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missed characters keying cw manually

K0FG_Fred
K0FG_Fred Member ✭✭

Talked about this before but it's worse now. When sending cw sometimes the radio does not go into xmit mode. Sending with a sk, bug, or cootie it's the same. Send a string of dahs and maybe 1 out of 8-10 times the radio just does not go into xmit, no mox light, nothing. Was xmiting with a sk and it did not xmit so I held the key down then I tapped the bug and 2 different cootie keys and no xmit, so I'm pretty sure it is not the keys.

Have all the manual keys plugged into a box with 10 inputs and one output that is plugged into the breakout box on the back panel that is plugged into the acc jack. Have also tried plugging keys directly into the breakout box and it's the same. Took the breakout box off the radio and checked all the connections, only have two, key and gnd. I have used 2 different cootie keys, 4 different straight keys and probably 6 different bugs, each key with a different cable, same for all.

Don't think I have ever had a problem with the electronic key paddles. Hold it and create many dahs and no problem. Or even manually create many dahs one at a time and no problem. But then I grab one of the manual keys and have the problem.

This happens when xmiting 100 watts or 0 watts so it's probably not an rf problem. Not band dependent either. Seems that after it sits for a few mintues then it is worse. Key it a few times, get 2-3 of the no-key events and then it seems to happen less frequently. Does not matter if I'm operating from the radio front panel or from SSDR on Windows 10. Happens when using smartcontrol mode. Tried using multiflex on SSDR slice and it happens.

Never had this problem until I updated to ver 3.3.29 with a new sd card. In the 3-4 months I have had this 6400M I made many more contacts using 3.2.39 and never had the problem. Have done a few factory resets and it did not help. I'm not doing anything exotic with the radio, it's used for mostly slow cw and occasionally a short ssb exchange.

Fred, K0FG

Comments

  • K1ESE
    K1ESE Member ✭✭

    Try setting the Delay in the P/CW panel to zero and see if you still have the problem.

    K1ESE

  • KD0RC
    KD0RC Broomfield, COMember, Super Elmer Moderator

    Hi Fred, do you leave your Flex powered up 24/7 or do you shut it down every night?

    If you normally leave it on, try power cycling it before you operate to see if that helps.

    Another thing to try is to plug your breakout box or one of your bugs into the key jack and turn off iambic. If the key jack behaves differently than the acc jack, you will want to submit a help desk ticket.

  • bahillen
    bahillen Member ✭✭

    Fred

    i had issues with CW. Delayed keyup, missing characters, unpredictable missing dits or dahs.

    I had not been sure of the CW settings in the radio TX and the CW applet. All my problems turned out to be the Iambic button had to be off.

    Also you may make sure VOX is turned off. That caused me a problem in FT8.

    We all want our radios to do many different things and the settings allow us to do that, but it can be hard to figure out the impact of combinations. 3rd party software adds an additional dimension to the difficulty. The profiles and persistence features can trick you into having a setting you didn’t intend from a different configuration.

    In the past you could put a meter on a circuit and trace a behavior but now it is hard to figure out. FRmeter can help with a large number of measuring points I find helpful.

    This forum has been a good first step and helps you but others that are experiencing same behavior and benefit from your issue, just post your final resolution. Followed closely with the Help Desk. Another seldom used resource is to have a fellow ham that you know come over and look over you shoulder. For some reason hams are not inclined to do this but an Elmer is very powerful. Two heads are better than one and can be fun.

    73

    Bill W9JJB

  • K0FG_Fred
    K0FG_Fred Member ✭✭

    For a guy who is 90% cw. And then 90% slow mechanically keyed cw I guess the choice of a Flex radio was wrong. Very hard to use a mechanical key when frequently the radio does not go into xmit mode when the key is pressed. During a qso yesterday about every third or fourth word I had to start over because I missed a character when the radio did not xmit.


    Have tried all the above recommendations and nothing makes any difference. Have no rcv problems, only on xmit. Have no problem using the built in keyer with a paddle and no problem using computer generated cw with the winkeyer comm port. My only problem is with mechanical keying into the acc socket.

    Do you suppose Flex will ever get around to finding and fixing the problems? See many old complaints about cw problems, many of which appear to be still ongoing.

    This problem began with ver 3.3.29, had no problem with ver 3.2.39. Can I go back to the old ver? Thought I read someplace that there were changes to the way the new version writes to the sd card and could not go backward in versions.

    And that is my rant for the day.

    73, Fred, K0FG

  • Ted S
    Ted S Member ✭✭

    I am not aware of any reason why you can't downgrade back to 3.2.39. I have seen other post they have done this because of the ATU bug in 3.3.29.

    Ted, WR4T

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin

    Yes, you can go back to 3.2.39 if you are impacted.

  • K0FG_Fred
    K0FG_Fred Member ✭✭

    Went back to ver 3.2.39 and I have no problems with missing dahs using mechanical straight keys.

    Now I will go back to ver 3.3.29 and see if the problem returns.

    Fred, K0FG

  • K0FG_Fred
    K0FG_Fred Member ✭✭

    Went back to ver 3.3.29 and the problem is back. Does this mean there is a problem with ver 3.3.29?

    Eagerly awaiting an update to ver 3.3.29.

    Fred, K0FG

  • KD0RC
    KD0RC Broomfield, COMember, Super Elmer Moderator
    edited June 7

    Hi Fred, you should submit a helpdesk ticket with your findings so that Flex has that datapoint to work with.

    I will plug my bug into my ACC jack and see if I can recreate the issue tomorrow sometime.

    Does it drop the sidetone dashes, or just the RF out?

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin

    @K0FG_Fred

    I need you to open a support ticket for this please.

    thanks

  • K0FG_Fred
    K0FG_Fred Member ✭✭

    Seems to happen more frequently when using SDR for Windows than when on the radio front panel.

    Will create a support ticket.

    Fred, K0FG

  • K0FG_Fred
    K0FG_Fred Member ✭✭

    Len when his happens the radio does not change in any way, receive goes on, mox does not come on, etc. It's as tho I never pressed the key. Let up on the key, push it again and it works, for a few presses.

    Fred, K0FG

  • KD0RC
    KD0RC Broomfield, COMember, Super Elmer Moderator
    edited June 7

    Hi Fred, I finally recreated that behavior on my 6400 with an old Vibroplex Lightning Bug. It is more of a show piece that something I use on the air, so the contacts are a bit dirty which I believe exacerbates the situation. I have the bug plugged into the ACC jack, pins 4 and 5.

    If I just randomly b.a.n.g. on the paddles back and forth really fast (faster that the 23 WPM that it is set to), I can get the Tune and MOX buttons to grey out for a split second (this is the symptom). If I set the CW delay up to 50 ms or so, that effect goes away. You might want to try setting your CW Delay up to 50 to see if that solves the issue.

    If I hit a dot followed by a really long dash, I can eventually get the Tune and MOX to grey out and the RF goes to zero. The sidetone continues to sound.

    I can recreate the issue with CW Delays of up to 30 ms. 40 and above seem to be OK which is why I am suggesting that you try 50 ms.

    To recreate the problem, the MOX light needs to go out between code elements. In the alternating dot/dash test, there must be enough key up time to allow the MOX button to flicker. So a super fast bug will be less likely to trigger the problem than a slower one where RX is trying to come back on between code elements.

    EDIT: b.a.n.g gives me ****

  • K0FG_Fred
    K0FG_Fred Member ✭✭

    Hi Len.. I will try setting the delay to 50 or above to see if that helps my problem. When I make changes and test the radio I usually use the straight key and only send about 12-15 wpm so I can catch it when it does not xmit, any faster and am sure I hear it when it does not xmit. But I have keyed faster and I can hear the missing code elements not being sent. Have used maybe 6 different keys, bugs cooties, and sk, including an old 1928 Lightning Bug which I use frequently, and they all have the same problems. Although I am sure the contacts are not dirty one of the first things I did was clean the contacts cuz that was my first thought. By keying slowly I can actually stop the key presses while the radio is not responding, then I wiggle the key, press it harder etc and it never responds until I release the key and start again. On mine the mox and power buttons do not even flicker, it's as tho I never pressed the key, the rcv is not interrupted.

    Will let you know if the delay helps. Often when testing I turn the power to zero, then turn it to 100 and the results are the same.

    Nope just set the delay to 60 and after maybe 10-15 key presses no xmit. This was sending dahs only at maybe 15 wpm. It also happens when sending dits and dahs, often I send different characters trying to get a mix of dits and dahs and it result is the same.

    Fred, K0FG