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Flex 6300 missing random dits.

K7FUK7FU Member
Since the upgrade to 1.6, cw now misses random dits. It is not rf related as I have tested down to 0 watts. No other radios in  my shack have this issue, so it is not my Begali paddle. Never had a problem until the 1.6 and now the 1.6.2. I was hoping for afix in this release but no go. I am strictly a cw op so this may be a deal breaker. Anyone else notice this issue or have a fix?

K7FU

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Comments

  • Steve W6SDMSteve W6SDM Member ✭✭
    edited February 2016
    I worked some CW this morning and didn't have any problem.  I operate at about 26 WPM.
  • Jim GilliamJim Gilliam Member
    edited January 2017

    Is there any minimum speed where you don't occasionally miss dits?


    Jim, K6QE

  • George Molnar, KF2TGeorge Molnar, KF2T Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 2019
    No issue at any speed here (6500). Does changing the keyer settings (A/B, etc) affect your output?
  • Monk - K5HPMonk - K5HP Member
    edited December 2016
    I was having the same problem and changing to "B" solved it. Meant to thank you for this suggestion in another post, George. Thanks
  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited December 2017
    This issue needs to be properly characterized.  Please confirm that the missing dits are actually not transmitted as RF as opposed to being missing sidetone.  These are two very different issues.
  • K7FUK7FU Member
    edited January 2017
    I will try to see if "B" solves the issue, and also try to observe if it is a sidetone issue or not.
  • K7FUK7FU Member
    edited January 2017
    Switched to "B" and that so far has resolved the missing random dits. Still not sure if it is sidetone or actually a missed transmitted dit, but I am happy again..... K7FU. Will keep an eye on it and so some more checking before calling this resolved.
  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited June 23
    If I remember the A/B selection on the Keyer is to switch between Iambic "A" mode or "B" mode, which has to do with the way the keyer handles dit and dah memories and the hold-time on the paddles that activates them.  I don't think I can describe the differences from memory.  It might be in the manual.....but who reads the manual?   (;>b)

    I have never been able to master "A" mode and the "B" mode seems to be more intuitive for me.
    Mode "A" doesn't remember an intended 'dit' if pressed while the 'dah' is more than halfway through playing (or something like that...or is it the other way around?)

    Neither have I been able fully to master the "squeeze keying" technique.  My fist is a cross between squeeze key and "single paddle" style.  Because of this, I can't seem to send reliable beyond about 29 WPM.  I tried to learn the total "squeeze key" technique, but it messed me up.  Unless I have nothing else to do but practice off the air for a week or so, it will go to the back burner.  

    Could one of you other experts explain the fine points of the differences between 'A' and 'B' mode Iambic?

    Ken - NM9P
  • k3Timk3Tim Member ✭✭
    edited June 23
    http://wb9kzy.com/modeab.pdf

    Mode B seems to work better for my style of keying.

    Don't sweat the squeeze keyer:

    http://www.cwops.org/pdf/iambicmyth.pdf

    Although Vibroplex sells a sweet / smooth keyer that if one could learn to squeeze key would likely go 100wpm !  :-)

    The mode A / B bug from long ago is fixed.

    k3Tim
  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Thanks, Tim.  The two documents helped me identify my style.
    I am more of an "Insertion" squeeze keyer.  
    I utilize the dit and dah memory function, but not the true squeeze on longer letters. I doubt I will ever change.  I've been doing it this way since about 1986.

    Still I find that my 1986 Bencher paddles seem to be feeling a little "spongey" or rubbery.  I can't explain it exactly.  It's almost like the metal on the paddle arms and contact arms has gotten more flexible.  Perhaps the bearings are gummed up.

    I have been dreaming of a good set of magnetic paddles, but just can't get my head around spending $300 plus for keyer paddles, no better than I am at it.  I'm good for contests and DXing, but doubt that I will ever be much of a conversationalist or traffic pounder!

    Ken - NM9P
  • Tom--W4FASTom--W4FAS Member ✭✭
    edited March 2017
    Hi Tim, Another data point for this thread. I have started practicing CW with a straight key. I run 10-13 WPW at 10 watts into a dummy load. I have noticed I will lose the side tone on a random Dit ot Dah. The radio is putting out power even though the side tone is missing. I am running a Flex 6300 with a built in keyer. The keyer is NOT enabled. Tom
  • k3Timk3Tim Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Hi Ken

    There must be some give in the metal components for the key to feel mushy. One should use a light touch anyway and not have the issue appear. I don't think mag Vs. spring will make a difference in the mush factor anyway.   I am trying to use a lighter touch on the bug.

    The Vibroplex key I was mentioning is the ZN Ultimate.  To me it's the finest feeling key. The ZN keys are also good.

    $300 for a good key.  An original Mercury paddle went for about that years back. If you can find one used, you'll pay a bit more. :-)

    k3Tim
  • edited February 2016
    Interesting link Tim. Just thought I would add my two cents in. After 56 years of mostly CW operating, I have retired my dual lever Mercury, Hensley, and Belagi keys in favor of a single lever N3ZN key . I finally realized that my keying mistakes were was due to the dual lever key making it feasible for the iambic keyer to insert unwanted dots or dashes into my code stream. This is simply not possible with a single lever key tied to an iambic keyer. The single lever keyer is either producing a dot or a dash, but it can not create an iambic situation. True, you can send an extra dot or dash if you press too long on either side, but it will not go into iambic mode. As soon as I put the single lever key on the desk, my error rate decreased dramatically. Yes, I realize that at 70 years of age my muscle memory is not as good as it was 40 years ago. But that being said, If a CW operator is having trouble sending CW with a dual lever key tied to an iambic keyer, I recommend trying a single lever key on that keyer. It will feel different at first because there is only a single lever and the thumb and finger are not separated by the width of the dual lever fingerpieces. This can be overcome by practice, or by gluing a knob onto the single fingerpiece like Vibroplex does on its single lever fingerpiece to approximate the width of the dual lever fingerpieces. Although I have never seen an American transceiver with variable dot-dash ratio capability (like found on the recent Kenwood, Yeasu, and Icom transceivers), setting a 3.6 to 1 dot-dash ratio produces very musical and easy to send and read CW. By the way, CW "weight" is not the same as variable dot-dash ratio. It is very easy to distinguish between the two. That's my two cents.
  • Stan VA7NFStan VA7NF President Surrey Amateur Radio Communications Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016

    I find this discussion interesting because it resolves around conceding control to the hardware.  Squeeze control on CW is great at lower speeds but starts falling apart around 25WPM when the smallest mistiming does these strange things such as the unexpected dot after the dash or the missing dot because the dash side was a tad early.

    Try turning off the iambic function and run it like a single lever paddle; you will find the keying is much more natural.  With the soft touch this works well up to 60WPM.  I still unplug my friends Bengali for a 50yr old modified vibroplex with a varnished mahogany handle; smooth on the touch and easy to "caress".

  • Stan VA7NFStan VA7NF President Surrey Amateur Radio Communications Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    @Charles - Interesting we overlapped messages with the same suggestion.  I think it is more the extra fine timing required than muscle memory.  I **** both sides of the paddle and it is the duration/distance of that **** that sets the number of dots/dashes produced rather than a press/hold/release technique which I imagine would be affected by muscle memory/responsiveness.
  • Phil M0VSEPhil M0VSE Member ✭✭
    edited September 2016
    I operated my first CW contest since upgrading to 1.6 tonight and after speaking to some of my contacts (we are in the same contest group) a few said they initially copied my callsign as JE0 (instead of 2E0). I was using N1MM with the Flex Winkeyer so it looks like it might be a bit slow to enter TX mode? The sidetone sounded fine.
    Phil
  • K7FUK7FU Member
    edited February 2016
    Not that I have observed.
  • K7FUK7FU Member
    edited February 2016
    It is still missing dits on the B side as well.
  • K7FUK7FU Member
    edited January 2017
    Ok tonight I did a hard reset from power on, and at the moment all is working well, and even with the amplifier on I am having no issues just like before. So I am hoping that will take care of the problem.

  • IW7DMH, EnzoIW7DMH, Enzo Member ✭✭
    edited January 2017
    Hello,

    during the last ARRL CW contest I had some troubles with the 1.6.21 in cw mode.
    While after the upgrade everything worked fine, during the heavy contest operations I noticed the missing dits (and also dashes) as already noted by Ray.
    I am pretty sure that the missing dits are actually transmitted as RF because, in the 30-40 times the problem happened, the other stations replied with my correct callsign.
    I could say it is a sidetone generation problem or, an overall performance issue, probably only in the small 6300 rigs. That's because I noticed an increasing delay using the K1EL com port that forced me to go back to my old hardware interface.
    Unfortunately I can't tell you what are the exact operations to reproduce the problem, but most of the times it happend after a long RX period, let's say 2-3 minutes.
    When I started with a reply like "IW7DMH IW7DMH" the higligted letters where trasmitted with the sidetone problem.    
    I had no time to downgrade to 1.5 but I'll investigate more on this.

    73' iw7dmh
    Enzo

    EDIT: my working contidions are:
    • SSDR 1.6.21
    • Flex 6300
    • QARTEST using hw interface (pin 4 on accessory port)
    • CW paddle on front jack
    • Iambic mode A
  • Dave WB9WHGDave WB9WHG Member
    edited July 2016
    Hi Tim, on my 6300, I am missing dits. RF output OK. But missing side tone. I'm at version 1.6.2. Reoccurring problem. I'm a CW guy...Thanks
  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited December 2016
    RRR - Since that is the behavior, we are aware of this issue and it is in our bug tracker to address.
  • Joe DuerbuschJoe Duerbusch Member
    edited March 2016
    I mention this before.  I thought the output was distorted.  But after weeks of listening and watching the output, the problem is distort or missing sidetone.  I did not have this problem with previous version.  I noticed that the other station always got my callsign correct.

    I glad that someone else is noticing this problem.

    Joe K0BX

  • KD8KKD8K Member ✭✭
    edited December 2017
    Same problem here. This problem is also occurring when I use a straight key or external bug, it is not limited to the internal keyer. It makes sending with a straight key on the 6300 very difficult at best. I am using an external keyer as a work around while waiting for the update.




  • IW7DMH, EnzoIW7DMH, Enzo Member ✭✭
    edited March 2017
    Today I reverted back to 1.5 SSDR version.
    Lots of friends I contacted asked over and over again for my correct call. For reasons I can't understand the "missing dits" problem today was very very frequent and annoyng as well.
    After this happening it was a pain setting back the whole serial port configurations. I had to deal with the OS control panel and the ghosts serial ports, for more than two hours.
    I am very disappointed for this and I don't believe any more that FRS-Cat is a valid component that can substitute a more convenient and simpler traditional serial port.

    73' Enzo


  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited December 2016
    Enzo, I am sorry that you had issues reverting back to 1.5.  There will be some software changes that are will not be 100% backwards compatible.  They are usually infrequent, but the 1.6 version changes with CAT and DAX was one of them.
  • K7FUK7FU Member
    edited January 2017
    The missing dits continue and make sending cw on the flex 6300 a bad experience. Is anyone at flex looking into this issue as it seems that there are several of us with this problem?
  • Dave WB9WHGDave WB9WHG Member
    edited July 2016
    Yeah, it's a hassle - I'm a CW guy, and I use a Vibroplex with my 6300. What I am doing is using my TS-570 as a monitor when I send. The RF from the 6300 goes out fine, but the sidetone misses dits regularly.
  • edited May 2017
    I hope this gets fixed soon. This is difficult for a new CW operator. This is killing me.  Straight key or paddle I get the problem. Then sometimes when I try to switch paddles, it just goes into some weird loop of transmitting and I have to reboot the radio.  Very frustrated with CW on this box. I love my Flex , but this is irritating as all ****.

  • Steve W6SDMSteve W6SDM Member ✭✭
    edited April 2016
    I am a CW guy too, with about 70% of my contacts being CW.  I am usually set at about 26 WPM using a Bencher paddle.   I have followed the discussion on missing dits but have never had the experience myself.  What am I missing here?  (no pun intended)

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