KC2QMA_SmartSDR Wish List...like who doesn't have one.

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  • Updated 3 years ago
I have only had my Flex 6500 for a short time and really like it so far, lets face it it's 21st century radio! Within 1 day I was able to instal the 6500 get it working with my shack PC, Working with my laptop and even got it to work with all my other Ham software using smart-cat & DAX. 

In my opinion the only thing that is holding this great radio back is the software. Don't get me wrong I get it's only at Version 1.4.X and it's stable and robust and is already pretty awesome! Just the networking capability alone of the Signature Series is ground breaking and sets the stage for a new era in Amateur Radio. I know the software is going to get better and better, The future for this platform is solid. 

So here are a few things I would like to see in future updates. I think with a few changes to just the UI alone will greatly enhance the users experience. Most of the items I mention have to do with the UI.

Here are some of the things on my wish-list and not necessarily in any order!

SMARTSDR:
  • Make more use of Right Click drop down menus to ad more options.
When you hover over any part of SSDR have drop down menus that give more choices related to the item your cursor is hovering over. Would make it possible to control SSDR with just a mouse with scroll wheel?
  • Built-in analog style S-Meter.
Have an option to switch between Bar graph & Analog styles. Analog style meters are easier to read Would be cool if it was a “Radio Panel” item! (like the woodbox radio S-meter)
  • Option to move Radio Panel Dock to top or bottom of screen.
Would be great to have the option to move the Radio Panel Dock to top or bottom of screen since most computer monitors and portable devices today are in a Wide-screen format. This will allow more items to fit in the dock. Wide screen monitors are perfect for spectrum displays and waterfall's!
  • Custom receive Filter presets. Ability to choose filter shape (Normal, Soft).
The ability to have custom presets that can be available in the (RX) panel. Also a filter “Soft” mode that softens the skirts of the receive filter. This would help lower some of that filter ringing sound that that is very fatiguing on your ears during long listening sessions. This would be great for general SWL and SSB rag-chews when conditions are good.
  • Custom AGC presets / AGC Parameters.
To me this would be one of the more critical requests. To me it is imperative to have the ability to control the AGC parameters such as Attack Time, Hold Time, Decay Time, Threshold. Ability to save AGC settings to AGC drop down list.
  • Show numeric values when adjusting Sliders when under remote control.
This one kinda bugs me.
Have SSDR show numeric values when making adjustments with flexcontrol or other controller. Have a setup option to choose “always show parameter values” all the time.
  • Keyboard Mode
To allow control over many parameters of powerSDR via qwerty keyboard.
BTW they have studied that people are 5 times faster at controlling software as compared to the mouse.
  • Customizable themes/colors.
Not that important of a request but it would be nice to change the colors/themes around a bit.

DSP RELATED ITEMS:
  • NB (Noise Blanker)
Needs improvement. Better quality audio.
I know this is not easy because of all the different noises out there.
  • NR (Noise Reduction)
Needs improvement. Better quality audio.
Adding more latency may help give the NR more time to process the noise? Maybe a EQ compensation feature to make up for the lost high frequency caused by the NR would be a nice touch.
  • DEXP (Downward Expander)
Currently sounds choppy or stepped more like a gate than a quality Downward Expander. Needs to be more liner with correct slope.
  • PROC
Sounds a bit harsh on TX even when set to NOR? Maybe soften the attack time  a hair. Would be great if it had an advanced menu with Attack, Thresh, Release Ratio controls.
  • FLEXCONTROL:
Flex control needs more functionality. Make better use of LED's and buttons.
For example buttons need Latch & momentary modes. Momentary for things like MOX. Latch to enable/disable selected AUX button. LED's can also be used for many other things as well.
  • 6000 Series cooling fans:
Possible lower receive or idle fan speed. Fan on my 6500 is a bit noisy when just in receive only. Not sure if current fan speed is necessary for most stable TCXO temps?

Like I said I am very happy with my new 6500 and want to reiterate that the Flexradio team has done an amazing job with the new 6000 series. Just wanted to add a few of my thoughts to the mix.

73/KC2QMA 
John
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KC2QMA_John

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Posted 3 years ago

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Duane, AC5AA

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Interesting comment on the fan - even running RTTY I don't hear the fan on my 6500, and certainly not in receive.  I'm not sure what could be the difference in our setups.
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KC2QMA_John

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It's actually not bad just would be nice if it could be even quieter.
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KC2QMA_John

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Tim its not that the fans are all that loud it just seems that the idle RPM's could be lower when sitting in receive, However Since I don’t know how quiet a 6500 is supposed to be this may be perfectly normal operation.

Is their a diagnostic mode that allows you to see fan RPM's and system temps?
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Duane, AC5AA

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Here's a stupid question, but I'll ask anyway. Have you left adequate space on each side of the radio for the cooling entry/exhaust ports?  I don't know if my space is adequate, but I have about 1" on entry side, and 1.25" on the exhaust side and, as I noted, I can barely tell there is a fan running with speakers muted.
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KC2QMA_John

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Plenty of space. shack temp approx. 77F. I think we may be Turning nothing into something. The fans are not that loud and may be working just as they should. I would rather focus more on some of the other points of the wish list ;)
Here is a picture  showing my 6500 placement. Notice the amp is over the 6500. Wouldn’t want to put the flex on the stove LOL.
https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.qrz.com/a/kc2qma/kc2qma_rack.jpg
(Edited)
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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John - I think opening a HelpDesk tickets to check things out might be the best course of action.
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KC2QMA_John

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Okay, I'm sure everything is working fine but if it's no trouble I guess it's better to be on the safe side.

Thanks

John
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Chris DL5NAM

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I agree with all points. Tnx to John. 73 Chris
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Lou, i4AWX - AB1FJ

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I agree 100%
That is mywish list too.
Lou AB1FJ
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Burt Fisher

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Ignore the above wish list until WAN is implemented.
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Chris DL5NAM

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You forgot FSK
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KC2QMA_John

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No question... WAN is a game changer!
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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It is a good list, many of which have been debated before, but this list states them in a clear and concise manner.


My only differences might be:

PROC...a matter of taste. This is one of the more effective, least distorting processors I have used, even on DX+ it is punchy and sharp, but doesn't make you sound like you are on 11 meters...unless you have excessive bass turned up, which will add some unnecessary gravel. But when setting up a DX profile you don't need a lot of bass anyway...


The fan....apparently some have fans that are louder than others. I can hear mine, but it is less noisy than my computer fan, and the rig is on my desk while the computer is under it. At my shack it seldom goes into high gear. Perhaps other installations are not letting it have enough air space around it, or are in hotter environments?


Filters....on SSB I have never experienced any ringing. There can be some narrow banded noise that sounds a little like ringing on extreme narrow filter settings, but this is eliminated if AGC-T is adjusted properly. It should never run "wide open."


I do like the idea of right clicking a filter button in order to custom edit the filter settings. I have wanted this for a couple of years. Just like inPowerSDR. And a selectable option to soften the filter shape could be a good option.


I would also like to see the RX EQ become mode specific, so that I can have a setting in CW that is different than the one in SSB. I am constantly needing to adjust back and forth from SSB enhancement to CW enhancement every time I change modes, which might be 20-30 times in an hour of hunting DX. It is getting old. For those of us who gadfly about the bands while on the prowl, this would be a great help...


Ken-NM9P
(Edited)
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James Del Principe

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My fan is whisper quiet; can't even hear it.   If I did have one wish it is that the TX equalizer would be mode specific as I do some AM every morning and then chase DX on SSB after.   Different requirements.       73,     Jim
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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James - Use TX profiles for this.
(Edited)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Set up different TX Profiles for AM and SSB. That will do it for you
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KC2QMA_John

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Yes Howard, That's what I did.

What I decided to do is take some time and create some mode specific GLOBAL profiles. So lets say I want to work CW what I did was go to each of the HF bands and set everything up just the way I like such as zooming in on the CW parts of each band, Setting my filters and audio settings and so on. Then I save as CW-Setup. You can do this for each mode.

I then also created a few TRANSMIT profiles as well. I wanted to make a few standard setups for my EV RE27N/D like DX MIC, SSB MIC & ESSB MIC.

So by doing a little Pre-Setup I can now change the entire rig's setup on the fly in just seconds!
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I have about 6 different TX Profiles for various purposes, modes and bandwidths, plus a few more for remote mikes, and operating with/without the Behringer Q802USB mixer/preamp in line.  TX profiles are easy to edit and save.  Global profiles are helpful for me, but not nearly as much as the TX profiles.  Now if only we had Mode-linked agc/RXEQ, and zoom capability, it would be really nice.
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James Del Principe

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My thanks to all who replied. I will set up those xmit profiles. This sure is a learning experience but a fun one.   73, Jim