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Software updates ETAs

EA4GLIEA4GLI SalvadorMember ✭✭
Happy new year to all. I hope 2018 brings happiness and health to all of you.

On January 24th, 2018 we will reach 6 months since the availability of Version 2.0 of SmartSDR. Yep, it's been half a year.
I understand we do not get a road map anymore and that FRS is busy working on the new hardware but software upgrades are beneficial to all and therefore my inquiry.

My questions is, can FRS (Gerald) put forth any type of statement about what is in store for us in the realm of SmartSDR updates? Are we looking at 1, maybe 2 updates a year? Maybe quarterly releases?

I am not asking for specifics dates or content (I would love to get those but I understand the new policy). I just want to know what, if any and approximately when, (no commitments) if ever, we will be getting something (anything).
Are any of the things on the works noise reduction, improvements on TX or GUI related?
Maybe something completely different = Mind Blown stuff?


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Answers

  • EA4GLIEA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    Thanks Tim for the quick reply. Can't wait for the "really cool ideas" :)
  • Clay N9IOClay N9IO Clay N9IO Member ✭✭
    edited August 2019
    Tim, Can you comment if the current SSDR testing is progressing? Sorry I really wasn't going to ask publicly but Bouvet is getting so close. Are we close to shipping?
  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited January 2018
    The testing is progressing well.  Our alpha testers are putting the radio through rigorous "real world" testing scenarios, we are getting great and timely feedback from them and our engineering team is aggressively addressing the issues and knocking them out.

    We are getting closer to release every day, but I really can't make any statements on when we'll get to a quality level that meets our GA level which is what is needed before we ship.
  • Clay N9IOClay N9IO Clay N9IO Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    Fair enough, thanks Tim. Wish you all well on it. Have a good weekend.
  • Takeshi YamadaTakeshi Yamada Retired Member ✭✭
    edited June 11
    Just my curiosity.  What is "In" in v2.1 other than affirmative predistortion?  The release of v2.1 won't be a half year away from now and the specification might be fixed.  So we may be OK to know what is in it now, or yet too demanding?

    73 de JI1BNU
    Ken Yamada
  • David (AA9G)David (AA9G) Member
    edited January 2018
    2 Questions please.
    What is 'GA level'?  (Gerald Approval? :))
    I know what predistortion is but what's with the 'affirmative' part?
  • KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited January 2018
    GA = General Availability Adaptive Pre-Distortion - I usupect Google Translate changed Adaptive to Affirmative Flex no longer speculates on what is in a release until it is released to GA
  • Takeshi YamadaTakeshi Yamada Retired Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    Thank you, Howard.  It was my bug.  It is Adaptive predistortion. 
  • David Decoons, wo2xDavid Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2018
    Flex has NOT stated if/when they will support adaptive predistortion (if ever). I can say the new 6600/Power Genius XL amp combo is very clean (IMD) for a solid state amp. I would rather see Flex spend time on features that would better benefit the masses. Dave wo2x
  • Harold RoseeHarold Rosee Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    I am not complaining, just giving my opinion. I was in the software business for over 30 years before I retired.  We always published all the changes/enhancement for several releases in advance.  Our customer would not stand for anything less.

    I love my 6500 but I am amazed at the lack of information on future changes.  It leaves one thinking FRS has no idea what they are going to do next or they are not sure they can accomplish what they set out to do so they want to be able to pull changes that don't work.

    I am still on the Version 1.11 and was really looking forward to seeing some exciting things in Version 2 and it just hasn't happened.  Very disappointing. 

    I am sure a lot of loyal flex users will jump all over my post but a software defined radio without new software in 6 months points to something being really wrong.

  • EA4GLIEA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    I think you expressed you opinion in a very educated manner and it would be counterproductive for the "loyalists" to say anything derogatory. Many long time customers of Flex, myself included, echo your sentiments, mostly in other fora. I remember with fondness the times when even us, the users of the forum, spent time throwing out ideas here, sharing our vision of what it [SmartSDR] could be. That enthusiasm has slowly eroded and it is now limited to hoping for a few of the many old requests (i. e. Squelch) or just anticipation of the new hardware for the its buyers. It is too bad, there are very bright individuals with wonderful ideas, who have stopped posting altogether. I really hope your guess about frs not really knowing what or how to do the next great thing in software is wrong for all of our sakes.
  • EA4GLIEA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    "I would rather see Flex spend time on features that would better benefit the masses." Such as? Dave, I am genuinely curious to know what features fall into that category.
  • HCampbell  WB4IVFHCampbell WB4IVF Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    My opinion is that adaptive predistortion benefits us all.  I hope it's implemented sooner than later.

    Howard
  • Steve K9ZWSteve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2018
    The FRS "style" to release information only when approaching General Availability (GA - and I did like the "Gerald Approved" suggestion too!)  is simple what it is.

    My personal experiences (I've signed a couple Non-Disclosure Agreements with FRS for projects over the years) is they very much DO know what they are doing.

    They do listen to suggestions, working to incorporate both the state of the art and their new extensions of the art.

    The FRS test process is aggressive, fast moving and focused.  

    They don't excel at the fine art of making the "small, reassuring noises" along the way.  

    Just as if you were out at friends being promised a gourmet home cooked meal, the host both overtly gives indications that good stuff is happening and just the process has its signals - that you smell something nice cooking and hear (hopefully good) kitchen noises - that you are reassured something nice is being cooked up.

    The Peanut Gallery that developed out of publishing Road Maps was shameful of the conduct of those customers (and a fair number of non-customers of "troll hobbyists"). If all of the dinner guests I just described crowded into the kitchen each demanding their own seasons or even changing the dishes being cooked, the chef would get pretty cross and push them back out.  Far too often in the Road Map days folks crossed the line between "guest" and "pest," not to mention the trolls.

    Not that FRS is perfect, but how they handle information dissemination is perfectly their call alone.

    When we suggest our personal experiences dealing with other products we are doing the novel work that FRS is delivering a disservice.  

    Perhaps we should be thinking our radios, and soon amplifiers are as much of an intensive "skunkworks" type development program than an open source program which should be laid out for our entertainment?  I use "entertainment" purposefully as must of the road map noise floor neither was done professionally by posters nor had been thought through professionally.  

    "It don't mean a thing if it don't have offspring" is the old song lyric adjusted to say that if an idea doesn't have a realizable benefit - an actionable legacy - that it is bust bandwidth waste and noise.

    Even recently we see community posters who rather than politely make suggestions with out obviously having given the practicalities a pinch of thought.  They don't qualify their demands couching them as suggestions or conditional (like when the economics allow could the radios have/do XYZ?)  A couple recent posts would have double to trebled a Flex-6000 purchase cost for barely measurable improvements well below being noticeable by users.  (When the economics were presented the demanding thread author did state what he really meant should have reflected  "someday if economics allowed" but that isn't where he started from and since he was intending to take up FRS's time perhaps he should have done at least a Google search on the economics involved?)

    I'm personally keen on the new products, as what I've been able to get my hands on from other manufacturers simply hasn't been as much fun for me.  YMMV and everyone understands the ham who really feels engaged with certain gear.  I'm more a results person, and I'm having results & fun with a FRS setup.  For me that is more than enough.   

    Again that doesn't mean all the other radios I own or I could potentially acquire are not going to give results or fun.  I haven't thrown away by home-brew and other branded gear.  

    And both my stations also have a Collins S-Line setup for when that pursuit makes me happy and gets me on the air with vintage style.

    But my stations are FRS-centric and my forward plans include FRS products as primary.

    Catch you on the air & 73

    Steve
    K9ZW


  • EA4GLIEA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    So lets take your statement:
    The FRS "style" to release information only when approaching General Availability (GA - and I did like the "Gerald Approved" suggestion too!)  is simple what it is.
    Wouldn't you say that 2.1 is approaching GA? So.... were is the info? Lately we only get information after GA.

    I could see that being the case in a radio based on fixed hardware and limited upgrade availability. But Flex radios are (or were supposed to be) different. We bought a "platform" that through upgrades gets new features. We used to know some of the things to expect out of the radio. We just don't know anymore. It is just based on pure faith. A faith that gets tested with delays and lack of info. 

    Undoubtedly, there is a group of Alpha testers that get access to the information, and most are basing their statements on that information.... well, guess what, the rest of us users/owners of the radios base our statements on the information that WE have.
    The Peanut Gallery that developed out of publishing Road Maps was shameful of the conduct of those customers (and a fair number of non-customers of "troll hobbyists").
    I was a board member then and I don't share the qualifiers. It seems very easy to put the blame squarely in these "trolls", but the current "no info" policy is the decision of FRS based on the mistakes they made by anticipating a set of features on dates that they hugely missed. Blaming the policy on the trolls is childish and in my personal opinion not a great move by FRS. No point rehashing this whole argument.

    And you stated is perfectly: "Not that FRS is perfect, but how they handle information dissemination is perfectly their call alone."

    We were told 2.0 was a complete rework of the code to allow for more frequent upgrades. It has been 6 months since 2.0 release. I just can't qualify that as frequent, can you?.
    Tim, navigating the gag order from FRS, stated as much as he could in this thread and I thanked him.

  • David Decoons, wo2xDavid Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2018
    I am not getting into the APD debate. If you have a solid state radio and amp that fall withing the FCC guidelines for 3rd order IMD then that should suffice. I do agree there are radio/amp combinations on the air that are dirty. The Yaesu FTdx-3000 is horrible. My SPE 1.3k starts to really degrade IMD performance when run at 1300 watts. Run it at 1000 and the IMD is acceptable. That is why I like the Power Genius XL. It had two 1500 LDMOS devices and has headroom to prevent the problem with my SPE. Sal, I am under NDA and cannot reveal what is coming soon. Long term features are held very close to the vest by Flex and even the Alpha group does not know what they have planned. So I have no idea what additional new features will be coming but I look forward to those features when they come along. I will say because it has been publically stated by Flex employees that the only feature they have atated will be on the 2.0 roadmap is multi client. Enough said
  • EA4GLIEA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    We need to get a bunch of the alphas **** in a room!! LOL
    Thanks David!
  • James Kennedy-WU5EJames Kennedy-WU5E Member ✭✭
    edited June 19

    This would be great Small contest groups that have only one good Radio station to work with. So fatigue will not set in if you could have 6 operators at 4 hours a piece.

      "To date, we have only committed publicly to the MultiClient Access feature for SmartSDR v2 which will allow multiple SmartSDR clients being operated by different people (or the same person) access to the same radio hardware."

    Or teaching a new ham how to operate

    last time I did a radio display at my local club I had to take my whole station down there.

    interesting food for thoughT


    Jim

    WU5E

  • David Decoons, wo2xDavid Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2018
    We just did live demos at Ham Radio University yesterday using three Maestros connected to three different stations all over a single Verizon 4G cell hot spot.

    Worked flawlessly!

    Dave wo2x

  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 2018
    Yes I understand the complaining about not having more updates. May I remind everyone how small Flex is as a company. I get for some of you that does not matter, or care, but If they only have one key person off for any reason, that could make a big difference in the day to day operation.

    And remember they are and have been working on getting four new radios out, new hardware. that is an incredible sized project. 

    I would think after the radios are released, as well as the amp we will see more time spent on software.

    Speaking for myself, I am not board or tired of my 6500 or software I love SSDR for many reasons, it just works. It woks very well, stable and does everything I need. Sure I look foreword to updates like everyone, But I also know as an owner what I'm in for. I wait. I'm ok with waiting, I am very happy with my radio and I just enjoy it every day. then, if an update comes along, that's cool.

  • EA4GLIEA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    May I remind everyone how small Flex is as a company. I get for some of you that does not matter, or care, but If they only have one key person off for any reason, that could make a big difference in the day to day operation.
    This is not very reassuring when we are spending quite a bit of money on FRS gear. I am not sure FRS would like to be characterized as such small enterprise that will not make it if someone catches a cold.
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2018

    This is not very reassuring when we are spending quite a bit of money on FRS gear

    Know one mentioned that Flex would not make it if someone is sick, but it would effect day to day work for everyone eles.

    I don't understand what is not reassuring, about being small. I think based on their growing company, the hardest thing for Gerald is trying to stay small, it is a challenging balance to keep pace with growth and keep as small as possible. Flex has always had a great reputation, for delivering what they plan on, even though some things were delayed, they still produced well made products.

    Most Flex owners understand this,,That they are small, so If Flex has one person off in the repairs it could effect turn around's for a few weeks. One problem with being being small is that each person in the company are very specialized. So there may not be someone to fill in for that task. Many of the things I am saying here was just stated by Gerald and Tim over the last few weeks. Nothing new.

    I feel that Flex is doing amazing things for their size, and when things seem slow, I can understand why.
  • James Kennedy-WU5EJames Kennedy-WU5E Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018

    there is promise there.

     

  • David Decoons, wo2xDavid Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2018
    ??? What promise? 

    This "Feature" is in SmartLink with 2.0.19 today.
    If you have multiple radios signed into the same SmartLink account, you will see multiple radios in the chooser in the Maestro. 3 radios in the list, three Maestros logged on with same account. Each chose a different radio. All Maestros were on the same WiFi network I created with my Verizon Samsung Galaxy S7 in hotspot mode.

    Same thing we did for Xenia this past year. A bunch of the Alpha testers made their stations available under the same SmartLink account for the show.

    Dave wo2x

  • edited January 2018
    I am looking forward to being able to run my GUI app at the same time as SSDR is running on my radio. To me, that is multiClient. More than one program using different parts of a radio (radio server...remember) at the same time. Being able to choose different radios in the Radio Chooser, is not the same as multiclient.(client being more than one program controlling different parts of the radio, both graphically, and otherwise.
  • David Decoons, wo2xDavid Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2018
    Exactly. I did say Flex did state multi client would be part of 2.x. No ETA yet. I was replying to JAMES Kennedy who made it sound like I stated a promise for something that you can do today. Dave wo2x
  • James Kennedy-WU5EJames Kennedy-WU5E Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018

    The word PROMISE I was talking about what TIM said " To date, we have only committed publicly to the MultiClient Access feature for SmartSDR v2 which will allow multiple SmartSDR clients being operated by different people (or the same person) access to the same radio hardware. I would love to setup a kick **** contest my friends and me local could use to contest. IE Tom **** and Harry could help me contest if I'm reading the data correct.

    Jim

    WU5E


  • David Decoons, wo2xDavid Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2018
    Rrr. Umderstood Jim. Not sure hom multi client will work as it is not disclosed on details but I would guess there has to be some kind of interlock to allow one station to transmit at a time. How that interlock will work is yet to be determined or disclosed. I would perferbly want the transmitting station to have tx control unless they can one client deemed the “control op” and have ability to take control. Should be interesting and fun for those of us who have friends who cannot get on HF from their homes, especially older hams who might be living in an assisted living facility or nursing home. Dave wo2x
  • Richard McClelland, AA5SRichard McClelland, AA5S Member ✭✭
    edited June 6
    Here's an interesting article about setting deadlines: "Arbitrary deadlines are the enemy of creativity, according to Harvard research". 

    https://work.qz.com/1173131/deadlines-dont-have-to-****-creativity-according-to-harvard-research/?mc...


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