What I’m planning to do with multiFlex SmartSDR v3

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I’m working towards a personal Flex-6000 Cluster.

Spelled out more in a write up at “With Varying Frequency” - link https://wp.me/p2XN8-1Aa

Basically I.m going to use one instance to run and another to do comparisons across several personal stations spread over a 115 mile path.

What are you going to try?

73

Steve
K9ZW
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Posted 1 month ago

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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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This could be fun Steve.  I have 2 very different but specific use cases for MultiFlex, 1 falls under the contesting realm, and one under the DXing realm.


For contesting: At the N6RO M/M station, we have never really used the Run/Mult station, we have always had operators that power through a band sucking it dry, while chasing all they can.  But now, with multiflex, we can take our 6600s and add a dedicated mult operator onto each instance, leaving the band captain to run and direct, as the mult operator chases down multipliers hopefully catching more of them than the primary op could.  This could add invaluable QSO's and multipliers to our logs.

For DXing: As a founder of a fully remote hilltop shared club station(K6LRG, that is also a contest station), We have 2 operating positions.  The one I maintain I like to share with other hams, so they can get that "new one" that you just can not hear at ground level.  In the past, we would have needed to log off one user, while another was using the station.  Now we can have 2 separate operators watching 2 separate pile ups, or the same one, and both will be able to participate.  We already use the Slack application for co-ordination of the waiting game.. now we will be using it to coordinate the transmit.  As a side bonus, we will be able to do a remote M/S in contests opening up new categories for us to play in the game of radiosport.

And.. I am sure I will figure more out as folks start playing with this and giving more ideas

~Chris
N6WM

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Joe N3HEE

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Having a Run/Mult station pair on each band for a MM station is a must in today's MM competitions.  You will definitely increase your score.  I'm sure there will many MM stations converting to Flex radios after V3 is tried and true.  The cost savings are tremendous !
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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unquestionably.  Especially if you take into account the entire ecosystem, that I do have, that includes 6600-M and PGXL.  
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Douglas Maxwell

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Hi Chris, I'm interested to know how you are getting round the PTT bug for cw contesting that has plagued me for 4 years now? Do you just use break-in and a big delay to avoid hearing the choppy hiss and forego fast tx/rx turnaround times?
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Douglas, this contesting team worked CW with Multi client with very good performanc,,maybe connect with him and ask how it was for their contesting?


https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/cq-wpx-multiflex-use
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Douglas Maxwell

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Hi Bill, the link you quote reports on an SSB contest not a CW contest. Also if you look at the bottom of the post, you will see me asking if anyone has a similar experience with CW contesting. Other than that, thanks for your suggestion.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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With radios like that, isn't that like,,,,cheating?
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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Hi Bill

Well in the case of the contest scenarios he described, no.

You can do it today with multiple radios. Also the operators would need to be present at those multiple radios.

As long as they are claiming M/M category it is within the rules.

Dave wo2x
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Jim Gilliam

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Yea, it's like using the Internet to text some one in China...so what?
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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There is really no point in rehashing the core arguments surrounding the remote-access issues SmartLink brought to everyone's attention - no this is not cheating and no it is not texting.

And it is not really very novel either - in many ways it is just a private version of the remote-access subscription programs that have been out there for years.  

In the competitions - where we challenge ourselves against our own past performances and our peers - we set various levels of rules & restrictions.  Will my setup "as a whole" work for every contest?  Certainly not if fully exploited, but conversely certainly yes if limited for the purposes of that particular contest or award program to match the restrictions.

In the end QSOs will be made, person-to-person QSOs.  

And I'm having a lot of fun planning & station building along the way.

What is going to be Extra-Special with multiFlex is the ability to share with others.  I am really up on being able to share and mentor with multiFlex.  

Truly the most rewarding aspect of our hobby, for myself personally that is, centers on the ability to help & guide others in their explorations within the hobby.  YMMV, but I really like that part.

It should be pretty obvious to anyone following my blog my interest in sharing - especially with over twelve years of posts intending to help others.

Oh, for those of a more traditional bent, my stations each also have a non-remote accessible traditional setup, usually either a Collins S-Line or a TenTec Jupiter - or both.  But I digress, as these traditional stations are more for my amusement and redundancy than my main hobby thrust.

It all works in the end.

73

Steve
K9ZW 


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Mark - WS7M

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Your idea Steve is something I spoke of here in 2015 at least to a couple people, but maybe not as scientific.

I considered the idea that we could "pool slices".   So a group of wiling volunteers would make a slice available on there radio for people to use.  In my case having an RX only slice at a station with a nice antenna would be a huge benefit to be able to use them as a receiver and TX using my station.

That discussion led into the idea of true diversity receive where you are listing to slices from your station and at least one other some significant distance away.  I think for this to work well we would need some software that adjusted timing somehow to match so you did not get echos.

But one thing that still seems not finished to me is the login stuff.  Right now I would have to give out my SmartLink login/password to anyone I want to be able to use my radio.  Same if others wanted me to use theirs.

I've done this for people to demo SmartLink and Flex Radios but it gives a lot of control away.  Maybe not an issue but I would sure like to have a "guest login".  So with my SmartLink account it would be nice to be able to setup other accounts that could access my radio but give them different rights.   Full, Limited, and RX only or something similar.

How do you plan to do this in your network you speak of?
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Hi Mark WS7M

Like you I've been contemplating sharing for years - I kind of outlined my hopes in my 2012 article series - https://k9zw.wordpress.com/?s=dream

I think we are correct that SmartLink will need to evolve to fully exploit multiFlex. 

Maybe along the lines of a owner, administrator, user, & guest sort of hierarchy?  

In the interim my sharing will logistically have to be limited to others I can trust to coordinate with my station usage plan.  

There are other limitations with SmartLink that will need to evolve, as just getting all the radios registered with the need to locally key the radio at certain times, or managing upgrades cluster-wide are perhaps more difficult than they need to be.

The workarounds are not very easy and require some additional hardware at the each site.  

They also do not blend well with the ease-of-use-level of other operations - they sort of remind me of the macOS issues where the end user is kept in a pretty secure & controlled operating situation until they want to make a change that suddenly requires using the Terminal Window and issuing unix like commands.  Especially if you are helping someone by phone or remotely things usually come to a halt, and the risks of operator error making things worse rapidly increases.

Again initially by my manual control and trust.

73

Steve

(Edited)
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WW1SS - Steve

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Isn't this something that can already be done with remote hams and the server and client software??

At remotehams.com
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Joe N3HEE

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Yes, remotehams.com have a very nice way for people to share radios remotely.  You can lock down the guest account to RX only or give them control of certain things on the radio or give them TX and full control.  I used remotehams.com with my K3 and had dozens of people using my radio all over the world.  Never had any abuse of problems.  It was fun !
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Yes to an extent.

I am uncertain if their data streams are time stamped in a way that could be used for diversity though?

I also do not think they have the capability to use any given radio with more than one instance?

My idea is not novel, but the extent of the immediate and potential capabilities are.

73

Steve
K9ZW
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Joe N3HEE

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Correct, no diversity RX. 

However, many people can be logged on and listen to the current control op of the radio at once.  You have to ask to take control of the radio if you find it is in use.  Actually you have to ask no matter what since the owner may be physically using the radio. 

It was great for mentoring.  I could have several CW students listening to me making a QSO.  Or I could listen as one of my students was making a QSO.
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Joe N3HEE

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And I did not have to share my username and password for mentoring or sharing my radio with anyone else.  They all had their own accounts. 
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Dan Trainor

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Flex needs a way to have different account "types" and the ability to assign privileges to each account type.  You would then have your friends / relatives register with you and you assign them certain rights such as what bands they are permitted to operate on, modes, what antennas they can use, transmit or receive (or both) permissions, permission to request immediate control or not, etc etc   In the end they would have a tailored login account profile that you control and monitor. The simplest and least privileged account type would be RX only using only one specified RX antenna.  It would be a quest account type that could be given out without much risk or coordination.  On the other end of the spectrum, another account type would have full privileges of all the radio functions and ability to take over control.  The "Owner" profile would have all those right and ownership. And account privilege profiles every where in between those extremes.  The account profile could be implemented as a "matrix" of capabilities offered. You check off the items in the matrix for each person you enable access. A automatic monitoring program would be provided that runs continuously and records usage data on who operated, where, when and how they operated and for how long. The owner could generate a chart showing the statistics.  The radio would then become truly a controlled radio server at granularity that would be useful - dan
(Edited)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Dan, good thoughts,, Flex has mentioned they are looking into this for the future. And yes no time and date mentioned..lol