Connecting and Configuring FLEX Signature Transceivers for PSK, RTTY, CW, and Phone Operation

Permission

Commander versions 11.8.0 and later interact with your Flex-6000 Series transceiver via an ethernet connection. Thus you must configure your Firewall and Anti-malware applications to consider Commander to be "safe".

Connections and Applications

Your Flex-6000 Series transceiver and the computer on which SmartSDR and Commander are installed must be connected to the same local area network, or to be directly connected.

  1. Start SmartSDR; if no panadapter is present, direct SmartSDR to create one.
  2. Start Commander
  3. In the Radio panel on the Configuration window's General tab,

    1. Set the Model selector to SDR-6300, SDR-6400,SDR-6500, SDR-6600, or SDR-6700.

    2. Check the Monitor Connection box.

    3. Check the Full width RX Filters box to permit 12 KHz RX filter bandwidth in CW, LSB, USB, DIGL, DIGU, and RTTY modes; with this box unchecked, bandwidth in CW is limited to 1 Khz, and bandwidth in the other modes is limited to 5 KHz.

    4. Set the Command Interval to 100.

    5. In the Radio Selection sub-panel,

      1. Leave the Serial Number box empty unless there is more than one Flex 6000 transceiver connected to your network; if that's the case, specify the serial number of the transceiver you wish to control.

      2. Initially leave the IP Address and IP Port boxes empty. If Commander reports that it cannot find your radio, then

        1. Open the Settings menu in SmartSDR, and select the Radio Setup command

        2. in SmartSDR's Radio Setup window, select the Radio tab

        3. note the IP Address displayed in the Radio tab's Radio Information panel; type this address into the IP Address box in Commander's Radio Selection sub-panel

        4. type 4992 into the IP Port box in Commander's Radio Selection sub-panel

        5. click the Reset button in the upper-right corner of the Radio panel on the General tab of Commander's Configuration window; Commander should connect to your radio. Note that when Commander is configured to select your radio by IP Address and IP Port, selection by Serial Number is not implemented.

        6. Commander will remember your radio's IP Address and IP Port, and thus automatically connect when subsequently started. However, if your network topology changes, repeat the above steps to determine the radio's new IP Address, and update Commander accordingly.

  4. In the Primary CAT Serial Port panel on the Configuration window's Ports tab, set the Port# selector to specify no serial port by choosing its first entry

  5. Since Commander interoperates with your Flex-6000 Series transceiver via your local area network, it does not require the SmartSDR CAT application or the Virtual Serial Port Kit service to be running; you can optionally configure Windows to not automatically start these.

Controlling Multiple Primary Transceivers

For or each Flex Signature transceiver that you wish Commander to control as a primary transceiver,

  1. in the Control panel on the Configuration window's MultiRadio tab,

    1. set the Radio Model to SDR-6300, SDR-6400,SDR-6500, SDR-6600, or SDR-6700 as appropriate

    2. check the Interrogate box to enable Connection Monitoring

    3. set the Interval to 100

    4. set the Name to what will appear on Commander's Main window next to the transceiver selection button

    5. check the Enable box

    6. click the Select button; in the Flex Signature Selection window that appears,

      1. specify the Serial Number of the transceiver you wish to control

      2. if Commander is unable to select your transceiver by serial number, clear the Serial Number box, specify the transceiver's IP Address, and set the IP Port box to 4992

  2. in the CAT Serial Port panel on the Configuration window's MultiRadio tab, set the "Port # selector to - (hyphen, meaning no serial port is opened)

Transceiver Control

Commander will track and control your Flex-6000's

Other VFOs provided by your transceiver are ignored. References to VFOs in this article are limited to VFO A and VFO B.

The Create VFO B at Startup option determines whether Commander will automatically create VFO B if it is not present at startup.

With Commander's Split box unchecked, both reception and transmission is governed by VFO A. With Commander's Split box checked, reception is governed by VFO A, and transmission is governed by VFO B.

With Commander's Dual box unchecked, VFO B's audio output is muted; with Commander's Dual box checked, VFO B's audio output is unmuted.

Clicking the A button beneath Commander's VFO display makes VFO A active and visible in SmartSDR's panadapter. Similarly, clicking the B button beneath Commander's VFO display makes VFO B active and visible in SmartSDR's panadapter.

RX Bandwidth Tracking and Control

The Filters panel in the upper-right corner of Commander's Main window provides Width, High-cut, and Low-cut sliders that adjust the active VFO's RX bandwidth. Adjusting a VFO's RX bandwidth via SmartSDR will automatically update Commander's Width, High-cut, and Low-cut sliders. The Filters panel's Group selector provides quick access to three predefined RX bandwidths - wide, normal, and narrow - for each mode. You can configure each of these predefined bandwidths via the Configuration window's Filter Groups tab.

RX Signal Strength

Commander displays the strength of the active VFO's signal above its VFO panel. A file in Commander's Smeter folder is not required.

User-defined Command Sequences and Sliders

User-defined Commander Sequences and Sliders can emit commands defined by the SmartSDR Ethernet API by preceding them with a single tilde ~ character. For example, the command

~slice s 0 nb=1

will enable VFO A's noise blanker. Commands in the SmartSDR Ethernet API do not tolerate leading zeroes in parameter values, so a zero-suppressing decimal format can be used in Substitution Strings . For example, the command

~audio client 0 slice 0 gain <1E3>

will control VFO A's audio gain by replacing the <1E3> Substitution String with up to 3 decimal digits representing slider 1's value.

If you don't have SmartSDR CAT.exe running, existing User-defined Command Sequences and Sliders developed for Flex-6000 Series transceivers must be updated to use commands from the SmartSDR Ethernet API.

Configuring DAX

SmartSDR's Digital Audio eXchange (DAX) creates virtual soundcards that enable WinWarbler to transmit voice, PSK, and RTTY audio, and receive PSK and RTTY audio. WinWarbler employs only three of the virtual soundcards that DAX creates:

Since WinWarbler's Soundcard selectors are limited to 16 devices, disable the DAX-created soundcards that you aren't using:

  1. click the Manage Audio Devices link in the Windows Control Panel's Sounds section

  2. on the Sound window, select the Playback tab

  3. to disable a soundcard used for transmission, right-click its entry on the Playback tab, and select the pop-up menu's Disable command; user the vertical scroll bar along the right margin to access all soundcards used for transmission

  4. on the Sound window, select the Recording tab

  5. to disable a soundcard used for reception, right-click its entry on the Recording tab, and select the pop-up menu's Disable command; user the vertical scroll bar along the right margin to access all soundcards used for reception

You can re-enable a soundcard for use with other applications by right-clicking that soundcard's entry on the Playback or Recording tab, and selecting the pop-up menu's Enable button.

SmartSDR's DAX Control Panel must be configured to enable the TX Stream to transmit and to enable the RX Streams for Slice A and Slice B to receive, as shown in this screen shot:

http://www.dxlabsuite.com/Wiki/Graphics/Commander/DAX.jpg

CW Configuration and Operation

Flex-6000 transceivers can directly transmit CW, so on the CW tab of WinWarbler's Configuration window,

  1. set the Xcvr mode selector to CW

  2. set the CW offset (hz) to 0 (or leave the box empty)

  3. set the Default TxPwr to the power (in watts) you'll use when operating in CW

  4. check the display xmit/rcv characters box

  5. in the Keyboard mode panel

    • uncheck the auto start and auto stop boxes (explore these later)

    • select character (if you are using an amplifier, word is more appropriate)

  6. set the Keying panel to Xcvr Ctrl App

Sending speed can be controlled via the WPM selector on WinWarbler's Main window, or via SmartSDR's Speed slider.

Phone Configuration and Operation

To use WinWarbler's Phone Voice Keyer,

  1. On the PTT tab of WinWarbler's Configuration window, set the Mode panel to Xcvr Ctrl App and the Port panel to none

  2. On the Soundcard tab of WinWarbler's Configuration window, set the Phone Transmission soundcard to DAX Audio TX (FlexRadio Systems

  3. On the Phone tab of WinWarbler's Configuration window,

    1. set the Xcvr mode to SSB

    2. set the Default TxPwr to the power (in watts) you'll use when operating in Phone

    3. check the assert PTT during Phone box

  4. In the P/CW panel on the right side of SmartSDR, enable DAX as the primary transmit audio source; this can be automated by including this command in your Phone startup macro:

<xcvrcommand: ~transmit set dax=1>

PSK Configuration and Operation

  1. On the PTT tab of WinWarbler's Configuration window, set the Mode panel to Xcvr Ctrl App and the Port panel to none

  2. On the Soundcard tab of WinWarbler's Configuration window, set the PSK & RTTY Reception soundcard selector to DAX Audio RX 1 (FlexRadio Syste

  3. On the Soundcard tab of WinWarbler's Configuration window, set the PSK & RTTY Transmission soundcard selector to DAX Audio TX (FlexRadio Systems

  4. On the PSK tab of WinWarbler's Configuration window, set the Transceiver mode panel to DIGU

  5. In the P/CW panel on the right side of SmartSDR, enable DAX as the primary transmit audio source; this can be automated by including this command in your PSK startup macro:

<xcvrcommand: ~transmit set dax=1>

  1. Adjust other settings as described here

  2. set Commander's Filter Group selector to Wide; after selecting a signal, reducing the RX bandwidth by selecting Normal or Narrow can be used to reduce QRM

RTTY Configuration and Operation

  1. On the PTT tab of WinWarbler's Configuration window, set the Mode panel to Xcvr Ctrl App and the Port panel to none

  2. On the Soundcard tab of WinWarbler's Configuration window, set the PSK & RTTY Reception soundcard selector to DAX Audio RX 1 (FlexRadio Syste

  3. On the Soundcard tab of WinWarbler's Configuration window, set the PSK & RTTY Transmission soundcard selector to DAX Audio TX (FlexRadio Systems

  4. Configure 2Tone's receive soundcard to be DAX Audio RX 1 (FlexRadio Syste

  5. In the AFSK sub-panel in the Modulation and transceiver mode panel on the RTTY tab of WinWarbler's Configuration window,

    1. select LSB

    2. to immediate the right of LSB, set the Xcvr Mode selector to RTTY

    3. set the Mark Offset to -2125

    4. set the Optimal Offset to 2210

  6. In the P/CW panel on the right side of SmartSDR, enable DAX as the primary transmit audio source; this can be automated by including this command in your RTTY startup macro:

<xcvrcommand: ~transmit set dax=1>

  1. Adjust other settings as described here

  2. set Commander's Filter Group selector to Wide; after selecting a signal, reducing the RX bandwidth by selecting Normal or Narrow can be used to reduce QRM

When operating split,

<digirxsound: DAX Audio RX 2 (FlexRadio Syste>

will enable WinWarbler's S receive pane to display characters decoded on VFO B's frequency when not transmitting, while WinWarbler's 2 receive pane continues to display characters decoded on VFO A's frequency

<digirxsound: DAX Audio RX 1 (FlexRadio Syste>

will restore WinWarbler's S receive pane to displaying characters decoded on VFO A's frequency, along with the 2 receive pane.

Lee W9OY's well-illustrated blog entry describes how he configured WinWarbler to control his Flex 6300 and enable him to work EP2A in RTTY.

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FlexSignature (last edited 2018-10-13 15:20:10 by AA6YQ)