TX delay missing on 1.9.13

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There seems to be a problem with TX Delay settings on 1.9.13 (and not sure how far back) perhaps this is by design or....

Nick GM4OGI blew up a 10 GHz transverter yesterday despite setting TX Delay up and I started to investigate what he had done.

Setting a TX delay of 1000ms on the TX tab on radio settings works fine in SSB - 1 sec after hitting the PTT the TX light arms and radio goes into releasing RF

in CW the radio ignores the TX delay setting and heads direct to RF instantly

What happened was he was in SSB in JT65 and all worked fine

Switched to CW and his radio beat the transverter switch and hit the IF chain with RF before it was ready

Now ... how is this supposed to work

The manual does not (As far as I could read) say this is mode specific?

Should TX Delay work in CW as well as SSB (in my mind yes)

Problem or by design??
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Simon Lewis

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Posted 3 years ago

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Jd Dupuy

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Thanks for the heads up. Pulling my Flex off Moon Bounce and SSB/CW on all transverter bands until I can verify your findings.
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Steven G1XOW

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Simon,

Whether by design or accident, if it is blowing up expensive transverters then it is surely a big problem than needs an urgent fix. I would assume the same error may apply to amp key switching too.
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Simon Lewis

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if your setting the TX delay for the amp on that - then yes
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Simon Lewis

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Hi JD - spent lots time looking at yr vids on youtube :)

yes - its def an issue as I can see  - theres no TX delay on CW present

On SSB the delay is easy visible with RF delayed by TX delay time

On CW it ignores it and hits the RF immediate

Nick GM4OGI now has an annoying repair on his 3cms gear due to it

I tested this on the bench and I found the issue in just a few mins

as soon as he switched from SSB to CW and CWX he was in for trouble
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Jd Dupuy

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Thanks for watching Simon and thanks for the quick report on the delay issue. Have not had time to update due to work schedule. Hopefully there will be an answer and solution to this critical issue. Cheers!
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Simon Lewis

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can someone else test this - just set RF to zero - set 1000ms as TX delay and see in SSB how long the TX light on SSDR lights on - then do the same but simply switch to CW

Mine shows in SSB the delay - in CW its ignored
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Steven G1XOW

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Simon,

4.30am here so not a good time for playing with the scope, but I just did a quick comparison.

With 1000ms set, in SSB mode you can clearly see a difference on the front red TX light: it goes dim-red first, then bright red after the 1000ms, in CW mode there is no change in the LED state at all.
(Edited)
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Simon Lewis

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Hi Steve - yes that's showing same as me .. ie no delay in CW regardless of TX Delay timing set - thanks for confirming
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Geir/LA5ZO

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How will TX delay and high speed QSK interact? (CW remember....)
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Simon Lewis

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you would not set a TX delay if you were using that function else it would mess up QSK
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Ned K1NJ

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   You will still need a TX delay, however brief, to ensure that your amp is keyed
first.  I'm still using 1.9.9 and the delays are "normal".  However, although I only
use TX1, TX1 will use the delay set in TX2 or TX3, if that delay is longer,  e.g.
500ms., even if TX2 and TX3 are set disabled.  So, there may be loose ends
floating around in that area.  Use caution.

Ned,  K1NJ
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Simon Lewis

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I tested this in 1.9.9 - the delays are as per timings in SSB but absent in CW

proceed with caution using the TX delay settings in CW
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Ned K1NJ

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   Hmmm....  Perhaps I should have mentioned-  I am using an *external* keyer.
This may make a difference.  Test and verify your settings to avoid disaster.

Ned,  K1NJ
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Ross - K9COX

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I believe it is by design. When in CW the delay setting in the CW panel controls the transition time.

Delay Slider: Moving Delay slider control the slider control to the right increases the time delay in milliseconds (ms) between the end of a keying element and when the radio transitions from transmit to receive. This effectively controls the QSK characteristics of the radio, where a value of 0ms is full break. Increasing this value will allow different degrees of QSK (semi break), such as listening between letters or words while sending.
(Edited)
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Simon Lewis

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yes but we are talking TX delay on the radio settings

the TX delay its says works ...."The “Timings” section has adjustments for RCA TX1, TX2 and TX3 (Only TX1 on FLEX-6300) as well as the Accessory TX, TX Delay and TX Timeout. Each of these controls is measured in Milliseconds (MS). Each of the TX1, 2, 3 timings are independent and start from depressing the microphone PTT, keying of a CW paddle, etc. RF is transmitted as soon as the largest of TX1, 2, 3, ACC_TX delays have elapsed if TX Delay is set to zero. Otherwise TX Delay value is added to the maximum of TX1, 2, 3, ACC_TX"
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Ross - K9COX

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I am just quoting from the manual and relating what i have experienced...try it.
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Simon Lewis

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its not the time to RX thats the prob .. its the lack of delay on TX
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Actually Ross, you try it please. That it is not working as you mentioned or extracted from the manual.
There is no QSK going on now and the TX Delay is somehow tie to the CW delay between letters.
(Edited)
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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There is an odd behavior.
This is what I found on my 6700.

If I set the delay to a large amount to make it more perceptible, lets say 2000ms (2 seconds) and I send my call with CWX it the radio will take the TX Delay of 2000ms into acount but it will add those 2000ms in between each letter regardless of the CW Delay setting and Breakin enabled or disabled.

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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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And QSK is not working!
I have tried every single combination but QSK does not work.
I reset the radio a few days ago when I was getting odd behavior out of CWU CWL switching, so that is not the solution.
(Edited)
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Ross - K9COX

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I see what you mean, my QSK used to work until the latest update. It was fine a week ago.
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W7NGA

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Just an oblique observation from an engineer ... you really can't blame the system until you understand the system. Clearly, someone didn't understand the system to the degree required by the application. Assumptions made ... smoke entailed.
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mikeatthebeach .

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Well, I wonder if FRS has a quality Control Checklist to ring out software bugs
before releases. 
Maybe the software Engineers are not real Hams - Just maybe just VHF HT operators at FRS
Seem surprising, features work then stop working in newer software releases 
Elecraft & Icom seem better at QA 
(Edited)
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Jd Dupuy

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I wonder how many of their Beta Testers run Transverters, sequencers etc? Had they smoked their own expensive equipment they might of caught the issue.
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Bob Craig, K8RC

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First off there is never any delays associated with "QSK" It implies instantaneous t/r switching, period.

Key down = transmit. Key up = receive.

QSK enables the receiver in between dots and dashes. External devices need PIN diode or similar switching to keep up.

Anything less including receive between letters is just really quick semi-breakin where delays happen.

To get this right for CW with external amps, preamps, etc., you actually need two separate delays:

From receive mode, the first key down starts a settable "attack" delay that allows preamps to switch out and power amps to switch in before RF is generated.

While transmitting, a "hang" delay sets the time interval between the last key up edge and the switch to receive. Any subsequent key down during the hang delay is sent immediately without first adding the attack delay and the trailing key up edge starts a new hang delay interval.

Once the hang delay expires, the system switches to receive. The next key down will have the attack delay added before RF output.
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Simon Lewis

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Still waiting on further info - seems to be reproducible!
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Yeah dito, this is kind of an important one. 
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Danny K5CG

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Is there a support ticket for this?  I haven't seen responses from FRS anywhere in this topic.
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Simon Lewis

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yes I raised a ticket
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mikeatthebeach .

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Eric - KE5DTO, Official Rep

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Thanks for bringing this issue to our attention.  I have run a few tests on my desk and here is what I've found:

The TX Delay is accounted for and thus the RF is delayed when sending CW via paddles or CWX.  Note that the LED switches immediately, which is different than SSB, but this is not a good representation of when RF actually comes out.  Using Full Duplex is a good way to see the sent RF signal on the Panadapter.

HOWEVER, when testing the TUNE button functionality, this does appear to skip the TX Delay when in CW mode.  This is written up in our system as Issue #4140.  Please do use caution with the TUNE functionality in CW mode until this issue has been addressed.  Again, this issue doesn't appear to affect other modes (SSB, FM, RTTY, etc).
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Simon Lewis

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Eric but the delay in CW is not delaying closing the PTT like on SSB /RTTY etc ie the PTT comes across yet RF is released without delay - I have tested this within my EME system as have a few others

The delay implementation needs to act the same way and this is poorly implemented in CW - the indicator should follow the delay too like in SSB

What about setting TX1/2/3 PTT delay - is the RF delayed then vs PTT in CW - my tests showed that the delay is being ignored in CW 

what occurred for Nick DL/GM4OGI was RF was released before a PTT was completed in the transverter (slower switching) and RF hit the IF line killing the transverter (In CW Mode)

TX Delay according to the documentation works the same way in all modes ... clearly its not and this is dangerous in a system that relies on numerous relays like transverters/mast head preamps
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Eric - KE5DTO, Official Rep

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How are you determining whether the "PTT is closed"?  The LED is not a good indicator of the state of the TR relay in CW mode due to rapid switching.

So a timed delay is probably not the best solution for a situation where you need to protect external hardware.  This is why we have the TX REQ line.  This line allows external hardware to positively determine when transmission is allowed.

I again confirm that in my testing the RF *IS* delayed when using CW with paddles (or CWX).  The LED switches do switch immediately, but do not reflect when the RF comes out.

I also tested adding TX1/2/3 into the mix and these do add additional delay prior to RF coming out as well.
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Simon Lewis

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Hi Eric

because I can hear my relay stack click .... for tvtrs, amps, preamps etc - in SSB the delay is correctly implemented - the stack switches inline with the delay set in

not looking at the indicator .... which also isn't helpful not following the real delay

the timed delay and PTT delays are more than capable of supporting sequencer events in SSB .... just implement it the same way in CW, the manual says it works that way in any mode... but doesn't

For any VHF-UHF one of the most used functions would be these delays to act a timed delay sequencer which in SSB works perfect

I will retest CW that was not my experience using MOX / tune - which might be why I am seeing no delay 

Bottom line - it should be implemented as per the manual and as in SSB and you will remove any issue for a VHF-SHFr





 
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Eric - KE5DTO, Official Rep

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How is your XVTR attached to the radio?  Via the TX1 port?

We will fix up the TUNE function.  I have yet to find a problem with the sequencing based on the design and testing.  

Note that even with a delay, the TX1 Delay will occur, then the TX1 line will flip and THEN the TX Delay will happen.  See the attached pic.
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Is it also supposed to add the time between letters on cwx?
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Eric - KE5DTO, Official Rep

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This depends entirely on the CW Delay selected.  If the transmitter drops out (shorter CW Delay), then the delay will be incurred on the transition back into transmit.  To avoid this, use longer CW Delays with longer TX Delays.  Note that long TX Delays and fast CW do not go together.
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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OK. So if I where to put a CW Delay of 2000ms and a TX Delay of 1000ms, and then I go to CWX and send my call sign at 35 wpm there should be a 1000ms delay before I start transmitting and a 2000ms at the end of my call sign.... correct? 

Care to try that and see what happens? This setting will produce a 1000ms delay between letters!!!! That is not normal.
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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And after that try TX Delay 0 ms, CW Delay 0 ms, CWX speed 5 wpm and see if you get any QSK. Enable and disable BREAKIN. It really doesn't matter, it does not work.
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Danny K5CG

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Perhaps a video clip is in order to make it clear and irrefutable.
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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A video from me or from FRS? :)
I feel like lately the onerous is always on the side of the users.... 

I will humor you.... and post video below so it gets its own set of comments.
(Edited)
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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CWX Delay Issue



As an added feature bug, when you have REMOTE enabled the audio of the CW gets sent at the right speed but the actual transmission has the 1000 ms delay between letters.
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Eric - KE5DTO, Official Rep

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Thanks for posting the videos.  That does help to see what you are seeing.  See my note below that explains what is going on.
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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And now with a superimposed video of the amplifier in operation.
I am driving with 5w

Once I click F1 in CWX the audio of my callsign can be heard at the right 35 wpm however, as you can see in the amplifier the code is being sent with a 1000 ms delay between letters.

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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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So QSK doesn't work AT ALL.
Delay on TX gets translated to a delay between words in CWX
The Audio that I hear on Remote has nothing to do with what is actually happening. This is just horrible.

Since 1.7 (pretty much since Maestro) we have not had an uneventful software update. It is clear that 1.9.13 is buggy in basic functionality, and it is the 3rd iteration in a month of 1.9.x

At this point FRS needs to take a closer look at Quality Control, they need to take a closer look at the alpha program (nothing personal against its members... your work is appreciated, but a lot of things are getting through) and consider the option of BETA testing as your current system doesn't cover the long list of permutations of operational environments.

Furthermore, and the part I am more concerned about... if basic functionality breaks with software updates that do not offer any major new feature... what are the chances for us to get NEW features in the future??  I am afraid FRS will become very conservative when considering new features as regular updates seem to break too many things.
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Eric - KE5DTO, Official Rep

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So QSK doesn't work AT ALL
I just went and tested QSK on v1.9.13 and it seems to be working fine for me.  Note that QSK with any delay settings at all doesn't make sense (TX or CW Delay).

TX Delay says that you want to delay RF transmission when going from RX to TX.  If you have the CW Delay set such that the transmitter drops out between words (or characters), then yes, the Delay will be applied.  Again, if you don't want this to happen, you can set a longer CW Delay -- this will have the effect of hanging in transmit longer after completing a transmission, but it will prevent dropping out between words (or characters).  This is how it has always been in SmartSDR.  This is not a regression, rather it is designed and intended to work this way.

The sidetone audio that you hear is always sent as soon as possible.  When using paddles, this audio feedback is extremely important for proper sending.  This is probably not nearly so important in CWX and we could certainly compensate for things like TX Delay.  I've added Issue #4142 to handle this feature request.

I think we will have to agree to disagree about the software quality.  I'm very proud of what our team has accomplished in SmartSDR for Windows and SmartSDR for Maestro.  Do we have room to improve?  Sure.  In instances where we do find problems, I'm proud of how quickly we respond while at the same time going to root cause on the issues so we understand them and they don't happen again.
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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<<This message above got moved and then became the official response to the thread. So I also moved my response here so it makes sense.>>

Then let me rephrase, QSK doesn't work at all with CWX. And maybe this is by design.

Please try it!!
Put a series of "eeeeee" in one of the CWX setup F keys. Speed 5, Delay for both TX and CW at ZERO 0. And then use your manual key and do the same number of eeeeee manually. Then come back and report. Better yet, why don't you post a video like I did, on how QSK works on CWX?? I just posted 2!

TX Delay says that you want to delay RF transmission when going from RX to TX.  If you have the CW Delay set such that the transmitter drops out between words (or characters), then yes, the Delay will be applied.  Again, if you don't want this to happen, you can set a longer CW Delay -- this will have the effect of hanging in transmit longer after completing a transmission, but it will prevent dropping out between words (or characters).  This is how it has always been in SmartSDR.  This is not a regression, rather it is designed and intended to work this way.
Care to explain what should happen if CW Delay and TX Delay are both ZERO? Better yet, the one that drive me crazy, if I have a CW Delay of 2000 ms, and TX Delay at 0 that means that from the moment I engage PTT (which is immediately because the TX Delay = 0) the TX line will remain engaged for 2000 ms and that counter restarts anytime there is a new dot or dash. After my last dot or dash from my CW 2000 ms will pass until TX is released.

However, with CW Delay set at the same 2000 ms and TX Delay set at 1000 ms, that 1000 ms gets added in between each letter of anything I send with CWX. Having a TX Delay of 1000 ms, a second shorter in time than the CW Delay, the reality is that that TX Delay shouldn't have any effect until I am done with the transmission because the CW Delay is larger.

But it doesn't do that, it adds that 1000 ms between words.... that makes no sense.
If I had CW Delay at a smaller value than TX Delay, it could make a bit of sense if my CWX speed was so slow that the time between words happened to surpass the CW Delay, therefore disengaging PTT and having TX Delay be a factor again.

I can post another video... but I don't see them doing any good. Please test this things, and if you can't test things with CWX please have someone else test it.

I think we will have to agree to disagree about the software quality. 
If you extract from my multiple posts, and my ownership of 5 Flex products and my direct connection with the purchase by others of over 20 x 6000 series radio that I consider your software sub par then you really are misreading my posts. 

But if you are that interested about my opinion here it is:

I consider your Testing of the software before release subpar. As proven by the many issues lately.
I consider your approach to ALPHA testing and lack of public BETA testing less than ideal - Compared to the world standard of software testing.
I consider your approach to non English speaking community appalling. There are no publicly available documents in your website in any other language than English (there is a German version of the user manual.... I haven't check of which version of SmartSDR)

I consider SmartSDR the best software out there for SDR, that is why I personally purchased the Flex radios over the Anan or other alternatives. It used to be the best software by a mile a year ago only bested by PowerSDR in some NR and ANF aspects, it is barely ahead the competition nowadays.

I went as far as being an early adopter of the Maestro. Decision I now regret as I do not see the Maestro close to what I expect it to be. But that is my fault for being an early adopter. I will keep it in the hopes that it will eventually provide the portable experience I was hoping to get (no TNF when ANF doesn work sucks, lack of DExpander is another big issue for me.... no idea when and if those will be fixed)

I post videos trying to teach others how to use your software, I have a blog dedicated to it, I answerdaily (even on weekends) to colleagues whose SmartSDR for Windows is not working because of updates, unsigned drivers and a myriad of other issues. I get on the phone with them. I team viewer into their computers and I help them..... and I do all of this for nothing in return. Because, unlike you, I do not work at FRS.

Maybe, just maybe you should consider me an asset to your company, a small part of a bunch of us that are willing to put our time and money into the betterment of FRS. Instead of thinking of me as the enemy that questions the quality of your software because I have found an issue with it. 

Lastly, I am truly sorry, that you, Eric, whom I do not know that much, are the recipient of my rant; at the very least you showed up on this thread and tried to answer my concerns....
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Eric - KE5DTO, Official Rep

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QSK doesn't work at all with CWX.
Gosh, I totally missed this (CWX).  My apologies as somehow I wasn't putting QSK with CWX.  Yes.  See this thread: https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/cwdx-issue-with-v-1-9-7.  This will be fixed in v1.10 with an option to turn QSK on for CWX.  Thanks for getting this point through to me.

On Delays, I can't tell whether you understand the design and have found a problem with it or whether we haven't communicated the design well enough.  In other words, I can't tell whether it is the design itself you are taking issue with or that the design is OK, but the implementation has a problem.  The only way I know to resolve that is to thoroughly explain the design.

CW Delay - This field is designed to act as a Hang after the last CW element has completely finished sending.  This allows the user to control how often the transmitter drops out while sending CW.  At a setting of 0, the transmitter will drop out as quickly as possible (QSK).  At 20 WPM, a dot is 60ms, so setting the delay to something like 100 ms would cause the transmitter to stay engaged between characters (char space = 1x dot = 60ms), but it would drop out between words (word space = 3x dot = 180ms).

TX Delay - As shown in the image attached above, the TX Delay is designed to allow the user to delay RF output when transitioning from RX to TX.  The delay follows the maximum of the TX1/2/3 output delays (see image).  The most common use case for this delay is to allow slower hardware to switch prior to putting any RF out.  Note that positive control of transmission is better suited to the TX REQ input on the radio.

With these descriptions in place, let's look at the examples you gave.  At CW Delay = 0 and TX Delay = 0, this is what I would recommend for optimal QSK operation (aside from the CWX issue mentioned above!).

With CW Delay = 2000, TX Delay = 0, this says that there is no delay on the front edge, but that transmission will hang for 2 seconds after the last element completes before returning to RX.

To the rest, I suspect we just got off on the wrong foot.  I definitely do not consider you an enemy -- just the opposite.  I'm glad for the opportunity to address your concerns.  Especially as a member of the community offering to help others (huge thank you for that!).
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Thanks for that Eric!
No issue on my part!

With these descriptions in place, let's look at the examples you gave.  At CW Delay = 0 and TX Delay = 0, this is what I would recommend for optimal QSK operation (aside from the CWX issue mentioned above!).
This works OK as it should

With CW Delay = 2000, TX Delay = 0, this says that there is no delay on the front edge, but that transmission will hang for 2 seconds after the last element completes before returning to RX.
This also works as it should.

It is Cw Delay = 2000 TX Delay = 1000 that adds the 1000 ms in between letters on CWX.

Try that one. The only reason to use 2000 and 1000 is so that it is obvious to the naked eye. I understand I will not find myself in a situation where I would use those values on CWX.

But if I were to send CWX with a transverter and I wanted to add a significant delay of 50 to 100 ms before RF is sent with TX Delay I would get the added ms in between each letter. I do not think this is supposed to be this way. 
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Eric - KE5DTO, Official Rep

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Let me give it a try.  What speed are you using?
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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It really doesn't matter. You can try with any CW Speed.

Try CW Speed=35   CW Delay= 2000 ms and TX Delay = 500ms
(Edited)
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Sure! Thanks for sticking around till we figured it out.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Eric, It seems to me many here look at SSDR software much like any other software. You write it, test it, use it. But writing software as complicated as SSDR for a complicated radio is not the same in my opinion. It still amazes me you guys even got SSDR were it is now.
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Eric - KE5DTO, Official Rep

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Official Response
I confirm that this is misbehaving.  I would not expect the TX Delay to be incurred unless the transmitter drops out (which it shouldn't with a 2000ms CW Delay).  I have added this as Issue #4148.  Thanks again for helping me to understand the issue.
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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I think the official response of this thread should be the last comment made by Eric acknowledging the issue and not the one that says there isn't an issue.

This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies.