Waterfall Display "Black" and "Gain" sliders sensitivity

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  • Updated 5 years ago
Is there a way to decrease the sensitivity of the Black and Gain sliders for the waterfall display?

In my case anything above 30 for GAIN and 20 for BLACK pretty much maxes it out. Even if I use AUTO for BLACK, anything above 35 for GAIN is pretty much maxed out.

I would like to be able to have a better range so I can make small adjustments.
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Posted 5 years ago

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Jim KJ7S

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Just un click auto so it's not on then adjust each slider to preference
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Hi Jim,

Thanks for replying.
I understand that part. Maybe I am not expressing my issue correctly.
The slider is very sensitive, and anything above a value of 20 just max out the waterfall area.

I would like to have more range in the slider.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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There is a procedure in the SmartSDR Software Users Guide that describes how to manually set the waterfall.  Try that.  I suspect that  either the gain and/or the black level, which interact with each other are not set optimally.
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Jim KJ7S

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Ok I understand, what I found at least works for me hihi..the gain of course makes it way hi so even noise looks yellow to red...the black works for me as the slider moves to the left, that said I can make a 40-60 over signal touch red and still keep the back ground near total black...extreme contrast for me anyway. Good luck getting it sorted out.
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Jim KJ7S

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One other possibility, and I haven't checked to verify, if the rx gain is way high would that cause such a problem?.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Yes.  The waterfall settings are directly related to the panadapter "noise floor".
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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OK Let me see if it makes more sense with a video:

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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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In the video, when I click on AUTO and slide up the GAIN, anything above 50 is just maxed out. So in reality I only have 1 to 50 to play with as 50 to 100 doesn't do anything.

When I try to set it up BLACK not in AUTO then I have very little range. One or two points up on the BLACK slider affect the waterfall quite a bit.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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That looks like it is working properly to me.  All of these controls along with the panadapter noise floor level interact, so you may never get the sliders to work effectively at full scale.  We have to accommodate quiet bands and high noise level bands too.
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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I see. It just feel like a have very little room to play, most of my adjustment happens in 10 or so of the 100 positions of the slider. With AUTO only the first 35 or so are usable.

I guess I would like to be able to get to a point where I have black on my noise floor and a range of colors on anything above that.

I will keep playing with it.

BTW, it was this way on previous versions, so it is not a problem of the software.
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Dan -- KC4GO

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My noise floor on 13.306 is -105.8 looking at the S-Meter and the water fall behaves different than the video. 
With antenna off same frequency noise floor is -117 and it's different again... So that's what Tim is saying.
Dan --- KC4GO
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Ken - NM9P

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Display black/gain settings requirements also vary depending upon your pre-amp setting.  I have been fooled many times wondering what happened to the panafall display and discovered that I had left my pre-amp ON when moving back down frequency from 10 or 6 meters back to 40, et. al.  

I haven't tested it on 1.4, but on 1.38 preamp per-band persistence worked properly when using the band buttons, but not when directly entering frequencies or when clicking on a spot from my N3FjP or N1MM+ logging programs.
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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I noticed the Gain affecting the waterfall. It doesn't increase my noise floor though.

Right now, on 20m at 14:25Z, my noise floor is -120dB.

I am to understand that a lower noise floor will make the sliders more effective? is it the other way around?
I am not sure of the relation between the noise floor and the sensitivity of the sliders.
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Rich McCabe

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Regardless of why, I have to agree with the OP that the controls are twitchy and hard to use :)  I never regardless of band use more than about 20% of the slider.

I just consider it part of having a high performance instrument !

I bet someday the auto function will become more auto.
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DrTeeth

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I know exactly what Salvador means and it drives me nuts. I have auto off all the time as I do not like what it does for the waterfall.

The strange thing is that the 'black' slider seems to have a much more course granularity adjustment scale than the gain setting.
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Jay / NO5J

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To avoid the twitchiness I adjust in single digits by clicking in the slider trough to the left and right of the slider knob. The right side trough is easier to click if you click the far right of the trough next to the Auto button, when I want it to increment to the right. Left side trough isn't as easy to miss, Probably either my twitchy fingers or my ancient eyes. BTW all the sliders troughs work this way. I wish we could click the knob and use the arrow keys to move the slider. 

73, Jay - NO5J  
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DrTeeth

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I'd be even happier if I could click the slider and use my mouse wheel like in many other programs.
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Jay / NO5J

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Yeah or that. Or a text entry box with the value in it beside the control that scrolls the value, sometimes I want "42" and not "nearly 42" and I don't mind an extra keystroke if it gains me an accurate "visible" setting. Clutter be durned! Where's NN4ZZ when your to lazy to make your own mockup picture. 
73, Jay - NO5J
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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I saw a post by Tim but now I don't find it here where he mentioned that you can left click on the bar on the side of the slider you want to go to move 1 step at a time. That helps. I still find that the steps change quite a bit from 1 to the next and that the upper range is not useful.

I see no instance where anything above 50 is useful for either combination of GAIN and BLACK.
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DrTeeth

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Exactly. I'm with you 100% and understand what you mean. I have noticed that the slider positions to get the same display as changed from 1.3.8 > 1.4.0 though. I also noticed Tim's missing message too.
(Edited)
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Jay / NO5J

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Didn't notice my message, hrmmph! So you prefer black and blue displays over, pink. the slider is adjustable, so are things like noise levels noise floors, receive antenna gain. and the power output of your neighbors "legal" limit shack heater. to get a -130 dBm signal to be pink on a black background requires raising the gain and dropping the black level, Flex didn't only give you, the Black and Blue Crayons, you got the big box, color however you want to color, just try to stay inside the lines. Have you tried the Grayscale display, you get black through white, no pink necessary. SDR means change, is possible, progress, is possible breakage and repair, are possible, no shipping required. Whinging, is possible, and personally avoidable. There now you got me doing it. Think I'll QSY to another topic.   
73, Jay - NO5J
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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I just saw that you posted about the clicking on the slider Jay. Thanks for that.

I like the waterfall a lot, i an learning s lot about radio by being able to see it.

I also agree that the slides are doing what they are supposed to do, no issue there. The colors are great too.

It is what Guy expressed better than me.... The granularity is too coarse. I go from BLACK 15 to 16 and it adds too much and I never ever go above 30 on either one.
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W5XZ - dan

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good post, salvador; i see the same thing...73