Author Topic: RF-Kit 2K Linear Amp  (Read 417 times)

Offline w3frg

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RF-Kit 2K Linear Amp
« on: September 19, 2017, 01:41:59 pm »
I am currently using a new amp kit from RF-Kit.de.
It is currently being controlled via VNC here in the shack.
Is there a way to also use it when remote, using RemoteHams, via the optional Amplifier selection?

Tom W3FRG

Offline w8rj

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Re: RF-Kit 2K Linear Amp
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2017, 02:05:05 pm »
I glanced at the web page and it doesn't appear there is any CAT (computer commands) to control the amp. Presently RcForb server only supports equipment that uses RS232 for control.

It looks like that amp has something like a Raspberry Pi in it, with VNC server loaded on it, for access across the Internet.

73
Roger
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Offline w3frg

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Re: RF-Kit 2K Linear Amp
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2017, 02:39:22 pm »
Hi Roger,

The amp is as you state, Raspberry Pi with VNC server.
It does have both CAT and Bridge Capability.
I currently use it with PABridge via DxCommander.

Tom  W3FRG

Offline w8rj

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Re: RF-Kit 2K Linear Amp
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2017, 04:25:56 am »
I don't see any documentation for any CAT (computer) commands on their website. Nor do I see any reference to a RS-232 connection.
73
Roger
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Offline w3frg

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Re: RF-Kit 2K Linear Amp
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2017, 01:22:25 pm »
Roger,

Just spoke with Mark -NU6X who is intimately familiar with the RF-Kit Amp and is interested in starting a dialog with either, or both, you or Brandon regarding the I/F to the amp using RemoteHams.
He is quite anxious to get this I/F set up.

I can give you his private number if you send me an email, w3frg1@gmail.com. And, also your email address, so he can discuss this issue.
 
Tom W3FRG

Offline w3frg

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Re: RF-Kit 2K Linear Amp
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2017, 08:48:15 am »
Roger,

After speaking with Mark NU6X, I learned that the RF-2K does have RS-232 capability.
Here is what Mark told me:

Yes, the RF2K+ has CAT interface via serial RS-232 using a USB to serial cable.
Since RF2K+ software running on its internal Raspberry PI uses Hamlib,  the CAT command set depends on the transceiver type selected in the amplifiers menu. The RF2K+ is designed to connect directly to the transceivers CAT port.

Its very possible that one of the amps already on RH would be compatible, and I plan on trying this.

73  Tom W3FRG

Offline w3frg

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Re: RF-Kit 2K Linear Amp
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2017, 10:45:24 am »
Results of attempting to contact the RF2K amp using remotehams did work for both the ACOM 2K and Dual KPA 500 Amp selections.
I was able to see the operator selections on the Client AMP selection.

Tom W3FRG

Offline w8rj

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Re: RF-Kit 2K Linear Amp
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2017, 01:44:09 pm »
The other supported amplifier drivers will not work.

From what I gathered from Mark, they are using HamLib and the only thing the amp gets, is frequency information from the radio. The other issue with using HamLib, is not only do I need to write the driver, but I need to write a C# wrapper to talk to HamLib. Also right now they are treating the amplifier like a Yaesu radio and just getting frequency information.

So until HamLib actually supports the amplifier and somebody else writes a C# wrapper, I'm not going write a driver. Right now I see no reason to write a driver because all that amp does track the frequency.

I wrote a simple program for a guy a while back with a StepIR, that will fetch the frequency from the HRD IP server in RcForb server and outputs it out a serial port which should work for that amp. I will email the program to you. If the amplifier actually just "sniffs" the serial port for frequency information it should work. if it polls the radio for frequency, it probably wont work. Again there is a lack of information on how that amp works. It won't allow for any remote control for the amp, but It will free up the CAT connection to the radio.


« Last Edit: September 21, 2017, 02:06:25 pm by w8rj »
73
Roger
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Offline w3frg

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Re: RF-Kit 2K Linear Amp
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2017, 04:11:26 pm »
The StepIr pgm did read the frequency as suspected.

Tom

Offline w3frg

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Re: RF-Kit 2K Linear Amp
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2017, 05:34:17 am »
I posted this request prior to learning what VNC could do for remote control.
The Raspberry Pi thats used with the RF 2K amp is pre loaded, so its just a matter of installing VNC Viewer on the server PC and controlling the amp via its menu settings. This can be used via LAN & WLAN.

I can't ask for anything more.

Tnx for all the thought's and ideas.

Tom W3FRG