Default RF Output Power

  • 8
  • Idea
  • Updated 4 years ago
  • Planned
  • (Edited)
Currently the default RF Power output is set at 100 watts.  For those of who use an external RF Amplifier this can be a problem.  Naturally as we use the radio, we change the slider to the appropriate setting and save this in our profiles.   With the 6700, there are lots of Panadapter and slice combinations and each one has to be set.  Once this is done, it is ALMOST a set and forget issue.  I say almost because occasionally for some odd reason, the RF power output will revert back to 100 watts.  It is something that has to be constantly monitored.  This can literally destroy an amplifier.  The other day I had to reset the radio, reload an older version of SmartSDR and not reload my profiles so I could do some audio diagnostics.  In the process, the default RF Power output was set to 100 on every slice and every band I opened.  Twice during the past few days, I nearly hit transmit before noticing the PO was at 100.  I know all about ALC and I also know that it isn't fail safe.  I've already had to repair the PA in my amplifier once and I really don't want to have to do it again because of some dumb oversight on my part.

I'd like to propose an addition in "Radio Setup" under the "Transmit" tab that lets us set the default maximum power output.  This can be right above or below Tune Power.  I'd really like to see this default applied every time a slice is opened regardless of what PO was set the previous time the slice was opened.  In other words, I open a slice, it gets set to the default po of say 15 watts.  During this session, I decide I'm not running the amp and I bump the po up to 100w for that slice.  Later I close the slice.   The next time I open a slice, panadapter or whatever combination, it should revert back to whatever the default has been set to in "Radio Setup" - 15 watts in this case.

I sure hope others think this would be a nice addition to SmartSDR.....

Norm
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Norm - W7CK

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Posted 4 years ago

  • 8
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Jim Gilliam

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Sounds like an excellent idea that shouldn't impose too much reprogramming for Flex.
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T.H. Bauer

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This used to be an option in PSDR also, but it "disappeared" in later versions. I agree that this would be a useful option to have, particularly if one were using an amplifier.
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Gene - K3GC

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I think it is a great idea.  I am frequently concerned about over-driving my amp.
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W7NGA

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Yes ... my Alpha 89 is torn apart on the bench with a shorted 3CX800A7. It was my fault that I didn't take notice of the power remaining at 100% after using CW barefoot. Back in AM mode with the amplifier, the power didn't revert to the 15-watts I use in that mode .... and bang! 
(Edited)
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Ken ve7kwa

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Yes... great feature. Perhaps a small button on the radio that simply says "Amp" to denote the feature is activated.
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Lee, Elmer

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DDUTIL has a feature called autodrive that allows the drive level for 2 amps to be set per band. The correct drive level follows the frequency

73 W9OY
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Greg Leber. (K9ON)

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I second that idea
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Dave -- W5DJB

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Yes, please! It would be great as a part of the transmit setup.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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DDUTIL Autodrive already does this very well


PLUS it. Will disable and enable your AMP TX control line so it will correctly send the optimum power per band.


Here is a screenshot of a Genovation Keypad I use connect via DDUTIL Macros


My top right button labelled STBY is used to enable and disable the Amp via DDUTIL


Frankly this is much quicker and more efficient than moving a mouse




OOPS. The picture is on its side?
(Edited)
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Ken ve7kwa

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I guess this is a First party... Third part software preference then. I think it's important enough to be part of the base radio software.
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Gene - K3GC

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It seems that I always feel stupid when I try to do something new in DDUtil. This is a great little app but it is anything but intuitive.I found the wiki section on autodrive but it was apparently written for an old version and I am clueless as to how to set up the present version. HELP :)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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This is my setup screen for Autodrive

Pretty Easy
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Gene - K3GC

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Thanks, about as simple as it can get but it still doesn't work for me.  I wonder if it is my amp setup.
I have a THP 1.5.  There is no setup for it under the amps tab.  I have my amp setup up under the Ports tab. ?????
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I am using an Expert SPE 2K-FA.. no setup either in DDUTIL

BUT... I send band data to it via the Passive Listener Port and Autodrive sets the power and controls the 6000 TX line...

Perfect!!!
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Jim Gilliam

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Does this require a computer sitting next to the SDR?
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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In the interim, you can set your transmit profiles to the appropriate level, then "nest" the transmit profile in a global one. I use that technique to keep my JT65 power at polite levels.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Official Response
This is a feature request that is in our database for inclusion in a future version of SmartSDR.
(Edited)
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Steve W6SDM

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Howard,

I use a X-Keys box for CW macros.  I am assuming yours is similar.  Would you be willing to share your macros?  I'm at steve@w6sdm.net.

Oh, and I am dying to find out what the "SMUT" key does.  :)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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SMUT... brings up naked dancing antennas...

or Mutes the slice 

I will send you an excel file so you can copy and paste
(Edited)
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Norm - W7CK

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Sorry Howard, you must have found my neighbors web site.. hihi.
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Lee, Elmer

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Autodrive is not particularly related to any amp.  I use it with both of my drive sensitive amps. 

1 resonate your amp on a given band/antenna set the power and hit set.

2 After you set every band hit stby to turn on oper 

Now when you switch bands DDUTIL will set your transmit power to the exact power you want for that amp/band/antenna

If you have 2 amps with different drive levels you can choose here  

make sure the auto drive form is filled out and turned on in the setup tab  what this feature does is send a command to the flex 6xxx to set its drive to the value in the auto drive database.  It is unrelated to a particular piece of amplifier hardware, slices etc etc.  it just tells the Flex transmitter how much power to output

73  W9OY
(Edited)