New 6600M problems?

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  • Updated 5 months ago

I seem to have some problems with my 3 day old 6600M but I hope it is down to something I am doing (or not doing). 

Using either VFO knob and quickly scrolling across the band I experience a marked degree of ‘overshoot’ rather like backlash in very old radios.  If I stop tuning rapidly to home in on a station the VFO keeps going (overshooting) so I have to tune in the reverse direction to accurately tune the station, sometimes going back and forwards a couple of times to do so. 

 At one point it seemed to work well on 20m SSB but not on other bands. I did a factory reset as per the manual and now even 20m has the same problem.  It is independent of modes (SSB, DIGU, etc).  I then downgraded from 2.3.9 to v2.3.7 but no change.  Reverted to 2.3.9.  It makes operating difficult as rapidly scrolling across the band then attempting to tune a station is a tedious process.  

Another thing is that when switched on the radio used to take me to a screen asking which software version I wanted to load.  Now it goes straight into the last loaded version.  Although I actually prefer this I cannot explain what has caused it to change.

Yet another thing:  after normal power down I switched off the DC supply and removed the PowerPole connector for several minutes.  Applying power again all the control backlights came on and stayed on even before I pressed the radio’s power switch.  After booting up then powering down again the backlights remain off.  This doesn’t seem repeatable and only happened the once.

Regarding a reset to factory defaults, the function buttons retain the customisations I made.  Not a problem at all but I would have thought ‘factory reset’ set everything back to the ‘out of the box’ setup?

Another issue is that I am unhappy with the VFO A tuning knob as when spun quickly there is a faint scraping noise. 

 Any thoughts on the above?

 Jeff – G4IUA

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Jeff - G4IUA

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Posted 5 months ago

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Doug

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And I quote from your post "Another thing is that when switched on the radio used to take me to a screen asking which software version I wanted to load.  Now it goes straight into the last loaded version.  Although I actually prefer this I cannot explain what has caused it to change."

The above is normal and the way it is suppose to be. As far as tuning over shoot maybe change you step tuning setting. Check and see if your VFO knob needs a little adjustment. Are you running this from the radio or the computer ? Give yourself a little time a lot of these problems may turn out to be you are just new to Flex. Be gentle with this lady don't spin her knobs so fast !! she isn't a hot water 18
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Jeff - G4IUA

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I've tried various step tuning settings and generally use 50 or 100 for SSB.  The problem occurs with both the A and B VFOs so it cannot be down to a VFO knob loose on the encoder shaft or anything.  

It happens when running independently but interestingly it is fine when controlled locally from the PC.  

Coming straight from a 6500 (and a 5000A prior to that) I'm pretty familiar with Flex.  I know this radio shouldn't exhibit these problems though and wanted to confirm that it isn't an obscure operating error before I seek to return it to the supplier for replacement.
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Jim K4JAF

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Any radio with a decent vfo encoder if spun quickly one direction or the other with 50/100 hz steps, will move a long way up or down the band, try 10 hz.  I think your seeing normal vfo behavior.
Dont spin the knob so hard unless your really wanting to move from one end of the band to the other..  
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Ted VE3TRQ

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This doesn't really address your observations, Jeff, but if I want to move quickly from one part of the band to another, I use the touch screen instead of the knobs. I keep the panadapter quite wide, so this works for me. Perhaps the new snap-to-band capability will help to blend quick tune capability and fine control with a small step.
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Jeff - G4IUA

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The point is that the radio was capable of working as expected initially; same tuning steps, same modes.  I was able to move the VFO knob around quite quickly (when, for example, moving around the band during the recent IOTA contest) and easily slowing down to tune a station.  The same thing happens when I initially spin the knob...there is a short delay before any movement is seen.  In short, it did work well but now it doesn't.  I appreciate that there are ways to work around this (touchscreen or from the PC for example) but having seen it work properly and now not work AND is just 3 days old, you can appreciate that I am a little disappointed.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Since you have determined there is something wrong with your radio,,Start a Help ticket.
The radio is starting as it should be.
The scraping noise could be the knob to close to the face plate, maybe use an alen wrench to loosen the screw and back the knob off a bit.

I would also try another factory reset.
Make sure the button flashes white telling you it is resetting.
(Edited)
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Jeff - G4IUA

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I've just submitted this to the help desk.  Before I did that I wanted to learn from others whether there was a likely cause, e.g. something operational I could resolve without further help.

I moved the VFO A knob very slightly further outwards along the encoder shaft in case it was rubbing against something, but no change.  I also tried yet another factory reset but again no change.

Let's see what the help desk come up with.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
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G0VLF

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Hi Jeff.

Can't say I noticed any overshoot when using the 6600M as mine never worked directly from the radio, however, the Maestro has always worked nicely. Nice weighted feel and depending on the steps used it would be fine for getting close to where you want. I usually use the touch screen followed by a slight adjustment on the VFO to get to where I want.

Once I have mine back, I can do an analysis and provide you with critical feedback.

Ray de G0VLF
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Wayne

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Your startup is normal tharts why its called smartsdr the radio learns from the operators actions and adjusts to how it thinks you want to operate based on how you have operated the last x number of times thats why your seeing it go straight to the version without asking.

The vfo encoder knob scrape is most likely due to the knob not being installed exactly even before the set screw was tightend so the one side is closer to the frame than the other thus the slight contact noise. Slight adjustment of the knob mounting will fix that.

If you have truely achieved a factory reset then in fact all the profiles function buttons etc. would have changed to the initial factory settings if this did not happen then you did not perform the factory reset sucessfully.

There is also a rule which MUST be followed to prevent maybe some of the issues you are seeing, the rule is this.

After performing an upgrade or a downgrade version upon completion you must 1- turn off the rig. 2- turn off the power supply to the rig 3- unplug the powerpole connector from the rig and wait 30 seconds not 29 at least 30 seconds. 4- reconnect the powerpole connector. 5- turn on the rig power supply 5- now press the power button for about a 1/2 second and the radio will boot.

The reason this MUST be done is to ensure that all of the radios processors start from a true shutdown or off state to make sure they synchronize and function together, because if they dont then you start to see the weird things happening like you are describing which are not repeatable and appear to act different each time the radio is started up.

These are the rules, and requirements, you make your choices and live with the results so no one can force you to follow the rules but its awfully hard to follow them when no one explains them until you have issues and lose 3 days of operation before you finally give up and contact the help desk thinking its something wrong with the radio.

This is why everyone is told to contact the helpdesk if they have an issue and why the helpdesk is so overloaded with work, from new owners.
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Wayne

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Your vfo backlash as you describe is caused by the generation of many freq change commands which are stored in the que to be executed by the proccessor. Each command takes x amount of time and generally this is not an issue but remember every minut move of the vfo encoder causes a command to be issued once the builtin timer for movement time out. Therefore your warp speed spin of the vfo knob may have created over 50 vfo frequency change commands of which maybe 10 can be processed per second and the rest are stored in the command que and as each command is processed one of the waiting commands from the cue is executed until there are no more commands to be executed but by that time you have already abruptly stopped the vfo knob but there remains 15 commands remaining in the command cue from your warp speed twist action, so when you actually have stopped the vfo dial the other 15 commands are still executimg causing your description of the backlash you are seeing.

So slow down and smell the roses and your backlash will go away. You can always show the whole band on the waterfall and then just touch close to the freq you want to be at and it instantly goes there, then slowly use the vfo knob for fine tuning or adjustment and you will be fine.
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Wayne

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The other unwritten rule from Murphy applies all the time, when you get something new it only exhibits symptoms of difficulty or defectiveness after the suppliers normal business hours or when the supplier has closed for the weekend, thats one of the reasons this forum can be so helpful cause no one wants to buy something that costs a significant amount of money then not be able to use it or get it to work correctly until 2-3 days after they receive it.
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Wayne

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In any case the helpdesk will take care of it all for you just maybe not till Monday morning.
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Jeff - G4IUA

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Thank you Wayne.  All noted.  I went thru the factory reset again exactly as you described but n/g.  Roll on tomorrow when the Flex help desk opens!
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I may be the end coder, who knows,,, nice thing is Flex will make it right. And till such time you can still use your radio at least.
(Edited)
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Wayne

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Jeff not to confuse you but what I had decscribed is what is necessary after an upgrade or downgrade version installation. The factory reset is different and is performed as follows: with the radio off press and hold down the power button until the power led turns white then release the power button and allow the radio to continue to boot normally. (ref page 150 of 6400M/6600M user guide)
(Edited)