data Port (Ports tab)
    • Most BCD driven devices I have been associated with only use 3-5 control lines. My Quadra uses four (4). It is entirely conceivable that two (2) BCD devices could be run off of one (1) port. Hook device 1 to port pins 2-5 and device 2 to pins 6-9. Set up the data file for say 20 meters using (14100, 85) instead of (14100, 5) and it will produce 01010101 instead of 00000101 at the parallel port which is a binary 5 for each device.
  • Inter-Connecting Cables
    • Serial (RS-232) cables can be either purchased or fabricated by the user as dictated by the device to be controlled.
    • Parallel port cables will have to be fabricated by the user for the particular hardware setup. I have prepared a sample cable drawing as part of this package to serve as a guide.
    • If you would like to see how this concept works without setting up a binary device you can build a small LED array that can connect to your parallel port and show the binary code being sent. You can watch the LEDs change as the frequency changes.
  • Port Locater
    If you don't know what ports are installed on your pc the following procedure will tell you.
    • From the Start button select Control Panel
    • Select System
    • Select Hardware
    • Select Device Manager
    • Expand the Ports entry
    • If you are using a non-standard parallel port (non-motherboard port), this link will help you get the port address you will need.


All your hardware ports will be listed there.
PortsFind.jpg
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