Every com port up to 206 showing "in-use" .

  • 2
  • Question
  • Updated 2 years ago

I have a Flex6500 using SSDR 1.10.8.

I have just installed a new hardware usb com port. Windows assigned it to Com 207. Since I only have 5 ports created by SSDR Cat and 2 other hardware usb ports I am trying to find out what is going on.

When I look at the ports in Device Manager only the Com port pairs that SSDR Cat created and the hardware ports that I mentioned are showing. I tried the procedure to show Hidden or "Ghosted " com ports that Tim posted on the forum. Nothing else shows. The only way I see the ports as in use is to go to Device Manager, click on the ports then look at the properties of a port and go to port settings, advanced and try to reassign the port number. The drop down menu shows all ports up to 206 as "in use".

My computer is Win7 Pro 64 bit.  I completely uninstalled all versions of SSDR including DAX and Flex VSP per the instructions in the software users guide. After rebooting the computer all the ports still show as in use.

I have no idea what is going on. I would appreciate any suggestions as to where to start looking.

Thanks,

Paul W5PF

Photo of Paul W5PF

Paul W5PF

  • 48 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes

Posted 3 years ago

  • 2
Photo of Ronald / W4RJF

Ronald / W4RJF

  • 61 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
This is a known issue that I reported several weeks ago.  I was told the problem has been duplicated and they are in the process of correcting this issue. 

The is part of the response I received:

"The vendor that writes the underlaying driver for FlexVSP ,  FabulaTech,  has duplicated the issue and is working to address the problem ,   I am changing this to a SW Bug close ,  look for this defect number # 4394 in the Release notes of future versions of SmartSDR / SmartCAT"...

I downloaded a program called COM Name Argiter Setter that helps me manage the ports until this issue is resolved...I hope this helps you...

Ronald
Photo of Paul W5PF

Paul W5PF

  • 48 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
Thanks Ronald. I searched on the forum but didn't see this. I can live with it for a while.

Paul W5PF
Photo of David

David

  • 320 Posts
  • 54 Reply Likes
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9197 Posts
  • 3557 Reply Likes
So this is the issue.  Whenever a new com port is defined in Windows, it is marked in the registry as "in use".  The VSP driver has an acknowledged defect where it is incorrectly modifying the registry to mark com ports "in use" when they are not and FlexRadio is waiting for a fix for that issue as noted above.

To fix the condition to unmark unsued ports are in use, you have to modify the Windows Registry, which we do not recommend doing.  There is a program that you can use to do this for you and remove most of the risk associated with modifying the Registry called  COM Name Arbiter Setter V0.7 (http://www.uwe-sieber.de/misc_tools_e.html#arbiter).  It has to be run as Administrator to modify the registry.

When you run it, only leave the boxes next to the com ports that are actually defined on your system and click on  Apply to clear the other com ports.

This should be a temporary workaround until we receive an updated version of the FlexVSP driver.
Photo of Alex - DH2ID

Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

  • 979 Posts
  • 180 Reply Likes
Thank you for the COM port arbiter program, Tim. 
Works well.
BTW happy birthday, although a bit late ;-)
Photo of Paul W5PF

Paul W5PF

  • 48 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
Thanks Tim. I will try the arbiter program.

Paul W5PF
Photo of Norm - W7CK

Norm - W7CK

  • 759 Posts
  • 164 Reply Likes
Tim,
Has this issue been fixed in the FlexFSP driver yet?   If not, any idea when?
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9197 Posts
  • 3557 Reply Likes
Almost.  The vendor that supplies the driver has it fixed (verified by us) and the driver is undergoing WHQL testing as I write this.  Once we have a certified driver, we'll integrate it into a new version of SmartSDR and release it immediately.  What is the ETA for that? Hopefully, it will not be more than several weeks.  It really is out of our control at this point.

In the meantime, there is a workaround procedure to reset the ports.
https://helpdesk.flexradio.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000504463-Removing-In-Use-Com-Ports-for-Availabl...
Photo of k3Tim

k3Tim

  • 928 Posts
  • 197 Reply Likes
Hi Tim (or any other expert)

The program to fix the registry warns one running Window 10 the word is 256 bits in length and will be overwritten with a 32 bit. Can one let it overwrite and then make the obvious adjustment to 256 bit?   Bits / hex / regedit doesn't scare me!

_..--
 TiM 
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9197 Posts
  • 3557 Reply Likes
What you are proposing is not necessary.

The Com Name Arbiter ComDB key is a 32 Byte value
Each 8-bit byte represents the in-use state of 8 com ports

So the key is 256 bits, represented by a 32 Byte value.

No conversion is required after running the Com Name Arbiter program.

If you want to understand how the ComDB key is encoded, here is the explanation.

a "1" bit indicates the port is in use.  A "0" bit indicates it is not in use.
Each 8-bit byte represents 8 com ports in reverse order

So if the first byte is 0xF3, the binary representation is 1111 0011

This represents Com ports 1,2,5,6,7,8 as in use and com ports 3,4 as "free".

If the 2nd byte is 0x24 (0010 0100), Com 11 and Com 14 are in use and Com 16,15,13,12,10,9 are free.
(Edited)
Photo of Larry Benoit

Larry Benoit

  • 92 Posts
  • 23 Reply Likes
Tim,

Does this app work for Windows 10 com ports?
http://www.uwe-sieber.de/misc_tools_e.html#arbiter

73,
Larry KB1VFU
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9197 Posts
  • 3557 Reply Likes
Yes
Photo of Ronald / W4RJF

Ronald / W4RJF

  • 61 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
I have it and use it on my Windows 10 machine...

73
Ronnie
Photo of Larry Benoit

Larry Benoit

  • 92 Posts
  • 23 Reply Likes
Thank you Tim and Ronnie.

73,
Larry KB1VFU
Photo of Larry Benoit

Larry Benoit

  • 92 Posts
  • 23 Reply Likes
Hi Tim,

If DAX and SmartCAT are not needed and not running, can Flex VSP Manager be uninstalled without otherwise affecting SmartSDR? 

TIA,
Larry KB1VFU