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Author Topic: Flex3000 CW keyer timing problem  (Read 11276 times)
VK5DO
Member

Posts: 87




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« on: June 24, 2011, 12:52:22 AM »

Hi all,

A question for any Flex people.........Just got my 3000 and all good except one problem with CW keyer timing. 

CW mode, Iambic key, Internal keyer - the 1st "dit" I send at any time is significantly longer or shorter than the subsequent string of "dits".  Usually it sends as a longer character than subsequent/following dits.  IE: If I just hold the dit paddle, it sends one character that is almost a "dah" then a string of accurately timed "dits" as normal until I release the paddle.  Sometimes (no particular patern to the behavior) it sends a very short character then a string of normal "dits"

If I use an external keyer and hit the "dit" paddle, it's always long.  In fact the first character is definatey as long as a "dah" then a long string of "dits" at normal timing until the key is released.

I've tried "strict character timing", changing buffer sizes, ramp and different character speeds.  It has this problem all the way down to about 12WPM.   

Any suggestions?  It would be nice if this can be fixed as one of the main reasons I got this radio was for the narrrow filter control in CW mode. Not much good if I cant send.

Yours,

Dene - VK5DO
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KE5JPP
Member

Posts: 0




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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2011, 03:16:13 AM »

Hi all,

A question for any Flex people.........Just got my 3000 and all good except one problem with CW keyer timing.  

CW mode, Iambic key, Internal keyer - the 1st "dit" I send at any time is significantly longer or shorter than the subsequent string of "dits".  Usually it sends as a longer character than subsequent/following dits.  IE: If I just hold the dit paddle, it sends one character that is almost a "dah" then a string of accurately timed "dits" as normal until I release the paddle.  Sometimes (no particular patern to the behavior) it sends a very short character then a string of normal "dits"

If I use an external keyer and hit the "dit" paddle, it's always long.  In fact the first character is definatey as long as a "dah" then a long string of "dits" at normal timing until the key is released.

I've tried "strict character timing", changing buffer sizes, ramp and different character speeds.  It has this problem all the way down to about 12WPM.  

Any suggestions?  It would be nice if this can be fixed as one of the main reasons I got this radio was for the narrrow filter control in CW mode. Not much good if I cant send.

Yours,

Dene - VK5DO

 Embarrassed I am always sorry to hear when a CW guy ends up getting a Flex.

Here is my experience and opinion having owned a Flex5K.  Flex radios are just not good CW radios.  They have had problems with CW from the beginning and no matter how many times they have claimed to "fix" CW over the years, there is still problems with sending CW.  You will get a lot of responses telling you to tweak this or tweak that setting or to get a faster computer or whatever, but as fundamental a mode as CW is, all these machinations to get it working on CW is ridiculous.   My Flex 5K was terrible on CW.  Just when I thought I had gotten the right "tweaks" in place, I'd get some other weird behavior with CW sending.  I finally gave up and just used my other radio for CW before I sold the Flex5K.  

Gene
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 03:22:14 AM by KE5JPP » Logged
N9RO
Member

Posts: 124


WWW

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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2011, 06:39:01 AM »

The dishonest Flex cheerleading has caused many hams to make the Flex mistake.  I have never been able to make any of my Flex's match the clean performing CW of  my old knob radios.   If CW were my main operating mode I would probably consider moving to a different rig.  I use my 3000 at times on CW but only via keyboard and that at times can act strange.

73, N9RO
Tim
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Real techies don't use knobs.
KE5JPP
Member

Posts: 0




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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2011, 07:13:55 AM »

Hi all,

A question for any Flex people.........Just got my 3000 and all good except one problem with CW keyer timing. 


Dene - VK5DO

If you are still within the initial 30 days of purchasing the Flex3K and you find that you can't live with its poor CW performance, you can return the radio for a refund.  I would advise you to do so before it is too late and then you are disappointed yet again by the many other bugs and gotchas with the Flex stuff.  Think hard about this because you will not have the opportunity to get 100% of your purchase price back after 30 days.  I wish I would have had that option, but I bought and later sold my Flex5K used.

Oh, and the guy I bought it from told me how great and trouble fee the Flex radios were.  Later after I had purchased it, I heard him on 40 meters badmouthing the Flex5K and how getting rid of it was the best thing he had done.  Had there been honest discussions about the pros and cons of Flex radios like there is on this forum, I would have done better research before agreeing to purchase it.  I was going by all the Flex-gushing positive reviews on the Flex reflectors and the 5 out of 5 ratings on eHam.  Little did I know that Flex had the policy of moderating negative reviews off the Flex reflectors.  I know now after the fact.  I also see that when someone posts a honest review of a Flex on eHam that is less than 5 out of 5, there is a call put out to all Flex-gushing fans on the Flex reflector to bury the negative review in 5 out of 5 positive reviews.  Very dishonest.

I now post my opinions and experiences with the Flex5K on this censorship-free forum so guys will be better informed about the realities of owning a Flex before being sorry with their purchase.  I would have appreciated the same honesty when I was researching Flex radios in consideration of buying the used Flex5K that I later sold.

Gene
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K0OD
Member

Posts: 2557




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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2011, 08:21:07 AM »

Quote
Just got my 3000 and all good except one problem with CW keyer timing. 

Man, did that question open up the fire hoses for the Flex bashers!

My 5000 (with external keyer) sends perfect CW and exhibits nothing like what you describe. My only gripe is with the side tone that I hear. Especially on six meters, WHAT I HEAR is a bit clicky and those clicks can be seen on the built-in Flex scope.  Transmitted CW is fine. Flex is aware of that problem and will address it... eventually (LOL). And the click problem doesn't seem to be universal with all owners.

I've never heard anyone complain of your "first dit" problem. It is certainly not common in any variety of Flex. Start by cleaning out the database and rebuilding it which is quite easy to do. Email Flex; they are quite helpful. Try a different PSDR version.

Jeff K0OD
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WB6RQN
Member

Posts: 484




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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2011, 09:33:43 AM »

Dene: I have heard of this problem occurring but don't know what the solution is. When I set up my systems (Flex 5000, 3000, and 1500) to test CW, I did not see the problem so I haven't tried to fix it. Frankly, you will probably (almost certainly) get more assistance if you post on the flexradio reflector or write directly to Flex. Dudley Hurry (support@flexradio.com) can definitely help you out.

But in the interim, have you gone to the DSP>Keyer setup page and experimented with the break-in delay? It sounds like you already have but have you reduced the Audio>Primaryx and the DSP>Options>Buffer Size - CW - TX: buffer sizes?

Good luck and please let me know how you fare.

73 de Brian, WB6RQN/J79BPL
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KE5JPP
Member

Posts: 0




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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2011, 09:45:17 AM »

Dene: I have heard of this problem occurring but don't know what the solution is. When I set up my systems (Flex 5000, 3000, and 1500) to test CW, I did not see the problem so I haven't tried to fix it. Frankly, you will probably (almost certainly) get more assistance if you post on the flexradio reflector or write directly to Flex. Dudley Hurry (support@flexradio.com) can definitely help you out.

But in the interim, have you gone to the DSP>Keyer setup page and experimented with the break-in delay? It sounds like you already have but have you reduced the Audio>Primaryx and the DSP>Options>Buffer Size - CW - TX: buffer sizes?

Good luck and please let me know how you fare.

73 de Brian, WB6RQN/J79BPL


LOL!  Here we go with the tweak, tweak, tweak, adjust, adjust, adjust, reset the database, on and on, etc...  LOL!  Its like trying to contain jello by squeezing it with a bunch of rubber bands.  You make one adjustment here with your Flex and another thing craps out somewhere else.  GOOD LUCK!

I always love the "reset your database" cure as the standard response to problems.   If the database has caused so much trouble why the heck has Flex stuck with using a MS Access Database for so long in PowerSDR?

Gene
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OH6I
Member

Posts: 22




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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2011, 09:51:22 AM »

Dene, I do not know if this have any help for you but...

April 2011 RadCom Magazine review Flex-1500 and it have older 2.0.16 software version:

" Another aspect of using the Flex-1500 was the occasional pop, crackle and audio drop out with the lesser machines. Despite my CPU running at only about 37% capacity on the Intel Dual Core this was evident on some bands at times. On CW it occasional dropped a ´dit´ or changed a ´dah´to a´dit´when transmitting as well."
 
" There were no such problems with the Toshiba with the i3 processor, with the CPU running at about 11-16% capacity. "

Jari
OH6I
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KE5JPP
Member

Posts: 0




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« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2011, 10:04:23 AM »

Hi all,

A question for any Flex people.........Just got my 3000 and all good except one problem with CW keyer timing. 

CW mode, Iambic key, Internal keyer - the 1st "dit" I send at any time is significantly longer or shorter than the subsequent string of "dits".  Usually it sends as a longer character than subsequent/following dits.  IE: If I just hold the dit paddle, it sends one character that is almost a "dah" then a string of accurately timed "dits" as normal until I release the paddle.  Sometimes (no particular patern to the behavior) it sends a very short character then a string of normal "dits"

If I use an external keyer and hit the "dit" paddle, it's always long.  In fact the first character is definatey as long as a "dah" then a long string of "dits" at normal timing until the key is released.

I've tried "strict character timing", changing buffer sizes, ramp and different character speeds.  It has this problem all the way down to about 12WPM.   

Any suggestions?  It would be nice if this can be fixed as one of the main reasons I got this radio was for the narrrow filter control in CW mode. Not much good if I cant send.

Yours,

Dene - VK5DO

If you decide to keep your Flex3K, consider trying it on a different computer.  I have heard many times that issues such as the one you describe sometimes disappear just by using a different computer.  You might also want to consider buying one of Neal's specially built computers for use with your Flex.

Gene
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WB6RQN
Member

Posts: 484




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« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2011, 10:29:34 AM »

LOL!  Here we go with the tweak, tweak, tweak, adjust, adjust, adjust, reset the database, on and on, etc...  LOL!  Its like trying to contain jello by squeezing it with a bunch of rubber bands.  You make one adjustment here with your Flex and another thing craps out somewhere else.  GOOD LUCK!

I always love the "reset your database" cure as the standard response to problems.   If the database has caused so much trouble why the heck has Flex stuck with using a MS Access Database for so long in PowerSDR?

Clearly you don't know what you are talking about Gene. PowerSDR hasn't used an MS Access database for several years. Also adjusting DSP buffer sizes does not cause problems elsewhere.

Do you have something useful to contribute? If so, please do.

73 de Brian, WB6RQN/J79BPL
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KE5JPP
Member

Posts: 0




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« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2011, 10:53:38 AM »

LOL!  Here we go with the tweak, tweak, tweak, adjust, adjust, adjust, reset the database, on and on, etc...  LOL!  Its like trying to contain jello by squeezing it with a bunch of rubber bands.  You make one adjustment here with your Flex and another thing craps out somewhere else.  GOOD LUCK!

I always love the "reset your database" cure as the standard response to problems.   If the database has caused so much trouble why the heck has Flex stuck with using a MS Access Database for so long in PowerSDR?

Clearly you don't know what you are talking about Gene. PowerSDR hasn't used an MS Access database for several years. Also adjusting DSP buffer sizes does not cause problems elsewhere.

Do you have something useful to contribute? If so, please do.

73 de Brian, WB6RQN/J79BPL

When I had my Flex5k it did and I see it was only recently was it replaced by XML.  Still, the "reset your database" problems exist so I don't see it as an improvement at all.  That is why I figured they still were using the Access database.  It still is a problem.  Or to use your favorite word, it is a "minor" improvement.  Grin

My useful contribution is advising the guy to return his Flex3k before his 30 day trial period runs out!

Gene
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HAMMYGUY
Member

Posts: 85




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« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2011, 07:12:35 PM »

I just sold my Flex-3000 (not due to it having any issues.  Sorry Stan and Gene no cannon fodder here).   It did display a similar symptom of the very first dit not going out completely.   BUT after that very first dit it worked very well throughout a full QSO. It seemed to wake up the software.  This was on the most recent official release.   My only reason for getting rid of it was waiting for my ancient computer to boot up to play radio and the approximately 80Khz pan-adapter.   Yes they say it's 100khz, but it isn't.  It just wasn't wide enough for the SWLing that I really enjoy. 
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RFDOG
Member

Posts: 18




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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2011, 02:03:13 PM »

Same Grumpy old men...  Same old eHam...
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KE5JPP
Member

Posts: 0




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« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2011, 03:51:57 AM »

I just sold my Flex-3000 (not due to it having any issues.  Sorry Stan and Gene no cannon fodder here).   It did display a similar symptom of the very first dit not going out completely. 

No Cannon Fodder needed. You dumping your 3000 says it all...

Stan K9IUQ

Lots of Flex-1500s being sold lately on the Flex list too.

Gene

[My New Sig]
--------------------------------
A few months ago while using my Flex-5000a I was in a QSO with another Ham who was also using his Flex-5000a.  He was running approximately 800 watts out on 40meters.  While transmitting he opened the transmit equalizer dialog box.  He had been just a few minutes earlier extolling the virtues of the Flex-5000a and PowerSDR in general to a crowd of guys listening.  He wanted to demonstrate how nice it was to have a built-in transmit equalizer. In mid sentence either his PowerSDR or Windows locked up and all I heard was a stuttering "uhuhuhuh puh puh puh uh uh uhuhuhuhuh uh uh  puh puh uh uh ..." for like 30 seconds.  I seriously thought the poor guy was having a stroke or seizure!  No kidding.  On my spectrum display I could see that he suddenly was splattering at least 20 kHz up and down the band causing interference to all those around us with his 800 watts of "uhuhuhuh puh puh puh uh uh uhuhuhuhuh uh uh  puh puh uh uh ...".  After about 5 minutes, he came back on the air to explain what had happened.  He finally had to resort to pulling the power to stop the stuttering loop that the computer had gone into.

It was the funniest and most pitiful thing that I have ever heard live on the air.  I can still hear and laugh about the half a minute of wide band, 800 watt "uhuhuhuh puh puh puh uh uh uhuhuhuhuh uh uh  puh puh uh uh ..." noises today.  I felt bad for him as he said it was one of the most embarrassing moments in his 40+ years of Hamming.
--------------------------------
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WB6RQN
Member

Posts: 484




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« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2011, 08:21:57 AM »

Yes they say it's 100khz, but it isn't.  It just wasn't wide enough for the SWLing that I really enjoy. 

It can't be 100kHz. That is impossible. Whoever told you that was mistaken. With 96kHz of sampling and an I/Q receiver, the maximum span can only go out to the Nyquist frequency (which is half the sample rate) on either side of the LO injection frequency, i.e. +/- 48kHz. That gives you a best-case of 96kHz of spectrum. Practically speaking, you are limited to something less than that so I know I tell people it gives them about 80kHz of display span.

The 5000 with its 192kHz sample rate is double that or about 160kHz of span.

If you are into SWL-ing and want a really wide panadaptor display span you really need to go to a direct-sampling receiver. I would look at either the Perseus or the new WinRadio Excalibur.

http://www.microtelecom.it/perseus/

http://www.winradio.com/home/g31ddc.htm

Good luck!

73 de Brian, WB6RQN/J79BPL
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