No joy yet with my new 6700

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  • Updated 5 years ago
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My new 6700 arrived today. Eager to get going even though I had limited time to play I connected the power, antenna and ethernet (but not the GPS antenna initially) and turned it on.

It goes though a startup sequence, with the relatively long 'Calibrating...' phase and the flashing green light. Then the front panel display goes blank and there are a few relay clicks and then "Flex-6700" is displayed but the light goes solid amber.

On my "PC" (which is admittedly a Parallels VM with Windows 8 running), the SmartSDR software shows the radio. However, if I select it and press "Connect" I get the client UI, but essentially nothing works (there's no signal and none of the controls really do anything).

The VM has perfectly good internet connection (e.g. browsing) and I've even bridged the connection via its own adapter, just in case - though surely the fact that it is discovering the radio at least demonstrates some connectivity. I can see flashing ethernet lights on the rear of the 6700 too.

I'm a bit suspicious about the solid amber light on the front panel. If I press the button again, the 6700 shuts down, but I've never managed to get the light to stay green. Maybe that's just the GPSDO indicating that it's not locked, so perhaps 'normal'?

At this stage I could do with some pointers. I've given up for the evening, but I'll attach the GPS antenna and see if I can get a green light with a GPS lock, though I suspect that's not really an issue. I'll see if I can borrow a PC to rule out any issues with the VM environment on the Mac, but I've never had any issues before (and this is a _fast_ Mac!).

Are there any other Flex diagnostic tools I can run to get a better idea of status? When I get time I might put a packet sniffer on the network and see if there's much traffic between the 6700 and the client, besides some discovery broadcasts/handshakes.
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VA7LWE

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  • sad, anxious, confused, frustrated

Posted 5 years ago

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Don - kx9q

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I am also running Parallels 8 with Win 7 Pro. I have connectivity with the radio and I am using fldigi just for monitoring. It seems to be working ok, however, I want to be able to transmit as well as receive the digi stuff. That was my biggest disappointment with the 6x00 radios - no support for the digi stuff like the 5K, 3K, or the 1.5K has though I believe it is coming eventually.
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Have you tried connecting your 6700 to your LAN (same switch as the computer), rather than to the Mac's ethernet port? I'm wondering if there are some network issues lurking.

Try with a PC - even a netbook should hook up directly. At least that rules out the radio.

Good luck & hope to see you on soon!
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VA7LWE

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@Don, yes I'm running Parallel 8 too, albeit with Windows 8.
The Mac is the latest Macbook Pro retina with lots of oomph:


@George, I tried connecting through the LAN first actually. I watched the radio get it's IP address from the DHCP server and SmartSDR show the radio in the same way as when I connect the radio right into the Mac. However, the results are the same when I try to select and "Connect" to the 6700 - the UI comes up but it looks like there's no actual communication going on.

I agree about the PC, that's definitely on my list to do next - I'll borrow one from work tomorrow. As you say, at least I'll be able to verify the radio if it all behaves with that.
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VA7LWE

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Whoops, you don't seem to be able to edit your own posts on this board. Oh well.
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Don - kx9q

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actually you can...look in the upper right hand corner of your post and you will see edit and delete options, however, you post must have focus.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Does the info at have a role?

http://community.flexradio.com/flexra...

Interested as I would like to use one of my iMacs to run the station eventually.

73

Steve
K9ZW
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VA7LWE

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@Steve K9ZW
Thanks for the link.

I think my case is different, at least in the sense that the radio is being discovered. It just doesn't seem to want to communicate properly with SmartSDR after connecting.

I did set up the VM networking to be bridged... albeit bridged explicitly via a Thunderbolt ethernet adapter, rather than to "default" as shown in the linked thread. I could try that I suppose.

I could also try bridged over wifi I suppose.
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Don - kx9q

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I think you have to have a "hardwired" connection between the computer and the radio.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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What happens if your use your MacBook Pro's built-in Ethernet connection?

Might be useful to try to connect directly rather than through the adaptor.

73

Steve
K9ZW
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VA7LWE

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The retina doesn't actually have a built in socket. It's wifi or thunderbolt (apparently all in the interests of keeping size down!).

Anyway, I've just spent another 30 minutes playing. I've now seen the radio do a few more tricks.

It started by actually getting to a steady green light.

Then it had a few cycles where it would emit a relay click, wait a bit, then redisplay the "Flex-6700" on the front panel with a left-to-right wipe effect, before emitting another click.

After a while it got to cycling between flashing blue and steady blue, which I believe means that it was getting to a state where the GPS what locking at least.

I've still not heard a peep out of the headphones connected to the front panel, though probably there's absolute silence until you create the first slice, which I haven't been able to do yet!

I played with various network settings in Parallels. While nothing is any better, I am beginning to suspect the networking in Parallels some more, based on trying to use a browser while I switched between bridge modes and watching to see if things reset properly. I will play some more with this tomorrow (as well as hopefully validating things with the help of a PC laptop, rather than the house of cards that I'm currently trying).
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philip.theis, Elmer

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This issue is being worked on now. I experienced the same symptom and have sent network traces to the developers.
Can you tell me what device in your network provides DHCP services? What serves up the IP addresses?
Thanks,
Phil K3TUF
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Don - kx9q

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I initially had a problem because I did not bridge the network in Parallels, however, once I did the 6700 worked just fine. I tried bridging the default then I tried bridging the network adaptor. In either case it worked both ways.

I may be wrong but I seem to recall from some previous discussion that the radio with the GPS has to lock in first.

Are you running the enet directly to the computer from the radio or going through a switch? I am using an iMAC 27" with an I5 processor and 8gig of memory.
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Question - is the radio "available" in the SSDR chooser with a blue dot? You might need to flash the firmware before starting. Probably not, based on what you're experiencing, but if I recall, a yellow dot in the chooser indicates an upgrade is required.

Good luck!!
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VA7LWE

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@phillip.theis
That's sounds promising, thanks.

DHCP is provided by a Mac Pro, running Mac OS X Server.
I have watched the 6700 getting its IP address. That all seems to work fine.
Whether its successfully getting other things it needs (gateway, DNS etc.) I cannot say, but it has been discoverable on the network in SmartSDR with the IP address that the DHCP service supplied.

@Don -kx9q
The radio has been discoverable in the SmartSDR client prior to locking in the GPS (at least, if that's what a steady amber light means). At least in terms of my failure to properly connect the client I see no difference between the amber and blue (flashing or steady) states.

For the most part I've run the ethernet from the 6700 to a 1000/100/10 switch, which serves the rest of my network.

I also tried connecting the computer directly into the back of the radio in order to see if that was a supported configuration. It seems to get at least as far as the normal routing through the switch - in that the discovery mechanism works. I didn't bother to note the IP though, so I'm not quite sure which device was configuring a network in that scenario - but perhaps the Flex was.

All in all, I haven't really spent a good chunk of time on this to diagnose properly. I hope to do this tonight, armed with a PC to see if that makes a difference and I shall take a look at some network traffic too if I can't make progress by just poking things.
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VA7LWE

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Oh boy, the part of my brain that handles apostrophes when I type what purports to be English seems to be on the blink. Apologies to anyone with literary scruples. Can an edit function be enabled on this board?
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philip.theis, Elmer

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What is the IP address that is getting assigned? Take a look at the General Tab in the Radio Setup.
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VA7LWE

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I'm at work atm, so not able to experiment right now.

However, with the 'normal' configuration of the 6700 connected to the LAN via the main switch, it was getting served with 192.168.2.51 from DHCP and that is what was shown in the SmartSDR client (can't remember where now, but I remember definitely finding and checking it).

So, as far as that goes this seems good.
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VA7LWE

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Alright... good news!

I brought a brick... (aka laptop PC) home today, but thankfully this wasn't required in the end.

With a bit more time on hand to experiment, I discovered that Parallels 8 and/or Windows 8 can get a bit upset about switching the native device for the bridged network. Windows showed that the network was connected but "Unidentified". I had the VM bridged network set up over the Thunderbolt adapter with no joy, but as soon as I turned off the wifi that the Mac was using Windows suddenly detected a network change and "Unidentified" turned into "Network 6" or something.

At that point everything worked like a dream and I've just enjoyed a very nice hour tuning around and starting to play with SmartSDR. \o/

Who knows exactly which bit of the stack wasn't playing ball, but in any case I now know that everything is working fine - at least on receive. Colour me very happy right now.
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VA7LWE

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Thanks to everyone who engaged with responses.
This is already a great community.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Wondering if this sort of information could be gathered in the knowledge base as an OS-X w/VM'ed-Windows troubles & solutions list?

Finesse tips like this could be so useful.

73

Steve
K9ZW