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Leave FLEX Radio On Overnight?

Computers are typically left on overnight, which allows them to obtain software updates during usual periods of minimal use. What is the optimal practice for a FLEX radio? Leave it on overnight (with SmartSDR running on the computer), or shut down the radio (and also SmartSDR?) after each operating session?

Thanks,
Mark
AC3EW

Best Answers

  • Ted  VE3TRQ
    Ted VE3TRQ Member ✭✭✭
    Answer ✓

    Do what feels right to you. I (and many others) leave their radios on 24x7, and only shut down / reboot when necessary. You will never get push updates done to radio or software by Flex. I also leave CAT/DAX running at night because I have digital apps running on them. I do usually (although not always) shut SSDR down at night, or long periods of inactivity. If you are running Windows and suffer Microsoft push updates, you may wish to shut off SSDR and DAX/CAT when they are not in use. I run a Mac, so have lesser problems.

    Shutting down / restarting periodically may save some DAX and other audio chain corruption.

  • Neil D Friedman N3DF
    Neil D Friedman N3DF Dayton, OHMember ✭✭✭
    Answer ✓

    I have left my 6600M on for a month or more.

  • Ted  VE3TRQ
    Ted VE3TRQ Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 10 Answer ✓

    Mark, the norm, on Windows anyway, is to terminate Dax and Cat at SSDR shutdown, so unless you made a specific choice to start then up by themselves, or turn off DAX/CAT autostart with SSDR, you should only need to shut down SSDR. On the Mac, shutting down SSDR Mac will terminate its DAX/CAT, but leave any Loopback devices up (not that I have detected any deleterious effects therefrom).

    As to attacks from the Internet side, not usually an issue because you are almost always behind a router, and only forwarded ports will get through. I guess there is some level of risk, but most of what is probing ports out there are scripts looking for particular tools and vulnerabilities - unlikely your Flex is at risk there (unless someone knew you had a Flex, knew what ports were forwarded, and had the knowledge to exploit that. Very low risk - although not zero - in my opinion).

  • Erika - KØDD
    Erika - KØDD Member ✭✭✭
    Answer ✓

    When I originally received my 6500 and early version 3 SSDR. My router had basic security. I and others were getting a wild flurry of radio's Hacking attempts... some attempts were nobody's, just looking for gaming communication ports, but many were eastern European attempts to get into the radio to use it.

    I liked to watch my routers logs several times a day back then. So I saw were all of the attempts came from. They got all the way to attempting to long in to the radio...

    I really locked down my router. I use DHCP with Mac address filtering, and assigned ips... it have the network subnet locked down for only 12-15 ips. And most importantly locked down port forwarding and only allowed the ssdr ports through.

    I still get address spoofs every once in a while...but it seems they try 100 to 250 for addresses most of the time. It takes having the proper mac addresses to even get connected, and the dhcp assigns the ip address. Then I finally went off multi flex... I use hard wiring . I ran into a serious issue leaving my netgear routers factory set time server set turns out it was in Belgium and after every time sync all of Europe would try to hack my router. I set fixed ntp servers in USA by ip address no dns used and hackers can no longer see my router ping the time servers. Tighten first thing at your internet connection. Have fun.

  • Martin AA6E
    Martin AA6E Member ✭✭✭
    Answer ✓

    Some components need periodic servicing (fans, air filters) and some just slowly fail (hot chips). Then there are environmental hazards (lightning). Powering off reduces your exposure to all these, and saves energy.

    On the other hand, excessive power on/off cycling has its problems, too (thermal cycling).

    It's a trade off. I keep my rig powered off when not in use FWIW.

    73 Martin AA6E

  • KD0RC
    KD0RC Broomfield, COMember, Super Elmer Moderator
    Answer ✓

    Hi Mark, I normally shut down SmartSDR and power off my 6400, computer and Astron RS-70M power supply every night. As Ted said earlier, it is what you are most comfortable with. I don't think that it really matters much in terms of component life time.

    I do tend to power up in the morning and leave it powered on all day, so that I am not doing lots of power cycles.

  • John KB4DU
    John KB4DU Member ✭✭✭
    Answer ✓

    I have not experienced any I’ll effects from leaving the radio on and connected for weeks at a time. Mike, moderator on here, leaves his remote station on permanently.

Answers

  • marwalk
    marwalk Member ✭✭
    Thanks, Ted, that helps to focus things. Would the process of shutting down SSDR automatically clear any DAX/CAT connections, or would you have to uncheck/disable those before shutting down SSDR? Or are there other considerations?

    Mark,
    AC3EW
  • marwalk
    marwalk Member ✭✭
    Looks like this is a common practice, just as with computers. Has anyone encountered any cyber security concerns with their radio connected to the Internet essentially full period?

    Thanks,
    Mark
    AC3EW
  • Ha Gei
    Ha Gei Member ✭✭

    We switch ours away from mains when not in use at the clubstation. Also this disconnects the antennas .

    Harry

    DL9NDW

  • Bill AB7AA
    Bill AB7AA Member ✭✭

    I have 2 6700's that I leave on 24/7/365 as well as several other radios. Dust is my only problem as they are all located in the garage here in dusty Tucson, so require yearly cleaning.

    I have many full size antennas on a hill top lot and so I take 1 or 2 lightning strikes per year. I have an extensive ground system and have only taken minor damage to receivers that had DC pass thru arrestors without their DC injectors installed, which should have taken care of the low frequency lightning component. These arrestors have been replaced with DC blocked type and I have since taken strikes with no damage. You can see my QTH on QRZ.

    I leave two industrial grade Windows 7 computers on full time also. They sit behind both the router and Windows firewalls but I removed the AVG anti-virus software about 5 years ago as it was more of a menace than it was worth. The computers are dedicated to ham radio only and I do not use them for email, surfing, etc. If a virus were to hit them then I would either reload Windows 7 or move onto something much newer. So far, I've been money ahead.

    Hope this helps. 73,

    Bill AB7AA

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