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Have Other User Intefaces Been Considered ?

13»

Answers

  • Jay NationJay Nation Member
    edited May 2019
    Maybe User Interfaces should be left up to the User. User created UI. I'd like to be able to flip the 0's to 1's by just wishing for the change, I'd also wish that my mind was capable of keeping track of which 0 needs to be flipped. Till then I'll settle for whatever interface is provided and adapt to that. 
  • Duane  N9DGDuane N9DG Member
    edited April 2015
    Paul,

    Your comments about the throttle controls vs. the instrumentation in modern aircraft underscores my point. The throttles are simply extensions of doing something "physical" to the engine. Whereas most of the instrumentation provides visual representations of many things that are not inherently visible otherwise, or at least visible with the required precision.

    As for the shiny objects aspect, I want the dynamically changing RF spectrum information to always be the shiny object, and for it to not be competing with the radio's UI controls for my attention :).
  • Walt - KZ1FWalt - KZ1F Member
    edited March 2017
    One thing I've learned over the last two years is this forum is filled with people unable to be happy. They aren't happy with the company.
    They aren't happy with the software.
    They aren't happy with the software update cycle.
    They aren't happy with not knowing what the company employees are working on.
    They aren't happy with not knowing when software will be released.
    They aren't happy not knowing their pet wish, right behind that pony, may or may not be coming.
    They aren't happy knowing their pet wish, right behind the pony won't be coming.
    They aren't happy knowing their pet wish, right behind the pony will be coming.
    They aren't happy with the software appearance.
    They aren't happy with the software behavior.

    Maybe what it all comes down to is this forum is full of people unhappy with themselves, therefore, they can't be happy with anything else.

    In no way does FRS own any part of that problem.
  • W9OYW9OY Alpha Team Member ✭✭
    edited November 2016
    DDUTIL already supports a user programmable physical interface, actually 2 of them.  One is the FlexControl and one is the Genovation keypad.  The FlexControl allows control of several slider funcions as well as up to 12 push button macros.  The Genovation keypad allows up to 48 individually programmable buttons which execute specific macro functions.  The macro functions are stackable and can be very complex.  Many macro functions can also control slider values.  The can also be toggled.  When I push NB, the NB turns on and it sets the slider to the value I use most for my specific noise situation, and it does it for both slices.  The command looks like this:

    DD6NBK0:1;DD6NBK1:1;DD6NBG0:080;DD6NBG1:080;   

    It turns on NB0 and NB1 and sets both sliders to 80.  One button press.  I have this on a toggle so If I press the button again NB shuts off  

    Tune is like this 

    Tune on DD6TXL0:0;DD6TXT1;
    Tune off DD6TXT0;DD6TXL0:1;ZZXS0;

    Tune on: turns off TX key line and turns on tune at whatever power is set on the front panel
    Tune off: turns off tune and then resets the key line.  This way I can tune my automatic antenna tuner with one button press through the amp and my tuner never see high power and I never have to switch off my amp to tune

    I have another button  XIT+2 that turns on the XIT and sets it to +2khz  

    ZZXS1;ZZXG+02000;

    another button press clears and cancels XIT

    ZZXS0;

    You also see ZZXSO; in tune off.  So if I'm going to tune up on a QSO and its clear above I first hit XIT+2 and then tune on and tune 2 khz up the band.  When I hit tune off the ZZXSO; command also cancels XIT.  I have some very complex macros that do many things to configure the radio exactly how I like it for given situations all with one button press.  For example you can make the entire sequence to go from SSB to AFSK entirely automatic including setting and centering RTTY filters, one button.

    Another advantage of this is the keypad is always in focus, which neans I can be looking at a browser and hit the NB button and NB snaps to attention without changing focus.  I have macros for record on/off playback on/off I can set the pan in both slices one to the left eat the other to the right exactly as I like it, one button press.  

    If you don't have a Genovation but you do have a FlexControl you can create up to 9 of these custom macros for your enjoyment and the FlexContol is also independent of focus, but you have to attach your FlexControl to DDUTIL and shut off FlexControl in SSDR to get that to work.  

    So here is another user interface available today that is very powerful.  Much of what you do with a slider is actually a set value so using a macro to set the slider is often more than adequate.  It also showcases the incredible power that Flex has given us for customization of our radio thrugh the API.  Steve K5FR has spent mucho time bringing much of the API functionality to those of us who can't or do not have enough experience to roll your own

    73  W9OY
  • Walt - KZ1FWalt - KZ1F Member
    edited November 2016
    I did not know that Lee, good info, thanks!
  • Jay NationJay Nation Member
    edited May 2019
    Excellent Lee, I'm going to switch the Flexcontrol back to DDUtil and try your method. I might even use the FlexControl more, I might use it better.image
  • W9OYW9OY Alpha Team Member ✭✭
    edited April 2015
    Here is a blog post I wrote

    http://sdr-w9oy.blogspot.com/2015/03/genovation-buttons.html

    I've further refined my macros so things today are not like the posting but then Flex is Flexible.  Conceptually things are well represented in the post

    73  W9OY
  • IW7DMH, EnzoIW7DMH, Enzo Member ✭✭
    edited January 2017
    I would like to know how many people here are able to do fine control tuning using a skeuomorph GUI control.
    When I work a DX I often have to do fine tuning of filter BW, AGT-T and Slice Volume controls.
    Using my fingers, in a touch screen scenario, has the effect  to move the control far beyond the desired level while using the mouse, in the standard SSDR usage, forces my attention to the GUI controls and not to my main DX listening activity.
    During contests the issue is very similar.
    I did a lot of tests in this way and I found that "six" is the minimal number of knobs that can transform a usable GUI in a user friendly GUI.
    There will be some reason if in the newest BMW cars (just to say one) steering wheel, gear shift and other basic controls are still there.
    I would like to see in the next future a Flex Control like device with a Main Knob and a bunch of programmable knobs. The best would be a SmartSDR-API extension offering support for such a device. It would be a great companion also in "remote" usage.
  • DH2IDDH2ID Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Walt, I agree with you, and as I'm VERY happy with my Flex-6500
    (and I am still happy with my Flex-3000) I wrote a (sarcastic) song
    about having no knobs no more (see above) hi...
  • Robert -- N5IKDRobert -- N5IKD Member ✭✭
    edited December 2018
    This thread was not originally about skeuomorph GUI, it was about adding hardware controls.

    I think we all agree that skeuomorph GUI is not ideal. Physical knobs are not ideal, but they can be an enhancement especially if you can define their behavior. They can also make the radio more portable when you are running a station with limited resources.

  • Paul, WB5AGFPaul, WB5AGF Member
    edited April 2015
    Robert;

    I have to chuckle ..... Until I was told about it here (in this forum thread) I didn't know the word skeuomorph .... and I certainly can't pronounce it.

    When I first saw the term my thoughts flashed-to the sci-fi movie 'Aliens' starring Sigourney Weaver in which her character (Ridley) used the term xenomorph (you know, the creepy-critter that popped-out of the guy's chest in the first movie 'Alien').

    - Paul, WB5AGF
  • Walt - KZ1FWalt - KZ1F Member
    edited November 2016
    I thought I'd throw out that BFTP, to see who was paying attention. Thank you Steve!
  • DrTeethDrTeeth Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    @ Paul. When one gets to designing things more complicated one needs to factor in psychology, neurology and many other disciplines to take into account instinctive behaviour. It is not just a matter of a designer giving the pilot a cockpit and saying 'learn it as I ain't changing anything'.

    Regarding the light switch issue - that is the price you pay for being out of step with the vast majority of counties in the World (drives me nuts when I visit the USA too).
  • DrTeethDrTeeth Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    I just wish the current interface would follow Windows conventions. That would be a good start.
  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    When people comment about how difficult it was to program computers with toggle switches, etc. and how nothing much could be done with such simple programming, I am reminded how they had to reprogram the computers on the LEM and Command Modules in the Apollo program.  It must have been a nightmare reprogramming the things on Apollo 13 in order to bring the guys back safely!
    I don't remember how many lines of code they had to enter in HEX with a simple numeric keypad.....I have seen the documentaries, and all of that "modern" technology looks so ancient to us now!

    Myself... I began programming in the late 70's on punch cards and FORTRAN.  Then moved to various forms of basic.  I have dabbled a little bit with "Processing" a derivative of JAVA in order to customize two different MIDI Controllers for my 6500, based upon the excellent work that William is doing.  I have gotten stalled right now, trying to get my tower and LP in the air.  But then I hope to finish some more elaborate stuff with the MIDI controllers and API functions.  I have the theory in my head, just don't have the time to do it yet.  

    I still haven't wrapped my head around the transition to "object" level programming vs the linear logic of subroutines, IF/THEN/ELSE, DO Loops, and such that were the mainstay of programming when I was in college.  At present, I know enough to vaguely follow what people are discussing, and perhaps take a few ideas and implement them as variations, but couldn't do much of it myself from scratch....yet.....I am a fast learner!

    In the subject of "interfaces"  my opinion is that there many, if not most functions that are easier and more efficient using the type of interface provided in SSDR right now.  But there are others, such as tuning frequencies rapidly during a contest or searching for DX that seem to work better when there is some physical feedback, such as in a weighted tuning knob, where it is easier to control not only the amount of change but the speed of it at the same time.  

    The same thing is true when driving a car.  My dad had a mercury back in the day that I absolutely hated to drive because its power steering was "too powerful."  i.e. it gave me absolutely NO tactile feedback from the road.  I felt so isolated from the road that my hands couldn't keep good control of the car.... It weaved back and forth because every slight fidget was translated into movement on the road.  My other car, on the other hand, had some mechanical feedback that gave pressure back to my hand and let me know when I was applying turning pressure to the wheel.  This was very important.  It was an issue that many automotive engineers had to put into their designs when they developed the "drive by wire" systems using electrically operated steering motors linked to a wheel with no actual physical connection to the steering train.

    On the SDR, there are still several functions that are much more convenient to activate on my MIDI panel without losing focus on the computer screen, rather than mousing around looking for the correct menu to drop and click.  But that is the beauty of SDR...I can design a MIDI interface, or others can design one for their iPad or Android and lay it out exactly the way we want it... the best of both worlds!
    It is a great time to be a ham......

    Ken - NM9P

  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    When people comment about how difficult it was to program computers with toggle switches, etc. and how nothing much could be done with such simple programming, I am reminded how they had to reprogram the computers on the LEM and Command Modules in the Apollo program.  It must have been a nightmare reprogramming the things on Apollo 13 in order to bring the guys back safely!
    I don't remember how many lines of code they had to enter in HEX with a simple numeric keypad.....I have seen the documentaries, and all of that "modern" technology looks so ancient to us now!

    Myself... I began programming in the late 70's on punch cards and FORTRAN.  Then moved to various forms of basic.  I have dabbled a little bit with "Processing" a derivative of JAVA in order to customize two different MIDI Controllers for my 6500, based upon the excellent work that William is doing.  I have gotten stalled right now, trying to get my tower and LP in the air.  But then I hope to finish some more elaborate stuff with the MIDI controllers and API functions.  I have the theory in my head, just don't have the time to do it yet.  

    I still haven't wrapped my head around the transition to "object" level programming vs the linear logic of subroutines, IF/THEN/ELSE, DO Loops, and such that were the mainstay of programming when I was in college.  At present, I know enough to vaguely follow what people are discussing, and perhaps take a few ideas and implement them as variations, but couldn't do much of it myself from scratch....yet.....I am a fast learner!

    In the subject of "interfaces"  my opinion is that there many, if not most functions that are easier and more efficient using the type of interface provided in SSDR right now.  But there are others, such as tuning frequencies rapidly during a contest or searching for DX that seem to work better when there is some physical feedback, such as in a weighted tuning knob, where it is easier to control not only the amount of change but the speed of it at the same time.  

    The same thing is true when driving a car.  My dad had a mercury back in the day that I absolutely hated to drive because its power steering was "too powerful."  i.e. it gave me absolutely NO tactile feedback from the road.  I felt so isolated from the road that my hands couldn't keep good control of the car.... It weaved back and forth because every slight fidget was translated into movement on the road.  My other car, on the other hand, had some mechanical feedback that gave pressure back to my hand and let me know when I was applying turning pressure to the wheel.  This was very important.  It was an issue that many automotive engineers had to put into their designs when they developed the "drive by wire" systems using electrically operated steering motors linked to a wheel with no actual physical connection to the steering train.

    On the SDR, there are still several functions that are much more convenient to activate on my MIDI panel without losing focus on the computer screen, rather than mousing around looking for the correct menu to drop and click.  But that is the beauty of SDR...I can design a MIDI interface, or others can design one for their iPad or Android and lay it out exactly the way we want it... the best of both worlds!
    It is a great time to be a ham......

    Ken - NM9P

  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    I don't know why the forum double-posted my last lengthy post, but I have tried several times to delete one of them, and it won't go away.  Sorry.
  • Walt - KZ1FWalt - KZ1F Member
    edited November 2016
    @Gary, what Windows convention are you talking about? I recall the Windows Style Guide from ages ago in the MFC timeframe. I believe at this point there are subsets for RIA, specifically in this case WPF. It appears SSDR pretty much seems to follow that. Further, it appears to follow a BorderPane, and the left panel is retractable. The top as your traditional menu items and the bottom has, I've forgotten as it is not in front of me. The right has a VerticalBox which contain the dialog boxes. Unfortunately it is not scrollable as on a laptop one loses the bottom most dialogs.
    What exactly did you mean by Windows conventions?
    Walt
    image
  • DrTeethDrTeeth Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    Oy, the number of times I have been called Gary in my life, LOLZ.

    I am talking about, when a slider is active, right and left arrows move it left and right not page down/up. Also, when a slider is active, more often than not by the cursor just being over it, the mouse wheel moves it; etc. There are more of that ilk.  The mouse wheel one drives me nuts as I use it a lot, but find myself detuning my radio in SSDR
  • W9OYW9OY Alpha Team Member ✭✭
    edited April 2015
    Here is a little primer for DDUTIL macros used in the Flex Control

    73  W9OY
  • Joe, KQ1QJoe, KQ1Q Member
    edited April 2015
    Technically the LM was not programmed with toggle switches -- its program was hard-wired into core memory. However certain trajectory variables involving subtle forces (light pressure, etc) could not be modeled far in advance and these were uplinked via telemetry during the mission. As a contingency if communications were lost, lists of these variables and state data were periodically read up to the astronauts, who could enter them by hand using the DSKY keypad (not toggle switches): http://www.ohiocityproductions.com/kscvisit.com/art/apollo-AGC-pad.png

    The Apollo Guidance Computer had about 72 kilobytes of core memory, 4k of re-writable memory, and a memory cycle time of 11.7 microseconds, equating to roughly 85,000 instructions per second. The production AGC was wire-wrapped: http://www.ibiblio.org/apollo/AgcWirewrappedBackplane.jpg

    However, running mostly assembly language it was capable of fly-by-wire real time control of the vehicle, plus navigation, monitoring of instruments and driving numeric displays. No Apollo guidance computer ever crashed during a mission, although during the Apollo 11 lunar descent it almost did. I did a custom edit combining various NASA audio files of the Apollo 11 descent which emphasized the decision making on the computer problem. Most people have never heard this. It and my transcript were posted here: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35230.msg1229852#msg1229852

    It may be interesting to those working with critical real-time or embedded software systems.
  • Walt - KZ1FWalt - KZ1F Member
    edited November 2016
    Oh jeese, I'm sorry.
  • Ross - K9COXRoss - K9COX Member ✭✭
    edited June 2017
    I like the steering wheel of a Formula I race car (does it all) or perhaps the HUD on a modern fighter.
  • Walt - KZ1FWalt - KZ1F Member
    edited November 2016
    I've always used the hover (or whatever verb is in vogue) to trigger help text, not change focus to a different control. Look at it this way, of the mouse were nudged and it parked over a different control thereby shifting focus and you were in a contest, that would probably be more upsetting than requiring more positive control, vis-a-vis, changing focus. Just to editorialize for a moment. I think one of the problems with opening a problem is one might find respondents knowing less about it that the author does. For instance, in this case what I was going to suggest is opening a specific problem thread but direct it specifically to Eric, with the question "shouldn't this work like ...." where he can respond "you're correct, it's a bug" or 'no, the stds say..". It would be nice if one could do that without getting pages of people pontificating and/or changing the topic etc. I've seen this happen to me, I've seen it happen to lots of others and, yes, it is very frustrating. All that said, you could open a question or a problem and right up front, be very specific, "THIS IS DIRECTED TO [ERIC|STEVE|TIM|etc] NO ONE ELSE NEED RESPOND". and, if you are fortunate the intended FRS person may see it without all sorts of noise around it. I mean I understand the whole 'social media' thing but as an employee, you couldn't pay me enough to wade through cesspools like this BB. I've never seen a company use a social media to report problems or ask questions, they instead use Jira or Bugzilla or Mantis or facsimile. I realize they deliberately choose this. I did look to see if there was an updated Microsoft or WPF style guide and didn't see anything like that. I do remember when they had one though. So run it by Eric.
  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Yes, I remember hearing the 1201 overrun error (or something like that) and the last minute reset that got things back on line seconds before an abort was required.  I also remember that they almost ran out of fuel in the descent engine.  Of course I was only 5 years old back then, but my little brother and I were more versed in things Apollo than many of the newscasters appeared to be.  (in a 5 year old mind!)

    I have seen footage of them using the DSKY pad.  memories, memories....
  • Paul, WB5AGFPaul, WB5AGF Member
    edited April 2015
    Here's someone (K0KEV) who really likes buttons :

    http://www.highorbit.com/index.php/flexbuttons

  • Paul, WB5AGFPaul, WB5AGF Member
    edited April 2015
    Here's someone (K0KEV) who really likes buttons :

    http://www.highorbit.com/index.php/flexbuttons

  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    If it had a 2.5 - 3 inch tuning knob, that would be an awesome controller.  But $199?  Overkill, unless you already have one!

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