SmartSDR CAT losing connection with WSJT-X instance

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I'm running the latest version of all of the software I'll mention bellow.

I have four instances of WSTJ-X running on my Lenovo P70 laptop, GridTracker to help me monitor and log the instances and four slice receivers with SmartSDR 3.1.8.

For some so far unexplained reason SmartSDR CAT will lose partial contact with one of the WSJT-X instances.  I'll click on a row in GridTracker so I can work a station of interest and my 6600 will start transmitting on the previously selected band.  So if for instance I worked the last QSO on 20 meters and this current QSO is on 17 meters SmartSDR will show the 20 meter slice in transmit when it should be the 17 meter band that's being transmitted on.

I'm having to trust SmartSDR that it's telling me the correct band that's being transmitted on event thought it's not the band I expect as I currently have no easy way to sample the generated RF with a second receiver.

I've gone into WSJT-X setting > radio and the TCP/IP ports all look correct.  If I stop and restart SmartSDR, SmartSDR CAT, SmartSDR DAX and the four instance of WSJT-X everything comes back up and works fine, sometimes for several days before the next failure.

I'm not sure if it's related or not however I'm also seeing the Flex 6600 just plain crash and reboot itself randomly.  Sometimes this can be twice in an hour and other times it can run for several days.

73,

de Roger, NK1I

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Roger

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Posted 2 months ago

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Al K0VM, Elmer

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Roger,

  I am assuming that your have the WSJT-X instances configured to use a separate TCP port for each instance and that your are using PTT via CAT and have 'auto switch TX slice' enabled on each port.
  If it stays in that mode for ( transmitting on wrong band ) long enough,  in SSDR CAT enable 'log' for each port and verify the TX command is indeed on the correct port.  
  I suspect that it is..

AL, K0VM
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Roger

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Hi Al,

It's all setup correctly and I've even checked to make sure nothing has changed when the failure occurs.  Yesterday it failed and I only exited SmartSDR, DAX and CAT and restarted.  With the restart everything worked just fine.  Once the restart of SmartSDR and it's associated components completed and I answered "retry" to the WSJT-X instances everything began working without me having to restart the four WSJT-X instances.

I have read the complete thread and will try disabling my screen saver as Dan suggested although I've seen this happen when I was actively interacting with SmartSDR, GridTracker and WSJT-X working QSOs.

I have noted that CAT-PTT continue to work and DAX doesn't seem to have any issues at least at the same time.  I have noted however other times that DAX seems to lose its connections with WSJT-X.  This has been less concerning since it doesn't leave me transmitting on the incorrect frequency.

73,

Roger, NK1I
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Bill W2PKY

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6700 here running all 8 slice with 4 WSJT-X instances 24X7,  PC is  I7 4790K tower. [fast 16gigs memory]
Generally don't have any issues besides DAX corruption now and then. This AM all four instances had the red dot next to the dial frequency read out. The "retry cancel" boxes open for all four instances. When trying the retry option the dial frequency showed all zeros. Restarted CAT, did not reconnect to the WSJT-X apps. Been running WSJT-X since 2014 and never saw this situation.
Restarted WSJT-X and all was well.
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Bill W2PKY

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Read in another thread that this may be an issue with TCP/Hamlib method.  Recommendation is to go back to Kenwood 2000 using Com ports.
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Al K0VM, Elmer

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The Flex related problem with hamlib was fixed in WSJT-X about a year or so ago.  If you are running wsjt-x 2.1.2 there should be  no hamlib problems with flex.  I have not had any CAT problems related to the hamlib bug when using wsjt-x 2.1.2. 
AL, K0VM
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Bill W2PKY

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Thanks for the info, looks like this version came out at end of November '19.
Updated my PC today with 2.1.2, hope this solves the problem.
Perhaps others missed this update as well. Would be nice if WSJT-X automatically notified users of newer versions.
(Edited)
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Bill W2PKY

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This morning 3 out of 4 instances of WSJT-X had disconnected from CAT, ver 2.1.2 TCP method. Changed over to COM ports, see what happens. This is a very recent experience for me and nothing has changed on my computer. Been running SSDR 3.1.8 for some time now. 
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Al K0VM, Elmer

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I assume each instance of WSJT-X has its own unique TCP port ?
AL, K0VM
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Bill W2PKY

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Yes Al, can not imagine what has changed to cause the loss of CAT connection over night. Radio is on Static IP and PC, Radio & Amp are on 5 port switch which are powered by UPS. Have reviewed Event Log, nothing there. Open to suggestions.
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Bill W2PKY

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So after changing to COM ports for the first time the active WSJT-X instance went red while transmitting. Had to click retry to get green indication on dial frequency. Two other instances had a temporary disconnect as the slice flag moved to the center of the panadapter display. 
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Bill W2PKY

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Further investigation shows I opened a ticket with the help desk in November detailing all instances disconnected from CAT. This also coincides with the release of 3.1.8.. Will reopen that case as an FYI, looks like there might be a bug in CAT 3.1.8 
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Pat - WH6HI

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Glad to see that others are seeing this problem.  In my case, I see the PTT part and on a lesser scale frequency, stop functioning.  In both cases, the fix is stopping and restarting CAT and/or the apps involved.  Usually this condition appears if I have not used the radio for more then 1 hour.  If I continually use the radio, no problem.  I use  the following apps wsjt-x, JTAlert, Log4OM, SmartSDR. all talking on on UDP ports.  Wsjt-x using the dedicated Flex 6000 tcp settings (port 5002 and CAT) to communicate with Flex 6500.  I use Windows 10 home,  I have 2 computers, and both experience this problem.  Again, if I continually use the radio and the associated apps, I do not have the problem.  If I walk away, and leave all running, there is a 75% chance that CAT stop functioning and require restart solution.  On a side note, my Flex 6500 will freeze up after not being used, but on, after 3+ hours of not being used. and require a crash restart.  Could all this be memory leaks?


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Bob Gerzoff, WK2Y

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Sounds to me like a network issue.  How are you connecting to your network?
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Pat - WH6HI

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Not an issue....if it was I would see it while operating.  Checked network config setting and there are no sleep issues.  Computer to radio latency is, while operating, 1 to 3 ms. 
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Ted VE3TRQ

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I concur absolutely with Bob - network issues present just like this. In my case, I'd come back after an hour or two, sometimes overnight, to find that both CAT and DAX were disconnected. I'd disconnect and reconnect the radio, and all would be well for anywhere from hours to a day or so, then it would drop again - disconnected DAX and CAT. Tore my hair out, but eventually decided it must be a network problem.

Changed the switch I was going through to get to the radio from the computer, and I have had zero disconnects in days. In my case, this was with xDax plus Loopback and xCat on a Mac with JS8Call. Happy camper after a physical network change.
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Al K0VM, Elmer

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What version of WSJT-X are you using? What Rig type do you have selected in WSJT-X ? 
AL, K0VM
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Pat - WH6HI

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Latest versions of all the apps I am using.  I use the Flex 6000 on port 5002 and CAT for PTT.  works fine...... I feel that SmartCAT is just not robust enough, and needs further refinement.  Nothing’s perfect.....
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Al K0VM, Elmer

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Since the hamlib fix was released in WSJT-X 2.1.2, I have had zero cat problems.. ( thousands of FT8 contacts ).. Do you by chance have more than one app trying to use port 5002 ?  ( you can create additional TCP ports with unique numbers in SSDR CAT )

AL, K0VM
(Edited)
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Pat - WH6HI

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No, just  wsjt-x....  Yes, I can creat ports? Only need one.   Again, I have no problems with CAT operations, it is only if I leave the station running and not do anything for a period of time 1 hour or more.  Then CAT disconnects mostly PTT functions, but occasionally frequency display in Log4OM.  Which uses OmniRig and assigned com port, but that still uses CAT functions.  This is not computer related, but could be software related.   CAT, TCP, UDP, COMports all are involved.  Not being a software person, but well versed in data com.  I can only make evaluations based on what I know and observe.  I do know that if these CAT related problems are taken seriously the problems  will be solved eventually.  I hope......
(Edited)
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Dan Quigley N7HQ, 4O7HQ, Service/Support Manager

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Please check to see that each 3rd party software connection utilizes a unique TCP or Serial port.  You cannot share ports amongst apps.  All 3rd party software assumes it has exclusive access to a port. 

CAT port connections can also be impacted when your PC goes into standby or the screen-saver is activated.  I've experienced CAT PTT disconnects with WSJT-X when my screen saver activates even though I have the sleep (power-saver) function on my PC turned off. Each 3rd-party app can respond differently to the messages Windows sends to running applications when sleep/screen saver functions timers expire and turn on.

If you routinely expect to keep CAT/TCP ports active through periods of inactivity, turn off your screen saver and sleep functions. 

73,

Dan, N7HQ
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Pat - WH6HI

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Thanks, Dan, I do not sleep the computer, but I do have screen saver active.  I will check with it off.  Thanks for the suggestion!
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Pat - WH6HI

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Also Dan, all UDP/TCP assignments are correct.... no operational issues.  Just pesky CAT disconnects...
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Pat - WH6HI

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Dan, just a suggestion, how about some sort of keep alive signals? A general broadcast and response command, if that exists in the CAT function list?
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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Another thing I have found in Windows 10 was screen and mouse freezing for a couple of seconds every minute. I traced this down to the desktop background image being set to Slide Show instead of a static picture. Every minute Windows would change the image and color scheme to match the image. That correlated with the freezes.

Dave wo2x
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Dan Quigley N7HQ, 4O7HQ, Service/Support Manager

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Pat, if the application can use a TCP port, you can drop the use of CAT ports.  In the case of WSJT-X, it supports both underlying transport layers (virtual RS232 ports vs. a TCP socket), but the actual data sent over it is still CAT  On my system, I use a TCP port:


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Pat - WH6HI

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Your example, is exactly the way I set up wsjt-x.  Has been since the first time wsjt-x properly got the Flex 6000 radio selection working.... Now I am going to through another log on the fire.  DAX is also going to sleep.... radio keys but no transmit audio and  this requires me to quit SmartSDR completely and restart it.  Basically these problems are irritations, and under normal or continuous operation all works fine.  I have not tested the monitor screen saver yet, will try that soon to see if that causes the problems. 
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Dan Quigley N7HQ, 4O7HQ, Service/Support Manager

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Awesome.  Let us know how that works.  It was a solid kill on my system.  Make sure you stop the screen from turning off too, that setting on Windows 10 is a bit more hidden. 

Follow the steps:

1. Right-click on the start button and select Control Panel.

2. Next select Power option (search in the search bar option if unable to found).

3. Click on the Power saver and then select Change Plan Settings.

4. Make the changes according to you and save it.

5. Now Click on the option Change Advanced Power settings.

6. Now click on Change settings that are currently unavailable.

7. Proceed with the display option listed below and expand it.

8. Once the display options are expanded change the option to never.

9. Restart your computer.
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Pat - WH6HI

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I had previously visited the related power options in Ethernet, screensaver, and computer sleep.  Also, did a full stop on all security settings, which I will reinstate as I get more confidence with the screen saver issue.  
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Pat - WH6HI

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Hi David, don’t have that configuration issue, I just have normal screen saver operations.  But as I said I will be testing with the screen saver turned off.  That will take a few days.  That was an interesting problem you described.  It’s one of those Widows traps that can crop up, and make you scratch your head and say, “how the he#$ did that happen”!
(Edited)
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Pat - WH6HI

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So far so good, with screen saver off, did not have any problems overnight.   Will continue test....
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Pat - WH6HI

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Moving on to 48 hrs of operation,  continues with no problems.  Log4OM hiccuped but that was unrelated to screensaver problem.
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Pat - WH6HI

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Now at 72 hours of operation, no problem for normal operation.  Log4OM acted up again. And my updated TQsL don’t function for uploads now.  2 steps forward 1 step back....
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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Are you running TQSL 2.5.2? It was just released two days ago. They changed a couple of things to allow better uploads from non-compliant logbooks.

If you are running 2.5.2 you can back up your location and certificates (File/Backup Station Locations, Certificates and Preferences) then uninstall 2.5.2

Download TQSL 2.5.1, restore settings and test again.

Dave wo2x
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Pat - WH6HI

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2.5.2 installed I have e-mailed the LoTW team, about the issue, I may do a version regression if this continues.  I work a lot of stations who need confirmation for, of all things, LoTW awards.  So don’t know who has the error in the software, LoTW or Log4OM.  I just hope they cooperate with each other and fix it up.
(Edited)
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Pat - WH6HI

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They got back to me and requested the Log4OM .adi files.  It’s in their hands now.
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Pat - WH6HI

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Nothing from the LoTW team.   So a I did a version regression with config update from backups.  Now it works....!
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Pat - WH6HI

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So, the question is, what in the screen saver or DAX/CAT when used together, that is causing the problems?
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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Not sure what it is doing but it could be a good clue to hopefully lead to updated DAX drivers which are more resilient to Windoze updates.

Dan is a very smart guy. Hopefully he nailed it with what is causing your issues. I'll add this to my list of things to have people try.

Dave wo2x
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Dan Quigley N7HQ, 4O7HQ, Service/Support Manager

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Thanks, Dave. 

Pat, when the timers expire for things like sleep or the screensaver, Windows sends an event/message to each running application and service that describes what is about to occur. This gives the application the information it needs to react to what is about to happen, and in some cases respond to the event with a request to abort the action. 

Or, the app can tell Windows that it can't start the screensaver via an API call.  This, for example, is why the Windows screen saver never starts when you are watching a movie, unless it is paused.

The behavior does seem to be something new as I've only recently encountered the problem. I'm also not precisely sure why this disconnect is occurring, but I doubt it is the CAT/DAX drivers. The more likely case is Microsoft fixed something they thought was broken and WSJT-X or SSDR were blissfully ignorant of it and the Microsoft fix broke something in them.

I've made a note to talk this over with the engineers. 

73,
Dan

(Edited)
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Pat - WH6HI

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Dan, thanks for the explanation of the inter reactions of Windows and the apps under screen saver.  I am going to list my observed events as related to the screen saver situation.

1)  CAT stops communicating with third part apps.
2)  DAX stops communicating with SmartSDR on transmit.  PTT works, SmartSDR switches to transmit, no audio stream to transmitter. 3)  Flex 6500 Becomes frozen and requires a forced shutdown and restart. 
That is a roundup of what happens when screensaver activates.  Please not that the CAT and DAX appear normal when screens come up.  But when operation is attempted, the problem will result in malfunction.  If the Flex freezes there will be error messages and SmartSDR will be not running.  
So a temporary solution for me is just don’t use the screen saver in Windows.  
Dan thanks for your input on this problem, hope there is a solution.  Now I can go on a little happier with everything now running pretty smooth.  Hopefully I am not speaking to soon.  
Pat
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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Pat,

Do you know what video cars your PC is using? Wondering if some of these weird problems can be tied to a specific manufacturer?

I had the background Slide Show causing screen pausing with an Nvidia GTX 1080 card with latest Nvidia driver.

Dave wo2x
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Pat - WH6HI

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I use the  GeForce GTX 1650 4GB.  This card is part of a new computer that I put on line in January.  Computer is a Digital Storm with i9 9900 processor 8 cores 16 logical processors.  It is overkill but future proofs my system.  I use Windows 10, and consider this piece of crap software the worst OS ever done by Microsoft.  It is nothing but a new front end for a core that has never been improved.  Rant, Rant, Rant........
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John KB4DU

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Why I'm still on Win 7!
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Pat - WH6HI

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I coulda, I shoulda, I be screwda......... No going back at this point.   Some apps I use not supporting 7 any more.... so, here I am.
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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If you use the Stream Deck with the Flex you cannot run the Stream Deck on Windows 7.

Dave wo2x
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Pat - WH6HI

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Friday update:  
Still not running screen saver, all apps, SmartSDR (+CAT/DAX) and the 6500 running properly after 96+ hrs.  So screen saver operation is definitely a problem.  Eliminating this issue has cleared the way to see some underlying software issues with Log4OM v2.  I loose CAT communications.  I don’t know if this is do to the associated tool OmniRig or its interface drivers of Log4OM.  I need it to happen so that I can look at the CAT log for the programmed com port.  I did have some Registry errors, which I cleared.  Depending on what happens with the Log4OM problem, this is my last update.  Will update if some thing changes in relation to the Screen Saver problem. I may open a separate Log4OM post depending on what I find. If not a CAT problem I will report to Log4OM groups.  
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Dan Quigley N7HQ, 4O7HQ, Service/Support Manager

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Thanks for the update, Pat.  Glad you are weeding out your system! :) 
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Pat - WH6HI

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Hi Dan, thanks for your help.  In January I switched my previous computer from an i5 2 core to a new computer with 8 cores 16 logical i9 9900.  All this happened because I upgraded my old computer to Windows 10.  Caused old computer to run at 75% to 100% with all ran slow and had decoding problems.  So lots of things had to move to the new computer.  So this caused lots of trouble shooting of apps and in some cases purchasing of new licenses.  On top of this are the normal OS updates, software updates, driver updates as well as outright new versions of older apps.  Pile all that together and I have been constantly trouble shooting SW for last 3 months.  I feel I am close to the end, most of the operational SW is running stable now, except for two service apps for logging.  That is only delaying some people trying to get Hawaii for various WAS and DXCC awards.  So again thanks and stay healthy.... Pat
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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Pat,

I have been usinh Hamlib with the 6700 and Log4OM. No disconnects but there is a defect in Log4 OM when you click on a cluster spot it tunes the radio to the frequency but sets the rx filter to the narrowest for that mode. Very annoying.

reported the bug to developers of Log4OM but Danielle is in northern Italy in an area heavily hit by COVID-19 so development of Log4OM has slowed down.

Not sure why you are having issues with OmniRig. You should be using version 1.19 as other versions are not stable.

Dave wo2x
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Pat - WH6HI

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Hi Dave,  tried the version 2 of OmniRig and it was definitely a no go situation.  I am running v1.19 and for the most part and it seems to be working well.  Now that I have the screen saver issue out of the way.  I can concentrate on some of the minor issues.  My feeling is that the Log4OM/OmniRig com port issue is more related to Windows operations then the apps them selves.  The connectivity problem encounter was most likely due to old config info in the Registry.  I have a nice program that looks for old and out of date registry info and notes it for correction.  I did that and Log4OM and OmniRig seem to be much happier.  So far so good. I had other issues months ago related to com ports that went away after fixing the registry and I should say resetting and clearing unused ports in SmartCAT.  So very so often now I check the registry and fix if needed.  Now, the only time I need to check the registry is when I see or do an event like install or reinstall an app or play around with new com ports.  That’s it in a nut shell.  
Hopefully the folks at Log4OM are safe, they took a hell of a hit and still are in Europe.  
Stay safe Dave,  so far we have been very lucky here on Kauai....

Pat
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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I talked to Tom K4XV in Kauai via phone yesterday. He was saying you had 13 confirmed cases and anybody visiting is being asked to self quarantine for 14 days. At least they are helping to keep the spread on the island under control.

Here in NJ there are a lot of people still not doing social distancing. They are now fining people $1000 each per offense.

73
Dave wo2x
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Pat - WH6HI

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Hi Dave,  yes, Kauai is holding the barricades.  Today I was listening to the police bands and they had an officer noting who was arriving. Then noting if they were going to the car rentals.  There another officer noted the car and registration and number of people then that info is sent to a check point we’re they pull the vehicle over and issue a notification and a check of destination.  We had to nuts show up without any accommodations, they arrested them then sent them back to there point of origin.  Our Mayor is now guaranteed re-election.  
(Edited)
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Dan Quigley N7HQ, 4O7HQ, Service/Support Manager

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Happy to help, Pat.  My I9 is exposed to tons of different software so I can identify with the need for compu-weeding - it can be no fun.  Take care!
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Pat - WH6HI

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You take care to...Mahalo and Aloha for now!
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Dan Quigley N7HQ, 4O7HQ, Service/Support Manager

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Noʻu ka hauʻoli
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Pat - WH6HI

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Do you know of a good weed killer? HI!!
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Pat - WH6HI

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Dan, some added info.  I use a really nice KVM and through out this testing there was no instance of the KVM causing any problems.  I decided to do further test.  The experiment consisted of keeping all operational apps and equipment running and switching the KVM to my Mac and letting it run overnight.  Switched back to PC and every thing was continuing to run flawlessly.  
I fixed my LoTW upload problem.  LoTW changed how they checked DXCC entities, to a more Stringent standard.  This caused a config selection for my Log4OM home DXCC entity to fail the new test.  I had it set to USA, but since Hawai’i is in itself a DXCC entity, this is what needed to be selected.  Mark this up as lessons learned for LoTW.  
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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Funny you should mention that. I spent the afternoon yesterday helping K4XV (on Kauai) update all his software. We could not get his FT8 contacts to upload to LoTW.

Was giving an error the QSO date and time were out of range. 

Turns out we had WSJT-x set for KH6/K4XV but his LoTW certificate was set to K4XV but listed HI as the state. Bottom line we needed to manually edit all the contacts to remove the KH6/ from the station call and then the upload worked.

Damn compound calls....

Dave wo2x
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Michael Black

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Seems the timeout values in hamlib are a bit too small 
Take the following file and place it in the AppData\Local\WSJT-X* folders for your different slices.  Each different config of WSJT-X will need this file.  It increases the # of timeouts and one other delay value.  The # of timeouts that was in there was borderline and explains the infrequent timeouts being experienced.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jfvxs9qkf3nhzxk/hamlib_settings.json?dl=0

This change will be in the next version of WSJT-X beyond 2.1.2

de Mike W9MDB

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Bill W2PKY

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Your AppData\local directory should look like this:
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Michael Black

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That would be the WSJT-X directory under AppData\Local
So  all the AppData\Local\WSJT-X* directories

de Mike W9MDB
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Pat - WH6HI

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So what are the suggested settings to correct timeout issue?
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Michael Black

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One of my testers has reported that this does not fix the problem.
I've recently made many changes that address some segmentation faults.
So my tester is currently running so we can determine if the latest version of hamlib fixes the problem or I'll have debug info to see what's going on.
We'll get 'er fixed if it's in hamlib.
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Pat - WH6HI

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Just realized that you all are using Hamlib selection for the radio.  I use the Flex6000 selection and do not have this problem.  
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Michael Black

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Something else for ya'll to try.  Please change the rig polling time in WSJT-X to 3 seconds and see if this problem goes away.  I have another possible bug that may be related to this that I'm chasing down now.
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Bill W2PKY

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Polling interval is found:
File>Settings>Radio upper right hand side is Polling Interval
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Michael Black

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We've found this hamlib_settings.json works well along with the 3-second polling interval
{
     "config": {
     "retry": "13",
     "post_write_delay": "0",
     "timeout": "300"
     }
}

I've put a request in to the WSJT-X team to fix this polling rate problem.
de Mike W9MDB
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Bill W2PKY

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Here are the location of the polling interval and the directory for the Hamlib_settings.json file.