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SmartSDR Mouse Wheel Tuning

Brian - K6BPMBrian - K6BPM Member
edited June 16 in New Ideas
I apologize if this has been asked before but I cannot find the answer anywhere. 

Before I purchased my 6300, I had a 3000 using PowerSDR. One feature I really loved was the ability to hover the mouse cursor over any number on the frequency display and tune using the mouse wheel. This allowed the user to easily step by 1Hz, 10, 100, 1k, etc. It made tuning a breeze. 

This high level of application polish has been neglected in SmartSDR. You can only tune by whatever step value you have set. 

One of the things that set Flex apart was attention to little operating details that made the PowerSDR developers stand out. SmartSDR has lost many of the "smarts" that PowerSDR had and while it is a nicely done program, many thoughtful details are gone. Indeed, many mouse hover and wheel "opportunities" are simply ignored.

Are there any plans to bring this back in SmartSDR?

Please do not abandon your efforts towards those user friendly little features that turn a good application into a great one.
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  • Dave - W6OVPDave - W6OVP Member ✭✭
    edited June 2017
    >Please do not abandon your efforts towards those user friendly little features that turn a good application into a great one.

    Right on target, Brian. I complained about this long ago to no avail. SmartSDR appears "industrial" or "Military Contract" compared to PowerSDR which has "Heart".

  • Clay N9IOClay N9IO Clay N9IO Member ✭✭
    edited June 16
    Sorry, what am I missing?
    My mouse wheel works from anywhere inside the SSDR screen. Flex 6300.
    I use it all the time.
  • Lee MaiselLee Maisel Member
    edited May 2016
    No, what he is saying is you could hover over individual numbers and scroll them up and down.   so you would have much more control over how fast or slow you went up and down depending on which block of numbers you were over.
  • G8ZPXG8ZPX Member
    edited July 2018
    There are many features of SmartSDR that I really miss. When Flex released the 6k series they made many promises to get us buyers on side, especially around the user interface which still needs much work even now.

    They appear to have turned all attention to the Maestro and 
  • Jon_KF2EJon_KF2E Member ✭✭
    edited April 10
    Brian,

    I wouldn't look for things to change any time soon. As you know things are full bore Maestro at the moment and it seems likely they will swing to full speed WAN remote next. 

    In several posts Gerald has made it clear that he views things like this as eye candy that don't help the Flex bottom line.

    Jon...kf2e
  • DrTeethDrTeeth Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    I wonder why they did not get the "eye candy" right the first time instead of signing off on an interface that is sorely lacking in many areas.

    So they produce a mess and call it just "eye candy" when the users want it fixing. Very nice indeed Flex. Good way to treat your customers.
  • WW1SS - SteveWW1SS - Steve Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Same thing with Maestro . . . Bluetooth in a "future release". . . Eye Candy will be in a future release 2 to 3 years out I'de say.
  • Ken - WA8JXMKen - WA8JXM Member
    edited May 2016
    A mediocre UI does affect the bottom line.  
  • DrTeethDrTeeth Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    And of course how the company deals with it ;-).
  • WW1SS - SteveWW1SS - Steve Member ✭✭
    edited April 10
    So their next big thing will be full remote capabilities from what  heard. I really don't care about that. As I said in the past . . . Get the entire user interface 100% with working noise blankers and the supposed "eye candy" complete then add features. Seems like they are more interested in a lot of half baked products over the complete version. Noise mitigation is a wait, bluetooth on maestro is a wait, what else???
  • W1REW1RE Member
    edited May 2016

    Steven,

    That's is your opinion and you're welcome to it.

    I want Maestro Bluetooth support and I want remote WAN support!

    Incremental UI improvements aren't top priorities to me.


     - Bob, W1RE

  • DrTeethDrTeeth Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    Bob, there are some slight differences in the two situations that you mentioned; new features that it would be nice to have and a pig's ear of a GUI that could have been done MUCH better in the first place. The former are being concentrated on as they will bring in the dosh whereby those who want the GUI fixed/enhanced/done properly are insulted by calling what they want "eye candy" and being told it is not a major issue for Flex. The final insult will be the GUI fixes being in v2 and having to pay to get them, just because somebody could not do a better job in the first place.
  • Dave - W6OVPDave - W6OVP Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016

    Very well said, and right on target.

    "...the UI user experience..." is in the same department as "out of box experience" and neither seems to get much attention. (Like the Maestro mike connector snafu.) These little things can create either ongoing happiness or ongoing irritation and are cumulative and extremely important.

    ...generated more "gee-****'s" from my friends I demoed my 3000. It was open source GUIs that made my socks zip up and down and return to Ham Radio from a 20 yr hiatus (and spend money at FLEX.) When I demo SDR it is not SmartSDR because it has the clunkiness and erratic charm one might expect from Microsoft. The others are as from Apple, and first time viewers love and understand and relate to that.

    What Flex thinks is "eye candy" is what turns "Flex users" into "Flex evangelists". Yep.

    "Building a better mousetrap..." cannot be a singular priority while buyers are beating a path to the Shopping Channel which has better 'eye candy'. <ggg>. The world is loaded with unsold but not quite finished "better mousetraps".

    I have hopes Maestro with it's new approaches will be better in touch with users. The new ICOM IC-7300 shows the big train from Asia is just around the corner and is loaded with user friendly features. Dayton should be interesting.

    (BetaMax really was better than VHS. But they didn't listen to the end users.)

  • W9OYW9OY Alpha Team Member ✭✭
    edited May 2016
    I liked the feature also.  Bet it wouldn't be hard for someone to write that feature into their interface.
  • Lee MaiselLee Maisel Member
    edited May 2016
    ONE HUNDRED PERCENT AGREEMENT!!!    Focus on the UI Flex!!!  The radios are great!  But you MUST focus on the UI, otherwise it won't matter how good the radio hardware is.

    Hire more programmers if you must!  These radios are not cheap.  You can do it.
  • Bob G   W1GLVBob G W1GLV Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    If you're not familiar with PowerSDR, you don't know what he's talking about.
  • DrTeethDrTeeth Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    @ Clay

    "Brian - K6BPM" explains it very well below, but I will furnish one example. It is windows convention that when the mouse cursor is over a slider, that slider gets the focus. Then one can move the slider with the wheel. By 'windows convention' I mean how windows apps normally behave. I have lost count of the number of times I have re-tuned my radio using the wheel when I was expecting to be able to control the underlying slider - so used I am to all my other applications behaving.

  • W9OYW9OY Alpha Team Member ✭✭
    edited May 2016
    DXLab's commander has a version of this feature 

    http://www.dxlabsuite.com/commander/Help/ChangingFrequency.htm#Changing frequency via mouse wheel
  • G8ZPXG8ZPX Member
    edited December 2018
    I’ve spent a lot of time contemplating where/how the general lack of UI functional and basic user expectations will pan out. Then the penny dropped. The end-user wishes that Gerald is currently glossing over as “eye candy” is really just a stalling tactic. Of course these things are going to happen, but not in V1x. V1 does the basics but is nothing special, no bells and whistles. What it does it does well, but it could be so much better - but FRS won’t let it. For example, I don’t regard programmable filter profiles as eye candy but normal, like in PSDR several years ago.

    My bet is that most of our wish-list won’t materialise until V2, in which case the current “eye candy” will then suddenly morph in to “show-stopping can’t live without great new features”.

    Somewhere at FRS there’s a secret list of user wishes and UI shortfalls, along with observations and user responses to the foregoing developments of PowerSDR. This will naturally be used to make us all salivate $$$ over V2.

    So here’s, the thing: had FRS been honest with us upfront and clearly stated that SSDR would not be close to PSDR in several key areas for many years to come, then I would not have purchased a F6k, would you?

    You can understand the marketing strategy, get the users locked-in (US software guys love vendor lock-in), but then hold back on the really cool stuff for v2 or even v3. I get it. It’s a commercial world, I’ve spent enough time in Microsoft software/systems to know how it works.

    So, FRS I hope you get me too: I will only be buying V2 under very firm expectations: 1) that it has the majority of functionality currently within PSDR, 2) that keyboard input and mouse navigation is properly sorted out, especially with sliders and other clumsy UI stuff, 3) that programmable filters or macros are via F-keys, 4) that you learn to listen to users not just shareholders, and most importantly that V2 is released within the next 9-12 months max.

    I do hope that FRS has this firmly programmed on their timeline, otherwise I’d expect to see lots of surplus F6k hitting eBay within a year.

    73 de Steve G1XOW

  • Dave - W6OVPDave - W6OVP Member ✭✭
    edited June 2017
    My fear is that the advance of technology is ruthless. It's history is strewn with shattered dreams due to excess preoccupation with perfection in the present while ignoring the race of time and the next wave approaching over the hill. Opportunities like this one are fleeting and windows slam shut quickly. A languorous approach is fatal. This specific technology too will pass, and probably sooner than we think.
  • DrTeethDrTeeth Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    Hi Steve,

    "I do hope that FRS has this firmly programmed on their timeline, otherwise I’d expect to see lots of surplus F6k hitting eBay within a year."

    Who would buy them knowing that they were being sold on the basis of how Flex was treating its customers?

    I think Flex are going to be very careful in how they do this as nobody likes paying for bugfixes. We all know of software that has artificial major version number increases just to charge its customer base again. My backup/partitioning programs have not had a major version increase for over 7 years and there has been am amazing amount of enhancements and bug fixes. Are customers unhappy? No. Are they loyal? Yes. Is tech support up to muster? It is perfect.
  • Dave - W6OVPDave - W6OVP Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Steve- In this red hot American political season your comment could easily be reworded to read:

    "So here’s, the thing: had **** Politician been honest with us upfront and clearly stated that his promises and fantasies in several key areas would not happen for many years to come (if ever), then I would not have voted for him, would you?" <GGG>.

    Regards. Dave.

  • G8ZPXG8ZPX Member
    edited July 2016
    A good point Guy. So, whilst FRS is maximizing their own short-term ROI, the market/users long-term ROI in them is diminishing. I hope they don't pay someone for strategic vision.
  • Brian - K6BPMBrian - K6BPM Member
    edited December 2018
    It took me awhile to pull the trigger and upgrade from the 3000 to the 6300. Not because of the cost, but because of the signals Flex was sending. I was concerned that their marketing department was exerting too much influence on product development. I waited and waited to see if user complaints were going to be addressed. But no new interim releases appeared. But after a few months of waiting, I decided to trust Flex and I upgraded anyway.

    I was immediately disappointed that most of the really neat little features I loved were missing. I expected some of this based in reading the posts in the forum but I never expected things like the mouse wheel tuning to be ignored, especially when things like that are easy to do. It seemed careless to me. You never want to release something with less features. But, giving Flex the benefit of the doubt I have watched and waited patiently, hoping that we would see small interim releases along the way as application "polish" was applied.

    Rather than see them make an effort to catch up and fill in some of the niceties we were used to, they seemed to change their focus. There was no longer an emphasis on giving users a unparalleled experience. While we waited for some refinements to appear, we instead got the "road map" which basically told us that Flex was working hard finding ways to charge us more money. In fact we hear that some of the features we want like WAN access are indeed on the "road map" for a future paid upgrade. 

    This bothered me because I felt that the state of SmartSDR was and still is a "released beta". It is not even at "release candidate" stage. In my opinion, they still had a lot of work to do to bring SSDR up to the feature set of PSDR. What I really wanted was Flex to finish the current version before they charge me for a new version.

    Of course Maestro development has taken over all resources at Flex. Nothing else is happening other than to prepare for the Maestro. So those of us that are really not interested in the Maestro much have to wait it out. We aren't going to see anything for us for awhile, it at all. 

    From my experience in the software industry, I am seeing an uncomfortable reality emerge. It is called "recurring revenue". It is what everyone strives for these days. Adobe and Microsoft now charge you *monthly* to use their software suites. You can't buy things and just own them anymore. You have to keep paying. It isn't just the profit this generates that is beneficial for a company. Corporate valuations are greatly enhanced when the company has a recurring revenue business model. 

    Now, don't get me wrong here. I love my Flex Radio. I would love it more if Flex payed attention to the little things we as users are asking for. One dedicated developer could knock off almost all these little gripes in 2 weeks. 

    But, what concerns me is the lack of concern as if there is another play in the works. I have seen it a lot of times before. Don't be surprised if we see some recurring revenue system work its way into the next major release. The buzzword I fear is "cloud" because cloud==recurring revenue (and a monthly charge for us). I can see the possibility of some kind of cloud model being introduced when WAN accessibility is available. 

    I sure hope I'm wrong and Flex is going to surprise us with a new release with all the cool bells and whistles. I don't want to be right, I want to be in love with my 6300 like I was with my 3000. 


  • DrTeethDrTeeth Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    Hi Brian,

    Well said!

    I am not a programmer and I understand that changing one thing can break another.

    The puzzling thing for me is, somebody must have decided at some stage not to include many of the useful and simple features from the start. being in the business, they MUST have known that it would be more difficult to fix in a running program than getting it 'right' from the start.

    If somebody were to offer me a Flex 5000, I would be sorely tempted judging what others say the software has and SSDR lacks.
  • DrTeethDrTeeth Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    Take a chill-pill Lee. Your analogy is way off. It is more like trusting your child to the best surgeon in the World and things do not go as planned. Nobody gets everything 100% right and disrespecting people who have legitimate concerns that you may not have is really not the way to go.
  • W9OYW9OY Alpha Team Member ✭✭
    edited May 2016
    Guy

    I've personally spent a couple thousand hours over the years doing alpha testing and feature development with Flex, for free, to bring you a better radio.  I'm intimately aware of what is involved.  I have upgraded my radio with several 100's of alpha releases to squash the bugs before they get released for your consumption.  Flex's process has nothing to do with schemes to rip-off unsuspecting users like you and some of the others in this thread imply.   You are the one blowing smoke.

    73  W9OY
  • DrTeethDrTeeth Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    I have ***NEVER***  accused Flex of ripping off customers nor implied that. The closest I got was saying that some companies have 'artificial' major number increases to charge their customer base frequently. Flex could not be accused of that. I demand an apology or a promise that you will calm down and get your eyes tested.!

    I would not be so proud of admitting that you had some part to play in the state of the current GUI. You have done a poor job IMHO, and no doubt others too.

    You are one step away from fulfilling Godwin's Law!

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