Maestro

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  • Updated 3 years ago
I note that Maestro will have dedicated buttons for controlling the internal automatic antenna tuner.

For those of us with the Flex 6300 who use an external antenna tuner and did not opt for the internal ATU, those button controls would be of no real benefit.  

Is there a way those buttons could be  "Flex"ably  reassigned by 6300 operators not needing ATU controls to serve as additional function buttons similar to F1, F2 and F3?
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Bill N3HQB

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Posted 3 years ago

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Clay N9IO

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I totally agree, I have no use for an ATU I use resonant ants and an amp.
To be able to reassign or "toggle" that button's function would be great!

Clay N9IO
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km9r.mike

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Ditto
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Steve - N5AC, Employee

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How would your external tuner be activated? (details)
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Clay N9IO

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I don't use an external or internal autotuner at all so the button is of no use to me.
The beauty would be to have the button somehow be re-assignable to simply toggle or scroll through a list of functions.
One selection would be the original idea for the internal ATU,
another to tune external ATU separately from the middle TUNE button.  
Next an addition F(n) key or even better I personally would like to see a way of switching the RX antenna selection 1/2/XVTR quickly.

Haven't had too much time to give this a thorough thought but off the top of my head.
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km9r.mike

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My remote tuner is currently powered manually. I remote the tuner to minimize losses and have to use it to access multiple bands due to antenna limitations. The tuner that I am using can be software controlled ,but, after setting the initial parameters there has been absolutely no need to utilize that function again. Initial parameters were set, a match was found for each band accordingly then atu memory and auto band detection take over.  Don't know if I will always need this current configuration ,but a re definable atu function button on the maestro would be my preference. No way a deal breaker though just a personal preference.
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Steve - KD8QWT

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For an external tuner to be controlled from the Maestro implies either a direct connection to the Maestro via something like USB/serial or a network connection.

What I would like to see is a simple macro language that can be used to send strings to a TCP port on the network based on button presses or knob turns.  For example, my networked mag loop controller watches the 6300 slice events for frequency and watches a particular antenna when it's TX is enabled.  A Maestro function button could be used to send a string with the current frequency to force an immediate tune on the sent frequency, in case the antenna is not TX enabled.  An extension to that would be to re-map one of the knobs to send strings containing direction and distance travelled.  On the mag loop controller side I'd use that data to move the tune point to either side of the center frequency.  I'd use another function button to send a string telling the controller to rebuild it's mapping table.  Perhaps someone can create an Arduino interface to non-networked devices and use these macros to help control them.  Most anything can be networked, including switches and remote ATUs.  Unfortunately not all devices can make their decisions based solely on the data from the radio.
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Bob - W7KWS -

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Steve,

Most hams I know use resonant antennas. In my case, an off center fed dipole and a STEPPIR DB-18E. The STEPPIR follows my 6300 (W/O TUNER). This combination gives me 50-Ohm coax feeds on all bands 80 through 6.
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Steve - KD8QWT

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Bob, the STEPPIR DB-18E looks looks a great antenna.  One issue is that my lot is only 50 feet wide.  Even less from the house to the back fence.  That antenna would clear the property lines only by about 5 feet on each side.  It would also mean that the antenna would be directly above my power lines as they enter the house.  I can probably put up a small 35 foot tower, but I'm not prepared to fight the city and the neighbors on it right now.  I've researched many different antennas and may try a few more in future.  The way my back yard is laid out I have very few options.

Therefore I must use use what I can.  The mag loop has worked well and doesn't sit higher that the garage roof.   The way the it works now it has all the appearance of a multi-band antenna.  It covers me from 30m to 80m.  I'm making some changes that might get me close enough to the lower part of 20m to be usable.  I also have a 20m dipole, but it's not nearly high enough.  My first QSO was to a contest station in Germany on a dipole I measured with a tape measure and draped across my lawn chairs with a TS-530s that only worked on a few bands.  Less than perfect but obviously worked.  Fortunately there is still room in my back back yard to enjoy this hobby.  It just requires a bit more work.  
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Bill N3HQB

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Hi, Steve...

Currently my external manual tuner is outboard of the linear amplifier, and is manually adjusted.  My Flex 6300 does not have the internal ATU option.  Of course, I do not use an internal tuner between my transceivers and the linear amplifier. 

In my contemplated configuration, using an SPE Expert 2K-FA (on back-order from Dayton), the tuner built into the Expert 2K-FA would be auto-tuned by the linear amplifier, which, in turn, would be frequency-controlled by the 6300.

In either situation, there would be no need for a Flex ATU in the 6300, and thus no need to control such an internal ATU via a Maestro button.  An option to reprogram the unused ATU button would be thoughtful. Thanks for asking.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I own a 2K-FA. The way the auto tuner works in the 2K is that you step it thru a matrix of memories and tune the antennas with the tuner which then stores the settings in memory. It is effectively a set it once and forget it system. For the antenna port connected to my SteppIR MonstIR or any other resonant antenna like a SteppIR you basically bypass the tuner entirely.

In either case there is no interaction with the 2K once it's initially tuned

The Good News is the SPE promised TODAY that they will be shortly releasing an API for both the 1.3K and 2K so you may likely be able to tune the 2K via DDUTIL if you really need to.
(Edited)
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Bill N3HQB

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Thanks, Howard...
I'm looking forward to putting the Expert 2K in line.  Your comments are consistent with my understanding.  
I assume you would concur that an ATU fixed function button on the Maestro (assuming it performs the same function as the ATU button on the SmartSDR software TX Panel) would provide no real benefit when using an antenna tuner outboard of the 6300 and a linear amplifier.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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No I actually do not concur as many times I use the internal ATU Tito match antennas running barefoot.so a tune button is useful

You might want to consider adding an ATU to your 6399
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I concur that it would serve no function on a 6300 without an ATU

So how do you match antennss runing barefoot without a tuner? Or are you using a SteppIR?
(Edited)
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Bill N3HQB

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Hi, Howard...
I use resonant antennas or bypass the linear and use an manual external tuner.  At present, I have a 75 meter inverted V,  a 160 meter full-wave horizontal loop with which I use with a roller inductor tuner for 160, 75, 60, 40 and 30, and a Sommer XP Series directional gain antenna for 20, 17, 15, 12 and 10 meters, which by design does not require a tuner.  I use a resonant antenna on 6 meters.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Sounds like you don't need a tuner But it must take a while to switch bands and retune everything? BTW. Before the SteppIR I too,lived in the world of manual tuners. I must admit that the SteppIR was a game changer for me.
(Edited)
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Bob - W7KWS -

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I have a B&W 1KW tuner in the garage for 25-years just in case I need it but the need has never come up so the B&W sits there brand new & never used. I've always run multi-band antennas such as 5-band quads, trap beams (ugh) & off-center-fed dipoles and now a SteppIR DB18E. To me tuners are a real negative piece of hardware. By the way, my KPA500 amp W/O a tuner is a happy camper on all bands as is the Alpha 87.
(Edited)
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Bill N3HQB

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Actually Howard, I currently have four used 3KW roller inductor tuners in a stack pretuned to frequently used band segments, and just switch between them using an Alpha Delta coax switch and a double banana plug system (telephone switchboard style) with the 450-ohm twinlead from the 160 meter loop.  The Sommer XP-406 requires no tuning or SteppIR adjustment. The Expert 2K on back order will eliminate bandswitching and tuning the linear, and provide legal limit output.  For AM, I use a K7DYY Super Senior on 160 and 75 meters.  The Expert 2K and the Flex 6300 should provide respectable carrier levels and headroom on the other HF bands.  Life is good here at N3HQB.  73.