Sunday, November 10, 2019

No Waterfall on PowerSDR and Flex 5000

PowerSDR in Panafall mode. Panadapter view on top, Waterfall view below.
I had to do some troubleshooting yesterday and nothing I found online fixed the issue. The fix I eventually found would have saved me a lot of time so I thought best to document it.

So my Flex5000a software-defined-radio (SDR) has worked extremely reliably since purchased new about 7 years ago. Yesterday I powered everything on to poke around on the HF bands and the first thing I noticed was that the Waterfall was black, no signals visible at all. The Panadapter above was working in Panafall mode, but the lower waterfall section showed nothing at all.

I Googled the problem and tried all of the above with no fix to the issue.

  • Check all volume levels in PowerSDR.
  • Changing the audio buffer from 2048 to 1024.
  • Powering off Flex 5000a, cutting 12V DC power to the unit for a minute for a complete power cycle.
  • Reset the PowerSDR database, wiping all preferences and starting from scratch.
  • Restoring the PowerSDR database to restore all of my custom settings and preferences.
Overall I spent an hour doing all of this, none of it helped.

The Fix
Finally, I powered off the PC. There was no indication that the PC might be the problem as I had other software running the entire time and I had no issues opening and closing PowerSDR, but I did it anyway. I powered the PC off (not a restart) waited a few seconds then powered it on again, loaded my other 'always-on' software, then loaded PowerSDR and everything was working.

  • Intel Quad-Core CPU
  • 16GB Memory
  • 256GB Solid State Drive
  • Windows 10 Professional 64bit
  • Flex 5000a SDR Transceiver
  • Power SDR 2.7.2 Software