Alpha 9500 faults out due to high grid current ever since I upgraded to SDR version 1.10.15

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I upgraded my Flex 6700 to version 1.10.15 tonight, and with NO OTHER CHANGES, I turned on my Alpha 9500, and now the amp instantly "faults out" due to instantly high grid current even at just a few watts of tuning power applied.   I didn't change anything.  USB, RCA connections, nothing.   Now I am without amplifier.  I rebooted the 6700 and the Alpha to no avail.  Need help!
Thanks,
Keith
KJ8DO
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kjave63@yahoo.com

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Posted 1 year ago

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NX6D Dave

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I'd put it back the way it was, then retest.  Install the previous version of the software.  If the problem persists, I'd be looking at the amp.  If you are running SmartSDR, the previous version is probably still installed on your PC.  All you have to do is start that version and let it "downgrade" the radio.  If it is not still installed, you can fetch the installer and install the software.  It's perfectly fine to have multiple versions installed simultaneously (in most cases).  I'm an Alpha tester, I do this all the time.

If you are running the 6700 with Maestro, simply select the appropriate version of the software during the Maestro start-up.

Doing this will remove the variable of having changed the software and make it clear if the problem was induced by the software change, or is an unfortunate coincidence.

If you have another HF radio you could drive the amp with, you could try that to take the 6700 completely out of the picture.  These steps are meant to try to "make the problem move", to isolate the fault.  Change one variable at a time so it is clear where the problem is.
(Edited)
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Ross - K9COX

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Check if there is still a TX Delay, mine changed once with an update and my Amp would fault out...just a thought.
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Tim Ellam

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I agree with this. I had the same thing happen with my 9500 and an upgrade had changed the delay setting.


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YV5WZ

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Check Com ports for your linear...i had somethings similar....and after checked them I found them changed....I reassigned them....and solve the problem....I'm not a computer geek....it's just my experience

George
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kjave63@yahoo.com

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I want to check that possibility.   Can you tell me EXACTLY what you did and how you "checked" the com ports in order to fix your Alpha 9500?
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kjave63@yahoo.com

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There is no transmit delay but what concerns me is that it trips due to high grid current even with ZERO RF input to the amp from the flex?!
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k0eoo

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Keith, are you using DDUtil to talk to your 9500 or are you using their software?  Anyway, why are you thinking its a problem with the 6700/FW vs. it being a problem with the 9500?  Have you checked out the 9500 with a different rig or something?  I run an 87A here and friends of mine run the 9500 with no issues what so ever.
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kjave63@yahoo.com

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Just wanted to "bump" my situation.  Still have the problem with the Alpha.   The problem still persists with my Icom 9100, even into a dummy load.  No RF, it still occurs the moment I transmit any type of input to the alpha, still instantaneous fault for "excessive grid current".   Is there a way that this is somehow related to any software changes from the beta version software I changed to just before this mess occurred.  I am thinking maybe there was a change in relay timing?  Who knows, I am quite ignorant of amps.  At least I have my SPE.  But I have NO idea who to send my Alpha to, while it is still under warranty , Alpha as every one knows went belly up and now the repair email requests to the new owner (Dishtronics) is "undeliverable". 
I don't know what else to do.   I want to repair it and then buy the PowerGenius.   Maybe someone at Flex could help me, they might sell one of those new amps!
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Norm - W7CK

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Connect it directly to your 9100 and if you still get the fault, then it seems to me it is unrelated to the Flex software.

I'm just wondering how many watts it takes to drive your amplifier and if there was any way you may have overdriven it and caused damage to the finals?   I'm not positive but high grid current seems to indicate to me that it may have damaged finals.  About two years ago I damaged the PA my KPA500 this way.   From that point forward, I decided to never connect an amplifier to the Flex without using DDUtil.  Even though I use DDUtil all the time, I still visually check the RF Power on the 6700 prior to keying up.
(Edited)
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kjave63@yahoo.com

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That's a good point and I have damaged a solid state SPE doing that very same thing. Running up to 15 watts and despite protection circuits promptly kicking in my MOSFET finals were damaged and SPE refused to cover it under warranty. That is crap but another story. The alpha requires 65 watts nominal per the manual and I have never ever driven more than 50 watts through it. 50 watts tops legal limit and thus I leave it around 45 watts. The alpha is a hearty amp and unlike the SPE I refuse to believe me running it at 45-50 watts for SSB only would burn up the finals. But let's say I did , is AlphaRFsystems covering the warranty on my rig as it's still under warranty. Apparently the new owners are impossible to converse with.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Which error code do you get? (15?)

Exactly how much RF are you tuning with? (I've been caught out by this)

Double check all the usual suspects (a different antenna port on the 9500 might be worth trying)?

May as well reach out to the present owner rather than depend on other's negative reports. If the email you have doesn't work, call them, by phone, and if you have to write them by post.

Presumably to make their investment of buy Alpha Amplifier successful, they will have deeply at heart an interest to help you as best they can.

Your warranty (and mine, as one of my 9500s came from the owner who just sold out) might have perished with the prior owner, depending how they st4uctured the deal. Or it may be honored by Distronics. But you know the prior R&K ownership won't be doing anything to service warranty claims.

Would like to hear what you find out and how things eventually go with Dishtronics, as I have a couple 9500s and intend to keep them as backups to the new PowerGeniusXL Amos when those arrive.

GL and 73,

Steve
K9ZW
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K1UO - Larry

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Array Solutions, as you may already know, is currently accepting Alpha amplifiers for repair.  Of course they cannot honor your warranty from another Company but they can fix it if you want to sell it for the PGXL amplifier as you mention.  From what little description I see of the problem it sounds like a tube failure.  What is the error code shown on the Alpha?

Regards
Larry K1UO
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Don - kx9q

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Dishtronics has a new web site for the Alpha line of amps:  www.alpharfsystems.com .  Here is the email address for service support: service@alpharfsystems.com

Don
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kjave63@yahoo.com

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Thanks for the reply Don. I sent two separate emails to that new address just now and it comes back "undeliverable".
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Don - kx9q

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Here is a post from the Ten-Tec Eagle site made by Rick DJ0IP who received it from DISHTRONICS owner (Mike Dishop) directly three days ago:

"OTH COMPANIES ARE ALIVE AND WELL AND DEFINITELY STILL IN BUSINESS !

It is sad to read the recent email posts on several forums, questioning
whether these two companies are out of business or still in business. Both
companies are very much alive and slowly progressing.

Recently Dishtronix completed its two new web pages for these companies,
migrated all of the data from its old RKR website to the two individual new
web sites, and closed down the old site. This is great progress.

UNFORTUNATELY the closing of the old site was seen as an omen of bad news
when indeed it is a breath of fresh air!

The new sites are now up and running.

Here are the two new web sites:

. ALPHA: http://www.alpharfsystems.com

. TEN-TEC: http://www.tentec.com

Here is the current status of both companies:

ALPHA: Alpha is currently producing 9500 and 8410 amplifiers. Both
amplifiers will be back in stock in March (2017) and sitting on the shelves.
All back orders have already been filled. Alpha repair service has always
been operating and continues to deliver first class service to its
customers.

TEN-TEC: Ten-Tec has moved to its new, larger facility and has continuously
repaired radios at its Sevierville TN site. It has been getting repaired
radios out the door on a daily basis (except for the few days where they
were moving shop). There is still no telephone service. Email-only.
Service requests should be sent to service@tentec.com .

"Robert" is answering emails, but only works on Tuesday, Wednesday, and
Thursday. If you email on Friday, you need to be patient because he isn't
going to read it until Tuesday. The repair technicians are working five
days a week fixing radios.

TEN-TEC production: The current plan is to do a small run of Eagle
transceivers. The projected price (stripped) is $1600 to $1700. It is
obvious that Ten-Tec cannot compete on price alone with the subsidized
engineering in Japan and slave (like) labor in China. If you love Ten-Tec
and want a Ten-Tec radio, then you will have to pay what it costs to build a
Ten-Tec in USA."

Don
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kjave63@yahoo.com

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II encourage anyone to test that Company statement by simply emailing any email address listed on their current website. They are all rejected as undeliverable. Perhaps they are in between Internet service providers right now but they are most definitely not receiving any type of emails because none of their list of emails are possible to be delivered to.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Is their system bouncing all Yahoo emails?  (Justified some might say given Yahoo's data and account control loses.)

My emails to them didn't bounce BTW. 

73

Steve K9ZW


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Don - kx9q

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Try this number:  Telephone: 303-716-7728
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Don - kx9q

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Alpha Service is ALIVE AND WELL AND ANSWERING EMAILS IN REAL-TIME.

After you posted your message to the group here, I sent an email to the alpha service and got an answer within a few hours.

See below.

Rick,
Yes, it works and I answer people every day.
Glenn AE0Q


Alpha RF Systems, LLC
634 South Sunset Street
Longmont CO 80501
Phone: (303) 716-7728


73 - Rick, DJ0IP
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kjave63@yahoo.com

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Checking the simple things is always a good idea. I pulled the alpha out of the rack and hooked it straight to a dummy load, confirmed proper antenna port, transmitted from my icom 9100, confirmed proper alc and relay connections etc. Instant code 15 , high grid current the instant I would transmit anything from 0 watts to 50 watts. Instant shutdown but some of the time I would for a microsecond see a momentary output of amplified linear RF power of 800-900 watts with 20 watts in but the output RF numbers on the alpha be so momentary that the fault 15 would kick in and then output of only what ever I was imputing from the radio (e.g. 20 watts).
I will try calling the company direct today and report back but something tells me I will get a recording. Something isn't right. It shouldn't be that hard to get a hold of someone.
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Susan Hill

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I just spoken with Carol about the Alpha company and Ten Tec today 4/5/17 as I live near Sevierville, Tn where Ten Tec is manufactured. I have a 8410 that I purchased a while ago and I wanted to know what the current situation was of both companies. I was on their site at alpharfsystems.com and go to NEWS there are explainations of what has transitioned as far as ownership and what repairs are being done, and how manufacturing is going. I personally seen your post and told Carol about your situation and I told her I would have you call her to find out how you can get warranty service performed on your 9500. If you haven't already called the number (303/716-7728 I would stress that calling is probably better than your email attempts. Hope this may help.

GAIL- KW4KK
sedonafloral@msn.com
(Edited)