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Need Help Waterfall in DM780 Distorted Tried all Settings in DAX Levels

terry
terry Member
edited October 2019 in FLEX-6000 Signature Series
I got my new Flex 6300 on Wed and I have been trying after work since then to get it to play with HRD DM780.  Just today I got DDUTIL 3.0 loaded and can run HRD DM780 without rig control front end.   I tried youtube recommended soundcard settings for sample rate adjustment.  I have set DAX receiver gain to full scale "0" and copy about 75% of PSK conversations. I am running windows 7 professional.  I am so aggravated and frustrated with DAX and audio settings I am ready to throw this 6300 in the yard.  I have been running the Flex 3000 on the same computer with powersdr with no issues with HRD and DM780.  Do I need to run the 6300 on a completely separate machine?  I did not anticipate this kind of aggravation or I would have never upgraded.

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  • Dudley-WA5QPZ
    Dudley-WA5QPZ Inactive Employee
    edited March 2018
    What is the level in DM780? I have noticed that the later versions request more audio drive? Also double check the sample rates for DAX RX and TX properties, windows has a habit of changing sound driver sample rates from 48k to 44100.
  • terry
    terry Member
    edited July 2019
    I just checked all four DAX Audio Settings in windows.  PLAYBACK: DAX Reserve Audio RX1, DAX AUDIO TX1, RECORDING: DAX AUDIO RX1, DAX RESERVED AUDIO TX1  are all set on 2 ch 16 bit 48K.  I have the levels set in the mid 90's on all.  DAX control panel RX gain is set on 74.  Audio indicated at bottom of DM 780 is about 30 percent.
  • terry
    terry Member
    edited July 2019

    Here is an example of Flex 6300 PSK with DM 780:


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  • JB
    JB Member ✭✭
    edited December 2014

    I seem to remember this happening to me (the decoding problem) on a computer that just could not handle the work load. Switched to a faster PC with more RAM and no more problems.

    You may also have something running in the background that is talking up cycles as well.

  • terry
    terry Member
    edited July 2019
    Loaded test version of ddutil instead of running HRD front end, but still have decoding issue.  Also tried FLDIGI latest version for 6k systems, same issue.  The computer is a core 2 duo running windows 7, with lots of RAM, and is very fast.  Will try it on another computer and will check for programs running in background.  Thanks for response.
  • on5po
    on5po Member ✭✭
    edited January 2017
    I also have big problem with flex 6300 and HRD, blockage of the waterfall and the cluster from time to time   Don't find a solution until now, has believe that only some WHO uses HRD with flex set 6000  
    no one my step gives solution again   
    I7 win 7 pro 16 Gbs ram, racehorse version games.. pfffff  
    with my flex 5000a, ever of problems 
  • terry
    terry Member
    edited July 2019
    I am going to try another computer today and see how it goes.  If not better, this 6300  won't be in my shack very long.
  • Richard Sinclair
    edited December 2014
    I had the same problem going from a 5000A to a 6700.  I had been using a duo core machine that worked perfectly with the 5000A/DM780 combination.  I could not get decent copy after switching to the 6700, and tried all the different combinations of DAX input, etc. to no avail.  I upgraded my computer to one of Neal's specials and immediately got excellent PSK copy.  SmartSDR and DM780 together just require more computing power.  Don't throw it in the yard.  Get yourself a bit more computer for Christmas!
  • Mike Whatley
    Mike Whatley Member
    edited March 2015
    The adventure of  the SDR Eco system is the 3rd party app connectivity **** shoot.  They (the 3rd party apps)  don't all perform well under differing configurations.  Nor should they.

    This is not a Flex Radio problem.

    mike/wa4d 
  • terry
    terry Member
    edited July 2019
    it is a flex issue when all the operational modes can't be utilized.  if we shouldn't be using third party software, then take ownership and provide a software that works...works great for cw and ssb, unfortunate for others that like to run digital, not so great.  perhaps today I will discover that "incorrect" setting that has thus far evaded me.
  • Ernest - W4EG
    Ernest - W4EG Member ✭✭
    edited October 2019
    Is amazing that thousands upon thousands have their Flex-6x00 working with no issues; all the sudden comes a newby telling us to throw away our radios. Or that this is a Flex issue!


  • on5po
    on5po Member ✭✭
    edited January 2017
    him na been ever the question to throw the flex, my question is it possible to work flex set 6000 with HRD   so, yes how and with what configuration   
    here ever of answer, why 
  • terry
    terry Member
    edited October 2019
    W4EG - I had a flex 3000 working perfect, same computer.  Of course I had to **** off VAC just to run the 6300. Will probably go back to the 3000 once I discuss with Flex tomorrow and if they have no better input than W4EG it is a foregone conclusion this rig won't be here long.  Thousands upon thousands with no problems is hardly factual.  Perhaps the folks with issues just aren't up to the task?  V/R  N5TF
  • terry
    terry Member
    edited July 2019
    I have a windows IT professional coming over to the house in a bit...For all of you other operators not up to task of getting the 6000 series to print accurately, perhaps I will be able to provide some helpful info after his departure.  V/R  N5TF
  • Richard Sinclair
    edited July 2019
    I should have added in my original post this morning that the duo core/6700 combo worked fine with SSB and CW.  It worked fine with MixW and Fldigi.  It did not work well with DM780.  In my station setup, I needed more computer power to make it all work well.  I can run eight slices and copy with DM780 with no problem, and the machine from Neal just loafs along.  I love it!
  • terry
    terry Member
    edited July 2019
    Thanks Richard for the constructive input...Once  my IT friend leaves I may have a decision to make regarding Rig or computer.
  • Ernest - W4EG
    Ernest - W4EG Member ✭✭
    edited January 2015
    Terry,
    There is a learning curve for all radios, knobs or not. I have owned at least one or more of Flex radios, starting with  the F1K to the present F6.7K. Guess what my friend; I had issues with them and with time they were solved. I did not threaten Flex that they should do this or that.  I kept asking questions. Flex and many owner helped me see what I was doing wrong. If you are not up to the task why did you buy it? It was clearly advertised, as work in progress: Needing software that was being developed.
    My friend, I am not a computer **** or anything close to one.  I am just an average user, using common sense to solve issues.  For example, I can fly a plane: Why would I volunteer to fly the shuttle? You are right, I am NOT up to "the task."
    My friend, maybe you are wrong again; count the number of complains in this forum or the old PDSR one. You will find there are far and few.  If you don't like the radio because X,Y or Z don't buy it!  
    Good luck and ponder on what you are planning to do. You might regret it, making such drastic decision. SmartSDR for ever. 
  • terry
    terry Member
    edited December 2014
    If you can't offer any constructive inputs, go Sit on 80M sideband and rag chew or pontificate with someone else. 
  • Ernest - W4EG
    Ernest - W4EG Member ✭✭
    edited January 2015
    Would you like to join me there?  
    I'll make room specially for you... nice and comfy  too! 
  • Jay Nation
    Jay Nation Member
    edited May 2019
    Have you tried any of the other DAX connections, On my machine I've got MME, DirectX, WASAPI,
    and WDM-KS connections created for the available drivers found on the machine, WDM-KS would be the optimum, since it usually has the least latency/delay. but some of my digital apps decode badly if I select that one. WSPR-X wouldn't decode at all with WDM-KS. But switching to the DirectX connections, solved the issue, MME seemed to work more reliably in FLDIGI. I try to use whatever connection works that has the least latency. YMMV, of course. Might be something else entirely. When things don't work right for me, I try doing other things because sometimes what I'm trying to do is the wrong thing. The last thing I'd try is throwing something in the yard. I've still got my other Flex's, and connected to the same machine running on the same OS they all behave differently, PowerSDR doesn't have trouble using WDM-KS for some apps But preferred MME sometimes. I just select whatever works reliably. Ask your Windows IT professional why it is that rebooting the PC is still considered to be a Windows cure all and valuable step in the troubleshooting process. Been there, done that, only worked for a while.
  • James T. Whitehead
    James T. Whitehead Member ✭✭
    edited December 2014
    Your CPU was manufactured, by Intel, beginning in 2007 and they moved to their next platform in 2011. Unfortunately your processor is quite old - accordingly you probably have a standard Hard drive vs a Solid State Drive - also an older video card - please insure you really do have a fast computer before you throw your Flex out!!
  • terry
    terry Member
    edited December 2014
    Richard - would you be so kind to provide the specs on your new computer?
  • Richard Sinclair
    edited December 2014
    It is an Intel i7, 3.40 GHz, 16 GB memory, 256 GB SSD, and a 1 TB drive.  It is Neal Campbell's "DXer's Dream Machine."  This is way more than is needed to nicely run SmartSDR and HRD, but it is ready for whatever comes next.
  • Tim - W4TME
    Tim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited March 2017
    Terry - I can appreciate your frustration and the technical recommendations made here are sound.

    I suspect that your issue is not just one specific issue, but possibly has several contributing factors.  I have read through this post and I can offer some insight and feedback on what has already been said.

    First off, a Core 2 Duo CPU is below minimum recommended processor to use with SmartSDR and the other SmartSDR ancillary applications (CAT & DAX).  
    Here is the excerpt from the web site (http://www.flexradio.com/amateur-products/flex-6000-signature-series/smartsdr/)


    Hardware Requirements
    Minimum required CPU for SmartSDR is an Intel i3 2100T or an AMD Athlon Phenom II and greater. Lesser processors may not perform adequately when displaying multiple or full screen spectrum displays.  However for the optimal user experience, as most hams run multiple applications along with SmartSDR for Windows such as loggers and digital mode programs, a quad-core CPU or greater is highly recommended.


    This minimum recommendation does not take into account running third-part apps that can be significant resource consumers.  The advice you received about your PC being under powered is warranted.  In addition, HRD consists of a lot of individual applications and they can consume resources and result in system latency that is not reflected in metrics like CPU utilization and memory consumption.  When dealing with real-time audio, DPC latency is very significant.  Yes, your PC may have worked well with your FLEX-3000, but SmartSDR is very different than PowerSDR in the way it uses PC resources so that comparison is not a good validator.  One caution with your IT friend; a lot of PC IT folks do not have a lot of experience with running Windows with real-time audio processing applications (DAX is one of these).  It takes digging into the internal system latencies to get a full picture of what is going on.  I have seen high-end PCs that have horrible system latency and they don't work well with real-time audio processing apps.

    The DAX driver can be susceptible to buffer alignment issues if the CPU utilization is high along with long duration DPCs.  We are aware of this issue, we think we know the source of the problem(s) and are working on addressing them.  Hopefully we will have possible solution in the near term.
     
    Second, I would recommend some basic troubleshooting techniques to determine the source of the problem.  The key technique is to perturb the system and see how the problem tracks.  In that regard, I would try a different digital mode program, like Fldigi.  Here is a nice video on how to set it up (http://helpdesk.flexradio.com/hc/en-us/articles/201437675).  If the problem show up with Fldigi, then you know the issue is not with HRD.  Otherwise there is a good probability that the issue is with HRD.

    The suggestions about selecting the MME audio driver if one is available is a good one.  It is the most compatible of all the rest because it isn't a low latency audio driver.

    Don't throw in the towel just yet. I think you may be asking the Core 2 Duo to do a little more than it is capable of doing.

  • on5po
    on5po Member ✭✭
    edited January 2017
    Thank you Tim, for the explanations, I have an I7 games, with 16 Gbs ram,no latency, with always of the problems of compatibilities between SmartSDR and HRD  it is necessary to take another program and to wait that flex and HRD is compatible, not other a pity solution 
    73, Janny
  • Steve Walker
    Steve Walker Member
    edited September 2016
    I would agree with the underpowered PC comments above, testing SmartSDR and HRD/DM780 on a Core 2 Duo E8400 with 4GB Ram and Windows 7 64bit shows very similar issues to yours. Definably not enough grunt!

    Trying the same combo on a Core 2 Quad Q9550 gives much better decoding performance without changing anything else. You can see improvements in the audio subsystem if you have the programs to monitor what is going on under the "hood".

    Changing again to an i5 and there are no issues at all - no bottlenecks or artefacts no matter what else is running. You can resize and drag about the spectrum windows to your hearts content without any audio pops or crackles.

    Get Santa to get you a new PC and see that 6300 come alive.
  • Brent Parker
    Brent Parker Member
    edited March 2017

    I have a dell m6400, which is dell's "moble" workstation. Big 17' high res display. It's a core 2 duo. The passmark numbers are pretty good (cpu 1248, 2D 476, 3D 604), but the display of SDR is very jerky. Reading the specs, it's suprising. If I had purchased this for SDR, I would have been disapointed.

    The computer I use is a 8 core dell workstation T5400 with E5440 and GTX670 cards.  (ebay about $350) This machines never hickups (passmark cpu - 1650, 2D-438, 3D 5151) .

    I have the same computer at the office, and run the radio from the house over a wireless bridge (17mbps) ethernet link.

    17mbps is pretty slow, but it works fine (meaning when we get the wan in version 2.0 it should work well too), but the actual display apparently requires some "horse power".

    Looking at the passmark scores, something is not telling the whole story. In the numbers above, the cpu and 3D numbers aren't that much different (the 3D is, but SDR isn't suppose to be using that).  However the laptop is basically not usable, and the desktops I can have multiple application running (multiple slices, sstv, psk31, the expermental power meter, etc)

    "New" cpus are pretty expensive. However older (ebay) business class E5400, and E5500's cpus rock and you can pick them up cheep. They seam to handle the raw power SDR needs.

    I'd love to understand how I can run SDR over my ethernet bridge (which is about 17mbps) which is barely better the old 10 m ethernet, but need something better than a dual core to display. Apparenltly the traffic over the ethernet is "light", but the display requires to "work".

    Got my new Black Flexradio shirt for xmas yesterday. So I'm a happy camper!

    Happy Holidays to everyone.

    73  Brent NB4AP

     

  • Tim - W4TME
    Tim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited December 2016
    Brent - the FLEX-6000s were engineering to be "thin pipe" SDRs, meaning that we do not have to offload large amount of data over the Ethernet to the PC for processing.  This is different form other direct sampling SDRs that use the PC for signal processing chores.  For SmartSDR, we only stream the data across the Ethernet necessary for radio "command and control" and to render the spectrum display.  DAX only streams audio data.

    The SmartSDR application can render multiple very high resolution spectrum displays.  SmartSDR is a  WPF (Windows presentation Foundation) application and it automatically uses the GPU to render objects and the display when it can, but not all rending is done entirely in the GPU and the CPU must be used in conjunction with the GPU. We have found in general that a dual core CPU just doesn't have the processing power to effectively run SmartSDR very well. 
  • Brent Parker
    Brent Parker Member
    edited December 2016

    Tim - The ability to run the radio from my office over a 17mpbs pipe, confirms the "thin" pipe info, and that is going to be huge when we really start running remote! :)  However as you say it does take some horsepower to display the screen, apparently either thru a GPU, or on the CPU when needed, and the dual core laptop I tested confirmed it wasn't up to the task.  Also it has a FX 2700 display card, which are good, but it's not a "gaming" card, so I believe the cpu in that instance is doing all the "work".

    Where it "fell down" was the waterfall. Everything else was pretty smooth, but the waterfall was jerky. I changed the display rate, and it helped. I was using the laptop as a temporary "field" test setup.

    It's great on the desktop with a gtx 670.

    Have a great holiday.

    73  Brent  NB4AP

  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 2018
    OK so what I'm hearing, it mostly depends on what you are planing on doing with the radio. Lets say I am interested in using the radio simple, just SSB and phone. No digital stuff or other programs running. The duol core and a good graphics card should be just fine for a 6300. But if one needs more slices and water fall and digital mods with other programs running we need much more horse power. Seems to me when we move into a very powerful fast computer it is no longer really a thin client.

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