Flex-6500 relay clicking regularly and not holding frequency with SSDR 2.1.33

  • 1
  • Problem
  • Updated 6 months ago
  • (Edited)
I've had an interesting problem here with my Flex-6500 after updating to 2.1.33.

The update went without problems, I did a factory reset and cold start in the usual way. I imported my profiles, installed my waveforms and started up all programs to work FT8. After about 3 minutes a relay in the Flex-6500 started clicking regularly about every 3 seconds and the received frequency started to shift with each click about 1kHz and then went back to the original frequency, like a sawtooth. I tried everything in the book, like reset, cold start, restarting my notebook, using SSDR only (no other programs running) - nothing helped.

As a last resort I downgraded to 2.1.32 and the problem seems to have gone away. The Flex6k5 has now been running for an hour and is running stable (fingers crossed).

I wonder what has happened, sounds like PLL unlock (?!?) causing a frequency shift. About a year ago there was another post here https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/flex-6500-clicks-every-three-seconds but I don't know how the problem was solved. 

OS here is Windows 7 64bit and Windows 10 pro 64bit on the backup notebook.

Alex - DH2ID
Photo of Alex - DH2ID

Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

  • 891 Posts
  • 166 Reply Likes

Posted 6 months ago

  • 1
Photo of George Molnar, KF2T

George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

  • 1561 Posts
  • 552 Reply Likes
Check the front panel microphone connector. Sometimes, accidentally shorted pins can activate tuning. If you update SSDR with the microphone out, is everything okay?
Photo of Alex - DH2ID

Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

  • 891 Posts
  • 166 Reply Likes
Thank you for the info, George. Accidentally tuning surely wouldn't cause a freqency shift. Downgrading helped.
Photo of NX6D Dave

NX6D Dave

  • 296 Posts
  • 83 Reply Likes
Well, I would simply try 2.1.33 again. Since it is a simple upgrade, I would install the software and go. I wouldn't go through all the effort to reset the radio from scratch. The main question is: Is the problem reproducible?
Photo of Alex - DH2ID

Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

  • 891 Posts
  • 166 Reply Likes
I can reproduce the problem: Frequency shift with 2.1.33, not with 2.1.32 (see attached picture)

What I did: 

1.  updated to 2.1.33 from 2.1.32
2. Factory reset, imported Profiles, Frequency stable
3. Flex-6500 shutdown, PC shutdown, PS shutdown.
4. Restarted PC, Flex-6500: Clicking all 3 seconds started, SSDR shows sawtooth pattern
5. Factory reset, all cables off, PS off: No change
6. Downgraded to 2.1.32: Clicking started again, SSDR shows sawtooth pattern (now with 2.1.32!!!)
7. Factory reset, all cables off, PS off: Frequency stable again (scratching my head :-))

Now what causes this? Any ideas? Has someone experienced this also?

I'll open a ticket...

Vy 73, Alex - DH2ID

(Edited)
Photo of Alex - DH2ID

Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

  • 891 Posts
  • 166 Reply Likes
I'm not sure that the click-sawtooth problem is related to the version update anymore. Today it started all of itself and I upgraded to 2.1.33 and it went away. I hope it will stay that way. All else I can think of is that it is a (beginning) hardware fault.
Photo of Rich McCabe

Rich McCabe

  • 984 Posts
  • 213 Reply Likes
No issues on 6600, so must be related to previous 6000 series??

Rich
Photo of Alex - DH2ID

Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

  • 891 Posts
  • 166 Reply Likes
I'm not sure what it is, Rich. Might also be related to my Flex-6500 having been in use for 5 years now. I have opened a tickret with FlexRadio and will report the results here (or maybe Tim will do that ;-)) - 73, Alex - DH2ID
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9148 Posts
  • 3467 Reply Likes
Alex, this is a hardware issue where the driver clock is not disciplining the master XO.  I think the software upgrade was just coincidental.  If you are not using an external clock source, then contact Norbert at our Service Center in Germany to facilitate getting this fixed.
Photo of Alex - DH2ID

Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

  • 891 Posts
  • 166 Reply Likes
Tim, I'm using the internal clock. Ok, I will contact Norbert, thank you.

UPDATE:  the TCXO is not locking in correctly sometimes. If it reoccurs, I will have to send the 6k5 in for testing and repairs.
(Edited)
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 2767 Posts
  • 610 Reply Likes
Tim, would it be related to a GPSO? perhaps in the radio?
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9148 Posts
  • 3467 Reply Likes
The radio is not getting a proper clock source to drive the XO.  So what the default clock source is matters