5000C no 192K display

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  • Updated 2 years ago
I am setting up a Flex 5000C (not A model) that has not been used for several years.  I cannot get the display to work at 192K.

I can set the bus utility to display settings for 192K but when I launch PowerSDR and start the software the display has no activity on the spectrum.  Only a flat line.  If I shut down and change the bus utility to 96K everything work good except I can only display 96K of the band.

Thinking that a update to the most recent version of the software and firmware might fix the issue I proceeded to update to PowerSDR v2.7.2.  Firmware was updated to 2.1.3.9 and I also installed Hotfix 955408 manually.  Upon restart all the drivers seems to install and there were no error messages.  Everything start fine but once again I can only operate with 96K.

Any suggestions on what might be going wrong and how to fix it?

John K3MA
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John - K3MA

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Posted 2 years ago

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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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John
The Celeron processor would only handle 192Khz on its very best day. The limited amount of memory and slow disk will make that a difficult balancing act.

The real solution, in my mind, is to make it behave as a 5000a by using a modern PC with a firewire card and to just  ignore the internal PC.

However, if you cannot do that,  I offer a remote tuning service that could connect via Teamviewer and   try to make things work.

If you would like a firewire-based PC, my storefront  is celebrating Memorial Day with some of the best prices of the year! Go to www.abrohamnealsoftware.com/products.php

73                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
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John - K3MA

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TU Neal.  I appreciate the information and offer.  I know you make a great computer but I think I am OK here at the moment.

I do not have any experience with the 5000 and PowerSDR but the NB and NB2 on it really make the NB on the 6000 series look bad.  I was shocked when they completely removed the Plasma noise from my Panasonic TV.  I can't help but wonder what prevents Flex from implementing the same performance in the 6000 series NB.  I now know why those that upgraded from the 3000/5000 to the 6000 are so disappointed with it.
(Edited)
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K4MT

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Your so right John. When I sold my 6000 series and went back to the 5000A I was pleased that I can now get rid of the impulse noise in my neighborhood. 6000 series would not touch it.

And the Ke9NS software puts new life into the 5000 
(Edited)
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John - K3MA

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Well it seems the PC might not be the issue.  I hooked up the firewire to a seperate PC and it does the same thing.  That PC is a i3 3.3 Ghz with 16gb of ram.

Any further ideas on how to get this 5000 to display 192khz?
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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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John
What type of firewire controller is in the i3?
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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There is no hardware based reason in the radio itself that would prevent it from running at the highest sampling rate.  If there is an issue, it is with the PC, the PC operating system, the firewire card in the PC or the Firewire cable itself.

If you haven't done so, I'd change the firewire cable with a quality one.
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Burch - K4QXX

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I had this issue with my 5000a.  It ended up being the firewire card.  The old card would work on 96k but not on 192K.  I purchased another fireware card which fixed this issue. 
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John - K3MA

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The Firewire card is this one as best I can tell from a Google search of the item number on the card and comparing the pictures.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815124015

I have three cables and they all work the same.  One is a Granite brand.

One is an unknown manufacturer and this is the third.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0040434GY/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

If anyone has a PCI Firewire card that they would like to get rid of and/or a PMCIA Firewire card for a laptop that they know works with a Flex 5000 please contact me.  Me email is mycall@outlook.com

John K3MA
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John - K3MA

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Just notice the motherboard also has a unused PCI Express 1X slot so if someone has a card to fit that I would also be interested.
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Burch - K4QXX

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It's been awhile since I've had my 5000 but I thought the Flex recommended fireware cards had the Texas Instrument chip set.  That's what I think I purchased when I was having the 192k issue.  I will try and look this weekend to see if I still have that card.  I don't think mine was a PCI Express card though.
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John - K3MA

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I have both PCI and PCI Express slots open on the motherboard.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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In the past, the TI and LSI cards were undoubtedly the best.  Hands down. However, we have noticed a drop off in card compatibility with newer PCs and operating systems.  Some Win10 systems work better with VIA cards these days.  Unfortunately, the target is moving.
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Jay / NO5J

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John 

I'm currently using both of these in 2 different PC's.

PCIe
Syba SY-PEX30016 3 Port Firewire 1394B & 1394A PCIe 1.1 x1 Card TI XIO2213B Chipset

and 

PCI
https://www.amazon.com/3-Port-Firewire-Adapter-Card/dp/B000HDKVDQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1496265...

There are others, just make sure the vendor specifies the card uses a TI (Texas Instruments) chipset, if they won't or don't specify a TI (Texas Instruments) chipset, then that's the wrong card and the wrong vendor.

The Actual SIIG part number for the PCI version card that Flexradio formerly stocked and sold was "NN-400012-S8"  If it matters they both work with Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 which I've had installed on both PC's

BTW your probably right about the Syba SD-LUC-4F PCI card, I used it in previous PC builds it had the Agere\Lucent\LSI chipset and worked great too.

Here's a link to a used one.

 https://www.amazon.com/Syba-SD-LUC-4F-Agere-Chipset-400Mbps/dp/B000SHK7DK/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&a...

73 
Jay - NO5J
(Edited)
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John - K3MA

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OK so I went a head and purchased a card with the TI chipset.  Installed in i3 stand alone computer and still no 192K display on the 5000C.

Flex does this thing actually display 192K?
Have any current (if there are any) or past owners of the 5000C had it displaying 192K?

Any other suggestions?

John K3MA
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Jay / NO5J

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John

In your original post you stated.
I can set the bus utility to display settings for 192K but when I launch PowerSDR and start the software the display has no activity on the spectrum.  Only a flat line.  

With my 5000a I vaguely remember that, I usually got an error message if there was a samplerate mismatch issue, or PowerSDR would crash and die.

If your getting the flatline on the Panadapter, that's a different problem. usually related to buffer sizes or some other PowerSDR setting that's set incorrectly.

But the fact that your getting all the way to the flatline display is actually a good sign.

It sounds like your "past" the samplerate issue. Now you need to fix the flatline issue.  

Have you tried Exporting your Preferences for a backup. and then resetting to Factory Defaults?

The Factory Defaults should work at any of the 3 samplerates.

Some setting in PowerSDR, or the Firewire  bus driver utility may have been "optimized"
past the point of no return, and be the reason for the flatlined panadapter display.

Don't get discouraged or give up yet. Use it at 96k until you find the real problem.

Flexradio official support answers, aren't always available on the weekends. You may not get an official response until Monday. So I thought I'd add my 2 cents worth of experience.

With your i3 based PC 192k samplerates "are" possible I've run PowerSDR 2.7.2, on an old AMD Athlon "Barton" powered PC at 192k in the past, which worked FB when it was the best I had. . It ran better at 96k, but 192k was only, very slightly glitchy, yet still useable. your i3 machine should be an improvement on an AMD Barton.

I think your most of the way there.


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Jay / NO5J

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John

Also, quoted from the PoweSDR 2.7.2 release notes.

Failure of Sampling Rate to Properly Initialize Resulting in a Flat Line Display Since the Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) is internal to the radio hardware and it is always operational which means that it is running at a particular sampling rate when the radio is powered on. Under normal circumstances, when PowerSDR is started, it is set at the same sampling rate as the radio hardware so there is no sampling rate re-initialization that takes place and the radio is running. Under certain circumstances however, such as importing data from a previous database with PowerSDR-DataTransfer or manually changing the radio’s sampling rate when PowerSDR is not running, the radio may fail to change to the new sampling rate when PowerSDR is started for the first time. This results in a “flat line” display on the Panadapter and no receive audio. To resolve this issue, shut down PowerSDR and restart it. In most cases this action will resolve the flat line display issue. If not, please use the other troubleshooting steps listed below or submit a support HelpDesk ticket.
I used to run into that once in awhile too. A restart of PowerSDR always fixed it. Unless I had something else set wrong. Usually a buffer setting too small, on the Bus utility, PowerSDR Audio Tab , or the DSP Tab. Start out with Large buffers and work your way lower until you've gone too far, and start seeing or hearing problems.

I think the ADC in the 5000a and 5000c are identical, so they should both be capable of 192k.

But I only have hands on experience with the FLEX5000a model.

The flatline display was pretty common with a misconfigured PowerSDR setup. It just means somethings likely set wrong.
 

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(Edited)
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John - K3MA

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TU Jay for your help.  As you suggested I went into PowerSDR...setting and clicked on Factory Default on the bottom left.  Shut everything down.  Went to the Flex Firewire driver utility and set the Sample Rate at 192khz and the default buffer size of 4096 with Normal Mode.  Restarted PowerSDR and same issue.  You can see the screen shots of PowerSDR and the Flex Firewire utility.  You will not once PowerSDR started with the flatline the Firewire utility changed itself to 96khz and 2048.

I did this process twice and it was the same both times.


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John - K3MA

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OK I started to poke around and discovered that you need to set the Audio Primary Sample Rate at 192000 in order to get it to work.  Seems to display correctly now on the stand alone computer.  I will test it on the internal next.

TU for the help.

John K3MA
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Jay / NO5J

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John 

See, you are almost there. Congratulations on your User Self-Repairs so far.

The radio's made out of software, so the age of the hardware doesn't really matter much.


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Jay / NO5J

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John

Just in case it ends up being a concern, I keep an unopened spare PCIE Firewire card, 
Just in case they ever become unavailable at some point. Having a spare might not be terrible, if you got a decent price on it. 

And it's OK to change the primary Audio Sample Rate while PowerSDR is running live, it might even be better. You avoid the mismatch situation doing it that way. The PowerSDR setting overrides the the Bus utility setting, anyway.

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(Edited)
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John - K3MA

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Looks like it will not key the amp.  TX 1, 2 and 3 enabled in the Antenna menu.  Checking the ports with a meter show them open circuit when in TX instead of grounded.

Any idea what might be happening?
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Jay / NO5J

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John 

No idea, really. I ruined TX1 on my 5000a when i plugged it into my SB221 without a buffer inline, the others still work fine. I've been told in the past by Dudley that it's Flexradio Service repairable. Submit a Helpdesk Ticket or call them on Monday.

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Jay / NO5J

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John

BTW, the 5000, unlike the 3000 model "does" require a buffer inline between the TX jacks and the Amp, to avoid frying the TI SN75468D Darlington Transistor Array used on the three TX, and CW key jacks. The 16 pin IC chip is in stock and priced at $0.82 each from Mouser. If you'd prefer to do your own soldering. 

 http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Texas-Instruments/SN75468D/?qs=j%2FZo4ajzVJK9m7NrnwkqqQ%3D%3D 

The FLEX5000 Service manual is available in the downloads section of the Flexradio Website at,

http://www.flexradio.com/downloads/flex-5000servicemanual-zip/

Owners manual for both 5000 models at,

http://www.flexradio.com/downloads/flex-5000_owners_manual_v2-0-pdf/

Myself, I'd buy 10, and likely ruin 9 before giving up, and shipping it back to Austin where they probably have the chips in stock.

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(Edited)