SmartSDR CAT Issue (again)

  • 1
  • Problem
  • Updated 6 months ago
  • In Progress
I previously had an issue with SmartSDR CAT not talking to FLDigi.  How the scenario would go is, I'd bring up SmartSDR and when I activated FLDigi the Process line in the SmartSDR Cat window would show FLDigi as the process for about 2 seconds, then the word FLDigi would disappear and the Process would revert back to (None) and I would have no CAT function.  I reported this as a problem and Dudley worked with me for a good long time on the problem even logging on to my PC with TeamViewer, using Arbiter, etc.  Dudley was able to get the problem resolved but as soon as I rebooted my PC the problem returned.  After much back and forth, Dudley suggested I do a fresh install of Windows (I'm using Windows 7 home) and he also suggested I install a new hard drive since my original drive was getting some age on it.  I did both those things and my SmartSDR CAT problem went away!  Until... I attempted to set up a second session of FLDigi.  Then my same CAT problem returned.  I've checked under Device Manager/Ports (show hidden ports) and I do not have any unused comm ports, only active ports. 

Currently the only way I can get SmartSDR CAT to work with FLDigi is to completely SmartSDR and FlexVSP, reboot my PC, then reinstall SmartSDR.  Then my SmartSDR CAT functions properly with FLDigi, UNTIL I reboot my PC, then the CAT issue returns requiring I go through this same cycle SmartSDR/FlexVSP deinstall-reinstall cycle.

My PC is i7 machine with ASUS motherboard with 8gb of ram.  It works perfectly for all other functions and programs.  This CAT issue really has me baffled.  I'm curious if anyone else has had a similar issue?   I'm also wondering if switching to Windows 10 might solve my CAT issues?
Photo of KF4HR

KF4HR

  • 138 Posts
  • 49 Reply Likes

Posted 7 months ago

  • 1
Photo of WH6HI - Pat

WH6HI - Pat

  • 263 Posts
  • 36 Reply Likes
I would like to know also....starting to have some issues also.

Thanks, Pat
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9052 Posts
  • 3435 Reply Likes
Not enough info.

What version of Fldigi are you using and are you using? 
What method of radio interfacing are you using in Fldigi?
If using RigCAT, are you using the latest smartsdr.ini RigCAT interface file?
Photo of KF4HR

KF4HR

  • 138 Posts
  • 49 Reply Likes
Hi TIm - I'm using FLDigi v4.0.12.  My method of interfacing is using the virtual SmartSDR CAT and DAX ports.  I'm downloading SmartSDR v2.0.19, so am I safe to assume I'm using the latest smartsdr.ini interface file?

As I mentioned, after installing a new hard drive and a fresh Windows 7 install everything was working perfectly.  This issue only surfaced when I setup a 2nd FLDigi session. 

One other thing I noticed, which might be a clue.  After I setup a 2nd FLDigi session I noticed my Flex-6700 connection had moved from Com4 to Com5.  And Com4 had shifted to another USB device I have plugged in.
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9032 Posts
  • 3431 Reply Likes
I'm downloading SmartSDR v2.0.19, so am I safe to assume I'm using the latest 
smartsdr.ini interface file?

No, that file is downloaded independently from the Fldigi Source Forge site
https://sourceforge.net/projects/fldigi/files/xmls/flex/

Each instance of Fldigi has to have its own comport and that comport needs to be associated with a unique slice in SmartSDR CAT.

And each instance of Fldigi will need to use the unique smartsdr.ini for the slice associated with it. 
Photo of KF4HR

KF4HR

  • 138 Posts
  • 49 Reply Likes
Sorry Tim, I misunderstood.  I assume you must be talking about the SmartSDR-SliceA.xml fie.  If that's the case, yes, I downloaded the latest FLDigi file from the source you noted.  In fact, I downloaded all 8 of these .xml files for Slice A thru H, and have all 8 .xml files stored in the fldigi.files/rigs folder.  And when I set up my 2nd FLDigi session I used a the B Slice, the SmartSDR-Slice B.xml file, and a different virtual Comm Port. 

I was able to get both FLDigi sessions working perfectly with two receiver slices but it is this process of engaging a 2nd virtual port which caused me to loose my CAT connection the next day when I started my PC.  And as I mentioned I have to deinstall SmartSDR and VSP, then reinstall it each time I turn my PC on in order for my CAT function to work.  Any suggestions?
(Edited)
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9032 Posts
  • 3431 Reply Likes
Can you define or describe in more detail what you mean by "lose your connection"?
Photo of KF4HR

KF4HR

  • 138 Posts
  • 49 Reply Likes
Normally the frequency display on FLDigi tracks the movement of the SmartSDR slice frequency, and visaversa.  When I loose my CAT connection there's a disconnect with this function.  I can move the slice frequency and the FLDigi frequency doesn't change.  Also in the SmartSDR CAT window, Process shows (None), instead of FLDigi.    
Photo of Ria - N2RJ

Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

  • 2246 Posts
  • 871 Reply Likes
I use FLRig for rig control. For me it has proven to be most reliable method.
Photo of Michael Coslo

Michael Coslo

  • 753 Posts
  • 172 Reply Likes
I'd download a copy of Revo uninstaller, and remove everything that has anything to do with SSDR, then reinstall. This is not the method recommended by FRS, but I haven't had a problem yet that the scorched earth uninstall/reinstall  system hasn't fixed. I'd do the same with fldigi.
Photo of KF4HR

KF4HR

  • 138 Posts
  • 49 Reply Likes
Thanks Michael.  I'll look into that.  At this point I'm pretty much out of options. 

The odd part is, other than this CAT problem SmartSDR is working perfectly.  My gut tells me the problem has something to do with the Flex port driver software.  I just don't know why it just seems to be happening with this particular computer, (and noted above, also WH6HI's computer).
Photo of Michael Coslo

Michael Coslo

  • 753 Posts
  • 172 Reply Likes
There are a lot of different computer hardware setups, and unless it's changed, Microsoft makes hardware vendors write the drivers. So there is a non zero chance that it is FRS's fault - but I doubt it. If you and WH6HI can do a hardware comparison and stock driver comparison, you might come up with something of great interest. Otherwise there is something interesting in that you can (or could) get it to work once. This would indicate that something is happening on reboot more than a non-functioning driver.

Now this might be rehashing what you and Dudley went over, but do you start DAX and CAT during boot? I'd try disabling them during the startup sequence  and  enabling them manually, after a full boot.
Photo of KF4HR

KF4HR

  • 138 Posts
  • 49 Reply Likes

Michael your previous suggestion of using the Revo Deinstaller initially worked!  After using Revo to deinstall SmartSDR, Revo asked if I wanted to scan for other Flex files that might be left on my PC, I did and to my surprise there was a long list of files left on my PC, in the Registry.  I deleted all of those, then did a fresh SmartSDR install and my CAT function worked normally!  Amazing. 

The bad news is, to test the fix I rebooted my PC and my CAT problem returned again.  On the plus side, at least I have a way, albeit a round about way, to get my CAT working, so thank you very much.  Perhaps when Tim sees these latest posts he may have some other ideas.

Reference your question, do I start DAX and CAT during boot?  When I start SmartSDR I just let the program auto-start the DAX and CAT programs.  I don't start them manually, but I'll try see if manually disabling and re-enabling them makes any difference. 

Again, thanks for your help.  I'm hopefully I'll eventually be able to get to the bottom of this CAT issue.


Butch - KF4HR

Photo of KF4HR

KF4HR

  • 138 Posts
  • 49 Reply Likes
Follow-up: Michael your idea of disabling and re-enabling the DAX and CAT programs caused the CAT function to start working.  This is a much better (and faster) process than having to deinstall and reinstall SmartSDR. 

It sure would be nice to know what the heck is going on. :) 
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9052 Posts
  • 3435 Reply Likes
I have converted this topic to a support HelpDesk ticket (http://helpdesk.flexradio.com) for expedited issue resolution.  Please respond using the HelpDesk ticket for issue resolution.
Photo of KF4HR

KF4HR

  • 138 Posts
  • 49 Reply Likes
For WH6HI and others who may be having CAT or DAX connectivity issues, please take note of Michael Coslo's post above.  After starting SmartSDR, then disabling and re-enabling my DAX  and CAT programs this process cleared my CAT connectivity issue.  And as my DAX and CAT programs restart, a pop up window indicating "Client connected from IP xxx." shows on the bottom right corner of the screen. 

It has also been suggested that the Windows High Performance FASTBOOT option be activated to solve this issue.  While I have been able to find the FASTBOOT feature in Windows 8 and 10, so far I haven't been able to find this feature in Windows 7.

Many thanks to Michael and Dudley.

KF4HR
Photo of Brian Bedoe WD9HSY

Brian Bedoe WD9HSY

  • 29 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes

Hey Butch --

Just to let you know, I am having the same issue ..... I loose it all when I reboot.  I close dax and cat after I reboot and restart them up just before SSDR......Cat locks on FLDIGI and doesn't go to none and it works till the next reboot.

I posted this on the Flex Facebook page and got a reply or two.

I am watching this post with interest.....

73, Brian WD9HSY

(HP I7, Win 7 pro 64, 4.0xxx FLDIGI, 1.11 SSDR)



Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9032 Posts
  • 3431 Reply Likes
Take CAT and DAX out of the startup folder and manually start them after the PC boots up.
Photo of KF4HR

KF4HR

  • 138 Posts
  • 49 Reply Likes
Brian - Evidently certain PC's have some negative interaction with the CAT and DAX drivers during the SmartSDR boot up process.  Tim's comment above is key, and if you're computer savy enough to do this, give it a try.  If not, start SmartSDR, then close down DAX and CAT, then restart both programs.  Then start FLDigi.  This procedure has worked great here.