Waterfall Memory - Time Machine

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  • Idea
  • Updated 4 months ago
  • Under Consideration
Today I was demonstrating my 6500 to a friend. I had the waterfall rate rather slow and he noticed how the waterfall "stored" the signal until it reached bottom and then he posed a question. "Can you click on it and hear what he said"? Well that got me thinking. Wouldn't that be cool and very helpful? With this technology I would think it's possible but has such a concept been considered?
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Steve N4LQ

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  • intrigued

Posted 5 years ago

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Robert -- N5IKD, Elmer

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You can store and playback 192KHz worth using HDSDR using the DAX IQ features.
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Walt - KZ1F

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With SSDR on the slice you are receiving on there is a small red, as I recall, dot. When you hit that you start recording. I am not sure you can go indefinitely but you can go for a while then play it back. You can't save it but can play it back. It will be under record, instant record or some such in the users guide. I don't have my laptop on therefore I don't have ssdr running.
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Steve N4LQ

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Correct however I'm thinking of a waterfall that actively records everything showing on screen then simply deletes it as it reaches the bottom of the waterfall. You could click on the "remains" of a cw signal as it slowly makes its way to the bottom and listen to what was transmitted in the past. 
This could even be handy in a contest. A signal could have been received 10 minutes ago and you just happened to glance at the waterfall and saw a signal just before it reaches bottom. You click on it and it happened to be rare dx just signing off. 
As it is now, the waterfall tells you someone was there in the past but not what was transmitted. 
This is hard to explain!
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Burt Fisher

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I did something like this with my 5000
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I believe you are asking for a variation on what FLDIGI provides. As I recall, if you click on a signal in the waterfall while holding down the CTRL key it will decode everything in the waterfall buffer for that signal. I use that often on RTTY. -dan W7NGA
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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Exactly. MixW doe s it as well. But, no... Not for audio.

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Steve N4LQ

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I'm just looking for audio. The waterfall now moves down and shows a historic view of the past. I want to be able to click or hover the mouse over the historic signal and hear it just as it was originally received. I don't want to plan or prepare for this. I want to look at "old" signals that haven't left the waterfall vue and hear what was transmitted. 

I'm setting here right now looking at 40 cw. I see multiple signals steaming down the waterfall. Many of these signals have long since stopped transmitting yet the trace remains. I just want to know what the other guy transmitted 5 minutes ago. This will require that everything visible on the waterfall be recorded in real time and I can hover the mouse over the historic part of the waterfall and listen. 
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Martin Ewing AA6E

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The waterfall is just a summary of the power received in each frequency channel drawn a few times a second. All the audio is averaged out. Unless SSDR is smart enough to store the actual IQ data for a long period, there's no way to replay everything. This would be a nice feature, however. It just takes a bunch of RAM. With enough RAM you could record the whole HF spectrum!
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John AE5X

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And for that reason, it will not be possible in the 6000-series radios.
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Steve / N4LQ -- would the "black box" recorder idea be a step in the right direction?  Also see the comments by Richard / W4 / G7EIX about the waterfall. 


It would not record the audio for the full spectrum, only what you have been listening to for the last few minutes.  So maybe not what you want but it would be a lot less memory intensive.  It could also address the idea of keeping the audio file on the PC so you could archive or share it.    

So far the idea has 16 votes.....if you think it has merit please add you vote and comments to the idea.

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
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Steve N4LQ

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One could activate the recording loop. This would record the waterfall and associated audio for a time period equal to the displayed waterfall. Once the display hits the bottom of the screen it would be erased. The recording length would thus vary depending on the rate of the waterfall and how much waterfall screen is being displayed.
We can click on LIVE and freeze the waterfall then click any signal visible on the waterfall to listen to it. Click LIVE again and the process resumes. 
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Lee, Elmer

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Using the record/playback function is not really viable for this "time machine" idea.  If you recorded 10 mins worth and wanted something 7 mins in you would have to listen to 7 mins before the data you wanted came up.  If you missed ot again another 7 mins.  Tying the audio data to the water fall would give a visual means to go into several mins of data and play a few seconds of data over and over at a given time stamp.  This is a good idea

73  W9OY
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Steve N4LQ

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How about just clicking a new button somewhere to activate the time machine then holding the mouse pointer over the signal of interest as it continues to scroll down the waterfall and listening? 
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Official Response
This is a feature that is in our database for future consideration.
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And now?
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Rick WR0H

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Dashcams used by over-the-road truckers do this sort of thing.  They are constantly recording in a loop that re-records over itself.  But if the unit senses impact, a swerve or hard braking, it saves the audio/video from 8 seconds prior to the incident thorough 15 seconds afterward as a separate file.  Seems like a mouse click on a waterfall could be used as a "trigger" just as well.