A collection of often asked questions, answers, and helpful hints.
Q. Can the WN-2 software initiate an email to alert the user of a fault condition? A. Yes, software version 3.61 (and later) can send an email to the user to indicate high SWR, low RF power, or low external power supplies. Here is the link:
Q. Can I mix HF and UHF sensors in the same system without calibration?
A. Yes, any combination of HF, 8KW, QRP, SHF, and UHF sensors can be mixed on the same system. The software will allow you to identify which type of sensor is located at each input plug. The calibration of the sensor is in the sensor, not the WN-2(d)(m) control box. Sensors are shipped tested, calibrated and ready for immediate use. You can add additional sensors at any time.
Q. How fast is the Peak Detector in the WN-2?
A. The peak detector time constant is ~50 microseconds. This is fast enough to fully capture any voice peak as well as SWR transients caused by faulty antenna or feedline transients. A separate peak detector is provided for forward and reflected power on each inline sensor, a total of 8 peak detectors in the display unit.
Q. Why put the calibration of the system in the sensor and not the control Unit?
A. Sensors can be sent back to WaveNode at any time for calibration or test without sending back the rest of the system. Also, sensors can be moved from unit to unit, or purchased separately at any time ready to use.
Q. Can the WN-2 run in Stand-Alone operation without a PC attached?
A. Yes, you can monitor any of the four sensors for Power and SWR without the PC. You can also monitor the analog and logic inputs and outputs from the LCD screen on the WaveNode front panel.
Q. Can multiple WN-2 units be run on the same PC simultaneously?
A. Yes, you can run as many WN-2 units on the same PC as you wish. The software would be installed in a separate folder for each WN-2 in order to allow customizing the settings for each unit.
Q. What Windows Operating System must be installed on the PC?
A. XP, OS 7, Vista, OS 8, OS 8.1 and Windows 10 are all compatible with the WN-2. Either 32 or 64-bit systems can be used. The USB driver for Wavenode products is Microsoft digitally signed and certified to make installation easy.
Q. Can I install the RT1/RT2 Rotator Controller later?
A. Yes, the rotator controller installs with two screws and the cable plugs into the PC board with the supplied ribbon cable. However, we recommend that you return your control box to allow us to install and check it for you.
Q. What else is necessary to run the WN-2 on my computer?
A. The WN-2 system is supplied complete with CDROM, USB cable, wall transformer power supply (either US or EU style), control unit and sensor(s). There is nothing else to purchase.
Q. For usage of the Tones/Messages utility, how do the tones get inserted into the transceiver audio input?
A. Any of the common Transceiver to Computer audio Interfaces can be used, such as those available for digital mode communications. The Tones/Messages utilities generate audio with the PC audio as any other piece of software.
Q. I would like to build my own sensor. How do I calibrate it?
A. Wavenode sensors are calibrated according to the Excel sheet on our Documents webpage, and included on our CDROM. Your sensor will be terminated by 1 megohm in the WN-2, so the output impedance of your sensor to the WN-2 control box should be <10K ohm.
Q. How do I interface to the analog auxiliary inputs, if I want to use them?
A. The WaveNode website (and CDROM) offers a schematic on the support/hardware page describing how to interface properly to these inputs. The applied voltage should be 0-20 volt range.
Q. What is the maximum voltage that can be applied to the terminal strip on the back?
A. Maximum safe voltage is 18 volts DC.
Q. How long does an unsafe SWR condition last before it trips the SWR protection relay?
A. The relay is tripped after 3 successive samples of SWR above the limit set by the operator, which is about 160 milliseconds.
Q. If I have two sensors, one before and one after a linear amplifier, which sensor should be monitored for SWR fault protection?
A. In most cases, the sensor after the linear. Some linear amps may present a high SWR at their input for several hundred milliseconds, and could generate a false SWR fault trigger. Also, the linear amp is probably the device you wish to protect from a faulty antenna or feedline condition.
Q. What sensor RF connectors should I specify?
A. If you are currently using PL-239 connectors, but think you may at some time switch to type N connector, choose the type N connector on your sensors.
We can offer you PL-239 to type N adapters to get you through the transition period.
Q. Can I make the in-line sensor cable to the WN-2 control unit longer?
A. Yes, you can make it longer with off-the-shelf 6-pin Minidin cable extenders used commonly for PC keyboards and mouse. These are typically available at any computer supply outlet, or you can purchase them from WaveNode. Alternately, you can make a cable with 2-wire shielded cable for very long runs to a remote antenna base if desired. Several installations have successfully extended the sensor distance > 500 feet.
Q. Can I adjust the calibration to make two sensors exactly match, or agree with another meter?
A. Yes, the sensor has a potentiometer on the PC board that you can adjust to exactly match another sensor or power meter.
Q. Can I put the sensor in an outdoor environment?
A. Yes, but you will need to seal the sensor from rain and/or snow. This can be done with coax seal, which can be easily removed if the sensor needs repair or inspection. You should cover the sensor cable to protect it from UV sunlight; consider PVC tubing or some other inexpensive cover. Don’t forget to seal the screw heads, cable clamp and enclosure seams if the sensor is on the tower in direct weather.
Q. Does the SWR limit protection work if the software is running but minimized on the screen?
A. Yes, as long as the “USB” LED on the front panel is blinking, the SWR protection is running.
Q. Can I run other applications, such as digital mode software, simultaneously with the WN-2 software?
A. Yes, but if you are using the computer to run digital mode software via the sound card, then you should not use the audio announcing feature in the WN-2 software at the same time. Obviously, the announced sound will also go to the audio output. Audio from the digimode software and the WN-2 are compatible, but the Wavenode audio should be turned off if digimode software is in use.
Q. What are the little color circles for on each meter?
A. These are a simple aid to help keep the sensors identified. Put a small piece of colored tape on each sensor the same color and it will help identify which sensor is in each coax position.
Q. Are Sensor Power Specifications rated for SSB or Continuous Power?
A. All Wavenode sensor power specifications are for 100% duty cycle operation. This is important for RTTY , AM, FM, and other high duty-cycle modes of transmission.