Active SmartSDR Agent - Comments

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  • Idea
  • Updated 2 years ago
This thread will be a place for comments and suggestions on the HRIAgent and web service proposed in thread:

https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/active-smartsdr-operator-status-on-the-web
Photo of Mark - WS7M

Mark - WS7M

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Posted 2 years ago

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Photo of Mark - WS7M

Mark - WS7M

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Hi all,

I have a new version of the Agent and I've sent email links to those of you I have emails for to download and install it.

I have a basic website up and running.  If you are running the latest agent and you have stuff enabled on it, your station status will show up at:

http://www.hamradioinfo.net/index.php/activity

If you don't have the agent and want to give it a try, send me an email at:  ws7m@arrl.net
Photo of Jay / NO5J

Jay / NO5J

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Mark
Very nice, the progress amazes me.
Seems like it's only been a few days, since your started this project.
Wait a sec! It's only been 4 days! Your a fast worker.
73, Jay - NO5J
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Mark - WS7M

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A picture of the early adopters:

Photo of Phil m0vse

Phil m0vse

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Hi Mark, One thing I did notice. The agent only updates when you change frequency/mode/band. I spend quite a lot of time on JT65/9 where you basically sit on the same frequency for a long time so wondered if some sort of (configurable) periodic update would be worth doing? The website could then highlight users that are online.
Photo of Mark - WS7M

Mark - WS7M

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Good point.  One thing I want to check out is if I can get a notification of transmission.  IE if I can see when the radio goes into transmit mode we could use that to trigger a periodic update.  In case that doesn't work then a timed mode is possible to.

I'll add both to the idea list.
Photo of Mark - WS7M

Mark - WS7M

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Hi All,

I've updated the website:  www.hamradioinfo.net to have a support page as well as an agent page.  On the agent page you can download installers.
Photo of Ken - NM9P

Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I installed this morning and it is working fine, so far.

Ideas for the future:

1) Have a way to click on the slice info for another station and move to his frequency...Probably not easy since it is a web based reporting utility.

2) Have a stand-alone interface that doesn't need a web browser to read the reports, this might make #1 easier to do.

3) Private messaging between users of the utility.  It would allow coordination of contacts on marginal frequencies, and shifting to better bands....

Just dreaming!

Thanks for the excellent beginning, Mark!

Ken - NM9P
Photo of Mark - WS7M

Mark - WS7M

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Thanks Ken.  Have those ideas on the list.  Please check the support page on the website regularly as I will keep it up to date with issues and feature requests
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Barry N1EU

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I like the private messaging idea.  Why not a chat room to coordinate QSOs etc?

Barry N1EU
Photo of Mark - WS7M

Mark - WS7M

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Can do.  Just a matter of time.

When the program first came alive there were two of us using it K2DMS and myself WS7M.  I could see the frequency Danny was on and I went to it.  I gave him a quick call then I added to my comments that we should find a clear frequency.  He came back a few reports later with the fact he did not have active antennas.

So the first link up almost worked using the tool and website but failed due to apartment limitations on Danny's part.

One reason I wrote the tool is to see what other Flexers do.  It would be a lot of fun to setup a FlexerNet.  Pick a frequency, a day of the week or month, publish it and we all get over there and talk about the state of things.  Any interest in a net dedicated to Flexers?
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Mark - WS7M

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Well Tom, K1FR and myself managed to see each other on the website and link up on CW on 14.027 however conditions were not great for us and we could barely hear each other.  But it is a test that the idea works. 

Using the reports on the website we both ended up on the same frequency and make a contact.  
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K1FR

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Mark:  Thanks for the app.  Amazing how fast you have worked.  Also, thanks for our attempted QSO on 20M CW.  Was first time I saw someone tune to my freq!  Afraid my barefoot Flex and wire were no match for condx though.  I could hear you and copy a word here and there.  Look forward to another attempt when condx better.

73, Tom
K1FR
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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I've been more than a little busy, so this is the first time in the past week or so (plus) that I've had the chance to get on the radio

Of course, the very first thing I did was to try Mark's new Agent/Web Service!

Super simple, super clean.  Again, all I can say is "Impressive"... All around outstanding work Mark!  Thank you very much for your gift to the community.

Peter
K1PGV

(My only recommendation/request would be to make the agent minimize to the system tray, given that once it's started you don't need to be playing with it.  When and if a user-to-user PM type facility is added between agents, you could balloon up any received messages.  But this is an extremely trivial suggestion, and I recognize that some people *hate* "hiding" things in the system tray.)
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Mark - WS7M

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Hi Peter,

Thanks very much.  Not all the rough edges are taken care of yet.  For example Howard can't get it to work.  So will try to address issues as they come up.

I sent out an email to the mailing list I have and I'll post this to the website as well that I don't see the agent remaining as it is.  I foresee having it split into two parts:

Part A - A service application that as you say just runs and you don't see it.  This would be responsible for the radio connections and uploads to the web service.

Part B - A GUI that is optional to run.  If running it allows you to control the service app features and would also allow better use of chat and comments.  But you don't need to run this unless you want to make changes.

Anyway that will be down the road.

Mark
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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That's a very ambitious design. Do you see this as necessary so that you can support status updates when a user isn't logged in to the machine?  Because if that's NOT a concern, using a service would be awfully heavyweight, at least in MY mind. 

The other disadvantage of the service is, if I *don't* want it to constantly report my status for some reason, I have to find and stop the service.  Having the program live in the system tray gets it out of the way, yet serves as an easy point of access.

Anyhow, you're putting the work in here, and I'm just kibitzing... so my advice really doesn't count.  You've already done a terrific job, and certainly without any advice from me!

However you choose to implement it, your gift to the community is already both amazing and tremendously generous.

It's funny... I was talking to a ham recently about how I *really* dislike dealing with antenna issues (I find them frustrating), and he said to me "Well, you just have to look into it and get the work done... that's what being a ham is about."  That irked me to no end. I told him, "That's not what being a ham is about to ME. To ME being a ham is improving my station and also writing software for myself and for the community to make my operating better and more pleasurable."

My point here is there are MANY things "being a ham is about"... you've exemplified one of the ways right here. It's not just about designing your own antenna or building your transmitter from a kit any more.  There are *many* way to demonstrate "true ham spirit"... and you've certainly showed that here.

Bravo!

Peter
K1PGV 
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Mark - WS7M

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Hi Peter,

Thanks again.  You raise a good point about "heavyweight" with the service.  I'm not sold on that approach but it was one I was considering.

You might be very right that a simple minimize to tray feature would suffice.

Anyway I don't see this as a gift.  If it is used then it not only helps those who use it but me too.  I am looking for ways to connect with people and if I can write some useful software for the flex then I'm in.

It has a long ways to go yet to be truly useful but I think it can get there.

Mark
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Great Job Mark.

Thanks.
Photo of Mark - WS7M

Mark - WS7M

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Welcome Howard.  Thanks for the patience as we work out the issues.

I see that pan adapter with spots and Flex users decorating it on the horizon.  It's a little fuzzy right but but the picture is clearer than it used to be.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I notice that future improvement item #3 is

3) Add link to HRIAgent to open website activity page.

If this proves difficult, could you at least print the URL somewhere on the Agent screen so that we can copy and paste it to our browser and open it ourselves?  That would be the simplest way so that I don't need to look it up all the time.  (Of course, I COULD just make a shortcut on the desktop....)

Thanks for all the hard work and creative effort...
Looking good so far!

Ken - NM9P
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Hi Mark, 

I was wondering what is it that you are using to create the Activity table?
PHP & MySQL?
There is a fairly straight forward way to create a KML file with PHP4 and the dom_xml function.
All we need are the data elements, Lat, Long and callsign.
Then we can display the KML file in Google Maps.

Is there a way to call SmartSDR with a frequency data element? It would be really cool if you could click on the frequency and have SmartSDR tune to it. 
Photo of Phil m0vse

Phil m0vse

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I was thinking about that (automatically tuning SSDR) and I don't think that there is a way to do it directly from the web browser. The only way that I can see it working is if the agent also acts as a client (instead of a web browser) and can display the "spots" itself?
Photo of Mark - WS7M

Mark - WS7M

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Hi Salvador. Yes Php & MySQL. I think the KML won't be too hard but if you want to look into it and let me know.

On tuning from the browser I have an idea I am looking into. But if that does not work my fall back is to download the data to the agent and allow click tune from there.
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James Whiteway

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Check your arrl email.