Houston Radar SS400 Hidden Settings

I connected a Houston Radar SS400 unit to our ANPR camera today. It’s a very neat and tidy device with approximately 0.07W power consumption at 12V. The datasheet lists 0.054W, but you have to add another 0.012W for the RS232 interface circuitry.

My task was to make the radar and the cam talk to each other.

Houston Radar provides a Windows app with all configuration options, but we want to do it via RS-232. Turns out that SS400 manual doesn’t list all the configuration options. There is an easy way to find out the missing pieces.

  1. Start Houston Radar Stats Analyser and connect to your radar.
  2. Go to the radar settings tab and configure everything as required.
  3. Press on More … button at the bottom of the page and select View Raw GUI Config.

The app will open a text editor and show a file similar to this one:

 LO=0
SP=150
HI=161
SF=1
ST=99
UN=1
HT=0
IO=0
MO=2
an=2816
op=0
SH=250
RS=46
L1=0
L2=0
L3=0
L4=0
L5=0
L6=0
TC=60
KY=10866
io=3
M1=1
M2=2
M3=4
M4=8
M5=16
M6=32
AH=0
SD=500
BN=5
TA=30
MD=1
bc=6600
dg=100
RN=0
WW=0
ev=11
DM=4
TR=0
KL=0
KD=0
RA=43
SI=5

The above is the comprehensive list of all the commands. I had to make changes via the Windows config app, export and compare the output to figure out what values to use.

My findings are listed below. Use them as a complement to the official SS400 manual.


RS: speed output format

The 1st byte is used to set RS-232 speed:

  • 4x – 115200
  • 7x – 57600
  • 5x – 19200
  • 3x – 9600
  • 2x – 2400
  • 1x – 1200

The 2nd byte controls the format and data parity:

  • x7 – binary
  • x5 – ASCII and CR, e.g. 0x3031350D
  • x3 – ASCII and CRLF, e.g. 0x3031350D0A
  • x4 – ASCII, + and CR, e.g. 0x2B3031350D or 0x2D3031350D
  • x6 – ASCII, + and CRLF, e.g. 0x2B3031350D0A or 0x2D3031350D0A
  • x0, x1, x2 – 7 bit formats with ASCII and CR, e.g. 0x3031350D

Example: RS=46 sets 115200 baud, 8 bit/no parity/1 stop, ASCII, + and CRLF

SF: tracking mode

  • Bit 0 – fastest vs strongest target selection, as per the manual
  • Bit 13 – set to 1 for Ground Speed Correction mode
  • Bit 15 – set to 1 for Demo mode

Examples:

  • SF=-32767 – demo mode, fastest target
  • SF=-32768 – demo mode, strongest target
  • SF=1 – normal speed, fastest target
  • SF=0 – normal speed, strongest target