Sound Issue With Remote Operation on Flex6300

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  • Updated 3 years ago
Hi all,  new Flex radio owner here, just got a Flex 6300.  Its an amazing piece of equipment!

I work HF remote, my radio is at my parents house due to the fact I cant have an outdoor antenna at my apartment.  I have my Flex 6300 at my parents connected to a computer and I teamviewer in to that computer and control smartsdr.  I pipe audio back and forth using skype.  I simply set skype input and output sound as the DAX RX and TX which works well.

The problem I am having is an incredibly annoying popping sound which occurs when the smartsdr window is open/visible.  Its a very fast popopopopopopopop and it really ruins the experience and the sound quality.  Oddly if I minimize smartsdr and hide the window the problem goes away.

Before I got the flex I did this exact same setup with a yaesu radio and it never had this problem.  The problem seems related to smartsdr specifically.  

I recorded the problem on the computer running smartsdr directly from DAX RX 1.  I believe this rules out a problem with teamviewer and skype since the audio is not going through either when its being recorded, its coming straight from dax rx 1.

This is a sample of the problem:
http://vocaroo.com/i/s12Wh9GY1msn
(audio sharing site)
You will hear when the clip first starts it sounds fine, at this point smartsdr is minimized.  Then half way through the cllip I restore the smartsdr window and you will hear the popping start.  It can be heard best around 34 seconds.
Any ideas?  This problem is really ruining the experience for me at the moment so I would love to get this fixed.  Thanks All! 73.
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K2ERA

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Posted 3 years ago

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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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DAX is not really great for shipping audio around a LAN. SSDR 1.4 will have different capabilities. The bandwidth and system load from DAX, added to the other loads on your system from SSDR (mainly video) can lead to this. Reducing the load helps (panadapter FPS, waterfall rate, audio sampling, etc). Or, you can wait a little bit for 1.4 and see how that turns out. Audio over LAN functions in the new version use a lot less bandwidth.
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K2ERA

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Hi George, thanks for replying.  Chris (k6ozy) told me about remote lan audio in 1.4 and it sounds exciting and hopefully will help with my situation.  He said the 1.4 release is imminent so hopefully that will resolve my issue soon and then I will be one happy camper!
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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I have the same issue K2ERA. My temporary solution was to use the headphone output at the front of the 6300 and feed it directly into the Mic input of the laptop, and then setup the remote software accordingly. I get perfect sound that way.

Looking forward to 1.4 fixing that issue.
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K2ERA

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That completely removed the pops?  Interesting, I could definitely do that.  Next time I am at my parents house I will add that wire, great idea.  I will then have the option to use either DAX or headphone/mic.  I better remember to bring a 1/4 phono adapter though as IIRC the headphone jack is the big old school kind.
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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I would like to add that I am using an Asus N53SN Intel i7 8GB laptop and Realtek is the embeded soundcard that came with the PC.
The other laptop I have, also has the same sound chipset, Realtek, and I have no other PC to test it at the moment. Maybe it has something to do with the interaction of DAX and Realtek audio.

I tried different Realtek drivers and it didn ́t solve the problem.

What sound card/chipset do you have in your PC? 
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K2ERA

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I actually purpose built a new rig for this purpose, I was using a laptop with my yaesu but it was crap and I didnt think it could handle smartsdr + all the other ham radio software.

Its an AMD FX-6300 CPU, Gigabyte 970A-UD3P, 8gb ram, win 7 pro.  My board uses a VIA chipset for the audio but I doubt our sound cards are causing the problem because in my setup I am not using the system sound card at all (I am going straight from dax to skype or in the recording dax to audacity using dax rx 1 as the recording device)
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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That is good to know, then is not an issue with the interaction of the sound card and it is solely on DAX. Can ́t wait for 1.4 and later revisions to iron out these little details.
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Jim Gilliam

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Instead of using Skype, use RemAud. It is free and works much better than Skype. I am transporting DAX audio with RemAud with very good readable quality with no pops.

http://df3cb.com/remaud/


Jim, K6QE


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Jim Gilliam

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I'll keep my fingers crossed! If it works it might be a better way to go staying completely at the digital level rather than gong from analog to digital on the speaker output and having to use an isolation transformer.


Jim

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K2ERA

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Ufortunately the popping came back with remaudio but I expected that as the issue seems more related to dax.  I am still going to use remaudio instead of skype but will pipe the audio from the radio to the sound card instead while waiting for 1.4 release.
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Jim Gilliam

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I am sorry to hear that. I am using a 6500 and have never heard any popping.


Jim

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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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That is interesting Jim, so it might just be a 6300 issue?
Any one with 6500-6700 that hears the popping sound through DAX?

It is definitely tie to the bandwidth utilized by DAX. The more sound I send through DAX the more of the popping sound. If I lower the AGC and limit the FPS sometimes I can reduce it.

I can also see how if I turn DAX off and then on again, it works ok for a few seconds and then I get the "popping" sound. Like a buffer that gets over loaded...
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N7AIG

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Wow! Thanks for pointing this one out!

I suspect that since Microsoft controls Skype they have planted all kinds of stuff for backdoor adware insertion and eavesdropping. Plus with all the hoopla surrounding privacy concerns, they probably planted some weak form of encryption atop it all. It just all bogs things down.

Of course, no guarantees that our German friend didn't do the same, but he is a Ham and deserves our assumption of trust until otherwise proven. It seems to work very well. Comparing to the Icom RS-BA1 right now.

73 de Dave, N7AIG

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Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

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I have *exactly* the same issue using the 6300 right next to me. Thanks for posting your audio - sounds just like mine..

As it is no too loud and not *that* annoying, I have ignored it. But would rather it be fixed. I listen through my computer otherwise I'd miss the sound and messages from JTAlert.
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K2ERA

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Does your problem happen using the DAX audio for monitoring like in my case or are you getting your audio a different way?
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K2ERA

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Is your popping not at as severe as mine?  Mine gets to the point where its quite annoying, and I dont get annoyed by audio issues easily.  
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Mine is severe enough to be annoying.
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Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

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I am using DAX to feed my audio to my laptop. I use JT modes a lot and JTAlert uses very handy sound alerts which will not be heard if I plug into the rig as it uses the PC's sound card.

No noise if plugged into headphone socket. It is becoming more annoying as it seems that there is an issue and I would like a fix, hi hi. It starts immediately here, comes and goes; done it several times whilst writing this.

Also have a 6300 here.

73.
(Edited)
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William Hemmingsen

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I too have this exact issue with DAX, my audio sounds exactly the same.  My solution was to install an audio cable from the back of the flex into the computer. 

This issue should be resolved I hear in v1.4, but untill then (whenever that will be :( ) Use a direct connection to PC for RX audio.

W4WHL
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K2ERA

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Ok, there is enough people reporting this that at least I know its not a problem with my specific hardware, thanks much, I feel much better!!

So you are using the audio from the rear output instead of the headphones in the front?  Another user said he uses the headphone jack.  I guess the difference would be the rear audio out is amplified to 1 watt where I assume the headphone jack is amplified less.  I wonder which would give better audio for this situation, you wouldnt have happened to have tried both before settling on using the rear audio out?
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William Hemmingsen

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I used the rear because its easier.  Just a standard 3.5mm cable.  I never tried the headphone port.  But I also use a cheap isolation transformer to eliminate ground loops.  This is the isolation transformer I use http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001EAQTRI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 along with a standard 3.5mm audio cable.

W4WHL
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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I use the front to avoid inputting too much wattage on the line in/mic port of the laptop. I would hate to fry the audio port....
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Jim Gilliam

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Use the audio output on the mini-jack on the back. It is the right level for line-in on a computer.


Jim

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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Thanks Jim!
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Bob Wright, N7ZO

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Hi All,

I listened to the sound file linked by K2ERA and this sounds like the DAX stuttering problem discussed here:

https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/dax-stuttering-since-1-3-8-ssdr-install

In my case, it was severe enough that I had to downgrade to 1.3.0, which is what I am currently running.

73, Bob, N7ZO
(Edited)
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Bob Wright, N7ZO

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I should have noted - I have the 6700.  The problem appears to be in DAX and does not appear to be model specific.
(Edited)
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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I have a 6500 and have the same issue. It is not unique to the 6300.0

Dave, wo2x


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K2ERA

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Hi Dave Wo2x, I've talked to you a couple times in the past on the montclair (Wo2x) repeater :)  Name is Mike
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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Yep, it is still up on the air. Installed a new PA last fall. Primarily on 442.000 on way to work in morning (6;15 to 7:00)
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K2ERA

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Yeah I listen from time to time, I run an echo link node for Montclair for Barry K2mf and others to use.

I will stop on 442 in the morning next time i am up that early.  I heard you were in to flex radio from some of the guys.  I just got a 6300.
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N7AIG

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FWIW... I get the exact same issues when listening to Youtube videos while running a whole bunch of other stuff on screen -- FLDigi + HDSDR + PowerSDR + VAC + ...

I firmly believe that it all has to do with processor loading, because once I shutdown some of the other stuff and refresh the video, the sound plays back normally. So nothing to do with SmartSDR per se, but rather the combined processor and network loading. Of course, SSDR could help by being a bit more efficient. But then someday a lot of other useful tools will appear and begin to bog down the whole system again.

73 de Dave, N7AIG

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Jim Gilliam

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1.4 is LAN based not WAN....that is for 2.0 and above.
(Edited)
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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Yes, but we are hoping 1.4 has a more stable DAX audio driver (which Flex stated there are DAX improvements). Also there should be additional bug fixes rolled in as well.

I for one would like to see improvements to AGC slow operation on SSB. The hang time is too slow.

So, I will be running my radio remote but it would be better with 1.4 if these improvements are rolled in as well.

I would love to see more point releases addressing bug fixes along the way, especially if the time between releases increases. But I understand this is not practical because it would require parallel branch development which would require more resources and have more complications .

Hopefully this speed bump in development is a one time thing due to the complexity of adding the audio codec into the radio and future releases come out quicker.

Dave, wo2x
(Edited)
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Careful on remote upgrades -- you will probably need to reboot both the radio and computer in the process. Consider having a remote power switch capability if you want to live on the edge with a long-distance upgrade.
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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I have used TeamViewer to upgrade software and install updates that required a reboot on family ́s PCs and worked like a charm.
Nonetheless I agree, good to have a neighbor or friend with keys for a hard reset, reboot, just in case.
Biggest issue, a problem with the router.
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K2ERA

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I hooked my gear up to a web switch v7, its a must have for a remote operation IMHO.  I have had my flex lock up 3 times on me in the 1 week I have had it.
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N7AIG

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... I call this the "Fish Tank Syndrome"... look at fish in any aquarium and you see them always swimming to the bounding glass. Same with us...