Network connectivity 6400

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OK I really don't understand something here. which actually isn't that surprising.
I have a 6400 using V2.49 software, and it works OK but there is something that I just don't understand.  I am connected via WIFI to the rig through the router.  The router is here in the same room with me and the radio just about 4 foot from the computer and about six feet from the radio, and of course there is solid connection between the computer, and network.  The computer is just two or maybe three feet from the radio.  That being said I have noticed that the Network connection of the software is continuously in the Yellow and Red  Ie: Fair and Poor connection.  With the radio being connected directly to the router via cat 5.
I guess my question is Why?!
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WA5GP

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Posted 2 weeks ago

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Lawrence Gray

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Might try a wired (ethernet) connection with the PC instead of wireless?
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WA5GP

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If I was going to go that route I would just connect direct to the radio and bypass the network all together.
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Lawrence Gray

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I only suggest trying a wired connection to determine if wireless is the issue.  Just a troubleshooting suggestion.
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AB4RW

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So, do you have the radio connected to the router with cat 5?
Not clear
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WA5GP

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Yes that is correct.  It is the only way to connect to the radio through a network.
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Michael N3LI

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Just to be certain - you wrote you were connected via wifi at the beginning of your first post. 


A couple things to try:

Direct connection.

Sometimes a transmitter can wreak havoc with a network. If you are using cables, wrap them around some toroids. I do this on all external cables  as rote on any system I'm setting up, because it beats the continual troubleshooting I've had to do in the past. 

note: only semi related, we had a Netgear router that was really sensitive to a few frequencies on 40 meters. Transmit on them and it reset the router. So the router rebooted. Turned out it had at least one oscillator in the 7 MHz range. That was a bear to troubleshoot. 

So even if you haven't transmitted in a while, your setup might be recovering which takes some time.
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Steve

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Look for devices on your PC that have long running DPC deferred procedure calls. Things that get in the way of the real time needs of SmartSDR is more of a reason for the yellow or red indicator than your signal strength
Steve
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Steve Sterling

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First clue is the SmartSDR software reporting yellow/red on your computer. Unlike the typical wi-fi signal strength meter derived by the OS in your computer, SmartSDR software is reporting quality of the connection-- that is how many delayed or lost packets, etc. Sure the CAUSE of the delayed and lost packets could be because of weak signal, but probably not if the router is a few feet away.

Wi-Fi connections are very fickle. There are only 11 2.4ghz wi-fi channels and it is a shared service, not only with all the other wi-fi devices in your home, but all your neighbors and commercial users too. Wi-Fi uses collision avoidance (not transmitting when it hears other signals) and if you are in a busy place RF-wise, this puts variable delays that can last seconds before a packet gets through. Or if it is UDP packets (like the voice communications) then they just get dropped.  Another problem I have encountered is being "too close" to the wi-fi router and overloading wi-fi receiver front ends.

After fighting the comsumer wi-fi equipment (net gear, linksys, D-Link etc) I spent $1K in commercial equipment (most cost hard wiring to the commercial access points) to get decent wi-fi coverage because I use a laptop or Maestro around the property. It is good most of the time now. But that is what it took me.

As others have mentioned, get a cord and plug directly into the router, at least as a test. It should be rock solid then if it is the wi-fi that is the problem.
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Geoff - AB6BT

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I must be missing something.

In response to the question:
 "So, do you have the radio connected to the router with cat 5? "

WA5GP replied:
"Yes that is correct.  It is the only way to connect to the radio through a network." 

Why all the discussion about Wi-Fi???
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Bob Craig, K8RC

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Because the computer is connected by WiFi.
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Geoff - AB6BT

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Sorry, that is not entirely clear to me. I guess I did miss something.
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WW1SS - Steve

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Did anyone actually read his post. He has his Flex connected to his router via a cat 5 cable and computer connected via the wifi on his router. I get the same problem as him. Goes green to yellow to red . But in my situation both are connected via cat 5
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Geoff - AB6BT

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I did read the post but I did not understand that " I am connected via WIFI to the rig through the router. " meant that his computer was connected via Wi-Fi.

It is a bit ambiguous.

I'm not a very good mind reader.
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AB4RW

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Well, I didn't understand that either, glad there is smart people on here! If the computer is right next to router, why connect wireless, I guess I missed that two!
(Edited)
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Michael Walker, Employee

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Hi

What you are experiencing is normal WiFi (sadly).   Good question though.

WiFi, unlike FM repeaters, is totally different than being near or far.  What is critical and can impact performance is how many other WiFi Access Points your router can hear.  The more it can hear, the more it has to leave time for those devices to have access to the air waves since there is a limited number of channels (only 3 on 2.4Ghz).

Your radio moves a lot of streaming data in a hurry.  Unlike NetFlix like streaming, which can buffer data, HF Radio data being buffered does not work well for us.  Hams don't like it if the 40M net is buffered by 20 seconds.  :)

The Bar Graph is an indicator of network health, not signal strength.    Have a look at Section 15.6.1 in the Maestro V2 manual to give you an idea.

You can improve your WiFi experience by not using 2.4Ghz WiFi and only using 5Ghz WiFi (I have turned off 2.4Ghz in my house).  There are more open channels on 5G and since its range is less, then your router has less network congestion to deal with.

I hope that helps explain a few things.  

Mike

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Brian Denley

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In fact, in my house, my Maestro only works with the 5Ghz connection. My 2.4Ghz shows full bars but the Maestro connects poorly with no audio and then disconnects. This is 29 feet fro the router! The Maestro (or Smartlink) doesn’t like the 2.4Ghz connection at all, not matter how strong it is.
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Michael N3LI

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And don't forget to do everything you can to mitigate RF problems. So many problems in here can be fixed by toroids. Wireless or wired sometimes makes no difference
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WX7Y

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Another BIG 2.4Ghz issue is Blue Tooth share the 2.4 WiFi band and use a huge amount of the available data with it's full duplex audio streaming. 

Try turning off 2.4 ghz on everything you can and see if it helps. 

73 Bret

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WA5GP

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I do wish that I could do without the 2.4G here, but unfortunately turning off the 2.4G  would Kill a large portion of the house Ie: Alarm system,NVR,A/C control,Garage, Two at least computers and the list goes on.
All of the computers in this room/Shack are Laptops.  The "Computer Room" 30 ft away has the Towers.  That room has the master router connected to the outside world; which has 2 computers connected directly with cat 5.  This room/shack has the  "Bridge Router" which is what most things in this room is connected to along with the Flex.  The Flex and NVR are the only thing that is connected via Cat 5. Another issue may be that due to the high potential of cross channel interference on 2.4G the repeater router uses the 5G portion for the bridge and connections to the router are therefor limited to 2.4G. From this point it begins to get complicated and a wiring nightmare with the radio equipment that is in the shack.

The main issue or question that this thread is about of the low to almost non-existence of connection has only been a real problem two or three times when the software disconnected from the radio.  It seems to work 99% of the time and is only a "Wonder why it is doing that" when I am here in the room. I don't see or notice any lag of the display because I am not here in the room that much while operating. It is a real annoyance to have to come back in here to reconnect to the radio though.
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John KB4DU

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Is your router a b/g/n version or an a a/c version? The b/g/n versions use 2.5 gigglehertz, but the a/c versions use 5 gigglehertz, with a lot less frequency congestion. I changed to a low end a/c router (don't need beamforming etc), with significant performance improvement for the few wireless devices I have.
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WA5GP

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It is a Duel Band router and the 5G side is the Bridge Frq to the main router that is in the other room and the connection to the outside world.
In this room/shack there are only two computers that are continuously connected to that router, along with the radio via Cat 5 and the NVR via Cat 5 ( a couple of other laptops on occasion if the need arises ) but mainly just two laptops that both have SSDR 2.49 installed.
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John KB4DU

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Is the computer (laptop?) for the radio also using the 5G or the 2.4 G? My older laptop is only b/g for wireless but the newer iPad has 5G (ac) capability, so I use it for wireless and the laptop is cat5 to the router.
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Ng Rocky

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Consider add another layer of sub-net exclusively for FlexRadio and the client PC.

may require Port forwarding
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Michael Walker, Official Rep

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I would not recommend doing that setup with another layer for a few reasons.

For basic operation, the radio and the clients need to be on the same subnet (this is a normal method for 98% of our customers).  The reason for this is that the radio advertises it self with Layer 2 broadcasts.  If you are on another sub-net, then the client will not be able to find the radio.

This document best describes it https://helpdesk.flexradio.com/hc/en-us/articles/202118558-How-to-Connect-your-FLEX-6000-to-a-LAN

Mike
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WA5GP

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That was considered once and I went through setting that up on the router and things went to Hell quickly and had to go back to the original router configuration.  That also screwed up my SmartLink too;  which I haven't straightened out yet,, but that is a totally different issue.
It is just curious that there is so much latency between the software and radio.  I know it would be better ( most likely ) with a Cat 5 direct to the computer.
The radio like I mentioned seems to work just fine with an occasional drop out where I have to come back into this room and reload/reconnect to the radio.
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Michael Walker, Official Rep

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Your latency is related to the WiFi part.  You'll have to look under the covers to understand, but in the WiFi world, not all information packets make it the first time and they are either dropped (UDP Packets) or reset (TCP Packets).   

You can search back about 2 years in the community to see all the tests I ran showing that running streaming data to a router 2 feet away was problematic in a crowded WiFi environment.  I also used to work for a company that did commercial WiFi installations, so I have some experience with under the cover bench testing.

If you could see it, you would be amazed at how data is actually dropped when watching streaming video.  It is a significant number.  Some AP's will actually show you a dropped back rate.  

This is from Wikipedia and sums it up nicely

Causes: The Internet Protocol (IP) is designed according to the end-to-end principle as a best-effort delivery service, with the intention of keeping the logic routers must implement as simple as possible. If the network made reliable delivery guarantees on its own, that would require store and forward infrastructure, where each router devoted a significant amount of storage space to packets while it waited to verify that the next node properly received it. A reliable network would not be able to maintain its delivery guarantees in the event of a router failure. Reliability is also not needed for all applications. For example, with live streaming media, it is more important to deliver recent packets quickly than to ensure that stale packets are eventually delivered. An application or user may also decide to retry an operation that is taking a long time, in which case another set of packets will be added to the burden of delivering the original set. Such a network might also need a command and control protocol for congestion management, adding even more complexity.

To avoid all of these problems, the Internet Protocol allows for routers to simply drop packets if the router or a network segment is too busy to deliver the data in a timely fashion. This is not ideal for speedy and efficient transmission of data, and is not expected to happen in an uncongested network.[4] Dropping of packets acts as an implicit signal that the network is congested, and may cause senders to reduce the amount of bandwidth consumed, or attempt to find another path. For example, using perceived packet loss as feedback to discover congestion, the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is designed so that excessive packet loss will cause the sender to throttle back and stop flooding the bottleneck point with data.[5]

Packets may also be dropped if the IPv4 header checksum or the Ethernet frame check sequence indicates the packet has been corrupted. Packet loss can also be caused by a packet drop attack.

Wireless networks Wireless networks are susceptible to a number of factors that can corrupt or lose packets in transit, such as radio frequency interference (RFI),[6] radio signals that are too weak due to distance or multi-path fading, faulty networking hardware, or faulty network drivers.

Wi-Fi is inherently unreliable and even when two identical Wi-Fi receivers are placed within close proximity of each other, they do not exhibit similar patterns of packet loss, as one might expect.[7]

Cellular networks can experience packet loss caused by, "high bit error rate (BER), unstable channel characteristics, and user mobility."[8] TCP's intentional throttling behavior prevents wireless networks from performing near their theoretical potential transfer rates because unmodified TCP treats all dropped packets as if they were caused by network congestion, and so may throttle wireless networks even when they aren't actually congested.[8]

Network congestion[edit]Network congestion is a cause of packet loss that can affect all types of networks. When content arrives for a sustained period at a given router or network segment at a rate greater than it is possible to send through, there is no other option than to drop packets.[3] If a single router or link is constraining the capacity of the complete travel path or of network travel in general, it is known as a bottleneck. In some cases, packets are intentionally dropped by routing routines,[9] or through network dissuasion technique for operational management purposes.[10]
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Ng Rocky

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my main router is a new one with both 2.4G and 5G band, connected with over 20 devices. My DAX stream is laggy with one one subnet configuration. this is subnet 192.168.1.0/24. I try both 2.4 and 5g band

i dig out an ancient day router from store room with only 5G and set its LAN side to 192.168.59.0/24 and WAN side to 192.168.1.59

Only 2 devices in the 192.168.59.0 subnet is FlexRadio and my MacBook running W7. This subnet is exclusively for Flexradio traffic

I found UPnP unlikely to work with two layers of subnets. So i port forward 4993 4994 port in main router to 192.168.1.59. In the HAM only router, forward these two port to Flexradio fixed IP