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Palstar HF-Auto: Retrieving memorized frequencies

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by VE3RWY, Nov 21, 2021.

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  1. VE3RWY

    VE3RWY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Recently I've aquired a 'new to me' HF-Auto with user's manual. I have 'Auto Memorize' enabled in the setup. I ran a 10 watt CW carrier through the tuner and auto-tuned several frequencies. I also flipped into manual mode, did some fine tuning and pressed the right arrow until I received the 'changes saved' message.

    I operate voice on 80 and 7 mostly. If I'm on 80 m tuned into one of my saved frequencies on my rig and I want to tune to another frequency that I've saved, what do I do with the tuner? Do I stay in LSB/USB mode, drop the power and key the mic for the tuner to recognize? Do I have to send a CW first, everytime I want to transmit on one of my saved frequencies and then swith back to LSB/USB?

    The manual says to give the mic a short key so the tuner can move to the stored station, then confirm by keying the mic longer. When I try this in CW mode, the tuner trys to auto tune for the few seconds I hold the PTT. Do I stay is LSB/USB? The tuner won't tune unless I talk or whistle in this mode.

    Thanks for any clarification.
  2. K8DO

    K8DO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ther are three modes in that kind of tuner.
    1 Manual -
    2 autotune the current RF output
    3 jump to a preset tune when the radio CAT talks to the tuner CAT.
    I don't know of you have the radio talk to the tuner so that it changes bands the instant the radio does without waiting for an RF signal. IF it does:
    Squeezing the mic in CW mode may/will trigger the tuner to jump to that preset frequency or band because the CAT in the radio talks to the CAT in the tuner, but that is all it does. On CW you THEN have to press the key/paddles to put out any RF from the radio for the tuner to use to check the tune.
    Same deal on SSB. Squeezing mic tells the radio CAT to talk to the tuner CAT to change to a saved preset.. You will have hum or whistle to put out enough RF for the tuner to tune. Or there may be enough background noise in the shack to put out some RF.
    Try this little test on SSB. Set the SWR meter to power out. Squeeze the mic and look at the power. It should be zero. then talk and it should show some forward power.
    On CW the maximum power out is set by the level you have the drive set for. It will jump to that maximum setting every time you touch the key.
    On SSb you will have the maximum power out also set, but the actual power out will vary with the loudness of your speech and the microphone gain, compression, equalizer settings --- and maybe your bank balance :D
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2021
    VE3RWY likes this.
  3. VE3RWY

    VE3RWY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks K8DO. So what I take away, once I have memorized several frequencies in the HF-AUTO using a CW carrier, I can go back to LSB, tune into one of the frequencies on my rig, key the mic and hum/whistle to get the HF-Auto to respond to the memorized frquency.

    One last question, I realiz I have to drop the power to tune, but once my stations are tuned and stored, do I still have to reduce the power to move around to different stations or can I stay high power? My intuition tells me the safe move would be to reduce power.

    73 Rob
    Owen Sound, ON
  4. K8DO

    K8DO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, for us old folks lots of depends in theat question
    Just a housekeeping item, you do not have to do anything with the tuner dialing up and down the band to listen on receive.

    Are we talking a 100 watt radio into a 100 watt tuner - yeah, drop the power for the tune
    Are we talking a 100 watt radio into a 5KW Palstar tuner - go pedal to the metal! "Power Scotty, give me more power"

    You do not have to reduce power with the auto tuner in AUTO mode to change frequency and transmit when
    1: it has the basic tune for that section of the band
    2: and you move a few kc to transmit.(like in Sweepstakes contest rattling in the background as I type this drivel)
    If the SWR is above the set point for that tune (see your manual to see how many swear words it takes) the tuner will auto-tune. (or you can hit the tune button)
    If you are jumping from 7295 AM to 7010 CW, yeah, reduce the power until it catches its breath no matter how big the tuner is.
    On SSB just keying the mic without saying anything, or just a soft "aaaaah" will usually put out the 5-10 watts the tuner needs.
    You have to do your homework.

    And it depends on how fancy the tuner is. The Flex or Elecraft tuners (and others) you train for each band on each antenna you have by doing tunes a set number of KC apart across the entire band (and antennas).
    After which the instant you transmit it reads the antenna selected, the frequency, and goes to the look-up table for the nearest tune for which it has a preset and sets it, then drops the Amp into standbye and checks the swear words. If (when) all is OK the amp comes on and all you heard was a single click before you ripped a hole in the ionosphere again.

    Lots more we could discuss but this is too long now.
    Cheers, eh wot.
    VE3RWY likes this.
  5. K8DO

    K8DO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Oh yeah, your actual question. Yes, on SSB after the tuner has a preset on a nearby Cw tune. click the mic, hum, whistle, or dance a little jig. It's all good.
    K0UO and VE3RWY like this.
  6. VE3RWY

    VE3RWY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks for all the great info!
    73 Rob
  7. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Use FM mode then it will work better
    If you're using rtty or keying fast it will not sense it.
    There's a YouTube video that he did about that when he first released the auto tuner.
  8. VE3RWY

    VE3RWY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I played around with it this afternoon and can't get it to tune properly to a memorized frequency on 80 or 40 in LSB by humming or talking. I didn't go past 20 watts because my LP100A was sqealing away over the high SWR. I dropped to CW and the HF-Auto seems to find the frequency and do a little light tunning instead of a complete auto-tune.

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