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Unable to get solid PSK-31 decodes
I am a fairly recent addition to the Flex 6000 community as I have only had my 6300 for about a month. I am currently working mostly all digital modes as my location doesn’t allow too much else right now, and when I first received the Flex, I got GREAT copy of most PSK 31 signals with a 40M TAKTENNA up about 15 feet when conditions were good. However about a week on and off of using it I noticed that the copy didn’t seem as good as it was before, but I didn’t always have a lot of time to play with settings, so I just chalked it up to conditions. But the more I played with it, I have determined that there is something wrong, as I have just added a STEPPIR SmallIR vertical antenna and the copy is still less than 50% good when the signals look to be near perfect on the waterfall on the Smart SDR and HRD 780. I have researched everything that I can about possibilities, and the one what seemed to be the biggest deal several months ago was people running older computers with Windows XP and having similar problems. I have a very new, very fast system with AMD 6 Core 3.54 GHz, 16 Gig RAM, Radeon HD 6570 1 Gigabyte PCI-Express 2.1 Video Card, a 256 Gig SSD drive, 100 MHZ Cisco switch direct connection to the Flex running Windows 8.1. So I don’t think the problems experienced by other because of slow computers or old operating systems, and the fact that it did work just fine before a much better antenna system leads me to think it is software or settings. I am running the latest version of SmartSDR firmware, and when I upgraded to it from 1.4, I really didn’t use the Flex for a few days and can’t remember if I noticed the problem with the decoding before the upgrade or after.
Here is what I have done to try to improve the decoding in DM780. I uninstalled SmartSDR and all of the components, CAT, DAX, and Mini Deluxe. Rebooted and reinstalled everything, still not change in decoding status.
Some items that I am sure someone will ask about or comment about….
I have used the setup guide to getting my SmartSDR, DAX, CAT and DM780 setting correct, as decoding did work great in the beginning.
In the SmartSDR, I have the Digital profile selected, which give me DIGU, and 3K, AGC-T Off. I have played with all the sliders and settings, and nothing seemed to help so if someone has a “Best Settings” idea, I am open to this.
In DM780, I have my squelch all the way to the left and the receive signals are full scale most times on the receive bar in DM780 on the PSK-31 signal that I am attempting to Decode. My Dax receive settings are adjusted so that they are 90-95% scale and when I am transmitting my TX DAX setting are 90-95% scale as to produce a good signal. When I transmit and call CQ time after time, I never get an answer, and if I respond to someone elses CQ, I always get a QRZ reply and even after replying multiple times with my Call sign they are not able to receive me successfully. The CPU process at the bottom of the screen in DM780 reports about 2% use.
I have mostly conducted testing on 20 and 15 Meters. On the SteppIR I have VSWR of 2.1 or lower on these two bands, and with the Flex ATU it goes down to around 1.2, and I transmit 40W out.
The receive signals that I see on the SmartSDR and DM780 waterfall are strong signals, but there is only about 50% decode when I select these strong signals.
I have installed and tried FLDIGI and did not receive much better decode on PSK-31 signals using that software, so I am pretty confident it is in the Flex settings or something, even though there aren’t many. I am sure it is something that I changed in playing with all the options that has made this change, I just need to know what it is to undo it. I have tried everything that I can to get the great decode that I know the Flex is capable of, but am missing something.
In getting the station set up like I ultimately want, I have continued to add items and interconnectivity between other programs so let me give you the full setup of the station currently in case one of these other pieces might have something to do with this problem.
Currently running SmartSDR 1.4.3, DDUtil v3, (3) physical Serial ports in my computer (2) via a PCI card (Com 6 and COM 7), and (1) via a USB Serial port adapter (COM 3) that is connected to a GPS receiver that feeds GPS and time data into BktTimeSynch that keeps my computer time synched with GPS every 1 minute. DDUtil v.3 is controlling HRD and is monitoring physical port COM 6 for the SteppIR SDA controller for band following when I change frequencies in DM 780. I am running the latest version of HRD 6.29.355, Windows 8.1, dual monitors, dual Ethernet connections, 1 direct connection to internet provider (239.X.X.X address), and a separate direct connection to a Cisco Switch to the Flex 6300 (169.X.X.X) address.
Ok, today I formatted my SSD and reloaded Windows 8.1, SmartSDR 1.4.3, Ham Radio Deluxe and everything else and got everything somewhat talking to each other even though I cant get DDUtil to work with HRD. I can bring HRD up with Ham Radio Deluxe program to at least use it with DM780 to verify if I still am having problems. And yes, even though the conditions are GREAT this evening and there are TONS of signals on 20M right now, I can’t get solid decodes on most signals. Some will be pretty good, then next transmission, they will be unreadable with the decoding. This is very frustrating.
I know this was long, but I wanted to cover everything so that maybe something sticks out to someone and I can get this resolved sooner rather than later.
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