Panadapter Magnifier to aid Tuning

  • 32
  • Idea
  • Updated 5 years ago
  • Planned
Accurate tuning with a mouse is sometimes difficult when a wide spectrum is displayed.
A panadapter magnifier that tracks a slice might help. The area immediately surrounding the slice would be expanded to show the signal more clearly as in the attached image.
The magnified area is indicated by the colored window surrounding the magnified signal.
Its sort of a slice in a magnifier slice...

The magnifier could be turned on/off by right clicking on the slice, or by hovering over the slice like the 5000's tracking filters work.

Yet another way to implement this tuning aid might be to create a second tracking slice in a second panadapter. The display could then be adjusted or fine tuned at will.
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W8SJV

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Posted 6 years ago

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Dave - WB5NHL

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I like the magnifier idea. This would also be a help when operating slit and trying to find a gap in the pileup. I like the right click since right clicking on the slice currently doesn't do anything.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Interesting idea... Right click opens up a sub-window with the panadapter width dependent upon mode, (parameters adjustable, too) perhaps 5 khz for ssb, and 1 or 2 khz for CW/Digi, click tune or drag within the sub-window and right click to close the sub window again. It could pretty slick!
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WA6FXT Mike

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Adjustable would be best, IMHO and mode independent.
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Ernest - W4EG

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You can do that now, without the magnifier idea.
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WA6FXT Mike

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Ernest, there isn't enough zoom to properly see a 50 Hz bandwidth. The magnifier would allow much finer adjustment. It will be needed when TNF is released.

That's what I'm hoping to see.
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K2CM

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Drag the frequency scale at the bottom, to the right. It will expand the panadapter scale.
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Dave - WB5NHL

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Yes, but the idea of the magnifier is not to expand the entire scale but rather just the small section around the slice on a temporary basis while still keeping the intended view for the entire screen
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James Nelson

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The magnifier is critical for precise tuning to support us tablet operator's that use finger and or stylus which are our "virtual knobs" to speak rather than dealing with clunky 90's era mouse age technology. Win8 pro is built for touch pad style operations so I assumed all along this design criteria would be part of the parcel. NOTE I HAVE SUGGESTED A VIRTUAL VFO
So far on the touch tablet all controls have been great except 1hz tune so then I have to plug in mouse thats a nuisance. Thats OK maybe for desktop but not so for all touch operation.
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WA6FXT Mike

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James,
Yes. I was thinking a "Slide bar". Not a slider; but, a bar that you use like a thumb wheel. Touch and drag up or down the length to adjust, in very fine increments. Or perhaps two slide bars, course and fine. I thought that would have been a perfect tuner method for K6TU's iPad application, when I used it.
(Edited)
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Greg

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This is a slick idea!
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Bob G W1GLV

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i agree
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John Molenda

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Really a Great Idea I am all for it ! John molenda kb2huk
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philip.theis, Elmer

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I believe we'll see much greater zoom in the future. It is widely desired by the cw contesting community.
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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Official Response
We're planning another couple of levels of zoom in the panadapter -- will this achieve the desired result?
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Charles - K5UA

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Steve,

In PSDR we could get the panadapter zoom down to about 4 khz (+- 2 khz from center). That was pretty nice, although I'd like to see +- 1 khz for the precise tuning necessary in contest operations with 50 hz filters.

I just don't think the magnifier concept is a good concept. If a magnifier is implemented, please make it possible to toggle it OFF.

I do like the idea of a second panadapter in a higher zoom mode that tracks the wider view panadapter above it. This would give the big picture and the small picture together.
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Ned K1NJ

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    Lots of good ideas here.  I also remember the zoom when the PSDR notch
filter was applied.  You could bring it up, tune, and make it go away.  A second
tracking panadapter with a settable zoom would be neat, if doing it in the same
slice/display became awkward.



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Ned K1NJ

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     It very well might.  The resulting feedback will help determine further action.
People will probably want an adjustable zoom level.

Ned,  K1NJ
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ai6re

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I believe this would help a lot as I spend a lot of time Zooming in and out. This is an excellent idea. I also agree with the right click to enable or disable the feature.
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W8SJV

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Steve,

I think that would work as long as the expanded zoom area tracks the slice frequency.  That is, no other keystrokes, other than dragging the slice, would be necessary to view the zoomed slice.

I suspect, for Phone, a 10 KHz wide zoom would work well.  On CW it would be much narrower, say about 1KHz.

Thanks for all the GREAT new software!

John - W8SJV

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Brian Morgan VK7RR/4

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Steve, I don't think extended zoom would help as much as the magnifier option. We have just had a weekend of massive openings across the Pacific on 6 metres where many CW stations were operating less than 100hz apart (they could not hear each other). Tuning them was very difficult at times. I listen to CW and decode it in my head, rather than relying on software so quick and precise tuning is important in those circumstances. A vote for a magnifier function.
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James Nelson

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We still need a "Bobs Knob" answer for this fine tune issue. For us tablet / stylus guys its a must. Even a third party add on would be fine. I thought and hoped when the Woodbox S meter appeared a modified "Bobs Knob" would soon make a debut but still hanging in for one. Hardware knobs are history now with virtuals on the scene ! C'mon Flex, this is an important enhancement guys ! Get with the "in crowd" and go virtual dudes !
(Edited)
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Bill N5TU

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Yes, more levels of zoom in would be great.  It is especially helpful when trying to break through one of the insane pileups.  Sometimes, one can sneak into a tiny hole and get through.  This is not possible with the present resolution.
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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OK we've implemented the extra zoom -- I'd like to know if this satisfies this request.  This "to do" item is not terribly easy and we'd rather do other things if the extra zoom satisfies the request.
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WA6FXT Mike

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Steve, I haven't had chance to try and kill a grungy signal, like the one Greg demo'd; but, in the short term, the zoom looks pretty good, on the signals I've tried.

BTW - THANKS!! For bringing the TNF out, so soon? You people are AWESOME.

Mike
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James Nelson

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Its certainly a help in the zoomed in position, some may have hoped for a magnifying glass GUI that shows a particular area when hovering at a similar full zoom level so you dont expand the whole band. My work around is have the slice on top set the whole band the the working slice on the new full zoom. Regardless well done guys ! I just hoping for a virtual knob / flex control to get rid of these vermin mice.... LOL
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W8SJV

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First, let me say that the latest software release is really awesome!  I love the waterfall and the extra zoom! Your hard work shows.  Thanks!!!

About this magnifier idea:  The new zoom  helps, but is not quite the issue I was trying to address in the original idea..

The display problem shows up when you zoom out to several MHz (or a whole band) and the receive bandpass window gets really narrow. If you zoom out far enough the receive window turns into a single line.   That's when you'd like to be able to see and fine tune that signal.  

If that's really difficult to code due to a mixed frequency resolution display, then an alternative of just starting a tracking slice in a second panadapter might be easier and more flexible. The second tracking panadapter would be locked to its host and only be allowed one slice.   As either slice is tuned, the other would track.

Hope that make sense, it's really hard to describe and easy to demonstrate.


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Al / NN4ZZ

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John,
I was thinking the same thing -- locking two slices in two panadapters might be easier and work just as well.   I made a mockup but wanted to wait until seeing more feedback on the original idea before posting it.  

See if the picture below describes what you were thinking.   In the example the panadapter on the bottom displays most of the 40M CW band.  The upper panadapter shows a magnified section.  The upper slice A would stay centered in the panadapter.  The slice in the lower panadapter would move normally.  The slices are locked and tuning either one would move the the other.  


Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com



CLICK to enlarge.....



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W8SJV

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Al, that's exactly what I was trying to describe. Good visual.

Regards,
John
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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Early on we considered doing something we called a ghost slice. The concept was this: you would have two panadapters that showed the same spectrum area, but one was zoomed out and one in. For example you might be showing all of the 40m CW band in one panadapter and a small area where you are searching and pouncing in the other. As you tuned in the zoomed area, a replica of your slice that looks different, the ghost slice, would be shown in the zoomed out panadapter to let you know where in the band you are and where other signals are. We abandoned this because we had lots of moving pieces at the time and we were concerned that it was going to be information overload. This idea still feels like a good one to me, but these kinds of things are very operator specific.
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Steve,
Sounds good and close to what I mocked up.   It will be interesting to see what others think.

BTW - Looking forward to the next road map update to see what other new things you have planned.  

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
    
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W8SJV

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Steve,

I think that would be very useful in several ways:

   1 - From the perspective of seeing what part of the band you're in.
   2 - Searching within a band to see the detail ( e.g. determine digital modes etc.)

I am also wondering if "two panadapter tracking" could be implemented externally using CAT or some other means?

Regards,
John
   
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WA6FXT Mike

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Steve,
That sound like a great method. The zoomed in slice could be stable while the spectrum moved underneath. It wouldn't need to be the full width either.

Is that the idea?

Of course Al's idea work as well. The key is the ability to see both views, zoomed and expanded, both locked to each other.

NICE
(Edited)