6600+Maestro settings, help needed

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 4 months ago
  • (Edited)
Hello,
I am looking for some help to setup my 6600 with Maestro.
1. Maestro Power speaker output connected to Audioengine 5+ speaker produce very notisiable static noise and humming noise with AF at Maestro at 0.
I replaced 2 different cables with ferrite chokes with no difference.
Same cable was used with FT5000MP without any noise.
Any cure?
2. Radiosport headhones connected to Mic2 input of Maestro and with max level of "Mon" i can barely hear myself. "Proc" set to "DX", "Carrier" to Max, different "Level" settings. Can I make it louder?
3. SSB transmitted signal from Maestro has very noticable delay, probably around 0.5 sec or so.
I played with Vox, set delay to Min with no effect on initial delay.
Network: Maestro and 6600 connected to a Local switch.
Network status on Maestro:
Latency(RTT)=1ms
Max Latency (RTT)=99ms
Dropped 1 out of 1476100packets (0.00%)
Total RX rate-1401kbps
Total RX Rate=3kbps
As I know some of you use Flex+Maestro in Contests, I beleive I lost something in settings settings and would appreciate the feedback.
4. Background noise: comming from Yaesu 5000MP , last few days I did A/B comparison to 6600.
I watched AGC-T setup on Youtube and completed on radio, use NR with various settings and so far cannot come close to Yaesu audio. 
Preamp set at 0, so I guess between "-8" to "+8,16,24,32", zero mean no Attenuation and no Amplification on the bands below 12m.
AGC set to Slow. For SSB I use 1.8;2.1 and somethimes 2.4khz.
I would like to know how other users mitigate this issue.

I may come back with more questions but would be great to get some of the above resolved.
Thanks 
Sergey, KN7K
Photo of Sergey Abrikosov

Sergey Abrikosov

  • 144 Posts
  • 5 Reply Likes

Posted 4 months ago

  • 1
Photo of Neal Pollack, N6YFM

Neal Pollack, N6YFM

  • 127 Posts
  • 56 Reply Likes
I have some of the same questions.   So far, since setting up my 6600 and learning about the various modes and software configurations, I have done limited SSB.    I also came from a Yaesu FT-DX-3000 and Icom 7300.
So, for SSB and noise level, I was more used to the older style RF-Gain, NR setting level, and filter settings, in
order to reduce static and noise in the speaker or headphones, and pull out weaker voice signals.

I did read the section on AGC Threshold, but clearly I still need to learn more on how to best operate the Flex.    It feels like I might not yet have mastered the order in which to use the various settings for this.
Can any other Flex users share the steps they use on SSB to maximize the voice signals and minimize the background hash?

Cheers,

Neal
Photo of Jay / NO5J

Jay / NO5J

  • 1577 Posts
  • 227 Reply Likes
Neal

A thought experiment/analogy:

Think of  AGC-T as trying to siphon water out of a bucket, A bucket with an inch of mud in the bottom. only insert the siphon hose deep enough into the bucket to siphon the water, think of the water as signals, and think of the mud as noise. think of the threshold setting as a way to control the depth of the intake of the siphon hose. 

Then remember that that the slider operation is reversed in function the higher you set it, the closer to the mud you will be, and the more mud your going to be siphoning out.

The lower you set the AGC-T slider. the cleaner the water will be. you want it inserted to a depth that just above the mud, but not in it. The point of finding the knee in the AGC-T action is to get as close to the mud as you can without siphoning mud.

You may find out that the knee is actually a little lower than you'd guess it to be. Above the set threshold the AGC will act on the signals to even them out in volume, the passband audio below the threshold won't be passing through the AGC. IOW it's excluded.

I realize this is a very imperfect analogy, but it's how I think about it.

    #FlexRadio IRC chat

For real-time discussions

        SDRgadgets

User created documentation.
          Volunteer!!

       73, Jay - NO5J

Photo of Al / NN4ZZ

Al / NN4ZZ

  • 1712 Posts
  • 581 Reply Likes
Hi Sergey,
I only operate CW and find that the narrow filter width,  and adjusting the APF and adjusting the AGC-T as well as using the RX equalizer as shown below all help.   See pic below.  



On a related note -- There is also a request in to improve the APF gain.  ( when I moved to the 6700 from the Yaesu FTDX9000 I noticed that the APF for CW was not as pronounced on the 6700).   This is one feature where they gave us a lot of control on the FTDX9000.  This enhancement request is #6 in the list with 39 votes.   

More details on this request here:

https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/ssdr_v1_2_apf_could_use_more_gain_it_seems_diminish...

On CW the narrow filters on the 6700 are the very (very) good -- much better than the FTDX9000 (no ringing) so that really helps too.  

I don't typically use the NR for CW, it seems to distort the signal. 

For SSB, I don't have any feedback but others here can give you some good tips.  


Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
6700 & SSDR-W  V 2.3.7
Win10
Photo of Sergey Abrikosov

Sergey Abrikosov

  • 142 Posts
  • 5 Reply Likes
ok, I voted for AGC and for APF.
Based on the age of these posts, I do not see any urgence for Flex to improve it.
Al, I woked mostly CW as well, but while propagation is not the best lately I am chasing states in WSJT - completed 7 states so far.

Now, back to SSB - I found paperwork of my Radiosport Headphones and verified that I use a correct Microphone - DX M207, however Monitor function is barely works, I guess I am missing gain somewhere and cannot find it yet.
Also, initial delay is unaccaptable, I can count 1,2,3 to Microphone and it starts from 2,3...
Can someone help with that setup?
Thanks
Sergey, KN7K
Photo of Sergey Abrikosov

Sergey Abrikosov

  • 142 Posts
  • 5 Reply Likes
OK, I spent too many hours on SSB Maestro VOX delay issue today.
Finally opened ticket fith Flex, let's see if I can get any assistance.
Also, search community and found that low Maestro "Monitor" issue was reported 2 years ago as entered to the system as a bug.
Sergey, KN7K
Photo of K1UO - Larry

K1UO - Larry

  • 807 Posts
  • 129 Reply Likes
Sergey,   From time to time when I connect with Maestro, I get  no monitor or very low Monitor audio in my Radiosport headphones.   The only way I can get normal Monitor function back is to  go in to the TX MENU of the Maestro (Push in the knob that says TX MENU just above the VFO B knob on the right side) and toggle the Monitor button on/off.  this always restores the Monitor volume and slider function in my case.  I have seen this problem on both Version A and on my most recent Version B Maestro.
(Edited)
Photo of Sergey Abrikosov

Sergey Abrikosov

  • 142 Posts
  • 5 Reply Likes
Thanks Larry, I will check it out.

Regarding background noise: I noticed that all signals sounds week while they are S5-S9. I disconnected antenna and I see the following
160m-S5+
80m-S5
40m-S5+
30m-S5
20m-S6
15m-S4
17m-S5
10m-S5+
6m-S5
These are reading with Preamp at 0 RF Gain.
If I move RF gain up to 32db noise is going down to S1-S3 depends on band.
On my FT5000 with with lower RF gain I am getting S1.
Could someone clarify my confusion?
Should I see S5-ish with preAmp off and Antenna disconnected?
Thanks
Sergey,KN7K
Photo of Neal Pollack, N6YFM

Neal Pollack, N6YFM

  • 127 Posts
  • 56 Reply Likes
Hi Sergey:

I re-ran your measurements above for S-meter level vs. Band and Attenuator/preamp level.
I am trying to learn/understand the new radio also.
Perhaps someone from Flex, or with more experience that us can answer this.

These readings are from today, July 7, using v2.2.8 SSDR, on my Flex 6600, with an ambient room
temperature of 81 degrees F.  Antenna jack on radio disconnected.

QUESTION:  What is the correct way to use the RF Gain settings under the ANT menu,
vs. using the AGC-T settings, to get minimum noise on SSB?


On 80m band:

RF-Gain             S-Meter
-8                            s4
0                             s3
+8                           s1
+16                         s0

20m Band:
RF-Gain             S-Meter
-8                            s5
0                             s4
+8                           s2
+16                         s1
+24                         s0

10m BAND:
RF-Gain             S-Meter
-8                            s4
0                             s3
+8                           s1
+16                         s0

Sergey, I think I am seeing, if I read your post correctly, that with my RF gain set
to +16, I am getting lower noise levels (S-meter) than you are?  Please confirm.
One thing I should mention is that I went a little crazy while building my radio bench;
All antenna lines are LMR-400UF double shield, going to Alpha Delta arrestors mounted
on a 1/4 inch thick solid copper buss bar which is connected via 00 AWG copper to
an eight foot ground rod 2 feet away.  I guess you could call it a well grounded station.

You can also test at your end for common mode RX noise coming down your coax;
Tune to a dead spot on a band;  note the S-meter level and speaker noise level.
unscrew your RX coax connector to the radio, but leave the center pin connected,
make sure the shield/barrel does not touch/connect to the radio.  Just the center pin.
Did the RX noise level change?  If the noise level went down without the shield connected, 
then you need an RF RX choke at the RIG side of your coax.
REF:http://palomar-engineers.com/rfiemi-solutions/Coax-Common-Mode-Noise-Filter-500-Watts-1-150-MHz-p90897850 
Notice that unlike the RF choke at your antenna TX side, this RX choke has more
choking impendance, up to 5 or 6 K ohms, since on RX you are dealing with microvolts.

Anyway, I need to learn/understand the right way to use and set the RF gain
vs. the AGC-T for best SSB usage.   Comments/tutorials anyone?

Thanks,

Neal
(Edited)
Photo of Neal Pollack, N6YFM

Neal Pollack, N6YFM

  • 127 Posts
  • 56 Reply Likes
I did some listening for a while to various 20m SSB signals.  For strong SSB signals, the band noise
vanishes.   For weak SSB signals, there is a lot of hash/noise.   So I played with RF-Gain, AGC-T, and the NR slider (with the button clicked to turn it on).  I was able to reduce background noise on weak SSB with the NR slider to approx a #10 setting.  Much more than that and I lost a lot of high end voice frequencies.   I then took a West Mountain CLRdsp external box, and inserted that between the radio and the speaker.
[Some people think that cascading multiple DSP noise reduction units is stupid, but the West Mountain CLRdsp box has made every brand of radio easier to listen to on SSB
for me, so I really like it. Rules are there to break :-) ]


Next, I tuned to a blank spot in the band, and turned the CLRdsp box FILTER control up just until the hash/noise started to go away.  Then I tuned in a weak
SSB signal, and used the Flex NR slider up to around 10.   At that time, my RF gain was +8.
It sounded fine to me.  Not too much coloring in the voice, but a really good reduction in tiring hash/noise.    Again, I have no idea if I am doing this right.  I am just experimenting to learn how to get SSB noise low enough that I can listen to medium and weak signals without going nuts.
It seems to be working well, but I would appreciate hearing what the rest of you do, and how you 
like to adjust RF gain, AGC-T, and NR on the Flex for SSB.

Thanks,
Neal
(Edited)
Photo of Neal Pollack, N6YFM

Neal Pollack, N6YFM

  • 127 Posts
  • 56 Reply Likes
For others that may be reading this thread, the following was shared with us about the proper way to use the Attenuator/PreAmp slider;
============

I recommend that you refer to this article on how the RF preamp works in our radios.  In summary, if the antenna is not noise limited, increasing the RF preamp gain will decrease the noise floor while the signal strength stays the same which improves your signal to noise ratio (SNR).
https://helpdesk.flexradio.com/hc/en-us/articles/204923669-How-to-determine-the-amount-of-RF-Preamp-gain-to-apply-for-band-conditions

=============

Of course, other posters already mentioned the proper procedure for using AGC-T threshold also.
Photo of Neal Pollack, N6YFM

Neal Pollack, N6YFM

  • 127 Posts
  • 56 Reply Likes
As I continue to learn more about my new Flex rig, and how it differs from traditional SuperHet designs like the Yaesu 3000 and 5000, I thought I should also share this previous FRS post here;

https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/why_does_my_s_meter_read_s5_all_the_time

The more that I learn, the more that I understand I have not only purchased a very good radio, but also a high quality lab instrument that I can use to take measurements!   I simply need to repeat the following a few dozen times;

I will stop trying to compare the operation/usage of a high end direct sampling SDR to an older SuperHet.
I will stop trying to compare the operation/usage of a high end direct sampling SDR to an older SuperHet.
I will stop trying to compare the operation/usage of a high end direct sampling SDR to an older SuperHet.

But I WILL continue learning to use the Flex in the most efficient way possible.

Neal
Photo of Neal Pollack, N6YFM

Neal Pollack, N6YFM

  • 127 Posts
  • 56 Reply Likes
Hi Sergey:   

Appologies if I have taken this thread too far off topic.
FYI, The ARRL NCJ  (National Contesters Journal) has a new article about the 6600 that is very positive.  I am going to pick up a copy tomorrow.

Neal