DAX broken?

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 4 years ago
Rig was working fine last night. Now cannot get auto on my PC. The RX display in DAX control panel looks correct, but all I can get from the speakers is a rapid pulsating noise that is not related to anything SSDR is showing.

Update:- Just started SSDR (yet again) and all is well. I have been battling with this for over 20 mins and had a good few arguments with the XYL as well. Numerous restarts of the rig, SSDR and DAX.

DAX seems pretty temperamental and I hope there are some fixes in the pipeline to improve its robustness..
Photo of Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

  • 1687 Posts
  • 387 Reply Likes

Posted 4 years ago

  • 1
Photo of George Molnar, KF2T

George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

  • 1537 Posts
  • 546 Reply Likes
Hi Guy -- Hope the Electric Mayhem doesn't get to ya.

You may want to consider listening to your radio through the speaker jack, rather than through your PC. It generally gives a bit better results. Save DAX for digital modes or things that require the PC for processing.

FYI, almost never will you need to re-install SSDR. With a solid network connection and a beefy video card, I've found it works remarkably well. DAX does occasionally get temperamental and need to be restarted. A lot of the issues folks have on here come directly from re-installations, where multiple (sometimes MANY multiple) phantom DAX and CAT devices/ports can be found in the Windows Device Manager (hint: view hidden devices). With those leftover cleared away, it's usually pretty clear sailing.

Enjoy that radio!
(Edited)
Photo of Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

  • 1687 Posts
  • 387 Reply Likes
My avatar's name is a hint to my day job ;-).

Thanks for your comments. I have found that SSDR does not need a beefy video card. I have to run the radio of my laptop as it is much more immune to RFI. One day I'll get round to dealing with it. I have found that SSDR works fine with the lappy's Intel card, though I run it though the nVidia 630M which is also in there.
Photo of KM4CQG

KM4CQG

  • 224 Posts
  • 35 Reply Likes
Try This

Turn off the radio and leave it off then start the PC from a full start not a restart.

Once PC fully booted up turn on the Flex then Smart SDR.

I have noticed there can be conflicts with DAX or Cat if Radio was already running.

Ian
Photo of George Molnar, KF2T

George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

  • 1537 Posts
  • 546 Reply Likes
Great point - if your PC is connected to the rig directly (and is thus responsible for the network address), the PC needs to come on first. One other thing that seems to help (here, at least, where the Flex is on my LAN) is assigning the Flex a permanent IP address based on its MAC address. This is a router function. That way, no matter which comes up, the Flex finds the same place on the network every time. No conflicts, no confusion. You can find your MAC address through your router's configuration utility (DHCP assignment area) or via a Windows command prompt box (use command "arp-a" and look for the address that matches your Flex's IP - found in the Radio Setup > Radio tab). It probably starts with 50. 
Photo of Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

  • 1687 Posts
  • 387 Reply Likes
Fixed IP set up, good idea. Thanks.
Photo of KY6LA - Howard

KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

  • 3521 Posts
  • 1378 Reply Likes
Great point George

I wouldn't recommend that anyone do a direct connect. Too many flaky (non routable) ip that way

I have had a fixed ip for my 6700 since the beginning using the router to assign it via the MAC address

Never had an ip issue. Also don't need to worry about starting sequence
Photo of Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

  • 1687 Posts
  • 387 Reply Likes
Fixed IP set. We'll see if it helps.
Photo of KM4CQG

KM4CQG

  • 224 Posts
  • 35 Reply Likes
George

I like that idea when i get back in town have to try it out.

Ian
Photo of KM4CQG

KM4CQG

  • 224 Posts
  • 35 Reply Likes
George @ Howard

I like that idea of assigned IP address when i get back in town have to try it out.

Ian
Photo of Steve W6SDM

Steve W6SDM

  • 622 Posts
  • 280 Reply Likes
Setting the permanent connection with my Netgear Nighthawk means using Netgear Genie to designate it as "wired" versus "wireless".  At least that is the most I can find to make that setting.

I am of the "DAX is broke" opinion.  Mine was working perfectly through the first two weeks I had the radio.  At some point, I found I had to reboot everything when DAX would go to sleep. Then I had to completely re-install SSDR and DAX completely to get it back.  Now, nothing works - not even a complete DAX/SSDR reboot and starting the PC first.

DAX works fine on receive, just no TX1 audio.
Photo of KY6LA - Howard

KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

  • 3521 Posts
  • 1378 Reply Likes
Not sure what ur doing


But usually a simple stop DAX COMPLETELY and restart DAX fixes it
(Edited)
Photo of Steve W6SDM

Steve W6SDM

  • 622 Posts
  • 280 Reply Likes
I am rarely sure of what I'm doing.  :)

I tried the DAX restart.  Even went into task manager and killed the DAX32 process, reloaded DAX, and got the same result.  It does the same thing if I use channel 2.  So, something is wrong somewhere.  The strange thing is that it was working like a charm on FLDigi and JT-65HF and I didn't do anything to change the setup.
Photo of lyndy brannen

lyndy brannen

  • 42 Posts
  • 5 Reply Likes
I have the same situation here, on my desktop computer DAX transmit has quit working and no manner of stopping/restarting restores TX. RX work fine.   On my laptop computer all is well DAX still works RX and TX.  Been this way about two weeks.
Photo of Steve W6SDM

Steve W6SDM

  • 622 Posts
  • 280 Reply Likes
About a week or so for me... and what's so frustrating is that it was working fine for so long.  I haven't tried setting up SSDR on another computer - maybe I should grab a laptop and give that a try.  I keep forgetting that I don't need a firewire port like I did with my 5000.

What digital client are you using?
Photo of Steve W6SDM

Steve W6SDM

  • 622 Posts
  • 280 Reply Likes
I tried a complete uninstall of FLDigi - meaning manually deleting the setup files that uninstall doesn't and cleaning out the registry keys.  No luck on the re-install either.

I installed a new digital modes client, Airlink Express.  Nice, clean little program.  Same exact issue - receive is fine but no TX1 audio.  Keys the radio, red light comes on, but no output.  Grrrrrrr!
Photo of Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

  • 1687 Posts
  • 387 Reply Likes
I have come across this issue myself, a real brown trousers moment for a noob to FlexRadio. Luckily for me, a DAX shutdown and restart fixed it. But I am dreading the day that it won't. Good luck.
Photo of Jon  W1JDB

Jon W1JDB

  • 146 Posts
  • 35 Reply Likes

Try this. If you have no speakers or mics plugged into your PC, plug in a headset/mic or even two dummy plugs to make the sound driver think there are default sound devices installed. Try DAX again. If that doesn't work do the following:

Leave the headset/mic or dummy plugs installed, remove the sound card and ancillary drivers from device manager. Shut down the PC completely. Then bring the PC back up , let the PC find and install the audio drivers.

Now try SDR by starting CAT, then DAX then DDUtil (if you use it) the SmartSDR.

I know Flex has these DAX issues on their high priority list and it appears there are several levels of failure. Some are an easy reset while others appear to reset Windows sound card enumerations and possibly even corrupt some drivers.

There are several strings on the Board about DAX failures that all point to possible fixes and reasons for failures. There are commonalities and I'm sure that Flex has taken note of these and will have a fix shortly. The fix needs to correct the problem and not make other things fail. That takes time and testing. But you all know that :-)

Of course, brings little solace when then thin red line on TX doesn't move.

The required disclaimer: Your mileage may vary



Photo of Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

  • 1687 Posts
  • 387 Reply Likes
Jon, I think the time has come for FRS to produce some sort of document, FAQ or trouble-shooting guide to help in these matters.
Photo of Jon  W1JDB

Jon W1JDB

  • 146 Posts
  • 35 Reply Likes

Guy, I am making the assumption that a fix is coming short term from Flex.

They are likely putting resources behind getting this done quickly. I understand the frustration but I'd rather see a fix than have a software engineer work on docs, work-arounds, etc. which once the fix is issued would be no longer necessary.

Someone down Texas way has been having these DAX reports pile up on them and I doubt they are getting much sleep. A Greek Myth comes to mind of a person trying to roll a rock to the top of the mountain :-)



Photo of Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

  • 1687 Posts
  • 387 Reply Likes
Jon, I agree with you but it all depends on the timing; viz how far off a definitive fix is. I fix in a couple of weeks or more is not going to help somebody who cannot transmit now but a shortish document will likely to help now or at least give some comfort. I am also thinking of those new to FRS who are clueless as to whether the issue is operator error or a bug (that was me a short time ago). I have had more than my fair share of 'brown trousers moments' with my rig but have always come out the other end okay. It is very frustrating to have a radio that was working okay one day and then does not do what it is told the next. If a document would help my fellow hams who are having major problems - I'd be happy to wait a little longer for a bug-fix.

73
Photo of Doug K0DV

Doug K0DV

  • 114 Posts
  • 16 Reply Likes
It's encouraging to hear the rumor that Flex will fix the DAX.  I, however, would like to hear it from the horse's mouth.  DAX has been a never ending pain for me and my 6700.  I will not repeat the problems I have had since they have already been said by other posts, other than to say, I recently had a complete failure of the DAX drivers.  No way to fix this by starting and stopping DAX, the Flex , computer re-booting, etc. I tried reinstalling SmartSDR and that only generated the same driver failure error during the installation. The way I solved it was to totally uninstall, DAX, CAT and SmartSDR and then reinstall SmartSDR.  In the process, I updated to SmartSDR 1.3 and the firmware updated as well.  This corrected my problem and I had DAX back.  However, as others have reported, you can be going along just fine when suddenly you have no TX or the channel you were using no longer works.  I hope Flex gives this problem a high priority.
Photo of Bill-W9OL

Bill-W9OL

  • 726 Posts
  • 56 Reply Likes
Doug
that was my problem
I couldn't transmit. Receive Dax was fine.
I'm usually reluctant to go the re-install route. seems that makes things worse some times.
But I was desperate and deleted the whole system completely and then reinstalled.
Since then, Dax has been behaving...but I'm sure it will break before Texas has a fix.
Photo of Steve W6SDM

Steve W6SDM

  • 622 Posts
  • 280 Reply Likes
Although it would be nice if there were a simple fix - or, for that matter, even a complex one, I have the comfort of knowing that I am not the only one with the issue.  I was sure that it was something I was overlooking or doing wrong, but now I doubt that.  With all of the discussion on this issue, I am sure Flex has someone working it.
Photo of Steve W6SDM

Steve W6SDM

  • 622 Posts
  • 280 Reply Likes
Okay, I finally restored my computer to what it was two weeks ago when everything worked peachy. 

Upon restoration, SSDR had the same issues, probably because of all the uninstalls and re-installs.  So, I completely removed all SSDR components from the newly restored system, completely cleaned the registry, deleted any remaining directories that belonged to SSDR, and cleaned out the residual keys in the registry.  I did a cold boot several times during the process.  I completely re-installed everything.

Now DAX doesn't have TX audio at all.  I mean the TX Audio choices are not even visible in Device Manager, only DAX RX Audio.

I completely re-installed SSDR over the existing copy - same deal.

I hope all this helps track down whatever is going on with DAX.
Photo of Jon  W1JDB

Jon W1JDB

  • 146 Posts
  • 35 Reply Likes

Steve, Did you use an image from 2 weeks ago of the entire machine or System Restore?

I use Acronis True Image on all of my machines and do incremental back-ups and the a full back-up every 10 increments. Works out to only being a few days between images. Takes up a lot of room on external drives but it has saved my a** many times including once with a DAX fail. It's $49 well spent.

No, it should not be necessary to do this but I look at SmartSDR and the peripheral software as a BETA until Flex gets at least to V2.0. Just like downloading and installing a technical preview of Windows OS (no nasty comments about Windows please). It's insurance plain and simple.

If something stops working and all the suggested fixes don't work it's important to separate hardware and software. By doing a reimage (takes about 60 min) I have my PC back to when everything was working reliably without depending on System Restore and manual deletions of programs, drivers and Registry entries. Then, if a problem still exists it has to be external to SmartSDR and either in the radio, networking set-up, etc.

As I remember Neil delivered all of his "Flex Ready PCs" (I have one he built from 4 years ago) with Acronis installed for the same reason. I was already using it by then on other projects but the same situation applies today.

Not preaching here but each of us has an investment in radios, hardware, software and most of all our time which Flex takes very seriously.

Their success depends upon delivering cutting edge technology and the software interface to make it all work. Flex doesn't have 16 million Beta testers like Microsoft. They have us, the Flex 6000 Series early adopters (yes that's us) who use a variety of systems, 3rd party software and hardware each one presenting a different overall experience and challenges.

This Flex Community very much resembles many Developer sites where issues are presented, questions answered, insights and ideas are shared. Bravo for a company the size of Flex Radio Systems providing such a forum and the interest shown by much of the leadership team actually reading most everything and answering or making a statement here themselves. Most other companies would have a staff person mining the site and using scripts for answers.

And to those who are reading this, a bow to you all for your consistent interest in sharing your experiences, knowledge, insight, traumas and successes.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled program.....


Photo of Steve W6SDM

Steve W6SDM

  • 622 Posts
  • 280 Reply Likes
Well, first the good news.  I got everything working the way it should.  It took some more uninstalling and re-installing, particularly making sure the DAX drivers got removed and then re-installed, and everything came back to life.  FLDigi is working well, including TX1 Audio. 

The bad news is that I am not sure what fixed it.  Jon, I think you were on to something when you mentioned files getting corrupted outside of SSDR.  What I did was just a WIndows system restore.  That replaced the sound card drivers which may (or may not) have had anything to do with the problem.  I wish I had a more definitive answer - hopefully one will come to light as this problem gets explored further.

I have a solid state drive on a  Shuttle i7/Quad core PC that I built myself.  I have a second external solid state drive that I image the whole drive to - when I remember to do it.  It's been a while or I would have used my backup image instead of a system restore.  You can bet I will be re-imaging that drive before I go to bed tonight.

.
Photo of Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

  • 1687 Posts
  • 387 Reply Likes
I would not use Acronis products for free.

I use the backup programs from Terabyte Unlimited (based in Vegas) and I backup every night without fail.
(Edited)
Photo of Jon  W1JDB

Jon W1JDB

  • 146 Posts
  • 35 Reply Likes
Guy, that's a strong statement but given your background I'd like to know more. Message me at W1JDB@a*rl.n*t
Photo of Bill-W9OL

Bill-W9OL

  • 726 Posts
  • 56 Reply Likes
I agree with Guy, I used Acronis, found it overly complicated and when I needed it, it failed me.
And actually I just went back to Windows Backup to USB3.0 device which has two big SS drives.  E and F
Alternate between them. They are cheap at Newegg