Disappearing waterfall?

  • 1
  • Problem
  • Updated 4 months ago
This morning, while using my 6600M via SmartSDR, the waterfalls in all panadapters just disappeared. The same thing happens operating with the front panel.

I tried rebooting both the PC and the rig, but no change. I am running v37 (haven’t upgraded to 39 yet). The radio operates fine, transmit and receive. All other indicators are OK.

Any ideas?

73 - David, AG4F
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David Salomon

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Posted 4 months ago

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Wayne

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Sounds like heat sink issue ... maybe
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Your not having all the symptoms of heat
sink problems.
Did you pull the power connector out for 10 seconds when you re booted the radio?
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David Salomon

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I don’t think it’s heat related. However, I haven’t replaced the heat sinks yet (they’re sitting on the shelf waiting for me to find a time when I’m not using the rig :). I have removed the power and restarted a few times. I’ve also removed the power and let the rig sit for 15-20 minutes before reconnecting and restarting, just to be sure it wasn’t heat related.

Not sure where to go from here.

It’s amazing how fast you get accustomed to depending on the waterfall. Using the rig without it is like being blind.

73 - David, AG4F
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I think after you do the heat sinks your problem will be gone,,I was not aware your radio was in line for the upgrade,,just a little info you left out,,,
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David Salomon

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I hope you’re right. I guess I’ll make time to do them tonight after my last net.
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Michael Walker, Employee

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David

I would make doing the heatsinks a priority.

Mike
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Wayne

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Its not a heat issue its the fallen heat sink shorting out other stuff causing the issue most likely.
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David Salomon

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Thanks all. It does work much better when a heat sink is not shorting two boards together. An interesting side note, one heat sink had fallen off and shorted stuff. The other one was stuck like glue. Even after running the radio for an hour, it was tough to get it off.

With the new heat sinks, if they fall off, at least they won’t short anything out, although I’m not wild about having them on the bottom of the board. I assume the increased heat sink size makes up for not havint it directly on the chip.

73 - David, AG4F
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Bill -VA3WTB

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The back of the board is a very good cooling plain, the back of the board produces  way more cooling then on the chip mounting did. The cover of the chip is plastic and did not cool as well as one would think.
It is a good thing all this came about or we would never know the benefits of using the back plain.
(Edited)
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Robert Lonn

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I promised the group I would get out my Fluke Thermal Imaging Camera and do some temperature shots of the heat sinks on the back of the board.. Well,,, I have been busy at work, so the free time I have had is all related to making the wife happy and doing summer time activities,, She has been retired for 7 years, I am still working at age 70.... I work because every day at work is FUN!!! :-) My wife did warn me not to bring my laptop to dinner, and try and call CQ in the restaurant!!! I told her all FLEX owners bring laptops to restaurants!!! She said, sure, let me meet that person!!! LOL

Robert
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David Salomon

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Bill - that’s interesting information. I didn’t know that.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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David, to add to that, the new heat sinks will never come off if installed correctly.
  1. The thermal adhesive on the new heat sinks are rated to require 36 pounds of force at 100C (212F) to remove them after they are properly applied.  
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David Salomon

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One final note about my heat sink experience...

Big kudos to FRS for the design of the 6600. I was very impressed with the construction quality and the very clear layout. This is my first Flex, so I have no reference for other models, but if they have all been designed and manufactured the same way, then Flex leads the pack (based on the seeing innards of other manufacturer’s rigs).

Having the manufacturing facility right down the street must be a HUGE benefit. I imagine if they outsourced manufacturing to a Chinese (or any other overseas company) company, the construction quality, failure rate and turnaround time would be very different. I am happy to pay a little more to get what FRS delivers.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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If you think the new radios are made well, you should see the 6300 6500 and the 6700 models, they are the standard for all radios in the industry. Even back to the 5000 and the 3000 models.
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N5LB - Lionel B

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Yep!
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Robert Lonn

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Very GOOD POINTS!!! I believe that the Flex is 100% USA manufactured in Texas, allows them to sell to the USA Government!!! Like I previously stated, Flex needs to get a unit on the ISS and Air Force One!!!! :-) 
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Jay / NO5J

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Robert

There's already 2 customized FLEX6700's on the ISS. Has been for quite a while.

https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/guidelines/index.html 

    #FlexRadio IRC chat

For real-time discussions

        SDRgadgets

User created documentation.
           Volunteer!!

         73, Jay - NO5J

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David Salomon

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Absolutely! Wouldn’t that be a great marketing tool: “FRS, used by POTUS and ISS astronauts”.