This week a bug report rocked the digital modes ham world. Apparently the Texas Instruments audio chip used in many popular devices had a conflict with many version of Windows and was ruining receive performance on all digital modes. This was especially troubling since it affected many popular radios and audio interfaces including:
- All Icoms with built in USB Audio
- All Kenwoods with built in USB Audio
- All Yaesus with built in USB Audio, as well as the SCU-17 Interface
- All Signalink USB’s
For a few days after the discovery, there was a known workaround that fixed the issue temporarily. Today, a permanent fix was discovered which solves the issue even after the computer is restarted. This YouTube video details this new permanent fix but for those who want just the facts, here’s what you have to do to optimize Windows settings to fix the bug. These instructions are from Tigertronics, the makers of SignaLink, however the steps should work with any of the affected devices or radios:
1 – Right-click the white colored speaker icon located in the
lower-right corner of your desktop and select “Recording Devices” from
the pop-up menu.
2 – In the new window that opens, click one time on the SignaLink’s
“Microphone – USB Audio Codec” sound card to select it and then click
the “Properties” button.
3 – In the Properties window that opens, click the “Levels” tab.
4 – Right-click the percentage display to the right of the Level slider
and then select “decibels”.
5 – Lower the Level slider to “0db” or as close as you can. This is
“-0.4db” in Windows 7. It might be slightly different in Vista, Windows
8 and 10, but in any case, the closet value to 0db will work just fine.
Note that you can use the left/right arrow keys to move the slider
once you’ve clicked on it. This might be easier than using your mouse.
6 – Click OK, then click OK on the Recording Devices window.
7 – That’s all there is to it!