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New Flex 6400 Issues

Johnny W5KV
Johnny W5KV Member ✭✭
edited October 2020 in Networking
Greetings,

I thought I would dive into this community to try and see if there were possible solutions to some issues i'm having with a recently purchased FlexRadio 6400.

Radio overall is working great, a few quirks here and there, primarily being that the radio needs to be rebooted quite frequently. Most of the problems i'm encountering I can't replicate again, which makes it difficult for me to diagnose, but some issues have persisted. Primarily being the antenna tuner. Most times it will work, but the amount of times it has faulted me in the first couple of months is of concern. It will give me high SWR readings, not be able to tune my antenna, and a quick check of the antenna with my analyzer ensures me that i'm not going crazy! No high SWR here or anything, ranging from 1.8 to 1 - 4.0 to 1.

One other issue I have is with DAX. I'll notice that the levels will be exceptionally high upon startup, and lowering the RX level by just '1' in the DAX control panel will lower the level so much that i'll have to raise it back up, but in order to get it back up to a level where it needs to be I have to raise it back up like 15 or 20... i'm not even sure if that makes sense... lol. Is this normal?

One last question :) is it normal... while doing FT8... I noticed that my rig, and when I say briefly, like just for a split second, cuts out on the transmission, but starts back up to finish? This was while doing FT8 on my LAN on Wi-Fi. I have not noticed this hard-wired. Is it losing connection?

Thanks in advance, looking forward to reading up as much as I can on these forums!

73
W5KV
Johnny Twist

Answers

  • John KB4DU
    John KB4DU Member ✭✭✭

    A. What version are you using, and what is your network setup?

    B. The dropouts are most likely WiFi related. WiFi is troublesome for the type of data that flex uses. There are many discussions here on networking and WiFi.

  • VE7ATJ_Don
    VE7ATJ_Don British ColumbiaMember ✭✭✭

    If you are running 2.6x or 3.x of SmartSDR, the antenna tuner problems are a known problem. Workaround for the moment is to downgrade to 2.4.10. You will be missing some other features, tho, so youll need to determine how important they are to your operating requirements.

  • Johnny W5KV
    Johnny W5KV Member ✭✭
    John, i'm using the latest release, v3.1.12. The FlexRadio is located inside of my radio shack behind my house about 80 feet. I have a Ubiquiti 5GHz LiteBeam linked to a Ubiquiti NanoStation AP inside the house behind a window hardwired to my home router. I spent quite a while improving my home network for this purpose. The link is pretty solid. Tried quite a few different things as far as WiFi goes, and if i'm still experiencing problems even after all of this, this leads me to believe that only a hard wired setup is acceptable for zero issues. I suppose i'll have to wire this thing up if that's the case.

    Not only am I dealing with the wireless link to the radio, but also the wireless link to my laptop, i've found a solution that works somewhat well, which is plugging into one of the mesh nodes via ethernet inside of my house, but this restricts me to the cable. I found out that my laptop had an older 'N' wireless adapter in it, so I tried an AC USB wifi stick, and again, that helped a bit when I wasn't hardwired.

    Don... bummer to hear about having to downgrade to enjoy a new purchase :( I suppose another option would be to use an external tuner, but are there any that integrate well with the Flex?

    Thank you for the help!

    73
    Johnny
    W5KV
  • VE7ATJ_Don
    VE7ATJ_Don British ColumbiaMember ✭✭✭

    Hi Johnny... yea, bit of a bummer, but i suspect it's not a simple fix for flex. Yrs, there are lots of tuners that work well with flex, with varying degrees of automagic integration.

  • John KB4DU
    John KB4DU Member ✭✭✭

    I had to try several network variations before finding one that worked for me. Going to an ac router/wap helped a lot for the WiFi/iPad combo, but the wired connection to the pc is much more reliable. Even that took several iterations. For example, replacing the 1gig switch with a repurposed router containing 100mb ports actually helped with network status display. Some on here are using fiber for longer length runs. Flex will tell you it’s always the network. The data from the radio doesn’t tolerate much latency, and a shared resource like WiFi can suffer from what the neighbors are doing. I can’t offer much specific advice except to keep trying.

    Also, I use an mfj 929 auto tuner which works really well with my 6400. I set the tune power to 10, click the tune button, and it’s done. Also has a wider matching range than an internal tuner.

    73

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