Bugs That Bugs You the Most

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  • (Edited)
So nothing better to do than complaining and starting a new thread.
This is about bugs... (not about things working as intended i.e. profiles or remote side-tone).
Here is my top three bugs:

1. Spurious CW TX drop out!  WTF... This bites me every day, try call a DX in a pile-up and only realize you do not emit, or make a long "transmission" in a rag-chew. Makes me think evil thoughts.

2. AGC. Outright awful performance. Narrow filters and strong signals should not make you start to weep. My other SDR's are like music to my ears vs. Flex :(

3. Equalizer on slice B. Now having to "activate" the Eq by cylicling mode is a working work-around but why should I need doing this?

My top two are show-stoppers, really! Not sure I wouild be a "Flexer" if I known about them prior to commiting to Flex.
What is your top three bugs?
And keep the thread clean :) Wash your hands!!
/Lasse SM5GLC

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Lasse Moell

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Posted 1 month ago

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Sergey Abrikosov

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While I work from home over last month I had this issue 2-3 times.
Here is the typical scenario:
i work in the late evening FT8 just fine.
Radio and PC stays ON all the night.
Coming to the radio in the morning and start FT8, if I do not pay attention, my signal look like very wide and unusual shape and I find myself in the past that i can TX like that for a while. Here is a video captured today:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Dwh4P8azyMQfcnnFSyYmCCyTJze6qww8

I restart SSDR and it is normal again.
I cannot find a correlation to anything yet as most of the time it is not happening.
Sergey, KN7K

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N8AUM

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Similar problem when I run WSPR so I toggle the DAX off/on than it runs normal until next time rather than restarting everything. Receives ok all the time.
6600 3.1.8 with Win 7
(Edited)
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Sergey Abrikosov

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I have the same SW ver3.1.8, Windows 10 with all latest updates.
The strange thing is that I observe it sometimes only after my radio and PC are idle for a night...
KN7K
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Michael - N5TGL

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Yep, exact same thing happens here.
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Bob Wright, N7ZO

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Sergey,

I see that frequently here.  The problem is a DAX bug that has been there for a very long time - years.  It is a known problem that has been reported here many times and that Flex should have fixed long ago, but for some reason they have not.

Over time the DAX audio stream becomes corrupted and DAX needs to be restarted.  I run SSDR 24/7 and have to restart DAX about every day.  I make a habit of doing it every time I sit down to use the radio.

To make re-starting DAX easier, I wrote a batch file:

taskkill /f /im DAX.exe
timeout 2
start "" /d "C:\Program Files\FlexRadio Systems\SmartSDR v3.1.8\DAX" /b DAX.exe

Make sure you set the correct path in the "start" command to the version of SSDR that you are using.  No need to restart SSDR.

Also, when you upgrade SSDR, be sure to change the path in the batch file otherwise you will be starting an older version of DAX.  I called my batch file "Reboot DAX 318.bat" to help remind me of this.

73, Bob, N7ZO

(Edited)
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Russ Ravella

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I've posted on Flex's "bug problem" so much already I don't want to repeat it all yet again since it's clear that Flex Executive Management simply isn't capable of "getting it" anyway.  The promises have kept coming for years now yet the necessary resources are never actually committed.  Somehow they think MORE promises that they will never keep are an appropriate way to handle things.  Flex is a SOFTWARE defined radio and yet Flex Radio is a poor software company as evidenced, among other things, by their huge bug list.  A Flex employee once said the list of actual bugs (not improvement requests) far exceeds 1000 and that was some time ago.  You read about the endless variety here constantly.

Still, there is one that has been mentioned here in various forms but nonetheless doesn't come up anywhere near as often as I would think it would.  I wonder if other folks aren't seeing it as often as me?  What happens is the values of nearly everything stored in profiles are, at least occasionally, unstable. The problem occurs for me in at least two forms.  One involves the fact that I usually have my power amp running.  

If I set the radio to 35W to get 800W from the amp, then switch bands, random power values in the TX table are often arbitrarily reset to 100W.  Way too much for the amp input and resulting in over 1500W output. And if I don't notice it before transmitting, I will blow out a trap on my poor little vertical.  This has happened FOUR times and I'm getting sick of buying replacements.  I have to check the "TX Band Settings" table EVERY single time I change modes or bands to be sure something hasn't arbitrarily changed in there. Since I NEVER set the power to anything more than 40W - ever - it's not due to me accidentally altering a profile and not realizing it due to the awful "new profile scheme".  The values just arbitrarily reset.

The other is, I often run my 6600 as two "stations" (as Flex defines them) at the same time - one from my Maestro, the other from SmartSDR on my PC.  The PC is usually running JTAlert/WSJT-X while I'm scanning the bands on the Maestro operating CW or SSB.  First, the Profile system doesn't remember settings properly between stations as described in the manual.  Sometimes they get mixed up, sometimes they get lost.  Also, PTT focus is supposed to follow the "MultiFlex" setting but it often doesn't.  I often have to hit MOX on the Maestro, then in SSDR, then back to the Maestro to get it to switch between them.  Sometimes I have to toggle "MultiFlex" back and forth to get the focus to switch and sometimes I have to do both.  By that time, whoever I was trying to answer is often long gone.

Many of the settings are unstable.  The values of EQ get lost, the TX and Mic profiles saved in a Global Profile get randomly reset and sometimes the settings in the TX and Mic profiles (like mic selection) themselves get reset too.  Switching between "Stations" requires rechecking EVERYTHING, every time.

Before you tell me this is all because I don't understand the "new profile system" and am simply resetting these values myself without realizing it (which is certainly possible and what makes it such a horrible system), I've looked at this very carefully - it has nothing to do with changing a value and forgetting that in the new profile scheme, that saves it in the profile (something that is almost impossible to believe anyone would have deliberately designed it to do ????).  The values are simply unstable and it shows up EVERYWHERE as I switch between "stations", modes and bands, though randomly and unpredictably and for some cases, infrequently.

Of all the CW remote timing bugs, the poor Profile design, even the fact that voice mode monitoring in the Maestro has been TURNED OFF by Flex rather than fix the echo bug it had (!), these instabilities are what drive me crazy the most.

I'm hoping Flex isn't hiding behind the COVID crisis to disguise the fact that they STILL haven't staffed the ham business software function as promised after all these years of making those promises.  Software development could be and probably already was done mostly remotely anyway.  And that Flex Executive Management isn't allocating all of their resources to the Raytheon contract instead of the ham business exactly as they promised they wouldn't.  And the reason it's been so long since they updated the software is that they're FINALLY taking the bug problem seriously and FIXING them.  Also, as I've said many many times, it is clear that none of this is the fault of Flex's excellent employees - including the s/w folks themselves.  They can only do what they're being directed to do.

By the way, a similar set of comments apply to the long LONG promised PGXL firmware update.  4O3A is another company that's long on promises and short on making good on them.
(Edited)
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Pat N6PAT

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I have also experienced changed TX settings with my 6700. Sometimes I'll try to transmit but the amp is not getting keyed.

Every time this happens I see that a TX1 or TX2 check box in the band settings has become unchecked. This seems to happen after using the radio for a while.

It's a real pain in the butt when you're trying to chase down an ATNO and have to stop and reset the check box.

Regarding the ATU: I only use the ATU once in a while on 160. It can take 5 or more tries before it tunes. Not sure why that is because my LDG tunes up immediately.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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The lose of settings is not a common problem. I think you have a corrupted data base that needs to be reset. your radio should be remembering all settings, so this is not a bug but something local.
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James Del Principe

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Bill, it may not be common but it does happen once in a great while that one of my profiles changes..... and I am still at release V1.12....    a mystery.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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James, yes it is, If I may make a suggestion? You should move up to at least V2. I think I understand why you would not want to. I myself are staying on V2 and not moving to V3 because I would not make good use of the new features as great as they are. But please think about it. You may not need everything that V2 offers but there have been hundreds of improvements and fixes that you will not see in V1. I believe many of the things you are having trouble with were worked on in V2.
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Russ Ravella

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That is obviously not correct.  Reports of various versions of this problem by many different folks have been common for a long, long time.  My comment wasn't that they aren't being reported its that I'd think they'd be reported even more often because they're so disruptive.  It's clearly a bug.  More likely, a LOT of different bugs.  Inventing the issue away doesn't actually make it GO away.  If it did, Flex Executive Management's policy of "All talk, no action" would be working.  It isn't.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Russ, unless every customer has the same problem, then it is not a bug. If the cause is created in the software than everyone would have the same problems,,but we don't. Most people don't have the same set of problems you mentioned,,I don't, how come? So, not a bug. Many problems people have are local to their system caused by many things. It is a very good idea to move from V1 to V2 for the reasons I said before. 
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Mike W9OJ

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"there have been hundreds of improvements and fixes that you will not see in V1."

Such as what?
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Mike, have a look at the change logs for version 1 and Version 2. V1 support ended, none of the changes made in V2 were back ported into V 1. And many improvements and features, take a look.
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James Del Principe

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Bill, wouldn't going to V2 cost the same as going to V3?     The only reason I might upgrade to V2 and NOT V3 is because of the save on exit 'feature' for profiles on V3.
That does NOT sound desirable to me. I know this next issue might sound petty but at V2 the panadapter is filled in like other manufacturers do. I really don't want this to look like my TS 990.      Thanks for the input and one of these days I may have to break down to get the bug fixes. I don't use the Flex remotely and have no plans to share it....that is why I have stayed with V1.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Yes, I think your right James. If your going to upgrade, going to V3 makes sense. The point I'm really making is, even though V1 is working ok for you, there are tones of things that have been addressed In V2. And V3.
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James Del Principe

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Thank you, Bill. I fully understand your point. It is not really expensive to upgrade but it irks me to have to do that just to get bug fixes when I really don't need the new features and some of them are undesirable like the save on exit 'feature'. I'd rather have paid for the V1 bug fixes but that is my problem. At some point I'll bite the bullet (byte the bullet?) and do the upgrade. Thanks again for your input.    73, Jim
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Russ Ravella

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First, who said I was using V1?  I didn't.  I'm on V3.1.8.

Second, I've seen variations of this problem through all three of the 6600's it took to get one that actually worked from Flex, starting at V2.3.9.  That includes countless software updates, reloads and hard resets on each.  Massive wasted time.

Obviously, people use their radios in different ways which brings out different aspects of the software.  Every customer has to see and report - so that YOU can see it and understand it and choose to believe it - EVERY bug or it's not real?  Seriously?  Did you actually say that?  This forum is FULL of software bugs people report that they are experiencing and/or concerned with more than others, depending on how they uniquely use their radios.  That is always the case with everything software based from ham software to enterprise apps to operating systems and always has been.  Your claim is utterly specious.

Further, many many people have been reporting versions of this problem because it is obviously a bug, or a collection of bugs.  How dare you simply dismiss our actual physical experience because you think you can somehow literally disposition reality without even SEEING it; just off the top of your head.  That what you need to believe is more real than what people are actually physically seeing happen.  Posts on this forum are full of just how profoundly unqualified you are to make such judgements.  Just because you don’t want to believe something for whatever personal reasons you have doesn't make them GO away in the actual real world out here.  The issues are still happening whether you like it or not.  Living in a "if it's Flex, by definition it's wonderful" hallucination is counterproductive because it hides the actual issues.  And Flex Executive Management definitely doesn't need any help with that. 
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Russ Ravella

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Here's the comment I responded to above that seems to have been removed after I posted:

Russ, unless every customer has the same problem, then it is not a bug. If the cause is created in the software than everyone would have the same problems,,but we don't. Most people don't have the same set of problems you mentioned,,I don't, how come? So, not a bug. Many problems people have are local to their system caused by many things. It is a very good idea to move from V1 to V2 for the reasons I said before. 
(Edited)
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Pat N6PAT

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@Russ,

Very well said. The generic responses such as "it's Microsoft's fault" or "It works for me so it must be your fault" don't work anymore.
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Russ Ravella

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Yes, totally agree.  I'm ordering yet ANOTHER trap because my 6600 has randomly reset my 40M power to 100W - AGAIN - causing my amp to blow it up and this guy is telling me, despite not actually knowing anything, that it's not a bug.  Absolutely AMAZING...  He just knows that.  By magic.  And all of us who are reporting such bugs are simply idiots who require his correction.  Problem solved.  That fourth burned up trap on my antenna isn't really there.

Exactly as you say, a generic "it isn't true because I don't WANT it to be true" couldn't possibly be less constructive.  Especailly when it comes to the interminable Flex Executive Management bug problem.
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James Whiteway

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James, the fill color for the panadapter is adjustable. You can make it almost any color you want.
James
WD5GWY
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James Del Principe

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Thank you, James. That is encouraging. I may order it on that information alone. I know it sounds petty but it really is an issue for me.   Now if they fixed the save on exit, I would buy the V3.   Best 73, Jim
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N8AUM

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Just curious, how many "BETA TESTERS" are there ?  
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Russ Ravella

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It's a good question.  I also wonder about the beta process they follow.  But I find it hard to believe that the testers aren't noticing the bugs because they're pretty glaring. And it's not like unawareness of bugs per se is much of a problem anyway.  Finding them doesn't seem to be the problem.  And I don't believe the problem is with the software people themselves either.  They can only do what they're given direction and resources to do.

I think Flex Executive Management is only willing to allocate some relatively small amount of resources to software and at some point they simply say, "that's enough - ship it".  It seems like they are still in a "this is all experimental anyway" frame of mind from the old days.  And don't care, or at least aren't willing to be responsible for the fact that they're advertising actual commercial products that people have a right to expect to work properly.  Dealing with the situation as it stands at this point may require a big investment and I'm guessing Gerald Youngblood doesn't have any interest in getting investors or whatever it might take.  We've been his investors without an honest disclosure of what we were in for.

So if that's correct, I don't know how things are ever going to get any better.  I guess we can hope the Raytheon contract (and others?) really will result in so much overlap it will fix a lot of the problem.  Surely it's possible to at least some extent? Or that the radio business itself is/ becomes so profitable that adequate money from that can be reinvested to fund the necessary work.  All I know is I love the radio, Maestro and the PGXL and I have a huge amount of time, money and frustration invested in them now.  I just wish they worked the way they're supposed to.

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Mal G3PDH

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Flex 6500, v 3.1.8 on PC with Windows 10.
Reference the CW power output drop out.  I have also experienced this problem but fortunately at the moment it is very intermittent but very annoying.  I key my 6500 from a Logikeyer into the accessory socket on the back of the radio.   I know of two other local stations with Flex 6000 rigs that also have the problem apart from all the others that I have seen on various threads on this reflector.  The fault does not seem to happen when keying from such as N1MM, only when using the key inputs either the internal or an external keyer.  There is no doubt that this fault is more easily noticed by regular CW operators and a casual look for the fault is unlikely to see it by others.  It is necessary to continuously watch the power meter whilst sending in order to catch the drop out as the sidetone continues tricking one into thinking that the tx is still transmitting.  For instance, the other day it happened when in QSO and I only noticed due to hearing the fan speed dropping on the linear amp!

whilst there appears to be some scepticism from some about this fault it is real and may not even be noticed by some operators but most annoying to keen CW ops.  On some stations experiencing this fault on a regular basis it basically classifies the rig as 'not fit for purpose' and requires urgent investigation and rectification.




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Uwe - DK3WW

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Hello Mal, thanks for this good description. That is exactly my experience. Some people dismiss this problem because they have no interest in cw, including some of the SSDR developers. I am annoyed with it every day and hope for an update soon.
73! Uwe
(f6600 + ssdr 3.1.8)
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Paul G4AFU

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Mal, Agree, the Flex is not a great radio.  I wish I had sent it back for a refund from day one as not being fit for purpose. After investing over £5k in Flex (6600 + Maestro)I feel compelled to sit it out and hope they come up with some solutions. 
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Pat N6PAT

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Gentlemen,

The power dropout issue is not limited to CW. I've experienced this with my 6700 SSDR 2.5.1 while using FT8.

Here's my post from 4 months ago. You'll see in the comments that others have experienced it as well. I'm not sure if anyone at Flex is looking into this.

https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/intermittent-tx-power-drop-out


(Edited)
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Steve G1XOW

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My biggest irritation is not the bugs as such (I work in I.T. so know bugs very well), but it's simply that Flex has known most of these pet hates for years yet have not been forthcoming with many fixes from what I can see. Some of these bugs might even be pretty minor fixes, but major hassle and unhappiness to the user who only has a certain reasonable threshold before walking. 
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Ha Gei

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Steve,  you get 100 Points from me. You say it as it is...  but don ́t think Yaesu is any better.. I also own a FTDX101D .. SAME SHIT .. Perfect Hardware..shity software and mad decisions on design. No one hears any plea ́s from the forums or reacts. 
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Russ Ravella

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It's obviously true there are cases of software being an issue with other manufacturers too. But I've never had or even heard of a name brand radio where things like the CW mode is so screwed up it's basically unusable, the SSB monitor doesn't work, the antenna tuner doesn't work, the actual basic radio settings are literally unstable, the antenna tuner can't be used at all with QSK, and endless others.  Yet after nearly a year since their last update, when they finally DO release a bug fix, it's to fix an emergency disaster they created with their last update - AND THAT'S it !

I've often said, it's not so much the bugs per se that irritate me anyway.  It's the fact that based on the very little they "say" or more to the point, don't  say,  Flex Executive Management obviously doesn't GET (read, "care") how serious this problem is.  It doesn't bother them to take money from customers for products that literally don't work right.  If they did they'd have actually done something about it long ago.  This has been going on for YEARS like this and nothing has changed.  They almost act like they think there's something wrong with customers expecting their products to work.

Very very frustrating.
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WW1SS - Steve

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There are laws against selling things not as described and that don't work as described. Selling things with known defects. . . . Just saying. 

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Ha Gei

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Well, the Problem is, you have to prove that these are defects and not by design. I don ́t think i ever find the guy who said that  "multi user managment is short before releasing " and "You will not see any problems with big signals in the passband"  as well as "We will constantly improve the software every few weeks" will repeat these words ( said on German "Ham Radio"  fair last year before we bought the radio. 
(Edited)
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Paul G4AFU

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Does anyone know if the recent upgrade to V2.62 has cured the CW tx dropout issues?
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Any CW fixes were not added to this last update as you may have noticed if you read the release notes. This last maintenance up date was an emergency up date, (critical) 
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Paul G4AFU

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Thanks Bill...I read the release notes and no mention of curing the tx dropout hence the question.
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Lasse Moell

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Paul, I'm currently running 2.62 and it sure stlil there. As it seems not to affect the first character, having a short dwell time do help, having the radio revert to RX inbetween chars lessens the problem. It is a work around, but a lot better than havng to stare at the out-put meter like fool all the time.
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Paul G4AFU

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Thanks Lasse....I'll stay with V2.49 for the time being.