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SDC Skimmer for Flex Radios

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Comments

  • Ricardo_PY2PT
    Ricardo_PY2PT Member
    edited June 2022
    Erik and guys,



    And how to connect sdc with Flex in a a remote environment ? No computer at local site (only Flex) and smart sdr / maestro at remote site with a computer to run all log/contest softwares with TCP or virtual com and also, if possible, run SDC.

    After talking with Yuri and also you I realize its only possible with a computer connection at local site.

    I think here we have some guys working remote and if possible could share experiences.

    Regards



    Ricardo

    PY2PT
  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin
    edited June 2022

    @Ricardo_PY2PT

    I have learned a lot doing remote since 2005.

    During one of those years, I decided to not have a computer at the remote/radio end. It was year of real pain actually.

    I found that having a local PC was a must-have for so many reasons. It helped with applying maintenance, running digital programs and so much more. And, it has never been an issue to run it locally. I run all my logging programs and WSJT on the PC by the radio as it was much more efficient. I just use VNC, RemoteDesktop or Anydesk to connect to it. It is on 100% of the time but I can power down it or reboot it if required.

    Some of the features are:

    • Only 1 PC to maintain for Ham Radio Software
    • All 'stuff' is connected locally
    • It is easy to share your station with a friend as all they have to do is a remote desktop connection
    • You can do radio maintenance easily like software updates
    • You can do network maintenance if required
    • It reduces your data upload traffic giving you less buffering
    • IT guys do it all the time. Everything is remote for them.
    • You can also use SmartSDR at the user PC thanks to SmartLink

    Anyway, that is how I do it. :) Give it some thought.

    73

  • Dear Mike,

    Hi and thanks a lot for your answer.
    So, I understand your point of view. I'm also a "heavy user" when talking about remote experiences and I think we have a lot of ways to do it.
    The way you said, without any computer on remote, without any computer on local site, only via IP/ports etc and a web interface on remote site, via Ethernet with COM interface (no computer also) etc.
    Really a lot of ways to do it and I like Flex because its almost plug and play (ready to go).

    My example is a Flex on my local ethernet and I connect it with maestro or any pc on my remote site or wherever with notebook, iPad etc, including any log/contest/digital software with smart cat/dax.

    But, if I decide to run amplifier (SP 1.3 for example) its possible with a nuc or pc connected to it and on remote site I also use a PC or Mac to control it (Any desk, team viewer etc). I prefer to use this way but also we could use an ethernet interface with COM ports and also control the amplifier via virtual com ports and his software. We also have some amps as Genius and others with ethernet connection. Only need to connect on the net and here we go (no computer local or remote to control. maybe on remote to control the amp software).

    So, both are ok. But back on the question, We still can't use SDC on remote site without any computer on local site. That's the point.

    But lets talking about and change info because everyone wins.

    Regards

    Ric
    PY2PT
    PX2A on contests
  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin

    Hi Ric

    A NUC should be fast enough. And, yes, you can also run the Maestro for your user interface.

    You could use virtual com ports, but the nightmare I got into about 10 years ago was that it looked me down to 1 operating position, and that was my desk at home. If I was stuck in a hotel, it really limited me.

    You likely could run a solid VPN and have SDC work, but you are not taxing your upload bandwidth with a stream of UDP IQ Data packets and if the bandwidth isn't there, or the router can't handle the stream, you start dropping packets in a hurry and corrupting the story you are trying to build at the operator end. This is why we don't support DAX IQ streaming over SmartLink and in fact, was disabled in 3.3.32 for a variety of reasons.

    In case you don't know, UDP data packets are like a fire and forget missile. They are just sent to the target and we never know if they get there. Some of the data can get dropped, but usually, we don't care for things like phone calls and movies. We never notice and our brain puts the rest of the story together.

    Since the radio is a network device, it does leave you with a lot of options though. Just keep in mind the upstream data rates and how reliable the pipe is under load. I took the more simple route.

    There are much better network guys on this group who might have ideas for you and can share their success rates, like @Gerry Hull. He is also a lot more network smarter than me. :)

    It's been an education for me, and I am still learning. I like the KISS model.

    73

  • Erik Carling EI4KF
    Erik Carling EI4KF Member ✭✭✭

    SDC + SmartSDR + transmit and receive RTTY integration with N1MM

    watch video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFvi7q9ET0A&t

    Test version with this implementation at 3.Download — SDC (lw-sdc.com)

  • Ray G3XLG
    Ray G3XLG Member ✭✭

    Have now downloaded SDC version 16.0307 from Yuri's site. He says this is a further enhancement of RTTY using SDC with SmartSDR but I wont be able to test it until later this week.

    We are already able to use the SDR Digi tab and the Skimmer with N1MM for RTTY but so far not with PSK. If you try PSK I mine defaults to MMVARI or FLDIGI already within N1MM.

    Using Flex6600

    73 Ray G3XLG

  • UT4LW
    UT4LW Member ✭✭

    The level of data in the IQ stream turned out to be very high, which had a bad effect on the operation of the RTTY skimmer. This issue has been fixed in 16.0307.

    I temporarily connected the SDC-DIGI and the N1MM program via the dxp38 protocol. For full-fledged work in N1MM, it is necessary that the developers of this program create a client to connect to SDC-DIGI. This is not difficult, the protocol documentation is in the general instructions for the SDC program.

  • Ty K3MM
    Ty K3MM Member ✭✭

    I'm new to this software and a bit confused. Do I need to register SDC for the Flex interface? I'm not seeing the tab for FLex SDR setup. Also, will this work with a Maestro without SmartSDR?

  • Erik Carling EI4KF
    Erik Carling EI4KF Member ✭✭✭

    Hello Ty, please see the instructions at https://www.dropbox.com/s/zbiweiglsbj44f3/SDC%20SKIMMER%20WITH%20FLEX%20RADIO.pdf?dl=0

    The Skimmer Spots will be shown on the Maestro but only if SSDR is running as it requires the presence of a Slice.

    A registration code from Yuri UT4LW will enable all Flex related features.

  • Ray G3XLG
    Ray G3XLG Member ✭✭

    New Flex user. Strange situation yesterday.

    I was watching TV (Wimbledon!) having left the Flex6600 on with SDC (16.0307) and N1MM. We then had a power cut for a couple of minutes before the power came back on. The Flex radio had restarted but I had to restart the PC and the software again. When I opened Smart SDR 3.3.32, I found it had "lost" all the COM port assignments in SmartSDR CAT for slice 1, 2, Winkeyer etc.

    Before I recreate them all again, does anyone know where they might be stored? I looked in Profile Manager where I had stored Global set ups for CW and Data, but found it did not store the SmartSDR CAT COM port settings. Smart SDR DAX seems OK and not affected.

    Ray G3XLG

  • Erik Carling EI4KF
    Erik Carling EI4KF Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 2022

    Ray, look in C:\Users\computer-name\AppData\Roaming\FlexRadio Systems

    But the CAT.settings file may have been over-written by the latest one with 'lost' ports. However, if you are backing up the config then you will have the good file.

    Alternatively, if you are saving Windows Restore Points, roll back to one that pre-dates the power cut. That might restore the original file.

  • Ray G3XLG
    Ray G3XLG Member ✭✭

    Hi Erik

    Yes they had been overwritten by the "lost" file . How do I back up the config file in future as a matter of interest?

  • Erik Carling EI4KF
    Erik Carling EI4KF Member ✭✭✭

    Hi Ray, you only need to save the directory mentioned above to a back-up media such as an external drive or USB stick. Either use backup software that does it for you, example once a day, or else manually whenever you make a change in SSDR (which will not be very often once you are familiar with it and happy with its settings).

    Then all you need to do is also back up Profiles using the Export Profiles function and do that to the same media as used to save the settings folder.

    This works perfectly which I know from having recently reinstalled Windows and therefore having to reinstall SSDR. I imported Profiles from the backup export and copied the 3 .settings files over to the new install and I was instantly back with SSDR as it was.

  • Rick N0VT
    Rick N0VT Member ✭✭

    The latest version is doing a great job with RTTY during this weekend's contest. It integrates perfectly with SSDR and N1MM. If you have it set up for CW (assuming you have configured it to send CW spots to N1MM and the Flex panafall) all you have to do is change Skimmer 1 from CW to RTTY45 on the SKM Server tab, and check "N1MM" under Spots --> Panorama under the Telnet Server tab.

    Great piece of software!

    73, Rick N0VT

  • Yes Rick you are absolutely right. The integration is flawless. A special thanks to Yuri UT4LW for both the awesome CW skimmer and the RTTY integration to SSDR.

  • Jens DL7AUO
    Jens DL7AUO Member ✭✭

    Hi all,

    When to expect SDC 16.0406 to be build for MacOS and to be tested too?

    73

    Jens DL7AUO

  • Erik Carling EI4KF
    Erik Carling EI4KF Member ✭✭✭

    If there is no answer here from Yuri, you could email him and ask.

    Erik.

  • John K3MA
    John K3MA Member ✭✭

    Is the SmartSDR API control type not working? I have newly set it up and was successful with the DAX + SmartSDR API control setting. However, when I change over to just the SmartSDR API type and set it up per pDF and video instruction and then start Skimmer 1 I get no skimming stream and only a message beside the start button saying "Wait IQ channel". However, the IQ channel is showing as enabled and streaming in the DAX panel. I tried both at 48000 and 96000 sample rates.

    I am using SDC v 16.05x64.

  • Erik Carling EI4KF
    Erik Carling EI4KF Member ✭✭✭

    It is working and it should start straight away.

    So, what happens if you have the Skimmer working under DAX + SmartSDR API then you stop SKM Server, change to SmartSDR API and restart SKM Server? Here the Skimmer starts as normal.

    Erik.

  • John K3MA
    John K3MA Member ✭✭
    edited January 12

    No change. Here is a screenshot with both connected and started. One running other not. I tried all combination. One only loaded. One only connected. Always the SmartAPI gives the Wait Message and the DAX +SmartSDR always works.

    I am not sure why it wants to indicate 14Mhz on the right side frequency as the radio is on 7MHz and the LO seems to be fine.

    I also tried with creating a Slice 2 and setting the SmartAPI to Slice 2 and leaving the DAX + SmartAPI on Slice 1. Still same waiting message. In all cases the DAX panel shows that the IQ channels are streaming at 48K.

    Maybe you can see what I have incorrect in the setup?


  • Martin_G4ENZ
    Martin_G4ENZ Member ✭✭

    John,

    What does your SmartAPI tab look like. It seems to me that you haven't got the UDP data stream back from the radio. Mine looks like this when working...

    ...note the two blue connections to the right of the TCP and UDP ports.

    I used to find that sometimes, the UDP wouldn't start. I did push my port number up from the default and I've not had any issues since.

    73 Martin

  • John K3MA
    John K3MA Member ✭✭

    Thank you for the help.

    The TCP port shows connected but the UDP port shows a red plug end which I assume means no connection. I tried changing the UDP Port numbers to several others and also disabled my Firewall but still no connection.

    If you do not have any insight maybe I will uninstall the x64 version and install the 32 bit version and see what happens.

  • Erik Carling EI4KF
    Erik Carling EI4KF Member ✭✭✭

    Just to mirror my settings, please try as below

    Your Host address may be different, it should be your radio IP address

    Make the TCP and UDP ports 4992 and 4998 only.

    Try again and let us know.

    Erik.


  • John K3MA
    John K3MA Member ✭✭

    I did change the Host to the IP address of the Flex on my LAN and tried the ports as shown. Again. TCP connects but UDP does not.

  • Erik Carling EI4KF
    Erik Carling EI4KF Member ✭✭✭

    OK. Try something else then: have your firewall enabled and check that there are 2 SDC entries, one for TCP and one for UDP with connection allowed on the General tab.

    If you have to create this, reboot to ensure it takes effect. Then if UDP is still not connecting, try some random port numbers e.g. 3000, 4000. Is there still no connection?

    Erik.

  • John K3MA
    John K3MA Member ✭✭

    TU I will give it a try and report back when I return home in a few days. Although, I am mystified why it did not work when I disabled the Firewall but sometimes strange things happen.

  • UT4LW
    UT4LW Member ✭✭

    When to expect SDC 16.0406 to be build for MacOS and to be tested too?

    Version 16.05 for MacOS has been published on the SDC website

  • Mike VE3CKO
    Mike VE3CKO Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 17

    I did register before not sure on the install date but I installed the latest v16.05 and it kept my registration and key but do not see the SmartSDR table so I must assume I need to re-register. I donated this morning but must have gotten distracted during the paypal process as I did not enter my callsign and email address as required.

    In the payment note, be sure to include your callsign and e-mail address to which you will receive the registration key!.

    I did send an email UT4LW's yahoo email address with proof of paypal payment with transaction ID, and I am a little impatient, lol. Yuri did respond with a new key, thanks! Looking forward to playing with SDC.

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