PGXL - fan speed in standard mode

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Does the fan run continuously in standard mode - when the amp is in operate?  I am not sure I can tell the difference between standard and contest mode.

Thanks - Keith - AC9S
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AC9S

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Posted 8 months ago

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KF4HR

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I've only had my PGXL a few days.  I was surprised to see (and hear) the fans run continuously (at their lowest speed) even when no amplification is taking place (un-keyed).  I assume the designers did this because the Amp must generate enough heat to warrant the fans operating, even when the amp is idling.  I've run my amp up to near legal limit and the fan speed increased considerably.  I assume this must be the Contest Mode fan speed.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I think there are some fans that will run all the time, like the on board harmonic filter, that is something no other ham amp has.
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W5AP

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The fan noise becomes unbearable at higher temps-especially SO2R.  So I put the amp outside the shack in an enclosure with a heater for when the ambient temp gets below 0 F.   
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AC9S

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Wow, although I had been warned, the amp is considerably more noisy than I anticipated.  Partly it is the high frequency component, not at all like the noisy, but lower frequency din of my previous amps.  When in standby the fan runs until the PA temp drops below 40C at which point the fan shuts off and the amp is perfectly quiet.  I don't see why that couldn't be the case in operate mode when the amp isn't keyed.

For contesting this isn't much of an issue since I usually use headphones, but for general hamming and DXing the current fan profile is a literal pain (in the ear).

Keith - AC9S
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Larry - W9FLA

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Hi Keith:

Do you have a way to record and send me a copy of the PGXL fan noise, in each of its several operating modes, to my personal email?  Perhaps use Audacity with a mic placed about 3 foot in front of the unit.

And if you have sound meter, record the Decibels at the same distance.

Alternately, I could share my Phone # and/or call yours to listen.  We have a storm so my rig is completely off line!

Thanks,
Larry - W9FLA
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AC9S

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Hi Larry,  I'll record/measure the noise when the storm abates.  I am in the CQWW RTTY, but gave it up last night because of lightning.  My solution for the contest is headphones, I am more concerned about regular hamming.  For what it is worth it puts out  the full legal limit without strain while I am running.  I didn't have any great rates, but it was just 1 operator.

Keith - AC9S
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bahillen

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The fan is not as noisy as my Tube amplifier but I didn't like its noise either.I just didn't have a choice I had to tune it. So I used headphones to reduce the noise and put some baffles around the amp.  Now I don't have to listen to the noise at all as I positioned both the radio and the amp in the adjacent room. Even with the door open to that room I can hardly tell it is running.

I am adding some cables between the rooms for my paddle, mic, power speaker and headphones.Now I just run the microphone to the computer and use the keyboard keyer CWX. I could have left the radio in the shack and just run the RF cables from the 6600 to the PGXL but wanted to get all the RF out of the Shack.

I have attached a picture of my radio, PGXL and modem. As a suggestion, I would not put the PGXL in a closet.There is a lot of heat to be dissipated. 

I do run the amp in the contest mode to keep the temperatures as low as possible for the solid state amplifier. I don't think the contest mode means its only for contesting and RTTY. Cooler is better for all electronic parts.

73
Bill W9JJB
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AC9S

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That is a nice solution Bill.  I don't really have the option of a separate room given all the ancillary equipment I need to put my hands on, but I do like your solution.  By the way, I run surge suppression on everything and disconnect everything when I am not in the shack - a bit of paranoia from previous incidents.

Keith - AC9S
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KF4HR

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I suspect one reason for the relatively high fan noise is because it is being heard out of the front of the Amp, where most other HF amplifiers route their fan cooling out the top, bottom, or back. 

I assume it's normal but the fans in my PG-XL seem to be working hard, even when the Amp is idling in the Operational Mode (slowest fan speed). 

I haven't seen inside the Amp but perhaps the fans are small and spinning very quickly.  In any case I consider the fan noise a minor inconvenience, but it would be interesting to know if anyone has experimented with quieter fans (if that's possible). 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining.  The PG-XL is an amazing Amp and I'm very happy with it.
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Larry - W9FLA

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Hi Keith - AC9S,

Any progress in obtaining and sending me the data we discussed about the PGXL attributes on this thread about a week ago?

Larry - W9FLA
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AC9S

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Hi Larry,

Jeeze - I hate people who make promises and then don't keep them - which I just did.  I did measure the sound level at my operating position, about 2.5 ' away from the PGXL it was only 58 db on the app on my Samsung phone.  That is in the standard fan setting.  I also discovered that in standard mode, if you wait long enough for cooling, the fan will shut off when both keyed and unkeyed.  Looks like the PA temp needs to get below 30C for that to happen.

Bottom line is that when cool it isn't as noisy as it first seemed to me.  That might be because it replaced a KPA500 which turns its fan off fairly quickly.  The KPA500 / KAT500 is an absolute joy for general hamming, but of course it doesn't have the chops for contesting.

Keith - AC9S
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bahillen

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What do you mean about not having the chops for contesting?

I have run my PGXL in the digital contest running for long periods. Stayed under temp limits. The amp is rated as ICAS. I talked about heat and solid state amplifiers with K6XX from Elecraft and he was involved with the 1500 development. He said getting heat out op the amplifier is an trade off for the amplifier designers. Run it too hot and device life suffered. Even CCS spec is not key down for 24 hours. If you run high rates in contest you may consider an area low velocity fan to keep the ambient air close to room temperature. The harmonic load is a big deal for amplifier temperatures.

As a contest operator and running at a high rate you may not need 1.5 kw all the time. K9CT runs multiple PGXL amps and loves the amplifier with an outstanding Multi op contest station.

A side factor is if you amp is in Standby it runs 12-14 degrees cooler than when in Operate. it comes on line quickly. Helpful when just searching the spectrum for next Q.

Since I moved my amp in an adjacent room with open doors, I run fans in Contest Mode all the time for now. In the PGXL utility, monitor temps and try different things. see what works for you. I am spoiled with my amp location now. Put the amp in a crawl space, a basement (cool) or garage. I found I have less RF in the shack after relocating the amp.

You may feel a loss of adrenaline when you key down and don’t hear the clap of the relays and the roar of your tube amplifier, just the readout saying you are putting out 1,500 watts.

Remember when you had to wait 3 minutes before operating, needing a fork lift truck to move the amplifier and a very noisy fan located in front of you running all the time? Enjoy

73
Bill W9JJB
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AC9S

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The chops I was referring to was the KPA500.  Nice little amp, but if I am going to run high power in a contest I would just a soon have the full deal - which the PGXL provides.  I think you misread my last comment.

I am not going to put the PGXL in another room, but in standard mode it is ok for general hamming and in contest mode it is fine with headphones.

Keith - AC9S