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CW Skimmer clicks

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  • Graham
    Hi. I wonder if anyone has a similar configuration & problem? System: FT-817 / SignaLink USB / P4 3.4GHz XP Prof. SP3 Problem: Repeated pattern of
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 22, 2008
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      Hi. I wonder if anyone has a similar configuration & problem?

      System: FT-817 / SignaLink USB / P4 3.4GHz XP Prof. SP3

      Problem: Repeated pattern of crackles/clicks roughly every 2
      seconds. Sounds similar to ignition interference.

      The strange thing is that if I click on CW Skimmer's title bar,
      sometimes once or sometimes a few times, I can make the pattern start
      or stop. Sometimes it'll work fine for several minutes then start up
      & vice versa. When it starts, the pattern is different to the
      previous one.

      I'm beginning to think that this is related to using the USB audio
      device and there's nothing really I can do about it.

      I've read the advice in the help about processor power and I've ended
      every process and service that I can so that CW Skimmer pretty much
      has the machine to itself, but it makes no difference. (It's using
      about 4% processor usage.)

      Likewise I read the advice about the audio driver, but the USB audio
      device will only allow use of MME and there are no updates from
      Microsoft.

      (I have tried other things like lots of signals/no signals/varying
      the audio input level, and none of this makes any difference.)

      In all other respects it's working fine.

      Thanks and 73 de Graham G3ZOD
      Fists #8385 GQRP #11976
    • rt_tclay
      I assume you mean clicks in the receive audio? Yes, I have noticed those for a while. My config is not very similar: K2+SoftRock, Core 2 Duo 3GHz, Win XP Pro.
      Message 2 of 6 , Sep 22, 2008
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        I assume you mean clicks in the receive audio? Yes, I have noticed
        those for a while.

        My config is not very similar: K2+SoftRock, Core 2 Duo 3GHz, Win XP
        Pro. Sound card is a Bgears b-Enspirer (PCI). I don't think they are
        related to cpu load or the type of sound card.

        Tor
        N4OGW

        --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Graham" <grahamg3zod@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi. I wonder if anyone has a similar configuration & problem?
        >
        > System: FT-817 / SignaLink USB / P4 3.4GHz XP Prof. SP3
        >
        > Problem: Repeated pattern of crackles/clicks roughly every 2
        > seconds. Sounds similar to ignition interference.
        >
        > The strange thing is that if I click on CW Skimmer's title bar,
        > sometimes once or sometimes a few times, I can make the pattern start
        > or stop. Sometimes it'll work fine for several minutes then start up
        > & vice versa. When it starts, the pattern is different to the
        > previous one.
        >
        > I'm beginning to think that this is related to using the USB audio
        > device and there's nothing really I can do about it.
        >
        > I've read the advice in the help about processor power and I've ended
        > every process and service that I can so that CW Skimmer pretty much
        > has the machine to itself, but it makes no difference. (It's using
        > about 4% processor usage.)
        >
        > Likewise I read the advice about the audio driver, but the USB audio
        > device will only allow use of MME and there are no updates from
        > Microsoft.
        >
        > (I have tried other things like lots of signals/no signals/varying
        > the audio input level, and none of this makes any difference.)
        >
        > In all other respects it's working fine.
        >
        > Thanks and 73 de Graham G3ZOD
        > Fists #8385 GQRP #11976
        >
      • Pete Smith
        ... A couple of things you can try. Experiment with both drivers for the sound card - I found MME to be quieter. Also, try resetting the priority of the CW
        Message 3 of 6 , Sep 22, 2008
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          At 02:14 PM 9/22/2008, rt_tclay wrote:
          >I assume you mean clicks in the receive audio? Yes, I have noticed
          >those for a while.
          >
          >My config is not very similar: K2+SoftRock, Core 2 Duo 3GHz, Win XP
          >Pro. Sound card is a Bgears b-Enspirer (PCI). I don't think they are
          >related to cpu load or the type of sound card.

          A couple of things you can try. Experiment with both drivers for the sound
          card - I found MME to be quieter. Also, try resetting the priority of the
          CW Skimmer processes in Task Manager to high (not real time, it'll
          crash). If that helps, use a free utility called PRIO to reset its
          priority permanently. With a dual-core machine, which I don't have, I'm
          told you can also set things up so that Skimmer runs alone on one virtual
          CPU, with everything else on the other.

          I think that what is happening is that each of the clicks represents an
          interruption in the data flow to Skimmer, caused by interference with other
          programs running on the same PC. If you look really hard at the waterfall,
          you'll see these as faint dark vertical lines running from the top to the
          bottom of the screen. If you can catch one running across a CW signal, you
          will see either a shortening of the code element (if the drop-out occurs at
          the beginning or end) or as breaking into two (an N becomes an S, for
          example). If you're really quick, you correlate between the waterfall
          effects and errors made by the decoder, typically reflecting the same
          pattern (N becoming S, in the example above, or A becoming T).

          In my setup, using an SDR-IQ, no sound card, and a 2.66 GHz Celeron with
          2GB of memory, I spent many hours stopping all background processes and
          then restarting them one by one (using MSCONFIG). Stopping them all
          definitely cleaned up the noise (only Skimmer running), but I was never
          able conclusively to figure out which of them cvould be run without it
          recurring. Ultimately, fixing the priority at High helped more than anything.

          73, Pete N4ZR
        • Graham
          Hi Tor. Thanks for the reply. After a lot of experimenting, I agree with your conclusions! 73 de Graham G3ZOD Fists #8385 GQRP #11976
          Message 4 of 6 , Sep 26, 2008
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            Hi Tor. Thanks for the reply. After a lot of experimenting, I agree
            with your conclusions!

            73 de Graham G3ZOD
            Fists #8385 GQRP #11976


            --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "rt_tclay" <rt_clay@...> wrote:
            > I assume you mean clicks in the receive audio? Yes, I have noticed
            > those for a while.
            >
            > My config is not very similar: K2+SoftRock, Core 2 Duo 3GHz, Win XP
            > Pro. Sound card is a Bgears b-Enspirer (PCI). I don't think they are
            > related to cpu load or the type of sound card.
          • Graham
            Hi Pete. Thanks for the reply. Well, I ve now used a KK7UQ interface with two different sound cards (the one on the motherboard and a Delta 44) as well as the
            Message 5 of 6 , Sep 26, 2008
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              Hi Pete. Thanks for the reply.

              Well, I've now used a KK7UQ interface with two different sound cards
              (the one on the motherboard and a Delta 44) as well as the Signalink
              USB.

              I've tried lots of combinations and in my set up at least, processor
              power / availability / affinity doesn't appear to make any difference
              (I even had CW Skimmer running at real time priority for a short
              while without any crash but also without any improvment).

              The one thing that DOES make it go away is switching from "MME"
              to "WDM".

              This is a real shame - the Windows USB sound driver used by the
              Signalink USB doesn't provide "WDM" according to CW Skimmer :-(

              So, in other words I only got CW Skimmer to work really smoothly with
              the KK7UQ interface and the two sound cards.

              I didn't observe any lines in the waterfall or any splitting up of
              characters - I'm thinking that perhaps what you experienced is a
              slightly different issue.

              73 de Graham G3ZOD
              Fists #8385 GQRP #11976


              --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, Pete Smith <n4zr@...> wrote:
              > A couple of things you can try. Experiment with both drivers for
              the sound
              > card - I found MME to be quieter. Also, try resetting the priority
              of the
              > CW Skimmer processes in Task Manager to high (not real time, it'll
              > crash). If that helps, use a free utility called PRIO to reset its
              > priority permanently. With a dual-core machine, which I don't
              have, I'm
              > told you can also set things up so that Skimmer runs alone on one
              virtual
              > CPU, with everything else on the other.
              >
              > I think that what is happening is that each of the clicks
              represents an
              > interruption in the data flow to Skimmer, caused by interference
              with other
              > programs running on the same PC. If you look really hard at the
              waterfall,
              > you'll see these as faint dark vertical lines running from the top
              to the
              > bottom of the screen. If you can catch one running across a CW
              signal, you
              > will see either a shortening of the code element (if the drop-out
              occurs at
              > the beginning or end) or as breaking into two (an N becomes an S,
              for
              > example). If you're really quick, you correlate between the
              waterfall
              > effects and errors made by the decoder, typically reflecting the
              same
              > pattern (N becoming S, in the example above, or A becoming T).
              >
              > In my setup, using an SDR-IQ, no sound card, and a 2.66 GHz Celeron
              with
              > 2GB of memory, I spent many hours stopping all background processes
              and
              > then restarting them one by one (using MSCONFIG). Stopping them
              all
              > definitely cleaned up the noise (only Skimmer running), but I was
              never
              > able conclusively to figure out which of them cvould be run without
              it
              > recurring. Ultimately, fixing the priority at High helped more
              than anything.
            • Pete Smith
              ... It may well be a different source, but Alex told me that the audio crackles mean blocks are being dropped. Sorry you can t get the right driver for your
              Message 6 of 6 , Sep 26, 2008
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                At 04:44 PM 9/26/2008, you wrote:
                >I didn't observe any lines in the waterfall or any splitting up of
                >characters - I'm thinking that perhaps what you experienced is a
                >slightly different issue.

                It may well be a different source, but Alex told me that the audio crackles
                mean blocks are being dropped.

                Sorry you can't get the right driver for your interface.

                73, Pete
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