Category Archives: SmartLink

Your ISP Must Pass All Needed Traffic to Do Remote

Been receiving reports from other amateurs on Washington Island that the once dominant ISP for the Island is not compatible with remote FlexRadio operations. Door County Broadband (DCBB) simply will not pass all the traffic types needed to do a remote connection, and when asked to pass the traffic simply say “no.”

I haven’t had reason to directly speak to Door County Broadband in some years, as I had hit this wall with them trying to configure George W9EVT’s internet for remote access.

Technically the DCBB setup blocks the port forwarding process which scuttles SmartLink.

On-Island internet options that are presently not Flex-Ready are:

Marginal for SmartLink use:

Frontier Communications aDSL – I have this and when the system is working well I can do remote from the Island station. Usually I can access my mainland stations over Frontier. It unfortunately goes down often, usually peak-load weekends when we are on the Island or during storms. Achieved throughput is a fraction of the advertised/purchased, and you need to be on the Island during the work week to get it serviced, so ours doesn’t get fixed. https://frontier.com/

Possibilities on the Horizon:

  • Island Fiber” – the physical underwater link is laid, as is a limited underground setup for a small part of the Island. Grants, resulting build-outs and connections are needed to light the fiber. If your home is in the test area, you might get Gigabyte-to-Desk in a year or so. For the rest of the island fiber hooked to the existing systems should also offer improvements, though perhaps more in reliability and non-speed aspects. The new fiber may well kill off the DCBB wireless option for much of the island, while making the WISP (Wireless ISP) options like US Cellular and Blazing Hog more viable.
  • Full Constellation” Starlink – the are some rumblings that a dual-antenna setup when the full constellation of satellites is operational may mitigate the buffering, latency and satellite switch drop-outs.

While the Island is RF-quiet making it a great place to operate from, doing remote to an Island station remains challenging. Oh, that the power goes out fairly often (momentarily a couple times a week, 15 minutes or longer about monthly) doesn’t help. While you can do batteries or a generator, the internet often seems to be down at the same time.

73

Steve
K9ZW

What goes into a SmartSDR Software Update?

Those of us running SmartSDR and using the SmartLink functionality will be aware that 3rd party changes broke some of that functionality several week back.

Unexpected and it broke things hard if you were using SmartLink.  

FlexRadio Systems was all over the problem, running numerous Alpha releases to their testers as quickly as they could to get functionality restored. That resulted in new releases that worked with everything except the M-model faceplate and Maestro controllers (I think it remained a WAN SmartLink issue).

Relentlessly chasing the issues to make the update uniform across the whole spectrum of SmartSDR hardware, FRS continued to release Alpha updates to the Alpha Test Team until they got the M-model/Maestro update ready.
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FlexRadio/4o3a TunerGenius XL – SO2R or 3-port version?

Last weekend Mike WB6DJI posted a very good question about the FlexRadio/4o3a TGXL TunerGenius and choosing between the two initial versions:

Steve
SO2R versus 1inx3out TGXL version debate

Placed my preference back in Sept 2020 for the1inx3out TGXL version with FRS

Never operated SO2R but have a 6600M and PGXL ( acquired over 3 years ago )

My Bands are 40 meter dipole with a 20meter thru 6meters using a HexBeam
Use my radio remote with a Palstar HF Auto for now

Thought 3 Bands Remotely would be good if I want to use 3 different antennas like with I do with the Palstar HF Auto

Been on the fence in trying to decide if SO2R is
better

Do not use 2 Bands at same time with My HF
Remote

I chase some DX but not in 24hr DX contests
here

What are your thoughts Steve

Mike WB6DJI

 

Mike WB6DJI followed this up with an email, as he too like myself is trying to figure out which version would work best for our particular station setup.

So everyone is on the same page the SO2R version (Single Operator 2 Radios) is optimized to rapidly alternate between essentially two parallel RF paths. The paths are distinct and cannot cross. I’ve read a 20ms path-flip number, once each path is stored in memory.  When the radio is a multi-SCU (Spectral Capture Unit) FlexRadio (6700/6600) the single physical radio is well suited to take the place of both radios in the SO2R equation.

The 3-port version is optimized for a single RF path and basically has a 3-port antenna switch integrated into the tuner.  There needs to be a separate feed line from the three possible antennas, one to each designated port.  I’ve not picked out a specific switch time, but the same 5ms for solutions stored in memory would seem likely.

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REPOST: Background FT8 Remote via SmartLink and SmartSDR for Windows (June 6th, 2019)

REPOST of a June 6th 2019 Post. EDITS in BOLD with Brackets []

Background FT8 Remote via SmartLink and SmartSDR for Windows

If you spend long hours desk-bound like I do, your thoughts may also wander to the question “Could I make some QSOs during work? [EDIT With the immense amount of screen time working (we’re considered an essential business at work) while in isolation making any QSO is a treat.]

Back in SmartSDR v1 days I started with a Raspberry Pi VPN using a Maestro during lunch hours. Those phone (SSB) QSOs were pretty few.  Fist I had limited time and then if staff knew I was in the building they had things to bring to my attention, which is hard to manage when you are also in QSO!

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Thoughts on older versions of SmartSDR

At the FlexRadio Community folks were discussing whether SmartSDR Version 1.x was going to see any feature additions (think not) and if you had to have an internet connection to run a FlexRadio (which is “no” other than upgrades or doing remote by SmartLink).

Here are my comments:

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The True Power of multiFlex SmartSDR

There is an excellent explanation of the true power of Multiflex by Gerald Youngblood, K5SDR, at the 2019 Hamvention here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNdEfqNUX6k

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