Black Box Recording -- add a "looping option" to the RECORD/PLAYBACK function

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  • Updated 7 months ago
  • (Edited)
The record function currently allows for a 2 minute recording and then stops.   It would be handy to add an option to provide looping.  Essentially mimic the way an aircraft "black box" recording works.  Record the last 2 minutes of audio and stop when the user presses the record button to stop.

There are several use cases, here are a few:
- monitor a DX pile up you are trying to break that could take a while
- capture some intermittent QRM or jamming activity


See suggested enhancement for the UI change to allow it to work both ways.

Note: I suggested add the recording options (loop and single) since there are usually some folks that want them both.  If everyone agrees that looping is preferred all the time then the options wouldn't be necessary.  

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com


  
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Posted 4 years ago

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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I like it!....like a FIFO buffer or "black box" for your audio. Turn it on and forget it until you need to hear something again. That would be awesome! I would use it all the time. Even more if I could select 30, 60, 90, 120 second loop.
(Edited)
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Ken,
I saw your example in another post asking about recording a contact for later review.  Would the "black box" recording feature do what you want?  How long would you want the loop buffer to be?  

- 2 mins?
- 5 mins?
- etc

I wonder how many others are using the quick record feature now and if adding the black box feature would be more widely used.  So far it only has 2 votes so maybe not a lot of use in its current state.

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com




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Richard Clafton W4/G7EIX, Elmer

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Now imagine if you could tie that black box loop into the visible Waterfall?  I suppose you would have to limit the amount of audio captured - say 200khz - but then to be able to rewind the Waterfall and then play back anything in the 200khz would be crazy!  
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Al and Richard, I think the black box recorder is a very neat idea, if technically feasible.  But I have seen some of Steve's comments detailing the overhead required...

Al, I commented in the other post as an example of multi-DAX possibilities.  I regularly make recordings from DAX for other purposes - audio analysis, etc, but think it would be useful for a number of purposes to be able to electronically "Mix" more than one DAX channel into the TX or to send the slice audio to more than one application.

I would like to see the controls for the quick record changed a bit... for example, rather than having the red record dot simply flash, they could change it's color and have it flash so it is more noticeable that it is recording.  I messed up a recording because i did not look long enough to see that it was flashing and turned it off instead of on!  user error to be sure, but helped along by a slightly ambiguous interface. (But i LOVE having the quick record!)
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Ken,
Looping the audio should not be difficult (i.e. keeping track of buffer pointers) or require too much overhead.

Linking it to the waterfall is a bit more complicated but I would be interested in Steve's feedback on the technical issues.  The programming effort may (or may not) be worth it. 

I think Steve comments about excessive overhead were around my question on increasing the rate of the waterfall to match (or exceed) the speed of CW Skimmer for example.  That would take a lot more resource depending on how much more data to sample and keep.  Here is the link to that question:

https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/ssdr_v1_2_1_panafall_speed_increase_the_maximum_rat...


Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com


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Al / NN4ZZ

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Will V1.4 and the LAN Remote feature make this any easier?  

Given that LAN Remote will pass the audio over to the PC.  ---  Does that make it easier to support both the "black box" feature as well as providing a method to write the files to the local PC?


Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
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Al / NN4ZZ

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See the related discussion idea about using the Opus compressed audio that is passed to the PC.  

https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/feature-request-recorded-receive-transmit-longer-th...

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
6700 - HW......... V 1.5.1.70
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CAT................... V 1.5.1.0
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Bill-W9OL

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Hmm, wonder if that would be considered an illegal technique in contesting?

but it sure would be a nice feature when trying to log that weak 'new one' on 160 or 80.
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Some wishful thinking follows -- It would sure be nice to have this feature for Bouvet.   With all of the expected activity, qrm, etc having the ability to stop the loop and replay your QSO would be great.  

Or save a friends qso and be able to email it to them.

Even for everyday use I'd leave it looping all the time so I could reply the last 2 minutes of any qso.  Wouldn't that be a nice feature.

Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Hi Bill,
I've seen the notes about using Audacity.  But my preference is to keep the number of third party apps to a minimum.  (K.I.S.S and avoid the complexity of troubleshooting a more complex environment of compatibility especially when Windows further complicates it). 

 And since the SSDR has the recording feature, I'd rather just see Flex offer the looping option and use what FRS provides.

For that same reason I moved to controlling my peripherals (amp, antenna switch) from DDUtil to the radio USB function that FRS provides.   DDUtil works fine and is a good tool but I could eliminate it with the Flex USB feature which works great by the way. 

The only third party application I'm using currently is SDR-Bridge for CW Skimmer.  It also works well and I'm very thankful for  Ed's work to provide it but maybe someday CW skimmer will also be integrated into SSDR too.   It would also make better use of the screen real estate instead of duplicating the waterfall in two places. 

 https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/pfskimer_what_is_the_possibility_for_a_smartsdr_dis...


Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
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Bill -VA3WTB

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That is all fine, but until they do, or may never add this, we have ways to do it and it works perfect. One of the wonderful things about SSDR is how it works with 3rd party software, that was always the intention when developing SSDR.
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Hi Bill,
I understand but IMHO if the feature is already there in SSDR and it can be easily improved then I'd rather see that than have to use a third party app.  The recording feature is right there on the slice so that a good example.   Why use another program when I can just click the button on the slice. 

And while I agree there is a place for apps that add something new I'd still rather see the basics right there in SSDR.   Again IMHO a number of the add-ins are nice temporary additions and help show what folks would like to see improved in SSDR.  I could list some specific examples from a recent post on add-ins but you probably already know what I mean.

Maybe 2.x or 3.x will have the time to re-focus on some of the GUI enhancements and fixes.  At least one can hope. 

Al / NN4ZZ 
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
SSDR / DAX / CAT/ 6700 -  V 1.11.12
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Bill -VA3WTB

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SSDR is created to work with 3rd part programs, that was the intent.
Not to be able to do something because the feature is not built into SSDR and refuse to use software that works very well?

The problem is that the recordings are saved in the radio and has limitations as to what can be done. So recording and saving is not in the cards. Only very short recordings.
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Excerpts from above in the thread....

Given that LAN Remote will pass the audio over to the PC.  ---  it should be easier to support both the "black box" feature as well as providing a method to write the files to the local PC.

The feature is already there in SSDR and it can be easily improved then I'd rather see that than have to use a third party app.  The recording feature is right there on the slice so that a good example.   Why use another program when I can just click the button on the slice. 


Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
6700 & SSDR-W  V 2.1.30
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