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Transmited signal corruption

Issue:
The quality of the transmitted signal, using any mode, declines over a period of time - typically within about two days of continuous operation.

For example: a single-tone (JT65-HF) digital mode TX signal will, immediately after booting the radio, will be sound (on an external receiver), look on the SmartSDR panadapter and appear on a spectrum analyzer as expected. The signal will degrade to something noisier and broader in, at most, two days of continuous operation and much faster when used in a complex (e.g. multiple panadapters) manner.

Receiving seems unaffected.

Mitigation:
Rebooting the radio (and restarting SmartSDR as a precaution) restores the system to nominal condition, but eventually degrades again.

Severity:
Relatively high, as I normally leave radios on for months (collecting spots, etc.) and I will invariably have to reboot the 6700 before attempting transmitting, taking several minutes.

Active · Last Updated

Comments

  • Ed, K0KCEd, K0KC Member
    edited September 2017
    Mike,

    I also normally run my 6700 24 hours per day. I currently operate almost 100% JT65 and JT9 using WSJT-X. I do not listen to my audio and normally have just one panadapter open. A screen shot of a normal JT65 transmission on the panadapter is as follows:



    Although it is difficult to see (click on the image to enlarge), the first "artifact" is about 60 dB down from this signal peak. After two or three days of continuous operation, the "artifact" moves up and is only about 20 dB down with a significant broadening as you mentioned. The only way to clear this anomaly up is to re-boot the 6700. I will do a screen capture of the anomaly the next time that it occurs and post both so that a comparison is possible. If I had not monitored the transmitted signal and attempted to operate under these conditions, I probably would have been spewing "garbage" all over the band. This particular screen shot is from 10 meter operation, but I have seen the effect on other bands as well.

    Ed, K0KC
  • Ed, K0KCEd, K0KC Member
    edited May 2014
    Mike,

    My degradation seems sudden rather than gradual as you mentioned.

    Ed, K0KC
  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited March 2017
    We are aware of this issue and are currently investigating it.  It is in our bug tracker.  Quality issues like this do get our highest attention.
  • Duane_AC5AADuane_AC5AA Member ✭✭
    edited May 2018

    Hi Tim - I'm curious if this is the same situation that is shown by Rob Sherwood's spectral purity measurements of a FLEX-6700 and posted in a PDF on the following page link, below his positive remarks about using the 6700 during a 160m contest:  http://www.dj0ip.de/transceivers/sherwood-xcvr-tests/flex-6x00/  I know in other fora it has come up as one of the poorer performers in that regard.  (not trolling, just concerned.)  Thanks!

      Duane, AC5AA

  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited March 2017
    Duane - We do not believe they are related.  We suspect it is an issue with intermittent buffer corruption in the DAX driver that is feeding digital audio to the radio.  We are investigating this.

    BTW, Rob's comments were based on very old (as of now) SmartSDR software. It has gotten much better with v1.2.1.

    Also his comments about having to use two computers is not a global truth, but is specific to his setup.  Using a single quad core or beter PC with twp sufficiently large (> 23") wide screen monitors works just fine for contesting.
  • k0eook0eoo Member ✭✭
    edited March 2017
    Tim, can we get an update on this issue being fixed yet or not in the current SSDR 1217?
  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited March 2017
    The update is the issue of spurious artifacts when running DAX is still in the bug tracker.  I can't commit that it will be addressed in the upcoming SmartSDR.
  • k0eook0eoo Member ✭✭
    edited March 2017
    That's OK Tim, I just wanted to know if it had been already fixed...  I can wait...
  • Bob N7ZOBob N7ZO Member ✭✭
    edited September 2017
    Just to add some more information to this:  The DAX transmit distortion also occurs here with 1.2.17, usually after running DAX for 24-48 hours.  I find that I can fix the problem by simply disabling and then re-enabling the DAX channel (pressing the blue channel number on the DAX panel twice).

    Here is a picture of the distorted signal while transmitting a tune signal from WSJT-X:


    And the good signal after stopping and starting the DAX channel:


    And a wider picture to show the scale (both pictures above are at the same vertical scale):


  • Ed, K0KCEd, K0KC Member
    edited July 2014
    Bob,

    Your screen shot of the distorted waveform looks a lot like what I reported 4 months ago (see reply to you initial post). I promised a screen shot myself, but I stopped running the 6700 24/7 and have not seen the problem appear again.

    Ed, K0KC
  • edited July 2014
    This is exactly what I saw, on the SSDR GUI and on the spectrum analyzer. I do run mine 24/7 (8 slices feeding 8 instances of WSJT-X), so this is a relatively significant issue for me. Mike - N8MSA
  • Mike - N8MSAMike - N8MSA Member
    edited February 2017
    Everyone - 

    This is still occurring under SSDR v1.3. Is there timing on a fix, or can I provide anyone at FRS with additional information to help determine root-cause and remediate this?

    Mike - N8MSA

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