CAT problems - Maestro A; 6700 signature; SPE 2K-FA; latest revs

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The Maestro and SPE 2K-FA apparently talk both ways preventing being able to adjust the Maestro TX RF power output.  Maestro Po tracks the SPE power setting low = 20w; mid = 40w; high = 60w on the Maestro which leads to too little or too much power output for conditons. Turn the Maestro power out knob and displayed Po moves but immediately resets to 20/40/60 watts tracking the amp power setting.   SPE (Bob @ Linear) was unaware of this and the SPE Manual says to not connect the amp TXD  (data Amp > Maestro).  Ok, disconnected SPE TXD and that fixed the SPE controlling the Maestro power level BUT now the SPE doesn't obey the CAT band commands.  I put a RS232 led bus monitor on the FTDI USB to RS232 output and the Maestro is sending something to the SPE.  I'm guessing now, that since the SPE can't answer it is not handshaking, sequencing or whatever to get CAT data into the SPE.  Not using ALC.  DXlabs on/off makes no difference.

Obviously the Maestro is listening and doing something with RS232 RXD.  Of course, NONE of this is documented in the Maestro docs.  So is there a workaround for this bug/feature? 

So,  USB cabling doc from Flex is incorrect re the SPE.
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kz1w

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Posted 6 months ago

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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Actually the cabling doc is not incorrect. How you are using the amplifier is incorrect.


The power returning to its pre set point is a feature, not a bug. How it’s supposed to work is that you set the drive power from the amp for each band and each power level (low/mid/max). You do this with the side arrow keys on the amp. You will see “PC=xx” on the amp. Once you set this it’s set and forget.


If you would rather have manual control all the way, simply set the CAT type to Kenwood rather than flex.
(Edited)
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Rick - N4RZ

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The 2K-FA sends the drive power that has been set for each power level and band to the radio.   This can be set by the operator to any value you want.   I had mine set to 10, 20, 40 watts, which yielded about a 3 db increase each time I changed the power level on the amp.  With my 2K-FA 60 watts would be over drive the amp.
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KE4G / Dan

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Yes, as stated above, this is a feature between the Flex and Expert amps. that reduces the risk of over-driving the Expert.

When you use this feature, it gives you the ability to limit the drive to the amp using preset values, which can be set independently for each band, and each of the three power output levels on the Expert.
And when you have the amp in stand-by, the Flex will automatically go to full 100 watts out put if you so choose.

Very easy to setup, and to change the drive power on the fly as well.

In the Expert 2K manual, see pages 38 and 39.
In the Expert 1.3K manual,see pages 39 and 40.

Just a final note: I don't have a Maestro, so  I can't speak to how one might interact with the Expert amp. 
 
(Edited)
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kz1w

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Thanks to all for the info.  Having mention of the SPE CAT control in the Maestro or USB cable docs would have saved a lot of hassle.

It seems to me a better way for this to work would be for the SPE to set the Maestro Po on band changes and then allow knob control.  Otherwise, fine setting or tests etc require switching to Kenwood mode.  This is among other gripes I have about how the Maestro controls work - still a ways to go in my mind for contest operations.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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When I had the 1.3K I found this system they (SPE) implemented more or less ideal. Set and forget. Not for everyone. I also don't use a Maestro much.

Ria
N2RJ
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KE4G / Dan

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Hope a little more info will help those new to using a Flex with an Expert amp.
See the image (click on it to enlarge).
You don't have to change the Expert to the Kenwood setting to make changes.

As long as you have access to the Expert , or it's "Term" GUI, you can make drive power adjustments on the fly. You should be able to easily make test adjustment to determine what exciter power levels are needed for each band / and the three output levels on the Expert.

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W2PP

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Thanks, I have one out for delivery to me this morning, you just saved me some time.
But, I am going to try to use the ALC first. I'll slowly creep power output of the 6700 and see if ALC holds it. If ALC does not work properly then I"ll be forced to program each band, yuck.
Peter
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Don’t use ALC with flex. It doesn’t work properly. This has to do with how SPE uses ALC as power control and not as a safety limit.
(Edited)
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W2PP

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Ria:
   Thanks, I had read they sorted it out on the 6700 is that not correct?  If not then I am very glad you let me know!
Peter