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HELP Flex 5000 PC




 
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Carl WA1KPD
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« on: July 31, 2018, 12:26:36 PM »

I bought a new computer from a recommended Flex vendor for my 5000 maybe 8 years ago. It serves only as the computer for the Flex.
All has been fine, until today. I went to turn it on and the blue switch light comes on, the fan starts to spin up and it tries to spin the CD (empty). At that point it shuts itself off and cycles back through the issue. HELP.
Any thoughts?
Carl
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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2018, 01:25:37 PM »

I had a 5000, and built several PC's. From your description I'd say that it could be a hard drive failure, as it sounds like its not even beginning to boot. Do you get an error messages? Does it complete the memory check of on board RAM when you first power it up?
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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2018, 01:26:27 PM »

Carl,

   It sometimes helps to take a computer to bare bones configuration to see if that helps it boot up. Reseating the various cards, then the memory would be next. If you have a voltmeter, check the power supply outputs while it is on. I have seen computers begin to boot and then reboot when the CPU heatsink grease is dry and cracked. Some OEM heatsink grease compounds have a 5-10 year lifespan before that happens.

   It sounds like you don't get past the POST. If so, disconnect the hard drive, and see if you can get into CMOS to reorder the boot sequence in order to boot from your Windows CDROM.

Ahhhh computer stuff!

Jim
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Carl WA1KPD
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2018, 01:46:46 PM »

Thanks. Don't even get into the first stage of booting.
Fan comes on, small click and yellow light on CD for about 1/2 sec, then fan drops out.
Not even white letter booting info on screen
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2018, 06:56:30 PM »

loosen the screws holding the mother board to the case.  Very carefully tighten them back but not to destroy the board.  I have had failures similar that were the result of losing the ground in an area of the mother board.
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KF7WWW
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2018, 11:37:05 PM »

If it fails to post. Iíd start with the ram.. At that stage the hdd isnít even in play.
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KD6VXI
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2018, 01:32:54 AM »

Look at the back of the pc.  If your lucky the vendor will have put the POST board in.  This usually has 4 to 6 led lights that will give you the different status of the cmos and bootstrap as it goes through each item.

If not, you'll need to find out the mfg of the mobo. 

Are you getting any beeps?

--Shane
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« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2018, 07:56:25 AM »

One other thing to check, which happened to me. Reseat the CPU. I developed some minor oxidation on the low voltage connection - low voltage, but high current! That alone revived my PC one time.
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Carl WA1KPD
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« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2018, 09:14:34 AM »


Are you getting any beeps?

--Shane
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No beeps. The entire process lasts about 1 second
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« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2018, 09:39:58 AM »

Sounds like the motherboard isn't getting to POST.

I'd suspect a power supply first.  Have one you can swap in?

Some have wimpy wimpy wimpy supplies...  Like in the 250-350 watt class.  Newish pc designs are in the kw class.

Something to check, if you have another PC in the house that has the same style connectors.  15 minutes and a few screws.

--Shane
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K1JJ
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« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2018, 11:37:30 AM »

Yep, could be the power supply. Swap it out.

Just entered geek heaven here - and cheap!  Upgraded to an i7 (quad-core) CPU with a 600 watt supply, Nvidia graphics card, 16 Gig memory and a SOLID STATE 500 Gig drive. What a difference!  Using FOUR  LG 24" screen monitors on a frame and it's like a new whirl. Whole thing cost about $800 using careful shopping and using used parts where I could. It took a good 2 weeks to piece it all together and for me to get caught up with the latest technology.

The point is:  I built it using the original 350 watt supply - the supply died right away with the SAME symptoms as yours.    A new 600+ watt supply is only about $35 on eBay if needed.


T
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« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2018, 10:00:08 PM »

 Look for "pregnant" or leaky electrolytics on the motherboard; usually around the Variable voltage regulators near the CPU socket. There may be quite a few. They are usually 1500 to 3300uf at 3, 6 or 10 volts. Pull the memory and see if you get any bios beeps, pull the video card and do the same. You should get SOS beeps if the cpu is functional. If you find them, change all that look bad. Probably the most common failure in modern motherboards.  The other thing to try is pull the cmos battery. Find the clear the cmos jumper (if it has one) and power the unit up once. Re-set the jumper, leave the battery out, and re-power. See if it returns to life. If you can't find or it doesn't have a cmos jumper, then pull the battery and then find the 32.768khz RTC crystal. (yes most still have one of these). Short out the crystal to induce a rtc clock failure. That usually upsets the cmos enough to force a re-set. The modern UEFI bios's can be hung up by the software itself. (windows 8 to 10), and a hard reset can bring things back to life.

Good luck Carl

  Steve

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« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2018, 10:58:20 PM »

It has that power supply failure mode "sound".  Hopefully you can borrow another supply, or have one in inventory.

If it's the motherboard, I would just get another computer.  From Ebay, you can get the Dell 9020 i7 4790 with 16gigs, professional O/S installed, SSD for well under $400.00.

I have 4 of these Dell 9020 i7 SFF machines.  They just work, and work, and work.  We use them at Bose for development machines.

Ones like this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Optiplex-9020-intel-Windows-10pro-I-7-4790-16gig-of-ram-120-gig-SSD/163173111989?hash=item25fde018b5%3Ag%3AK1YAAOSwj2dXjWXG&_sop=15&_sacat=0&_nkw=%2Bdell+%2B9020+%2Bi7+%2Bssd&_from=R40&rt=nc

One thing I like about the 9020s is they support 3 monitors out of the box.  And they are very fast with the SSD and plenty of memory.


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KD6VXI
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« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2018, 12:18:56 AM »

Steve,

Just let the cat out of the bag there!

I heard the 'old man' was a wonderful guy to work for....   Amar that was.

To make this 'on topic'.  I have a couple dual core VPro chip dell machines.  Half a terabyte hdd, 8 gig of ram, paid 10 bucks and a hundred bucks for the two here.  They work pretty darn good for rx but I think they wouldn't cut it for real TX.  The new machine, see below.  58 bucks, plus 42 shipping.

Just bought a quad core I5. 3.2 ghz, 500 gig hdd, (only) 4 gig of ram.  A hundred bucks to the door.  I jumped on it because it has an Nvidia card with 'Cuda cores', which Simon browns latest sdr studio software takes advantage of.   Buying a power supply (last 650 watt name brand) cost more than the replacement pc I ordered off the bay this afternoon.

--Shane
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« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2018, 09:08:49 AM »

It has that power supply failure mode "sound".  Hopefully you can borrow another supply, or have one in inventory.

If it's the motherboard, I would just get another computer.  From Ebay, you can get the Dell 9020 i7 4790 with 16gigs, professional O/S installed, SSD for well under $400.00.

I have 4 of these Dell 9020 i7 SFF machines.  They just work, and work, and work.  We use them at Bose for development machines.


I followed Stevesadvice and picked up a 9020 to run my Flex 6500. Best change I ever made. Reliable and fast. Not sure if you can get a FireWire card for the 9020. That seems to be the only requirement for the 5000ís
Ones like this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Optiplex-9020-intel-Windows-10pro-I-7-4790-16gig-of-ram-120-gig-SSD/163173111989?hash=item25fde018b5%3Ag%3AK1YAAOSwj2dXjWXG&_sop=15&_sacat=0&_nkw=%2Bdell+%2B9020+%2Bi7+%2Bssd&_from=R40&rt=nc

One thing I like about the 9020s is they support 3 monitors out of the box.  And they are very fast with the SSD and plenty of memory.



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Carl WA1KPD
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« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2018, 12:05:59 PM »

I followed Steve's advice to, but stayed new and standard.
Best Buy had a sale on an HP with i3 - 8GB Memory - 1TB Hard Drive + 128GB Solid State Drive and expansion slots. Since I only run one monitor and it is dedicated to the 5000 is it more then I will need at $449.

Thank you for all the advice

Carl
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« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2018, 08:10:25 AM »

Carl,
As Steve, KB1VWC stated it could be the MB electrolytics.  I went through this same scenario last winter with a Dell flagship desktop which is about 7 years old. It exhibited the exact same symptoms. Troubleshot it in the manner suggested by others here without success then suspected the MB as the problem. Inspection of it revealed bulging caps. Rather than find another used identical MB and risk buying a dud, I replaced 12 or so bulging caps. It was the least expensive way to get it going. Works fine now. One thing I learned about the MB in this Dell is even when the PC is off, DC power is still applied to the MB. I'm assuming it is for standby purposes but I purchased a cheap remote control switch to remove AC completely from the PC when it is not in use. I probably save a few pennies on the electric bill too.
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« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2018, 09:38:10 AM »


Carl,

    I hope your computer swap works out, and is up to the task. The Intel dual core i3 CPU is the bottom end from them. You may have very high CPU utilization. I use a HB motherboard with an AMD FX-8350, and my CPU % is under 10% with Flex 5000 running, and FireFox open with 8 tabs going.

   A few years back I bought the XYL a Fryes bought Lenova desktop. It was only $199, and Win 10, so what the heck? Found out the Chinese had it full of Malware, trackers, etc. Some models even put Malware in the firmware, so even if you reformat and reload the HD, it will come back. I later found out that the Dept of Defense (DOD) has banned any Lenova's being purchased or used. Finally cleaned it out after multiple attempts using ADWCleaner.  https://www.malwarebytes.com/adwcleaner/   

I hope the HP is clean, other than advertising "bloat-ware". Root out all the trial programs that pop up, and uninstall all of them. Not always easy. Some prefer to format, and reload.

   As to the Motherboard Cap replacement, Mouser carries the caps. I have changed some before, and they were hard to remove until I used hot air to preheat the board first, then they came out easier.

  I just loaded the latest KE9NS SW for my Flex 5000. Darin is up to 2.8.0.89 now. Many advanced features that are just beginning to creep into SmartSDR.
https://www.ke9ns.com/flexpage.html

Jim
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Carl WA1KPD
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« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2018, 03:50:06 PM »


Carl,

    I hope your computer swap works out, and is up to the task. The Intel dual core i3 CPU is the bottom end from them. You may have very high CPU utilization. I use a HB motherboard with an AMD FX-8350, and my CPU % is under 10% with Flex 5000 running, and FireFox open with 8 tabs going.

My bet is that since all it will ever run is the SDR I should be good   

I hope the HP is clean, other than advertising "bloat-ware". Root out all the trial programs that pop up, and uninstall all of them. Not always easy. Some prefer to format, and reload.

Plan to remove all but IE and Virus scan

   As to the Motherboard Cap replacement, Mouser carries the caps. I have changed some before, and they were hard to remove until I used hot air to preheat the board first, then they came out easier.

  I just loaded the latest KE9NS SW for my Flex 5000. Darin is up to 2.8.0.89 now. Many advanced features that are just beginning to creep into SmartSDR.
https://www.ke9ns.com/flexpage.html

Last time I played with 2.8 it would not work with the Flex 5000 ATU, so unless that has been adressed I will stay with 2.7. That is too bad as I think 2.8 has some great features

Jim
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73
Carl
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« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2018, 11:08:49 PM »


Carl,

    Yes there was a brief time when early KE9NS PwrSDR caused some ATU issues. That was a long time ago. To me, 2.7.2 is like the Dash Instrument panel of a 72 Pinto, and 2.80.x  (x=89 on this date) is more like something much more sophisticated yet user friendly.

The PowerSDR users have choices.

   There is a full install now from Darin KE9NS, so you don't have to install 2.7.2 at all. If you do install 2.7.2, then you have both options that are completely independent from each other.

Jim
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« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2018, 09:21:49 PM »


Replace the little bios battery first... that's it a lot of the time.
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