Flex 6500 with ALS600

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 3 years ago
  • Answered
I know we are keying the ALS 600 with an RCA jumper cable from TX1(6) on the Flex... to the PTT on the amp.
 Are we also using the Flex ALC(16) jack to the Amp ALC jack as well?
I'm Seeing different responses on this matter posted.
Anything else I should be aware of?
Photo of Tony WV2C

Tony WV2C

  • 41 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes

Posted 3 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Lee

Lee, Elmer

  • 677 Posts
  • 285 Reply Likes
I have a ALS-1300 and I just use a cable from TX1 on the 6500 to Relay on the amp.  The latest software (1.5) has a feature in the setup>transmit screen that allows you to set max transmit power if you're worried about too much drive.  

73  W9OY
Photo of Tony WV2C

Tony WV2C

  • 41 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes

Thanks Lee

I'm going to leave the drive at 50 watts just in case I neglect to change it.

 In the Radio setup screen I have transmit settings all enabled with "0" timing on all. In Interlocks - TX Req  both RCA & ACC  disabled.   Both Hardware ALC and Show TX in Waterfall are disabled.

Does this require any changes.

Photo of Lee

Lee, Elmer

  • 677 Posts
  • 285 Reply Likes
Photo of Tony WV2C

Tony WV2C

  • 41 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
Got the changes Lee, thank you..73
Photo of Dave - WB5NHL

Dave - WB5NHL

  • 275 Posts
  • 62 Reply Likes
Another thing to consider for the ALS-600 is TX Delay to 20ms. I have not measured the actual transmission envelop however from the ALS-600 manual:

 The ALS-600 T/R relay enable time is typically 15 milliseconds.  Many transceivers permit setting a time delay between their relay-control output, and the actual full-power RF output.  If your transceiver has this capability, set this delay to 20 milliseconds to ensure you don’t transmit before the amplifier relay fully energizes (which can result in the loss of part of the first Morse character).

Note:  Transceivers should only be used in semi break-in mode when controlling the ALS-600 T/R relay.  QSK (full break-in) operation is available with the Ameritron QSK-5 external solid-state T/R switch.

I'm not a QSK-guy so putting in the 20ms delay doesn't impact me at all and I decided it was fine insurance.

BTW, I continue work on my Arduino-based interface between the Flex and ALS-600 for automatic band switching. The hardware is 90% the same as the Ameritron ARI-500. Instead of a Pic microcontroller, I'm using an Arduino Due and Enzo's fine libraries. I am adding an LCD display to show the TX freq and band selected.
Of course, I am inhibiting keying on an ALS-600 fault but I also inhibit keying if the Flex TX power exceeds a preset value(both low duty cycle mode and high duty cycle mode values).  This way you can run full power barefoot but not over drive the amp if you forget to dial back the power.
The software has been tested in a breadboard. The hardware build is nearing completion, leaving actual connection to the ALS-600 and testing.   More to come.

Dave,  WB5NHL
 

Photo of David Decoons wo2x

David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

  • 1209 Posts
  • 249 Reply Likes

Another suggestion is DDUtil v3 allows to set AutoDrive. This will enable the tx1 rca out and set proper drive level per band when using the amp and then set radio power back to 100 watts and disable the TX rca out when you want the amp in standby.

Dave wo2x

Photo of Tony WV2C

Tony WV2C

  • 41 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
Thanks Dave I'll give it a try...
Photo of Lee

Lee, Elmer

  • 677 Posts
  • 285 Reply Likes
DDUTIL has another feature, the ability to write macros.  One of my macros sets XIT  to +2.  Since I have a Flex I can tell if +2 is busy.  If +2 is not busy I hit another macro which turns off TX1 and turns on tune.  This allows me to initiate a "tune" with my automatic antenna tuner while turning off the amp.  I press that button again and a second macro is invoked that turns off tune, resets TX1 to on and cancels XIT.  This way I never hit my tuner with high power and I never tune up on a QSO.  I can also use this macro from my remote location and I can watch the tuner respond in the SWR meter of SSDR.  There is also a auto drive macro DDAP which will set auto drive on for thr specific amp chosen.  You can add that to the macro string to make sure you never hit your amp with over drive

73  W9OY
Photo of Tony WV2C

Tony WV2C

  • 41 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
Big initial learning curve with the 6500. Lots of features many of which are set & forget . This is only day 3 so I'm taking my time got the important stuff working like the Flex Control and HRD and now the Amp Thank you to all who have posted responses!
(Edited)