Data is sent when wrong (powered off) radio is selected in Commander (using Secondary CAT Port and Net Serv)


Norm - KC1BMD
 

Every developer has their own philosophy and I can respect that. Now that I understand how it is working and the limitations, I will work around my issue. Thanks for listening.

--
73, Norm/KC1BMD


Dave AA6YQ
 

@ AA6YQ comments below

[KC1BMD]: Yes, it seems the way to absolutely protect the amp in my situation (or the transceiver if I run barefoot with amp in standby) would be to control the switch electronically. I had thought a possible way might be for Commander to detect whether the powered off radio was connected (e.g. no ability to connect to or receive data from it's CI-V address) and then block any Commander data-com from the secondary CAT port (and maybe Net Serv port) in that case. Another more direct way could be to grey out the radio button so the powered off radio can't be selected.

@ "Preventing user error from causing equipment damage" is way outside the envelope for DXLab.


You mentioned: + There is nothing anywhere in Commander's documentation stating that it can detect that the selected Primary transceiver has been powered down and automatically select a Primary transceiver that is powered up. I would not expect to see that in a user guide/help documentation but only in a software internal or external specification document, which a user is not likely to have access to.

@ What would be the point of providing a capability that is not documented?

@ I use a spare Ameritron RCS-8V antenna switch to select the RF input to my amplifier. Relays controlled by Commander route RF from one transceiver or the other to my amplifier.

@ If you want automatic amplifier input selection to consider the power-on state of each radio, incorporate "power on" signals from each transceiver in the relay control logic. Be aware that "power on" signals can glitch or briefly oscillate during transitions between "power off" and "power on".

73,

Dave, AA6YQ


Norm - KC1BMD
 

On Tue, Mar 23, 2021 at 12:53 AM, Dave AA6YQ wrote:
+ You can't switch Radio 1 from RX to TX using Commander, because Radio 2 is selected as the primary transceiver.
[KC1BMD]: True, it cannot be done with Commander but it can be done from the transceiver (Radio 1 in this example). While I use Commander for many things, old habits remain and sometimes I switch from "Off" to "Sem-Break-In" from the radio front panel.
+ The fact that you've powered down Radio 2 is irrelevant. If you manually direct the not-selected transceiver to transmit, you risk damage because the amp is following the selected transceiver's frequency.
[KC1BMD]: Yes, the risk of damage is why I asked about this.
+ Don't do that!
[KC1BMD]: Well, that's the objective and 100% compliance will take some heightened awareness on my part (hi).
+ If you want more protection against damage from manual action, use the parallel port signals emitted by Commander to drive the 2:1 switch at the amplifier's input:

https://www.dxlabsuite.com/commander/Help/Configuration.htm#Parallel%20Port%20panel
[KC1BMD]: I will look into that. I'd be interested if anyone has any switch recommendations with high blocking between ports. I happen to use Diamond CX-201/CX-301 with good success but these are manual switches.
+ Then only the currently-selected transceiver will be able to send RF to the amplifier, with the amplifier tracking that transceiver's frequency. I use this approach to also automatically switch the my microphone, CW paddle, and headphones between the two primary transceivers I use for DXing.
[KC1BMD]: Yes, it seems the way to absolutely protect the amp in my situation (or the transceiver if I run barefoot with amp in standby) would be to control the switch electronically. I had thought a possible way might be for Commander to detect whether the powered off radio was connected (e.g. no ability to connect to or receive data from it's CI-V address) and then block any Commander data-com from the secondary CAT port (and maybe Net Serv port) in that case. Another more direct way could be to grey out the radio button so the powered off radio can't be selected. You mentioned: + There is nothing anywhere in Commander's documentation stating that it can detect that the selected Primary transceiver has been powered down and automatically select a Primary transceiver that is powered up. I would not expect to see that in a user guide/help documentation but only in a software internal or external specification document, which a user is not likely to have access to. But anyway, I think there is no high need for any changes since I might be the only person to bring this up (and the XYL would not be surprised to hear that -hi). Thanks for the reply.
 
--
73, Norm/KC1BMD


Dave AA6YQ
 

+ AA6YQ comments below

1. Radio 1 powered on, RF switched to amp and selected as primary in Commander. 40m band selected. Radio 2 powered off, RF blocked to amp by switch.

2. Select Radio 2 as primary in Commander. RF is still blocked from Radio 2 and Radio 1 is still connected 2 amp.

3. Select 20m band in Bandspread window. Although Radio 2 powered off (not used) and its RF output blocked by switch, amp is nevertheless switched to 20m band... but Radio 1 remains on 40m band! Tuner also now set to 20m frequency selected in Bandspread.

4. Key Radio 1 but it is still on 40m band while amp is set for 20m band!

+ You can't switch Radio 1 from RX to TX using Commander, because Radio 2 is selected as the primary transceiver.

+ The fact that you've powered down Radio 2 is irrelevant. If you manually direct the not-selected transceiver to transmit, you risk damage because the amp is following the selected transceiver's frequency.

+ Don't do that!

+ If you want more protection against damage from manual action, use the parallel port signals emitted by Commander to drive the 2:1 switch at the amplifier's input:

https://www.dxlabsuite.com/commander/Help/Configuration.htm#Parallel%20Port%20panel

+ Then only the currently-selected transceiver will be able to send RF to the amplifier, with the amplifier tracking that transceiver's frequency. I use this approach to also automatically switch the my microphone, CW paddle, and headphones between the two primary transceivers I use for DXing.

73,

Dave, AA6YQ


Norm - KC1BMD
 

1. Radio 1 powered on, RF switched to amp and selected as primary in Commander. 40m band selected. Radio 2 powered off, RF blocked to amp by switch.

2. Select Radio 2 as primary in Commander. RF is still blocked from Radio 2 and Radio 1 is still connected 2 amp.

3. Select 20m band in Bandspread window. Although Radio 2 powered off (not used) and its RF output blocked by switch, amp is nevertheless switched to 20m band... but Radio 1 remains on 40m band! Tuner also now set to 20m frequency selected in Bandspread.

4. Key Radio 1 but it is still on 40m band while amp is set for 20m band!

I'm not saying I would necessarily do this but $hit happens. It's a potential scenario.

--
73, Norm/KC1BMD


Dave AA6YQ
 

+ How would RF from the non-selected Primary transceiver reach your amplifier's RF input if you manually direct that transceiver to transmit?

Not sure I'm following you... if I key the radio that is powered up (but not selected in Commander) it would send RF to the amp with the wrong band selected on the amp.

+ Don't you have a 2:1 switch of some kind that selects one transceiver's RF output for input to your amplifier? Why would this switch accept RF from the transceiver that is not selected as the Primary transceiver in Commander?

73,

Dave, AA6YQ


Norm - KC1BMD
 

On Mon, Mar 22, 2021 at 09:17 PM, Dave AA6YQ wrote:
+ How would RF from the non-selected Primary transceiver reach your amplifier's RF input if you manually direct that transceiver to transmit?
Not sure I'm following you... if I key the radio that is powered up (but not selected in Commander) it would send RF to the amp with the wrong band selected on the amp. 
 
--
73, Norm/KC1BMD


Dave AA6YQ
 

+ AA6YQ comments below

I typically only operate one of two radios configured in Commander at a time with one being switched off. The secondary CAT port is configured to follow primary, where the radio powered on and being used is primary. Frequency data is sent to my amp for auto-band switching. An application "HF-AUTO SW" is configured in Commander using "NET SERV" UDP data. This all works as expected whether I am using radio 1 or radio 2.

What I observe is that when I select the radio that is not being used (i.e. radio powered off) in Commander, there is still data being sent to the amp and to the HF-AUTO ATU because if I change bands in the Bandspread window, the amp and tuner follow. I had not expected that would happen. This almost led me to believe that everything was normal when in fact the radio that I was using (which is powered on) was on a different band, as it is not following Commander anymore. So if I had transmitted, it could have caused some real problem as I was on the wrong band. Can anyone shed some light on whether this is normal operation or what, if anything, I might have misconfigured or be doing wrong?

+ How would RF from the non-selected Primary transceiver reach your amplifier's RF input if you manually direct that transceiver to transmit?

+ There is nothing anywhere in Commander's documentation stating that it can detect that the selected Primary transceiver has been powered down and automatically select a Primary transceiver that is powered up.

73,

Dave, AA6YQ


Norm - KC1BMD
 

I typically only operate one of two radios configured in Commander at a time with one being switched off. The secondary CAT port is configured to follow primary, where the radio powered on and being used is primary. Frequency data is sent to my amp for auto-band switching. An application "HF-AUTO SW" is configured in Commander using "NET SERV" UDP data. This all works as expected whether I am using radio 1 or radio 2.

What I observe is that when I select the radio that is not being used (i.e. radio powered off) in Commander, there is still data being sent to the amp and to the HF-AUTO ATU because if I change bands in the Bandspread window, the amp and tuner follow. I had not expected that would happen. This almost led me to believe that everything was normal when in fact the radio that I was using (which is powered on) was on a different band, as it is not following Commander anymore. So if I had transmitted, it could have caused some real problem as I was on the wrong band. Can anyone shed some light on whether this is normal operation or what, if anything, I might have misconfigured or be doing wrong?

--
73, Norm/KC1BMD