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Fundamental items missing from SSDR

Terry G4POP
Terry G4POP Member ✭✭

While I am very please with my Flex 6400 and like its performance I find the SmartSDR software lacking a couple of essential features that are found on every commercially made amateur radio transceiver these days.

  1. Regardless of suggestions by the management team that clicking the waterfall is good enough the software really needs a CW Spot (Net/Tune) facility it is a huge oversight missed by many CW operators.
  2. A built in voice keyer to avoid the use of external programs for this function – This is a huge oversight when everyone of the major manufacturers include a voice keyer.
  3. The existing recorder is usefull but would be far better if the recordings could be saved for future transmission of to facilitate transmission of the file by email etc.

There are other shortcomings in the software but these are fundamental necessities.

73 de Terry G4POP

Log4OM Developer of free logging software for radio amateurs.

4 votes

Open for Comments · Last Updated


  • Erik Carling EI4KF
    Erik Carling EI4KF Member ✭✭✭
    1. I was first licensed in the 80s, I operate CW frequently, and I honestly do not see the value of this zero-beat concept. I have made thousands of CW contacts and never fretted about zero-beating the other station. Most of the time I have found it better to be off frequency. If I really must zero-beat, I simply spread the panadapter display and then using the mouse drag my "vertical line" and put it right at the peak of the received CW signal. I cannot see why this isn't sufficient .
    2. You do not need external programs if you enhance your Flex experience with a Stream Deck as one example of several for DVK.
    3. Simply record and save using Audacity or some such dedicated audio s/w.

    The features quoted are nice to have of course but, since they are so easily mitigated, they hardly count as shortcomings to me. As for "fundamental necessities", I would proffer an opposite view.

  • Joe N3HEE
    Joe N3HEE Member ✭✭

    The FRLogger app has a built in audio recorder that saves files to your local hard drive. It also does many other cool things that add value to Flex radios. It has the best CW module I've ever used ! http://ws7m.net/index.php/logger

  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator

    Having the basic framework in place (Flex API) allows you to customize your station to your operating style using 3rd party programs. You can also customize it yourself.

    I have never used zero beat on any radio I have owned but then again I am not a big CW guy. There are several external voice keyed programs as mentioned above and N1MM+ for contesting is excellent.

    I agree the Stream Deck is a big benefit in the shack. Not only for quick access to control the radio but other programs as well. OBS Studio is free and an excellent program for creating videos. It has a profile for the Stream Deck.

    My take on this is there are great solutions using the API and third party programs so why reinvent the wheel?

    Dave wo2x

  • KD0RC
    KD0RC Member, Super Elmer Moderator

    As a casual CW op, I would like a zero beat button, but I am not desperate for it. To Dave's point, my workaround is CWSkimmer. Just click the little circle next to the signal, and you are precisely tuned to that frequency. Acts just like a zero beat button.

    In my novice days of crystal control, you were almost never zero beat. It took a while of tuning around to see if someone was responding to your CQ.

    In today's world of extremely sharp DSP filters, 10 Hz outside the other guy's filter means no QSO. That is why I try to get as close as I can to zero beat when I answer a CQ.

  • Mark Aaker K6UFO
    Mark Aaker K6UFO Member ✭✭

    I operate contests remotely, and my number one "Fundamental items missing from SSDR" is a return of the Monitor signal during CW to the remote operator so they can monitor their transmitter. I don't need it to be quick enough to allow paddle sending, just returned so I know my computer CW keying is occurring and sending properly. Some would say this is a problem of SmartLink, not of SmartSDR. Either way, I really need it!

    Mark K6UFO

  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Member ✭✭✭

    Why do some (maybe many) CW ops want the Auto-zero beat feature?


    When looking at many CW signals on the panadapter, I’d like to be able to click on a signal and have it be zero beat. If you are using CW Skimmer it would immediately begin decoding. One click and done with the Auto-zero beat option enabled.

    Currently if you just tune to a signal on the panadapter, or even click tune to the signal, CW skimmer often will not start decoding unless you also go to the skimmer screen and click on the signal there to get it synched perfectly. Tune or click, move your pointer to the skimmer screen, click again, move your pointer back to the SSDR screen for the next time.

    IMHO It would be nice to have this basic feature as part of SSDR. If you don’t want Auto-zero beat, just disable the feature.

    Al / NN4ZZ

  • Ted S
    Ted S Member ✭✭

    One work around for CW zero beat function would be to use the N1MM spectrum monitor. It marks each signal above a settable threshold with a red target at the bottom of the spectrum display. Click on the red target and it tunes to that signal and zero beats. It works well with the Flex, but having a 3rd party panadapter that otherwise is a subset of the SSDR display is not ideal.

    Ted, WR4T

  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Member ✭✭✭

    Ted / WR4T wrote:

    "One work around for CW zero beat function would be to use the N1MM spectrum monitor.... but having a 3rd party panadapter that otherwise is a subset of the SSDR display is not ideal."

    Hi Ted,

    I don't use N1MM but like you said taking up more monitor monitor screen space with a 3rd panadapter display is not ideal. Adding an option to SSDR that would integrate CW Skimmer directly would result in just have one panadapter display for everything. Along with the Auto-zero beat feature it would be a dream for CW Ops.

    Here is a link to the idea to do this from 2013. It is ranked #5 in the list by votes.


    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ

    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com

    6700 Win10 SSDR V2.4.10

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