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What is going on with CW? Ver 3.2.34

Sergey KN7K
Sergey KN7K Member ✭✭✭
edited May 2021 in SmartSDR for Windows

I did not use my radio last contest since it crashed and today dbefore 7QP Contest and a chance to work some CW on 6m today. It was pretty annoying and embracing to other operator as well.

There are some abrupt interrupts, delays and shorted dits or dots. Anyone have a treatment recipe?

Flex6600, ver 3.2.34



  • Lasse SM5GLC
    Lasse SM5GLC Member ✭✭✭

    I gave up on 2.7.3 as it caused numerous power drop-outs. Made my CW sound like the radio was totally broken. Now back on 2.4.10 and all seems OK.

    Lets face it, we CW-ops are not first in line when it comes to fix bugs :( Apparently Flex do recognize the need for keeping 2.4.10 alive as they wrote the will update the Auth0-SmartLink in this version.

  • K0FLY
    K0FLY Member ✭✭✭

    I had a similar problem with my 6600 (2.7.3) , I went to the Radio settiings menu, and set all of the TX delays to zero and then back to my normal values, magically everything cleared up. The sidetone sounded OK but the transmitted signal was terrible.

    My 6500 was OK when I upgraded to 2.7.3 but the CW from the 6600 was junk until I performed the above mentioned changes.

    Gayle K0FLY

  • Roger G3LDI
    Roger G3LDI Member ✭✭

    The power drop has been reported so many times now that I am losing confidence. I have a feeling that if it were a remote problem it would have been fixed immediately. Just hopw many other CW ops are seeing the power drop to zerowhilst keying? It would be interesting to know.

    Lasse SM5GLC has had the problem as long as me and have now, once again, reverted to 2.4.10. I shall do the same, because I no longer have confidence, watching the power out all the time. It was suggested that it could be a power supply problem, but I use a 50A linear supply and it has no problem supplying the Flex at whatever power level. The power drop happens at 25w or 80w or 100w. I am sure it is not hardware related.

    Lasse has raised a ticket - G7759 - and I have contacted Ken Wells to let him know the problem is back so I assume there will be several tickets raised for this problem now.

    73 de Roger, G3LDI

  • VE7ATJ_Don
    VE7ATJ_Don Member ✭✭✭

    Sergey... have you had a chance to try the latest versions of SmartSDR (3.2.37 and 2.7.5)?

    I know they don't 'specifically' say they address the problem, but I'm wondering if maybe something got 'cleaned up' in the work.

  • Lionel
    Lionel Member ✭✭✭

    I've been following this in various threads and watching for the same or similar problem. Using 3.2.34 and direct ethernet from W10 computer to Flex. I have never seen any of these reported issues, and I am mostly CW, breakin. (delay at 0).

    Is this a network problem or remote problem?

    Of course, now it will bite me later today!

  • Lasse SM5GLC
    Lasse SM5GLC Member ✭✭✭


    you would be hard pressed to notice any power loss when running break-in. It resets once you do a RX/TX cycle, i.e. you will only loose part of a character. For us who do not want or can use full QSK it is really a pain in the rear end.

  • John KB4DU
    John KB4DU Member ✭✭✭✭

    Has any one tried cwx to see if the issue still exists?

  • Terry G4POP
    Terry G4POP Member ✭✭
    Has anyone had a response from Flex about this issue?
  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin

    There 2 active threads going on on the same issue. Here is what I posted in the other one.


    I did some research on the history of this (key word, some) and had a quick conversation about it with engineering.

    The short story is that it came down to de-bounce issues in the software as the root cause thanks to some work other users had done and we confirmed. You could clearly see the bouncing on a Scope.

    Bouncing is the tendency of any two metal contacts in an electronic device to generate multiple signals as the contacts close or open; debouncing is any kind of hardware device or software that ensures that only a single signal will be acted upon for a single opening or closing of a contact.

    In this diagram, you should see the trace go from high to low without any noise as an example. This is an easy enough test to do by supplying a voltage via a resistor and watching it go from high to low. I hate to say it, but my Bengali key is the worst at it.

    I can't speak about a target fix time yet on the de-bounce issues (sorry, policy).

    This explains why some see the problem and others do not as it related to the mechanics of the key. Since the algorithms that handle the CW key are the same for all users (and it doesn't wear out or change) you have to look at all the parts involved (physical CW key, SmartSDR, Radio, etc).


  • K9SO
    K9SO Member ✭✭

    I have found that the last SmartSDR version that actually worked well was 2.4.9 and then the minor upgrade to 2.4.10. Even though I paid for 3.x licenses on all my radios, I have never used them because of these issues. This has been going on for a very long time.

    On my Maestros, I have been forced into using an external WinKeyer to key instead of keying directly from a paddle. This resolved the paddle bounce issues, but not the Internet packet jitter issues I've been seeing for a very long time on the higher SmartSDR versions. WinKeyers don't seem to suffer from the paddle bounce issue and provide clean keying to my Maestros.

    Being forced into an upgrade due to the current SmartLink issues, I set up a parallel paddle keying path using my RemoteRIg connections that I use for my other radios. It works 100% of the time for me as it always has. It's far better in dealing with jitter than the Flex radios and even the alternative WinKeyer solutions. I'll continue to use it even when Flex gets the Maestros working again.

    So as you can see, I've had to add a lot of external gear to get my FlexRadio paddle CW operating properly. These are all issues that other companies have resolved long ago.

    But a side benefit to the RemoteRig keying approach is that I can remotely do a "hard PTT" that some Flex upgrades and resets require (another remote issue that has plagued my FlexRadio experiences for years).

    I can now operate paddle CW and 3.x SmartSDR without having to wait for the Flex engineers to figure out simple remote keying issues that RemoteRig and Hamcrafters engineers figured out years ago.

    Fred, K9SO

  • Sergey KN7K
    Sergey KN7K Member ✭✭✭

    My issue is not related to Bengali keyer, issue is with radio itself! My keyer connected to the radio directly.

    After 6600 power cycle it cleared!

    I keep getting one weird thing after another...

    Sergey, KN7K

  • Jim G3YLA
    Jim G3YLA Member ✭✭

    Hello CW Folk and Flex,

    Just to say that I am also seeing drop out on CW with version 2.7.3. Like the others this happens randomly, usually in the midst of a reasonable length over at around 25wpm using a delay of about 500ms. Dropping carrier when noticed immediately resets things and power output returns. The sidetone monitor continues throughout so its not obvious unless you are closely watching the meter/display etc. It has happened about 4 times now since upgrading to 2.7.3

    On the plus side, the phantom VOX activation when in CW appears to have been fixed, as has the need for multi-attempts to get the ATU to match; thank you.

    73 de Jim


  • Jim G3YLA
    Jim G3YLA Member ✭✭

    That will teach me to talk too soon, the phantom VOX issue is back in CW mode and won't disable, even if going to usb to switch it off (it invariably is already off in USB, but goes into VOX TX when switching back to CW!?) Grrr v2.7.3

    73 de Jim


  • DL2CC
    DL2CC Member ✭✭

    Well, I do still have sidetone dropouts (I think that's what some people call the CW power dropouts) with the latest (3.2.39) version.

    It's not a debounce issue as I am using an external winkey chip with an external keyer. I can hear the sidetone of the winkey keyer just fine, just in that particular moment the flex sidetone is missing.

  • Ed Stallman
    Ed Stallman Member ✭✭

    I did the same as Fred K9SO by installing a winkey-USB to correct the horrible CW after updating if you want to call it that to V3.2.31 ... Never had a problem with CW until this Version !

    So Flexradio , when will you make it possible for our $4,400.00 radio to do CW ?

    Ed N5DG

  • Mark_WS7M
    Mark_WS7M Member ✭✭✭

    As a mostly CW op I've been "monitoring" this thread for a while now.

    I cannot say I've ever seen this issue however I typically run my radio at low power and let the PGXL do the heavy lifting. I'm not sure if "power drop" is RF power or some other issue from the description above.

    I currently use a WinKeyer USB which has been modified to allow me to easily which to a straight key and to switch to a second radio.

    I have spent quite some time sending CW with this setup at like 1 watt out on some far reaching portion of the band while I listen to my signal via a local WebSDR. So far the CW has been pretty rock solid for me.

    Also in CW QSOs I'm not getting any funny questions or repeats.

    I'd be interested if someone has a method for replicating the behavior above to try it.

  • Lasse SM5GLC
    Lasse SM5GLC Member ✭✭✭


    The "feature" we mainly discuss is total loss of output RF power. What happens is that everything "appears" normal, but the RF just disappear. This is ONLY noted by no RF and no signal in the panafall. By dropping to RX and then back again to TX will bring power back. So if you are on full QSK or very short hang time you may never notice this. But if you do have long hang or even manual TX/RX switching, you will notice the lack of power. it seems not to be related to low or high power and noone have found a way to provoke this to happen, other than use CW :) I am currently using a 6500 and keying by paddle attached to front panel, and controlling with Maestro. Did not take long to notice using SSDR 2.7.3. Others have used 6600 and see the same behavour using SSDR 3.x.y.

    Finally, I was told by Flex to use SSDR 2.4.10 to avoid this.

    Others reports stuttering CW, missing sidetone and other problems but this is not as common as the above defect.

  • W4AFK Bruno
    W4AFK Bruno Member ✭✭

    Seems to me that if changing the radio's software solves the issue, then the problem IS with the radio. So I am perplexed at the comments regarding "debouncing", keys, etc. Again, if moving to an older software solves it, then it's pretty clear where the problem lies. What am I missing?

  • Sergey KN7K
    Sergey KN7K Member ✭✭✭

    This thread was created due to a weird SSDR/radio side affects that affect quality of CW.

    One additional perk that I saw in other posts, interaction with N1MM. I do not know is it a timing or else. About a year ago i was told to open ticket with Flex. Besides advice to keep delay about 200 for CW, nothing else was found. Any time i operate CW contest with N1MM, every few hours radio will stay in TX unless i touch a keyer with just one dit. This is annoying as I have to ask to repeat the call sign or report. Last CW WPX contest it happened most of the time after sending Macro, but sometimes I used a keyer and it happened as well 1-2 times. Macro sending resulted in TX lockup more often than manual sending.

    An interesting observations that it never happening during my daily FT8 transmits, and over last 2 years i completed few thousands Q's in FT8.

    So, N1MM and Flex are not "best friends" , at least on my setup.

    No idea how to resolve it. The only thing I would ask from hams that do not have issues with N1MM, please share your Winkey settings. This is the only area i would know to double check. I am not sure even that settings is problematic, as i can go 3-5hours without any TX lockups, and than have 2-3 times in an hour or so. If settings would be wrong, it would be less intermittent.

    Sergey, KN7K

  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator

    Here's my N1MM+ Winkeyer settings. I have not had the stuck TX issue with my 6600M running 3.2.39


    Dave wo2x

  • Sergey KN7K
    Sergey KN7K Member ✭✭✭

    Thank you David,

    I actually never touch this screen and have zero's there.

    Do you know how these Lead time and Key compensation affect the sent CW? Lead time is an interesting one.

    Could you please show me your Com setup for Winkey as well please. the one below

    This is by the way how N1MM looks on my 4k monitor. I asked N1mm guys to fix it about 2 years ago, still cutting a lot of windows.

    Also, my radio is back to intermittent cutting CW today, doing reboot right now.

    Sergey, KN7K

  • Erik Carling EI4KF
    Erik Carling EI4KF Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 2021

    In case it helps, this is my N1MM Winkeyer port configuration:

    Also, this is how it displays on my 4K monitor set at its native 3840 x 2160 resolution. Scale and layout are at the recommended 150%.

  • Sergey KN7K
    Sergey KN7K Member ✭✭✭

    Thank you Erik,

    My 4k monitor is set to 150 scaling, need to play more to figure out why my N1mm does not like it.

    Regarding settings: I have the same DTR and RTS settings, but PTT delay in that window is "0".

    Now, could some one summarize all needed delays?

    1. SSDR recommended delay for CW ~200
    2. Than you have delay in N1mm under Winkey as a "Lead time" and per Dave's settings it is "2. Also Keying compensation (no idea what is that) is "8", while I have "0".) is "8"
    3. er Erik settings , there is a PTT delay "50". Is that one necessary and we have SSDR delay 200. am trying to see if there is a conflict or some kind of short time on seqecuhan
  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator
    • Lead Time – Set the lead time value in 10ms Increments (up to 2.55 seconds). This value reflects the amount of time that the Winkeyer PTT will be asserted BEFORE keying commences
      • If when sending CW you are missing the first dot or dash, or if paddle-sent CW doesn’t seem responsive (again, missing the first character) set this to at least 10 mSec
      • NOTE that this field denotes 10 mSec intervals — ‘1’ in this box means 10 mSec
      • If Pin 5 function is set to PTT, set this value to at least 1 (10 mSec)
    • Keying Compensation – Normally only used with high speed (>30 wpm) QSK operation. Adds time (in 1 mSec increments) to both dashes and dots to adjust for rig switching delays (however slight). See the Winkeyer manual for more information

    I had read something on the Elecraft list recommending the keying compensation to be set to 8. This supposedly helps with CW rise time. The lead time fixes the clipped first character. I used to get a lot of people thinking I was MO2X instead of WO2X due to the dit being clipped. Since I changed the lead time to 20 ms (value of 2) I have not had that issue any more.

    When you are in the Winkey setup menu in N1MM+ just click on Help then it will bring you to their help website. Select Winkeyer for a description of settings.

    And here is a picture of my Radio com port and Winkeyer com port settings in N1MM+

    Worth noting is my radio COM port is 38400. Default is 4800. 4800 is too **** slow.


    Dave wo2x

  • Sergey KN7K
    Sergey KN7K Member ✭✭✭

    Thank you Dave,

    I do not have a problem with cutting my call or fist letter, so I assume it is safe to "0" for a Lead time. If keying compensation affecting the clipped first character, so this is not my case either.

    I am puzzled for the long time why I can go with CW at N1MM for a few hours without any issue and than have some intermittent issue with radio staying in TX mode after sending my call or report. Why sending just one dit unlocking radio back to receiving mode. Not sure what else to check.

    Thanks for the screenshots.

    Sergey, KN7K

  • Mal G3PDH
    Mal G3PDH Member ✭✭

    This thread seems to be going off at a tangent from the original report of CW RF power dropping out whilst transmitting until allowing the rig to return to RX and then keying again. This problem reported by many users now has been around for about 2 years and still exists in the latest v2 and v3 software. During this time I initially experienced the problem quite regularly but over recent months and with the latest v3 software I thought that it had been resolved although I did sometimes hear a glitch in the CW transmission like a long dash. However, I can now confirm that I have experienced the same RF power drop out with the latest v3 software. This drop out does not happen when the rig is keyed by a macro from such as N1MM. It relates to manual keying either via the standard key socket or as in my case keying via a Logikeyer into pin 4 of the accessory socket. It is particularly noticeable when operating with a time delay as opposed to full QSK, ie due to the need to allow the rig to drop back into RX first before keying again. The fault is confined to a basic fault between the Flex radio, computer and SSDR software, not other software application systems. I understand that fault ticket G7759 refers. It also seems that version 2.4.10 does not exhibit the fault however, I do not wish to retro install older v2 software.

    Of most concern is the timescale that this has been in existence and reported upon. Therefore I, and others of which there are 3 local stations to me with the same problem, would like to see some indication from Flex that this fault is being actively addressed and what progress is being made.

    My own set up is a Flex 6500, PC running latest Windows 10, Keying is via a Logikeyer to the accessory skt (pin 4). CW delay setting (time to return to RX) is set at typically 500m/s. I do not wish to use full QSK with my linear amp.

    I would suggest that a statement is long overdue from Flex on this annoying fault.


    Mal G3PDH

  • Roger G3LDI
    Roger G3LDI Member ✭✭

    I am one of those that Malcolm mentioned above with the same fault. I am running 2,7.3. I confirm that it is NOT N1MM related. I also have noticed sometimes a lack of an immediate dash when starting a character with a dash. That is very confusing.

    I have the FLex 6600 with Windows 10 on a 4-core I5 computer. Before a suggestion regarding a power supply problem, I am powering the Flex with a 50A linear supply. Supply volts as monitored on the Flex is 13.88v and does not budge.

    I cannot bother to accept a reversion to 2.4.10 to "cure" this problem either. I know Lasse has already reverted to that version, but that is not a fix, although temporarily it would work. I have reduced my CW delay to 105 so that I don't miss too much when keying. Last evening Malcolm with a much longer delay had a dropout for over 10 seconds!

    73 de Roger, G3LDI

  • Jim G3YLA
    Jim G3YLA Member ✭✭

    Like what they just said.... I am the third member of our Flex user group here and, whilst this is in no way denigrating the overall quality of the Flex 6000 series as excellent rigs, I do feel that sense of frustration that these niggles are long-lasting for we CW folk . Whilst in this 'me too' mode I would like to stress that the VOX activation in CW mode is even more annoying since it cannot be deactivated in CW so the rig has to be left in SSB mode when monitoring the CW end of the bands.

    Overall then, I am also disappointed that we have not seen action on what is a direct SSDR problem and not something that relates to anything external to Flex like contact bounce or keyer parameters, IMHO.

    73 de Jim


  • Jim G3YLA
    Jim G3YLA Member ✭✭

    Success on one front, copy of my post on 'VOX on CW problem' It wasn't until I trawled through previous posts on the VOX issue that I discovered this thread and fair to say; the answers were all there.

    I have to say a big thank you to the community system... does what it says on the tin. 

    Firstly, from above, resetting the VOX in DIGU seems to work, whereas going into USB/LSB does not carry over when going back to CW. Thanks GM7VSB

    Secondly, Tim's suggestion to reset the persistence database makes the problem go away... follow the instructions carefully.

    Great work Flexers all... 

    73 de Jim


    Flex6500 v2.7.6

  • schacterfoto
    schacterfoto Member ✭✭

    I use SDR 3.2.39 and continue to have the problem with CW dropping out. It's completely unacceptable that Flex would not correct this. How can you consider yourself to be a major, reputable manufacturer of ham transceivers when your product is not reliable in CW mode?

    I also had significant hardware problems (not relevant to this thread) in my first year of ownership. The 6000 series has a lot going for it, but all things considered I would not buy another one, nor would I recommend it to anyone.

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