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Internal noise on mic input Flex 6500

I have been operating my 6500 for about two weeks. I am new to the radio. The following is with no mics connected to the transceiver. I have noticed if you key the transmitter using the bal input in the rear of the transceiver with no modulation the system is totally clean and noise free. I have noticed if you switch to the mic input and key the transmitter without modulation you can hear a small amount of internal noise. I believe I have selectively shut down all items in the shack to eliminate external sources. Has anyone experienced this phenomenon?

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Answers

  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited March 2017
    Bill - This behavior has been previously reported.  It is due impart to the front panel mic input being an unbalanced microphone input.  The rear XLR/TRS input is a balanced audio input and is less susceptible to inducted noise due to differential signaling.  Therefore if possible, it is always a best practice to use a balanced input in RF "rich" environments if possible.
  • Bill K8WLKBill K8WLK Member
    edited May 2016
    Thanks much Tim....Great Radio!
  • Kevin WallaceKevin Wallace Member
    edited September 2014
    I experience this same behavior with my 6300. I've never heard this much noise on the MIC connector from any radio I've ever owned. I am currently using the ACC connector to transmit audio and it doesn't appear to exhibit this behavior, but I would assume the noise I'm hearing on the MIC connector is NOT normal. Hopefully it can be cured with a software update!
  • TomTom Member ✭✭
    edited September 2014
    Same here, noise on MIC connector is not normal, even without microphone being connected to it.
    All my rigs except FT9000 dont have balanced input but still free of noise.
    I have balanced microphone but sometimes I want to use Heil pro unbalanced set but noise is surprisingly high.
    For me it is anomaly or malfunction to be addressed.
    Answer from FRS (Tim) about best practice was not serious,
    Tom, 9A6TKS
  • Jon_KF2EJon_KF2E Member ✭✭
    edited July 2018
    I think that the issue here is that the Flex is somewhat more susceptible to RF than traditional radios. When I first got my 6500 I experienced a lot of distortion using the front unbalanced mic input. This problem is exacerbated if you use the front input with a balanced mic. I went to a PR781(balanced) plugged into the balanced input and my issues went away. Later, I added about a dozen mix 31 ferrites to the feed point of my antenna. Since doing so I don't have any issues regardless of the input I use.

    Jon...kf2e

  • JayJay Member ✭✭
    edited June 23
    Has this issue been solved in anyway? I have this problem on 6300. Sent it in and tech did not find a problem, but it is still there. Image below shows noise during xmit. If i lower mic gain it goes down but just  a bit. Downward expander hides it.
    image
  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited December 2016
    What I see immediately is your EQ is boosted too high on the higher frequencies,  and the mic gain is pegged at 100.  I suspect your mic is not providing enough gain to drive the radio, as you should bever have to max ou these controls to fully modulate the radio.
  • JayJay Member ✭✭
    edited June 2016
    Yes it is but even flat and a mic gain of 0 I still have the noise. It is there. Even when mic is diconnected.
  • km9r.mikekm9r.mike Member
    edited June 2016
    Even with mic gain only @ level 50, I notice the provided hand mic is very sensitive and will pick up the slightest of background noise which I think some here may be confusing with internal noise. Maybe not , however, I have never seen a waveform like the above on my radio but then again I do not operate at mic gain level 100. My level meter will peak red at times with just a normal tone of voice at mic gain 50 so 100 is out of the question for me. I will set high levels of eq however and have received positive reports of clean audio the most recent being the june arrl vhf test.
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Could be a wiring problem,,ground loop?
  • JayJay Member ✭✭
    edited June 2016
    I get this noise without mic connected. Try it, take downwar expander no mic connected and listen.
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    I don't know what it is but They will respond to you.
  • Kevin WallaceKevin Wallace Member
    edited June 2016
    I've had the same issue on the MIC jack since I received one of the initial 6300's, but since I use the accessory connector as my audio input, where I don't seem to have the issue, I haven't complained. In any event, it would be nice to have this nuisance corrected.
  • JayJay Member ✭✭
    edited June 2016
    Yes when I choose acc as the input it is not there. And Bill as far as the ground loop not sure if you mean internal or station ground.
  • JayJay Member ✭✭
    edited June 2016
    No mic gain, downward expander off
    image
  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Jay, I will test my 6500 when I get home tonight.  I had this concern when I first got my 1500.  Dudley and/or Tim explained to me that ALL solid state devices operating above absolute zero generate some noise.  The particular scale I was using on my Panadapter magnified the effect, and when I calculated the height of the display when transmitting at full power vs. the height when there was no audio input, the "noise" generated internally was negligible.  The thing with rigs that have no Panadapter display is that they don't SEE the internal noise like we can on the pan display.  The power generated would never show up on the Wattmeter. There is none showing on yours either.  So this may be the particularity of the excellent panadapter in the 6000 at work.

    In any case, I will check it and post if there is a major difference on my rig.....

    I should have noticed last night.  I just rearranged my shack, moved my rig, and took my Behringer Q802USB mixer out of the line, requiring me to edit and re-save all of my many (about 12) Mic profiles for my PR22.    

    Ken - NM9P
  • G8ZPXG8ZPX Member
    edited July 2016
    Sorry Tim. Same issue here. This is not just just a balanced vs unbalanced issue as the noise is clearly internal to the radio. See the video.

    Switching from ACC to MIC input (with no device connected on either port) sees a much higher internal noise level on MIC than when ACC is selected. This noise can also be heard on MON to headphones when DEXP is off.


  • N3NERN3NER Member
    edited January 2019
    I see this as well on my 6300 however, if you look at the power output when this noise is introduced there is no output on the meter (dummy load or connected to an antenna).  So it's not transmitting anything on the output so there must be something going on where the noise is getting picked up someplace in the audio chain but it being transmitted at all.  I see this in the MIC and PC position but not in the ACC position. 
  • JayJay Member ✭✭
    edited January 2017
    Try with your normal mic level afterward and let us know if there is any change in level.
  • JayJay Member ✭✭
    edited June 23
    Question for Ken do you have to impedance match your behringer mixer to the radio? Jay n2gq
  • JayJay Member ✭✭
    edited January 2017
    I also tried this on my kenwood Ts2000 into dummy load and and listened on flex radio and wow noise there too.
  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited December 2016
    Sorry for the delay.  I recommend you submit a support ticket via our HelpDesk (http://helpdesk.flexradio.com) so we can assign you a case number.  For details on how to submit a HelpDesk support ticket, please refer to the following URL: http://helpdesk.flexradio.com/hc/en-us/articles/202118688-How-to-Submit-a-Request-for-Technical-Supp...   Once the support ticket is submitted, a support engineer will be in contact so we can work on the issue.  Make sure to include your product's serial number.
  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited December 2016
    My advice is the same as what I gave to Steven - open a HelpDesk support ticket so we can investigate this issue.
  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    The BAL input is at a commercial audio impedance and line level, so impedance is correct going from the balanced mixer output to the BAL input on the 6500/6700. I just used an balanced to balanced patch cable. You can use an XLR to XLR or a TRS to TRS. I used a TRS because I had one. (Actually, I had a dual TRS male to male cable and used one to the 6500 and the other went from and AUX send/output to an AUX line in adapter I made for the 1500 I used to have. That allowed me to sent my mic audio to both rigs simultaneously and adjust the level independently for each rig. ). If I remember correctly, I used a mixer mic level at mid-range, mixer line output at about mid-range, and the 6500 BAL input without +20 boost and level at about 35 got me close. I did initial level setting with the mixer MAINS output control. Then fine tuned it a bit by bumping the control on the 6500, since each profile needed a little different mic level setting, depending upon TX EQ levels.
  • Jay NationJay Nation Member
    edited August 2016
    Be sure to report back what the solution is too. My 6500 has done this since the day I unboxed it, long, long, ago. My work around has always been enabling the downward expander. I've been assuming it was only a panadapter issue, none of it ever seems to get transmitted. I'd like a fact based in depth explanation, should one become available.

    This has been reported more than once, the solution needs to be reported too.

    73, Jay - NO5J
  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited December 2016
    I recommend following my advice I gave to Steven; open a HelpDesk ticket.
  • Jay NationJay Nation Member
    edited August 2016
    Ticket has been opened! Take a look at it.
    Request #14029  

    73, Jay - NO5J
  • Mark - K9MQMark - K9MQ Member
    edited June 2016
    I have the same issue with the Flex-6300.  Last November, I made a video similar to Steven's and submitted it to the helpdesk.  Tim replied right away that something is up and immediately issued me a UPS return label.  The service department could not find anything wrong with the rig and verified that the rig had all of the latest ECO's on it.  It was returned and I was still having the same issues.

    I did some diagnosing and did find, there was a little bit of fan noise mixed in, but the noise was still present even with the fan temporarily disconnected (the fan noise problem went away).  I opened up a second help desk ticket with a link to the same video and Dudley replied that it shouldn't be doing that and issued a UPS return label.  When, I returned the radio, I included documentation that had a link to the Youtube video and a screenshots from SmartSDR showing the waveform for the tech to review.  The tech could not duplicate the issue, but they went ahead and shipped me a new radio anyway.  

    The new radio did sound somewhat better, and the fan noise was not present anymore, but still had the internal noise present.  It is critical for me to run the downward expander to mask the noise.  I'm an convinced that this is how the product is designed and not a hardware failure.  I can hear this noise in full duplex mode and on my Kenwood TS-2000.        
  • Jay NationJay Nation Member
    edited August 2016
    Or, I suppose I should have used the community search function to see what information has already been provided about this issue, "first".

    This rather old thread, if still accurate information, seems to hint at what the reality is.

    https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/panadapter_signal_during_transmit

    I'm comfortable just ignoring the panadapter noise seen when the Downward Expander is off, or misadjusted.

    DEXP seems capable of removing noise both "seen" and heard. I almost always have to enable it anyway, due to PC fan and hard drive noise, The business ends of my mics are all within 3 feet of 3 PC's. So in my case a portion of what's seen on the panadapter is confirmed to be external  to the 6500. 

    Kind of nice knowing that my PR781 is sensitive enough to hear noises I can't really hear. Kind of nice that the DEXP removes anything I'm ignoring or can't really hear also.

    That's my current opinion, but I'm interested in other opinions too.image

    73, Jay - NO5J

  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Jay. Two things that can help you get a picture of this. 1) Try the full duplex method I posted to YouTube. Set your transmitter to xvtr so you are not really transmitting over the air. Mute slice A. Set slice B to the same frequency and mode with RX filter the same, or wider, than your transmitter. Activate FDX, and use headphones to monitor your slice A transmitter on slice B. Make sure your RX EQ is off, and agc-t is set so that the background noise just starts to drop a little. Agc speed at medium. Now key the Mic and just listen to your own signal in slice B..... If DEXP is off, you will hear a lot of stuff your mike is picking up. Now activate DEXP and slowly bring the level up and you can hear and see on the display exactly when it takes effect. Cool! 2). A second technique, though not as dramatic, is to use the monitor function with headphones. BTW... The old post you linked is informative, especially the discussion of what the pan on txt actually displays. I have found that for SSB and digi signals, what is within the RX passband **** is VERY accurate to what I used to monitor on my 1500 as I transmitted with the 6500. What is outside the RX passband...not always accurate. My interpretation is that most of the garbage seen in the RX panadapter is internally generated phantom signals, and that the noise seen in the TX passband when there is no mic connected is the minuscule internal noise generated by solid state devices. We just have the "luxury" of Boeing able to see if I! Also....Did you notice Steve's statement that in the initial design the -80 dB tap from the transmitter was originally made in order to allow adaptive predistortion? Contrary to the nay-sayers, APD has been in the plan all along. It is just a matter of timing and priorities, (and perfecting the software.) I thought that was interesting. I had not caught that two years ago.

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