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Odd Laptop/WiFi Interference

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  • RobertCGRO
    Well, others must know about this problem, as I can t be the first to discover this problem related to laptops and wifi (external cards or built-in). Anyway, I
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 25, 2009
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      Well, others must know about this problem, as I can't be the first to
      discover this problem related to laptops and wifi (external cards or
      built-in). Anyway, I had a problem that was driving me crazy! One day
      my laptop worked fine with the digital modes, MMSSTV would send
      pictures with no slant. The next day, I couldn't send a picture that
      didn't have massive slant problems, and I'd get comments about the
      problem. With the text modes, it wasn't as obvious on HF, but on VHF,
      I'd also get comments about garbled text.

      After carefully listening to the laptop speaker output, I could here
      ticks and pops, clicks and stutters in the data stream. Well, to make
      a long story short, I did everthing to find the problem, even called
      tech support. One laptop was an older Toshiba with an Ali soundcard
      driver running XP SP3. The other was a new duo-core Dell with a
      SimaTel driver and XP SP3. After 2 weeks, I finally stumbled on the
      cause and the cure, at the same time.

      When the built-in wifi card on the Dell, or the plug-in wifi card on
      the Toshiba were active, and the soundcard was used by any other
      program (Media Player, FLDIGI, MMSSTV, etc.) the ticks, clicks and
      pops and stutters were very obvious. Wth music, they were buried, but
      if you listened for them, you'd hear them. Seems that something
      between between the WiFi cards and soundcard wasn't getting along.
      RFI, bugs in the sofware/hardware? I did install updated soundcard
      drivers for my laptops, and the problem was just made worse by the
      newer drivers!

      Using DRM and sending pictures with either EasyPal or DIGTRX no one
      could get a MSC lock on me when I had WiFi card either plugged in
      (Toshiba) or turned on (internal Dell). Disable WiFi by removing the
      card or switching it off, and voila! perfect DRM SSTV.

      So, if anyone else is having problems using the digital data modes,
      especially SSTV, DRM, etc., with a laptop, try turning of the WiFi
      off for internal cards/or just removing the PCMIA card for plug-in
      cards and any problems should disappear. If you need internet access,
      at thesame time, you'll have to plug in the laptop's ethernet card.

      Anyway,I've solved my "problem." Just wanted to see if anyone else
      besidesmoi has come across the problem, but didn't know the fix, or
      has a more elegant solution. I was blaming the digital data mode
      software, when in fact, it's a design flaw in several other laptops
      that I've tested with WiFi on and off. Either it's RFI or it's a
      hardware/software problem in their design. Doesn't happen on desktop
      computers that I've checked so the hardware/software interface/design
      seems to be the issue with just laptops.

      73,
      Robert, VA3ROM
      http://my.tbaytel.net/va3rom
    • w5dbk
      I had a similar problem with a Dell mini 9 except it was intermittent. While I was sending a picture, the receiving station would lose sync for a few seconds
      Message 2 of 8 , Feb 26, 2009
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        I had a similar problem with a Dell mini 9 except it was
        intermittent. While I was sending a picture, the receiving station
        would lose sync for a few seconds and then pick back up. I did a
        complete re-insstall of XP on the Dell mini and then loaded the
        drivers back in one at a time. During that process is when I found
        that EasyPal would not load (can't find hamdrm.dll) unless there is a
        driver installed for the sound card). When I got to the wifi driver
        I knew I had found it. I now keep a note on the PC to turn off the
        wifi during EasyPal. I was surprised that the problem showed up only
        during xmit, not during receive.

        Dave
        W5DBK

        --- In digsstv@yahoogroups.com, "RobertCGRO" <robertcgro@...> wrote:
        >
        > Well, others must know about this problem, as I can't be the first
        to
        > discover this problem related to laptops and wifi (external cards or
        > built-in). Anyway, I had a problem that was driving me crazy! One
        day
        > my laptop worked fine with the digital modes, MMSSTV would send
        > pictures with no slant. The next day, I couldn't send a picture that
        > didn't have massive slant problems, and I'd get comments about the
        > problem. With the text modes, it wasn't as obvious on HF, but on
        VHF,
        > I'd also get comments about garbled text.
        >
        > After carefully listening to the laptop speaker output, I could here
        > ticks and pops, clicks and stutters in the data stream. Well, to
        make
        > a long story short, I did everthing to find the problem, even called
        > tech support. One laptop was an older Toshiba with an Ali soundcard
        > driver running XP SP3. The other was a new duo-core Dell with a
        > SimaTel driver and XP SP3. After 2 weeks, I finally stumbled on the
        > cause and the cure, at the same time.
        >
        > When the built-in wifi card on the Dell, or the plug-in wifi card on
        > the Toshiba were active, and the soundcard was used by any other
        > program (Media Player, FLDIGI, MMSSTV, etc.) the ticks, clicks and
        > pops and stutters were very obvious. Wth music, they were buried,
        but
        > if you listened for them, you'd hear them. Seems that something
        > between between the WiFi cards and soundcard wasn't getting along.
        > RFI, bugs in the sofware/hardware? I did install updated soundcard
        > drivers for my laptops, and the problem was just made worse by the
        > newer drivers!
        >
        > Using DRM and sending pictures with either EasyPal or DIGTRX no one
        > could get a MSC lock on me when I had WiFi card either plugged in
        > (Toshiba) or turned on (internal Dell). Disable WiFi by removing
        the
        > card or switching it off, and voila! perfect DRM SSTV.
        >
        > So, if anyone else is having problems using the digital data modes,
        > especially SSTV, DRM, etc., with a laptop, try turning of the WiFi
        > off for internal cards/or just removing the PCMIA card for plug-in
        > cards and any problems should disappear. If you need internet
        access,
        > at thesame time, you'll have to plug in the laptop's ethernet card.
        >
        > Anyway,I've solved my "problem." Just wanted to see if anyone else
        > besidesmoi has come across the problem, but didn't know the fix, or
        > has a more elegant solution. I was blaming the digital data mode
        > software, when in fact, it's a design flaw in several other laptops
        > that I've tested with WiFi on and off. Either it's RFI or it's a
        > hardware/software problem in their design. Doesn't happen on
        desktop
        > computers that I've checked so the hardware/software
        interface/design
        > seems to be the issue with just laptops.
        >
        > 73,
        > Robert, VA3ROM
        > http://my.tbaytel.net/va3rom
        >
      • RobertCGRO
        Thanks, Dave. Yes, I noticed that on receive it was 100 percent which surprised me as well! Got a reply back from another user group, and he seemed to think
        Message 3 of 8 , Feb 27, 2009
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          Thanks, Dave.

          Yes, I noticed that on receive it was 100 percent which surprised me as
          well!

          Got a reply back from another user group, and he seemed to think that
          the WiFi card is sending interupt requests to the CPU (for whatever
          reason) when the soundcard is doing digital output but not input. Most
          laptops have a sofstware modem hooked into the audio system, but
          disabling it didn't fix the problem, nor just disabling the Wifi card.
          I have to either physically remove the PCMIA WiFi card form my old
          laptop, or turn it off with the side switch for my Dell duo-core.

          He also mentioned that it's recommened not to use onboard soundcards
          with laptops and go with a USB one like the SignaLink and some others
          on the market. I picked up a few USB soundcards from dealextreme.com
          surper cheap (China). The problem wasn't as bad, but I still had the
          odd click, pop, stutter if the Wifi wasn't disabled completely.

          At least I'm not going crazy. I'm going to install Linux and load up
          FLDIGI and some other Linux ham software. I want to see if Linux has
          the same kind of problem, and if not I'll dump Windows altogether. I'm
          sick and tired of the buggy software MS OS crap and constanly having to
          reinstall the OS because of problems like this. Took me 3 months just
          get a stable Vista box. Now, it's being dropped for Windows 7 this fall.

          Thanks es 73,
          Robert, VA3ROM




          --- In digsstv@yahoogroups.com, "w5dbk" <w5dbk.dave@...> wrote:
          >
          > I had a similar problem with a Dell mini 9 except it was
          > intermittent. While I was sending a picture, the receiving station
          > would lose sync for a few seconds and then pick back up. I did a
          > complete re-insstall of XP on the Dell mini and then loaded the
          > drivers back in one at a time. During that process is when I found
          > that EasyPal would not load (can't find hamdrm.dll) unless there is a
          > driver installed for the sound card). When I got to the wifi driver
          > I knew I had found it. I now keep a note on the PC to turn off the
          > wifi during EasyPal. I was surprised that the problem showed up only
          > during xmit, not during receive.
          >
          > Dave
          > W5DBK
        • jdow
          Here s an idea. But play with it with extreme caution. Some background first One of the thingies I make is a set of DLLs that load into the system designed
          Message 4 of 8 , Feb 27, 2009
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            Here's an idea. But play with it with extreme caution.

            Some background first
            One of the "thingies" I make is a set of DLLs that load into the
            system designed to look like MIDI devices. In the process of testing
            the transport device that sends MIDI from one machine to another over
            Ethernet we ran across process priority issues. This was in the really
            early days of NT4. (I never even THOUGHT of trying this with the 3.x
            family - which ran through ME.)

            We played a standard MIDI file through the media player to another
            computer time stamping the results to microseconds. We compared the
            actual times of receipt with the scheduled times of receipt as well
            as compared multiple runs with each other.

            We found that at its normal priority Media Player was MISERABLE on
            timing, 100ms to 500ms or worse jitter peak to peak. We raised the
            priorities on both ends to high priority and to real time priority.
            Each step improved performance with Real Time priority giving as
            little as 2ms RMS jitter on a thin-net Ethernet interface.

            So with that in mind it might be interesting for you to modify the
            priority on EasyPAL using TaskManager. Bring up TaskManager. Select
            the Processes tab. Look for EasyPal in the process list. Right click
            on it. Select the next higher priority, above normal. See if that
            improves reception. Try the higher than normal to see if there is
            another improvement. Only if it is ABSOLUTELY necessary go up to the
            RealTime priority.

            I bet it makes a difference. Reporting your results to the group here
            might lead to a couple extra lines of code in EasyPal to set its
            base priority a little higher than normal. That also works for things
            like MMSSTV, PSK-31 software, and the like.

            {^_^} Joanne W6MKU
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "RobertCGRO" <robertcgro@...>
            Sent: Friday, 2009, February 27 17:56


            > Thanks, Dave.
            >
            > Yes, I noticed that on receive it was 100 percent which surprised me as
            > well!
            >
            > Got a reply back from another user group, and he seemed to think that
            > the WiFi card is sending interupt requests to the CPU (for whatever
            > reason) when the soundcard is doing digital output but not input. Most
            > laptops have a sofstware modem hooked into the audio system, but
            > disabling it didn't fix the problem, nor just disabling the Wifi card.
            > I have to either physically remove the PCMIA WiFi card form my old
            > laptop, or turn it off with the side switch for my Dell duo-core.
            >
            > He also mentioned that it's recommened not to use onboard soundcards
            > with laptops and go with a USB one like the SignaLink and some others
            > on the market. I picked up a few USB soundcards from dealextreme.com
            > surper cheap (China). The problem wasn't as bad, but I still had the
            > odd click, pop, stutter if the Wifi wasn't disabled completely.
            >
            > At least I'm not going crazy. I'm going to install Linux and load up
            > FLDIGI and some other Linux ham software. I want to see if Linux has
            > the same kind of problem, and if not I'll dump Windows altogether. I'm
            > sick and tired of the buggy software MS OS crap and constanly having to
            > reinstall the OS because of problems like this. Took me 3 months just
            > get a stable Vista box. Now, it's being dropped for Windows 7 this fall.
            >
            > Thanks es 73,
            > Robert, VA3ROM
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > --- In digsstv@yahoogroups.com, "w5dbk" <w5dbk.dave@...> wrote:
            >>
            >> I had a similar problem with a Dell mini 9 except it was
            >> intermittent. While I was sending a picture, the receiving station
            >> would lose sync for a few seconds and then pick back up. I did a
            >> complete re-insstall of XP on the Dell mini and then loaded the
            >> drivers back in one at a time. During that process is when I found
            >> that EasyPal would not load (can't find hamdrm.dll) unless there is a
            >> driver installed for the sound card). When I got to the wifi driver
            >> I knew I had found it. I now keep a note on the PC to turn off the
            >> wifi during EasyPal. I was surprised that the problem showed up only
            >> during xmit, not during receive.
            >>
            >> Dave
            >> W5DBK
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ------------------------------------
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
          • eriksradio
            Re the UP the priority in EasyPal. It will be interesting to see the results of any experiments. EasyPal consists of three main threads. The RX and TX threads
            Message 5 of 8 , Feb 28, 2009
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              Re the UP the priority in EasyPal.
              It will be interesting to see the results of any experiments.

              EasyPal consists of three main threads.
              The RX and TX threads are always set to HIGH priority.
              This cannot be changed.
              The RX and TX do not want to be interrupted by other things going on
              in the computer.

              This leaves the main program as the only thread that can be changed.

              The various possible settings are

              THREAD_PRIORITY_IDLE
              THREAD_PRIORITY_LOWEST
              THREAD_PRIORITY_BELOW_NORMAL
              THREAD_PRIORITY_NORMAL
              THREAD_PRIORITY_ABOVE_NORMAL
              THREAD_PRIORITY_HIGHEST
              THREAD_PRIORITY_TIME_CRITICAL

              Setting to the higest level TIME_CRITICAL may introduce instability.
              I have played with the two highest settings and get a very occassional
              "blue screen of death". Different systems will behave differently.

              Setting to the lowest may not have any noticeable effect unless other
              things are in progress such as a downloading, streaming video etc etc.
              If any of these processes have been set to TIME_CRITICAL; then higher
              settings in EasyPal will have no effect.

              In low settings the waterfall may be jumpy and other things seem slow.
              But only while the other computer processes are active.

              Setting to lowest may be the most stable, but annoying sometimes.

              I will leave EasyPal set to normal priority; but users can force
              higher settings for experiments.

              In the long run, it is probably best to leave alone and let Windows
              sort it out. Some will have success and others lots of "blue screens".

              Erik VK4AES





              --- In digsstv@yahoogroups.com, "jdow" <jdow@...> wrote:
              >
              > Here's an idea. But play with it with extreme caution.
              >
              > Some background first
              > One of the "thingies" I make is a set of DLLs that load into the
              > system designed to look like MIDI devices. In the process of testing
              > the transport device that sends MIDI from one machine to another
              over
              > Ethernet we ran across process priority issues. This was in the
              really
              > early days of NT4. (I never even THOUGHT of trying this with the 3.x
              > family - which ran through ME.)
              >
              > We played a standard MIDI file through the media player to another
              > computer time stamping the results to microseconds. We compared the
              > actual times of receipt with the scheduled times of receipt as well
              > as compared multiple runs with each other.
              >
              > We found that at its normal priority Media Player was MISERABLE on
              > timing, 100ms to 500ms or worse jitter peak to peak. We raised the
              > priorities on both ends to high priority and to real time priority.
              > Each step improved performance with Real Time priority giving as
              > little as 2ms RMS jitter on a thin-net Ethernet interface.
              >
              > So with that in mind it might be interesting for you to modify the
              > priority on EasyPAL using TaskManager. Bring up TaskManager. Select
              > the Processes tab. Look for EasyPal in the process list. Right click
              > on it. Select the next higher priority, above normal. See if that
              > improves reception. Try the higher than normal to see if there is
              > another improvement. Only if it is ABSOLUTELY necessary go up to the
              > RealTime priority.
              >
              > I bet it makes a difference. Reporting your results to the group
              here
              > might lead to a couple extra lines of code in EasyPal to set its
              > base priority a little higher than normal. That also works for
              things
              > like MMSSTV, PSK-31 software, and the like.
              >
              > {^_^} Joanne W6MKU
              > ----- Original Message -----
              > From: "RobertCGRO" <robertcgro@...>
              > Sent: Friday, 2009, February 27 17:56
              >
              >
              > > Thanks, Dave.
              > >
              > > Yes, I noticed that on receive it was 100 percent which surprised
              me as
              > > well!
              > >
              > > Got a reply back from another user group, and he seemed to think
              that
              > > the WiFi card is sending interupt requests to the CPU (for
              whatever
              > > reason) when the soundcard is doing digital output but not input.
              Most
              > > laptops have a sofstware modem hooked into the audio system, but
              > > disabling it didn't fix the problem, nor just disabling the Wifi
              card.
              > > I have to either physically remove the PCMIA WiFi card form my old
              > > laptop, or turn it off with the side switch for my Dell duo-core.
              > >
              > > He also mentioned that it's recommened not to use onboard
              soundcards
              > > with laptops and go with a USB one like the SignaLink and some
              others
              > > on the market. I picked up a few USB soundcards from
              dealextreme.com
              > > surper cheap (China). The problem wasn't as bad, but I still had
              the
              > > odd click, pop, stutter if the Wifi wasn't disabled completely.
              > >
              > > At least I'm not going crazy. I'm going to install Linux and load
              up
              > > FLDIGI and some other Linux ham software. I want to see if Linux
              has
              > > the same kind of problem, and if not I'll dump Windows altogether.
              I'm
              > > sick and tired of the buggy software MS OS crap and constanly
              having to
              > > reinstall the OS because of problems like this. Took me 3 months
              just
              > > get a stable Vista box. Now, it's being dropped for Windows 7 this
              fall.
              > >
              > > Thanks es 73,
              > > Robert, VA3ROM
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > --- In digsstv@yahoogroups.com, "w5dbk" <w5dbk.dave@> wrote:
              > >>
              > >> I had a similar problem with a Dell mini 9 except it was
              > >> intermittent. While I was sending a picture, the receiving
              station
              > >> would lose sync for a few seconds and then pick back up. I did a
              > >> complete re-insstall of XP on the Dell mini and then loaded the
              > >> drivers back in one at a time. During that process is when I
              found
              > >> that EasyPal would not load (can't find hamdrm.dll) unless there
              is a
              > >> driver installed for the sound card). When I got to the wifi
              driver
              > >> I knew I had found it. I now keep a note on the PC to turn off
              the
              > >> wifi during EasyPal. I was surprised that the problem showed up
              only
              > >> during xmit, not during receive.
              > >>
              > >> Dave
              > >> W5DBK
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > ------------------------------------
              > >
              > > Yahoo! Groups Links
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
            • jdow
              From: eriksradio Sent: Saturday, 2009, February 28 19:47 ... Do not bet on that. The way thread priority is set is complex and
              Message 6 of 8 , Feb 28, 2009
              • 0 Attachment
                From: "eriksradio" <esundstrup@...>
                Sent: Saturday, 2009, February 28 19:47


                > Re the UP the priority in EasyPal.
                > It will be interesting to see the results of any experiments.
                >
                > EasyPal consists of three main threads.
                > The RX and TX threads are always set to HIGH priority.
                > This cannot be changed.

                Do not bet on that. The way thread priority is set is complex and
                values will overlap. If you raise the process priority that sets
                a band in which the thread priorities operate. To get operation
                that is really "real time" you need to set the threads to that
                priority and set the process to the realtime priority. Then if you
                take too much time when you've asked for processor time, the system
                goes down. Setting the process to real time with the threads set
                to normal is not nearly as bad because items set to real-real still
                get a chance to run.

                It's a complex issue along with dynamic priority manipulation by the
                OS. I've listened to Loren explain it before and got about 90% of it.
                He's done kernel HAL hacking for UniSys - and taught Microsoft what
                UniSys knew about dynamic partitioning on 64 processor behemoths
                when you want to partition them into three or four seemingly separate
                machines all the way down to the interrupts.

                So if you are set to high on thread priority bumping it up a notch or
                maybe two in taskmanager might make a worthwhile difference. And of
                course, YMMV heavily depending on what else is going on and how the
                <censored> drivers are written.

                {^_-} Joanne W6MKU

                === all old stuff below cut line ===8<-----

                > The RX and TX do not want to be interrupted by other things going on
                > in the computer.
                >
                > This leaves the main program as the only thread that can be changed.
                >
                > The various possible settings are
                >
                > THREAD_PRIORITY_IDLE
                > THREAD_PRIORITY_LOWEST
                > THREAD_PRIORITY_BELOW_NORMAL
                > THREAD_PRIORITY_NORMAL
                > THREAD_PRIORITY_ABOVE_NORMAL
                > THREAD_PRIORITY_HIGHEST
                > THREAD_PRIORITY_TIME_CRITICAL
                >
                > Setting to the higest level TIME_CRITICAL may introduce instability.
                > I have played with the two highest settings and get a very occassional
                > "blue screen of death". Different systems will behave differently.
                >
                > Setting to the lowest may not have any noticeable effect unless other
                > things are in progress such as a downloading, streaming video etc etc.
                > If any of these processes have been set to TIME_CRITICAL; then higher
                > settings in EasyPal will have no effect.
                >
                > In low settings the waterfall may be jumpy and other things seem slow.
                > But only while the other computer processes are active.
                >
                > Setting to lowest may be the most stable, but annoying sometimes.
                >
                > I will leave EasyPal set to normal priority; but users can force
                > higher settings for experiments.
                >
                > In the long run, it is probably best to leave alone and let Windows
                > sort it out. Some will have success and others lots of "blue screens".
                >
                > Erik VK4AES
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > --- In digsstv@yahoogroups.com, "jdow" <jdow@...> wrote:
                >>
                >> Here's an idea. But play with it with extreme caution.
                >>
                >> Some background first
                >> One of the "thingies" I make is a set of DLLs that load into the
                >> system designed to look like MIDI devices. In the process of testing
                >> the transport device that sends MIDI from one machine to another
                > over
                >> Ethernet we ran across process priority issues. This was in the
                > really
                >> early days of NT4. (I never even THOUGHT of trying this with the 3.x
                >> family - which ran through ME.)
                >>
                >> We played a standard MIDI file through the media player to another
                >> computer time stamping the results to microseconds. We compared the
                >> actual times of receipt with the scheduled times of receipt as well
                >> as compared multiple runs with each other.
                >>
                >> We found that at its normal priority Media Player was MISERABLE on
                >> timing, 100ms to 500ms or worse jitter peak to peak. We raised the
                >> priorities on both ends to high priority and to real time priority.
                >> Each step improved performance with Real Time priority giving as
                >> little as 2ms RMS jitter on a thin-net Ethernet interface.
                >>
                >> So with that in mind it might be interesting for you to modify the
                >> priority on EasyPAL using TaskManager. Bring up TaskManager. Select
                >> the Processes tab. Look for EasyPal in the process list. Right click
                >> on it. Select the next higher priority, above normal. See if that
                >> improves reception. Try the higher than normal to see if there is
                >> another improvement. Only if it is ABSOLUTELY necessary go up to the
                >> RealTime priority.
                >>
                >> I bet it makes a difference. Reporting your results to the group
                > here
                >> might lead to a couple extra lines of code in EasyPal to set its
                >> base priority a little higher than normal. That also works for
                > things
                >> like MMSSTV, PSK-31 software, and the like.
                >>
                >> {^_^} Joanne W6MKU
                >> ----- Original Message -----
                >> From: "RobertCGRO" <robertcgro@...>
                >> Sent: Friday, 2009, February 27 17:56
                >>
                >>
                >> > Thanks, Dave.
                >> >
                >> > Yes, I noticed that on receive it was 100 percent which surprised
                > me as
                >> > well!
                >> >
                >> > Got a reply back from another user group, and he seemed to think
                > that
                >> > the WiFi card is sending interupt requests to the CPU (for
                > whatever
                >> > reason) when the soundcard is doing digital output but not input.
                > Most
                >> > laptops have a sofstware modem hooked into the audio system, but
                >> > disabling it didn't fix the problem, nor just disabling the Wifi
                > card.
                >> > I have to either physically remove the PCMIA WiFi card form my old
                >> > laptop, or turn it off with the side switch for my Dell duo-core.
                >> >
                >> > He also mentioned that it's recommened not to use onboard
                > soundcards
                >> > with laptops and go with a USB one like the SignaLink and some
                > others
                >> > on the market. I picked up a few USB soundcards from
                > dealextreme.com
                >> > surper cheap (China). The problem wasn't as bad, but I still had
                > the
                >> > odd click, pop, stutter if the Wifi wasn't disabled completely.
                >> >
                >> > At least I'm not going crazy. I'm going to install Linux and load
                > up
                >> > FLDIGI and some other Linux ham software. I want to see if Linux
                > has
                >> > the same kind of problem, and if not I'll dump Windows altogether.
                > I'm
                >> > sick and tired of the buggy software MS OS crap and constanly
                > having to
                >> > reinstall the OS because of problems like this. Took me 3 months
                > just
                >> > get a stable Vista box. Now, it's being dropped for Windows 7 this
                > fall.
                >> >
                >> > Thanks es 73,
                >> > Robert, VA3ROM
                >> >
                >> >
                >> >
                >> >
                >> > --- In digsstv@yahoogroups.com, "w5dbk" <w5dbk.dave@> wrote:
                >> >>
                >> >> I had a similar problem with a Dell mini 9 except it was
                >> >> intermittent. While I was sending a picture, the receiving
                > station
                >> >> would lose sync for a few seconds and then pick back up. I did a
                >> >> complete re-insstall of XP on the Dell mini and then loaded the
                >> >> drivers back in one at a time. During that process is when I
                > found
                >> >> that EasyPal would not load (can't find hamdrm.dll) unless there
                > is a
                >> >> driver installed for the sound card). When I got to the wifi
                > driver
                >> >> I knew I had found it. I now keep a note on the PC to turn off
                > the
                >> >> wifi during EasyPal. I was surprised that the problem showed up
                > only
                >> >> during xmit, not during receive.
                >> >>
                >> >> Dave
                >> >> W5DBK
                >> >
                >> >
                >> >
                >> >
                >> > ------------------------------------
                >> >
                >> > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >> >
                >> >
                >> >
                >>
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > ------------------------------------
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
              • eriksradio
                Hi Joanne; With due respect, I will take on that bet. I challenge you to change the thread priority of the RX and TX threads in EasyPal. You could do it within
                Message 7 of 8 , Mar 1, 2009
                • 0 Attachment
                  Hi Joanne;

                  With due respect, I will take on that bet.
                  I challenge you to change the thread priority of the RX and TX
                  threads in EasyPal.

                  You could do it within hamdrm.dll. You will not otherwise.
                  hamdrm.dll is freely available along with the source code if you
                  wish to have a go..

                  It would be simply disastrous to reduce the priority in the RX and
                  TX threads.
                  We all know what happens in MMSSTV, PSK31 etc.
                  You can do it with these. I did it.

                  Thread priority is extremely complex, and a tribute to the
                  designers that the RX and TX threads are so stable.

                  If you can do it, I will take more notice of your comments.
                  There is too much "armchair" chatter with little substance.
                  Just do it.

                  Erik VK4AES



                  --- In digsstv@yahoogroups.com, "jdow" <jdow@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > From: "eriksradio" <esundstrup@...>
                  > Sent: Saturday, 2009, February 28 19:47
                  >
                  >
                  > > Re the UP the priority in EasyPal.
                  > > It will be interesting to see the results of any experiments.
                  > >
                  > > EasyPal consists of three main threads.
                  > > The RX and TX threads are always set to HIGH priority.
                  > > This cannot be changed.
                  >
                  > Do not bet on that. The way thread priority is set is complex and
                  > values will overlap. If you raise the process priority that sets
                  > a band in which the thread priorities operate. To get operation
                  > that is really "real time" you need to set the threads to that
                  > priority and set the process to the realtime priority. Then if
                  you
                  > take too much time when you've asked for processor time, the
                  system
                  > goes down. Setting the process to real time with the threads set
                  > to normal is not nearly as bad because items set to real-real
                  still
                  > get a chance to run.
                  >
                  > It's a complex issue along with dynamic priority manipulation by
                  the
                  > OS. I've listened to Loren explain it before and got about 90%
                  of it.
                  > He's done kernel HAL hacking for UniSys - and taught Microsoft
                  what
                  > UniSys knew about dynamic partitioning on 64 processor behemoths
                  > when you want to partition them into three or four seemingly
                  separate
                  > machines all the way down to the interrupts.
                  >
                  > So if you are set to high on thread priority bumping it up a
                  notch or
                  > maybe two in taskmanager might make a worthwhile difference. And
                  of
                  > course, YMMV heavily depending on what else is going on and how
                  the
                  > <censored> drivers are written.
                  >
                  > {^_-} Joanne W6MKU
                  >
                  > === all old stuff below cut line ===8<-----
                  >
                  > > The RX and TX do not want to be interrupted by other things
                  going on
                  > > in the computer.
                  > >
                  > > This leaves the main program as the only thread that can be
                  changed.
                  > >
                  > > The various possible settings are
                  > >
                  > > THREAD_PRIORITY_IDLE
                  > > THREAD_PRIORITY_LOWEST
                  > > THREAD_PRIORITY_BELOW_NORMAL
                  > > THREAD_PRIORITY_NORMAL
                  > > THREAD_PRIORITY_ABOVE_NORMAL
                  > > THREAD_PRIORITY_HIGHEST
                  > > THREAD_PRIORITY_TIME_CRITICAL
                  > >
                  > > Setting to the higest level TIME_CRITICAL may introduce
                  instability.
                  > > I have played with the two highest settings and get a very
                  occassional
                  > > "blue screen of death". Different systems will behave
                  differently.
                  > >
                  > > Setting to the lowest may not have any noticeable effect
                  unless other
                  > > things are in progress such as a downloading, streaming video
                  etc etc.
                  > > If any of these processes have been set to TIME_CRITICAL; then
                  higher
                  > > settings in EasyPal will have no effect.
                  > >
                  > > In low settings the waterfall may be jumpy and other things
                  seem slow.
                  > > But only while the other computer processes are active.
                  > >
                  > > Setting to lowest may be the most stable, but annoying
                  sometimes.
                  > >
                  > > I will leave EasyPal set to normal priority; but users can
                  force
                  > > higher settings for experiments.
                  > >
                  > > In the long run, it is probably best to leave alone and let
                  Windows
                  > > sort it out. Some will have success and others lots of "blue
                  screens".
                  > >
                  > > Erik VK4AES
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > --- In digsstv@yahoogroups.com, "jdow" <jdow@> wrote:
                  > >>
                  > >> Here's an idea. But play with it with extreme caution.
                  > >>
                  > >> Some background first
                  > >> One of the "thingies" I make is a set of DLLs that load
                  into the
                  > >> system designed to look like MIDI devices. In the process of
                  testing
                  > >> the transport device that sends MIDI from one machine to
                  another
                  > > over
                  > >> Ethernet we ran across process priority issues. This was in
                  the
                  > > really
                  > >> early days of NT4. (I never even THOUGHT of trying this with
                  the 3.x
                  > >> family - which ran through ME.)
                  > >>
                  > >> We played a standard MIDI file through the media player to
                  another
                  > >> computer time stamping the results to microseconds. We
                  compared the
                  > >> actual times of receipt with the scheduled times of receipt
                  as well
                  > >> as compared multiple runs with each other.
                  > >>
                  > >> We found that at its normal priority Media Player was
                  MISERABLE on
                  > >> timing, 100ms to 500ms or worse jitter peak to peak. We
                  raised the
                  > >> priorities on both ends to high priority and to real time
                  priority.
                  > >> Each step improved performance with Real Time priority giving
                  as
                  > >> little as 2ms RMS jitter on a thin-net Ethernet interface.
                  > >>
                  > >> So with that in mind it might be interesting for you to
                  modify the
                  > >> priority on EasyPAL using TaskManager. Bring up TaskManager.
                  Select
                  > >> the Processes tab. Look for EasyPal in the process list.
                  Right click
                  > >> on it. Select the next higher priority, above normal. See if
                  that
                  > >> improves reception. Try the higher than normal to see if
                  there is
                  > >> another improvement. Only if it is ABSOLUTELY necessary go up
                  to the
                  > >> RealTime priority.
                  > >>
                  > >> I bet it makes a difference. Reporting your results to the
                  group
                  > > here
                  > >> might lead to a couple extra lines of code in EasyPal to set
                  its
                  > >> base priority a little higher than normal. That also works
                  for
                  > > things
                  > >> like MMSSTV, PSK-31 software, and the like.
                  > >>
                  > >> {^_^} Joanne W6MKU
                  > >> ----- Original Message -----
                  > >> From: "RobertCGRO" <robertcgro@>
                  > >> Sent: Friday, 2009, February 27 17:56
                  > >>
                  > >>
                  > >> > Thanks, Dave.
                  > >> >
                  > >> > Yes, I noticed that on receive it was 100 percent which
                  surprised
                  > > me as
                  > >> > well!
                  > >> >
                  > >> > Got a reply back from another user group, and he seemed to
                  think
                  > > that
                  > >> > the WiFi card is sending interupt requests to the CPU (for
                  > > whatever
                  > >> > reason) when the soundcard is doing digital output but not
                  input.
                  > > Most
                  > >> > laptops have a sofstware modem hooked into the audio
                  system, but
                  > >> > disabling it didn't fix the problem, nor just disabling the
                  Wifi
                  > > card.
                  > >> > I have to either physically remove the PCMIA WiFi card form
                  my old
                  > >> > laptop, or turn it off with the side switch for my Dell duo-
                  core.
                  > >> >
                  > >> > He also mentioned that it's recommened not to use onboard
                  > > soundcards
                  > >> > with laptops and go with a USB one like the SignaLink and
                  some
                  > > others
                  > >> > on the market. I picked up a few USB soundcards from
                  > > dealextreme.com
                  > >> > surper cheap (China). The problem wasn't as bad, but I
                  still had
                  > > the
                  > >> > odd click, pop, stutter if the Wifi wasn't disabled
                  completely.
                  > >> >
                  > >> > At least I'm not going crazy. I'm going to install Linux
                  and load
                  > > up
                  > >> > FLDIGI and some other Linux ham software. I want to see if
                  Linux
                  > > has
                  > >> > the same kind of problem, and if not I'll dump Windows
                  altogether.
                  > > I'm
                  > >> > sick and tired of the buggy software MS OS crap and
                  constanly
                  > > having to
                  > >> > reinstall the OS because of problems like this. Took me 3
                  months
                  > > just
                  > >> > get a stable Vista box. Now, it's being dropped for Windows
                  7 this
                  > > fall.
                  > >> >
                  > >> > Thanks es 73,
                  > >> > Robert, VA3ROM
                  > >> >
                  > >> >
                  > >> >
                  > >> >
                  > >> > --- In digsstv@yahoogroups.com, "w5dbk" <w5dbk.dave@> wrote:
                  > >> >>
                  > >> >> I had a similar problem with a Dell mini 9 except it was
                  > >> >> intermittent. While I was sending a picture, the
                  receiving
                  > > station
                  > >> >> would lose sync for a few seconds and then pick back up.
                  I did a
                  > >> >> complete re-insstall of XP on the Dell mini and then
                  loaded the
                  > >> >> drivers back in one at a time. During that process is
                  when I
                  > > found
                  > >> >> that EasyPal would not load (can't find hamdrm.dll) unless
                  there
                  > > is a
                  > >> >> driver installed for the sound card). When I got to the
                  wifi
                  > > driver
                  > >> >> I knew I had found it. I now keep a note on the PC to
                  turn off
                  > > the
                  > >> >> wifi during EasyPal. I was surprised that the problem
                  showed up
                  > > only
                  > >> >> during xmit, not during receive.
                  > >> >>
                  > >> >> Dave
                  > >> >> W5DBK
                  > >> >
                  > >> >
                  > >> >
                  > >> >
                  > >> > ------------------------------------
                  > >> >
                  > >> > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  > >> >
                  > >> >
                  > >> >
                  > >>
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > ------------------------------------
                  > >
                  > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                • jdow
                  Erik, I am simply addressing the internals of Windows and how the priorities actually work once they get to the kernel. The thread priorities are modifiers on
                  Message 8 of 8 , Mar 1, 2009
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Erik, I am simply addressing the internals of Windows and how
                    the priorities actually work once they get to the kernel. The
                    thread priorities are modifiers on the process priority. At
                    least that is what I've been assured of over over again. You
                    need both process and thread priorities to determine what the
                    final nominal priority of a thread will be as seen by the kernel.

                    (And as for changing thread priorities - erm - get me into a
                    debugger and it's not hard to fiddle it. It is easiest to simply
                    use the ::SetThreadPriority() function. But it can be done in a
                    debugger, too. The process priority is set with the
                    ::SetPriorityClass() function.)

                    For the process as a whole:

                    HANDLE curproc = GetCurrentProcess( );
                    SetPriorityClass( curproc, HIGH_PRIORITY_CLASS );

                    For the thread:
                    SetThreadPriority( m_hThread, THREAD_PRIORITY_TIME_CRITICAL );

                    That was used for a project with only 10 or 20 threads in it depending
                    on options enabled. It processed video for broadcast TV. That was the
                    field interrupt clock spawned from the process with the "HIGH_PRIORITY..."
                    setting.

                    The thing I am working on now is fussier. It runs about 40 to 100 threads
                    all the time. It's doing fancier video.

                    The function calls above are direct out of the Microsoft SDK. This is
                    why I suggest a gentle bump in priority in EasyPAL until it is seen to
                    give trouble. One bump will get it's GUI out of the general system GUI
                    refresh cycle so it's not delayed as much.

                    {^_-} Joanne, W6MKU

                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "eriksradio" <esundstrup@...>
                    Sent: Sunday, 2009, March 01 00:06


                    > Hi Joanne;
                    >
                    > With due respect, I will take on that bet.
                    > I challenge you to change the thread priority of the RX and TX
                    > threads in EasyPal.
                    >
                    > You could do it within hamdrm.dll. You will not otherwise.
                    > hamdrm.dll is freely available along with the source code if you
                    > wish to have a go..
                    >
                    > It would be simply disastrous to reduce the priority in the RX and
                    > TX threads.
                    > We all know what happens in MMSSTV, PSK31 etc.
                    > You can do it with these. I did it.
                    >
                    > Thread priority is extremely complex, and a tribute to the
                    > designers that the RX and TX threads are so stable.
                    >
                    > If you can do it, I will take more notice of your comments.
                    > There is too much "armchair" chatter with little substance.
                    > Just do it.
                    >
                    > Erik VK4AES
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > --- In digsstv@yahoogroups.com, "jdow" <jdow@...> wrote:
                    >>
                    >> From: "eriksradio" <esundstrup@...>
                    >> Sent: Saturday, 2009, February 28 19:47
                    >>
                    >>
                    >> > Re the UP the priority in EasyPal.
                    >> > It will be interesting to see the results of any experiments.
                    >> >
                    >> > EasyPal consists of three main threads.
                    >> > The RX and TX threads are always set to HIGH priority.
                    >> > This cannot be changed.
                    >>
                    >> Do not bet on that. The way thread priority is set is complex and
                    >> values will overlap. If you raise the process priority that sets
                    >> a band in which the thread priorities operate. To get operation
                    >> that is really "real time" you need to set the threads to that
                    >> priority and set the process to the realtime priority. Then if
                    > you
                    >> take too much time when you've asked for processor time, the
                    > system
                    >> goes down. Setting the process to real time with the threads set
                    >> to normal is not nearly as bad because items set to real-real
                    > still
                    >> get a chance to run.
                    >>
                    >> It's a complex issue along with dynamic priority manipulation by
                    > the
                    >> OS. I've listened to Loren explain it before and got about 90%
                    > of it.
                    >> He's done kernel HAL hacking for UniSys - and taught Microsoft
                    > what
                    >> UniSys knew about dynamic partitioning on 64 processor behemoths
                    >> when you want to partition them into three or four seemingly
                    > separate
                    >> machines all the way down to the interrupts.
                    >>
                    >> So if you are set to high on thread priority bumping it up a
                    > notch or
                    >> maybe two in taskmanager might make a worthwhile difference. And
                    > of
                    >> course, YMMV heavily depending on what else is going on and how
                    > the
                    >> <censored> drivers are written.
                    >>
                    >> {^_-} Joanne W6MKU
                    >>
                    >> === all old stuff below cut line ===8<-----
                    >>
                    >> > The RX and TX do not want to be interrupted by other things
                    > going on
                    >> > in the computer.
                    >> >
                    >> > This leaves the main program as the only thread that can be
                    > changed.
                    >> >
                    >> > The various possible settings are
                    >> >
                    >> > THREAD_PRIORITY_IDLE
                    >> > THREAD_PRIORITY_LOWEST
                    >> > THREAD_PRIORITY_BELOW_NORMAL
                    >> > THREAD_PRIORITY_NORMAL
                    >> > THREAD_PRIORITY_ABOVE_NORMAL
                    >> > THREAD_PRIORITY_HIGHEST
                    >> > THREAD_PRIORITY_TIME_CRITICAL
                    >> >
                    >> > Setting to the higest level TIME_CRITICAL may introduce
                    > instability.
                    >> > I have played with the two highest settings and get a very
                    > occassional
                    >> > "blue screen of death". Different systems will behave
                    > differently.
                    >> >
                    >> > Setting to the lowest may not have any noticeable effect
                    > unless other
                    >> > things are in progress such as a downloading, streaming video
                    > etc etc.
                    >> > If any of these processes have been set to TIME_CRITICAL; then
                    > higher
                    >> > settings in EasyPal will have no effect.
                    >> >
                    >> > In low settings the waterfall may be jumpy and other things
                    > seem slow.
                    >> > But only while the other computer processes are active.
                    >> >
                    >> > Setting to lowest may be the most stable, but annoying
                    > sometimes.
                    >> >
                    >> > I will leave EasyPal set to normal priority; but users can
                    > force
                    >> > higher settings for experiments.
                    >> >
                    >> > In the long run, it is probably best to leave alone and let
                    > Windows
                    >> > sort it out. Some will have success and others lots of "blue
                    > screens".
                    >> >
                    >> > Erik VK4AES
                    >> >
                    >> >
                    >> >
                    >> >
                    >> >
                    >> > --- In digsstv@yahoogroups.com, "jdow" <jdow@> wrote:
                    >> >>
                    >> >> Here's an idea. But play with it with extreme caution.
                    >> >>
                    >> >> Some background first
                    >> >> One of the "thingies" I make is a set of DLLs that load
                    > into the
                    >> >> system designed to look like MIDI devices. In the process of
                    > testing
                    >> >> the transport device that sends MIDI from one machine to
                    > another
                    >> > over
                    >> >> Ethernet we ran across process priority issues. This was in
                    > the
                    >> > really
                    >> >> early days of NT4. (I never even THOUGHT of trying this with
                    > the 3.x
                    >> >> family - which ran through ME.)
                    >> >>
                    >> >> We played a standard MIDI file through the media player to
                    > another
                    >> >> computer time stamping the results to microseconds. We
                    > compared the
                    >> >> actual times of receipt with the scheduled times of receipt
                    > as well
                    >> >> as compared multiple runs with each other.
                    >> >>
                    >> >> We found that at its normal priority Media Player was
                    > MISERABLE on
                    >> >> timing, 100ms to 500ms or worse jitter peak to peak. We
                    > raised the
                    >> >> priorities on both ends to high priority and to real time
                    > priority.
                    >> >> Each step improved performance with Real Time priority giving
                    > as
                    >> >> little as 2ms RMS jitter on a thin-net Ethernet interface.
                    >> >>
                    >> >> So with that in mind it might be interesting for you to
                    > modify the
                    >> >> priority on EasyPAL using TaskManager. Bring up TaskManager.
                    > Select
                    >> >> the Processes tab. Look for EasyPal in the process list.
                    > Right click
                    >> >> on it. Select the next higher priority, above normal. See if
                    > that
                    >> >> improves reception. Try the higher than normal to see if
                    > there is
                    >> >> another improvement. Only if it is ABSOLUTELY necessary go up
                    > to the
                    >> >> RealTime priority.
                    >> >>
                    >> >> I bet it makes a difference. Reporting your results to the
                    > group
                    >> > here
                    >> >> might lead to a couple extra lines of code in EasyPal to set
                    > its
                    >> >> base priority a little higher than normal. That also works
                    > for
                    >> > things
                    >> >> like MMSSTV, PSK-31 software, and the like.
                    >> >>
                    >> >> {^_^} Joanne W6MKU
                    >> >> ----- Original Message -----
                    >> >> From: "RobertCGRO" <robertcgro@>
                    >> >> Sent: Friday, 2009, February 27 17:56
                    >> >>
                    >> >>
                    >> >> > Thanks, Dave.
                    >> >> >
                    >> >> > Yes, I noticed that on receive it was 100 percent which
                    > surprised
                    >> > me as
                    >> >> > well!
                    >> >> >
                    >> >> > Got a reply back from another user group, and he seemed to
                    > think
                    >> > that
                    >> >> > the WiFi card is sending interupt requests to the CPU (for
                    >> > whatever
                    >> >> > reason) when the soundcard is doing digital output but not
                    > input.
                    >> > Most
                    >> >> > laptops have a sofstware modem hooked into the audio
                    > system, but
                    >> >> > disabling it didn't fix the problem, nor just disabling the
                    > Wifi
                    >> > card.
                    >> >> > I have to either physically remove the PCMIA WiFi card form
                    > my old
                    >> >> > laptop, or turn it off with the side switch for my Dell duo-
                    > core.
                    >> >> >
                    >> >> > He also mentioned that it's recommened not to use onboard
                    >> > soundcards
                    >> >> > with laptops and go with a USB one like the SignaLink and
                    > some
                    >> > others
                    >> >> > on the market. I picked up a few USB soundcards from
                    >> > dealextreme.com
                    >> >> > surper cheap (China). The problem wasn't as bad, but I
                    > still had
                    >> > the
                    >> >> > odd click, pop, stutter if the Wifi wasn't disabled
                    > completely.
                    >> >> >
                    >> >> > At least I'm not going crazy. I'm going to install Linux
                    > and load
                    >> > up
                    >> >> > FLDIGI and some other Linux ham software. I want to see if
                    > Linux
                    >> > has
                    >> >> > the same kind of problem, and if not I'll dump Windows
                    > altogether.
                    >> > I'm
                    >> >> > sick and tired of the buggy software MS OS crap and
                    > constanly
                    >> > having to
                    >> >> > reinstall the OS because of problems like this. Took me 3
                    > months
                    >> > just
                    >> >> > get a stable Vista box. Now, it's being dropped for Windows
                    > 7 this
                    >> > fall.
                    >> >> >
                    >> >> > Thanks es 73,
                    >> >> > Robert, VA3ROM
                    >> >> >
                    >> >> >
                    >> >> >
                    >> >> >
                    >> >> > --- In digsstv@yahoogroups.com, "w5dbk" <w5dbk.dave@> wrote:
                    >> >> >>
                    >> >> >> I had a similar problem with a Dell mini 9 except it was
                    >> >> >> intermittent. While I was sending a picture, the
                    > receiving
                    >> > station
                    >> >> >> would lose sync for a few seconds and then pick back up.
                    > I did a
                    >> >> >> complete re-insstall of XP on the Dell mini and then
                    > loaded the
                    >> >> >> drivers back in one at a time. During that process is
                    > when I
                    >> > found
                    >> >> >> that EasyPal would not load (can't find hamdrm.dll) unless
                    > there
                    >> > is a
                    >> >> >> driver installed for the sound card). When I got to the
                    > wifi
                    >> > driver
                    >> >> >> I knew I had found it. I now keep a note on the PC to
                    > turn off
                    >> > the
                    >> >> >> wifi during EasyPal. I was surprised that the problem
                    > showed up
                    >> > only
                    >> >> >> during xmit, not during receive.
                    >> >> >>
                    >> >> >> Dave
                    >> >> >> W5DBK
                    >> >> >
                    >> >> >
                    >> >> >
                    >> >> >
                    >> >> > ------------------------------------
                    >> >> >
                    >> >> > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >> >> >
                    >> >> >
                    >> >> >
                    >> >>
                    >> >
                    >> >
                    >> >
                    >> >
                    >> >
                    >> > ------------------------------------
                    >> >
                    >> > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >> >
                    >> >
                    >> >
                    >>
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ------------------------------------
                    >
                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
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