N4PY Pegasus Plus Recommendation

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  • Updated 3 months ago
I encourage any Flexers to try Carl's (N4PY) Pegasus Plus software for their 6000 series.

While I can operate the 6300 just fine using the SSDR interface by itself, I find that most of the time, I prefer using Pegasus Plus. For those new to SDR radios, it provides a more "traditional" front panel radio experience.

Carl is great to work with. I mentioned to him that I had a need for XIT (to work digital stations in split mode). A couple days later, I got an email that he had added it. I've since used XIT to log several of the W1AW portable stations on digital.
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Mark Erbaugh

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Posted 5 years ago

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K1ESE

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Carl's software also supports the FlexControl and, with even more capabilities, the T-Mate 2 console from Woodbox. 

I have my T-Mate knobs set up for VFO A, AGC Threshold, and a multi knob for Volume, RIT, CW Delay, Sidetone volume, and VFO B.  The T-Mate 2 buttons I also set for "up 1" and Tune.  Very handy!

Carl does a super job of supporting the software and it makes using the Flex a real pleasure.

73 de K1ESE
John
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Charles Talbott

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Can the Flex SmartSDR and Pegasus Plus be loaded on my computer and selectively run?  In other words, can I choose which one I want to use during start-up with both programs loaded?

Since I have to click on the Icon for SmartSDR to run it anyway, it would seem this is entirely possible
 
73, Charlie k3ICH
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K1ESE

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You can start SmartSDR and run it alone or you can have both SmartSDR and N4PY running in order to get the extra functionality of N4PY.

73 de K1ESE
John
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Andrew Thall

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Does N4PY function as a substitute for SmartSDR or does it run as an enhancement to SmartSDR?  If it is a substitute, will it work on a Linux computer to control a 6500?
Andy, k2oo

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Mark Erbaugh

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The N4PY requires SmartSDR to be running.
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Carl Moreschi

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That's actually not true.  In Version 3 flex software, Pegasus Plus will run with a maestro of "M" model as the main GUI.
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Carl Moreschi

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Pegasus Plus is not a substitute for SmartSDR or Maestro.  But it will run on Linux under the "WINE" emulator.
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Steve N4LQ

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I've struggled to figure out what the benefits are to the N4PY software. I'm sure there are some but it seems like just an another layer of complexity. I'm sure I'm missing something. 
Certainly having manual controls like the Tmate would be wonderful. Trying to find the sidetone volume quickly so I don't wake up the xyl or when I'm using my right hand to op the key and the left hand isn't coordinated well enough to operate a mouse quickly can be a problem but running N4PY and SSDR at the same time seems a bit redundant. How can you watch the pan-adapter and N4PY software at the same time? Wouldn't that take up a lot more screen real-estate?
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K1ESE

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Steve -

I've used N4PY for years and am familiar with it.  It is nice to have the same interface for my Flex, my K3, and my Orion.

N4PY does some things easier than SmartSDR - all the controls are visible and not buried in menus.  N4PY does some things better than SmartSDR - splits come to mind.  N4PY interfaces with lots of peripherals - tuners, amps, consoles, and such.

You watch only SmartSDR and glance at N4PY only when you are entering commands and adjusting parameters.

My desktop looks like this with SmartSDR and N4PY and DXLab -

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3962kgtke6p57ju/SmartSDR-N4PY%20Desktop.jpg?dl=0

73 de K1ESE
John
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Steve N4LQ

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Thanks John but to me it looks like more of the same thing only presented in a different manner and eating up a bunch of screen. You still have to locate the control, aim the mouse, click then drag. 
I don't get it.
Steve N4LQ
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I0JBL - Luc

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I use my 6500 with Pegasus Plus and I am very satisfied and, as John K1ESE, I can use either the Flex or my two K3 with a familiar interface. The configuration capability is important as the Carl's customer care. Does anyone use Pegasus Plus with Logger32 to just to share experience?
73 es DX
Luciano, I0JBL
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Steve N4LQ

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So it's a matter of familiarity? You have trouble going from the k3's knobs to SSDR's screen? 
I do run Logger32 here but don't need Pegasus Plus to do that. It just runs fine without that and of course I use SmartCat. 
I have no doubt that what you're doing works but to me it seems like extra baggage. 
Now if I had a TenTec Pegasus maybe I would see it differently.
Steve N4LQ
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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I want to point out that Carl (N4PY) is in the API program and is using the native SmartSDR API in Pegasus Plus which gives him complete access to all the functions of the radio with a lot more seamless and faster interface than CAT.  This is why it works so well with the FLEX-6000.
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Steve N4LQ

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Steve
OK...What does P+ do better than CAT? 
What do you mean by "seamless, faster and works so well"? 
To me it just appears like another screen that does the same thing as SSDR. What am I  missing?
steve N4LQ
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Steve

You are missing the fact that P+ works through the Gigabit Ethernet NATIVE FLEX API not through a SLOW, Flacky Serial CAT Port

So rather being limited to the performance of 20th Century Serial Port Technology with the limited CAT Command Set as defined by Flex and Kenwood the 21st Century FLEXLIB API has access to all the functions of the radio including many that are not available due to the limitations of the Serial Port CAT Command Set.

Personally I am not enamored of the simulation of the knob interface in P+ which i find to be a less than useful throwback to the 20th century... it might be useful for continuity of operations, if I still owned some legacy radios

But I am definitely impressed with the fact that CARL has successfully incorporated so many features seamlessly into P+
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Carl Moreschi

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Logger32 can be easily interfaced with Pegasus Plus.  All you need to do is configure Logger32 for a Tentec Pegasus and specify the folder where you installed Pegasus Plus (default c:\n4py).  This will cause Logger32 to interface to Pegasus Plus through a file and not use a comport at all.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Carl N4PY's Control Software is good stuff - I've enjoyed the common interface whether running Old School CAT to a TenTec Pegasus & Jupiter, with PowerSDR for my Flex-5000 or with SmartSDR with my 6700/6300 radios.  I have also used it with an IC-7800.

Currently I do not have P+ running due to the (very soon) out going PC's limitations.  My new PC is ready to install (Thank you Neal !!) and it will return.

Much like the K6TU iPad app, P+'s utility for any user will greatly depend on their operating style.  It was absolutely revolutionary when I started with it and TenTec Pegasus and is "friendly familiar" in its latest uses in my setup.

Of course YMMV, but give P+ a whirl - the Ten Day trial should be a no-brainer to check out.  After a 100 or so QSO's you too may find it fits your shack style.

73

Steve

K9ZW

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I0JBL - Luc

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GE Steve,
we are not talking about an object can be decisive either as a receiver or an antenna.
We are talking about an interface that, in my experience, has greatly simplified my life.
Just the fact that as soon as I plugged it, it worked, I was moved to tears! 
The Flex's world, for me, is not a trivial world.
And like me there are many others who often ask for support and "How to ...." to receive suggestion how to link different softwares whit different accessories.
From this point of view P+ is an excellent interface and on the mean time I agree with you that is not mandatory. 
Like, for instance, the Flex Control and the Tmate 2 that are both only two interface but not mandatory as well.  
With FC and TM2 operate with SSDR is more easy.  That's it.
Good DX
Luciano, I0JBL

P. S. Carl tnx for the tip on how to interface with P+ and Logger32. Tomorrow I'll try it.
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DrTeeth

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It is still not clear to me what advantage this software gives over SSDR on its own. Are there any videos? In the mean time, I'll give the trial version a whirl.

TIA
(Edited)
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Carl Moreschi

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Yes, the program will run for 10 days without a password for you to try out.
To configure the program for a Flex 6000 radio:
   a)  Start the program.
   b)  Select "Settings" at the top of the Radio screen.
   c)  In the "Interface" window, select "Flex 6000" from the
       Kenwood list box.
   d)  Exit the program.
   e)  Start the program again and you should be running.


  "Flex 6000"
      This selection is for using the Flex 6000 series radios.
      The program connects directly to the Flex 6000 radio and operates
      as a control extension for SmartSDR.  Both the Flex 6000 and
      SmartSDR must be running when the N4PY program is started.  Also
      slice A should be already created before starting Pegasus Plus.
      Please note SmartSDR CAT is no longer required or used at all.

      You must be using SmartSDR version 1.3.0 or later.

      This will allow simple control for frequency, mode and filter.
      Also if you want the FlexKnob to be controlled by Pegasus Plus
      (highly desirable), turn off the FlexKnob setting in SmartSDR.

      Pegasus Plus now will set the Flex radio receive ant to RX A
      and set the transmit ant to XVTR for transverter use.  When you leave
      the transverter band, these antenna settings will be restored to
      ANT 1.  There is also a selection on each transverter setting for
      which TX OUT connection to use for transmit control for each
      transverter.

      There are two new buttons on the Pegasus Plus radio panel for the
      Flex 6000.  They are as follows:

      VFOA=A
        Clicking this button will give you a list of all possible slices
        in the 6000.  You can reassign the Pegasus Plus VFO A to any
        availble slice shown on SmartSDR.  In order to reassign a slice
        to VFO A, the slice must exist and not be assigned to VFO B.
        Also, "split" must be off when this assignment is done.

      VFOB=B
        Clicking this button will give you a list of all possible slices
        in the 6000.  You can reassign the Pegasus Plus VFO B to any
        availble slice shown on SmartSDR.  In order to reassign a slice
        to VFO B, the slice must exist and not be assigned to VFO A.
        Also, "split" must be off when this assignment is done.

        When you click "Split", if the VFO B slice does not exist,
        it will be create automatically.

        The "RF" slider actually controls the AGC threshold for the slice
        associated with VFO A.

        The "VA" slider controls the volume for the slice associated with
        VFO A and the "VB" slider controls the volume for the slice
        associated with VFO B.

      PreAmp 0
        This button will send the preamp value to the Flex 6000.  It will
        remember this setting by band.  Left clicking this button will reduce
        the preamp value and right clicking will increase the value.  For
        the 6300, the values are 0 and 20 db.  For the 6500, the values are
        -10, 0, 10, and 20 db.  The 6700 has all the 6500 values plus a 30 db
        value.  For the 6700, the preamp value is only changed for the receiver
        assigned to slice A.

   If Pegasus Plus is stuck at "Waiting to Connect" and SmartSDR is
   connected to the Flex 6000, it is most likely because Windows Firewall
   is blocking it.

   To allow Pegasus Plus to run and not be blocked by Windows Firewall, do
   the following:

   1) Click "Start".
   2) Select "Control Panel".
   3) Select "Windows Firewall".
   4) Click on "Allow a program or feature through Windows Firewall.
   5) Click on "Browse" and navigate to the folder where you installed
      Pegasus Plus (default c:\n4py).
   6) Click on BBTRX1.EXE and then click "Open".
   7) Finally click "Add".
                                         
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Tom W3FRG

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This was the procedure 5 yrs ago, what is todays procedure to use the P+ pgm with the 6600M?

Tnx  Tom W3FRG
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Carl Moreschi

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Here's a new overview of the functions for the Flex 6000 for Pegasus Plus.  Also note the RFKit amp is now fully supported byt the LAN UDP interface.


  "Flex 6000"

      This selection is for using the Flex 6000 series radios.
      The program connects directly to the Flex 6000 radio and operates
      as a control extension for SmartSDR.  Both the Flex 6000 and
      SmartSDR must be running when the N4PY program is started.  Also
      slice A should be already created before starting Pegasus Plus.
      Please note SmartSDR CAT is no longer required or used at all.

      You must be using SmartSDR version 1.3.0 or later.

      This will allow simple control for frequency, mode and filter.
      Also if you want the FlexKnob to be controlled by Pegasus Plus
      (highly desirable), turn off the FlexKnob setting in SmartSDR.
      To activate the FlexKnob in Pegasus Plus, go to the "Aux Single"
      menu in Settings and select "Using FlexControl Knob".

      In the Interface settings window, the setting "Direct IP Address Connect"
      is used when the program has difficulty finding the radio. When you
      turn on this setting, it will give you an edit box to enter the IP address
      of the radio directly.  You will also have to select the correct model.

      Also in the Interface settings window, if you have multiple Flex radios,
      turn on "Multiple Flex Radios".  This will allow you to enter the serial
      number of the radio you want to connect to.  This is very valuable with
      multiple Flex radios and you want to run multiple copies of Pegasus Plus
      with each copy dedicated to one of the Flex radios.

      Pegasus Plus now will set the Flex radio receive ant to RX A
      and set the transmit ant to XVTR for transverter use.  When you leave
      the transverter band, these antenna settings will be restored to
      ANT 1.  There is also a selection on each transverter setting for
      which TX OUT connection to use for transmit control for each
      transverter.

      In the transmitter settings windows, HF TxOut is used to select
      TX1, TX2, or TX3 for HF operation.  For SO2R, when you need a different
      TxOut setting for slice B, use the HF TxOut B selection.  If you want
      the TxOut selection to always be the same for slice A or slice B, set
      HF TxOut B to "Use A".

      There are two new buttons on the Pegasus Plus radio panel for the
      Flex 6000.  They are as follows:

      VFOA=A
        Clicking this button will give you a list of all possible slices
        in the 6000.  You can reassign the Pegasus Plus VFO A to any
        availble slice shown on SmartSDR.  In order to reassign a slice
        to VFO A, the slice must exist and not be assigned to VFO B.
        Also, "split" must be off when this assignment is done.

      VFOB=B
        Clicking this button will give you a list of all possible slices
        in the 6000.  You can reassign the Pegasus Plus VFO B to any
        availble slice shown on SmartSDR.  In order to reassign a slice
        to VFO B, the slice must exist and not be assigned to VFO A.
        Also, "split" must be off when this assignment is done.

        When you click "Split", if the VFO B slice does not exist,
        it will be create automatically.

        The "RF" slider actually controls the AGC threshold for the slice
        associated with VFO A.

        The "rf" slider actually controls the AGC threshold for the slice
        associated with VFO B.

        The "NB" slider controls the noise blanker for the slice
        associated with VFO A.

        The "WN" slider controls the wide noise blanker.

        The "VA" slider controls the volume for the slice associated with
        VFO A and the "VB" slider controls the volume for the slice
        associated with VFO B.

      Swap AB Asn
        This button will swap the vfo assignment between Slice A and Slice B.
        Both slice A and slice B must exist when it is clicked.

      PreAm0
        This button will send the preamp value to the Flex 6000.  It will
        remember this setting by band.  Left clicking this button will reduce
        the preamp value and right clicking will increase the value.  For
        the 6300, the values are 0 and 20 db.  For the 6500, the values are
        -10, 0, 10, and 20 db.  The 6700 has all the 6500 values plus a 30 db
        value.  For the 6700, the preamp value is only changed for the receiver
        assigned to slice A.

      MPreA0
        This button will send the preamp value for the monitor panadapters to
        the Flex 6000. Left clicking this button will reduce the preamp value
        and right clicking will increase the value.  For the 6300, the values
        are 0 and 20 db.  For the 6500, the values are -10, 0, 10, and 20 db.
        The 6700 has all the 6500 values plus a 30 db value.  For the 6700,
        the preamp value is only changed for the receiver assigned to slice A.

      Fix Pans
        This button is used when the panadpaters start out with their settings
        all changed from normal at SmartSDR startup.  This button will send
        the following 4 settings to all panadapters according to what you
        have set in the pegasus.ini configuration settings file.

        Here are the settings with their defaults:
          F6K PAN AVERAGE=50
          F6K PAN FPS=24
          F6K PAN GAIN=24
          F6K PAN RATE=80
        You can chnage these settings with the pegasus plus not running.

      F6K PERSISTENCE
         If you are plagued with filters and preamps changing values for no
         apparent reason on band changes, this option is in the pegasus.ini
         file and is called "F6K PERSISTENCE".  The default for this is 1
         but if you want Pegasus Plus to set everything with no surprises,
         set this to 0.  However, if you are using Flex Version 3, leave
         this setting at 1.

      Clear Spots
        This button will remove all spots sent to the radio from any source.

      QSK (Qsk or Semi button)

      There is a Qsk/Semi button.  Left clicking this button will change
      the CW QSK delay value.  It will alternate between a QSK value and
      a semi-breakin value each time you click this button.  If you want
      to change the values used by this button for semi and QSK delays
      then proceed as follows:

      To change the QSK button delay value for Qsk
       1) Set the button so it says "Qsk".
       2) Set the CW Qsk slider in the CW settings window to the desired
          value.
       3) Right click on the Qsk button.
          The button will change to highlighted indicating the Qsk value
          has been changed.  It will stay highlighted until the button
          is left clicked again.

      To change the QSK button delay value for semi-breakin
       1) Set the button so it says "Semi".
       2) Set the CW Qsk slider in the CW settings window to the desired
          value.
       3) Right click on the Semi button.
          The button will change to highlighted indicating the semi-breakin
          value has been changed.  It will stay highlighted until the button
          is left clicked again.

   The TxLoop button at the top of the program can be used to control the
   setting of TX1, TX2, or TX3 for amplifier keying.  First you decide
   which TX connection you want to use.  Then, in the "Transmitter" settings
   window, select None, TX1, TX2, or TX3.
   Now, when you turn on TxLoop (indicated by a little TxL in the black frequency
   area), the corresponding TX PTT output will get enabled.  This line will only
   be enabled when the operating frequency is below 144 mhz.  In this way you can
   easily control whether or not to key your amplifier.

   OTRSP commands are now supported for the Flex 6600, 6600M, and 6700 since these
   radios allow real SO2R with a single radio.  To enable OTRSP

    1) Create a virtual comport pair with MicroHam or VSPManager. Let's assume you
       create COM10 and COM11.

    2) If you do not have a comport assigned in Usr5 TranV, turn on
       "Tokyo HP Comport" and "Use THP Comport for EXT Logging Program".
       If you already have assigned a comport to the Tokyo HP Comport,
       then find the line THPx COMPORT=NONE where x is 2 to 5 in the pegasus.ini
       file and set this to THPx COMPORT=COM10 again where x is 2 to 5.

    3) In the pegasus.ini file, set OTRSP THP=x where x is 1 to 5 depending
       on which THP comport you have used for this.

    4) In your logging program, select OTRSP for audio usage and for this example
       use COM11.

   Fixed Panadapter Ranges

   There is a file called "f6kpan.txt".  This file is used to define fixed
   ranges for the panadapter display.  When any panadapter frequency is within
   any range defined in this file, the panadapter frequency limits are set to
   how you have this defined.  The file is an ASCII text file and the format
   is shown in the default settings.  You can add as many entries to this file
   as you need with a limit of 50 entries.  This feature is turned on and off
   by the setting "Pan Ranges" found in the "Preferences3" settings window.

   You can also set the ranges for panadapters that are mainly used for band
   monitoring.  In the "f6kpan.txt" file, if you add a panadapter number to
   the name of a line entry, that panadapter will have its range set to the
   range of the line.  For example, in you had a line

     PAN,21.0,21.100

   and wanted this line to go to panadapter 2, you would change it to

     PAN2,21.0,21.100

   The number defines the panadapter number from 1 to 8,  This is only set
   at program start and the monitor panadapters must exist before you start
   the program.  There is also a "Res PAN" button that will rerun the panadapter
   initial setting again if you want to reset your panadapters to the initial
   setup.                                                    

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Tom W3FRG

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Carl, Thank you for the quick and complete response for P+ and the 6K. Lot to digest.
I do have it working, now to do the fine touch ups.

73 Tom W3FRG
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Steve N4LQ

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Let me know what you find out Guy. I haven't seen any big advantages to it other than a good way to relieve yourself of $65. 
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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I would encourage you to actually use P+ in demo mode before drawing any conclusions on its value.  If you don't think it is worth the investment, then you can vote with your wallet.  Or maybe provide Carl some constructive comments as to why you believe it isn't a good value so he can evaluate their merit.
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Carl Moreschi

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Hi Steve,

I remember you from the Tentec reflector.  You were always very helpful there.
There are many advantages for P+.

It connects to many amplifiers and rotors.
It has some controls that are more convenient that SmartSDR such at PBT and RIT.
It provides comport connectivity to logging programs, CW Skimmer, and DX Spotting programs.
It provides a very easy way to turn on split with just one action.  You can define a "UP 1" key.  By clicking it a second slice is created and set to VFO A +1.  Subsequent clicks move you up one more on each click.
It has many more functions for the Flex Knob and also allows you to use the WoodBox radio Tmate2 which as 3 knob and 9 buttons.
It has a full set of band buttons with a separate set for CW and SSB allowing you to instantly change bands in one click.

These are just a few of the many advantages.
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DrTeeth

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Thanks to all the input chaps. I'll give it a good go, but I remain to be convinced. If I had or could afford the Tmate2 after buying my 6300 and Flexcontrol, I'd get it in a shot.

Also, after I have (I think) mastered SmartCAT and got everything working (mostly) I do not want to upset the applecart with new software. I'll pay safe and clone my OS before experimenting.

Can a manual be downloaded separately so I can get up to speed without using up my 10 trial days?
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DrTeeth

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;-)
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K1ESE

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Guy -

Not every piece of software is for every ham. To me Pegasus Plus is a treasure, to you, not so much.

For example, I like the interface. But, I am more concerned with function than fluff. You can't expect to grasp every function without investing a bit of time. To me it is well worth the effort and has paid dividends every time I use the radio.

If pictures in the manual and the typeface in the manual are important, this certainly isn't the software for you. But, please accept that not everyone sees things the same way you do. Perhaps if you give something more than just an "outing" you would begin to see the advantages.   For example, it's the only software currently available that lets you assign any slice to VFO A and VFO B.

The real support comes from the author. Carl is readily available to answer questions of make improvements.

It appears you don't like the interface, don't like the manual, and would like some of the features without having to pay for them. I can understand all of that. But, I would encourage others to give it a realistic try and make their own decisions.

I will assume your concerns are valid and not just trolling for comments.

73 de K1ESE
John
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DrTeeth

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I never for a moment expected anybody to see things as I do (don't know where you got the idea from) nor was I remotely insulting to anybody who likes the software. I did not say that I wanted some of the features for free I said that they could be available in SSDR if there were enough demand - a big difference in my eyes.

You read waaayyyy to much into what I wrote.

Relax, it's just an opinion on a computer program. You only mention one thing that the program can do - I would expect you to do better than that as you clearly love the program. I am happy to be convinced otherwise but nobody has managed.  TBH, I cannot see any reason to use the program even if it were free, let alone $65. Or putting it another way, I cannot see any benefit to using the program that outweighs the potential hassle in reconfiguring my setup.

I shall also be similarly kind to you and assume you were not trolling either.

Have a great weekend, honestly.
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Steve N4LQ

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John: 
What do you mean by "assign a slice to vfo A or B"? The slices are labeled A and B and seem to act like VFOs without reassigning them to another program. Believe me I'm trying to see the advantage here. I'm trolling for comments. 
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Carl Moreschi

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This feature is really for the 6500 and 6700 that have more than 2 slice receivers.  You can assign the P+ VFO A to any slice on the radio and the P+ VFO B to any other slice on the radio.  So for example with a 6700, VFO A could be on slice D and VFO B could be on slice F.  As far as I know, no other software has this capability for the Flex 6000 series.  The other big benefits are instant split setting options, amplifier control, rotor control, antenna selection, all automatically based on frequency.
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Carl Moreschi

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Yes, the manual is near the bottom on the Pegasus Plus page.
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DrTeeth

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Thanks Carl. I knew I saw it once, but damned if I could find it again. Thanks for the directions.