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Re: [Amps] Alpha 87a No RS-232

To: "'Billy Mac'" <>, "'Gerry Hull'" <>, <>
Subject: Re: [Amps] Alpha 87a No RS-232
From: "Mike" <>
Date: Wed, 4 Jul 2018 09:59:19 -0500
List-post: <>
Since it is a serial connection, has anybody thought about or tried
modifying the comm Link to a USB to serial.  FTDI makes a packaged USB to
Serial adapter, the chip is in the package.  I purchased one about a year
ago to install in my AIM4170 as I was tired of fighting with these off board
adjunct USB to Serial adapters that would invariably loose connection during
a scan.  It was a drop in replacement for the analyzer and it works great.
But for the 87A, I would think one would have to manufacture a small metal
plate to mount the adapter to that would fill the gaps on either side that
would be present when you pull out the DB25 connector.  Just something I
have been thinking about for a while given most modern PC's do not have
serial ports with a DB9 or DB25 connector, and thus you are relegated to an
off board adjunct adapter for such older comm links.


-----Original Message-----
From: Amps [] On Behalf Of Billy Mac
Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2018 6:51 PM
To: 'Gerry Hull';
Subject: Re: [Amps] Alpha 87a No RS-232

Yes, they are solder in.

Billy  AK5DX

-----Original Message-----
From: Amps [] On Behalf Of Gerry Hull
Sent: Monday, July 2, 2018 6:49 AM
Subject: [Amps] Alpha 87a No RS-232

Hello All,

We have two Alpha 87as at K2LE.   They have been rock solid amps for
However, we operate remotely, and rely upon RS-232 using the great DF3CB

We have the same failure mode in both amps.   The TX side of the serial
port has failed.   We can command the amp on,
But that is it.   We have verified multiple times and multiple ways that
the cable and ports are working perfectly (short TX/RX
Pins on the amp-side connector and ensure echo on a terminal program).

I see very little about this subject in the archives.  Has anyone else
experienced this?

Does anybody know if the Max232 chip is soldered?   This is what I suspect,
since the amplifier is fully functional otherwise.

Is there some master reset we can try with a combo of front panel buttons?

Your collective wisdom appreciated.

73, Gerry W1VE
For Andy, K2LE and the team

Gerry Hull, W1VE  Hancock, NH USA
Member: ARRL, YCCC, YCCCN, CW Ops ph: 1-617-CW-SPARK (find me)
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