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Two PowerSDR display features on SmartSDR?

vectorizer
vectorizer Member ✭✭
edited June 2020 in SmartSDR for Windows
I had been using PowerSDR for about 5 years with Flex 5000, 3000, and 1500 radios. Now I'm using SmartSDR v3.0.27 with a Flex 6500 for a few months and obviously still learning. There are two display features of PowerSDR that I sorely miss, and was wondering if there's a configuration, plugin, or other cleverness that would restore these:

1) While SmartSDR's SWR bar meter is nice, it only goes up to "3"; PowerSDR has a numeric readout that goes far into double digits. I use the software SWR readout to adjust my transmatch to use my humble doublet antenna, and my SWR is typically far above 3 when I switch bands. Can I get a numeric readout or any other much wider SWR display in SmartSDR?

2) PowerSDR displays U.S. band segment info like General vs. Extra, CW vs. Phone vs beacons, and some calling frequencies like for SSTV and AM. Can I get that in SmartSDR?

-- Pete K0BAK

[I tried but failed to find a previous discussion of these features, which surprised me.]

Answers

  • Steve Sterling
    Steve Sterling Member ✭✭
    edited December 2019
    There are no settings you are missing-- SmartSDR doesn't do several things as well as PSDR-- my biggest beef is the lame "diversity" mode for the Flex 6700 (dual receivers). Others have made the same observations and at least your 2) was mentioned by several on a recent "what are your priorities" survey Flex folks sent out. For your 1) I just have to use the SWR meter on my transmatch for the reason you point out.
    Others probably didn't respond because they don't have solution. Sorry. 73 Steve
  • KI4P
    KI4P Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    If you try FR STACK, I think it does that, as well as show reflected .someone can correct me,
  • vectorizer
    vectorizer Member ✭✭
    edited December 2019
    Thanks for your response, although disappointing.

    I didn't want to complicate my post, but my 6500 is actually destined for a mobile installation with a screwdriver antenna, and I don't have an analog readout there to fall back on, so the SWR readout in software is really vital there. Currently use a Flex 3000 and I push the screwdriver up/down button while watching PowerSDR's numeric readout. (Yes I could add an analog meter, but obviously I don't want to add stuff to an already tight mobile install.) It never even occured to me that old features of PowerSDR wouldn't be supported in SmartSDR ... what's up with that?
  • vectorizer
    vectorizer Member ✭✭
    edited August 2019
    News to me, I'll look into it, thanks. Initial glance it seems like it mostly has features way more sophisticated than I am, but I'll take a closer look.
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 2019
    And, the Flex meter has a simple readout as well.
  • KF4HR
    KF4HR Member ✭✭
    edited December 2019
    As mentioned above FRStack's SWR Meter does show a numerical indication above 3.0, (but to the best of my knowledge, there's no SWR tuning bar).  Mark does an excellent job of adding nice features to SSDR.  You can find FRStack3 at:
    www.mkcmsoftware.com/Flex/Index

    Once you download FRStack3, from the View (pull down menu), select Meter Window and S-Meter Enable and RFStack will put an overlay on your screen.

    Ah yes, I too miss PSDR's Diversity Receive tuning features.  It seems a **** shame to upgrade from a 5000A to a 6700, then move backwards with a few features with the SSDR software. (On the flip side, SSDR has some features I like over PSDR).  Many of us continue to hope the next version of SSDR will contain such features as Diversity Control, better filtering, etc.  And the hoping continues.





  • Steve K9ZW
    Steve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 2019
    Every radio setup has features one would wish were never dropped.  

    Digging into things you sometimes find the old feature wasn't really quite the feature you'd though it was, that their are some add-on (software in our instance) that can recreate it or there may be technical reasons why the feature can't be retained.

    I think we have  an instance of each of these under discussion.

    Was the extended range PowerSDR SWR indicator was actually measuring anything beyond the match range?  I think there was discussion that may be captured in the pre-community discussions, and how SmartSDR was limited to what it actually could sense.

    The band markers are presently something that can be worked around, and perhaps will return in a future SmartSDR for Windows upgrade.  While they weren't retained the addition of Spots (which also became a post-FRS addition to PowerSDR) suggests that it is possible.  Hopefully soon.

    The diversity end differs, and here I am guessing that the migration in 2013 from PowerSDR's "thick pipe" model to SmartSDR's "thin pipe" model, moving much of the processing load from the client PC into the Radio Server has interfered with the easy implementation of a more effective diversity feature set.  Perhaps not enough 6700/6600 owners are clamoring for effective diversity?  

    73

    Steve
    K9ZW


  • KI4P
    KI4P Member ✭✭
    edited August 2019
    if you go under view and click meter window it shows voltage, PA temp, Fwd watts, Ref Watts, and SWR, also amp stuff if you have a supported amp!
  • John WA7UAR
    John WA7UAR Member ✭✭
    edited August 2019
    Here is a link to the developer blog of Flex Meter. It seems to still be available. Anyone using it with FRS Firmware version 2 or 3? http://www.denzone.com/
  • Ken Hansen
    Ken Hansen Member ✭✭
    edited August 2019
    A couple quick thoughts: With a 6000 series radio, you can operate your home radio from your mobile over a cellular data link - no antenna. Just a thought, it is one of the great features of the 6000 series radios with SSDR 2.x and beyond. Have you considered using a tunematic-like device? It could automate tuning your screwdriver antenna. See: http://www.tunematic.us/
  • KF4HR
    KF4HR Member ✭✭
    edited August 2019
    2) PowerSDR displays U.S. band segment info like General vs. Extra, CW vs. Phone vs beacons, and some calling frequencies like for SSTV and AM. Can I get that in SmartSDR?

    You always have the option to save Beacon and Calling Frequencies in Memories or under Profiles.  As for Band Segments, if you buy the iOS version of SmartSDR by Marcus Roskosch, DL8MRE (available in the App Store), band segments, DX info, Logging, and other information is available in this App.

      


  • John KB4DU
    John KB4DU Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 2019
    Also, FRstacks indicates the band segment in use, along with a lot of useful information. Not quite as nifty as being indicated on the screen but still useful.

    A kludge is to set up permanent TNFs at the appropriate frequencies. Making them wide creates a "Barber Pole" effect, which is pretty noticeable.
  • vectorizer
    vectorizer Member ✭✭
    edited August 2019
    Did the PowerSDR SWR meter measure anything beyond the match range? Well, the numbers changed as expected as the match got better, which is good enough for making transmatch or screwdriver antenna adjustments.

    "The band markers are presently something that can be worked around": good, how can I do that work around?

    Someone else brought up diversity, FWIW. I (the OP) don't care about that.
  • vectorizer
    vectorizer Member ✭✭
    edited August 2019
    No one wants to add hardware to a mobile install if it's not necessary, for the sake of money, space, complication, and reliability. If the 6xxx series hardware can measure a greater SWR range (which no one has disputed yet), why can't the software display it? If the hardware is incapable of measuring an SWR beyond 3, that would be a surprising step back in capability from the previous hardware series, but at least would close the question of SmartSDR displaying a wider range.
  • John KB4DU
    John KB4DU Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 2019
    Oh, Pete, just recognized your call from NPOTA.
  • vectorizer
    vectorizer Member ✭✭
    edited August 2019
    Thanks, but I'm not using an app. I'm using a Windows 7 computer and (in my eventual mobile install) a fairly large UHD screen. It's fantastic that the radio can be operated from an iOS app, but that's not my situation.

    My use of the few calling frequencies displayed in PowerSDR is to avoid using those frequencies when I'm tuning around the band to find a place to CQ. For instance, the SSTVers and the AMers are pretty quick to intentionally interfere with anyone transmitting on "their" frequencies, so PowerSDR was useful to help me avoid those spots. I didn't explain any of this in my original post.
  • vectorizer
    vectorizer Member ✭✭
    edited August 2019
    Using TNFs is a creative hack, thanks. Not sure I'll go down that road, but an interesting suggestion that doesn't require additional software.
  • vectorizer
    vectorizer Member ✭✭
    edited August 2019
    I'm still activating parks, but in the POTA, WWFF, and CNPOTA programs. Which is why I need an easy and quick way to tune my screwdriver; I used to be able to operate a simple up/down switch while watching PowerSDR's numeric SWR readout.
  • N8AUM
    N8AUM RETIRED Member ✭✭
    edited August 2019
    I must admit, I was disappointed with the so called "diversity ".  I read someones comment on how well it works but you have to use headphones and let ur brain figure it out, might be true if both ur ears work! You can do same thing by using separate radios and antennas. I upgraded from a 6400 to 6600 thinking that it would be the same scheme like the 5K where you can change the phase between the receivers for true "diversity". Some of the features with the 6K series are SUPER ! I know theirs a limit to how much stuff u can add, be nice if it was possible to remove things that u dont use so u can add stuff that are useful for ur taste. I love both my 5K and 6600!!! Too bad I wasn't born 50 years later, I cant even imagine what they will come up with next!

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