Tutorial : Setting up Ham Radio Deluxe with SmartSDR

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As my radio activity is 99,9% digital I and there are some questions on how to
work with digital modes and programs I will create some tutorials here and I will
start with Ham Radio deluxe, for which I am also a beta tester.

There have been other tutorials both from FlexRadio and on this forum on digital
modes. My tutorials refer to the newest versions at this date September 2015.

I run all programs on Windows 7 Home Premium both 32 and 64 bit.

Setup for Windows 10 should be the same as for Windows 7, although there have been
reports about problems with virtual ports. Be careful to totally remove SmartSDR
from your PC before you install Windows 10, then reinstall, having saved your
profiles beforehand.

Setup of digital mode programs often opens server ports. You have to allow them
on your system, so have a look at both your firewall and antivirus programs if
there is no connection. The OS can also create a problem concerning user
permissions


Please tell me about improvements to the tutorials and issues not reported here.

A. Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD)


1. Download HRD: http://ham-radio-deluxe.com/downloads.html

Installing the package will get you a lot of programs.
You will NOT need HRD Rig Control, as SSDR is doing the job for you.
The other HRD programs like Digital Master 780, HR Logbook, Rotator control,
Satellite tracking will connect to HRD server port 7809 and connect to SSDR
via external programs: DDUtil or MiniDeluxe.

2. Download DDUtil V3: http://k5fr.com/DDUtilV3wiki/index.php?title=Download or
    download MiniDeluxe: https://github.com/krisp/MiniDeluxe/wiki
    DDUtil will give you a HRD server port  and a whole lot of options to control amps,
    antennas and so on, whereas MiniDeluxe is a small program which just gives you
    a HRD server port. Both programs replace HRD Rig Control, which is unnecessary
    and clogs up your CPU.

3. In SmartSDR CAT notice the port which was created at installing it and to which
    3rd party programs will connect, in my case COM6:

    
   

4. Create a virtual PTT port in the Serial ports tab clicking "Add a port", then
    "PTT" and you should get a COM port pair (COM7-17) in this case:

    

     Notice that I have also created a dedicated CAT port pair (COM8-18) which you
     need only if you want to connect other programs which can't use a HRD server.
     The COM port numbers can vary on your pc! Be careful that the newly created
     COM ports are not used by other, already existing, devices! You can create a
     little batch file, which I call "View Devices". Just copy the lines into your editor
     and save the batch file as "view devices.bat"

           set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
           set devmgr_show_details=1
           start DEVMGMT.MSC

     Now you can see all your COM ports, even the hidden ones, if so clicked.
     This is my list, yours will show different ports:

     
    
     Sometimes two ports with the same number can crash Windows. In that case
     you have to restart in protected mode and change the numbers or deinstall
     the offending driver.

5. Setup for DDUtil:

  
   

   You see that Signature radio with COM port 6 is selected, HRD Apps is enabled
   with port 7809 and version 6.2 is ticked. The COM port number can vary on your system
   and relates only to my setup description!

or

6. Setup for MiniDeluxe:

    

     Be careful to tick SmartSDR. The COM port number can vary on your system
     and relates only to my setup description!

7. Setup for Digital Master 780 (DM780):

   a. CAT setup is via HRD server port 7809:

  


    b. PTT setup is a port number, in this case 7:

  

  c. Soundcard setup:

  

d. Logbook setup:

  

Your startup screen should show this now:



8. Special case: The new RTTY mode and DM-780

     a. Set Reverse:

    

     b. Click "Center Frequency", then place decoder into RTTY band:

    

     Notice that "C" for Center stays at the CW setting. That doesn't matter
     as transmitting will now be on spot and not on a split frequency.


9. Setup for HRD Logbook:

This is quite straightforward, as HRD Log connects to the same HRD server port 7809



Update speed should be set at "Normal", as "Fast" tends to create problems with the
logbook.

All other HRD programs also connect to HRD server port 7809, which can equally
be used for WSJT-X and other programs.


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Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

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  • happy as a happy frog in a bog

Posted 3 years ago

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K6OZY, Elmer

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Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

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Thank you for the info, Christopher, one less to write :-)
Nice QRZ.com page, BTW, love your drumming set and
equipment, got the Flex-3000 and KX3 also.
Rush, yeah! I love this one
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWRMOJQDiLU
in my country...
73, Alex DH2ID
(Edited)
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Gerry Jurrens

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I just received an email from HRD that’s offering a “25% discount on HRD until 1/1/18.” I found this post in my effort to understand why HRD at any price is a good fit for the 6700 user. Use coupon code "welcome12" at checkout to receive a 20% discount on your purchase. I’m not sure now if the 20 or 25 is the right discount.
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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Hi Gerry

I still use HRD as my main day to day logging program because of its seamless interaction with DM780. I find my days of running PSK are VERY rare now and N1MM+ with multiple RTTY programs running is superior to DM780 RTTY.

With this in mind I have toyed with making the jump back to Log4OM. The only “issue” I have with Log4OM is OmniRig does not properly handle modes lik native Flex RTTY mode.

If Log4OM 2.0 ever becomes a reality and includes IP connection to the Flex then I would switch.

HRD has made a lot of big fixes for a while but again has gone stagnant.

I guess it boils down to what you are comfortable with. Drop me a line an we can discuss offline. We still need to get together.

73
Dave wo2x
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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The stagnation was my #1 reason for going to Log4OM. It does take a bit of learning to do. Some things aren't as intuitive as HRD, but it does what I want to do, particularly with hunting new DXCC challenge points.

Ria
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Rob G6EIH

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Thanks for taking the time to post this, I'll be giving it a go tonight.

Rob
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W1RE

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Hi Alex,

Thank you for this tutorial. I have been following this and have made some good progress but I'm a bit stuck at the moment.

First some background, I am running:

Windows 10 Pro
Smart SDR 1.5.0
DDUtil 3.2.1.00
HRD DM780 6.3

I appear to have SmartSDR Client and CAT, DDUtil, and DM780 all configured and communicating since when I start DDUtil I get a message that the CAT Server is running and when I start DM780 I get a message that the HRD TCP Server is starting and clicking on the various bands switches the band for the pan adapter in SmartSDR Client window. 

In DM780 I have a waterfall display but I can't understand the waterfall display frequency indicators (which go from 0-3000) and how that maps to my slice receiver frequency in SSDR?

Also I am getting an indicator in DM780 of receive signal Overload (see below photo). I adjusted the DAX RX 1 receive gain all the way left to minimum in DAX Control panel but the Overload indicator does not seem to want to go away.



Apparently this is not a fatal issue as I just got my first RTTY-45 decode in DM780 after some adjustments to my slice receiver in SSDR and adjusting the "M" window in DM780.  I do not seem to have a "C" or Center option in DM780 6.3.

Finally, when looking (and listening) to all the various digital waveforms in the SSDR waterfall, how do I know which mode to decode in DM780? There are so many modes and the only mode I can visually identify at this time is RTTY.  Are there any places I can go that might help a "digital novice" identify what type of signal they are "looking at"?

Thanks,

 - Bob
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Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

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Bob, please also look at your soundcard settings in Windows.
The DAX settings should be at 2 channel, 16 Bit, 48000 Hz
and levels fully to the right.

Your default soundcard should be the one in your PC, not the
DAX channels.

You can also use this tool:
http://audioswit.ch/er?utm_source=client&utm_medium=direct&utm_campaign=client_1_6_6_85
to list all your hardware and virtual soundcards.

My DM780 audio level loos like this:



Concerning digital modes: You'll soon get a feeling for them, as most
OPs haven't set their RSID in DM780. PSK modes mostly keep to their
assigned frequencies.

This website gives you a visual impression how they look:

http://hfradio.org.uk/html/digital_modes.html

73, Alex DH2ID
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W1RE

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Hi Alex,

I checked the windows settings for DAX Audio Rx 1 and the level is 100 (all the way to the right) and it's 16 bits @ 48000 Hz.  I did find it was set to the default device so I changed that but unfortunately I am still seeing the overload indication (see attached screenshot).



Thanks for the link on identifying how the various digital modes look. I think this will help me get a better feel for them.

- Bob
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Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

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Ok, Bob, your audio is ok at 14%, to the right of it is a red x to show that HRD Logbook
is not connected. No overload.

73, Alex DH2ID
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Randy Hollingsworth

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Alex, first, an excellent tutorial, very much appreciated!! I have everything working except the PTT capability. I can receive digital signals on DM-780 with no issues, but cannnot transmit. I am using HRD 6.3, SmartSDR 1.5.1, and DDUtil ver 3.2.2. My com port setup is exactly like yours, with COM 6 being used by SmartSDR with the Com 7-17 pair set up for PTT. I am running this all on Windows 10 with a FLEX-6500. The only difference in setup from the tutorial was that in the DM-780 sound card options page, there was no transmit audio settings and I did not see any other program options that pertained to the soundcard. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.<br><br>73......Randy, K0FA
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Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

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Randy, the problem could be Windows 10, and it's virtual driver incompatibility. I can't help you there, as I will only update from windows 7, when 10 runs bugfree. As you can see on this forum, there are a lot of problems with DAX and CAT and 10. BTW I run Fujitsu serial port viewer and terminal, which shows all the ports. Alex, DH2ID
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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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I'm trying but I just don't get it. Maybe I'm confused because the dialog boxes look different from the examples above for cat. This is what I have so far...

The CAT setup looks like this:

COM4 and TCP/5002 alread existed. I added COM5.

CAT setup looks like this:


I seem to run into problems in the DM780 configuration. It looks like this when I start it up:

When I hit the connect button I see a notice: HRD TCP Server Client Added - Running 1 Connection(s).
Moments later I see another notice HRD TCP Server Client Removed - Running 0 Connection(s).

Struggling to figure out how to get past this point.
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Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

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Kevin, here is the SmartSDR CAT update:

Tutorial Update for v.1.6.21:



As you can see, I have created some more serial ports,
but all else is the same. The extra serial ports are for
testing purposes.

I am normally not using DDUtil, as it has issues with HRD and WSJT-X !

Use MiniDeluxe instead, as described in my tutorial and you'll
get this DM780 interface:





If you must use DDUtil, here is my setup:



It works here, kind of, but I have problems connecting DM780.

I am using the newest versions for all programs, and WSJT-X 1.7.0 devel.

73, Alex - DH2ID
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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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Thanks Alex. I'll give MiniDeluxe a try this evening. I've heard so much about DDUtils that I figured this was my opportunity to try it. I think I bit off more than I could chew.
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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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Alex... I made progress using MiniDeluxe and think most everything is set up right. I haven't actually done any PSK yet with DM780 but simulated some sending to a dummy load and tested out the logging. I also have a lot to learn about HRD. The thing that is leading me towards HRD compared with other products is the user interface. Complex, but nice and clean and seems to be easy to hide what I don't need to see.

One issue I think I'm having is that I only have control over one slice. In the log book, when I click the Tune-Sub button I get the band bars but the numbers range from 0.000 to 0.250... not the actual 40 meter area I'm on. Moving the sliders has no affect on the radio. Tune-Main works as expected. I'm probably missing a basic setup item and I'm going through all the docs now.

Again - thanks much for getting me past that point with DDUtils. I'll try that again later maybe.
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Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

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Yeah, you're right, Kevin, only one slice :-(
If you want two slices, try fldigi, which works without MiniDeluxe and
uses RigCAT instead ... fldigi can control 2 slices.
(Edited)
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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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Shoot. I was hoping this would be an easy one. I've used fldigi and still will for some of the odd digital modes but I'm back to DXLabs suite. The only real complaint I have with it is the old-timey interface. But everything seems to work as advertised. I'll probably again a few months down the road. Thanks for helping me out on this.
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Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

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Update:

1. HamRadioDeluxe is now at http://www.hrdsoftwarellc.com/
2. JTAlertX works only up to version 2.8.7 with HRD V6 http://hamapps.com/
3. Newest DDUtil beta updates are here http://k5fr.com/binary/
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Ernest - W4EG

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Thank you Alex,
For the descriptive and picturesque description for setting HRD and SmartSDR. 
Many years ago; during the PDSR days and the Flex 3000/5000 series I had a similar setup for setting HRD with pictures and explanation: That help many new JT65/9 users setup their radios. 
I used to use DDUtil  but I found it too cumbersome to setup and it has so many functions that I did not need or use.
I have a question and somewhere on this subject you make mention on using port 7809 for JT65/9 modes to control HRD "My Logbook" also.
Some how; when I setup WSJT-X mode I was able to change frequencies at the same time on the "Logbook" However, after installing HRD v6.3 I lost that ability. And the current v6.4 did not restored that capability.
Any suggestion will be appreciated. Thanks
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Terry Wilkin

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Great Info!! I need some advice...I am using the newest version of Smartsdr and HRD, March 2018, and each time I shut down and start up again next day, after opening Smartsdr I have to create a new port on Dax to get HRD to connect. What check box am I missing?? Was working perfect in the older versions. Thanks
Terry
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K1DBO

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Terry,

Yet another option is to take Slice Master 6000 for a spin.  Instead of using MiniDeluxe you can point your HRD Logbook at Slice Master's HRD TCP TX Listener and build a radio pane that looks like this:



and your logbook will even follow the TX slice around.  

For DM780 Slice Master will let you build a radio pane that look like this



all without using any SSDR CAT ports and almost no configuration.  Just launch Slice Master, choose a slice, and tell it to launch DM780 for you.  You'll still have to pick a DAX audio channel and set your levels properly, but other than that, it really is that easy.

--Don
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Terry Wilkin

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Thanks Don...I will give that a try tonite!!
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Jim Osterling

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New 6600 user, new HRD user. Following this thread: last night set up Slice Master - works great. Set up HRD - did not connect with rig control but started logbook. The only radio pane I could find was in Tools/configure/radio pane and looks nothing like the picture above from K1DBO. However, I left it at localhost and normal update speed and changed port from 7809 to 7810. It appeared to connect to SM as it tracked radio freq and band etc. 

This morning fired the laptop back up, started Ssdr, SM and HRD (did not connect rig control and went straight to logbook). Now HRD logbook does not connect to SM. No tracking available so have to uncheck tracking in the qso popup and manually enter band and mode. Not the end of the world but was nice when it was automatic.......

The Radio Pane Config still has 7810 as the port and appears connected (connect button grayed out). Changed the port to 7809 and it popped up a can't connect window. Changed back to 7810 and "connected" but still no tracking.

I've been in the HRD manual and back to the SM guide but can't find anything else to configure, which make sense since these steps worked yesterday. No other programs running. I'm hesitant to mess with DM780 until I can understand what's going on.

Would sure appreciate any help!

Jim
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K1DBO

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Hi Jim,

If you are using Slice Master there is no need for the Rig Control component of HRD, but I think you noticed that.

The Tools/configure/radio pane option you mentioned is the right one for connecting to Slice Master, but there are a couple of way to get to it.  Under the View menu there is a Radio Pane option.  When you enable that, you'll see the Radio Pane.  Selecting the Options button at the top of the Radio Pane will get you to the same Radio Pane Configuration dialog you already found.  

The Radio Pane Configuration's connection tab should look like this



You can you use the Default Layout tab to control how the Radio Pane will look in Logbook once you are connected.  To get the look you see above, try this



If Slice Master is running and the HRD TCP TX Listener section of the settings tab looks like this:



you should be all set, though you might need to press the Connect button at the top of the Radio Pane in HRD Logbook to make the connection.

If everything looks good but your Radio Pane is blank, it's probably because you dont have a TX slice selected in Smart SDR.  Slice Master's HRD TCP TX Listener is designed to track the slice with the red TX flag.  If you dont have one selected, there is nothing to track and the Radio Pane will go mostly blank.

--Don
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Jim Osterling

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Don,

Appreciate your reply!  Everything is configured as you've pictured......however, I did not have any slice configured to transmit as I wanted to get things working first. 

Will try again but make sure I have a slice selected to transmit.

Thanks again,

Jim
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Jim Osterling

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Yep, HRD tracking works when a slice has the tx attribute checked......a duh moment on my part. Makes perfect sense as nothing to track if not ready to transmit.......

Jim
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K1DBO

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It's funny how obvious some things can be after you've seen them a couple dozen times ;)

Note too that if you configured the Radio Pane layout as shown above, the dropdown selector for the SLICE can be used to select the transmit slice.  But more helpful than that, if a TX slice is not selected it will show "SLICE: <no tx>" as the currently selected (lack of) slice.
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Jim Osterling

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I think I'll operate as is for a while; get to know the radio, SM and HRD better before I try to get DM780 running......

Don, thanks again for your help. 

Jim
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K1DBO

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There's a lot to like about DM780, but if you've never used it before it does have it's challenges.  Slice Master will, at least, make sure the Radio and Audio configurations are correct for your selected slice.  Without Slice Master, running multiple instances or switching which slice you would like DM780 to use is a bit more difficult.
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Jim Osterling

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I used DM780 briefly with my previous rig (ftdx 3000) and seemed to do fine. However, I only had a few qso's before switching to the flex so will look at it some more.


Previously in the thread:

For DM780 Slice Master will let you build a radio pane that look like this



all without using any SSDR CAT ports and almost no configuration.  Just launch Slice Master, choose a slice, and tell it to launch DM780 for you.  You'll still have to pick a DAX audio channel and set your levels properly, but other than that, it really is that easy.



I saw this from you earlier in the thread. I assume this radio pane is built in DM780!? SDR radio is totally new to me: so if SM is running, dm780 finds it? 

Will have to read up on how dax channels work and figure out how to tell the slice to launch dm......

So far, I'm really liking this flex radio but it's quite different from anything I'm used to so my pea brain is spinning!   lol

You don't, by any chance, know of a video or step by step for dummies on how to hook this up?

Sorry to be a pest....

Jim
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K1DBO

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Jim, you're not being a pest and I'm happy to help.  

Yes, the screen shot is DM780, not Logbook as I may have implied.  The configuration of the layout is similar to Logbook, but you dont have to worry about setting the connection information.  Slice Master knows how to configure and then launch DM780 for you.  It assumes the DM780 executable can be found in the standard HRD installation folder. 

Since you are new to the world of Flex, reading up on how DAX and SSDR CAT work is probably a good idea especially if you want to use third party application that Slice Master does not support. 

But, with Slice Master there is a growing list of third party applications you can use with your Flex without knowing anything about how to connect them to the radio.  Slice Master takes care of audio and rig configuration for you and arranges to launch the application either on demand or when certain conditions are met.  Configuring the operation and user preferences of these applications is still on you.

If you already have a working or mostly working DM780 installation on your computer, Slice Master should have no trouble finding it and re-configuring it for the slice of your choice.

Here, 



I have Slice Master configured to launch DM780 anytime slice B is set to RTTY or DIGU.  If a DM780 instance doesnt launch under these conditions the status line (which normally shows the radio type and your call sign) will tell you what went wrong.  You can hover the mouse over the status line to see previous messages.

One of the things you'll need to check is that you've assigned a DAX audio channel to the slice, like this.  


It doesnt matter which channel you choose but note that a given channel can only be used by one slice at a time. If this still doesnt get a DM780 instance to pop up for you, it might be that either the DAX control panel is not running or that the DAX channel you chose is not enabled.

In this example, RX Stream 1 should look like this:



If not, give the "1" button a click or two until it turns blue.  The button for the TX stream at the top should also be blue, otherwise the TX audio wont make it to the radio.

These DAX related steps apply to the other supported programs as well, though CW Skimmer uses a DAX IQ Stream rather than an audio stream.  Those are set in SSDR on the panafall menu.

Good luck!

--Don
(Edited)