QSK is disabled when using the ATU, is there a workaround?

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  • Problem
  • Updated 6 months ago
I'm having troubles - it seems that with the ATU "on" QSK is disabled.  I turn the ATU off, then switch to another mode back to CW to get QSK engaged again, and it works fine, but if I turn the ATU back on, QSK is disabled.  Keying is atrocious without QSK - loud relay, erratic TX/RX switching etc.  Reminds me of my old IC-735.

Is there a workaround for this?


Or better yet, a fix in the works from Flex?

Thanks

Bob KT8DX
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KT8DX

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  • Frustrated

Posted 6 months ago

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Joe N3HEE

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Yes, please see my response to your previous post. It is a well documented issue.
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Robert-KP4Y

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The QSK operation in the Flex 6000 series is messed up! Again, I can care less about QSK itself, but really want silent pin diode operation. See https://community.flexradio.com/flexr... sadest part is that it looks like fixing this is no a priority for FRS. Actually, they usually comment on most other issues but you won’t be able to find and official response on this one. It makes me wonder if it's a hardware limitation.


73,

Robert-KP4Y
(Edited)
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Joe N3HEE

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As I’ve stated in my previous posts, QSK was broken in version 2.4.9. I documented the issue and brought it to the attention of Flex. They immediately opened a bug tracker ticket for this issue and it will hopefully be addressed in version 2.5. This is a software issue. There is a workaround for it for those that want to use QSK.

To clarify the PIN diode QSK operation. They use a PIN diode for transmit path switching only. On recieve they use a reed relay. This is to improve recieve performance. Mainly to reduce signal distortion as the reed relay is a linear device. The reed relay is pretty quiet. You have to pay attention to hear it.

I find QSK operation is quite good once everything is set correctly. Search the community for my recommended QSK settings.

Joe
N3HEE
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Michael Walker, Employee

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Joe's comments are correct.

The reason that Flex does not use Pin diodes in the receiver chains is that they will introduce IMD products and IMD products are bad stuff.  

Mike



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Robert-KP4Y

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Joe and Michael, I’m well aware of your explanation,. The point is still the same, after talking to Steve and Matt from FRS at Hamcation, I’m skeptical this is something that FRS is currently trying to fix in version 2.5 as they were unaware of the issue. Hopefully, I’m wrong. In my case, I have to switch antennas back and forth in my 6600 to get QSK back on after turning off the ATU. It’s a little annoying!

73,
Robert-KP4Y
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Joe N3HEE

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I agree it's annoying Robert !  That's why I took the time to document and report it. It's on their radar.  It was confirmed to be an issue and assigned a bug tracker ID # 6684 on October 12, 2018. So hopefully it will be dealt with in the next version. -Joe N3HEE
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Bob Dianetti

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Sounds good Joe - and thanks for the info.  I'll make a note of the tracker ID number.  I did put a ticket in too before I started reading the forums here - I'll let you know what they say.  My workaround for right now is to use my old MFJ external manual tuner and bypass the internal ATU altogether.  I don't change frequencies or bands much so this isn't terrible, but I'm trying to go as "cable free" in my shack as possible.
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Bob Dianetti

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Update - they aren't going to fix it.  See the email I just got.  Unbelievable.

Bob,

When the transceiver is in QSK mode, reception occurs through the preselector board which is connected directly to ADC.  This provides the lowest loss path to the receiver ADC.  Transmission with the ATU enabled sends the RF from the PA and through the ATU before reaching the antenna connector.  To avoid the ATU loading the receiver (attenuating the received signal) during QSK reception, QSK is not available for single-antenna ATU operation.  If the ATU is required during QSK operation, a separate receive antenna port (such as RX-A, RX-B, XVTR-A or XVTR-B) must be employed.

Since your issue regarding this support ticket has been addressed, I am submitting your HelpDesk ticket to be closed. If you need additional assistance or have any follow up questions regarding this incident, you can re-open this ticket simply by replying. After 4 days you will need to open a new HelpDesk ticket.

Thanks for using the FlexRadio HelpDesk. We're here to help when you need us.

Tim Ellison, W4TME
Customer Experience Manager



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Robert-KP4Y

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Bob, I agree this is disappointing. Hopefully, they will fix the other issues associated with QSK operation other than the inability to operate it in parallel with the ATU.

For example, in my case I need to switch antennas in the 6600 to reset QSK. Also, the operational constrains on speed and delay are not consistent with the info on the op manual. Others have experience other bugs and Tim Ellison has admitted the application is broken.

73,
Robert-KP4Y
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Bob Dianetti

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I should have gone with an Elecraft.  My ham buddies all told me so.  I like to buy American but I didn't expect such a show stopper from Flex.
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WW1SS - Steve

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I have an Elecraft coming because of this. Be here Wednesday.
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Bob Dianetti

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Which model did you get?
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Chris DL5NAM

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..... so many running Flex TRX barefoot?
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WW1SS - Steve

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Used K3 with P3 all optioned out with new synthesizer.
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FRED W9TB

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I know Elecraft makes good stuff !  But I don't see how anyone can stand to look at that little..... ugly box.
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Ted VE3TRQ

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I presume you mean the P3. Yup, a P3 with a VGA card and a large monitor looks wonderful - until you have a Flex :-)