Can FLEX solve the interface issues with Logging and Digital signal interface issues?

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I love my 6500 running basic audio and not digital connections . I don't use my Ham radio often but when I do, I want to be able to use it. Today, uploaded  WSJT and LOG40m.  It was a painful and long duration process. I spent many hours just messing around to get things to work. I am a degreed engineer. My background is not software but that shouldn't matter. Your customers are from all walks of life. What a mess. Can FLEX set up a way to just tell users that don't spend all day in front of our radio to set up interfaces? Can you pick the top 5 logging and digital programs to educate the user on settings? 
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spopiela

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Posted 3 months ago

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Neal - K3NC

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spopiela

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Hi Neal,
Would it be possible for FLEX to start a section in the community BLOG that would cover Installation and Interface of  other software programs? HAMS could start populating it with helpful messages regarding these two areas such as your wsjtx setup  video link. Could also expand the section to name specific programs such as FLDIGI, LOG40M, HRD  etc that are very popular. Maybe just Logging Programs and Digital programs. It might incentivise the software developers to include some helpful entries. The calendar dates  on messages would help a user with the aging  process on the messages.. FLEX would only need to create the sections without having to do anything in addition to what is currently done on the other sections. A provider of a message should include the name of the software in their title and  a version number. 
Thanks
Stan
N1THL
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Dave AA6YQ

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Who would correct the errors? Who would resolve the disagreements? Who would ensure that the information is updated to reflect new releases?
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spopiela

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My suggestion just consolidates these very special support messages into a single place. The members need to reply to requests for help as they do now . Some one needing help would sort through the designated area to see if the install question was answered and if not, ask the question or ask for help as they do now. We characterize our messages now when we post them. Just need to pick the support sections.
Stan
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Bill -VA3WTB

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As the community is now we can search for info, old info to new. And we can simply as questions about anything.
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spopiela

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My request is simple... just add more message categories for member interface solutions than the current categories that don't cover these areas directly. Let Flex figure out the categories and structure and the members populate them. If a message is incorrect or outdated , I'm sure it will be picked up with a rapid response. 
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Jim Gilliam

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It seems these instructions are spread out over hell's half acre. It would be nice to see a compendium of all the different programs at one address.
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Michael Coslo

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Its tough to aggregate these things in a wiki. The biggest problem is that people want to use the directions, but few want to write them. Next up, the obsolescence issue.  I wrote articles for the fldigi wiki for a good while - it actually takes a good bit of work, as the programs change a lot, and things go out of date quickly. I had a popular article on how to install and run Linux and then fldigi on Chromebooks, and then the whole process was changed overnight. I still have people begging me for a new wiki article, but I accidentally killed my Chromebook with a hot cup of McDonald's coffee. 

I made an instructional video for Youtube on connecting fldigi to SSDR - same thing happened, after a few SSDR program updates, it was completely obsoete. 
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Bill -VA3WTB

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So to answer the question above? Instead of spending hours trying to get something to work, because things change, it may be best to ask here on the forum of people that have been doing these things lately.
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Michael Coslo

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Its a difficult question to answer.  Yes, it makes sense to ask in here - most everyone is pretty helpful. I might be able to help the original poster if my Log40M install still works - I installed it a while ago, got it running and haven't used it since. 

And those of us in the know have usually spent hours of experimenting to get something to work.  Which is the real solution to the interfacing issue. 

But not everyone has that temperament, so those who like to help come in handy. Often these days I just request a team viewer session so I can get in, change the settings, and get the job done.
(Edited)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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This is something that Jay NO5J tried doing a couple years ago when starting SDR Gadgets.
The plan was to have 3rd party programmers or others using their software to write how too's setting up all these things, and have them all in one place. But there was little interest. 

I can't see Flex taking this on and organising all the manuals.  So looks like we just keep looking around,,lots and lots of info, just have to track it down.
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Jay / NO5J

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Dave

Agreed. 

A list of links to content would be better than nothing.
But it needs to be a maintained list.
No point in it otherwise.
Who should maintain it?

So far the suggestions are Flexradio, Somebody, or Nobody.
I think we can do better than that.
Or just accept whatever we get. 

#FlexRadio IRC chat

   73, Jay - NO5J

(Edited)
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Dave AA6YQ

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Maintaining the web page bearing links to application-specific, developer-provided "how-to" articles would be a Flex responsibility. Based on my experience with LoTW, after the initial setup, the maintenance effort is minimal - mostly adding an entry for newly-developed application.

Users can help by encouraging the developers of the applications they're using to provide "How to" articles for Flex radios, and send links to those articles to Flex for inclusion on the web page.

It is certainly in Flex's interest to increase the probability that users can successfully employ their chosen application(s) with Flex radios. There is no way that Flex personnel can gain and maintain the knowledge required to do this themselves.
(Edited)
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Jay / NO5J

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Attention: readers
The ball is in our court
Who wants to play?
Any other ideas?
Dave's idea is a good one.

#FlexRadio IRC chat

   73, Jay - NO5J

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Dave AA6YQ

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Consider this scenario:

An enthusiastic well-intentioned user creates a video showing how to configure application X for use with FlexRadio. The video contains several suboptimal recommendations that if followed could result in data loss or failed QSOs.

Would Flex personnel have time to review the video? If they did, would they recognize the suboptimality and consequences of the recommendations?

Only application developers have the incentive to review user-created videos or articles describing the use of their applications, and the knowledge to effectively conduct such reviews. Ideally, every interested application developer will set up a web page containing content either created by or vetted by that application developer. Ensuring that this content remains accurate in the face of application updates is the application developer's responsibility.

All Flex can and should do is provide web page with links to the web pages developed and maintained by application developers.
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Dave AA6YQ

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The next step would be to persuade Steve N5AC to setup the web page and designate a Flex person to create and maintain it. That Flex person would then contact the relevant application developers and ask for a link to an appropriate web page.

Having done this for LoTW, I'd be happy to provide guidance, but I don't know everyone who is developing applications that work with Flex Radios.
(Edited)
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Mark WS7M

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Some points:

1) I agree that things are spread out.  One of the frustrations I have with ham radio is all the myriad different programs that are all supposed to talk and sometimes don't.  But unfortunately it is unlikely that will ever change.

2) Why regular audio?  First you are making the connections 200% more difficult and you are not really doing anything any better.  Flex digitizes the RF, does some magic eventually there is an analog audio output.  You take that route it via cable to a sound card interface, this simply digitizes it back to digital forum again so the software, whichever one you are using can deal with it.  The DAX digital connections are simply easier.

3) The time it takes.  Well I get that you don't have software in your training but honestly a full day?  I had PSK 31 up and running in 10 minutes.  When I got a Flex with DAX I had that and much more running in about an hour.    Perhaps rather than beating your head against the wall you could have come here and asked or searched.   

Anyway the one point that is for sure would be a nice simple place where all the instructions can be accessed and perhaps updated on a regular basis.
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KB4AAA

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The Flex6xxx radios are a dream to interface pc programs compared to "conventional" radios go try and setup a icom 7100 or 7300 for wsjtx,jtalert, fldigi and logging. You will spend hours in the cryptic usb menus trying to get the radio and pc to do what you want and then you only have 1 comm port to try to make all of your software to talk to now thats really a mess.
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Roger J. Buffington

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I couldn't agree more.  DAX/SDR are light-years better than the mini-din wiring harnesses and all the other hassles that other radios have.  God, I still remember soldering that horrible min-din connector from my TS850S to the PK232.  Talk about eyestrain.  I love the way the Flex just lets you create Com Ports for each program so that they don't conflict.  I have been totally stoked with how elegant the Flex system is for the digital modes.
de Roger W6VZV
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Michael Coslo

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I hear ya spopiela. Log40M especially, is a beast to configure. I had one guy get so frustrated while I was helping him that he yelled at me, then felt really bad about it and kept apologizing even after we got it running. I can't promise immediate help, but if I can find it on my other computer maybe I can give you the menu settings. 
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K1DBO

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It's exactly this idea that got me started writing Slice Master.  I dont like to watch how-to video and wouldnt know where to start if I wanted to make one.  I hate writing documentation too.  So what's a bored software engineer to do to help with this problem?  A central goal behind the development of Slice Master is to make it the glue that sticks other third party programs together with the Flex.

Once you get over the idea if installing yet another third party program, it's all pretty seamless.  Slice Master knows how to configure and launch the likes DM780, CW Skimmer, GRITTY, fldigi, and WSJT-X. Slice Master will set up the entire configuration for each of these programs so they can be run on one or even all of your slices simultaneously.

The recent attention Slice Master has been getting is due to it's ability to get spots into the radio via the Flex API.  Making this happen involves integration at various levels with N1MM+, Logger32, HRD Logbook, and DXLab's Spot Collector.  Log4OM is still on the to-do list.

Sure there are a few more digimode programs out there that could use some attention, and even more support could be added to the ones that are already supported.  But Slice Master has come a long way in a few short months and I'm not yet willing to declare it "feature complete".

Now some folks actually enjoy the challenge of getting random pieces of software to work with their radios.  Slice Master might not be for them.  It takes most of the fun out of it.  But if you just want to jump back and forth between CW Skimmer and WSJT-X or use them both while enjoying a ragchew on phone... you might give it a try.

Do I have any volunteers to make a how-to video?
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Jay / NO5J

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Yep

First you have to find someone interested in writing the How-to, then you need more people to constantly work on keeping the How-To's fresh. Many of us want this. but very, very, few want to work to make it happen, everyone thinks it sounds like a great idea. Nobody has any interest in making it happen. I tried, I still have the Wiki running, but it became a solitary effort very quickly. That's the reality folks.


I'd still like to make the idea work, Any Fresh Volunteers?? The website is in bad need of a refresh. But, like everyone else, I have other projects. 

https://www.sdrgadgets.com/  

Was as far as, we ever got.

BTW, I really appreciate the effort Bill - VA3WTB put into making SDRgadgets happen. There were a few others, you can find out who by reading the wiki articles. 

User created, user documentation, requires users, or it just won't happen.


Volunteers are welcome, everybody's invited.

It was never intended to be a personal website.

Want to discuss it further, see me in the IRC channel.

I'm all for the idea!

#FlexRadio IRC chat

   73, Jay - NO5J

(Edited)
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Dave AA6YQ

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Here's DXLab's  "Connecting and Configuring FLEX Signature Transceivers for PSK, RTTY, CW, and Phone Operation"

Here's "Getting Started with K1JT modes using WSJT-X, JTAlert, and DXLab"

Here' are the "Applications with which DXLab Applications Interoperate".

These are updated as part of any public application release, and whenever a user reports an error, ambiguity, or deficiency.

Perhaps Flex could provide a prominent web page that displays links to "How to configure" documentation for the applications its users are employing. If nothing else, this would serve as an incentive for application developers to provide and maintain proper "how to" documentation.
(Edited)
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Roger J. Buffington

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I just went through the Flex experience learning curve.  I am as far from being a degreed engineer as you can get.  I think that the OP has a good idea -- a "get started" page with maybe primers and videos about how to do different things.  Like Mike's excellent video for setting up WSJT-X with Flex.
Having said that, within two hours of getting my Flex hooked up, I had my linear amp going, and Ham Radio Deluxe/DM780 configured.  Two more hours and I had WSJT-X and JT-AlertX going, and I'd never even done the JT modes before.  So it really isn't all that hard.
But I agree with the OP -- a "how to get started" single page with various links is a great idea.  I used this community and Google and got the job done.  With a single get-started page I might have been a little less of a nuisance to everyone here, grin.
de Roger W6VZV