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DSP - ANF Performance Specification

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Comments

  • Burch - K4QXX
    Burch - K4QXX Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Interesting. I have the same issues as you with the ANF but the TNF function works well for me. 
  • Mark  K1LSB
    Mark K1LSB Member
    edited April 2019
    "I can wait for a fix." -- Dan KG0AQ

    1)  How long have we all been waiting?

    2)  How long should we wait?

    3)  What is a reasonable expectation for timelines for fixes to longstanding, very basic software defects that never seem to get addressed, while lots of other ****-**** features are being added to up-charged releases?

    When I was trying to make up my mind whether to buy a Flex or not, I really struggled with the knowledge that I would be painting myself into the corner of being 100% dependent on one company for hardware and software support. But being ever the believer in American quality and customer support I pulled the trigger and bought into it. I've been really disappointed in Flex's commitment to software support ever since. I'll never voluntarily make that mistake again.

  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    I look at it another way, When I bought my Flex radio, I understood that they were creating something new, doing things never done before. I always knew it would be a ride, it would never ever be a radio that is finished, always changing, and yes some changes have been slow. But I understood that going in as well.

    I am very glad I made this choice, even without some of these filters not working really well, this radio is still great. using the AGC-T that only Fles has, cuts out most of the bothersome noise, And here in my shack, WNB saves the day sometimes, without it there are times my radio can not be used at all. dropping the noise by 30db.

    Sounds like you have choises to make mark. Sounds like your about finished.
    But you have your opinions and they do not effect mine at all.
  • Neal Pollack, N6YFM
    Neal Pollack, N6YFM Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Bill:

    No offense intended, but when you say:
    "We need to be carful in comparing the Flex DSP to other radios. Flex is doing the DSP in a much different way then other radios. Most modern radios do not do DSP 100% in software, they combine hardware filters with software."

    I say HOGWASH!  The only thing that matters at the end of the day for ANY company, is the resulting performance of the product, NOT how the engineers
    choose to implement it.  No company, not even Flex, gets a free pass because
    they were trying to use some novel different method.    Again, I will repeat, it
    does not matter how elegant or complicated or new or unique the engineering
    approach is, IF it does not provide a useful working solution for the customer.

    No car maker, in a crowded market, can make any sales if their car model
    lacks tires, a reverse gear for backing up, or has a non-working turn-signal
    system and a non-working air-conditioner and terribly loud wind noise in the
    passenger cabin.   These are base standard features.  They simply must work
    on par with other cars, and are considered base or commodity features. 
    If base standard features are not up to consumer expected standards for a
    specific competitor's product, sales will suffer.  Consumers do not tolerate
    missing or poorly peforming base features.  These are a foundation block
    that must be solid, before any new manufacturer starts to layer their unique
    value proposition and innovation on top.  
    NR, NB, and ANF are not unique innovations introduced by Flex, they are
    base standard features that every recent radio on the market has today.
    As numerous other posters in this thread point out;   Place an Anan or Icom or
    Yaesu or Elecraft on the same table with the Flex, and compare the base features.
    They may differ in the amount of noise they can reduce, but today, after all these
    years, NONE of them should distort the audio badly.

    So, once again, please explain to me WHY we have to be careful in comparing
    Flex DSP to other radios?   Either the base features work as well as competition,
    or they don't.  Like the little kid's used to say on those funny AT&T Television
    commercials,  "It's not complicated"  :-)       It either works or it doesn't.
    No amount of political hand waving will change that.

    Now, we know for a fact that good DSP is a limited art and quite difficult and
    complex (It's not a circuit that can be copied, it is proprietary code, amazingly
    difficult to invent and refine).  Which means that there are very few qualified
    engineers around the world who know how to implement high quality DSP.   
    If FLex has not been able to improve their DSP notch and noise features in a
    noticeable way in the last 5 years, then either they lack the proper engineer on
    staff, or they lack the funding required to do so.   There is no other logical
    explanation for base features that perform so poorly compared to the competition.

    OK, yes, I know, I am done and will go crawl back under my rock now :-)

    Cheers,

    Neal

  • Neal Pollack, N6YFM
    Neal Pollack, N6YFM Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Hopefully you are no longer smoldering...   :-)
  • Neal Pollack, N6YFM
    Neal Pollack, N6YFM Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Does Spectrum lab run OK on Windows 10?   Is this the site;
    https://www.qsl.net/dl4yhf/spectra1.html

    Is there a tutorial or getting started document somewhere for interfacing the
    Spectrum Lab program to Flex DAX audio stream?

    Cheers,

    Neal
  • Lionel
    Lionel Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Works fine on W10x64.  It has help files and a manual.  Interface to DAX is straightforward.  On SL Audio I/O one of the choices will be Flex DAX 1 or 2. 
  • mikeatthebeach .
    mikeatthebeach . Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Maybe they need a group of new Consultants to To Write new DSP algorithms for them Since they are so limited in their resources Since spreading themselves to thin these Days with other priorities that consume their Entire staff with day to day issues and fires
  • Neal Pollack, N6YFM
    Neal Pollack, N6YFM Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Thanks!
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Neil,there really is nothing I could possibly say, To you it's very simple, black and white. With out considering the technology being used and the complexity within coding for SSDR.

    I said we should be carful while comparing the Flex DSP with other radios only in the sense they work differently, and they have a much different set of problems. I understand it matters not to you what is involved, just the simple bottom line.

    Flex has not really done much with the DSP since Version 1.5. And many of us have asked  Flex to get back to working on it, I would like that as well.

    But if they don't? it is not a deal breaker. I could go with a radio with a better DSP performance, but that radio would have some things that work poorly as well. Choises, choises.
  • Mark  K1LSB
    Mark K1LSB Member
    edited April 2019
    Makes me wonder how people like Simon Brown does it all. He's truly a one-man show -- he does all of the programming / debugging / implementing of all of the code himself (and he's a prolific coder). His software supports well over a dozen hardware manufacturers' products. He regularly interfaces (even cuts up) with his users on the groups.io page, and somehow still manages to find time to take off for gardening and DXpeditions. He usually states, weeks or months ahead of time, what new features will be in his next release, and he has always maintained a "release early, release often" policy. If someone in his user group posts up about a new bug they've discovered, you'll often see Simon requesting, "Post some screenshots so I can see what's happening". Often, just a few hours later he'll post up in the same thread, "I've found the problem, it's fixed in the next release".

    And good gawd, his software user interface is simply beautiful. I used his software for several years before buying my Flex 6300, and the difference between the visual presentation of his software vs SSDR is like night and day. Sometimes I fire up my old SDRPlay receiver just so I can once again immerse myself in the rich user experience of Simon's SDR Console. It's almost like coming home again. Anyone who's used his SDRC v3 knows exactly what I'm talking about. The user experience just tosses everything (and everyone) else into the weeds.

    And his software is free. All he asks for is some donation if you can.

    Unfortunately he doesn't support the Flex 6000 series, perhaps because no one's ever requested it. Hey, maybe I should inquire into it..


  • Neal Pollack, N6YFM
    Neal Pollack, N6YFM Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Maybe FRS should hire Simon and point him at the steaming pile of DSP
    code :-)
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Simon does a great job.
  • K5ROX
    K5ROX Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Flex ANF is 90% unusable.  ANF on every other radio I have works great, I have many.

    If my memory serves me well flex Power SDR had a decent ANF...….
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    I still use PSDR and I still can't get DSP to work that great. I can say though, I have noise here at times were the WNB drops the noise by 30db, it saves the day at times. And without a hint of distortion.

    The ANF sure needs more work. but I still would not buy another radio to get a better ANF.
  • Mark  K1LSB
    Mark K1LSB Member
    edited April 2019
    I'll upvote that post!
  • Mark  K1LSB
    Mark K1LSB Member
    edited April 2019
    The WNB does seem to work well on some types of noise. I have no complaint about WNB.
  • Gary Schulz
    Gary Schulz Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Strange. My WNB only causes my entire spectrum to jump up and down (like AGC pumping) and yes it happens at all different signal levels and gain/threshold settings. Completely useless on my 6700 and ANF is not selectable on AM where I need it most. Odd that some see benefit with these functions while many see only audio distortion (I see that with NB)... The other radios I have actually work reasonably well with noise reduction modes so not sure how this could be too location dependent.
  • Dan KG0AQ
    Dan KG0AQ Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    "I can wait for a fix." -- Dan KG0AQ

    Mark,

    I became a flexer a long time ago. It began with the SDR-1000 and now my 6400. I have seen updates everyday...back in the SDR-1000 days when it was open source. It was more of a hobby company back then. 

    Fast forward to 2019 and they have become a "real" company. Like any real company they follow the money. For Flex now that was V3 and multi whatever. That's fine by me. I'm not interested in V3 functions but they are a FOR profit company...it is their call. They listen to all customers but generally ones that they will profit from.

    As I stated in the first EHam 6400 review, you have to be a patient person with Flex Radio and their software. If not go buy one of the other big three and be happy instantly and it will never change...besides firmware upgrades.

    Our society has become a want it now, fast food, drive through mentality society. Once more, it's only a hobby. My advice is to chill and ANF will get fixed.

    Somehow I have 312 countries confirmed with a bad ANF. No big deal breaker.

    BTW  I love the WNB and TNF. They work well for what they were designed to do.

    73 Dan KG0AQ
  • Robert Lonn
    Robert Lonn Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Last night I spent about 2 hours on my 6600M.. 20,40 and 80 plus several Marine radio frequencies and SWL stations..I figure I could test out the ANF if a hetrodine was to appear..,, I ran into a situation 3 times where I felt it was a good test to turn on the ANF, and see what happens.. My expectations was very low after reading all these threads.. I dont use the ANF that often, I am more focused on the NR function.. Well, in all 3 cases the ANF completely eliminated the hetrodine, I mean 100% gone with zero impact to the quality of the audio.. So for me my testing left me 100% satisfied! I did not switch to SmartSDR to see if running remote would change anything? I would expect the results to be the same.. Still on version 2.xxxxxx.. I have had very good results from the NR, WBN and NB functions, just depends on what the noise source is.. With a ICOM IC-R8600 sitting next to the Flex, but better yet, a JRC NRD-545 that also has a Auto Tracking notch filter, i will try to make some comparison.. I know the NRD-545 notch has been very impressive in the past.. Not sure why so many folks are not having decent results from the ANF?? 

    Robert




  • Craig Williams
    Craig Williams Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Yup, I knew I could not be the only one.
  • James Whiteway
    edited May 2020
    Just an FYI for those of us hoping that the upcoming v2.50 maintenance release would contain improvements to the ANF, the short answer is no. According to Tim Ellison on the FRS Facebook page, when I posed the question to him, if the ANF issues would receive some needed attention, his response was: "James Whiteway If it wasn't in 3.0.19 and the upcoming maintenance release for 3.0.19, then the answer is no. If we decide to do a 2.6, it might, but that is just speculation on my part. There is no talk at this time about doing a 2.6 " I find his answer disappointing, but at least it is a clear, and honest, answer. It gives me an idea as to what, if any, options, I might look for to address this problem for myself. I can either upgrade to v3.0.10 and hope someday, this issue, along with others, finally receive the attention they need. Or, I can look towards other manufacturers of SDR radios that already have a basic features working to their full potential. ( along with some other, useful to me features) Time will tell. James WD5GWY Oh, Bill. It appears.you were spot on, with your statement regarding the .v2.50 update. If I came across as a bit harsh in my response to you, please accept my sincere apologies
  • John Orjias
    John Orjias Member ✭✭
    edited May 2020
    It may have already been mentioned, a lot to read in this thread, but making the decay longer as you increase the filter might be good to help keep it from letting stuff slip through when there is talking
  • Benchmarking against the best performance in the category is a very simple and objective method. Those with Flex and ANAN in their shacks of course can A-B compare them easily. This is where the trouble starts: Those few of us who are fortunate to have both systems see a large performance deficit between the effective and excellent NR2 and whatever is in the Flex. The trouble then gets bigger letting years pass after this was clearly recognized, and doing nothing about it.
  • Trucker
    Trucker Member ✭✭

    Just for the fun of it, I bought a Hermes Lite 2 so I could have an inexpensive way to try OpenHPSDR and Theis. Warren Pratt's NR2 and his Automatic Notch Filter are simply amazing. With NR2 engaged, background hiss just disappears. No distorted audio at all.

    And the ANF just works. All in software no hardware filtering at all. Multiple carriers are notched out without degrading the signal one is trying to listen to. I honestly love my 6600M. But, the fact that a $300 qrp transceiver running FREE software has better DSP capability than my $5,000.00 Flex 6600M is pitiful. It's too bad Warren Pratt's software is under GPL licensing. If it wasn't, maybe FRS could hire him to fix what has not worked like it should have, years ago. I still use my Timewave 599zx outboard filter. And the ANF in it works great. Sad basic features present in all modern HF radios are only partially done in sich expensive radios like the 6000 Series.

    Maybe someday....

    James

    WD5GWY

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin

    James

    I listen to HF nets all day with no squelch and with the AGC-T set correctly, the background noise is less than the circulation fan I use.

    If the AGC-T is set too high, then, yes, there is a roaring background noise.

    How do you have your AGC-T adjusted? It sounds like you have it set a bit too high.

    Mike

  • Mike Steventon
    Mike Steventon Member ✭✭✭

    Reading the query, I think the problem is referring to the performance of the automatic notch filter, ANF.

    I do have to admit that it could perform better. My old Kenwood TS440S manual notch filter was easily able to notch out a "tight" tone. My 6600M kind of leaves a residual after each inflection of the voice signal, even when ANF is set to maximum. My solution is to use the Tuneable Notch filter, which is REALLY good, but more of a fiddle to set up.

  • Trucker
    Trucker Member ✭✭

    Mike,

    I tend to keep the AGC-T set pretty low. I have always thought the noise reduction in SmartSDR was great. And for the most part it is. But, Warren Pratt's NR2 completely removes any background hiss. Had I not experienced the difference, I woul, and really am, satisfied with the noise reduction in SmartSDR.

    But, the ANF is not good. A tuner upper tuning on top of a qso can still be heard popping thru a conversation no matter the settings used.

    On the other hand, the ANF in OpenHPSDR and SDR Console knock it completely out without distorting the audio in any way. All done in software with no special filters in the radio itself.

    As for an All Mode Squelch, I know several people find such a thing useful. I know FRstack has one. ( implementation suggested by me a frw years ago) And it works well. But, a Squelch should be a basic part of a modern HF radio. I have 30 year old radios with all mode Squelch and working Notch Filters.

    Someone said earlier, ( which caused me to respond to this thread) that maybe in V4 of SmartSDR we would gat an all mode Squelch and a working ANF. But, I won't be purchasing a V4 to get basic WORKING features that should have been in SmartSDR long ago.

    I love the 6000 series hardware. But, in my opinion, the software desperately needs attention. And I have pretty well come to the conclusion that basic features will never get the attention they need.

    Lucky for me I found a good deal some time ago on a Timewave 599zx outboard filter. The ANF is absolutely great.

    James

    WD5GWY

  • Trucker
    Trucker Member ✭✭

    Forgot to mention, I am using a 6600M. Using the TNF to notch out carriers is a real PIA when using the front panel. I like the choice of using the radio stand alone or with my PC and SmartSDR. But, it shouldn't matter which interface I use. The basic features should just, work.

  • WK2Y
    WK2Y Member ✭✭

    For me, the noise reduction on the Flex is hit or miss. Under some conditions it is absolutely great but it does take futzing to get it right. On other occasions, it seems to do nothing no matter what settings I try. And yes, I have watched Tim's video and read the guidance multiple times.

    https://helpdesk.flexradio.com/hc/en-us/articles/360029494371-How-does-the-Automatic-Gain-Control-AGC-work-in-SmartSDR


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WUWuAS24uM&t=4s

    I recently acquired a TX 500 and have commented elsewhere that the noise reduction on it works with just a push of the button regardless of the conditions. It is a little disconcerting.


    73,

    Bob, WK2Y

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