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Not very impressed
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coast fm
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Joined: 11 Mar 2011
Posts: 9

Post Not very impressed Reply with quote
I have been using a BC 1500w amp running around 1100w for the last 6 months on one of our TX sites. A few weeks ago the cavity filter went out of tune and the amp failed. I decided to add some protection when I ordered a new amp from BC and as I saw your "universal amplifer control board" pictured with that very amp, I decided to purchase it along with the RS232 interface and your 1K output board for mounting the N plug on. Previously had used solder tags with no problem but wanted to tidy things up.

On receipt I was a little shocked to find no documentation or software but managed to download the manual from here along with the software.

Here came the first problem. I installed the software on 3 XP PC's and all came up with the same error, "fm20.dll missing" Following several emails and a post on here all failing to solve the problem I found fm20.dll has to be downloaded from microsoft. No mention of this in the manual.

Next problem, both the RS232 socket and the USB port on the board fail to communicate with the software. The PC can see the USB port and the drivers from this site are installed but the software doesnt talk to the universal control board.

Next, where is the second temperature sensor jumper? I can find the PSU temp jumper but not the amp temp? You supply it with to sensors and state it works with two but only has contacts for one?

Next problem, the FWD power displays but not the reflected. I try the voltage from the forward power sensor on the reflected input and nothing even with the VR full each way and the jumper on max sensitivity?

Bias disable, it gives -10 or +10 yet the BC pallet you picture it with needs 0V to disable. Why no mention of the extra componets needed?

Final and BIG complaint, after fitting the board in it's semi working state I return home. Today the TX is off, I visit the site to find the 1K power output PCB from youselves has burnt very badly (I have taken a photo) and as a result the amp is now destroyed!!

The unit was running at 900w measured with a bird thruline meter.

So my conclusion, these parts are not fit for the purpose they are sold. Do we now get a refund?[/img]
Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:43 pm View user's profile Send private message
pcs
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Joined: 18 Jan 2002
Posts: 3063
Location: Radio Land

Post Reply with quote
Hi there,

1. The 3.0 is quite new so manual is not as elaborate as it should be, but we are working on correcting this.
It is a fairly complex product and we use it in our amplifiers and have also decided to offer it to our customers.
This is mostly used by system integrators who don't do just one off but build these amps regularly so they
familiarize themselves with the control board well, of course we help with any questions as much as we can.
Since all manuals are available online and we believe in the green and eco-friendly movement we stopped
shipping printed manuals or CD's some time ago. Whenever I buy a product I check for a new driver online
and just throw the CD away so those are in many cases just discarded.
I don't know why would this be so shocking?

2. You have asked for support related to missing Fm20.dll in another thread here in the forum. I proposed one possible solution,
if you'd have told me it did not work I'd look for another one. But you found it yourself. This file is also installed with MSOffice
so it would seem all our customers had office installed and did not notice the problem. So since nobody reported it we never looked
into it as we did not know about it. I am gratefull for this as it helps us eliminate a potential bug. Now we know about it.
I don't remember any emails about this, just one post in the forum, that's all.

3. Communication with the PC
Are you sure you installed USB driver correctly?
Here is the driver for USB port for XP, W2K, Vista and Windows7:
http://www.pcs-electronics.com/software/archive_usb2comport_driver.zip

I recommend checking out this manual, Chapter 7 is related to communication with PC
and is identical to the control board. Make sure you have selected same COM port in both.
Of course make sure you connected IO board to the LCD display.
http://www.pcs-electronics.com/software/Manuals/manual_CyberMaxMicroPlusv40_en.pdf

4. The second temperature sensor is connected to the DIGIAMP expansion connector.
When you use our ampbox you just connect flat cable and temp sensor is already there,
along with power, current, voltage and other signals. The pinout of digiamp is printed
on the board, next to it is text: DIGIAMP PINOUT. You'll notice TEMP written there.
The other end goes to ground and you've got Tamp.

5. Perhaps matching was good and there was no reflected power?

6. Bias disable; as the name suggests this is universal amplifier board, meaning it is designed to work with as many
pallets as possible. It is trivial to drop +10V to +5V with a resistor and a zener diode. But it is difficult to increase
+5V to +10V, wouldn't you agree. If your pallet requires bias to be grounded simply add one NPN transistor
and 1K resistor to protect the base. This gives you flexibility, it can be used with virtually any pallet out there.
-10V gives you an option to really shut the fet off beyond the point of just bringing bias voltage to zero.
By the way, even different pallets from the company you mentioned have different bias disable requirements.

7. This IO board is not part of the universal amplifier control board, it was purchased separately.
Here a lot depends on exact method of mounting, even any solder paste left can have dire consequences .
Please email me some photos, I would like to see it.

I suggest you try these suggestions and email me the photos, than we will see what to do and how to proceed.
You say you've been emailing me so you must have my email, correct?

_________________
Best regards,
Marko - PCS Electronics
--------------------------------------------------------
Turn your PC into a FM radio station!
http://www.pcs-electronics.com
fax +386 4 2316 128
Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:49 am View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
coast fm
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Joined: 11 Mar 2011
Posts: 9

Post Reply with quote
Hi,

Ok on point 1. Either way the software is now working.


2 The emails were sent via your on site contact form as a technical request. Again, either way the software now runs.

3 This is the driver I installed

4 OK, you must agree this is not very clear!

5 On the bird thruline it showed around 6w of reflected power./

As stated I also put the wirte that comes from the forward power sensor on the reflected tab. On the forward power this was showing 800w (depending on VR setting) on reflected input it shows nothing with the vr either way and the sensitivity on max

6 Yes, no problem on adding these simple parts, just thought tit would have been explained on your site. To photograph the board along with the pallet would make one think the two work together as they are. We have no copmponent shops on the island so a diode and transistor have to be ordered.

7, can you give me the best email address to contact you on with the photo. If you don't wish to post it on here email me at "hidden to prevent spam"
Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:03 pm View user's profile Send private message
pcs
Site master
Site master


Joined: 18 Jan 2002
Posts: 3063
Location: Radio Land

Post Reply with quote
I've emailed you and deleted your email here so you're not collected by spam harvested.

Yep, explanation of bias disable circuitry will be added to the manual as soon as time permits.
Before this happens anyone having trouble can email me directly (support) and I'll provide
explanation.

_________________
Best regards,
Marko - PCS Electronics
--------------------------------------------------------
Turn your PC into a FM radio station!
http://www.pcs-electronics.com
fax +386 4 2316 128
Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:12 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
coast fm
New registered user
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Joined: 11 Mar 2011
Posts: 9

Post Reply with quote
Well good news, ALL WORKING WELL NOW!!

Following many helpfull emails with PCS the Universal controller board is working well. The manual is a little poor as PCS have admitted but the product is well worth the time to get working well. Most of the problems are silly things that can be overcome with ease. I now have remote monitor and control of our main TX site that is over 15 miles away with no need to leave the studio!

Software requires fm20.dll to be downloaded from net if you don't have it installed. I got it from http://www.dll-files.com/dllindex/dll-files.shtml?fm20

Problems with the output board sorted and a fair resolution from PCS

Overall, now VERY pleased with the purchase, so much we have ordered a second for our other site!
Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:10 pm View user's profile Send private message
pcs
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Site master


Joined: 18 Jan 2002
Posts: 3063
Location: Radio Land

Post Reply with quote
The program was updated and no longer requires this DLL file

_________________
Best regards,
Marko - PCS Electronics
--------------------------------------------------------
Turn your PC into a FM radio station!
http://www.pcs-electronics.com
fax +386 4 2316 128
Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:49 am View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
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