SmartSDR / Flex6500 strange behavior - round 2

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 3 years ago
Hi All,

A little strange behavior that I wonder about:

1) Granted I've been messing with dogparkSDR, the iPad apps and I have a few profiles going I did reset my radio to factory defaults.  After that I setup a profile with most settings I like and saved it.

Later in the day I start SmartSDR, connect to the radio.  It's on 40m and I want to go 20m.  So like lots of times before I click band, click 20m and my panadapter stays on 40m.  The slice disappears but the pan and frequency readout on the pan shows 40m.  

Try it again.  Nothing.  Try to go back to 40 still no slice present.

When this happens the only way I can change band is to key in a few frequency into my slice and it will change and update the pan adapter.

I am not sure what causes this and what fixes it.  I am not blaming dogpark or Stu's programs.  This has happened before and I am not sure what is the cause or the fix.


2) Black windows. So SmartSDR has been running for a while and I want to change something in either the profiles dialog (like saving one or restoring one) or in the radio setup dialog.  But they both come up completely back.  IE no controls or backgrounds paint.

This is worrisome because I've done enough WPF programming in my job to know that these things are usually messed up somewhere at a low-level.  Obviously the solution is a restart of SmartSDR.

But during my work with WPF I had issues like this creep up at times and all the debugging and output in the world revealed nothing.  

Anyway the first issue is more bothersome and I wonder if others have had issues with not being able to change bands.   And no the slice is not locked.  I did check that.

Thanks - Mark
Photo of Mark - WS7M

Mark - WS7M

  • 994 Posts
  • 354 Reply Likes

Posted 3 years ago

  • 1
Photo of George Molnar, KF2T

George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

  • 1561 Posts
  • 552 Reply Likes
Mark, I've also experienced #1 under similar circumstances. Like you, I've been using DogPark SDR, occasionally K6TU, and have recently added transverters to the mix. I think there is "something" in the way profiles and persistence are being handled, but don't have the software chops to zero in on it.

As for the black screens, can't say I've seen that. I am still having DAX fail when SSDR loads, though. Even after multiple complete uninstalls per Tim's notes. Haven't tried with a "real" Windows box; I'm using Parallels on a Mac Pro, so something there might be an issue.

Rumor has it SSDR 1.6 is in the wings. Maybe it will help us out?
Photo of Mark - WS7M

Mark - WS7M

  • 994 Posts
  • 354 Reply Likes
Hi George,

Well good to know I'm just not crazy.  I expect the back screen stuff is a facet of some problem with video drivers and refresh and all that jazz.

As I mentioned I've built WPF apps, rigorously tested them, sent them out in the field only to have users report things I considered to be impossible happening.  In 99.9% of the cases a windows reboot put things back to normal.

While I target WPF here the same is really true of any computer program.  It is so dependent upon the resources below it inside of Windows, MacOSX, Linux or whatever that sometimes your program can be perfect and it still won't run.  When in doubt reboot.

This to me is why I think Flex chose FPGA over a true micro inside of their units.  An FGPA really doesn't have an OS so to speak.  So things happen at the electrical level rather than in some OS program/code.  

Yes 1.6 would be fun to see.
Photo of Greg

Greg

  • 656 Posts
  • 63 Reply Likes

I wonder if when this happens the slice is retaining some frequency and not going to the no band.  What happens when you change bands to 20M and do a manual frequency entry so the slice is (or should be) visible in the 20M panadapter?


Photo of Mark - WS7M

Mark - WS7M

  • 994 Posts
  • 354 Reply Likes
Hi Greg,

Well the problem is this:

Assume I have a pan on 40 and the slice is at 7.050.  It is not locked.

If I click on the band button and set 20 my pan adapter stays at 40m and the slice disappears.   Here is a short video showing the behavior:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/7578983/SliceBandChange.mp4

This is how I get around it when it happens:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/7578983/SliceBandChangeWorkAround.mp4

The interesting thing is that when this happens as you can see in the first video the slice just seems to disappear.  I can right-click and create a slice and I get slice A back again.  This sort of implies that when I am clicking the band button that the slice is getting deleted or is unable to move to the new band for some reason.  

So in the second video, my work around is to right-click, create slice, then manually set the frequency and it works.  But after doing this (at the end of the video) if I try the band button again it repeats the behavior.

To me this sort of implies the band change button is attempting to do its work but something is failing and the slice disappears.  When this happens I do not hear the relays click in in the radio so I don't think the band change is really happening.

When I manually enter a freq into the slice I hear lots of clicking and stuff and the band seems to really change.
Photo of Greg

Greg

  • 656 Posts
  • 63 Reply Likes

Does it happen when no other programs are connected such as loggers......?


Photo of Mark - WS7M

Mark - WS7M

  • 994 Posts
  • 354 Reply Likes
Yes except DDUtil, in the videos above, the computer had a fresh boot.  DDUtil is running and connected. 

I tried disconnecting (quitting DDUTIL) and the behavior is the same.
Photo of Greg

Greg

  • 656 Posts
  • 63 Reply Likes
Hmmmm...if you did a reset and no other programs are running that may try to control the radio it does sound like some sort of bug.  But I wonder why no one else is reporting it.
Photo of Mark - WS7M

Mark - WS7M

  • 994 Posts
  • 354 Reply Likes
Well George above has seen it.  Since he also plays with dogpark and the other control programs I am suspecting that this is something to do with profiles.

I think if you are a simple user that runs Windows and SmartSDR and you don't fiddle with lots of strange profiles you might never see this.  I'm guessing.

I am going to try another factory reset on the radio and see if after reconnection if it behaves the same.  I suspect it will go back to normal operation.
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9148 Posts
  • 3467 Reply Likes
I suspect the DP may have mucked with the profile data and a reset to factory defaults is warranted.
Photo of George Molnar, KF2T

George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

  • 1561 Posts
  • 552 Reply Likes
That has worked for me in extreme situations. Usually a DP or SSDR specific profile load helps. I'm pretty sure there is a difference in profile handling going on.