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PFSkimer - What is the possibility for a SmartSDR display that combines: - Panadapter - Waterfall -

2

Comments

  • Bob G   W1GLV
    Bob G W1GLV Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Love the idea, but 2020 is to far out. 2014 is more like it. I'm sure the software Gurus at FRS could do that. 
  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited July 2017
    I've been using CW skimmer for a while with the 6700 but would still rather have an integrated GUI option.  With the "waterfall / panafall" feature on the horizon for V1.2, what is the possibly of  integrating CW skimmer? 

    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com


  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited March 2017
    Also see this idea submitted by Howard / KY6LA for adding LIVE SPOTS to the display.

    https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/feature_request_spots_integrated_into_the_spectrum_...

    Combining the ideas, it would be nice to have the Skimmer integration for CW mode and use the LIVE SPOTS for other modes.  

    On a related note, with all of these options "display persistence" is really a necessity.   Users should be able to select what they want to see (and NOT see)  by mode.  And using persistence, the system should remember the setting.  Some examples:

    - Panadapter only
    - Panadapter and waterfall
    - Panadapter, and live spots
    - Panadapter, waterfall, and live spots
    - Panadapter, waterfall, and Skimmer (for CW mode)
    - Panadapter , waterfall, Skimmer, and live spots (for CW mode)

    Regarding the last example, color coding could indicate when a call sign is from Skimmer or a Live Spot.

    Options and Persistence should give everyone the display they want, for the mode they use.  

    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com

  • KY6LA_Howard
    KY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited January 2017
    The issue I keep on coming back to is that SERIOUS hams will never take Flex Seriously until Flex does something to improve Workflow so that someone can win a Major Contest like WRTC. Now that the competition has Live Spots integrated into the display, Flex will continue to be an also-ran in the contest world until it does something to catch up.
  • Ernest - W4EG
    Ernest - W4EG Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020

    Neither!

    This should be an acquire skill.

    If you don't know Morse code... learn it!

  • Ken - NM9P
    Ken - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Ernest, it isn't about knowing the code or not, it is about leveraging the power of this awesome rig in order to display a panorama of the activity on the band.  This is especially useful in a crowded high-pressure contest or DXing situation.  Having a display of all the stations the rig actually HEARD, rather than what is posted on a DX cluster that may or may not represent the stations one is actually able to work, would be a giant advantage to the flex / skimmer user.  

    Having only used SKimmer a short time during a 30 day trial, I can affirm that it is a great help when quickly scanning for one more multiplier, a new DX contact, or an old friend without needing to pause on every station, wait for him to ID, if he ever does, and then move on....

    I only get a precious few hours to operate some weeks, and I don't want to waste it waiting form some DXer in a pileup to identify if there are other tools available.    Yes, I still need to know the code, because machine copy is never 100% accurate.  But it is nice to have the additional tools available to help me find the stations I am looking for.
  • Ed - W2RF
    Ed - W2RF Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Ernest,

    Most of us know Morse code very well and still find CW Skimmer to be very useful, if not essential. For those who aren't yet proficient, it is a great incentive and aid to learning.

    But this is not just about CW. It is also about showing SSB and DIGI callsigns by the signal in the waterfall and spectrum.

    It exciting to watch the band in action!

    73 Ed W2RF


  • k0eoo
    k0eoo Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Very funny Greg....
  • Ernest - W4EG
    Ernest - W4EG Member ✭✭
    edited January 2015

    Ed and Ken,

     You have given me the incentive to see how Skimmer works. However!

    I never seeing it in operation and what I've heard is that it is used by no code licensees; given them the  advantage. 

    I suggest that those using Skimmer be deducted points, times the number of hours of operations. 

    I am sure that there are many that are not using Skimmer, but still come up with decent score. 

    I recently spoke to a no code operator that does not know a dit from a dat; that participates in many contest, including CW and does very well using the software. What a joke. No CW knowledge or skill being the winner. Period


  • Ken - NM9P
    Ken - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    On the other hand, I hated the code for four years until I was able to get through the 13 wpm barrier.  Then I hated it for a few more until falling in love with it by contesting and working WAY over my head... barely getting a signal report and taking 4 times before and after a contact to get a callsign from stations working 35 WPM and refusing to slow down for the rookies.  Then finally getting the 20 WPM for Extra in 1986.

    But CW is simply another digital mode.  Do we complain that RTTY operators don't copy BAUDOT  in their heads, ( I knew a guy who could!) or honor the tradition of clickety-clack by using an old Model 19?  No.  Technology has advanced to the point that we have a myrad of digital and analog modes that are decoded by computers and DSP.  
    I think that this is something to be celebrated because it has brought a lot of new blood into our dying ranks and infused our hobby with new ideas (like SDR radio) that will benefit all of us for generations to come.

    As a 55 year-old OM licensed for over 40 years I can gripe that the newbies don't do it like I did, and didn't pay the same "price" that I did for my ham ticket, or I can embrace the change and encourage the new talent.  And if I can learn something from the newbies and "no-coders" I am proud to expand my horizons.  I will be a better ham for the effort.

  • KY6LA_Howard
    KY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited October 2019
    I passed the equivalent of the extra with code. Over 55+ years ago I still HATE code. Mainly because it was a ridiculously useless barrier that keep all sorts of good technically competent people out of ham radio. Like Ken I struggled for years with code and in spite of the fact that I can copy 20+ WPM I still find it a very unpleasant stressful experience. Ultimately it's just another digital mode that is no where near as effective as most other digital modes. Such as JT65 Which I find to be a lot of fun. To prove a point about how mindless CW can be , a couple of years ago , I wrote some code to connect CWSkimmer with a CWX program and ran it unattended in a contest. Averaged close to 60 Q's per hour by holding a frequency on 40M for almost 4 hours. No one complained. My computer even got some kudos for CW operating skill. CWSkimmer is a brilliant program. Instead of complaining about it, you should be thankful,it exists because it's one of the few things keeping CW alive in the modern age.
  • Ernest - W4EG
    Ernest - W4EG Member ✭✭
    edited January 2015

    Ridiculous to compare Baudot and Code.  One was a machine  and the other requires having a set of ears and some gray matter in between.

    I am respectfully older that you and I made my living working on shore CW radio stations and aboard ship.  I also hold a Telegraph license since 1966 beside an earned Extra Class almost as long.

    I am embracing the change.  However, if you enjoy Skimmer ..GREAT... I am simply saying that for contesting there should be a penalty to pay for this privilege.  You are not playing the same game as those that are not using that software.

    I hope that if FRS implements that software in the radio, that they should also give us the privilege of turn it off.  I hope for you sake they make it a pay as you go software.  

  • Ernest - W4EG
    Ernest - W4EG Member ✭✭
    edited January 2015

    Howard,

    That barrier is what I give thanks to. 

    I struggle learning code in my teens.  However, my service in the U.S. Coast Guard (I did not run out of the country to avoid serving) thought me how to increase my 5 WPM copying ability: And made me a highly skill paid employee (earning more that doctors and other professionals.) 

    A skillful CW operator is far better than digital mode.  Two professional CW operators can get across more information, faster and accurate than any mode.  Why and how?  Let me just tell you.  We operated duplex and any suspected inaccuracy was immediately question.

    A simple three letter transmitted; you already new what type of emergency you were facing. 

    I am not complaining, I am just stating the facts. I lived those days of Marconi and the likes, making easier for those that follow. However, not all countries have disable their CW commercial stations.  There are numerous countries ships still using it! 

  • W9OY
    W9OY Alpha Team Member ✭✭
    edited January 2017
    CW is just a mode (language) that requires a little discipline and dedication.  It's not really different than learning Spanish or math both of which are languages.  I learned code at age 7 listening to the Allied Radio 33 1/3 CW record using one of these :
       

    I can still remember sitting in my room listening to: e i s h 5, t m o 0, n d b 6..... for hours on end.  Probably the worst learning technique ever, but I did learn because I was absolutely driven to get a ham license.  Probably drove my parents nuts.   I probably still drive my parents nuts. The learning techniques are much more efficient today. 

    73  W9OY
  • KY6LA_Howard
    KY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited January 2015
    We digress from the issue at hand. Which is including spots/skimmer in the spectrum display For those of you who found learning CW easy...more power to you. I know u do not understand the issues people have with CW Just like sighted people do not understand the issues blind people have with color. For many of us it is an extremely difficult and decidedly unpleasant and unrewarding experience At Army Signals School I seem to recall about 10% of the ROTC candidate, who were all highly motivated! just could not master 15wpm no matter how much effort and practice. I do not want to debate the issues of CW For me it has always been an extremely difficult, painful and unpleasant mode which I personally avoid if possible.
  • Tim - W4TME
    Tim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited March 2017
    This thread has diverged from the original topic so I am closing it.
  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited March 2017
    Is this idea still closed to new comments and votes?

    Looks like it has been reopened.....so you can add your votes and comments again.

    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
    6700 - HW V 1.5.0.65
    SSDR V 1.5.0.145
    Win10
  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited March 2017
    Here is some interesting feedback from Alex / VE3NEQ ( CWS author).    First, he agrees the idea of integrating live spots and CW Skimmer spots is SSDR is a good one.   So hopefully FRS will consider this at some point. 

    https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/pfskimer_what_is_the_possibility_for_a_smartsdr_dis...

    He also mentioned that one way to display more spectrum in CWS is to use the monitor in portrait orientation.  

    I don't have room to rotate my monitor for this setup but wonder if anyone has tried it....if so, how did it work for you?
    image
    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
    6700 - HW.................... V 1.6.21.77
    SSDR / DAX / CAT...... V 1.6.21.159
    Win10
  • Michael
    Michael Member
    edited March 2016
    Hello,

    with writelog and sdr--Bridge:

    image
  • DH2ID
    DH2ID Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    I think that having CW Skimmer and SSDR on the same screen is not a good idea, as it clutters up SSDR, which should be standalone, without JT65 and other modes and programs attached to it.
    Working with SDRBridge and CW Skimmer is easy and WSJT-X also works, as does fldigi and HRD and all the other modes. I do that on my main screen, having SSDR running on a side screen. So what if I work about 100% digital modes, being RF output and antenna restricted? I wouldn't want to force digital modes on someone who wants his Flex6k for SSB contesting only!
    And anyway, FRS have given us an API, which makes great programs like FRStack and SDRBridge possible.
    If FRS wants to integrate any extra programs into SSDR, that should be optional and anyway IMHO be at the very bottom of a list of more useful things to do while improving SSDR.
    Alex - DH2ID
  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Alex,
    Agree that the live spots and CW spots should be optional.  This is from a post earlier in the thread....

    ******************************************
    Combining the ideas, it would be nice to have the Skimmer integration for CW mode and use the LIVE SPOTS for other modes.  

    On a related note, with all of these options "display persistence" is really a necessity.   Users should be able to select what they want to see (and NOT see)  by mode.  And using persistence, the system should remember the setting.  Some examples:

    - Panadapter only
    - Panadapter and waterfall
    - Panadapter, and live spots
    - Panadapter, waterfall, and live spots
    - Panadapter, waterfall, and Skimmer (for CW mode)
    - Panadapter , waterfall, Skimmer, and live spots (for CW mode)

    *******************************************

    A benefit of having the spots integrated in SSDR is that depending on the zoom you can have a wider range of spots shown than is possible on the vertical CW Skimmer display.

    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
    6700 - HW.................... V 1.6.21.77
    SSDR / DAX / CAT...... V 1.6.21.159
    Win10
  • W9OY
    W9OY Alpha Team Member ✭✭
    edited March 2016
    Have you asked the question what it's going to cost in terms of SSDR computing power?  How many slices are you willing to give up?  How much CW performance are you willing to give up?  How much network performance are you willing to give up?  

    73  W9OY
  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Hi Lee,
    Since it is optional,  it wouldn't impact anyone that didn't want it.  Some users turn off the waterfall now.  Even though I have a 6700 I often just use 1 panadapters and 2-3 slices.   And with the integrated spots there would be one less program ( CW Skimmer) to require monitor space providing room for additional panadapters.  

    It may turn out that integrated spots uses less CPU than running three programs ( SSDR, SDR-Bridge, and CW Skimmer) .   And it  wouldn't require the DAX IQ feed to CW Skimmer.  (assumes "skimmer server" would be running in the background and use less CPU and video than CW skimmer)

    At some point, maybe this will bubble up on the list and FRS will have time to look at the technical integration options.   But it seems like it could be a nice option for CW users and anyone that would like to see live spots integrated in the display like some other SDRs offer. 

    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
    6700 - HW.................... V 1.6.21.77
    SSDR / DAX / CAT...... V 1.6.21.159
    Win10
  • W9OY
    W9OY Alpha Team Member ✭✭
    edited March 2016
    Optional or not my question has yet to be answered. What is the performance hit? 73. W9OY
  • Ed - W2RF
    Ed - W2RF Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Performance hit would be negligible.
  • George KF2T
    George KF2T Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Using Skimmer and spot display in DogPark SDR, I don't detect any performance hit. It's a very nice feature that I have a sneaky feeling will wind up in SSDR someday. Al, NN4ZZ's mockup is awesome & would be great, but probably requires at least an agreement with the owner of CWSkimmer.
  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Hi George,
    I ran this idea by Alex / VE3NEA ( the author of CW Skimmer and Skimmer server )  a while back.  Here is an excerpt from his reply below.  I had some other other idea and questions in the email so didn't include the full reply for brevity

    ******************************************************************************
    Hi Al,
    The idea to integrate spots in the Flex software is a good one. I do not see any licensing issues here, the RBN network delivers tons of Skimmer spots for free. There are also PSKReporter and WSPR spot feeds for those who use digital modes.

    ......

    73 Alex VE3NEA

    ******************************************************************************

    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
    6700 - HW.................... V 1.6.21.77
    SSDR / DAX / CAT...... V 1.6.21.159
    Win10



  • Ken - NM9P
    Ken - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited June 2017
    I would love it if FRS would devise a way in their API to open a TCP port for skimmer, skimmer server, DX spotter, RBN, etc, that would syncronize information to the display on the carrier frequency location on the panadapter/panafall. It might be easier as a starting point to do this for access by "outside programs" than to incorporate the skimmer decode into the rig itself. But then, having internal CW or RTTY skimmer or other digital modes, with no need for additional programs, would be a dream! Especially if there was a scroll line for decoded text...... It seems to me the first step is to open a port syncronize to the pan display at the correct frequency points. This would be mode independent. Just a data point at the carrier frequency and a text tag with whatever info is desired -- call, country, bearing, or whatever. It could even be color coded by some sort of flag so it could indicate worked/not worked, confirmed or not, needed multiplier, npota, lotw user, etc. user selectable either in SSDR, or in the provider program/logger/contest program..... Then they could work to incorporate internal decoding/interfaces for skimmers, RBN, or even a DX spotting client. And Yes...I would love to have SSB DX spots underneath the pan display also!
  • Ed - W2RF
    Ed - W2RF Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    In WriteLog 12 Wayne W5XD has integrated the spectrum display with the bandmap. This is a good start, but the real integration should take place in or with the SSDR spectrum/waterfall.

    The original design of SDR-Bridge was to sit in-between SSDR, Skimmer, Telnet, and other integration sources, and do just this. The framework for this is built in to its design.

    73 Ed W2RF
  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Ed,
    That's encouraging.....especially your comments about integration using SDR-Bridge.   I hope we get to see this some day.  

    I know FRS has a full plate now but it would really be a super nice feature.  

    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com

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