SmartSDR v.2.4.9 panadapter freezing & no audio w/ BARS appearing in waterfall

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  • Updated 3 months ago
  • (Edited)
New 6600 with v.2.4.9 installed on Windows 7. (No remote employed).
Right after logging onto SmartSDR, the panadapter freezes and audio is lost but waterfall continues. Large black bar showing the dead period  appears in the still functioning waterfall.

After about 5-7 seconds, the panadaper and audio return to normal. But  then about 7 seconds later, the panadapter and audio again freeze and a new large black bar is born in the waterfall showing the dead frozen period. I must shut down SmartSDR to escape this repeating cycle.

The attached photo illustrates the problem very clearly.   This is happening whenever I log onto SmartSDR preventing any operation. I never saw anything like this.  Any help is appreciated.

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sky

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Posted 3 months ago

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Michael Walker, Employee

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Can you test with a Lan Cable plugged directly from the radio to the computer and no switch?
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sky

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Ethenet cable from the 6600 is directly plugged into the computer.
I purchased the Cisco Ethernet switch that Tim E. recommended but have removed it from the system since this problem appeared wanting to keep interconnection as simple as possible.
I thought of re-downloading the SmartSDR 2.4.9 file but the download page has vanished. Why?
Oops, This Page Could Not Be Found!
(Edited)
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Bob Craig, K8RC

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It is almost certainly a network problem.

The network quality display [stepped bar icon to the left of "TX Ready" in the lower right] is showing yellow & only 2 bars.

You should be getting 5 green bars.

Bad cable to radio?
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Yes, re start your network, and restart the radio and computer to make sure everything is in sink. There are no known issues with this update that would cause this.
(Edited)
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sky

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It is a brand new premium quality Ethernet cable connecting the 6600 to the PC's network connection with a Fair-Rite FT240-43 large torroid core (8 careful turns of cable) at each end.  Never saw anything about the bars in the User Guide.  When clicking on the green bars, a windows appears titled Network Diagnotics. I attached it to this post.

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Bill -VA3WTB

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but the bar meter at the bottom is not healthy. Have done as I sugested?
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sky

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Why would green be 'bad' and yellow be 'good'? Sorry, that is Illogical.  The Network Diagnostics shows network status as "Excellent" . 
(Edited)
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Bob Craig, K8RC

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You clicked on the bar when they were green BUT your drop-outs were occurring when the bars were yellow (as when you shot the image you posted).


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sky

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Bill: Look at the photo. All the bars are GREEN.

I just terminated SmartSDR and then reactivated it. For the first 5 seconds or so, there were 3 yellow bars. I quickly clicked on them and the Network Diagnosis window opened. The Network status showed 'fair'.  Then 5 GREEN bars appeared and the Network status showed 'excellent.'  So clearly yellow bars are marginal and green bars denote excellent network status.
(Edited)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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You have not restarted your router, radio, and computer?
Connecting as you are you should see all green,,marginal can have dropouts
(Edited)
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sky

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To the contrary, I did all of that re-initializing .  Are you looking at the photos I posted. I am experiencing ZERO dropouts. I have 5 green bars with Excellent network status. I trust you grasp what I am stating. Thank you.
(Edited)
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Bob Craig, K8RC

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The FIRST photo you listed had YELLOW bars.
Congratulations on fixing your problem.
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sky

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Bob: Now I grasp what you were referring to. I did not see that I was experiencing a network latency problem.  Thanks for giving me the heads up on the bars.
I made the following changes. I originally had the Ethernet cable from the 6600 to teh Cisco SG 200-08P Gigabit smart switch. The switch had an Ethernet cable feeding it from the router. Then a third ethernet cable went to the network Ethernet input of the computer. I first had the 6600 cable go directly into the computer network input. I restarted everything. The problem took about 5 minutes to occur. After reading some of the replies, I next decided to eliminate the Cisco switch completely. Fortunately, my computer has TWO network ethernet inputs.  I connected an Ethernet cable directly from the router to the computer.  So in summary, there is a direct connection from the 6600 to the computer and another direct connection from the router to the computer. As I write this post, SmartSDR is running and it shows 5 green bars. That is excellent! The black bar problem is not occurring. Bob, thanks kindly for your assistance.
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James Kennedy-WU5E

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No issue here with my FLEX 6600 and Win 7
Jim
WU5E
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sky

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I researched latency issue with Cisco SG200 08P switches. I found that not only is Cisco experiencing latency problem with this model switch, they have similar problems with a number of other of their Ethernet switches.
I removed my Cisco switch from my system and am returning it. If anyone else experiences a latency problem as I had, check your Ethernet switch.
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Michael Walker, Employee

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 Hi ... Sky ... Do you have a name or a Callsign?

There are a few things that make this happen, in order of likelyhood.

  • LAN cables - yes, they go bad and I had 1 just last week that was causing CW skimmer to crash.  This was the cable between the radio and the switch.  I could recreate it at will and I posted online regarding it.  Sounds like you tried that and replaced them with new.  That is the easy stuff to try
  • The switch - Some switches work better than other - this is why we do the computer NIC cable to Radio test.  If that fails we are down to 2 parts
  • The NIC card on the radio and the NIC card on the computer.
NIC cards on computers can be  problematic (speaking from a professional career in data backup) and you radio will likely stress your computer NIC card more than anything else as we are now talking real time streaming data and we notice drop outs that are very short, and hence the black bars and loss of signal.  With that in mind, can you check the following:

  • make sure the drivers on your NIC card are fully up to date - you can do this in device manager
  • When the drop outs happen, can you watch the CPU monitor in task manager?  We want to make sure the computer is not 'resource bound' and it doesn't have something else steeling cycles that is causing it not to be able to service the data from the NIC card
  • Turn off your AntiVirus as AV is very very resource heavy - we want to do this as a test to eliminate being resource bound - Google DPC Latency testing 
  • How much  memory on the computer?  Are you using more memory that  physically installed?
  • How old is the computer hardware, and the reason I ask this is that if the harddrive is old (great than 3 years), the harddrive might be failing and in a constant state of repair.  When this happens, you can see the computer do a big slow down as the hard drive isn't available to do things 
  • Lastly, defective NIC on the radio.  I haven't see one yet.

Based all I have read so far, it looks like your PC is resource bound.  That is where I would focus based on everything else I have seen so far.

Mike va3mw
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sky

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Call sign is K2II. Tnx for your reply.
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Michael Walker, Employee

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Thanks!  Let us know how you make out.