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6600 + Maestro driving New SPE 1.5-FA which suddenly says 1w PEP output ! :-(

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Answers

  • KenKen Member
    edited January 8
    Thanks, I looked over the presentation. I guess I have a quiet station, my noise levels are typically S1-S2 on 20 & 17, sometimes under S1. Sometimes S1 on 40, depending upon atmospherics. I didn't see any mention of how to actually measure the impedance of my ground system. Ideas?
  • KenKen Member
    edited January 8
    Thank you Salvador for your comprehensive response and many suggestions. I think you may have put your finger on it!! I do not have *any* TX delay set up. Do you think that could explain the erratic behavior?
  • EA4GLIEA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited January 8
    While the relays on the SPE are extremely fast  (7 ms) it doesn't hurt to add a bit of protection by adding a few more ms before sending any power through the amp, just in case the flex relays are even faster.

    You can easily go up to 250 ms without noticeable delay, but try anything between 50 ms and 100 ms at least. Just to be safe and go down from there. For SSB is fine but depending on your CW speed and operating style you might not want to add so much.

    To add insult to injury, my extremely reliable 6700 decided to fail on me as well. I am getting the TIMEOUT error. Already contacted Flex super support and I seem to need a new SD CARD which should arrive any day now! 

    So no amp and no transceiver.... I guess is time to talk to the family! 
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 8
    At least with a new SD card that will not likely give any problems for the rest of your life..lol
  • Paul - K6HRPaul - K6HR Member
    edited April 9
    Yes. You can see some details and references here:  http://k6hr.com/index.php/2018/02/08/grounding/
  • EA4GLIEA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited January 9
    Thanks!
  • Erik CarlingErik Carling Member ✭✭
    edited January 9
    In my opinion, the SPE 1.5 can certainly have the problem described by Salvador. Mine is on its way back to Italy after owning for only one month. No output power, having failed today, but not operated beyond its normal parameters in any way. Luckily I still have the SPE 1.3 that it was to replace. 
  • KenKen Member
    edited January 10

    My LDMOS FET was replaced here in the States presumably because I was overdriving the amp somehow. Did you buy through a USA distributor? Did you send it back to them first, and if so, why are they sending it to Italy? (not just to replace the LDMOS FET?)


  • Erik CarlingErik Carling Member ✭✭
    edited January 10
    Hello Ken. I am in Ireland and bought the amp from a UK dealer. So I have had to return it to them for onward dispatch to Italy. You are lucky because in EU, even though I have owned it for a month and it is a warranty repair, the SPE quoted repair time is a minimum of 70 days. As for overdriving, I do wonder if there is a problem with some 1.5 amps. My radio output is restricted to 25 to 29 watts depending on band to get full output. Yet I did 3 times get the over-driving warning. Even so, 'protection' should prevent damage. I have since learnt of quite a number of 1.5s having the LDMOS replaced recently. In the marketing hype, the device is claimed to be 'indestructible'. Obviously not.
  • Lawrence Kellar KB5ZZBLawrence Kellar KB5ZZB Member ✭✭
    edited January 12
    Ken  call me at 4093519228  tnx

  • KenKen Member
    edited January 12
    Will call tomorrow. Just got amp back today.
  • KenKen Member
    edited April 9
    Update & Successful Resolution (I think, so far ...)

    Bob Hardy was unable to reproduce any of the difficulties I documented with the SPE taking itself into standby due to "Overdrive" or "High SWR" and ran the SPE hard. This was encouraging as it demonstrated that the SPE would work correctly given the right set up. It remained for me to figure out what I was doing wrong.

    Earlier in this thread EA4GLI Salvador had suggested that I might need TX delay, so I was excited to try this. I set TX delay to 73ms, but then noticed it was no longer in effect after a band change. Further investigation revealed I had two different TX Profiles. Also, then checking the TX Band Setting Tab (I'm running 3.1.8) I discovered that the power setting was still 100w for 40, 30, 20, 17. This was surprising, as I had been carefully checking the front panel power readout on the Maestro, and I would swear it was reading the lower drive level.

    So my corrective measures were:
    1. Set TX delay to 73ms for all bands used
    2. Carefully adjust max power on all bands, and separately for Max, Mid and Low powers to be under the intended output. (e.g. usually I'm showing 1.4kw on Max). Drive settings for Max are 22w - 25w (except 80m 28w). Mid: 13w - 17w and Low: 4w - 8w.
    3. Consolidate to a single CW TX Profile used for all bands and ensure that it reflects the 73ms TX Delay and the power limits.

    So far, so good. Thanks for everyone's suggestions and good wishes.

    73,
    Ken WC6Y
  • EA4GLIEA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited January 14
    Great news that you are up and running. 

    I have not been given a date for the return on my Expert.... oh well. Good luck and hopefully that will be the end of your troubles.

    As a side note, I have ,by mistake, overdriven the 1k and 1.3k in the past, we all make mistakes, and both protected themselves without missing a beat. Not sure what they did for the design of the 1.5k Expert but if over driving protection is not up to the previous standards, I find it a major defect on the new series of Expert amps.
  • Jim RungeJim Runge Member ✭✭
    edited January 14
    I had the same problem with my spe 1.5 second gen.  The amp died.I sent it back to Bob and he said that I must have been driving it with 100 watts.  Wrong.  I also have a SPE 2K and have never had a problem with it.  It cost me over $600 to fix my brand new amp as Bob said it was my fault and not covered under warranty.  I would not buy another 1.5 that is for sure.  They have a problem and they are aware of it.
  • EA4GLIEA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited January 14
    I really hope they don't come back with that argument with me as well. I have had 3 Expert amps and both the 1k and 1.3k keep on going (I am in touch with the current owners), so I know my way around the amp.
  • EA4GLIEA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited January 14
    Then, on the other hand, I really do hope this new profile approach by Flex has nothing to do with it......
  • Jim RungeJim Runge Member ✭✭
    edited January 14
    I was not using a flex when my 1.5 died.
  • EA4GLIEA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited January 14
    That narrows it a bit..... :)

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