Latest PowerSDR version by KE9NS

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  • Updated 4 months ago
  • (Edited)

Guys,

If you run the Flex 1500, 3000 or 5000 then take a serious look at what Darrin KE9NS has been doing. A few weeks ago I suggested a couple of changes that would improve serious DX chasing using PSDR...and here they are - suggestion to reality within a matter of 2-3 weeks....Darrin's SOFTWARE is DEFINING this RADIO !

"4/7/18 v2.8.0.76: New Quick "SPLT" button feature: Right click to automatically turns ON and toggles between a VFOB TX of +5khz or -5khz split from VFOA. AND: Setup->Display->Split TX Listen checkbox will automatically set the sub-receiver (MultiRX button) to the TX freq during the Split."

This feature adjunct with setting the VFO A/B audio balance/split allows you to listen to the DX in one ear, and the pileup TX-freq in the other!   So, when you here the otherside of the QSO you know you are on the right QRG...time to call, and its also easy to track the next QSO/ split-movement etc.

This particular feature is a technique that some of us serious (aka obsessive) DX chasers use to catch a slippery DX fish where they are plagued with heavy pileups. When trying to use SmartSDR I had to set up macros in DDUTIIL and other workarounds. Now in PSDR its easy - one click is all it takes for me to be ready and on the DX.

I recently sold both my 2 x 6500 and reverted to using a trusty 3000 with PSDR - a decission that was to focus on what the radio actually does for me right here and now - to help catch DX.

73 de Steve G1XOW

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Steven G1XOW

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Posted 4 months ago

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Art - N4QNT

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My question is how can One Man who does this as a hobby, apparently still has s daytime job is able to alter code and enhance this software which feels like a new Radio after each update and us S-SDR user’s pay $200 for .0 versions which take months on end to come out for patches and fixes for prior versions??? I wish SSDR had 1/2 the intuitived features that PSDR has.
(Edited)
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Steve

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Hats off to Darrin.  A while back I asked him about implementing a TOT into PSDR.  Like stated above within two weeks it was there.  I am also dumbfounded by how long it takes Flex to implement changes and fixes to SSDR???????  The beauty of SDR should be to implement changes rapidly.  Yes, I too should have kept my 5000.  Undoubtedly SSDR will surpass PSDR  BUT it should not take this long.  
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John-KC2QMA

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I know how you feel Art, I have been thinking of selling my 6600M and either going with the Apache Labs ANAN-8000DLE or just going back to a Flex 5000A. Now I understand that all of these radio have strengths and weaknesses and that's up you the user to decide what works best for you.

Although I like the receive performance of the 6000 series and the SmartLink remote is a very nice feature. I just feel like at the pace FlexRadio is developing SmartSDR it will take many years before it has the feature set that even comes close to PowerSDR especially at the pace Darrin KE9NS is going.

Even the ANAN has moved ahead vastly with OpenHPSDR and the hardware is very impressive and the “Open-Source aspects are very interesting but it’s beginning to look like FRS has way too much on their plate with all the new hardware and commercial business to develop SmartSDR in a timely fashion.

I know there are people that are Very happy with their new radios and that's great for them, BUT I have had a 6700 then 6500 and now 6600M and the radio is still very buggy and has a clunky feel to me it just seems like a rushed and unfinished product and don’t even get me started on the Maestro that thing is just not ready for to be sold as a finished product. Even the rack kit I ordered with my radio had a machining error that required me to file the holes slightly bigger so the screw hole would line up with my hI end rack rails. BTW they never offered replacements to me, they just basically told me Sorry not our problem.

I feel like I am a “Beta Tester” when I use the radio. In the few weeks I have had the new 6600M I have had to HARD reset the radio 2 times, and find the radio does strange random things that require restarting the radio or SmartSDR plus there are so many defect with the user interface that have continued from SSDR 1.X from years ago that still not have been addressed.

What doesn’t make sense to me is that one of the many reasons we were told we had to wait so long to get the new radios was because the “Beta Testers” are working with the new radios to make sure they are ready before they start shipping. Well that seems like just another excuse to delay because for example the one most obvious feature that most “M” model users would use is the external monitor feature and once the radios were shipping users found that when they connect an external monitor to the radio the graphics would rotate 90 degrees and get stuck that way until you went though hoops to get it to sort of work. How can ALL of the “Beta Testers” have missed this?

I know this is my Opinion and you don't have to agree with me but I know many people feel the same as I do and feel that as soon as anyone says anything Negative about Flex the “Shills” come out of the wood work and so are quick to defend Flex rather than trying to understand the frustration that so many of us have had for years.

BTW here is a picture of just one of the strange problems I have had that Required a HARD Rest to the radio.

I like to call this "Somewhere Over The HF Rainbow"


(Edited)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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John, you think your so frustrated with Flex and SSDR, then you better hold on getting an Anan.
I was listening to some Anan fan boys last night trying and trying to get the software to work properly, constant crashing, audio turning to mush for no reason, just lots of things they have been working on for months now and still can't get it right.

One of them told the other to upgrade to the latest software, it can now do a panadater and waterfall on each receiver now, a break through.

It's a fun radio, but if this tinkering and waiting for something to work is your liking then go to it. Not to mention the build quality of the 7000 is horrible.
(Edited)
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Tom

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If it is technically possible, I would like to have DAX and Smart CAT implemented into PSDR. I often have had problems with virtual ports and virtual audio cables. I have both F 5000 and F 6700 and for the above reason I tend to use F 6700 far more often.

Tom, SP7WT
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Doug

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John, I don't want to come off as a "flex fan boy"l because I am defiantly not but I have not had a single weird strange screen like you have pictured or lock ups etc. I am running the 6400M and without exception I am amazed it is so free of bugs like you are having. As far as KE9NS software I agree it would be nice if they would open it up to him but I don't think that is going to happen. Again not to sound like a fan boy but I am sure one of the reasons they don't is so many times when people are having issues it came from 3rd party software etc I in NO WAY am implying his software is a problem.  IMO there comes a time when the software just has too much chrome on it to be useful.
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Steve

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While I agree that some of the things Darrin has done with PSDR could be called "Chrome" he still has improved functionality a great deal in a SHORT period of time and continues to do so.  
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John-KC2QMA

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What Darrin has been able to do is “Chrome”, Body Work, and put a new engine under the hood every few months all at the same time. So yes some improvements are cosmetics and others are performance.

But again One Man with a Day Job can do this at this rapid rate but it takes FRS month after month after month to just fix problems from prior versions. With exception to SmartLink we are supposed to be jumping for joy over “Pop Out Windows”? Really!!
(Edited)
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Steven G1XOW

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The implementation of DX-busting features like this (that don't even exist in SmartSDR) in no way should be considered Chrome.

I actually requested this same feature from FRS about 2 years ago - still stuck in the undisclosed "get round to it" pile I guess.

Personally, I am way more interested in what the radio can do for my DX hunting and achievements NOW, not "futures" and vague promises of some utopian thing yet to manifest itself.

I don't want to view 14MHz on the scope, I don't want to decode 8 x FT8 slices in tandem, I don't need to connect from a train under the English channel.

I'm a thoroughbred DX'er & contester - lipstick on a pig just ain't my thing....DX IS!
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Bill -VA3WTB

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PSDR had 8 years of development before Darrin got involved. And Darrin has breathed new life into PSDR and that's great.
I too use both in my shack, I use PSDR for listening around the bands, then when I get tired of looking at that grungy panadapter I move over to the HD clean SSDR with much better details. Soothing on the eyes.

Every time a thread like this comes along it opens the door for the same people to trash SSDR and Flex for that matter.

If you ask people who have actually writen code for PSDR and SSDR they will tell you that writing code for SSDR is a hole different matter, very complicated. I know their are some here that think writing code for SSDR is simple, but they really have no idea..lol
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Steve

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I personally LOVE my flex radios .  I am in NO WAY a basher of Flex or their radios.  That being said  does not mean I do not expect resolutions to issues in a timely manner.  Hell I cannot even get a list of what has priority and expected resolution dates.  
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I get that Steve, At least you know each issue has a number in the system to be looked into. Flex has not made the priority on items public. they have internal meetings to discuss each issue and it's importance relating to how it effects the performance of the radio. Then they talk about what the fix will effect and how it works into the long term plans. Some fixes are complicated and may need a lot of testing to implement them, in that case they look into what version in the future it will fit into.

My comments are pulled from past comments Flex has posted in the past.
(Edited)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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G1XOW, you should just do what you need to do in order to have things working the way you operate, nothing wrong with that. As we all should. For you, SSDR does not cut it and that's fine.
For others, and they post here all the time winning number 1 in many contest using SSDR and all different type's of 3rd party software to give them an advantage.

Keep up the good work Steven,  DX is waiting...
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Steven G1XOW

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Bill, glad you get it, but let me say this to you and Flex if they want to listen :-

I have never been a knobs-and-dials kind of operator - I'm SDR to the core. Couple that with being an obsessive DXer/contester for 30+ years and an I.T. tech (prior to that a low-level software engineer) spanning some 37 years ....I SHOULD BE the sweet-spot ideal user of SSDR yet it does not inspire me. So ask why that might be.

Aside from that, my post was in praise of Darrin making a long obsoleted radio shine in a highly desirable way.

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Bill -VA3WTB

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Yes go Darrin go....
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Steve

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Bill,
I understand completely how it all works.  I my career I was heavily involved in Alpha/Beta testing of software from the customer prospective.  Customers should expect to be kept abreast of what has priority and what does not .  YES it is all a very complicated process it is still necessary to maintain a customer base and it is best done through open communication as much as practical with "fixes" taking priority over new content.  Smartlink has current acknowledged problems that in many environments hinder its basic functionality.  It has all been reported and has no published potential fix date.   As a customer who paid for a working product (via version 2) it should be my right to know the intended fix date.  If we the consumers allow the vendor to continue to not keep us uninformed we probably deserve what we get.  Again, we deserve to get what we pay for, or in this case have already paid for.  I am done whining now, have a nice day.
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John-KC2QMA

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Do Not bother communicating with Bill, He is just a Plant or “Shill” who’s job is to always defend Flex so you will get nowhere with him. There are a few other on here that have the same job, just wait they will come out of the wood work soon. 

Sorry Bill but you know it true otherwise you wouldn't always jump into any/every conversation that speaks critically of FRS. Yeah we know you love flex and that’s great, just be happy with your radio and consider yourself one of the lucky ones.

(Edited)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I do not consider you whining at all.
I don't know how many years you have been following Flex and this forum, but there are sound reasons why Flex will no longer suggest dates for anything.

Consider the bad treatment  they have gone through from some waiting for their new radio to ship, Flex said a few times when they hope to ship and the date ran past and all hell broke lose, would it had been better to not mention anything about shipping?

Keep in mind there are many who read this forum who are enemy's of Flex and hope to do harm. So they wait for a date to be posted of what Flex hops to happen. Then when it doesn't for any reason,, these people will bark on it for weeks, even to name calling.
And when Gerald reports to the customers about the hold up as he has done many times to keep everyone informed, they call him a liar.

So, Flex in there good wisdom chose to keep all dates out of it and things just come out when they do, most of us understand that now and simply let Flex do what they do.
And to be fair,,customers have always got what they paid for. It is to bad things don't happen just when you think it should be, but it is what it is...
(Edited)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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John, telling people not to talk to me? really? It is clear, you really think Flex has plants on this forum placed hear to combat any critical comments about flex? I am sure many readers are having a good laugh at this, so silly.

You will not goat me, I plan to regard your comments with respect as I would anyone.
Sometimes I comment to point out other sides to things, and many of the postings I find interesting.
(Edited)
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Paul

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Hi, having only recently acquired a used 6500 I haven't yet had the chance to become a Flex 'fanboy' nor 'hater'. Since using the 6500 I can say though that IMHO it has both good and bad sides to it.

The hardware I feel is robust, but has more potential that is hindered by what is a rather underwhelming GUI - in terms of it's ergonomics. I use that term deliberately to differentiate from 'chrome', which is completely different.

I opened my first discussion (as a user) on the GUI noise blanker logic :
https://community.flexradio.com/flexr...

The reaction was predictably mixed but above all I got the distinct impression that the company line seems very much "it's a feature, not a bug". Sadly, I have seen others here whom have also mentioned having a similar impression. Perhaps these days, the customer is NOT "always right".

In conclusion, I am glad I bought this radio as opposed to a new 6600. I think it represents reasonable value for money at the price I paid. The shortcomings and reluctance to address issues in a timely fashion would have been significantly more irritating had I bought new. I sympathise with how those earlier in this thread and elsewhere must feel.

Cheers.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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The NB still needs work I think, but yes it works as intended and I hope they do not change it.

In the version before v2.1.33 the software had a power setting persistence problem were at each startup the power setting always started at 100% instead of where you last set it.
This was reported soon after the release, flex had it fixed in less then a full week with a new release. Seems many have forgotten that?
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Paul

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Bill, although it was before I bought my 6500, I do recall the power setting bug. Agreed, Flex did issue a fix without delay - possibly driven by the likey fallout that could have ensued if it had resulted in damaged linears. It would be more impressive still if they gave similar attention to some of the longer standing, (albeit less damaging) bugs. Cheers.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Keep in mind also, that over the course of a year, the more software updates there are, the less features we get.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Paul, if you go back and read the post about the bug, you will see I was most forceful about the timing of the fix update, for that reason of possible damage.
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Paul

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Rightly so Bill. My point is though, that it would be nice if Flex would apply that same level of urgency to other developmental issues - irresepective of any 'damaging' connotations.
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N5LB - Lionel B

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I used a 5K for several years with the base PSDR and then with the excellent KE9NS revisions.  Every time Darrin would issue a new version it was immediately installed and if I found an issue, a few, and these were mine, he would respond very quickly.

For a variety of reasons, not the least being "oh look something shiny", I sold the 5K and bought a 6300, then recently, for the same reasons, bought a 6400.

In my applications SSDR has been stable and meets the needs whether late V1 or current V2.  The 6400 hardware and software is superior in my uses compared to the 5K -  display, break in CW, quiet, for a few. Purely qualitative on my part.

With a few more sunspots, maybe a lot, I'd be happy as a hog in mud.

I do miss Darrin's rapid development cycle, always exciting, but understand limited resources for a small company with several high end products and software.  But, I knew Flex was a small company and I knew their history and sort of expected their rate of development.  So, I'm fine, with no SW bugs needing updates.

Still, something "shiny" is always nice.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I really don't know witch features Darrin has added I like most, It just seems like a great all around package.
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Wayne

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Basically the dollar drives software development. If the hardware is not affected in a significant negative way by the current software version to reduce sales and create criticism then the main focus is hardware and getting it out the door to bring the dollars in to support the company.

There was still many issues to address with the 3000/5000 model software and much room for new features when it was abandoned and the rigs discontinued for newer models, but fortunately Darrin has come to the rescue! I still have a 3000 and his software is great and getting better all the time.

One of the "features" of an SDR is that you can continue to add features and perks through software, but only if you develop your own, since new features and perks are not often added by the SDR manufacturer because it impacts the bottom line, once an almost acceptable software version hits the general release. It took Icom 6 times with the 7610 to reach that level. Its there now but they lost a lot of sales before reaching that point so that's why now the price is dropping, also another reason is that the new flex models are out of the promise land and into the real market.

Soapbox Off

:-)


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Bill -VA3WTB

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Some time when we are asked on the air what radio we use,,maybe we should say,,I am using SSDR Or PSDR.
I remember Gerald saying that, developing hardware is nothing, it is the software that is the hard part, the software IS the radio.
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Steve

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IMPORTANT NOTE: I am neither a friend or enemy of Flex Radio...HOWEVER I am a customer  of Flex Radio and I will ALWAYS want what I paid for in a timely manner.
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John - K3MA

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If that is truly the case than I would say what we are seeing now is a case of Flex loosing its way or maybe Gerald understated how difficult hardware is.  Clearly they are bogged down by the delayed/late/high demand for hardware.   I think a quote is all hands are on deck to get the new radios out.  And if that is not enough there is the extra burden of trying to get the bugs worked out of a amplifier that has been years in development.

The results show up in a drop in the frequency that the phone is answered and the leadtime stretching out for repairs and the hiring of new people to help with amplifier project and customer service.  It has not been said yet and maybe never will be but I believe it also is affecting software development.  Or maybe I am wrong and Flex has hired several new software developers in the last month or two and we just do not know it.

None the less I go back to what I heard said two (and soon to be three) Flex dinners ago.  That Flex was going to release software update much more frequently.  I have not seen that materialize.  I keep waiting and I keep hoping.
 
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I think what Gerald meant as I understood it was that hardware for the most part is a known tied and tested engineering project. they know what components are needed to take the radio through a generation, known factors they understand.

With the software, they are developing something that has never been done before, so everything they do is new ground and takes so many steps in testing. And unlike the hardware it keeps evolving, breaking yet new ground.

Because of the nature of the 6xxxx radios, Flex was forced to abandon PSDR as PSDR could never take the radio to were they want to go, and things they want to do.

SSDR was developed from the ground up and does not share one line of code with PSDR,,all new that allows things that PSDR could not ever do.

I remember them saying something about speeding up software development after the new radios were out and things start to settle down, I hope that happens soon.
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Jon - KF2E

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It is frustrating to think that the software developers could be spending their time packing boxes and shipping radios.
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Steven G1XOW

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John, if you look at the amount of changes required to accommodate the new GUI (essentials for the M series radios), and the new Amp integration then you can see where the software resources are going.

So, unless you are buying the new toys you won't  have seen any new features, performance improvements, or operator facilities since we all paid for v2 of SSDR around a year ago.

Thus, SSDR is only really moving forward as a means to shift more boxes of hardware. Despite claims, Flex are not a software company.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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With all due respect, 
If Flex isn't working on software...They why is the alpha team always so busy?
The general user base just hasn't seen some of the results yet...
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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With all due respect, 
If Flex isn't working on software...They why is the alpha team always so busy?
The general user base just hasn't seen some of the results yet...
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Steven, are telling everyone that no features or improvements have been done since the beginning of V2  ?
I think you are not correct about that.
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Steven G1XOW

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Bill, I challenge you!

Please review all of the updates since v2.0, I have.

Then strip out all the bug fixes, patches and gloss (cosmetics such as pop-out windows). Now, strip out any features/fixes that only apply as Maestro, M-series, PGXL or Smartlink.

What you are left with is what the average user, (and thus the core product) has benefited from.

When complete please publish your results here...

(Edited)
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John-KC2QMA

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So since Flex won’t tell what percentages are a “Defect/Bug, New Feature Or Program Request” I will do some speculation.

So let see since we are currently at #5491 in software development management system  and that number goes up every day/month, let’s be VERY conservative and say that out of the 5491 15% of that are just Defects/Bugs that’s about 824 Bug/Defects as of right now 04/19/2018.

Now many of the “Bug Tracker” items go back to version 1.X and still have not been fixed and the number keeps growing. It would seem to me unless FlexRadioSystems hires an army of software engineers not only will you never catch up to fixing these problems we will most certainly not see much in the way of “New Features for Years and Years to come.

Not only that at the current pace FRS is addressing these “Defects” the radios will may become obsolete or another radio company will just blow past FRS in the software domain.

So unless I am missing something here Flexradio has become a “Hardware and not a Software company.

Then add the fact that you will have a new amp and out soon and that too will most certainly have issues that will need to be addressed and I would guess in the near future you will also have a replacement for the 6700 that also will have issues to address.

So again if FlexRadio does not hires a HUGE team and I mean BIG team of software engineers SmartSDR will stay stagnate for years with little tweaks an improvements.

Oh and I bet this post will closed for comments any second now.

(Edited)
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Tom N5MOA

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"So let see since we are currently at #5491 in software development management system  and that number goes up every day/month, let’s be VERY conservative and say that out of the 5491 15% of that are just Defects/Bugs that’s about 824 Bug/Defects as of right now 04/19/2018."


Do you really think they start the numbering system over at #1 every time they fix something? No, you start at #1, and go up. When issues are fixed/enhancements added that number drops off the list.

I seriously doubt there are 824 bugs/defects, or 5491 bug/defects/enhancements still on the list.

When I bought my 6500, we were on version 1.6 or so. The radio did everything I wanted it to do at that time, and did it well. The couple of bugs/defects it had were corrected in subsequent software releases.

I bought it for what it did, not what it might do. Any "might do" is gravy, imo.  
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John-KC2QMA

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Official Response From Tim, W4TME:

"When a defect, a new feature or program change request is entered into our software development management system, it is issued a sequential number."
(Edited)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Steven, I am having a good time with this as many others are reading this silly thread.
You just changed everything around and eliminated all the things on the list because you don't think Smartlink and pop out panels are feature's. Most of us see them as features's. You said there has been 0 of them.

Anyways this is boring me,,wow you two sure have some built up anger issues.
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John - K3MA

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Steve - did you tell Darin that the offset for CW DX split is most commonly 1Khz or is the 5Khz auto split that is normal for SSB DX carrier over to the other modes?
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Steven G1XOW

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No, my recommendation did not mention CW. I will drop him an email now. Expect another release in short order I would think.

Cheers
(Edited)
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John - K3MA

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You were correct a updated version with 1 khz offset for CW has been released.   Fantastic!
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Steven G1XOW

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He is the best. Darren is not selling anything, nor trying to make money from it. He makes us all a better product and nobody can fault that. I'd urge anyone using Darrins PSDR to make a donation to him as he's not on the Flex payroll !!!

https://www.ke9ns.com/flexpage.html


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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@Steve G1XQW. I only work DX. I usually am the first to break into any DX pileup so when I hear claims that Flex is not a DXers radio I quietly laugh at the misinformation.

For better or worse I travel a lot. Yes it was me under the Chunnel working DX and from 28 countries so far. So easy with SmartLink and Flex. So hard with every other radio I have ever tried and I have tried virtually everything on the market.

All my remote contacts are DX from California no matter where I am in the world.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Not a DXer's radio?! 

I don't think there is anything better for working DX pileups!
Combine the industry-leading panadapter, the brickwall filtering, the ability to visualize the pileup, customize the pan and volume of individual slices at will, the excellent TX EQ & PROC, RX EQ (especially helpful in enhancing poorly EQ'd stations on the other end, and the ability to use up to 4 different bands at the same time on my 6500...8 bands on a 6700, and full duplex with certain configurations.  Could there be anything better?

Yes....They need to update WNB & NB.  and Auto Notch Filter needs some work, too.  But properly adjusted in conjunction with the AGC-T, they are all helpful to different degrees...in some interference cases at my shack, the are extremely helpful.  on other interference types, they need work.

But I compensate for ANF deficiencies with TNF, which is spectacular once you learn to adjust it.

How good a DXing machine is my 6500?

Well in the short four years that I have actually worked at chasing DX, I have not only earned the DXCC, but have qualified for DXCC on 80, 40, 30, 20, 17, 15, and 10 meters, (only 2 more QSL's to go on 12 Meters) with endorsements on CW, Phone, & Digital, and a total Challenge score of 1182.

230 Countries confirmed by LOTW... all LOW power with moderate antennas.  And I have many other QSLs from countries I am not counting because I am all LOTW here.

I know there are MANY hams with much superior scores than this, but many of them have taken a lot more time to do it, and are running much larger antennas and more power.  

Some say that "it is the skill of the operator that makes the difference."  I'm flattered by that, but the equipment enhances the operator's and ability.  Nothing else I have used in 44 years has made it as easy and as much fun to shoot DX in a barrel as my 6500 has.

Fan-boy?  Perhaps.  But Success speaks loudly at my station.  And success creates excitement...and fans.

Ken - NM9P

BTW.... KE9NS has done a spectacular job with PowerSDR. 
If I still had my 1500, I would be running it for sure.  (I still miss my 1500).

It is, however, a much different program than SSDR, which must incorporate the processing needs of multiple, different, processors at the same time.  SSDR is much more difficult and involved to make even simple changes.  But once they are made...the 6000 series is vastly superior.