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A Third Profile Category for Hardware Settings

Bob N7ZO
Bob N7ZO Member ✭✭
edited December 2017 in New Ideas

Transmit Profiles have been very useful, but I am still fighting a few of the included parameters.  The inclusion of hardware related parameters such as power levels and TX output delays seems to be a completely different category than microphone and CW settings.

It would be much more useful to have a third profile type, call it hardware (I’m sure someone can come up with a better name) that includes, referring to the table on page 56 of the current software manual, all the parameters in the INTERLOCK column and first seven parameters in the POWER  column (mostly power settings).

I want these hardware parameters to remain the same as long as I am hooked up to the same external hardware.  Having to set them repeatedly in every transmit profile is both tedious and prone to error that can damage my hardware (especially the power levels and sequencer/hold-off delays).

Conversely, if I change hardware, such as from an old tube linear to the QSK capable KPA-500, I want to change the “hardware” settings but not all of the microphone and CW settings (except maybe CW delay?).

So, the specific proposal here is for a third profile category for “hardware” settings.  I am sure refinements can be made on the specific parameter choices mentioned above.

73, Bob, N7ZO

Comments

  • K1UO Larry
    K1UO Larry MaineMember ✭✭✭
    edited December 2017
    Agreed Bob...  There should be no reason to add third party software to control, say, different drive power levels per Band to keep from frying that new Flex Linear ;-) .. for example.
  • Bob N7ZO
    Bob N7ZO Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Hi Larry,

    I am deliberately keeping this idea limited by not proposing any new settings, just a re-grouping of the current settings.  I hope this increases the odds of this actually being implemented.

    But, your suggestion is a good example of some useful new settings that could nicely fit into this new "hardware" profile.

    73, Bob, N7ZO
  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited March 2017
    Bob,
    I'm doing something that accomplishes the goal with the existing TX profiles since I only run one mode ( CW ).   Here is some background and my current setup. 

    I wanted an easy way to change my RF power and enable / disable my amplifier from the SSDR screen.  I know you can do this using DDUtli and autodrive.  I use DDUTil for other reasons but normally keep the screen minimized.   And I like to keep as many of the controls in SSDR as possible. Since I only operate CW I wasn't using the TX Proflies for microphone settings.   So I set up  2 TX profiles to control the amp and RF power.  They are named:
    • Amp ON -- sets the correct drive power and enables TX1 (to enable the amp).  Snapshot attached 
    • Amp OFF -- or barefoot.  It sets the RF power to 100W and disables TX1 (to disable the amp)

    I chose the names Amp ON & Amp OFF so they would be at the top of the TX profile list and next to each other.   Another advantage of this method is that the profiles are right next to the RF Power setting so it's easy to see the effect of changing the profile immediately.  Again this is probably not a good solution for most folks who operate multiple modes ( too may combinations ) .  But for a CW only guy it seems like a good setup. 

    image


    Taking your idea and creating an RF Profile would work for me and I think it could also work for those that use other modes.  I believe it would require a GUI change to select the new RF Profile.   Here is a mockup to illustrate the idea and show the new RF Profile dropdown.   In my example selecting the RF profile Amp ON or Amp OFF would work as described above.  Of course you could name the profiles however you wish.  

    image


    Bob, Does this mockup accomplish what you intended?  


    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  

    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com

    6700 - HW V 1.5.0.65

    SSDR V 1.5.0.145

    Win10

  • Bob N7ZO
    Bob N7ZO Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Hi Al,

    Your mock-up does a very nice job.  And I like the "RF Profile" name.

    73, Bob, N7ZO
    
  • Ed.G
    Ed.G FlexRadio Employee ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Larry, SmartSDR currently stores power levels per band. They are remembered and recalled based on which band your transmit slice is currently in. 
  • Ed.G
    Ed.G FlexRadio Employee ✭✭
    edited March 2017
    We've been mulling something like this for a while. Our current thinking is that you could have "Antenna Profiles" or something similar where each antenna had a set of settings (which would mostly be the interlock column described in the manual). These settings would then be recalled when you set your transmit antenna. I don't think these settings would include power settings but I'd be up for a discussion. 

    These settings would not be by band as I think that would add too many states to track of. 

    Would this address the current problems?
  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited March 2017



    Ed,
    See the video below.  This is what I'm using currently to switch between
    • barefoot (100W ) operation with TX1 disabled 
    • RF power set to 50W with TX1 enabled for use with my amplifier.  
    Although power is a persistence feature it does change when I select a different TX profile.    When I set it up I wasn't sure it would work this way but you can see the power change in the video.  

    Again this method works fine as is for me since I'm only a CW mode operator.    The new RF profile feature (or whatever it is called) would need to continue to cause the power to change to work for me.

    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
    6700 - HW V 1.5.0.65
    SSDR V 1.5.0.145
    Win10 

    The video starts with the Amp OFF (barefoot mode) and then switches to Amp ON and back OFF again. 






  • Bob N7ZO
    Bob N7ZO Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Hi Ed,

    My number one priority is removing the interlock and power settings from the existing TX profiles so that I can use them to change my microphone and CW settings.

    Having accomplished that, the question is how to expose a new persistence mechanism for those orphaned settings.  In my case, due to the topology of my station, external amplifiers and antennas are changed with switching outside of the radio.  I do not use Ant 1 and Ant 2 for this purpose, so having the settings tied to antenna selection would be of no value to me.

    It seems a manual selection of a new profile type, with an interface along the lines of Al's mock-up would be the most versatile.  And I agree with Al that the new profile should have power settings included.

    I agree that per band settings might be too many states for now.

    73, Bob, N7ZO
  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Ed,
    My goal is to use the feature to switch between barefoot (100W) and using my amplifier.  The same antenna could be used for either mode.  That is why I called the new profile an RF Profile.   It's not really associated with an antenna in the way I'm using it.  I can't really say whether that is what everyone else would want but it seem to be what Bob is looking for also.

    More in the post below with the video.  

    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
    Ed,
    RE: Power settings by band --- to be really effective the power settings by band are needed.  My amplifier requires different settings per band.     

    Adding them to the profile list would be ideal and similar to the way DDUtil does it by band.  

    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
    6700 - HW V 1.5.0.65
    SSDR V 1.5.0.145
    Win10

    DDUtil autodrive setup -- in SSDR you could add them to the Interlock settings for use in the new RF Profile.  

    image


    image

    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
    6700 - HW V 1.5.0.65
    SSDR V 1.5.0.145
    Win10
  • Ed.G
    Ed.G FlexRadio Employee ✭✭
    edited February 2017
    Thanks for all the feedback.

    It sounds like a single, per-antenna profile is not the way to go. Would it still be valuable to have a 'hardware/rf profile' associated with each antenna? 

    On the power settings per band for each profile: I think this would be hard to keep track of, but I'll still add it as commentary on our internal issue tracker for discussion. 
  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited March 2017
    Hi Ed,
    For my setup there is not a need or use case for setting up the profiles by antenna.  I use the same antennas with and without my amplifiers.  So for me it is about the interlock settings ( e.g. TX1) and the power levels.   And since many amplifiers need different drive levels per band, that would be needed as well.  

    In my case the profile Amp OFF would set the power to 100w for all bands.  The profile Amp ON would set the power for each band a little different ranging from 50W to 70W.  

    I only have one amplifier so only need the 2 settings.  But I could see where someone may have several amplifiers so they might want to set up several RF Profiles.  
    • Amp OFF
    • Amp 1 ON
    • Amp 2 ON
    I would think the Interlock values (including power settings) in the TX Profile table could be normalized out to a separate table to make it easy to manage.  (it always seems easy when you don't know the existing table structure)

    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
    6700 - HW V 1.5.0.65
    SSDR V 1.5.0.145
    Win10

    image


  • Bob N7ZO
    Bob N7ZO Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Would it still be valuable to have a 'hardware/rf profile' associated with each antenna?
    Not for me.

    73, Bob, N7ZO

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