PowerGenius XL - PTT Options?

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I plan on using a Palstar AT-Auto tuner between my antennas and the PowerGenius.  It will be used mainly for 40 meters to flatten the SWR.

Will it be possible to use the traditional PTT via the RCA jack along with the ethernet control connection?

I want the PTT to be interupted when the Palstar's motors are churning towards their predetermined position.

Thanks in advance.

Rich - N5ZC
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Rich - N5ZC

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Posted 2 years ago

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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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The PG XL has a RCA PTT in to accommodate non-Flex radios. You should be able to loop the TX-1 out on the Flex through the QRO connection on the AT-Auto to prevent amp keyup while the tuner is tuning.
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Rich - N5ZC

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Hi David,

My concern is the ptt signal via the ethernet control.  The spec's say that ptt is available along with other control information over the network. 

The question is can the ptt going over the network be turned off so I can do what you outlined.

Rich - N5ZC
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Chris DL5NAM

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why should the PTT signal for PA goes via ethernet? First time i hear that. Till today PTT for PA came from TRX and TRX get PTT command via CAT/LAN/WAN (or PC)
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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The idea of PTT over Ethernet allows for locating the amp a distance from the transceiver, possibly in an outbuilding at the base of a tower. You would only need the RF from the transceiver and have both connected to the network.

Extending the RCA PTT connection would be more difficult.

I am planning on having my amp about 15 feet from the operating position.

Dave wo2x
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Chris DL5NAM

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Dave, what is the problem with a 5 feet long RCA PTT connection cable? We have try a PTT cable with 150 feet - it works very well, it switch only to GND.

 I not like the idea for PTT switching via LAN. And if i have PA remote why not place TRX at same place remote .... the PPT cable will be again short :-)
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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At Orlando PTT was via RCA cable. I cannot say if the final product will allow choice of PTT or not. We will need input from Ranko or a Flex employee.
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km9r.mike

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Why not place amp in stby via software control, tune tuner with 20w from rig, then place amp in operate again via software control if the amp is remote. Of course you could do the same via the amp's touchscreen if only the tuner is remote.
(Edited)
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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His concern is if the tuner os in auto position it could trigger a retune while he is transmitting.
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Rich - N5ZC

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Mike,

That would work, but would defeat the 'auto' idea. 

I'm hoping the tuner won't be needed at all.  I have a JK Antennas 80m rotatable dipole and JK 4 element 40m beam shipping any day.  These antennas should provide an swr at or below 2.0:1 swr.  I'm good to go for 10 through 30 and 160.

I'll be back to the same issue on the 80m dipole as it has a Tornado tuner at the feed point which requires adjustment every 40 khz.  I'm hoping the http://www.tunematic.us/ will interface with the 6700 and the Tornado tuner which has the ptt option so the amp won't operate until a tuning cycle is complete.

So I'm back to the same question, If the ethernet ptt can't be turned off, I'll just have to be careful on 80m.

Rich - N5ZC
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Larry - WA7LZO

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Over the years, I have learned to go 100% with a single vendor for my HF station, such as Icom, using their transceiver and PW-1 amplifier, with its internal tuner, so I can get a seamless  and fully integrated solution. Yes, other non-Icom radios and/or tuners can be used, but so often this produces massive headaches and endless problems.

This problem about keying the transmitter, amplifier, and folding in the additional complexities and issues (potential collisions!) around the tuner are a perfect example of what I mean. I plan to use the Flex 6700, PG XL, and the PG Tuner. This way, everything will be guaranteed to work, including full remote capability. Once another vendor (3rd party, such as Palstar) is introduced into the equation, who knows what may transpire. Sure, they are saying other vendors or legacy equipment will also have available interfaces, but my experience has nevertheless always been that using a single vendor results in the most success, with the fewest number of headaches.

The Palstar is a very nice device. But, to put things into proper perspective, keep in mind the fully integrated approach entailing all Flex gear will likely approach $20k, all told, for the entire HF integrated radio system (not including the all important antenna system, of course). This would include a fully optioned-out 6700, the PG XL amp, and the PG Tuner. I assume pricing will continue to be be roughly $8k for the fully equipped 6700 (on sale) + about $8k for the PG XL amp, + roughly $4k for the PG Tuner = $20k, give or take  grand or two. With any luck, my $20k kitty will not have to be fully raided, but I'd rather set the bar high now, and not be challenged when the gear all becomes available, juxtaposed to being short on $'s when we see actual pricing. I believe this is a reasonable ballpark guesstimate for all 3 pieces of equipment. Therefore, I would not want to throw a monkey wrench into the entire works over trying to re-use and salvage the $1500 Palstar.

Perhaps putting the Palstar on eBay to recover what you can would make the most sense. This way, you will be guaranteed by one single vendor, Flex, to have a fully integrated solution that will surely work seamlessly, from all aspects.

IMHO, JM2C, and YMMV

Br,

Larry
WA7LZO 
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Rich - N5ZC

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Larry,

I agree with the single vendor station, makes things easier and seamless.

Problem is the PG Tuner doesn't exist yet so I need to have a plan in place while we wait for the product.

If my antenna upgrades go as planned over the next couple of months I shouldn't need a tuner in line at all, that would be the best scenario.

Rich - N5ZC
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Ranko 4o3a has said the acceptable SWR without a tuner is greater than usual, allowing up to 1:2.5 mismatch for the bare PowerGenius XL. 

Only my compromise 80m and 160m antenna are an issue, as everything else here should run without a coupler.

73

Steve K9ZW

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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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I am planning on running the 6700 with the PG-XL amp into the PalStar HF Auto, not the AT Auto. Using the W1TR software and DDUtil the HF Auto follows the radio frequency and can pre-tune, select the proper antenna (up to three antennas), and put the tuner inline or bypass depending on band segment, not just band.

This means putting the tuner into bypass for 10,12,15, 17, 20 & 40 and inline for 30 & 80 meters. Also selecting the 5 band Yagi or G5RV. The tuner can pre-tune without even keying the radio.

This setup will work great for my remote operating. I currently run remote with the Acom 2000A which I have the capability to power on & off and control via the Internet.

If/when the PG tuner comes to market I will consider getting it to replace the HF Auto but right now there is no definite on a timeframe for release or pricing.

73 Dave wo2x

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Larry - WA7LZO

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If the PG Tuner does not do all of this, and more, I will be deeply disappointed. And, it will be 100% integrated. I do not want to have to use a bunch of 3rd party software to tie everything together.

I vividly recall the outstanding video made by Steve Hicks, about 4 years ago, on this exact subject.

He talked about the existing typical Ham radio station paradigm entailing a rat's nest of wires, cables, and multiple vendors' software control systems, particularly when remote control was involved, spread all over the Ham shack operator's desk.This was the nature of trying to tie a lot of desperate ham radio gear together in an attempt to make everything sing in unison, let alone allow it to work remotely.

Steve said Flex's mission was to create a fully integrated station that would be entirely remotely controllable, from anywhere in the world, without the need for all this rat's nest of cables and multiple vendor 3rd party software systems. He envisioned that this way, he could work DX, whilst merrily tooling down the isles at his local grocery store, using his iPad balanced on his shopping cart handle, to remotely control everything. I'm paraphrasing here, but that was the gist of it.

I believe this vision continues to be where Flex still wants to go, using WAN, and through the use of their various hardware (e.g., SDR transceiver, amplifier, and tuner).

73,

Larry
WA7LZO
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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Official Response
There are two basic ways to do what you are trying to do. 1) keep PTT from keying the AMP while the tuner is tuning.  2) Prevent the flow of RF from the radio while the tuner is tuning.  Most people go to the first idea first, but the issue here is that the radio can still put out 40-50W which will go through the amplifier if it's PTT is not enabled.  I think the better way of doing this is to run a line from the Palstar to the FLEX-6000 TXREQ input line.  You will have to enable the input and set the polarity in SmartSDR or the Maestro.  Then when you key the radio, it will assert PTT which will tell everyone you want to transmit, but no RF will be emitted until the TXREQ line is released.  

The same goes for a SteppIR or anything that potentially is adjusting and needs to have RF held up until it is finished tuning. This is also how amplifiers can hold off RF if they need a longer time to key after receiving PTT.
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Rich - N5ZC

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Thanks Steve,  I had forgotten about TXREQ, I think that's a good solution.

Rich - N5ZC