Lockup issue and V2.0 / V1.11

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Hi,

Is there a fix for the lockup issue in the proposed service release V1.11. And if not  (presumably because route cause has still not been found) has somebody who experiences the problem been used to test V2.0 to determine if the lockup problem carries over to V2.0
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Andy M5ZAP

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Posted 2 years ago

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Jim Gilliam

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I am not familiar with the lock-up issue nor have I ever experienced it on any of several computers nor my iPad/iPhone. I own two 6500's. Have you tried different computers and experienced this same lock-up problem? It would make me think there is a glitch in your radio.


Jim, K6QE

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David Livingston

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Yes I have and the problems continues. I have tried three different computers. Two new computers with new Windows10 installs with all updates.  No other software installed.  With heavy use during a QSO party and with just being left on for and extended period of time. K4CAE. My mobile phone is on QRZ if you would like to contact me.  Regards, David
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Changing computers likely won't help. For sure this is in the radio firmware. 
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Andy M5ZAP

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Hi Jim

It is the flex locking up, it doesn't affect all users and has been discussed at great length in other threads.
(Edited)
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Jim Gilliam

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Maybe it is a heat issue on your radio. I wish I had followed this issue on other threads. Hope you get it resolved. Since it seems to be related to a few select radios, perhaps Flex would want to use your radio to help diagnose the problem to see why this occurs on a few select radios. Perhaps some of the chips are not up to spec and no software can fix this possible hardware problem.

Jim

(Edited)
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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The truthful answer is "hopefully".  We have not definitively found the root cause for the relatively small percentage of radios experiencing the crashing problem (the numbers do not minimize the severity, it just makes it much harder to find root cause when it isn't systemic).  If we had found a root cause, the fix would have been released immediately.

Whenever a major feature is added to the software, like SmartLink, it touches many different areas in the code and through whitebox testing exposes weaknesses or issues we may have overlooked.

Through the course of adding the new feature, we address those areas and make fixes and optimizations along the way.  We affectionately refer to this as "under the covers" fixes; things that have no visual component but improves stability and performance.  It is the serendipity effect.  This happened a lot when working on contesting enhancements in the past 2 minor releases.

We have done a lot of "under the covers" type work for 2.0.  Recent alpha testing for 2.0 has provided some strong empirical evidence that one or a multiple of fixes implemented as part of the work done for SmartLink has greatly improved radio stability.  It is partially due to this fact that after 2.0 is released, we will use its code as the basis for the 1.11 maintenance release.  Essentially it will be 2.0 code fixes with the 2.0 specific features removed.  Our expectation is that this will improve the stability of the radio and be a remedy for those experiencing periodic crashes. I anticipate that we'll share 1.11 beta releases with some who have reported the problem and are good candidates for testing.

If the crashes (not disconnects, which has a different problem pathology) continue for some, we'll reopen our investigations and dig a little deeper on those specific issues. 
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Andy M5ZAP

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Has anyone who is experiencing the issue on 1.10.16 tested V2.0 ?

One of the main reasons I am worried is, if it is a hardware issue that is causing the lockup (such as a stack up of tolerances) and as your future software places more and more demand on the hardware I could be  stuck with a radio that wont run software beyond 1.9.13. If that was the case I would need to return it before my warranty runs out.
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Michael Coslo

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Have you tried running it on a different computer?
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Andy M5ZAP

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It's the flex that locks up not the computer! Plus we don't want to restart the old thread. I am just trying to ascertain if V2.0 solves the problem for the many users with the same problem.

But thanks for the suggestion:)
(Edited)
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Andy M5ZAP

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Hi Tim,

Any chance of an official response on the part of my post asking if you have got a user who experiences lockups on 1.10.16 to test V2.0 to determine if the problem carries over. Even though your reply was quite detailed it did not answer that specific point.

If the answer is "Yes" then did the problem persist. If your answer is "no" which I presume it will be judging by your reply, then will you be planning to perform this obvious test as it will help me and many other people suffering the flex lockup problem make a purchasing decision.

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Bill -VA3WTB

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In Tim's reply to you he said they will likely have some of the ones having this problem beta test 1.11,,that was 7 hours ago...
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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I also expect that we will also know more when some people who have the problem test v2.0, which will be sooner than v1.11.
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Andy M5ZAP

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Gerald,

Thanks for your reply, I appreciate you answering the actual question asked.

Have you supplied replacement hardware to an owner who suffers the lockup problem?

This simple test would allow you to determine if the flex hardware has an influence and also potentially give you hardware that reproduces the fault.

By you own admission in another post "All your software team is working on is V2.0"

My route forward with this problem is as follows

1 - Test my hardware setup using a different PC connected directly to my flex with a different power supply, Ethernet cable etc. Eliminating the PC, network and power supply.

2 - Listen only so RF cannot be blamed.

3 - If the problem still persists then test the radio on V2.0 when it is released.

4 - If the above does not fix the issue it has to be flex hardware related and the unit will be returned under warranty I would also expect the cost of V2.0 to be refunded. As my warranty will expire I am time constrained and if  V2.0 is not released within 2 months I will be forced to skip testing V2.0  

All the above are simple tests and all could of been completed by flex.

Now before I get slated and ridiculed by the loyal flex followers (I'm not a nasty terrible person just a guy trying to sort out a problem) please bare in mind, yes I have tried to sell my flex and I got one low offer from the forum (I wish I had taken it now) and a couple of people interested in the UK. But because I have integrity I explained it had the lockup issue and then there interest stopped abruptly. No I didn't buy the radio as an investment, I purchased it to use and enjoy, but I do like to upgrade and try new kit and I didn't expect to loose half the value of the radio in 8 months.

I am a person who likes anything I own or use to be setup and work perfectly (Perfectionist?) I get as much pleasure setting up my radio system (Hardware and software) as I do operating. Hence when part of my system doesn't work it spoils my enjoyment. Some people are happy to simply reset there system and carry on for me it really bugs me. And to make it worse I cant resolve it!!

I am not expecting an instant reply as I understand it is your holiday. Hope you have a good holiday and look forward to your reply on your return to work!
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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Andy,

Not much time off today for me.  ;>)

Unfortunately, we have not been able to recreate this problem internally but we do believe it to be software.  It is a real problem for a small percentage of our customers - maybe 1%.  

Your test process sounds reasonable but you should also try testing with v1.9, which you can do immediately.  v2 is in the final test stage so it will be out very soon.  Once v2 is in the field we will evaluate to see if it has resolved the issues some customers are having.  If so, we can then move that code base into a v1.11 for those who do not wish to upgrade.  As far as I know, the people testing v2 are not seeing the issues.

I sounds like your radio is only 8 months old so you have another 16 months of warranty left so you don't have a problem on that front.  

It would be helpful if you would enter a Help Desk ticket so we can track your issue and the results of your testing.  You can enter a ticket from our website here:

https://helpdesk.flexradio.com/hc/en-us/articles/202118688-How-to-Submit-a-Request-for-Technical-Support

Thanks and 73,
Gerald
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Andy M5ZAP

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Hi Gerald

1 - I have already reliably run on 1.9.13 the problem was not present, the first 1.10 public beta was horrendous with many lockups which improved on the second public Beta and remained at that level in 1.10.16 release.

2 - I did have a help ticket open but after logging software was put on my PC by flex to try and capture the issue and the issue did not occur for two weeks while the software was installed the ticket was closed!? Do you want me to open another ticket ?

The problem is quite sporadic in nature, but often happens in clusters with 2 or 3 or more lockups in a short period of time. At one point I even thought the problem had gone away after the logging software was installed but it did return and has be sporadically present still.

Also for any contests i downgraded to 1.9.13

Again I feel that to recreate the issue obtaining hardware from a local owner in the USA experiencing the problem would potentially help you recreate the problem if there is a hardware influence.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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The plan is to validate the fixes in the 2.0 release.  Migrate them into a 1.11 release.  If at that time if anyone continues to experience the lockup issues, then we'll address those specifically via our HelpDesk ticket process.  Thanks for your continued patience while we work through our plan.
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Paul Mandel

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Tim I have been a supporter of your efforts and appreciate your help in mitigating my crashes, but this post is tone deaf.  Let me tell you how it reads to me.  "We want to get the revenue generating software out there before we take care of our obligation to the existing base."   I am sure that is not what the company means but that is how it sounds, at least, to me.   
(Edited)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@Paul

You are definitely misinterpreting what Tim said

V2 has some entirely new code in it which may cure the problem of lockups entirely The best way to test this is to put out V2 and test it over a wide customer base to see if it does the trick

If so, then the new code of V2 would be integrated into V1.11 as a fix for non upgrades
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Michael Coslo

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- Paul Computer based software, especially in the Windows 10 ecosystem, is an issue. Flex isn't remotely the only manufacturer to have these problems, especially with Windows updates. For myself, I had one lockup, then a re-install of the software, and after the next W10 update, the problem hasn't come back. What does that mean? I have my ideas, but attempts to get people with problems to post their hardware suites and not gettting any response, that troubleshooting effort went nowhere.

And this is based on a hunch ( technical term) that there is some hardware with an issue, that there might be a driver that works, but it gets replaced by an update with what Microsoft thinks should be there.  But I was a sample of one, and the software logs are inconclusive. So I move on to finding the next shared element. 

Windows problems, especially ones that are difficult to replicate, are a nightmare for Software writers. Especially when we want to blame the software writers and not the root cause of the problem. That would be Microsoft. 
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Andy M5ZAP

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Sorry Michael,

I think you mis-understand the problem. It is not the Smart SDR for windows which is locking up it is the Flex firmware itself. The radio locks and becomes unresponsive.It has been discussed quite a lot in a previously closed post.

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Paul Mandel

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Howard and Michael - I do not think I misinterpreted Tim's comment at all.   Reading it again I will still stand by my comment that it is tone deaf.  The COM port issue has a purported fix but it has not been released, the DAX issue has a purported fix but has not been release to the general community.  I am  beginning to resent the fact that i have to use a third party program every day or so to clear my COM ports so that my FLEX software does not crash.

Many of us on this board my, self included, have either worked for, as in my case, owned hardware companies that have lived through similar problems with random support issues that seemed unsolvable.   I can bore you with 10's if not 100's  of cases of issues that cropped up in the late 80's through the late 90's with my own hard drive and tape drive subsystem company and troubleshooting personal configurations.  We supported Windows, Sun, MAC and AS-400 so I have had my share of it works here but does not work there and even we cannot duplicate it in our shop issues.  In our own shop our initial DLT implementation worked on one RISC AS-400 but and identical machine just a few serial numbers away with the exact configuration would not see the drive. Noodle that one for a while.  

In the 80's there was an awful book written, awful in my opinion, by Tom Peters titled 'In Search of Excellence'.  I had the opportunity to hear Peters speak at a bank function in Dallas where someone asked him why he thought IBM was such a good company.  I will never forget his answer  'When an IBM customer has a problem they send 30 people to fix it; 29 by parachute'.  Being a 3090 shop in 1985/6 I can attest to that statement being true.

It seems from Tim's comment and others we do not even have one person in a row boat working on the old code.  Our hopes are pinned to the possibility that 2.0 is the fix while I continue to clear my COM ports each day hoping that is a root cause of at least one of the crashes and for the record I believe it is since my crashes are down to one every few weeks instead of one every few minutes.

These issue exist on bare machines with only minimal additions.  I have had crashes on an Intel i5 and an AMD 9XX 8 core. The Intel had nothing but SmartSDR, DDUTL, Ham Radio Deluxe and WSJT-X software.  The only non-ham radio software was Chrome.  

I will say it again, I have been a supporter of Flex on finding this issue but Tim's  comment is tone deaf to the people that are having issues.  

(I use Windows 7 not Windows 10)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@Paul

We have similar backgrounds of running our own high tech shops except mine started in the mid 60's. Lost my appreciation of IBM when we caught them stealing our patents albeit we were ultimately successful in the courts in getting them to buy licenses
'
I do think ur missing the point.

The Lockups are a head scratcher Not reproducible or easily identifiable or for that matter only affecting a tiny percentage of the customer base. All attempts at fixes have failed so far as Flex does not know the cause or a possible fix

The definition of insanity is to repeat the same thing and expect a different result..

So flex, in my opinion has come up with innovative solution Rather than wasting resources trying to fix something in v1 they can't find they decided to rewrite the CodeBase from scratch and see if the rewritten CodeBase fixes the problem. Hence version 2.0 which will have a completely new code base and hopefully after testing in a wider environment may have found to have a cure the problem

Flex is very close to releasing version 2.0. Once it's released we'll see if it fixes the problem
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Paul Mandel

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Howard - I appreciate your point of view and in the end it will probably workout the best for the community, but the fact that it only affecting a few machines is a fallacy in my opinion.  I have spoken with a number of Flex owners that do not follow this board that have not reported the problem.  How about Flex emailing all of the owners an asking if they are having the problem if they want to maintain that position?  My bet is that census will show a much different result than the company currently stands on. In lieu of that, if the software is nearly ready, send out a few timed copies to the people that are having the most issues (no not me I am not an early adopter)  and see how it works in the crashing environment.   

I was the Treasurer of an alternate long distance company in the early 80's (the era of 27 digit dialing to only pay $0.25 a minute for a long distance call) and I made the following comment in one of our board meetings.  There are two types of people that quit using us, those that call up, yell and scream, swear they will never use us again and those that just never use us again.   Flex's 'close to the vest policy' is not helping me stay out of the second group.   Many will leave and more important in the name of close to the vest policy they are losing customers who have decided to just not use them again.

I stand by my comment that telling people that you are going to release the revenue software before you address the non-revenue software issues is Tone Deaf.   It may be the truth but surely there is a better way to tell the masses that you are second fiddle. 
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NM1W

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Tim - Is Howard correct that 2.0 is a "completely new code base" ? And does that include a new (hopefully fixed) dax?
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Completely new as in we started from scratch?  No. SmartSDR v2.0 was built on 1.10.16.  What is new is that for the past several months we have put all our development effort into what has become the 2.0 code base.  It contains numerous fixes and improvements to existing features and capabilities in addition to the two new core features in 2.0 - SmartLink and Popout Panels.

As I have said before when you add a major feature like SmartLink, it ends up touching a lot of code.  During this process, you discover things that result in core blocks of code getting refactored (rewritten).  The end result is you come away with a software product that has better performance and stability.  

It would be resource wasteful to have our engineering team split in order to work on two code bases at the same time.  Instead, we address problems reported on 1.x by testing for them using our 2.0 code base and then address anything we discover in 2.0.  We'll then take the 2.0 code base and merge it into 1.x code base as 1.11 when 2.0 is released.  This way, the 1.x customer receives a more comprehensive set of code fixes and improvements.  In this particular case, it will take a little longer before we got a 1.11 fix out than is ideal, but it will be a better release than if it was released last month, as the fixes we implement today will be in the 1.11 code.

Case in point, while testing the 2.0 release candidate code over the holidays, we stressed an internal routine that was called from multiple locations in the code into an edge case condition that caused a radio crash.  We found the root cause and fixed it making the software better. Is this the crash that is affecting 1.10.16?  Maybe.

Now we could take the thousands of changes we have made for 2.0 and merge them into 1.10, but that is a lot of tedious work and provides multiple opportunities for making a mistake.  Instead, we will take the 2.x code base, remove the 2.0 specific changes and licensing requirements and build 1.11.  This way people choosing to continue to use 1.x will have all of the bug fix benefits as 2.0.

This was a business decision FlexRadio made that allows us to meet multiple goals simultaneously.  Was it a perfect decision that will please everyone?  No.  That is impossible, but as with any business, you have to balance multiple needs and we felt that this was the right thing to do.

For SmartSDR v2.0, DAX has not undergone any changes.  It is, however, one of the items we have scheduled to address in a future version of SmartSDR v2.x.  
(Edited)
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NM1W

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Its very disappointing that DAX will continue to be unreliable in V2.0.... It has yet to be a viable solution, with its frequent receive corruption and xmit corruption. I would hope Flex has been able to repro the frequent DAX issues....
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Bill -VA3WTB

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mm1w
You know for sure dax will be unreliable?
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NM1W

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VA3WTB - per Tim's commetnts: "For SmartSDR v2.0, DAX has not undergone any changes.  It is, however, one of the items we have scheduled to address in a future version of SmartSDR v2.x."

Since it hasnt changed, I expect the same problems; FRS had acknowledged the DAX issues.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I only really have occasional problems with DAX, and nothing a reboot won't fix, even on production versions. Yes there are issues with occasional corruption but nothing like some want to make it seem. But that's just me I guess,
(Edited)
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NM1W

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When running 4 slices on wsjtx one gets to see the dax issues fairly often..
Rebooting due to dax issues, or radio crashes is a PITA. (having now had 4 radio tonal crashes in the past 4 days while only running cw, nothing advanced like using dax or wsjtx...)
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Steve Gw0gei

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Let's hope v2.0 comes out soon, so this wider testing can commence and those of us not wanting wan can wait as little as possible for the subsequent 1.11 maintenance release. I will be travelling tomorrow to a host station with a pair of ft5k radios in antenna diversity mode for 40m cw band slot as part of the rsgb gr2hq team in iaru contest. My 6300 is only being used for casual operating and the odd domestic contest at present until the random crash issue is solved. Tried selling it over the last six months but no takers despite reducing the price several times. On the plus side my wife is happier as I am spending less time on the radio! That may change shortly though as I have just taken delivery of one of the first production models of Linear Amp Uk 's new 1.2kw full duty cycle solid state 2m pa - delivered on time , 24 hours after I paid the emailed invoice and three months after my no deposit order was taken. Will be visiting their workshop on 20th July to see the pre production model of the new solid state fully auto lan enabled 1kw hf/6m pa under test - with the state of the uk pound value it might turn out cheaper to put two of these new amps on my a and b inputs on my 4o3a antenna genius than a single power genius.
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Paul Mandel

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"It would be resource wasteful to have our engineering team split in order to work on two code bases at the same time.  Instead, we address problems reported on 1.x by testing for them using our 2.0 code base and then address anything we discover in 2.0.  We'll then take the 2.0 code base and merge it into 1.x code base as 1.11 when 2.0 is released.  This way, the 1.x customer receives a more comprehensive set of code fixes and improvements.  In this particular case, it will take a little longer before we got a 1.11 fix out than is ideal, but it will be a better release than if it was released last month, as the fixes we implement today will be in the 1.11 code."

Tim - contrary to your statement this is how companies write new versions.  One team keeps working on the old code so that the customer base stays loyal and the other team develops the new code  incorporating the changes that the maintenance team finds and fixes if appropriate.  
 
"... We'll then take the 2.0 code base and merge it into 1.x code base as 1.11 when 2.0 is released.  This way, the 1.x customer receives a more comprehensive set of code fixes and improvements.  In this particular case, it will take a little longer before we got a 1.11 fix out than is ideal, but it will be a better release than if it was released last month, as the fixes we implement today will be in the 1.11 code."

Not that I expect Flex to take my advice (or get an answer) but why not let the license manager decide what people have paid for and what they have not.  Then you will truly not have to release two versions,just download the current version, put in your license ( or no license) and you will have the options you paid for and nothing more.    

If you detect a change in my tone it is that I have reached my personal end of the rope after your post earlier today.    It just took me right off my support of Flex pedestal and sent me to the why do I want to give this company one more dollar side of the fence.  My 6500 is less than 4 months old, I have never complained about buying only to have it obsoleted two months later.  My choice to buy that close to Dayton and I knew the risk, but to basically be put in the category of 'We'll get to you later' is an insult.  

One last question that I do not expect to get a YES as an answer. Since you seem to have eradicated what is possibly the BUG are you willing to give a release date or reasonable window? 


Paul -W4PGM
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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One last question that I do not expect to get a YES as an answer. Since you seem to have eradicated what is possibly the BUG are you willing to give a release date or reasonable window? 

This question was answered by Gerald - "We are not giving a date for v.11 - only it will be after we have broad field experience with v2.0"
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Paul, why, or what has made you 6500 obsoleted? I don't understand it.
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Paul Mandel

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Obsoleted by the companies product announcement.    Obviously it still works if you ignore the crashing.   I made the decision for the 6500 close to Dayton knowing that there was a likelihood of a new announcement.   The trade that Flex gave me for the 6300 was fair at the time and amazing with 20/20 hindsight so I have no issues with the purchase.  

My issue is that the company is Tone Deaf to an issue that is over  6 months old.  Go back  and read the threads and there are complaints 7 months ago and probably longer if I took the time to read all the posts.  Not addressing the issue in 7 or more months and then saying to get a possibly stable platform buy our upgrade or wait until we decide we want to put the time and effort into the 1.11 is an insult to the installed base.   

Why should I support this company any longer if their answer to supporting me is downs grade, wait an unknown time, or pay the upgrade and in all three cases the unsaid Pray?   
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Tim - contrary to your statement this is how companies write new versions.  One team keeps working on the old code so that the customer base stays loyal and the other team develops the new code  incorporating the changes that the maintenance team finds and fixes if appropriate.  
 
Are you familiar with the term "backporting?" This is exactly what Tim described, and is how a lot of companies such as RedHat actually take new fixes and add them to older versions. It's how a lot of dev teams I've worked with have done it. So essentially 1.11 will have backported fixes from the 2.0 code. 

Not every company has the luxury to work on a new version while dedicating staff to maintain an older one. Besides, it's not like 2.0 is really written from scratch anyway, so backporting should be much easier. 
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Paul Mandel

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Ria -Yes I am familiar with the term but what is your point?  So I will get a back ported version, WHEN?   The company is mute to any commitment except to get 2.0 out and in reality the only commitment to 2.0 is RSN (Real Soon Now).   

If a company is so poorly capitalized that they cannot do development and support at the same time then the company is more than likely headed for major issues.   
(Edited)
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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The point is that 2.0 is built on the  1.10 code base and that by developing fixes for 2.0 they are also developing fixes that can and will be put into 1.x, i.e. backported to 1.x. 

Ria
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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Paul,

I understand and sympathize with your concerns.  I wish I could wave a magic wand and resolve it.  Our engineering team invested considerable time and effort into trying to reproduce the problem in house on v1.10 but have been completely unable to do so.  

The v2 code base is built on v1.10 and we have put considerable effort into bug fixes and performance enhancements since the v1.10 release.  Since we are not able to reproduce the problem, our team believes the most timely approach is to backport v2 to v1.11.  We will need a little time after release to see if v2 resolves the problem before doing the backport.

As Ria said, backporting is a common approach even for companies many times our size.  It is simply impractical and not possible in this tiny industry to manage separate teams with different code bases.  I personally know of companies with hundreds of programmers who split code bases and teams with totally disastrous results.  

The technical underpinnings of how the backport gets done whether through license management or otherwise is yet to be worked out.  It may take more time to implement it with license management since that could involve brand new architectural complications. We will take the most expeditious route given time and resource constraints.  As I have explained this on the Community several times now, we want to see if v2 resolves the issue before doing the backport through whichever method is best.  

We are down to final testing now on v2 as we speak.  I don't know the exact day we will release myself but I know for a fact to use your term it is "RSN."

The good news is that your FLEX-6500 will continue to be compatible with many new software features and enhancements to come over the upcoming years should you choose to take advantage of them.  Respectfully, I don't think that meets the true definition of obsolescence.  

I trust that you all appreciate that we take your problem seriously and are taking what we believe is the most expeditious and practical route to a solution.

73,
Gerald
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Paul Mandel

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Gerald,

I have disabled my Flex RSS feed but was alerted to your reply by a friends email this morning.  Thank you for the reply and update.  

Unreproducible or not this is a problem that has been around for over seven months and is the cause of much frustration for many of your customers.  Imagine turning on your Flex and just listening; the radio freezes; turn off the power, reboot the computer and five to thirty minutes later it freezes again.  Now imagine these five or six iterations over a few hours.   For many of us we do not have to imagine we have lived or are living it. 

Now read Tim’s post. Now read my reply. 

No one who runs a company wants this issue and I have great empathy for you and all at Flex that are dealing with the issue but I see no reason to use something that without cause or reason becomes so unstable that it will not stay working.   Until last Friday evening I was living with one or two shutdown/freezes a month after implementing all of Tim’s solutions and clearing my COM ports every day, but on Friday about 9 pm the gremlins returned.   The scenario above was my Friday night.  At midnight I decided that the radio/software/firmware was too unstable and I packed it up. 

I do not normally (even though the other day I  did) tell anyone how to run their company. God knows I told many people over the years who tried to tell me how to run mine ‘Write the Check!’.  Thanks for not giving me a taste of my own medicine.   When 2.X is stable I will buy the update, run the machine again and at that time decide its destiny.   For now I have found a way to avoid the frustration and that is to not use the radio.  

As for the word obsolete, unless I am mistaken and the 6500 is remaining in your line making it not at end of life, then Obsolete is correct.   The Oxford definition of Obsolete is 1) No longer produced or used; out of date 2) Cause (a product or idea) to become obsolete by replacing it with something new.  But then again many of the first sites in the original Oxford English Dictionary were written by Dr. W. C. Minor who was a patient at the Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum so that one may be in question.

Best of luck with the launch of 2.0, the new products and wishing you continued success with your company.  

Paul – W4PGM

   
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Andy M5ZAP

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Gerald,

I understand you are struggling to reproduce the problem (as I am a sceptic / Realist I also think the development of V2.0 and the new hardware has taken priority to fixing the problem), unfortunately the route of hoping that the V2.0 changes will hopefully inadvertently fix the issue is a bit of a long shot.

I also challenge the statement it affects a tiny minority of users.

I will as Paul purchase the V2.0 and if the issue is not fixed be returning the radio under warranty and looking for a refund of my V2.0 purchase.

I am a believer in voting with your feet!

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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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Paul,

Thanks for your respectful response.  We have made many bug fixes and code performance enhancements in v2 that we feel are likely but not guaranteed to resolve the lock up problem you are having.  We feel that getting v2 into the "wild" is the best way to find out.  Assuming success, then back porting v2 to v1.11 will be much more timely than looking for the needle in a haystack on v1.10.  If v2 does not resolve the issue, then we have to go back to looking for the needle.  

As to obsolescence since all FLEX-6000s share a common software architecture and SmartSDR continues to be enhanced, it extends the life through the ability to "get a new radio with each update."  I didn't make that up - customers did.  I use my 3 year old iPad every single day and I don't consider it obsolete because I add new apps all the time and most of them get automatic updates all the time.  It does everything I need and gets more useful all the time.  I just got a new update of SmartSDR for iOS on my iPad this afternoon.

Andy,

Fact correction new hardware has taken virtually no resources away from software development to date.  They run the same SmartSDR.  Yes, v2 has taken resources but those resources have been applied to bug fixes and performance enhancements on the evolving code base.  That work we hope will fix the problems you are having.  We won't know until we get it out there.  

73,
Gerald
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Andy M5ZAP

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Hi Gerald,

Thanks for reply, fact correction accepted.

Now my turn :)

Fact correction - Throughout this problem flex have stated that the lockup issue has never been experienced by any of you testers, however Ria has confirmed on 1.10 she experienced lockups dropping in frequency to weekly lockups and even more worryingly that these have reduced but are still present in V2.0 software

Does this not put into doubt your newly adopted policy of hoping that V2.0 will fix the problem. Your only software tester experiencing problems on V1.10 still experiences lockups on V2.0 ? I would call that 100% problem carryover.

Could you not exchange out Ria's hardware to see if it is hardware related and give you some hardware known to exhibit the issue to test in your Lab? It could be unrelated to hardware but at least exchanging the hardware would prove or disprove that hypothesis.

Like Ria I have experienced varying levels of lockup, Initially every day then a period with no lockups now weekly with sporadic periods of 3 or 4 in close proximity.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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We have no verifiable evidence that your lock up issue is the same as the ones experienced by alpha testers.  Since they are running alpha code you cannot directly equate your experiences to those of alpha team members - you are not running the same code.
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Andy M5ZAP

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Tim

Direct quote from Ria

"With 1.10 release version my experience was similar to yours although not multiple times per week. More like once a week."

Ria had lockups on 1.10.16 release version not alpha or beta or RC

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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I am running alpha software, and I have had the radio hang in the past but with the 2.0 code these are kept to a minimum now. So if that carries to 1.11 it should be fine.

No promises (I can't make them anyway), just my observation. I also hope that they have definitely found and corrected the root cause. 

Ria
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NM1W

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How often did you experience the hangs? Some of us get multiple hangs  per week...
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Paul, you still did not answer the question. What makes your radio Obsoleted ?
How does the new radios make it obsolete?
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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You can't compare the past "hang" experience from any Alpha team member as definitive data because they are constantly testing code that is by its very nature unstable.  This question is only applicable to late version release candidate versions which we hope to be testing this weekend.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Definitely not that frequency. I believe I've only experienced it once during testing the 2.0 code. 
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Paul Mandel

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I did answer, the company is discontinuing the model.  
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I should also echo Tim's comments - our experience is not going to be yours, ours will be more unstable. However, I really don't think that the comments that the hangs are being neglected is fair. The dev team has spent a fair amount of time addressing it and alpha testers do diligently report it. Like Tim, I am hoping it gets better. But it is a difficult issue to track down and duplicate, for sure. 
(Edited)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Paul, my Flex 3000 still works fine with fire wire and PSDR still works great on computer, it has been discontinued for a time now,,I don't see it as obsolete because it still does everything it is supposed to.

And the 6500 will still use all the same updates as the new radios,,I guess it is how you see it.

Because of that, I just bought a 6500.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Ria, some of us were just talking about on 40M about 10 min ago,,we want to know why your so smart. lol
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I don't know if I am all that smart... I do know a lot about software, I am immersed in it 24x7...
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Rick Ciotti

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My 6500/Maestro have been in operation daily since 12/16. No hangs, just a few disconnects between the two.

For my logging PC there is a Netgear Gigabit switch between the Maestro and radio. Not sure if this helps anything...it works FB so it will remain configured this way.

Rick W3DIY
(Edited)
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David Livingston

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RIA,

What do you call a minimum number of lockups??? When I am running remotely I can not tolerate any issues with the radio locking up. No one will be at my home to do a hard reboot of the Flex radio. No problem rebooting the computer, but that does not fix the Flex locking up issue which you confirmed it was in the radios firmware.

PS mine locked up twice yesterday during the ARRL DX contest

If version 2.xx does not fix the problem I will be asking for a replacement of my 6700 under warranty as it appears I have a radio that gives this problem to only a very small group of owners.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Please let me remind everyone of the Community's guidelines for posting.  Here they are for your convenience.

...when using the Community always show respect to others regardless of their opinions. Give people the benefit of the doubt, just like you would if talking to them in person. Posts that include personal attacks, overtly negative comments, non-constructive criticism, falsehoods, defamation of character, libelous speech, or gratuitous profanity will be removed, as they do not contribute to the community atmosphere we want to maintain. Any pattern of poor behavior may result in losing your Community posting privileges.
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Craig Williams

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I can't help myself. Will V2 work on my Yaesu FT-101?
(Edited)
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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No. Sell me your useless rig for $5.
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Michael Aust

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Just upload v2.0 via the USB port on that Yaesu FT-101 !! Hi ! Hi !
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I see no reason why not...
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Michael Coslo

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Out of curiosity, Paul - have you tried running SSDR on a different model computer? Having had the problem one time, then gone away because of a Windows update and reinstall, as well as Flex having difficulties finding the problem, I'm conjecturing that looking for the problem in radio hardware might be  a goose chase.

Side note. Those multitudes of hams who have the same problem as you - it might just help Flex if they complained. Otherwise they simply accept what I think is a computer issue that might be solvable.
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David Livingston

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This is from a previous post from RIA...N2RJ...Elmer...Two days ago..


Changing computers likely won't help. For sure this is in the radio firmware. 
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NM1W

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Michael - I and I know at least 2 others, who have run into the crash using different computers; reinstalled win7 from scratch same issue; install win10 as upgrade same issue; install win10 as fresh install same issue; switch to even more robust system, fresh win10, same issue...  The radio crash isnt the computer... One could argue dax corruption is, but short of a 100 core computer at 12GHz/core I'm not sure what would make dax stable..
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Bill W2PKY

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Eric has stated that SSDR CANNOT crash the radio. So it seems to be the luck of the draw as to whether 1.10.16 will crash for some users or not for others. I had a lot of crashes and then they disappeared. Most users who have experienced crashes are not so lucky. But nothing has changed on my PC or the load of 1.10.16 into the radio. Some users need the additional features of 1.10.16 so downgrading is not an option.
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Paul Mandel

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Thanks to all that are altering me to a message but it truly not necessary.  I guess I should reinstate the RSS feed until this thread closes.

Michael-Yes, three specifically.  My normal computer that runs the radio, logging, WSJT-X and other programs. It runs Windows 7 Ultimate and it is an AMD.  A brand new windows 10 i5 with only the Windows operating system and SmartSDR and an i7 Laptop with Windows, minimal  other software, SSDR but no other logging  or Data programs, but it did have Office 13 installed.

I documented three types of crashes.   A Quit of SmartSDR  seemingly due to COM port issues. This always throws an error on screen and the SSDR does not stop until the error box is dismissed.  As long as I used the Com Name Arbiter program once or twice a day, move the Flexcontrol to a higher COM port ( COM240 and Green Heron controller to COM230) I can keep those to a minimum.  The second is a freeze of the 6500 but SSDR does not quit or freeze.  The radio will not shutdown unless you do a long button push or a power down of the power supply;s sometimes it is only a power down that works.  If you do not reboot the computer the radio may not show in the chooser when the radio comes back online.   The third has a tone, the radio will not shutdown with the button, SSDR does not quit or freeze and never shows up if the computer is not rebooted, also.   

I have also changed power supplies and put the old supply om the bench to see if there were sags, or too much ripple.  While it was there I used an Alinco 330 switching supply but had the same issue. While the 70A Astron was on the bench I tested all the pass transistors,replaced two cracked mica, cleaned and properly pasted each.  Beside the variable pasted application which is normal with Astron supply's I found nothing wrong with  the supply and it runs rock solid.

I have run the radios directly connected to the computer to isolate the network, changed to a different switch, run it on an isolated network without internet access as well as our normal household network.  I found no difference in the freezing or stoppage.

Tim put logging software on but after the first crash he felt that they could not learn anything since it was a kernel crash and the logging did not significantly help. It was only there for the one crash.   Tim if I misstated please correct my statement.

The radio does not have to be in any particular mode but it seems to happen more in CW and Data, especially Data.    For the longest time I assumed it was a WSJT-X issue and not the radio.   I did downgrade to 1.9 but the tired of testing and after a few Flexcontrol errors I just gave up.   

The up time before crash is minutes, to days, to a little more than a week but never two weeks.   There does not seem to be a correlation between being off for an extended period of time or run for an extended period of time.  It has crashed in all three modes CW, Data, SSB (both U and L) and it does not seem to be band related.    There is not any correlation that I have found that causes multiple crashes in a row or just a single crash with an extended time before the next crash.

I have been repairing radios and formerly TV's since the mid 60's and still do repairs today for the local ham community on any radio that I can still see the parts.  This is less and less each day.  I lost count of how may HeathKits I built in the 60's but I did build the color TV when I was 16.   I have four patents related to SCSI drives and drive connectivity and have been around electronics as both a hobby and sometimes professionally for most of my life. 

If anyone needs any other information about the crashes just drop me a line at my call at arrl.net.  
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Michael Coslo

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Just as a differential diagnosis, would we bet our entire fortunes that it is not a software issue. 


And since it is not supposed to be anythign other than firmware, there are two options ( to my thoughts. Option one is that the IC that his firmware  is defective, and option two is that he and some other hams have a defective firmware burn. 

What am I not seeing here? Even if it cannot be reproduced, you would take a person who has the problem and by hook or by crook, replace the firmware and solve the problem. If that doesn't solve the problem.......


then again, if it isn't software, change out the radio and the problem is then a lock to go away, correct? 
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Bill -VA3WTB

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What does your panadapter do when it crashes?
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Paul Mandel

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Most of the time there is a message that SSDR has lost communications with the radio (actually never wrote down the exact message) but once or twice SSDR froze with the radio also in transmit.  Signals were displayed (Frozen state) and SSDR had to be terminated with the Task Manager.  Power out was ~2W using WSJT-X on 30M.  Antenna a SteppIR vertical about 60 feet from the house.  
(Edited)
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Rick W7YP

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Since many people, myself included, didn't experience this problem until after upgrading to 1.10 AND the crashes ceased after back-rev'ing to 1.09, it is most certainly a firmware bug and not a problem in the radio's hardware (e.g. a 'bad' FPGA).  I've seen such version level related problems many times before in my 30+ years in embedded systems development.  We often found the problem by just doing a 'smart' code-base comparison, focusing on the areas that changed which might account for the behavioral difference.  This can be a lengthy and boring process, however.  Would someone from FRS confirm whether or not this has been done?
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Out of curiosity... V1.09 works,

But V1.10 Locks Up occasionally in an irreproducible manner for a very few people.

(None of the many Alpha's have ever seen it and we get to test lots of buggy stuff)


Why do they not just revert to V1.09 and enjoy their radios until V2.0 is released and they can test to see if it solves their problems?

Perhaps I am missing something but I really do not understand the urgency to go from 1.09 to 1.10


Example...

My current 2015 Model S Tesla has 1 autodrive camera and surrounding sensors which enable Level 3 Auto-drive. -- it makes driving to LA painless...

2017 Model S Tesla has 8 cameras for Level 5 Autodrive. 

While V8.2 Tesla Software can enable Level 5 Autopilot on 2017 models, my car is stuck at V8.1 on Level 3 because it lacks cameras to be fully autonomous

HOWEVER My Level 3 Autodrive Tesla is already far more advanced (really cool) than any other equivalent car on the road and while I would love Level 5 - my car wont do it..

I just have to wait until 2018 when my lease is up to be able to try the new features.


How is this any different?


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David Livingston

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Version 1.09 does not allow the USB ports to operate. I purchased a SPE 2K with the correct USB cable from SPE. The upgrade to use the USB ports is only supported in the latest release of SmartSDR. As long as the Flex continues to operate it works flawlessly on all bands and slices. I love the interface with the USB ports on the Flex, but these continuing locks are a serious issue with me.
(Edited)
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mikeatthebeach .

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Also have the 2K-FA here and same issue
Mike
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I have a 2K-FA also

BUT the USB interface which only gives you band data is totally inadequate.

So I continue to use DDTUIL which gives me FULL CONTROL of the SPE which includes Power On/Off, Band Data, Input and Output Antenna Switching and Power level controls

DDUTIL works FLAWLESSLY and has done so for years.

So basically what you are saying is that you would rather have the very limited USB Band Data of V1.10 rather than the FULL Control of the SPE with DDUTIL and V1.09

Does not make much sense to me to want to downgrade (limit) the control of the SPE with V1.10  The very limited USB band data control is Sort of like having a car that you can steer but can't push the accelerator or brakes.

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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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DDUTIL requires a running windows PC. It also doesn't offer the same flexibility for some situations as the USB cables.
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Rick W7YP

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Howard, in addition to providing band information to my SPE 1.3K-FA, the USB interface allows my SPE amp to set the 6700's RF drive level to the safe low level (less than 10W)required by such a high gain amplifier.  It does this automatically whenever I put the amp in operating mode.  When I kick it to standby, the RF Power level is restored to its prior setting.

I also have a DEMI 2m LDPA connected to the other USB port.  It is totally controlled by the 6700 and lacks any front-panel switches to provide the same control manually.

SO, 1.09 is USELESS to me and costs me a lot in functionality.

Enjoy your Tesla S and LA.  I have no use for either.
(Edited)
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Rick W7YP

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Howard, it is also not true that the Alpha team has not seen these radio crashes.  Tim has already confirmed that they have.

Furthermore, FAR more radio owners are seeing this than you and FRS know.  I've had half a dozen confirm to me privately that they have but haven't posted about it for various reasons, the most common being that it is already known and FRS doesn't seem to be taking it seriously.  When I encouraged them to file a support ticket to confirm this is a wider problem, two said they'd already sold the radio at a big loss and the others feared getting cut off from support if they added their names to the growing list of 'complainers.'

Rick
(Edited)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@Rick

Just curious how you controlled ur SPE and DEMI with V1.09?
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Rick W7YP

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That can't be done and therefore I don't.  I was pointing out why I'm forced to remain on 1.10 OR give up a great deal of functionality for which I've paid a great deal of money.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@Rick

Since I don't have a DEMI I am not qualified to challenge your statement on the DEMI albeit you stretch your credibility when you indirectly imply that left the DEMI in the box until V1.10

OTOH... SPE Definitely works WELL with 1.09 .. in fact, I was one of the people involved with SPE and DDUTIL over a 2 year period to cause the SPE Firmware to be changed so that it could be fully controlled by DDUTIL and Flex.  Further the current SPE implementation via USB in V1.10 is crippled in that it is unable to support all the SPE features that are available via DDUTIL.  As an Alpha I did test the USB for SPE in 1.10 but almost immediately reverted to DDUTIL because the USB lacked sufficient controls to be able to operate remote safely.  I look forward to those features being included in some further release of V2 or V3 at which time I will use the USB

AFAIK No One has "PAID A GREAT DEAL OF MONEY" for V1.10.  It was a FREE update to your existing radio but I can see where you might conflate the cost of the radio with free updates.

Finally I guess you are just going to have to wait until V2 is in General Release in the next short while to see if it hopefully fixes issues similar to yours so that they can backport the fixes into 1.11 


Enough Said.. probably a good time to close this thread even though one of the Lockup sufferers will just reopen it under a new guise...

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Andy M5ZAP

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Howard,

If the thread being open bothers you may I kindly suggest you don't visit it. To make the forum an open place a level of tolerance of other people views, experiences and problems is necessary.

You have to tolerate me complaining and discussing the lockup problem even though it doesn't impact you directly.
I have to tolerate people often reminding the forum they own an expensive high tech vehicle and spend considerable time on foreign travels.

What doesn't help a thread is when people dilute the subject matter of the thread by diverting the discussion to other areas that are of more interest to them. It bloats the thread and makes it more difficult to find relevant information in.

You don't have the lockup problem so you are lucky, calling for the thread to be closed or questioning if people actually have the problem wont help.

There have only been two main threads on this topic, one discussing the initial problem and then another discussing if Flex have proved its fix in V2.0. When V2.0 and V1.1 software is released there will be another fresh thread started, hopefully discussing how the problem has been resolved.
(Edited)
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Milen KG2C

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Something to add to Andy's comment: the continued discussion of this topic is of interest not only to those who have the problem but to those who have made a reservation on the upcoming radios or are thinking of buying one.

If your radio already works as it should, that's great. Those of us waiting to buy one are hoping we don't get a lemon.
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Burch - K4QXX

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Just to clarify the DEMI 2MLDPA 2 meter amp comes in two versions.  If you order it with the "remote" option, the only way to use it is with the USB cable hooked to the Flex and you control the amp through SSDR.  I had to wait several weeks to use the amp until 1.10 came out.  If you didn't order with the remote option, it doesn't matter what version of SSDR you use since it doesn't have the USB control cable.
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Rick W7YP

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Howard,

I pity the poor guy/gal who ends up with you sitting on their jury if you think that I indirectly implied that I left the DEMI in the box until V1.10.  You'd be convicting them on 'evidence' no one else saw or heard.  There's no way that can be read into my posts; in fact, I didn't order the DEMI until after 1.10 was released.

As for my SPE amp, yes, I'm aware that I can control more of its features via DDUTIL; however, that would only be useful to me if I could reliably remotely operate my 6700.  Having had it hang twice in TX mode, my attempting to operate it remotely at this time would be grossly irresponsible.

To insist is that 1.10 didn't cost me anything is too ridiculous a statement to deserve a reply.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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First. You clearly rarely remote or you would know that to operate safely you need to be able to remotely reboot power to all devices.

Second. U will likely have to wait until after V2 is tested in the Wild before you know if it cures the issue and they backport it to V1.11for ur Free upgrade that u paid a lot of money for.
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Rick W7YP

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Howard, you sure seem to know a lot about me even though you don't know me.  I guess you just can't stop making rash assumptions at this late stage in life.

Yes, I've remoted many times before and have the ability to remotely turn on/off power to the devices in my shack; however, one of my two TX hangs occurred shortly before a brief Internet outage that would have made remote power reset impossible.  Fortunately I was in the shack for that one.

I know that I can get a bit more sophisticated and spend even more money to add more hardware or upgrade my hardware to support wireless connectivity as a backup to the Internet and maybe even a hardware watchdog to detect an apparent TX hang and automatically reset power to the radio.  But when I've never had to do that for ANY transceiver costing far less, why should I have to do it for a radio for which I paid $8100?

Rick
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I double homed my systems about a year ago after an Internet Failure and am now using both a cable modem and a MIFI connection just to forestall the eventuality of another Internet Failure.. .  So far that failover has worked flawlessly

However my most recent remote failure was caused when the Digital Logger Web Switch controlling power to 8 different shack devices failed. so now I am duplicating that as well... 

One can Never have too much redundancy when remoting.


"why should I have to do it for a radio for which I paid $8100" 

Sound like me ....

"why did I have to wait for BMW to figure out why my $125+K BMW burned a quart of Oil every 500 miles"

...  BMW did not even try to figure it out or acknowledge the issue but just gave me free cases of oil. 

I eventually dumped the BMW for a Tesla  - no oil...and a bit less expensive...

At least Flex unlike BMW has acknowledged the issue and expects that their assumption that the new code in V2 might fix the issue so that it can be backported to V1.11

In the meantime you will just have to wait and see if the fix works.

Being that you claim to be an expert in embedded systems and I would dare to assume software as well you probably know that no amount of kvetching will speed up the process of getting the software finished and working.

Right now the Alphas are working very hard trying to break V2 which is getting very, very close but no cigar to a final release candidate..

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Bill -VA3WTB

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Since Flex has not been able to duplicate this problem,,and none of the Alpha's have seen it,,and only about 1% of customers see it, it would have been great if a customer could have sent their radio in to Flex and have them see it happen. then maybe they could find something out.
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Andy M5ZAP

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Exactly what I have been saying for a bit
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David Livingston

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Ria seems to of had lockups even on her alpha V2.xxx
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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not with the same frequency as 1.10. With that said, my experience is probably not going to mirror yours but let's hope 2.0 and 1.11 maintenance release will fix it.
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Andy M5ZAP

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Hi Ria
Does that mean that you had a high frequency of lockups with 1.10 or even a low frequency of lockups
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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With 1.10 release version my experience was similar to yours although not multiple times per week. More like once a week.

There could be multiple things at play though. For example I am not using USB cables anymore (sold my amp, getting a power genius). That could factor in but I'm not really sure.

Either way this variation is why Gerald wants to release 2.0 first then when that is proven and stable the dev team will backport the fixes to the 1.x branch (not the exact process but you get the idea).

So understand they have a method to all of this.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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First. You clearly rarely remote or you would know that to operate safely you need to be able to remotely reboot power to all devices.

Second. U will likely have to wait until after V2 is tested in the Wild before you know if it cures the issue and they backport it to V1.11for ur Free upgrade that u paid a lot of money for.
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Al / NN4ZZ

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HI Howard,

RE: "Why do they not just revert to V1.09 and enjoy their radios until V2.0 is released and they can test to see if it solves their problems?
Perhaps I am missing something but I really do not understand the urgency to go from 1.09 to 1.10"

I get the lock but only if I use the tuner, so I quit using it.  (seems like there is some timing issue in the firmware that causes the lockup in my case) but to your question.  I used to use DDUtil to control my amplifier and antenna switches.  With V1.10.x I converted all the peripheral control over to the USB feature.   

Going back to DDtil is more trouble that it is worth since I can figured out that not using the tuner fixed the problem for me.  Others may also not want to revert if they are also using the USB port feature. 

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
SSDR / DAX / CAT/ 6700 -  V 1.10.16
Win10
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Hi Al

Yes.. USB seems simple and elegant...BUT

As you know I remote much of the time so I need the FULL control that DDUTIL gives me for my SPE, SteppIR and Rotor.. and until that level of control is available via USB I have to stick to DDUTIL as it is far to dangerous to operate remote with only Band Data.

I understand that adding more control features to USB is under consideration but clearly no announced plans yet


I guess that they need to wait until v2 is released - close but no cigar

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Al / NN4ZZ

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Hi Howard,
Totally understand you need for more control capabilities than currently available in the USB feature. In my case for local operating I only need band data so the USB feature works for me . And eliminating a third party program simplifies things although I agree DDUTil is an excellent program and works very well.

More control via the USB ports seems to go hand in hand with the remote WAN / Smartlink capability so it seems logical that remote users will "vote it up."

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
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David Livingston

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I find the USB cable I purchased from SPE works flawlessly. If there is something it does not do properly I can not find it. No problem with the tuner in the SPE all automatic. The SPE changes antennas (6) without additional switches. The SPE controls the power output from the flex in three preset modes of power - Low, Mid, or Max. Works flawlessly with the changing of slices and all bands.  Please tell me what does not work using the USB ports and proper cable... K4CAE... Also is DDtil ready for V2.xxx of SmartSDR??? PS, I am only interested in controlling the SPE 2K-FA.
(Edited)
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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The only thing I would say DDUTIL does better is the SteppIR control and also tube amps using auto drive
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Hi Ria,
Here is another place where DDUtil out shines the rest.

I used to use DDUtil to control one of my FlexControl knobs.  The MACRO capability from DDUtil was superior to what is offered in SSDR or SDR-Bridge.   You could program the buttons to do many neat things that are not available in SSDR.   But since that was the only thing I was using DDUtil for, I decided I could live without those features and eliminate running one more third party program.  

It would be nice to see SSDR offer that MACRO capability for the FlexControl.  Maybe some day...

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
SSDR / DAX / CAT/ 6700 -  V 1.10.16
Win10
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Then that is the short answer. If people do not want to revert, then just wait and see..simple,,all done
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Tony Taddeo

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The only time I have had a reproducible lockup is due to user error when using Full Duplex mode (FDX) and not having sufficient isolation between the RX and TX antennas, resulting in an (understandable) RFI issue within my 6700.

It is easy to accidently have FDX on without knowing. Is this the cause of some of these lockups?
(Edited)
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David Livingston

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Mine 6700 occasionally locks up just sitting idle for an extended period of time.  Like over night. A real pain trying to operate remotely. Requires a hard shutdown of the Flex and them a restart.
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NM1W

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My lockups arent due to the FDX issue Tony raised; Like David I've had the rig shutdown just sitting there.  3 of my shutdowns in the last 4 days were within a half hour of turning the rig on and before I'd done any real xmitting.

The hassle of the lockup is having to restart the apps on windows (or at least kick them to relook for a rig out there); ssdr, frstack, dx commander, etc..  and If I was running wsjtx/jtalert its always better to just reboot the pc than try to cleanup the mess..
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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The RF feeding back into the rig and locking it up is entirely different. This lockup just happens and nobody really knows what caused it to happen.

(Don't feed too much RF back into your rig. Use FILTERS.)
(Edited)
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Tony Taddeo

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I only use FDX mode when making audio adjustments using transverter level power. Occasional, I TX on an antenna by accident at normal power levels - my bad...(smile)

There was at least one person having lockup issue while using the antenna tuner. TXing while FDX on and not sufficient isolation between the RX and TX antennas?

"This lockup just happens and nobody really knows what caused it to happen."
Should we call a priest ?

The support given by Flex Radio is amazingly good for an amateur radio supplier. They will get to the bottom of it.

Tony
VK5TT
(Edited)
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k3Tim

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Maybe Gerald should put on the sack-cloth and crawl on his hands and knees from Austin to Dallas in the noonday sun while being flogged by 4 Vestal Virgins and chanting "debet figere cimex"

I buy a ticket to see that.  

:-)

The FRS  support has been amazing with the prez posting over the holidays and updating as much as he can. Tim's support is also good with him and the folks out here answering questions quickly.
Once 2.0 hits I have a feeling it will be nice to have the networking experts that populate this group around.

Regards All
k3Tim
(Edited)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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During your long weekend, 4th of July weekend, some were telling Gerald to have a nice long weekend, he spent most of it on here it seems. I asked him if he is taking the weekend off, he replied, NOPE
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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There's really no networking knowledge needed for 2.0. Just enable UPnP and it will work automatically. If you don't like UPnP for security or other reasons, the manual port forward is pretty straight forward.

Ria
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Michael Aust

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Been running 1.9.13 no  issues, but get that to crash ( completely freeze ) on my Windows 10 notebook Acer ( No Ethernet Port ) only has USB port, if I share an USB to Ethernet Port Adapter to connect to Flex6700 with a USB hub that has other USB devices attached.

When I just have a USB to Ethernet Adapter all is well, but when I add a mouse,
Flex Knob and sit back and wait, after some time, SSDR will freeze up ! just with 1 pan-adapter/waterfall open.

For what that is worth, then again if I have 8 pan-adapters/waterfalls going on and need to with V1.11after a while I get the lockup as others have described.
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John - K3MA

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I mentioned it before but will mention it again.  I have seen the random lock-up issue on two different stations.  One with Flex 6700 on a Window 7 computer and one with Flex 6500 on a Windows 10 computer.  The lockup have occurred when using the radio for TX, when listening only and when not using it at all.  The Flex 6700 station has been on 24/7 for about three years.  The Flex 6500 station has been on 24/7 for about a year.  Neither station had any lockups prior to the latest software release.  Each time there has been a lock-up I have looked at the operating conditions and cannot find any common source/condition.  So I can understand how it can be hard for Flex to diagnosis.  Since they have a representative that read this forum and have already acknowledged the condition I see no reason to continue to bring it up or go further with reporting it.

One thing I would add to the discussion is that....would it not be good customer service if Flex was to provide a copy of V2 to M5ZAP for testing to determine if indeed the issue has been fixed in V2 as they hope.  It seems to me that would verify if it is or is not fixed.  Would satisfy M5ZAP's concerns.  Would not cause a customer to have to purchase V2 just to see if something is fixed or not.  If it works would provide a fix without the customer having to wait longer.  Would shut up all the Flex fan boys who seem to constantly criticize those that have issues.  It would seem like a win win to me and so simple to do.

PS-My comment about the Flex Fan boys is not a joke.  I personally do not post on the forum much due to the regular and predictable responses that come from the half dozen or so regular posters that seem to have a need to talk on Flex's behalf and feel that they have to defend Flex from every issue or negative comment.

John K3MA
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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Providing an unreleased product to a customer who is not on the Alpha team would set a dangerous precedence. Why him and not others who have problems hoping to get fixed? What problem and who decides which party to send the unfinished software to?  They have an Alpha team who have signed an NDA for a reason.

As per "defending" Flexradio, if a poster goes out of their way to trash another poster or Flexradio then complain about the backlash, sounds kinda familiar to what we see in the news every night. Presenting concerns and issues in one thing that is promoted here but certainly disrespect is not.
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Rick W7YP

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Mike,

Why would that be dangerous?  I've spent 30+ years in embedded systems development and we did it all the time.  Doing so helped us to quickly identify and resolve issues that only showed up in certain applications/environments and it's what SERIOUS debugging efforts do when they can't reproduce a problem in the lab or among their 'official' test team.

None of those customers objected to signing an NDA and none of our customers who weren't included felt left out.

Rick
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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Rick did you have a public forum for customers to voice concerns and badmouth the company? 30 years ago there was no live interaction you have today. You will get a few complaining why they were not chosen. Flex has a good team of Alpha testers in place and a reporting procedure they are quite comfortable with and why upset the apple cart in this late stage when release is imminent. Training a massive group of new testers would result in a lot more overhead to sort out useful reports from complainers. I have no clue as what measure have or have not been taken to try to duplicate this issue. You can't fix what you can't duplicate. I must assume it's not just radio related but a combination of a setup like O/S, 3rd party software installed, hardware connected to both radio and computer, just to name a few. Mine may go for weeks or a few months without a lockup then get 2 in one week. So let's say I get to test it on my setup. Then nothing happens for a few days, then a few weeks or a few months. At what point does it pass?
In my case it seems to happen days after I open up 2m and 6m, but then it happens the odd time overnight. It could have been a power supply fluctuation or brief interruption and no way to eliminate that with a power line monitor that I don't have. Guess what I'm saying is I certainly can't duplicate the problem so I will wait to see if v2.0 improves or eliminates this issue.
(Edited)
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Rick W7YP

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Mike, it's true that we didn't have quite the same interactive forum-hosting tools that exist today; however, we did have email lists and various flavors of "bulletin boards" which performed a similar function.  Yes, there were whiners who weren't really helpful but we got a lot of useful feedback and did catch a lot of bugs that would have persisted into a new release by opening up late beta testing to those who saw those problems on a fairly regular basis.

In some cases we sent someone to the customer location; in others, we installed remotely accessible debugging software.  We saved immeasurable embarrassment and support costs by preventing a problem we'd been hoping had disappeared in a pending new release from being pushed out to an already frustrated community.

Several of those who see the crash frequently, myself included, have many years of experience in embedded systems and wouldn't require training.  We've offered our assistance and were turned down flat.  I've never worked for a company that ever would or did turn down such offers when we had a difficult and critical bug nipping at our you-know-what.

And, no, this crash isn't due to a combination of factors external to the radio.  It's a problem in the radio which results in a segmentation fault.  I see it frequently even though I have a conditioned UPS and fast dedicated 6-core PC controlling the radio.

I hope it is gone in V2.0 and obviously have no choice but to wait and see if that proves to be the case.  If not, where do we go from there?  They're talking about a back-port to 1.11 next, but that will mean three versions (1.10, 1.11, 2.0) that have the problem.

That would simply make it seem more apparent that the corporate message is that the minority who are experiencing the problem just aren't important enough to do whatever it takes to resolve this nasty issue.

Rick
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Bill -VA3WTB

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That would simply make it seem more apparent that the corporate message is that the minority who are experiencing the problem just aren't important enough to do whatever it takes to resolve this nasty issue.

I understand your a bit bitter not taken up on your offer. This comment above would be inconsistent with what we have seen and know of how Gerald runs things. I with I had a buck for each person over the last few years saying they no more about the radio and the software than Flex staff does, or explaining to Gerald how to run a company.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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John,
Gerald has said he expects to have some who are having this problem test V2. Before release.

The so called fan boy thing,
Everyone has trouble at some point as a Flex owner. It is how people handle their frustration that can be a problem. And everyone are different.
It is the misleading and unfair comments made at times that get people to defend a great product.
It is good to explain our problems on here and see if someone can help,,but when it comes to all out trashing the radio,,and, or the Flex team? then yes I think it may be time to step in. I don't see this as defending Flex as much as defending this community that is here for all of us.

Tim has left guidelines here many times as to proper conduct, that includes the way we vent as well. Respect?