FlexControl - A mind of its own

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  • Updated 4 years ago
Lately, my FlexControl has been working and not working sporadically. I have changed the COM port number a few times without any change to check for conflicts so reset it to the original COM 3. I have tried plugging it in and unplugging it and tried different USB ports without having any real effect. When it is not working, the FlexControl tab in SSDR is blank.

Is there a troubleshooting guide anywhere?

TIA
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Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

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Posted 4 years ago

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Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

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Please describe "mind of its own".

Two things to do first in trouble shooting this...

Open Device Manager and locate the COM port associated with the FlexControl.  Select it and  then open Properties via the right click menu.

One of the tabs will have an Advanced button - click it...
1. Change the COM port number to something like 50 - way up out of the way
2. Slide the FIFO sliders to zero

Click Apply/OK enough times until everything is closed and you are back to the device manager.  Now reboot the machine and try again.

Stu K6TU

PS: It still sounds like you have a conflict hence my comments above - but PLEASE describe "mind of its own" - what is it doing?
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Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

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Sometimes it is working/detected and sometimes it is not. Not related to loading or otherwise of any programs. Last night I discovered it was not working, came here to type a message and went back to SSDR to check something and the thing was working. I changed the COM port several times in device manager and tried setting up some in SmartCAT without any change. I also removed and reinserted the 'control into various USB prots - that should have reinstalled the driver. The issue with the buffers (scrolling in SSDR with no FlexControl input) has not arisen here, but I will turn them off anyway.

There do not seem to be any port conflicts, but I'll set the COM port as you advise.
(Edited)
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Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

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Plugging into different ports will only exacerbate the problem.  The problem is that the Windows USB device configuration handler is stupid and doesn't consider virtual serial ports in the mix.  Its algorithm is to look for physical COM ports from 1 up and then plonk itself down on the first "empty" slot.

If that happens to be a virtual serial port - well - bad stuff happens.  Usually looking at the device numbers for COM ports in Device Manager will show up the duplicate - you will see two (or more!) ports with the same value - they ALL need to be different.

Of course, if you have many serial ports, spotting the dupe is no easy task.

Blame it on the boys in Redmond...

I don't know whether this has been "improved" in Windows 8 one way or the other.  I am in no hurry to find out.  I'm hoping to be off of Windows completely by the time support for Windows 7 ends.  

As I said on a different thread...
Hope springs eternal!
Stu K6TU
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Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

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Oh and BTW...  in device manager, one of the menu items allows you to Show Hidden Devices - check that and then look again for conflicts.  If the device isn't detected it otherwise won't show up in Device Manager even though the conflict exists.

Windows is nasty!
Stu K6TU
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K9APW - Dick - Verona, WI

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Are you speaking of the optional K6DK(??) external tuning knob./wheel when you say your say "FlexControl"? I have problems with the tuning wheel sticking and not turning smoothly and at times having a mind of its own -- just continues to keep tuning up or down the band after I have stopped rotating it?????

Dick, K9APW -- 6700 Signature
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Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

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Sorry but no K6DK around here ;-)

The FlexControl is so named and labelled.  If the tuning wheel is sticking, contact FlexRadio support as it should turn very smoothly - its possible that the knob is incorrectly located on the shaft of the encoder and rubbing against the plastic label.

Stu K6TU

PS: If you have the FlexControl, my callsign is on the bottom right...
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Dick, They might have gotten a bad batch a year ago. I wore two of them out with very heavy contest usage where they were basically in constant use for 12-18 hours each weekend. The knobs froze almost completely. Flex was wonderful and replaced it twice under warranty. My third one is functioning fine now. I cannot complain about their warrantee service. They have been "Johnny-on-the-spot" (or...Tim on the spot) with very fast service, even on weekends. The best in the business, in my book.
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Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

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@ Dick

That still-moving-after-stopped-turning is a known issue when the COM port buffers are enabled. See Stu's advice for turning them down/off.
(Edited)
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KK9W - Steve

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I have the same problem and sent in a help desk ticket. I was told that is the way it is supposed to be and tune slower
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Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

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Unless you have a very slow computer, that's not the way it works.

What kind of computer are you using?
Stu K6TU
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KK9W - Steve

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I am using a HP with a core I5 processor. I was told by Tim that it is the adaptive tuning feature. When you get to the edge of the spectrum it will start and continue till it decides to stop. I was told to change the tuning step rate.
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KK9W - Steve

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It also does it on my new surface pro 3. When I had my 3000 when the knob stopped the tuning stopped.
(Edited)
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Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

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Well, Tim's the definitive answer.

I could believe that if you were at the edge of the pan and rapidly turned the FlexControl, it may take a while before the tuning stopped.  Is that what you are seeing?

Stu K6TU
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KK9W - Steve

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Yes it is what I am seeing.
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Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

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Ok - this isn't the same thing the folks were describing above.  When you tune at the edge of the panadator, the pan itself has to be repositioned to provide the scroll - so there is a sequence of events where a step is tuned, the pan is scrolled, the slice is moved.

This has a series of commands that get sent under the covers to the radio - hence in this manner, it is possible for a queue to build up of tuning steps.

Like I said, Tim is definitive in these matters!

:-)

Thanks for the clarification.

Stu K6TU
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Plus you really should be using DDUTIL to control,ur FlexControl....many more options and better control
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Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

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One step at a time... softly... softly!
Stu K6TU
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Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

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I am no stranger to computers - ask my XYL. The steepest part of the leaning curve is learning the software, making all the software behave and do what it is told. I have at least 5 programs to get to grips with to operate efficiently (I won't mention how many pages the manuals run to) as well as to learn their quirks. Don't get me wrong, I am enjoying myself learning, but it is very frustrating. The last time I was on the air, it was an analogue rig and a paper logbook hi, hi.
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Ric Plummer

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Another possible USB issue is power. I have had fits with hubs, even those with their own power supply. Is the control plugged directly into the computer ? If not try that. Large USB set ups are very tricky, especially those with several high current drain items, like powered speaker that get power via USB, cameras, FlexControl,.... Good luck. Ric KV1W
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I actually prefer the way the standard SSDR FlexKnob control works for RIT, AGCT and XIT, rather than the way DDUtil does it. But I wish I had more functions. I may need to do like NN4ZZ and get a second one. My XYL will think I'm crazy.

I really wish someone would write an API interface for my Hercules DJ controller. Now THAT would be sweet.

If I had any knowledge of programming in C++ or C#, etc., perhaps I could write one myself. As it is, I haven't done any serious programming since the days of GW-basic! I wrote a programmer for our club's S-Com 7K repeater controller. (That is really dating myself!).
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Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

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I have seen another similar product on sale in the UK which looks as if it will have more functions but is more expensive than the FlexControl by a long way. They are working on an SSDR version now the API has been released.