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Advice on moving to SmartSDR for Mac please

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andyg8tjq
andyg8tjq Member ✭✭
I would appreciate some advice on moving to SmartSDR for Mac please

I am currently using SmartSDR for Windows together with connected apps:

Log4OM logging software
Slice-master that runs
- WSJT-X, used for FT8
- CW Skimmer

I have experimented with Fldigi but do not currently use it.
My predominant operating mode is SSB but I would like to make better use of CW and FT8

I have a Flex 6400 with Power Genius XL and Tuner Genius XL. All are located remotely from my operating position and connected via a 1Gbps LAN

The PC I use at the operating position to run all the software is an Intel NUC with Windows 11. It has now reached its performance limit and is frequently at 100% CPU. freezes from time to time and probably needs to be replaced.

I already use SmartSDR on the iPad and like the features it provides and so am actively considering replacing the NUC with a Mac Mini that should have better performance. I also see the reviews here for the HaliKey that would let me connect my iambic paddles directly to the Mac which is a real winner for me.


I would prefer to continue using Log4OM but there is no Mac version - could I run it under parallels? Would I use xcat to link to it and does this work?

Similarly would WSJT-X work under Parallels?

Has anyone else made this sort of transition with similar modes/applications? Any advice gratefully received.

Thanks and 73
Andy G8TJQ

Answers

  • Gord-VA7GP
    Gord-VA7GP Member ✭✭✭
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    I'll be interested to hear / see / learn how this works for you. I use similar software on Win10 / Win11 including Bootcamp on Mac, but that has a finite future. Log4OM is the problematic software: windows only.

  • Bill
    Bill Member ✭✭
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  • Bill
    Bill Member ✭✭
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    Andy,

    I have been a SmartSDR for Mac (and iOS on both iPad and iPhone) user for several years now, and also have a Windows 11 Smart SDR for Windows station setup. Mostly remote operation of SSB, FT8, RTTY, CW and SSTV. I use a Mac Mini M1, and operate both an older Flex 6300 and a Flex 6400 at two different locations.

    I much prefer SmartSDR for Mac to Smart SDR for Windows for several reasons:

    1. Smart SDR for Mac is far more integrated. FT8 on the Mac just works. No fuss, no bother. Logging is built in to it also, although I am not a contester and I am certain there are more advanced features in other logging programs. And if you need to use a more sophisticated logging program, SmartSDR for Mac has built in ADIF export/import and QSL management. Every time I use Smart SDR for Windows and want to access a mode such as FT8, I spend an inordinate amount of time fiddling with the various interface apps. Same with the logging apps. Everything can be made to work with SmartSDR for Windows, but its just more of a hassle to set it up. Some folks like working through all of the Windows interface issues and have a deserved sense of pride in their ultimate success. I just like to operate ham radio!
    2. Support for the Flex radios is really outstanding. I have found the support team at Flex available and knowledgable for the hardware as well as SmartSDR for Windows. SmartSDR for Mac has Marcus Roskosch. Marcus answers all of his inquiries personally, and is the developer of the software. Don't know how he does it, but he does. And he sticks with a problem till it is solved. And he has a helpful web site of his own.
    3. As to integration once again, SmartSDR for Mac has RTTY and CW built in.
    4. iOS versions of SmartSDR for Mac are available, and work remarkably well. If you want to impress a non-ham, whip out you iPhone and work DX from anywhere. And on a Mac Tablet, it has all of the features built in.
    5. Windows and Mac both have their devotees for their respective hardware and software. I am almost a full time Mac user now, and haven't looked back. I keep a Windows 11 Dell machine up to date for the occasional time when I have some unique software needs. If you have not used a Mac, you will have some adjustment period, but there are excellent support site on the web for Ham Radio on a Mac. As a general rule, you will find that Mac world does it better, and is far more integrated between PC-Tablet-iPhone. Mac world is more of an integrated system of software and hardware whereas Windows is mostly just a PC world.
    6. The MacMini is the sweet spot of Mac PCs, although many people like the notebooks. But I like my 32" screen on my MacMini more than my MacBook Pro 16" screen.

    I hope this has been helpful, and that others might chime in with their views.

    Good Luck and 73s…

    Bill

    KK4C