K6TU Remote V1.3 released to iTunes!!!

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I just got the confirmation email from Apple that they have approved V1.3 of K6TU Remote for release - it should appear in the App Store within the next 24 hours.

This release provides:
  • Full screen (and I mean FULL SCREEN) support for the iPad Pro
  • Addition of the per slice Noise Blanker (NB) in addition to WNB
  • Fixed a stupid bug which prevented selecting ANT2 for transmit on a 6300
  • Tested with both SmartSDR 1.5.1 and the pending release of 1.6
I very much appreciate all the kind comments about K6TU Remote - the support for the Pro took longer than I'd anticipated because of the need to change many of the screen layouts and also some code restructuring as a consequence.  I appreciate y'alls patience!

If you like K6TU Remote, please take a moment and visit the app via iTunes on your computer in the App Store and leave a review.

Thanks to everyone and Happy Holidays!
Stu K6TU

PS: Work now resumes on adding CW support!
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Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

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  • the release of 1.3 coming on!

Posted 3 years ago

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KF4HR

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That's great for Apple users.  Anyone know if someone is working on a similar application for Android devices?
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Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

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Sorry - I don't have any plans for an Android version of my app. Its enough work supporting one platform yet alone two.

There was a thread here on the community that showed someone developing an Android app but I don't know of its current status.

Stu K6TU
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KD8TVB

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Excellent Stu... I will check the app store for the update. The speakers on the iPad Pro, something else huh... :)
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Lawrence Kellar KB5ZZB

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Stu: no radios detected over VPN after upgrade on iPad pro
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Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

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Really?  Works for me over the VPN to both my home radio and my mountain top site.

Make sure that you dismiss the app from memory before running V1.3 - double tap on the home key and then flick the app up off the top of the screen.

Also make sure that the VPN shows connected on the iPad before you run the app.

Stu K6TU
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Lawrence Kellar KB5ZZB

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Stu. I hard rebooted iPad and restarted vpn. I ran a " what is my IP " search and am getting my home ip. My email address is kb5zzb@gt..rr.com if we can take this offline
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Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

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I sent you and email - please let me have your phone number via my email so I can call you.  I just verified (again) via the VPN from my office and everything is working fine.

Quick question...  please do make sure you do NOT have K6TU Control active in memory.  If you do, it has a non-shareable hold on the radio discovery port and that would explain why you don't see any radios.  

Stu K6TU
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Lawrence Kellar KB5ZZB

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Stu got me going...A+ tech support  Thanks Again!!!
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Downloaded it a few minutes ago, but my VPN is set up for my laptop and I can't test it until later tonight.  THanks!
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I played with it on Monday night with my Rag Chew group, using only the built in mike on my iPad, running WiFi on my LAN. It worked pretty well, except they reported that my TX audio was distorted. Recordings they made showed the same. It was "spikey" in the response. At first it was overdriven, but I lowered the mike gain to almost nothing and it still never got as clear as when running the iPad to SSDR with Parallels Access. I need to spend some time working on EQ and stuff. I will also test with my Bluetooth headset. Is there a way to import a TX profile that I know works with this mike?
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I subscribed for a month so I can play.  Right now I am listening to 20 M SSB in the background at the office via my VPN connection.
So far, it is a lot of fun, but I have a few questions not that I have played a little:

1) Is there a way to select a different TX Profile?  I have some already stored for my iPad mic, and my Bluetooth headset mic.  I would like to use them if possible, rather than making them all over again.

2) Is there a way to shrink the vertical scale.  I am only able to see about half the waveform of the stations this morning.  Yesterday it was better, but I played at home with SSDR and probably adjusted the vertical scale.

3) Can the transmit information screen that shows up when transmitting be moved off to the side a little so that it doesn't cover up the transmit signal spectrum?  It makes it hard to visualize my transmit audio characteristics (and adjust them) when I can't see it on the display.

4) do you have any plans to engage the record/playback function?  That would be very handy to assist TX profile adjustment.

Again, very nice job.  I can only dream of programming something like this!
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Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

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Ken,

Thanks for subscribing.  In answer to your questions...

1. Short answer for now is no.  The much longer answer is eventually but its going to need some work and likely some help from FlexRadio.  Right now different parameters of the radio and state information are stored between a mixture of profiles and persistence data.  Not all of that information is "readable" by a client - in some cases, the only way you find out about persisted state is to incur an action that invokes the persisted state.  This makes life complicated.  In designing the iPad app I am very focused on simplicity and streamlined operation - I deliberately did not (and won't) set out to replicate SmartSDR on the iPad.  

2. Multiple clients with the radio is a challenge.  The app creates a global profile called K6TURemote (as well as a transmit profile of the same name).  It also saves and restores the profile it finds loaded in the radio when it starts BEFORE loading its own.

The caveat is that the app creates its profile from the state of the radio it encounters when first checking for its own profile.  In other words, it makes a copy of the extant global profile as its own.

What this means is that you can make *some* changes to the K6TURemote profile using SmartSDR, save the profile, and then the app will pick them up.  Except that doesn't work for the vertical scale of the panadaptor.  

You can adjust the base line of the pan adaptor (slide your finger up and down the right scale) but currently not adjust the scale.  I will be adding a pinch gesture on the scale to adjust it in a future release.

3. No - the position of the controls is fixed and the design philosophy was the normally the controls would be hidden and you would use the transmit button on the right to handle transmit (or use VOX).  I suggest that you center the transmit slice in the display before pulling up the controls. 

When CW is implemented, you likely won't see much (maybe any - haven't thought that far yet) of the transmit pan adaptor as most of the screen will be covered with an on screen keyboard (unless you use a BT keyboard).

4. Yes - but note sure yet when or where to implement these. 


Appreciate the feedback and thoughts!  Please keep them coming!
Stu K6TU
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Thanks, Stu.
RE: 1) I had thought about editing the K6TURemote profile but hadn't tried it yet.  I will try that this evening.  I will also try saving one of my TX profiles and then activating it in SSDR before closing and opening the ipad remote program.  That may give me some insight.

2) RE: the panadapter.  i'm a little baffled because the last time I used it (receive only version a few days ago), the vertical axis was not zoomed in as much and was perfect.  So I don't know why it changed.....I will try a few options with that tonight as well and let you know when I figure something out..  

3) re: the transmit display... OK.  I played a bit more and found I can adjust the transmit slice flag to the right and get it uncovered when I need to.

Feature request...(in your spare time!  ha ha!)
I would love to have a pair of bump up/bump down buttons above or below the transmit button that would allow me to scan the band that way if I don't want to use the finger drag method.  I find that my fat finger tends to roll a little as I move it and it often "drops" the tuning stripe and it goes back to where I started or makes random tuning changes.  if I had a pair of buttons I could hit and move a selectable step then it would really snap it up for me.

Thanks again.  it has been fun to play with in the den and at the office.  I may just find that after playing with it for a month that I can't resist buying a whole year's worth of fun!  

Ken - NM9P
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Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

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Ken,

You can use the K6TURemote profile to set things via SmartSDR that currently the app does not handle.  This will work for most (not all) cases.  There are cases currently where the app can get stuck (confused, or worse case crash but I think I have most of these nailed) if the profile is screwed up.  

If the worst comes to the worst, delete the K6TURemote profile(s) [global, transmit] using SmartSDR, set up one slice, one panadaptor then exit SmartSDR and run the app.  This will recreate the K6TURemote profile from a known point.

Long term I want to get away from this but that needs changes to the code in the radio which will have to compete against FlexRadio's own priorities for implementation.

On 2 - its possible that this is persistence data in the radio.  Try using SmartSDR to set things up and then use the steps above to remove and recreate the K6TURemote profile.

The frequency nudge buttons are on my list.  I call them the "Howard Buttons" as KY6LA has been on my case since the beginning to implement this - LOL.  I had hoped to put it into this release but with Apple closing the AppStore for developers updates between 12/22 and 12/29, I didn't want to take the risk of hosing a release with last minute changes and getting stuck into 2016 for a new release.

I think you will be hooked when you run the iPad from the Mall while Christmas shopping and manage to hook an ATNO on HF using the app and split mode ;-)

Stu K6TU
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Hi Stu, 
When I went to check my iPad PRO I was pleasantly surprised that V1.3 had already been updated.  

Full screen is great! 

On CW with the filter set to 100HZ it is still difficult to grab the filter and tune.  Maybe adding a ghost filter skirt of a different color  when the filter is set below 400 HZ would work.  In other words, make the 400 HZ width the minimum.  Mockup below.....

I know you are still working on the CW features so maybe this is something to address for the next version.

Again, very nice job and looking forward to the CW features.


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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Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

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Al,

I will give this some thought as I start on the detailed path to implement CW support - its an excellent idea.

Stu K6TU
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Spectacular on my iPad Pro from Paris. Really fabulous job. BNo visible bugs or artifacts. Sound is marvelous.

I guess putting in 200Mb/s x 200Mb/s fiber into the apartment really helped.

Now I need to upgrade LaJolla from 50Mb/s x 5Mb/s to Fiber. I only wish I could get it.
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Charlie

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Downloaded the app and installed it on my Ipad Air 2 64 and it works great on HF.  I have a DEMI transverter attached to my 6500.  When I tap 2m, it takes me to 30.852 with no slice. From that point no controls work.  If I close the program, double click the home button and swipe it completely closed, upon re-opening; it takes me to the same screen with the same results.  The only way to get it to work again is to completely remove it from memory (double click home and swipe it) and reboot the radio.   I can manually enter the 2m frequency and the app tunes to the frequency.  I can see both SSB and FM transmissions on the screen, have one slice, can tune the slice to the transmitting frequency but no audio.
The simple answer may be that the app will not work with a transverter.  If so, no worries.  It cannot be all things to all people.  The other features it offers make it an excellent app.  I can live with no transverter, if that is the answer.
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Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

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Charlie,

You have hit a case that has not yet been tested.  Neither I or to my knowledge, any of my alpha testers tried transverter operation - I should have noted this in the release notes.  Also, there are currently no controls for FM although you can select it (and other unsupported modes like digital) in the app.

I will look at adding transverter support - there is nothing fundamental about how this works - just a simple matter of programming LOL!

1.3 represents a side track release in order to address the capabilities of the iPad Pro and its different screen size.  I am now back to working on the next release which is planned to add CW support using both an on screen or Bluetooth connected keyboard.

Thanks for downloading the app and giving it a try!
Stu K6TU
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Charlie

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Thanks Stu,
App works great for HF and what you have programmed.  Thanks for your efforts.
Charlie KJ4AUQ
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Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

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No worries!  Functionality will appear incrementally!
Stu K6TU
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Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

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Ken,

To your comments about Audio quality...
  1. Be sure that you are not clipping the TX audio from the iPad.  The "pre-amp" control should be low - probably 1-3 for normal voices.  The red peak indicator should peak at -3 dB full scale. The radios are calibrated to generate full output power at this level.  If you see the peak level hitting zero, the odds are very high you are clipping the audio and it will sound raspy.
  2. You can use the transmit equalizer controls on the iPad to adjust your audio. 
  3. You can set the equalizer based on the settings you use with your blue tooth mic on the PC but there is no guarantee that it will sound the same.  I have no idea what the audio input stage on either the PC or the iPad look like - but the odds are they are different!
With proper set up it is possible to get excellent audio even from the built in microphone provided that you are reasonably close to its pick up point and have low background noise - the built in mic is prone to pick up of all sorts of rustles etc.

I generally use the corded headset that comes with the iPhone - audio quality reports have been excellent.

Just to drill the point home - do watch the peak audio level on the iPad.  The red peak indicator should just hit -3 dB on the meter scale. Above that and it will clip.

Generally you don't want much in the way of pre-amp "gain" - somewhere between 1 and 3 should be perfect.

Stu K6TU
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Thanks, Stu.
That is what I found with additional experimentation.  I also need to get used to the metering on your app.  It doesn't follow exactly the same as on SSDR.  With mike gain between 1-3 I am peaking about -10 to -5 and the power meter only shows about 60 watts on peaks.  I am assuming it is actually peaking a little more than that but there is some dampening effect on the meter after it gets across the network.

I certainly sound better with the Bluetooth headset/mike combo...pretty good actually, though not nearly as good as my studio mike in the shack.

I also discovered some differences in the adjustment of the TX EQ.  I originally had the levels set exactly the same that I had when using Parallels and SDR from my iPad.  But it didn't sound the same.  Your app seems to require more bass  and less treble - much flatter than when using SSDR.  This seems a bit odd to me, but as long as I can find the setting I need, it is no problem.  (Perhaps there is some hidden EQ going on inside my iPad that I need to turn off?)

I assume that a subsequent release will allow adjustment of Hi/Low cutoff frequencies on TX?  That would be nice.  Many people commented that it looked like there was nothing getting out below 300 Hz.  Is that your default value?

So far this is an enjoyable application.  It takes much less bandwidth than running Parallels/SSDR over the network.  I find that I am turning to it more often than I though when I want to monitor a few of my favorite frequencies in the background while doing other tasks.

A few additional features would make it the perfect app for me (Note:  I am not criticizing...just dreaming) ....1) The "Howard buttons" you referred to earlier would be very handy.  2) Access to TX Profiles, including adjustable TX Hi/Lo frequencies, would make it easy to change mikes and methods.  3) CW capabilities.  and 5) some rudimentary memory function so I can save a few favorite frequencies that are my "go-to" hangouts.

But "it is just a simple matter of programming!"  ha.

Thanks, Stu, for a great program.  I know it has taken a HUGE amount of effort to pull this off.  But it makes my 6500 even more fun.

Ken - NM9P
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Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

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Ken,

You can set the pre-amp gain so that the peak indicator hits around -3dB without any danger of clipping.  Indeed there is some delay in the power out reading - it is updated about 10 times a second who an analog peak reading meter might show higher power.

The filters implemented by the app have a low cut off at 100 Hz assuming you are using the controls on the app to select the bandwidth.  In SSB modes, both RX and TX filters are set to the value selected.  The app creates the k6TURemote global profile from what ever the active state of the radio was when you first run the App. So it is possible that the filter bandwidth is not what you think.

Select the bandwidth from the controls on the app and that will set the low cut off at 100 Hz.

The audio response of the iPad microphone appears to be very flat - so setting the transmit equalizer is strongly recommended.

Thanks for the suggestions - I will get to these in due course.

Stu K6TU

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