Help with setting up 6400/SmartSDR on 60m

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  • Updated 3 months ago
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Just upgraded from a Flex5K and of course PSDR.. 60 meter operation was a breeze just click on one of the five highlighted channels set at the correct TX power and audio bandwidth and ready to go.. on SSDR I set RF TX at 50w, 250-2700 and on one of the designated channels it shows TX not ready... Why can’t this be simplified on SDDR for more than 5 years now?
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Art - N4QNT

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Posted 3 months ago

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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Three of the of the most common errors for 60 Meter operation:

1) having your TX bandwidth too wide.  If it extends past the limit of 2800 Hz Upper Sideband, then the rig will disable TX to keep you from transmitting out of band.

2) Not being centered on the right frequency, making your TX bandwidth outside the channel.  Depending upon your TX HI-Lo settings, being as little as 100 Hz off frequency will disable the TX.

3) Accidentally forgetting to change your MIC Profile to the correct one when changing to 60 Meters.

If you want to channelize your 60 Meter operation, you can save the five frequencies in the memory list under Settings>Memory.....

Additionally, I set up 5 TNF Filters as markers of the Channel Carrier frequencies to remind me where I need to tune.

Ken - NM9P
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Rick WN2C

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Why doesn't Flex pre-program the  carrier frequencies in the memory like other manufactures in the North American turf file?
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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This capability is tied into a feature request to allow for band plans to be integrated into the radio's operation state, such as showing band edge markers, channelized portions of 60m for countries that still use channels (US and GB), and the ability to add a visual band plan indicators on the spectrum displays that would be user definable.  Maybe even show license class on the band plan markers. 
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Art - N4QNT

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With all do respect Tim.. I actually found the same answer you gave 4 years ago.. I can give you the link shortcut if you like.. Why is something so simple take so long.. Don’t take the wrong way I love Flex and my Flex radios I’ve owned over the years.. But how does one man (KE9NS) who still has a day job and updates PSDR as a hobby can make revisions and updates on the fly, it seems every two weeks PSDR looks like a new radio.. I will gladly spend my hard earned $200 on the next 3.0 and would surly hope I can click the mouse on an highlighted bar on 60m and ready to TX that simply like on PSDR...

Thank you
Art
(Edited)
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Art, I can understand your frustration about why it takes so long to address certain features.  I have addressed this with the product management decision makers and it is still on the list to do. 

You asked about why Darrin can make changes quickly and that deserves a detailed answer.  Darrin is modifying code that at the time he started was 12 years old, mature and stable.  Form a software development standpoint, it is much easier to add and modify existing code that to develop the framework to support new features, so adding features to a mature code base is much easier because you are only modifying or augmenting the existing framework.

Also, PowerSDR is monolithic, meaning that the radio hardware really doesn't do much other than IO management, digitization, and the RF functions.  All of the processing functions are in the PowwerSDR software. The changes that Darrin are primarily ergonomic because the core code that runs the radio does not need changes or new features added.   Essentially, it takes fewer programming hours to add these types of features so more can be added in a shorter amount of time.

SmartSDR is a client/server architecture meaning that in addition to doing what the FLEX + PowerSDR platform is doing, the radio is also doing the DSP and radio operational logic and has to implement it in such a way that other applications can interact with the radio.  So adding a feature can include doing low-level DSP or FPGA work (the framework) in order to support the presentation of that feature in the SmartSDR User Interface (UI).  With this platform, we have to be able to ensure that any UI application can access the radio for the said feature will work properly too.

This is a big advantage that the SmartSDR ecosystem has over the FLEX + PowerSDR system; you can only use PowerSDR with the FLEX hardware whereas with SmartSDR, you can use a variety of software with it.  That has advantages today as there is a native OS X client, dogparkSDR for Mac users and an iOS client for iPad/iPhone users.

It takes a little longer to deploy the features on SmartSDR, but the feature is extensible and usable in many different environments.

Darrin has done some excellent work improving on the original PowerSDR software and his efforts are greatly appreciated by his users and by FlexRadio.  He is adding additional intrinsic value to products that are no longer in production, clearly showing the value proposition of using an SDR over a traditional type firmware based radio.
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Burch - K4QXX

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That is one thing I miss about PSDR.  It was nice to just be able to click on the 60 meter band button to toggle between the channels.  Setting up the 5 frequencies in the memory list is a good idea.