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Flex6600 SteppIR Amplifier tune interlock

I operate my 6600 remotely using an orginal SteppIR MonstIR antenna and an Alpha 9500 Amplifier. The Amplifier PTT is keyed from the TX1 output on the rear of the Flex6600.

However it allows the Amplifier to key up whilst the SteppIR is tuning which is not good. I cant see when the SteppIR is tuning when I operate remote and am looking for a foolproof method to lock out the TX when the SteppIR is tuning.

My SteppIR Controller is a SDA100 has the tuning relay option. I have made up a cable from the SDA100 with an RCA on the other end. When the SteppIR is tuning the cable is open. When it had finished the cable is shorted.

My question is can I simply plug the tuning cable from the SDA100 into the TX Request input in the rear of the flex? Or do I need to setup SmartSDR also.

The manual (Page 25) says 7.8 TX REQUEST INPUT (INTERLOCK) This RCA connector is provided to receive an interlock signal from external amplifiers, or other external equipment. When enabled it will prevent the FLEX-6400/FLEX-6600 from going to transmit. The TX Request Input can be enabled with a 3.3V to 5V logic signal (when in Active High mode) or connecting to ground (when in Active Low mode). The circuit is a 74LVC14 CMOS Schmidt trigger logic input with a 2.7k pullup to +3.3V. The IC is 5V tolerant, so you can drive it with TTL levels as well. It can also be driven with an open collector transistor or open drain MOSFET. Grounding the center pin of this connector will prevent transmit from engaging (when in Active Low). Refer to the SmartSDR documentation for information about how the interlock system works and how to determine what is preventing transmit. The SmartSDR for Windows Software User’s Guide also includes details on how to interlock two radios from simultaneous transmit for a Multi/2 operation Refer to the SmartSDR documentation for information about how the interlock system works and how to determine what is preventing transmit. The SmartSDR for Windows Software User’s Guide also includes details on how to interlock two radios from simultaneous transmit for a Multi/2 operation

Answers

  • K1ESE
    K1ESE Member ✭✭

    We use this- http://www.telepostinc.com/STR.html

    It is no longer made but the schematic is in the manual.

  • Alan
    Alan Member ✭✭✭

    Chris

    SteppIR documents that up to 100 watts will not damage the antenna, while it is moving.

    So.....SteppIR built the tuning relay board, to open up the PTT line from the transceiver to the amplifier, so to prevent the amp from outputting, when the SteppIR is moving.

    So....instead of using the tuning relay to inhibit the Flex TX, install your RCA plugs "in-line' to between the Flex out PTT and the amplifier in PTT.

    Alan. WA9WUD

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

    Alan has some good ideas.

    I took the Software method and my Node-Red interface will prevent the Steppir from tuning while in TX.

    But, I do need to modify the code so that the radio does not go into TX while it is already tunning.

    Mike

  • K1ESE - I have a couple of those gadgets but as I use the SteppIR remote relay board, it cant detect the voltage change in the SDA100 and thus wont work.

    WA9WUD - Will think about your idea.

    Mike VA3MW - I thought if the TX request input value in Settings/Radio Setup/TX/Interlocks/RCA was set to Active High - then a closed circuit would prevent TX signal being send to the Alpha - but this doesn't seem to work.

  • Alan WA9WUD - I thin you are suggesting the cable in the photo above? On lead goes via the tuning relay which will complete the circuit to the Alpha PTT only when the SteppIR has stopped tuning

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

    @Christopher Platt

    I would be the first to admit that I have yet to play with the TX interlocks other than to understand how they should work. If it was me, I would do some ohm meter checks and see if it is doing what it is supposed to.

    My SDA100 is 200 ft away from the radio at the base of the tower, so this is why I am using a software interlock.

    Others may have better experience.

  • Mike VA3MW

    My SDA100 is with Flex and I use Ubiquity Tough Cableto run 100M to the tower and drive SteppIR remote relays. ( I also replaced the SteppIR control able with Tough Cable and joined the pairs - they enter the EHUs using Amphenol Connectors (makes for easy cable replacement)).

    I will try to 'splice' the tuner circuit into the Flex/Alpha PTT line as Alan suggests tomorrow. I prefer simple hardware solutions over software. Its a 3 hour round trip to my remote shack.

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

    My round trip is about the same. :)

    I have been using the software solution for about a year now without issue, but it depends on your comfort level.

    I'll share this with others who might be interested and this is what works for me.

    I know this looks a bit overwhelming, but think of it like a hardware schematic (which it sort of is), you can see the GATE that I have circled that stops command being sent while in TX. The brown box on the right is the serial connection to the SDA100. (I am going to make that a LAN connection soon and one less RS232 connection by adding a RS232/LAN adapter at the SDA1000 on the Tower).

    And, looking at this you can see a flaw where I need to move the 'wire' from the PSTRotator input to before the GATE. (ooppssss)

    This allows me to tinker all winter with the remote without having to drive up there and wade in through the snow to make a change.

    (OK, off Node-Red soapbox).

    73,



  • OK it looks like it might be a Hardware/Software issue with the  TX REQUEST INPUT (INTERLOCK) . Same issue two different (6600 and 6700) radios - no operation on either closed/open/or 5V.

    A colleague has raised a ticket.

  • K1UO - Larry
    K1UO - Larry Member ✭✭✭

    Don't forget the TX Interlock REQ needs to be set to high AND the Radio config TX REQ boxes need to be enabled for all Bands the SteppIR covers..

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