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Flex Lockup on 1.10.16



  • Rick W7YPRick W7YP Member
    edited June 2017
    Tim, maybe if you saw 4 lockups in a day, during QSOs, etc., you'd consider it more than a "minor nuisance'.  But then, maybe you have the patience of Job.

    My wife has an ICOM IC-7300 SDR radio ($1350) which has never malfunctioned once and has been running for many weeks on end.

    I guess I expect a bit more from a radio setup that cost 7.5 times what my wife's IC-7300 did.

    Rick, W7YP

  • Eric GruffEric Gruff Member
    edited June 2017
    Agree with Rick - try a simple reboot if you're 3000 miles from your home QTH on a business trip or vacation, and there's no one at the house to reset the radio. How inconvenient would that be?

    Eric NC6K/KH6
  • Pat N6PATPat N6PAT Member ✭✭
    edited June 2017
    I would NEVER leave a radio on when no one is at home and I'm 3000 miles away.

    What would you do if there was a severe electrical storm and your radio is connected and running? There's a good chance that if lighting caused your radio to start a fire your insurance company would not cover it because they would say you had no business running a ham radio (and amp, tuner, etc.) during a severe thunderstorm
  • KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited June 2017
    @Eric Not in the slightest bit inconvenient. I am Remote far more than I am local. I am currently in France 6,500 miles from my SOCALbase. - Remote reboot is incredibly easy. I use a couple of 8 port digital loggers web power switches which give me full remote comptrol of my station Been running reliably Remote from 28+ countries for years BTW. The station is on 24/7/365 but no lightning in SOCAL OTOH if I got nervous I could always shut things down remotely BTW. I can also raise and lower tower remotely and have cameras to watch it happen. It does have an automatic lowering mechanism with battery backup if winds exceed 25MPH. image
  • Rick W7YPRick W7YP Member
    edited June 2017
    Norm, your points are 100% spot on.  I also have an ANAN-100D SDR transceiver that's been rock solid from day one, and the operating software (PowerSDR) and firmware for it have been entirely maintained and enhanced by open source volunteers.  These inspired contributors continue to enhance and maintain that code base at an impressive rate.

    If FRS isn't going to match that commitment, then the least they could do for us poor suckers is to put the existing code base in the public domain and allow the two branches to compete.  I think I know who will win.

    It's also an insult to have to pay for "support" annually such as it is, when that 'support' takes years to add features which can readily be found in a $1000 transceiver and should have been in the Signature Series from day one.
  • Eric GruffEric Gruff Member
    edited June 2017
    @Pat - San Diego in summertime has about 0% chance of lightning. Tower is cranked down to 25' in case of winds, and SteppIR can be retracted to minimize area. There is a housesitter, but she's not there to reboot my radio every time it locks up, although she's nice enough to do it if I ask. I've operated remotely for years (since it was possible), and not really worried about it. We had a hot water pipe burst in a bathroom last weekend when all were home, and in the five minutes it took me to run downstairs and shut off the water, we had $30k+ in damage, so being home didn't help there (yes, I know that's irrelevant to the discussion). Also, remote contest stations operate multiple HP stations with no one there - why can't I have my home station OTA while I'm away for a few days to a week?

    @Howard - it would be a LOT simpler to have the FlexRadio monitor some sort of watchdog timer and automatically do a hard reboot if the radio became unresponsive. After spending $7k for the 6700, not to mention all my other toys, I really don't feel the need to buy more hardware to do a remote reset, although I may if I have to. My Yaesu 5000 will run for months without locking up, and may have to go back to being my primary remote radio.

    I think it's fair for Flex users to ask for reliability, regardless of why. You guys are starting to sound like the Microsoft apologists that insist users are in the wrong for complaining about Windows (which deserves many of the complaints) when they have problems with lockups, etc.

    While the thread is very long, it helped me find my particular problem, and I'm on four straight days of remote operation on 6 Meters without a freeze. I even picked up a few new countries and states. So, a huge thanks to those that contributed useful suggestions and observations.
  • KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited June 2017
    @Eric] An 8port remote web power switch only cost $125. Not a big deal. It even is programmable to reboot itself on a lost internet connection. An even more important factor is the ability to remote reboot routers,modems and switches There are lots of reason for needing to remotely reboot radios and computers. For example software and firmware upgrades need reboots Over the years I. Have done several remote upgrades with no issues. Done 2. Already this month.
  • Mike - ZL1MRCMike - ZL1MRC Member
    edited June 2017
    Hi Howard, could you please share the brand / model.  Most interested as I am preparing my station for remote access.  I have a 6500, SPE 1,3K Amp and a Green Heron rotator.   Any assistance would be welcome.

  • Eric GruffEric Gruff Member
    edited June 2017
    Thanks, Howard. That is very helpful to know. I use Chrome Remote Desktop, which is a very low-tech, but surprisingly reliable solution for access to all my radio/work PCs. I will message you privately about the h/w.


  • KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited June 2017
  • KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited June 2017
    Yes. You are correct I ended up double homing my main router with a 4G connection as an alternative Internet route just in case my cable modem route failed. Used it once so far in a year. The good thing about the data loggers is that they re programmable ...so I sett up one to control my cable modem and main router. The Data Logger pings the Internet and when it loses connection for 5+ minutes, it reboots the. Cable modem and then 5 minutes later reboots the main router. It logs the reboots .. definitely has had to reboot more than once In one case the Cable Internet was systemically down for 24+ hours but the 4G worked with all the redundancy that I've built into the station to eliminate single point failureI'm getting very close to 24 /7/ 365 of uptime
  • EA4GLIEA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited June 2017
    I also advice you to take a look at https://domoticz.com/
    There are tons of things you can do for remote operation.

    The way I had it setup is I placed a GSM relay to reboot the Router as last line of defense. Everything else worked with a combination of web accesible relays.

    You can actually get fairly fancy but there are neat software packages out there. I really like PSTRotator which includes a couple of features that are great. You can connect it to a weather station or connected to an online accessible weather station and PSTRotator can be programmed to move your antennas to face wind direction or even lower the tower at a certain wind speed. It also has a feature to move the antennas every so often to prevent birds to loiter.

    Here is some of the Gear I use:

     A ton of stuff from these guys https://www.itead.cc/smart-home.html




  • NM1WNM1W Member ✭✭
    edited July 2017
    Another crash flex 6700; went to run an errand and came back to "ssdr has lost comm with the radio".... short push, wait 60 seconds, then redo everything <again>
    I had 4 wsjtx sessions, 1 cw skimmer.. Prior to the crash I had 8 pans, 8 slices; post crash I had 8 pans, slices A-F; F was in the last pan which had been slice H.
    DAX slices also needed resetting..

  • EA4GLIEA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited February 2020
    Have any of you tried to turn off the radio bridging the contacts on the Rem On RCA in the back of the radio after a crash?
  • Andy M5ZAPAndy M5ZAP Member
    edited June 2017
    Yes I have, It behaves the same as a short button press, which is there is a delay of around 50 seconds before the radio shuts down. Which at least lets you shut the radio down if you are operating remote.
  • Mike VE3CKOMike VE3CKO Member ✭✭
    edited June 2017
    I have not tried this yet, thanks Andy. Does it behave the same as a long button press (5 seconds) ?
  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited June 2017
    Thank you for the continued incident reports and read each one very carefully to see if there is any additional information provided that (a) has not been reported before and (b) might be of any benefit to the engineering team investigating the issue.  And we appreciate constructive efforts to crowdsource and diagnose a triggering mechanism or configuration that affects the frequency of the issue occurring. 

    Looking back over the past few weeks, the reports have not provided any additional beneficial information that we do not already have logged in the bug report.  Most of the reports just describe the operating state of the radio before the crash and we have sufficient information of this nature at this point.  What we have determined at this juncture is there is such a wide variability in operating setups, whether or not the radio is transmitting or receiving, the length of time the radio has been powered on, whether or not client software is connected to the radio and if USB cables are or are not used, it validates the random nature of the problem, but unfortunately gets us no closer to determining root cause.

    And additional incident reports recently reported with the same type of information can not elevate the criticality of this issue since it is already at the highest level possible.

    In addition, the thread has diverged into topics not related to the original poster's topic, which degrades the SNR for people looking for relative and pertinent information on the topic.

    At this juncture, I am inclined to close this thread.  This does not mean you cannot continue to provide useful information to FlexRadio regarding this issue.  It is just that we believe the troubleshooting process would be better served off of the Community at this time.

    As I stated early on if anyone has a procedure or a set of steps that reproducibly causes this type of crash to occur, we want to know about them ASAP.  The best way to report the reproducible set of events that cause a crash is by opening a HelpDesk support ticket (https://helpdesk.flexradio.com).

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