Nagging Audio Issue

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  • Updated 1 year ago
  • (Edited)
This happens quite often though I just started collecting some evidence on it. First off, I don't turn off my radio. It basically runs 24 hours / day. I've done that with all my radios in the past. But now I think I'm running into an issue which might have to do with not restarting the radio periodically.

SSDR was running when I came into the (home) office. The waterfall was sharp and clear with some WSJT-65 and WSJT-9 signals on 20 meters. I started up WSJT-X (1.6.0 then 1.7.0) and the waterfall looked terrible, cleared up, and kind of bounced between good and bad. There was no decode going on.



It would cycle this way with no apparent user input or set period. I restarted SSDR (not DAX or CAT) and had the same result. Then I restarted the radio itself and everything looked perfect.



It has been this way ever since and decoding in both 1.6.0 and 1.7.0 is good. 

I run into this same issue with fldigi where it just seems to stop decoding and looking at fldigi's waterfall all the signals look fuzzy. Restarting the radio is always the solution.

I'm not asking if it's OK to run the radio 7x24. It expect it should be. In the past I have tried restarting clients, restarting SSDR, restarting DAX, CAT and even the computer. In the end it always comes down to restarting the radio.

Specs - Flex 6500 HW version 1.10.8.30 (shouldn't that be firmware version?). SSDR Client Software: 1.10.8.39.

Edit: To clarify something... the waterfall in SSDR looked clear and crisp at all times. It was only the waterfall in WSJT-X (and at other times fldigi) that looked blurry.
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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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Posted 1 year ago

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Mike Hoing

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Looks like the time is off in one shot and that will impact decode as JT is the sensetive

Adjust your pic time to WWV and see if that helps

Mike
N9DFD
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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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Hi Mike:

I think my time is pretty close. I use the Meinberg ntp client and check often with http://time.is/ just to make sure. Also, after restarting the radio decoding started immediately.

Notice above the green line but below the yellow line everything looks fuzzy. Those are actually JT-65 signals. Then it snaps back into a clean trace but a few minutes later it is right back to being fuzzy. Next time it happens I'll try and capture a larger amount of the waterfall.

The issue is definitely related to audio and not timing. I have a few thousand HF JT-65 and JT-9 contacts and it was WSJT that got me to install the Meinberg ntp client.

Kev
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k3Tim

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I see you restarted DaX to no effect. Every now and then I have to restart DaX as a similar behavior you mention is observed. The 6500 can run 4 slices with all streaming DaX to various decoders (JT / Fldigi) and operation is 24/7.

It would be interesting to listen to the remote audio on the PC when this problem is observed. One would expect it so sound distorted.

_..--
k3Tim
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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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Good thought. I will also try and remember to do this next time. Oddly, or maybe not so oddly, I've come to rely on the various spectrum and waterfall displays when working digital modes.
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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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Tim, next time it happens to you can you reboot your Flex instead of DAX and see if you get the same results? It seems either restarting DAX or the radio fixes things for me.
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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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I didn't have to wait long for it to happen again. I was able to gather up a few more symptoms that will hopefully help.

I have before and after audio files captured with Audacity...
Before
After
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Jay / NO5J

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I'm not an Idiot, But I bet I can convince you otherwise!

Without even trying!

 SDRgadgets

73, Jay - NO5J

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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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It was K3TIM's idea to do the recording I think. I have very few original ideas these days.
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Jay / NO5J

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Sorry! Correct it now before anyone else notices.

 SDRgadgets

73, Jay - NO5J

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Jay / NO5J

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My first thought is usually "Don't go getting any Ideas!"
My second is usually "Or have you forgotten what happened the last time?"

 SDRgadgets

73, Jay - NO5J

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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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:) TIL: If you are editing a post and someone comments while you're editing then your mistake is there permanently for the world to see.
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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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I didn't have to wait long for it to happen again. I was able to gather up a few more symptoms that will hopefully help.

I have before and after audio files captured with Audacity connected to DAX 1. The difference is obvious:
Before
After

In the headphones local and remote the audio sounded fine to me. No difference between the two and generally sounded like the After audio file. So I'm guessing it is nothing in that part of the audio chain.

The waterfall in WSJT looked fuzzy as before:


After restarting DAX (yep, restarted DAX this time) I think you can see the difference:


I don't know what started the problem. WSJT-X had been working fine most of the day. After a while I noticed WSJT had stopped decoding. 

I still don't know if it is the radio or DAX or something else altogether. I have to try it in fldigi which I didn't happen to think about (sheesh). Speaking with Jay it seems the computer can't be ruled out yet.

Kev K4VD
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Jay / NO5J

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Kev

Had me wondering for a minute, I can clearly hear the Audio dropouts in the Before audio recording. Then I realized that the After recording was recorded after you fixed it. Something is wrong in the audio buffering, is what it sounds like to me. Hate to even bring this up, but have you run LatencyMon to see what it thinks yet?

 SDRgadgets

73, Jay - NO5J

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Jay / NO5J

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Maybe run the "In Depth Latency Tests" starting before it glitches until it glitches and see what it says, if it initially reports no problems

 SDRgadgets

73, Jay - NO5J

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Jay / NO5J

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After 15 minutes of IDLT running simultaneously with SmartSDR,DAX,SmartCAT, Commander,DXkeeper,SpotCollector,DDUtil,FRStacks,Fldigi-Gateway,Fldigi,WSJT-X, JTalertX, Google Chrome refreshing this page, And Thunderbird Mail Querying for new mail. IOW The PC isn't exactly idling, the MAX reported latency, is 153.34408 usecs on my box. But, I'm not glitching.
 
 SDRgadgets

73, Jay - NO5J

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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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I'm running the LatencyMon software now. I'm real worried about what it will tell me. But I have another audio problem I reported before that is not resolve. Maybe they are related.

If I look in Sound configuration, Recording and select "Show Disconnected Devices" then I have a duplicate of every DAX device in the list.





After following the helpdesk's procedures and trying various methods of removing these devices including nuclear uninstall, Revo, etc. I was finally told that a system refresh is probably the only solution. So far I've refused. I've got my reasons for that. If it is the only solution then so be it and I'll consider my options. I'm just hoping someone here knows the solution less drastic than wiping out my system to make the radio work - maybe - for a while.

It is a simple restart of DAX or the radio and then I'm good to go for some amount of time. Still, I don't think this should be the way things work.
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Jay / NO5J

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Ah!!!!
Need to fix that!
Your suffering from ghosted Audio Devices. 
And that could really be the whole problem.

Probably started soon after you upgraded to the BETA
Fresh Full Clean Reinstall of SmartSDR would probably get the job done.

I've been right where you are now a few times.


 SDRgadgets

73, Jay - NO5J

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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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I've tried. Full uninstalls, clean reinstalls. Ghosts return.

I uninstalled completely... checked all the sound setup and drivers and such and no hint of a DAX device. Free and clear.

Reinstall SSDR and BOO! Ghosts everywhere. But they all show disconnected. If I disable one of the Ghosts then DAX fails. 

I've been to the helpdesk. They tried their best. 

The audio drivers look OK I think.
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Jay / NO5J

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Uninstall SmartSDR completely, IOW let it uninstall DAX and SmartCAT if it asks. then before reinstalling look in Device Manager and Delete any remaining DAX audio devices and or Flexradio Virtual serial port devices. Be sure to reboot the PC and recheck Device manager until there are no more DAX Audio Devices \ Flex Virtual Serial port devices listed.BEFORE reinstalling SmartSDR.

Use https://helpdesk.flexradio.com/hc/en-us/articles/204975589-How-to-do-a-Complete-uninstall-of-SmartSDR-for-Windows-from-your-PC  

For a guide.

Yes you can "Ghost" both Virtual Serial ports and DAX audio devices.

The Fix is easier than it sounds.

 SDRgadgets

73, Jay - NO5J

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Jay / NO5J

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There might be layers and layers of Ghosted devices. Keep rebooting and deleting until none remain. Windows will not let you Delete a driver that's in use. so you will need to reboot a few extra times to ensure they aren't in use.

This is why Tim\Flexradio no longer recommend removing DAX and SmartCAT during the upgrade process, unless specifically instructed to do so.

That step by step guide I linked is going to work, You only need to also do the same deletions on the DAX devices in Device manager.

The goal is before running the installer again reboot again and be certain that no more Ghosted devices exist.  

You won't be certain they are all gone unless you reboot first to check. Windows will hide them until you reboot.

Sounds real nutty until you've had to do this 3-4 times.

 SDRgadgets

73, Jay - NO5J

(Edited)
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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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Followed both procedures. Completely removed everything. Dropped back to 1.9.13.173...



Running out of patience whit this. Sound setup shows all the disconnected devices again. Dev Manager does not but I'm sure they will show up shortly.
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Jay / NO5J

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Kev

Appearances can be deceiving, notice that the dupes in the Recording devices Sound manager on the right have different Icons? One each for a Mic looking sort of thing and one each for a patch cable looking thing. One each for a Flex 6xxx looking thing. They might not be dupes. and they might all disappear once we get them all fully cleaned out of the Device Manager listing. Or at least we are going to find out.

I noticed that I've currently and unintentionally got 4-5 releases of SmartSDR installed, I'm going to fix that tomorrow too.

It will be faster and easier if we could do the hand holding/coaching in the #Flexradio IRC channel. we can communicate in realtime there.

Clicking this link should log you into the channel. the WebChat client may work well enough, but I can talk you through setting up a real client if necessary.

http://tinyurl.com/FlexRadioIRC

Just enter your callsign when it asks for your nickname, and then click the start button.

Anyone interested in chatting about Flexradio on IRC is welcome too.

Someone (usually me) is in there 24/7. But that window is usually minimized to the tray.

So keep ringing the doorbell till I tell you to stop.

If folks used the channel more I'd consider paying more attention to it.

New regulars are needed, welcome, and highly encouraged.

And yeah I know it ain't radio, but know one else will know if you don't mention it.

 SDRgadgets

73, Jay - NO5J

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k3Tim

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R U guys sure these disconnected ports are a problem?  I have these also and am not seeing any problems described. Been running Win 10 + SSDR beta, 4 slices, 4DaX channels are remote audio without much problems. I did have one radio lockup wherein it emitted a steady tone (aka. beep) and had to be power cycled. After that it's been running over 24 hours without a problem.
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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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Well I don't know. In the Sound setup there are duplicates of all the DAX cards marked as disconnected. I think Jay and I came to the conclusion this is not an issue. Do you see it the same way?

I had the additional issue of having duplicate audio devices in device manager. They only showed up when I selected show hidden devices. I think this was a problem. You don't see these do you?

I took the drastic measure of doing a reset on my PC. I'm reloading everything now but so far I do not see the extra DAX devices in Device Manager and I'm hoping it stays that way.

Kev
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k3Tim

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Good to hear the problem is resolved. 
I do not see duplicates in DevMgr
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Jay / NO5J

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Tim
Kevin got it fixed. Well so far at least. and your right the 3 flavors of DAX channels in the Recording Devices are normal. and the disconnected one scan all be hidden  He fixed it in the #Flexradio IRC channel.

  SDRgadgets

#FlexRadio IRC chat

  73, Jay - NO5J

(Edited)