PSK w/Win XP is printing 50% garbled text using 6500, DAX and HRD DM780 - anyone seen this or can suggest things to try?

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I'm attempting to get my 6500 working on PSK. However, all received text is about 50% readable (as if I were trying to copy very, very weak signals).

The setup is the 6500 connected to SSDR 1.0.24 on my XP PC with DAX and HDR. I have installed the patch for DAX on XP. Followed the YouTube clip for DAX and have the audio successfully going to DM780, PSK traces appear and when decoded by DM780, some characters print ok and others are wrong characters (read as "poor spelling"). What I see is about 50% correct print plus some missing characters on all signals that would normally be readable (very strong, strong and weak signals).

The PC running XP has successfully operated with my IC-7200 and the same HDR DM780 software for 6 months on PSK. Doing an A/B test between radios, the 7200 provides typically good print as one would expect with PSK on strong and weak signals. Therefore I tend to rule out Win XP and HRD.

I've tried different settings of audio levels in SSDR and DAX, without improvement. Very low audio drops out decoding all together as expected. Nothing else seems to make a difference. Is there some setting I missed? Is DAX audio incompatible with Win XP? Given there was an issue with DAX and XP to start, might there be a lingering audio issue.

Has anyone seen anything like this?

One thing I seem not to be able to do is make the adjustments in the pc's audio devices as described at the end of the DAX video clip. It appears that XP does not allow one to change the sample rate to 48,000 Hz in Playback Devices. Could this be my issue?

By the way - the IC-7200 is a direct to PC USB connection between radio and PC for control and audio. No sound card or digital interface used in this setup.

Any suggestions would be appreciated as my "waterfall is at a trickle" :(
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Ed - NZ1Q

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  • tryijg t yead mi wetdrfadl

Posted 6 years ago

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W0QKL

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1.) Just a simple question do you adjust the squelch slid for DM780 so when the signal stops the slide is above the signal and when the signals present there is a lot of signal strength above the squelch slid.

2.) Also in the supersweeper does it decode the signals OK?
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Ed - NZ1Q

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QKL - thanks for your reply. The squelch seems to work normally as you noted. That is, I have plenty signal above the SQL setting, which is set about 25% from the left. That is also where I usually run the SQL on the other rig too. The problem is also the same on Supersweeper - all the decoded signals are garbled.

Many thanks for helping me think through the squelch settings.
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Mark - NU6X

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I have the same exact problem with RTTY. I get 50% copy on the XP machine and 100% on the Win 7 computer. I have tested this with both computers on a common switch, decoding one signal on both computers at the same time. This happen even with S9+10 signals. I want to dedicate my XP machine to the Flex but this is unworkable until we find the problem.

Is anyone been successful decoding RTTY on a XP machine???
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Ed - NZ1Q

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Mark, thanks - I thought I was the only one seeing this kind of problem. Since my other rig works with XP (for PSK), I'll try my Vista PC with my FLEX 6500 to see if it is a FLEX vs XP issue. I'm wondering if it is a DAX issue since we had that problem loading DAX with XP.
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Ed - NZ1Q

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Mark, I tried using the Vista notebook and get the same results. So, I'm a bit puzzled only because my decode results on either machine are unusable (calls, names, reports, etc. are busted) and I haven't seen others have an issue with this on RTTY, PSK or other digital modes. I appreciate Steve's input below. I will continue to further isolate my issue by trying a Win7 PC next.
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Ed - NZ1Q

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Mark, I did finally get my Win7 machine running and it decodes PSK-31 perfectly.
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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I believe we have found an issue in the DAX beta code that will cause distortion at around -40dBFS. We have fixed the issue, but have not released the code yet. Have you tried increasing the audio level you are sending your digital program to something closer to 0dBFS?
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Ed - NZ1Q

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Ok Tim - I think what you are telling me is that it might be best to go with another op sys like win7. Many thanks.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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What I am advocating is that you may want to seriously consider an upgrade to a newer version of Windows for several reasons. First, XP will no longer be supported by Microsoft as of April 2014, so that in itself is a major factor in your decision making process.

Also, I suspect that you may have had XP running for some time now on that PC and over time, "stuff" happens to Windows XP that makes it less stable (in the IT business we called it "OS rot") and the fix was a clean re-install.

Win 7 and greater have shown to perform better and have less problems as reported by users creating HelpDesk tickets. For the 1.0.14 beta release, a vast majority of the issues we are addressing are on XP machines.

In addition WPF applications such as SmartSDR for Windows really benefits from a DirectX 11 video adapter with sufficient video RAM. DirectX 11 is not supported on XP.

IMHO, XP was the first really usable Windows OS and it has had a great run. With the exception of Vista, Win 7 and greater improved on the XP successes.

An OS upgrade is worth looking into.
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Rick Hadley - W0FG

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Not to steal the thread, but would you advise upgrading to 7 or 8.1, assuming the computer was equally capable with either OS?
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Ed baker

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WOW a dax issue. If you make it better than it is now Holly smoke !!!!!
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Robbie - KI4TTZ

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No kidding, dax is awesome.
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Ed baker

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run xp / boot camp. YUP !!! its usually the audio gain

Normally use win 7 , ddutil, dm780 just look at the audio level percentage at the bottom of the dm780 adjust accordingly .

The only time dm 780 will not decode is when the frequency has moved. AND/or the other station derided to re tune you in .
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Ed - NZ1Q

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Ed, I've varied the audio using DAX and the rig rf gain. The audio % at the bottom of DM780 can be varied form 0 thru 100% (overload) - no difference than at 50% There is no setting I can get clean decode using Win xp.
With my Win7 machine, decode is clean.
However, what is "xp / boot camp" you are referring to?
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Ed baker

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Ok
Boot camp is used on apple machines to run PC . Mine is using still xp

My PC is using windows 7

Let's presume that you are using dm780. The audio is over 25 percent rec
There is no squelch set. So the dm780 is printing junk with no signal.
A station is on your waterfall. Iris psk 31. Youhavedm780 set for psk 31
And your signal is in the center of your band pass this is 1500 hz. In the middle of your band pass.
Your filter is somewhere from 100 to 3000 and you cannot copy?????

Hopefully you are not lsb. On a USB signal. Or digi u. Dig l. Backwards???

even with the "Dax ". Not being 100 percent if the station is not moving around. You will copy .

Need more info.
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Ed - NZ1Q

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Ok Ed, thanks for your help. More info is in my posts above. But to summarize, I have things set up just as you have mentioned. That is I'm using DM780 (ver6.0), audio is in the neighborhood of 50%, signal in passband - I copy about 50% correct characters and 50% incorrect characters.

I can only it is a Win xp vs. DAX issue as the same pc running HRD - DM780 hooked to my IC-7200 via a USB connection has been working perfectly since I set it up in July and continues to work as I do A-B tests btw radios now. So DM780 works as I've worked over 1000 PSK stations with the 7200 and win xp.

Any other ideas?
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Ed baker

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When all other avenues have been exhausted. "Dax. Has a problem with. Xp. "

Must be the cause

It works perfectly here. In fact. It is the best I cannot believe that it could be made better.

The only time I get garbage. Is. When more than one station is on that spot.
Very possible you are hearing multiple stations.

I know the flex has a better rec than your other radio .
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Ed - NZ1Q

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Thanks again Ed. Same results on any signal I move to, on any band. Even very strong signals. Now, what puzzles me is: isn't anyone else using their new FLEX for PSK with XP. One would think so. Where are they - doesn't seem there a lot of others with this problem. Wondering if it could be my hardware. Well, I will not be dwelling on it. I'll change to Win7, probably on different HW too..
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Ed baker

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If you are worried about your hardware. Ie flex. Then would try a signal link USB unit it is a wired function (cheep workable. It uses internal to the signal link cox. For the ptt ) If that will decode well you know the answer . Just like going to windows 7. Or. 8.
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Ed - NZ1Q

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Good thought Ed. Actually I meant I'll try new PC hardware. I know the FLEX is good because it works very well (decodes all PSK) with another Win 7 pc I have on the network.
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Timo - OH5KW

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I removed SSDR 1.0.24 completely from my XP desktop, because DAX stopped to error every time I tried to use it. Also Harman Kardon USB speakers lost volume control when DAX was installed. No problems with Win 7. Let's hope SSDR 1.1 works better with XP.
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Ed - NZ1Q

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Timo, there is a fix for DAX with xp to correct the problem you described. Contact Tim (above) to get the DAX code with the xp loading fix.
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KM4CJ

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PSK31 was working OK with WIN7 here on my 6500, but when version 1.1 came out and I started to add DAX channels, I got the same result you were experiencing in DM780. I nothiced in super browser, a lot of errors in the decoded text. I noticed that if I disabled the other DAX channels it improved. I listened to the audio through the PC and what I heard was a lot of distortion, popping, and static as more DAX channels were enabled. The distortion is the cause for the poor copy. I adjusted the levels both at the DAX output slider and the PC input and the distortion did not improve. So now I am down to two things, (1) SmartSDR issue, or PC processing issue. I had 3 DAX channels running, 1 to DM780, 1 to JT-65, and the other to the PC ,mixer to monitor SSB audio. While listening to the SSB audio and enableing the digital channels via DAX, the SSB audio would pop, crackle and drop out as the channels were enabled. Anyone else having any issues with multiple DAX's running? Thanks - Steve KM4CJ
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Ed - NZ1Q

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Steve, I don't have any experience with SSDR 1.1 and DAX yet, since I'm still trying to sort out the upgrade of the old pc and WinXP. But you describe an interesting issue.
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Ed baker

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Just a heads up . As you are finding out PSK 31 is not capable of having multiple stations on the exact same frequency.

You get garbage when  more than one station transmits  at a time on that same spot  . This goes for the browser Also  . 

Taking the threshold on the DM780 to wide open will allow the program to  produce random characters. IE NOISE  I'm doing just that right now 

Since the Flex has a  fantastic receiver  it is very common for this station to decode stations that do not appear on the waterfall .  And I  Have a very good conversation with them to boot . That copy will produce random characters along with proper characters  as that station falls below the receive  capability .

You may want to visit the setup for the super browser and consider different decode parameters (Show Chanel when etc.) 

Digi "PSK31"  is fantastic  using the Flex and DAX 

If Flex says Windows 7 has no DAX issues  I would be loading it yesterday  

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KM4CJ

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Ed - Thanks for the reply. The problems turns out to not be related to PSK31 or DM780. If i listen to the DAX and then enable another DAX channel, I start to get 'crakling and pops", then as I enable another DAX channel - it degrades more. I varied the output level from DAX control and reduced the input level in windows. but only reduced the volume, distortion was still there. I plan to try another PC and check reults. More to follow. Thanks again - Steve
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KM4CJ

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Update- Used another computer to compare results. Had similar performance of distortion and dropouts. My summary of testing on both computers revealed the following. The amount of distortion was related to the loading of the processor. (These loading percentage are approx) Running SSDR four slices with FPS at 12 - the CPU was 22%. Opened JSTX and DM780 applications and went to 25%. Enabled one DAX channel 36% Enabled 2nd DAX channel 45%, then enabled the other two 60%. WIth DAX control panel active went to 76%. Running WIN 7 on Toshiba laptop with i5 processor. Minimized the DAX control panel and recovered 15% of processor time. With 55% of processor loading distortion was minimized and the digital programs had good copy. My other computer, AMD Dual Core went to 85% with the max described scenario above. Of course if you opened a Web browser, then the CPU would spike to 100% momentarily and the audio would drop out. So if you are haveing issues with multple DAX channels running and distorted audio then try minimizing the DAX control panel and only run the minimum DAX channels needed. I saw an earlier post with a gentleman having issues with the TX side, I suspect I would be having the same issue. Just wanted to pass along my expeience in hopes of helping someone. I am enjoying my 6500 - awesome radio and the DAX fuction is great! - Steve KM4CJ
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Ed - NZ1Q

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One last note from my side of findings since I started this thread. As orginally stated, my XP and Vista machines were not decoding PSK properly. I've since upgraded my shack PC to newer hardware with a bit more horsepower (still XP). This PC decodes perfectly.

The older PC w/XP and notebook w/Vista just are not up to the task. Both of these older machines' processors run at around 3 GHz, but with single core processor's and seem just not to have enough capability for all the software running at once including PSK decode.

BTW, it is clear that a duel core processor is a Flex recommendation right up front. Also, many of us have noted that exiting the DAX control panel once setup will reduce processor usage, along with reducing the SSDR Display frame rate ( I bring it all the way down to 1 when in PSK mode). Sometimes also minimizing SSDR altogether for minimum procesor usage.

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