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SmartSDR v1.4 Available Now

Steve-N5AC Community Manager admin
edited December 2016 in SmartSDR for Windows
FlexRadio Systems is pleased to announce the availability of SmartSDR v1.4.   SmartSDR v1.4 represents several months of intensive work on both new and existing features by our software team.  SmartSDR v1.4 is for all FLEX-6000 Signature Series radios.  Key features of v1.4 include:

LAN Remote: SmartSDR for Windows can now be operationally “decoupled” from the radio hardware by providing the ability to play slice receiver audio through the default PC speakers and use the default PC microphone to make phone QSOs. This new feature streams compressed audio over the IP connection between the radio and the SmartSDR client on the PC, eliminating the need for the speakers and microphone to be directly connected to the radio hardware. In order to provide diagnostic capabilities for the LAN Remote feature there are two new features. The Network Quality Monitor and Audio Streaming Monitor provide a visual indication of a network’s link capability to adequately stream audio to the PC, which is essential when using a wireless link between the client PC and the radio hardware. 

FM Mode: SmartSDR for Windows now supports frequency modulation (FM). The available demodulation and modulation modes include narrow FM (NFM) and regular FM that uses a 2.5k and 5k deviation respectively along with a 9600 baud digital FM mode that has no pre-emphasis applied. 

Memories Feature: With the addition of the FM mode, SmartSDR for Windows now includes a Memories feature where frequencies can be stored for quick recall. This feature can be used with any mode and includes a CSV file based import and export feature. 

CW Enhancements: Several significant enhancements to CW have been made to greatly improve QSK performance related to AGC interactions. Additionally, the CW ramp timing has been optimized based on sending speed, producing a better CW “note” by slightly softening the waveform. 

SmartSDR Optimizations: Significant optimizations have been made to how SmartSDR for Windows processes spectrum display data and utilizes system resources. These include, but are not limited to lower RAM usage, improved graphical display performance and responsiveness, and fixed memory leaks that resulted in system instabilities. SmartSDR firmware in the FLEX-6000 Signature Series radios also underwent optimization enabling new features and improving performance in the radio.

DAX Enhancements: Several changes have been made to the DAX Control Panel to provide the user with information related to which DAX channels are connected to a particular radio. Since DAX can operate on multiple computers simultaneously, it is useful to know which channels are actively connected to a particular radio as well as the current streaming state. Additionally, multiple improvements have been incorporated to improve streaming efficiency and resource utilization, making DAX and DAXIQ more stable. These improvements will result in a better digital mode operating experience. 

SmartSDR CAT Improvements: Several existing CAT commands have been either enhanced or modified to better support legacy CAT-enabled third-party applications. These include, but are not limited to, several significant fixes for interfacing with slice B and support for the CWU/CWL tuning modes. In addition to the CAT protocol enhancements, improved diagnostic capabilities and virtual COM port driver modifications have been incorporated to improve SmartSDR CAT usage with CAT enabled programs. 

FlexControl Updates: The SmartSDR tuning acceleration algorithm has been enhanced for smoother tuning. The Master volume can now also be controlled with the FlexControl. Modifications have been made to better improve the detection of a FlexControl when it is connected to the PC and the FlexControl setup panel will clearly indicate whether or not a FlexControl is not detected. 

EQ Modifications: The 8-band ISO 266 graphical equalizer has been modified for the 2 kHz, 4 kHz, and 6 kHz frequencies to increase the bandwidth around the center point frequency to ensure a smoother transition between these EQ bands. 

New TX Profiles: New default transmit (TX) profiles have been added for the RadioSport headsets. 

X/RIT Frequency Range Expanded: The X/RIT frequency offset range has been increased to 99.999 kHz to accommodate very wide splits when operating digital modes. 

Waveform API Support: The new Waveform API which supports addition of third-party modulation schemes in included in v1.4.  FlexRadio's example waveform, FreeDV/CODEC2 will be available in the near future.  All source code for this mode is available today.

In addition to the new functionality, almost 200 changes to improve operation and add features are included in v1.4.  A complete list is included in the SmartSDR v1.4 release notes that accompany the release.  FlexRadio Systems recommends that all users upgrade to v1.4.  Links to the updated SmartSDR Software Manual and associated hardware manuals are available in the release notes.

There are several sub-procedures described below that are outlined in greater detail in the SmartSDR v1.4 Release Notes. Make sure you review the Release Notes before updating the FLEX-6000 radio software and SmartSDR CAT. 

Upgrading SmartSDR for Windows 
  1. Shut down SmartSDR for Windows if running.
  2. If SmartSDR CAT is running, close it too
  3. Power cycle the FLEX-6000 by pressing the front panel power button, waiting several seconds and then pressing it again to reboot the radio. Wait until the radio has finished booting before continuing. 
  4. Run the SmartSDR v1.4 Installer (see bottom of post for link)
  5. At the end of the installation process, display the release notes (A PDF reader is required) and run SmartSDR for Windows. 
  6. You should see your FLEX-6000 in the chooser indicating that an upgrade is required. If you have never done a FLEX-6000 software upgrade, you may what to review the FLEX-6000 Upgrade procedure on page 8 in the Release Notes which can be also found in the Windows Start Menu -> FlexRadio Systems -> SmartSDR v1.4 -> Release Notes folder.
  7. After the FLEX-6000 software has upgraded, you should see the radio in the SmartSDR Radio Chooser indicating it is "Available". If after 5 minutes or so and you do not see the radio become "Available" (the yellow Update bar will have completely traversed to the right hand side), power off the radio using the Power button and power it back on. 
  8. You can now run SmartSDR v1.4
Release Specific Information
Please review the Known Issues, Caveats and Limitations section in the SmartSDR for Windows Release Notes on page 9 for a comprehensive listing of release specific information regarding the operation of your FLEX-6000 Signature Series SDR. 

Where to Download SmartSDR v1.4
SmartSDR v1.4 is approximately 46 MB in size. You can download SmartSDR for Windows from: 

SmartSDR_v1.4 Installer

Thanks for your continued support of FlexRadio and we hope to see you on the bands!


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