6600M Transmit Stays On

  • 1
  • Problem
  • Updated 3 months ago
I have a G5RV attached to ANT2 and my A3S w/40M on ANT1. 10,15,20,40 operate on ANT1 and the others on ANT2. I've been working a lot of WSJT and have set up profiles for each of the bands including antenna assignments. 4 times the transmitter has locked in transmit when switching bands. (I make sure I am NOT actually transmitting when changing bands) The transmitter switches to TX and locks. There is "NO" power being transmitted however.

I am operating from my local computer, not from the front panel. Nothing short of turning off the radio, at the radio, will stop the radio from transmitting.

Restarting the radio allows me to resume operation but this is NOT an option when working remotely. (Can the radio be rebooted remotely via SmartSDR?) 

Has anyone else experienced this behavior?
Photo of Dave Gipson

Dave Gipson

  • 105 Posts
  • 25 Reply Likes

Posted 4 months ago

  • 1
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 2477 Posts
  • 560 Reply Likes
First thing is to find out why it stays in transmit.. Are you using any 3rd party apps? that could be doing this?
(Edited)
Photo of Dave Gipson

Dave Gipson

  • 105 Posts
  • 25 Reply Likes
I am using WSJT-X and am suspicious of it. It is while switching bands, via a profile change, when it locks.
Photo of Dave Gipson

Dave Gipson

  • 105 Posts
  • 25 Reply Likes
Additional information. A friend was operating the rig remotely, using only SmartSDR, and no other third party programs.... and it froze again in the TX mode.. However... here with the radio the power button was red, and I could hear side tone coming from the front speaker even through the front speaker had been turned off. My power meter showed no RF being transmitted. Again, it took a radio shutdown and restart to clear the issue.

At the remote site, the RF power and the RF Tune controls went to zero and would not let you turn them up. You could select frequencies but could not actually receive anything. I.E., you couldn't receive and you couldn't transmit.

Is there a way to restart the radio remotely via software?  

This is NOT a good thing.
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9129 Posts
  • 3453 Reply Likes
A friend was operating the rig remotely, using only SmartSDR, and no other third party programs.... and it froze again in the TX mode.. However... here with the radio the power button was red, and I could hear side tone coming from the front speaker even through the front speaker had been turned off.

How many time was the power button blinking?  The number of blinks is a fault code that tell what may have faulted in the radio.  If it was 3 blinks indicating a firmware crash, then after about 30 seconds then 6600 should reboot and restart the firmware.

Also what version of SmartSDR are you using?  Version 2.1.33 has a fix for a class of issues that can cause the radio's firmware to periodically crash, so if you are not using that version, I highly recommend upgrading.

Is there a way to restart the radio remotely via software?  

No.  If you are operating remotely, you should have facilities to be able to both remote power off the power supply and a remote switch on the REM ON connector to start the radio once power has been restored.
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 2477 Posts
  • 560 Reply Likes
Dave no it is not a good thing,,,It will get sorted out, I am not sure this is not part of the known problems already reported.
Photo of Dave Gipson

Dave Gipson

  • 105 Posts
  • 25 Reply Likes
I understand and am not panicking. I'm thinking of reinstalling the software but need to wait to see if anyone wants to try something first. It's been GREAT up until last night. Love this radio.
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 2477 Posts
  • 560 Reply Likes
A factory reset is easy and just takes a few moments,,save your profiles and bring them back in... a place to start, if that does not help then nothing lost but a bit of time
Photo of Dave Gipson

Dave Gipson

  • 105 Posts
  • 25 Reply Likes
I'm going to run it a couple hours tonight and see if it works ok. If no one wants to check anything, I'll simply reset like you said. The profiles are great.
Photo of Cal Spreitzer

Cal Spreitzer

  • 342 Posts
  • 60 Reply Likes
Hi Dave a few questions that might help sorting things out: 

1.  which version of WSJT-x are you using? 
2.  what rig do you have selected under your WSJT-x radio settings?  
3.  what PPT method do you have selected under WSJT-x radio settings? 

Cal/N3CAL
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9129 Posts
  • 3453 Reply Likes
In addition to Cal's excellent questions, also know what SmartSDR software version you are using is important too.

The CAT control in WSJT (Hamlib) is suspect.  I stopped using virtual com ports with the Kenwood radio in favor of using the Flex 6000 option and using a TCP port for CAT control.  This has been a lot more stable for me.
Photo of Dave Gipson

Dave Gipson

  • 105 Posts
  • 25 Reply Likes
Cal,
I "am" using v1.9.0-rc3 so it is indeed suspect
The rig is FlexRadio 6xxx
PTT is CAT

When I think hard on this... I have had zero problems (other than self created) before installing the rc3 version.

I'll see how it works tonight.
Thank you!
Photo of Dave Gipson

Dave Gipson

  • 105 Posts
  • 25 Reply Likes
It's been two days and a multitude of contacts with no additional problems.  
I think I
I'll chalk it up to my inexperience with the Flex radio.

Thank you for the responses.
Photo of Rich McCabe

Rich McCabe

  • 976 Posts
  • 212 Reply Likes
I have had the red button hang as well with the 6600m when I had it.  I thought it was a known issue but could be wrong. It only happened two or three times and dont think it was WSJT related.
Photo of Dave Gipson

Dave Gipson

  • 105 Posts
  • 25 Reply Likes
OK... I think I know the cause. I set up two different antennas as described originally along with various settings for each HF band, for use with WSJT-X, with profiles. I've been switching between the bands using profiles... which works great..... IF you make sure you are in receive mode ONLY when you switch. I believe WSJT still had transmit enabled when I started to switch profiles and.... before/in-the-middle of the profile load, the transmitter switched to Transmit... then stayed there.

To me that could be construed as an operator error. To others... who knows but I'm pretty certain that is what happened because it did it again twice the other night and I saw it happen the last time.

Hope this helps clear it up. Thank you everyone for your input and help.
Photo of Rich McCabe

Rich McCabe

  • 976 Posts
  • 212 Reply Likes

Dave are you doing anything special with profiles for FT8?  I have one global setup that basically adds two panafalls with a slice each and sets up the DAX.  I let WSJT-X do the bandswitching and never an issue.


Rich


Photo of Dave Gipson

Dave Gipson

  • 105 Posts
  • 25 Reply Likes
I am probably  overdoing it with profiles. (read that line again) Basically, I run mostly digital other than a couple rag chew nets. I set up to operate digital on a band, select the proper antenna (G5RV or AS3 w/40m) make sure my power is set right, and save a profile for that band. 

Changing the profile selects my band in WSJT, the proper antenna, and keeps me from blasting the digital by not paying attention and running wide open. It's quite easy to move around between bands. 

Just make sure Transmit isn't RED on WSJT-X when you do the profile switch. It keeps me honest.... Well.... mostly.

I'm thinking sometimes..."Less is more"

Dave
Photo of Rich McCabe

Rich McCabe

  • 976 Posts
  • 212 Reply Likes

Well I am a profile nut so I use them to setup everything. But found that doing an initial setup for FT8 and then switching bands with WSJT-X worked best.  As a matter of fact I have 4 instances of WSJT-x setup (but usually use two).  I can jump from a station on one instance of WSJT to another and of course the TX does the right thing and follows. As propagation changes I will just "leap frog" bands/instances going up or down as the band changes.


I have switched by accident while transmitting and the worst I got was a message about not switching antennas while TX or something like that. Never had the radio hang.


Photo of Dan - VE3YXE

Dan - VE3YXE

  • 8 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I have the exact same issue with my Flex 6400.  WSJT-X, 20m, any power level above 30W and the 6400 locks up in transmit mode (is actually transmitting) and stays that way for a few seconds until the radio reboots.

My first thought was RF getting back into the transceiver as the SWR is high with my antenna on 20m.  On 40m (much lower SWR) I had no issues, even at full power.  I am using an MFJ-993B tuner with RG-213 between the transceiver and antenna.
Photo of Dan - VE3YXE

Dan - VE3YXE

  • 8 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Some more testing reveals the Flex 6400 does not "crash".   Once it stops transmitting, the light goes green immediately.  SmartSDR (2.1.33) looses connection to the Flex and exits.  I now suspect RF on the Ethernet cable.