A few questions from a new Flex customer.

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  • Updated 7 months ago
I took delivery of my 6600 earlier this week (ordered in late August).  It's been very exciting waiting for the rig to ship and preparing to incorporate it into my station.  I have a list of questions that I have been wondering about and I figured I'd just ask the community. 

Before I post the list of questions, I want to mention that I have already been enjoying the rig a great deal and have been incredibly impressed by the SmartSDR software.  I'd used a Maestro before in a few contests but had not ever taken a deep dive into SmartSDR. I really like it, and appreciate all the attention to detail and clever approach to designing some of the core features and usability.  Great job to everyone involved. 

Now for the questions: 

- What's the process for making feature suggestions or reporting minor issues?  

- I submitted my information to obtain developer API permission. Does anyone know how long it takes for this to be approved?  I'm looking forward to jumping in and writing some programs that use the API. 

- Is there a list of prioritized feature enhancements for SmartSDR and SmartLink?  

- Can SmartSDR be controlled using a standard touch screen monitor connected to a Windows PC? I assume taps would translate to clicks, but wondering if anyone has tested pinch/zoom and drag gestures? 

- Can the SmartSDR for IOS be used simultaneously with a PC connected to the rig via SmartLink for drag, pinch, zoom, etc? 

- Is there a document describing a recommended VPN setup for remote access?  I set up a VPN (openVPN)  but it seems that SmartSDR is not discovering the rig even though I can ping it as if it were a local IP address.  Routing is working but SmartSDR thinks that the rig is only accessible via SmartLink.  I would like to test using DAX audio via this VPN setup but need to connect to the rig via the VPN before I can do that.  Is there a way to tell SmartSDR to check a few different subnets for available rigs? 

- I have had a few cases where the rig has powered itself off and has had the red light blinking in groups of two blinks.  I'm not sure of the cause of these situations. Is there a table to look up the meaning of the two blinks or a way to see what caused the issue?  

- Is there a limitation in the 6600 in how far I can zoom IN on a CW signal in the pan adapter compared to the 6700?  I don't recall for certain but I think that when testing Ria's 6700 remotely I was able to zoom in closer to look at the signals than I have been able to do so far with my 6600.  It might just be that I have to change something in the config. 

- I have installed a receiver front-end protector in front of the RX antenna I use for SO2R operation.  Is there any danger of damaging the rig by tuning in the harmonic of my own signal when using this protector (Array Solutions)?  I am the kind of person who likes to know where the line is for breaking things so that I can get right up close to it, but really don't want to cause damage to the rig.  Since my station is on a small suburban lot I will be doing a lot of testing like this as I add various filters. 

- Is there a way to use the visual aid of the pan adapter or panafall to verify that TX/RX sequencing with the amplifier does not require additional milliseconds of delay?  

- Has anyone used SmartSDR on a PC that has no physical monitor connected and is not running SmartSDR in a VM?  When I disconnected my monitor from the remote station PC I could no longer start SmartSDR when logging in via a remote session. It would hang and just show the close button. When I plugged in a different monitor, I could suddenly start SmartSDR again via a remote session.

73,
Matt NQ6N 
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Matt NQ6N

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  • very pleased to have the 6600 in the shack. It's even more fun than I had expected.

Posted 7 months ago

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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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- What's the process for making feature suggestions or reporting minor issues?  
Right here. Post in the forum as an "idea."


- I submitted my information to obtain developer API permission. Does anyone know how long it takes for this to be approved?  I'm looking forward to jumping in and writing some programs that use the API. 
The API is public. Jump right in.
The API is here:

http://www.flexradio.com/downloads/flexlib_api_v2-1-32-zip/

- Is there a list of prioritized feature enhancements for SmartSDR and SmartLink?  
Not per se. There is a list of features here that have been requested and voted on. What will make it into the release and when is not public information.  

- Can the SmartSDR for IOS be used simultaneously with a PC connected to the rig via SmartLink for drag, pinch, zoom, etc? 
Not currently. That is a feature called multi client that will be released in the near future. Exact details on the feature are not known, however. 

- Is there a document describing a recommended VPN setup for remote access?  I set up a VPN (openVPN)  but it seems that SmartSDR is not discovering the rig even though I can ping it as if it were a local IP address.  Routing is working but SmartSDR thinks that the rig is only accessible via SmartLink.  I would like to test using DAX audio via this VPN setup but need to connect to the rig via the VPN before I can do that.  Is there a way to tell SmartSDR to check a few different subnets for available rigs? 
Generally you want a VPN that bridges with your local LAN. The radio sends VITA-49 discovery broadcast packets which are UDP. This would be something like an L2TP VPN bridged to your local LAN. Softether is popular. I wrote an installation script for it here on Raspberry pi. I haven't maintained it (because SmartLink fills the remote need for most), but it may still work. I'll update it soon... 

https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/softether-vpn-install-script-for-raspberry-pi

- I have had a few cases where the rig has powered itself off and has had the red light blinking in groups of two blinks.  I'm not sure of the cause of these situations. Is there a table to look up the meaning of the two blinks or a way to see what caused the issue?  
This is on page 18 of the hardware manual.

One red flash: Fan malfunction 
Two red flashes: Software crash
 Three red flashes: Boot failure  
Four red flashes: Input power over voltage 
Five red flashes: CPU overcurrent 
Six red flashes: Input power under voltage

http://www.flexradio.com/downloads/flex-6400-and-flex-6600-hardware-reference-manual-pdf/
- I have installed a receiver front-end protector in front of the RX antenna I use for SO2R operation.  Is there any danger of damaging the rig by tuning in the harmonic of my own signal when using this protector (Array Solutions)?  I am the kind of person who likes to know where the line is for breaking things so that I can get right up close to it, but really don't want to cause damage to the rig.  Since my station is on a small suburban lot I will be doing a lot of testing like this as I add various filters. 
There are two lines. One is where the software will shut the rig down, and another where the protection diodes will sacrifice themselves to prevent damage to the ADC. You don't want to cross the former one. The latter one would be caused by a real sudden spike but would still require a trip to the service center. That said it's not as expensive as blowing out a SCU. Here is a worksheet developed by Flex for this purpose:

http://www.flexradio.com/downloads/flex-6000-fdx-power-calculation-worksheet-pdf/?_ga=2.43609701.191...
(Edited)
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Steven Linley

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Wow, TNX Rita. Very informative.
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Mark WS7M

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Welcome to Flex Matt!