Power Genius XL

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Did I see correctly, this new top of the line and expensive amp is using 90s and early 2000 rs232 ports?
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Richard Pestinger

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Posted 3 years ago

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philip.theis, Elmer

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Obviously to support legacy radios that want to interface. It also has ethernet control; what other amps do that?
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Phil is correct.  The amp will support using legacy exciters that still use RS232 based interfaces for CAT.
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philip.theis, Elmer

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Sorry if I was harsh, but it's a modern amp that I am ready to receive. :-)
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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what other amps do that?

Elecraft KPA1500 and RF-Kit B26-PA. 

(hey, you asked!)
I'm actually pretty happy to see manufacturers embracing ports other than the old rs-232. It may be reliable but support on PCs is pretty much dead.
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philip.theis, Elmer

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That's my point; they are 'top of the line' and they have ethernet.
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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New spe 1.5k too.
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Norm - W7CK

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I did find it interesting as well because I haven't seen an RS232 port on a computer in several years and even those had USB ports as well

But - It's very easy and inexpensive to use a USB to RS232 converter and plug it into a USB port. 
(Edited)
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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The RS232 is for CAT, it doesn't connect to your computer, it connects to the exciter.

Serial based USB adapters require device drivers for the different chipsets, a physical UART does not.
(Edited)
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Richard Pestinger

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I'm sorry for the apparent ding on a amp this modern and so hyped but you mean to say for the hundreds of modern day radios they could not afford a USB? So they do legacy support at the expense of modern radios? My Expert amp, Elecraft and IC-7600 had it. Now we have to buy an FTDI to 9-pin, another possible point of failure and RF entry point! Most modern computers do not have rs-232 ports. If you use the high quality FTDI interface your modern operating systems load it automatically. My Expert, Elecraft and ICOM 7600 all loaded seamlessly on my computer. 25 years as an IT and computer engineer I just don't understand the thinking. I suppose I will continue to get flamed over this.
Richard
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Your expert amp does not use the USB for CAT control. It uses a regular serial port.
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Zack Schindler - N8FNR

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The Elecraft KPA500 amp has a serial port too and does not have any USB ports.

Zack N8FNR

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Tim - G7GFW / F4VQP

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It is still possible to either buy a modern computer with RS232 ports - I bought one early last year. If you are using a motherboard with PCI slots, you can easily and cheaply but serial port cards.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Here's the deal. I'll list some new model amps and their control interfaces. You be the judge.


SPE Expert 1.3K-FA/1.5K-FA - serial RS232(15 pin port) . USB is only used for Windows control software and not CAT. Rig control is exclusively through the serial port.


Elecraft KPA1500 - serial RS232. Ethernet for some unknown purpose, probably remoting


RF-Kit B26-PA - serial Rs232 port, ethernet and wifi. It uses a raspberry pi and can be customized at will.


Flex/4O3A PowerGenius XL - ethernet for control via windows or android, control directly within SmartSDR. Serial port for legacy radios.


Clearly, PowerGenius XL leads the pack in terms of control options. It is (so far) the ONLY amp which can be fully controlled via Ethernet, the only on with direct SmartSDR support. But it also supports legacy radios via the serial port or BCD band changes. If you have a flex radio you do not need anything but an Ethernet cable to control it.


Ria
(Edited)
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Spe 1.5k has LAN and WiFi
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I doubt it has SmartSDR integration to the level of power genius XL. Did they say whether CAT would be over Ethernet as well? I didn't see it
(Edited)
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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I never said anything about SmartSDR, just correcting your list about the availability of LAN on amps... And interestingly WIFI (One less cable)
(Edited)
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Well that is good news then. I hope that the Ethernet interface can be used for rig control and they don't force you to use the serial ports as it is in the previous models.
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Mark - NU6X

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To clarify the connectivity of the B26-PA (RF2K+) linear,  it currently works great with the Flex radios just using the amps Ethernet connection to the LAN. No other cable is required.  The only requirement  at this time is that a PC must also be running somewhere on the LAN in order to run the software that feeds the required data to the RF2K+. There are plans to eliminate this requirement by adding software to the internal Raspberry Pi. 
   I love walking around my house with my Maestro controlling  my 6700 and the amp in a corner out of the way tracking the 6700.  
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Norm - W7CK

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The big plus for some folks will be the ability to install the PGXL and tuner in a transmitter building away from the primary operating position.  No RFI in the shack, shorter runs of coax, no excess noise or heat in the shack, etc., etc.

Back in the 70's and early 80's when I was in the Coast Guard, we had all of our gear in small air conditioned buildings (think shed) out at the base of the antennas.   The operators were about 1/4 mile away.  Everything was run remote and it worked very nicely.  No RFI in anything even though we were running 10kw.

I believe the PGXL, tuner and Flex 6000 is going to be one of the easiest to install and operate in this type of configuration.   I'm looking forward to seeing how people use this gear!
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I also like the idea of fewer wires. Just one ethernet cable, RF, power and you're good to go. 
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Varistor

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RFI in the shack won't go away by moving the amp away from the shack. The RFI is caused by poor matching of the antennas and inadequate common mode choking.

I run concurrently two 1500W amps and have never ever had RFI problems.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I agree. What you do get are reduced feedline losses.

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