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Default RF Output Power

Norm - W7CK
Norm - W7CK Member ✭✭
edited May 2020 in New Ideas
Currently the default RF Power output is set at 100 watts.  For those of who use an external RF Amplifier this can be a problem.  Naturally as we use the radio, we change the slider to the appropriate setting and save this in our profiles.   With the 6700, there are lots of Panadapter and slice combinations and each one has to be set.  Once this is done, it is ALMOST a set and forget issue.  I say almost because occasionally for some odd reason, the RF power output will revert back to 100 watts.  It is something that has to be constantly monitored.  This can literally destroy an amplifier.  The other day I had to reset the radio, reload an older version of SmartSDR and not reload my profiles so I could do some audio diagnostics.  In the process, the default RF Power output was set to 100 on every slice and every band I opened.  Twice during the past few days, I nearly hit transmit before noticing the PO was at 100.  I know all about ALC and I also know that it isn't fail safe.  I've already had to repair the PA in my amplifier once and I really don't want to have to do it again because of some dumb oversight on my part.

I'd like to propose an addition in "Radio Setup" under the "Transmit" tab that lets us set the default maximum power output.  This can be right above or below Tune Power.  I'd really like to see this default applied every time a slice is opened regardless of what PO was set the previous time the slice was opened.  In other words, I open a slice, it gets set to the default po of say 15 watts.  During this session, I decide I'm not running the amp and I bump the po up to 100w for that slice.  Later I close the slice.   The next time I open a slice, panadapter or whatever combination, it should revert back to whatever the default has been set to in "Radio Setup" - 15 watts in this case.

I sure hope others think this would be a nice addition to SmartSDR.....

Norm
7 votes

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Comments

  • Jim Gilliam
    Jim Gilliam Member ✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Sounds like an excellent idea that shouldn't impose too much reprogramming for Flex.
  • Ted  WA3AER
    Ted WA3AER Member
    edited July 2015
    This used to be an option in PSDR also, but it "disappeared" in later versions. I agree that this would be a useful option to have, particularly if one were using an amplifier.
  • Gene - K3GC
    Gene - K3GC Member ✭✭
    edited February 2018
    I think it is a great idea.  I am frequently concerned about over-driving my amp.
  • W7NGA
    W7NGA Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2018
    Yes ... my Alpha 89 is torn apart on the bench with a shorted 3CX800A7. It was my fault that I didn't take notice of the power remaining at 100% after using CW barefoot. Back in AM mode with the amplifier, the power didn't revert to the 15-watts I use in that mode .... and ****! 
  •   VE6KWA
    VE6KWA Member ✭✭
    edited May 2020
    Yes... great feature. Perhaps a small button on the radio that simply says "Amp" to denote the feature is activated.
  • W9OY
    W9OY Member ✭✭
    edited May 2015
    DDUTIL has a feature called autodrive that allows the drive level for 2 amps to be set per band. The correct drive level follows the frequency 73 W9OY
  • Greg Leber
    Greg Leber Member
    edited May 2015
    I second that idea
  • Dave -- W5DJB
    Dave -- W5DJB Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Yes, please! It would be great as a part of the transmit setup.
  • KY6LA_Howard
    KY6LA_Howard Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2020
    DDUTIL Autodrive already does this very well

    PLUS it. Will disable and enable your AMP TX control line so it will correctly send the optimum power per band.

    Here is a screenshot of a Genovation Keypad I use connect via DDUTIL Macros

    My top right button labelled STBY is used to enable and disable the Amp via DDUTIL

    Frankly this is much quicker and more efficient than moving a mouse

    image OOPS. The picture is on its side?
  •   VE6KWA
    VE6KWA Member ✭✭
    edited July 2016
    I guess this is a First party... Third part software preference then. I think it's important enough to be part of the base radio software.
  • Gene - K3GC
    Gene - K3GC Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    It seems that I always feel **** when I try to do something new in DDUtil. This is a great little app but it is anything but intuitive.I found the wiki section on autodrive but it was apparently written for an old version and I am clueless as to how to set up the present version. HELP :)
  • KY6LA_Howard
    KY6LA_Howard Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2017
    image


    This is my setup screen for Autodrive

    Pretty Easy
  • Gene - K3GC
    Gene - K3GC Member ✭✭
    edited February 2018
    Thanks, about as simple as it can get but it still doesn't work for me.  I wonder if it is my amp setup.
    I have a THP 1.5.  There is no setup for it under the amps tab.  I have my amp setup up under the Ports tab. ?????
  • KY6LA_Howard
    KY6LA_Howard Member ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    I am using an Expert SPE 2K-FA.. no setup either in DDUTIL

    BUT... I send band data to it via the Passive Listener Port and Autodrive sets the power and controls the 6000 TX line...

    Perfect!!!
  • George KF2T
    George KF2T Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 2019
    In the interim, you can set your transmit profiles to the appropriate level, then "nest" the transmit profile in a global one. I use that technique to keep my JT65 power at polite levels.

  • Tim - W4TME
    Tim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited March 2017
    This is a feature request that is in our database for inclusion in a future version of SmartSDR.
  • Jim Gilliam
    Jim Gilliam Member ✭✭
    edited May 2015
    Does this require a computer sitting next to the SDR?
  • Steve W6SDM
    Steve W6SDM Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 2017
    Howard,

    I use a X-Keys box for CW macros.  I am assuming yours is similar.  Would you be willing to share your macros?  I'm at [email protected].

    Oh, and I am dying to find out what the "****" key does.  :)
  • W9OY
    W9OY Member ✭✭
    edited May 2015
    Autodrive is not particularly related to any amp.  I use it with both of my drive sensitive amps. 

    1 resonate your amp on a given band/antenna set the power and hit set.image

    2 After you set every band hit stby to turn on oper image

    Now when you switch bands DDUTIL will set your transmit power to the exact power you want for that amp/band/antenna

    If you have 2 amps with different drive levels you can choose here image 

    make sure the auto drive form is filled out and turned on in the setup tab  what this feature does is send a command to the flex 6xxx to set its drive to the value in the auto drive database.  It is unrelated to a particular piece of amplifier hardware, slices etc etc.  it just tells the Flex transmitter how much power to output

    73  W9OY
  • KY6LA_Howard
    KY6LA_Howard Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2015
    ****... brings up **** dancing antennas...

    or Mutes the slice 

    I will send you an excel file so you can copy and paste
  • Norm - W7CK
    Norm - W7CK Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Sorry Howard, you must have found my neighbors web site.. hihi.

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