DAX grabs PC audio

  • 1
  • Problem
  • Updated 4 years ago
  • Solved
  • (Edited)
Having *major* probs with SmartSDR, but have opened a helpdesk ticket so won't bore you with those.

I noticed that DAX 'steals' my PC speaker's output. If I set the output to my speakers (in the panel that shows all the DAX ports) the change does not stick. I found myself disbling DAX port one after another as the next one along picked up my sound card's output. As I cannot use my 6300 at all at the moment, I uninstalled SmartSDR/DAX drivers and now have my speakers back. When I next install, how can I prevent the issue?

Win 7 x64, was using SmartSDR 1.3.0.

Tnx

Guy G4DWV/4X1LT
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Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

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Posted 4 years ago

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Phill Beistel

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Official Response

Hi, I had the same issue. However, if you right click on the little speaker icon on the task bar and select playback devices, you can select speakers and change it to default to get your speakers back.


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Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

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Thanks for that. I could not find it earlier. Had major issues with the software so had a very disappointing experience with the FR last night. Seems there may be an issue with RF in the shack. I am afraid that if I cannot fix the issue I may be left with an expensive paperweight. Considering options as they say.

Cheers

Guy G4DWV/4X1LT
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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RF in. Shack is usually caused by a poor antenna, poor grounding and an inadequate matching system which generate lots of common mode currents.

Easy and inexpensive to fix

You just need to install lots of toroids on all the suspect lines.

One quick trick I use is to buy a huge 2" toroid. Snap it on a line and see if it helps. The I put smaller less expensive toroids on the offending line.

There are a lot of online tutorials and Youtube's on how to correct your systems.
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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Be sure to use Type 31 ferrite cores for HF applications.  Junk box/swap fest cores may not do any good at all because they may be designed for VHF or higher suppression.
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Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

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Thanks guys. The antenna is an end-fed that has a RG-213 coax feed (balun at feed point) - the feed point is 8 yards away . Grounding is a 4 foot copper plated rod approx 10 yards from the rig and the ATU is a Palstar AT-500.

I really have terrible luck with this type of thing and if I had a working setup already I would be able to take this thing in my stride. Off to do some reading up on the fixes.

Thanks

Guy G4DWV/4X1LT
(Edited)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Your feed point is closer than ur ground. So your ground line is likely a source of common mode currents too.

I second Gerald's comment on type 31. But I would add the comment "you can never put on too many toroids So when in doubt add more. "

Here is a good link to learn too much about fixing RFI

http://audiosystemsgroup.com/RFI-Ham.pdf
(Edited)
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Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

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I have found a source of toroids, what do you think? http://www.rapidonline.com/electronic-components/snap-on-ferrite-cores-68048

http://www.rapidonline.com/pdf/26-2602.pdf

Thanks for the link, PDF saved.

Cheers

Guy G4DWV/4X1LT
(Edited)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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It looks like those are type 43 for VHF

You want type 31 materials that suppress down to 1MHz

http://www.fair-rite.com/newfair/mate...
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Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

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In the 'key features' list it does say "31 ferrite grade". I have contacted the retailer for clarification.

Mni tnx. Much appreciated.

Guy
(Edited)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Here’s a link to PowerPoint “How to Build a Quiet Station V2.pptx” in my Dropbox:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/d2yturid60n...

Here’s a link to PDF “How to Build a Quiet Station V2.PDF” in my Dropbox:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/kffp92esffo...
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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BTW. Currently drinking a lot of good wine and working DX. Remotely in South of France but we will in UK Sept 30- Oct 3rd if you are stuck and need help.
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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EXCELLENT presentation on quieting the modern shack. I raise my glass in your direction, sir!
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Ned K1NJ

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      To help determine if it is in fact RFI (very likely), try lowering the power level to see
if the problem diminishes.  Also see if it happens on all bands. You may be able to work
out on some bands while you wait to get ferrites.

Ned,  K1NJ
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W1AEX

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I have found a field strength meter to be an invaluable tool for finding the ingress paths where RF in the station occurs. Enable the transmitter and hold the field strength meter probe up against station coax cables, rotor cables and whatever else is installed to come into the station and you will find every hot common mode path. With my Flex 5000 and pair of 3-500's I had an issue with my station's new Samsung "touch sensor" PC monitor shutting off when I transmitted on 160 meters with high power. That's more than inconvenient when you're running an SDR! The field strength meter indicated tons of RF following the rotor cable right over to the rotor control box sitting right underneath the power button on the new monitor. One type 31 ferrite at the window threshold resolved that issue in less than a minute. You'll get it under control once you identify the path of ingress.

73,

Rob W1AEX
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Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

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Hi Rob,

Thanks for that. I have managed to find a couple of sources of type 31 clip on ferrite cores here in the UK, made in the USA IIRC. They are reasonably cheap so I will buy loads and clip everything in sight. I will also check out the meter you mentioned.

From my brief time with the 6300, I also have a very noisy environment and KY6LA's files (above) will be invaluable.

73s de Guy G4DWV/4X1LT
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Peter Kirsop

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I also use an end fed wire antenna and have had issues in the past with getting the RF outside rather than in the shack.  My wire is around 40m long and I have a CG3000 auto ATU at the feedpoint which is in the garden shed.  I  buried alot of wire under the lawn to act as an earth, with this earth being connected to the auto ATU in the shed.  As I am using the ATU at the end of the wire there is no mismatch on the coax into the shack so there is no radiation from it, and it does not pick up all the noise from the computers, tv etc.  in the house.
This antenna works really well on most bands, particularly 40 and 30m, but I still have noise troubles on 160.  Good luck with curing the RF problem, I have had real troubles in the past with this.  I suppose it is the downside of end fed wires, but my XYL is not keen on highly visible antennas so the end fed fits the bill.

73 de Peter GM4WCE
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Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

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Hi Peter,

I got a commercial end-fed (EZWire) with a balun. It is fed with coax and I have an earth rod in the garden. Once up and running, I hope run a couple of long wide counterpoises parallel to the end-fed but not underneath it. I would also like to experiment with antennas - but I have to get operational first. On a lighter note...this is typical of my luck. Not that this is the case here at all, but whenever I buy something, I am a magnet for faulty goods - so much so that I could set myself up in business by being in front of somebody and buy the same thing that they want so they would get a 'known good one' hi, hi.

Tnx vy much for the advice.

Cheers Guy G4DWV/4X1LT
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Alan - KA4B

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Glad you finally got your 6300, Guy.  I am sure you will get the problems ironed out.  I am curious what your serial number is.
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Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

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Hi Alan,

The serial number is 2114-420A-6300-6509. In a few mins I will be ordering a load of type 31 clip-on ferrite cores and I will be clipping them on nearly every single cable here. Luckily they are quite a reasonable price as I will need loads of them. Not enough plugs to overload the 13A supply in my computer room/shack, but enough to make me do a few calculations. This room is packed full of routers, scanners, computers etc.

The fuse in my PSU also blew a few mins after turning on the kit so the radio is going back to be checked that it is still okay and for a new PSU.

Regards

Guy G4DWV/4X1LT
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Guy

Some of those wall warts used to run routers, switches, etc are huge RFI sources.
If you read my presentation you will see that I replaced virtually all my wall warts with a DC bus. Really did a lot to cut down noise and actually quite inexpensive.
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Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

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Hi Howard,

That is something that I will definitely look at once I get the RF in shack issue sorted. Placed a BIG order for type 31 ferrite cores. I will clip everything in sight and if that does not sort the issue, there will be not much more I could do. I will also connect my computer case to the shack earth too.

Cheers

Guy G4DWV/4X1LT
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Make sure you use a SINGLE point ground with everything connected in a star configuration to the same single! point. Or your grounds also become antennas.
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Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

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Thanks for that tip. I will make the necessary mods when I get my rig back from testing - the PSU fuse blew and I want to make sure it is okay.

Tnx

Guy G4DWV/4X1LT
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Alan - KA4B

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The serial number is interesting.  I would think that it would have begun with 2014 rather than 2114.  I suspect that and the 420A represents the date this revision, namely 2014, April 20.  Next comes the model number: 6300, and then the last four numbers "6509."  The tendency would be to think that this would be the 6509th 6300 produced, but I have a hard time believing they have sold that many.  Any ideas?
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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My serial number is 2213-3088-6700-4835

My guess is that is radio #4835 they sold

His is #6509 they sold

I would have to dig my files to find the number for my old 5000.

But I suspect we shud not read too much into serial numbers
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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My old 5000 was 2009-2370

So likely radio #2370 they sold.

But again I wud not read too much into the serial numbers.
(Edited)
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Alan - KA4B

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If they have sold 6509 of the 6300, they are doing exceptionally well. I guess I was wrong about the 2114.  Perhaps it is week # and year.  Although I would think that Guy would have gotten one that was made in August, or July. 
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I suspect that 6509 represents the total of ALL radio models they have sold

BUT I wud not read too much into the serial numbers as they can start and end anywhere with no logic whatsoever.
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Andrew Russell

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Looks like a task for the "Minimum-variance unbiased estimator"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_tank_problem#Minimum-variance_unbiased_estimator

Andrew


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Stan - VA7NF

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The first 4 digits (2114) is week 21 in (20)14
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Alan - KA4B

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Week 21 is somewhere around the end of May.  It seems strange that if they were out of radios until July and then August that Guy would have gotten a May radio.  With a high serial number like that, I can't imagine that they sold that many by May, so it would have be ALL radios as you suggest, or the serial numbers are non-sequential. If Guy got an early number it is hard to tell how many they have sold by now.

I just like to give people enough time to get the bugs worked out.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Alan.

This is a SOFTWARE defined radio. To the best of my knowledge there have beed no reported hardware bugs that necessitated a trip back to the factory for hardware revisions.

So the unit serial number is irrelevant.

On The Other Hand.

It's software. We are currently on revision 1.3. With Version 1.4 due in November. Software will always be in a state of revision with bug fixes and new features in each release for the entire time you own the radio. In fact, you will always want them to continue to add new features and capabilities. It's like Christmas as you are getting a new radio every 90 days.
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Alan - KA4B

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Your comments are appreciated, Howard, and I am very much aware of the significance of software updates for Flex radios.  But it has been my experience with cars and with radios that often small changes are made after the initial design, either because weaknesses become known or because better components become available.  In most cases there is not a recall and the original owners may never be aware of the changes.
(Edited)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Alan

I guess I suffer from Early Adopter Syndrome

I love to buy Serial No 1 of every new device. For example I bought Serial #1 of the Alpha 374, the Sgnal One and the SteppIR MonstIR to name a few of the ham items.

Debugging is FUN. Especially since I can usually have an influence over subsequent designs and the manufacturers seem to value my opinions.

I have never regretted owning the first of anything.

Further with SDR's. Since the software so dominates everything I really don't see the value of a later serial,no.
(Edited)
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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You are correct, the serial number is irrelevant.  It won't tell you anything useful.  It won't even tell you when it left the factory.  

All FLEX-6300s are identical no matter when they were built.  This includes the original prototype, which worked right the first time.  It even passed CE the first time.

Guy should take a look at his power supply to make sure it can handle the current rating of the radio.  He mentioned 13A in an earlier post, which would be way too low.  I would recommend a 25A supply.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Harold, I knew that you engineer types never met a problem you didn't like to tackle.  But buying them on purpose as a hobby just to debug them?  Man, you must really love your work!  hi hi! 
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Ken

There is an incredible almost indescribable thrill to being the first to do something that no one has ever done before.

I love to quote Christopher Columbus when King Ferdinand of Spain questioned him about his reward for finding a way across the Atlantic.

"Yes Your Magesty, it's obvious that there was a path to the riches of the east by sailing west.....BUT I SHOWED YOU HOW".
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Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

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Gerald, the PSU is 25A, a Alinco DM-330MW in fact. I was talking about my mains supply, which is 13A @ 240V.

I also like debugging and sorting problems, but NOT when I have only one thing  that is not up and running yet - too frustrating and too much pressure. That is why I have 6 computers. They all multi-boot and have at least 2 Windows installs and several Linux distros on each. I also have a very good backup routine so even if my main PC gets FUBARed, I still have access to my latest data and downloads. I also have an extensive collection of spares to cover most eventualities. Can you guess what my main hobby ("obsession" according to the XYL) was before the ham radio bug bit again?

I get a similar thrill to Howard several times a day in my day job. Never a boring moment, every case is different.

Cheers

Guy G4DWV/4X1LT
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John n0snx

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Flex get prepared... Guy is going to buy 5 more 6300's..Don't worry about his XYL saying no, Looks like he has the "It's easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask permission" down pat....Couldn't resist Guy....Enjoy the 6300....

John

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