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Audio clicking on Tx

Had a very interesting occurrence on a 80M net I attended this morning. The three of us that run Flexs had random audio clicking on our Tx signal. One of us was running version 2.8, one 3.2.39, and one 3.3.32. None of us were remote, all local to the radio. Two stations had direct mic connections to the radio, I have audio pass through my PC to the radio.

One of the operators shut down and rebooted with no change to the clicking.

I shut down and disconnected from my router. My 6600 and PC are still connected via a L2 Switch. I rebooted the radio and PC. After disconnecting from the router/Internet, I did not have a single case of audio clicking in 30 minutes while the other two stations continued to have random Tx clicking.

I saw the announcement that the Flex Server is down and they are working on it. I am wondering if the Tx clicking has some relationship to the Flex Server problem. As an interesting side note, a 4th Flex station had this audio clicking issue on Monday and Tuesday (before the server problem), once while local to the radio, once while remote. Curious if anyone else has seen this issue.

Jeff, W4DD


  • KD0RC
    KD0RC Member, Super Elmer Moderator

    HI Jeff, this would not be related to the SmartLink issue in any way if you are running local to your radio.

    The most likely cause is network issues. This is borne out by your experiment where you connected directly, bypassing the router.

  • Jeff_W4DD
    Jeff_W4DD Member ✭✭
    edited September 2022

    Hi Len,

    Thanks for your input. I concur it is not SmartLink related. None of us were running SmartLink at the time. It was very interesting that 3 radios had the issue at the same time. When it cleared up on one, it cleared up on others. For all 3 stations, we had direct connections to the back of the radio for audio. As far as I am aware, that mic audio stays within the Flex box and is not sent to the PC/SmartSDR software on the PC, so no L2/L3 network should be involved in passing that audio.

    My understanding is the Flex radio must register with the Flex server so the Flex Server can be prepared for a connect request from a SmartLink PC. When I disconnected from my router and went L2, my radio would no longer communicate with the SmartLink server. It's not clear is that path is related to the problem, just a thought.

    So I posted to see if anyone else has seen the issue or if it occurs, they could try going straight Layer 2 and validate what I saw. If anyone sees any flaw in my logic, please let me know. The fact that mic audio is going into the back of the PC, seems to disprove any mic audio data packet loss. Must be something else happening.

    BTW, my L2 switch is Gbps, with only two connections, the 6600 and the PC. Except for DHCP and a few other tasks, my router doesn't see the packets between the radio and the PC. Also of interest, we had two other radio types on the net and they could hear the TX clicks, so not a Rx issue.

  • KD0RC
    KD0RC Member, Super Elmer Moderator

    Hi Jeff, the SmartLink server is down at the moment which is why you can't connect to it right now. This has nothing to do with the audio. The SmartLink server only brokers remote connections to the radio. Once the connection is established, SmartLink is out of the picture. In other words, no radio traffic (control, audio, video) pass through the SmartLink server, only authentication at the beginning to establish the connection.

  • Pete La
    Pete La Member ✭✭

    I have been having both receive and transmit audio clicks with my 6400M eversince I installed the lastest update 3.3.32 . I have been changing various settings on the rig to see if I can eliminate it, but I haven't had much luck. It seems to come and go also. Just when I think I have found a solution it reappears. There are four of us within a 15 mile radious with Flex radios that get on 10 meters every morning and ragchew. I'm the only one running the latest update. The close in stations seem to notice the transmit clicks more than the distant stations. The recieve clicking for me seems to occur with the more powerful close in station. I have experimented on other bands and modes and I notice that the recieve clicking occurs on strong CW stations and strong FT8 stations. The NB has a very profound affect and actually enhances the recieve clicking. Setting the AGC to slow and decreasing RF giain seems to lessen the recieve clicks also. The AGC-T doesn't seem to effect it much. I did not have these issues until I installed the lastest update, so in my opinion it has something to do with the newest software. I put in a help ticket, and they punted it over to their software department as a potential concern and closed my ticket. Not much help. The clicking does interfere with CW operations and is very noticeable and annoying. I'm losing faith with Flex Radio. They fix one thing and introduce other problems with their updates. New Software = New Problems!

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

    @Pete La I would open a support case for this but make sure you include a video with your ticket. This will allow them to do a better job of diagnosing it.

    This problem is not reported throughout the install base, so we need to figure out why it is unique to your station.


  • Rex K0KP
    Rex K0KP Member ✭✭

    On 80 M at 7:30 AM CDT this morning three of us all using Flex Signature Series radios; K0KP, W0LS, and K0EOO were part of a round table. All three of us were local and not remote. Seemingly out of nowhere all three of us started having a "popping" sound in our audio heard not only by each other but by others with analog receivers. In my case I rebooted my Win 11 computer and my 6400 but the popping remained. Next I shut down the Win 11 machine and connected to a Win 10 laptop but the popping continued. Being on AM phone I observed the RF envelope on an oscilloscope and without modulation it appeared that the carrier would quickly drop off and back on which I believe was causing the popping.  W0LS was on his 6700 and rebooted everything, his popping noise continued. He switched to his second Flex a 6500 and it was popping too. K0EOO was popping on his 6700, he switched from Windows to an IOS device and the popping sound remained. Three separate stations with separate routers and Internet connections with four Flex transceivers and various control computers all started "popping" this morning on our 80 M round table.

    Any clues out there?

  • Jeff_W4DD
    Jeff_W4DD Member ✭✭

    Yes, that is about the time our group started having the issue, about 8:30am eastern. When I disconnected my Flex from the internet and used Layer 2 connectivity, the problem disappeared but the other stations continued to have the clicking. My theory is, when I disconnected from the Internet my Flex no longer tried to register with the SmartLink Server and the clicking disappeared. For anyone having the clicking issue, I suggest cabling Ethernet directly from the Flex to the PC and see if the problem ends. Another test might be to turn off your cable modem (but not your router) and see if the issue clears.

  • Pete La
    Pete La Member ✭✭

    I don't think the clicking and popping audio is unique to my rig. There appears to be a lot of other folks with the same or similar issue. It may be the same problem and each of us is describing a little different. I did put in a help request and I got the usual try a "cold boot" information. When that didn't clear the issues they punted the problem to software and development. The ticket was close

  • Dennis Daniel KM6DF
    Dennis Daniel KM6DF Member ✭✭
    edited January 11

    I am having the same problem with my 6500. I can correct it by doing a hard boot. Over a few weeks it comes back. All the audio is coming from the radio so there is no network or interface issues. This started after I had to change my sd card. The firmware used is 3.3.33. Anyone knows how to correct this issue.

    Dennis km6df

  • Kevin_1969
    Kevin_1969 Member ✭✭
    I have this same audio popping going on, and since I run AM, I can watch it bounce the power output/mod monitor daily. You know, I am really tired of hearing "Send in a support ticket... Your experience is unique" .... BS!!! This problem has been reported over, and over, and over. I never had this problem until about the last 4 roll outs of software, I have spent hours, and I mean hours, trying to get rid of it.

    Quit passing the buck Flex, and fix this problem. It is not an isolated issue!!! And it certainly isn't reported from 1st time Flex users. I constantly hear it from 2 stations that are running Flex's, and none of their calls are listed here.

    This latest version was supposed to fix it. It certainly has not. Spend 10's of thousands of dollars for sub par performance. Tired of it.
  • John WA7UAR
    John WA7UAR Member ✭✭✭

    @Kevin_1969 Sorry if I missed it but what is the version of the firmware that your radio is running? I had “pops and clicks” and more since about 3.2 but (finally!) 3.4.21 solved my latency and DAX issues so that I could finally use all my slices again. I admit that I don’t do hardly any AM but I wanted to ask about your current radio firmware. Thank you.

  • Jeff_W4DD
    Jeff_W4DD Member ✭✭

    Refer to the SSB Distortion thread (beginning Sept 12, 2023) for the final summary of this problem.

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