SmartSDR for Linux (redux)

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I am very much interested in getting one or more SmartSDR clients running on Linux.

I am also interested in providing some support for a loosely coupled group of individuals that seek to work together or in parallel to accomplish this.

While I have done a fair amount of development work on Linux it is very possible that my own experiences may not be best suited for the task at hand.  However, I am still interested in helping to coordinate the efforts of individuals that might find it beneficial to work together or at least know some of the details of the current work in progress.

Any interest along this line?   And I suggest participation by one or more employees from Flex Radio as well.
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Lew Mettler, AG6XT

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Posted 4 years ago

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Lew Mettler, AG6XT

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Yes, I know it is not nice to reply to your own post.  But, I have been thinking about some of the possibilities and I wanted to get some feedback from interested parties.

The "support" I mentioned in my original post may include some or all of the following:

1. Put up a web site and maintain it such that individual developers (or groups) could take advantage of several of the readily available web applications including some from the following list: Blogs, Portal/CMS (content management systems), forums, wikis, calendars, project management, ERP and even eCommerce.

2. developers wishing to develop a version of SmartSDR for Linux could have a place from which to market and support their software (whether free or for a small charge).

The benefit for a developer is simple.  You could distribute your software and support it as well without the hassle and trouble of putting up a complete web site.  Individual developers could acquire their own domain name and directly support their product with articles, etc., without the effort in putting up and maintaining the site (save for writing articles, answering questions, etc).

The idea is simple.  I doubt FlexRadio wants to get involved directly in a product they do not own, etc.  Legal reasons.  Practical reasons, etc.  Yet having such a site separate from FlexRadio benefits both FlexRadio and Flex users.

It does not take much to distribute and support a software product.  But, doing so can be a pain if you rather spend your time playing radio, etc.  So the idea is to make it as simple as possible to deliver a quality product and support.

The eCommerce site would list available products for FlexRadios on Linux, distribute them and collect small amounts if the developer wants to put a reasonable fee on them.  Think the various app stores for cell phones where the developer decides the price (could be large, could be small, could be zero).

If you like the idea or are in fact interested please contact me.  Reply here if you wish.  Or, my email on QRZ is good.

I am particularly interested if you have some feedback to provide on Drupal, WordPress, or other CMS systems.  I am familiar with some of them.  But not all.

If you are a developer please let me know the combination of services that might be of particular interest to you.  A good CMS, blog, Forum, wiki would be great in my mind. Maybe not as complete as this forum.  But, fully usable.  And do not forget Project Management if you are thinking of a group.  Also the eCommerce option could make distribution simple.

I know there are a lot of amateurs that have extensive backgrounds in Internet related services. So, please put on your thinking hats and lets come up with a plan.

I want to see SmartSDR on Linux.  And I am willing to put some money and time and support behind it. 
 
(Edited)
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Ken N9VV

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With all due respect; it sounds like you are retired and bored. Please go back to work and fulfill your innermost desires with exemplary disciplined structure and complex, extensive, intimately detailed Gantt charts and "Project Management" at a company who will reward you for your efforts.

Then take those $$ and invest them in a professional (or post-doc) programmer who will follow the readily available Flex API and create your dream GUI that is enthusiastically consumed up by your colleagues.  You will have absolute "control" of the programmer (until he/she is fed up and leaves your project). You may then share what you have created with the audience that you imagine is eager to see your work.

After all, this is  just our beloved HOBBY of Ham Radio. Perhaps what you are looking for is something that mimics the development and maintenance of Linux or mySQL or some other Global OpenSource project.

IMHO: those do not exist within the current structure and historical objectives of our Hobby.  Many (most) Hams enjoy making contacts with other Hams around the World.  Grab your paddles, key, microphone or favorite digi program and enjoy some spectacularly good DX. 

all the best,
73 de Ken N-9-V-V  (flame suit buttoned up and ready)
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Lew Mettler, AG6XT

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It is a beloved hobby.

In years past and present many have devoted untold hours designing and developing their own receivers, transmitters, transceivers, amplifiers and more.  Just about everything you depend upon and use in amateur radio has been designed and developed by many individuals as well as companies.

Today there are many more disciplines to attract individuals to the hobby. Need I mention SDR?

Yes, I fully expect many individuals will gain the knowledge to work with those Flex APIs.  And no doubt FlexRadio thinks so too or they would not make them available.

The problem is that hundreds if not thousands of well qualified amateurs also possess extensive skill sets in computer technology.  Skill sets that they may very well want to apply through their chosen hobby. It is what makes it all fun.

The concept proposed here mimics what FlexRadio is doing themselves with this web site.  Community forums, information distribution and eCommerce.  My idea is simply following the FlexRadio lead. (for products that FlexRadio does not desire to develop, support or distribute themselves).

For many reasons (primarily legal), FlexRadio is not going to be involved with the direct development, support, sale and distribution of those "apps" you want to work with your FlexRadio.  Whether it be an alternative to SmartSDR or what have you.

In short, if FlexRadio took your advice they would simply close down this web site (forums, eCommerce and all) to open a brick and mortar location somewhere in Texas (I presume).  But, then you would be out of luck and have to go back to some black box with knobs.

I am certainly not proposing some kind of joint develop program.  Not at all.  If you think so, you missed my point completely. Others might want to form a group or work independently.

If you are an individual developer and want to use those Flex APIs to develop what ever, then I am interested in providing the same level of support and access to information as provided by FlexRadio for their products.  Right here, this web site,  is an example of what I am proposing.  Only for individuals or small groups that want to apply their professional talents to client/remote applications.  SmartSDR is one example.  There are many others.  In fact, these forums are filled to the brim with discussions dealing with supplemental programs that fill out the needs of the typical or specialized ham.  And no one is suggesting they go away.

Now do not get me wrong.  Most likely in time I will develop my own version of SmartSDR and it will run on Linux.  That is where my expertise is.  And I would certainly do that in support of my hobby.

Years past (and present) many hams design and develop their own linear amplifiers, and more.  Certainly that is true with SDR too.

I understand that the code running inside of the Signature Series was developed using Linux.  It is also likely (although it may not be true) that the code running inside your FlexRadio box is a version of Linux.  To my knowledge no one has said one way or another.  And it does not matter.  It is unlikely to be from Microsoft. And it is unlikely to be from Apple either. 

But, my interest is in providing support to those individuals (or small groups) that want to develop Linux based SDR apps.  They could be a version of SmartSDR.  They could be a remote app that uses the APIs.

I am not proposing some kind of central control or management.  Not at all.  That is not my bag.  But, if you develop a SmartSDR alternative or supporting app and it runs on Linux, I am very much interested in providing the same level of services as used by FlexRadio.  And no body can be against that.

At least no one I can think of suggested that FlexRadio close down this site.  Too many individuals understand the value of the services available here.

I am proposing something similar for those that do want to scratch their own itch as it were.  Grab those APIs and develop something that runs on Linux.  Or, Android for that matter.
(Edited)
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Walt - KZ1F

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How did I possibly miss this?? Wow Ken, tell us what you really think. Somebody actually thought, when I said that to them a month or so ago that I was being sincere and didn't understand what he had said, no...it's a saying, rather sarcastic at that, effectively asking if you got it all off your chest.

OK, I am the aforementioned professional post grad architect/developer and I DO have a cross platform Flexlib completed (XPFlexLib) that is 100% functionally compatible with Flexlib (if it isn't it's a bug not a design goal) and am finishing work on what will be mildly similar to SSDR (so as not to cross any legal lines) and have some things SSDR currently doesn't. It has been currently vetted on Linux and Windows and I expect to have XPSSDR running on Android by Labor Day. 

At some point I will release XPFlexlib to those that want to use it. I have not made any firm decisions on releasing the source for either XPFlexLib or XPSSDR (for Android, Linux, Mac, Raspberry Pi, and Windows). This effort does have a monetary component to it.

Funny thing, I went to find a reference to my earlier SmartSDR for Linux thread to give the url to someone and happened across this. Wow, who knew.

Honest Tim, I just now saw this. It wasn't my goal to hijack that other thread, which frankly I thought had run it's, Maestro can be ordered now, course anyway.

Walt - kz1f
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Jay / NO5J

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Strange, I seem to be in partial agreement with everyone on this. 

My solution is evolving into http://www.sdrgadgets.com/  Anyone, interested is invited to participate. Discussion about that also can be done thru IRC at #SDRgadgets on freenode. Im also available in #FlexRadio on freenode. and thru an email list available at the SDRgadgets website.


73, Jay - NO5J
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Jay / NO5J

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Walt 
You've still got my attention. the only agenda we have is to try to provide some additional missing pieces we discover along the way.
It's not about removing Tim, at all. He was in on it's creation from the start. He will not be moderating. I'd prefer to avoid moderating. It's not about providing another forum. Flexradio users don't need one, the Community provides that piece. It's not about product support, Flexradio already covers that pretty well. It's more about user to user support. Flexradio is busy writing SmartSDR and designing new products, If they don't have the time to deal with User created content on an Official Flexradio Wiki that shouldn't have to mean we can't have an unofficial one. They shouldn't have to provide detailed instructions for every 3rd party app in existence. That job can done by the users themselves, when they have the tools available to do it. We want SDRgadgets to be another tool in that toolbox. Whatever is needed we'd like to provide, We might have to learn how along the way, learning is fun. Doing is more fun. We aim to get it right, thru consensus, moderation provided thru consensus. When we run into roadblocks or trouble, we will find a consensus solution. Once we get some participation, At the moment the consensus is provided by two, two that want the consensus to be a lot bigger. SDRgadgets will be useless, until it's used.

Your all invited, and we request that you use it.
http://www.sdrgadgets.com/

I had no intention of hijacking this thread, just contibuting to it.
Lew brought it up. I'm showing I'm also interested. 
73, Jay - NO5J   
(Edited)
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Walt - KZ1F

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Fair enough Jay. I did not mean 'removing' Tim. I meant it would be more of the same with the same cast of characters, except no Tim, no Steve, no Eric, no Gerald...and no Ed. In that sense I think Bill did a fair job of representation. The primary danger I see, and frankly alive and well on here, is the rampant 'politics' I don't mean R or D but rather F vs everybody else. However, just as in the R vs D world, some of the views on here are based in fact, the rest based in how one would love to believe it is, independent of fact. Speaking strictly for myself coming from a largely scientific tract my entire life, I have been known to have a problem with unsubstantiated BS. Yes, I understand that may come to some as a surprise. Again, just as in the R v D, if one says something loud enough long enough, for some others it will become their 'fact'. People are entitled to their own opinions, just not their own facts.

I think a well indexed and toc'd repository of user supplied content is a laudable idea. On the detailed instructions for how to write code, that is a different subject entirely. I don't mean that in a secretive way. I do think expecting FRS to teach someone how to program is not a valid expectation and not a good use of their time as we all have a vested and financial interest in them fixing bugs and adding features.

When Bill and I spoke about it, I envisioned an even more polarized environment then exists here.

OK Lew, I think it's safe now.
(Edited)
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Jay / NO5J

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Walt

The solution is, we wont be providing any public facing Op.Ed. content.
The wiki will allow everyone registered to edit and improve all of the wiki content. Think peer reviewed and peer owned. Some authors may not like that sort of setup. They will be free to go elsewhere but they will be leaving their contributions behind whenand if they go.

If we have edit/revert wars, the registered users will settle them, or we will drop the content and the users involved. All the content is intended to be neutral and informational, there are plenty of other places for opinions.

I don't expect a flood of new content. Whatever content we provide will need to be helpful. Think of it as a boring but useful reference collection. If you want excitement look elsewhere.

I'll be adding content that I create there. When it's helpful I'll provide links to it here and other places.

It beats retyping the same explanations over and over and watching them scroll into oblivion. That might be useful.

Being able to edit existing content as the explanations change or better methods are found, might be advantageous too.

Not requiring Flexradio to create it all and maintain it, should reduce their work load so they can stay busy debugging and creating.

Wiki editing with help from other wiki editing users doesn't need to be hard. Users helping users is the reason and why of the entire project. If there should be some technical detail with disagreement about the correct solution we will likely provide all the solutions and let the readers choose.

Opinionated discussions between registered users won't be publicly viewable, unless linked to by registered users. Again that content and the user that links it, will likely be removed.

The main www website will be handled differently than the Wiki. If the consensus among the users is that the content is neutral and useful as a standalone article it can be placed there, Authors can take credit for it and lock the content so that it can't be changed. They will own it. We will host it, as long as they allow us to. But we will reserve the right to remove it. And we will not be allowing any ranting or Op.Ed. on the publicly facing www site either.

Registered users will be free to share or not share. They will be allowed to create content on the site. They won't be required to share all of it, if they don't want to.

It's all intended to be as Open Source as we can make it.

Sorry, Lew! I just wanted to respond, and try to keep the record straight.
  
73, Jay - NO5J
(Edited)
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Walt - KZ1F

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Thanks for elaborating on that Jay!
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Jay / NO5J

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