Flex 6300 locks out for a few seconds

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  • Problem
  • Updated 4 years ago
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Hello,

While operating CQ WPX this weekend I started to experience a problem where the radio gets stuck in a mode were it is not transmitting or receiving and the audio is cutoff. 

I have not experienced this problem previously. I have restarted the radio multiple times, including the power supply, and the problem persisted. There weren't any errors on SSDR and the radio automatically goes back to normal operation.

I was operating with VOX during the time that I experienced this problem, as I was operating the rest of the contest. I operated most of contest without a problem, but the last 1 hour of contest I experienced issue multiple times.

I am running SSDR v1.4.0.130. 

Has anyone experienced the same problem?
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Eduardo Carvalho - KC8R

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Posted 4 years ago

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Jim K4JAF

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No other PC either..  No stutters or stops until this evening.  Still continues every 15 minutes or so for 5-10 seconds..   Jim K4JAF
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Mark Griffin

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This is an interesting development. If this was not happening with prior versions of SmartSDR then it is definitely a software issue versus a hardware issue. I do not have a flex as of yet. And I am considering a 6300 as the flex of choice. When it comes to SmartSDR, does flex have where people can download a beta version of the SmartSDR and try it out before it is finally released?

I would certainly hope they do that. I have an Elecraft K3, and I know when they have a firmware upgrade, they have the beta software where you can download it and install it. But of course, there are the warnings that you may have issues. Once, all the bugs are worked out, then they release the final version. I am not a programmer but you would think that if 1.43 was beta tested, that the freezing problem would have been noticed and from that not releasing the upgrade with those issues until it was fixed. Mark KB3Z
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Duane, AC5AA

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Mark, while I'm experiencing this problem (hopefully the workaround may be working for me), I think you'll find that FLEX is very good at responding to problems, and, most likely, this will be history by the time you order one.  While they have a Beta test team, I think it might be a managed team and then the code is released once it gets through that gauntlet.  I can't address how this one slipped through, but it doesn't affect all users and may be configuration sensitive.  Guessing...

   73, Duane
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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The strange thing to me is that I didn't begin experiencing this until after I had been using the new update for about a week.  So I don't know if a Windows update changed something, or there is a cumulative memory leak, or if I finally got around to playing with DAX and opened multiple DAX channels "just in case" i needed them.  This bug does seem to be an odd little critter!
A couple of nights ago I was running "latencymon" while talking with my 75 Meter ragchew bunch and noticed several times that about 5 seconds after a freeze, there was a spike in the latency meters.  I am also getting a high number of page faults.  In previous tests, the latency spike didn't show up as regularly.   Since I never ran "latencymon" before the update, I have nothing to compare it to.

I will test it out more thoroughly on my day off, Friday Morning.

Ken - NM9P
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Mark

Yes there is a closed Alpha Test team which tests the software before it is released into the wild. Flex terminated the public Beta program some. Time ago

The intermittent freeze issue does NOt affect most users which I suspect. Is why it slipped thru the cracks. It seems to be mostly with some few 6300 when Unused DAX channels are left open. It is on the bug tracker list
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Mark Griffin

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It's interesting to see that this bug effects both 6300 and an occasional 6500. I haven't seen anyone with a 6700 effected as of yet.

Perhaps Flex should consider having two groups of testers on program releases. One would be the closed Alpha Test, and perhaps looking at those within the Flex Community who maybe are very active on the Flex Reflector.

I'm glad to see that the tech staff is aware of the issue and is working on a fix as soon as possible! Mark KB3Z
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Mark Griffin

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So if I understand this correctly, one will use DAX when they are operating digital modes. But it doesn't necessarily need to be activated when operating SSB or CW modes. I have learned something new today! Mark, KB3Z
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Duane, AC5AA

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That is correct - DAX is the audio input (similar to feeding audio to your SSB signal through a digital interconnection device).  Apparently this bug is associated with running an active DAX input, whether it's actually in use or not. 
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Yes, that is the point of the Digital Audio Exchange (DAC) -- it is a digital pipeline for sending audio to and from digital programs such as FLDigi, MMSSTV, FreeDV, et. al. 

The only exception when running Phone modes would be if you wanted to use the Digital Voice Keyer functions in various contesting programs, or if you wanted to use outboard Broadcast Audio processing software such as Stereo Tool.  (http://www.stereotool.com)
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Duane, AC5AA

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OK, I've put a couple more hours on the 6500 running 1.43, and by disabling the DAX channel when in CW or SSB mode I have not had a single freeze.  I normally would have seen several freezes in that time. 
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John Leonard

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I also have been "freeze free" since disabling DAX while running 1.43. Fingers crossed.
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ai6re

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I decided to see if I could cause this problem to come back buy turning DAX back on but this does not bring the problem back. It appears that once you get rid of the problem you can use DAX normally without bringing the problem back. This could be pretty hard to find. My 6500 is running perfectly since the problem went away by disabling DAX.
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Duane, AC5AA

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I've had the exact same experience here with my 6500 - once disabled DAX for a bit, each time after using it, but now I've had it back on now for several days with no recurrence,  You're right - this one will be a tough one to chase down because it appears to be random or difficult to predict.
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Roy - W5TKZ

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I had been using 1.3 so I installed 1.4.3 and was unable to use it because of the screen freeze. I dropped back to 1.4.0 and had no problems with the freeze but was unable to use HRD. I replaced my computer in January with a Gigabyte Gamers Motherboard but I went cheap on the memory at 4 gig. 

On April 23, after consulting HRD, I added an additional 4 gig memory and I am so far, pleased with the 1.4.3 and HRD.

No more dropouts, stutters, or just plain no operating. I don't do remote yet.

Lesson learned....

Roy - W5TKZ  
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Eduardo Carvalho - KC8R

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Hello,

I installed 1.4.11 and the issue is still present. I checked the release notes and it looks like the issue was not addressed in this release. The reproduction steps are still the same.

I just wanted to provide an update. 

Is Flex planning to address this issue prior to CQ WPX CW 2015? This issue is going to prevent us from running the contest with CW Skimmer.

Thank you,

Eduardo - KC8R
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Duane, AC5AA

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Agreed - in the first 5 minutes of operating on 1.4.11, my 6500 froze up for about 10 seconds while running FLdigi.  It has not done this on 1.4.3 for several weeks now after I disabled the DAX channel while not using it.  I'll try doing that again for a while and see if that "fixes" it.  I did a full uninstall of 1.4.3 before installing 1.4.11 just to be sure no driver issues.  (With Revo Uninstaller I got rid of all remnants of the old install.)  So, that's apparently not part of the problem.  The randomness of how it occurs is really what makes this one a bugger!  (In case it helps, I should add that after a few days of disabling and re=entabling DAX 1, I elected to just leave it on, and never had a problem after that, until this evening after installing the new software.)  For whatever it's worth.
(Edited)
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Wim

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I started seeing this lockup oif several seconds after installing 1.4.11, I never had this issue before. I'll try disabling DAX channel 1 for a while to see if it improves. I would say every 5 or 10 minutes it locks for a few seconds
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Official Response
We are working on this issue for the next release of SmartSDR. 
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Eduardo Carvalho - KC8R

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Tim, thank you for the update.

Eduardo - KC8R