PowerGenius Tuner

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  • Updated 11 months ago
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Has the tuner debuted at the Flex Booth.  If yes how about a pic.

Thanks

Rich - N5ZC
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Rich - N5ZC

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Posted 2 years ago

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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Exhibition prototype shown.

Ranko said it will be controlled via the amp's touchscreen.

73

Steve
K9ZW
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Larry - WA7LZO

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Any pics of the Tuner?
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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When I get some connectivity I'll put one up.
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Larry - WA7LZO

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Thanks, Steve!
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David Orman

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Sounds great Steve, thank you! If you took pictures of the FRS booth/gear in general, they would all be appreciated.

How wide ranging is this tuner?
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Lash up for the show. Final unit will differ.

73

Steve
K9ZW
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philip.theis, Elmer

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Love the use of N connectors.
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Tim VE6SH

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My understanding is the tuner will now come with the Power Genius ordered in 2017.

Tim VE6SH
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Larry - WA7LZO

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Steve,

Will it fit inside of the PG XL amp?

Thanks!

Larry
WA7LZO
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Tuner is separate and not part of the amp.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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@Tim - I understood that ones delivered in 2017 would include the tuner.

The kit to remote the tuner is an optional extra.

@Larry - Ranko said it would fit behind the tuner rather than under it.

73

Steve
K9ZW
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Chuck Smith

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No ones put on order ($1K down) in 2017 will get the Tuner, not delivered in2017
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Tim VE6SH

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Yes. I should have said delivered. And yes i understood it would fit behind the amp with an option to remote.

Tim VE6SH
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Rich - N5ZC

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What's with the 3 knobs sticking up towards the back of the unit?

Rich - N5ZC
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Doug - W5WTX

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The prototype FLEX tuner has three coax connectors.  Do you know if that is 1-in / 2-out or 2-in / 1-out?  Have not seen that question posed or answered.

Doug - W9PN/5


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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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I don't recall if they were labeled. 

The unit was one of their "test mules" prettied up as a "lash up" for the show according to Ranko.

Would look to the production unit spec for connectivity.

BTW there was a fourth control - the red "stick" button that was brought up through the cover and signs of possibly a few more that were not brought out on this show display unit.

Hoping that Ranko 4o3a will post more information and pictures of a unit closer to the ones we will see with the PowerGeniusXLs when they deliver.

73

Steve K9ZW

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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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One in, two out
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Burch - K4QXX

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The only bummer about the tuner is it will only tune 3:1 SWR from what I have been told.  
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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@Burch - That was the rating for the amp Without the Tuner. I think Ranko had quite a number circa 9:1 with the tuner inline.

Wish I had a better 80m and 160m antenna option, as I need a tuner only for those two bands due to compromised antenna sizes.

73

Steve
K9ZW
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Burch - K4QXX

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I emailed Flex sales on May 31st and asked about the tuner and they said 3:1. I hope that is not correct but that's what I was told.  I still have the email I received.
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Rich - N5ZC

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I think I read the tuner will handle 4:1 and the amp will handle 2.5:1 without a tuner.

Rich - N5ZC
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Correct - my typo mistake as 4:1 and 2.5:1 are correct.

https://community.flexradio.com/flexr...

Thanks for catching my mistake.

73

Steve
K9ZW
(Edited)
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mikeatthebeach .

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Note to the SWR limits

Lesson's learned by SPE the Hard Way !

SPE 2K-FA SWR Tuner is about 3:1 ( say about 2.7:1 now), You must
watch out, SPE started with the 1K-FA years ago with ( 3:1 ) & lost many amps
due to High Voltage breaking down the Internal Antenna Tuner 
Caps and Filters at High SWR's until they up the Voltage Ratings 
on the capacitors

Many PA deck's blew up !!!

Almost sunk SPE Amps back then until they fixed the problem with the 1K-FA 
and implemented new designs in their new 2K-FA and 1.3KFA

At extreme phase's and SWR's Part's get hot, like the Toroid's, start to
crack to high currents and the Cap's breakdown

So, I hope they bullet proof the Tuner Genius otherwise it could be damaging 
to itself and the Power Genius XL Amp.
(Edited)
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mikeatthebeach .

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The Palstar HF Auto with it's Auto Air-Inductor and Air Cap
really handle 1.5Kw out where the other tuners are tuned only at driver levels
< 100 watts ( Like SPE ), then preset at fixed positions before 1.5Kw is applied.

SPE nevers tunes at 1.5Kw out, that will destroy their Tuner !!
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Burch - K4QXX

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Tim, can you confirm the SWR range for the tuner?  The other thread said 4:1 but when I emailed Flex sales they said 3:1.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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The FAQ quotes "The TunerGenius S will tune 15 to 200 ohms at 2 kW." which would be a 4:1 VSWR.  If I learn otherwise, I'll update the FAQ and make a point to add something to this post.
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Burch - K4QXX

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Ok, thanks
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Rich - N5ZC

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So if 4:1 is the rating at 2kw, Maybe its a bit better at 1.5kw.

Rich - N5ZC
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Burch - K4QXX

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The new elecraft amp includes a tuner but it is only 3:1 at 1500 watts.  Their brochure says the range is better at lower power levels so maybe that is the case with the Power Genius.  I guess I am spoiled with my cheap MFJ auto tuner as it has a range of 20-1600ohms.  It's good to 1500 watts.  Of course it took me two tries to get one that works! :)
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HCampbell WB4IVF

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I doubt that there is much consistency among most published autotuner specs, so comparing them may be apples and oranges.  For example, my LDG is advertised as being capable of matching a 10:1 SWR, but sometimes can’t get a match at much lower SWR (especially on the low bands).   I’ve heard the same about other brand autotuners.  When my LDG can’t get a match I have to switch in my manual tuner.  I suspect some claimed SWR numbers are "best case", and the real SWR limits could be lower depending on the complex impedance encountered, frequency, power level, etc.  Possibly the Tuner Genius is spec’d more conservatively than others.

Howard
(Edited)
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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ATU specs are usually done with purely resistive loads.  Once you start presenting the tuner with really "squirrely" reactance, then that is when things get really interesting.  With a "quantized" tuner (as opposed to variable capacitance and impedance) if you are in between step values, you may not get a good match.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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There's only so much you can do with toroidal inductors before they begin to saturate. At some point you have to go to roller inductors and that is more expensive and complicated (motors). So most tuners will be 3:1.
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HCampbell WB4IVF

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Thanks Tim and Ria!  I’ll probably go with the Flex tuner due to its integration with Power Genius  - not to mention it coming free with the Genius!  (-:

BTW for anyone who’s interested, here’s an excellent article on autotuners by Adam Farson that I found helpful when I got back into the hobby several years ago and was trying to catch up on progress since I became inactive:

http://www.ab4oj.com/atu/main.html

Howard

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Ned K1NJ

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     Will a weather-proof enclosure be made available for the tuner?

   Ned, K1NJ
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Varistor

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I really don't understand why would anyone prioritize a fairly expensive amplifier before proper antennas and matching at the feed point. Can some please explain why you would not want to build good antennas and instead would rather use a tuner?

I get it that many hams have significant space restrictions, but even then there are plenty of good options for single or multi-band resonant antennas that can deliver SWR under 2. A well built OCF- a compromise antenna by all standards- can do better than 2:1.

IMHO, using an amp with antennas that have SWR higher than 2:1 makes no sense and is a waste of money.
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Richard McClelland, AA5S

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Point taken.  Would you include a delta loop in the list of undesirable antennas?  I have one that has good SWR on some bands and pretty atrocious SWR on others.  This seems like a reasonable use case for a tuner with an amp, presuming that I were to use an amp, which I don't.
(Edited)
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Varistor

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Is this a horizontal delta fed in one of the corners? If so, why not build several deltas that share the same feed point?

If this is a classic delta, vertically oriented with a feed point 1/3 along one of the sides, I'd argue you have the space for other resonant antennas.

These days we are very blessed with zillions of books on antenna design. There is always a way.
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Richard McClelland, AA5S

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I'd like to solve my antenna problem by buying 5 acres and putting up an Optibeam log periodic for 14 to 28 mhz, a full sized horizontal delta loop for 1.8 to 10 mhz and remoting a v2.0 Flex at the base.  I just spent what seems like enough to do that on three weeks in Tahiti with my family, so maybe this will need to wait for another time :-)
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HCampbell WB4IVF

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We’ve got acreage but it’s taken up by my beverages, much to my wife’s chagrin.  I can just see her face when I tell her I just found out I need to cram in yet more antennas to achieve ”complete resonance”!    (-:

Howard

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Varistor

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It all boils down to making tradeoffs.

The horizontal full size loop is a great cloud burner. That is, unless very high above the ground, it shoots straight up. Its purpose has always been to cover well the skip zone.

Further, the horizonantal loop is best fed with either open line followed by a balun and a tuner or with a remote tuner at the feed point.

So the tradeoff that I am referring to is whether or not one would spend all that money on essentially local ragchewing. As different people get different enjoyment out of ham radio the answer will depend on your own goals.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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If you have a beam on 40 meters (except a SteppIR, which I have) then it will likely be tuned to the CW or phone portion but not both. The tuner makes up for that. I also have a vertical on 80m which is resonant on the CW portion but I have to use the tuner on SSB.

Also during a contest anything can happen...
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Varistor

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The laws of physics apply equally to all of us. The coax acts as a transformer so a 1:1 match at the tuner does not equal 1:1 match at the antenna feed line...unless of course you cut it to the specific electric length. That is, your tuner in the shack does nothing to improve the match at the antenna which is the one match that really matters.

There is a good reason why antenna analyzers should be calibrated for the length and type of your coax before you do any measurements.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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This is exactly why the tuner genius is engineered so it can be at the antenna end, base of the tower etc. 

But what a tuner does is allow my transceiver and amplifier to output full power and not shut down due to protection. Otherwise I have no need for it. 

Put another way - an antenna that has a slight mismatch is still almost as good as a perfectly matched antenna. Except that my transceiver and amplifier refuses to transmit into it for fear of damage. Tuner solves that. 
(Edited)
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Larry - WA7LZO

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Hi Ria,

Does your SteppIR give you a near perfect 1:1 match if you take the time to tune it for any given operating freq, even when making fairly small movements in freq, such as when moving from the CW portion to the phone portion of any particular band?

Just curious, as I am considering buying the SteppIR DB-42, and figure if I take the time to tune for each freq, I may not need a tuner. I don't do contests, and the like, so I have no need to move fast when changing freqs.

Thanks!

Br,
Larry
WA7LZO
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Hi Larry,

The antenna will be matched and it won't matter if you move a little. If you move from CW to phone, however, it will be mismatched a bit, I would say 2:1 on 40 phone when it's tuned to the CW portion. However, why not just put a CAT cable and use the tuning relay to unkey your amp when QSYing? Auto switching frequency is a dream. No fiddling with the controller, no mistakes either! Just QSY and wait for it to finish.

Ria
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Larry - WA7LZO

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Nice! Sounds like a fully automatic solution!

Larry
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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The best way to control it at current is DDUtil. You can set it to follow the transmit slice and you can do 180, bi-dir and fwd, retract and calibrate. REally good stuff.
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Larry - WA7LZO

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Ria, do you know if Flex has said if this particular SteppIR control logic might be incorporated and integrated into a future sw release? 
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I don't know. It would probably good for them to do it though. 

Publicly they haven't said anything of the sort. 
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@Larry.

I have had a SteeppIR MonstIR (seriial #1) since 2005. It covers 80M to 6M and EVERY band in between including 60M

With a bit of work setting it up by band and tower height (Height does affect patterns/SWR due to interaction with nearby objects) I can get very close to 1:1

I Have NEVER used a tuner or ATU with it even in Contests Run full power on an SPE 2K-FA and it barely gets hot.

I use DDUTIL Because the Flex USB control only gives Band data which is not sufficient for my purposes to control the antenna. DDUTIL always forward and reverse,direction, calibration and retraction of elements.

In contests Reversing the antenna almost instantly by pushing a button and not having to wait for rotation is worth a lot of extra Q's.

I also assembled and installed the DB-42 Serial #1 for WA3IHV. Great antenna as well.
(Edited)
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Lucas - W6AER

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Looks like it has been a year since the last post, any news on the Tuner? Possible Availability?
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HCampbell WB4IVF

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From the 11/2/2018 PG XL Insider:

“Since we have been primarily focused on delivering the amplifier, work on Tuner Genius has been temporarily delayed. Once we resume production shipment flow, we will return to completion of testing and production roll out of the tuner.”

Howard

(Edited)
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Lucas - W6AER

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Thanks, I think there is a lot of interest in this product so hopefully they will resume soon on it now that it appears the amp is ready again to roll out. I would love to see perhaps ethernet on it much like the Antenna Genius to allow for remote or out of the way installation perhaps, not sure what the plans are but can't wait.
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HCampbell WB4IVF

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According to the specs the tuner will be controllable via LAN or CAT, so I think you’ll be happy with it, at least in that regard.  But I wouldn’t at all be surprised if testing and fixes/tweaking extend well into next year.  The tuner is where the rubber meets the road, and I’m sure it’ll have some well-tested protections to help keep us out of trouble.  (-:

  Howard
(Edited)
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K1UO - Larry

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I would expect to see a more refined "pre-release" unit displayed at Dayton next Spring.
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HCampbell WB4IVF

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That’s pretty much what I’m expecting.  I imagine a reliable autotuner closely integrated with Flex radios, capable of remote and standalone ops, with good safeguards will take a lot of time to test and tweak to get right.  Especially the safeguards, since there appear to be a lot of fearless ones out there. (-:

Howard
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Larry - WA7LZO

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Guys, I think we may be spinning our wheels just a little bit here. Let's pls give Flex an adequate amount of quality time, whatever it may take, to first and foremost get the PGXL amp working like a champ. After the PGXL Killer Amp is 100% good-to-go, then Flex can do the next project on their to do list, the PG Tuner. In the meantime, let's not rush them. They've got plenty on their plate right now with tweaking-up the amp. Like a lot of you, my plans include both the PGXL amp and the Tuner, but I can certainly operate the amp with alternate tuners, until such time down the road that Flex rolls out their awesome PG Tuner. I'd like to let Flex keep their head down to the grindstone, focused like a laser on the PGXL amp, and then, and only then, turn their attention to the Tuner. Let's keep in mind they do not have 1,000 employees working for them like Icom, which is probably why Flex can afford to be so extremely creative, in the first place. Everything has trade-offs.For my money, I will gladly trade some extra amount of needed quality development time on the PGXL amp to ensure excellent delivered product quality, right out of the starting gate, juxtaposed to having to go back to the drawing board.