8406

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8406

Trying to run the ae9k program with 8406 but keep getting input string not in correct format and minimum supported firmware 2.01c min,  recommended 2.03 messages. Amp turns on and off with the program nothing else seems to work also shows the Band switch as 10m and the state as always warming up.
Any help would be appreciated 73 Terry
Dan AE9K Dan AE9K
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Re: 8406

Terry,

What version of the monitor are you running and what firmware is running on the 8406?

Dan
AE9K
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Re: 8406

Hi Dan
        I am running version 1.5.5 of the monitor software and am not sure how to tell the firmware version.  
Running Flex-3000
Thanks Terry  
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Re: 8406

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Dan
     Sorry on the Static Data Tab it says version 2.00e firmware not sure how to get later version if one is available Thanks Terry
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Re: 8406

Terry,

The minimum firmware for using the monitor with an 8406 or 8410 is 2.01c.  Although RF Concepts doesn’t show any firmware options on their download page for the 8406, the 8406 and 8410 share the same firmware so you can download and upgrade using one of the firmware links for the 8410.  2.02e is the latest published version.

To upgrade your firmware, you can download the Alpha Boot Loader (colt.exe) from the RF Concepts site here.  Once unzipped to the desired directory, you can run colt.exe directly or launch it through the Config page of the monitor.  By doing the latter, the monitor will remember where the boot loader was located so you don’t have to and it will ensure the com port is closed before launching the colt boot loader.  If you run colt.exe directly (i.e. not from the monitor’s Config page) be sure the monitor is closed beforehand so there’s no contention for the serial port.

Note that firmware upgrades are pretty robust and for whatever reason you prefer to run an older version, you can always downgrade just as easily.  I’ve done it probably 40 or 50 times now for regression testing and it’s always worked as expected.  There’s also no need to unplug the amp afterward.  A soft reset of the microcontroller is triggered at the end of the firmware upload.

If you launch colt.exe from within the monitor’s Config page, when you close the Config page and resume communication with the amp, it will re-fetch the firmware and all other static data so you can click the Static Data button to verify the firmware upgrade.

Thanks.

Dan

AE9K

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Re: 8406

Hi Dan
         Thanks for the help everything is working except the Band switch window shows 10m:28mhz and no user Data showing and static data still shows amplifier model as 8410
                                                                         Thanks Terry
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Re: 8406

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Dan
     After turning the amp off I cannot power back on ether by software or switch??? HELP
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Re: 8406

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Terry,

This most likely is due to the 8406 being configured in EEPROM to be an 8410.  Sounds silly but it's happened a couple of times.  The monitor parses the model number and if it's an 8406, it displays "6m : 50 MHz" as the band switch position.  

It's a pretty simple matter to verify.  You can either enable logging and send me the log or you can check with a terminal emulator like HyperTerminal or Putty.  The command to solicit the model number is 'a'.  This should return two lines similar to the following:

Type:AP8406   Fan:Oryx DC  Front Panel marked:Gain  MM3 shows:Eff. Min Fan:0
ON :Cycle

The 'type' above should be AP8406 but I'm guessing yours is configured as AP8410.  If this turns out to be the case, I'd recommend having RF Concepts walk through setting that to AP8406 as they need to know if another amp left the shop misconfigured.

I see by your next post that checking the model number is not your immediate problem so we'll get back to this.

Dan
AE9K
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Re: 8406

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Dan
     For what ever reason the .2 amp fuse had opened replaced and amp working again
    Thanks Terry
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Re: 8406

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Terry,

If by "turning off the amp" you mean via the front panel switch, the microcontroller is still powered up with the front panel switch in the off position.  So, if you haven't done so already, unplug the amp.  Then plug it back in and try again.  If that doesn't help you definitely need to open a ticket with RF Concepts.  They're very good about responding to "amp unusable" incidents.  

I seem to recall a couple of people having reported a front panel switch issue.  I can't remember if it was the switches themselves or a bad debouncing cap or resistor.

Dan
AE9K
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Re: 8406

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Terry,

Good catch.  Looks like we're posting at the same time.  ;-)

Glad you're back online.

Ah, now that you mention it, there was a tech note for 2.01c that said the bottom fuse had to be swapped out for a slow-blow.  I just checked and they've linked the 2.01c errata to the 2.02e firmware so it isn't viewable.  But, I saved a copy way back then and here is what it said:

This new version of the 8410 firmware requires the bottom fuse at the back of the amplifier to be a 2 A slow blow fuse. Some of the amplifiers were originally shipped with a 2 A fast blow fuse in the lowest position – this should be changed for a slow blow fuse.

Again, glad it was something simple.

Dan
AE9K
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Re: 8406

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09/08/2013 19:07:14.2,Type:AP8410   Fan:Papst DC  Front Panel marked:Eff.  MM3 shows:Eff. Min Fan:1
Here is previous logging Dan
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Re: 8406

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Ok Dan
         Just saw the post on the slo blow fuse thanks would have never found that lol
Terry
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Re: 8406

In reply to this post by n8jx
Terry,

As a side note, I thought my lower fuse was .2 A as well.  Turns out LittelFuse likes to squeeze their "LF." logo together with the amp rating of the fuse thus making the amp rating look like a decimal number.

If yours had a LittelFuse 312 or 314, those were the fast-blow the errata was referring to.  Mine was a glass 312 (and still is - hasn't been changed out).  The slow-blow part numbers are 313 for glass and 326 for ceramic.

Dan
AE9K
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Re: 8406

In reply to this post by n8jx
Yep, your 8406 is configured as an 8410.  

n8jx wrote
09/08/2013 19:07:14.2,Type:AP8410   Fan:Papst DC  Front Panel marked:Eff.  MM3 shows:Eff. Min Fan:1
Operationally I don't believe that discrepancy has much effect on the amp itself.  Other users for whom this was the case had their 8406 for some time before we discovered it as an anomaly with the monitor.

Actually I misstated the command to show the amp model number.  The 'a' command is what toggles the model number 8406 -> 8415 -> 8410. Once changed, 'C' writes the change to EEPROM.

There's a bit more to it and I recommend RF Concepts walk you through it so they're aware.  If you want it changed quicker let me know and I'll walk you through it.

Dan
AE9K
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Re: 8406

Thanks
         Was having a heck of a time finding the right fuse in a .2 amp slow blow, now that I know 2.0 amp should make it a lot easier.  I will contact alpha for the change, really appreciate your effort and time walking me though this  
                   Terry