Flex 5000A: PSDR2.7.2 program on Lenovo ThinkPad R61i laptop Core2Duo with Belkin Express Firewire freezes when transmitting?

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  • Problem
  • Updated 3 years ago
  • Solved
The rig is on the  1st floor and with 50 feet of RG58U coax feedline to my G5RV dipole Antenna (40-20-15M) with < 3:1 SWR.   The freezing problem started about a month ago...

So thinking that the RF was getting into the Laptop, I purchased 10 Snap-on Ferrite Cores and put onto Firewire cable, mouse USB cable, Laptop AC adapter DC power in cable, Flex5000A DC power + & - leads from Power supply...  but did not solve freezing problem when transmitting.

FYI, the Firewire Express card is the dual 9 pin 800Mhz  type with a 9 ft. cable, 6 pin on one end to the Flex5000A Firewire input port and the other end is 9 pin to the Firewire Card. 

What do you think is causing the problem?   Any help greatly appreciated!

Thanks,  Marshall - WB6HZH
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ILoveFog

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Posted 3 years ago

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Rick

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I had similar problems with my 5000A and put ferrites everywhere. I'm using it with one of Neal's computers and it has cores on all internal lines. You could try adding cut indoor radials for all bands. That's kind of a nuisance. Can you improve your station grounding? That should help. How long is the firewire cable and what brand is it? Granite are worth buying in such situations.
Good luck! 73
Rick, W2JAZ 
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Replace your feed line with the best quality and braid percentage you can. Do you have an effective balun where the open wire and coax meet? You may also wish to add a line isolator on the coax there, too. 

What's your station ground situation? Make sure your RF ground is not tied to the AC outlet in the wall (green wire).

Does the RF affect all bands and power levels, or just some?
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Bill -VA3WTB

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On almost all dipoles an feed line chock is a good idea at the feed point. this prevents any rf from coming down the coax. Or wind and ugly air balun and put it at the feed point. For my system I just can not transmit without it.
(Edited)
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ILoveFog

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Balun here:  http://www.w0btu.com/g5rv_antenna.html
Ugly Balun discussed but better alternative....
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ILoveFog

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Hi Rick,

Thanks for the fast reply...  OK I read and saw the posts about the Granite Firewire cables but could not find it on eBay...   also I need the 9 pin type to fit the Firewire Express card on my laptop.

This system did work without freezing a month ago  but something changed and not sure what is causing the freeZing problem.  

So questions:

    1.  What are the internal lines you mentioned?
    2.  Can you please give more details on adding the Cut indoor Radials?  Is that Grounding radials?
    3.  I put a grounding wire between the Flex5000A case and the power supply but no where else.....  should I put a ground cable between the Flex chassis and the ground wire of the AC power line?   ...  or do I need a separate  grounding wire to the earth ground outside the house?

Remember this setup did work fine a month ago!...  so something changed....?

Thanks,  Marshall
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Remember, it may be a software change. Make sure any windows checking programs are not running, Such as spyware check, virus check, things like that, they can interfere with PSDR
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ILoveFog

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Hi George and Bill !

Wow! Thanks for all the fast replies....

OK, the G5RV antenna was purchased assembled and is used AS-IS,...  I do not see a Balun at the feedline and antenna junction.

The added 50 ft. RG-58 Feedline is for Computer usage (thin type) with 100% foil shielding.

Yes, the freezing on transmit also occurs on 20M as well as 40M which is my main Band.

The Flex 5000A chassis is floating and not grounded to the AC ground wire unless it is through the AC power supply. 

But remember this setup all worked fine until a month ago....   not sure what changed?

-M
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ILoveFog

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Hi Bill,

OK on other programs running with PSDR...  I am running Windows 7 on this laptop and will not upgrade to Windows 10 until the Bugs are worked out!

I run the laptop with the Task Monitor running and only using 35-40% with the PDSR running.

But sometimes I check the Resource Monitor and see  Wuauserv running at 80-90% so I kill the process ...  :)

-M
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Official Response
Windows 7 - check to see if the 1394 bus driver is set to a legacy version of the driver.  If not try the legacy version  http://kc.flexradio.com/KnowledgebaseArticle50433.aspx
(Edited)
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ILoveFog

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Hi Tim,

You Solved the PROBLEM !!!!  The Firewire was not set on Legacy, and once set it worked like a charm!!! 

I don't know how it got changed to Non-Legacy? 

Many thanks Tim!!!

73's Marshall in San Francisco
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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This isn't my first Firewire rodeo ;-)

When you do Windows updates, some updates can change the 1394a bus driver to the the newer Win7 device (chipset) specific driver.  In a lot of cases, the legacy version of the driver works more reliably.
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Paul Mills

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KF2T seems spot on to me. But also seems that your system desperately needs a GOOD RF GROUND. Little green wires and AC wireing do not make a good RF GROUND.
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ILoveFog

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Hi Paul,

Thanks for the tip... Yes, a Good RF Ground is always good.. but I changed one leg of the G5RV orientation and that did wonders!!!   That and Tim's tip on the Firewire Legacy driver fixed the problems...

Take care,  Marshall - WB6HZH
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Ricky

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I would replace the RG58 cable as almost all of the have poor shield on them. if you want to keep the small cable look at RG8x or BR-240 way better shielding and slightly larger in size.
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ILoveFog

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Hi Ricky,

Thanks for the tip...  but Tim's answer above to check and change the Firewire's driver to Legacy SOLVED the problem!!!

I was trying to edit the original post to add the words "Problem Solved" but can't seem to do it?   Maybe someone can help me do it?

Take care, 73's - Marshall in San Francisco
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Luis del MOlino

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The G5RV is a monoband dipole used as a multiband non resonant  antena that is sold without a balun and is famous for all the RF problems produced in the station due to the fact. it is sold without any type of balun. All the RF problems in the shack are solved easily placing an Un-un as MFJ-915 placed on the line as near as possible of the point the coaxial RG-58 is connected to the paralel line that comes from the center of the diipole. Sometimes you can place it more easily on the output of the rig with the same succes. Try it.

73 Luis EA3OG