UR6QW Audio Processor

UR6QW 8-band EQ v5

UR6QW 8-band EQ v5

I recently bought version 5 of the 8-band EQ from UR6QW in Ukraine. This is a high quality audio processor for your ham radio. I chose to purchase the IC-7300 version for my SSB voice comms. The device has an 8-band graphic equalizer, a low noise microphone preamplifier, an audio compressor, noise gate with variable level and attack/release time, and an echo processor (for those who might want to connect it to a CB radio 😉 !).

According to UR6QW, the device works with both electret/condenser type microphones and dynamic microphones. However, I did measure +5V electret bias voltage on pin 1 of the 8-pin microphone connector (which makes sense since this bias voltage is required to drive the stock ICOM HM-291 electret microphone) and I also measured the same voltage on the tip of the 3.5 mm external microphone jack.

Anyway, I want to use this socket for connecting a dynamic microphone so I installed a DC blocking capacitor in series with the tip connection of the 3.5 mm socket so that there is no DC bias supplied to the dynamic mic. Of course, this 3.5 mm socket will no longer drive electret microphones, but it gives me options. This 5V bias voltage is supplied through a high resistance (several kohms), so it’s incapable of sourcing much current, but I didn’t want it on the dynamic microphone coil at all, so, capacitor it was! I chose a 10 µF, 16 V electrolytic capacitor, connecting the positive side towards the bias voltage. There is no need to use non-polarized capacitors in this application.

The device I bought is powered via the IC-7300 microphone connector, and requires no external power supply. It has an external 1/4 inch PTT switch jack on the rear, and a couple of 1/8th inch jacks for a headset (headphone/mic) on the front, as well as a connector for the Icom microphone. Up/Down buttons on the microphone still work when using this processor. For those interested, here is a link direct to UR6QW’s page.

In the past, I’ve given ESSB quite a hard time, and I’ve said that listening to people who use noise gates is tiring on the ears. It seems unnatural. So, here I am with my very own processor capable of producing ESSB with a noise gate. Is this a case of “if you can’t beat them, join them”? Maybe.  ESSB is somewhat difficult to achieve on the IC-7300 since its maximum transmit bandwidth is 2.8 kHz (filter range from 100-2900 Hz) so the deep lows and crisp highs are cut out of the audio whether you like it or not, via the radios internal software. However, it is important to remember that filters don’t just cut off with infinite dB of attenuation. I don’t know the filter profile of the transmit bandwidth filter, but adding 6-10 dB of boost outside of the limits of the transmit bandwidth filter should still yield some boost after the filter.

The UR6QW device is very easy to set up using the monitor function on your radio, but I chose to set it up initially while listening to myself on another radio. I further tweaked the settings over the air with the help of W5IFN and AG5DB.

For the stock HM-219 mic, the settings I eventually settled on for my IC-7300 and processor were as follows. Your optimal settings may be different.

IC-7300 Settings
Compressor Off
Mic Gain 50
Bass 0
Treble 0
TXBW 100-2900 Hz (wide)
UR6QW Processor Settings (numbers relate to the dots around the pots)
80 Hz +6 dB
160 Hz -1 dB
250 Hz -4.5 dB
500 Hz 0 dB
900 Hz +3.5 dB
1500 Hz +2 dB
2500 Hz +6 dB
3200 Hz +6 dB
[Compressor] RATIO 3:1
MIC [Gain] 3.5
GATE [Threshold] 12 (2nd dot from max)
[Gate] TIME switch NORM
ECHO, DELAY 0 (off)
OUT [output level] 7 (half way)

Image showing the HM-219 settings.

When using Behringer XM8500 microphone, the settings I initially settled on for my IC-7300 and processor were as follows.

IC-7300 Settings
Compressor Off
Mic Gain 70
Bass 0
Treble +3
TXBW 100-2900 Hz (wide)
UR6QW Processor Settings (numbers relate to the dots around the pots)
80 Hz +6 dB
160 Hz -3.5 dB (9 o’clock)
250 Hz -3 dB
500 Hz 0 dB (12 o’clock)
900 Hz +3.5 dB (3 o’clock)
1500 Hz +6 dB
2500 Hz +6 dB
3200 Hz +6 dB
[Compressor] RATIO 3:1
MIC [Gain] 5
GATE [Threshold] 12 (2nd dot from max)
[Gate] TIME switch NORM
ECHO, DELAY 0 (off)
OUT [output level] 6

Image showing the XM8500 settings

Then – after a weekend of contesting, using Behringer XM8500 microphone, the settings I finally settled on for my IC-7300 and processor were as follows. I ended up using the compressor in the IC-7300 rather than the compressor in the UR6QW device, since it provided a much better average SSB power level.

IC-7300 Settings
Compressor ON (set to 5)
Mic Gain 70
Bass +5
Treble +5
TXBW 100-2900 Hz (wide)
UR6QW Processor Settings (numbers relate to the dots around the pots)
80 Hz +3.5 dB (3 o’clock)
160 Hz -6 dB (minimum)
250 Hz -6 dB (minimum)
500 Hz 0 dB (12 o’clock)
900 Hz +3.5 dB (3 o’clock)
1500 Hz +6 dB
2500 Hz +6 dB
3200 Hz +6 dB
[Compressor] RATIO 1:1 (OFF)
MIC [Gain] 5
GATE [Threshold] 12 (2nd dot from max)
[Gate] TIME switch NORM
ECHO, DELAY 0 (off)
OUT [output level] 6

Image showing the 2nd set of XM8500 settings

Overall I am very happy with my purchase. I received great audio reports over 9000 miles DX. This device packs a punch in your audio. The processor is of a very high quality. Shielding is good, shielded cables are used, and the housing is metal. The legend is silk-screened onto the housing in thick white paint. The knobs are of high quality and the potentiometers feel solid.

This processor is extremely competitively priced considering its high quality build, connector options, and its audio functionality and quality.

So far, I give this 10 out of 10!

 

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  • I would very much appreciate an A/B audio track of your mellifluous voice! Pre/Post, if you prefer. πŸ˜€

  • AD5GG

    Good idea… but I don’t know about “mellifluous” !!
    I do have some audio from when I was setting it up. Let me see about getting that thrown up on YouTube with some captions (before/after).

    • And “why” would we need captions, Gordo?

  • AD5GG

    And here we have it!
    I still need to set the settings where I want them, but this is a start.
    Received on a Yaesu FT-991 sitting next to me at a +40 dB over S9 level.
    Rx bandwidth on the FT-991 was 3 kHz. Recorded direct to PC via the FT-991’s USB audio device.
    Note: this is my initial settings with the stock mic, and the receive isn’t very good.

  • Nicely tuned! It also knocks out almost all your background noise!

    I’ll have to go look for this to see how many Rubles this costs and if it’ll work with a Heil mic…

  • AD5GG

    It’s cheap compared to a Heil mic πŸ˜‰
    Sergey can customize this device to work with whatever radio/mic combination you like.
    The stock Icom HM-219 mic isn’t the best – it’s extremely “hot”, and the wind/pop shield is nonexistent (as audibly demonstrated in this video)…
    I’m thinking I might get better results with a dynamic element. Might be worth a shot.
    The processor I have has a microphone/phone 3.5 mm jack input/output on the front, so I should be able to try any microphone I like, really. Just need a PTT footswitch to plug into the back!

  • AD5GG

    This was posted a few weeks ago when I first received the device. I’ve learned a lot about it since then. See above in the main post for a few different setups.