Where is SmartSDR v1.10?

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We know this is a question that has been on everyone's mind lately.  I have been getting this question regarding when it will be released and my recent answer has been "soon".  We are now at a point where we can provide a more definitive answer.  SmartSDR v1.10.8 is undergoing final testing this weekend and barring any unforeseen issues, we are planning for it to be released on Monday  28-Nov-2016.  

SmartSDR v1.10.8 will be released as a "beta" release.  We have not done this since the first release of SmartSDR, but due to a particular new feature, USB Cables, we decided to release it as a beta so that we can provide it to a wider audience of people using it.  Being a Beta release, support for the beta feature is not being handled using the HelpDesk, but by a direct e-mail link to our dedicated team addressing USB Cable issues.  Please see the Release Notes for more details on how to get support for the USB Cable feature.

This release also contains new hardware drivers for both CAT and Maestro and an update to the the D-Star waveform in addition to a lot of other features and bug fixes.  In preparation for the release on Monday, we have made available all of the updated documentation that we have completed in support of SmartSDR v1.10.  The links will be listed below and strongly we encourage everyone to read the Release Notes as there are release-specific issues you need to be aware of to ensure a trouble-free upgrade to SmartSDR v1.10.8.

So what is the new USB Cable feature?

FlexRadio is excited to announce a new major feature for the FLEX-6000 Signature Series of SDRs under the category of Station Integration that will allow you to directly connect radio control point peripheral devices, such as amplifiers, antenna controllers, tuners, etc., to any FLEX-6000 using the USB ports on the back of the radio.  This initial Station Integration functionality is designed to primarily provide band data information to peripheral devices.

Starting with SmartSDR v1.10, the FLEX-6000’s USB ports will now be able to accept one of four different devices:
  • A ThumbDV to enable D-STAR transmission and reception on a FLEX-6000
  • Any genuine Future Technology Devices Inc. (FTDI) USB to serial cable
  • Any genuine FTDI USB to parallel cable
  • A USB Hub for connecting multiple of the other devices to one port
The FTDI USB to serial cables will be recognized in SmartSDR as a CAT cable.  From that point forward, the cable can be used to supply CAT data from the radio to an external device.  The FTDI USB to Parallel cables can provide either BCD data (Yaesu format) or single bit outputs for PTT and/or selection of either amateur or non-amateur bands based on a supplied frequency range.

Control for the new Down East Microwave (DEMI) 2m and 4m amplifiers (LDPA) are also fully supported by using a cable option available from DEMI. The cable interface will automatically turn on the amplifier when on a band of interest, controlling the PTT without additional cables and the ability to control the preamp in SmartSDR.  For more information on this feature link to the DEMI webpage.

In support of this new feature, FlexRadio has created a USB Cable Interface Guide that describes in detail CAT, BIT, BDC and LDPA cables, cable pinouts and the communication protocol used.  In addition, it provides part number information for the various FTDI USB cables and setup/configuration descriptions for various third-party amplifiers, antenna controllers, tuners, and transverters.  The USB Cable Interface Guide is available from the FlexRadio website (see the link below).

What about other features?

I mentioned something about new drivers for CAT and Maestro.  We have updated the FlexVSP driver in SmartSDR CAT to the latest version that is designed specifically for Windows 10 and has shown to be more stable and is much less susceptible to driver issues after Windows updates.  We also updated the Maestro Ethernet driver in this release of SmartSDR.  The updated driver addresses some responsiveness, stability and link issues when connected to a gigabit Ethernet interface.

We have also addressed a disconnect issue in the D-Star waveform, so for all you D-Star users, you will need to install the latest waveform and applet after upgrading to SmartSDR v1.10.8.

There are a lot of other changes for SmartSDR v1.10.8 so I'll paste a copy of the Changelog for your review.  But first, those links I promised...

SmartSDR for Maestro_v1.10.8_Release_Notes
USB Cable Interface Guide
SmartSDR CAT User Guide
SmartSDR Software Users Guide
Maestro User Guide

And now the SmartSDR v1.10.8 Change Log:

v1.10.8 Beta 2016-11-21
Public Beta Release

v1.10.7 Beta 2016-11-11
#4186 Memories: CSV Imported memories now properly set slice rx filter limits
#4186 RX Lo/Hi limits are now properly imported from CSV files
#3594 6700:  Fixed unexpected preamp switching to 6m
#4255 DAX:  Modified TX buffering scheme to decrease chances of TX dropouts

v1.10.6 Beta 2016-11-7
#4220 Maestro:  Added 'Toggle Iambic' option to Function Buttons
#4219 Maestro:  Soloing a Slice now also makes it the Active Slice (and thus changes the target of the Function Buttons to this Slice)
#4221 Fixed a UHE related to ParseProfilesStatus

v1.10.5 Beta 2016-11-2
#4152 CAT:  Fixed N1MM monitor Focus On Other issue not being set properly.  Monitor now follows the same logic as the sidetone.
#4201 CAT:  FlexVSP ports can now be reset by right-clicking on the Remove button
#4203 FlexControl:  Added CW Speed and RF Power options
#4176 Maestro:  Minor version number no longer appears in Version Lists (takes effect after upgrade/reboot)
#4209 SmartSDR:  Added ToolTips when hovering over WNB, NB, NR, ANF, APF buttons
#4148 Added Luxembourg region
#4147 Updated Japan region for 160m and 80m
#4150 Updated EU allocation for 60m

v1.10.4 Beta 2016-10-28
#4183 SmartSDR: Fixed USB Cable import profiles tooltip
#3769 MIC Profiles: Add default profiles for Radiosport M207 and M208
#4188 CWX: TX Delay not added in between every other character 
#3887 Maestro: Updated Ethernet driver to latest version (requires extra Maestro reboot during update cycle)

v1.10.3 Alpha 2016-10-26
#3157 CAT:  AI command now responds with IF data on band change or when a new Slice appears
#2527 CAT:  Key Immediate - TUNE now works in Winkeyer emulation when Ctrl+T is pressed in N1MM
#4162 CAT:  Fixed issue with changing speed just as a macro finishes in N1MM, which would cause the keyer to hang
#4148 CWX:  PTT Delay is no longer added in between every CWX character
#4140 CW:  TX Delay is now properly handled when pressing TUNE while in CW
#3608 Waveforms: D-STAR Application no longer disconnects randomly

v1.10.2 Alpha 2016-10-20
#4124 CAT: Added text to Advanced settings warning message about physical COM port settings
#4077 Maestro: Panadapters for tracked Slices (B tracks A button) will now tune with the Slice (2 Pans, 1 Slice on each Pan)
#3454 Maestro:  Fixed occasional missing Panadapter gridlines on startup
#4116 Maestro:  Changed Slice Mute symbol to be clearer
#3800 Maestro:  Fixed Slice indicator being obscured/hidden at certain zoom levels when RIT is enabled
#4088 Maestro:  Fixed WiFi related UHE on a Maestro reboot
#4104 DAX:  Added a vertical scrollbar for easier operation for lower resolution screens, when the DAX Window height is made smaller
#4133 DAX:  Fixed UHE when closing DAX while an IQ stream is streaming
#4131 SmartSDR Installer now overwrites existing .ssdr firmware file for easier recovery on corrupted file recovery
#4192 SmartSDR Installer now prompts for PC reboot and does not autostart CAT after install if VSP drivers were installed
#4038 MON is now 'off' when set to 0. Off as in inaudible, not that it actually triggers the MON button on and off :) 
#4070 MON now works with DAX TX audio even if PC is selected as mic selection
#4066 MON Pan now works correctly with DAX Monitoring (previously DAX MON could not be panned left/right)
#3980 PTT Inconsistencies fixed. (Maestro CW can now be used without BreakIn and manual PTT)
#4064 Persistence: Fix wrong frequency for slice after FlexLib tune to change bands
#3960 Persistence: RX Antennas correctly recalled when multiple panadapters are on the same band on initial connect
#4008 CWX: QSK can now be enabled/disabled for CWX (previously CWX did not support QSK)
#2368 DSP: Change ANF constants to reduce distortion
#3983 SSDR/Maestro:  Fixed a rare UHE that could happen on startup (Array.Copy Destination array was not long enough)
#4125 Fixed N1MM Call modification and Enter Sends Message (ESM) behavior
#4128 Fixed unexpected CW speed changes using N1MM

v1.10.1 Alpha 2016-10-14
#4078 CAT:  Added new FlexVSP driver for Windows 10
#4021 CAT:  Fixed potential UHE on disconnect
#4096 CAT:  Physical (existing) COM ports now have advanced options (baud rate, stop bits etc)
#4119 CAT:  Fixed a UHE when removing multiple ports at the same time
#4046 Fixed issue with GPS being incorrectly detected as present

v1.10.0 Alpha 2016-10-07
#1814 Added USB Cable support (BCD band data, Bit, CAT, LDPA)
#3995 Maestro: Added Static IP network options 
#4023 Added 12.5 kHz step size for FM modes
#4018 Mic Profile no longer unexpectedly shows a change (with asterisk *) immediately after a mic profile load
#4096 CW: Fixed issue where all bands became muted when in FDX on a hard PTT
#4031 API:  Improved handling of ParseProfileStatus() in FlexLib
#4041 API: Fixed false positive debug message about invalid key/value pair in Radio::ParseFilterSharpnessStatus
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Posted 3 years ago

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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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I ordered this cable from Amazon for single USB to RS232 and it works fine.


73 Dave wo2x

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Mark - W3II

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Update to SPE Expert Amp Chart; This markup addresses typos; Also should recommend SPE set to Flex Radio CAT at 9600 baud, No parity, 8 bit, 1 stop bit; Should also set SPE Amps drive power per band and power level.

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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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This edit has been done to the USB Cable Interface Guide and is available for download (v1.2)
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Good to see a new update.


#4140 CW:  TX Delay is now properly handled when pressing TUNE while in CW

and (hopefully) getting the TX DELAY to work in cw as it does in ssb is the part of this version that I'm interested in.

My only complaint  is it isn't available to download now. :-)

73, Tom
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I must have missed something. If I am interfacing to something of my own design and need band/frequency data ... does data appear at the USB port via an event (change frequency), or is there a way of polling via query? I never thought about how CAT works or probed the data lines on my old Yaesu.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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For the CAT protocol, your device will need to issue the AI1; or ZZAI1; command when initializing to enable the automatic mode which will spit out an IF or ZZIF command every time the radio frequency is changed. Then issue the AI0; or ZZAI0; command to put the radio back into normal mode.

Otherwise you will need to poll the radio for the current frequency of the slice or the transmit slice depending on how the CAT cable is configured.
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Thank you Tim ...
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Mack McCormick, Elmer

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Data is provided on event change. A device may also poll for the data if needed.
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James Kennedy-WU5E

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Took the plunge order the USB to Serial cable- so I can pounce on the DX with on click.
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Dave - WB5NHL

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Jim, let's know how it works with the ARI-500.  I don't own an ARI-500 just an ALS-600 with remote ports. I sure would like to know your experiences before springing for the ARI-500 hi hi.

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This is wonderful news and while I think I can use a CAT connection to the ACOM 600S, if I need to go with the tried and true BCD approach thank you for using a commercially available component.

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Mike Smoot

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Is there any further news on V1.10 since Tim announced a need to delay the beta release?  Thanks.

Mike  KB1MH
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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The release will be forthcoming....
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Today I have been able to get the RS232 version of the recommended FTDI cable and a custom cable adapter I built to work GREAT with the ALS1306 using DDUTIL which has the same function of the ARI-500 built in the the ALS 1306 and using the Kenwood serial pin's on the ALS-1306 with the FTDI RS232 Cable  version, This should be the same as using it on the ARI-500/ALS-600/ALS1300 with a RJ45 on the ARI-500 instead of the DB9 connector on the ALS-1306 so hope it works as well from the Flex Radio as well when 1.10 gets released.

I DID NOT use the Ameritron Kenwood RJ-DB97DK cable but built my own VERY SIMPLE to do (3-wires in a custom DB9F Connector on the FTDI Cable end to the RJ45 or DB9F on the other end depending on which AMP you have).

I didn't use the Keying pin because I want my Tuner to NOT let the AMP key if it's tuning.

I may pull out the ARI-500 and ALS600 out of the closet and build up a serial cable for the RJ45 and see if it works but no reason why it shouldn't with the FTDI RS232 cable unless Ameritron really changed something other then the Cable End's. 

I do know the PROLIFIC chip set cables WILL NOT work at all with the Ameritron AMP's.

I also have the FTDI DCB Cable with the wire headers in the above picture but I can't figure out how to get it to work with DDUTIL setup for DCB yet for using the Yaesu DCB connections so I need to play a bit more.  I set the cable Serial number in the "Relay Board" setup but it's not working here yet so hope it works properly with SmartSDR 1.10.

I've posted the RS232 wiring in a different thread for the ALS1306

I am so glad that FLEX has decided to add support and I have been waiting for a long time which many of you have, Thank goodness we've had the wonderful DDUTIL to give us a work around but for a Radio server the Signature series really need's this support.

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WOW! Great job FRS I just read the Change Log and there is a lot of stuff there!

USB Support limited to supported devices.

MONITOR improvements.

DSP Improvements.

As well as a bunch of fixes. Even the Maestro get a bunch of nice improvements and fixes.

Looks like 1.10 is going to be a nice release for SSRD.

Great Job everyone this update will make a nice little Xmas present for us “Flexers”. I hope in the new year now that the Maestro is out and the Power Genius XL will be out soon that maybe FRS can expand the software team to speed the development of PowerSDR so we can really unleash the power of the 6000 series. Would love to see more of the basics from PowerSDR in SSDR.

Anyway have been enjoying my 6500 for a while now and love the performance.

Happy Holidays to everyone at FRS


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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Official Response
This post is closed because SmartSDR v1.10.8 has been released