I love this radio, but I don't love Windows/computers

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  • Updated 2 years ago
Windows 10:  "Unable to connect to the radio. Please power cycle ...."  Did that, plus reset factory default.  No change.  Not a clue. Everything was working fine, now this.  Yes, did uninstall Smart SDR  1.9 and 1.10, no difference.  My guess it is a computer (operator) issue.  Love this radio but the computer side is too frequently a challenge...  Thanks  Bill, AH6FC
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Bill Carnett

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Posted 2 years ago

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KF4HR

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I totally agree Bill.  Lately I've found myself jumping through all sorts of hoops to get my PC (and Virus Software) to work with SSDR and SSDR Cat, especially after I receive Windows updates.  I'm at a point now where I'm thinking about buying dedicated PC just for my Flex-6700 and minimize its Internet connect time.  My hope is someday to get to a point where I turn the Flex and PC on, it works the first time and every time, and not having to fight my PC issues.  Sad to say but occasionally when I don't feel like fighting the good fight I find myself reaching over and turning on my ICOM 7800.  On the plus is, most of the time my Flex-6700 is worth my PC battles. 
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KF4HR

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I should probably add I'm running Windows 7 (64-bit) on an i7 PC.  Reference my SSDR Cat issues, I've been exchanging emails with Dudley latel.  He mentioned the new Beta version has a new FlexVSP Driver based on Fabulatech driver and this driver is causing an issue with flagging a growing number of virtual com ports as "In Use", and pointed to a repair on the helpdesk.  He also suggested I do a Repair on FlexVSP.  Unfortunately neither of these procedures has fixed my SSDR CAT connectivity problem.  So far, my only resolution  has been to reload SSDR from scratch each time I turn my PC on. 

Microsoft plans to support Windows 7 through January 14, 2020, so I assume W7 users will continue to receive updates through then.
(Edited)
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Bill Carnett

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I feel better.  Have been considering the same thing.  I did buy an Intel Nuc, which I'm using now with this problem.  Was using iMac with Parallels, which works fine until it doesn't.  I readily admit it might be something I'm doing, but I don't have a clue what it could be.  Great radio, except for the PC piece.  Hopefully somebody can shed some light on this situation.  Thanks again. Bill
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Michael Coslo

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My best preforming PC setup is using bootcamp with Windows 7 on my Mac. Mostly problem free. Bootcamp addresses the hardware directly, and I have had 0 problems with the system running on bootcamp. And since W7 doesn't get updates any more, it is reliable. Having supported Windows computers since XP days, Microsoft has always broken software other than hteir own. W10 where you are going to take the updates whether you want them or not - it's simply giong to break at some point. I was lucky for the better part of a year. Now? Not so much.
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Bill Boutwell-KB0BK

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Agree - I have a dedicated Mac Mini with 16GB and 1TB SSD running Bootcamp and W7 Pro. I have had zero issues with my 6700.  Tried W10 and found it was a big mistake.  I switched back to W7 and all is good again.
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Jim Gilliam

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I got sick of the same thing. Bought a second Sata Solid-state drive, installed with Windows 7 and that was that. Until 10 is stabilized and Flex supports 7, I will dedicate this second drive to my SDR. It's very easy to install a second drive and windows 7 is available on ebay.


Jim, K6QE

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Winston VK7WH

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Same here Jim.

I'm have been using a Chinese Fanless PC, essentially a large heat sink, running Win7 for 12 months now at my remote site, with absolutely zero problems. Intel i5 gen 6, 250GB Solid state eSata, 16GB. I run it directly off 12 Volts and while I can turn it off remotely, I prefer to leave it running continuously as it draws less than 6 watts idling. It has never had any problems connecting to my 6700. To save battery power however, I do not run the 6700 continuously.

I'm see no reason to change to Win 10 at the moment, particularly as I hate the Win 10 interface, and have no use for a touch screen at the remote site. Hi hi.

73

Winston
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Wow. I have two windows computers (Windows 10 desktop and macbook pro with windows 10 via bootcamp) and they work pretty well. I am not sure what else to say. 
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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The problem that I've been having (and I'm a computer guy) is if I leave my radio PC powered down for a while... when I turn it on to play radio, it gets HAMMERED with updates. The damn system can get down right unresponsive and the network bandwidth gets absorbed.

Very annoying. Very.

The next update of Windows (coming in May) will make it possible to "postpone" updates.

Peter
K1PGV
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Updates are necessary due to security issues. Unfortunately Microsoft just seems to have so many of them. I wish they'd get it right the first time. I keep my computers on basically all the time, so they get updates frequently. 
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KC9NRN

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So often Windows gets blamed for everything from poor choices in hardware causing a system to get bogged down easily to how a radio works within the OS when perhaps it's the software written for the OS that might be to blame or as I said, poor hardware choices.

Not saying that's the case here, my Mac gets constant updates as well, it's the nature of the beast in todays world. The fact Microsoft doesn't allow (it's coming) to postpone updates is mind boggling stupid but they are slowly improving Windows 10.

I had to take my main computer off the insider fast ring because of how the Flex software behaved after the upgrade. Not Flex's fault, nor Microsoft's, it was mine for putting my main machine on the fast ring.

Windows updates in Windows 10 operates invisibly otherwise for me but then the computer it's running on is on the extreme side. Then again I have it running on a pretty normal i5 with 8gigs memory and a 5400 rpm hard drive and I barely notice updates occurring on it as well, it completes and if it needs a reboot it says so.


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Rick

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Bill I feel your pain and share it. I've had countless issues with my win 7 computer using the recent beta version of SmartCAT. If my 6300 was the only piece of gear I interacted with then I could live with it, but I have many other radios, work many modes on many bands and CAT/ comm ports are an ongoing problem that seems to be created by SmartCAT. I often want to just check the bands and it is just too hard with the current problems so I often turn to one of my more traditional radios. When it works it's a wonderful radio but I don't remember ever considering so often selling a radio. It may come to that. Rick, W2JAZ
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Michael Coslo

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If this is any indication, I have SSDR on a Windos 7 machine, SSDR on a Windows 10 machine, and DogPark on my Mac. Dog Park has had exctly 0 problems since installing, the Windows 7 machine a few. My new Windows 10 machine I got at Christmas has had at least 5 uninstall reinstall cycles since I got it in about a month.  Usually an update that you have no choice about is involved.

This is the world's best radio on a brittle Operating system via Windows  I'd suggest upgrading to Windows 7 if you can. 
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Jay / NO5J

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Either that or downgrading to Windows 10.
If that fails to work!

  SDRgadgets

#FlexRadio IRC chat

  73, Jay - NO5J

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k3Tim

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No problems at this station with WiN-10 and latest beta SSDR. Other radios are not in the mix, only fldigi and JT modes are using Smart SDR CAT.  The 'feature' is an excess of VSP-com ports being substantiated is in play but doesn't seem to cause a problem. 

I have swapped network configurations at times and it seems it takes a reboot or two of everything to get back to consistent performance. An IP camera I have was having trouble streaming data and the problem turned out to be the Ethernet cable was not up to the speed grade (1 Gbit).
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N5LB - Lionel B

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Running the latest SSDR beta on W10x64 AMD A10, ASUS MB, and plain vanilla video card with no issues.  This computer is mostly for radio running fldigi, sdrcat, dax, frstack.  I run chrome and edge simultaneously and open office all while using my 6300 with no issues.  Com ports are fine.  I am not using ddutil, or VSP.  SmartCAT is fine.  This computer is usually online and has latest anti virus and malware software running.   Auto updates come in whenever MS wants to add to "my" system. 

I suppose one day I'll find a way to break it but for now the 6300/computer is very stable.   Every so often I had stability issues with PSDR on this system, mostly irritating but not disabling. 
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Rick

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I believe the problem may come into play if you have the need, as I do running PowerSDR with a legacy Flex Radio, to use some other virtual comm port app such as VSPmanager, VSPE, or Comm0Comm. I believe this is what causes problems even if these other virtual comm port generators are avoiding ports created by SmartSDR. I'm no engineer so I can't be certain, but a number of things at my station seem to be pointing to this as a problem.
Rick, W2JAZ
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Bill Carnett

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Thanks for all of the replies.  With Dudley's help (continuing now) and some exploration of Windows 10, I've been able to get the radio working.  Currently every time I power down the radio then come back up, the radio's IP address changes.  Dudley suspects our router/local network is changing it somehow.  Earlier today and last PM it was switching between 2 IP addresses.  Now a third one just populated the setup screen on the SmartSDR.  Fascinating...but now have to fix it, once and for all.
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KC9NRN

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Bill,

The easy way to solve this is to use an IP address reservation in the router using the NIC card mac address from the Flex radio which will give the radio the same address every time.

(Edited)