Snap and how to do fine-grained tuning adjustments

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I think the answer is probably "not yet", but is there a way to snap to useful frequencies, where "useful" could be 'round numbers', or perhaps in the future even the detected edge of signals.

Right now, dragging the receive slice around with the mouse is pretty hit and miss. Most people tune to frequencies that are on round numbers (of course what that actually means in terms of significant figures depends on the band). If would be nice to be able to do a 'snapping' drag by holding the shift key while dragging, for instance. Maybe other meta keys could do other kinds of snap. The simple drag (no meta keys) should probably always be the finest-grained - though even then I wonder whether there should be a limited effect at the least significant places of the frequency depending on zoom level.

Irrespective of drag snap, if I do land at a position that's not quite on the desired frequency, how do I do a fine-grained 'jog' of the tuned frequency? At the moment it seems like you really have to use zoom a lot to scrub across a band in a coarse grained way, then get zoomed in to do fine grained adjustments. Am I missing something?

I see that you can currently select digits in the frequency display on a slice and therefore that getting rid of least significant figures can be achieved by selecting them and hitting 'delete' - though I've noticed SmartSDR doesn't scan the number correctly if you leave a trailing decimal point.
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Posted 7 years ago

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Photo of Steve - N5AC

Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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Official Response

All great points. As a computer guy, I'm sure you can appreciate that half of the battle is deciding what to do (design) and the other half is doing it (coding). We're very adept in the latter, but sometimes the former can elude us. What we need is a clever way to do what you suggest that works well for everyone. Perhaps we should have a series of snap options (snap to nearest 1, 10, 100, 200...Hz, snap to signal, etc) that you can turn on and off or enable/disable with a meta key as you suggest.

As far as close-in scrubbing, I think the FlexControl is a good way to do this if you like using a knob. Today, we also do not have a "gesture" or method for scrubbing with a mouse other than using the wheel over the 1Hz frequency (for those that have not heard this term, it is essentially fine grained adjustments and I've heard this term used in video playback for moving forward and backward frames at a time).

A "snap to signal" with XIT turned on would be a great way to hunt-and-pounce CW signals. Just snap to the next carrier and call (XIT would be your offset to them so you are not always transmitting right on the other signal).

For my personal taste, when I'm going to transmit first, I prefer to transmit on an even frequency boundary because I think it helps others tune me in (on sideband -- on CW I just don't think it matters at all). I also look at the dial when I tune someone else in and if they are close, I assume they are on frequency and I move to the even boundary ... which is sometimes not right because they might actually be off frequency because of their radio.

I agree that there should be a way/ways to do what you suggest. I'm looking for good ideas! My recommendation is to post an idea for this as a new idea. The ideas that make it to the top of the list in terms of votes by others are the things we will look at doing first.

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Ken - NM9P

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I like the adjustable "snap" options.
Perhaps you could have separate parameters for drag tuning "snap" and standard click tuning speed

I use mouse wheel tuning on my Flex-1500 a lot and the adjustable tuning steps makes it easy to click-tune, or drag-tune to the rough frequency and fine tune it with the wheel. While scanning 40 SSB, I will often set the tuning step as high as 500 Hz or even 1 KHz and click or wheel away for a fast scan of the band. I am usually pretty close to 90% of the stations on SSB.
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Watts - K4QJZ

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Suggestion, use the arrow keys, up and down change the tuning step size and the left and right arrow keys tune up and down in the increment selected. Other programs use this approach very effectively.
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Ned K1NJ

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    A 1Hz mouse-wheel step alternative would be helpful.  At low signal
levels, and now with these great filters, every bit helps. It *does* matter
in cw, especially centering the signal within the APF.
Ned,  K1NJ
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Charles - K5UA

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I like Steve's snap to the next CW signal. That would have been nice when the band is sparsley populated to keep from having to move the panadapter manually. Wouldn't hurt in a densley populated band either.

I like the 1 hz adjustment too for CW operation with these narrow filters.

Hate to be whiney, but in CW mode we need to be able to shift the IF bandpass relative to the receive frequency in small increments. On SSB we can grab the bandpass with the mouse, but you can't do that with narrow CW bandwidths. I like the concept of a "nudge" concept with the arrow keys, even if we have to use a two key combination like Ctrl-right cursor and Ctrl-Left cursor. I waited for that in PSDR for years but I don't think it was ever implemented for CW filters. You just can't move a 100 hz filter in big increments like SSB. Maybe a variable step like 5 or 10 percent of the filter bandwidth?

Glad to see we are talking about operational refinements to SSDR. I know the engineers are working hard on basic stability, but these functional human interface improvements really increase the usability of the radio in difficult operating conditions.
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Don - kx9q

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Is there some way you can incorporate the tuning that is used in the 5k, 3k, and 1.5k where you place the cursor on the digit you want to change and use the scroll button on the mouse to go up or down thus allowing large or small changes painlessly compared to highlighting and typing in the frequency?
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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Another thought for those with 5 button mice. Have the mouse scroll wheel step up or down when cursor on the rx slice (as it does with 5k). Then have side mouse buttons toggle up or down step sizes and have indication in SSDR to indicate current step size.



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Jim, KJ3P

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While we're thinking about fancy ideas for a "snap" tuning function, how about implementing a simple one right away:

The Step function could also serve as the Snap increment/decrement. Now, the Step function moves the frequency up or down by the selected amount (Mouse Wheel Tuning), e.g., at a Step setting of 100 Hz, if the frequency ends in .166, you'll go up to .266. If there were a "Snap ON" option, each successive mouse wheel click would go up or down to the next even 100 Hz step, e.g., at .166 it'll go to .200, then .300, etc.

Seems to me that this would provide most of what one expects from a Snap function, with no change to the interface, except a Snap checkbox on a setup screen.

Whether the Drag Tune should follow the Snap or Step could be another choice, but I'll leave that to greater minds than mine.

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Tom Warren

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I really miss the tuning functionality in the F5k......sorry it wasn't carried forward to the F6300. Tom w4tmw

From: Don kx9q, "Is there some way you can incorporate the tuning that is used in the 5k, 3k, and 1.5k where you place the cursor on the digit you want to change and use the scroll button on the mouse to go up or down thus allowing large or small changes painlessly compared to highlighting and typing in the frequency?"
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The tuning step box accepts text inputs so you can have any tuning step you want. Hope this helps.
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Thanks Steve. I'll post a feature suggestion, per your comment.

BTW, while I'm interested in Stu Phillips' packaged Objective-C bindings for some programming experiments (once he's ready), would be possible for me to have access to the native APIs too?
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...or is it something about the length or nature of the content I'm trying to post? I don't want to make spurious test posts, so perhaps someone could advise.
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I'm trying to post this as a "Share an idea":

At the time of writing, the user can drag the tuned frequency of a receiver slice across the panadapter with the mouse. However, the actual frequencies that will be generated as you drag (and eventually stop) are only related to exact deltas pertaining to the size of UI pixels at the current zoom level of the panadapter and you therefore end up with frequencies that have a lot of useless decimal values e.g. 14.201.489.
Most people will pick round/whole number frequencies on which to initiate calling and therefore it would make a lot of sense if frequency scrubbing was able to snap to more sensible frequency values than simply using whatever frequency intervals are mathematically calculated from the zoom scaling.

I'd like to suggest that SmartSDR support a number of snap modes for scrubbing, as well as a fine-grained 'jog' mode for adjusting tuning in smaller increments than normal for the current zoom level (i.e. essentially sub-pixel). Also, it should be possible to set a minimum increment/alignment for scrubbing in general, so that meaningless fractional components in the frequency can be avoided.

Some ideas for snapping modes (which could be engaged by holding a meta-key (or combination) such as "Shift", "Alt", "Control" while dragging:
- Snap to interval. This would allow the operator to set a meaningful interval per band (with some appropriate defaults provided) that would define the interval of to which dragging would snap.
- Snap to signal. This would snap to the appropriate edge of a detected signal when released. The currently selected mode and bandwidth would be parameters for determining the potential a potential snap. It would be nice to use some short signal history (such as may be available when a waterfall is implemented) so that snapping still works even if the signal disappears momentarily before the drag operation is completed.

Once the receiver slice has been set at some frequency, it is very often necessary to make fine adjustments (possibly finer than the zoom level would allow). I would like to suggest the following features:
- A 'fine tune' drag or adjustment with cursor keys. Again by holding a meta key, the system would adjust the frequency in much smaller increments, and still with some snapping to appropriate precision.
- A frequency truncation feature that would zero out the figures in the frequency below a certain significant figure (snapping to that figure). The number keys could be employed to do this (or a click on the last significant figure you want to keep). For instance if you the frequency was 14.201.489, and you wanted to snap to 14.000.000, you could perhaps press CTRL-2 (i.e. snap/truncate to the second significant figure). Alternatively if you wanted 14.201.500, you could press CTRL-6, or hold CTRL and left click on the digit "4" in the original frequency display.

Aside from new features, please fix the following bug:
If you currently truncate a frequency by selecting some of its trailing digits and then hitting 'delete' to remove them and then 'enter' to set the new frequency without some of its fractional components. However, if you leave a trailing decimal point while doing this, the new frequency is not scanned correctly and an incorrect frequency is set.
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K1UO - Larry

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To get other votes on this please post it in the "share an Idea" Tab which is found when you click on the Community Tab at the top left of the screen. I'll vote for this......fine idea Luke.
regards Larry / K1UO
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Hi Larry. Thanks. I will post this as a "Share an idea" as soon as I can, but right now I'm getting 502 errors from the server when I try this.
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It _seems_ like the original content was too long, although the Get Satisfaction software certainly shouldn't be throwing an error in that way. Anyway, I shortened the post and managed to submit it.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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This is a great conversation that's separate from the main topic, so I created a new topic to continue the discussion. Please reference the new topic here: The Objective C API for iOS
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Rick - W5FCX

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I agree.

I have noticed that when tuning into SSB signals, it's tedious to get onto the exact .000 or .500 frequency, taking several back and forth mouse attempts to do so.  While an Auto-Tune feature like ICOM would be nice to have, I would settle for the ability to double click the yellow down arrow control and have it "snap" to the nearest major frequency increment; e.g., default increment might be 200, so a double click would snap up or down accordingly.  This would make quickly tuning into a signal before it's gone much faster and easier.

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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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On SSB, change your tuning step size to 500 Hz.  That should auto-tune to the SSB carrier.