Turns out I wasn't the only person experiencing buggy performance when trying
to use the LP Rotor Control application.
Did some testing this morning...
The LP Rotor application has been around for a long time; developed when PC
CPUs and network speeds were much slower than they are today; before USB, etc.
I tried many variations of COM port settings to see if the application would be
more accomidating. No luck. I've been running the COM port speed at 9600bps
just because most of the other radio interfaces (ALPHA 87S - 4800 or 9600
only), Kenwood 9600 (default). It seemed reasonable to run the rotor at
9600bps. Well, it was a bad assumption. Apparently, the Rotor EZ interface
wants a bit more interaction with the application or maybe it was the other way
around or maybe it was the USB COM port that just was outraged to run at such a
I set the COM port speed to 56000 and then 115000. All the LP Rotor
application lock-up problems disappeared. The lock-up problem manifested itself
in 100% CPU utilization. Now the application just nibbles at CPU cycles, more
like 1-2% when in idle rather than 45%...when actuated the application now uses
no more than about 15-25% CPU for a burst then settles down to idle
comsumption. All the testing to this point were run with the application
running stand-alone, no other programs running.
In the real world the station is an Internet/INTRAnet remote operation. The
TS-480 CAT application is running, VNC, Net Mtg., ALPHA, LP-Relays are all
Real world testing showed more issues with the LP Rotor application; when VNC
is running LP Rotor is not happy. LP Rotor starts sucking up lots of CPU
cycles, about 50%. Just for fun I started IE 8 to browse QRZ and once again LP
Rotor had a conniption. LP Rotor just doesn't play nice when other
applications are running on the same PC...
So, I replaced IE8 with Google Chrome and LP Rotor remained happy. I replaced
VNC with LOGMEIN and LP Rotor remained happy. Just for grins I ran SKYPE
instead of Net Mtg. and all remained stable.
The only other buggy application was the TS-480 CAT program which has been
asking to be refreshed more frequently than I like... I've been running the COM
port for the Kenwood at 9600bps...bumped it up to 115,000. So far no more
refresh requests. The Internet link speed is about 1Mbps and the Intranet link
speed is 100Mbps. Seems the ham radio gear was developed or perhaps
underdeveloped and as it relates to COM ports not very compatible with the
increased speeds we all now have for networks and CPU, etc. I'm no expert in
this area just talking out loud...
So, if you are having issues with Rotor Control accessory program reliability
you might consider running some COM port speed tests as well as applicatoin
compatibility tests. The WA3GIN Internet Remote system is now runnning fast and
reliable with LP Rotor in the mix -- never thought I'd get it all working on
the same PC ;-)
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