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Re: CW Skimmer clicks

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  • 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 1 of 6 , Sep 22, 2008
      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 2 of 6 , Sep 22, 2008
        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 3 of 6 , Sep 26, 2008
          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 4 of 6 , Sep 26, 2008
            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 5 of 6 , Sep 26, 2008
              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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