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Faros has stopped detecting beacons

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  • Bert - W0RSB
    Maybe yesterday, certainly this morning, my copy of Faros stopped detecting beacons. I can hear them and see them in both the waterfall and spectrum windows,
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 20, 2010
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      Maybe yesterday, certainly this morning, my copy of Faros stopped detecting beacons.

      I can hear them and see them in both the waterfall and spectrum windows, but they all show "No signal."

      Any suggestions for diagnosing this problem?
    • Dave Baxter
      ... detecting beacons. ... windows, but they all show No signal. ... Hi Bert. What are the status indicators showing at the bottom left, in particular, the
      Message 2 of 6 , Jul 21, 2010
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        > Faros has stopped detecting beacons
        > Posted by: "Bert - W0RSB" bert.hyman@... bert.hyman
        > Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:47 am (PDT)
        >
        > Maybe yesterday, certainly this morning, my copy of Faros stopped
        detecting beacons.
        > I can hear them and see them in both the waterfall and spectrum
        windows, but they all show "No signal."
        > Any suggestions for diagnosing this problem?
        >

        Hi Bert.

        What are the status indicators showing at the bottom left, in
        particular, the ones for the clock and radio? Are they Red or Yellow?
        If so, there is a problem with whatever is showing that. If it's the
        radio that it thinks is bad, check all the remote control cables etc,
        also see if you can control it from OmniRig, in it's own right. If
        it's the clock gone bad, you may need to find and use another NTP
        server, or selection of them.

        Is there enough available disk space available? I have seen Faros stop
        doing things, or do something very odd, when it can't save the history
        files. Also, when it's been running nonstop for some weeks, it seems
        to start ignoring things, getting worse the longer you leave it.
        Shutting down/restarting always seems to fix that.

        Lastly, try a machine restart, as in shutdown/turn off (the radio too!)
        Then reboot and bring it back up again, watching for errors as it comes
        back to life, and when you start Faros after the PC has settled.


        Hope something helps.

        Dave G0WBX.
        http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/Faros/ibp-at-wbx.html
      • Bert - W0RSB
        ... All the indicators are gray (normal) and rig control works as always. I think there might be a time problem, although I haven t looked at that particular
        Message 3 of 6 , Jul 21, 2010
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          --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Baxter" <dave@...> wrote:
          >
          > > Faros has stopped detecting beacons
          > > Posted by: "Bert - W0RSB" bert.hyman@... bert.hyman
          > > Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:47 am (PDT)
          > >
          > > Maybe yesterday, certainly this morning, my copy of Faros stopped
          > > detecting beacons.
          > > I can hear them and see them in both the waterfall and spectrum
          > > windows, but they all show "No signal."
          > > Any suggestions for diagnosing this problem?
          > >
          >
          > Hi Bert.
          >
          > What are the status indicators showing at the bottom left, in
          > particular, the ones for the clock and radio? Are they Red or
          > Yellow?
          > If so, there is a problem with whatever is showing that. If it's
          > the radio that it thinks is bad, check all the remote control
          > cables etc, also see if you can control it from OmniRig, in it's
          > own right. If it's the clock gone bad, you may need to find and
          > use another NTP server, or selection of them.

          All the indicators are gray (normal) and rig control works as always.

          I think there might be a time problem, although I haven't looked at
          that particular display for a very long time, so maybe it's always
          been this way.

          I can only find 7 time servers with delays less than 60ms, and only
          two with delays less than 50ms. But, they all seem to have wildly
          different ideas about what time it is. The red line (software
          clock) runs right down the zero line, but the reports from the
          various servers are all over the screen.

          Is the exact meaning of the various displayed values in the "Clock
          Accuracy" tab explained anywhere?

          Still, the signals for the beacons that I can hear still show up
          in their appropriate slots on the "Monitor" display, positioned
          pretty much where I remember them being before.

          >
          > Is there enough available disk space available? I have seen Faros
          > stop doing things, or do something very odd, when it can't save the
          > history files.

          Hundreds of GB left on the drive where Faros is installed.

          > Also, when it's been running nonstop for some weeks, it seems to
          > start ignoring things, getting worse the longer you leave it.
          > Shutting down/restarting always seems to fix that.

          I actually used to run it 24/7 for a while, only pausing it when
          I was on the air. I stopped that a few months ago and didn't see
          any change in behavior 'til just a couple of days ago.

          >
          > Lastly, try a machine restart, as in shutdown/turn off (the radio
          > too!)
          > Then reboot and bring it back up again, watching for errors as it
          > comes back to life, and when you start Faros after the PC has
          > settled.

          This being Windows, rebooting was the very first thing I tried :-)

          The radio's been powered off and on a few times in the interval,
          although I haven't tried a master clear yet (it's a TenTec Omni 7).

          >
          >
          > Hope something helps.
          >
          > Dave G0WBX.
          > http://g8kbv.homeip.net:8008/Faros/ibp-at-wbx.html
          >
        • Bert - W0RSB
          ... Now I m pretty sure it s a time problem, although I have no idea what to do about it. After letting Faros run for several hours, I got one detection, VE8AT
          Message 4 of 6 , Jul 21, 2010
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            --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Bert - W0RSB" <bert.hyman@...> wrote:

            >
            > I think there might be a time problem ...

            Now I'm pretty sure it's a time problem, although I have no idea what
            to do about it.

            After letting Faros run for several hours, I got one detection, VE8AT
            on 20M, but the "Details" tab showed the delay as -52ms. I cranked
            the "Delay correction" spinner to its max of -99ms and started seeing
            more detections. I then edited the Faros.ini file, setting "DelayCorr"
            to -150ms and am seeing even more. Even so, the delay values on the
            Details tab are all over the screen, so something's certainly not
            right.
          • Dave Baxter
            ... Generaly, the server timestamps should all be in the same range, +- a few mS, straddling the red line. That in turn often slopes up or down, depending on
            Message 5 of 6 , Jul 22, 2010
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              --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Bert - W0RSB" <bert.hyman@...>
              wrote:

              >
              > I think there might be a time problem ...

              Generaly, the server timestamps should all be in the same range, +- a
              few mS, straddling the red line. That in turn often slopes up or down,
              depending on the exact CPU clock behaviour of your machine.

              Try and find out what addresses your ISP's NTP servers are at, and add
              them to Faros's list of known servers.
              You might also want to use the local (to you) "NTP Pool" server.

              I found that you need to watch that time status display, and see which
              servers were consistantly the best at timestamping, then de-select the
              others, leaving 2 or three relatively good ones.

              You could also delete some/all of the other server addresses that can't
              be reached. The file you want is 'TimeServer.lst' in Faro's main
              folder. You'll need to stop, unload and restart Faros for any changes
              to be seen.

              I have to say, I gave up about a year ago with both my ISP's and public
              servers, as my ISP/WAN performance is too variable now, and set to and
              got a local NTP server working on an old PC, using a Garmin GPS16
              receiver (any RX *Must* have the 1pps signal) and the Meinberg port (on
              Windows 2000) of the NTPD daemon software.

              It works very well. Short latency (single figure ms!) and stable
              timestamps. I have a FreeBSD based machine waiting in the wings too.
              I've also got all other pc's in the house to use it as their time
              reference.

              See what you can scare up from your ISP if posible, but many are
              rationalising things to save costs, and sadly they seem to agregate
              several services onto one set of machines. My ISP use their gateway
              router machines to run their NTP servers now, result, like you, time
              stamps all over the place, and variable distribution as their network
              load changes over a 24 hour period. Not good.

              If you cant find a good couple of public servers, let us know, and I'll
              point you at the places I found the info about, re setting up your own
              NTP server.

              73.

              Dave G0WBX.
            • Bert - W0RSB
              ... The servers all appear to be consistent with themselves, but are tens or even hundreds of milliseconds apart from one another. ... I m using my ISP s
              Message 6 of 6 , Jul 22, 2010
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                --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Baxter" <dave@...> wrote:
                >
                > --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Bert - W0RSB" <bert.hyman@>
                > wrote:
                >
                > >
                > > I think there might be a time problem ...
                >
                > Generaly, the server timestamps should all be in the same range, +-
                > a few mS, straddling the red line. That in turn often slopes up or
                > down, depending on the exact CPU clock behaviour of your machine.

                The servers all appear to be consistent with themselves, but are tens
                or even hundreds of milliseconds apart from one another.
                >
                > Try and find out what addresses your ISP's NTP servers are at, and
                > add them to Faros's list of known servers.
                > You might also want to use the local (to you) "NTP Pool" server.
                > ...

                I'm using my ISP's server (ntp.iphouse.com), my ex-ISP's server
                (ntp.visi.com), and two servers from the U of Mn. Since they're
                all here in town, I expected decent results. I looked at the
                pool servers, but haven't added one to the list yet.

                The servers I'm using all report delays of less than 50ms on the
                Faros test, but if I'm interpreting the numbers correctly the
                time difference between my own ISP and my ex-ISP is on the order of
                300ms. The two servers at the UoMn appear to be about 170ms apart.

                The only way I can get Faros to recognize a beacon is to manually
                enter a DelayCorr value of about 350ms.

                This had been working flawlessly for a very long time; I've made
                no intentional changes here, so I'm somewhat at a loss.
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