Hooking up a Expert 2K-FA to my Flex 6500

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Hi Everyone,

Can someone Please tell me how to hookup a Expert 2K-FA to my Flex 6500.

I am not using DDUTIL at this time and do know how to set it up.

I have only had my Radio for 3 months, and have only using the standard setup so far.

Thanks, 73

Tim - KI^LSB
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Tim Hill - KI6LSB

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Posted 3 years ago

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K9APW - Dick - Verona, WI

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Do NOT hook the amp up to the Flex ALC.!! No ALC connection at all. Install your antennas to the 6 antenna positions on the Amp. Connect a coax jumper between the Flex & the 2K! Attach the CAT cable per instructions. BEWARE JOT TO OVER DRIVE the amp!! The amp needs very little drive on most bands. You need to program the Amp to set up the correct antenna to the correct band. CAUTION!! You will be totally amazed with the amp's power & ease of use! You are in for a whole new amateur radio experience using exceptional user friendly top of the line equipment! You also need to hook up the RCA cable between the Flex & the Expert for the transit as described in the manual -- only the red line, the other side of the line is NOT used. Make sure the RCA connectors are not bent or shorted out! NOTE I never power down the Flex/computer or the amp. The amp does not like nor work well, if at all, with SWR much above 2-1, even using the Flex ATU & the built in ATU in the amp. Truly, hook up is a 15 minute job. The combination is unbelievable , simple, easy, & will blow away all competitors -- just program the two so as to not over drive & match the right antenna to the right band. Read the instructions with the amp! If all else fails email or talk to Bob, W5UQ -- he is the Amp expert tech!! 73. Dick, K9APW
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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The ALC is (ab)used by SPE as a form of drive power control. Flex radios do not set ALC the same as conventional radios so it doesn't work properly. ALC is a holdover from tube amplifiers anyway and there should be more modern methods to control drive power. 
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Adde Tjernberg

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Ok, Roger that... I use the ALC from the Flex to control my OM4000A... But since this is a tube amp I'm ok?

I do also have a Expert 1K-FA and seen some strange behavior in combination with the Flex... I guess this has to do with it.

/Adde
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Yes. The SPE (ab)uses ALC to drop drive power all the way down to the level it needs. On a tube amp it only prevents overdrive.
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Adde Tjernberg

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Sound like a good thing? But thanks for the clarification.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Except that it never works properly. It will randomly send your drive power down to zero and then ALC hangs for a few seconds. This is why SPE has the CAT control power setting specifically for Flex radios. 
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Stop screwing around


Use DDUTIL
It will do everything you need for your amp
We have just finished testing the 2K/1.3K DDUTIL interface.

Steve K5FR should be posting the new code soon.
(Edited)
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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It's nice for a basic setup but needs a running Windows PC and doesn't support the So2R features of the amp...
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John W9KXQ

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Tim,
I would suggest you talk to Flex about setting up DDUtil, they helped me when I first put my 6500 on line almost 2 years ago.  Without DDUtil, you can likely overdrive the amp.  Dick's comments are spot on and Bob W5UQ is the go to guy for this amp.

If you send me a private email, I will forward the wiring diagram I used to get my 2K up and running.  Howard was a bit blunt, but he is correct, DDUtil will make the 2K a dream to use.  My private email is my call at arrl.net.

John
W9KXQ
(Edited)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Stev K5FR will likely be posting the new DDUTIL code for the SPE AND a complete wiki with all WIRING DIAGRAMS This weekend.

ONCE YOU HAVE THE CORRECT CABLES

1. Coax
2. RCA for PTT
3. USB for control
4 Serial for band data

Setting up DDUTIL will take only a few minutes

Setting up auto drive to feed the correct power by band takes a bit longer.
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Ron Morgan

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Everything is working on the Expert. I would like to add Serial for Band Data.  Is there a better explanation of connecting the FlexRadio USB port to teh 15 pin CAT-1 connector of the Expert?
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Mark - WS7M

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Tim,

Here is the official word:

1) It is not possible to connect your SPE 2K-FA amplifier to your Flex6500.  
2) There are no cables or utilities that will do the job adequately

Your best bet is to sell that piece of junk to me for $1500.00 and I'll take it off your hands so you can get a real amplifier (read Power Genius).

Don't even waste your time.  Just put it back in its box, ship it to me and I'll paypal you $1500.00 really nice american dollars that you can put towards your Power Genius.

Just sayin... This is the smart thing to do!  Plus you are helping out a lowly ham with no tower or beam that could use a little more power!

:-)   :-)  :-)
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Ron Morgan

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Good idea, mail me the check. After it clears, I will reconsider your offer.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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You can use DDUtil, that is one option.

You can also use the USB cables and have the amp control drive power. I prefer this method because it supports the two inputs for SO2R. DDUtil will only send band data for the current transmit slice so you're really limited to only one output from the radio. I don't know if this has changed but last I checked this is how it was. 

Basically you get an FTDI adapter or make a 9 pin to 15 pin cable according to the SPE manual. Get two if you're using the two inputs.

Use only the Relay line. Do not use ALC. 

Configure your USB ports to CAT mode, and set it to follow the antenna port. 

Then set the amp to FLEX mode.

Adjust drive power using the arrow keys on the front of the amp. You must set it once per band and once per power level (Mid/Max/Low). The front of the amp will display "PC=XX" which is the drive power level. Adjust using a dummy load to set desired power. I believe 1500w for Max, 1kw for Mid, and 500W for low. This is a one time thing. When you change bands, the amp will automatically set power in SmartSDR.

Also get a USB cable and you can also control the amp with DDutil or the SPE utility. I prefer the SPE utility as it has the metering plus it gives access to all the buttons for adjusting the ATU etc and tweaking your drive power if necessary. 

I got away from SPE and I'm going with a power genius XL instead. Much easier to setup and amp control will be in SmartSDR. 
(Edited)
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dj3cq

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I'm using the 6500 + 2K since years. Started with Ddutil but changed to the FTDI-Adapter as soon as this solution has been offered by FRS. It's a nobrainer, works flawless and I don't see the necessity to change my reliable amp to a brandnew PowerGenius...

just my 0,02

Jo, dj3cq
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Hi Jo,

I used to have the 1.3K-FA which would not give me full duty cycle with RTTY and other digital modes because it has only one LDMOS. I decided to go with PG XL because it has two LDMOS and plenty of headroom for RTTY and digital modes at legal limit.

The 2K-FA I did not consider because it is about the same price plus it uses older RF MOSFETs not LDMOS FETS. The newer LDMOS is more tolerant to high SWR and such.

73
Ria
(Edited)
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Russ GUIDRY SR

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Perfect just what I was looking for!
73, Russ K5OA

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