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FT8 Transmit Delay Problem With Icom 7200 & WSJT-X

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by KM6JE, Jul 5, 2019.

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  1. KM6JE

    KM6JE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been using FT8 for a couple of weeks now, with fairly good results. Using a manual tuner and a long wire I've been able to work Asia, South America and Australia from my California QTH.

    However, tonight I am not able to connect even with strong stations. My computer clock is correct, as per the Time.Is site. Checking with PSK Reporter shows that a few stations are hearing me, but not nearly as many as on previous days at the same time.

    Tonight I noticed there is about a seven second delay until my rig puts out a signal in transmit mode. When the WSJT-X screen shows transmit, my Icom 7200 immediately shows TX in the display & the fan comes on, but when I look at the forward power needle on my manual tuner, there is about a seven second delay until the actual signal transmits.

    Thinking there might be a problem with the Icom 7200, I reset it for voice/microphone operation, and there was no delay using SSB via the microphone.

    Checking the WSJT-X guide, it mentions a "TX Delay" setting that is in the advanced settings guide. Mine is set to the .2 default; switching it to .1 made no difference in the long seven second actual TX delay, so I put it back on the .2 default.

    Any suggestions? Thanks for reading & 73 from Leigh/KM6JE.
  2. KC3RN

    KC3RN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Where is your power level slider set on the WSJT software? Try running it all the way up, the control your actual output power from the radio. Also, if the 7200 has a digi vox level control, try increasing that level as well.

    I don't have a 7200, but I had a similar problem with my FT-450D, and needed to increase the levels as stated above to get it to work. Hope this helps.
  3. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The key to tracking down these problems is to eliminate things. First step? take the tuner out of the equation and transmit into a dummy load. Results?

    As RN says, don't reduce FT8 power by adjusting the rig's output power. ALWAYS run the rig at 100-watts and control power output with the audio gain (USB level in the 7200). If nothing else, that will ensure you have minimal ALC action and a clean signal. :)
    EA3XR likes this.
  4. KM6JE

    KM6JE Ham Member QRZ Page

    .Gentlemen, thanks for the suggestions.

    I am glad to say the problem has stopped. After I wrote my initial posting, I turned off the radio and computer. When I started both again a few hours later, the delayed transmit problem stopped, and I again was easily able to make contacts. I wish I knew what caused the delayed transmit problem, but the fix was easy enough.

    And I feel a little dumb... so often the cure for many computer problems is simply to reboot.
  5. KC3RN

    KC3RN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Glad you got it working! Yes, the on/off switch is your friend.
  6. NS3L

    NS3L Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Not for nothing, even though you say the computer clock was correct did you check one thing before you shut down and then restarted the computer did you happen to take notice to the "DT" listing in WSJT/X as active q's were being listed? Were they very high numbers under DT like 1.0-6.9 sec or more? If you did, I'm wondering if this was a computer clock sync time issue. Is it possible the computer time was way off.. Normally you should see less than 1.0 and more desirable to see 0.0-.07. If you ever see anything higher than 1.0 in the DT list, then more than likely it's your computer time sync that's off.. It's possible here that the shutdown then restart caused a re-sync of the clock on your computer.. PS.. I've seen where even syncing the clock on the computer did not initially resolve the high DT, it took a couple of resets to get the sync to show low numbers in the DT listing. FWIW

    Steve NS3L
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
  7. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I doubt delta time would have caused this particular problem, but you never know. I've had a couple of odd episodes with WSJT-X over the years that were cured by a PC restart. And that's usually the last thing I tried, so don't beat yourself up, JE. :)
  8. K7YXZ

    K7YXZ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I found that the audio delay builds up over time - and by time I'm talking a couple hours.
    And the fix is to reboot the computer.
    Is this a lack of RAM?
    Windows 7 64-bit, by the way.
  9. EA1UR

    EA1UR Ham Member QRZ Page

    To me also happens this delay, the PC time is ok. with a 7300, no VOX, the change to TX is by internal USB-RS-232, then is a software delay
  10. W6UV

    W6UV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    So it seems like the transmitter is being keyed, but there's no output, which implies there's no audio from the PC. Does your rig have a transmit monitor function that lets you listen to transmitted audio? That would tell you if audio from the PC is getting to the radio.

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