FT8 randomly stops transmitting

  • 2
  • Question
  • Updated 4 weeks ago
  • (Edited)
I've been running FT8 on my 6300 for 6 months and it was working well until recently when I added a second monitor to my computer and moved a few things around on the desk. I did not change any other connections on the computer or radio. I also recently upgraded to the latest version (v1.9.1 r8747). Now I find that FT8 randomly stops when WSJT commands the radio transmit. For instance I can call CQ on FT8 and it works fine for a random number of RX/TX cycles then won't transmit when it should. FT8 is not timing out... it has happened after just a couple of RX/TX CQ cycles, or it can happen after 8 cycles, or it may not stop at all. When it happens I don't hear the relay in the radio switchover to TX while WSJT thinks the radio IS transmitting. I looked at the CAT settings and nothing changed. To resolve it I have to shut down WSJT by going into the Windows 7 task manager to kill the instance of WSJT, then restart it and repeat the cycle. If I just shut down WSJT normally (hit X at the top right)  it still stays resident (Task still running) and if I try to restart it then I get the dialog message stating that another instance is running. I have to go into Task manager and end the process. The computer is a Lenovo Thinkcentre i5 running Windows 7 Professional.  Any thoughts or suggestions ?
Photo of Hugh - VA3TO

Hugh - VA3TO

  • 32 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like

Posted 2 months ago

  • 2
Photo of Michael Walker

Michael Walker, Employee

  • 290 Posts
  • 77 Reply Likes
Hi Hugh

I have seen this as well and it seemed to have happened when I switched to using network ports from RS232 ports.  

I am not sure if it is a CAT, TCP/IP or WSJTx problem.  It usually recovers on the next cycle.

My gut says it is with the latest version WSJTx.

Mike
Photo of Hugh - VA3TO

Hugh - VA3TO

  • 32 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Hi Mike.
At least in your situation it recovers on a subsequent cycle. In my case, it doesn't. The only fix is to force WSJT to shut down thru the Task Manager. It has also happened mid QSO. It's as frustrating as hell. I'm going to post this to the WSJT FB list.

Hugh
(Edited)
Photo of Lee Maisel

Lee Maisel

  • 100 Posts
  • 13 Reply Likes
I've had the same issue, and I don't know why either.. closing wsjt-x and re opening it hels for a while.

Photo of Michael Walker

Michael Walker, Employee

  • 290 Posts
  • 77 Reply Likes
Hugh, can you run a test on V1.8?  Not for making QSO's but just for testing.  You can even leave the RF power at Zero.

I think this showed up a 1.9.

Mike
Photo of Hugh - VA3TO

Hugh - VA3TO

  • 32 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
I can try it.  Will I have to uninstall 1.9 or can I have both installed ?  Seems to me 1.9 just overwrote the previous version when I updated it.

Edit:  I actually just looked and it appears that previous versions are not available on the WSJT-X web site. Do you happen to know if 1.8 is available elsewhere ?

(Edited)
Photo of Al K0VM

Al K0VM, Elmer

  • 582 Posts
  • 94 Reply Likes
High,
  When it stops, check to see how much CPU resources the WSJT-X task is using.. You will likely find it is several time more than normal which would indicate that WSJT has gone on an loop.  This seem to be a problem with WSJT-X use of Flex API interface.   If you us a cat port and select kenwood TS480 or ts2000 for the radio you will likely find reliable operation.
AL, K0VM
Photo of Hugh - VA3TO

Hugh - VA3TO

  • 32 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Thanks for the suggestion Al. I'm going to try reloading the latest version over top of itself per another suggestion from someone who experienced the same problem and if that doesn't help then I'll try configuring it as a TS480 or TS2000.
Photo of John - AI4FR

John - AI4FR

  • 61 Posts
  • 19 Reply Likes
Happens here as well especially when I am running two instances of wsjt-x and transmitting on different bands during the different time slots. On this end though it would skip a TX cycle at random but recover for the next cycle. Happens maybe once every few hours. PC here is fast, home built and water cooled, so no issues there i feel with a slow PC. I also had the same problem when running wsjt-x with an Icom 756 Pro 2 so I doubt it is a Flex issue. It's something in the software or PC. Happened on both versions 1.8 and 1.9. There was some past discussions on the wsjt-x reflector about this several months back but I don't think they found a solution.
Photo of Clay N9IO

Clay N9IO

  • 526 Posts
  • 123 Reply Likes
Has happened to me a few times after extended periods of operating. Task manager the only way out.

Ver 1.9
(Edited)
Photo of Hugh - VA3TO

Hugh - VA3TO

  • 32 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
So I reloaded WSJT v1.9.1 r8747 overtop of itself and it greatly reduced the frequency of TX stalls. Then per K0VM Al's suggestion I changed the radio rig CAT setting from Flex to Kenwood TS-2000 and the problem seems to have gone away... touch wood.
Photo of Doug K0DV

Doug K0DV

  • 131 Posts
  • 16 Reply Likes
I too have this problem, using a good version of Win 7 and the Flex 6700. In my case, if I reboot the computer and restart everything, including WSJX-X-JTAlertX, WSJT-X works well for an hour or so but then stops being able to activate the PTT. After it stops, when I try to unload WSJT-X-Alert, it gives me a cryptic error and asks me to try again, program then freezes.  Using Task Manager will not work and the computer will have to be rebooted. If I have a good session and PTT works okay, the next time I start the program I have no PTT until I reboot again.  I have taken to rebooting each time before I use WSJT-X and this helps to get my PTT back, but it is a pain in the butt. I will try to set up WSJT-X for Kenwood to see if that work-around works for me.  I believe this is a problem with the latest release of WSJT-X.
Photo of Hugh - VA3TO

Hugh - VA3TO

  • 32 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Doug. Yes, try switching the CAT radio control in Settings from Flex to Kenwood TS-2000. Seems to have worked for me. I haven't had a TX lockup since i switched.
(Edited)
Photo of Doug K0DV

Doug K0DV

  • 131 Posts
  • 16 Reply Likes
Will do, I'll post my results.
Photo of Doug K0DV

Doug K0DV

  • 131 Posts
  • 16 Reply Likes
Hugh, unfortunately, when I use the Kenwood TS-2000 radio setting, I get the "Rig Control error" and it asks me if I want to reconfigure.  I tried the TS-480 setting and the same error occurs. I am using FLEXVSP and have established a Flex CAT port for the PTT.  Apparently, on my set-up, WSJX-X doesn't like to connect without the Flex Radio being designated.
Photo of Al K0VM

Al K0VM, Elmer

  • 582 Posts
  • 94 Reply Likes
Doug,
  You will need a FlexVSP ( ssdrCAT) port configured for CAT and then use' PTT via CAT' in WSJT-X.

AL, K0VM
Photo of Hugh - VA3TO

Hugh - VA3TO

  • 32 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
That's unfortunate. Maybe the 6700 has a different command set than the 6300.
Photo of Al K0VM

Al K0VM, Elmer

  • 582 Posts
  • 94 Reply Likes
Hugh,
  ALL, Flex 6000 series radios use the same CAT/ API command set

AL, K0VM
Photo of John - AI4FR

John - AI4FR

  • 61 Posts
  • 19 Reply Likes
I have the 6700 and have it configured like VA3TO suggests. I gave up a long time ago on using the Flex setting in wsjt-x as I would loose CAT control after a short period. I still loose CAT at times now but much less frequently, maybe once or twice a day.
Photo of Hugh - VA3TO

Hugh - VA3TO

  • 32 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
It sounds like this has been a long standing issue. You'd think they would have sorted it out by now.
Photo of Clay N9IO

Clay N9IO

  • 524 Posts
  • 123 Reply Likes
Joe Taylor had announced a week or so back that ver 2.0 with enhancements and fixes is forthcoming around the first of the year.
Stay tuned.
(Edited)
Photo of Michael Walker

Michael Walker, Employee

  • 290 Posts
  • 77 Reply Likes
Mine randomly does not go out of TX, but I think this is a WSJTx issue.   In order to fix it, you need to figure out how to make it happen all the time.  It is pretty hard to fix if you can't capture how it got there in the first place.

Mike
Photo of Stan, K4SBZ

Stan, K4SBZ

  • 7 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes
My problem with my 6600M using SSDR is that I can't get started sometimes. I play around with the DAX and CAT buttons until suddenly it magically starts txing. It never cuts out, once started.

Today, I spent all afternoon and it wouldn't start. I ran across this thread and tried the TS2000 solution and it works so far. Started twice.

Stan, K4SBZ
Photo of Doug K0DV

Doug K0DV

  • 131 Posts
  • 16 Reply Likes
Okay, well I'm pretty sure I have solved the problem for my installation. This may work for yours. Go into FT8 setup, click the "Radio" tab and then look at the PTP Method, if you selected anything other than CAT, than that's the reason. According to the video provided by the Flex staffer, I had set my PTP method to RTS.  A friend told me to use CAT.  Tried that and the program stabilized.  None of the TX randomly stopping and requiring a restart or reboot of the computer.  Hope this works for you because FT8 is a great program and the random TX problem was ruining the fun. (Also, I have the Mode set to "None" and Split Operation set to "None")
Photo of Doug K0DV

Doug K0DV

  • 131 Posts
  • 16 Reply Likes
Update, I let my Flex 6700 run all night with the WSJTx program running but not transmitting.  This morning the unexpected no TX issue returned even though I am using the CAT setting described in my previous post. I closed WSJTx and deleted WSJTx from the list of programs shown in the Task processes list.  Then, I opened WSJTx again. It worked okay for about 45 minutes before the TX ability shut down. When this happens, I see that there is no audio in the DAX TX stream and the WSJTx 'Tune' button does not work. At this point. I do not believe it's my setup, but I think the program may a memory leak of some kind, so the longer it runs the more likely for this bug to happen. I would be interested in hearing from others who have left their WSJTx run 24 hours or more. Does your system lose TX?  By the way, my system also includes the JTAlert add-on that communicates directly with HRD.  I also use DDUTIL V:3 to tie in HRD's frequency updating.
Photo of Al K0VM

Al K0VM, Elmer

  • 582 Posts
  • 94 Reply Likes
Doug,
  I am guessing that you have WSJT-X configured to  use 'Flexradio 6xxx' as its CAT port.  I have found reliable operation if I configure a  serial com port in SmartCAT and then configure WSJT-x to use that comport with Kenwood TS-480 rig type..  
  Its a bug in the WSJT Hamlib for FLex 6xxx

AL, K0VM

Photo of Doug K0DV

Doug K0DV

  • 131 Posts
  • 16 Reply Likes
Thanks for the tip, AL.Not sure why, but when I use TS-480 as the radio and set up a new CAT Control port using SmartCAT, it gives me a Hamlib error. Could be I'm doing something else wrong.  In any event, if I do not let the program run for more than 6 hours it seems to be okay.  However today, while the waterfall was running, it would not let me click the red and green waterfall bracket indicator.  Closed the program and restarted it and all was well again.  Perhaps it's another bug.
Photo of Doug K0DV

Doug K0DV

  • 131 Posts
  • 16 Reply Likes
Update:  I was able to set it up using TS-480.  Problem was I was using "Existing" rather than "FlexVSP" port when I set up the COM.  It has been working now for about 15 minutes.  I'll let it run and see if it fully corrects the problem.  Thanks again Al.
Photo of Brian VK3MI

Brian VK3MI

  • 9 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Hi Doug, I have the same problem - here with WSJT-X stopping transmit from time to time, I'm running v1.9.1 with the Flexradio 6xxx CAT setting. Did using a TS-480 CAT port solve the problem for you? 
Photo of Doug K0DV

Doug K0DV

  • 122 Posts
  • 16 Reply Likes
Yes Brian, and setting up the COM port using FlexVSP.  Haven't seen a lockup TX since doing that.
Photo of Brian VK3MI

Brian VK3MI

  • 9 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Thanks Doug. I will try doping the same. Hopefully the bug in the WSJT-X driver for the Flexradio 6xxx series will eventually be fixed - let's see what 1.10 (now in Beta) does.
Photo of WQ2H - Jim Poulette

WQ2H - Jim Poulette

  • 103 Posts
  • 19 Reply Likes
No clue really if this related, but I had this happen a few times with an older Win7 laptop. Once I moved to a Dell I7 with Win10 - that seemed to cure a lot of evils. Good luck !

73
Jim, WQ2H