Category Archives: SmartSDR

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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Coming this weekend (Aug 15th, 2020) – SmartSDR for Mac

In a really nice addition to the SmartSDR ecosystem, Marcus Roskosch DL8MRE is releasing a native MacOS version of SmartSDR which should hit the Apple MacOS App store on August 15th 2020.

SmartSDR for MacOS

Link: https://roskosch.de/smartsdr-for-mac/

As a disclaimer, I have NOT participated or seen this software in pre-release, though with the high quality of Marcus DL8MRE past work and software releases, I am very excited about his new product.

Some really great features:

  • built in FT4/8
  • integrated CAT & DAX
  • built in Logbook with ADIF Export and a Call lookup tool
  • internal DX-Cluster
  • a Band-Map Tool
  • internal Spots on the panadapter
  • CWX and CW Macros,
  • Internal and external Audio device support
  • SmartLink integration
  • Full Firmware Updating capabilites for your Radio
  • Support for Country TURF Files
  • Will display all the panadapters and slices your Radio is capable of

While Marcus DL8MRE is closely affiliated by FlexRadio, he is a third party developer.  His products are considered officially supported and promoted, but they are not part of the basic SmartSDR for Windows product included when you buy a new Flex-6000 radio.

The new app does run $149.00 as a one-time cost.  Presently it will only be offered through Apple’s store.  I am uncertain if your SmartSDR for Mac purchase is per radio, per machine, or allows for some combination.  Nor is it clear you can install this on all your own MacOS machines?

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Some difficulties with WSJT-X and Windows 10 Pro

Have found that if my Windows 10 box (Win10 Pro 64 bit version 1909 OS build 18363.959 on a Dell Precision Tower 3431 i7-9700 3 GHz with 16 GB Ram) either manually has its screen locked or if it times-out to a locked state that it kills the TX portion of DAX.

Actually all SmartSDR components appear to be fine, but WSJT-X apparently doesn’t like to be behind a locked screen.

It doesn’t happen often, more because I am have been experimenting trying to figure out where the breakdown was occurring.  I have to set the WSJT-X to a silly amount of time, and bring the time-to-lock down to a shorter period.  

First came to my attention when in a rush I manually locked my machine when I was called away, and my expectation was that I’d find either a watchdog timeout or perhaps a general pause in WSJT-X.  My past experience is that SmartSDR & components is pretty forgiving if I would lock the screen when running phone.

WSJT-X continues to run, and continues to decode, but while it “thinks” it is transmitting no oubound data arrives to DAX.

As I’ve not found anything system based in hardware or software that would appear to be the culprit, I’m hoping perhaps a reader might offer a solution.

Actually I don’t mind if WSJT-X acts as if “Halt Tx” was pushed when the screen locks, as I’d like to not be required to terminate WSJT-X completely and restart it to be back in action when I unlock the machine. 

As I have a lot of go-to & resource/authority roles at work, I’d like to be able to simply lock/unlock while maintaining functionality.

Ideas?

73

Steve K9ZW

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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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First 2020 QSOs – SmartSDR for iOS and Flex-6600M

While a tame night out my family insisted in seeing the New Year in by staying up past midnight. All things led to rising late.

I wanted to catch the first QSOs of 2020 as I ate breakfast, and I used the iPad with SmartSDR for iOS to catch some FT8 traffic.

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