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Profile Auto Save Discussion

Eric-KE5DTO
Eric-KE5DTO Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
edited June 2020 in SmartSDR for Windows
We hear you.  Some of you don't like the Profile Auto Save feature.  I'd like to learn a bit more about what it is that you don't like. 

First, I want you to understand what prompted the change.  We had enough problems related to "losing" settings after they had set them up that we felt like we needed to change how this worked.  The scenario would go like this: They would load up a profile, then go change some settings and get things set just the way they wanted.  But they would forget to go save the profile.  Then they would change bands and end up on another profile.  What they didn't realize is that by not saving the profile, the changes would not be saved.  So when they returned, the original profile is loaded with all of their changes lost.  Bummer.  This was a common scenario and it played out over and over on our helpdesk.

So we sat down and put our heads together to figure out what we could do to help address this issue.  We thought through the scenarios of what people usually do with profiles and compared how changing settings works with other rigs.  The net of all of that is that most radios save changes to settings as soon as they are made and not surprisingly, most operators expect this behavior, barring any previous experience with our profiles.

What we came up with is the new Profile Auto Save feature initially rolled out in v3.0 (also included in v2.5 which will be released very soon).  The Auto Save feature works on both Transmit and Mic Profiles (but not Global Profiles, which are snapshots -- at least not directly. keep reading).  By allowing the user to create a profile based on the current settings, it allows easy creation of backup profiles (to return to if they don't want experimental changes to taint their setup).  And it saves changes to the associated parameters like output power and mic gain.  The net effect is that you can still return to a pristine profile if you like at any time and yet auto save keeps you from having to remember to save your profile and ultimately losing settings.

Note that if you want to keep your pristine profiles pristine, you should load them, then immediately create a derivative profile.  In other words, they are just a starting point that you use as opposed to a profile you actually operate with.


So that's where things were up until this weekend where I sat down and spoke with a customer at the Dayton Hamvention and had him explain what he didn't like about the Auto Save feature.  He was able to explain what bothered him.  Basically, we have trained the customers to use profiles (both Transmit and Global) and they are using them.  However, when they use load Global Profile called "40m CW HP", they expect the power to be set for their amp.  But the Global Profile is simply going to load the associated Transmit Profile and if the last use on that profile ended up bumping the power up, this can turn into a problem (e.g. they load the 40m CW HP Global Profile and key up to find that they have transmitted 100W into their amp -- not good).

So this is something that we will be discussing.  We would like to hear from you about other scenarios like this that have caused you problems with the new Auto Save functionality.  It is admittedly a different way of doing things and change can be hard.  I do think there are advantages to the way it works now in terms of not losing settings that many operators expect to be saved.  On the other hand, we aren't perfect and don't know it all.  So I'm sure we can improve on how it works.

To answer the question: Yes, we do care.  Yes, we are listening.  It is because we are listening that this change was implemented.


Note: For the sake of keeping this conversation clean, responses such as "I just don't like it" are likely to be removed.  We are looking for operational scenarios that describe specifically what it is that causes problems when using Auto Save.  It also helps if the responses are civil.  ;)
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Answers

  • Steven WA8Y
    Steven WA8Y Member ✭✭
    edited May 2019
    Thanks Eric, at least we know you're listening.
  • WX7Y
    WX7Y Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 2020
    Thank you Eric for the great explanation of what to expect in your detailed explanation of the Profiles, The only thing I was worried about is the output power for those of us running AMP's that take a lower power level to drive them. 

    Also a different topic, I  looked at the manual last night and also like the NEW Transmit window, the only thing I think is missing from there is a automatic  AMP and Barefoot power setting that could toggle with the RCA PTT 's or other LAN keying command kind of like DDUTIL's Auto Power settings.

    Thanks for the great work you guys do and patience you have for us all.

    73's
    Bret
    WX7Y


  • Eric-KE5DTO
    Eric-KE5DTO Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited May 2019
    The evidence was overwhelming from our helpdesk.  Why that wouldn't show up here in the community, I can't say.  I suspect I could dig up threads with the issue, but would rather spend the time working toward moving forward.

    The reason we addressed the issue with the v3.0 release is that we had to touch that part of the code anyways in order to support multiFLEX.

    Thanks for the input.
  • Eric-KE5DTO
    Eric-KE5DTO Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited May 2019
    The TX1/2/3 outputs are included in the new TX Band Settings window that shows all of the bands and the associated settings.  I would recommend a TX Profile for barefoot that has these turned off.
  • Eric-KE5DTO
    Eric-KE5DTO Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited May 2019
    I would recommend that you not depend on the current RF Power value to protect your hardware as it is so easy to change.  All it takes is grabbing the wrong control while operating and you could put your hardware in danger.

    Instead, I would recommend using features like the Max Power setting when operating with an amp to prevent setting the power even accidentally above some point.  I would also recommend that you use separate TX Profiles for barefoot operation that doesn't enable your amp.  These steps should provide additional protection for many more scenarios than just using the RF Power setting from a profile.

    Thanks for weighing in.  I appreciate the feedback.
  • Eric-KE5DTO
    Eric-KE5DTO Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited July 2019
    Good input.  Thanks John.
  • Tom W3FRG
    Tom W3FRG Member ✭✭
    edited May 2019
    Eric,

    I have separate Profiles for all operating scenarios; Local & Remote with and without amp.

    Each sets the Rf Pout to the required maximum settings.

    I'm totally unaware of the Max Power you refer to?
    Is this new in 2.5/3.0?

    Tom W3FRG
  • Eric-KE5DTO
    Eric-KE5DTO Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited May 2019
    Michael -- thanks for the detailed explanation of how these changes affect your workflow.  That really helps to understand how this impacts you.
  • Paul Bradbeer
    Paul Bradbeer Member
    edited July 2019
    Ok Eric, I understand; it's a shame 'cos I think it is covered well in the manual. Maybe a selectable autosave on/off will serve both sides of the discussion.
    I neglected to give you a 'for instance'..
    On my 6400M I have a profile specially set up for driving my 6m QRO amplifier, typically 8w power out to produce 450w. Sometimes I want to temporarily drop the drive power, and in doing so, on occasion I have nudged the Mic Gain by accident....both producing changes that I do not want to be persistent. For me, having to create an extra 'derivative' in order to maintain a pristine profile just seems clunky and unnecessary.
    73 Paul M0CVX
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2019
    hi Eric,

    I think many more will say something after they upgrade to 2.5. I am waiting to find out what all the hoopa is about but I am getting a good picture as to what is going on.

    I think the last few comments will likely be the most common thoughts. User cases.

    Perhaps the auto save feature is a good idea after all, but not the way it is implemented now.

    Instead of puting the auto save at the new panel, keep it off by defult and make it so it can be turned on to change a profile setting on the fly.  And put the auto save feature in the old creat profile section, in the profiles pull down menue. so when you want to creat a new profile it auto saves. The way it works now you have to press a save button, remove that and just auto save right there.

    This way, people can see all their settings on the new panel in one place,,and that's a great feature I think, but let us make changes to the settings there and only click save if we want to.

    --This gives auto save for new profiles and not worrie about forgetting to save, as you mentioned is a real problem reported by the Help Desk.

    -- It gives more flexibility to the use of the settings panel feature by not making it auto save but have the option to save settings in the settings panel.

    -- This keeps the use of profiles we all are used to.
  • Tom W3FRG
    Tom W3FRG Member ✭✭
    edited May 2019
    Setting the MAX Power is slightly helpful, but I need it set from 5 to 25 watts depending on band in use. Plus if I want to operate barefoot I have to revert back to setting Max Power or choose the correct profile for barefoot.

    Tom W3FRG
  • Cal  N3CAL
    Cal N3CAL Member ✭✭
    edited May 2019
    Until V3 came along my TX Levels were all maintained by DDutil.  Never had an issue. 

    Cal/N3CAL
  • Gary NC3Z
    Gary NC3Z Member ✭✭
    edited July 2019
    This is exactly what I was going to say, and what has happened to me.

    I also had a compounded problem of memories recalled overwritting the power by band,  which I thought was related to the auto-save. But it was a bug and was addressed in the new release notes.
  • K3SF
    K3SF Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 2019
    I concur with Paul and Cal.  The ability to Turn /OnOff this 'feature' would resolve the base issue of profile being a 'constant' setup you can count on.

    That it is one you dont typicaly tweek and if I do tweek, then i usually will save it a specially derived profile and name it accordingly.


    Paul K3SF
  • Jon_KF2E
    Jon_KF2E Member ✭✭
    edited May 2019
    Don,

    I think Eric meant to click the like under the posts you like here in the community, not on other social media.

  • Don Cunningham
    Don Cunningham Member ✭✭
    edited May 2019
    Thanks, John.  I guess I wasn't logged into the community and couldn't do that before.  Did I say I was old??  :-) 
    Don
  • Jon_KF2E
    Jon_KF2E Member ✭✭
    edited May 2019
    Eric,

    Is there any chance that whatever the fix is for profiles it will be ported to V2? This is a big enough problem for me to not upgrade to V2.5 and I really hadn't planned to buy V3 since I don't need multiflex.
  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator
    edited May 2019
    Yes, DDUtil AutoDrive works great. When DDUtil is enabled it sets power out per band and enables the TX1 line. When DDUtil is in standby it sets power to 100 watts and disables TX1 line.

    Hopefully K5FR will release a new version with V3 and V2.5 compatibility

    It would be nice as WX7Y suggested to have this functionality in SmartSDR so you can have a QRO and QRP power setting which follows TX1 line.

    Dave wo2x

  • Steve
    Steve Member
    edited May 2019
    Seems like LOTS of people want the option to save or not, put me on the list.  All applicable reasons have already been mentioned and I agree.  PSDR had multiple options to deal with profiles.  Not understanding programming is this a lot of work??  Anyway thanks for asking for opinions
  • Duane  N9DG
    Duane N9DG Member ✭✭
    edited May 2019
    I too would likely get into trouble with the autosave functionality as it exists now. I actually use the global profiles almost exclusively, and view them as being super duper memories. Has worked well for me these last few years.

    I also really like the idea of a 3 level - Always, Prompt, Never - approach user saving choice options, and have it be defaulted to Prompt. And also the Prompt choice be able to provide the option of doing a "Save As" in addition to simply updating the existing profile. That would be very handy when creating new profiles from existing ones, and wanting to keep both the original and the new one.
  • Dick / KC9YRA
    Dick / KC9YRA Member ✭✭
    edited May 2019

    Eric

    Thanks for responding to this Auto Save issue.  We all have our reasons for like or dislike of the auto save feature.  We each have our reasons for creating a profile, how we use it and when we want to save it.  I fall on the dislike side.  I have about 30 different Global and 30 Transmit profiles created.  I mainly operate digital modes with low power (10w). The Transmit profiles are tailored for each Band and each Mode of operation.  I have just few Microphone profiles.  I use these profiles to switch between bands and modes rapidly.  Knowing that The Radio will be ready to operate when the profile is loaded is a comforting.  I do make changes to transmit profiles on the fly, but usually do not want to save them as they are temporary.  Having to reload the original saved profile is time consuming with the auto save feature.

    When exiting SSDR or changing to a different profile.  Give us the flexibility to choose whether to save or not to save.  Use the standard pop up window that’s used in many applications when changes are detected.  “Do you want save Changes YES or NO”. It seems the Transmit and Microphone name adds a * in front of the name so it knows that a change has occurred.  This would allow us as operators to decide if we want to save the changes or not.  That would satisfy both likes and dislikes.

    **** KC9YRA







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