First, I want you to understand what prompted the change. We had enough problems related to "losing" settings after they had set them up that we felt like we needed to change how this worked. The scenario would go like this: They would load up a profile, then go change some settings and get things set just the way they wanted. But they would forget to go save the profile. Then they would change bands and end up on another profile. What they didn't realize is that by not saving the profile, the changes would not be saved. So when they returned, the original profile is loaded with all of their changes lost. Bummer. This was a common scenario and it played out over and over on our helpdesk.
So we sat down and put our heads together to figure out what we could do to help address this issue. We thought through the scenarios of what people usually do with profiles and compared how changing settings works with other rigs. The net of all of that is that most radios save changes to settings as soon as they are made and not surprisingly, most operators expect this behavior, barring any previous experience with our profiles.
What we came up with is the new Profile Auto Save feature initially rolled out in v3.0 (also included in v2.5 which will be released very soon). The Auto Save feature works on both Transmit and Mic Profiles (but not Global Profiles, which are snapshots -- at least not directly. keep reading). By allowing the user to create a profile based on the current settings, it allows easy creation of backup profiles (to return to if they don't want experimental changes to taint their setup). And it saves changes to the associated parameters like output power and mic gain. The net effect is that you can still return to a pristine profile if you like at any time and yet auto save keeps you from having to remember to save your profile and ultimately losing settings.
Note that if you want to keep your pristine profiles pristine, you should load them, then immediately create a derivative profile. In other words, they are just a starting point that you use as opposed to a profile you actually operate with.
So that's where things were up until this weekend where I sat down and spoke with a customer at the Dayton Hamvention and had him explain what he didn't like about the Auto Save feature. He was able to explain what bothered him. Basically, we have trained the customers to use profiles (both Transmit and Global) and they are using them. However, when they use load Global Profile called "40m CW HP", they expect the power to be set for their amp. But the Global Profile is simply going to load the associated Transmit Profile and if the last use on that profile ended up bumping the power up, this can turn into a problem (e.g. they load the 40m CW HP Global Profile and key up to find that they have transmitted 100W into their amp -- not good).
So this is something that we will be discussing. We would like to hear from you about other scenarios like this that have caused you problems with the new Auto Save functionality. It is admittedly a different way of doing things and change can be hard. I do think there are advantages to the way it works now in terms of not losing settings that many operators expect to be saved. On the other hand, we aren't perfect and don't know it all. So I'm sure we can improve on how it works.
To answer the question: Yes, we do care. Yes, we are listening. It is because we are listening that this change was implemented.
Note: For the sake of keeping this conversation clean, responses such as "I just don't like it" are likely to be removed. We are looking for operational scenarios that describe specifically what it is that causes problems when using Auto Save. It also helps if the responses are civil. ;)
You're right that you have 'trained us' how to use profiles (e.g. 6m Dig QRO), and lots of us like(d) it! The trouble is, the new autosave breaks the fundamental tenet of Profiles (for many of us anyway)...a rock solid reference point of a group of settings...which we want/need to be repeatable, consistent and Persistent!
I cant see how the 'advantage' of autosaving ('cos some people forget to do it), outweighs the long-standing...and you're right... 'trained' behaviour which is (was) so good at maintaining the all-important persistent, recallable reference point.
Please, either revert it back to how it was before, or at least give us the opportunity to turn autosave off.
Finally, and I don't mean to be 'cute'...I haven't detected a groundswell of users on the Community that wanted this in the first place, so how/why was this prioritised for V3 when there was so much that has been asked for/discussed?
Thanks for the chance to engage on this.
Also a different topic, I looked at the manual last night and also like the NEW Transmit window, the only thing I think is missing from there is a automatic AMP and Barefoot power setting that could toggle with the RCA PTT 's or other LAN keying command kind of like DDUTIL's Auto Power settings.
Thanks for the great work you guys do and patience you have for us all.
I can understand how some have a hard time learning how to create and use the Profiles. I know, I was confused for a while till the light went on.
This "Auto Save" definitely allows users to create Profiles on the fly.
Another reason you don't have to read the manual, wow.
This is an excerpt from a recent posting I made.
Its not the fact that you can go back and reload your saved profiles. I can't go back and reload my blown devices due to this oversight by FRS.
Currently the Tx levels are saved in the Profile. If the Tx level is changed by some error and you transmit into an LDMOS amp that's expecting 5 watts MAX and it gets > than spec you can pop the devices.
Using SSDR this is harder to mess up but, in using the radio alone, as I adjust the Mike gain I can also readjust the RF Power setting, with just by the slip of a finger. If I don't catch that, I'm in deep yogurt. I monitor the Power setting under the word MENU constantly whenever I reset any setting.
An option to turn the Profile Save ON/ OFF is required.
My Amp is set to prevent any overdrive, ALC is NOT used, and in my mind this Option just allows for an additional error happening.
That's why the majority want the Tx Profile to be set at the required level and not changed by some operational error that has been opened up by this newly added option.
Greatly appreciate your taking the time to look into this issue deeper.
Part of the hobby is fiddling around and experimenting. When I am doing that, I NEVER want the "fiddling around" to affect my Profile unless I consciously want to make the "fiddling" permanent, which is rare. My notion is that I rarely or never want to change a Profile once I get it set up right. If I need a new Profile, that's fine. If I want to modify a Profile, that is a fairly rare occurrence that obviously I am not going to forget to do.
Particularly for newer Flex users, making Profiles volatile is a very bad idea and I really really hope Flex will return to the old setup.
de Roger W6VZV
Here are my basic issues with Auto Save.
First, I will have to create backup profiles with a different name so I don’t overwrite my main files, but I do that now so no big deal but basically a lot more file management to deal with now with v2.5/3.0. Also new Auto Save feature will cause me to constantly have to re load my profiles each time I start using the radio to make sure everything is set the way I like.
Here is just one simple example of why I don’t like “Auto Save”, Say you are using the Maestro its very easy to bump into knobs or buttons and mess up your settings during a long contest or session without even knowing it. Now to make sure everything is back to where you want it the next time you use the radio you now have to go and re load your backup profile and remember to rename so you don't overwrite that file. Wooooohhhh..
There are many more reasons and I’m sure others will chime in.
One thing I do like about Auto Save is it's great for faster profile building.
All I can say It’s great if some users like and will use the new Auto Save feature but as you can clearly see others don’t like it and just want the option to turn it OFF.
Please just give us the option to Turn Off Auto Save then everyone will be happy and makes the feature even more flexible.
I have a 6400 and an Elecraft KPA500 amp. I depend upon DDUtil to autodrive my amp and to manage RF settings when I switch bands or move back and forth between standby and operate with
Mostly I use my 6400 for FT8, FT4, JS8Call and other digital modes. But I sometimes switch from DIGU on the 6400 to SSB to catch a conversation I see in the waterfall. Then I switch back to DIGU to resume my normal operation.
Before I started to use profiles in SSDR I had a lot of trouble maintaining the persistence of my DAX and DAXIQ settings when I powered off the 6400 and powered it back on again and as I switched between bands. I opened a support ticket about this (#30519) and corresponded with Tim Ellison about the issue. Before the issue was resolved, I found that I could preserve my desired settings by using profiles. So I saved a Mic profile, a TX profile for each band and a Global profile for each band.
Now when I power on the 6400 I just load a Global profile for the band I want and I'm set. To change bands, I simply load another Global profile. I can change to SSB and back, I can change transmit levels, I can use DDUtil to turn on my amp and it sets the correct RF power level .... everything works just fine.
But with the new autosave profile function, I will need to:
- load my desired Global profile when I power on the radio
- save it to a garbage profile
- load a new Global profile when I switch bands
- save it to a garbage profile
etc, etc, etc.
Sounds like an extra step that I don't need. But it's more than a simple click of the mouse. To save the Garbage profile I need to:
- select Transmit in the Profile Manager,
- change the current profile name to Garbage
- save the Transmit profile
- select Global in the Profile Manager
- change the current profile name to Garbage
- save the Global profile
All of this needs to be done before I start using my radio. All of this work just to preserve the profiles I so carefully set up. And it has to be done every time I power up the radio and every time I change bands and every time I change my settings and want to revert to my pristine profile.
A simple on/off switch on the autosave feature would solve my problem.
Michael -- KM6LHD
I think many more will say something after they upgrade to 2.5. I am waiting to find out what all the hoopa is about but I am getting a good picture as to what is going on.
I think the last few comments will likely be the most common thoughts. User cases.
Perhaps the auto save feature is a good idea after all, but not the way it is implemented now.
Instead of puting the auto save at the new panel, keep it off by defult and make it so it can be turned on to change a profile setting on the fly. And put the auto save feature in the old creat profile section, in the profiles pull down menue. so when you want to creat a new profile it auto saves. The way it works now you have to press a save button, remove that and just auto save right there.
This way, people can see all their settings on the new panel in one place,,and that's a great feature I think, but let us make changes to the settings there and only click save if we want to.
--This gives auto save for new profiles and not worrie about forgetting to save, as you mentioned is a real problem reported by the Help Desk.
-- It gives more flexibility to the use of the settings panel feature by not making it auto save but have the option to save settings in the settings panel.
-- This keeps the use of profiles we all are used to.
Is there any chance that whatever the fix is for profiles it will be ported to V2? This is a big enough problem for me to not upgrade to V2.5 and I really hadn't planned to buy V3 since I don't need multiflex.
I also agree with the need for an "Autosave On/Off" button. I have experience with an unrelated application that is used by several hundred hams for message passing during an emergency response. It, too, had multiple profiles and we also struggled with the autosave question. Our solution consisted of three Autosave options: Always, Prompt, Never, that were on a setup tab. This solution solved the problem for this application. Something similar might work for SmartSDR.
Thanks for responding to this Auto Save issue. We all have our reasons for like or dislike of the auto save feature. We each have our reasons for creating a profile, how we use it and when we want to save it. I fall on the dislike side. I have about 30 different Global and 30 Transmit profiles created. I mainly operate digital modes with low power (10w). The Transmit profiles are tailored for each Band and each Mode of operation. I have just few Microphone profiles. I use these profiles to switch between bands and modes rapidly. Knowing that The Radio will be ready to operate when the profile is loaded is a comforting. I do make changes to transmit profiles on the fly, but usually do not want to save them as they are temporary. Having to reload the original saved profile is time consuming with the auto save feature.
When exiting SSDR or changing to a different profile. Give us the flexibility to choose whether to save or not to save. Use the standard pop up window that’s used in many applications when changes are detected. “Do you want save Changes YES or NO”. It seems the Transmit and Microphone name adds a * in front of the name so it knows that a change has occurred. This would allow us as operators to decide if we want to save the changes or not. That would satisfy both likes and dislikes.
Eric: I may have been the customer you referenced in your original post regarding a Saturday conversation at Dayton. If so, you did an excellent job of summarizing how I have used profiles (a 40m CW HP global profile, for example) and the problem the auto save functionality has created for me. Or I have a doppelganger out there, at least when it comes to profile management.
I use 12 global profiles for various combinations of modes, power and number of panadapters (which for me means single radio vs. SO2R). They serve as “super memories” in that they allow me to quickly set all important operating parameters for a given operating scenario and I then only need to pick a specific frequency to begin operations. Having invested considerable time in creating these profiles, I want the decision to update one of them to be very intentional: the last time I did a profile export was in late February. I’m sure I have made minor, on-the-fly adjustments since then, but apparently I never made any adjustment where I thought the new setup was worth saving. My approach falls apart if profiles are auto saved. I have been a Flex owner for not quite one year so I can’t claim a particularly high level of expertise, but the legacy functionality works well for me and I don’t see how to make the new functionality work as well.
When I sat down at the radio today, I thought that perhaps memory channels (section 23.3 of the user guide for V2.4.9) might provide the functionality I was looking for. But I tested this just now and they are a no-go. Memory channels include power settings but do not include the rest of a TX profile; specifically, they do not include the enabled/disabled status for the RCA TX ports used to key my amplifier. I found I could easily get into a scenario where I thought I would be operating at low power but instead would be sending 100 watts into the amplifier with the amp in operate mode.
I’ve also wondered if a program like FRStack might provide me with the functionality I need to create recallable “super memories” for my various operational scenarios, but I have so far resisted the urge to investigate. I would prefer that basic operational functionality come from SSDR itself.
When we spoke on Saturday you mentioned the help desk problem that drove the auto-save change and I respect Flex’s need to respond to that. Hopefully you will find a way forward. I can’t say what would be involved on your end from a programming perspective, but having the auto-save option be user-selectable would work for me.Tim K9WX
I would be thrilled with that. Because the auto save does work in your favor often.Just nice to chose when.
I strongly prefer the original way - a saved profile should be sacrosanct. I've spent hours making profiles and really don't want them changed or overwritten automatically.
A compromise might be letting on-the-fly changes persist in some other fashion without overwriting the original profile.
Keep up the good work.
If each user had their own Smartlink id and password and their profiles only showed while operating then this would be better. However, I still prefer to keep the number of profiles to a small number to cover the common use scenerios.
I too think an On/ Off approach is best.
Coodos to Flex for bringing us in on a discussion that will turn out to be a turning point, mark my words..lol
Let's rap this debate up and talk about other long time requested feature enhancements like NB, NR, ANF, etc. in a new thread while Flex is listening and interacting with us.
Good stuff !!
I'd prefer the old method of saving only upon user input.
This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies.
This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies.