Increasing the number of antenna ports in Power Genius

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PG has only two antenna ports which is rather disappointing for an amplifier in this price range.
Due to a high cost, I do not plan to buy an Antenna Genius and look for other options, considering:
> Hardware cost noticeably lower than an Antenna Genius
> Tight integration with Flex 6000 series and a Power Genius including optional ATU

Can someone offer some practical solutions?
I expect that this topic may be of interest to other future users of PG.

Tom, SP7WT
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Tom

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Posted 1 year ago

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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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If you had ordered last year you would get the free tuner genius or antenna genius. Tuner genius will have multiple ports. I think 3 if I am not mistaken.
(Edited)
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Rick - N4RZ

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While I wish it had three antenna ports, I believe Tuner Genius will only have two.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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That is incorrect. Please refer to the newsletter sent out around the beginning of January. It even has a pic of me next to my amplifier and station...

TUNER GENIUS SPEC

  • 2000W
  • Matching SWR range minimum 1:3
  • LAN/CAT controlled
  • Auto, semi auto and manual tune modes
  • Can be used and controlled directly with Power Genius
  • Can be controlled from the Windows Application as a standalone device
  • 3 antenna outputs
  • Has 4 relay outputs controllable from App (optional)
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Rick - N4RZ

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It is great that the tuner now has three outputs!  I didn't receive the newsletter so I was unaware of the change.   My info was based on an email exchange I had with Flex back in late May 2017. 
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Yep, some things have changed. I am beta testing the amp. That said, this is public info...
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Tom

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Thank you for your clarification, Ria. Yes, I ordered the PG last year and three antenna outputs most likely will be sufficient for me. 

Tom, SP7WT
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Jay - AJ6AZ

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Just to clarify, it looks like Rita said the tuner genius has three ports not the power genius. Am I correct?
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Hi - my name is Ria (not Rita). 

The Power Genius XL has two ports configured as SO2R. This means that Input A will go to output A and Input B will go to output B. This configuration is fixed, meaning input A cannot transmit on output B and vice-versa. 

The Tuner Genius will have three outputs and one input, so it can be used as a tuner and an antenna switch. 

With this configuration you can have true SO2R and four antenna ports, but you may have to reconfigure your antennas differently.

Antenna genius is different as it allows you to map any input to any output. I'm taking the tuner genius but I may go with an antenna genius in addition. 
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Jay - AJ6AZ

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Thanks that makes sense. Ria. Please excuse my typo on your name.
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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I am getting the Antenna Genius 2x8 switch to go with my Power Genius amp. That way I can have any two of my antenna active at same time with the 6600 and PG XL. More antenna ports than I have antenna but gives best flexibility. I only need a tuner on one of my antennas.

Dave wo2x
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KF4HR

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Dave - Just curious.  Are you planning on running both your antennas in through your PG XL amp?  If so the amp is only capable of passing one signal path through (at a time), so I question how will you plan to have two antenna active at the same time?  Unfortunately the un-selected port connections on the PG-XL do not allow a pass-thru.  Or have I overlooked something?
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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Using the Power Genius XL with the 6600 allows you to have two active antennas to two different slices at the same time. The 6600 has two spectral capture units. Think of it as two completely separate receivers.

Amp input A goes to output A and amp input B goes to output B.

Now tie the two amp outputs into the new 4O3A 2x8 switch and you can have any two antennas out of a total of eight active at the same time.

For example, I have a resonant 5 band Yagi (10,12,15,17,20 meters), and resonant 30 meter dipole, and a G5RV for 40 & 80 (with tuner). 

With the above combo of 6600, PG XL, and 2x8 antenna switch I can be on 20 meters on the Yagi and 30 meters on the 30m dipole. Or 30 meters on the dipole and 40 on the G5RV. All at the same time. 

You can only transmit on one band at a time though. 

Makes remote operating easy!

Dave wo2x
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W2PP

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A poster above said that the PGXL will only pass one receive signal at a time.  I'm puzzled by that comment.  If true, that is a big problem.  Right you can put in exotic antenna switches which would over come this I guess.  But, it would be a ton easier if the amp passed two receive signals at once, even during transmit, you then could use band pass low power ones at that, between the amp and the radios.  The Expert SPE does pass two signals and even during xmit one of them is live.  
Peter
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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“A poster above said that the PGXL will only pass one receive signal at a time. “

Nobody has said that and if they did it would be incorrect.

Both SO2R units pass receive signals and are independent. Otherwise it couldn’t be SO2R because the idea of SO2R is to listen to another radio/SCU while transmitting.

What is true is that PGXL can only transmit one signal at a time.

SPE’s implementation is different in that they have an “SO2R” port which is a common receive antenna port which is switched to the non transmitting radio. This is quite different from true SO2R in the PGXL.
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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The amp passes two receive signals to the radio simultaneously (during rx of course). Think of the PG XL as two separate amps. It has an A and B side. You can even have the amp connected to two different radios at the same time. I’ve tested with the Flex 6600 to the A side and an Icom 7600 to the B side. Each with their own CAT and PTT connections. The Flex obviously via Ethernet and the Icom via CI-V.

Now take a radio that has two SCUs like the 6600 or 6700. You connect antenna 1 of the radio to input A on the amp. Antenna 2 to Input B. So whatever antenna is connected to output A of the amp will be connected to the receive slice using antenna 1. The antenna connected to output B will be connected to slices using antenna 2.

There is some filtering in the 660@ and Power Genius XL and depending on antenna spacing and bands of operation you may or may not need external filtering.

Dave wo2x
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I’ve found often I don’t even need external filters with the 6700 when doing SO2R.
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W2PP

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Ummm yes a poster DID say it:
KF4HR
"Dave - Just curious.  Are you planning on running both your antennas in through your PG XL amp?  If so the amp is only capable of passing one signal path through (at a time), so I question how will you plan to have two antenna active at the same time?  Unfortunately the un-selected port connections on the PG-XL do not allow a pass-thru.  Or have I overlooked something?"

So who is or isn't correct?

Regarding the SPE 2kFA you are correct.  I'll add to that, that when you xmit, the antennas are swapped, so you always xmit on the main system, but during xmit you'll listen on the other one, that is the receive antenna.  

Peter
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W2PP

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Ria, how far apart physically are your antennas and what power level?  Might save me a bunch of money and hassle if they are similar to mine.
Peter
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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I replied to KF4HR indicating how the PG XL works. Again .... think of it as two separate amps. a side to one radio (or first SCU) and B side to second radio (or second SCU) simultaneously.

As Ria stated, you can only transmit on one band at a time.

Dave wo2x
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W2PP

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OK Dave got it.  Yep no single amp could xmit on two different antennas, bands simultaneously, well maybe one day eh?  I think you have the amp, and I think our posts were near simultaneous in posting.  I see two different radios ICOM and 6700 so that's pretty clear its receiving at the same time as xmit.

Would be nice if the thing ships soon!
Thanks again all, these forums are a wealth of bright folks and data.

Peter
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I have had the amp since November, about the same time Dave got it (maybe a day after).

I run SO2R in contests with it. To simplify matters - it’s like having two amps where they are interlocked so only one transmits at a time.

As far as spacing goes, I have between 200-300 feet between antennas but some of my antennas are less than 100ft away. I do use the 5B4AGN filter sets to clean up the transmit signal.

Operating at the same time on any combo of two bands of 160, 80,40, 20, 10 needs that extra filtering, particularly during transmit between exciter and amp. Receive filters like what the 6600 (and 6700 to a lesser degree) have are only half of the story. You want to suppress the harmonics before they get amplified. That said PGXL does a great job already. You can even use stubs for a cheap yet effective solution.

When running contests I’m usually on 40+80, 80+ 160, 40+160 or 20+15 (and when 10 opens, 20+10). During the day I always try to keep a radio on 20.

20+15 can run pretty much without external filters. The rest it gets iffy.
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W2PP

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‘Ria thanks that’s very helpful. Did you get your amp back yet after the recent mods? If so has it continued to run well?
Peter
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Unfortunately details of testing are under NDA. You can ask sales any questions about the amp. But I cannot say anything further.

Ria
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Steven Linley

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RF-Kits B26-RF-2K+. 4 auto antenna switch (programmable ). ATU, touch screen, remote with VNC, etc.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Doesn’t do native SO2R though. That’s important to me.
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W2PP

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Doesn't do 6 meters 
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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It does 6M at 1kw
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W2PP

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Ria is quite correct, It definitely does 6 meters, not sure how I missed that, can't edit that post to correct it either.
Peter

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rjguidrysr

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Related question, if PGXL is powered off or in standby does input one go to ant 1 and input 2 to ant 2 as default. Thinking remote site with amp powered off and antenna genius following 6600 slices a and b on input 1 and input 2.
Thanks and GL Ria!!.
 
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W2PP

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No. It’s a disaster. They short to ground when communication is lost. Mine fried itself yesterday.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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You cooked your PGXL amp?
(Edited)
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W2PP

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No sorry my antenna Genius. Apologies still ticked about it.
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rjguidrysr

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So the antenna genius put all antennas to ground if communication lost or power lost to this unit, that is the 12 volts?
(Edited)
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W2PP

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That’s correct
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KF4HR

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PG has only two antenna ports which is rather disappointing for an amplifier in this price range.  Due to a high cost, I do not plan to buy an Antenna Genius and look for other options,... Can someone offer some practical solutions?

Sure.  When it becomes available, add the 8x2 4o3A Antenna Switcher: http://www.4o3a.com/products/antenna-switchers/6x2-antenna-switcher/



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W2PP

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Did you see my post above? Mine fried itself....AG..... I’ve ordered the DXE switch which is bulletproof.
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KF4HR

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Peter - were you using the 8x2 Antenna Switcher (replacement for the 6x2)?  I didn't realize it had been released yet. 

David - yes, I realize the PG-XL only has the ability to transmit on one band at a time.  What I'm curious about is, if the IN/OUT A connections are  selected for amplification, do the IN/OUT B connections provide a pass-thru?  If so, a 2nd slice could take advantage of the B antenna connection.  
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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With proper filtering/antenna separation you can receive on B while TX’ing QRO on A.

Dave wo2x
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W2PP

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Isolation wasn’t the issue. The 8x2 had a LAN connection and RFI caused it to drop comm during transmission and fried the A port despite ferrite beads
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Pat - WH6HI

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I had PG amp on order, but no matter how I did it, I could not justify the extra cost to achieve what needs I have. So canceled. Even with a free tuner there were extra cost. I am interested in efficiency of operation. My station is a lot like the cockpit of a modern jet. In order to keep my objective realistic, my solution was the Expert 2K-FA. Built in tuner and six port antenna switch. I know what your going to say, what about that extra power on rtty, or FT8? Not enough difference to make a difference in non contest conditions. I don’t do contests. Don’t need continuous 1.5k. The 2K was less expensive and included a very good tuner and six very versatile ports. So in a nut shell cost and a tuner (vapor ware at this point) was the straw that broke the camels back. I am sure ithe PG will be a very good amp, but I could not justify the extra cost.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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They will sell a tone of them to stations that demand highest performance no holds bared. For the average guy, that is a lot of amp.
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Pat - WH6HI

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Hi Bill, could you define “they” as it would help me understand your post. Thanks... Pat
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Alan W4FBI

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I'm guessing he meant "a ton" - not tone. 'They' meaning FlexRadio?
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KF4HR

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Peter were you able to find a DXE Switch that functioned the same way as the AG Switch? (2x8)
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KF4HR

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" So in a nut shell cost and a tuner (vapor ware at this point) was the straw that broke the camels back. I am sure ithe PG will be a very good amp, but I could not justify the extra cost....I am sure ithe PG will be a very good amp, but I could not justify the extra cost."

I was on the fence between the 2K-FA and PG-XL as well.  As for price, prior to the PG-XL being introduced I seem to remember the 2K-FA costing approximately $6k or about $1k less than the PG-XL but now there's only a $304 dollar difference, which is trivial considering the price of these amplifiers.

Not having an ATU built into the PG-XL wasn't a concern for me because I own a legal limit+ auto tuner and a self-tuning SteppIR yagi but I do wish the PG-XL had 6 built-in output ports, although external switching options are available.

The biggest drawback I see to the PG-XL (and why I'm occasionally tempted to cancel my PG-XL and order a 2K-FA), is not knowing how long the PG-XL wait time will be.