Intermittent RX signal attenuation

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  • Updated 3 years ago
Last night I was participating in an 80 m net and my RX level dropped by at least 20 dB. Panadapter level dropped and waterfall went from blue to black in RX. Using a 6300 and Maestro. The first time it happened hitting PTT brought RX back to normal level. Panadapter and waterfall recovered as well. It happened again a short time later and the only way to recover that time was a complete power cycle. The problem went away after the power cycle. I've seen this happen once before but didn't report it thinking I did something to cause it.

Bruce. WB3BW
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Bruce WB3BW

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Posted 3 years ago

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Rob Blackie

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hmm, don't like the sound of that mate.. could be something and nothing though. probably software related as the power cycle sorted it .

rob 2MOLDT

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Steven G1XOW

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Bruce,

I have seen something similar a few times over the last 6 months on by 80m 1/4 waver vertical. Got me thinking it might have been a bad coax or connector etc, but then a few weeks later I also notice in on another antenna with a completely different coax run, different amp, different antenna, i.e. nothing else was the same from the back of the SDR to the antenna. Again TX a few more times tends to bring it back in line.

Could be a sticking relay inside the Flex maybe. Its almost like someone has turned the preamp off (even though there is no preamp as such on 40/80m).

73 de Steve G1XOW
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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This can happen with WNB enabled and with a value of 100. I still do not understand how WNB functions (behind the scenes) and what do the different values DO. But I have seen that behavior you are describing when the WNB is all the way up and a strong signal appears in the panadapter.
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Mike - W8MM

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I have also seen the 20 dB drop when changing antennas from A to B on 6 meters with the WNB engaged.  Turning WNB off and back on "cured" the symptom.

I also thought it was a flaky relay until I noticed that WNB settings above 95ish seemed to be related.
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Cal Spreitzer

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Hi Bruce,   how do you have your Maestro connected your 6300?  My Maestro froze once with the waterfall area going black while connected to my WIFI network.  I'm pretty sure my Maestro froze due to loosing the WIFI signal. 

Cal/N3CAL       

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Mike va3mw

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If you have eliminated anything external to the radio as being intermittent, This means every connection from the connector on the back. You might also want to try using Ant 2 for a while.


Beyond that, I would open a support case.


Mike va3mw
(Edited)
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Bruce WB3BW

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The Maestro is hardwired. No WIFI. Noise blankers were off. Preamp was off. Software is 1.7.30. Can't say for sure but think I got hit with a big signal just before RX dropped.
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Rob Blackie

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a bit OT but ..i don't have a maestro, but my pc is hardwired to the router, and i STILL  get latency warnings .. something amiss with smartSDR
(Edited)
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Mike va3mw

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Hi Bruce

For my thoughts, it was looking at this from the RF end only. I doubt this has anything to do with latency or the network.

Based on what you are saying, it sounds like a bad T/R relay, but it would be good to eliminated the environment as much as possible.

Mike
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Mike va3mw

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If you are getting Latency warnings, then something on your PC is consuming a lot of resources. Latency issues pretty much went away as the faster computers got so much cheaper. You can even run SSDR versions on an iPad very well and that has lots less horse power than any current desktop.

I have had awesome success with AVG PC Tuneup (and I am very very cautious about their stuff), but I tested it on my wife's :) first and it was night and day difference. It does this by managing those resources that are always sitting in 'idle'. It is free to try and fully functional.

http://www.avg.com/ppc/ww-en/performa...

MIke va3mw
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Rob Blackie

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a 6 core processor 12gb ddr2 ram, .. fresh OS install, I shouldn't have latency issues lol.. I dunno mate.

anyway, il shut up, don't want to hijack Bruce's thread, :)

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Bruce WB3BW

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Under normal circumstances I would agree with T/R relay or something in the path but this happened while sitting in RX out of the blue. During TX all was fine. Good VSWR, output power normal.
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Rick Hadley - W0FG

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I have an instance like that on 30m that occurs frequently, but I'm certain that it's related to my vertical antenna. It normally only happens on 30, though I may have witnessed one instance on 40. I do get the drop in in RX level, though I have not noticed a drastic change in the waterfall.  A blip of the key brings it back, and when it reaches the point of being really annoying, I go out and spray the antenna with contact cleaner and the problem goes away for a few weeks.
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Jerry Wilk

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Started having the same problem about three weeks ago with the RX randomly dropping.   By applying TX tune power the RX will come back to a normal level until the next random RX drop.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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I recommend you open a HelpDesk support ticket so the behavior can be investigated.
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Jerry Wilk

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After observing the Flex 6300 for a while I observed that the RX attenuation problem only happens when the wind is blowing hard enough to twist my yagi antenna.  I concluded the problem must be an intermittent connection difficulty at the antenna itself.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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that sounds like a pain, hope you find out...