What PC configuration are you running with your 6500???

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Hi guys, I'm very happy with my Flex 6500 running for over a year now and loving it....apart from one frustrating problem...the 'lost connection' error.
I have a second help ticket open on this currently with lots of useful help, but no solution as yet. That being the case, I'm just wondering in the meantime, if there are any happy users out there who can spare a moment to reply with their 'successful' PC hardware configuration.

I built my current PC specifically for the Flex, with a Gigabyte motherboard, AMD 8 core 4ghz , 16gb Ram, GB on board network card, (and also tried a USB GB network adapter). Seems to run very well, but just cannot maintain direct network connection with the flex (or going via an 8 port switch for that matter).

Anyway, if you've got time, let me know your working combo and I might just build the same, to trial with my otherwise perfect Flex 6500!...obviously the components will have to be still available to buy! Lol

Many thanks, Rich MW0XDT
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Richard - MW0XDT

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Posted 3 years ago

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Mack McCormick, Elmer

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Richard,

The loss of connection issue you describe is almost never related to the PC. The issue is typically related to a networking issue. I recommend you try a different switch or try a direct connection between your PC and the Flex which would completely eliminate the possibility of a network issue.

As an Alpha tester since day one the Flex was built my radios (6500 and 6700) run 24 X 7 connected to either a Maestro or PC for various testing/operating functions.

I hope the smog has cleared in London. I'll be there next Sunday for the week on business.

Vy 73,

Mack
W4AX
Alpha Team
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Mack McCormick, Elmer

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One other thought. Two different Alpha testers recently had a disconnect issue that was caused by a cheap networking cable that wasn't made to standards. It came from Asia.

Mack
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Richard - MW0XDT

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Hi Mack, yes just to clarify...I am connecting direct to the radio. I have connected via a switch in the past but now connect direct with a high quality short network cable. The PC is isolated from the internet and my local network.

By the way, it's foggy here in West Wales today...hope the sun returns for your trip
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Cal Spreitzer

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Hi Rich,

I've been running my 6500 on a home built system like yours but have zero connection errors.   My system is a Gigabyte Motherboard with an Intel I7-47900 @ 4.0 Ghz.  32 GB ram.    My on board network card is a Killer e2200 Gigabit Ethernet Controller.   I'm connected to the Flex through a 8 port switch.

Like Mac indicates above your issue sounds more like a network problem.    One suggestion is make sure your if your network card has any  Energy Efficient settings they should be turned off.   Under power management ensure "allow the computer to turn off this device to save power" is off as well!  

Cal/N3CAL
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Richard - MW0XDT

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Hi Cal, yes, all power management has been addressed thanks to flex support...but still losing connection.

73 Rich
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Bill W2PKY

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Rich-
Aside from SSDR what else are you running on the PC? Have you watched the performance tab on the Task Manager to see if CPU-0 is running at 100 % now and then? Lets start there. Also, when you open the network status box are you logging dropped packets?
I have a i7 4790K ASUS Z97-A MB runs fine, have never had the connection problem with Production Versions of SSDR.
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Richard - MW0XDT

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Hi Bill,

CPU rarely tops 50% as just SSDR is running and a minimum of other essentials. Zero drop outs in hours of operation, maximum Latency ever seen 14ms.

I have been monitoring with LatencyMon and recorded right through lost connection. It recommends BIOS update check...done....and addressing DPC issues. Wi th the help of Flex Support I'm digging through this topic. As mentioned, in the meantime, I'm well aware that many guys have never had an issue with a multitude of network solutions...hence my interest.

Many thanks for your thoughts Bill

73 Rich
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Danny K5CG

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Rich, My PC and 6300 (v1.9.13) are both plugged into the same HP ProCurve (J9560A#ABA) 16-Port desktop switch at Gigabit speed and all have IP reservations by MAC address on my DHCP server (a pfSense firewall) so that they always get the same IP address. Sometimes I've left the flex running idle for days. As stated prior, good networking gear (cables too) are a must. Cables are cheap to replace so I would just buy as many new cables are you need to eliminate them from the scene. I've never seen your issue, ever. 
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Richard - MW0XDT

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Thanks Danny
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Danny K5CG

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Rich, the only other thing I can recommend as "next steps" is to install a new GigE NIC in the next available slot. If you have a PCIe x4 slot you could put a dual port Intel card in. Then you could have the Flex on one port on the private default network and the other port on your LAN for Internet access etc.
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Richard - MW0XDT

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Thanks Danny, that sounds good I may give that a try
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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The shack PC is a 1st gen core i7 with 32GB RAM and a SSD. The client PC can actually be not very powerful since the radio does a lot of heavy lifting.
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Richard - MW0XDT

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Yes, Ria, my PC is overkill really, hence my surprise when the network connection wouldn't hold.

By the way you were 59+5 into my Flex a few weeks back on 80m, hope to catch you soon
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Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

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Running 1 Sony VAIO i7 quadcore notebook here with 8gb ram and 1TB SSD which in turn

1. runs SmartSDR and the Flex 6k5
2. runs MiniDeluxe, CAT, DAX, FRStack, HRDLogbook, WSJT-X, JTAlertX, DM780, PropLab Pro, APRIS32,
    Opera, Thunderbird, Video and/or Audio streams , normally 15 programs and 12 background programs
3. runs CAT connections to 2 more TRX, the TS-2000X and the IC-756PRO with PACTOR interface
4. runs 2 Hubs, the DMR Brandmaster Hub and a D-Star Hub
5. runs 2 SDR's, the RFSpace SDR-IQ and the ELAD FDM-S2
6. 2-3 times a day I like to compile either WSJT-X or the MD380tools firmware in the background...

Running all these at the same time the CPU is at 40-56%.
Downside: The fan is really loud, sounds like a vacuum cleaner :-(

I have - alas - only a very compact shack here.

73, Alex - DH2ID
(Edited)
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Richard - MW0XDT

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Fantastic Alex!...just shows what can be run when all is well!...shame about the fan noise...but hey, you're warming your shack!
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Ross - K9COX

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You are not going to like my answer, a seven year old http://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c02628226 that has never dropped out. I did add a cheap video card (AMD Radeon HD 6450) and another 4 Gb of memory.
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Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

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I'm sure your HP does a very good job, Ross. Those pc are very reliable and stable and therefore I like your answer very much :-)
(Edited)
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Richard - MW0XDT

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On the contrary Ross, I love your answer!
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Pete - W6OP

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I use VMWare on my iMac to run a Windows 10 virtual machine and never get any dropouts or other issues. I concur with the others, most likely a network issue. Do make sure nothing on the PC is set to ever go to sleep.
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Richard - MW0XDT

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Thanks Pete, yes the sleep issues have been addressed
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I use bootcamp on my (old) macbook pro and it works fine as well. It's a mid 2011 13" Macbook Pro. 
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John - AF3K

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Rich, I use a Lenovo i7 SSD laptop running Windows 10 connected to a Lenovo docking station which is also supportin 2 additional full size monitors. The docking station connects to a 16 port switch with Gig ports. The Flex 6500 connects to the same switch (as does the Maestro). It all runs great with no dropouts. I'd start diagnosing at the switch, check seating of connectors and then swapping cables out for well shielded factory made ones.
GL,
John, AF3K
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Richard - MW0XDT

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Thanks John, solid advice, I have no switch in line at present with direct connection between PC and Radio...but I will get the connections under the microscope!
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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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I use one of my own computer packages from www.abrohamnealsoftware.com! Its an upgraded Low-cost, High Performance computer with a AMD FX-9370 CPU, AMD HD-7700 graphic card, Win10 and 16GB hard drive.
73
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Richard - MW0XDT

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Many thanks Neal
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Tom K3TF

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I am running an AMD Quad Core processor with 8GB RAM. Windows 10. I use an Apple Router and a 1 Ghz. Switch. Task manager shows about 17% CPU usage most of the time. Latency < 1ms. and max Latency 12 ms. Never any packet loss. Rig and PC run 24/7. Typical Ethernet speed 1.7MB. 

Tom........
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Richard - MW0XDT

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Thanks Tom
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Norm - W7CK

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Stick with directly connected device until you figure this one out.

Someone mentioned trying a different Network Adapter Card and someone else mentioned trying a different Ethernet Cable.   At this point, I would agree that these are both excellent suggestions.   Your computer is more than adequate.  What you are experiencing should not be happening.

Do you have a laptop or another computer that you could temporarily try running SmartSDR on?   I'd definitely try using a different computer/laptop if possible.  You may even be able to borrow a laptop from a friend for a short time.  Again, use it directly connected to the Flex to help narrow the issue down.

If the problem still exists when directly connected to a different computer using a different Ethernet cable, then I would call the Flex support team and see if they have any diagnostic software on the 6000 that they can look at Ethernet errors.

Norm - W7CK
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Richard - MW0XDT

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Hi Norm,

Many thanks for the reply. I have connected 3 PCs in total to the 6500, all direct and all suffered the same issue....although I may have inadvertently used the same 'high quality' cat5 cable, as at the time I was convinced it would be a network card issue.

I haven't tried my new laptop, I'll try that and I've also found some high quality cat6 cable....I'm going to make up a new short patch lead out of this and compare results.

Thanks again for your thoughts, I'll report back with any findings.

73 Rich
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Norm - W7CK

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If after you've tried a new cat cable directly connected using a different PC/laptop, then I would call Flex back and explain the process you've taken to narrow down the issue. At that point, it sounds like it may be the Ethernet port on the Flex or some other issue with the Flex.  Try your best to eliminate all of the other possibilities first though.  I'm assuming Flex has some sort of diagnostic software they can run on the 6000 series hardware to figure out what's going on.
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Ross - K9COX

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Richard - MW0XDT

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Yes, I'm not alone and it's not a beta issue. Started way before that release and varies in frequency as normal, not made worse by beta SSDR
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Bill W2PKY

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Hello Rich-
Any chance there is an issue with your power supply? Are you able to scope the supply?
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Richard - MW0XDT

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Hi Bill,

Unlikely to be the issue as I've use multiple supplies, at different times. At the moment ithe 6500 is running on a Yaesu 30amp and previously on a Diamond 40anp, plus on a 160AH back up battery briefly. I have had failures on all 3 supplies. I will look at scoping the supply for any correlation.

73 Rich
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Cal Spreitzer

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Rich,

Are your "lost connections" during receive or are they happening when you transmit?  Do you have any other radios nearby say like a VHF/UHF rig or antenna that might be interfering? 

Cal/N3CAL



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Richard - MW0XDT

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Hi Cal,

Usually during RX, but then I RX more than TX, so it's just averaging out. It can happen at any time, even before connecting SSDR...in other words, the radio, if left on for 10minutes before connecting, might already be unavailable and need a forced shut down. Anything from 5 minutes to 2 hours of operating, it can happen.

No other radios in operation during Flex air time.

Many thanks Cal, 73 Rich