PCA: Portable Control Adaptor

COMMON QUESTIONS

Here are the answers to some common questions we receive:

What is the PCA?

PCA is Kathrein Portable Control Adapter 86010046, inexpensive AISG kit that connects to Windows 7 or 8 computer via USB.  Can be used to configure Kathrein Antennas.  Below are specification sheet and places you can purchase it.

Specification sheet: https://www.kathreinusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/86010046.pdf

Tessco: https://www.tessco.com/products/displayProductInfo.do?sku=212718

Hutton Canada: https://www.hol4g.com/ac/product.aspx?number=SCA-860-10046&p=173869&sc=3933

Where can I get the PCA manual ?

Is there a quick guide to using PCA?

Below is a link to a quick guide to setting up and using the PCA.

You will also need to download software packages for PCA also seen on this web page.

https://www.kathreinusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/PCA-Connect-and-Scan.pdf

How can I get most recent PCA software?

Please see links below where you can download the PCA software.

The link also has manual and windows 8 driver if needed.

NOTE it is NOT supported in windows 10, due to drivers windows 10 no longer supports.

Recommend using a pre-owned windows 7 or 8 computer.

PCA software for 2.4.1 is our most recent version.

When you are installing it on your computer when the window pops up “choose save location” just add 241 to the end of the destination name.

And after the icon is on your desktop; click it slowly two times then you can edit the name of the icon to “PCA 233 Kathrein”.

https://www.kathreinusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/pca_v2_4_1.zip

IF you are planning to do AGGREGATION It would be good to ALSO install 2.3.3 PCA software on your computer.

As you start installing it when the window pops up “choose save location” just add 233 to the end of the destination name.

And after the icon is on your desktop; click it slowly two times then you can edit the name of the icon to “PCA 241 Kathrein”.

https://www.kathreinusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/PCA_2_3_3_for_Aggregation.zip

Now you can have both versions on your computer.  Note you can only use one at a time, you must close the program, cycle power on PCA then open the other version.

Need a new Power Supply for my PCA?

The Kathrein controllers require 24VDC, 3 Amp power supply to properly operate and charge.  The connector is 2.1mm internal which is +24V DC and 5.5mm external which is Negative.

If you lose the power supply here is a good equivalent power supply.

https://www.amazon.com/BINZET-Supply-Adapter-Converter-Regulator/dp/B00VE6OJM4/ref=pd_sim_23_2?ie=UTF8&dpID=51%2BnYbuLPfL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=0JR2XX6128MTTHWF6S57

How do I save reports using a PCA?

PCA must remain powered and connected to Antenna as report is saved.  The report is not saved on the PCA it only passes through the PCA to be stored on computer.

In page 56 and 57 of the manual you will see how to save a report file.  Note that you need to select a directory in “my documents”.  You also need to give file a name, replacing the * with some unique name, such as site + sector + Date.  If this is done correctly 2nd and more times you should see other abcdefg.txt files.

You should be able to use windows explorer and go the same directory in “my documents” and see the abcd1234.txt files.

How do I perform Port Aggregation with PCA?

Port aggregation is so that an operator can bundle ports together so that a single tilt command will tilt more than 2 arrays.  Download the files from the following links.

One contains the PCA 2.3.3 software which will need to be installed on your computer.

https://www.kathreinusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/PCA_2_3_3_for_Aggregation.zip

The second contains a collection of aggregation BIN files and reset BIN file.

https://www.kathreinusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Aggregation_Bin_files.zip

The third is quick guide for performing RET Aggregation using PCA.

http://www.kathreinusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Tilt-Aggregation-Procedure-for-Kathrein-PCA_2018_08.pdf

Why am I having problems doing Port Aggregation with PCA?

Quick trouble shooting list for RET Aggregation

  1. Do ONE antenna at a time. If the antennas are daisy chained then have someone at the antenna connect one at a time.  This is very important if there are different brands or types of antennas daisy chained together.
  2. Make sure you are using the Correct UNIQUE BIN file for that antenna. Example if you are aggregating a 80010798 antenna then file name needs to contain that number for example: agg_80010798_Y1+Y2Left_Y3+Y4Right_2018.BIN.
  3. If you used the WRONG file name in the BIN file. Or if the antenna did not populate properly then Upload the “aggregation_reset.bin”  to the antenna.
  4. If using Kathrein PCA or CCU. Make sure computer is running Windows 7 or Windows 8.  (will not work properly in Win 10 due to Microsoft no longer supporting older USB drivers)
  5. If using PCA ensure you are running SW 2.3.3 (this is the older version)
  6. Read “Tilt Aggregation Procedure for Kathrein PCA_2018_04” note and follow the procedure completely.

Most likely you have already downloaded the PCA software for 2.4.1.

It would be good to ALSO install 2.3.3 PCA software on your computer.  As you start installing it when the window pops up “choose save location” just add 233 to the end of the destination name.

When the icon pops up on your desktop, rename it to contain 233.   Now you can have both versions on your computer.

How do I scan AISG 1.1 or AISG 2.0 with PCA?

You can change the scan setting on PCA to scan multiple generations of antenna line equipment.  Here is link to quick guide.

https://www.kathreinusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/AISG-Protocol-Switch-for-PCA.pdf

How do I update firmware files on Antenna line equipment using PCA?

First collect the BIN file you need for a specific product.  It can be a complete antenna with Flexret or it can be an RCU BIN file.  Here is a quick guide https://www.kathreinusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/AISG-Device-Firmware-Update-for-PCA.pdf

How do I load iRCU antenna files using PCA?

Follow this guide to show how to update iRCU antenna files in case there is an error and you cannot calibrate the iRCU.

https://www.kathreinusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Reloading-internal-RCU-antenna-files-with-Kathrein-PCA.pdf

How do I change the mode using a PCA?

Flexret allows a single AISG control point to control multiple arrays.  Some Base station systems are picky about reading in single mode or multimode.  Single mode is the default but can be changed.  Below are quick guides for the options.

Switching the Flexret mode: https://www.kathreinusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/SWITCHING-THE-MODE-using-PCA.pdf

How do I change the Flexret mode using a PCA?

Flexret allows a single AISG control point to control multiple arrays.  Some Base station systems are picky about reading in single mode or multimode.  Single mode is the default but can be changed.  Below are quick guides for the options.

Switching the Flexret mode:

https://www.kathreinusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Switching-the-FlexRET-Mode-PCA.pdf

How do I scan and control other vendor antennas with PCA?

PCA has been tested with many other vendor antennas.  To do this follow options shown in quick guide below.  Note that Kathrein does not guarantee full interoperability with non-Kathrein products.  If a product can not be scanned, we recommend you contact that company support.

https://www.kathreinusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Third-party-RET-Configuration-for-PCA.pdf

How to update USB drivers on computer to communicate with PCA?

The most common problem is the laptop computer is not Windows 7 or 8.

Second most common is USB drivers need to be updated.  Follow this quick guide.

https://www.kathreinusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/PCA_Driver_installation_Guide_Windows7.pdf

Didn’t find what you were looking for? Contact support