SmartSDR V2.0 and audio/band scope/waterfall bandwidth improvements

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 2 years ago
  • Answered
  • (Edited)

Will there be any improvements in V2 in regards to audio/band scope/waterfall bandwidth efficiency? There was some talk about the use of new codecs sometime ago, but I haven't heard anything about this lately.

I generally need to turn the FPS of the band scope and rate of the waterfall down (or off) to get the bandwidth down to a workable range when operating remotely over my VPN link.

regards

Tony

VK5TT

Photo of Tony Taddeo

Tony Taddeo

  • 66 Posts
  • 29 Reply Likes

Posted 2 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Jim Gilliam

Jim Gilliam

  • 925 Posts
  • 217 Reply Likes

Out of curiosity, what VPN are you using? I was using Softether along with a Dell i7 PC and a Linksys router. I changed router to the Asus 80U and changed to OpenVPN which eliminated the PC acting as the VPN server. I saw a dramatic improvement in latency and throughput. However, I still have great success using my iPad/iPhone using the Softether configured to L2TP and notice very little packet loss using IOS.


Jim, K6QE

Photo of Tony Taddeo

Tony Taddeo

  • 66 Posts
  • 29 Reply Likes
I'm am using a dial up IPSEC VPN connection to an enterprise grade router (Fortigate). My limiting factor is the upload speed of my ADSL internet connection.

I can get the remote operation of my Flex Radio working well, but I need to limit the bandwidth required by the display.

Tony
Photo of KF4HR

KF4HR

  • 759 Posts
  • 259 Reply Likes
Tony - the typical answer you will receive about future improvements is, wait and see.
Photo of Tony Taddeo

Tony Taddeo

  • 66 Posts
  • 29 Reply Likes
This topic has briefly been discussed in the past. I believe the good people at Flex may say something as a release is imminent. :)
Photo of Brenton Meadows

Brenton Meadows

  • 61 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes
Hi Tony is this why I'm seeing some break up of audio when on Wi-Fi with the maestro? It's nothing severe but It varies from perfect to intermittent break up on rx and strange noises on tx. Learning curve still happening. Cheers brenton vk3cm
Photo of Tony Taddeo

Tony Taddeo

  • 66 Posts
  • 29 Reply Likes
Hi Brenton

This would be unlikely as the bandwidth provided over a local WiFi network should be more than sufficient by many magnitudes. What I am describing is on a limited remote ADSL internet link.

What is probably happening in your case is that the WiFi connection between the Maestro and your access point is sub-optimal and probably dropping network packets. Running a wireless network may require some finessing, sometimes amounting to nothing short of black magic. :) 

If you have a strong enough signal, try changing the channel or position of the access point (AP) to a more central location. Connection on the 5GHz radio of the AP may also help. Some older and cheaper consumer grade AP's just don't stream continuous data very well and are best replaced if you want trouble free use.

regards
Tony VK5TT


 
Photo of Winston VK7WH

Winston VK7WH

  • 315 Posts
  • 78 Reply Likes
Hi Brenton, welcome to the Flex family. I agree with Tony's comments and have had no dropouts since I changed to the 5Ghz band. I'm using the latest Telstra (Techniclor) VDSL modem at home, and a Netgear DC112a Aircradle at my remote site. The Maestro works equally well at both.

GL and 73, Winston
Photo of Ria - N2RJ

Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

  • 2311 Posts
  • 950 Reply Likes
If you're running anything less than 802.11ac you should be. The closer the better to the wifi and some consumer access points are very poor when it comes to output power and antenna gain. They are going to choke when you connect your maestro.
Photo of Brenton Meadows

Brenton Meadows

  • 61 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes
Thanks Tia. Just discussing with tony vk5tt an entire new setup for the 5 acre property here, we have these new national broadband network routers and there is a huge number of better bits that I think tony and I will discuss and be upgrading to handle cameras, flex etc. Now to get my 13 year old off massively resource hungry games. Hes studying for his full call as of yesterday so that might keep him busy for a bit. He gained his first level licence at 10 years of age. Hes just a great kid, we are so lucky...
Cheers brenton vk3cm
Tangambalanga North East Victoria
AUSTRALIA
Photo of Ria - N2RJ

Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

  • 2311 Posts
  • 950 Reply Likes
Congrats! I have three (6, 6 and 6 years old) that I want to get licensed. Maybe this year, or next. We've been studying.

Ria
(Edited)
Photo of Clay N9IO

Clay N9IO

  • 599 Posts
  • 160 Reply Likes

Brent and Ria,

Congrats on getting your children's attention, you have my respect.
My experience was that I only had their attention when they were young.
As they say, "The family that plays together"...

My son was 10 when he got his novice license 32 years ago and my daughter was licensed at 12, 20 years ago.  I really miss those years so much. Not so much when they became teenagers though, ugh! Hah!

Photo of Brenton Meadows

Brenton Meadows

  • 61 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes
Hi Ria, how did you get to be so clever, I watch your posts and learn something every time.  Great photo of the kids, they are precious for sure, mine knows he inherits everything, I dont let him make my cups of teas etc. haha..Nah hes a great kid, be lost without him..Good on you for explaining Dual VPN, I use a 3rd party VPN in Malta for a raw protection but Im seeing new routers that seem to emulate the VPN functions so I have a great lot to learn myself.  I have a million questions that Tony VK5TT will be hit with over the net few weeks but I always read your posts as they are both informative and easy to gain knowledge from.  Tony finds a baseball bat works better on me when my brain isn't functioning,  but hes known me a long time and he knows just where to hit to engage my brain again.  Looking forward to your next gem Ria, always a great read, and to all the names on here I havent mentioned, you are all a part of what is a great informative forum. cheers Brenton VK3CM
Photo of Ria - N2RJ

Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

  • 2311 Posts
  • 950 Reply Likes
Funny, I thought all hams were this way! 

In my opinion, "ham smarts" comes down to great elmers and sharing what you know in a way to make things "interesting", in my opinion. If you don't mentor the next generation and keep them engaged, they will be lost and find something interesting elsewhere. 

So yeah, I learned quite a lot from others but they led me to discover things on my own. 

That's really all it is...

Ria
Photo of Ken - NM9P

Ken - NM9P, Elmer

  • 4203 Posts
  • 1338 Reply Likes
The other day I asked my 10 year-old son if he was interested in doing Ham Radio.  His response..."No.  But I like to watch YOU do it sometimes..."

I got my license at 14 as a freshman in High School.
But I had studied it for two or three years before I found someone who could help me take the test back in the early 70's.  

So I played CB for a couple of years in 7th & 8th grade, built a Knight-Kit Star Roamer II receiver kit, and built a 3 element beam for CB out of 1/2 inch steel electrical conduit and wood, doing all the calculations and construction all by myself.  My Dad helped me put it up on the roof.

My son, on the other hand, loves Lego, Minecraft, Teraria, and other video games, etc....Perhaps in a couple of years.....

Then I will be hearing..."DAD!  Can I drive the FLEX?"
Photo of Jim Gilliam

Jim Gilliam

  • 925 Posts
  • 217 Reply Likes

I can well see your concern. I am very anxious to compare my results with OpenVPN to that of new WAN capability with Smartlink. Also the change in IOS WAN will be interesting to compare.

Jim, K6QE

Photo of Marcus - DL8MRE

Marcus - DL8MRE

  • 151 Posts
  • 40 Reply Likes
Hi Tony,

version 2.0 will include some minor improvements such as a "Low Bandwith connection" setting which (when used) will force the Radio to use only one Pan & Slice, and sets FPS to 5 and Waterfall Rate to 60 to reducing bandwidth requirements. 

However, already today, you can switch off the waterfall completely by using the let Menu -> Disp -> Hide Waterfall. As the Waterfall causes the majority of traffic, this is a good starting point if you want to reduce bandwidth. Audio is already compressed quite good using the Opus codec.

Hope this information helps.

73,
Marcus, DL8MRE
Photo of Tony Taddeo

Tony Taddeo

  • 66 Posts
  • 29 Reply Likes
Thank you Marcus. Great product that gives me a smile every time I use it. T
Photo of Tony Taddeo

Tony Taddeo

  • 66 Posts
  • 29 Reply Likes
I wasn't sure if the Opus codec was already implemented. Thank you for confirming this.
Photo of ka7gzr

ka7gzr

  • 218 Posts
  • 36 Reply Likes

Hi Marcus,

With some of my WAN connects with Wi-Fi/IOS I get no waterfall. If I use my cellular with my mini iPad I have no problems. The server I use is a PI3. Is this a fall back in slow connects?

Jim

ka7gzr 

(Edited)
Photo of Ria - N2RJ

Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

  • 2311 Posts
  • 950 Reply Likes
I think that is some kind of filtering at the firewall. I notice it on one of the wifis I use at work. But no problem on 4G LTE.


Ria
(Edited)
Photo of Marcus - DL8MRE

Marcus - DL8MRE

  • 151 Posts
  • 40 Reply Likes
Yes, that's also what I experienced on some networks. If you are able to connect to the Radio but have no Waterfall, probably data of ports 4992/4993 are not passing through or only on TCP and not on UDP.

Another most common cause for this issue is, if you have the same subnet on both ends of your communication.

Here is an excerpt from my Manual:

A common mistake, when using a VPN such as Softether, is to use the same subnet on both ends of the VPN. For example, if your home Network is using an IP Address starting with 192.168.0.x and the Network you are currently using for Remote access also starts with 192.168.0.x – THIS WILL NOT WORK. The solution is to change one of the IP Address ranges on one end, for instance to 192.168.1.x or anything else. To find out if this is your issue, try to connect from another WiFi Network such as a public free WiFi or even via Cell (3G/4G/LTE) network and see if this works.
You may want to have a look to Version 2 of SmartSDR (for Windows and iOS) with SmartLink for remote access instead of getting headaches while solving possible VPN or router/firewall issues. Version 2 will be released very soon.

73,
Marcus, DL8MRE
Photo of David Decoons wo2x

David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

  • 1369 Posts
  • 293 Reply Likes
Marcus brings up a great point.

I set my home subnet to be 10.4.0.x instead of the default 192.168.1.x

This eliminates the issue he described.

Dave wo2x
Photo of Tony Taddeo

Tony Taddeo

  • 66 Posts
  • 29 Reply Likes
Jim - I suggest it could not be any worse than what you have now and mostly likely better. My understang is that Smartlink will manage connecting the client (SmartSDR, SmartIOS, Maestro) to the radio by connecting it to the public IP address being used by the radio. Simple port forwarding by the router at the radio end will do the rest. You will be able to turn your VPN off unless you need it to control other devices.


Any improvement in the audio/display codecs will take this to another level.
(Edited)
Photo of Ria - N2RJ

Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

  • 2311 Posts
  • 950 Reply Likes
The best thing about SmartLink is that it enables the Maestro to connect natively. Prior to this you had to use two VPN boxes which was a bit clunky (but some of us made it work). 
Photo of Jim Gilliam

Jim Gilliam

  • 925 Posts
  • 217 Reply Likes

Hi, Ria,

I have learned and gleaned most of my VPN info on this wonderful group. Never heard of a "dual VPN." Could you briefly describe how you accomplished this?


Jim, K6QE




Photo of Ria - N2RJ

Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

  • 2311 Posts
  • 950 Reply Likes
Not sure what you mean, but for the Maestro I had the regular softether box (pi) and then another one that acts as a client bridge that would be running softether as well. Chris K6OZY documented it very well in his video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaH8LJ6_MQc

However I added on another method to select wifi using a web interface (similar to Chromecast) which is well documented here:

https://planb.nicecupoftea.org/2015/12/04/raspberry-pi-create-an-access-point-for-easily-getting-lim...

I added a few pieces of custom code to reset the pi and provide a status indicator. I also soldered on wifi antennas to mine to greatly enhance range. 

However all of this will be pretty much moot with 2.0 since you can just do smartlink from the maestro.

Ria
Photo of ka7gzr

ka7gzr

  • 218 Posts
  • 36 Reply Likes

What happened to Chris K60ZY? He completely disappeared from the board!

Jim

Photo of Matt (K0KB)

Matt (K0KB)

  • 118 Posts
  • 28 Reply Likes
I asked this question at the banquet in Dayton and was told that there are not bandwidth improvements with the inplementation of 2 but that it is possible there would be in the future.
Photo of Brenton Meadows

Brenton Meadows

  • 61 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes
Many thanks to tim w4tme and tony taddeo vk5tt for the reference articles that made great education and already seeing improvements and more to come. This flex journey feels like I'm back in my apprenticeship days, a load to learn but an unmatched enthusiasm to enjoy the journey. Just to apply credit where credit is due, my good mate and fellow vk, tony taddeo vk5tt who is just a whizz at allowing me to ask him stupid questions and patiently work me through the flex family philosophies of operation, just priceless.

Tim. Your references are very helpful as well, you may be aware we are working professionally with Mr Matt Youngblood and our team are so impressed with his dedication to replying so fast to some of the other applications my business partners are excited about. I have to swap caps at times to try and act responsible but honestly, my old apprentice cap is on permanently as I'm just learning from some very intelligent people areas that i have been a little lazy on leading more of a product sales background more over the last ten years. But it's so much more fun playing with flex radio than working numbers, forecasts, stock holdings haha.
Love all your work guys, appreciate all the help, tony, you should be invoicing me for the generous time you have supplied, thank you..
Cheers
Brenton
Vk3sz
Tangambalanga North East Victoria
Australia
Ps had to include my favorite football team, it's Friday night and we just knocked off our biggest competitor...Australian rules football, great game, there all just a little crazy with no body armour, tony and I chose technical backgrounds versus this game, probably the reason our bodies are still in one piece.