locked Re: Kenwood TS440s/Signalink USB combo ALC vs PWR vs SWR issue #signalink #Kenwood #FT8


Joe Subich, W4TV
 

On 2022-08-14 11:08 AM, JP Tucson, AZ wrote:

I use a 4 foot x 3/4" copper pipe along the back of the corner desk, and have that grounded to the rod outside thru a pair of 6 ga. solid bare copper wires (they run about 7 to 9 feet out the window PVC board down to the ground rod right under the window.
Seven to nine feet is a quarter wave on 10 and 12 meters. You do not
have an RF ground on those bands as a quarter wave from the ground rod
is a high impedance point!

In addition, is the "RF ground rod" tied to the power meter ground as
required by NEC ("code")? If not you have a serious safety issue in
the event of a (nearby) lightning strike or power surge as the two
"grounds" will take different levels and cause power to flow between
the two *through your equipment*. This is often enough to seriously
damage, if not destroy, the equipment and can cause electrical fires.

73,

... Joe, W4TV

On 2022-08-14 11:08 AM, JP Tucson, AZ wrote:
Hi Joe,
First of all, you should not being seeing ANY ALC, unless you are trying to run full power; i.e. 100 Watts, which is way too much power for FTx modes. 50W if more appropriate, you can jump up to 100, if you really are chasing a rare DX, and have fading, but turn it back down after completing the QSO.
Next, so you know, I have a TS-440SAT & a SignaLink USB myself, and getting it to dance can be a bit touchy, but once you understand what is going on in the chain, it will work like a champ!
I have logged nearly 11,000 QSO's in just over 2 years with mine.
So, the best thing you can do for yourself is to put snap on ferrites on ALL cables!!!!! ALL of them! Coax, control, power, computer cables (ALL of them!!!), SignaLink, power meters, etc. This will knock down RFI. The mouse and keyboard on your computer are especially vulnerable - I think because of being USB as well.
Next - and this also cannot be emphasized enough - GROUND your station well !!!!! Ground each piece of equipment. I use a 4 foot x 3/4" copper pipe along the back of the corner desk, and have that grounded to the rod outside thru a pair of 6 ga. solid bare copper wires (they run about 7 to 9 feet out the window PVC board down to the ground rod right under the window.
I know this sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but I have ZERO RFI in the shack - NONE!!!
Now, let me clue you in on this... just set the wsjtx power slider to max, and never touch it again. I have never had any luck with using it, it is not calibrated, and besides, you will do the vast majority of your power adjustments during the wsjtx 'TUNE' cycle, by adjusting the TX knob on the SignaLink.
Now, many folks have issues with not being able to drive the power high enough, and have to move that internal jumper to increase the drive. See the SignaLink manual for that!
Start with a dummy load. You have a short coax, and the load is right there.
The Mic gain should be about 3/4. My experience, no more than 7/8 for digital.
Make sure in your settings and audio mixer that your computer sounds are muted as you don't want computer sounds, music, alerts, etc. going out over the air - in fact, that isn't legal to do!
So-
Lower power
Ferrites
Grounding
Proper drive to radio- audio mixer and SignaLink levels
And if you have all of that into a dummy load, then switch over to an antenna; and start to have issues, then you probably need to add ferrites to your antenna coax. If you still have issues, recheck your antenna system with an antenna analyzer, because you probably have some issue(s) you may not be aware of, or see using SSB, etc.
Hope this helps
73 - John

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