DC power to FLEX-6000 continuously?

  • 2
  • Question
  • Updated 6 years ago
  • Answered
  • (Edited)
Is there any reason a FLEX-6000 radio should not have DC power continuously supplied to it? Keeping the power on certainly facilitates keeping the GPSDO unit updated and ready for use when the radio is turned on.
Photo of Mike - N1MD

Mike - N1MD

  • 92 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes

Posted 6 years ago

  • 2
Photo of Mack McCormick

Mack McCormick, Elmer

  • 424 Posts
  • 147 Reply Likes
Mike,

It won't hurt to leave DC power on the radio. I personally turn the DC power after after use. Using an external (aftermarket weather proof) antenna I find the GPS syncs in just a few minutes. I've been operating using this method for about the past five months.

Mack
W4AX
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9154 Posts
  • 3507 Reply Likes
Mike,

As you noted, if you have a GPSDO installed, leaving the DC power on the radio significantly shortens the time it takes for the GPS to discipline the XO. However if you do not have a GPSDO installed, when the radio powers up, it will take a little time for the OCXO (FLEX-6700) or the TCXO (FLEX-6500) to reach a stable temperature, so before that happens the radio will be slightly off frequency and the frequency will vary. This is true of all radios.
Photo of James Kennedy-WU5E

James Kennedy-WU5E

  • 321 Posts
  • 33 Reply Likes
in your testing , want is the time. 2.5 minutes or what? Jim WU5E
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9154 Posts
  • 3507 Reply Likes
It depends on how well your GPS antenna is receiving satellite signals. From a cold start and my compromise antenna location, it has taken as long as 13 minutes before the XO is locked and stabilized.
Photo of Al / NN4ZZ

Al / NN4ZZ

  • 1814 Posts
  • 650 Reply Likes
Tim,
Can you confirm my understanding of the recommended procedure for a 6700 that does not have the GPSDO option and relies on the OXCO?

If the DC power is supplied continuously but the front power switch is OFF, does the OXCO remain active and stable? I think this is what you implied but I want to confirm that the OXCO runs regardless of the front panel power switch state. As you noted this is how my Yaesu FTDX9000 works and what they recommend to keep the frequency accurate and stable.

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
Photo of K1UO - Larry

K1UO - Larry

  • 833 Posts
  • 135 Reply Likes
Hi Al,

Tim posted this info in another part of the Community that I think answers your question. It appears unless DC power is completely removed from the radio that the GPDSO and or OXCO is powered regardless of the position of the front panel on/off switch.

Tim - W4TME (Site Admin) 17 days ago

What are the FLEX-6000 Front Panel LED Indications?

The Power LED color and blink state indicate the operational state of the radio hardware

SOLID BRIGHT RED = Transmitting on PA
SOLID ORANGE = Transmitting on XVTR port with low power
SOLID DIM RED = Transmit engaged, interlocks not resolved (will not emit RF)
SOLID PURPLE = Updating software
FLASHING YELLOW = GPS in warmup
SOLID YELLOW = GPS in holdover (lost satellites)
SHORT FLASH BLUE = GPS locking
LONG FLASH BLUE = GPS in hold phase mode
SOLID BLUE = GPS locked
SOLID GREEN = Receive
SOLID AMBER = Radio off, GPS or OCXO powered for stability
FLASHING RED "S" = Flashing a Morse "S" in Red indicates boot failure
OFF = Radio off, oscillators off

NOTE: The FLEX-6700R does not have the Transmit Indicator (Solid RED)

Regards, Larry - K1UO
Photo of Al / NN4ZZ

Al / NN4ZZ

  • 1814 Posts
  • 650 Reply Likes
Larry, thanks. That is what I hoped but it was not clear. 73,Al
Photo of Steve - N5AC

Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

  • 1048 Posts
  • 1054 Reply Likes
Official Response
The OCXO and TCXO will not be powered while the radio is powered-off. It was determined that both of these quickly return to their frequency and that it is unnecessary to leave these powered. The GPSDO may be optionally powered while the radio is off.

Other than for this purpose, there is no other reason to leave DC power on the radio -- it is entirely your choice whether to do so.

Steve
Photo of W5XZ - dan

W5XZ - dan

  • 564 Posts
  • 83 Reply Likes
so, i can 'go green' and shut off all power...a la T-storm, unplugged from EVERYTHING config...kewl...shoot, i may save ten cents over the next year, right?
Photo of Al / NN4ZZ

Al / NN4ZZ

  • 1814 Posts
  • 650 Reply Likes
There was some conflicting information about the OCXO and TCXO ovens in some of the posts about the LED status, and pros and cons of leaving the power on. Steve confirmed my summary so I captured it in an image for my reference. It's is also dated since the documentation on the LED status will likely be updated at some point. Here it is in case anyone would like a copy.....

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ

Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9154 Posts
  • 3507 Reply Likes
The info in the community tops regarding this OCXO reference has been corrected.
Photo of Andrew Russell

Andrew Russell

  • 276 Posts
  • 43 Reply Likes
Al,
So how do I switch to solid amber?
I would like the GPSDO to run while the radio is off.
Andrew
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9154 Posts
  • 3507 Reply Likes
This capability has not been implemented in the software. But a feature request has been entered for it.
Photo of Andrew Russell

Andrew Russell

  • 276 Posts
  • 43 Reply Likes
Thanks Tim, The different radios and options does lead to some different behaviour with the current software. Andrew
Photo of Al / NN4ZZ

Al / NN4ZZ

  • 1814 Posts
  • 650 Reply Likes
Andrew,
I don't have a radio yet (so someone else can confirm this) but if you leave the 12V DC power applied to the radio and turn off the front panel switch, the GPSDO should still be powered and the LED should be AMBER.
Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
Photo of Andrew Russell

Andrew Russell

  • 276 Posts
  • 43 Reply Likes
Ok will keep playing,
Am using the GPSDO to check some old 10MHz OCXOs and adjust them close.
Also using it with F1500 as reference but as antennas are very close there is lots of interaction.
One OCXO runs fast one way and slow another at least for the effect of gravity on the Xtal.
Andrew
Photo of Mike - N1MD

Mike - N1MD

  • 92 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
I thought I replied to Andrew's query an hour ago but maybe not . . . (getting old).
Anyway . . .
Andrew,

I have the 6700 with GPSDO. I keep the radio powered with 12V DC all the time. When not operating, I turn the radio off via the front panel switch (get the "shutting down" message). This condition will be indicated by the solid amber light.

Hope this helps.
Mike, N1MD
Photo of Andrew Russell

Andrew Russell

  • 276 Posts
  • 43 Reply Likes
Thank you Mike,
My behavior on the 6500 is not the same.
Powered from 13.8v 100%.
GPSDO locked, solid blue.
Touch on off, screen goes dark, and sometime later "shutting down".
Then no light at all.
There must be some optional setting in there somewhere.

Andrew
Photo of Al / NN4ZZ

Al / NN4ZZ

  • 1814 Posts
  • 650 Reply Likes
Andrew,
Maybe Steve can comment on this but I wonder if there is a difference in the behavior since the 6500 has a TCXO (temp compensated crystal oscillator) and the 6700 has an OCXO (oven controlled crystal oscillator). Below is a partial snapshot from a document I compiled about the stability differences. It's a summary based on what I've been able to gather about the 6000 series but it has not been validated by Steve. The full document has some additional examples and notes. Let me know if you would like a copy.

The link below is to a good article that discusses the differences between TCXO and OCXO devices if you would like some additional details about the benefits of each.

http://www.radio-electronics.com/info...

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ

Photo of Al / NN4ZZ

Al / NN4ZZ

  • 1814 Posts
  • 650 Reply Likes
Please note: the plus or minus numbers in the examples above are based on a frequency of 14.010 which is defined in the full document.
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9154 Posts
  • 3507 Reply Likes
This is a great conversation that's separate from the main topic, so I created a new topic to continue the discussion. Please reference the new topic here: TCXO / OCXO behavior differences