Audio break up, (stutters) and the signal display stutters v1.4 & 1.43 Remote

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  • Problem
  • Updated 4 years ago
  • Solved
I previously posted about this under another subject, thinking that it was related to the freezing problem some others were having - "SmartSDR 1.4 rx intermittent pauses" - https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/smartsdr-1-4-rx-intermittent-pauses

Sorry for the lengths but I've been working on this for several weeks.. it all added up, including some of the additional expenses. I'm posting this message about my experience with the hope that there can be a solution.

Here is what I have tried and the results I have found.

- This only happens when using WiFi and the new Remote mode.
- The problem happens intermittently with SmartSDR v1.4 & 1.43.

- Operating System: Windows 8.1
- No DAX connections
- I reset the 6500
- Laptop was the only computer turned on for the tests.
- using 5ghz WiFi, no other users on my network and on other 5ghz users in my are.
- tried using 2.4ghz WiFi where the are lots of other users in the area, it makes no difference.

It makes no difference where my laptop is located, even when it is with in 3 feet of the router I still have the same problem.

I have read the Flex information on what to check. I tried everything including the running the DPC Latency tests. This laptop passes all the tests without SmartSDR running. I have tried several laptops and have updated my network to use the latest high end wireless router.

Laptops tried: Dell & HP with the same specs

CPU  - i7 dual core
       RAM   - 8gb
       Video - Nvidia (2gb dedicate memory)
       OS    - Windows 8.1

Next I bought another laptop with slightly better specs

CPU  - i7 quad core
       RAM   - 8gb
       Video - Nvidia (2gb dedicate memory)
       OS    - Windows 8.1

Over all performance is better with the i7 quad core.. (much lower CPU load)
In all cases, the Nvidia graphic was enabled.

The problem exists on all laptops...

Observations:

The audio breaks up, (stutters) and the signal display stutters. It only last a few seconds and is very random. Happens on all bands even when not tuned to a signal. It also happens while transmitting but I have had no reports of the receiving station loosing any of my transmission.

It can happen in two different ways:

1)- Audio break up (stuttering) and display is choppy. No other indications from SmartSDR.

2)- At other times, when audio breaks up (stuttering) and display is choppy, I see a change on the SmartSDR network indicator (on bottom bar). It will quickly go to all gray bars.

The audio and video will recover - when all bars on the SmartSDR network indicator are gray, long before the network indicator returns to all green.

It can happen when the SmartSDR network diagnostics shows:
- Network Status Excellent
- Latency =1
- Max Latency =2
- Dropped =0

At other times:
- Network Status Poor
- Latency = 277
- Max Latency = 277
- Dropped =2

-------

You have to watch the SmartSDR network indicator closely to catch this - it shows reduced network signal strength quickly going to 2 yellow bars, then 1 red bar, then all gray, it goes down down quickly and then slowly reverses back through the same cycle until it is all green, again. The actual audio/video problem happens much faster.

The audio & video breakup corrects itself, while the network indicator is still showing all gray or one red bar, long before it goes back to all green. This happens very quickly and even when no network signal is shown, SmartSDR does not loose connection with the 6500 and keeps receiving. Transmitting in SSB doe not seem to be effected, other that the video display of the signal, compressor and power output not being in real time. I have observed the event happening but have never had any complaints of comments from the station on the receiving end.

- I see little, if any, change shown in network usage on the Windows Network monitor.
- SmartSDR CPU usage drops during the event,
- the 5gh WiFi connection is solid all the time, speed over 400, no other  users on the   network or in the area. 
- the SmartSDR network indicator normally shows all bars green, except during the   audio/video stuttering event.
- when the event starts there is often a Latency of 200 - 277 indicated on network diagnostics with few dropouts..
 
Another test

I run SmartSDR on my main computer, connected to a wired LAN, then connected to it from laptop on WiFi) using TeamViewer.. To get audio on the remote PC I used TeamViewer audio transfer function, remote was activated on the main computer. I listened and made some test transmissions via the TeamViewer connection from the laptop.

No problems with the audio & video break up during a 1 hour plus test.. The laptop had the resources to pass everything in close to real time using TeamViewer.

Another test

I also tested SmartSDR on an older dual core laptop, win7 & 4GB RAM. All worked fine until the  audio/video stuttering event started. SmartSDR was not able to recover on this laptop. It was interesting to observe that while the Latency indicated around 250, the dropout counter just kept going up as fast as it could without stoping.
 
Conclusion

This problem is a real annoyance but does not stop the use of SmartSDR in Remote.

I've tested all that I can, isolated SmartSDR on the network and nothing has changed the situation. Using a wired connection solves the problem but has it's limiting factor.

I can't tell what is happening with SmartSDR. Is it possible that it is being over protective of the connection or something is happening when it sees higher latency that can be changed to improve this?

Ken - VE5KC
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Ken - VE5KC

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Posted 4 years ago

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Photo of Ken - VE5KC

Ken - VE5KC

  • 51 Posts
  • 14 Reply Likes
Official Response
Thanks to all who have replied and made suggestions..

The winner with the working solution is Wayne. VK4ACN.

The Intel integrated WiFi was the problem causing excessive Latency.

The solution - use add on USB non Intel WiFi..

In my case the Linksys AE3000 works great.

73 ..  Ken - VE5KC