Linear Amplifier Management
DDUtil manages linear amplifiers as follows:
The following amplifiers are specifically supported by DDUtil and have their own section on the Amps tabs.
These amplifiers have special software programs that communicate with DDUtil directly to perform specific functions and remote operations including:
- Following PowerSDR frequency and band settings.
- Remote turn on/off
- Antenna selection/switching
- Reporting amplifier errors and other conditions such as PA temperature.
- Auto PA Tuning
Non-Specific Band Switching Amplifiers
Most amplifiers capable of following rig frequency can be connected to DDUtil using one of the following methods. See the How To section for information on use.
- RS232 via serial port
- BCD control up to 8 lines
- CI-V via RS232 serial adapter
This group of amplifiers must be controlled manually by the operator with respect to tuning and band switching. However, DDUtil can provide assistance with Drive control and PTT management.
Auto Drive Control
DDUtil has a unique feature that works around the absence of ALC in the Flex radios by assisting with the setting of the correct drive level for each band. This feature is called Auto Drive and works very well preventing the overdrive of any amplifier by controlling the drive power level of PowerSDR.
In an effort to add some safety for all amplifier models DDUtil includes the following features.
This is a group of check boxes (Setup tab) one for each HF band. When checked it signifies that the amplifier connected is to be used for those bands and if un-checked the PTT will go offline when that band is chosen. Once offline the user must reset the PTT by pressing the Oper/Stby button (ctrl+O) after selecting another band that is checked.
Bypass On Band Chg
The Bypass on Band Change (BOBC) check box (Setup tab) when selected causes the PTT lines going to the amplifier to go offline during every band change. This is intended for amplifiers that must be either manually band switched and/or manually tuned before use on that band. This safety measure helps assure the amp won't be keyed while on the wrong band or out of tune. The user must place the amplifier back online by pressing the Oper/Stby button (ctrl+O) after adjusting the amplifier.