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TunerGeniusXL, a real Genius?
I must say that I was happy with the Palstar HF-Auto, it always did what it was suppose to do but it would often just go into tuning when transmitting even in manual mode and though it took some time to find an automatic solution it was far, far better than a manual tuner. For the amount of SO2R operation I do, there was no way I was going to buy a 2nd HF-Auto. When the specs came out on the Tuner Genius it peaked my interest and when the demo video came out it really sealed my decision to make moves to order a TGXL. I missed the boat on getting a free one as I got my PGXL long after the offer was over. I have had an Antenna Genius 2x8 since they first came out and up until now it's been a very good antenna switch but it's true capability wasn't utilized until the TGXL, read on.
As best as I tried to time it so I'd have the TGXL in possession before I sold the HF-Auto it didn't work out that way, so when I unboxed it six days ago I re-organized the placement of the 6700, PGXL and TGXL into a rack road case. It's a 40" rack-mount in a case on wheels with covers for front and back, I used when I gigged bars around years ago. (see picture below)
I said this will be a quick review. Since I have all my HF antennas going through the Antenna Genius, I used one port from the AG going to one antenna input on the HF-Auto. Anytime I changed to a different antenna on a band I would need to re-tune, 10 to 30 seconds later, sometimes it took a few times or I'd have to manually tune. To alter between different antennas on a band to see how I get out was cumbersome. Kinda got use to it but what the TGXL promised was a faster, more automated solution. Now that I've had it for nearly a week I can happily report that what was promised featured wise has certainly been delivered. What an amazing tuner.
Setup was a breeze and the utility it similar to the PGXL and AG. It is much lighter than I thought it would be. Finding an automatic tuning solution is indeed very quick, for example I haven't yet tuned the 160m full-wave loop on 30m thru 6m. As I'm writing this I decided to tune the FT-8 window on each band. Most bands found and stored a solution in well under 2 seconds, 2 bands was slightly over 2 seconds. Like I said very quick.
The TGXL with the AG can have 20 memories per antenna, per band and you can have up to 4 antennas per band. OK, so what does that mean in actual usage? The idea is to go through each antenna on each band and find a tuning solution up and down the band. Once this is done, no need to manual tune. With confidence of a tuned solution for each antenna, I can switch between antennas instantly for "how's my signal now?"
On 80m right now I have just two antennas, a four square and the 160m full-wave loop so I went up and down the band every so much kHz apart, and also my favourite frequencies and stored a tuning solution doing this for each antenna. Now when I select either antenna on that band, using ANT1 or ANT2 on the 6700, the tuning solution is instant. What a charm.
Since the tuner knows what antennas you have for each band via the Antenna Genius some real cool things can be done. Within the TGXL utility you can tell it to bypass the tuner on a particular range of frequencies, on a per band, per antenna basis. This is of course for those reasonant antennas not needing a tuner, how cool is that!
Sometimes we have a multi-band antennas and want to monitor other bands simultaneously. With a manual tuner or any other auto-tuner in receive you can easily hit the bypass button/switch, but the problem is remembering to change it so the tuner is inline when transmitting. We've all run into that right. Well here is another genius feature. Again, via the TGXL utility you can set either Port A and/or Port B to RX BYP. This is a receive-only mode that will bypass the TGXL tuning solution when the exciter is in receive mode. To explain more, let's again use an FT-8 example say you want to monitor as many FT-8 bands your radio can handle using a multi-band vertical or loop antenna. I have the FlexRadio 6700 so I can monitor up to 8 bands at once. Ok, so if the RX BYP is set on Port A, and have ANT1 selected on each slice, the tuning solution would be bypassed while receiving, and of course when I select a band to transmit on, it will use tuning solution on that band. Voila!
I can but I won't go into great detail about the display, front panel, buttons and adjustments are just what and where you need them or on how simple and smart this is from a FlexRadio station integration standpoint, or how versatile it is to work with other radios using CAT, CIV or BCD.
This is a well thought out product with very smart features, "Tuner Genuis" is indeed an appropriate and a well deserved name.
I have the exact same setup as you there is one thing you didn’t mention.
As good and the Tuner Genius is it fails to follow the Active Transmit Slice a major flaw.
There is no immediate fix in the works according to 403a. He says because the 2 nd Slice can be from a different Radio when using MultiFlex. So is the flaw in SDR software and maybe not Tuner Genius XL.
like you I had the HF Auto and now the Tuner Genius all is not as promised for SO2R. Only work around is to manually select the active slice in the Tuner Genius Utility. For fast moving FT8 and FT4 this slows the process down.
I went to the 4o3a forum to get the details on this Ian. I see what you're saying and I concur, remembering to hit the tune to switch is not ideal, but I'm confident the team will come out with a fix soon. You would think this would be straight forward as the TGXL utility already knows Port A & B are on the same radio, hence either automatically enable or at least when same radio detected, provide an option to enable, follow active slice.0
I see today in the 4o3a TGXL forum that Marko says "We already fixed the issue when non-MultiFlex, the release will be as soon as we complete testing of a couple of other features we are introducing."
Isn't is great to have developers with eyes/ears open to issues brought forward them from their customer base and then fixing it within hours, not months. Awaiting the pending release for the fix and curious on the new features.0
Keep in mind....
The current 'supported' version by FlexRadio is v1.1.1. Consider the version on the 4O3A website a beta version and fully regression tested by FlexRadio.
If you have a problem with a version above 1.1.1 (as of today), you may need to downgrade to 1.1.1.
My TG was shipped with v1.1.6......that may be what is causing the confusion.
Actually was going to ask about regressing. Alan, my tuner also came with 1.1.6 installed but I went ahead and got 1.1.6 from 4o3a.com. I have not noticed any other issues thus far.0
Hi Mike / VE3CKO
I've been messaging with the software developer at 403A about an update that is coming with a feature I'm interested in. During that discussion, he mentioned that V1.1.6 only has some minor fixes for hams using radios other than Flex. So while V1.1.6 should be fine, you probably won't notice any changes in it's operation for a Flex.
Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
6700 Win10 Pro V2004 -- SSDR V2.4.101
There is more going on than you are aware of or can be made aware of.
Again, consider any version above 1.1.1 as development or beta code.
Mike / VA3MW,
I'm still on V1.1.1 and waiting for the next version that is supposed to include a change to the TGXL PPT output connection to my amp when using the TUNE function on the TXXL app. As you noted I'm not aware of any other changes or what else may be in the works.
Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
6700 Win10 Pro V2004 -- SSDR V2.4.100
That makes sense. All other items are not shared until a supported version complete with the release notes is published.
You may be asked to test something that you reported from 4O3A as part of a Unit test.1
My primary concern is to make the Tuner Genius follow the active Transmitter Antenna locally at 1st.
Im being told 403a should have a fix shortly for local radio.
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