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UNKEY message - locks up both Power Genius and SmartSDR (Flex 6400)

While running my Power Genius, an UNKEY RADIO message appeared on the screen of the Power Genius. SWK was 1.3 and I was only running about 30 watts of drive to the amp and 800 or so out. Temps were around 50C. Unfortunately, SmartSDR also became unresponsive and I could not unkey the radio via SmartSDR. SmartSDR continued to be unresponsive even after rebooting - essentially, the radio locked up. I finally had to power down both the radio and the power amp to clear the fault - when powered back up, all was fine. There was no indication of what caused the fault . Has anyone else experienced this? Is there a diagnostic log that can be accessed to learn what caused the fault?

Some context: My concern is that I operate the radio remotely on a regular basis and am often not close to the radio and amp. Fortunately, I have a wifi switch that can cut power to the radio but I haven't yet built a 220V wifi switch for the power amp. Until I do, I will not use the amp if not present to cut power.

Any thoughts or insights will be appreciated.

Answers

  • John KB4DU
    John KB4DU Member ✭✭✭

    Has anything changed recently? Different feed line, different connection cable, arrangement of the equipment?

  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator

    Open a Help desk ticket.

    Is it possible RF getting into your network?

    Dave wo2x

  • Bert
    Bert Member ✭✭

    Thanks for the feedback, guys. I suspected that RF might be the cause although I have never had an RF issue in the shack before - but, of course, I never had a network controlled power amp before, either. Have put ferrite clip on beads on the network cables to both the amp and the 6400. I also have almost completed the 220v wifi controlled contactor and will be putting that on line shortly to give me the ability to cut power to the amp remotely.

  • Bert
    Bert Member ✭✭

    ...just a quick clarification - I put the ferrite beads on after the problem occurred so we'll see if that solves the problem. Thanks again for the help.

  • Bill NE1B
    Bill NE1B Member ✭✭

    Bert, Let us know how that works out! I had 2 Events this week with my new PGXL. I received it on March 27 and had it on the air on April 1. It has FW 3.5.23.

    Event #1 was "SWR Protect" after ue on 160 meters @ 1200 watts, VSWR = 1.6:1

    Event #2 was "Firmware Fail" after use on 80 meters last night @ 1200 watts, VSWR = 1.3:1

    Both faults occured the next morning after previous night use, AFTER I clicked on the Utility to go to Operate. I could not take the PGXL out of Standby. The only way to clear the Fault was to cycle the 220 VAC. I guess I will look for a Remote controlled 220 VAC Power On/Off solution. It would also be nice to see these Faults on the PGXL Utility Main Screen. It can be seen under the History screen as below:

    73,

    Bill, NE1B

  • Bert
    Bert Member ✭✭

    Thanks Bill. Looks like my problem was due to stray RF getting into one or both units (amp or 6400) through the network cable. Put terroid beads on both and no more issues after several hours of use. HOWEVER, I found another interesting issue. If you don't put the amp in Standby mode prior to shutting down the radio, the amp remains in an OPERATE state. This happens if you close SmartSDR or the radio without shutting down the amp (remains in Operate mode). Additionally, the radio will not re-establish a connection with the amp unless and until you power the amp down and then bring it up again. This could be a problem for those that are operating remotely and don't have the ability to power cycle the amp. I'm going to report this to Flex also.

  • WX7Y
    WX7Y Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 19

    Flex is aware of the Flex Radio having to be powered on before you turn on the AMP for the Ethernet connection to be made to the Radio, You don't have to power the AMP down just soft reset it with the PGXL program then it should reestablish the connection.

    Not sure this is by design or something they are working on but time will tell.

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin

    @wx7y Bret made a comment that is not a 100% issue.

    To the best of my knowledge, there is no power on order since devices always advertise themselves on a LAN. I can honestly say that I have no power on order for my 6600 and PGXL. I just turn them on and off as required and not once have I seen a communication issue between the two devices.

    It sounds like an issue with network communication and it may be related to the switch handling the communications. Maybe 'green feature' of your Network switch, but I am guessing at that part.

    @Bert opened a support case and I was asked to test the power down sequence concern, but again, I could not create it.

    The only reason I mention this is that it is not something we see with all customers. In fact this is the first time I have heard it, and that was today.

    I run my PGXL and 6600 100% remotely and have been since the Amp was released. I can't think of a time where I have had to AC power the PGXL to have it show up on the network. It has always been there and worked, and trust me, I do try to not follow a special sequence. I just use it.

    My App software is at 3.5.23 and the PGXL firmware is 3.4.16. For Bret and Bert you do want to make sure you are at the current software levels. If you can recreate these issues at well, please let us know via a support ticket so we can diagnose it.

    73

  • WX7Y
    WX7Y Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 19

    So Mike if your AMP is powered on and you shut the 12V power to the radio off when you Power Up the Radio and load SmartSDR your AMP Meters work 100% on SmartSDR? If so then I have something wrong, Doing a Amp reset with the PGXL App it brings the meters back on line.


    Let me know how yours acts after you power off the radio and bring it back up.

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin

    Thanks Bret

    I just did this test and thanks for the clarification on how to recreate this. I have passed this on to engineering.


    1: SmartSDR on PC 

    2: PGXL in Operate

    3: Pull 12V from 6600

    4: Power on 6600 and reboot

    5: (PGXL is still in Operate)

    6: Hit Tune on SmartSDR - No meters

    7: Meters work on PGXL Application

    8: AC Power Cycle PGXL and reconnect

    9: Test in Tune - Meters now work

    I didn't have to do any reset on the PGXL at all.

    Mike

  • WX7Y
    WX7Y Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 19

    OK Mike, at least I'm not totally out in left field, I run my station remote and just going into the AMPs gear icon on the APP an then hit save fix's it with out powering down the Amp, this is what I meant by "Resting the AMP" I don't reset Power unless I do a firmware upgrade or some other failures that the Reset using the APP doesn't work .

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin

    Got it

    That is why we always ask those painful questions about 'exactly what did you do'.

    We could be saying the same thing, but doing different things.

    73

  • Bill NE1B
    Bill NE1B Member ✭✭

    Mike,


    Just need a couple clarifications:

    1. "App software is at 3.5.23 and the PGXL firmware is 3.4.16". I thought the PGXL firmware was 3.5.23. When I look at my Utility App, under "About", it says Version 2.2.10. Did I grab the wrong software?
    2. "Pull 12V from 6600". I think (I hope) you mean REM OFF on the 6600 and then Remote Power Off on the Power Supply.
    3. "Hit Tune on SmartSDR - No meters". I think that should read "...-No PGXL Meters on SmartSDR"

    73,

    Bill, NE1B

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin

    @Bill NE1B

    My comments where for an issue for Bret to understand how to recreate a problem.

    For you, I opened a support ticket. Please look at the ticket that you received and email about and ensure that it is 100% accurate.

    That will allow the guys to understand your issue.

    73

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