SDRplay incompatibility with usb 2 pci card ?

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vipersan
Posts: 19
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SDRplay incompatibility with usb 2 pci card ?

Postby vipersan » Sun Apr 10, 2016 10:34 pm

Basically I ran out of usb ports on my PC and the only spare slot I had left to install another card was a PCI slot ...not PCIe ..
So I bought a cheap n cheerfull USB 2 ..5 port card from China ...which has installed ok automatically under windows 7 ..
I know it is working ...as I can plug in a usb thumb drive and this is instantly recognised ...
So ..I unplugged SDRplay from one of the motherboard usb ports and plugged it into one of the ports the USB 2 pci card ...
Simply nothing ?? ...no response at all ...
So ..
not the end of the world ...but I am curious as to why this might be ?
Perhaps Tech Support can offer an explanation.
The cheap pci/usb2 card is built around the Via VT6212L controller chip....and uses a 24mhz clock/osc
rgds
Vipersan
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Tech_Support
Posts: 202
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Re: SDRplay incompatibility with usb 2 pci card ?

Postby Tech_Support » Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:49 am

Hello Vipersan,
We have no idea what might be wrong here. We have never heard of any examples of USB2.0 incompatibility with the Mirics platform before. Are you certain that the hub isn't faulty?

Sincerely

SDRplay Tech_Support
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vipersan
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Re: SDRplay incompatibility with usb 2 pci card ?

Postby vipersan » Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:09 am

So ...this is the situation .
I have SDRplay plugged into a motherboard usb slot and SDR~ or HDSDR runs no problem ..
Everything runs..
I power down the PC insert the pci usb card ...run up the pc and insert a thumb drive ..
no problem I can see it ..
So ..I unplug my SDR play from the motherboard port and plug this into the usb port on the card now vacated by the thumb drive ..
There is recognition ..which I must have missed previously ..but I do then get on screen " Mirics FlexiTV MSi2500 " for a short time..
I naturally assume everything is then OK ...but when I try and run up an application such as SDR# I'm greeted with an ExtIO DLL error ..
" Warning Hardware Not Found "
I tried re-installing ExtIO and thus pointing at the SDR# software exe ...and rebooting ...but still the same message ..
It is odd imo that that the Hardware appears recognised ..and ExtIO knows where the application is ...but appears not to ?
rgds
Vipersan
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vipersan
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Re: SDRplay incompatibility with usb 2 pci card ?

Postby vipersan » Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:35 pm

To prove that the PCI USB2 card can work with something other than a USB thumb drive I inserted a DVBT dongle - installed the drivers - which is Identified by Blaze Player as DVB-T IT9135 (BDA Filter) ...and scanned for TV channels ...
I am now watching TV on this dongle ..
So I guess that proves the pci USB 2 card is working OK ...so why will it not run SDRplayer ...ExtIO refusing to find the SDRplayer Hardware ...even though it is plugged in ...and even though blaze media player can actually see the Mirics hardware in its listed BDA filer hardware options..
???
This is most confusing ...and I suspect it may actually be ExtIO that is incompatible with the USB 2 card ...NOT SDRplayer.
Is this making any sense ..Tech support ?
rgds
VS
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Tech_Support
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Re: SDRplay incompatibility with usb 2 pci card ?

Postby Tech_Support » Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:28 am

Hello Vipersan,
The dataflow has the ExtIO function sitting between the API and the application and as such, the USB port doesn't even come into the equation as far as the ExtIO plugin is concerned. If you are using Windows 7, you might try seeing whether the Mirics DAB/FM player works or not. This only uses the hardware driver and not the API nor the ExtIO plugin.

Beyond that, we don't know what to suggest.

Sincerely

SDRplay Tech_Support
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vipersan
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Re: SDRplay incompatibility with usb 2 pci card ?

Postby vipersan » Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:06 am

Yes indeed ...this certainly is a puzzle..
I downloaded the Mirics TV/DAB software as you suggested and installed it ...
But it does not find the Mirics (SDRplay) Hardware ...even though this is clearly present as indicated in Blaze to the left of the screen ...
Red arrows indicate both ..
So ..for some reason this Mirics Device ...or at least in this form as SDRplayer ...is incompatible with this pci USB 2 card ...
I guess I'll never know ..and it forces me to buy another pci card and no guarantees that would work either..
doh!

rgds
VS
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sdrplay
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Re: SDRplay incompatibility with usb 2 pci card ?

Postby sdrplay » Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:21 am

Hello,

This is possibly an isochronous support issue. The API by default will use isochronous transfer over USB. It's the only mode that has a guaranteed bandwidth. Many devices such as the thumb drive you have been testing with use bulk transfer. Bulk transfer has no guaranteed bandwidth and the system sends the data when there is resource to do it.

I found this post: https://www.osronline.com/showthread.cfm?link=159354 where someone is using isochronous transfer and cannot get it to work with the VT6212L device. When he switches to a different controller the problem is resolved.

Also I only found one USB card with this controller and I've attached the flyer in the zip file. In this document you will see that it claims to only support low and full speed, not high speed.

I would also be careful with multiple drivers trying to access the same device. Windows Media Centre was notorious for this and kept grabbing the USB port in the background to decode programme schedules, etc. when it "thought" the device was not in use. What that meant was that any other application couldn't see the device and said that it was not on the system. I don't know if this is happening in your case, but it's worth remembering that only one application, or driver, can access the RSP at any one time.

Best regards,

SDRplay Support
Attachments
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vipersan
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Re: SDRplay incompatibility with usb 2 pci card ?

Postby vipersan » Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:34 am

Thanks for the reply ..
I do not use the Blaze app in this PC ..
It was installed to try and pin down the issue only ..
This exact same issue started when I simply transferred over from using a motherboard usb connection to the pci card ..
at that point nothing else had been installed ...but SDRplay refused to work with the pci card.
Your explanation certainly seems likely about the high and low speed connections ..thoughit was not the claim made by the ebay vendor re the usb card I bought .
This is the ebay advert claim :-
"
1-pcs-5-Port-USB-2-0-High-Speed-480Mbps-PCI-Controller-Adaptor-Card-Hub-Module
100% new
USB 2.0 and 1.0 compliant
Transfer rate: 480 Mbps
VIA Chipsets
Over current protection, each port 500mA
External Port: 4
Internal Port: 1
Plug and Play, automatically selects IRQ and I/O address
Support Windows 98/98SE/ ME/ 2000/ XP/ Vista, Mac OS 8.6 and so on. "

Of ..course ...just because the saller claims high speed ..doesn't make it so ..
It could well be that it is a lie.

I have another card on order sold under the name
"Startech"
"1 x StarTech.com 3 Port PCI Low Profile High Speed USB 2.0 adapter card - PCI - low profile - Hi-Speed USB - 4 ports - 2 x 4-pin Type A Female USB 2.0 USB External "

I just hope I have more success with this one ..
I will let you know.
rgds
Vipersan
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vipersan
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Re: SDRplay incompatibility with usb 2 pci card ?

Postby vipersan » Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:48 am

So ..
I may well have ordered yet another dud ...
I wish I'd had this information earlier ...
But at least it's available to SDRplay users now via this thread..
Chances are the second card I ordered though a different brand also uses the via chipset ...and this is where the problem lies.
This is clip from a post I read whilst surfing on this issue today..
looks very relevant to me..

"So I've been doing some research, and thought it'd be a good idea to revive this thread so that others avoid purchasing such a dud piece of equipment..

Via's VT6202 "USB2" chipset (on which the Chaintech controller is based) is problematic. It is not fully USB2 compliant, as seen above, but that does not even start to describe the problems with this malfunctioning pos. You see, not only does it lack USB2 compliance, but in a great deal many computers, controllers based on this chipset will not work at all, even with USB1/1.1 devices!

Via themselves have acknowledged that many of the cards based on their VT6202 chipset do not follow PCI voltage specification, and will not work with a multitude of computers (which strangely, does not seem to ever happen with, say, NEC-chipset based USB2 controllers). I've tested my card on two different 440BX chipset PCs, and both of them would install the card just fine, but fail to recognise any USB device whatsoever (keyboard, mouse, hard drive, joypad.. you name it!) A look at Via's technical fora shows that this is a very widespread problem with their controllers, yet they continue pushing them on the market and onto unsuspecting users!

Conclusion : Via's USB2 controllers are to be avoided like the plague. They're problematic products whose advertisement as "USB2" controllers (or USB1.1 controllers, at that) bears little relation to reality. Keep this in mind when shopping for a USB2 card, and look first and foremost for the chipset manufacturer of the controller you're buying.

With products like these (and their infamous series of buggy chipsets), it's no wonder Via is going down as fast as it does these days."

Just my luck ...and what a waste of time and money.
cest la vie
Vipersan
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dsalomon
Posts: 51
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Re: SDRplay incompatibility with usb 2 pci card ?

Postby dsalomon » Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:46 pm

I suggest ordering one with a NEC chipset. They are known to work with all the SDRs I've read about. Amazon carries them under various names. I have 2 USB PCIe cards from Renesas, both bought from Amazon. My particular cards have 4 sets of chipsets each, allowing full bandwidth 5.0Gbps per port, or 20.0 Gbps total). I got those cards because I use multiple SDRs simultaneously. I mention it only because if you plan to use more than one simultaneously you will need either more than one PCI USB card, or a single card with with multiple ports AND multiple chipsets, like I got. If you'll use only one SDR at a time, there's no need to spend the extra money, unless you plan to use the SDR AND other devices on the USB card simultaneously. The point is that SDRs take a LOT of bandwidth. Don't expect to use a SDR and anything else on the same card unless that card has multiple chipsets.

Back to the chipset type...remember NEC, and find a newer version (there are many versions out there). I went through 10 different cards before I found one that worked reliably. HOWEVER, that particular SDR used USB 3.0, so that was a whole different issue (as we all know, USB 3.0 SUCKS when it comes to compatability).

Just a suggestion...

Best regards and good luck.
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