DDUtil v2.0 now supports the excellent Alpha Products 9500 linear amplifier. Remote operation of this fine amplifier is via either RS232 serial port or USB to serial adapter or the built in USB connection. Check the User Manual for connection information.
It's assumed the operator is familiar with the amplifier's remote operation using the Alpha Remote application (AR9500.exe). If not it is recommended the operator read about it in the User Manual before attempting to use this software.
The controls are located on DDUtil's Amps tab as shown below.
Also, a daughter window is available when a reduced size display is desired. Not all of the controls are supplied, but the ones included have the same function as the full size display. This window is available from the Wind menu at the top of the main form. Also the short-cut keys Alt+9 will activate this window.
All controls shown in both displays are replicas of the same named controls on the amplifier's front panel. See the operators manual for a complete description of all controls.
Additionally, all controls have a tool-tip available that describes the control function and any additional information necessary for operation. To see the tool-tip, hover the cursor over the control of interest and a window will jump up with the description inside.
From the top of the main display window from left to right the controls are listed below.
- Enable - when checked starts communication with the amplifier.
- The Radio Button under the enable check box is an activity indicator (heartbeat) showing the A9500 amp and DDUtil are communicating.
- The Serial Port drop-down selects the port that connects DDUtil with the A9500. This port must be a hardware port or a USB to serial adapter or a special USB connection provided by the A9500.
- The Temp window shows the Cathode temperature of the final PA tube. Please note this is cathode and not anode temperature.
- When the tube is operating within limits (<50C) this window remains Green. If the temperature rises above 50C the window color turns Red.
- ip/ig windows are stacked one over the other and represent Plate Current (upper) and Grid Current (lower) displayed in milliamps.
- Mem short for memory allows selection of one of three (3) memory modes (Default, User1 and User2).
- The Memory window is next to the Mem button and displays the chosen memory mode as reported by the amplifier.
- The Auto button selects (toggles) the amplifiers Auto Tune mode. This button turns Green when the Auto Tune mode is operative.
- The Fault button displays the last twenty (20) faults the amplifier has encountered. These faults are displayed in the Message Display window at the bottom of the group.
- If a fault happens when the amplifier is under DDUtil control this button will turn Pink to alert the operator a fault has occurred.
- ig window previously described above.
- The PWR button turns On the main power for the amp and turns Green.
- The AUX button turns On/Off the auxiliary power to operate the antenna selection circuits. The button turns Green when the power is On.
- Note: if the main power is On pressing this button will shutdown all power to the amplifier, both primary and auxiliary.
- The Mode button toggles the Operate/Standby mode. The following button functions are also provided.
- When the amplifier is warming the button turns Pink and displays the number of seconds remaining until warmed.
- When in Standby mode the button displays the legend Stby and turns Yellow.
- When in Operate mode the button displays the legend Oper and turns Green.
- The ANT (antenna) button selects one (1) of four (4) available antenna connections on the amplifier.
- The currently selected antenna is displayed in the small window adjacent to the ANT button.
- Message Display window displays amplifier status and fault messages.
- Double-Click the window to clear and reset the Fault button color.
All basic control functions are the same as pushing buttons on the amplifier front panel or using the Alpha Remote software application. However, DDUtil offers this additional feature.
- If no other supported digital watt meter is currently selected on the Watt tab the internal 9500's forward power and SWR readings are displayed in DDUil's Fwd and Swr windows.
- Please note that even though the readings are reported to DDUtil in near real time these readings will not be as instantaneous as an external good quality watt meter.