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Indicator for external 10MHz Source

philip.theis
philip.theis Member
edited June 2020 in New Ideas
Those of you who have an external disciplined GPS (or other) source, lets endorse this idea to get some GUI indication that the external source is being utilized.
10 votes

Open for Comments · Last Updated

10 votes

Open for Comments · Last Updated

Comments

  • Mel, K0PFX
    Mel, K0PFX Member
    edited November 2013
    Yes.... but we never had it on the 5k either. :-) I using a Trimble Thunderbolt with a TAPR TADD box for all my test gear and the Flex5k/6k. I plan to get the internal osc, but not until I see a use for it.
  • pa0bie
    pa0bie Member
    edited December 2013
    I would also to have some ext.ref locked indication on the FLEX 6700. At the 5000 is was clear that the ext.ref was not available because he stopped working. My ICOM 7800 and all the R&S test equipment is also connected to a GPS locked 10 MHz oscilator.
  • philip.theis
    philip.theis Member
    edited December 2014
    It was on the 5K, it's called, if you set the setup choice to external, and did not have a source, you didn't work. Now we have NO idea if we are using the external source or not. Am I missing something? That's just the way I understand it to be. 73, Phil
  • Dave
    Dave Member
    edited August 2016
    On the 6500 with the optional GPS reference installed, the GPS indicator blinks on the task bar until it locks, then it goes solid blue when it locks. Don't know if that can be set to recognize other external references.
  • Charlie, WA3UTC
    Charlie, WA3UTC Member ✭✭
    edited July 2014
    I agree that this feature would be very useful. I use external references on all of my equipment. Charlie, WA3UTC
  • Simon Lewis
    Simon Lewis Member
    edited October 2017
    still needing this Flex .. having 10 MHz in can we have some kind of lock indicator

    even a message on the flex display would be good!

    please!

  • Tim - W4TME
    Tim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited December 2016
    it is on the to do list.  In the mean time, if the radio stops clicking every few seconds after you boot the radio, then the master oscillator is locked to your input clock source.
  • pa0bie
    pa0bie Member
    edited November 2015
    I had the problem that my TX frequencie at USB was 400 Hz higher than the RX frequncie without RIT or XIT in use. The other stations had to use their RIT with +400 Hz.  This was caused by a to low level of my external GPS derived 10 MHz external reference. Instead of some +7 dBM it was -7 dBm due to a cable problem. This shows that a good lock indication is important.
  • Ron Parsons
    Ron Parsons Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    Tim, What do you mean by "if the radio stops clicking every few seconds after you boot the radio, then the master oscillator is locked to your input clock source"?  clicking?

    I'd vote for some indicator in SSDR. Is there a way to determine if the master oscillator is locked via an API call?

    Ron

    Addendum:

    Tim, I think I understand now. There is clicking while "Calibrating" and then several more clicks before the radio icon appears in the Radio Setup window. So if the master oscillator does not lock, the clicking continues?? Even before I added the 10 MHz signal, the radio stopped clicking. How is this different from a successful lock? A visible indicator IS needed in my opinion.

    Ron
  • Peter K1PGV
    Peter K1PGV Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    Without this, there's no way to know if you're using the internal or external clock source. I mean.... How do I know my gpsdo is being used by my Flex? With the older series, as Phil said, it was very clear: If your clock source wasn't working, you got no receive audio. Peter K1PGV
  • Tim - W4TME
    Tim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited December 2016
    Yes, the radio will click every 2 seconds after booting if it cannot find a clock source.

    It looks for external sources first, then will look for an internal source (TCXO, OCXO or GPSDO).
  • Tim - W4TME
    Tim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited December 2016
    The radio will click every 2 seconds after booting if it cannot find a clock source.

    It looks for external sources first, then will look for an internal source (TCXO, OCXO or GPSDO).

    We do have an existing feature request to add an indicator.
  • Mike W8MM
    Mike W8MM Member ✭✭
    edited July 2019
    When I talked to N5AC at Hamvention this year, he thought that having the power LED go blue if the radio was locked to an external source was a possibility.  Blue would be the universal locked indicator whether the 10 MHz reference was internal or external.

    Sounds good to me, although I would like someway to see if the radio was successfully locked from a remote operating position as an additional request. 
  • Peter K1PGV
    Peter K1PGV Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    The problem, of course, is when you're supplying an external clock source you'd like to see some confirmation that it's the supplied external clock source that's actually being used.... As opposed to the internal clock source. Peter K1PGV
  • Ron Parsons
    Ron Parsons Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    Tim, You say
    "The radio will click every 2 seconds after booting if it cannot find a clock source. It looks for external sources first, then will look for an internal source (TCXO, OCXO or GPSDO)."

    I set up three tests with my 6500 at the 10 MHz source connector and counted the clicks after the "FLEX-6500" text appears on the display:

    Working 10Mz source: 2 clicks
    50 ohm dummy load to simulate a non-working source: 2 clicks
    Nothing connected: 2 clicks

    So I got the same result with and without a working source.
    Did I do the test wrong or use the wrong test?

    Ron 
  • Tim - W4TME
    Tim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited December 2016
    Does it constantly click every 2 seconds forever after the radio has booted?

    And the radio only looks for the clock source at boot time so you have to reboot the radio everytime you change the clock source.
  • Ron Parsons
    Ron Parsons Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    No, it clicks twice before the "ready" icon shows in the Radio Setup dialog and no clicks thereafter. But it exhibits the same behavior whether a working source is connected, nothing is connected or a 50 ohm terminator is connected (my simulation of a connected but non-working source).

    Thus I get no differentiation between a present or absent 10 MHz source.
    Ron
  • Tim - W4TME
    Tim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited December 2016
    No, it clicks twice before the "ready" icon shows in the Radio Setup dialog and no clicks thereafter. 

    Then you radio has found a valid clock source and is using it.

    If nothing is connected to the external clock input, the radio will search for an internal clock source.
  • Ron Parsons
    Ron Parsons Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    Understood, but how do I distinguish between a connected (working) and a connected (but not working)  source. Just because I connect a source, I cannot assume the master oscillator is locked to it. My source might have an unknown (to me) problem. Thus the need for a visible locked indicator.
  • Tim - W4TME
    Tim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited December 2016
    As we have stated before, there is no indicator that is available to the user.  If you know your external clock source is good and it is connected, then there is a very high probability that it is using the external source.
  • Ron Parsons
    Ron Parsons Member ✭✭
    edited March 2020
    I understand but faith is not a good engineering concept. 
  • Burch - K4QXX
    Burch - K4QXX Member ✭✭
    edited July 2018
    I would also like to have some kind of indicator for the 10Mhz reference.  I know if I had that option turned on on my Flex 1500 but didn't have the reference connected, the radio would not receive.  That was definitely a good indicator!
  • Tim - W4TME
    Tim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited December 2016
    Today you'll have to trust your external clock as this feature is not present in the software.
  • Ken D'Alessandro
    Ken D'Alessandro Member ✭✭
    edited March 2020
    One way I have used to determine if it is working (it being a BG7TBL GPSDO) is to tune Slice A to WWV at 10MHz, go into the Settings/Radio Setup/RX menu in SmartSDR, enter 10 in the Call Frequency field and hit "Start". With the external GPSDO connected I get between -4 and +7 ppb offset and without it connected I get -2127 ppb offset. This is, however, quite clumsy given that Flex already knows how to indicate this if you happen to have a Flex 6400M or Flex 6600M (see p. 161 of the SmarSDR Manual Version 3.1.7). Porting that segment of code over to the 6500 6700 does not seem to me to be a Herculean task unless I am missing something. But then again, what do I know?
  • Brian Denley  KB1VBF
    Brian Denley KB1VBF Member ✭✭
    edited March 2020
    My 6400 + Smartsdr indicates it’s locked on the external BG7TBL GPS.

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