Trouble shooting.

  • 3
  • Idea
  • Updated 3 years ago
As the weeks go bye I read the post were people are having trouble getting the radio working on 1.4 or a bunch of other problems and they, many times think it is because 1.4 is trouble.

But as it turns out most problems have been in the setups in each location and not the fault of the radio. Many problems have been salved with the help of the community and the hard work of Tim and the gang.

I know how much testing was done, but is there anyway that Flex could document things that have changed in the way it works. Like when people are setting up remote, slowly we are understanding that Dax is not used, witch stops the audio. It would have been great if that was clear in the release notes.
Also every day we are finding new things that will work better if this is pushed or that is turned off. To bad we can't put all this new info in one place for people to check back on to save a lot of frustration. Yes I know that is what this forum is for, to search and search, but is there a better way to get the latest findings.
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 3002 Posts
  • 660 Reply Likes

Posted 4 years ago

  • 3
Photo of Jay / NO5J

Jay / NO5J

  • 1577 Posts
  • 228 Reply Likes
How about a FlexUser SmartSDR Wiki. With Categories for different situations, Such as Digital 
Apps, DDUtil/CAT, Audio Setup and User Contributed Articles sorted into those categories, Would be nice if there was some way to allow all users to contribute and maintain the articles as discoveries are made and methods improve or change. Maybe limit editing to Community members and maintain backups or some sort of revision control on the articles so if something gets accidentally ruined you can back out a bad edit. Not something that Flexradio Systems writes just a centralized collection of information from the users themselves. The Community is great for discussions and rants, but I like my How-To documents to be informative and not argumentative. Something similar to the ZenDesk
articles, but without the need for Flexradio to have to sign off on the article. Slap a disclaimer on it that states that it's user contributed and may not be considered an authoritative source of information and actually lacks a "Flexradio Systems Seal of Approval". So they aren't held responsible if you melt something trying to utilize the information contained. 

Great suggestion Bill, hopefully it will generate some interest and discussion.

What say you Flexers? It might help us all out, Might even get read! If a Wiki isn't the answer, how about some other ideas on how we can get the information spread around. If you dont know or understand what a wiki is check out the  SmartSDR API Wiki. Which already has A Community Portal on it. Take a look at the Community Portal link on the Main page. Some Nut just added a comment to it. If he can do it why can't we?

Call it a Weird challenge!
73, Jay - NO5J
(Edited)
Photo of WH6HI - Pat

WH6HI - Pat

  • 291 Posts
  • 44 Reply Likes
A few of us Flex users have been thinking in parallel on this issue and had been thinking about the idea of having a wiki that would be part of the Flex software and hardware manuals.  Which could be used as a basis for Flex to use in future manuals.  There are so many users out there that have knowledge that needs to be edited into the actual user manuals that expands upon what is presently in the manuals.  This wiki needs to be a joint venture of Flex and the users with the objective of having better documentation for the future. 
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 3002 Posts
  • 660 Reply Likes
I agree, I think that is one of the reasons this site is here, to do just that, but it is not so easy to pluck out info when you need it. I was trying to help someone on air the other day and he asked me something. I knew I read it somewhere that would help him, do you think I could find the post I needed right then? Nope

The problem with Flex radios is there are so many areas it touches because of what we can do with them, not even considering what they still want to explore. So info changes all the time as we learn the technology.
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 3002 Posts
  • 660 Reply Likes
Thanks Jay, i'm talking about a place were it can be posted real results, not sugestion's. If it is shown many Flexers try something that works it can be posted for others to view. Perhaps we can start a post here on findings, would you like to help Jay? We would need to go back and read what people did to solve something. Many time users report back on their progress.
Photo of Jay / NO5J

Jay / NO5J

  • 1577 Posts
  • 228 Reply Likes
Sure I'll help, Bill did you look at the community portal link on the API wiki? I suggested what I suggested because we already have part of the solution. I bet you can even correct anything you see there that's wrong. If you can't, I can. 

Example 
ExampleSDR 3.8 needs a document about how to reset the radio to its defaults.
So we write up a short concise article that explains that Some users have had good luck resetting there radios using ball peen hammers. Later someone else points out that it might be better to just just hold in the OK button and press the power button and wait till it counts to 5 before releasing the OK button. Another user points out he needs to see a Power Point slide explaining how to do that. So instead of having to live forever with the ball peen solution and all the trouble that generated, all we have to do is go back and edit the original article. You find only the corrected document from then on. But the place to look for the information doesn't need to change, It's pretty hard to Discuss on a Wiki and simple to remove any attempts to Discuss on a Wiki, Collaboration on articles is easy, it has revision control built in. I just think we ignore using it, to our own disadvantage. I've seen it done well many times, It doesn't have to be a lengthy article, we could place one liner tips in a tips category. Did you ever see the old FlexradioWiki that Neal setup before it was defaced so many times it was allowed to fail? It had loads of peer reviewed information on it until it got hacked.
The problem was no backup that anyone but Neal could restore from. We get attempts at doing great How-To documentation started in the Community all the time. but due to the fact that thats not what the Community was designed to do, things keep sliding off page 1 into oblivion, or worse they get hijacked into long discussions of something entirely different, I know I'm guilty of doing that. I'll help research whatever content we need be it endless reading of community posts or google searching to try and locate the information, I like this idea a lot. Does callsign*callsign*org include enough hints on how to mail me direct, if we ought to be discussing any of this off the record? 




I'm being Seriously Weird Now!
73, Jay - NO5J
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 643 Reply Likes
If I could take a slightly different interpretation of what you are asking for Bill, which is a very good suggestion, it would be this.

The S/N ratio on this community board is pretty low. This is to be expected as it is all things to all people. Perhaps simply migrating or copying solutions to encountered issues under a top level category "solutions" and each thread be a brief description of the problem reported, i.e.

Solutions
    Remote Audio
          how to set up solution
    Some other area
           question 1 solution
           question 2 solution

In other words, the ONLY thing in this area are solution, not a series of 'try this' suggestions or a hijacked thread, just solutions to issues well categorized.
Even if the solution is five sentences at the bottom of a lengthy thread of 'try this's and isn't the flex a beauty to behold. Those 5 sentences are moved to the Solutions category under whatever the issue was, as depicted above. That way, for those looking for solutions, not diatribes or rants there is a singular place to go for them.

Bill, outstanding idea!!!
(Edited)
Photo of Jay / NO5J

Jay / NO5J

  • 1577 Posts
  • 228 Reply Likes
Walt.
Your welcome to direct mail on this subject too.
73
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 3002 Posts
  • 660 Reply Likes
Yes that would be great. The problem is keeping all the unwanted stuff out, we can't edit the post can we, only our own?
Photo of Jay / NO5J

Jay / NO5J

  • 1577 Posts
  • 228 Reply Likes
Bill
I didn't make that post and I edited it,
Login and you can probably edit it too.
Revision Control lets you back out the messes.
Try it.
73, Jay - NO5J
Photo of k3Tim

k3Tim

  • 849 Posts
  • 166 Reply Likes
It would be good if "obsolete" items are archived off.  On this site if one searches for a problem solution, other problems turn up in the search that are often fixed in later releases of the code.

As I have been finding informative posts, these I've copied into a word Doc for later reference.  Mainly the technical insights.

The S/N is higher in this group then most others.

Thanks for the efforts on this....

k3Tim
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 3002 Posts
  • 660 Reply Likes
If we make a post for this any ideas for a name for it?
Photo of Jay / NO5J

Jay / NO5J

  • 1577 Posts
  • 228 Reply Likes
The "User Documentation Project"?

I'm cool with calling it "Troubleshooting" 

It really is a good idea Bill.
73, Jay - NO5J
(Edited)
Photo of Jay / NO5J

Jay / NO5J

  • 1577 Posts
  • 228 Reply Likes
All

Try this on for size, You have an idea for an entire Category of information, You create the category in the wiki, and ask for help finding articles, You've just self declared yourself project lead for that category, No worries you haven't got any articles yet so your life is easy.

Later your buddy Tommy decides to write an article that would probably fit into your category, but Tommy's concerned because he wants his article to be a shiny article and he needs help researching the content, Ah Oh, Tommy just declared himself the lead writer of the Article project. Tommy asks for help in doing the research and agrees to work with some volunteers. They start a team effort to assemble the article. Progress is slow for a while because first 3 of the volunteers don't work out because 2 of them want to write a different article altogether and the other can't spell cat without getting stuck at "a". so another call for more volunteers goes out, Bill one of the worker bees on the article project, shows he has real knowledge of the subject, and Sam the remaining volunteer "can" spell CAT and even knows how to research things he doesn't fully grasp yet, "Google". Sam starts a rough draft outline for the article and Bill starts filling in some of the actual content You inquire of Tommy "Hows the article coming?

Tommy tell you there making some serious progress, but tells you he's been thinking about turning over his lead writer title to someone else, he just doesn't have time for radio's anymore, he's just too busy managing other projects at this time and would it be ok if Bill took over as lead writer. Sure whatever gets the article written is fine with you too. So Bill, with Sams help finally has the article ready to publish on the Wiki.

Bill gets worried about updating the article over time but is willing to help out whenever he's needed, as long as he doesn't have to own the result. So why can't Sam who actually did all of the typing and organizing, end up with that responsibility? You say ok just give me the Article, You get an article for your Category, Bill gets great respect for figuring out the content, Sam get writers credit for the shiny new article about a subject he's mastered, having written the article, and see's no problem with keeping it updated, Your busy getting more articles, Bill's working on his own category now, Sam is writing you another article and he's promised to write something simple for Bill's new category. Another call goes out for more volunteers. Who wants to join the team? Lot's of people do. Because Heck, I can write a better article than that, just watch me.

Writing articles in a group is both good and bad, Bad because groups are headaches for everyone involved, Good because groups might contain enough interested individuals to get the job done.

I know another NO5J, long and rambling post. Why does he keep doing that? Because, I want to write some shiny articles, I just don't want to do it alone.

 So if you might think you might help out then register if necessary on the API Wiki and Login and start learning howto make a Wicked Wiki. The editor used is basically the same one you post with in the Community. But you can do a lot more with it. MediaWiki User manuals are just a Google away.
Just discuss it here and write it there. What belongs in the Wiki stays in the Wiki What doesn't belong will get edited or deleted. Anonymous posts won't even be possible since your Wiki login with you name and "Hopefully" your callsign will show up as having been the author, and anyone can edit those facts back in, later, should you try to hide out, logins can be revoked too. Flexradio Systems owns the website and the server and can delete and revoke whatever and whoever they disagree with. It's called Documentation lets get some.
73, Jay - NO5J
Photo of Jay / NO5J

Jay / NO5J

  • 1577 Posts
  • 228 Reply Likes
And patience is a virtue. so lets have some of that, while we await some feedback.

73, Jay - NO5J 
(Edited)
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 3002 Posts
  • 660 Reply Likes
Ok Jay I'm thinking
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 3002 Posts
  • 660 Reply Likes
I Am going to start a post here and just see where it goes. I'm trying not to make this complicated.
I may call it Troubleshooting & Resolutions.
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9152 Posts
  • 3478 Reply Likes
I need to set an expectation here very clearly.  The community is not a WIKI and because of how it is organized it is not the right software tool to accomplish the goal you are trying to achieve.  I recommend that if you want to establish a user generated, managed and edited repository of information like this, that you use wiki specific software.  Jay hit the nail on the head with the description User Documentation Project - it needs to be user managed and maintained.
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 3002 Posts
  • 660 Reply Likes
Ok thanks Time
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 643 Reply Likes
I was thinking it would be Tim managed as he has superuser privileges here the average user doesn't.
So whether a 'solution' was user generated of FRS generated if it is intermixed with relevant, semi-relevant, or totally orthogonal posts the solution could be copy and pasted and put into the solutions section.
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 643 Reply Likes
Or, if there is a good solution intermixed with tangential or orthogonal posts, delete out those irrelevant posts leaving only the solution. This way it would be searchable and a direct answer to the problem being reported. This would require priviledge that the normal user lacks.
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 3002 Posts
  • 660 Reply Likes
This is all i wanted to do, was post the problem and found solutions, that's it.
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9152 Posts
  • 3478 Reply Likes
I understand your intent and it is a reasonable undertaking.  It is just that the Community is not the right tool to do what you are proposing nor was it our intention to use the community in that manner.  If you want to drive nails, use a hammer, not a hoe.
Photo of Jay / NO5J

Jay / NO5J

  • 1577 Posts
  • 228 Reply Likes
Tim
Thanks, I understand, I agree, Guess I need to go do some cleaning. There are other solutions.
At the moment we have to do some of the discussions here, We don't have each others email addresses.

73, Jay - NO5J
 
Photo of Jay / NO5J

Jay / NO5J

  • 1577 Posts
  • 228 Reply Likes
Bill, Walt, Pat, K3TIM

Well we need a Wiki anyone still interested?
I've got a server, I've got a Wiki, it's all on business class fiber to the prem ethernet connection.
Needs a domain I guess unless you want to keep using no5j.org.

When do we start? 


73, Jay
(Edited)
Photo of Jay / NO5J

Jay / NO5J

  • 1577 Posts
  • 228 Reply Likes
This thread was the genesis of the SDRgadgets.com project. Which is still ready and waiting to be used for any positive purposes.

If anyone's interested in some user to user collaboration. Feel free to include SDRgadgets if you find it useful.

73, Jay - NO5J 

edited to fix that link
(Edited)