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External Radio Serial Port Selection

herbk@comcast.net
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:41 am

External Radio Serial Port Selection

#1

Unread post by herbk@comcast.net »

After a struggle with consistent external radio port online status (and configuring Omni-Rig correctly),
I decided to go back and start from scratch, more or less. I would like to understand what the purpose/
requirements are for the check boxes next to the available Com Ports under SDRC Program Options/
CAT (Serial Port)/Port Selection. My apologies if this sounds like an odd question, but I have
been noticing that "sometimes" I am successfully "online" when the box is checked by the Com Port
assigned and other times I have to uncheck this box (if I start a new session), if external radio
showed a "Port Busy" status. And that puts me On Line again

For sure, I have maintained On Line status in both cases so what is the normal/correct configuration
for this check box?
73'
Herb

jdow
Posts: 298
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:17 pm

Re: External Radio Serial Port Selection

#2

Unread post by jdow »

It's not obvious from Simon's support page on this whether or not more than one serial controller can be coupled to SDRConsole and what limitations may exist when there are multiple connections. If only one connection is supported the buttons should act like radio buttons.

{^_^}

herbk@comcast.net
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:41 am

Re: External Radio Serial Port Selection

#3

Unread post by herbk@comcast.net »

jdow:
Thanks very much and I appreciate your thoughts on this. I am wondering if having multiple serial controllers coupled
is correct or will/can cause conflicts? Obviously this is a new pursuit for me.
A possible workaround maybe to establish a second identity for a third party program (ie Ergo4, HRD, etc) and
presumably this would avoid the issue entirely, as long as I don't need the multiple programs necessarily linked.
Would this also give me access in the new identity to fresh settings in External Radio/OmniRig?
In this case having separate identities (running at separate times and separate radios or not) might fit the bill for me.
73'

Max
Posts: 246
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:47 am

Re: External Radio Serial Port Selection

#4

Unread post by Max »

Hi Herb

Not an expert on this by any means (very far from it in fact) but did you fully read the text description of comm port operation that is shown underneath the CAT (Serial Port) table in SDRC? As far as I can see it describes the check box operation there?

To quote from the text box:
"In this window you select the ports which are opened by this program. This program opens and closes ports as you make changes to the selections in this window. The status is shown in the main logfile window."

There is also some info about being careful with speed settings. Could this be the issue?

Also see info on Omnirig and comm ports here:
https://www.sdr-radio.com/external-radio
https://www.sdr-radio.com/SerialPort

Not the same as you are using them for I know, but I have used the comm ports successfully to interface to other progs, WJST-X, CWS, CSVUB etc. It can be a bit challenging but always got them to work in the end and reliably too.

Good luck.

Max

herbk@comcast.net
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:41 am

Re: External Radio Serial Port Selection

#5

Unread post by herbk@comcast.net »

Hello Max:
Thanks very much for the details and the thoughts on the issues with these serial port selections.
I have absorbed all the details you pointed to in SDRC and they are very helpful.

I am a bit weak on the logfile and how to make the most of the reporting so I need
to figure this out. But all other items I feel up to speed. I, like you, am not
able to configure these windows without being tutored.

Do you have multiple serial controllers coupled to SDRC at the same time?
How many and have you noticed any limitations? Or do you often go to this
serial ports box and check/uncheck the ports as needed?
Thanks, Max

Max
Posts: 246
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:47 am

Re: External Radio Serial Port Selection

#6

Unread post by Max »

Hi again Herb

As I say, no external radio used here (by which I mean Yaesu/Kenwood/Icom etc) as I run a Hermes Lite 2 SDR (HL2), but I have just fired up the HL2 to prove the theory, and connected both WJST-X and CSVUB (CSV Userlist Browser) controlled over two different pairs of virtual COM ports (having previously used K5FR's excellent VSP Manager to create the virtual COM port pairs), and they both function perfectly OK simultaneously with all the relevant ports ticked.

This was all relatively new to me when I started a few months ago. Initially I stupidly did not realise that each COM port is used per "route", so each device or program requires its own port, so one COM port to connect the PC to SDRC and the other half of the "pair" to connect the PC to the other device/program you wish to communicate with. In the SDRC dialogue, you only tick the port that is the one half of the pair that is communicating with SDRC. In my case I create pairs odd/even (say COM11 and COM12) and I always make the lower (odd) port the one that connects to SDRC and the higher (even) port connect to the third party programme (or, I guess, hardware device?). So in this case, assuming the pair is COM11 and COM12, I only tick COM11 and leave COM12 unticked.

Although this is for Power SDR program used with Flex hardware, I found the following web page explains it all very well. The advice can be adapted to consider SDRC connecting to (say) WSJT-X, logbook prog, list browser or what-have-you:
http://kc.flexradio.com/KnowledgebaseArticle50367.aspx

Presumably if you are trying to interface to hardware then one of pair of comm ports is the hardware port or RS232 adapter to the PC? As I say, I have not needed to do that so not sure.

Sorry of this all goes too basic for you (in which case ignore it all) but it did help me to understand what is going on enough to get these third party programs working fine with SDRC.

73

Max

herbk@comcast.net
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:41 am

Re: External Radio Serial Port Selection

#7

Unread post by herbk@comcast.net »

Max:
Thanks very much and "just what the Dr. ordered".
I find the referenced article from Flex to be a keeper.
A very thorough and understandable treatment that I will
keep around and refer to again if necessary. I can see why
you linked to it and thanks.

My original thought was to get one (radio) correctly configured
and linked to SDRC without the interruptions I was having with
my original configuration involving an additional software
program. Mission accomplished. I will now see when I "add back in"
that next program (and the serial port pair) if all is well without conflicts
(ie: that annoying USB connect/disconnect notification sound that lead
to Port Busy or Offline status in External radio).

This review also had led me to consider creating another identity
in SDRC: I hadn't considered this before but this could work very
well with other software programs and serial pairs, in my situation.

Thanks again!
73'
Herb

Max
Posts: 246
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:47 am

Re: External Radio Serial Port Selection

#8

Unread post by Max »

Hi Herb

NP and very glad it was of use. I don't think I have a need for different identities for my use just now although I have plans to build a full station with the HL2 as the core and several transverters for VHF/UHF bands and maybe even add something like a Pluto for QO-100 etc. so maybe that might change in the future. Not sure yet until I see what is needed. I think in another thread here somewhere in last couple of days (actually I now see you have posted there) there has been discussion of just this issue and I think it would be great if Simon goes ahead with his plan for an easy tool within SDRC to clone or copy identities as a building block for different hardware set-ups. Seems a little cumbersome at the moment to achieve. Fingers crossed!

73

Max

User avatar
PD3LK
Posts: 309
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:36 am

Re: External Radio Serial Port Selection

#9

Unread post by PD3LK »

FWIW, you can have several (real or virtual) COM ports selected at once and set individual baudrates to them, f.e. an external S-meter app, HRD, CSVUserlistBrowser. Take care (offcource) not to select COM ports that are assigned to Omni-Rig (or other software). As Max allready said, for virtual ports select only one side of a COM port pair in SDRC.

F.e. i keep real comports between 1 and 9 and made 10 virtual com ports pairs: 10/11, 12/13, 14/15 and so on.
Asigning the even numbers in SDRC and uneven numbers in the ext. programs. (easier to remember)

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