Third Party Applications use or avoid

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  • Updated 2 years ago
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I would like to understand  why one would prefer FLEX build all their wants and needs into SSDR? 

Even though that need would only be used by a small percentage of the user base.  The use of third party applications allows for the customization of what we see and what we do thru the API and leaves the radio's processor free to process and manage RF and communicate the results. it's job #1 . 

With 3rd party the number of applications running is increased but if SSDR does the job or 3rd party does the job the the work effort by the PC will be about the same.

I use several 3rd party applications one gives me the ability to scan and have a squelch function. While not everyone wants to scan frequencies in HF or have a Squelch it's not something I would ask Flex to do. (Thanks Mark FRStack)

Shouldn't 90% of what Flex is working on improving RX, TX and the communications from the radio to the outside world. From there the API and the GREAT 3rd party guys take on a lot of the lifting  it's WIN/WIN.
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Dan -- KC4GO

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Posted 2 years ago

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IMHO of course 3rd party apps cannot be controlled by FR and they may void warranties, BUT trying to keep 3rd party apps from the schoolyard reminds me of Radio Shack's TRS computers which disappeared in part because they refused 3rd party apps.  Even Apple which is a control freak found a way to allow 3rd party apps.
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Gary L. Robinson

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I would think that since Flex provides the API's and provides support for them and encourages their use - that 3rd party apps would not be a warranty issue concern.  At least that is my opinion.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Hi Dan,

Building things into SmartSDR brings portability. This means that I can do the same thing from computer to computer, and even on an iPad, mac or even Maestro.

Also, something like squelch is a core radio function. That belongs in the radio software. 

One of the reasons I like Flex over "the other guys" SDR is that the settings are kept in the radio and everything is in one place. 

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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Completely agree. Plus you have the potential and all that real state inside SmartSDR.... 3rd party apps feels a bit like all the extra devices you need to plug in to some legacy radios to get them to do digital modes, CAT, etc...
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Michael Coslo

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I suppose I am in a minority here, but I would much prefer that Flex concentrate on their radios. A duplication of effort means that unless SSDR directly supporting Mode or feature X is better than say N1MM or fldigi, I have no use for it. Indeed, software that keeps having every demand added very quickly becomes bloatware and basic functions start regressing.  

Or eventually not allowing third party software at all, then what do we do? Or every time a new mode comes along, complaints if they don't implement it immediately. 

Then again, I demand that FlexRadio Systems have native Feld-Hell and ATV support!  Definitely just kidding.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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That I would not mind keeping in third party software. 

But anything that has to do with radio control or radio functions should be in the radio. Yes, you can have helpers for customization but things like squelch and band persistence should not rely on third party software. 

Simple things like a DVK and CWX should be in the radio. Since SmartLink doesn't support DAX it's hard to do a remote DVK unless you use a VPN. 

WSJT-X shouldn't be in the radio. MAYBE a basic RTTY and PSK function can be in the radio but it's not a make or break. I think that kind of steps over the line of what a radio should do. 
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Rich McCabe

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I am OK with Flex keeping control of this but would like to see them open up the panels for 3rd party integration similar to what I have seen for the PGXL.  I would love to be able to turn on a skimmer bridge panel or my LP-100 or LP-500, SteppIR, Array Solutions 8 pack... The list is long.
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well i dont think flex should ever show call signs in the panafall
cause it is a combo of 3rd party apps and internet needed to make it work

i like that flex has focused on making radio performance the number one priority
all the other stuff left to other apps...
which could easily interface with the flex api's
on any platform too ( for example..ipad , iphone, PC laptop)

a simple thing as adding call signs can easily lead to feature creap
such as
can you make font user defined, oh yea make color user defined
can you make it flash if i need them, for awards such as was, dxcc, vucc.county hunter
the list goes on and on for something that appears this simple...

so my opinion ( current value of 0.02 USD )..

let the radio be a radio
let the apps be intelligent hamradio assistants using the radio interface (api's)
let the the radio be a server to all kinds of intelligent apps
interfacing with me and the computer ( aka user interface of my choice) and the internet.

Paul K3SF
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Bear in mind that SmartSDR for iOS does this already. 
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Jim KJ7S

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     The one thing that hits me is, if you want specific "bits" to be included in SSDR, and half a million users of SSDR do not use them, why go through all that development effort to have all this "bloatware" in a program that is essentially useless to most of the user ship (can you say Windblows?). Keep the "main" software where in belongs, to satisfy the vast majority. If some want more, Like you already have, supply the API so folks with the ability can develop the extra interfaces to do their thing, so that those with "special" needs can indeed access them. Just another "nickel"  Jim  KJ7S
P.S. My personal use of external software boils down to this: N1MM for basic logging, WSJTx, for ft8, WoodBox SSmeters...and the rest can be left to those who desire it, in "outside" apps, as I have. If there is one thing I'd like to see, it'd be a full on version of SSDR for Linux.  Jim  KJ7S
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Kenwood TS-2000 shack in the box Since 2000 thats 18 years now.

Must be money in the ts-2000 or Kenwood wouldnt be making them for over 18 years.

Good or bad is not the debate here of the kenwood.

SDR radio how much more improvements on a radio can be made on 'RX-TX'?

Ruff comparison but at some point SDR moves onto next level?

Records-tape-CD-digital relm of Mp3 and other types of audio formats.

For Analog radio going digital and back how mouch can we add?

Add more software to a shack in a box.!

External to SmartSDR thats fine too. Add to Smartsdr for me IMO i would like even more baked in.

We have to ask like Hamradio Deluxe how far do we want to go but at least one thing

Flexradio only has a few radios to program to unlike HRD.

Either way bring on the software.

More modes more software. Software defined radio!

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Duane N9DG

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The thing that everyone should do is step back a few steps and rethink the notion of building third party software functions and features into a "general purpose" radio client software like SmartSDR. It is not truly the optimal way to do things in the grand scheme of things.

IMHO a better approach would be for the various software that people want to use with the radio hardware be written to directly control the 6K hardware without needing to interface with SmartSDR at all. In fact SmartSDR, or other intermediary client would simply not be needed in any way for that kind of approach. The Flex API provides a means for implementing this fundamental rethink of how the radio hardware can be driven for different mode and operating activity specific purposes.

For example, picture a WSJT-X like program that natively controls the 6K radio hardware via the Flex API directly. Or perhaps for contesters a N1MM like program that directly drives the radio hardware. And in both cases those applications ARE the radio’s UI when they are being run. As such they can be fully optimized for what those programs do instead of having a general purpose UI client like SmartSDR in the middle of things. It isn’t truly needed. So the 3rd party application would no longer need to interface with the radio client software, but instead be the radio client software. And each then being highly optimized for its purpose. There are undoubtedly countless other specific operating styles, uses, and modes that this could applied to.

And with multi-client on the horizon some really cool station possibilities could potentially be implemented. There could a mix of SmartSDR client(s), Maestro(s), and specialized mode specific clients all of which are just different clients operating on a single 6K hardware box. Obviously all of it ultimately bounded by what the multi-client implementation will allow for.

I know I have floated this idea before about building the radio control and UI presentation directly into the specific applications instead of wanting or trying to build the specific applications into the traditional general purpose radio client such as SmartSDR. The trick and hard part of this is to get the authors of the various software application to even consider this approach. Or for the ham community in general to understand what the advantages of this approach would be. And therefore ask for it.

I can only dream.
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Like the way you think is there an App for that?  ;)-

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i also like the way you think too...

I have see Don Agro do some of that on the Mac with dogparksdr (dpsdr) which is a client that uses the flex api's and integrates with macloggerdx (mldx)  and macdoppler (satellite operaions). mldx is a logger, award tracker, cluster interface, 2D/3D mapper which also works with dpsdr and directly with the flex api's.

The mac version of wsjtx interfaces with jtbridge which interfaces with mldx to check log for stations worked/confirmed. Fldigi interfaces with mldx via scrypts.

Dpsdr shows on its panafall station callsigns from clusters and uses the filters setup in mldx. Click on the call, radio goes there and info sent to mdx for station lookup.

oh by the way i also can run a Virtual PC on the mac for DAX and CAT and cwSkimmer and use thus skimmer as a local cluster which also get posted into mldx via an app called extra_cluster..
That way i can see posts from the cluster out there on the inernet as well as my own all at the same time.

NONE of this belongs on the radio

This is why i am looking forward to when flex releases multi-client.

Paul K3SF