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Popping on All Flex radios.

I talk with a group of Flex owners every day. We all are having a problem with intermittent popping in the TX and RX Audio. Non-Flex operators can hear it from all of us. It is doing it in all modes SSB, AM, Digital...


This problem started a while back and has been getting worse in the past few weeks.

If you're having the same problem, let us know.

I have two FLEX radios, the 6600 and the 6600M.  It is doing it on both radios. Even when I run off the face of the radio on the M model it does it, so it is not a computer problem.


  • Ha Gei
    Ha Gei Member ✭✭✭

    As far as i heard, or read in other threads, this seems to be related to the current Server issues. I will probably give it a try tonight. I did not like to talk last time due to mid heavy covid infection. Since about Feb. I never get anything else than "Perfect Audio" reports , so i also curious on this.

    There was a similar issue with Audio distortions some month long from mid 22 to early 23 and this dissapeared after an update. Cant remeber what version issued , and which cured.

    Harry DL9NDW

  • Tom Teague
    Tom Teague Member ✭✭

    We all just did the newest update v3.5.9 and it seems to have fixed it for now???

  • Trucker
    Trucker Member ✭✭✭

    Tom, are you and the other people you are talking about, all using SmartLink? Or, is the popping that you were hearing on direct ,local connections to your radio? I have heard popping occasionally on my 6600M. But, I put it off to something local cycling on and off.



  • FRED  W9TB
    FRED W9TB Member ✭✭

    The popping is back !

  • Tom Teague
    Tom Teague Member ✭✭

    SmartLink is running whether you are logged in or not it is always looking for a connection so that may be the problem. We have unplugged the radio from the network and just ran the 6600M off the face of the radio and it still is doing the popping. So SmartLink looks like it may be the culprit.

  • ka1jy
    ka1jy Member ✭✭

    Oh yeah - The popping is back. It is better than during this recent meltdown but it is still there. If this connection to the smartlink servers is exacerbating this audio popping failure it would seem reasonable to publish a version of smartSDR that does not make any connection to smartlink. If I am not operating remote what reason (other than updates) could there be for ANY connection to smartlink? It seems rather odd to me that my radio should become essentially useless or at best unreliable because of an internet connection that might be marginal for reasons beyond the server owner or my control. It is not unrealistic to expect internet path failures. Yeah so historically the net has been pretty reliable but given the current political climate that could easily change.

  • K5XH
    K5XH Member ✭✭

    I have been noticing this popping as well. It has become very noticeable after upgrading to 2.10.0. Same symptoms as reported by the OP in this tread. Rebooting everything does not help. Other stations tell me it sounds like a loose microphone cable. I also notice it on FT8 transmit and receive. On transmit it causes a short spike in output power.

    My station consists of 6600, PGXL, TGXL, and AGXL. All software is current except I haven't tried 10.1 yet. I do not use Smartlink.

    Flex- Once you get the Smartlink issues resolved Please look into this popping issue. After running a local net this weekend I am seriously thinking about dragging my old FT1000 out of the closet and using it! (Don't really want to do this, hi).

    While you are at it, please fix the VOX function. Mine hasn't ever worked like it should.

    73, Mark K5XH

  • WX7Y
    WX7Y Member ✭✭✭

    Mark from what I understand is that 2.10.1 and 3.5.9 are NOT just for SmartLink, it is a security update and the Radio try's to communicate with the server to check these security keys and if it has no response it try's over and over again contributing to the pop's.

    Probably the only way to circumvent this is to have NO way that the radio can get to the internet by unplugging it from your router/switch and Plug it directly into a NONE used Ethernet Port on your computer so just that computer can communicate to it and the computer can still talk to it.

  • N7DK Dave
    N7DK Dave Member ✭✭

    Greetings - I run only FT8 now and I've seen the popping (I call hiccupping) on my Flex 6400. See attached spectrum picture where the popping shows up as a wide spectrum burst. I thought there might be an intermittent connection in my antenna/transmission lines, but this happens even transmitting into a dummy load.

    FT8 is resilient, and I am still making contacts, but I don't like running the radio if it's generating this kind of noise across the band!

    I'm watching this thread closely hoping for some tips to fixing this problem!

    Many thanks to anyone who can supply more info ...

    73 to all -- Dave, N7DK, [email protected]

  • K5XH
    K5XH Member ✭✭
    edited September 19

    Thanks Bret,

    Well, not using Smartlink so I don't think that is causing the popping. No changes made to the computer (W10 Pro) except putting 2.10.0 on. I found a link to a MS site describing how to check for DPCs and I'll try that this weekend.

    73, Mark K5XH

    And I should mention that my popping issue occurs with just the radio - no Smartlink and no DAX in the mix.

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