The pause that doesn't refresh

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  • Updated 2 years ago
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When using my laptop (wireless) Windows 7 with the 6300 I get pauses of about 5 seconds on both receive and transmit. It is totally random, it works about 95% of the time but hearing and transmitting 95% of the other station is aggravating to both in the contact.
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Burt Fisher

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Posted 3 years ago

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James Whiteway

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Full Bars on SSDR Bert?  It sounds like dropped packets. A background service running in Windows, like Windows Update, can cause that too. Start Task Manager ( CTL + ALT + DEL) and select Task Manager and look at the Applications, Services and Processes tabs and see if there is something running in the background that might be stealing cycles from the CPU and even the Network. (Windows Update if it's set to Auto Update will cause problems with other apps trying to access the internet and LAN) Just a couple of ideas to try.
If it looks like Auto Update is the culprit, you can set it to run at a certain time of day, each day and that would eliminate the issue. (except when it's updating and you are running SSDR!)
james
WD5GWY
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Burt Fisher

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.02% dropped packets, full bars, I don't see auto update as an issue

CPU utilization 35-50%

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Walt - KZ1F

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This is largely in response to James' post. Something to keep in mind James is how preemptive multitasking works. Graphic displays (panadapter) can update no faster than the data to be displayed arrives. The actual graphic updating (drawing) is incredibly fast. Even though it refreshes on the order of, round numbers, 20 times a second, a second is an eternity as far as modern processors go. Where Burt did not elaborate on his laptop I will assume it is relatively recent, an I3, I5, I7 with at least 4 processors. Each processor acts independently. If the updates from the radio arrive every 50ms (20 time/sec) that leaves 950ms to turn waterfall data into pixels and paint them by any of the 4 (or 8) processors. Let's say a higher priority or starved thread of some other process interrupts. Let's further say there are at least 4 processors to handle any other runnable thread. The probability of SSDR, the entire process, being starved is between small and impossible unless Burt had an incredibly busy laptop. The fact that Burt shows being between 35% and 50% means there is always at least two processors available. Consequently, a thread recently marked as runnable will be immediately transitioned to a free processor.
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Rick Zach

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Me too. Maybe only 2% of the time but same thing. 6300. SSDR 1.43 Win7 and no junk added. This is a virgin install only for SDR use.

Also Flexwheel gets stupid and needs to disconnect and reconnect, then always works again for a few more hours.
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Direct to 6000, through a switch, or router? Are there bandwidth hogs on your LAN? NIC configured for as fast as it can go, with duplex? Possible bad cable or RJ45 somewhere?
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Burt Fisher

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The 6300 is connected to the Comcast router. If the cable was bad how would the desktop work fine? I use WIFI to up and download videos with no problems.
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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If the cable is only partially bad (perhaps intermittent or "noisy") it could work reasonably well for general network use where intense streaming isn't required. I like to troubleshoot by eliminating as many potential issues without assuming anything.
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Walt - KZ1F

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Burt, are you in a high wifi zone? If it were a cable problem you'd see the issue when directly connected to the router.
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Burt Fisher

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No
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k3Tim

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This sounds like the known bug if a DaX channels are enabled.  

Can someone kindly try turning off all I/Q & DaX to see if that helps.

Regards All,

k3Tim
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Bob Brown - N8OB

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I thought that most already knew about this problem.  If I turn off the DAX, the problem disappears.  It makes it difficult to operate Digital Modes with DAX turned off.  Hopefully, this will get fixed in the very near future.
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Burt Fisher

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Last night I used it in the house about 20 feet closer to the wifi and on CW, no problems, go figure?
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Sounds like wi-fi interference or signal strength issues. Have you tried scanning your local spectrum and moving your access point to the quietest available channel? If you have any network attached storage (backup, etc.) they can occasionally suck up all available bandwidth for a few seconds/minutes. You can also try reducing the FPS settings In SSDR, and closing DAX channels to conserve bandwidth.
(Edited)
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Mike va3mw

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Wireless has issues streaming data. What happens if your laptop is wired as a test? Does it still happen?

Mike
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Burt Fisher

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My desktop is wired, no problems
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Mike va3mw

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Let me elaborate more that this may help to explain why using normal WiFi is not the best choice. This might be a long post. Streaming on WiFi is hard to do right. Be aware of how many other users are on your WiFi network and if they are streaming at the same time. If so, that will cause your problem.

Normal WiFi (802.11 BGN) is like the wild wild west. Assuming you are in a normal neighborhood, it can be as bad as having 3 channels on 20M during CQWW SSB in October. In the WiFi world that is channels 1, 6 and 11. While it looks like more channels, they actually overlap.

Regardless of how many bars you have, the router will handle your packets no different than those on the old packet radio days back in the 90's. The router not only listens to you (as a client) it has to deal with everything else it hears as well including your neighbours wifi signals.

Coupled with that is if your router even hears an 802.11b signal, it will downgrade your network to that speed for a period of time. Ouch.

If you can test hardwired and don't have an issue, then we have eliminated anything to do with the radio and Smart SDR (for the most part).

So, what can you do if it is your WiFi?

1) Get off 2.4Ghz (802.11) and try to get on 5Ghz (called 802.11A).
2) Try to fun 802.11A on G or N speeds on 40Mhz channels (not 20Mhz). These are WiFi router settings that you may have to play with. There are dual band routers if your laptop supports it.
3) Make sure that your WiFi drivers are up to date on your laptop. This can also be very key.
4) Turn off 802.11B on your router (set it to 802.11GN).

Let us know more details.

Mike va3mw
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Burt Fisher

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I am NOT in a normal neighborhood. I have only one neighbor with a weak signal
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Walt - KZ1F

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802.11ac?
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Burt Fisher

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How would I know?
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Walt - KZ1F

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Burt, the wireless router would have a name like 1950ac or 1750ac
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Burt Fisher

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TC8305c
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Mike va3mw

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For those experiencing this problem, it is key to try it out without your WiFi and on a hard wired cable, just for a test.

This may not be a DAX issue at all. That is why I would like to recommend a hard wired test.

Mike va3mw
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Bob Brown - N8OB

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I only work hard-wired and it happens.
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Philip KA4KOE

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I think the T8305C is an "N" box only.
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Rick Zach

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I have never used WiFi for the reasons you mentioned
I am wired Gig-E full duplex. The layer-2 switch in the shack is just that, no misc traffic because it only looks for MACs within the same physical switch.

Same symptoms. Freezes for maybe 5-10 seconds, then returns to operation for a few hours with no problems.
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Ken - WA8JXM

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Just last night I first saw intermittent and long pauses in the spectrum display.  At first I thought something was hogging the CPU, but other processes seemed to run fine.   Then I thought maybe it was the Ethernet was clogged up but the DAX audio to the digital mode software program continued to have a solid data stream so I have no idea what is going on.   The connection from the 6300 to the desktop computer is direct cable.  so I doubt that it is a WiFi overload.
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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These random pauses can be *very* difficult to diagnose and can happen on systems without SSDR. For example, I have a software development machine that suffers from these regular pauses of about 20 seconds.

Look at other things on your machine, particularly on-line or "constant" backup programs that run in the background.  For example, I love CrashPlan... but it can wreck havoc on an interactive system if not properly tuned and configured.

In any case, the more stuff on your "radio" computer the more likely you are to have problems. Just something else to consider.

And just to add my voice to the choir... using wireless for streaming data is just a terrible idea when there's ANY other alternative.  Seriously.

Peter
K1PGV
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Mike va3mw

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I agree with Peter.  

This may not likely be a DAX bug, nor anything Flex can actually fix.  What you may be seeing is the symptom, not the cause.  I made a career out of debugging issues like this in the enterprise software backup world.

To help, please try the following as a temporary test.

  • Kill all the non-essential apps and helpers (Adobe, ITunes, Cabonite, etc.).  It is all those in the lower right corner of the screen.  There are some great tools available you can use to see which programs are autostarted.  Vendor add these helpers to make their product look like it is starting faster.   You can do this and reboot as well:  http://www.howtogeek.com/74523/how-to-disable-startup-programs-in-windows/
  • Turn off your Antivirus - AV's can hog over 50% of your resources as they are watching everything that flows into the computer and onto the hard drive (again, as a test - turn it off).  Don't worry, the world won't end if you do.  I've stopped using AV on my remote base computers as I don't surf on them.  It has been 8 years and never an issue with infection.
  • Notice that if you get a freeze, is you hard drive light on.  If so, the system could be swapping applications, the hard drive might be in self repair (this is hard to see as Windows can't tell this is happening), or something else is consuming limited resources.
  • Can you run the DPC Latency monitor and see what it says when a freeze is going on  http://www.thesycon.de/deu/latency_check.shtml 
  • What type of Video card are you using?  SSDR does require a reasonable amount of video performance and in the computer world a 'gaming' workstation is really what we require.
Also, in the Task Manager, there is a resource manager that you can poke around it.  It might give you a clue as to what might be hogging resources.  (Task Manager -> Performance -> Resource Monitor).   Watch the disk activity and the cpu activity when you get a freeze.  See if you Disk Activity peeks during a freeze.  

It seems some people are seeing this.  Not everyone though.

Mike va3mw
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Walt - KZ1F

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Given, the only OS the vast majority of people run on is Windows. If you care going to blow off your AntiVirus (in principal I agree with Mike) then you MUST relegate that machine to a non public facing environment. With Windows, if the machine can reach the outside world, it is computer environment suicide to not run without a debugger.Which means you can't browse and can't email. Mike said, "nothing bad will happen", but in the fine print, he never browses on those machines and, presumably, never emails either.  Other vectors for Virus's are ports Windows leaves open for various sundry reasons.
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Burt Fisher

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I would rather never use it on the 6300 than lose out on the internet. When 1.4 first came out I do not recall any pauses, than I updated to the current version.
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Good points about anti-malware software. All computers (yes, Virginia, even Macs and Linux) should be protected if they have ANY contact with the outside world, either via network or the introduction of USB drives, software disks, etc. Shutting the AV software off to test is a prudent thing to do while troubleshooting, but don't leave it off unless you're truly isolated, or you're risk tolerant for that system.
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Walt - KZ1F

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Most, that is not to say all, malware is specifically targeting the Windows OS, which is quite different than Mac or Linux or Android. The, perhaps, less than, bold faced reference I made to vectors on Windows is that Windows requires several ports be open. Not being a Mac user, I'll just say effectively all the inbound ports on Linux can be closed. Further, any access to things outside your home dir and /tmp  can not be modified within real time explicit permission by the operator. If there is not operator, it doesn't run. thank you ever so much Pam! (pluggable authentication modules). What is especially nice about Ubuntu is there is no root user.

Burt? Where does this thread stand? I would still go to 5G.
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Burt Fisher

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Stupid me, what is 5G?
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Walt - KZ1F

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The history of wifi is long and tortured. You will see references to 802.11a or 802.11b (both of which were so completely pathetically slow nobody really discusses them anymore) or 802.11g (sort of fast) and 802.11n (is fast but the signals take up a LOT of bandwidth so interference more likely. Within the last couple of years the industry came out with 802.11ac which is a different technology. Type n, if you were standing next to the router would be pretty fast, the more steps away from it you went, the worse the signal. Also, a lot of the congestion wasn't in the signal speed so much as it was in the router itself. A router like 1750AC or 1950ac can internally process the data faster, so if you have several wireless devices the router can process collisions etc better so overall the throughput is better. Remember the old 3G and 4G iPhones? I believe the number 3 or 4 likely were related to the wireless technology. At anyrate, I have an iPhone 4, prior to 5G and a Nexus 9, with 5G (aka 802.11ac). There is NO comparison.
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Philip KA4KOE

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I have already ordered an 802.11AC wireless extender with N1200 speed for my wireless activity in my house. I don't plan on doing any operating over the web, so the Comcast cable modem/wireless router at the demarc will remain as-is for awhile.
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David Warnberg

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I see the issue... "Comcast"  had it, dropped it.. nothing but issues with that service get more then a couple devices on the wire and we had issues, even before I got a FLEX Radio.  Went Verizon FIOS and never looked back..

David

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