Intermittent sound problems using SDR# v1.0.0.1430 in WIN 10

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Pete Higgins
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Intermittent sound problems using SDR# v1.0.0.1430 in WIN 10

Post by Pete Higgins » Thu Mar 03, 2016 2:36 am

I’m having intermittent sound problems using SDR SHARP v1.0.0.1430 under Windows 10. The sound cuts out every few seconds. I’ve tried the dongle in all four of the rear USB ports and the only front port. I currently have it in a USB hub with a 2.5 amp. power adapter. The problem started with my original RTL2832U/R820T tuner stick when I installed Windows 10, so I bought a new RTL2832U/R820T2 tuner stick hoping to solve the problem. It behaves the same way.

Both tuner sticks work correctly in this computer under Windows XP and Windows 7. I even installed Windows 7 in a separate partition on the same hard drive as Windows 10 so that all the hardware would remain unchanged for testing.

The motherboard is a Gigabyte G41MT-S2PT with an Intel® Core™2 Quad Processor Q9550 CPU @ 2.83 GHz and 8GB of DDR-3 memory. The video card is an ATI Radeon HD5570. The hard drive is a 750 GB SATA Seagate ST3750640AS @ 7200 RPM with Windows 10 in the first 100 GB partition & Windows 7 in the second 100 GB partition.

I like to listen to FM radio while I work and the continual cutting in & out is very annoying. Can anybody help with this problem?

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Re: Intermittent sound problems using SDR# v1.0.0.1430 in WI

Post by rtlsdrblog » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:23 pm

Is the audio cutting out with quick cutouts, or with long slow cutouts? I don't think your problem is related to the RTL-SDR, but it is a problem with your software configuration or drivers.

Have you tried running the SDR at a lower sample rate? In the settings in SDR# (the cog icon), turn the sample rate down to say 1 MHz.

Maybe your computer is stuggling, but I feel that a Core 2 should be enough.

The other thing is that it could be a sound card driver issue. Update your sound card drivers, and maybe try playing with the latency setting under the Audio settings.

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Pete Higgins
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Re: Intermittent sound problems using SDR# v1.0.0.1430 in WI

Post by Pete Higgins » Thu Mar 17, 2016 10:03 pm

Dear RTLSDRBLOG,

Thank you for your suggestions. The audio cuts out with quick cutouts –almost like somebody was quickly toggling a mute button on & off. It appears to cutout once every few seconds for a fraction of a second. Changing sequentially from 2.4 MSPS down to .900001 MSPS doesn’t seem to affect this behavior, although sound quality suffers.

This computer doesn’t struggle with the same version of SDR# using XP or Windows 7 for the operating system, only when installed in Windows 10. I couldn’t find any latency settings for either the onboard audio or the AMD HDMI outputs. The sound cuts out using either output. I did try to update all the audio related drivers but was informed that “the best drivers were already installed”. My Hauppauge HVR-1800 TV tuner card audio & CD’s or audio on my HD plays correctly. Since the problem only occurs with SDR# under Windows 10 I thought there might be a Windows 10/SDR# incompatibility? At this time, I don’t have another Windows 10 computer to do any further testing with.

I still prefer Windows 7 and won’t sacrifice SDR# compatibility to upgrade (downgrade?) to Windows 10. Microsoft has already ruined Windows 7 OTA Media Center functionality with the guide change for my ZIP code.

Again, thank you for your reply. I hope others don’t experience these phenomena.

Sincerely,

Pete Higgins

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Re: Intermittent sound problems using SDR# v1.0.0.1430 in WI

Post by rtlsdrblog » Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:56 am

SDR# is compatible with Win10. Perhaps there is just a bug with the Win10 drivers for your soundcard.

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Re: Intermittent sound problems using SDR# v1.0.0.1430 in WI

Post by mikazo » Sat Apr 30, 2016 1:34 am

Hi Pete,

I'm having what sounds like the exact same problem as you. I just received my RTL2832U/R820T2 in the mail, followed the quick setup guide, and my audio cuts out in a regular pattern, about every second or so.

I'm running Windows 7 on an 8-core CPU machine with 16 GB of RAM. The CPU usage in Task Manager for SDR Sharp is not very high, so I don't think it's a CPU problem.

If I find out any solutions, I'll be sure to post back!

-Mike

Edit: It looks like the gaps in audio correspond to no change in the sample data, if you look at the waterfall. See attached screenshot.
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Re: Intermittent sound problems using SDR# v1.0.0.1430 in WI

Post by mikazo » Sat Apr 30, 2016 3:23 am

I tried installing the HDSDR software instead, and it works perfectly! The issue must be with the SDRSharp software.

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Re: Intermittent sound problems using SDR# v1.0.0.1430 in WI

Post by Pete Higgins » Sat Apr 30, 2016 4:37 pm

Thanks Mike,

I'll try installing HDSDR in Windows 10 next week & post back the results. FYI, the same version(s) of SDR# work perfectly using the same hardware running Windows 7 & XP. I've listened to many hours of background music while I worked. I have analog sound on the motherboard & HDMI sound available from my ATI video card and both outputs exhibit the same sound interruptions.

Thanks again,

Pete

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Re: Intermittent sound problems using SDR# v1.0.0.1430 in WI

Post by Pete Higgins » Tue May 03, 2016 6:35 pm

Mike,

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

I installed HDSDR & the ExtIO_RTL2832.dll file into a Windows 10 “C:\HDSDR” directory. After a lot of tweaking I was able to listen to 3 hours of music last night, while I worked, -with no dropouts. When I open SDR# & tune to the same stations I still get the dropouts. HDSDR plays clear music using either my motherboard’s analog audio out or my ATI HDMI output. Not sure if it’s stereo though.

I had to set the following:

Toggle the “ExtIO button”: Uncheck “Tuner AGC” & “RTL AGC”, set Frequency Correction to 48 ppm (derived from RTLSDR Scanner) and Tuner Gain to 12.5 dB. I left Sample rate @ 2.4 Msps & Buffer Size @ 64 kB. I left Offset Tuning checked.

Bandwidth Sampling Rate (F6) Input: 2400000
Bandwidth Sampling Rate (F6) Output: 192000 (96000 also works, but not as well)

Toggle the FM button to display the slider & move it full up to 192 kHz. Note; I have to lower this setting for narrow band FM (i.e. Weather, 2 meter repeaters etc.)

I programmed some favorite FM stations into User1 (Click the FreqMgr button), setting the LO. 200 kHz below the station frequency (i.e. L.O. @ 87.9 MHz to Tune 88.1 MHz which seems to work but I have no idea what I’m doing here?

CPU HDSDR: 9-12%
CPU Total: 13-20 %

Thanks again for the suggestion.

Sincerely,

Pete (KB6YPT)

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Re: Intermittent sound problems using SDR# v1.0.0.1430 in WI

Post by mikazo » Wed May 04, 2016 1:55 pm

Just for interest's sake, I bought my Dad the same RTL-SDR dongle, and helped him set it up on his Windows 10 computer. I tried SDR Sharp first, and it worked fine! I have no idea what the difference was. I installed HDSDR for him as well, so he has the option of using either one.

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Re: Intermittent sound problems using SDR# v1.0.0.1430 in WI

Post by Pete Higgins » Wed May 04, 2016 5:17 pm

Mike,

I have a lot of experience with SDR# & limited experience with HDSDR but I expect your Dad will find SDR# a lot more capable and user friendly than HDSDR. I make extensive use of the groups in SDR# having created many different; FM Broadcast, Weather Band, VHF Air, UHF Air, Highway Patrol, 2-Meter, 6-Meter, 220 MHz & 440 MHz repeaters and 10 Meter Ham Band to name a few. Once a signal is configured, the ”frequencies.xml” file remembers all the settings (i.e., bandwidth, modulation type etc.) so listening to a new signal only requires selecting its group & double clicking on it. For each new install, I just copy the ”frequencies.xml” file, preserving hours of work. It also decodes FM stereo.

I’m at a complete loss as to why we’re experiencing the audio cut out problem, especially since SDR# works in XP & 7 for me using exactly the same hardware. I thought it was a Windows 10/SDR# compatibility issue but your Dad’s install would tend to disprove that theory. That you’re having the same problem in Windows 7 would suggest hardware but my situation would seemingly disprove that. I’m just grateful these folks will freely share their talents with us. Being retired, I have more time than money. The computer I’m using has a free Windows 10 courtesy of the insider program. I’ll eventually upgrade my I-7/Windows 7 computer to Windows 10 & hope SDR# works with it. In the meantime, I can use HDSDR to listen to background music, so thanks again for that.

Sincerely,

Pete (KB6YPT)

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