Author Topic: RRC1258 - Use of transparent Serial channel on COM1  (Read 7848 times)

VE3MV

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GM - We need some help to sort out an operational problem with the use of the transparent serial channel on COM1 of the Control RRC-1258.  My friend and I share the use of a RR system using Elecraft K3s and the K3 twin version of the RRC1258.   Each of us has a control site and is able to access and control the K3/100 at the Remote site - EXCEPT he is unable to access and control the KPA500 at the Remote site.

I have been using this system for about 2 years and originally configured my Control RRC to use the serial channel on COM1 to control the KPA500 first using the Elecraft KPAUtil software and more recently the KPA500 Remote software.  I went this route because it was easy to set up and I didn't need to modify any cables or write macros for the K3.  This approach did require a null modem cable at the Remote site between the Radio RRC COM1 and the KPA500 RS232 connector as well as cable from the Radio RRC I/O connector to the K3/100 ACC connector for ON/OFF control.  At my control site it required a normal serial cable between the computer serial port (a real one) and the Control RRC COM1 connector.

My friend has now finished the setup of his Control station and is able to access and control the K3/100.  However when he tries to use the COM1 Serial channel (with either the KPAUtil or the KPA500 Remote software) he is unable to get the system to recognize / access the KPA500.  We have tried to duplicate serial settings for COM1 between our two Control RRC (as per COM1 serial settings shown on pg 56 of the RRC Manual Rev A32) but so far its not working.

There are a few differences in our two control sites

My site uses a K3/10 for control and a Dell Notebook computer running Win XP SP3 with a real serial port.  The K3/10 has FW 4.86 etc and the Control RRC has FW 2.72

My friend's control site uses a K3/0 and a desktop computer running Win 7.  The K3/0 has FW 4.86  (not sure of the FW on the Control RRC but believe its 2.72 - will confirm tonight).  His computer has no serial ports so he is using a USB to serial adapter (FTDI chipset).  We believe it is working properly because it was used to do a firmware update on the K3/0 recently.

The Equipment at the Remote Station includes
K3/100 using FW 4.86, KPA500 using FW 1.11 and the RRC 1258 using FW 2.72

We have obviously missed something in doing the configuration but so far it eludes us.  Any suggestions on things to check would be greatly appreciated.

73,  Doug Joyce  VE3MV


dj0qn

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Re: RRC1258 - Use of transparent Serial channel on COM1
« Reply #1 on: 2015-02-10, 13:09:27 »
Hi Doug,

In reading your posting a couple of times, I think I know what the problem is:

COM1 is not a straight through serial port, it is "backwards" from COM2 and normal serial ports. I do not therefore
believe that you are using a "normal" straight through cable for COM1, but instead a null-modem cable. It has been a
while since you installed it and you probably forgot.

He either needs to add a null-modem adapter to his COM1 cable, or switch the COM1 settings to use USB and use a USB
cable instead of the serial/USB adapter for COM1.

Hopefully my theory is correct.

73,
Mitch DJ0QN / K7DX

VE3MV

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Re: RRC1258 - Use of transparent Serial channel on COM1
« Reply #2 on: 2015-02-22, 00:11:36 »
Further update regarding Mitch's suggestion.

Due to other travels, my friend hasn't been able to fully check out Mitch's suggestion - hopefully to be done next week.

I re-checked the COM1 cable at my control site and it is definitely a "normal" serial cable and no null modem adapter is installed between the Control RRC  COM1 and the real serial port on the Dell notebook computer.  (As mentioned in my original post, a null adapter is however installed between the Radio RRC COM1 connector and the RS232 connector on the KPA500 at the Remote site.) 

I didn't want to go the route of using the USB connector on the Control RRC, because I was saving it to use for RTTY (which does work fine).

Rather than using the KPA500 control method outlined by Elecraft in the K3 Remote Manual (Rev D, pg 21) we would prefer to get this approach to work, because the KPA500 Remote software provides much more operational information.

73,  Doug  VE3MV


dj0qn

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Re: RRC1258 - Use of transparent Serial channel on COM1
« Reply #3 on: 2015-02-22, 00:56:49 »
Hi Doug,

I do not understand what you mean by "saving the USB port for RTTY". The USB port provides four completely separate virtual COM ports (COM0, COM1, COM2, COM3/COMEXTRA) of which using one has nothing to do with the other one. Of course, your K3 configuration means that you can not use COM0 or COM2, but of course you can use COM1 and COMEXTRA at the same time, assuming you enable them in the RRC correctly.

73,
Mitch DJ0QN / K7DX

VE3MV

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Re: RRC1258 - Use of transparent Serial channel on COM1
« Reply #4 on: 2015-03-16, 03:58:59 »
Further update following an off-line discussion with Mitch and to summarize the progress to date -

The "real" serial cable approach from the Computer Serial port to the COM1 connector on the Control RRC works fine and allows the KPA500 Remote software (from Elecraft) to fully control the KPA500 at the Remote site.  BTW I'm using Com1 Mode set to "Mode 3" and COM1 baud rate of 38400 in this approach as well as the USB to Serial adapter approach and the USB cable approach as described below.

In order to be able to switch over to a new computer at the Control site which doesn't have real serial ports I have used a USB to Serial adapter cable (when connected it was assigned to Comm port COM15 as indicated in the ports list in Device Mgr).  When I opened the KPA500 Remote software, clicked on "Host" and "Find KPA500", the software automatically cycled through all the available ports at 38400, 19200, 9600 and 4800 baud rate.  A connection was opened on Com15 at 38400 and the software was able to fully control the KPA500.

I now wanted to use COM1 in the USB cable approach as indicated in Mitch's last post.  I know the COMExtra works because Ive been using it for RTTY (FSK) for some time.  With respect to steps taken to get the COM1 to work - I had to delete a number of conflicting legacy virtual com ports but when done the Device Mgr showed "RRC1258 COM1 (COM6) - which I took to understand that I needed to use Com6 when I ran the "Find KPA500" in the KPA500 Remote software.  I also changed the "Use USB Com Port as COM1" from No to Yes.  Unfortunately when I ran the KPA500 Remote software it was not able to find the KPA500 - so I suspect there are one or more configuration settings that I've missed.

So my next question is - when changing over to use the USB cable other than changing the "Use USB Com Port as COM1" from No to Yes  - what other setting changes should I be making??

All suggestions welcome.

73,  Doug  VE3MV
 

Jan (Microbit)

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Re: RRC1258 - Use of transparent Serial channel on COM1
« Reply #5 on: 2015-03-20, 12:06:21 »
Look here for a bug regarding USB Com1/2 and mode 3 which has been fixed in version 2.83:

Quote
Bug fix solve problem to use Mode 3 and USB for Com1 and Com2.

as found here:

http://www.remoterig.com/wp/?page_id=79
« Last Edit: 2015-03-20, 12:08:22 by Jan (Microbit) »
Always include type of hard/software and version when asking for support.