will not tx after out of band

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  • Updated 3 years ago
  • Solved
  • (Edited)
Hi, F6300, v1.8.30 with N1MM+, DDUTIL

Working in the IARU contest this weekend, a couple of times accidentally clicked on 40m spots above 7.2MHz (above my UK band plan and turf settings). The TURF stopped me being silly by not letting me TX out of band.

But, then it did something really silly itself. Even when I was back well inside the band plan it still refused to TX again. In something of a hurry I had to close SSDR and power cycle the F6300 again. Not a contest friendly problem.
 
73 de Steve G1XOW
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Steven G1XOW

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Posted 3 years ago

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Mike va3mw

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Are you sure that Split wasn't on and your transmitter was still out of band? It sounds like you may have been in a hurry and missed that.

Mike va3mw
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Steven G1XOW

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Hi Mike, no SSDR was not in split, only one slice, and one VFO.

I did try a couple of quick checks before rebooting but there was nothing obvious. The blue/red TX icon did not give any clues either, nor was TX showing as inhibited in transmit settings.

After 3 mins I'd wasted enough contest air time and rebooted. It happened 3 times over the 24 hour contest.
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K1UO - Larry

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Would a quick reload of your particular Band profile wok faster to get going again than a reboot?   I have no way to test your reported problem..  was just wondering if that would bring back the TX side also.

Regards

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Steven G1XOW

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Larry,
I need to do some more testing to be certain. Middle of a serious contest attempt was not the right time to suck-it-and-see!
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DrTeeth

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Hi Steve,

This story and another that I shall relate will show how Flex does their testing. I am not qualified to say how they can miss certain things.

A while baxk, when on 60m, I found I was thing out of band as the rig only took the carrier frequency into account and not the whole radiated signal. I forget what I had to do to get my rig to TX agn, I just recall that it did not involve a reboot of SSDR or moving to an allowed to ( but don't quote me).

"My" issue was fixed in a subsequent release.
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G8ZPX

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Official Response
Hi Everyone,

Whilst bored at work today I had a hunch about this problem. I did some testing to prove the theory and now have some sloppy egg on face!

I am happy to report it was not a fault with either the Flex 6k or SSDR.  In fact not a fault as such. Having too much tech around does complicate things and easy to make assumptions. 

My SteppIR controller is connected to the PC via DDUTIL and serial cable, making for a pretty quick re-tune on any band, even non-Ham bands.

Step 1) what was actually happening was that the SteppIR controller (being entirely tune-able across HF) was busy retuning itself from 7.120 to 7.268 after the first cluster click. Obviously SSDR knew I couldn't transmit there so didn't let me try. However, the SteppIR controller and DDUTL did not, so duly moved the antenna elements to where it should for 7.268MHz

Step 2) once I realized I had clicked an out of band spot, I then clicked the panadaptor back on to 7.120MHz but still no TX....why?...cos the SteppIR was once again busy retuning back to 7.120 and had engaged the TX interlock to prevent me TXing into a moving element at QRO power....doh!

Due the element lengths, a retune on 40m takes a fair bit more time than the upper HF bands,  I therefore probably would not have seen a "problem" on the higher bands, and there also tends to be far fewer out of band spots too.

Sorry FRS not your problem this time, pretty glad really as it was just the tech being too smart. I blame 24 hours without sleep and babbling like an insane monkey to 1,360 total strangers.

74 de Steve G1XOW
(Edited)
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W7NGA

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No worries Steven ... we've all done something similar!

W7NGA dan
Pont Aven, France
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km9r.mike

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Excellent post Steve. Curious, does slice flag TX symbol illuminate red while the steppIR is tuning or does DDutil command a color change during the event ? Also was just wondering what is the wait time for changing from say 20m to 40m ?
(Edited)
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Steven G1XOW

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Hi Mike,

No the SSDR TX symbol does not change. More informative would have been useful, a flashing RED for example.

The TX lock-out is actually a function of DDUTIL not SSDR. Its under the SteppIR setup section. It looks like all it does is to invoke a temporary TX inhibit state.

DDUTIL displays a message in red to that effect but in a contest scenario DDUTIL is minimized to reduce the overload of screen clutter already needed in N1MM+. Something more prominent is required, an audible bleep even.

Changing from say 20m to 40m takes about 30 seconds I guess (seems like forever during a contest) much less for the other bands.

73 de Steve G1XOW
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@Steve

In contests unless you are planning to do a lot of band changes it's wiser to turn off SteppIR auto tune and disable the TX inhibit in DDUTIL I normally tune my SteppIR to the midpoint of the operating range of the band I am working. While the SWR would be perfect, it's still low enough that I can run my amp without engaging it's tune.
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Steven G1XOW

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Howard, agreed but I was in mult-chasing mode at the time, so chopping bands often.

It defeats the huge benefits of auto-amps, auto-antenna and auto-switching if we have to disable those functions in high stress contest situations. This is probably the time when you really need those functions to perform, so that we are able to concentrate on collecting points/mults, and not worrying about manually tweaking the station.

A bit like having and dog and still needing to bark yourself!
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Steve G1XOW - I am not sure if you know or not, but if the radio ever fails to transmit, the  icon at the bottom right-hand corner of the SSDR console will indicate an issue.  If you do a mouse over on the icon, it will provide you the details of why the radio is not transmitting.  In your cause, it would have indicated an interlock was preventing transmit.
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Steven G1XOW

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@Tim,

Yes I appreciate that and have needed to use it before for debugging reasons. But in normal use (or a contest situation) a more clear and obvious "in ya face" indicator is required. I suggest a flashing red TX icon as it would be hard to miss. Hiding a status message or fault code behind a mouse over is far from ideal.

Its a bit like a fault light on the dashboard of your car, it needs to be in your face, not a label under the hood!

73 de Steve G1XOW
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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I am certain TX Not Ready indicator was on and colored red and on when the TX interlock was engaged

I appreciate your feedback and will pass it on to the development team, but the overwhelming response we have received over the years regarding the GUI design is to simplify and keep it "clean".  In that regard, we have chosen to limit visual elements such as pop-up windows that require acknowledgment to close, flashing indicators and showing less frequently used controls on the 1st level screen.  We have also chosen to show details for status messages and other annunciators by using tooltips (mouse over messages) to provide a more uniform look, feel and user experience for the SmartSDR GUIs.
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Ken - NM9P

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Sounds like an API application someone could make...
Nag-me-SDR.....a window with valuable info in digital form, such as power supply input voltage, power out, SWR, Reflected Power, TX active status, Which slice is active, which slice is set to TX, etc...

And optional click-boxes could be set to activate a red flashing warning of the Nag-Me window for active warning notifications.....such as SWR shut down, TX Inhibit active when attempting to transmit, low power supply voltage, etc. perhaps with a flashing warning bar....perhaps by turning the background of the Nag-Me window red (or another preferred color for those who need it.

Any takers? I haven't gotten that far in my studies of C# to take this up, yet.
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G8ZPX

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Ken & Tim.

I would certainly like to see a status panel as Ken describes within SSDR, and it deserves the same screen space as the equalizer panel, which incidentally I have not used in the last 12 months. The control panel needs to be a "pick & mix" affair allowing the user to display the set of attributes they regard as important to them and their operating mode/style, not simply what makes it look pretty.

DDutil provides some of that basic info already, where SSDR does not. But surely we don't want to encourage yet more growth outside of the core product simply to compensate for the lack of information and user feedback within it.

Keeping SSDR sleek and sexy at the expensive of practical functionality, and therefore usability is not something I want to see.

"Form over Function" may be great for car body designers, but this is a highly sophisticated electronic system that demands good user feedback and interaction.  If Boeing and Airbus can produce glass cockpits that provide tons more information to the pilots without clutter and eye/brain overload then so can SSDR.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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I recommend you repost this as an Idea post so others can comment on it.
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km9r.mike

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@ g1xow

Hi Steve,

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.. I am giving SteppIR strong consideration and I am completely unfamiliar with their product and how it interfaces w/ SSDR. I fully understand though about fatigue and heat of the battle and decision making. Thanks again.
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km9r.mike

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Dooopelganger strikes again  : )
(Edited)

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