Possible incompatibility w/PowerSDR V2.4.4, Windows 8.1

General discussion and support for the Peaberry SDR V2.

Possible incompatibility w/PowerSDR V2.4.4, Windows 8.1

Postby k1qn » Sun Jul 26, 2015 6:35 pm

Let me take it from the top.

I have 2 Peaberrys now. The first was for 160/80M. These are the "sleep disorder" bands. I worked a few 1000 mile per watt QSO's with it, including 340 miles at 200mw on 160, and it's been pretty much idle since then. I used PowerSDR for this rig and 2 softrocks with some cursing, but successful operations. I use digital modes, mostly JT65 and JT9.

I built a second Peaberry for 60/40/30/20M, and it worked great for a day or 2. Then I noticed dropping TX power, and traced it back to the output of the PCM3060, where I saw this awful waveform on all 4 outputs (at R17-R20):

scopetrace.jpg
scopetrace.jpg (185.05 KiB) Viewed 4757 times


The audio input was roughly 1kHz, and I chose it just to illustrate that we had nice audio replication, except for a chopping at 1kHz.

I could find no other faults. All DC voltages remained nominal, RF section responding properly to the bad audio.

The duration of the chop increased slowly. Over maybe 5-8 minutes, it would go to the full 1msec (complete silence), and then return, suddenly, to no chopping, and it would be happy for "hours to days" of normal operation on the JT modes. Now, during the 5-8 minutes during which the power is dropping, I can go to receive, then return to transmit, kill PowerSDR and go to PeaberryCW, even restart the PC, and, when I went back to transmit, it would be seen to be continuing in its downward spiral.

I observed several of these incidents. I couldn't determine how to trigger them; I just operated and waited.

I could fix it instantly by killing the 12 VDC, or by unplugging and restoring the USB cable.

I have now run it without incident using >>>HDSDR<<< instead of PowerSDR for 72 hours. This was suggested by Ron, W4MMP. The record with PowerSDR was about 24 hours. Just to give you an idea how much I "appreciate" this software, I took a shot at writing my own SDR program a while back (I did graduate work in digital filters during my mis-spent youth.)

The analysis goes like this:

A precipitating event, related to the software, occurred, and set a bad state of some sort in the Peaberry. The Peaberry could only recover by timing-out (5-8 minutes), or as a result of resetting the board by removing DC power or USB connection.

The first Peaberry may have been vulnerable, but I just didn't stress it enough to get a "precipitating event".

The second Peaberry may have a different firmware version, or it may have a manufacturing problem. This includes minor ESD damage to the CY8C3XXX, or poor soldering somewhere.

I'm knocking on wood, as the tests continue.

... I'm mostly on 20M JT.

Comments welcome!
Al Gerheim, K1QN
Celebrating 50 years in ham radio!
k1qn
 
Posts: 90
Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:42 pm

Re: Possible incompatibility w/PowerSDR V2.4.4, Windows 8.1

Postby W4MMP » Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:19 am

Al,

I have now run it without incident using >>>HDSDR<<< instead of PowerSDR for 72 hours. This was suggested by Ron, W4MMP. The record with PowerSDR was about 24 hours. Just to give you an idea how much I "appreciate" this software, I took a shot at writing my own SDR program a while back (I did graduate work in digital filters during my mis-spent youth.)


Was anything else changed? Same computer, same USB port?
73
Ron / W4MMP
W4MMP
 
Posts: 579
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:31 pm
Location: Lovettsville, Virginia FM19EG

Re: Possible incompatibility w/PowerSDR V2.4.4, Windows 8.1

Postby k1qn » Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:32 am

I gave up on the XP machine. I'm using the same computer (windows 8.1 Dell with i5). Same USB port and cable. Only change is HDSDR replacing PowerSDR.
Al Gerheim, K1QN
Celebrating 50 years in ham radio!
k1qn
 
Posts: 90
Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:42 pm

Re: Possible incompatibility w/PowerSDR V2.4.4, Windows 8.1

Postby k1qn » Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:03 pm

Hold on. I may be using a different USB port and cable. It's quite a bag of worms on that part of the desk...
Al Gerheim, K1QN
Celebrating 50 years in ham radio!
k1qn
 
Posts: 90
Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:42 pm

Re: Possible incompatibility w/PowerSDR V2.4.4, Windows 8.1

Postby k1qn » Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:09 pm

I was using a different USB port and cable. I'm not sure when I made the switch, but it's back to the "known bad" configuration. The only thing changed from the "known bad" configuration is that I'm now using HDSDR instead of PowerSDR. Doing fine going on 18 hours.
Al Gerheim, K1QN
Celebrating 50 years in ham radio!
k1qn
 
Posts: 90
Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:42 pm

Re: Possible incompatibility w/PowerSDR V2.4.4, Windows 8.1

Postby W4MMP » Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:18 pm

Al,

OK, let the current configuration run for several days. If it does not fail then everything points to a software issue on the PC with PowerSDR. However you had mentioned the same issue arises with the Peaberry CW application (?). This is very odd. I can't see how this is a firmware issue. However, what version of the firmware are you using? (You are not using mine ,correct?). In other words are you using the firmware that came with the kit? At any rate I will take a look at the firmware source to see how it manages the USB interface. That part is a bit involved and will take me a while.
73
Ron / W4MMP
W4MMP
 
Posts: 579
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:31 pm
Location: Lovettsville, Virginia FM19EG

Re: Possible incompatibility w/PowerSDR V2.4.4, Windows 8.1

Postby k1qn » Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:24 pm

I may have misrepresented things. If I recall correctly, once it went into the bad state, shifting to PeaberryCW wouldn't fix it. I don't think I ever saw it >start< while running PeaberryCW.
Al Gerheim, K1QN
Celebrating 50 years in ham radio!
k1qn
 
Posts: 90
Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:42 pm

Re: Possible incompatibility w/PowerSDR V2.4.4, Windows 8.1

Postby W4MMP » Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:39 pm

OK,

If you were to do the same trouble shooting but replace Peaberry CW with HDSDR and the problem still exists, this points to PowerSDR messing with the driver that supports the Peaberry sound device. It is the standard driver that Microsoft supplies.

If HDSDR continues to run with out issue, then dollars to donuts the issue is with PowerSDR. There are not many on this board running PowerSDR on Windows 8.1. HDSDR has been the standard (at least around here).

As a side note, I wonder what issues will arise when I upgrade to Windows 10 (from my current Windows 7)?
73
Ron / W4MMP
W4MMP
 
Posts: 579
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:31 pm
Location: Lovettsville, Virginia FM19EG

Re: Possible incompatibility w/PowerSDR V2.4.4, Windows 8.1

Postby k1qn » Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:49 pm

"If it works, don't fix it." I upgraded from XP only when the OS was "overcome by events". :-)

I keep getting offers for free Windows 10 upgrades, and I'm ignoring them.
Al Gerheim, K1QN
Celebrating 50 years in ham radio!
k1qn
 
Posts: 90
Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:42 pm

Re: Possible incompatibility w/PowerSDR V2.4.4, Windows 8.1

Postby W4MMP » Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:56 pm

Al,

Is the rig still working with HDSDR?
73
Ron / W4MMP
W4MMP
 
Posts: 579
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:31 pm
Location: Lovettsville, Virginia FM19EG

Next

Return to Peaberry SDR V2

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron