SmartSDR for iOS Mic Boost problem

  • 1
  • Problem
  • Updated 2 years ago
  • Solved
  • (Edited)
First off, SmartSDR for iOS is a lovely app.  Marcus, you should be very proud of it.  That said, being a young app, it still has a few expected nits.  My problem is with the Mic Boost setting.

I am running a pair of 6700’s and use a Symetrix 528E as a preamp so that I can split the mic signal into both 6700’s.  As a result, I do not want the “+20dB” enabled on the SSDR Phone settings panel.  This setup works very well locally.

Now, with SSDR for iOS (version 1.0.2), I have been having problems getting a loud enough mic level.  With the internal mic on my iPad Pro, even enabling “Mic Boost” and setting the mic gain to 100 does not get my peak mic levels to 0 dB.  Typically, the peak reading only reaches half scale and RF power output is very low.  Using the mic in the earbud cable is better, but still does not reach 0dB unless I scream.  So problem number one is insufficient mic gain.  Interestingly, if I use my Logitech Bluetooth headset, I get plenty of mic volume as long as I have the “Mic Boost” in the iOS app enabled.

But here is the second and greater problem.  SmartSDR for iOS shares its “Mic boost” setting with the hardware mic boost in radio.  When I use the 6700 with the local mic (plugged into the back) I do not want the +20dB enabled.  When I use the OS app, I need the “Mic boost” enabled.  I am constantly having to go to the settings panel to turn this setting on and off.

So, question #1:  Is there a way to make the iOS mic boost independent from the hardware mic boost (specifically, the +20dB gain for the front and rear mic connections on the 6700)?

And question #2:  How can I get more gain for the iPad internal and earbuds mics?

Thanks, Bob, N7ZO.
Photo of Bob Wright, N7ZO

Bob Wright, N7ZO

  • 277 Posts
  • 74 Reply Likes

Posted 3 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Ken - NM9P

Ken - NM9P, Elmer

  • 4172 Posts
  • 1331 Reply Likes
Mike boost setting should be saved with the Mic Profiles. If you save one (or many) profiles for SSDR/Windows, and another profile or set of profiles for SSDR/iOS then you should be able simply to call up the Mic Profile you need for each client, then the Mic Boost, bandwidth, tx EQ settings, gain, PROC setting, etc. should all be remembered. But only I'd you saved the profile for each client under a different name. You cannot use the same name for a profile on each client. The last one that saves it will overwrite the settings from the previous client.

Ken - NM9P
Photo of Bob Wright, N7ZO

Bob Wright, N7ZO

  • 277 Posts
  • 74 Reply Likes
Hi Ken,

You are absolutely right. The Mic boost is part of the mic profile.  I had missed that.  But even so, after playing with it a bit, maybe what I'm struggling with is that for the first time I have to make settings when I enter an SSDR app or things don't work right.  When I was using just SSDR for Windows, I never had to worry about making settings every time I re-entered the app.  But now that I am using both SSDR for Windows and SSDR for iOS, I do have make these settings.  It doesn't make any sense that when I left the mic setting on "iPad" in SSDR for iOS that it becomes "PC" in SSDR for Windows.

Perhaps, when exiting, SSDR for iOS should put the profiles back to what they were when it started and remember its own profiles each time it starts?

Problem #2, the mic gains, are still an issue for me.
Photo of Ken - NM9P

Ken - NM9P, Elmer

  • 4172 Posts
  • 1331 Reply Likes
PC and iPad mic inputs are equivalent for the respective client. When you move from the iPad with mic selection of iPad, to the Windows machine it will naturally shift to the PC input.

This is why you need to save a Mic Profile for each machine. I actually have several for each machine - rag chew, dx, pileup crunching, contesting, AM, ESSB, etc.

Set it up the way you want and save it. Then When you are on the other machine, edit another profile and save it with another name. The next time you use the other client, select the appropriate mic profile. You shouldn't need to make other transmitting settings other than that.

For other settings, it might help to creat a global profile for each client, and include things like reduces wafer fall speed, reduced display fps, etc., for the iOS client. Save the profile and those settings should be remembered for the iOS client. Save another one with all the settings for the Windows client. Btw, SSDR for iOS automatically saves a global profile called "iOS-Default-Profile" you can save your changes to this. I am not sure, but the iOS client may open this by default when you open the program...

Re: mic gain...what mic are you using for the iPad? And do you have any tx EQ added? PROC settings? I have been able to get adequate drive with my iPhone 6 and iPad Air with both the internal mike and a Bluetooth headset.
Photo of Ken - NM9P

Ken - NM9P, Elmer

  • 4172 Posts
  • 1331 Reply Likes
By automatically saved, here, I mean upon initial program setup. I don't believe it automatically saves upon normal program exit. At least I hope not....
Photo of Jay -- N0FB

Jay -- N0FB, Elmer

  • 535 Posts
  • 212 Reply Likes
SmartSDR for IOS does not, but other clients do.
Photo of Jay -- N0FB

Jay -- N0FB, Elmer

  • 535 Posts
  • 212 Reply Likes
I would g o step farther and create a set of Global profiles for when I using SSDR for Windows and a complete separate set for when on IOS. There will be some similarities but there will be some great differences.


I agree there should be some "cookie" equivalent left on the individual device which calls the last global profile used ON THAT DEVICE. Not the last set of profiles used by whatever device which last connected to the 6000. Also, the profiles (Mic, Transmit, and Global) should NEVER be automatically saved by the client. It should always be a conscience action performed by the operator. Too many unexpected consequences occur because of well meaning 3rd party developer applications. When it comes to the profiles, I want to be firmly in control as to what is contained in the profiles and when they are to be updated. If I mess up or I forget to save a change to a profile, it's my fault. If the developer wants to have an "Easy" or "Novice" mode that automatically saves profiles.... great...but give me an Expert mode control to opt-out of it.
(Edited)
Photo of Marcus - DL8MRE

Marcus - DL8MRE

  • 151 Posts
  • 40 Reply Likes
Official Response
Thanks guys for the great discussion here (and of course for your compliments Bob).

I was just about to add the feature to automatically save the profiles when leaving the App but Jay, I completely agree to what you wrote, I personally wouldn't want that so I will better leave it as is.

And yes, the MIC gain (and other App specific settings) can be handled by Profiles. That's also what I am doing.

However, I personally experienced big differences between my different devices. iPads (even the Pro) has a lower gain compared to my iPhones 6 and 6splus whereas the iPhone 5 has a similar gain compared to the iPad Pro. The same is true for the Audio output gain.

This said, I thought it would be no bad idea to add two sliders in the settings where you can adjust Mic and Speaker gain on a per device basis. This would be independent of the profiles and not synchronized across devices. For those who don't need it, they can leave the slider in the center position (no attenuation or boost). Would you guys agree ?

vy 73,
Marcus, DL8MRE 
Photo of Bob Wright, N7ZO

Bob Wright, N7ZO

  • 277 Posts
  • 74 Reply Likes
Marcus, if I could find one setting on your proposed mic slider that would work for both the internal mic and the Bluetooth headset, that would be a good solution. (There is probably 30dB difference between these mics.)  If not, then coupling that slider with a mic profile name would be better.  But starting with an independent slider would be a good first try.

A speaker gain slider would be useful.  I normally have to increase the slice gain above 50 to get usable speaker volumes on my iPad.

Ken, I have experimented with various EQ and PROC settings.  I can tweak a bit more power out of the 6700 using these settings, but, overall, there is simply not enough mic gain for my iPad Pro 12.7 using either the internal or earbud mics.  The best I can do with these mics is about mid-scale on the panel level meter and the RF output power is very low.  As I noted above, the gain with the Logitech Bluetooth headset is fine and I get 0dB peaks with the mic gain set to 35-40 (with boost enabled).  Also, I have seen this same mic gain issue on two different iPads (the current iPad Pro 12.7 and my older iPad Air 2) and with two different earbud mics.

I’m still thinking about the device dependent profiles issue.  I agree with Jay that I would not want any app modifying my profiles without my explicit involvement.  But simply remembering the name of the mic profile and recalling it when the iOS app starts would seem to be useful.  I am not sure modifying the behavior of the transmit profile is a good thing as my 6700 is still connected to the same RF hardware no matter what app I am using.  As for the global profile, it seems to have settings that could fall into either category.

73, Bob, N7ZO
(Edited)
Photo of W5UN_Dave

W5UN_Dave

  • 316 Posts
  • 30 Reply Likes
On CW the app works great. On phone I cannot get power out. I set the power level to max, and scream into the iphone micand I can see one or 2 watts output. Where am I going wrong.
Photo of Marcus - DL8MRE

Marcus - DL8MRE

  • 151 Posts
  • 40 Reply Likes
Hi Dave,

as Howard mentioned, probably you selected the wrong mike.

However, here is an excerpt from my Manual (available from inside the App from the settings screen or here: http://go-to.me/smartsdr-manual) which may help to solve your issue:

No transmission sound or no transmission at all

Common causes of missing or low Microphone transmission sound are:

  • Most common: Wrong Microphone input selection. (Use the right Menu and ensure iPhone or iPad is selected as Microphone input)
  • Confused between currently selected (active) and TX Slice (ensure that TX mode is on for the Slice you are currently expecting transmission)
  • DAX enabled (Ensure DAX is grayed out by using the right Menu)
  • Wrong mode selection (e.g. CW instead of LSB/USB)
  • Low Microphone gain (Use the right Menu and ensure the gain slider is set high enough)
  • New in V1.0.7: Low general “Microphone adjust” gain (Use the slider in the Settings menu at least at center position)

Hope this helps,

vy 73,
Marcus
Photo of Terry Tankersley

Terry Tankersley

  • 58 Posts
  • 5 Reply Likes
Hi Marcus, where can I find a copy of the manual for smartsdr ios. I have tried all the links and nothing works for me.
Thank u
Photo of Terry Tankersley

Terry Tankersley

  • 58 Posts
  • 5 Reply Likes
Thank you Howard.
Photo of KY6LA - Howard

KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

  • 3725 Posts
  • 1578 Reply Likes
Have you selected the right mike?
Photo of W5UN_Dave

W5UN_Dave

  • 316 Posts
  • 30 Reply Likes
My dumb! thank you gentlemen, I had the wrong mic selected

This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies.