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PGXL learnings

Sergey KN7KSergey KN7K Member ✭✭
Received PGXL 2 days ago and currently learning/testing.
Few questions to other users:

1. PGXL Utility jumps in CW mode on every dot/dit as 0/1500/0/1500.... , it is painful to watch. Is there any averaging or delay in that reading?
It is only happening on PGXL utility, on Amp itself looks normal.

2. Last night had an issue that I cannot explain:
TX on 160m with no Amp, SWR about 1.4-1.5. 
TX on 160m with Amp about 1200W - same SWR
TX on 160m with slowly lowering input power from about 60w to 30w, slowly raising SWR and around 30w input SWR jumps to 3.3 and going to Alarm state.
Raising input power above 40w, shows normal SWR again.

3. I cannot reach full power on 160m and 80m , it is about 1300w.
More drive power resetting back to a lower level - i can see it on Power slider of the 6600. APC is not engaged.

4. I enabled Meffa in settings, checked instructions, I do not see anything on the screen that tell me it is enabled.

Could someone tell is it all normal and how to improve that behavior.
I may have more questions as I learn it.
Thanks
Sergey, KN7K
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Answers

  • bahillenbahillen Member ✭✭
    edited October 2019
    I turned Meffa OFF. I use wire antennas and SWR is probably higher than many others system. With Meffa turned on as I changed power the SWR would go up and sometimes report HI SWR on the utility. I thought I had an antenna problem with chokes, but all went away when I turned off Meffa. I am too busy using my PGXL to analyzing Meffa an how and why is does its thing. It does say it is for SSB and CW. My on observations were with digital. 73 Bill W9JJB
  • Sergey KN7KSergey KN7K Member ✭✭
    edited March 1
    I tested CW only, so it does happening in CW
  • WX7YWX7Y Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 6
    what firmware version are you using, they just sent out a new TEST version that supposedly helps with the SWR issue if you have it.
    Bret
    WX7Y

  • Sergey KN7KSergey KN7K Member ✭✭
    edited March 1
    it came with ver 3.2.15
  • KF4HRKF4HR Member ✭✭
    edited June 2
    Reference #1, what do you see jumping?
    Reference #2 and #3, are you seeing the same results when using the amp into a dummy load? 
    And what is your input voltage?
  • Sergey KN7KSergey KN7K Member ✭✭
    edited October 2019
    "Reference #1, what do you see jumping?"
    On Amp I see for example 250w output, on Utility I see 250-23-0-250 and so on fast changing reading during CW. number between 250 and next reading 250 jumping around fast on every dit/dot.
    Do you have the same reading?
    I cannot find any settings for utility to change that delay.

    "Reference #2 and #3, are you seeing the same results when using the amp into a dummy load?" - Need to try, did not have time yet

    And what is your input voltage?" -246V
  • KF4HRKF4HR Member ✭✭
    edited October 2019
    As soon as I get time I'll check to see if I can replicate your jumping readings but I suspect the fast changing readings you are seeing may be because the Utility is sampling not only the peak CW readings but also the rise and fall of the CW waveform, hence the varying readings.  That's my guess.  Perhaps FRS can weigh in on this.

    Reference your comments 2 and 3, it will be interesting to hear whether you see the same conditions into the dummy load.
  • PatrickPatrick WH6HI Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 2019
    Just a question.  Have you used this 160 m antenna at high power before?  Reason I asked is that, I have a similar experience using a different make amp.  I found that the antenna was breaking down, not sure what, at this point but it was definitely the antenna.  All was normal into dummy load.  In my case the antenna uses coils to shortening the antenna length.  I think moisture, in my case, is the cause of my high power problem.  The Q of the antenna is high with very high voltages present on the coil and the end of the antenna.  Just some thoughts to consider in relation to your problem.  
  • Sergey KN7KSergey KN7K Member ✭✭
    edited October 2019
    Yes, i have Acom2000A on my desk that's running full power just fine.
    I never seen SWR is 1.4-1.5 at 1500W and 3.1-3.3 at 300-500W on Acom.

    When I have time I will try Dummy Load.
    Very busy to dig a dirt for tower while Portland rain did not start :)
  • Sergey KN7KSergey KN7K Member ✭✭
    edited March 1
    Here is a video for Power reading on PGXL vs on screen Utility
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1UjaMxwRaCZ1oAI_TkE14bAf0pmEgK4UL

    Sergey, KN7K
  • Sergey KN7KSergey KN7K Member ✭✭
    edited May 17
    Tried 160m without MEFFA, same thing -  slowly reducing power from 1400w where it shows SWR=1.8, as soon as power getting below 750W- SWR raising to above 3.3 and shows ALARM.

    Tried from lower power 
    200W , SWR =1.5
    400W, SWR= 1.5
    440-460W, SWR goes to 3.3 with ALARM
    780W and above SWR 2.6
    960W, SWR=1.6
    1100W, SWR=1.6
    1330, SWR=1.7
    Problematic range 400-800W !

    Tried on 50 Ohm Dummy load - no problem.
    Going from 100w to 1600W with SWR 1.1-1.2 all the time !

    Conclusion - PGXL cannot deal with real Antenna?
    I use Inverted L - 43ft vertical+20ft horizontal wire.
    It is full Inv L for 80m and matching switching at the bottom of vertical for 160m.

    Acom2000A handle this antenna on both 80m and 160m last 5 years - not a single glitch.

    Sergey, KN7K
  • PatrickPatrick WH6HI Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 2019
    Thanks for the info.  When I dug the hole for my tower, I was lucky to have a neighbor with a very fine small back hoe that did the 4x4x5 ft base in less then an hour!  
  • Sergey KN7KSergey KN7K Member ✭✭
    edited March 1
  • DL4RCEDL4RCE Member ✭✭
    edited June 5
    This looks like something is overheating when connected to the antenna. Sure dies not look good :/
  • KF4HRKF4HR Member ✭✭
    edited October 2019
    Sergey - I checked and I cannot reproduce your issue with my PG-XL (using a 160M EFLW).  I'm curious whether you have approached Flex Support about your problem and if so, what was their response? 
  • Sergey KN7KSergey KN7K Member ✭✭
    edited October 2019
    I opened ticket and got reply from Tim, he is taking it with Engineering team.
    Based on the fact that I cannot reproduce it on the dummy load and my Acom2000A show the same (~1.5) SWR from min to max power level, I assume that that PGXL cannot deal with complex load.

    Each antenna is different, here is my Vertical measurements





    Sergey, KN7K
  • KF4HRKF4HR Member ✭✭
    edited October 2019
    Interesting graphs Sergey.  I notice a couple of graphs indicate reactance drops very low, at a couple of points almost to zero (short).  It will be interesting to hear what FRS says.
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 2019
    Sounds more like a software tweek to me.
  • DrJDrJ Member
    edited October 2019
    You know I have my problem of total "high SWR" on 80 meters, but I have this EXACT PROBLEM that you describe here on 40 meters.   The other bands work perfectly so far.    This is EXACTLY my problem on 40 metes, but NOTHING works on 80 meters, any output above 250-300 watts from the PGXL to ANY of my 1:1 completely resonant antennas on 80 meters, goes immediately to shutdown due the the dreaded red "HIGH SWR".    Did you figure out what the problem was on 40 doing this?
    Keith KJ8DO
  • Sergey KN7KSergey KN7K Member ✭✭
    edited October 2019
    Hi Keith,
    I cannot comment about 40m, my tower is damaged and I do not have an antenna for 40m. All my tests done on Vertical 80m and 160m.
    I have ticket opened and as you are and waiting for reply.

    Also sent you email.
    Sergey, KN7K



  • Sergey KN7KSergey KN7K Member ✭✭
    edited April 3
    Finally had time to measure output on dummy load.
    I compared PGXL Power Output results with Microham SM0RF RF Vector Analyzer.
    SM0RF sensor connected right to the output of Ant A



    Here are results below.
    Note 1: All Transmits were Dashes in CW 
    Note 2: 6m with Meffa gives different reading in the ranges on every TX



    I did another test for a Hi SWR issue that I see on 160m on all bands on Dummy Load.
    All bands tested show the same SWR when I change Power from Min to Max, in another words - no SWR changes on Dummy Load.

    Sergey, KN7K
  • Chris DL5NAMChris DL5NAM Member
    edited November 2019
    Sergey, your Max Power values are the max what you get out? What input level you need?

    73 Chris
  • Sergey KN7KSergey KN7K Member ✭✭
    edited November 2019
    Chris, 
    Yes Max Power means how much I can get Power output.
    I cannot get more than 50w on input, SSDR SW automatically bouncing input power to 50W.
    I can do less than 50W from the radio but not more.
    Sergey, KN7K
  • Sergey KN7KSergey KN7K Member ✭✭
    edited November 2019
    One more note - it seems like a SW has a limit to run it at safe level (per my table above).
    I tried to bypass SW limit by clicking Tune button and I can get higher output.

    With Input Power more than 50w, can get to higher output power.
    Not sure why it is difference in Power reading between PGXL and Microham. 

    image
  • K1UO - LarryK1UO - Larry Member ✭✭
    edited November 2019
    Sergey..  The SSDR Software is limiting your power because the Radio SETTINGS tab, then enter the TX Tab, is probably set to 50 watts.  You can change that to whatever you want up to 100% power out for the Radio itself.
  • Sergey KN7KSergey KN7K Member ✭✭
    edited November 2019
    Hi Larry,
    I will check.
    But based on the fact that my SSDR power set to 100w and any time PGXL wake up from Standby, SSDR automatically drops to 50w, I assume there is an automatic set by SW to have it at that level.
    Sergey, KN7K
  • Sergey KN7KSergey KN7K Member ✭✭
    edited November 2019
    OK, it is indeed in RF PWR settings, i see some bands 100, some 50.
    I never touched it, I guess it is remember some of my previous settings.
    Yes, I can go higher than 50w.
    Thanks Larry, good catch
    Sergey, KN7K
  • Chris DL5NAMChris DL5NAM Member
    edited November 2019
    So you have to restart your work with output again. Will nice to see.

    Chris
  • Sergey KN7KSergey KN7K Member ✭✭
    edited November 2019
    I do not think so, table above was completed with variable power by pressing Tune button, so this is the same as use Power  slider.
    Sergey
  • AC9SAC9S Member ✭✭
    edited March 1
    I have the same HI SWR  problem on 40 M with my PGXL which has been sent back to Flex to fix a power supply problem.   Two problems - HI SWR and PS failure.  FRS corrected the PS and is sending the amp back to me while still determining the root cause of HI SWR.

    One thing I noticed is that whenever the PGXL flashed HI SWR my external wattmeter, an Elecraft W2, did the same.  The W2 is immediately after the amp and prior to an external antenna tuner, which I have in bypass mode 99.9% of the time.  

    At first this led me to believe I had a problem with my antenna, a SteppIR, but substituting an Elecraft KPA500 and then an Alpha 8410 showed no SWR problems when I ran all powers from 200 to 1500 watts.   Honestly, I was relieved it wasn't the antenna since I wasn't looking forward to dropping the SteppIR from its 90' perch in cold weather.

    I wonder if the amp might not be going into a parasitic oscillation when it flashes HI SWR.  That might explain high swr on the external wattmeter.   As others have reported my PGXL is rock solid into a dummy load as well as on all other bands.

    Keith - AC9S

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