Dell Latitude e6400 audio problems - or so I thought
Ok, I had noticed that for a while my trusty old Dell Latitude e6400 had stuttered on audio playback. But as I hardly ever use that Laptop for video or music, I didn't really care.
SSTV weekend on the ISS
I was very happy to read, that ARISS announced an SSTV event
for February 8th to 10th. After some initial tests from home on Saturday. I decided that a trip to the open fields with some tech stuff to capture images from space was a great father & son activity.
The Saturday tests went ok with the antenna indoors and my daughter's laptop:
|Not great, but promising SSTV image|
So far so good. So I packed my SDRPlay RSP2pro, a HB9CV antenna, some cables and my Dell Laptop.
In the field
The plan was to capture the ISS-pass from 12:50 to 13:00 CET with SDRuno and process the captured I/Q data later. This went quite well and thanks to the fact that we could see all of the satellite band, we heard interesting FM traffic on 145.960MHz from stations all over Europe.
|On a handheld, we would have missed|
this unexpected signal
When finally the ISS came into view, we saved the whole pass to a .wav I/Q file, at the same time trying to decode the SSTV on my mobile with BlackCat's SSTV app. This worked rather poorly, but as it was very windy, I didn't think much of it.
Despite of that, I knew that audio on the laptop was a bit choppy. But that should not affect the I/Q recordings that didn't pass the sound driver.
Ok, once we had that, we wanted to see what we got and replayed the I/Q file to MMSSTV through VB Virtual Audio Cable. (Differnt PC, than before.)
|Ouch! That didn't work out.|
Ok, I could even hear that, when listening to the recording, approx. every five seconds, the interval between the sync pulses was shorter than expected. This meant, that the Dell Laptop completely froze every 5 seconds, and it was quite possibly not just a sound problem.
Windows 10 Version 1803 broke my Laptop
After re-installing drivers one-by-one from the Dell Support Website, it is extremely likely the storage driver was the culprit: After I had reinstalled the Intel Rapid Storage driver from Dell's site, the problem went away.
I also read here
, that disabling the eSATA port in the BIOS fixes the problem. (At the cost of losing the eSATA port.)
Unfortunately my collection of SSTV recordings is pretty much unusable, unless I resort to filling in some silence or noise manually. That Sunday was fun but did not yield any results. (Apart from fixing my laptop in the process.)