Scope App

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  • Idea
  • Updated 4 years ago
There seems to be a boatload of interest in using the 6000 series for spectrum analysis, SWR sweeps, and other really cool uses. My suggestion is that these features NOT be added to SSDR.

Instead, a second suite of "lab apps" could be produced either by Flex or an enterprising developer and sold separately. That would keep SSDR lighter and simpler, and allow for advanced users to really use SDR for wild tech fun. The apps might even work together, with the analysis tool suite operating as it's own panadapter-style window.

What say?

Geo/KF2T
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Posted 4 years ago

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np2g

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Ill vote for that 
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Ernest - W4EG

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I'll drink to that!
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Paul Christensen, W9AC, Elmer

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Right.  Those are really cool uses - and I also agree with George.  The Flex 6K used as a VNA would be a sad waste of software and hardware here.  Why?  My portable VNA is never in one place.  One day, it's outside taking line measurements, the next day it may be on loan to measure the base Z of a vertical across town.  Then the next day, it's on the bench making two-port S-parameter measurements. 

Apart from dedicated lab use, much of the VNA's power is rooted in portability and battery operation.  I cannot imagine dragging my 6700 outside or up the tower to make complex Z measurements. 

In the not-too-distant past, I thought the LP-100 digital vector wattmeter would be a really useful addition here.  Likewise, it doesn't have the flexibility and portability that comes with a unit like a RigExpert CIA.  Don't get me wrong, I would still purchase the LP-100 just because it's an excellent wattmeter.  But other than one or two measurements, it's complex Z measurement abilities have not been used here.  After trying the function just to ensure it works, I'll bet the majority of owners only use it as an accurate wattmeter. 

Some folks here likely remember the Kachina DSP505 transceiver.  That was truly a revolutionary design.  One feature was a CIA with sweeping Smith Chart measurement abilities.  I think I used it once or twice -- then went back to hand-held measuring devices.  The feature was much cooler in concept than in actual use.

Paul, W9AC

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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Paul, I drooled over a Kachina for a couple of years. Never could afford it back then. It was like an Edsel, ahead of its time with lots of great features that were not appreciated at the time, but have since been incorporated into many new rigs.

It is almost hard to believe that now I have something vastly superior to the '505!
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Paul Christensen, W9AC, Elmer

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Way ahead of its time, including a crude form of remote operation that worked well. 

Let's see, that design is now 17 years old.  I recall seeing it at the 1997 Hamvention.  I had one from about 1999 through 2002.  CW QSK was terrible but SSB was excellent.  High Tx IMD on SSB, but acceptable after re-biasing. 

Another cool feature was automatic TCXO synchronization with WWV back at a time when rubidium and GPSDO external references were out of reach for many of us.

Paul, W9AC   

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I0JBL - Luc

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I completely agree with George.
73, Luciano I0JBL
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I agree for the most part, George. In my original post I suggested installing them as a separate item in order to avoid cluttering the main software and memory with specialty code. But few functions might be used often enough to include in the main suite. A quick SWR sweep In the current band might not take too much code space. But if it would, then put it in the "toolbox" module!
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John n0snx

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Well here goes...I take exception with Georges comment on how new features should be implemented....Just because a new feature request doesn't interest you surely doesn't mean it's a bad request and not be implemented. There are many features on my 5000 that I use daily that's not available on the 6000 YET... but I for one sure hope FRS adds all the features of the 5000 and more to the 6000

I don't remember seeing anything in any of the FRS marketing that said the 6000 series was for "ADVANCED USERS ONLY" To say screw the average users wants and only cater to you ADVANCED users seems really cold and one sided thinking. FRS is in the business of selling their products to ALL types of users whether ADVANCED or not.... I am far from an ADVANCED user but I do use my 6000 daily and what you find as important to you might not be inportant to others and vice versa...I would hope FRS has more of an open mind when it comes to customer input and gives us non ADVANCED users as much merit with feature requests as they would ADVANCED users.

FRS I commend you on your fine products and look forward to ALL the new features that will come in the future. Hopefully they wont all be for ADVANCED users only. Throw in a couple for us non ADVANCED users please..

OK I'm stepping off my soapbox....

John
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Richard Clafton W4/G7EIX, Elmer

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No nerve hit here.  I'm a little more thick skinned than that. :-)

We both interpret his comments differently.   C'est la vie.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Actually,  John, I think Richard's post was trying to make exactly the opposite point.
What I read is that there are a lot of advanced functions being proposed, such as VNA, SWR Scanning, and other test equipment simulators,  which would "allow for advanced users to really use SDR for wild tech fun."  He is proposing that these "advanced lab tools" be marketed as an additional software package for the experimenter so that we do not clutter the existing SmartSDR package with advanced tools that may only appeal to a few advanced experimenters.  (and would be useless to the rank and file 6000 series user.)

In effect, his post was not to limit the 6000 to "Advances users" but to keep it accessible to most hams while allowing for others with specialized needs and interests to experiment away to their heart's desires.

This was basically the same thought I had when I proposed the idea of a VNA program about 10 months ago.

In any case.... However you read it.  It is my opinion that these tools should be developed and made available eventually, whether as an "optional advanced toolkit" or as standard parts of SmartSDR.  The determining factors will be 1) how much code can be squeezed into the architecture of the 6000 series without compromising normal amateur operations. and 2) How much will it cost to develop them (possibly requiring an additional fee for the advanced toolkit.)

73
Ken - NM9P
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Richard Clafton W4/G7EIX, Elmer

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Spot on.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Edit to above:  ... The original post to which I referred was by George, not Richard.  
In any case.  I look forward to some advanced tools, whenever and however they arrive!
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Jim K4JAF

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I think applications such as this should be handled by another application..

Jim K4JAF

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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Yowzaa! Thanks to all the commenters. I hope the discussion furthers the already excellent work going on in SDR. And, to be very clear, I am very much in favor of new and interesting software tools to make the 6000 series both a more amazing radio, AND a world-class experimenter's platform. My suggestion, which may not have been communicated clearly, was to keep SSDR as a nimble, efficient radio interface, developing it on a track to include world-class capabilities for on-the-air operation, AND promote a "Lab Suite" that works with the hardware to allow the exploration of antennas, signal analysis, and other more "bench" pursuits.

No offense to any operator, mode, or feature is or was intended. Just an old guy with two cents and an internet connection...
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Jay -- N0FB, Elmer

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"I feel your pain!" No matter how well you try to position a suggestion, some people will go out of their way to take as a personal punch to the stomach. If anyone was offended, they either didn't read your post correctly or was looking for a reason to be offended.

Your posting was a well stated, well thought out out, personal opinion on what FRS or another enterprising software engineer MIGHT want to do. It seems reasonable to me.
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Stan - VA7NF

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I have been following this thread with great interest, actually since the signature series announcement.  As Steve (yes Sir:  you are amongst the ranks of those people known by first name only) said about the box, paraphrased "it is a lab signal generator with 100W output".

Remembering that SSDR is a presentation layer with the API between it and the "guts" that a separate (read as: new/different/specialized/lab natured) layer can drive the box in many different ways - providing the API permits it.

As an "Idea" thread, I'll throw in: "Enhance the API exposure with 'lab' based calls".

Stan Williams

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DrTeeth

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Let me chime in as I have not yet about my FlexRadio 6300 - but it is a very short time away and I have been QRT for too long.

I am busy reading the manuals and I think the balance of features in SmartSDR is about right. Anything esoteric or of a super techy nature should be kept out and paid for by those who want them. I am not buying the 6300 because I am advanced or a super tech; I am buying it because the software and hardware makes a great combo and seems a lot easier to use and better technically than my other choice, the Yaesu FTDX3000.

73 de Guy G4DWV/4X1LT
(Edited)
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W5XZ - dan

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a TDR ( time domain reflectometer ) function would be nice too...and I'm an optometrist, not an 
engineer...

'just sayin...'        73, w5xz, dan
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Richard Clafton W4/G7EIX, Elmer

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W5XZ - dan

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ha ha ha! you got me, richard!
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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From the look of those ears, I would think you were an audiologist!
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I like the idea of adding lets say modules to the SSDR as a purchase. I thought I heard it mentioned that some software companies were going to write add ons for the 6000's . I don't know if they could be installed into SSDR or they would have to be linked by virtual cables but It seems the way to go for me.