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Tuner Genius Speculation

KF4HR Member ✭✭
edited August 2020 in Tuner Genius XL
With the exception of only some rough specs on the 4o3A website, there hasn't been much in the way of specific details on the Tuner Genius product to come out so far so I thought it might be fun to speculate on how 4o3A Tuner Genius might be designed.

Since the Flex rigs easily have the ability to receive on more than one band at a time, and the PG-XL is one of the few HF Amplifiers that enjoys dual thru-put paths (one amplified & the other pass-thru), perhaps the Tuner Genius (TG) is being designed as a "dual" ATU system (two individual legal limit ATU's in one box), each with its own input and output, so each of the outputs on the PG-XL always has an active ATU to facilitate instant low SWR switching between ANT1 and ANT2 via SSDR.  And the two outputs of the TG would feed directly into a Antenna Genius unit to facilitate multiple antenna selections.  This would also allow for Diversity Receive using any two of the eight antenna port connections.  Just speculation of course.  Thoughts?

FLEX-6xxx === PG-XL === TG === AG 8x2
                                                             | | | | | | | |  
                                                             Ant Ports


  • Wayne Schonfeld
    Wayne Schonfeld Member ✭✭
    edited March 2020
    I am sure the technology will be more advanced than it was 3 years ago when I ordered mine.  Otherwise, I have no idea about this unit and the only thing I have been told is that there are prototypes being tested.
  • Bill W2PKY
    Bill W2PKY Member ✭✭
    edited March 2020
    I don't think there will be two tuners in one box. Depending on which slice has TX focus the tuner will probably select the correct LC settings to provide low SWR for the amp or radio. However, my concern is that the tuner be out of the signal path on receive. The problem with having a tuner inline on receive is that is can reduce the signal amplitude on bands where the tuner is not tuned for. For example when a tuner is tuned for higher bands, lower bands like 160M are usually filtered out. This may not be a problem for many users but for 6700 users that listen to multiple bands at a time this is a problem. Hopefully, the tuner will  employ a TR switch for the active path.
  • Ken Hansen
    Ken Hansen Member ✭✭
    edited March 2020
    It's hard to imagine a dual-tuner unit would enjoy anything but smallest fraction of market share that a similarly-spec'd single-tuner unit would share. Two tuners would cost almost as much as two single tuners, leaving the average operator with twice as much tuner as needed. What I would like to see would be a unit that can be placed on either/any antenna port on a Flex Radio and be conveniently controlled from within SmartSDR as easily as the built-in tuner on current Flex radios. This would allow multi-share operators to each have their own tuner for whatever band they are operating on. Physically I'd like to see the unit be half the width of a 6400/6600 or Power Genius chassis, to allow easy stacking of two units in a rack for remote operation.
  • Rick N4RZ
    Rick N4RZ Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 2020
    Unless there has been a major design change from what I was told by Flex in the past it is a single tuner meant to work with either of the radio antenna outputs but not both simultaneously.    
  • bahillen
    bahillen Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 2020
    An update from Flex is overdue. 73 Bill
  • James Charlton
    James Charlton Member ✭✭
    edited March 2020
    I was at one time a staunch advocate of using a tuner for fast switching around during a contest, but have since changed my mind.  I think the best setup for fast band switching is multiple or multiband antennas.
    The problem with the tuners I have tried is that they require RF before they start to tune.  That is easy to provide via the 'Tune' button on my 6600M.  Once my tuner has tuned to a particular frequency, it remembers it and can jump to it quickly.

    So, my operating procedure is to change bands (my amp and antenna switch immediately to the new band), press the 'Tune' button which allows the tuner to tune with a few watts of RF and then operate on the new band. That all works fine.  The problem occurs if I forget to press the 'Tune' button.

    In that case, the tuner is hit with the full 1KW from the amp which is way over its maximum tuning power.  It puts itself into bypass.  The amp also puts itself into bypass because it saw a high SWR for a brief moment.  I then have to reset both units - difficult to do if I'm operating remotely via my Maestro.
      My current solution is to tune my antennas so that my tuner isn't needed and stays in bypass.  This works because I mostly operate CW on the bottom of the bands.  But, if I want to operate SSB I must engage the tuner to reach the higher frequencies.

    A great fix would be a tuner that reads the transmitter frequency and sets itself up before any RF is actually sent.  This shouldn't be too hard as my logger already does this.  Another fix would be to design an amp that can tolerate much higher SWRs.
    Jim Charlton  AD0AB   
  • Burch - K4QXX
    Burch - K4QXX Member ✭✭
    edited March 2020
    I agree.  I have reached out several times and they just say it's under development.
  • KF4HR
    KF4HR Member ✭✭
    edited March 2020
    If you're lucky enough to have multiple resonate antennas, or a multi-band antenna that has low SWR on multiple bands which allow you to quickly bounce between the bands with your Flex and Amplifier, that's the best case scenario.  In my case, at certain frequencies, my low band wire antennas do require an Antenna Tuner to reach a low (near 1:1) SWR match.  I use two Palstar HF-AUTO units, one connected to each of the PG-XL's output ports.  This allows tuning of two separate antennas so I can quickly switch between them via ANT1 and ANT2 in SSDR.  This saves time not having to tune and retune my different antennas over and over during a contest which saves some time.  It also facilitates using two tuned antennas for Diversity Receive (through the PG-XL).  It also works out really nice when I want to quickly compare two tuned antennas.

    For those that weren't aware, the RFStacks program has a feature that switches the PG-XL amplifier to Standby Mode during TUNE mode.  (This feature can also accommodate SPE amplifiers.)  This option can be found under View-> Options-> the PGXL or SPE Amp tab.

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