Has V3 fixed the 4 year old PTT in CW bug?

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  • Question
  • Updated 3 weeks ago
  • (Edited)
Can anyone with V3 installed please simply press PTT or MOX (not the key) in CW mode and tell me if they can still hear background receiver hiss?
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Douglas Maxwell

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Posted 9 months ago

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Lawrence Gray

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I tuned to a unused area of 20M,  changed to CW mode and pressed PTT.  The background RX noise was lower, but still there with PTT depressed.  In RX, the signal level was -102 dBm and with PTT depressed it was -116 dBm.

I'm running a 6500 with V3 on a Win7 core i5 laptop.  Antenna is a 4 element beam.  Nothing running on the PC except SSDR.

Larry, W1IZZ
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Douglas Maxwell

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Hi Winston, I understand your point, but don't agree. PTT is a prerequisite function for any transceiver and having to wait for 4 years and counting for such a simple fix is disgraceful. I can only conclude it is sheer arrogance from Flex, that they think the user base can wait for such an important function whilst they concentrate on developing new features, what's more they think they are right. The facts are there and irrefutable, Flex have made the decision that Multi Flex is more important than getting PTT right. I think we can all agree that this is a big mistake and user base loyalty will only stretch so far. The only thing I can do now is to voice my concerns (difficult on this forum) and then take a pass on the $200 dollar option for developing more new features, until I get PTT in CW. This hurts the company and my hobby which makes me angry.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Ok Doug,,so what's next for you as we have all seen your anger, over and over. Sure you are disapointed, but the rage? where does this leave you?
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Douglas Maxwell

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Hi Bill, I don't see the relevance in your post to this subject matter. Please allow users to communicate on this forum without personal attacks.
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Winston VK7WH

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Again Douglas, I respectfully disagree that Flex are an arrogant Company. Far from it. Let us agree to disagree.

I will now Unfollow this thread and get back to enjoying my 6700.

Good luck and 73,

Winston.
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Douglas Maxwell

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Hi Winston, I suppose it depends on your own personal experience. Let us agree that yours seems to have been a million times better than mine so far. You may even have had a flex radio that worked properly for your usage for the last 4 years. I’m glad if this is the case for you.
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Al K0VM, Elmer

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Here CW seems to be properly muted when External PTT is activated.  But I may not have the same conditions as you..  What radio do you have? how exactly are you activating PTT ?( mic other connection )..  Does the problem occurs following a factory reset ? Do you have more that one slice active ?

AL, K0VM
(6600, V3.0.19/W )

.....

OK I see it now.. Not muted in V3..
AL, K0VM

(Edited)
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Douglas Maxwell

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Hi Al,
Thanks for the test. My ears are tired of listening to receiver hiss racket in between cw keying, even although PTT is applied. Introducing any break-in delay to reduce the racket is not an option for me as I don't want the delay applied at the end of the sent message. Break-in delay causes me to miss the first CW element of fast returned callsigns. A deal breaker for serious CW contesting. 

Doug GM0ELP (MM3T)
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Scott N8UMW

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No. And there has been no noise blanker improvements either.
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Roger, W6VZV

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Yes, it is very odd that Flex cannot do something as simple as have complete MOX on CW without hiss in between the dots and dashes.
de Roger W6VZV
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Ken - NM9P

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I just posted to a new thread an adjustment-based solution that many users might find helpful for this situation.  I hope it helps...

https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/noise-on-cw-rx-with-ptt-a-solution.
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Douglas Maxwell

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Ken, I am grateful for your suggestion, but AGC-T is a receiver tool and is not a viable work around for a transmit problem. To use the word "solution" for your suggestion is unhelpful in this regard. I hope you can understand that this is not personal and I respect the time and effort you have put in, for that I thank you. However, the point of this post is to highlight the gravitas of the bug and in so doing limit the damage to Flex in avoidable lost revenues. If Flex thinks there is a credible work-around or "solution" to this bug (especially when suggested by a trusted Elmer such as yourself), Flex may decide to lower the importance of this bug and I personally think this would be counter productive YMMV.
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Ken - NM9P

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@Douglas, I don't take it personally at all.  It is a helpful discussion.

But I do I beg, respectfully, to differ just a bit.  (just a difference, not an argument) 
The problem is indeed a receiver problem, not a transmit problem, in that the receiver is not properly muting when the transmitter is engaged with PTT (when in CW mode).  The AGC-T control should not have that much affect upon the background noise. 
But whatever we call it, I agree that it needs attention.

My workaround is not intended to replace a more effective solution, but to give people a tool to assist them while they wait for what I hope is a more complete solution.  And to help share with the engineers at Flex where I think the hang-up is located in the TX/RX switching.

Perhaps I would have been more accurate to label it a "workaround" rather than a solution.  But for some, it may be a good one, depending upon how they learn to control the AGC-T.  

On the other hand.  My other purpose is to address the continuing misunderstandings of the proper use of the AGC-T control, which makes the noise problem worse while not gaining the user one whit of additional receiver performance.

Once the AGC-T gain control is advanced to the right beyond the point where the background noise stops increasing (I'll call that the right edge of the sweet zone) there is absolutely no advantage whatsoever in advancing it further.  In fact, it keeps the AGC from reducing the background noise on signals that are just at the edge of AGC control.  And it adds to the overall receiver noise, user fatigue, etc.  

It also adds dramatically to the unmuted noise with PTT problem.  Running it "full-bore" to the right, or even anything at all higher than needed, adds to the noise.  The further to the right, the louder the noise with PTT, without improving receiver performance at all.

We are in general agreement that this is not an optimal solution.

But I think that it is workable for some ops until a better solution is implemented. 
I cannot "un-recommend" advice that may be helpful to some operators because of fear that a better solution would be delayed.  That would be like refusing a splint today because I am hoping for a cast to be put on next week.

However I am also aware from other discussions in other venues that this is a very difficult nut to crack and not as easy as many people seem to think, since we are dealing with multiple audio sources, multiple slices, with differing levels of AGC-T, Volume, etc, which sometimes may be operating in Full Duplex Mode.  Getting all of that to play nicely on the Flex is very complicated.

Cheers,

Ken - NM9P
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Douglas Maxwell

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Hi Ken, for me PTT should mean PTT and MOX should mean MOX. When I press it, I expect the receiver to be muted, this is the bug. AGC-T is an interesting receiver subject and there are plenty of other more relevant posts on this forum to discuss it. However, I'm sure your helpful suggestion will be of use to some users though, so well done.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Doug, I really hope this gets done. What I think may have happened,  I'm sure Flex has not ignored your asking of this. I think as Ken mentioned that the fix may be more complicated then any of us understand, so they considered what was involved and how long would it take, and the bad thing...the fix for the noise lost out.

This must happen to a lot of things that could be fixed.
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Douglas Maxwell

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Hi Bill, In my opinion we are now past the stage of complexity excuses and are losing credibility due to bugs affecting simple functionality that we all take for granted with other brands. Hopefully if Flex can get the basics right, we can then move on to new functionality. I want multi-flex, but I want basic functionality more. Just my two cents.
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TF4M

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I just checked for this on my 6600M running v3 and the radio mutes properly when the ATU is on. When the ATU is set to Bypass it does not mute.
Thor, TF4M
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TF4M

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I wrote this some time ago. "I just checked for this on my 6600M running v3 and the radio mutes properly when the ATU is on. When the ATU is set to Bypass it does not mute."

And today Jan 2, 2020  the radio does not mute whether the ATU is on or off.  My 6600M appears to be possessed by demons, when will Flex take note of these problems?
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Bill -VA3WTB

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TF4M,, I believe Flex is aware of them.
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TF4M

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Bill, thank you I hope so. 

I am using very large separate RX antennas on Top Band, and it appears to me that since the receiver is not muted during transmit, that my own transmissions are getting back into the radio at a very high level and possibly a slight processing delay, throwing me completely off when using a paddle.   

I will probably take the radio to the local shooting range if there is no fix promptly.
  
Flex should consider the possible impact to their sales if a basic issue is not dealt with in a timely manner.   4 years?  Not acceptable.
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Douglas Maxwell

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My limit was 3 years and I chose an FTDX101D over a 6600 due to this issue. I use my 6500 occasionally, but can’t stand it on CW, a real shame.
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KF4HR

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Whether my ATU is on (Success indicator), or bypassed, activating the MOX does not mute the audio in the CW mode on my 6700.

Allowing a 4 year old bug to continue through multiple software revisions does seem bizarre.  The odd way the Flex-6700 deals with opening a 2M slice has no fix (just a work around).  Maybe FRS has reached a limit to where certain problems just cannot be fixed or further improved; perhaps due to certain hardware limitations.

It would be great if FRS would provide some detailed insight as to what known bugs or improvements are being addressed by their programmers.


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WW1SS - Steve

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FRS is not going to let us know what is going on. The bugs have been there for 4 years they're not gonna get fixed.Just about any other company works on them almost immediately. We will just have to deal with the bugs. I imagine they're all on that Ratheon contract as there have been no updates in a long time now.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Lets keep things in focus here. The last update was Sept 17 2019. Flex will release at least 4 updates per year. In 2019 there were 5. I expect an update soon given the time from the last one. Who knows. The new contracts they are working on have nothing to do with how many updates there will be. Flex has explained this to us.

Flex is not likely to give much information about what they are working on. I have put together some  information that Gerald has given out over the last few years on this subject.
Flex has meetings every Monday to discuss projects, software, fixes. and timelines.  Many things that are on the production board, things they are working on right now could get bumped or stopped, moved ahead depending on many other factor's. In other words projects are always moving. They have to decide what can make it into a given release and what won't. And many times even they don't know what the next release will look like till it is almost ready to go out. This depends on development time, testing, re coding, then more testing. Depending on what it is the testing can take weeks or months.

If we look back at many of the release notes, you will count around 40 to 50 fixes each release. Sometimes lower.

Flex has learned from the past, that if they were to say,, we are working on A B and C for this next update but D G and C was done, people would say,,hey what about the things you said? what about what I think is important? That information remains to be kept internal. And Flex has the right to do so.
So as mentioned above, many things are in constant transition and many thing they hope for do not make it in the next update.
I know for some this is not acceptable. And use this as a way to sling mud at Flex.

According to the Fex engineers, the radio hardware is no were close to being exhausted in it capabilities. And just because Flex has not fixed your personal want's does not mean they can't fix it.
(Edited)
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WW1SS - Steve

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I do not consider a 4 year old bug in CW a "want". It is a major bug that no other radio out there has. How about they just surprise us and just fix the bugs as I don't want to know what they are working on.
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WW1SS - Steve

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I certainly wasn't . . . Just stating a truth. This is getting real old with the bugs not getting fixed.
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KC2QMA_John

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That ANAN or K4 is starting to look more appealing as more time passes. It’s not to say that what FlexRadio has achieved is less that Amazing but my fear is the bug list continues to grow as they add more features that people didn’t even ask for and just a few that people did and add that they now have a multi-million dollar government contract that the Amateur radio division will end up taking a back seat. I could be wrong and hope that I am. Maybe their work with Raytheon will accelerate development for the amateur radio division and will see more bug fixes, updates more often? I guess only time will tell.

I am still on version 2.4.9 as it for the most part is the most stable for me. I still enjoy my 6600M and Maestro and plan to stick with FlexRadio as long as I can, and let’s hope that’s a long, long time!
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TF4M

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I have to backtrack a bit.  Going through all the settings, I just discovered that FDX was activated in my radio.

This certainly explains the racket when I had another slice open on the same band and I am sorry if I was harsh in my judgment.

I have now set a delay of 300mS (!) in the TX Menu (front panel control on 6600M) and I now have relative quiet between CW elements when sending by hand.   

It no longer appears to matter if the ATU is activated or not.   The radio sends a PTT signal to the amplifier when CW is sent, and releases it immediately and the Delay setting in the TX Menu seems to be added to this PTT signal, whereas other delay setting delay the start of transmission..  

This delay seems to be a workable solution for me, although the original issue is how I think things should work.   PTT=MOX with a quick turnaround back to receive. 
  
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Remember the survey we all took part in? I hope that is steering Flex in their direction these days. I'm sure we all understand that we must allow time for some updates to roll out before we know for sure.
Because of the complexity of SSDR development and weeks and months of testing I wonder if it is even possible to release more than 4 updates per year?

I remember Gerald saying that , sure we can release more often but fewer things will get done in a long run.
The new contract? Flex has hired more staff to help with the commercial side of the business. Flex has had a commercial side for many many years, and yet think of all the ham products they have developed? A government contract is nothing new. These contracts help benefit us all. Did you know that the Flex 6000 radios were born from a government contract? The technology in our radios were being used in a government project and Gerald thought, ummm what if we did that in our ham radios as well? Can we do it? and there we have it.
Of course since the 6000 came out all the other radio companies are trying to do the same thing with their new products, but most are not willing to spend the money on big software development. So they have radios that have a direct sampling receiver but with hardware filters and an analog audio TX.

Wonder what's next?
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Bill -VA3WTB

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TF4M, I don't do CW much I admit so this is not much a problem for me. Glad you discovered that FDX thing. I know others have worked with the delay timing as well but I hope Flex will work on a proper fix for it soon as well.