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HL2 tx issues

tokio
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2020 4:18 am

Re: HL2 tx issues

#21

Unread post by tokio »

Hi Group,

A couple of weeks ago, I purchased HL2. And for the first time I started to use SDR Console. My first impression about SDRC is one word; AMAZING.
SDRC works very fine with HL2. However I cannot well manipulate TX capability of SDRC with HL2.

1) In option PA enabled, I can get 5W output by Tune. During Tune, TR relay is chattering.
2) In option PA disabled, I cannot get 16-17dBm from RF1 port as stated by HL2 Wiki. So, I can not drive my 100W amplifier.
3) Where is PA setting in SDRC? In HPSDR, this value determines the drive level.
4) Audio gain from MIC is too low even I put Mic Gain maximum, therefore not power from PA in SSB.

I would like to have some help from the group.

73,
Tokio

Max
Posts: 222
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:47 am

Re: HL2 tx issues

#22

Unread post by Max »

Hi Tokio

Welcome to the group.

1) In option PA enabled, I can get 5W output by Tune. During Tune, TR relay is chattering.
1) Ans: Relay chattering. RF in shack possibly? Network issue (dropped packets?). Did you try connecting RJ45 straight to radio instead of via router? Although, mine is via router and no issues. Also there is a discussion I think on the HL2 Google Group? HL2 Group is a better place for this question I think as there are others with same issue? I've never seen this issue. There is more than one thread about relay chattering in the HL2 Group. Here's maybe the most useful?

https://groups.google.com/g/hermes-lite/c/4Iagw7nhLpY

2) In option PA disabled, I cannot get 16-17dBm from RF1 port as stated by HL2 Wiki. So, I can not drive my 100W amplifier.
2) Ans: Not sure about this one. There are two places to control Drive in HL2 on SDRC. Simon best placed to answer this one perhaps. Simon?

3) Where is PA setting in SDRC? In HPSDR, this value determines the drive level.
3) Ans: As above (see attachment). Also in Settings (see attachment).

4) Audio gain from MIC is too low even I put Mic Gain maximum, therefore not power from PA in SSB.
4) I have asked Simon about this before and he has improved it considerably in latest builds. Are you using latest kit? 3.0.25? Do you have Mic Boost enabled? (see attachment). Did you check "Gains" settings (see attachment).

If after above you need more drive you can use Banana Voicemeeter (free/donation) or buy audio mic soundcard? These are all very good.

https://vb-audio.com/Voicemeeter/banana.htm

https://www.behringer.com/product.html?modelCode=P0AVV
https://www.behringer.com/product.html?modelCode=P0BJZ

73

Max
Attachments
PWR-Adjust.jpg
Gains1.JPG
Gains2.JPG

User avatar
G8VLR
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2020 12:11 pm

Re: HL2 tx issues

#23

Unread post by G8VLR »

I too have clicking relays, especially when transmitting FT8 via wsjtx. I believe the issue is latency but I haven't got my head round that yet.

Regards,

Roger.

Max
Posts: 222
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:47 am

Re: HL2 tx issues

#24

Unread post by Max »

That's interesting Roger. I can see quite a lot of correspondence on this issue on the HL2 Google Group but never experienced it at all here in any mode. Only issues I have had at all are to do with RF in the shack affecting things like mouse (well, pen/tablet actually) but this is my fault for lash-up end fed random length with no earth. To be rectified shortly with proper antenna (EFHW). But not anything due to data issues at all, and I run mine via Netgear switch.

Is your ethernet cable direct to PC or via switch/router?

Best

Max

User avatar
G8VLR
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2020 12:11 pm

Re: HL2 tx issues

#25

Unread post by G8VLR »

HI Max, my ethernet connection is to the ethernet port on my pc. My shack is upstairs and the router downstairs so for now it isn't possible to connect directly to the router. I wondered if my clicking relays was an rf issue so I added hf clip-on ferrites to power and cat 7 leads with no discernible results.

Cheers,

Roger.

Max
Posts: 222
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:47 am

Re: HL2 tx issues

#26

Unread post by Max »

Hi Roger. Yes, it's an odd one for sure. Can only recommend a trawl through all the posts about this subject on the HL2 Google Group. Sorry, I have not experienced it at all so therefore never needed to look for a resolution.

If your antenna is coax fed have you tried a common mode choke of some sort near the antenna in the feedline? A very simple one is to start with looping the coax near the antenna a few times to try and stop conducted RF getting back down the coax? Something like this maybe:

http://www.hamuniverse.com/balun.html

In the past I have just wound a few loops of coax and tied off with cable tie. Seemed to do the job.

Good luck

Max

User avatar
G8VLR
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2020 12:11 pm

Re: HL2 tx issues

#27

Unread post by G8VLR »

Hi Max, I'm using the triple hf balun as described here: https://www.nonstopsystems.com/radio/pd ... chokes.pdf

This is part of my home brew automatic atu as designed by G3XJP, known as the "Picatune" and sited at the base of my G5RV, works incredibly well. I've added a home made brass shim to help dissipate heat from the Hermes pa which improves the heat performance on constant carrier modes such as FT8.

I will persevere with SDRc as I am so familiar with it on other sdrs and Simon's December update will hopefully enhance performance.

Cheers,

Roger.

Max
Posts: 222
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:47 am

Re: HL2 tx issues

#28

Unread post by Max »

Hi Roger

Should all be OK by the sound of it RF wise. Clicking is strange. I would recommend a very good dig around on the Google HL2 group as I can imagine that is an annoying issue and I know it has been a recurrent topic on there. My guess is you already did look? Often data issues seem to come up.

Picatune...... been wanting to build one for ages but and I actually acquired a complete set of boards to do so but currently have decided to go down the tuned antenna route and (maybe) remove need for an ATU. We will see. I most likely will need something near the TX to tune out the last imbalances but as you know yourself Picatune is for location next to antenna. Probably the main thing that made me pause on the Picatune is all the home-made capacitors, although I see one on eBay recently (half built kit) that claimed to come with a set of regular caps to speed the build time so not sure about that one? I am guessing if this was a practical option that Peter would have specified it in the original plans?

OK on shim. Yes, I noticed mine gets a bit hot during FT8. How well has the shim worked out? There's a lot of recent stuff on the HL2 group about this also.

Best

Max

User avatar
G8VLR
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2020 12:11 pm

Re: HL2 tx issues

#29

Unread post by G8VLR »

Hi Max, the capacitors were a pig to build but so far so good. Apart from the messiness of cutting up freezer bags, applying grease and cutting brass sheet, you need to follow Peter's rule that the sum of values of all preceding capacitors must be less than the value of the next one in sequence, which was a pain to produce. I did however find an inexpensive capacitance meter, without which the job would have been impossible!

The shim was made from a short length (just less than the length of the earth plane land) of 3/16ths square section brass with a hole drilled for the bolt. To hold it in place I used Araldite around the outside having silicon greased the two surfaces and held to the board with a nut and bolt as the Araldite dried. Seems to work considerably better than the original system but I wouldn't want to transmit carrier for too long at 5w!

Cheers,

Roger.

Max
Posts: 222
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:47 am

Re: HL2 tx issues

#30

Unread post by Max »

OK thanks for that. Yep, sounds a pain making those caps, but as with all things, no pain no gain (well usually anyway). OK also on the shim. I think I do need to do that too if I am going to carry on with FT8 or other data modes. I find FT8 a bit of an odd one. Seems somewhat soulless, but also bit like stamp collecting or train spotting......... I don't do either but can see how they become strangely addictive when one starts collecting prefixes!

Also, to keep conversation from veering totally off topic, I also agree that SDRC is by far the best software for the HL2. I do find the other options somewhat "clunky" so like you, I am sticking with what I am used to. Hope you get to the bottom of the relay clicking issue.

73

Max

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