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Re: [wsjtgroup] Sound card (or WSJT?) going walkabout

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  • Bill W5WVO
    Thanks! I feel much better now. :-) Bill W5WVO
    Message 1 of 12 , Mar 1, 2008
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      Thanks! I feel much better now. :-)
      Bill W5WVO

      Joe Taylor wrote:
      > Hi Bill,
      >
      > Bill W5WVO wrote:
      >> Many thanks for the explanation. You're right, I have D4 set
      >> to query an SNTP server every 15 minutes. I understand from
      >> what you say that any sound card will show this manifestation
      >> when a glitch occurs.
      >
      > Correct.
      >
      >> My question is whether either FSK441 encode or decode (depending
      >> on whether doing TX or RX) is corrupted during the times this
      >> is occurring. The red warning flags come on in WSJT, so it
      >> concerned me. Are you saying this is a meaningless artifact
      >> that has no untoward consequences, or just that there isn't much
      >> of anything I can do about it?
      >
      > No sound data is corrupted when you see one of your "walkabouts".
      > There was no glitch in your sound system; the glitch was the Windows
      > notion of the correct clock time.
      >
      >> I wonder if setting D4 to query every minute would help. It would
      >> keep the correction factor to a few milliseconds every time,
      >> which might not be enough of a correction to cause the glitch. (?)
      >
      > For what it's worth, I also have D4 set to do 15-minute checks.
      >
      > Once again: the purpose of the sample-factor numbers (1.0069, etc.) is
      > to establish and correct, once and for all, the woefully poor
      > job of resampling done by many recent soundcard+driver combinations.
      > The samplers generally run at 48000 Hz, and the drivers cut corners
      > when asked to produce data at the 11025 Hz rate used in WSJT. It's
      > ridiculous: quite often, I see drivers that use good code on output
      > and lousy code on input, or vice-versa.
      >
      > These sample-rate errors are constant as long as your sound system is
      > unchanged. You need to set the correction factors only ONCE.
      >
      > -- 73, Joe, K1JT
    • Russ K2TXB
      Hi Joe. I have no doubt that you are correct for most cases, but in my case it really was a problem. The numbers would be stable for up to 20 minutes and then
      Message 2 of 12 , Mar 1, 2008
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        Hi Joe. I have no doubt that you are correct for most cases, but in my case it really was a problem.  The numbers would be stable for up to 20 minutes and then they would take off and get worse and worse until the whole thing would stop working.  I was running two computers side by side and this one would fail to decode what the laptop was getting correctly (From the same receiver).  I would have to reboot the computer and then it would work ok again for a while.  (I recall one MS contest where I must have rebooted the computer 20 times!)  I did have D4 running and had it set to correct the time every 15 seconds, because the PC clock would sometimes jump by several minutes.  It never did this except when running WSJT which of course exercises the sound card a lot.  When I replaced the sound card the problem went away.
         
        I don't claim to understand what was causing the clock jump or the sound card drift, bit it seems clear they were related and acerbated by the usage of WSJT.
         
        73, Russ K2TXB


        From: wsjtgroup@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wsjtgroup@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Joe Taylor
        Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2008 9:26 AM
        To: Bill W5WVO
        Cc: [WSJT]
        Subject: Re: [wsjtgroup] Sound card (or WSJT?) going walkabout

        Hi Bill and all,

        I would say that almost certainly there is nothing wrong with your sound
        system. Most likely you have Dimension 4 or similar software resetting
        your Windows clock now and then, or maybe Windows itself it doing this.
        (Recent versions of Windows will do this if you are connected to the
        internet.)

        Whenever there is a discontinuity in the Windows notion of what time it
        is, the WSJT sample-rate numbers will show a glitch. The numbers are
        smoothed with a long time constant; that's why it takes a minute or so
        for them to stabilize after startup or after any glitch.

        The best thing to do with those numbers (1.0069, 1.0069) is to establish
        their stable values ONCE. As long as you use the same sound card and
        driver, those are the correct numbers. Enter them on the Setup |
        Options screen and then forget about them.

        -- 73, Joe, K1JT

        Bill W5WVO wrote:
        > Something happens regularly in my WSJT installation that disturbs me:
        >
        > Once WSJT has been running for a minute, the RX and TX clock
        > variance values stabilize around 1.0069, and I dutifully entered
        > those numbers into the WSJT setup. Most of the time, the
        > numbers stay put, +/- 0.0002. But every once in a while, maybe
        > every ten or fifteen minutes, the numbers in the status bar
        > "go walkabout", climbing to 1.0090+ over the space of five or
        > ten seconds, and then drifting back down to 1.0069 over the
        > next five or ten seconds. Or sometimes they will go the other
        > way, by about the same amount. It has nothing to do with
        > whether or not I'm transmitting; it's completely asynchronous
        > to that.
        >
        > Is this my sound card misbehaving? It is an inexpensive VIA
        > Vinyl PCI bus card running under Win2KPro on an AMD Athlon
        > dual-processor board. Or is this kind of thing sorta "normal"?
        > I shouldn't have thought so. If it is the sound card, any
        > recommendations for a better one that is known to be stable?
        >
        > Bill W5WVO

      • Bill W5WVO
        Just to add one more anecdote to the trail of anecdotal evidence , before I installed the VIA Vinyl sound card that was the subject of my original query in
        Message 3 of 12 , Mar 1, 2008
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          Just to add one more anecdote to the trail of anecdotal "evidence", before I installed the VIA Vinyl sound card that was the subject of my original query in this thread, the computer had an old Sound Blaster card in it. When running WSJT, the RX sample clock correction would stabilize at some reasonable number and stay there, but the TX clock would never stabilize -- it would wander all over the place and never settle down at all. This did cause a problem, because my transmissions were mostly undecodable using this card. Replacing that sound card with the VIA cured the problem, but introduced the symptom of both the RX and TX correction factors wandering intermittently.
           
          Interestingly, the SB card with the bad TX had a rock-stable RX which never "went walkabout", much as Joe said in his earlier post -- some card/driver combinations can be good on RX, poor on TX, or vice-versa.
           
          Bill W5WVO
           
           
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2008 3:42 PM
          Subject: RE: [wsjtgroup] Sound card (or WSJT?) going walkabout

          Hi Joe. I have no doubt that you are correct for most cases, but in my case it really was a problem.  The numbers would be stable for up to 20 minutes and then they would take off and get worse and worse until the whole thing would stop working.  I was running two computers side by side and this one would fail to decode what the laptop was getting correctly (From the same receiver).  I would have to reboot the computer and then it would work ok again for a while.  (I recall one MS contest where I must have rebooted the computer 20 times!)  I did have D4 running and had it set to correct the time every 15 seconds, because the PC clock would sometimes jump by several minutes.  It never did this except when running WSJT which of course exercises the sound card a lot.  When I replaced the sound card the problem went away.
           
          I don't claim to understand what was causing the clock jump or the sound card drift, bit it seems clear they were related and acerbated by the usage of WSJT.
           
          73, Russ K2TXB


          From: wsjtgroup@yahoogrou ps.com [mailto:wsjtgroup@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Joe Taylor
          Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2008 9:26 AM
          To: Bill W5WVO
          Cc: [WSJT]
          Subject: Re: [wsjtgroup] Sound card (or WSJT?) going walkabout

          Hi Bill and all,

          I would say that almost certainly there is nothing wrong with your sound
          system. Most likely you have Dimension 4 or similar software resetting
          your Windows clock now and then, or maybe Windows itself it doing this.
          (Recent versions of Windows will do this if you are connected to the
          internet.)

          Whenever there is a discontinuity in the Windows notion of what time it
          is, the WSJT sample-rate numbers will show a glitch. The numbers are
          smoothed with a long time constant; that's why it takes a minute or so
          for them to stabilize after startup or after any glitch.

          The best thing to do with those numbers (1.0069, 1.0069) is to establish
          their stable values ONCE. As long as you use the same sound card and
          driver, those are the correct numbers. Enter them on the Setup |
          Options screen and then forget about them.

          -- 73, Joe, K1JT

          Bill W5WVO wrote:
          > Something happens regularly in my WSJT installation that disturbs me:
          >
          > Once WSJT has been running for a minute, the RX and TX clock
          > variance values stabilize around 1.0069, and I dutifully entered
          > those numbers into the WSJT setup. Most of the time, the
          > numbers stay put, +/- 0.0002. But every once in a while, maybe
          > every ten or fifteen minutes, the numbers in the status bar
          > "go walkabout", climbing to 1.0090+ over the space of five or
          > ten seconds, and then drifting back down to 1.0069 over the
          > next five or ten seconds. Or sometimes they will go the other
          > way, by about the same amount. It has nothing to do with
          > whether or not I'm transmitting; it's completely asynchronous
          > to that.
          >
          > Is this my sound card misbehaving? It is an inexpensive VIA
          > Vinyl PCI bus card running under Win2KPro on an AMD Athlon
          > dual-processor board. Or is this kind of thing sorta "normal"?
          > I shouldn't have thought so. If it is the sound card, any
          > recommendations for a better one that is known to be stable?
          >
          > Bill W5WVO

        • Bill W5WVO
          Related question: Most sound cards, as Joe pointed out, have a base sample clock rate of 48 kHz. Premium sound cards run at 96 kHz or even 192 kHz. Is there
          Message 4 of 12 , Mar 1, 2008
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            Related question: Most sound cards, as Joe pointed out, have a base sample clock rate of 48 kHz. Premium sound cards run at 96 kHz or even 192 kHz. Is there any advantage gained (with WSJT) running a premium sound card with a higher sample rate and possibly with higher-quality components, more accurate tolerances, better-written drivers etc.? Is perceived "high-end-ness" correlate to "overall goodness" pretty much, or do you just have to know which sounds cards are good, irrespective of price or market perception?
             
            Bill W5WVO
             
             
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2008 5:46 PM
            Subject: Re: [wsjtgroup] Sound card (or WSJT?) going walkabout

            Just to add one more anecdote to the trail of anecdotal "evidence", before I installed the VIA Vinyl sound card that was the subject of my original query in this thread, the computer had an old Sound Blaster card in it. When running WSJT, the RX sample clock correction would stabilize at some reasonable number and stay there, but the TX clock would never stabilize -- it would wander all over the place and never settle down at all. This did cause a problem, because my transmissions were mostly undecodable using this card. Replacing that sound card with the VIA cured the problem, but introduced the symptom of both the RX and TX correction factors wandering intermittently.
             
            Interestingly, the SB card with the bad TX had a rock-stable RX which never "went walkabout", much as Joe said in his earlier post -- some card/driver combinations can be good on RX, poor on TX, or vice-versa.
             
            Bill W5WVO
             
             
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2008 3:42 PM
            Subject: RE: [wsjtgroup] Sound card (or WSJT?) going walkabout

            Hi Joe. I have no doubt that you are correct for most cases, but in my case it really was a problem.  The numbers would be stable for up to 20 minutes and then they would take off and get worse and worse until the whole thing would stop working.  I was running two computers side by side and this one would fail to decode what the laptop was getting correctly (From the same receiver).  I would have to reboot the computer and then it would work ok again for a while.  (I recall one MS contest where I must have rebooted the computer 20 times!)  I did have D4 running and had it set to correct the time every 15 seconds, because the PC clock would sometimes jump by several minutes.  It never did this except when running WSJT which of course exercises the sound card a lot.  When I replaced the sound card the problem went away.
             
            I don't claim to understand what was causing the clock jump or the sound card drift, bit it seems clear they were related and acerbated by the usage of WSJT.
             
            73, Russ K2TXB


            From: wsjtgroup@yahoogrou ps.com [mailto:wsjtgroup@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Joe Taylor
            Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2008 9:26 AM
            To: Bill W5WVO
            Cc: [WSJT]
            Subject: Re: [wsjtgroup] Sound card (or WSJT?) going walkabout

            Hi Bill and all,

            I would say that almost certainly there is nothing wrong with your sound
            system. Most likely you have Dimension 4 or similar software resetting
            your Windows clock now and then, or maybe Windows itself it doing this.
            (Recent versions of Windows will do this if you are connected to the
            internet.)

            Whenever there is a discontinuity in the Windows notion of what time it
            is, the WSJT sample-rate numbers will show a glitch. The numbers are
            smoothed with a long time constant; that's why it takes a minute or so
            for them to stabilize after startup or after any glitch.

            The best thing to do with those numbers (1.0069, 1.0069) is to establish
            their stable values ONCE. As long as you use the same sound card and
            driver, those are the correct numbers. Enter them on the Setup |
            Options screen and then forget about them.

            -- 73, Joe, K1JT

            Bill W5WVO wrote:
            > Something happens regularly in my WSJT installation that disturbs me:
            >
            > Once WSJT has been running for a minute, the RX and TX clock
            > variance values stabilize around 1.0069, and I dutifully entered
            > those numbers into the WSJT setup. Most of the time, the
            > numbers stay put, +/- 0.0002. But every once in a while, maybe
            > every ten or fifteen minutes, the numbers in the status bar
            > "go walkabout", climbing to 1.0090+ over the space of five or
            > ten seconds, and then drifting back down to 1.0069 over the
            > next five or ten seconds. Or sometimes they will go the other
            > way, by about the same amount. It has nothing to do with
            > whether or not I'm transmitting; it's completely asynchronous
            > to that.
            >
            > Is this my sound card misbehaving? It is an inexpensive VIA
            > Vinyl PCI bus card running under Win2KPro on an AMD Athlon
            > dual-processor board. Or is this kind of thing sorta "normal"?
            > I shouldn't have thought so. If it is the sound card, any
            > recommendations for a better one that is known to be stable?
            >
            > Bill W5WVO

          • Dave hartzell
            Hi Joe, Question: Once I enter the RateIn and RateOut values, will I see the real-time counters on the main screen adjust to 1.0000? I see mine still at
            Message 5 of 12 , Mar 2, 2008
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              Hi Joe,

              Question:

              Once I enter the RateIn and RateOut values, will I see the real-time
              counters on the main screen adjust to 1.0000? I see mine still at
              0.9968 and 1.0000. Decodes seem OK, so I'm guessing this is just an
              internal calculation, with no real-time update?

              On Sat, Mar 1, 2008 at 7:15 AM, Joe Taylor <joe@...> wrote:
              > It's ridiculous: quite often, I see drivers that use good code on output and
              > lousy code on input, or vice-versa.

              Yep, that's what I see with "premium" sound card...the input is bad,
              the output is good.

              Thanks and 73,

              Dave
              n0tgd
            • Bill W5WVO
              The sample rate values shown on-screen in the status bar are real-time calculations and do not reset to 1.0000 after the correction factor is entered in
              Message 6 of 12 , Mar 2, 2008
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                The sample rate values shown on-screen in the status bar are real-time calculations and do not "reset" to 1.0000 after the correction factor is entered in Setup.
                 
                Bill W5WVO
                 
                 
                ----- Original Message -----
                Sent: Sunday, March 02, 2008 12:58 PM
                Subject: Re: [wsjtgroup] Sound card (or WSJT?) going walkabout

                Hi Joe,

                Question:

                Once I enter the RateIn and RateOut values, will I see the real-time
                counters on the main screen adjust to 1.0000? I see mine still at
                0.9968 and 1.0000. Decodes seem OK, so I'm guessing this is just an
                internal calculation, with no real-time update?

                On Sat, Mar 1, 2008 at 7:15 AM, Joe Taylor <joe@princeton. edu> wrote:
                > It's ridiculous: quite often, I see drivers that use good code on output and
                > lousy code on input, or vice-versa.

                Yep, that's what I see with "premium" sound card...the input is bad,
                the output is good.

                Thanks and 73,

                Dave
                n0tgd

              • Joe Taylor
                ... Correct. -- Joe, k1JT
                Message 7 of 12 , Mar 2, 2008
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                  Dave hartzell wrote:
                  > Hi Joe,
                  >
                  > Question:
                  >
                  > Once I enter the RateIn and RateOut values, will I see the real-time
                  > counters on the main screen adjust to 1.0000? I see mine still at
                  > 0.9968 and 1.0000. Decodes seem OK, so I'm guessing this is just an
                  > internal calculation, with no real-time update?

                  Correct.

                  -- Joe, k1JT
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