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ANT1 and ANT2 Problem

I have a 6700 using ver. 3.1.12.51. I see this issue both on Smart SDR and Maestro.

I want to have ANT1(RX) and ANT1(TX) on slice A (all bands) in both TX and RX. I want ANT2(RX) and ANT2(TX) on slice B (all bands) in both TX and RX. However, when I change an ANT setting on one slice it changes on the other slice as well. This also messes up the A - B band indicators on the PGXL when both slices on different bands have the same ANT selection. Slice A and B are always on different bands.

I've tried working with profiles, but haven't gotten that to work. This is probably operator error, but I can get this working.

I'm not sure if this is related, but I cannot drive a relay board on ANT2 using USB Cables. ANT 1 drives the board as expected.

Thanks for any help / advice.

Ralph - K0IR

Comments

  • Bill AB7AABill AB7AA Member ✭✭

    Hi Ralph,


    I have a 6700 also and have the same issue with the antennas not staying married to their VFO's. It's frustrating that anytime I change bands that I have to reset the antennas and I've not found an answer to it. Profiles don't help because I can never set up the radio the way I need it to make a profile for it. HELP Flex!

    73,

    Bill AB7AA

  • Ralph FedorRalph Fedor Member ✭✭

    Hi Bill ---

    Thank you very much for chiming in. At least I know I'm not alone and this probably isn't operator error. I'll submit a ticket and see if the support guys can help. I would think any contest station wanting to do SO2R and listen to two bands (ANT1 and ANT2) at the same time would have a serious problem with this.

    I'll submit a ticket and see what the support guys have to say.

    Thanks again.

    Ralph - K0IR

  • AlanAlan Member ✭✭

    Ralph

    You need to have two Panadapders open with TX1 slice on one and TX2 on the other. The 6600 and the 6700 have two SCUs (receivers), that can be associated each with one Panadapder . Since you are using only one Panadapder for two slices, the Panadapter must move the TX Ant to both slices.

    Section 11.2.3 of the Manual:

    Each Panadapter is derived from the data from a single SCU so it is possible in multiple-SCU radios to show two different Panadapters tuned to the same region of the spectrum, each with data from a different SCU and ultimately a different antenna.


    And, (see the bolded bullet below)


    29.13 ANTENNA CONFIGURATION BASIC TERMS AND RULES

    For more advanced antenna configurations, it is helpful to define terms used to describe the FLEX- 6000 Signature Series architecture and the rules associated with its configuration.

    • A Spectral Capture Unit (SCU) is a direct sampling, wideband digitizer that captures the entire RF spectrum within its input filter limits.
    • The FLEX-6700/6700R and FLEX-6600/M models contain two fully equivalent but independent SCUs. The FLEX-6500, FLEX-6400/M and FLEX-6300 contain a single SCU.
    • The FLEX-6700/6700R and FLEX-6600/M models can simultaneously digitize two antennas, one for each SCU, while the FLEX-6500, FLEX-6400/M and FLEX-6300 digitize a single antenna.
    • Each Panadapter spectral display requires selection of an associated receive antenna. The default association for the first Panadapter is ANT1.
    • One or more Slice Receivers may be placed on one or more Panadapters.
    • Multiple Slices and Panadapters can share a single receive antenna.
    • SmartSDR allows up to eight Panadapters and eight Slice Receivers on the FLEX-6700/6700R
    • models and up to four Panadapters and four Slice Receivers on the FLEX-6600/M and FLEX- 6500. The FLEX-6400/M and FLEX-6300 allow up to two Panadapters and two Slice Receivers.
    • All Slices placed on a Panadapter must use the same receive antenna as the Panadapter. Changing the receive antenna for a single slice will change the receive antenna for its host Panadapter and all Slices within.
    • The FLEX-6700/6700R and FLEX-6600/M models allow simultaneous reception from two receive antennas. The FLEX-6500, FLEX-6400/M and FLEX-6300 operate from a single receive antenna.
    • The receive RF Gain control located on the Panadapter ANT pop out menu is tied to its respective SCU/ receive antenna combination.
    • Transmit antenna selection is completely independent of the receive antenna. Only one transmit slice can be active at one time.
    • The transmit slice is selected by clicking on the large “TX” button on the slice flag, which will illuminate the button in red.
    • ANT1 and ANT2 ports allow transmission at 100W on 160m through 6m amateur bands. The XVTR port allows continuous coverage low power (+10 dBm max) transverter IF from 100 KHz to 165 MHz.
    • Each slice can have its own transmit antenna selection, which may be the same as or different from the assigned receive antenna.
    • Each SCU on the FLEX-6700 has the option of a dedicated receive-only antenna designated RX A and RX B respectively. These inputs are hard wired to their respective SCU and may not be switched between SCUs.
    • NOTE: This does not preclude using RX A with ANT2 or RX B with ANT1.
    • The single SCU on the FLEX-6500 has the option of the dedicated receive-only antenna input RX A.
    • LoopA and LoopB on the FLEX-6500 and FLEX-6700 are provided to allow connection of external preamplifiers or pre-selectors. The internal relay switching is identical to RX A and RX B respectively. However, LoopA and LoopB is a logical designation that assumes that their input is from ANT1 or ANT2. This means that a preamplifier installed in LoopA will be functional if either LoopA or RX A are selected. Logically RX A will assume a receive-only antenna connected to RX A and LoopA will assume that a device is connected between RX A IN and RX A OUT.
    • The XVTR input/output port may be used on the FLEX-6300, FLEX-6400/M, FLEX-6500, FLEX- 6600/M and FLEX-6700 as another receive-only input or may be used as a transverter transmit or common receive port. RX A and/or RX B on may be used for split transmit receive operation when selected as the receive antenna and XVTR as the transmit antenna.
    • PIN diode silent CW QSK operation on ANT1 and ANT2 require that both receive and transmit be on the same antenna or that a dedicated receive-only antenna be used (ideal for QSK) on RX A, RX B, or XVTR. If ANT1 and ANT2 are used separately as receive and transmit antennas, the transmitter reverts to mechanical relay TR switching. Each slice has a QSK annunciator that indicates when PIN diode TR switching is engaged.

    Alan WA9WUD

  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin

    To add to excellent post from @Alan above, what applies to the 6700 in regards to antenna switching is also applicable to the 6600 as well since both are dual SCU radios.

  • Ralph FedorRalph Fedor Member ✭✭

    Thanks guys ----

    I was sure this had to work ---- somehow, and that pilot error was a real possibility. I confused my slices and panadapters, I guess.

    I'm away from home for a few days, but anxious to get this setup when I get back.

    Just wondering ----Using the USB Cables, I have 4 Denkovi relay board to switch antennas. I have boards 1 & 2 associated with ANT 1 and they work fine. Boards 3 & 4 are associated with ANT 2 and they are not functioning.

    Is this related to the above?

    Thanks again ---

    Ralph - K0IR

  • AlanAlan Member ✭✭
    edited August 30

    Ralph

    For antenna switching, I assume you are using the TX antenna as the USB BIT cable source with the applicable trigger?

    If so.

    You only have one Transmitter. The Flex Server will switch to that TX antenna, whenever the slice using it is made the TX slice.

    If you are using multiplex, all of the above apples to the "bound" client, since both clients share the same transmitter. Clients are bound by the last to TX or Tune.

    If you are using the RX antenna as your USB BIT cable source, I will let others comment on that, as I have not used that configuration myself. Also, if you are, not sure if that is the best for selecting antennas.

    Alan. WA9WUD

  • Ralph FedorRalph Fedor Member ✭✭

    OK, I got home optimistic that I could get things running. However -----Here is what I did: I set up two panadapters with Slice A on the top panadapter and Slice B on the bottom panadapter. I went through the bands 160 -6 and assigned TX1 and RX1 on the top panadapter. (sliceA). Then set up TX2 and RX2 on the bottom panadapter on 160-10 (slice B). I want to transmit and receive on the same antenna.

    With this configuration I should be able to -- for example:

    A.) Transmit and listen on 20 meters (slice A - top panadapter) with the 20 meter antenna on ANT 1. I should be able to listen on 15 meters (bottom panadapter, Slice B) using the 15 meter antenna on ANT2.

    B.) Hit the TX button on the bottom panadapter - Slice B and transmit on 15 and listen on 20

    This is basic SO2R operation, but not through N1MM. This is just casual operating.

    BUT ---- After assigning TX1 and RX1 to the top panadapter and then assigning TX2 and RX2 to the bottom panadapter, all the top panadapter setting go to TX2 and RX2. The same happens in reverse when changing the bottom panadapter settings.

    How do I get my antenna selections to "stick" to the slice-panadapter band? I still think I'm missing something here. Is what I'm trying to do possible with Flex?

    Alan, thanks for you comment about the USB Cables.

    Ralph - K0IR

  • Bill AB7AABill AB7AA Member ✭✭

    I have exactly Ralph's problem. On a 6700 I want VFO A on one panadapter to use antenna system 1 for both emit and receive for all bands. And I want VFO B on a second VFO/panadapter to use antenna system 2 for all bands. This is best for my SO2R and diversity reception. Problem is they won't stay configured that way. When I switch bands on one VFO/panadapter I get a different XMIT/RCV antenna configuration than what I originally specified for that VFO/band.

    Bill AB7AA

  • Ralph FedorRalph Fedor Member ✭✭

    In my situation, I think this could be resolved IF the USB Cables function would allow using "SLICE" as a source for antenna selection. The Flex documentation says this is possible, but it is not. There is a long-standing, known bug in the USB Cables function that won't let you use "SLICE" as a source.

    The irony here is I replaced two IC-756's in an SO2R station with a Flex 6700. I could get band data from each radio to switch antennas independently, but I can't do this with my 6700. It seems there has to be a way, but I can't find it.

    Ralph - K0IR

  • David Decoons, wo2xDavid Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭

    Ralph,


    Have you tried setting the USB cables to TX Antenna 1 and TX Antenna 2 instead of following a slice?

    Dave wo2x

  • Ralph FedorRalph Fedor Member ✭✭

    This doesn't work because the TX antenna changes all the time. If the TX / RX antenna would stick with a slice or a panadapter, this would work.

    Coincidentally, this problem messes up the display on the PGXL. Slice A become B on the amp and slice B becomes A on the amp and they bounce back and forth as you switch bands.

    Thanks for the suggestion; Ii appreciate your chiming in.

    Ralph - K0IR

  • David Decoons, wo2xDavid Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭

    The TX Antenna selection will follow the band and not slice or panadapter.

    If you want to have multiple antennas and be able to have either port of the radio/PG XL be able to be used with certain antennas then the 4O3A 2x8 Antenna Genius can work for you. Just program the 2x8 switch to map the proper antenna per band. Whenever that band is selected it will choose the correct antenna. If you have bands that can have multiple antennas that can be configured as well.

    What will not work is being on two different bands where both bands use the same antenna. There is interlocking to prevent two different slices/radios from accessing the same antenna.

    Just a thought to possibly resolve your antenna mapping issue.

    Dave wo2x

  • Sergey KN7KSergey KN7K Member ✭✭

    Dave,

    I thought that would be the case, but I cannot find solution for a SAFE switching. I posted it here

    and created a video that shows a problem I am trying to resolve for SO2R.

    I do not have 6700, I use 6600+PGXL+AG8x2, but it seems like a similar issue.

    The issue is that I have to remember that slice 1 is always Ant1 and Slice 2 is always Ant2

    So far I am scratching my head how to make sure I will not TX on the wrong band with PGXL, specifically in Contest season.

    Sergey, KN7K

  • Ralph FedorRalph Fedor Member ✭✭

    Here is what I am struggling with:

    Years ago I created my own "antenna genius." I have 11 antennas whose feedlines enter my shack and feed into a host of MicroHam switches, diode matrices, bandpass filters, etc. All the antennas are monobanders. This conglomeration terminates in four input ports that two SO2R stations fed into. The configuration allows ANY of the four radios to grab any antenna as long as the antenna is not used by another station -- a lock out system is in place. The ONLY thing needed to make this work is band data output from each radio. It worked flawlessly with two K3's and two IC-756 Pro transceivers. Each radio gave me band data outputs; that's all I needed.

    I replaced the 756 Pros and an auto-tuning tube amp with a 6700, Maestro, and PGXL. I thought, surely this new system could do what two 756 Pros could do; give me band data relative to an antenna terminal that would stay linked to a panadapter. The "real" Antenna Genius is not the answer either; it doesn't have enough ports, and after the major investment so far, I'm not anxious to spend more.

    I really hope it's my own ignorance that keeps me from finding a solution, so I really welcome suggestions, ideas, similar stories, and Alpha and Beta tester involvement (PLEASE) . Thank you to everyone who has responded so far.

    Ralph - K0IR

  • Sergey KN7KSergey KN7K Member ✭✭

    Dave,

    I thought that would be the case, but I cannot find solution for a SAFE switching. I posted it here

    and created a video that shows a problem I am trying to resolve for SO2R.

    I do not have 6700, I use 6600+PGXL+AG8x2, but it seems like a similar problem.


    The issue is that I have to remember that slice 1 is always Ant1 and Slice 2 is always Ant2

    So far I am scratching my head how to make sure I will not TX on the wrong band with PGXL, specifically in Contest season.

    Sergey, KN7K

  • Bill AB7AABill AB7AA Member ✭✭

    It appears that the antenna configuration in SmartSDR is memorized for the last band selected and not associated with any slice/VFO. The next time that band is selected on a different slice, you get what was memorized the last time that band was selected, irrespective of which slice/VFO that was on. This is inconvenient because it then requires resetting the slice/VFO to the desired antenna configuration every time its bands are changed. A 6700 with two SCR's and up to 8 different slices can listen to eight different bands, many of which can be on the same band but with two different antennas. Don't worry about squirting a receiver with high power, it's smart enough presently to preclude direct switching the transmit into the receive antenna. For duplex operations, if the antennas are too close, it mutes the receiver if the signal is too strong. I've operated this way every day for years. For dual receiver radios, Smart SDR needs to be programmed to take advantage of their hardware capabilities and allow them to memorize antenna/VFO configurations independently.

    It is unacceptable for a Software Defined Radio to require a hardware fix such as a $900 AG to fix a software problem.

    Bill AB7AA

  • Ralph FedorRalph Fedor Member ✭✭

    OK, everyone ----

    There are a number of us who are frustrated by the problems surrounding the panadapter-slice-antenna port issues.

    Who do we take this to? Who will listen? Who will act? What is the right level in the Flex hierarchy that we need to reach out to and how do we do it most effectively?

    Ralph - K0IR

  • Erik SM0JCAErik SM0JCA Member ✭✭

    I am also scratching my head how to configure antenna switching for SO2R. I have a 6600 and amplifier SPE Exper 1.3k-FA. 4O3A company has just come up with a number of advanced switches to help with different switch problems so there is obviosly a demand. I think that a software solution for antenna switching in the Flexradios could go a long way.

    I have band pass filters controlled by USB BCD/Bit cables from the Flex and that works fine. What we need is the Flex 6600 internal antenna switch to be configurable in the Profiles. Profiles include possibilities for Global, Transmit and Microphone , I suggest to add a special tab in Profiles for Antennas where we could assign antennas per RX/TX, band and antenna port ANT1/ANT2/RX A-B/XVRT A-B. Any setup would have to have an interlock safety to avoid TX damage .

    Hopefully we will get that in an update of the Flex software. 😃

    73 Erik

  • Ron KoenigRon Koenig Member
    Erik,
    That's exactly what we need. I use RX only antennas on low bands and when switching to high bands it keeps it on RX A or B. This past weekend in the CW WW RTTY M/2 the 40M op kept Checking 15m... But because it stayed on RX A the band appeared "Dead".. Thankfully I realized there must be a problem when there were lots of spots on 15. I have also spent to much time on a 40M beverage after swapping to 160m... Signals are sure better when you figure it out but 36 hours deep into a contest I'd like the radio to help me out a bit.

    I run Ant Genius switches but they are of no help for the RX ports.

    Ron, WV4P
  • Ralph FedorRalph Fedor Member ✭✭

    I've been away and off this thread for a while. I'm still struggling with this and it appears there hasn't been a resolution in my absence.

    Ralph - K0IR

  • Bill AB7AABill AB7AA Member ✭✭

    Hi Ralph,

    Still no comment from the management even though there have been other complaints on different threats. After closely reading the manual on the section describing this subject, I see that we violate none of the Flex instructions. It should operate the way we are trying to do, but experiencing Ant1/Ant2 VFO reassignment problems. Have you turned in a work ticket?

    Bill AB7AA

  • Ralph FedorRalph Fedor Member ✭✭

    Hello Bill ---

    I've been absent for a while. My XYL had surgery and I've had some other issues that have been demanding my attention.

    I've not submitted a ticket. Except when there is a definite rig failure, and I've had a number of them, I've mostly gotten, "We are aware of this and its on our list."

    I had some network disconnect issues with the 6700, even after installing a new switch and updating to CAT6 cable. I talked about it to an alpha-tester, and his comment was, "That happens to me occasionally too." So, input portal didn't doesn't look promising either.

    It seem like lots of folks, especially serious contesters should be concerned about this. Maybe they all do their antenna management through N1MM, DXLab, or whatever. So I remain frustrated and dream of the good old days when I had two 765's doing my SO2R and antenna switching was a breeze.

    I'd be happy to join in a group letter or whatever; but right now I can't spearhead something like this. Or, can you think of another approach?

    Thanks, Bill.

    73 --

    Ralph - K0IR

  • Bill AB7AABill AB7AA Member ✭✭

    Ralph,

    I've been out of town also so haven't been checking this post. I would turn in a ticket just to get some acknowledgement from Flex. I've sent emails to others at Flex on this subject but they go unacknowledged.

    73,

    Bill AB7AA

  • Ralph FedorRalph Fedor Member ✭✭

    Hello again, Bill ---

    I did get the antenna selection to "stick" with Slice A or Slice B. I did this in the TX Profiles. I can't regurgitate exactly what I did from my present location, but if you go into TX profiles, I think you'll figure it out.

    We are left with the USB Cables function not working with using SLICE as a source. I am keeping up the drum beat to get that fixed ---- hopefully.

    Ralph - K0IR

  • Bill AB7AABill AB7AA Member ✭✭

    Hi Ralph,

    I too have used the TX Profiles to work with the problem. This is not a good SO2R solution because it does not return your last used frequency if bands are switched back and forth. It still requires a some manual input if you want to come back to the same freq.

    Bill AB7AA

  • Ralph FedorRalph Fedor Member ✭✭

    OK, Bill ----

    I'll repost here if I have an updates or progress to report.

    Eric, KE5DTO, and Ken, NM9P, from the help squad, have been responsive and listened. You might voice your concerns through them and perhaps get a little more traction

    Keep in touch.,

    Ralph - K0IR

  • David Decoons, wo2xDavid Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 21

    Just a thought. What about Node Red which can communicate to clients through the TCP API? Then create a flow to send band info from each client’s slice A & B out separate serial, TCP ports, or gpio to relays?

    Dave wo2x

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