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Flex 6400M and CQWW CW Issues

GM,

I operated the CQWW CW contest this past weekend. I had FRStack, Stream Deck and N1MM running during the contest. Slice A was 40 Meters and Slice B was 80 meters. I noticed that for some reason the 6400M Screen was freezing at times, or when it was active there was a latency between turning the dial and frequency changing on the screen.

Normally I use Reverse Beacon Telnet when I operate a contest. But there is a good possibility it was too much with spots active on the 6400M to handle this. I then switching telnet addresses and went to W3LPL. That seemed to make things a little better. I then remember that I had spots active in FRStack. So I went into options and removed the telnet address from FRStack. I even went into the spots menu and reduced the volume of Spots to 1. That helped to make things a whole lot better.

The only time I have ever experienced such a lag in the system is when I tried to activate Swisslogger. That definitely put's a huge amount of stress not only on your computer system, but on SmartSDR. I was told from one of the developers of Swisslogger that it cannot handle the large volume of spots from Reverse Beacon. In fact they advise not using Reverse Beacon.

Has anyone else experienced this with there Flex M Version. I was told that perhaps using the Smart Control option of SmartSDR and turning off the monitor on the M would help. In that way I could still utilize the knobs but perhaps not experience the significant latency that was evident Friday evening. All in all I had to reboot my 6400M at least 3 to 4 times on Friday evening.

On Saturday and Sunday there was no delays. So whatever I did, must have worked.

Mark Griffin, KB3Z

Comments

  • These things can be a devil to really pin down but I have a strong feeling that the sheer volume of Spots in CQ WW from RBN can easily cause computer CPU and / or screen refresh problems that affect the radio.

    I did not experience screen freezing with my 6400M, and running Swisslog + SDC Skimmer + FRStack and SDR-Bridge worked just fine. But I was going to post with the same heading '6400M and CQWW CW issues'. That is because I had a CW sending issue. I use a MicroHam CW Keyer (Winkeyer) into the CW socket on the 6400M. The timing of the sent CW was sometimes quite poor. This was as observed from hearing the sidetone. I am sure computer activity was the root cause, even though I have a Ryzen 5800X, high end graphics card and more RAM than you can shake a stick at. What I don't know, and I'd be grateful if someone who does could tell me, is whether the poorly timed CW is what is actually sent over the air or is it only what is being heard from the sidetone, as if its an audio lag? I must say I did not have any trouble with my call being heard correctly so I suspect over the air was ok. Nevertheless, the issue is disconcerting and should not happen.

    Erik EI4KF.

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin

    Mark

    This is a known problem with spots being sent to a Maestro and M model. During a contest, the sheer volume of spots being sent can impact the tablets ability to respond. Spots are sent way beyond the part of the spectrum we are looking at on the display at the time and all that data needs to be managed. It is a LOT of realtime data.

    73, Mike

  • Mark Griffin
    Mark Griffin Member ✭✭

    Mike,

    So does that mean that what Dave, WO2X suggested to me should possibly negate this issue? That perhaps using the Smart Control option of SmartSDR and turning off the monitor on the M would help. Disconnect my second monitor from the HDMI port on the back of the 6400M. Connect the monitor to my computer and program windows to use that monitor as a second monitor? And then run SmartSDR computer version and put that on the second monitor? I hope I phrased that properly.

    Mark KB3Z

  • Joe N3HEE
    Joe N3HEE Member ✭✭

    I personally find it better to display spots on the N1MM bandmap. I find spots on the M display panel too busy and hard to read and deal with not to mention the lag and performance issues it can cause. The only thing I really use the M display panel or Smart SDR screen for during a contest is to visualize signals and find run frequencies. I rely heavily on the N1MM available mults and q's window to easily pounce on needed stations with the click of the mouse. I also have Touch Portal programmed to control N1MM functions to perform what I call super fast S&P by using single button presses to quickly move between available mults or q's.

  • Mark Griffin
    Mark Griffin Member ✭✭

    Joe,

    I understand what you are saying. But I look at the M Display on my monitor more than I pay attention to what is on my N1MM bandmap for spots. Yes, there are times when the N1MM Bandmap has more spots on it, than what I have set in the Spots menu on the M.

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin

    Mark,

    Yes, that offloads the spots from the Tablet to SmartSDR running on a PC. You will have to test things to see how it works for you.

    73

  • Mark Griffin
    Mark Griffin Member ✭✭

    Thanks Mike!

  • Ha Gei
    Ha Gei Member ✭✭

    I had to switch off rbn as it would even let my logger get choppy , so i can really imagine taht this has overloaded your Flex.

  • Mark Griffin
    Mark Griffin Member ✭✭

    Ha,

    Even when you login to N1MM it will give you a warning about logging into RBN. I just never had the problem before. Live and Learn as they say.

    Mark KB3Z

  • Mark Griffin
    Mark Griffin Member ✭✭

    Good evening,

    I went into the spots menu and changed the Levels to one. So right now I am seeing one or two spots on top of each other. But that is only if the call is different. For example VE3BXG and VE3HBX and to the right side of that is +4. Now I realize tonight is not a contest night, but tomorrow evening starts the ARRL 160 Meter CW Contest. I will be very anxious to see whether I get freeze ups on my 6400M monitor like I did last Friday Evening. Tomorrow evening will be the proof of the pudding.

    Mark KB3Z

  • Mark Griffin
    Mark Griffin Member ✭✭

    Well, after I went and changed the level of Spots in the Spots Menu to 2, I did not experience any freezing of the 6400M Screen on Friday and Saturday of the 160M CW Contest. I guess it comes down to the question, of how many spots do you need on your waterfall display. I realize that most people use the N1MM Bandmap for looks at who is there. I use it to double click on a call so the radio changes frequency and I can contact that party. All in all, I will try to use SmartSDR for computer a little more than what I do presently. Time will tell how that works out. Oh and by the way, does anyone know of an up to date document on operating with SmartSDR Computer? I watched a couple of Youtube Video's but they didn't have basically what I was looking for. Such as how to have 2 slice receivers on my screen.

    Mark KB3Z

  • John KB4DU
    John KB4DU Member ✭✭✭

    The flex software manual is very thorough. So rtfm some time when the radio is available, will answer most questions.

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