VBcable receive audio problem with WSPR and Flex 1500.

VB-Cable A & B, HIFI-Cable, ASIO Bridge
johnVE3INH
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:48 pm

VBcable receive audio problem with WSPR and Flex 1500.

Postby johnVE3INH » Mon Oct 26, 2015 4:58 pm

Hello there everyone. I hope some of you might be able to help me with a problem I have been trying to resolve over the past few weeks in terms of trying to get VBcable software to work properly in conjunction with WSPR and my Flex 1500 transceiver. Actually; it would be interesting to know if anyone at all has successfully managed to use VBcable software with any Flex radio instead of the recommended VAC 4.xx programs.

Although I still have not had any luck getting things working "completely" with the VBcable software, it appears that everything does work if I change the audio routing parameters both in WSPR and the Flex 1500 to utilize my computer's on-board sound card in conjunction with the analog audio I/O jacks to which a microphone and headphones are connected. The RX gain and TX gain audio sliders within PSDR work perfectly then allowing for proper transmission and reception adjustments.

The computer I initially used was a 12 year old Toshiba 17 inch desktop replacement laptop; a Satellite P25-s607 with an Intel Pentium single core 2.8Ghz hyper-threading socket 478 cpu, 2Gb of ram and an Nvidia GeForce FX Go5200 64MB video subsystem, all running on a Windows XP MCE operating system. Surprisingly; it runs the Flex 1500 fairly well; albeit with relatively high cpu utilization of about 60% to 80% in full screen mode. Mind you; if I reduce the screen size of PSDR and simultaneously run WSPR, the utilization drops to about 40%. The screen size of PSDR definitely has a large effect on the cpu utilization of my old computer with its limited video subsystem. I also tried using a more current Intel I-5 based processor with Windows 7 home premium 64 bit and got the same results.

Unfortunately; trying to get audio to move digitally inside the computer with VBcable software was only partially successful. I managed to install both VBcable A and VBcable B programs; unzipped and installed them on my computer and configured them properly for inputs and outputs both in the Flex 1500 VAC1 setup window as well as in the WSPR 2.0
(r1714) station parameters window.

The receive level in the bottom left corner of the WSPR program window varied randomly and did not indicate any decoded data or horizontal lines in the receive window even when the level was within acceptable limits at times. There was also no control over the receive level when attempting to manipulate the VAC1 RXGain slider in Power SDR while in DIGU mode. The only effect I could impose on the received audio gain as seen on the WSPR program window was when I turned the preamp off (0dB) in PowerSDR which caused a receive audio reading of -30dB(effectively no audio). If I switched the preamp back on to +30dB in PowerSDR then the WSPR receive reading jumped back upwards to some random nominal level. On the other hand, there is no problem at all adjusting the VAC1TXGain slider and seeing a corresponding rise or fall in ALC levels and transmitter power output.

The problem appears to be only with the VAC1 RXGain having no effect on the received audio from the Flex to the WSPR program. Am scratching my head about this. I would certainly welcome any suggestions as to what might fix this problem.

The response from Flex Radio (after opening a support request) was that they have no experience with VBcable software and recommend use of VAC4.xx programs.

Regards: John VE3INH

P.S. : One other item that is both a source of confusion and frustration is not seeing or being able to adjust the input and output bit rate and sampling rate of audio in WSPR 2.0 in its setup screen. Would anyone know what those specifications might be?

johnVE3INH
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:48 pm

Re: VBcable receive audio problem with WSPR and Flex 1500.

Postby johnVE3INH » Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:40 pm

Well; I'm happy to say that after 3 weeks of experimentation and pulling out what little hair I have left on my head; that a final successful solution has been obtained! Yahoo!!!!

The Flex 1500 is now operating flawlessly in WSPR digital mode using VBcable software for digital routing of audio and VSPmanager is handling the virtual serial ports thus enabling CAT and PTT control of the Flex 1500 from the WSPR control window.

My biggest mistake in all of this was assuming that I needed to enable the "Output to VAC" check-box for the Direct IQ section of the VAC1 setup screen. Once I unchecked that box to disable it and fiddled with different Driver options in the Virtual Audio Cable Setup section of the VAC1 audio options screen everything slowly started to work. After some further fine tuning, all my problems disappeared and the system is fully operational now.

For anyone else who has struggled with such a configuration on an older 32 bit computer using windows XP MCE, here is what you need to do if you choose to use VBcable software:

1) After you start Power SDR 2.7.2 software, click on the "Setup" tab.

2) Now click on the "Audio" tab.

3) Now click on the " VAC 1" tab. You now are in the VAC 1 setup screen and will need to adjust the following parameters:

4) Within the Virtual Audio Cable Setup section:

For the "Driver" option, select Windows WDM-KS

For the "Input" option, select VB-Audio CABLE-A

For the "Output" option, select VB-Audio CABLE-B

5) Within the "Auto Enable" section:

Check the check-box next to the sentence "Enable for Digital modes on Mode Change. Disable for all other mode".

6) Within the "Buffer Size" section:

Select 2048.

7) Within the "Sample Rate" section:

Select 48000.

8) Within the "Mono/Stereo" section:

Leave the check-box unchecked.

9) In the check-box next to the statement "Allow PTT to override/bypass VAC for Phone"

Check the check-box.

10) In the "Gain (db)" section:

Set RX to -22
Set TX to 0

11) In the "Direct IQ" section:

In the Check-box next to the statement "Output to VAC"

Do NOT check the check-box.

12) in the "Buffer Latency (ms)" section:

Leave it at its default setting of 120 milliseconds.

13) In the top left portion of the VAC 1 setup screen:

Check the check-box next to the statement "Enable VAC 1".

14) In the bottom right portion of the VAC 1 setup screen:

Click on the "Apply" button.

15) Dismiss the PowerSDR Setup screen and Start the radio. This initializes the virtual audio ports. Note that the Flex should always be started first (before firing up the WSPR or any other 3rd party software) to initialize the virtual audio ports; otherwise it may not work properly.

With respect to pertinent "Station Parameter" settings within the WSPR software; mine are as follows:

1) Audio In: VB-Audio CABLE-B

2) Audio Out: VB-Audio CABLE-A

3) Power Gain: This is set by you depending upon what the output power of your transmitter is. In my case; I set it for 37dBm which corresponds to 5 watts.

4) PTT method: RTS

5) PTT port: COM6 however it could be any number depending how you set it up in VSPManager.

6) Check the check-box next to the statement "Enable CAT" after and ONLY after selecting a CAT port further down the list. Note that this check-box will be greyed out and non-checkable until you enter a number in the CAT Port section further down the page.

7) CAT port: COM8 however it could be any number depending how you set it up in VSPManager.

8) Rig number: 214 Kenwood TS-2000 Note that the Flex 1500 emulates a Kenwood TS-2000 so far as this parameter is concerned.

9) Serial rate: 4800 Note that this must be set to the same rate in the CAT setup section in PowerSDR software.

10) Data bits: 8 Note that this must be set to the setting as in the CAT setup section in PowerSDR software.

11) Stop bits: 1 Note that this must be set to the setting as in the CAT setup section in PowerSDR software.

12) Handshake: None

Well; that is it. Hopefully this saves someone from having the same 3 week long headache I had in terms of experimentation in order to get everything working.

Regards: John VE3INH

Vincent Burel
Site Admin
Posts: 417
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:01 pm

Re: VBcable receive audio problem with WSPR and Flex 1500.

Postby Vincent Burel » Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:37 am

Thanks for this use case with, i guess it will be useful to other Flex Radio users...

johnVE3INH wrote:The response from Flex Radio (after opening a support request) was that they have no experience with VBcable software and recommend use of VAC4.xx programs.


You should invite them to try it, because VB-CABLE is certainly the simplest Virtual Audio Cable solution. It works in any cases, without having to be configured, and does not need any experience. VB-CABLE is really working as a real cable, and as for a real cable, it provides a single link to connect an application output to an application input...

REM: to connect more applications and audio devices together, you need to use Voicemeeter, the Virtual Audio Mixer.


Return to “VB-CABLE, The Virtual Audio Cable”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest