Horizontal Line for AGC-T

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  • Idea
  • Updated 3 years ago
In order to make AGC-T easier to understand and to adjust I propose that there be a temporary or optional horizontal line representing the threshold inflection point for AGC-T

Wine I am an engineering nerd I would love it to be represented in numeric dBm.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Posted 4 years ago

  • 49
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Bill -VA3WTB

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It has been working so well for most. What is wrong with moving it left till the noise starts to decrease, as Ken pointed out. does that not work anymore?
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Steve N4LQ

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I still proclaim that AGC-T is backwards. The threshold is increasing as the slider is decreased. 

(Assuming this is really adjusting the threshold)

I still think it's adjusting the RF gain into the ADT. At least that's how it acts. 
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Ken - NM9P

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That works, but it would help people visualize the threshold if there were a line, perhaps just in the Receive filter bar that corresponds to the AGC-T setting.    I like this idea simply because I am a visually oriented person and like to see things move when I adjust various controls.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I too am very visual. The line would help people conceptualizer what they are doing. And prevent the obvious confusion that people like Steve had.
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Steve N4LQ

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I wasn't confused. The crazy AGC-T slider works backwards. 
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Please click Like at the top of the page
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Walt

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A line sounds like a worthy addition -  will add my vote
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Jim Gilliam

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A high-powered cat like you should be referred in dBW
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Steve N4LQ

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Remember those rigs that used to have AGC meters like the Drake 2B and hundreds of others? You reduce RF gain, watch the S meter go up and set it for your desired AGC threshold. Pretty advanced eh?
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KC2QMA_John

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Steve I'm with you on the AGC threshold but as for me I don't want the S-Meter to follow AGC like the old radios even my Orion used to do this until they updated the software to allow the user to change the meter response time. I want the S-meter to show the actual signal at the ANT input not post AGC.

KC2QMA/John

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Steve N4LQ

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I hear ya John but what's the difference? 
I doubt if the "S meter" in SmartSDR is attached to the antenna :*)
I suspect it goes through a complex process to generate that little bar graph.
AGC is not really a voltage controlling stage gain either. 
Actually all I want is for the meter to settle down so I can read it. For example: When I look at the meter on a conventional radio the needle "floats" around a certain spot and I can easily give a report such as "you're 10db over 9 OM.
With Ssdr, the meter jumps up and down so fast that it's impossible to tell what's happening unless it's a  stead carrier....
The term "averaging" comes to mind. 
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KC2QMA_John

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Yes My Ten Tec Orion II also has a meter that moves so fast it's hard to read. TT said they would be adding the ability to adjust the meter action in the next software update to give a bit more averaging. I believe it will have 4 options as I recall Fast, Med, Slow & track AGC.
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KC2QMA_John

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BTW i am currently using the free add-on meter from woodbox radio. This is an analog style meter and allows you to adjust the Up & Down time it also has a peek hold option.

Here is a link to the meter. http://www.woodboxradio.com/flex6000.html scroll down the page.


(Edited)
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WBB

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Yep
Same for Squelch
Horizontal line representatives threshold
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Howard,
Here is a mockup from the AGC-T idea I submitted year or so back.

It includes both the LINE and 2 options to also show the NUMERIC value.

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



AND/OR ADD the value to the slider



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

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Here is another option.....also posted in the other idea.
Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com





The boxes with the AGC numbers could display when you hover on the line and disappear a few seconds later or when you move, just like the filter width display does.   Keeps the screen from being too busy.  

Or if some folks like the numbers being visible all the time there could be a fade option.
- 1 second
- 5 seconds
- never

We know the developers like providing options....;-)

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
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KC2QMA_John

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Yes now you can see and hear where the AGC-T will kick in.
Makes sense to me.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I like option 2. Especially the dBm reading
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km9r.mike

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#2 would be preferred for me. I like the visual display of AGC-T, however, from the get go it's slider operation came across as very intuitive for me.
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Ken - NM9P

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I just noticed that I hadn't comment on your drawings, Al.  I like #2 better, because it has a separate shorter line for each slice.  That would make for a cleaner, less busy display.  The number indicator could come up when adjusted, or upon mouse hover, and then fade after a few seconds.
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John n0snx

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I'm not sure I understand the analogy here.... you want a visual line for the AGC-T that you set by ear....  seeing a line  is not going to change what your ear is hearing.... But hey what do I know...I'm just a retired carpenter. and not nearly as smart as an engineer...hihi
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Steve N4LQ

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Huh? Well then let's do away with the entire screen.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Actually a lot of us are more visual than audible ...I know I am..

If there were a visible line I likely would set it somewhere above the noise floor. With practice, I am sure that I could get to set it much quicker visually than I could ever do by ear.
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Steve N4LQ

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Since the programmers won't help...Maybe the mechanics can implement this---
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFaLPuKkyAE
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KD4HSO

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How about a marker on the S-meter that show post AGC signal level.  Sort of like the peak marker on the TX input level. 
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Walt - KZ1F

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OK, so being a software geeky type, why is it a control at all?
I certainly understand in the vintage 1930 era radio state of the art, one had to manually set it. This is software right, generation 3 SDR. If there is a known calculatable set point just do it in software and free up some desktop real estate.

Serious question, not being snarky...well not totally.
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Ken - NM9P

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For best normal sensitivity, yes, adjust from right to left until the noise JUST starts to drop.  This is the best overall setting.

But once one gets familiar with the interactions, a bit of "fine tuning" can be useful.  

On a noisy band, or when I am not interested in picking out the weak ones, then I will set it a LITTLE further to the left (about 1-4 additional "clicks."  using the mouse to click one-by-one.)

When trying to copy a weak one in the presence of rapidly changing noise or interference, sometimes I will bump it a notch or two to the right to eliminate any pumping caused by varying noise or strong nearby signals.

After adjusting WNB, NR, ANF, or changing RX EQ settings, I will tweak it up or down a tiny bit again to maximize signal-to-noise ratio.  Fine adjustments of one or two "clicks" can sometimes make a big difference in either comfort or readability.

I can't precisely detail an exact formula for this.  It has developed as more of an instinct as i have gotten used to the sound and "feel" of the rig.  It is the sort of "art vs. science" thing that drives engineer-types crazy!  

(I live a bit in both worlds - I majored in Math & Physics, then went to get an MDiv and became a pastor...My Myers-Briggs personality test rates me half-way between Introvert/Extrovert, and also halfway between "right-brain/left-brain" categories!)

My experience with WNB has been mixed.  it seems to work well, even spectacularly,  on some types of noise.  On other types of noise it is less effective.  Thankfully, the standard NB that was reintroduced in v.1.5.1 seems to work on some other types of noise that are not eliminated by WNB.  And on other types of noise the NR function is effective.  BTW, NB & NR seem to be better in v.1.5.1 than in other software releases.

My evaluation is that they have come a long way, but WNB still needs some work.

One suggestion is a mode for WNB that might be linked to the panadapter width, rather than the whole SCU.  This would help in cases, for example on 40 SSB, where radio Havana and some other broadcasters just above 7300 KHz cause the WNB to add distortion and display pumping.  If I could put these strong signals ff the panadapter and therefore out of the WNB sampling range, then they wouldn't be as much of a problem.

I have some noise sources that seem to be "highly correlated" but not universally wide-banded.  They only cover a medium frequency range.   If WNB is analyzing the whole SCU input, it might be missing something, or might not be as effective on the stuff that s limited in frequency range.  

Of course I give this feedback not fully understanding the algorithm used for WNB.

Cheers, Walt.

Ken - NM9P
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DrTeeth

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Sounds like an idea for a mini-video Ken ;-).
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Ken - NM9P

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It is on my rapidly-expanding list.  But I need to get through this weekend first.  And I do have my day-job to get back to after this week's "stay-cation" time is over.
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Here is the link to tge option to automate the AGC-T....but it still provides the ability to manually adjust it if desired.  As Walt suggested if there is an ideal setting that can be determined in software that would be the recommended automated setting.  Coupled with one of the horizontal line options it should give everyone something to like. 

https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/option-to-automate-the-agc-t-setting

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
6700 - HW......... V 1.5.1.70
SSDR / DAX...... V 1.5.1.152
CAT................... V 1.5.1.0
Win10
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Here is the link to tge option to automate the AGC-T....but it still provides the ability to manually adjust it if desired.  As Walt suggested if there is an ideal setting that can be determined in software that would be the recommended automated setting.  Coupled with one of the horizontal line options it should give everyone something to like. 

https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/option-to-automate-the-agc-t-setting

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
6700 - HW......... V 1.5.1.70
SSDR / DAX...... V 1.5.1.152
CAT................... V 1.5.1.0
Win10
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Jim Gilliam

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As I see it, the SDR does most the work where the previous models the computer did the work. I can see it shifting the other way as computers get faster and the communication stays on Ethernet. It will be interesting to see where this all eventually gravitates.


Jim, K6QE

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Barry N1EU

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IMHO one of the few glaring deficiencies in SSDR is the lack of a simple onscreen display (just a line) of the AGC-T level like PowerSDR provides.  For a small investment in development resources, I believe the result would be 99% of the user base dancing in the streets.

We don't need dBm or s-unit values, just a line that we can set relative to the panadapter trace of signal and band noise levels.

Barry N1EU
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Greg

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I suggested this a LONG....time ago....same approach to a squelch level.


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Ken - NM9P

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@Barry, I agree that a simple line either all the way across the filter flag, or some type of triangular arrow indicator on the slice flag at zero beat would be very helpful.  While many of us have gotten very proficient at adjusting AGC-T, and other DSP functions like NR by ear, others may be more visually oriented and would benefit from the visual feedback.   it would indicate that "Signals above the line will be heard at full volume and limited by the AGC.  Signals below the line will decline in strength in proportion to their distance below the line...."

@Greg, Yes... another indicator could be used to set a simple level-controlled squelch.  Though eventually I would like to see a more sophisticated routine that recognizes the shifting pitch of the human voice and opens for speech, but not for other noise.

Ken - NM9P
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DrTeeth

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Sounds like a good idea. I am saying no more than that about it in this thread.

It looks like this thread has been taken the strain since the https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/smartsdr-mouse-wheel-tuning thread was closed, LOLZ.

Déjà vu:- Good idea proposed*, then people come forward agreeing. A short time later the 'Flex-can-do-no-wrong/it-does-not-generate-$s' pack will arrive. I'm going to really try hard to sit back and watch this one.

Seriously, there has to be a better way of suggesting ideas without the 'other side' getting angry/personal and a thread getting out of hand.
(Edited)
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Greg

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Its all Barry's fault...blame it on him.  He likes to stir the pot. :)

Just kidding....hi Barry!  :)

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mikeatthebeach .

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I also agree
73 Mike
WB6DJI
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Walt

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Big thumbs up for the #2134, the automatic AGC.

I have been getting tired of adjusting - it reminds me of my first radio, a knight kit span master, adjusting the regen knob for max sensitivity. 

After 50 years of technology - I hope you can make this function automatic.

Cheers !
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mikeatthebeach .

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Big thumbs up for the #2134, the automatic AGC.
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Ken - NM9P

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I will reiterate my statement fron 10 months ago...

I like the idea of an "automatic AGC" as long as I can still go back to the current method at will, OR if the slider could become a +/- adjustment to nudge the position a little above or below the nominal position to account for preference or band conditions.


So Manual AGC mode - the slider functions as it does now,

Automatic AGC mode - the slider becomes a center-detent +/- control.
(Edited)
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Ken - NM9P

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If they could implement this in conjunction with an "Active Hang AGC" that I proposed in another post, it would be heavenly.
(Edited)
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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I do not suspect that an automatic AGC mode would be an all or nothing type feature, in that regard, so a way of providing a manual override would be included.
(Edited)