Slice Master 6000 v0.9.21

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now with Fldigi support.  

Head on over to https://github.com/K1DBO/slice-master-6000 and grab the latest release.  

The inner workings of Slice Master have once again seen quite a few changes.  Support for fldigi required the implementation of TCP over CAT.  I'm still tweeking how split works and still looking for suggestions on how to do it better.  Like the HRD TCP listener, the TCP over CAT listener also supports control of individual slices and a corresponding "split" slice as well as the magical TX slice (where split functions should probably be avoided).

The launch settings for fldigi are nearly identical to WSJT-X's settings.  



They work about the same too.  Pick an existing configuration to launch with your slice, or create a new one.  New configurations start off as clones of the default configuration.  So it's easiest if you first set up all of your station information by running fldigi on its own, then start using it from Slice Master.  As with the programs on the launch tab, you only need to pick a DAX channel for the slice before launching.  Slice Master will take care of the rig and sound card setting in the application for you.

The sync tab has grown a few more options.



First there is the new group to enable a CAT over TCP connection for any slice.  The functionality is very similar to the TCP CAT feature of SmartSDR CAT.  There are two important differences.  One is support for the options you see as well as support for a TX tracking CAT connection.  The other is that Slice Master is able to make minor yet important tweaks to the protocol to better support the connected applications.

The 'On MOX' options control how Slice Master reacts to a TX request from one of the connected applications.  'Toggle TX Slice' tells Slice Master to temporarily move the TX indicator to the slice only during the transmit request.  After the transmission has ended, TX indicator is returned to the last slice that had it.  Likewise, the state of the DAX button can be changed for just the duration of the transmission.  If you like to multitask your FT-8 or PSK QSOs while chewing the rag on phone, you might find you have less to worry about as you switch modes.

Slice Master will now remember its window state (normal/minimized) as well as its position on the screen.  These values can now be specified at start up time.
  --window-width WIDTH  width in pixels of main window
--window-height HEIGHT
height in pixels of main window --window-x X x position of main window --window-y Y y position of main window --window-minimized BOOL start main window minimized
You'll probably need to create a shortcut to make use of them.  That exercise is left for the reader.

As usual, you can expect that old bugs have been fixed (at least the ones I've been told about) and new bugs have been created.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to report those bugs.  I cant make Slice Master bug free without your help.


--Don
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K1DBO

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Posted 4 months ago

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John - K3MA

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The program executable does not seem to be in the zip directory.
(Edited)
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K1DBO

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Hi John,

The link I posted takes you to a README file that gives the link to the release page.  If you clicked the "Clone or Download" button on the README page, you probably didnt get the right zip file.  If you want to skip the README, https://github.com/K1DBO/slice-master-6000/releases will get you one step closer.  ...either that, or your anti-virus protection removed just the executable from the zip file.

--Don
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Rick Hadley - W0FG

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Don, one option that would be nice would be to have "Slice follows TX" on a single CW Skimmer implemented as is done in SDR-Bridge.  That way there's no need for a second instance of Skimmer when chasing DX, leaving the second (or greater) Skimmer instances available for other panadaptors.  I like having a separate Skimmer running for each band, but I don't have enough screen real estate (or CPU horsepower) to support more than 3 simultaneous Skimmers.  Also, is there a way to get rid of the "Access Violation" error message every time CW Skimmer starts.  It doesn't seem to affect the operaton of Skimmer, but it's annoying

Rick, W0FG
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K1DBO

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Hi Rick,

Could you say a bit more about the "need for a second instance"?  The big difference between Slice Master and SDR-Bridge when it comes to CW Skimmer, is that Slice Master will let you have more than one CW Skimmer on a panadapter.  SDR-Bridge will not.  But, just because you can, doesnt mean you have to.  I'd like to make sure I understand your question.

To minimize screen real estate CW Skimmer Server is hard to beat.  It will feed your telnet client with all the spots it finds and take no screen real estate.

Also, if your CW Skimmers are using too much CPU try reducing the IQ bandwidth.  I typically use 96k But together with CW Skimmer Server, I find that 48k works well too.

The "Access Violation" is a problem with CW Skimmer.  I've put a lot of effort into getting rid of them.  CW Skimmer wasnt designed to run multiple instances.  There are some tricks that make it work, and Slice Master knows them all.  First, make sure there are no "zombie" CW Skimmer instances running.  If you are comfortable using the task manager to kill off processes, that's a good place to start.  Or, just reboot your computer. 

If Slice Master still has trouble launching CW Skimmer after a fresh reboot we'll have to dig deeper.  Feel free to send me an email or continue the discussion here.

--Don
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Rich McCabe

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Rick, I would agree with this is I understand you correctly, but I think this is a CWS limitation on not the bridge that connects it?

I run two skimmers. I only run the second so I can see my TX slice move up and down in the pile up.  Would be nice to have two pointers (slice A and B) in one skimmer but I am doubting Don has much control over this..
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Bob Gerzoff, WK2Y

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I am trying to get started using Slice Master with HRD and so far the only thing I have managed to do is louse up my HRD configuration.  Fortunately, I am able to put things back after a little "futzing" around.

Don, you had said, " HRD Logbook works great when pointed at Slice Master's 'HRD TCP TX Listener'.  It takes the place of HRD's Rig Control", but I don't get how to do that pointing.

In DM780/tools/logbook on the connection tab, it says local host at 7825

On the left hand side of DM780 there is a tab for PowerSDR\Configure Local Host which has local host 7809

In rig control, tools there is a configure optional IP Server at Port 7809

In logbook/configure/network server there is port 7825.

When I start Slice Master the HRD TCP TX Listener is at 7811.  Do I change the two 7825s to 7811s or am I misunderstanding how things work?  Are there other HRD settings I need to change?

BTW, my goal is simple.  I have DM780 set up in slide A and the frequency and mode are tracked. I just want HRD Logbook to track the freq and mode when I switch to a slice using CW or SSB.

Thanks and if I need to go RTFM, don't hesitate to point me in the right direction.
73,
Bob, WK2y
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K1DBO

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Hi Bob,

The setting you are looking for is in HRD Logbook's 'Radio Pane'.  Hit the option button and you'll see this dialog:



Just change the port to match the one in Slice Master's setting tab for the HRD TCP TX listener.



Unless you changed it, you're is probably 7810 as well.

If you are using Slice Master to launch DM780 for you, you wont need to change anything there.  The radio configuration there should be pre-configured by Slice Master to point to a "private" HRD listener for the slice.  

If you are not using Slice Master to launch DM780, we should talk about why ;)  But let's see if this hint helps you at all first.

--Don
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Bob Gerzoff, WK2Y

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It works.  Fantastic!! Thank you.
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K1DBO

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You're welcome.  Happy to hear it's working and I'm especially happy to see "use case" questions like this.  I've been more focused on coding than on WTFM ;)

You should also take a look at the 'Default Layout' tab of that dialog too.  You'll find a much wider selection of controls to choose from than you had before. 
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Mike, W8BE

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I like it too.  Seems very stable.  
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Bob Gerzoff, WK2Y

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I see the ability to add extra controls in that panel, but I prefer using the SmartSDR interface.  Not sure I see the advantage. The audio controls are nice, however. Don't have to dig around.  Seems like these days there are 10 ways from Sunday to accomplish the same thing. Being able to keep up with the logging is without question the biggest advantage for me at the moment. 
Thanks again.
73,
Bob, WK2Y
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Michael M

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Hi,

Regarding DX-Cluster: I have to connect  to each individual slice via telnet, even with aggregation server activated. Where do I find the configured password and Is it possible to configure the password for each slice?

73
Mike
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K1DBO

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Hi Mike, 

It looks like you've bumped into an unintended feature of the Slice Master's spot filtering.  On the setting tab in both the GRITTY and CW Skimmer groups there is option to select which spots are sent on to the aggregation server.  My testing shows that the only option working right now is "Any".  Give that a try and let me know if it helps.

The reason for the password on the CW Skimmer telnet servers is exactly this.  If you were able to connect to them directly you might have thought that was the right thing to do rather than report this problem as a bug.  Thank you for playing along!

But, it's also possible you are connecting with a telnet client I havent verified yet.  Which one are you using?  

Thanks.
--Don
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Michael M

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Hi Don,

I'm using rumlogNG on OSX as my logbook and had problems, that rumlogNG was not able to interpret the text strings it received from the aggregation server, after I enabled the 'any' setting for CW skimmer.

The settings "Append Slice label to spotters ..." did the trick. After I disabled it, rumlogNG is able to interpret the strings it receives and displays it :-) 

Many thanks for helping me!

Mike
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K1DBO

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Hi Mike,

I'm happy to hear you figured it out.  Slice Master's aggregation server tries to mimic the format used by CW Skimmer.  In theory, it should work with anything that works with CW Skimmer.  In practice, the protocol isnt very well defined.  I've found subtle differences between clients, especially in the "logon" phase.  

The difference you noticed, appending the slice label, is not something I expected to be a problem.  rumlogNG must do stricter callsign validation than most.  I dont have a mac to experiment with so disabling this option will likely be necessary for foreseeable future.  It's possible that rumlogNG has an option to loosen it's validation requirements... but since I've never read the manual, let's just call that a WAG.

--Don
 
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Zack Schindler

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Another great update to your program. Thanks for the work Don!

Zack N8FNR