FreqEZ Band Decoder FAQ

INSTRUCTIONS: Click on the Questions to expand and see the Answers

FreqEZ is a Ham Radio station accessory for controlling remote antenna switches and other devices.

FreqEZ is a combination of hardware and software programs. The hardware is a Raspberry Pi single-board computer with a companion board. The software includes two programs working in concert: the FreqEZwin Console running in Windows on a desktop PC; and the FreqEZrpi Controller running as a terminal application on a Raspberry Pi.

The FreqEZwin Console and FreqEZrpi Controller software is free.
The total FreqEZ hardware – including the Raspberry Pi components – will cost between $100 and $150, depending on whether you build your own companion board as a DIY project or buy an Assembled and Tested FreqEZ RPi HAT (Hardware Attached on Top) board.

None. FreqEZ is installed, configured and operated using familiar software features like menus, mice, and editors. Re-configuring FreqEZ is performed via a menu and file editor. There are no DIP switches, diodes or solder bridges.
The only tool required for assembly is a screwdriver.

Each set of FreqeEZ Consoles/Controllers/Hardware controls 16 outputs. Those outputs can be connected directly to 16 remote inputs, or used with BCD-compatible antenna switches to manage 16 remote devices from 4 Controller output lines.

Yes. FreqEZ is band- and frequency-aware and capable of Automatically (or Manually) adjusting external tuners, selecting receive antennas, enabling bandpass filters, controlling amplifiers and managing other devices.

Yes. When FreqEZ is configured using for <BandSource>FREQ</BandSource>, the Console will choose an antenna based on the frequency of VFO2 (the split VFO).

Both. When FreqEZ is configured for <BandSource>FREQ</BandSource>, antenna selections will be based on the frequency reported by your logging program. Those frequencies can describe an entire Band ( 80/75m = “<FREQ1>350000-400000,1</FREQ1>” ) or segments within a band ( 80m = “<FREQ1>350000-359999,1</FREQ1> and 75m =<FREQ2>360000-400000,2</FREQ2>” ). The configuration supports 254 segment definitions.

The FreqEZ Rpi HAT output circuits are designed to handle up to 20 volts A/C, Positive or Negative voltages at 500 milliamperes. Although the Toshiba TLP240ALF1 opto-MOSFETs are rated for 60 volts, each output is protected from remote relay transients by a 20 volt TVS bi-directional spike suppressing diode. Contact us for customization to accommodate voltages greater than 20.

Yes. While FreqEZ is automatically activating outputs based on Frequency, N1MM Settings, or BCD inputs, you can manually activate additional outputs using ctrl+Click action. For example, when FreqEZ auto-activates your 80 meter vertical transmit antenna, you could manually select the appropriate North-, South-, East- or West-facing beverage receive antenna.

The PTT Inhibit circuit attempts to prevent the FreqEZ RPi HAT outputs from changing antennas while your radio is transmitting. By monitoring the Push-To-Talk line from your radio, keyer, or PC serial port, the FreqEZrpi Controller software “knows” when your radio is transmitting. When that PTT line is low (active), the FreqEZrpi Controller will ignore any packets from the FreqEZwin Console or changes to the BCD input lines. The Controller will only perform output changes when that PTT line goes high (inactive).

No, not if FreqEZ in the only program running on your Raspberry Pi 4. The Pi 4 runs hotter than previous versions of Raspberry Pi computers, and there are many solutions (fans and heat sinks) to avoid thermal slow-downs beyond 60 C. In our opinion those devices are not needed on a dedicated FreqEZ Pi.
FreqEZrpi is a low-impact terminal application that does not require much CPU, Memory, and Graphics processing. In our tests – without fans or heatsinks, enclosed in the listed Argon Neo or GeeekPi cases – the CPU temperature is typically 48 C – well below the point at which performance would be thermally impacted.
You can read your Pi temperature from the command line by typing “vcgencmd measure_temp”

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