6400M strange crash-Flex has made many great suggestions but the issue lingers on

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 2 weeks ago
  • (Edited)
See the video, someone in this world must have had the same problem?
https://youtu.be/W1SP7PD6GQc





Also unrelated what does this interference look like, it comes and goes?

Photo of Burt Fisher

Burt Fisher

  • 1105 Posts
  • 383 Reply Likes

Posted 2 weeks ago

  • 1
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 3000 Posts
  • 660 Reply Likes
Burt, I am not sure if you should not complain. This can't be normal operation?
Can Flex duplicate this? in the shop.
Photo of Burt Fisher

Burt Fisher

  • 1105 Posts
  • 383 Reply Likes
They tried repeatedly. I cannot fault them for effort. When it is getting close to the warranty running out I will send it in. 
Photo of Rick  WN2C

Rick WN2C

  • 277 Posts
  • 33 Reply Likes
Why wait? I would send it in now.
Photo of mikeatthebeach .

mikeatthebeach .

  • 277 Posts
  • 45 Reply Likes
Burt
I would highly suspect that you may have an
Instaneous drop in voltage that resets the radio
The Anderson Power Pole May have some oxide
Or may be not tight
If you have a larger gauge # DC wire cable and
Voltage set to 13.8 Vdc that may help
I suspect the problem is DC current related
Causing a drop in DC Input Voltage to the
Radio
73 Mike
Photo of K3SF

K3SF

  • 191 Posts
  • 53 Reply Likes
i agree with Mike.  One way to possibly test  for it , is to run it at various power levels and work you way up to 100 watts. and see at what power level it start to occur.

Paul K3SF
Photo of Burt Fisher

Burt Fisher

  • 1105 Posts
  • 383 Reply Likes
I thought it was power related too so I used the application that measures voltage at the radio, no change, then I looked at the meter on the power supply, no change. If it was power supply related how do you explain it runs on 100 watts if the ATU is engaged? I did try it at various power levels, it fails at 80 watts but seemed to work OK on 17 meters.
(Edited)
Photo of mikeatthebeach .

mikeatthebeach .

  • 277 Posts
  • 45 Reply Likes
Burt
The DC current with 100watts will be different
With a Tuner versus No Tuner
SSPA final are VSWR load sensitive and Ids
May be different with ATU versus no ATU
Mike
Photo of mikeatthebeach .

mikeatthebeach .

  • 277 Posts
  • 45 Reply Likes
Just a thought
Downgrade to V2.39 from V2.49
To see if it persists
73
Mike
Photo of Burt Fisher

Burt Fisher

  • 1105 Posts
  • 383 Reply Likes
I had the same problem with V2.39, I thought V2.49 might fix it.
Photo of WH6HI - Pat

WH6HI - Pat

  • 289 Posts
  • 43 Reply Likes
It could be a spread spectrum non ham transmission. Most likely of foreign origination.
Photo of Burt Fisher

Burt Fisher

  • 1105 Posts
  • 383 Reply Likes
It has no fading whatever.
Photo of WH6HI - Pat

WH6HI - Pat

  • 289 Posts
  • 43 Reply Likes
Just a suggestion, disconnect ALL cables to the radio, including the ground. Leaving only the PS. If that eliminates the signal, start reconnecting cable one cable at a time starting with the grounding wire and ending with the antenna. I know that some of this may have been done before, but this might verify a possible culprit. Now that being said. If it does not go away, it could mean that a voltage regulator, in the radio, may have RFI issues. I had this happen to my Flex 3000 and required additional bypass capacitors at the VR ln question. Mr. Youngblood actually did the trouble shooting and fix himself. One additional thing with all cables removed I used a battery to insure perfectly clean DC. I even put ferrits on the DC leads and grounded the antenna input.

Hope this helps.
(Edited)
Photo of Burt Fisher

Burt Fisher

  • 1105 Posts
  • 383 Reply Likes
Flex already suggested disconnecting everything, which I did. If it is RFI explain why with 500 watts from the amp, no problem. 
Photo of Al / NN4ZZ

Al / NN4ZZ

  • 1728 Posts
  • 590 Reply Likes
Hi Burt,
Just some speculation but I wonder if there is a relay that is defective (sticking, or failing to get or give a signal) when removing the ATU from the RF path. The antenna /RF matix and control logic seems pretty complex. Maybe a timing problem could leave the matrix in an invalid state. And that could result in an RF issue internally . A power cycle / reboot would return the matrix back to normal.

This would probably not be easy to troubleshoot in the field, and a lot easier for the Flex tech with details on the logic, timing, and schematics.

Based on all the other data you have provided, external RF and DC power don’t seem to be the root cause. It will be interesting to hear the cause if / when you get it resolved.

Regards Al / NN4ZZ
Photo of Robert Lonn

Robert Lonn

  • 288 Posts
  • 70 Reply Likes
If your not afraid to open up the radio,, I would open it up and be 100% sure that all the SCREWS that hold all the boards in place are tight.. The ATU re-routs the RF and could provide a sort of artificial ground,, I had an issue like this with my Icom IC-9100 radio,, It worked great when the ATU was engaged, but if not it would literally power down the radio... A ham friend suggested, open up the radio and be sure all the screws were tight... I found around 6 screws that were about a 1/2 turn loose, some were not 100% snug and tight... Did that about 3 years ago, and never had another issue... My IC-9100 is mostly for Satellite use now that my 6600M has replaced it on HF... Good Luck!!

Robert
Photo of Burt Fisher

Burt Fisher

  • 1105 Posts
  • 383 Reply Likes
Al in some cases with ATU in bypass the SWR is slightly lower. Over many months since I got it April (it came with the problem) it has recycled many times.
Robert, I am afraid to open the radio unless Flex said to.
Photo of Robert Lonn

Robert Lonn

  • 288 Posts
  • 70 Reply Likes
Since Flex allows folks to install their own Heat Sink fixes, I dont see an issue with opening up the radio, but as a safeguard it does not hurt to ask them about opening it up and tightening the screws..

Robert
Photo of AA0KM

AA0KM

  • 347 Posts
  • 60 Reply Likes

Jumper issue ,maybe try different length jumper between radio and next inline.
I have seen too short cable cause issues.
Transmit and wiggle the cable it might show something then too like bad connector or broken/breaking center wire bad solder.
Just something to try .

2Ct`s. Jeff


Photo of Burt Fisher

Burt Fisher

  • 1105 Posts
  • 383 Reply Likes
Did all that Jeff
Photo of Dante - KM6VMR

Dante - KM6VMR

  • 5 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
I am not sure if this related,  but I just noticed at 3:16 mark on the video during the reboot process, your radio stops at the firmware selection screen. 

On my radio, it only does this if the Ethernet port is unable to obtain a valid DHCP address from my router and and this is usually indicated with a yellow caution sign/symbol at the network status
connectivity.  Otherwise, my radio immediately loads the current selected firmware.



Photo of WH6HI - Pat

WH6HI - Pat

  • 289 Posts
  • 43 Reply Likes
The Panadapter switches over to the transmitted signal, probably why you don’t see it. Internal RFI would appear only on RX side of use. In my 3000 that is exactly what I saw.
Photo of WQ2H - Jim Poulette

WQ2H - Jim Poulette

  • 122 Posts
  • 29 Reply Likes
Burt,

I may have missed it but when your external amp is off, and the Flex ATU is bypassed, is there any other device (like a tuner, meter, or coax switch) down the line toward the antenna?

Odd that there is no SWR indication whatsoever just before the crash.

73
Jim, WQ2H

Photo of Burt Fisher

Burt Fisher

  • 1096 Posts
  • 382 Reply Likes
There is a AT-500 and a power meter. There is some SWR, varies by band from 1.2 to 1.8.
Photo of Jim Runge

Jim Runge

  • 83 Posts
  • 17 Reply Likes
My 6600M would crash about 2 times a day.  Even in the receive mode.  I sent it back.  My 6700 and 6500 don't have that problem.
Photo of Mark - WS7M

Mark - WS7M

  • 1026 Posts
  • 364 Reply Likes
Burt,

Most likely you will say you have done all of this but here goes anyway:

1) Simplify the problem.   Where you want to get is the ability to duplicate the behavior with minimal connections, ideally those that Flex could duplicate.  So:  Power (very short cable), Key, very short coax to dummy load.  If you can reliably dupe the problem in these conditions then test step A:

       A) Put a fast reading volt across the power terminals where they go into the radio.  Ideally if you have fairly slow scanning scope I'd use that.  Examine the power draw when you lower the power output and do not see the problem and compare it to high power when you do.   The hope here would be that your power supply has an issue.  It is certainly worth the time to test this.

Assuming you have done 1 and A and you are using the shortest possible connections then I think the radio AND all the pieces including the dummy load and power supply and cables need to go to Flex so they can debug the problem.

Just my 2C

On your interference picture, here is what I see on 40m:



You might notice that my three "areas" look somewhat similar to your image.  

I still do not know what this thing is but I do know it is in my neighbors house.   The noise goes away on a different antenna farther from their house.

Mine moves around.   Today it is mostly around 7.040 which is ok, sometimes it pisses me off because it is right down around 7.025 where I like to be.

I have not and will not go snooping for this because I'm really not supposed to have antennas in this stupid HOA.  So I think it would be a bad idea to show up at my neighbors house with a noise detector and tell them something is interfering with my ham station.

So I just live with the noise.