Using Frequency-dependent devices

Devices like antenna tuners and linear amplifiers have controls whose settings are frequency-dependent. While high-end units do this automatically, most require the operator to manually set the controls whenever the operating frequency changes. Commander enables you to specify tables for such devices; it then performs a table lookup based on the transceiver's current frequency and displays the correct settings in panels on its Main window, eliminating the need for paper tables taped to the front-panel. Up to three different frequency-dependent devices are supported, each with up to three controls.

The right side of Commander's Main window is shared by frequency-dependent device readouts, receiver filter controls, and Memory Banks. If the frequently-dependent device panels are not visible, clicking the Main window's Filters & Devices button will make them appear.

Initially, Commander refers to the three frequency-dependent devices as Device 0, Device 1, and Device 2; as part of the setup procedure, you can replace these generic names with more meaningful names like Amplifier, or Tuner.

To setup a frequency-dependent device, use the following procedure:

  1. on Commander's Main window, click the Config button
  2. on Commander's Main window, click the Filters & Devices button if its visible

  3. on Commander's Configuration window, click the Device 0, Device 1, or Device 2 tab
  4. check the Device tab's Enabled box; in the Main window, you'll see a Device panel appear (the contents of this panel will be updated as you complete thois procedure)
  5. enter the name of the device in the Device Name box
  6. enter the number of controls associated with this device in the # Controls box; reasonable values are 1, 2, or 3.
  7. enter the name of the first control in the Control 1 box; if there's a second control, enter its name in the Control 2 box and if there's a third control, enter its name in the Control 3 box.
  8. scroll the Device Table to the frequencies of interest, and enter the control values for each such frequency; after entering each value, strike the Enter key
    • To modify an existing device table entry, click on its associated cell to display a down-pointing triangle; clicking on this triangle will display a list of alternatives from which you can choose with a mouse click. After modifying any item, a pencil icon appears in the left-most column. To undo the change, strike the ESC key; to record the change, click on any other entry in the table, or strike the UpArrow or DownArrow keys.

    • To add a new entry to a device table, scroll to its bottom, where you will find a blank line with an asterisk in the grey left-most column. Key in the entry's frequency (in kilohertz), and then strike the Enter key. Commander automatically sorts the Device Table in ascending frequency order, so the new entry may disappear from view. If you're planning to add several entries, it is more efficient to first create the entries, and then scroll through the Device Table entering control values for the newly-created entries.
    • To delete an entry in the device table, select it by clicking in the grey left-most column; then strike the Delete key.
    • it is not necessary to enter control values for every frequency in the table
    • depressing the CTRL key while clicking on a Device Table entry will QSY your transceiver to that entry's frequency, making it easy to determine or verify settings
  9. enter a percentage in the Tolerance box (2% is a reasonable default)
    • the percentage difference between the frequency of the Device Table entry closest to your radio's current frequency and your radio's current frequency must be less than or equal to the specified Tolerance for that entry's control settings to be displayed
    • if there is no Device Table entry within the specified Tolerance, the Device's control settings will be blanked
  10. click the Save button and specify a destination filename into which the Device data just specified will be saved for use in subsequent Commander sessions.


Transceiver Control

Getting Started with DXLab