WSJT-X Transmit Problem

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  • Updated 4 years ago
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I see others have had this problem, but there is no definitive solution. I have a new Flex 6300 after upgrading from a Flex 3000. I do almost exclusively digital, and I have had frustration after frustration with the 6300. I definitely would not recommend anyone upgrade at this point in time.

I would like to detail all the applications that do not work well, but I would like to start with WSJT-X. As of today, October 2, 2015, I am using the latest available versions of everything.

WSJT-X will not transmit. In Smart SDR and DAX, all the levels gauges look correct, except the RF output. There isn't any. None at all. Nothing I have tried has made any difference. I have followed examples posted verbatim. I have tried reboots of both the radio and the computer. I have done everything short of standing on one foot and waving a pair of pink boxers over my head in a thunderstorm.

I have been a Windows software engineer for as long as Windows has existed. I have been trying to troubleshoot this and come up with some concrete details, but I cannot. So as a last resort I am turning to the community. 

Everything points to a serious problem with DAX. I have unusual problems with JT65HF, Winlink, MMSSTV, and other programs I never had with my 3000. 

When I received the 6300, it had SmartSDR 1.4.16. The WSJT-X transmit problem was "occasional" at that point and occurred mainly after a JT9 QSO. Rebooting the radio and the software usually fixed the problem and I tried to just stay away from JT9. With SmartSDR 1.5, the problem is now permanent. I can't transmit at all. 

Interestingly, I can switch over to jt65 hf hb9hqx edition, and it transmits fine and I get great signal reports. BUT, it is only decoding about 1/3 of the strong signals and none of the weak. So it's mostly deaf.

I am the host of our local weekly two hour digital modes net and it is one of the most popular nets we have here. I have sung the praises of Flex for a couple of years now. Unfortunately, while I spend a lot of time helping other people learn and troubleshoot digital, I can't help myself. Everyone can operate during the net except me and my 6300. I haven't been able to participate in our weekly RMS Express exercise since I started using the 6300 a few weeks ago. But that's another sad story.

Thankfully I kept my 3000 and will probably have to give up on the 6300 and go back to something that works reliably. Until then, I am hoping that someone here has some wisdom they can impart that will lead me down a path to a solution. I don't mind a little hard work, and I realize that in many ways this is not yet a production quality product. But I am afraid that I may get stuck in release hell, perpetually waiting for new versions and hoping that each will solve the problems.

Anyway, I am hoping there is someone with some little trick I haven't tried yet!

Thanks and 73

Brian - K6BPM Santa Barbara
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Brian - K6BPM

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  • Disappointed

Posted 4 years ago

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Andrew O'Brien

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Can you post a video capture of what WSJTX and SmartSDR look like when you are trying to make it transmit?  What issues do you experience with MMSSTV  ?
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SteveM

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Brian,

There is a specific issue with TX on the 6300 running v1.5 (see here). That issue must be corrected with an update which is not released, yet. However, it seems that issue mostly involves distorted Tx, not missing Tx. If I were you, I would open a HelpDesk ticket and let Tim look at your setup. That is one of the major reasons he hangs out here - to help us out.

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Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

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Larry Loen WO7R

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Open a help ticket. Tim got me through a similar problem. Somehow, smartCAT had to be installed in just the right order on my particular win 7 box. Tim knew the trick, not the standard install.
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Peter Kirsop

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I can sympathise with this.  I have had intermittent problems with digital modes since I bought my 6300 over a year ago.  I mostly use HRD / DM780 for digital modes and have had issues with getting transmit to work.  Right now it will not transmit using HRD rig control, but it used to, before an SSDR upgrade.  So i opened a PTT port on SMARTCAT and used that which worked OK.  However, after the update to 1.5 this now does not work.  Strangely it does work on another PC on my LAN.  I did have WSJT working a while ago but I just tried it this morning following this post and it now wont transmit.  I am fairly sure that after enough fiddling about with COM ports and reboots it will work, but to honest I cannot really be bothered.  It is because of things like this that I have given up with the 6300 for now and am just using my Elecraft which works fine, and very reliably,  with DM780 or WSJT.

73

Peter GM4WCE
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Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

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Peter, your problems with digital modes support my opinion, that in most
cases Windows and it's various audio and cat settings are the culprit.

As you can see from my postings here I have one central Sony Vaio
notebook with Win7 HE 64bit which controls all three of my HF TRX and
two of my VHF/UHF/SHF transmitters.
SmartSDR with CAT and DAX and a microHAM DigiKeyer for my TS-2000X
or my IC-756PRO and my SCS PTCIIpro all run side by side and without too many problems.

Granted, I have DAX problems about once every two weeks, restarting
DAX and WSJT-X solves this.

What I do is this:

1. I regularly make backups of my digital programs and clone my 1TB SSD.
2. I clean up my OS with TuneUp after each new install and clean up
    the registry manually sometimes.
3. I make a list of all my virtual COM ports (over 40 now) and my virtual
    soundcards (22 now) and I am very careful not to have two of the same
    number.
4. I install all big new software changes or new installs on an old notebook
   and test them first. I notice which installer is used and which changes are
   made to the registry using revo unistaller or just
   http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/myuninst.html

There is also my tutorial on the forum (see above)

Hope this helps a bit.
(Edited)
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HB9CQK

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I am using the 6700 and WSJT-X and had a similar issue. There was no Tx audio whatsoever, but everything was set correctly. I am using SmartSDR CAT 1.5.0 and DX LabSuite Commander. This did not happen with older versions of SmarSDR. It also does not happen when I do not use Commander. The solution was to use the Kenwood radio instead of FlexRadio selection in Commander. 

Hope that helps, do not give up, 6000 series is great fun and the FlexRadio staff is very responsive.

73, Frédéric, HB9CQK
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Burt Fisher

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I love this comment, " I have done everything short of standing on one foot and waving a pair of pink boxers over my head in a thunderstorm." That is essentially what I need to do to get functions associated with DAX and CAT to work. You own a 6000 series, I expected these problems when I bought it. I am tempted to buy something that actually does what it is supposed to without standing on one foot etc. But then there is Flex customer service.
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Dan -- KC4GO

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I'm using WSJT-X for WSPR with band hopping up to 24 hours at a time. Radio is a 6500 software 1.5 Operating System Windows 7 Pro.  I've never experienced a failure unless I have not set it up correctly.  I've found you MUST go thru the setup checks each time to make sure the CAT is talking to the correct port and that the DAX is connected for TX. Test each band and check the FLEX settings as well as the WSJT-X settings. I've only worked JT-65 on 20 and 30 but worked 100%. 
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Kevin Mahoney

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I am having similar problems and have been unable to find a fix. Frustrating
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DrTeeth

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I sympathise with those who have had problems, the omens are good for a fix as most people do not have any. I have been 100% JT65/9 for about a year with so significant issues, and probs usually operator error - and usually silly things. Good luck.
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Brian - K6BPM

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Official Response
I had a little epiphany last night after writing this post. I really hate giving up, and have spent 30 years solving computer problems.

I decided to try disabling the Windows 7 (Pro) Aero desktop. It is a well known resource hog, but it looks a lot better than the "Classic" Windows desktop. It uses graphics acceleration and virtually doubles Windows handles in some cases because it is over-drawing the translucent and stylized window borders over the normal window control borders. Windows handles are finite and not equated to installed memory. Resource starvation is the cause of many problems programmers need to be acutely aware of when designing applications. It isn't that common of a problem anymore, however the SmartSDR user base is extremely tiny compared to mainstream software, so it may not be as easy to relate SSDR to retail software programming faults. I overlooked this and I can see how Flex might not get the input they need to tweak things for everyone.

Here are simple instructions for doing this:

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/disable-aero-on-windows-vista/

Well, WSJT-X immediately came to life. All the problems I was experiencing with 1.5 AND 1.4.16 are gone. Everything works as it should now. My waveforms are perfect now, and not distorted as they were with 1.4.16 before TX went dead for good. My RF output is now constant instead of jumping up and down. With 1.4.16, any time I did a JT9 contact, I had to reboot everything AND copy a known good version of the WXJT-X INI file back in to get it to work again. This has fixed this problem too.

Hopefully this works for others. I am hoping this continues to work for me ;) I am going to try other applications I was having problems with and will post results here.

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions and moral support!

73

Brian - K6BPM
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DrTeeth

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It is a long time since I heard of this type of issue causing problems. The last time was, IIRC natch, the 64K heap of GUI used in Win 3.1.

If the handles thing were the issue, surely we'd all be having problems? Something particular to your system must be gobbling them up.

Naturally, I am *delighted* that you found a solution in your case, but I am just very puzzled that it worked for you at all.
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Brian - K6BPM

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You are absolutely right. This does not come up too much these days, but the barrier still exists. I think programmers are generally better about these things these days and there are a lot more seasoned programmers to teach them the ins and outs of the desktop space. 

I too am curious why others are not having problems. We usually see a couple of usual suspects - Carbonite and Dropbox. Both use tons of sockets and every socket uses handle. I do have Dropbox running but I wouldn't ever put Carbonite on any machine I had control over.

After a little poking around, and excluding DropBox which I already know is a hog,  SSDR and DAX use the most threads and handles of anything on my system. I have not yet dug deeper into SSDR and DAX to see some low level stuff.

By far the biggest overall resource hog when you include USER and GDI objects is JTAlert, which I run with WSJT-X. And it is the biggest offender by a large amount.

The search will continue, but so far no problems at all today.

I also successfully completed an entire session with RMS Express in about a minute. No problems whatsoever. I had not been able to complete a session, or even get past the "Connection" line since I set up my 6300. 
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Michael Coslo

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Just to be certain, you are saying that it was actually a Windows problem, not a serious problem with DAX, as you reported earlier?
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Brian - K6BPM

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Actually no, not at all. It is a Windows workaround. The Aero desktop has been there since day one of the first release of Vista, then Win7, and so on. There isn't a problem with it, but it does use a lot of resources. Turning it off frees up Windows resources and handles for other applications. It increases performance at the expense of pretty user interfaces. SSDR is very resource intensive. Apparently, or at least in my case, getting rid of some Windows overhead gave SSDR the room it needed. DAX is benefiting from this extra resource memory.

BTW, I am on the west coast and just got the Netherlands (20m) on WSJT-X. That is  a big one for me. My signal is nice and clean and constant and I have received responses on almost every call since I did this. This is the first time I have been actually use my 6300 since I got it. So far, so good anyway!
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N7AIG

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Whoa! Dude!!

Thanks so much for mentioning the Aero thingy. Like you I have been involved deep in computing for more than 40 years. But unlike you, I never wanted to dig deeply into the quirks of Windows.

I just switched Aero off, rebooted, and will be watching for system behavior improvements in the coming days.

73 de Dave, N7AIG

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Michael Coslo

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Actually, that isn't quite my point. You were to the point of condemning the 6000 series at least according to your remarks. To the point of giving up on the 6300. When it was not their problem at all. Your computer is probably right on the point of being underpowered, and disabling Aero made it able to work. That is not a DAX problem.

Not trying to bust your chops here, just that I've spent a lot of time with Windows users who have problems with software - esp fldigi - and get bogged down in blaming it on the software, not the OS or computer itself. 

Glad you got it running, and really glad you shared the fix with us, Now let's go have some fun! 

-73 Mike N3LI - 
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Brian - K6BPM

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Over the years I would estimate my software being used on somewhere north of 60 million computers. I learned long ago, it is never a Windows problem. It is *my* problem to make my software play nice with Windows. I don't fault Flex here, resource issued are a bitch to resolve. I have spent years developing mapped thread pools and caching systems to reduce resource usage and I have no doubt Flex will resolve them.

I need a radio that works and does not require constant unnecessary attention. But, like I said earlier, I am not afraid of hard work and I am really encouraged that we're on the right track! I am really good at undocumented Windows internals, and I am probably going to spend a large part of the weekend seeing  what else I can find to tweak performance. 

This is the first "fun" I have had with the 6300. So I agree, let's go enjoy a little! Looks like the bands are waking up a little, and I am still running problem free!

73 Brian - K6BPM
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Burt Fisher

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I modified your great comment, It is *Flex* problem to make their software play nice with Windows. That can't be understated.
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Michael Coslo

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As I always used to say, Windows never fails - only we can fail Windows.

It was funny, when I retired and no longer had to support it, I swore I'd never use Windows again, and it was actually an important part in my decision to buy a Flex Radio - as in a negative aspect. I'm seriously glad I bit the bullet and bought the radio. But if Dogpark comes through......

So I'm running W7 in Bootcamp on my Mac, and have a Dell sacrificial computer Running W10. Sacrificial meaning it has nothing else on it, until I figure out how to deal with W10's telemetry issue. 

Interesting enough, both systems run everything I use without a hitch switching from one to the other. I was really stoked to find that the profiles carry over any changes I make.

I'm using 1.5 on both machines, fldigi, HRD sometimes, WSJT (both versions) and WSPR. Everything runs FB. I figure if I've got the radio running on both 7 and 10, it must be doing sumpin right. They are both fast machines though.

Which is why I think Brian's problem is the computer going sluggish. Just a semi-informed guess, but I'd disable every possible thing I could in an older machine to run a resource heavy setup like we're using here.