firewire driver Flex 5000A

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  • Updated 4 weeks ago
New (to me) 5000A machine - just received today.

Windows 10, desktop.

Followed the 5000A Quick Start guide to a tee. I get no device found with the 'Flex Radio' software. My firewire card is called "LSI 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller" in the device manager - and device manager says this device is working properly. This is a PCI device (not a PCI-E)

I have uninstalled and re-installed Power SDR (2.7) three times (yes, 5000A off when doing so). Re-booting when I'm supposed to, etc. When I turn the 5000A on, it is supposed to install the firewire driver,- it doesn't. I have tried both ports on the FW 5000A and both FW ports on the firewire card. Still no go. Tried another firewire cable - nope.

Is there a manual way to install the Flex FW driver?

My next action is to try a new PCI-E FW card.

Any thoughts?

thx,

Alan, W4FBI


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Alan W4FBI

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Posted 1 month ago

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Don

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The Firewire card must be the 1394a.  There are 2 versions, an a, and a b.  The 5000 requires a 1394a card.

Don
KA5DON
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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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You can you a B type port with the right cable (its backwards compatible). The real issue is the controller type which I think is a derivative of the Agere controller chip. These are very 'iffy' (as we say down South). The best solution is to go with a TI controller chip-based 1394 card. I wouold recommend:
https://www.amazon.com/SIIG-FireWire-2-Port-PCIe-NN-E20012-S2/dp/B000G6U8VY?ref_=ast_bbp_dp

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Dudley - WA5QPZ, Elmer

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Alan,

The radio driver only loads when the radio is recognized by the OS / card driver. The only physical way that you know the radio is connected to the FW, is a small internal green close to the FW port in the radio. This should light when the radio is connected to the running computer the reflection of this light can be seen from the out side rear of the radio., have to kind of look up from the lower half, looking up to see the light, due to the fact the main board of the radio is hanging upside down making the light hard to see. Light on when FW is connect, out when FW is unplugged. Any other condition, on solid or never comes on indicates the FW driver chip in the radio is bad. It’s easy to blow, and is intolerant of upside down FW cable connection or uneven power surges between radio and computer.

If the above light is working correctly, then the issue could be a mis installed FW driver or too old a FW chipset in the FW CARD. Some of the older chipsets do not work with Win10 and i5or i7 processors. If you open the FW driver, double click the “FlexRadio” icon on your desktop , select the “system” button, select “show all” then Scan now. In the resulting print out , you will find the chipset that is actually on the FW card you have .

Btw, the radio FW driver is not removed with PowerSDR uninstall, you must uninstall the FlexRadio Driver in the Programs and Features. It will be reinstalled when you reinstall PowerSDR, but you must reboot after the uninstall.

Getting the FW working can be really frustrating, but when it works, it is pretty reliable.
Hope this helps

Dudley,
WA5QPZ
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Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

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Alan, you can also have a look at the Flex helpdesk: 

1.https://helpdesk.flexradio.com/hc/en-us/articles/360004244431-Troubleshooting-Firewire-Connectivity-...
2. https://helpdesk.flexradio.com/hc/en-us/articles/206605796-Selecting-High-Performance-Firewire-Cards...

and look up your driver at the Windows device manager, if it's installed properly.
BTW the firewire driver has it's own user interface, which should show it's connectivity.
Install PowerSDR and the driver as administrator and if you still have problems with
the software, give it all permissions under Windows10. Do not use PowerSDR 2.7, use
KE9NS's modified - and much improved software: https://www.ke9ns.com/flexpage.html
And if it still does'nt work, change your fw card for a compatible one:
https://helpdesk.flexradio.com/hc/en-us/articles/202118708-Verifying-Firewire-Card-Compatibility-wit...

Hope this helps, Alex DH2ID 



(Edited)
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Alan W4FBI

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OK, thanks for all the tips and suggestions. I have ordered a 1394A FW card. Not sure what current one is.

When I run System Scan (Global) with the Flex Radio software, I get the fo9llowing:

OS: Microsoft Windows 8 64-bit [6.2.9200]
  CPU(s):
    Processor:  Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4670 CPU @ 3.40GHz
    Physical:  1
    Cores:     4
    Logical:   4
    L1 Cache:  32 KB   (8)
    L2 Cache:  256 KB  (4)
    L3 Cache: 6144 KB  (1)
  Installed RAM: 7885 MB


Looking for OHCI 1394 Host Controllers...


*** Could not get online data.
The online source may not be available, or your computer may not be connected to the Internet.


Done.


Not sure why it says Windows 8 -  I'm running 10. (and I am connected to the internet.)

Looks like the scan can't find anything 1394 related.

Again, my Device Manager says the 1394 card is operating properly. Even if it is the wrong type 1394 card - I would think the Flex Radio 'scan' would tell me.

I'm beginning to think the 5000A 1394 circuit is bad...

thx, again

Alan, W4FBI


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Ted, NX6C

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Alan, Make sure the card you ordered has a Texas Instruments (TI) 1394 controller chip.
Ted
NX6C
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Alan W4FBI

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Thanks Ted.

I will ensure I get the TI chipset. 

I just took out my current FW card - it's LSI chipset.


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Alan W4FBI

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OK, New Texas Instruments chipset FW Card.

Windows 10, Power SDR 2.8

Re-installed everything from scratch (again)

I get this from the Flex Radio icon (System scan)

OS: Microsoft Windows 8 64-bit [6.2.9200]
  CPU(s):
    Processor:  Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4670 CPU @ 3.40GHz
    Physical:  1
    Cores:     4
    Logical:   4
    L1 Cache:  32 KB   (8)
    L2 Cache:  256 KB  (4)
    L3 Cache: 6144 KB  (1)
  Installed RAM: 7885 MB


Looking for OHCI 1394 Host Controllers...

1:
  Vendor : (104C) Texas Instruments
  Chipset: (8024) TSB43AB23
  Revision: 00
  Status :  Active
  Details:
    Subsysten VendorId: 14db
    Subsystem DeviceId: 0000
    Max # isoch Rx contexts: 4
    Max # isoch Tx contexts: 8
  Max 1394 Speed Capability: S400
  Support:  Compatible, no known issues.

done.

FW card shows good in the Device Manager. (Microsoft Driver)

Seems the 5000A is not talking to the FW card. As the Flex FW driver is not installing. (I've tried two different cables and all four ports (two on the FW card and two on the 5000A). Nothing.

'No device found' when I open the Flex Radio icon (driver icon)

When I open Power SDR 2.8 - it goes to DEMO as the only available device - as I would expect, since no device is found on the Flex Radio Icon

Also, I've tried Power SDR 2.7 (even 2.2) - same result...

I'm thinking it's time for a support ticket..

Alan, W4FBI

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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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It sounds like the firewire chip in the radio. Do not worry that you wasted your money however, I suspect that the LSI card was going to be a problem anyway.
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Dudley - WA5QPZ, Elmer

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Alan,

Did you check for the green internal light, seen from the rear, next to the FW port? This can help determine if the physical port is ok. I am with Neal, the LSI chipset was a problem.

Dudley
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Alan W4FBI

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Agreed. I will check for the 'green light' right now...
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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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The green light only means that there is voltage present on one of the pins, not that communications are flowing between the two devices (its not like the green/yellow leds on an ethernet adapter).
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Alan W4FBI

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No green light. I'm going to replace the FW chip.

There is plenty of BLUE light, though. I think that is coming from the front array.

It's a 64 lead QFP - I've done those before. Chip is only $5 and change.

(Edited)
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Dudley - WA5QPZ, Elmer

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Neal,

Flex's first technician once told me, (Ed Popp)   "Start with the status light,  if it is not working correctly (only lit with  FW cable plugged in) then either the driver or FW chip is out in the radio,  No light, no communication"  

Alan, 

I think that the FW chip itself is not available any longer except from Flex,  and is difficult to change.   The drivers are easier and still available  .  

Dudley
WA5QPZ
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Alan W4FBI

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Dudley,

The 5000A did not have the green LED lighted. I now know where that LED is, though.

The FW chip is readily available from Mouser - just $5.00. I decided to replace that chip. It's a 64 lead QFP. The hard part is removing - as it has the center of the chip soldered to the PCB (in addition to the 64 leads). It takes a heat gun and ChipQuik (or FastChip) to remove. I successfully removed it today, and the new one is almost completely in - just a few touch ups on two leads.

Not for the feint of heart.

Will report back in a few days (golf tomorrow)...

Alan



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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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Hi Dudley! Hope you are enjoying retirement as much as I am!
Ed is the greatest! I haven't heard from him in ages and hope he is well. I agree that no light means no functioning chip because it would mean its not functioning enough to supply voltage (similarly to USB jacks that do not supply power). So having it lit is the first thing to check but it only means that its functioning enough to supply voltage (at least as much as I understand it!)
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Preston Mclaggan

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donot use 2.7   use 2.8 or 2.6 which have drivers
de g4mla
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Alan W4FBI

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2.6 is no longer on the Flex server. Looks like it's 2.8 for me.

thx for the tip