How about easy controls to modify slices when operating split and chasing DX?

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  • Updated 5 years ago
I have chased a lot of DX since the 6700 came to my shack in July. This weekend I got a big "in-service" tutorial during ARRL SS Phone. Got me to thinking . . .

It would be nice if you could create that "B" slice very easily by having customary A=B, A switch with B etc. Additionally what about a control on the second slice that would simply set the frequency on the slice to "up 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 or 10" from the "mother" slice?

I find that having to dial up a frequency or enter a frequency on that second slice is distracting, wastes time and I often goof something up in the heat of battle (like put the transmit function on the wrong slice!)

Finally, during SS Phone I came to realization I am not using the full capability of multiple pan adapters or slices during contests. I am mentally stuck in the traditional paradigm and monitoring one frequency on one pan adapter at a time. We need some daring and forward thinking contesters in this Flex community to show us the better way using the amazing POTENTIAL tools of the 6000 series of SDRs.

Mike
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Mike - N1MD

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Posted 5 years ago

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Al / NN4ZZ

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Mike,
Also see this suggestion about cloning slices.....

http://community.flexradio.com/flexra...

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
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Greg

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I like to keep 3-4 panadapters open, each with their own slice receiver, In the morning I may have 10, 15 and 20M slices and maybe one for 40M so I can see when it starts to open.

Since N1MM only deals with VFO A and B (slice A and B) I correspond those slices to the bands showing the most activity. If running in unlimited mode where spotting assistance is allowed I let the bandmaps populate and then just bounce through all the spots on each one as quickly as possible. With the panadapters open I can see where there are other sigs not spotted on the bandmap to hit along the way...or use them exclusively if not using spotting assistance.

Or I may use panadapter A to find a clear spot to run on while using the others to find multipliers on other bands.

There are quirks with the SSDR tuning when controlled by external programs...like tuning the slice but NOT the panadapter.....this is hugely annoying.

Other weird things...and I noticed this on SS weekend as well, Even if on one band and one slice is open the bandpass filters are off line and WIDE shows on the panadapter display. This really is the wrong way to do it. The filters should be active or not based on the slice frequency in use, NOT what the panadapter is tuned to. I HEAR the slice, not the panadapter and that is where the benefit of the bandpass filters come into play.

73
Greg
AB7R
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Jim - WD5IYT

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One thing we have batted around is a right-click context menu for the panadapter that would allow the user to point to a frequency in the panadapter, right click, and see options like "create slice here".

How would you feel about this approach?

We have not decided how best to do this, so just looking for ideas.
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Greg

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I would like that feature but it does not solve the problem of a newly tuned freq from being off the panadapter display.

ie.

Slice A and its panadapter are tuned to 14.080. I am logging with a contest logger and use the logger to change bands from 20M to 15M. Now the panadapter is still tuned to 20M but Slice A is now off to the side of the panadapter. I am now listening to the 15M frequency but the display is not SHOWING the 15M frequency. I have to double click the slice indicator to bring it and the panadapter into sync and both display correctly.

I cannot think of any good reason for it to be the way it is. But if there is, maybe make it an option to SYNC PAN>SLICE. ????

Tnx
Greg
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Jim - WD5IYT

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This will be included in a future release. Right now CAT does not tune the panadapter. It will in future releases.
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Greg

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That's great to hear Jim. I hope it is not too distant....like January or sooner :)
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Greg

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An idea to add to Jim's suggestion above....

Right click on a freq on the panadapter to create a slice...but HOLD the right click and press a corresponding letter (A, B, C...ETC) to designate the slice name...

HOLD RIGHT CLICK, PRESS C, RELEASE RIGHT CLICK

creates Slice C where the click was executed

Tnx
Greg
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Jim,
Ideally it would need to match the settings (mode, etc) of one of the other slices that are active if you plan t use it to work split.

The "right click" option would work if you allow the user to select a slice to clone. For example: Right click and offer options to clone from one of the active slices already running:
- clone from slice A here
- clone from slice B here
- clone from slice C here

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ

Since there can be multiple slices, I still like the clone option on the slice better since it is fast and sure. You get 2 identical slices on the same frequency and it is easy to move the one you want "up 2 etc.

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Charles - K5UA

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There are several aspects to this split freq DX chasing that should be considered.
(1) For most DX chasing (especially CW) the DX is listening UP frequency, typically 1 to 3 kHz. NN4ZZ has a good recommendation by cloning the original slice with another slice panadapter and RX. As a starting point, +2 kHz would be a good point to place the "B" VFO in anticipation of calling the DX station. Occasionally a DX station will listen DOWN, but that is not the norm. Here are some other points I would like to have considered.

(2) The clone slice should have all the attributes of the original slice, including frequency span and position on the screen so that all the signals on the two panadapters line up. (As a side note, there should also be a "sync" button to sync two panadapters quickly.)

(3) The clone slice should automatically be selected as the transmit slice. Otherwise, it is highly likely that you will inadvertently transmit zero beat on the DX stations freq and make a lot of DXers very, very unhappy when you QRM the DX station. I have done it, everybody has done it. It is embarrassing.

(4) And finally, there should be a display box that reads the plus or minus kHz that VFO B is from VFO A. Why? When you are looking at the DX cluster and it says that your DX station is listening 2.7 kHz up, it takes time to look up at VFO "A", add 2.7 to 14.017.506, then change VFO "B" to the right freq. If there was a differential freq display, it would be so easy to roll the mouse button forward until the differential freq was +2.700 kHz without even looking at the "A" VFO and doing the math in your head. Time..... even mere seconds, can often mean the difference between making or not making a DX contact in a big pileup.

(5) OK, this is the last comment. In contest search and pounce it would be nice to have one more level of expanded panadapter view. Currently I think the smallest panadapter span is about 15 kHz. On the Flex 5000 an 8 kHz panadapter span is really nice with its panadapter in the averaging mode. An 8 kHz panadapter span spreads out the averaged CW signals so that you can see the individual peaks on a very crowded CW band and put your transmit freq right on the station you want to call.

Thanks for listening.
Charles K5UA