PowerGenius XL amplifiers, manual?

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I looked through the manual from the downloads on the 403A web site, this is what I understand about it,,,any thoughts?

I just downloaded and printed the PGXL Quick Start Guide AND the Owner's Manual. The Guide is 23 pages and the Manual is 27 pages. One of the biggest things I noticed when reading both manuals is that the PGXL software runs OUTSIDE the Flex Software. When using the amp, it has to be turned on in standby. The radio software has to be opened, then the PGXL software is opened and it finds the radio and the PGXL!

Neither manuals show a ground lug! Both manuals show a picture of the back of the PGXL AND identify every component.

The RF power bar graph red-lines after 1 KW. That's interesting!

For people using the Flex Radio and the PGXL, it will take 10 minutes to get everything up and running!

Every time the PGXL is turned-on , the fans go to max speed for a period of time to "blow-out the internal dust"!
That's got to be rough on the fan motors.

The manual refers to the input AC power as 110 or 220 Volts. The industry standard today is 120 and 240 Volts.
One of the pictures in the manuals shows the input voltage at 239 Volts. That surely exceeds their 220 Volts as stated.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Posted 10 months ago

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k3Tim

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"The RF power bar graph red-lines after 1 KW."

 Isn't that 10KW ?
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Yes it looks to be 1800W red line, I think
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4O3A Signature

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Blue up to 1kW, Orange from 1-1.5kW and red >1,5kW
We will have some bar graphs change in new firmware version, after we set up final APC threshold
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4O3A Signature

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Regarding AC power line voltage, PG XL will operate from 90V to 250VAC, whatever standard it is. Display shows real voltage on power line and it was 239V in our Lab in time when we made a screen shots.
Ground lug exist, but is missing from rear panel. Will fix it. Thanks.

73
Ranko
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K1UO - Larry

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Write a replyper the manual...  Flex starts throttling back the power at the 1800 watt mark :)
" Automatic Power Control
Automatic power control is a system to reduce output power once it exceeds a preset threshold. The default factory threshold is set to 1800W. When peak power goes above 1800W APC will activate. The APC label will appear and power reading will turn red. Reduce drive power to have a total output power less then 1800W in order to deactivate the system. APC system was designed to prevent damage to the amplifier. "
Unless of course the SWR detected by the APC circuit is high enough to start throttling back the power sooner.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I understand Flex is working on their side of the manual now.
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4O3A Signature

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Larry,

we have to describe APC in manual a bit more clear, that's true. Chapter 5.1. Power derating overview has to be completely changed. Will do it in next few days.

Automatic power control is a system to reduce output power once it exceeds a preset threshold (Overdrive). The default factory threshold is set to 1800W ( Will be changed to higher value in next firmware version) . Reduceing drive power to have a total output power less then 1800W will deactivate the system.
It will reduce Vdd, or change some Bias parameters, but your amplifier will keep running with 1800W.
One of main goals in designing PG XL was to keep amplifier running in case of overdrive, higher SWR or temperature, with less power, until it reboot in normal state.
Protections are active only in case of dangerous conditions.

I hope it is more clear now, and thanks to Alpha team for helping us in reviewing draft manual.

73
Ranko
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Steve Gw0gei

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So it's a 1500w amp and will not give 2kw on hf and 6m like the expert 2kw. I would hope that there will be a new 2.x version of ssdr coming out when the amps are shipping, which will control the amp. I presume (dangerous I know) that the stand alone power genius software is for people buying the amp who don't have a flex radio. Bit like my antenna genius, which has its own standalone app running on the desktop, which can be used instead of controlling the antenna genius from ssdr - oh wait, we are still waiting for that integration to be brought into ssdr. It seems like waiting is a feature of modern ssdr radios - my 6300 is back in its box, awaiting a solution to frequent random crash issue which has acknowledged to be an ssdr bug. Another contest last night with my ic7300 went well with a top five finish on 160m. I guess we will be using the 7300 again for multi one in cqww cw. I hope once all of this new hardware is in full production frs will get back to ssdr development and will deliver some of the promised integration as well as the outstanding bugs.

73.
Steve gw0gei / gw9j
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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As Tim said, assume nothing. The amps are in testing now. There will be changes and the goal is turn-key integration with SmartSDR and clean full legal limit (1.5kw) key down for RTTY contesting. So, for now, please QRX. 
(Edited)
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4O3A Signature

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Steve, to be correct with figures, Expert 2K can't run 2kW. It has 6xMRF151G. Even in their manual is written - if it is 100% duty cycle,  it will run in Mid range, what is 1200W. I saw on their boot that AMP after 10s decrease power to Mid range level.
Few words about PG XL's output power. We set APC to 1800W as initial threshold level in first batch. APC is really unique solution built in PG XL, and it will reduce output power in case of overdrive, without switching amplifier in Stby. It was the main point.
We will set APC on 2000W, or even more on some bands after we finish all hard testing and measuring. It will be one of future firmware updates. 
Our App is used to create connection with radio, Flex or any other, or to change settings. App is not mandatory for amp's functionality.
Integration with Flex should be done already. Tim/Gerald, am I right?

We are looking forward for your comments and feed back, and will do our the best to integrate most of it.


73
Ranko
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Steve Jones

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Hi Ranko, thanks for the information. I owned an expert 2kw so I know it will not do full duty. It was clean to around 1800w on ssb but had no restriction preventing people running them higher than 2kw - like the uk dealer who showed a picture of it running 2.2kw on 6m when he was selling them!  Its good to know that you are putting in some control to prevent them being over driven.  Is the app similar to the one I have running the antenna genius? it works well in auto and manual mode with my flex 6300. Unfortunately I have had to retire my 6300 from contesting due to the random disconnect problem, but the switch works well with the ic7300 too. I look forward to learning more about the amp and its integration with the 6000 radios soon. 73 Steve gw0gei / gw9j
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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Steve, the "random disconnect" problem was fixed some months ago in SmartSDR v2.0.17 and then in v1.11.
Gerald
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Let me clarify Gerald's statement.  There can be numerous reasons why a radio's firmware can crash. The recent releases of 1.11 and 2.0 have made a significant improvement in the incident rate of radio firmware crashes.  And if a particular person's issue was addressed in those releases, then their crashes were positively affected. However, there are still some who are reporting firmware crashes.

We are still actively investigating the lingering issues where the radio firmware stops running and hopefully, we'll get feedback that will allow us to address the root cause of these additional crashes.
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Steve Jones

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Noted Tim, and unfortunately for some of us its got worse since moving to 1.11. On 1.10.160, and after a full new install on the new w10 machine, I was going weeks without a disconnect on rx or tx. Since moving to 1.11 I get a disconnect on rx every three to four days of the radio being on 24/7 and during the first two hours of cqww ssb I had two disconnects on the 6300, which meant I had to take 15 mins out to swap it out for the 7300 for the rest of the weekend. Its now back in its box until there is new firmware / ssdr to try it again. I am happy to test any new versions, as I have nothing to lose here - cannot trade it as dealers don't want it, and cannot sell it myself as everyone is waiting for the 6400. 73 Steve gw0gei / gw9j
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Steve, I am fully aware of the situation and it is one I am actively working to provide our engineering team data needed to address the issue.  This particular type of incident, being random in nature with no reproducible procedure to make the crash happen makes finding root cause particularly challenging. I appreciate your offer for testing possible fixes.  I will definitely take you up on it.
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Justin - KL2D

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Anyone know what the actual power connector on the back is? It says in the manual from 4O3A that it comes with a C13 plug with pigtail, but the image on the websites and in the manual looks like a C20 on the back of the amp which would require a C19 plug.... 

Can any of the alpha testers confirm which its? The main difference is either vertical flat blades (C13/C14) or horizontal flat blades (C19/C20).

Justin
KL2D



(Edited)
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4O3A Signature

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My apologize for lot of mistakes we have in draft manuals. As you know, English is not our native  language and it will be revised with Flex/Alpha team.
AC power connector is C-13, for 20A of current. C20 was on Beta units and it left on rendering by mistake. We will change it.
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Justin - KL2D

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No worries, thank you for the update!!!

I would say, at least for myself, this is strictly enthusiasm for the new amp and in no way should be taken as criticism.

Thanks for all the hard work going into this new product!

73

Justin
KL2D
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4O3A Signature

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Thank you Justin for support. We put a lot of enthusiasm into it, indeed. And it is pleasant when you have support

73
Ranko
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Matt (K0KB)

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There is this... :/

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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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One would think future editing and translation would hone the manual into accurately reflecting the actual amp, software and expected performance?


The download is “Version 0” rather than a production release.


As for capabilities and levels of output where safeguards are enabled the present “Version 0” release descriptively is open to interpretation. If certainly doesn’t reflect the pessimistic interpretation that output has been throttled back some 10-25% from the promoted target.


Wondering if use with a Flex-6000 will have a number of configuration options that coordinate in different ways? And if a roll-out if all options would be ready?


Thinking we may see interface options using:


- 4o3a Windows Native Software in suite with other 4o3a software/hardware

- Hardware Band Control alone

- USB Hardware Band Control, again alone

- SmartSDR based integrated Control

- DDUtil based middleware-Control

- And perhaps others?


Looking really cool from “Version-0” documentation nonetheless!


Will be personally very interested in how the various parts all come together, especially as alternatives are thin on the ground and/or offer their own special issues to work around.


I’m also very interested in how the various 4o3a products end up working with each other. And what the antenna coupler/tuner looks like!


73


Steve

K9ZW
(Edited)
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NX6D Dave

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Here's a close-up from the back-panel photograph.  It looks like a C20 socket to me.

The documentation has a number of errors of this sort.  We're working to fix them up right now.

I have questions open to them right now about the power supply.  I "think" it is a large switching supply that will accept anything from 120 to 240 volts, 50 or 60 Hz, but that is only my guess.  I'm waiting to hear something definite on this.
(Edited)
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Justin - KL2D

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I was thinking that looked like a C20 as well... 

Anyway, I guess we will all find out shortly. ;-) 

Justin 
KL2D
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NX6D Dave

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Later in the day we learned that the image in the draft docs is a generated image and is in error WRT the power socket. It actually is a C13/C14.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Official Response
That is a DRAFT version of the manual.  We are working on the production version of it as I write this.  Please make no assumptions until we can get the updated manual online.  Thanks.
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Richard

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Tim,

The Manuals for the 6600M Series are available on the WEB Site.  Someone in Flex does not have a PDF of the Present Day Manual?  Can this be posted as part of  the PowerGenius Product Page, like the 6600M?

Richard Griest - N4RWG (WB4VMH)
Still waiting for Delivery Call......  ;)
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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The final manual for the Power Genius XL is still being worked on. It's not publicly available yet. 
(Edited)
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Tom

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In the production version of this manual I expect to find out more about interfacing Flex 6000 series radios and other radios with PG Precorrection input. I am very interested to see how this option will work.

Tom
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Precorrector is simply the -60dBc output for adaptive predistortion. Eventually this feature will be coming to Flex-6000 radios, as it is under development. It will significantly improve transmit IMD. But even without this, the PG XL is supposed to be better than a lot of other solid state amps out there when it comes to IMD. The team at Sky Sat have taken great care to do this.
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Tom

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Thanks for your update, Ria. Here is an interesting presentation from OM Warren, NR0V:   http://anan-100d.wdfiles.com/local--files/home%3Ahome/PureSignal_Public.pdf

Tom, SP7WT
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WH6HI - Pat

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Was looking at the pre production manual and noticed that the main power switch is on the back of the unit will it be on the back on the production unit? If it is this for me is unacceptable. There needs to be a way to shut down quickly that is available on the front of the amplifier. My guess would be that on/off could be accommodated by using a 3 to 5 second hold on the standby/operate button to power down. Please clarify.
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4O3A Signature

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Hi Pat,
Stby state is actually OFF. Only one smal 24V power supply remain, mother board with LAN port and display. Main power supply is switched off. Amplifier can be in Stby mode endless period of time.

Hope it helps.

73
Ranko
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WH6HI - Pat

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Thanks, for clarifying how it works.

Pat
(Edited)
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AC9S

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" One of the biggest things I noticed when reading both manuals is that the PGXL software runs OUTSIDE the Flex Software. When using the amp, it has to be turned on in standby. The radio software has to be opened, then the PGXL software is opened and it finds the radio and the PGXL! "


I assume the amp can be run standalone with radios other than the Flex,  By standalone I mean without a computer running.  Is there no frequency counter band switching like in Elecraft?

Thanks,


Keith - AC9S


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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I can't answer as to the frequency counter. 

I do know that there is also manual filter switching possible using pin to pin so at a very primitive level you can have switching per band from any radio that can close a circuit for each band position. 
(Edited)
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NX6D Dave

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If I understand Keith's comment correctly, the software you refer to is the amplifier configuration/monitoring tool.  When the amp is used with a FLEX radio, that software is only needed to configure the amp to run with the FLEX, and to monitor the amp, if you choose to. Once the amp is configured, the software isn't needed unless you need to change the configuration.  Note that SmartSDR and Maestro will perform most of the same monitoring tasks and the STBY/OPER switching.  If you don't want to put a copy of the amp front panel on a computer screen, then you don't need the software.  This interface program is not used to run the amp routinely.

The amp needs to know the band the radio is transmitting on.  When run by a FLEX, that information comes through the LAN connection along with the PTT signal.  As the transmitter changes bands, the amp follows along. The amp is (or will be) fully integrated with SmartSDR and fully automatic.

When operated by other radio models, the amp still needs band information.  It can be provided by a CAT connection from the radio to the amp, by a CI-V connection from some Icom radios to the amp, by a conventional 4 bit BCD connection from the radio to the amp and by a pin per band connection.  Any of these will do.  PTT signaling is provided by a conventional PTT connection (RCA) from the radio to the amp.

The amp firmware, the configuration tool and SmartSDR are works in progress.  I don't know if the amp hardware has the ability to count the incoming signal and set the band, or if that feature could or will be implemented in the firmware.  It's still a very new product.
(Edited)
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NX6D Dave

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Before someone points it out, yes, the interface program would be needed to switch the amp in and out of OPERATE mode, and to monitor its operation, if the amp was at a remote location.  The interface program can't be used to turn the power on and off, and can't be used to select the band, but would still be needed in a remote operation if the radio driving the amp was not a FLEX.
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4O3A Signature

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Most of radios have BCD or Pin To Band outputs and it is most common way for interfacing. CAT also.
We will have manual band switching in one of coming firmware versions.

73
Ranko
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4O3A Signature

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You are correct Dave. Yes, if the radio driving the amp is not a FLEX. App is needed for remote operation.

Ranko