SSDR GUI

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  • Updated 4 years ago
I thought I'd start another thread on this topic so as not to go too OT on the 1.4 thread.

I have seen pictures of the Power SDR GUI and have no experience of it.

My feeling with the SSDR GUI is that many controls have been placed logically in function groups, but not in usage groups. This is going to be difficult to explain, so let be get a can of draught Guinness...

Each time I change band or mode I find myself having to do various adjustments to various controls, filters and the display. Because if the way they are grouped, many of the controls that I use are far apart and I find myself moving around the SSDR screen more than I feel I need to.

It may be me or it may not. I was just wondering how much usability testing/observation of the GUI has been done. Could the software benefit from one of those 'anonymous how our users use the program' things?

73
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DrTeeth

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  • ergonomically inclined

Posted 4 years ago

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K6OZY, Elmer

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You can go download PowerSDR and run it in demo mode even if you don't own a compatible SDR.  Go give it a try.
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John n0snx

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I'm sure you will agree that there is no way to please everyone....If the gui was setup for GUY someone would say no that's not right either, do it this way...., It is just not possible... set your settings you want and setup up the global setting for them... if you make changes just set up a global setting for that too.. etc...That's why we have the global option...,.

"YOU CAN PLEASE SOME OF THE PEOPLE SOME OF THE TIME , BUT YOU CAN'T PLEASE ALL THE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME."
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DrTeeth

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I was not trying to get a personalised copy of SSDR (but tnx fer the idea, hi hi). I just wanted to open the topic and see what others thought. There have been a few interesting and costructive threads about the SWR and power meters aided by Al's great graphic mockups.

Mind you, I am a right hander who thinks my start button and bookmarks would be more logically placed on the right of my screen; so what do I know, hi hi.
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Hi Guy,
There are some ideas for dockable controls and dragging panadapters to another monitor. These enhancements could give you some of the flexibility you are asking for. I suspect the effort to support these features would require some significant rework of the GUI. I doubt it would happen any time soon.

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
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Jim Hawkins / K2JHV

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I make heavy use of profiles, saving all the settings I need for each band/mode/frequency.
For Example, I have PSK31 40m, PSK31 20m, PSK31 17m, SSB 14_178/7_222 for double slice setting, etc.  I like the GUI arrangement pretty much the way it is.  The function column is becoming more and more common with many software packages, Photoshop uses it, 3D Studio uses it.

The meters could use some changes for clarity and readability.  That's another thread.
Another thing cool about the profiles is that they are stored in the box.  When I installed SSDR on a new computer, all my profiles were all set up as they were on the old computer.
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DrTeeth

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Hopefully, the long-awaited documentation for profiles and persistence will see the light of day soon. It's not just me, there's an Elmer chomping at the bit too.
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Tom Warren

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Jim,
  I do the same with "Profiles" and use the backup function too....that has really helped. In addition to saving the settings, Profiles sure makes it easy to do fast band hopping. My Profiles are divided into 3 'columns'...Band - Mode - Description - Freq. I have about 30 of them and use them frequently each day. 

   Since I mentioned 'columns' ......that brings up a suggestion. Would it be possible to allow the Profiles  box to be expandable, left-to-right so that more info can be placed into it without dropping to a second line. For example, I have to find ways to keep my 'Description' really short, and still be able to understand what it means, so all the information will stay on one line. I also save a copy of the Profiles on a thumb drive.....just in case ! :)

 From where I sit........FRS is in the process of redefining the meaning of the modern radio and for that I thank you. 

73, Tom_6300.
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Jim Hawkins / K2JHV

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Tom,

It's been awhile since I used my Flex-3000, but, if I remember correctly, the profiles were much wider.  I just moved my operations to a new machine, but plan to clean up and resurrect the old machine and possibly bring up the Flex-3000 again.

I think the 3000 profiles opened up a separate window, while the 6000 series is a dropdown.

I have 24 entries, which are in groups, but not quite as uniform as you describe yours to be.

73,
Jim
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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While I think the existing SSDR GUI is very attractive, and clever, I find it a bit cumbersome to use on a day-to-day basis.  Something as simple as knowing what both my TX and RX filters are at any given moment seems a mystery. Trying to tweak a receive signal for lowest noise and least interference (AGC time, pre-amp setting, RX bandwidth) has me jumping around to multiple control groups.  Heck, even tuning to a given frequency isn't as easy as it was in PSDR.

I'm not saying it's terrible.  I'm saying that our friends at Flex could benefit from the services of a really good User Experience (UX) architect that specializes in human factors.  Such people DO exist.
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DrTeeth

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@ Peter

That was exactly my point, but you explained it a lot better than I did.
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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I think the answer lies in providing flexibility so users can customize things to their operating style. However, this comes at a cost of increased user support from Flex. The more customization the more difficult it is to support users who have customized to their heart's content only to find they have left the device unusable. At that point, when they call in for support, probably half of the time is spent figuring out what the user "changed" to get to that unusable state.

This user support scenario is more difficult to replicate on SmartSDR as you have less access to advanced customization features than you do on PowerSDR.

After this preamble, I personally find myself in the camp side of more customization. Maybe a solution would be to allow for 2 types of GUI a "Simple" GUI and an "Advanced" one. And also a RESET to DEFAULT state menu option. 

Customization can be great but it also creates problems.
I will give you an example, it is not GUI related but it has to do with SDR and Flex.

One of the complaints on the Flex 1500 is the delay while using a key on CW. I noticed this right away on my Flex 1500 and just plainly took for granted that it was a mode I would not be able to use on that radio. However, the issue was my configuration, by going into the menus of PowerSDR I was able to tweak settings (USB speed, buffers, etc...) that made the Flex 1500 perfectly usable in CW. I found the explanation on how to adjust these settings on someone's blog, and it worked wonderfully.

Tweaking the settings on PowerSDR can make your radio completely unusable. 

If a revert-to-a-usable-state button is available on SmartSDR I would then love to be able to customize things, and the GUI is definitely that place I would customize the most.
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DrTeeth

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Another brilliant idea. I originally thought about something like this when I started experimenting with the EQ.