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Radio Crashing During Remote Operation

I have a Flex 6600 that I operate entirely remotely. I am running SmartSDR 3.3.29 on a Windows 11 computer. I have been using the setup for months but have recently had consistent problems with the radio crashing when I connect to it or when I try to transmit. Because I do not have the ability to remotely power-cycle the radio, it leaves me without a connection until I can get to the radio to power it back on again.

I know there is a new version of SmartSDR and I will upgrade to that the next time I can get in front of the radio, but as I mentioned above, this version of the software has not been problematic until recently.

Wondering if anyone else has experienced this? And if the upgrade to .33 made a difference?


  • KD0RC
    KD0RC Member, Super Elmer Moderator

    I would suggest investing in a remote switch that can be used to turn the radio on and off via the Remote ON jack as well as powering up and down the main station power supply. It could also be used to toggle the CW key or PTT to allow remote software upgrades.

    Next time you are at your remote site, I would do the upgrade to 3.3.33. I don't know if .29 is the culprit, but I have had no problems with .33 on my 6400 running mostly locally, occasionally remotely. If the upgrade does not help, you should probably submit a help desk ticket.

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

    There are a few things that can cause a crash.

    As you have no other controls that you can do to the radio, I would recommend that you turn down the FPS and RATE (slice all the way to the left) of the Display settings.

    This will reduce your bandwidth to a minimum and it might keep your operational just in case you are bogging down your network communications which is possible.

    If the radio does crash, then it will have automatically rebooted.

    However, when you go in TX, the crash is almost always related to the following:

    • Brown out at the radio due to the DC power dropping and the only way to confirm this is to measure the voltage at the radio while going into 100 watt TUNE transmit power. Does it crash while going into TX with no RF power out? If yes, it is a network issue. If no, then:
    • RFI of some sort
    • Significant packet loss.

    Moving from 3.3.29 to 3.3.33 will not likely solve this as there were not code changes related to anything crashing.

    You may want to consider this for the future as it really helps when diagnosing issues remotely.

    73 es HNY

  • Mike, your comment about a brown out got me thinking that maybe the battery backup that the power supply is plugged into might be contributing to the problem. The radio is definitely not rebooting, it is powering off and has to be turned back on manually. I will remove the battery backup and see if anything changes.

    Len, I have most of what I need for remote power operation except for a working home automation system. I was able to do this in the past but the Zwave power outlet consistently lost its connection to the hub and was unreliable. I may put more effort into setting up a dedicated OpenHAB unit for that outlet.

    Thank you both for your input!
  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator

    Another thing to check is voltage drop during transmit. You can monitor radio voltage remotely with FRStack.

    For full time, serious remote setups I recommend the following:

    PC at site with ability to boot when AC power is applied (bios setting in PC).

    An AC outlet **** with individual controllable outlets for PC, Remote Radio On relay, PTT relay, AC to other equipment (rotor controller, Auxiliary DC supply, etc)

    PC configured for VPN remote access (Team Viewer, Any Desk, Tail Scale, etc)

    remote capable ancillary equipment (amp, auto tuner, antenna switch, watt meter)

    There are other things you can add also. I use the DLI Web Switch Pro with two DLI AC relays, a Raspberry Pi 4 running Node Red, Green Heron RT21 rotor controller, PG XL, TG XL, AG, LP-700 meter and PC configured to boot when AC applied. The rotor controller and LP700 connect to the Node Red server. The amp, tuner, antenna switch, and DLI AC web switch connect to Node Red over the network.

    One nice feature of the DLI AC switch is ability to plug my fiber gateway and managed desktop Ethernet switch in. The DLI pings two web sites every five minutes. If there is no response from any of the sites after three consecutive tries, it starts cycling the fiber gateway and Ethernet switch outlets until the Internet connection is restored.

    We have a Facebook group dedicated to remote HF operating which has many good ideas and information. It is called Ham Radio - Remote HF Station Building. come join in. Also the Node Red for Ham Radio group on groups.io.


    Dave wo2x

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