ThumbDV and DStar status on V.2.0.19

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  • Updated 3 weeks ago
  • Answered
Hi FRS,

What is the status of the ThumbDV and DStar on version 2.0 of SmartSDR?
I seem unable to use either.
I just tried today and USB Cables doesn't recognize the ThumbDV USB dongle and the radio cannot decode any DStar at all.

Thanks
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Posted 2 years ago

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David Livingston

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This has been an issue on my 6700 for well over a year. They know it is an issue and someday maybe they will fix it.   Good Luck
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Maybe FRS can chime in with an update.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Official Response
We have this issue in our bug tracker slated to be addressed in SmartSDR v2
(Edited)
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Thanks Tim. I hope is sooner rather than later. Unfortunately the Russian satellite with dstar didn't make it on the launch 2 days ago, but eventually they will succeed. It will be great if the rig is ready to work out by then.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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I understand your desire to have this issue addressed and the timeframe too.
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Cal Spreitzer

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Tim,

Does that mean customers still using SmartSDR V1 will be out of luck if a fix does happen? 

Cal/N3CAL
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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It doesn't mean anything at this juncture because we do not know the nature of the fix and what challenges there may be integrating it into the v1 code base.
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David Livingston

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May I ask in what release of V2.xx ?  We are already in the second release of a great version but this DStar issue has not been addressed. I was told a year ago it would to be corrected in V2. I guess I forgot to ask what release of V2 !!!
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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At this time our entire development team is diligently working on readying SmartSDR to support our new products; the FLEX-6600, FLEX-6600M, FLEX-6400, FLEX-6400M and the PGXL.  That is all that we are focusing on for the next release of SmartSDR. Planning for the next version will be done after SmartSDR v2.1.x has been released.
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WW1SS - Steve

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V2.9999999
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WW1SS - Steve

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Maybe the development team needs to fix the bugs instead of working on New Offerings. Once again the current users are left out in the cold while Flex goes after the next big bang. And the new products coming out and the heck with the current users whose dongles don’t work for over a year now. I think your business model is . . . I won’t say.
Typicsl flex BS
(Edited)
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Charlie

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You really need to modify this. You are still selling the Dongle on the sales site. The description would lead one to believe it works now as of software version 1.5. If i bought one on the assumption that it would work and foud it was not functional in version 2.0.19. I might cry foul.


ThumbDV

PRICE

Your Price: $119.00

Availability:

In Stock


DESCRIPTION

NW Digital Radio and FlexRadio Systems® have been working together since DCC of last year to provide a solution for AMBE encoding and decoding based on AMBE-3000TM technology, which led to the creation of the ThumbDVTM. FlexRadio Systems®, the premier manufacturer of amateur radio SDR transceivers, will soon release an update to their SmartSDR software in support of the JARL’s D-STAR standard. Owners of FLEX-6000TM Signature Series transceivers may add AMBE encoding/decoding to their radios by inserting the ThumbDVTM into one of the available USB ports. Use of the JARL D-STAR digital voice mode will be enabled through the SmartSDR software. This functionality will be supported in SmartSDR v1.5


I would change it to “in a future version of SmartSDR”.

I wish mine still worked.
(Edited)
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David Livingston

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So do I...!!!
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Steve

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Stupid me, I just bought the USB Dongle and I now find it does not work???   OR it does not work the way it should..AND this has been going on for a long long time???  Some people have been waiting for three years to get things fixed???  Come on Flex..get with the program...
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Bill -VA3WTB

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This is not a Flex problem. As has been explained.
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Cal Spreitzer

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Sorry Bill but I disagree with you!   I don't recall Flex ever offically saying this is a NW Digital problem.  It is a Flex problem.   DSTAR is based around the AMBE-3000 chip and the ThumbDV is no more than the hardware chip used for encoding/decoding DSTAR.  The magic needed to make this all work in the Flex is the SSDR software.  
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Bill -VA3WTB

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The ThumbDV is a third party product based on using the Flex-API 
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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I don’t think FRS has fulfilled orders for the ThumbDV for some time.

There seems to be three parts to the ability to actually use the product, what is on the ThumbDV physical device, what is available via the SmartSDR API and middleware integration/implementation software.

My impression is that the ThumbDV and the middleware came from NW Digital Radio, but some others have suggested the middleware is the product of yet another group.

Really doesn’t matter, as that middleware has never really worked right from day one, and seems to have no Software support as well as an opaque ownership. Doesn’t even look like there is code available, or much else to work with.

I am pleased to find out about BlueDV, a European ham’s work that will let you find some use from a ThumbDV, but it is pretty hard to actually figure out what that use really even is. Definitely there is no one-stop how-to-guide nor all-in-one web resource.

Great potential but unrealized both with the ThumbDV and in much use of the waveform potential of SmartSDR. At least as of early June 2018. Of course that may change.

73

Steve
K9ZW
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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I should have added that at times FRS also mentioned a “wrapper” level and I think segregated the waveform it a specific API focused on DSP. Uncertain if those FRS provided items are currently viable with the latest versions of SmartSDR.

73

Steve
K9ZW
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Sergey, R5AU

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I have tested my 6700 with ThumbDV  in DSTAR just yesterday  , SSDR ver 2.2.8. works well without negative surpises.  Important note from UM what sometime simply skipped by users is :  "D-STAR (DSTR) Mode can only be selected on one Slice at a time"
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Volker Geith

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Did you use HF or a TRV for VHF/UHF?

Volker
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Sergey, R5AU

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I have used 144 directly and 432 via transverter (28mHz intermediate)
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Volker Geith

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Good to know, thanks a lot! Will be using the same.
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Jay / NO5J

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An oldie, but a goodie!

https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/usb-d-star-board?topic-reply-list%5Bsettings%5D%5Bfilter_by%5D=all 

I've been hunting for that thread for a long time.
It predates a lot of misinformation.
It's a mystery folks, let's figure it out.
I bought my ThumbDV after following that thread.
Which I've used as recently as last week with BlueDV.
I enjoy my ThumbDV, maybe we all can.
Ask the right people, the right questions, and maybe get the right answers.
Who can say?

#FlexRadio IRC chat

   73, Jay - NO5J

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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Hey, the good old days when we used to get  engineering responses almost instantly!! (tongue-in-cheek)
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Jay / NO5J

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Meanwhile, maybe one of the open source programmer types among us, could take some hints from this old GitHub repository. and figure some things out. 

https://github.com/chulochumo/OpenDV

I don't know Ed Gonazlez from Austin TX, but I bet somebody here in the Community does.

Just a guess on my part.

It's amazing what a google search can find.

#FlexRadio IRC chat

(Edited to include the missing link in my post.)

   73, Jay - NO5J

(Edited)
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Sergey,
The ThumbDV dongle is still not showing up on the USB Cables window as it did before. How did you get it to work?
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Sergey,
The ThumbDV dongle is still not showing up on the USB Cables window as it did before. How did you get it to work?
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Jay / NO5J

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Salvador

Your correct, it doesn't show up at all under USB Cables, but it's not a cable so why should it? II's a Codec chip on a USB stick. and "works?" with the Dstar plugin. which enables the DSTR mode selection in SmartSDR. Getting it to work over the air still needs to be figured out though.

#FlexRadio IRC chat

   73, Jay - NO5J
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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It used to show up in there before. As a USB device it seems the place to be. Why they call it USB cables.... who knows?
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Jay / NO5J

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Let's keep the ThumbDV discussion rolling, Maybe Flexradio will chime in with some answers.  

#FlexRadio IRC chat

   73, Jay - NO5J

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Andrew Russell

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G'day Guys,
Has anyone tried rolling back to 1.5 to get it to work?
I don't have a copy on my current PC.
When it was first released it did work but broke for me before others.
Andrew VK5CV
(Edited)
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Jay / NO5J

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Andrew 
I'm still not clear on specifically what doesn't work, but I'm willing to do some testing, with SmartSDR v 1.5.1, but testing for what specific problem. 

#FlexRadio IRC chat

   73, Jay - NO5J

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Jay / NO5J

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Just because, this thread had provoked my curiosity, I decided to find out for myself.

Reminder to All and myself.
Do a full clean removal of all installed versions of SmartSDR first.
Or, you will likely be wishing you had.

Reverting to SmartSDR v1.5.1, is not a simple one click, kinda thing.
You will have DAX and possibly CAT/Com Port device issues if you don't do some thorough cleaning first.
DAX and CAT were very different way back when.
The radio reverted without issues.
Windows 10, had all sorts of issues!!!
IOW try this at your own risk!!!
And really Think!!!

#FlexRadio IRC chat

   73, Jay - NO5J

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Jay / NO5J

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Ok for anyone curious enough to try installing both SmartSDR v1.15.1 and v2.2.8, together. 

Ignore my previous post entirely, and just don't try it.

When and if I figure out what went wrong, I'll explain it. Short version ... Windows after 4-5 BSOD's came up in automatic repair mode, insisted on scanning for disc errors then BSOD'd again, then recycled back to automatic repair >> Scan for errors >> BSOD rinse and repeat. After about an hour of this, I managed to boot up a linux boot stick, scanned it with that found no errors, and after rebooting Automatic Repair finally gave me the option to restore from a system image. Luckily I had a fresh system image from this morning. Never did find any disc errors.

BTW the DAX Devices in those 2 versions of SmartSDR stomp all over each other.
Call it a learning experience.
Something you definitely don't want or need to learn!

#FlexRadio IRC chat

   73, Jay - NO5J

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Andrew Russell

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Jay,
I can only say thankyou from us all for putting that one to rest.
Andrew
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Jay / NO5J

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I would still like to know what specifically isn't working with the ThumbDV and the dstar plugin though.

#FlexRadio IRC chat

   73, Jay - NO5J

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W2PP

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I'm concerned about the lack of action on this issue.  Having now setup for 2 m, 70 cm and 23 cm I'm no longer able to keep excess radio gear on the table, yet without it, I can't work the repeaters.  I need the D Star option to function, I didn't realize this was an issue prior to buying all these transverters so now I'm in an awkward spot.

Correct, I too do not know what the problem is, but its serious as FRS has pulled the Dongle off the product web page.  Sure I can buy one from another outfit but that serves no purpose if the software doesn't support it.

The last FRS post was the issue with the D Star waveform would be addressed in V 2.xx, fair enough, but now its time to address it.

I'd like to hear an official response to my observations and get a sense of what or when this will be addressed.

Peter
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W2PP

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PS this thread is marked as answered but that was years ago.  Hoping for something positive and more definitive
Peter
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Jay / NO5J

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Peter and Thread

I'm just hoping to create some action on this issue. Being a SmartDSP-API project, the work could be done by 3rd parties. But that 3rd party would need to know what's broken, in order to begin fixing it. Complaining won't fix anything, I haven't seen anyone, Flexradio, or Flex User, doing anything. It will take action, and some Bug hunting and Bug reporting to get it fixed. I don't see anyone doing that. 

Flexradio Dstar isn't dead until someone tells us where it's buried. We might just need to dig it up and get to work.

#FlexRadio IRC chat

   73, Jay - NO5J

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KENT HUFFORD

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Appears they buried it and did not tell us. They are not selling the DV3000 stick anymore. And they removed the DSTAR Waveform software from the files section. 

A missing person?
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Michael Coslo

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Has anyone contacted the group that made the dongles fro Flex to resell?
http://nwdigitalradio.com

Interestingly, I cannot find the D-Star dongle for Flex on their website. Which leads me to suspect that they are no longer made. 

My guess is that NW simply didn't have enough sales to support fixing the problem, and buried the dongle in the back alley.
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KENT HUFFORD

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NW Digital still sells the ThumbDV. I have a ThumbDV in my FLEX6600. It works, but has the timing error with FLEX WAVEFORM software. 
When I use the ThumbDV in any of my PCs, they work fine. NO timing error on any Reflector or Repeater it links to. 
The NWD ThumbDV is a big hit in the DSTAR VHF/UHF/Reflector community. It works great there.
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W2PP

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I have a commitment, in writing, from Flex this will be done in six months, and that was a month ago.  
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Cal Spreitzer

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I just saw email from NW Digital today (12/04/18) stating they have received a limited quality of AMBE3000 chips and will be doing a last run of ThumbDVs before Christmas.  Limit one per order.

Cal/N3CAL
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Is that a final 2018 production run or end of the line final run period?

Thanks & 73

Steve
K9ZW
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Cal Spreitzer

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I was wondering the same thing so I've emailed NW Digital to clarify this.  I'll let you know once I get a reply. 

Cal/N3CAL
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Cal Spreitzer

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NW Digital responded saying they will continue making the ThumbDV.  Next batch will be in January when chips again become available.

Cal/N3CAL




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Volker Geith

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Currently you can order it again.

Volker
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Manuel - W4SSB

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I’d be interested in buying a used ThumbDV if anyone is selling one.
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James Nelson

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It's been a long time slated for the fix yet still nothing. The dongle wasn't exactly a low cost item either. I hope the project has not been canned☹ some reassurance would be a good thing
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Cal Spreitzer

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There was a recent thread since SSDR V3 was released pointing out the D-Star waveform was now broken and no longer works/displays  digital data like call signs and position.  Flex has documented the new issue and it's been added to the previous version issues. 

Cal/N3CAL
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KENT HUFFORD

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DSTAR still "works" on SSDR V3, it receives and sends DSTAR voice, but the waveform app where you put in your callsign and also read the data from other stations does not start properly and thinks you are NOT in DSTAR mode. I have a trouble ticket that they might do something--"We've entered it into our system (#7372), and we'll look into it."
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Cal Spreitzer

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Come on Kent! ,  I disagree with you!  You have really set your standards low if your going to say DSTAR still works!  I would NOT say DSTAR still "works" on SSDR V3!  It's no better than it was with Version 1 SSDR!  Actually it's worse now with the new bug # 7372.  The unfixed buffer delay issue  (bug #4400) makes it unusable with repeaters.   Face it it's broke and remains unfixed!  

Cal/N3CAL

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KENT HUFFORD

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Well, you are correct for repeaters because you cannot use the app to set the repeater setting.

However, I still can run the DSTAR HF net with it. The water fall display is invaluable to place the 6khz signal in an open space on each bands. 

Yes, the buffer delay is still there, they have been promising for a couple of years to fix that, now we have the app issue with V3

There are other SDR Transceivers being sold that have a USB port, that I am told the ThumbDV could access. Hope Flex fixes ours.
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Any update on this? Did everyone give up?
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KENT HUFFORD

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Last week I received this email from FLEX-

"We have traced the issue to a driver problem with a driver from FTDI (interface chip in the ThumbDV). We have been able to duplicate the problem on other platforms with this driver. There is a technical issue currently standing in our way that has to do with the libraries that we use to build the radio software. We are currently discussing the next steps which may include asking if we can get FTDI to recompile the driver for us."

So, they seem to be working on it. 


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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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Thanks for the update Kent.