Low Operating Temp

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Low Operating Temp
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L.Kubis

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Posted 2 years ago

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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Need more info. 
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James Del Principe

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The whole nation is in low operating temperature.......   25 this morning.  12 deg yesterday. I had to huddle around my 6500.     73,   Jim
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I am almost upset I gave my friend back his Alpha 91. That thing would really heat up a room. 2x GU74B, and a big heavy 35lb power transformer. Plenty of heat, and RF power too. 
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Socal is 82F plus we have the FIRES to keep us warm.
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L.Kubis

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Somehow I messed up the post, I'll try again --

As I recall the 6500 spec sheet specifies the low temp operating point as 0C.

Is there much leeway downwards in this spec?

My 6500 is located in a closed Marina building  and is struggling to respond with the very cold temps outside of around -20C. The building has some heat but not sure how much.

Anyone else having difficulties with their Flex remotes in this cold weather?

I use a Digital Logger IP power bar for the station and it doesn't seem to be bothered, so far at least with the low temp.

Cheers!
Lloyd
VE3ERQ
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Brad A. Steffler

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My AL-82 does a wonderful job as a space heater. Two 3-500ZG's and a power supply to use them to potential. 

Brad
KE4XJ
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K1UO - Larry

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I leave my remote 6700 on 24/7.   It is designed to run as a server and unless I screw things up,and  the radios actually requires a shutdown and power up, (which I can do remotely) I just leave it running.  
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Official Response
The temperature operating specs are posted on the product web page.  In general, it is  0 to +50 degrees C; +32 to +122 degrees F.

If the radio is cold, below freezing, it will have difficulty booting because the ADC/FPGA timing will be out of range (spec).

However, if the radio is booted up and allowed to stay powered up continuously, the heat dissipated by the FPGA when it is idle is sufficient to maintain the ADC/FPGA data timing alignment.  In this mode the radio has been operated to near 0F 
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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If you have power to the radio, could you add a pad-heater?

I’m personally always leery of the dew point/condensation potential issues warming sensitive gear as well.

I’ve purposefully added small amounts of heat to hear left at outside temperatures just to avoid those issues.

Of course I disconnect or thermostat limit the heat above 40F (I use 55F as a set temperature if there are any water pumps/pipes involved).

It has been so cold at the DEF tanks froze on some of our fleet. That usually doesn’t happen.

So if one has to put tank heaters on Diesel engine additive (cow wiz mainly) then I guess we should consider it for our ambient outside temperature jam gear too!

73

Steve
K9ZW
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L.Kubis

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Thanks Tim, that explains the erratic operation. 

Just a clarification, by powered up do you mean only the power being applied to the radio w/o the Remote port grounded (remote operation disabled) or grounded (remote enabled).

Radio is not used that much due to current conditions so it has been de-powered much of the time.

What is the low temp spec for the 6600?

Cheers!
Lloyd
VE3ERQ
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Just a clarification, by powered up do you mean only the power being applied to the radio w/o the Remote port grounded (remote operation disabled) or grounded (remote enabled).

I mean powering up the radio where you see the Calibrating message, regardless of how it is power up, via the power button or remote on.

What is the low temp spec for the 6600?

Same as all the other 6000s
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L.Kubis

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Just reread your reply, Tim and looks like the radio has to be fully booted.

I was hoping I'd get away with it just being powered and hopefully in this mode the fans wouldn't be powered.

Now the fans will be running continuously, shortening their life, one of the things I was trying to avoid by de-powering the whole station when not in use.

I hate fans in equipment!!!!!

Lloyd
VE3ERQ
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Running the fans will not appreciably shorten their life.  For the 1st generation 6000s, running them keeps the sleeves well lubricated.  The 6700 I use for support and testing, one of the original ones (#19), has run continuously for several years.  I only shut it down during electrical storms or when I'm away from the shack for several days or more.
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L.Kubis

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Thanks Tim, that makes me feel a little better as far as running the station continuously.

Cheers!
Lloyd
VE3ERQ
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Marc Lalonde

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HI Lloyd

my own observation on my 6700 is that radio not work under 0 Celsius  even if let run 24/24 
you must have heated enclosure for the radio  , and keep it over 10 deg for got safety margin

my 6700 is gone because of this  ,now wait for a 6600 but have build a 24" x 24" x 24" 2" thick foam insulation box
whit 240V 300W  base plate heater ,tied to 120v so it now 70W whit mechanical thermostat

all remain of the station is a outdoor temp and not have any issue even whit last -30 night ;-)

Best 73!  Marc VE2PN 
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L.Kubis

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Thanks for your comments Marc. I will have to get more of your cold weather experience later as I may have to move my station outdoors at the base of my tower because of space limitations.

I'm now researching various enclosure options in case I need to move should the Marina need the space I occupy now.

Cheers!
Lloyd
VE3ERQ
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Marc Lalonde

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Hi Lloyd  

check my QRZ page ,my setup is similar to what you what doing
radio is at base of tower and 100% remote Station in a no-were location  ;-)

must be carefully if you do heating for avoid condensation ,hot hair contain humidity
that condense on cold surface (like people whit glasses that go indoor )

that wly i prefer keep equipment at outdoor temp since less humidity on air
@-30  believe me it have  no humidity to condense on the Linear amplifier ;-) 

(Edited)
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Mike va3mw

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Hi Lloyd and Mac

We are aware of Marc's issues with his 6700 and it is possible it is a unique issue to that one device.  Since we only test to 0C, it is not impossible that this can happen.  In our lab, we did see Marc's 6700 fail, but it had to be colder than 0C in a test we ran a few weeks ago.  FlexRadio's are specified to 0C at the lowest.

However, I can share with my own personal experience much better success with my 6300.  This is my 2nd winter with my unit in a totally unheated environment.  My 6300 has been 100% fine even down to -12C and likely colder.  I leave the 6300 on full time so that the FPGA can keep itself warm.

No automatic alt text available

FRstack was reporting the PA temp at -3.3C.

This was the actual outside air temp at the time the above was taken:

Image may contain text

Other items that are fully exposed to the cold air are:
  • cable modem
  • 2 pc's
  • Steppir Controller
  • Rotator Controller
  • 3 Raspberry Pi's
  • Lightning Detector 
  • 16 port switch
  • Router/Firewall
  • 2 UPSs
  • Elecraft W2 watt meter 
  • Solid State Amp
  • Kenwood TS480 
  • RemoteRig controllers

So far, so good.  Over the past 12 years of HF operating and Contesting, the cold has NOT been my issue.  

Your mileage may very and if you are thinking of this soft of solution, you will have to test it.  For me, if it worked, great.  I just left it alone and moved on to the next project.  Next winter I will have the 6600 installed.

Mike 
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L.Kubis

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As you are aware Mike, I've been running remote for many years. Like you I had Remote Rigs with a TS480HX and then with an Omni07. All worked well in the winter while I was operating them from OZ.

The 6500 has been good until this winter, which has been much colder than before.

I will let the radio run continuously and see if that helps. My only concern is for an antenna relay which will be energized continuously, as to whether the coil holds out. I can reconfigure the wiring with no problem but the Marina is shut down so access is going to be a problem. 

If this doesn't work and if I can get access, I might have to throw my little SunSDR2 Pro in for the winter with a 100W PA. That radio runs very hot and can probably keep itself warm until I can do something more permanent for a solution.

The joys of living in the Great White North!

Lloyd
VE3ERQ