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Bugs That Bugs You the Most

124

Comments

  • Russ Ravella
    Russ Ravella Member ✭✭
    edited May 2020

    It's a good question.  I also wonder about the beta process they follow.  But I find it hard to believe that the testers aren't noticing the bugs because they're pretty glaring. And it's not like unawareness of bugs per se is much of a problem anyway.  Finding them doesn't seem to be the problem.  And I don't believe the problem is with the software people themselves either.  They can only do what they're given direction and resources to do.

    I think Flex Executive Management is only willing to allocate some relatively small amount of resources to software and at some point they simply say, "that's enough - ship it".  It seems like they are still in a "this is all experimental anyway" frame of mind from the old days.  And don't care, or at least aren't willing to be responsible for the fact that they're advertising actual commercial products that people have a right to expect to work properly.  Dealing with the situation as it stands at this point may require a big investment and I'm guessing Gerald Youngblood doesn't have any interest in getting investors or whatever it might take.  We've been his investors without an honest disclosure of what we were in for.

    So if that's correct, I don't know how things are ever going to get any better.  I guess we can hope the Raytheon contract (and others?) really will result in so much overlap it will fix a lot of the problem.  Surely it's possible to at least some extent? Or that the radio business itself is/ becomes so profitable that adequate money from that can be reinvested to fund the necessary work.  All I know is I love the radio, Maestro and the PGXL and I have a huge amount of time, money and frustration invested in them now.  I just wish they worked the way they're supposed to.

  • Paul G4AFU
    Paul G4AFU Member
    edited April 2020
    I've reverted from v2.6.1  back to v2.4.9 today. So far no cw dropouts. Ethernet cable to Netgear switch box. PC to switch box running DXLab. 20metres of cat6 cable from switchbox to router/internet. Fingers crossed.! 
  • Paul G4AFU
    Paul G4AFU Member
    edited April 2020
    Looks like reverting back to v2.4.9 has cured the tx dropouts. Have used both manual keying with a bug into the radio and the internal winkeyer with paddles. Also CWX works as it should with no dropouts. 
  • Uwe - DK3WW
    Uwe - DK3WW Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    You are using version 3.1.9. This is not available in the download ... For me, the WNB and the NB work unsatisfactorily. (F6600 + SSDR 3.1.8)
    73! Uwe
    DK3WW
  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator
    edited April 2020
    Here is a video on an older, pre3.0 release version of SmartSDR.

    The WNB is designed for wideband noise such as powerline noise. If you notice in the videos the noise is constant across the whole spectrum, not spikes.

    https://youtu.be/oOPXKrd7xKo

    Dave wo2x
  • James Del Principe
    James Del Principe Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    That is exactly the kind of noise I have but the WNB does nothing....  nada...nein...niet.....zip.

    I can understand the NB doing nothing because it is for impulse noise which I do not have but the WNB should do something!    
  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator
    edited April 2020
    Try a level of 93. Give it a few seconds for the WNB icon on upper right of panadapter to go from dark blue to light blue.

    if the noise floor is jumping up and down as shown in one of my videos then WNB will keep trying to find best solution.

    can you do short video or screenshot of your noise?

    Dave wo2x
  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator
    edited April 2020
    Also turn off any preamps. That will affect the signal level WNB sees.
  • James Del Principe
    James Del Principe Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    Thanks, David. I have tried all different levels of settings on WNB. I do wait and the color does shift from the dark to light blue but no change in noise floor. I rarely use the preamps. They are rarely necessary and only add to the perception of noise.
    The noise floor does not jump but is a steady frying sound.... usually around -115 on the panadapter scale (right side scale)
    Not really sure how to do a video or screen shot. I have taken videos with my smart phone but how would I post that here?  Is there a way to capture it within the computer itself?    Many thanks, Jim
  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator
    edited April 2020
    Hi James.

    -115 may be a normal noise floor depending on band, conditions, environment, and antenna.

    What I see here is a jump from -118 up to near -100. So a lot higher than the level you are seeing. It is most pronounced on 40 and 15 meters. 

    Dave

  • James Del Principe
    James Del Principe Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    Dave, that is with my normal antennas which are an OCFD for 80 to 10 Meters or an EFHW for 80 to 10 meters. I normally work 75 meters in the AM, 20 meters in the afternoon or early evening and then 40 or 80 at night.    That floor pretty much stays the same except when we have exceptional noise like from that CME the other few days. I also have a K9AY loop that I just put up and am experimenting with. It is about 15 dB quieter most times but usually needs 10dB of preamp.
  • Mal G3PDH
    Mal G3PDH Member ✭✭
    edited May 2020
    Flex 6500, v 3.1.8 on PC with Windows 10.
    Reference the CW power output drop out.  I have also experienced this problem but fortunately at the moment it is very intermittent but very annoying.  I key my 6500 from a Logikeyer into the accessory socket on the back of the radio.   I know of two other local stations with Flex 6000 rigs that also have the problem apart from all the others that I have seen on various threads on this reflector.  The fault does not seem to happen when keying from such as N1MM, only when using the key inputs either the internal or an external keyer.  There is no doubt that this fault is more easily noticed by regular CW operators and a casual look for the fault is unlikely to see it by others.  It is necessary to continuously watch the power meter whilst sending in order to catch the drop out as the sidetone continues tricking one into thinking that the tx is still transmitting.  For instance, the other day it happened when in QSO and I only noticed due to hearing the fan speed dropping on the linear amp!

    whilst there appears to be some scepticism from some about this fault it is real and may not even be noticed by some operators but most annoying to keen CW ops.  On some stations experiencing this fault on a regular basis it basically classifies the rig as 'not fit for purpose' and requires urgent investigation and rectification.




  • Uwe - DK3WW
    Uwe - DK3WW Member ✭✭
    edited May 2020
    Hello Mal, thanks for this good description. That is exactly my experience. Some people dismiss this problem because they have no interest in cw, including some of the SSDR developers. I am annoyed with it every day and hope for an update soon.
    73! Uwe
    (f6600 + ssdr 3.1.8)
  • Paul G4AFU
    Paul G4AFU Member
    edited May 2020
    Mal, Agree, the Flex is not a great radio.  I wish I had sent it back for a refund from day one as not being fit for purpose. After investing over £5k in Flex (6600 + Maestro)I feel compelled to sit it out and hope they come up with some solutions. 
  • Pat N6PAT
    Pat N6PAT Member ✭✭
    edited May 2020
    Gentlemen,

    The power dropout issue is not limited to CW. I've experienced this with my 6700 SSDR 2.5.1 while using FT8.

    Here's my post from 4 months ago. You'll see in the comments that others have experienced it as well. I'm not sure if anyone at Flex is looking into this.

    https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/intermittent-tx-power-drop-out


  • James Del Principe
    James Del Principe Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    David, your video is impressive.  The noise shown is exactly what I see. However, the WNB does nothing at any setting. The shade of blue does change showing it is active but no reduction is seen.     Jim
  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator
    edited April 2020
    Then even though the noise you have looks the same it is not powerline noise.

    You mentioned noise at -115. How wide is the panadapter bandwidth? The wider the bandwidth the higher the noise floor will show. Right now on 80 meters with no powerline noise and panadapter showing 200 kHz my noise floor is -109. On 80 with 200 kHz panadapter it is around -111. Now zoom in on 40 and you will see the noise floor drop down. This has to do with bins per pixel and was explained by Steve Hicks in detail a while back. Based on your -115 noise floor reading (dependent on how wide the panadapter is) I do not believe you have an issue.

    I'll try to do a video later showing the different values for panadapter width vs noise floor.

    73
    Dave wo2x

  • Michael - N5TGL
    Michael - N5TGL Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    Yep, exact same thing happens here.
  • Bob N7ZO
    Bob N7ZO Member ✭✭
    edited May 2020
    Sergey,

    I see that frequently here.  The problem is a DAX bug that has been there for a very long time - years.  It is a known problem that has been reported here many times and that Flex should have fixed long ago, but for some reason they have not.

    Over time the DAX audio stream becomes corrupted and DAX needs to be restarted.  I run SSDR 24/7 and have to restart DAX about every day.  I make a habit of doing it every time I sit down to use the radio.

    To make re-starting DAX easier, I wrote a batch file:

    taskkill /f /im DAX.exe
    timeout 2
    start "" /d "C:Program FilesFlexRadio SystemsSmartSDR v3.1.8DAX" /b DAX.exe

    Make sure you set the correct path in the "start" command to the version of SSDR that you are using.  No need to restart SSDR.

    Also, when you upgrade SSDR, be sure to change the path in the batch file otherwise you will be starting an older version of DAX.  I called my batch file "Reboot DAX 318.bat" to help remind me of this.

    73, Bob, N7ZO

  • Paul G4AFU
    Paul G4AFU Member
    edited May 2020
    Does anyone know if the recent upgrade to V2.62 has cured the CW tx dropout issues?
  • Steve G1XOW
    Steve G1XOW Member ✭✭
    edited May 2020
    My biggest irritation is not the bugs as such (I work in I.T. so know bugs very well), but it's simply that Flex has known most of these pet hates for years yet have not been forthcoming with many fixes from what I can see. Some of these bugs might even be pretty minor fixes, but major hassle and unhappiness to the user who only has a certain reasonable threshold before walking. 
  • Ha Gei
    Ha Gei Member ✭✭
    edited May 2020
    Steve,  you get 100 Points from me. You say it as it is...  but don´t think Yaesu is any better.. I also own a FTDX101D .. SAME **** .. Perfect Hardware..shity software and mad decisions on design. No one hears any plea´s from the forums or reacts. 


  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2020
    Any CW fixes were not added to this last update as you may have noticed if you read the release notes. This last maintenance up date was an emergency up date, (critical) 
  • Paul G4AFU
    Paul G4AFU Member
    edited May 2020
    Thanks Bill...I read the release notes and no mention of curing the tx dropout hence the question.
  • Lasse Moell
    Lasse Moell Member ✭✭
    edited May 2020
    Paul, I'm currently running 2.62 and it sure stlil there. As it seems not to affect the first character, having a short dwell time do help, having the radio revert to RX inbetween chars lessens the problem. It is a work around, but a lot better than havng to stare at the out-put meter like fool all the time.
  • David - KO1C
    David - KO1C Member
    edited May 2020
    Amen!!! Please give us the option.
  • Bob N7ZO
    Bob N7ZO Member ✭✭
    edited May 2020
    I was not a heavy profile user, but when the profiles started changing on me unexpectedly, I quit using them entirely.  Too dangerous to my amps and untrustworthy in general.

    If I don't know the results of a button push, why would I ever push it.
  • Russ Ravella
    Russ Ravella Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    It's obviously true there are cases of software being an issue with other manufacturers too. But I've never had or even heard of a name brand radio where things like the CW mode is so **** up it's basically unusable, the SSB monitor doesn't work, the antenna tuner doesn't work, the actual basic radio settings are literally unstable, the antenna tuner can't be used at all with QSK, and endless others.  Yet after nearly a year since their last update, when they finally DO release a bug fix, it's to fix an emergency disaster they created with their last update - AND THAT'S it !

    I've often said, it's not so much the bugs per se that irritate me anyway.  It's the fact that based on the very little they "say" or more to the point, don't  say,  Flex Executive Management obviously doesn't GET (read, "care") how serious this problem is.  It doesn't bother them to take money from customers for products that literally don't work right.  If they did they'd have actually done something about it long ago.  This has been going on for YEARS like this and nothing has changed.  They almost act like they think there's something wrong with customers expecting their products to work.

    Very very frustrating.
  • Russ Ravella
    Russ Ravella Member ✭✭
    edited May 2020
    Yup, profile instability is a very serious issue.  It's often been reported here.  I was hoping to see some progress in the last update but all they did was fix a different disaster they'd created in their LAST update.
  • WW1SS - Steve
    WW1SS - Steve Member ✭✭
    edited May 2020
    There are laws against selling things not as described and that don't work as described. Selling things with known defects. . . . Just saying. 

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