PTT Audio fail once in a while Still a Problem, and Praise 1.4

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  • Problem
  • Updated 4 years ago
  • Acknowledged
Bret, WX7Y, reported this problem a few months ago with 1.3.8 and it was thought that perhaps it had been fixed in 1.4. Over the last several days I have noticed that the occasional failure of audio to come up when PTT is engaged, is still there.  Few and usually far between but still there. It seems to be more likely if you happen to "quick key" once or twice fairly close together for whatever reason, it does still fail to bring up the audio, so when it happens a quick un-key and re-key usually takes care of it. 1.4/6300 quad core intel based machine. 6300 "E- cable" to wireless router. No outside software like DDUtil or HRD or any of that. More of an observation than a complaint. Love the way 1.4 is running for the most part now that we've had a chance to re-learn a few of the nuances specific to the new software it works extremely well with very few  hiccups. Great Job by all who made this version look almost completely seamless with all the work "under the hood". Cut the  load on the machine at least in half compared to other versions.
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Jim KJ7S

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Posted 4 years ago

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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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You left out some important info.  How are you keying the radio?  Specifically which hardware port and what device are you using as the switch?
(Edited)
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John n0snx

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I too have the same issue 6300 & 6500.. It does it under any PTT circumstances.. Keying from the front with a heil cable and a PTT hand button keyer or Directly thru the rear PTT...I have even seen it using the MOX to switch the TX on and off with a mouse...I have various hand keyers and it does it with all of them...This has been a known issue since I got my first 6300 back in May.. It has been discussed here before as I remember...
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Bill Roberts

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I've had the same keying from the MOX button on the SSDR screen.
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clint yates

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i have the same  problem. it is doing it also in 1.5. key the radio and no audio. it does do it occasionally. but the other night it did it on a net when i was trying to read a paper on the air. i read the whole thing and didnt look up. needless to say that i didnt transmit any audio at all. normally i look at the watt meter to c if i am tx. sure wish this bug was fixed 
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Clint - we are aware of the issue and have done some root cause analysis, but we were not far enough along on a fix to include it in the v1.5.0 release. Intermittent issues are the most difficult one to identify and fix.  Sorry about the delay.
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Michael - N5TGL

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I was playing around in the CQ WPX contest yesterday and experienced the same thing.  I key down, red TX light illuminates on the radio but no power out.  I'm using a footswitch plugged into the RCA plug on the back.
(Edited)
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Jon - KF2E

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For what it's worth, I noticed the same thing although it might be less frequent than it was with 1.38. I was keying with a foot switch plugged into the PTT port.

Jon...kf2e
(Edited)
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WX7Y

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     Here are my help ticket numbers on this problem, this all started with my Radio after I received it back from the Hardware update #7315 .


You can look at my trouble tickets and correspondence with Dudley over the last 6 full months now on this problem.

 #9042#7876 

The problem with loosing MIC audio was NOT fixed in version 1.14 SmartSDR!

I just can't figure out how to make it happen over and over so you could see it happen, It just happens randomly.

I have tried keying the Radio from the back PTT jack and the front 8 pin MIC jack and has nothing to do with keying the radio, it keys fine there is just no output or PanAdapter signal showing and acts just like it does if you have the wrong "AF input source" until you un-key and re-key the radio.

73's
Bret
WX7Y

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K2CM

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I have tried to reproduce your problem here in NY by frequently double keying the mike.  I am unable to make it happen.  I can, however, reproduce the problem on my 2 meter radio.  I traced that to bad contacts in the mike, so replaced the mike.

You might with to check the contacts in your foot switch.  I had a similar problem with my foot-switch and another radio some time ago that I traced to a bad contact in the foot-switch.
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Jon - KF2E

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It seems unlikely it is the foot switch if the radio keys but doesn't put out audio.

Jon...kf2e
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John n0snx

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I agree Jon... The PTT only keys the radio... Has nothing to do with audio out...
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WX7Y

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Yes the radio Keys fine just no TX audio out, oh yea the Amplifier also keys through the radio so it CAN'T be a PTT switch issue.
Bret
WX7Y
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Dale KB5VE

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I had the same issue with 1.38 using vox and rear pry.

I have had it happen once with v 1.4 using vox
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Jon - KF2E

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Not sure if it's important, but it seems most likely to occur when I'm sure I'm going to get a rare DX station.

Jon...kf2e
(Edited)
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WX7Y

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To bad people don't turn in a trouble ticket on there issues, mine with this "NO TX Audio" is 6 months old, all I kept being told was         "no one else has reported this". 

Looking at all the replies thus far shows there are quite a few that have this problem as there was the first time I put this issue on the Flex Email Community and the Flex Yahoo reflector back last November.

This Email Community service is NOT a trouble ticket or Official way to let FLEX know of these kind of hard to recreate problems and if you don't do a Official trouble ticket then these hard to find issues may never get found. 

It's easy to do a Help ticket, in SmartSDR click on "HELP" then click on "HelpDesk" then follow the instructions on the page that come up.

With all do respect for the wonderful FLEX crew, if the Flex folks monitoring this reflector can't readily recreate the problem on there radios they won't make a trouble ticket for you!

73's
Bret
WX7Y
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Jon - KF2E

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Bret,

If you check this thread...

https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/occasionally-no-tx-audio-with-footswitch-ptt

You can see that Flex has acknowledged the issue previously and has it in their system. To be honest I don't view it as a very big problem but would like to see it eventually resolved.

Jon...kf2e 
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WX7Y

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No not a big deal but still needs to make it to a BUG list to be fixed which so far it hasn't.
Bret
WX7Y
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Joe - KC2TN

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LOL Jon, it seems to happen to me when it's my turn on a Net! Seriously though I have seen this happen to me on my 6500 but have not been able to pin it to anything repeatable.. I noticed my DDutil was out of date today is updated it but now have problem with the new version. UGH! Joe- KC2TN
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WX7Y

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Hi Joe, I can help you on the DDUTIL issue but NOT on the FLEX server,
If you run HRD LOGBOOK then DON'T UPGRADE yet, it breaks logbook
73's
Bret
WX7Y
bret.wx7y@gmail.com
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Michael - N5TGL

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Also helps to hit the "ME TOO" button at the top of the thread to upvote the problem.
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Jason Whiteaker

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Yes, this problem seems to still exist with 1.4. I saw it with 1.3.x as well. What I do is hit the TUNE button once, then when I hit "Tune" in WSJT-X, the transmitter will key. I don't know why it does this, and I've spoken to the helpdesk about it. It's reproducible in that it happens when the radio first boots up. Once I do the little pre-click PTT, it's fine for the rest of the time I'm using the radio.

If this were a data network situation, I'd liken it to an ARP cache timeout, and the network node is re-ARP'ing the network. Since it's DAX, I'm sure it's something else, but again, it smacks of some sort of "caching" thing. It's not annoying enough for me to hassle with it. I just click once and go on my way. :-)

-Jason
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WX7Y

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Jason, Do you mean start SmartSDR or you turn Power ON to the Radio when you say "radio first boots up"?

Just trying to recreate this here to find a pattern so it can be recreated. 

73's
Bret
WX7Y
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Jason Whiteaker

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The problem is after the radio boots, and, I go to transmit with, say, WSJT-X. I can hit "Tune" within the WSJT-X program, but the radio will not go into transmit. DAX shows transmit audio and the VU meter indicates output. One I hit "Tune" on the Flex interface, the radio will go into transmit. Any subsequent hits of "Tune" within WSJT-X or general transmission will work fine from that point forward...until the next time I want to play radio.

I shut my rig down gracefully by hitting the power button, then letting the radio shut off. I then power off my power supply. Reverse the process when I want to play - power on supply, boot workstation to desktop, power on radio, then start SmartSDR. I start the radio last just in case a conflict happens with the number of DHCP devices on my home network. I have 4 mobile devices that once in a great while will not respond to the ping check by my DHCP server, and I'll end up with an address conflict. It's happened maybe twice in the last several years.
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WX7Y

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Thanks
WX7Y
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Andrew O'Brien

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I wonder if this has has any Windows etiology ?  It sound similar to very occasional loss of  PTT digital audio when using a Flex with digital modes.  I eventually solved it by eliminating power saving options within Windows . I Just a wild idea that maybe this issue is similar. 
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Jon - KF2E

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Andrew,

I don't think it is Windows related. The issue is occurring with a PTT switch and mic plugged directly into the radio. Windows doesn't touch either of these.

Jon...kf2e
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Jason Whiteaker

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Hey Andrew...not sure power saving type functions are in effect, at least for me. I went through those exercises when I was having the severe audio stuttering problem, due to Windows DPC issues. I tried everything - turn off all power saving features, update video drivers, modify 3D graphics settings, crank the display rate down in the panadapter, shut down Bluetooth and WiFi adapters, update BIOS and chipset drivers, and even modified various NIC parameters like buffering, power saving, TCP/UDP checksum offloading, etc., etc., etc. Nothing worked. However, when I went to 1.4, the audio stuttering has absolutely disappeared. Before, opening a web page could kick of the problem. Now, I *can't* get it to fail! Don't know what Flex did, but that little feature of DAX was mightily resolved.

I suspect this PTT thing still has something to do with DAX and the network media streams it uses. The thing I notice, and doesn't seem to be quite right, is that as soon as the radio boots, it starts streaming IP packets to the last unicast address of the computer. I've not bothered to watch the radio boot on Wireshark to see if there's some sort of connection negotiation happening that I can't see. To be honest, I've never bothered to look because there's nothing I could do about it if something looked weird anyway. Perhaps there's a negotiation happening that I just didn't catch in the analyzer. At any rate, I think the problem resides in the network/packet subsystem with DAX. Who knows, though, since Windows is Windows. Back in the day, Windows NT allows Ring0 access to the video drivers to get around performance issues. I wouldn't want to be a developer who's trying to work around the embrace-and-extend mentality of Microsoft!
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Jason Whiteaker

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OK, I did a quick packet capture of what the radio does when it boots...

It appears to grab an IP address from DHCP. It then broadcasts a UDP discover message to port 4992, apparently to elicit response from any SmartSDR/DAX clients on the network. My DAX client hears this broadcast, ARPs the network to get the MAC of the Flex, receives the ARP reply, then proceeds to open a TCP connection with the radio. There's some media stream negotiation, then we see the VITA 49 (Virtual Radio Transport protocol) start streaming to the DAX client. Seemingly a pretty straightforward process.

So no, watching the streams start up as soon as the radio boots appears to be kosher. There's negotiation of the streams and then they do their thing till I shut down the radio. Probably should have performed this packet capture before, as now I'm back to not having a suspect in terms of the PTT issue. I was ready to blame DAX, and perhaps it is the problem. I just don't see anything that suggests a network transport problem that would munge the media streams, and in turn, proper DAX interaction between the radio and the workstation(s).

-Jason, NK9B
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WX7Y

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NO It's NOT just DAX, it happens on the 8 Pin MIC jack on the front panel and the Balanced jack on the back using the rear PTT switch and as was previously reported by a couple people with VOX.

Thanks again
Bret
WX7Y
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NX6D Dave

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I've seen this too on my 6300, with both 1.3.8 and 1.4.  I key my radio with a footswitch.  I know the keying signal is reaching the radio as I see the light change from green to red just below the power switch.  Releasing the footswitch and immediately rekeying has always remedied the problem.  I don't recall any instance of the problem in which I had to rekey more than once.

It's clear when the problem occurs as I immediately notice that all the transmit indicators have appeared on the SSDR display, but none of the level indicators move from the bottom stops as I speak, including the very obvious power indicators on my amp.

Posting issues like this on this forum is an effective way to get the problem into the software problem database.  When the problem is entered, there is a lot of detailed information available in these threads to support it.

This is a nasty problem to resolve as it doesn't correlate to any particular setting or usage pattern, at least not for me.  It appears now and again and disappears for relatively long stretches.

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Norm - W7CK

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I've had the same issue.  For me, it is very infrequent and I haven't been able to track it down to any particular sequence or events so I really haven't been able to duplicate it.  It has happened on VOX as well as the PTT of the back off of the rig while using a foot switch.  Most inconvenient when using VOX. 
(Edited)
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Jim KJ7S

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Here is what I have found so far... keep in mind that, although I have turned in a new help ticket on this problem, I have not received a number or response from flex nor do I expect one since it is the weekend. That said. When it happens, it is not local hardware as some have theorized, as I can get audio to the software level...meaning that the audio level indicator is showing audio, the recorder is also showing audio, since I can record audio then play it back...but it is not making it to the transmitter. I will amend that to the help ticket, as soon as I receive one.  Jim  KJ7S
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Tom Warren

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   I send the following input only to add to the database on this subject, since my setup may be a bit different from others who have reported so far.

   I run (not exclusively) a weekly 2M ssb/cw net using a foot operated switch into the front of a F6300 driving an elecraft XVTR into a KW amp. The radio is cabled to the PC with no other accessories.
   
   I noticed the problem about midway through v 1.38 version and guessed it was the
footswitch, but since it happened for only a brief period, maybe on-off through 1 week, I no longer
gave it much thought. I installed v1.4 as soon as it was released and haven't noticed an issue with it along these lines. 

   On the HF bands I mostly operate cw, at times using an elecraft amp w/o footswitch, and don't ever recall the issue there.

Tom W4TMW
 
(Edited)
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DrTeeth

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I have also noticed the issue when keying with WSJT-X via CAT. Quite infrequent  so not reported. Me tooing here!

Personally, I have found the response times for help from the forum to be much better than the helpdesk, so the latter is always a poor second when it comes to problems. The forum help is also better quality-wise.
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Mike - N1MD

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I also have the same problem with 1.4. Had rare issues with 1.38. During this weekend's phone contest I used VOX. My Radiosport headset is plugged into the front jack. I had several problems with sudden failure of the radio to respond to my voice. Receive intact. In the panic that ensued each time, I pressed every button I could think of to return to nominal operation but no joy. I finally had to shut down and do cold re-boots or warm re-boots to return the radio to life. I was using N1MM+ Logger and have never had any problems with the software.

I do not like phone contests but this is not the way to abandon them forever.

For me, this is a SERIOUS problem since I do not know if I can trust 1.4 during contests or chasing DX.

AND, I also installed WSJT-X this weekend and had several incidents when the radio would not produce RF to a command from the software to transmit. Using DXLabs Commander CAT interface.

I am likely to put in a report to the help desk later today.

This is the first time in all the months I have had a 6000 with SmartSDR that I am truly disappointed.

Mike N1MD
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Andrew O'Brien

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and , since I occasionally have the same WSJT-X issue that Mike N1MD describes I am not sure this IS a SmartSDR issue.  I experience it with PowerSDR .  The remedy is the same, reboot of Flex software and digital mode software. 
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DrTeeth

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I do not have to unload/reload any software here. I just stop the TX in WSJT-X and immediately restart it. I may have to press the 'tune' button in WSJT-X in between (it's all that I use it for) - it's been a whilst since I have had to do it.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Official Response
I have entered this report into our bug tracker for further investigation.  Please report any additional information related to this specific issue in this community topic.
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Jim KJ7S

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Thank you for all your time and effort on stayin on top of this "Pile" hihi

I did turn in a ticket yesterday on the issue but I may have done something a little off, since I haven't received and ack. yet. It does appear that you may have also received the update I put here in the forum concerning the audio.. just in case here it is again:

Here is what I have found so far... keep in mind that, although I have turned in a new help ticket on this problem, I have not received a number or response from flex nor do I expect one since it is the weekend. That said. When it happens, it is not local hardware as some have theorized, as I can get audio to the software level...meaning that the audio level indicator is showing audio, the recorder is also showing audio, since I can record audio then play it back...but it is not making it to the transmitter. I will amend that to the help ticket, as soon as I receive one.  Jim  KJ7S.

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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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I do not see an account for you or a HelpDesk ticket from you in the queue.  For details on how to submit a HelpDesk support ticket, please refer to the following URL: http://helpdesk.flexradio.com/hc/en-us/articles/202118688-How-to-Submit-a-Request-for-Technical-Supp... 
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Jim KJ7S

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I'll try again this afternoon tim. I was able to log in successfully with my main email and I thought I'd gotten it right but something must've went wrong,tnx for the link.
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WX7Y

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Tim, here is a observation of how it acts when it fails.If you move the RF Power Output slider ALL the way DOWN to "0" you will see how the panadapter, Level meter, and Recorder looks and sounds, 
With the RF Power slider set to 1 it looks normal. 

Ran accross this last night
73's
Bret
WX7Y
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Jim KJ7S

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Hi Tim. I set up a different account and it went well, plse. refer to # 9083  if that is the right reference# according to the response. Jim  KJ7S.
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Mike

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I have experienced the same issue with mu 6300. When keying via the microphone connector, sometimes, the radio goes into transmit, but no audio (and, no power out). Microphone hard wired -- no switch. I have not noticed this happening in digital modes when keying via CAT command, but I'll be watching. --Mike, WV2ZOW
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Ken - NM9P

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Just to confirm the observations, I have experienced this a few times with 1.4 as well.
It doesn't seem to be a frequent.
I have not had opportunity to try any DIGI modes since the upgrade, because I have been working on other projects (MIDI Controllers), so I don't know if is still doing it when keyed via FLDIGI, which it had been doing with 1.38 on occasion.

Tech Specs here:  
6500 keyed with a solid industrial footswitch via the RCA PTT port.
no other amps in line.

Running 100 Watts with no RF problems in the shack.
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Stewart Howarth

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I'm having the same problem every time I key-up. Using 1.4, High spec. Windows 7 PC, Yaesu desk mike to front mic. socket, no HRD or digital mode software running.
Stewart GM0GTU
(Edited)
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Stewart Howarth

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I carried-out further tests today With a local station.
With a key plugged in there is no delay whatsoever In CW mode.
In SSB mode the transceiver goes in to transmit immediately the PTT is operated, but the audio and therefore RF output is delayed for around 1 to 1.5 seconds. No audio is missed-out, just delayed.
Smart SDR reports latency as less than 1 millisecond.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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In SSB mode the transceiver goes in to transmit immediately the PTT is operated, but the audio and therefore RF output is delayed for around 1 to 1.5 seconds. No audio is missed-out, just delayed. Smart SDR reports latency as less than 1 millisecond.

Open the Settings->Radio Setup form.  Go to the Transmit tab.

Do you have any times set in the Timings section?

Also, disable all of the external PTT (ACC TX and TX Relay)) and see if the problem still exists
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Burt Fisher

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I have a similar problem when I use a D-104 microphone, unless I change the bias setting. Audio IS missed but it works fine on the FMH microphone (which I get terrible reports on).
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Stewart Howarth

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Hi Tim, There are no timings set. I'm away from home for around three weeks, but I'll check the other settings when I return, and report back.
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Stewart, GM0GTU

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Problem now solved. I borrowed a Yaesu fist mic. to try, and the problem goes away. Plugging the YD 148 desk mic. back in and the problem re-appears. How weird is that?
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Marginal PTT switch or wiring.  Not that weird at all.  Good thing is that you have isolated the issue to the 148.
(Edited)
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Stewart, GM0GTU

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Tim, PTT worked fine. Just the audio delayed for 1 second or more. No audio missing. If the switch was dodgy then the PTT would have been intermittent, which it wasn't. Also where did that first second or so of audio go? It didn't go missing, just delayed. Still weird.
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Stewart, GM0GTU

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The other point to note is that the 148 works fine with my Flex-5000, and my FT-736.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Do you have the 148 set for 50 or 600 ohm impedance?  It should be 600 ohms.
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Stewart, GM0GTU

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600 Ohm Tim, not 5 Ohm
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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I am not sure why one mic would show this type of issue with delayed audio over another unless there was a difference in the resistance of the PTT switch.