FLEX 6300 (2 month old) looses more and more output power, every mode, every band, hardly maximum 80W

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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  • (Edited)
Hello at all,
first I will say I am very lucky with  my Flex 6300 transceiver, but the last two weeks I get more and more sorrows about the descending output power. When the radio was new, I got 100W RF Output on every band, now the maximum is hardly at 80 watts. The software meter as well the extern power meter show nearly the same low power. A few weeks ago, i thought the output power is going down while the radio gets warmer, so i installed a external blower wich makes a air flow around the radio. The internal PA cooler starts to run very seldom. I checked the power supply and changed it to a laboratory version, capable 100A at 14V (and more), and checked the voltage right through the input jag. At this point it is exactly 13.8V while key down. I changed the antenna cable with the same result. I think this radio has a hardware problem. The power is low in every mode. The measurement was made at a BIRD 500W dummy load, and checked with Rhode&Schwarz CMS 50. Please give me some hint and help.  Best regards DL2KBQ
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DL2KBQ

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Posted 4 years ago

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Mack McCormick, Elmer

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Horst,


May I suggest a few things to try:

1. Connect a 50 ohm dummy load to the antenna port with a wattmeter inline. What are your readings?

2. Do you have a second wattmeter or one you can borrow to confirm the issue is not with your wattmeter?

3. Back up your profiles in SmartSDR and do a factory reset.


Factory reset:

Power off the radio

Press and hold the power button until it flashes or is white (can't remember which one the 6300 does)

The radio now has factory settings

4. Repeat test 1 again.


Mack

W4AX
(Edited)
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Mike va3mw

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Mack's comments are very valid. If it passes all these, you may need to ship it home for some TLC.
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DL2KBQ

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Hello Mack,

thank You very much for your hints and very fast reply. I followed your advices and have done the factory reset. The wattmeter is direct to the output of ant1. I checked the internal power meter with my CMS50, unfortunately it can ́t handle the full 100W, but it can take 50W continous. both meters intern, extern and inline are reading the same (+/- 3W). Then i have connected only to the dummy and checked the full power, only reading about 80/82 Watts. The input current at 14,2V is only 15,8 amps, thats much to low for 100W output and strengthens the measurement. Any other idea than recalibration ?

Best regards,

Horst-Andre
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Mack McCormick, Elmer

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Horst-Andre,

I tested my 6700 here (could also test the 6500 if needed) and I'm getting 69.2W (calibrated wattmeter) into a dummy load. Using a lab power supply with voltage sense at the powerpole connectors on the back on the rig it reads 13.8V at 11.1 amps.
I'm a long time alpha tester. I'll report this to the rest of the Alpha team and ask them to take similar measurements. I'll get back to you.

Mack
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Mack McCormick, Elmer

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Here is an update to my post of yesterday. I retested (took more time) and both my 6700 and 6500 and do receive 90W out on all bands. I typically don't use an antenna tuner since all my antennas are resonant 160M - 23 cm but decided to engage the tuner to see if it made a difference with the dummy load. Low and behold the power came up within spec. Seems I have a mismatch in the cabling even though the SWR was reporting 1:1.

Horst-Andre,

I understand Klaus, in Germany, has contacted you to help.

73,

Mack
W4AX
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Michael Coslo

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I'm very suspicious of the PA folding back due to high SWR. The radio need directed to a dummy load to see if that's it, or at least measur ethe SWR on the antenna or tuner.
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DL2KBQ

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Hi Michael,

the FLEX 6300 is a unit with builtin ATU, I used the radio most time at 20m some qso at 15m, well tuned with the internal ATU. 10m is dead the last time, for 80m/40m i have no antenna this moment. All the measurements i made was done at the BIRD dummy load 50Ohms and the Rohde/Schwarz CMS50 Radiocommunication Service Monitor. Best regard,  Horst
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Mike va3mw

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Excellent. Sounds like you might have a hardware issue then. I would open a support case.
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Wow, same for me, consistent below 80w on most bands.
  • 80m  75.0w  13.4v  1:1.06
  • 40m  77.8w  13.5v  1:1.00
  • 30m  73.4w  13.4v  1:1.07
  • 20m  85.6w  13.3v  1:1.04
  • 17m  72.3w  13.4v  1:1.26
  • 15m  75.7w  13.4v  1:1.04
  • 12m  83.5w  13.4v  1:1.00
  • 10m  80.7w  13.3v  1:1.10
  • 6m    78.2w  13.5v  1:1.31
Flex 6700, G5RV/Log
(Edited)
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DrTeeth

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I do not have a dummy load (naughty I know) and do not know how accurate the power meter is, but my 6300 reads 80-90W into a long wire with SWR of 1:1.
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Dave

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My 6300 is around 90 watts. I have had it about 15 months. Using OCF dipole 80-6m
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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I have converted this topic to a support HelpDesk ticket (http://helpdesk.flexradio.com) for expedited issue resolution.  If anyone else is experiencing an issue similar to this one, please submit a HelpDesk support ticket for issue resolution.
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Hi Tim,

Should we all open tickets or wait for your techs to take a look at it just in case it might be software related?

Thanks.
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Al K0VM, Elmer

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You could try a reset  to factory defaults to verify that  it is not a corrupted database issue...  Expoert you configuration first.. Do your power output tests and then import your configuration and rerun your tests.

Al, K0Vm
(Edited)
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DrTeeth

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Seems like the are lots of corrupt databases. I recently had to do a factory reset for other reasons and still have the same low readings as I had before.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Opening a HeloDesk ticket for a FlexRadio product is never the wrong thing to do
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DrTeeth

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Tim,

I would not wish to waste the Helpdesk's time. Can I rely on the power meter being accurate as I do not have a dummy load nor any other way of measuring power? Is so, I will open a ticket and refer it to this thread, or you could create one on my behalf.

Cheers

Guy
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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I had done the factory reset already. I will keep an eye on this thread and if the problem is specific to the radio and not a software issue I will open a ticket. 
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Al K0VM, Elmer

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You can also downgrade the software to 1.6 and see if the problem still exists..

AL, K0VM
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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                v1.7.30    v.1.6.21
  • 80m  75.0w  77.2w
  • 40m  77.8w  79.1w
  • 30m  73.4w  75.2w
  • 20m  85.6w  90.2w
  • 17m  72.3w  75.6w
  • 15m  75.7w  77.0w
  • 12m  83.5w  83.5w
  • 10m  80.7w  82.0w
  • 6m    78.2w  79.2w
Flex 6700
G5RV 80m/40m
Log 30m-6m

Slight improvement in 1.6 vs 1.7
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Joe Duerbusch

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I have a similar problem.  All bands less than 90 watts.  I had a problem and blew the finals.  Sent the rig in and they fixed it, but it came back with less output than when it was new.
Please no guys with the 3DB and other guy doesn't know the different stuff.  I just want to know why a 100 watts rig is down 20 percent??

Joe K0BX
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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We guarantee all service for 90 days.  I do not see a follow-up ticket from you in our HelpDesk after your radio was serviced in May of last year.  Did you contact support about the issue?
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Joe Duerbusch

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Hi Tim, no I did not contact support.  The radio is working fine and I use a KPA-500 amp so not too impacted on the lower power.  It just seems that other folks have the same problem as me.

Joe K0BX
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Michael Coslo

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I tried running into a dummy load, and power output on 20 meters ran low on the flex screen meter, showed about 92 Watts at full output. 

deciding to try it out on the air, my external tuner showed 106 watts out at full power. 

It isn't conclusive, but I suspect that at least in my case, the radio is putting our around the right power.
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Rick, K7FYI

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I tested my 6300 this morning, and it seems to suffer from the same problem - ~80W max, with 6 meters being the worst.  I received my radio on 4-22-16 (...and can hardly bear the thought of parting with it for service).

I recall noting when I first got it that the SSDR meter was reporting very close to the set power; over time they seem to have drifted further apart.  So, for my test today, I was running into a 50 ohm dummy load, comparing the on-screen power against a Drake WH7.  Both reported about the same power.

I'll open a help desk ticket, but am inclined to watch how this develops before sending the radio in.
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DrTeeth

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Rick,

I am also inclined to wait and see if this is a software or hardware issue before opening a ticket.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Rick - if you have not done so, please submit a support ticket via our HelpDesk (http://helpdesk.flexradio.com) so we can assign you a case number and investigate this issue in more detail.  

For details on how to submit a HelpDesk support ticket, please refer to the following URL: http://helpdesk.flexradio.com/hc/en-us/articles/202118688-How-to-Submit-a-Request-for-Technical-Supp...   Once the support ticket is submitted, a support engineer will be in contact so we can work on the issue.  Make sure to include your radio's serial number.open a HelpDesk.
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DrTeeth

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Tim, could you please advise if you have enough helpdesk tickets to diagnose the issue or do you need more? I have not yet set up a 'ticket, but do not have a dummy load and no independent way of checking the power output. I would rather not be without my rig unless I have to be.

Thanks
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Rick, K7FYI

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Thanks, Tim - I have.  #13377 is me.
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DL2KBQ

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Hello at all,

today I had some time to do a verification measurement under some variation of the supply voltage and correction of the rippleness coming from my -20dB attenuator.
I verificated the results against my R&S CMS50 my HP8920B and controlled the voltage direct at antenna output with my 1GHz LeCroy 584AM digital Scope.

Here are the results (cold state):

                @13,8V    @13V     @14,8V    FT767GX  (26years old)

1,8          71W           65W       75W           102W      compare

3,5          81W           79W       87W           99W

7             84W            81W       91W          99,5W

10           82W            79W       88W          99W

14           93W            84W       101W        99,7W  

18           91W            86W       98W          102W

21           88W            82W       96W          104W

25           88W            81W       98W          108W

29           93W            87W       105W        109W

50           87W            82W       99W          14W

The difference between warm and cold FLEX is about - 4W in warm state.

Do not trust in a measurement that you have not manipulated by yourself! :-)

Best regards


Horst

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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Thanks for the data.  We are working with you via the HelpDesk for resolution
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Guy - unlike golf, more is better than less.
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DrTeeth

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Thanks Tim. I am #13400.
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Richard Kemp

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I had a simalur problem when my 6300 was new. The help desk had me run a few tests. Nothing helped. They sent me a shipping ticket to send the radio back to Texas. They fixed it and shipped it back. It averaged around 96 watts of output, that is close enough for me. Flex paid the shipping to and from the service center, good deal.
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Tony Hateley

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Could someone tell me were uk owners send there radio for service,my 6500 is out of warranty.thanks
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Michael Aust

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Well, maybe there a voltage drop that develops along the PCB traces over time,
maybe time to check ohmic drop (voltage drop ) to PA deck internally or PA class AB bias  shift ( Check with FRS on how to proceed )

I use an external linear so I have a Poor Man's 100Watts output at about 85Watts here not a show stopper here with Flex6700 at 13.8Vdc applied.
(Edited)
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Tony - it is in Germany.  It is explained on our website. You need to open a HelpDesk support ticket to start the process.
http://www.flexradio.com/support/service/
(Edited)
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Michael - in general, most of the issues are IR drop before the radio, not inside the radio.  The use of power distribution blocks and in-line fuses can add to the overall resistance leading to the radio getting less than the required 13.8 VDC needed to make full power.
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Dan -- KC4GO

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FRStack has meters built in to read the DC voltage during TX as well as the output power and reflected power.  You need to maintain 13.8 volts during TX. Here is a link.
http://www.mkcmsoftware.com/Flex/Index

Besides the meters is also has many other features you may find useful.
73's