SmartSDR CAT requires the FlexRadio Systems FlexVSP driver to be installed. Please reinstall SmartSDR to install this driver.

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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Yet again, I find myself unable to use SmartSDR.  I needed to connect a Yaesu data cable to one of my USB sockets and it 'self-allocated' COM4 which is, of course, one of the non-changeable COM ports which SmartSDR uses.

I manually remapped the Yaesu cable to COM9 (the next available one) and it is working fine. The other COM ports (COM3 = IC-7300 / COM6 & COM7 = IC-9100 / COM8 = BlueDV) are all working properly.

SmartSDR CAT however is not.  I have this issue EVERY SINGLE TIME I need to create a new virtual COM port from USB (it last happened just a week ago).

As I always do, I followed Tim's procedure to completely remove SmartSDR and all its components.  I  also removed the ghost (hidden) COM ports, deleted all directories etc. and rebooted.  

I then re-installed SmartSDR v1.9.13 and rebooted.

I then got the message "SmartSDR CAT requires the FlexRadio Systems FlexVSP driver to be installed.  Please reinstall SmartSDR to install this driver."  

I went to c:\Program Files\FlexRadio Systems\SmartSDR v1.9.13\64-bit Drivers\VSP and executed FlexVSPInstaller_64 which appeared to run without errors.  I then rebooted.  I have the same issue.

I repeated the whole procedure two more times (this has taken me ALL DAY) and I still have the same problem.  

I repeated the entire procedure yet again and also purchased Revo Uninstaller to assist in deleting registry entries etc. Which may have been missed. I still have the same problem.  

I do not know what to do next apart from unplugging all my FlexRadio Systems equipment, putting it back into its boxes and either selling it or waiting for a fix whereby we can start the SmartSDR CAT ports from a starting point of our choosing other than COM4! I will very soon need to add a further device which is my rotator controller interface and I cannot face going through all this grief every time!  I want to get on the air not fiddle about with COM ports!

To say that I am finding this frustrating would be an under-statement.  I hope that I shall be able to mention it to Gerald at the weekend when I attend the RSGB Convention.  I really need to make sure that FRS understand that many of us use multiple COM ports and we MUST be able to allocate them ourselves!

David G4NRT
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David G4NRT / Z21NRT

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Posted 3 years ago

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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Hi David G4NRT

Windows is an old cow when it comes to COM Ports.

Thinking your solution is in changing SmartCAT from the default COM04 to something out of the way of your other hardware/software needs.

I don't have it running on this machine, but can look later if the switch remains elusive.  I kind of recollect looking at it though.

By default the actual FRS Flex-6000 Hardware and SmartSDR software I think only use the TCP/IP (Ethernet) addresses, and if I understood things correctly SmartCAT exists only to be the middleware between the TCP/IP address and the legacy COMXX ports older software and hardware expect.

GL and 73,

Steve K9ZW

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David G4NRT / Z21NRT

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If only that were possible Steve! The SmartSDR CAT ports seem to be hard-coded to start at COM4. It is this that I would like to change. They do not seem to be editable due to the virtual COM port pairs that are created during installation.

Thanks for the suggestion though and very 73,
David G4NRT
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Jay / NO5J

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David

Almost.
SmartSDR CAT, grabs the first available com port. If COM4 is available then it grabs that one. For me. the first available is COM6, Com1 is a motherboard physical COM device, COM3 is the USB serial port for my Genovation keypad, COM4 is the USB COM port used by my FlexControl, and COM5 is the USB COM port used by my PowerMasterII wattmeter. I wonder why it's not seeing your USB COM ports as in use though.

I'm sure you're sick and tired of hearing about removing Ghosted COM ports but,
I've sometimes seen ghosted ports come back after I deleted them and rebooted.. Did you recheck after you rebooted that they were all actually gone? I've had to re-delete them, They sometimes appear to get stacked and Device Manager only displays the current Ghost. so if you had installed over an old ghost multiple times it sometimes requires multiple delete and reboot cycles to clear them all. Windows is good at creating messes with ghost ports.  

Also, Windows re-enumerates USB COM port assignment numbers each time you unplug one and plug it back into a different USB jack, I'd try to ensure they always use the same jack.

Windows handling of USB COM ports is the underlying problem, that's preventing Flexradio from being able to reliably fix SmartCAT.

As always, no harm or foul intended, and YMMV. 
 
 SDRgadgets

73, Jay - NO5J

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Paul Bradbeer

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I understand your frustration, David (though thankfully I don't have the CAT problems..); taking a look across the landscape of SSDR, SSDR for Maestro etc, there seem to be a lot of niggles. I think that situation is undesirable for two key reasons: firstly it will be massively off - putting for potential customers viewing from the sidelines, and secondly it means that a lot of the content of recent releases have been focused on bug - fixing. I was an Elecraft user for a number of years- as well as bugs being fixed they were really good at introducing new and improved features in software releases. Have a good time at the RSGB Convention, David. Cheers, Paul M0CVX
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Quick question...Do you have SSDR installed on another computer on your network?  If so, an open DAX or CAT control panel on another machine can cause installation and configuration problems.

Make sure that DAX and CAT controllers are closed.
 (I took DAX and CAT control panel out of the "Startup" menu on my laptop so that they would only start up when I wanted to use SSDR on the laptop instrad of my Shack Computer.)

Ken - NM9P
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David G4NRT / Z21NRT

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Ken.

No. I only own one Windows computer, purchased just to run Amateur Radio applications on.
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Jay / NO5J

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Ken
That's what I'm doing too. I wrote an AutoIt script that starts CAT then DAX then SmartSDR when it's run, and then waits for SmartSDR to be closed and then it closes DAX and CAT. So if SmartSDR isn't actively running then DAX and CAT aren't either.
I also wrote a second version that only starts CAT and DAX, when I'm using Maestro, that version closes CAT when DAX is closed. Probably doesn't solve the Win10 unscheduled auto update while CAT and DAX are running issue, but it does reduce the worrying about it. 99% of my life has been lived unscheduled, I'm pretty good at it. 
 
 SDRgadgets

73, Jay - NO5J

(Edited)
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Al K0VM, Elmer

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David,
  Close any programs using the ssdr CAT com ports.. In the SSDR CAT GUI, select a port, then EDIT,, Now right click in the 'edit cat port'  and enable advanced.  You should be able to move the port to any place not already in use...   You could also move the paired port but dont need to..
Then SAVE.

AL, K0VM
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David G4NRT / Z21NRT

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Al, I know all about moving COM ports. I do this EVERY single time I install anything which uses them. If the ports haven't been installed then this won't work in any case.

I'm so hosed now that I've un-installed it all and turned the FRS boxes off for the time being. I'm using my Icom rigs instead.

Thank you anyway but this is not my current problem. It is as described in my original post.  If I can get the darned thing working at all then I can use this procedure to permanently move the Smart SDR ports to (say) COM10 upwards but I have to get it re-installed first.  I have also noticed (and reported many times) that the SmartSDR CAT ports do NOT appear in my Windows Device Manager - not even as hidden ports!
(Edited)
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Bob Wright, N7ZO

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Are you guys using the current version of CAT?  We have been able to specify both the Client and CAT com port numbers for some time now.  Just right click on the "add port" or "edit port" panel and enable "advanced".
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David G4NRT / Z21NRT

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Hi Bob,

Thanks for the suggestion - and yes, I am using the latest version! My issue is as described in my original post however, read on .....

I decided to have one last attempt to fix this and approached it a different way.  The SmartSDR installation process is not installing FlexVSP.

I went, again, to C:\Program Files\FlexRadio Systems\SmartSDR v1.9.13\64-bit Drivers\VSP and executed FlexVSPInstaller_64 but I did not receive any success messages.  I tried to repair it and found that it was still not installed.

The FlexVSP application depends on the Windows Installer service,  when I looked at Services I found that that application was not running so I started it and re-ran the FLexVSP installation which worked this time and installed the COM port pairs.  I was then able to map the COM ports and their virtual mates to start at COM10.

Hopefully this will enable me to get operational again.  I do not have the time or the bandwidth to uninstall and see if it will all work as it should.

My big question is why that service was not running .. This is a Microsoft issue I fear so I am not expecting to get an answer.  I have left the Installer service running.
(Edited)
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David G4NRT / Z21NRT

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Official Response
In summary, if anyone else if having these problems.  Check that the Windows Installer service is running before starting the SmartSDR installation.  
That was the solution to my issues although I do not know the route cause - perhaps the SMartSDR installer was not trying to start it OR not aborting when it would not start.  I do not know!

David
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Rick

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I've had similar problems with cat conflicts.
Rick, W2JAZ

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