It strikes me as odd how much further ahead things like PowerSDR (I understand the irony) and SSDR for iOS not to mention other SDR frontends are when compared with the look, feel and function of SSDR for Windows.
Out of curiosity I followed some links related to the Griffin PowerMate and found a whole host of tools for SMARTSDR FOR IOS. Tools like a logbook, dx cluster, band plan. Things that seem to have been on wishlist topics since SSDR for Windows first came out.
I am really frustrated with being fed minor features month after month and having to pay the price of ghost com ports and ghost sound cards and glitchy GUI not-so-good-working tools and then see things like this:
I'm not resentful. I'm envious of iOS SSDR advanced features and smooth GUI and apparently virtually bug-free implementation.
Are we seeing SSDR Version 2.x in the iOS product? Should we expect to see the 2.x product come in line with the current iOS product so customers, whether they own Apple or Windows computers can have a similar experience with their equipment?
I'm not a Apple fan and I'm not a Windows fan. In fact I'm an anti-fan fan. If you tell me your OS is better than another OS I'll tell you to grow up or, maybe I'll just ignore you. But, if you are going to offer a product across multiple platforms, please have some parity between those platforms. I bought in before there was an iOS product available through Flex. If I had known there was an option and I had reviewed the differences between the version for my selected OS and what's available on iOS I would have said this is just another Apple company with a half baked windows port and moved on to something else. I'm like that. There's some beautiful Apple software out there but I'm not in that world.
My point, if I can figure it out in all this rambling is, when are Windows users going to be treated to a good looking, well built, extensible, modern, feature rich, mostly-glitch-free GUI. How much have your Windows users contributed to the success and profits of FRS compared with iOS users? When do we get shown some love? If I could keep the panafall and throw away all the other goofy pieces of SSDR they'd be in the garbage disposal right now. But alas, I'm trapped.
I hope 2.0 doesn't disappoint.
Have a nice weekend!
SSDR is still the flagship, though, because it supports a greater set of the rig's features than the others. Some folks really like that. Early on, SSDR was a lot more spartan, for sure, and has grown. If I were an app designer, I might have opted for a cleaner interface, but I'm more a lover than a coder :-)
The FRS team are no doubt working on 2.0 with the benefit of lessons learned from the others, and user feedback. I'm with you in hoping for a cool new look and comfort features in 2.0.
SSDR is to date the only SDR software with the capabilities it has, working with wide band app and processing. Working with SSDR is a huge undertaking and very complicated compared to the simpler PSDR.
In my opinion, as SSDR is right now, there is really not much to complain about, It is very unusual for me to see any glitches if ever, it just works. Mind you it is running on a dedicated machine. not connected to the internet. And SSDR is the only program on the computer other than Word.
To build on your comment about the passion and skill of Marcus and Don. Sometimes what happens is the initial developer of an application moves on to other things. And in some cases with a Win GUI app like SSDR there was just one programmer that did the coding. They probably had help and feedback on the design but may have done most or all of the coding. This can leave an application without a dedicated developer. Others then work on the app for minor changes when needed. Those programmers also may not be as comfortable making significant changes particularly for a complex application.
On the flip side when there is a dedicated programmer (like Don and Marcus) for the application, you will usually see a continuous stream of enhancements. There is definitely a long list of cool enhancements for SSDR to choose from. So while I don't have any knowledge of whether the scenario above is the reason for the lack of GUI changes, it is one possibility.
Regardless of the reason, the business leaders set the priorities and it looks like the focus is elsewhere for a better ROI. (WAN, Maestro, Amp, etc). Hopefully when some of these other things get done there will be an opportunity to get back to the GUI.
Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
SSDR / DAX / CAT/ 6700 - V 1.10.16
73 de VE3VRW don agro
With that said, a lot of the features are mobile centric because of iOS being primarily a single task (sort of) operating system. So it makes more sense to integrate things like a logbook and DX cluster into the iOS app. This is why I suspect these features get fast tracked to the iOS app first, and since Marcus is more or less an independent developer, he can add these on his own schedule. Some of these may prove useful to the desktop PC environment and Maestro but I get the impression that Flex wants to concentrate on the stability of the product before throwing in more features.
Unfortunately you are conflating several things (Conflating seems to be the political word of the day)
PowerSDR is the Radio so features added to PowerSDR are features added to the radio
SmartSDR is a Client of the Radio .. so most features are added inside the Radio Firmware rather than the Client.
Most of Flex's work has been and continues to be on the INSIDE of the radio adding new features such as different filters delays and sharpness to the radio firmware. I understand that there are 6 or 7 different processors inside the radio so firmware updates and interactions are complex and need significant work. V2.0 WAN will likely be implemented INSIDE the radio firmware rather than in the Clients.
SmartSDR for Windows. iOS and Apple AND Maestro are client programs which have different complexities to add new "FEATURES" Some operating systems such as iOS seem to make it rather easy to add features such as Spots in the Display and Band Maps (I actually had the fun of working with Marcus on the first iterations).
Ultimately it's a bottom line decision. Flex has limited programming resources.
I personally want them to continue to focus on the INSIDE of the box....
It's easy for many users to come up with many features they want. But not so easy for programmers to add them all. If many users were programmers and used the API, like the IOS client did, things might be different. Instead, It is what it is. And the work goes on, at the pace the active programmers can manage. We all feel the pain of waiting. Every delivered feature, delays the next undelivered feature. The priority needs to be, staying in business long enough to deliver them all. There will continue to be new features requested, and new features delivered. That's not the case with most traditional non-SDR rigs. In the meantime I'll use what I've got and patiently wait for the rest. Good things will come to those who can wait. It's not over till it's over. I watched and used PowerSDR as it matured to the point it's at. SmartSDR has a shot at going further. This may not be my last rig purchase, but it's likely the last rig I'll ever want to sell. The future still looks bright. I'm having fun, and to me that's all that counts.
73, Jay - NO5J
I know in our company where we make high-tech cancer research instruments we just started an automation project and we were allowed to high one new engineer. So we now must continue the work we are doing but also do the automation work in parallel. So things slow down a little. I have to believet he same is true for Flex.
I also have to agree with Jay that for the most part the radio works, the software has good features and with the addition of some external work people could have DX spots and other stuff. I think Flex has these things on their list but quite frankly raking in $7000 for new amps probably takes precedence over providing clickable DX spots.
I love having the API on the radio because it means I can write software to control it and even replace SmartSDR if I wish. I started down that road then life got in the way. I still have my multi-platform Flex client sitting in a directory. The bits are gathering dust but I did fire it up the other day and it works.
Like most software it is at the 75% mark and it needs like another 10% to make it useful but that 10% is the hardest to get done.
I have communicated with some Flex haters, anon fan boys and they all swear by that radio. For me it is as Ria said in another thread, it requires a fat client with lots of internal processing to make it work. Or as said above... The software is the radio. Here the software is a client of the radio and that opens many possibilities.
With the published API or knowledge of the ethernet packet stream there are so many things you could do. It is all about time and what you want to achieve.
My remote experience with my flex has been less than good simply because the pans, waterfalls and audio just take up too much bandwidth. So one night I wrote a simple client that passed in a very small pan size and set the waterfall rate to extremely slow. With that I was able to get audio and control the radio over a slow link without difficulty. So I think in 2.0 which claims to offer remote we will see an even thinner client.
So while I want more features, I think what we have is very cool. I'm so addicted to looking at signals that I bought and almost immediately sold an ICOM 7300 because it was just not the same.
Mark - WS7M
I am along for the ride and as I know software is never finished as more ideas come along more software is written. Just the way it is. Not like the analog world where things stay stagnant.
"""Never done before software""" on the horizon is what I hope for and hope it continues.
Patience is a virtue and some lose it along the way.
But I *do* think it's time to reward the user base with a series of releases that feature minor GUI features. Just take the top votes features, see which are "low hanging fruit", and add them. Band markers, for example. That's a JFDI type item. There are a lot of these. After doing a dozen or so of these added features, at least the user base will know they're being heard. And they'll feel the love.
ETA: Well, it seems you couldn't really do this just by selecting "Ideas" and seeing what the top votes getters are. I just tried it, and... not so helpful. But it's a place to start.
No, it won't shut everyone up. People who want WAN remote will still whine that they should get priority. You can't make everyone happy... but you CAN put aside the big items every once in a while and throw the uses a bone.
From above -- "Just take the top votes features, see which are "low hanging fruit", and add them....it seems you couldn't really do this just by selecting "Ideas" and seeing what the top votes getters are. I just tried it, and... not so helpful. But it's a place to start. "
Correct that result is not very useful but here is a quick way to search the list of active ideas sorted by number of votes. I think you will find this more helpful.
From the main screen use the search feature.
First, don't type anything in the box and just click on the SEARCH ICON
This will come up, then Click on the ADVANCED SEARCH arrow
This screen will come up....
Uncheck everything except as above and select the SORTED by field as shown.
Then click the SEARCH button in the lower right.
You should get the list of 1,000+ ideas that are still active sorted by number of votes.
Does this look better?
Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
SSDR / DAX / CAT/ 6700 - V 1.10.16
Compared to a knob radio, where you can never upgrade your UI, at least with a flex radio you can.
Already we have:
SmartSDR - Which will improve
Move to mac and run DogPark SDR
That is by my count three somewhat different UI to a single radio. And I have another one in the works! I also think Flex will update SmartSDR. There is also another "thin" client and I heard that N4PY supports flex.
So perhaps the count is really five!
Try that with an Icom, Kenwood, or Yaesu knob radio!
What I haven't been able to solve is how to use both SCUs and multiple panadapters with any kind of reasonable workflow. My loggers care a lot about slice A and slice B. Even using the Antenna Genius switch (great accessory!) I haven't found a great workflow or presets to route antennas to different SCUs for monitoring multiple bands while easily switching focus to work what I hear and get it logged. Instead I monitor spots on DXLab which seems to have a slightly twitchy "frenemy" relationship with SSDR.
My priorities? Rethink the whole workflow. I beleve that spectacular as the Direct Sample ADC front end + decimator are and as hard as all the DSP software is to write, they will end up as table stakes limited by noise floor and QRM . Workflow and software integration will rule. I am a DXer and medium-pistol contester. I'm sure other people have different workflows they care about. I'm generally delighted with the Flex product (275 DXCCs in 3 1/2 years) that I largely attribute to the situational awareness the pan gives me, but slightly peeved that not much has happened to make the 6700 more useful than a 6500. 8 pans will be really useful when I can easily steer them to antennas and activate slices my loggers can recognize.
Kev said many things with which I agree... But there was one that was a perfect summary: "Flex needs to hire a GUI person"
That person will have to see the workflow Asher mentions and provide solutions, and there is tons of info available in this community.
Sitting in your comfort zone because innovating is hard will lead to stagnation and death.
I bought the Flex for the software and that alone will make me stay or leave for greener pastures.
Maybe it would be better to ask Dave AA6YQ to add a module for DXLab to to do what you want. The API is there. It can be done. What we are seeing is that most log software views rig control as an afterthought rather than a core function. The world mostly works with serial port CAT and two VFOs with two radios. They haven't caught up with multi slice Ethernet enabled SDRs.
I really hesitate to say that flex should provide this functionality when it is really supposed to be up to application developers. Microsoft doesn't write all of the software to do everything you want to do with windows and include it in the OS. Instead it provides an operating system with an abstraction layer to allow third party developers to do just that.
Doesn't Tesla listen to their customers?
In spite of the complaints about lack of top of the line features, needless to say she always grabs my Tesla to drive because while lacking in those nice to have features, it still outperformsevery other car on the road and the extra features it does have like autodrive, self parking, automatic GPS connected suspension to raise itself on our steep driveway, etc are just so much better than every other car.
Being on the Flex ALPHA TEAM I know how much effort goes into adding the simplest new features and how much testing is needed to make sure they did not break something else.
I believe Flex is listening.
Because I have been in their position I also understand that they need to make payroll every week. They are not a giant company like say Icom and only have limited resources. They need to put their efforts where they will get the best bang for the buck. Contesting market was important because like race cars, ordinary people buy the winning brands. V2.0 WAN is a huge market and it was promised back when we first put deposits down years ago. Hopefully we will see it this year because it will sell a lot of radios
Other features like all mode squelch are nice to have features albeit I have never used HF squelch in almost 60 years as a ham and owned many rigs with it.
I will give you a completely different and much more practical way of predicting when a feature on the wish list will arrive than counting votes on this forum
1. List all the features you wish to have.
2. Beside each feature predict how many NEW SALES that feature will drive to a Flex
3. Sort the list by descending order from most sales to least
I will bet you that the things on the top will be delivered first.
I know that I were running Tesla or Flex that is what I would be doing.
I must give you credit for this concept
There are clearly two different sorts of features which are conflating here.
First Category are the JFDI - Client Features such as
1. Alternate Colors on the Display
2 Band Markers
3. Band Spots on the Display
I am sure that there are many other just client features that could be accomplished without touching the internal firmware. I also know that it is a "Simple Matter of Programming" which still takes time and resources to finish...albeit Markus was able to do the above 3 in record time in SmartSDR for iOS. These are for the most part "eye candy" which may or may not drive new sales but will make existing customers happier. I know I was thrilled to get band spots and especially alternative colors.
The Second Category is much more difficult to achieve as it requires changes to the Firmware which as I have seen is very complex, time consuming and very prone to breaking something else so it requires extensive testing. Feature such as All Mode Squelch fall into this second category and I am sure one could list many more. Some of these features such as V2.0 WAN will definitely drive new sales while some such as All Mode Squelch may not have that much effect on sales.
I can understand why the Second Category takes longer to implement and the fact that Flex must prioritize the Second Category features on a revenue generation vs cost basis.
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