Which version of spot integration to you prefer?

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  • Updated 4 years ago
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Community poll: There are two versions of spot integration: one shows spots in the spectrum, the other shows spots below the waterfall.

NN4ZZ shows them below the waterfall:

https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/pfskimer_what_is_the_possibility_for_a_smartsdr_dis...



A new version of NaP3 is available that integrates the spots with the spectrum display:

http://www.panadapter.com/



Which do you prefer?

73 Ed W2RF




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Ed - W2RF

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Posted 4 years ago

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Photo of Al / NN4ZZ

Al / NN4ZZ

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Hi Ed,
The reason for my preference to display the spots below the spectrum or waterfall rather than up in the spectrum part of the display is to keep the spectrum from being cluttered.   Between the signals of varying amplitude and the slice flag the spectrum is full already.  This would be more of an issue on a busy band, during a dxpedition pileup or contest.  

On a related note, with all of these options "display persistence" is really a necessity.   Users should be able to select what they want to see (and NOT see)  by mode.  And using persistence, the system should remember the setting.  Some examples:

- Panadapter spectrum only
- Panadapter spectrum and waterfall
- Panadapter spectrum, and live spots (spots below the panadapter spectrum display)
- Panadapter spectrum, waterfall, and live spots
- Panadapter spectrum, waterfall, and Skimmer (for CW mode)
- Panadapter spectrum , waterfall, Skimmer, and live spots (for CW mode)

Regarding the last example, color coding could indicate when a call sign is from Skimmer or a Live Spot.

Options and Persistence should give everyone the display they want, for the mode they use.  
 
Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Ed,
To further illustrate the clutter concern, here is a closeup of the spectrum from the NaP3 screen shot when there are a lot of signals.

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




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Ed - W2RF

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It's cluttered. But there is room for lots of improvement in the display algorithm. Look at all the unused space. Also the font could be smaller.

A similar problem would have to be solved with the separate bandmap.
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Richard Clafton W4/G7EIX, Elmer

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The Panadapter for me, that way no separate window is needed.   And to make it easier to read, why not change the opacity/color of the spot that is nearest the mouse pointer?   So, you could hover your mouse across them and quickly see the call sign within the clutter.    25%  as standard and then 100% when mouse is over.      That way you can see the mass of call signs with a quick glance.  And a quick glide of the mouse across the screen allows your brain to catch the individual call signs.

Another option would be to only show the first two letters of the call in a 25% opaque state, and then 100% visible and full call on mouse over.   The first two letters are more then enough to determine if you want that state / county etc.


(Edited)
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Michael - N5TGL

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I like them in the spectrum.  Below the waterfall starts eating up screen real estate.  With the clutter, you'd have to zoom in to have any chance at picking out one of those signals, so maybe not a fair example?
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Dave - WB5NHL

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I like them in the spectrum but completely agree with Al's comments on display persistence.

Also, in Al's cluttered example there should be a mouse-over capability. When the mouse is placed over one of the decoded signals (dotted line), the station call changes color.
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Barry N1EU

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The ONLY way this can work on a crowded band is with vertically oriented spotter text.  Do you have any idea what that screen would look like during a big cw contest if horizontal text was used?

I've been lobbying for this feature for years.  This single feature would sell a boat load of SDRs to the contest crowd.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I like them in the spectrum display so I have less eye movement and less mouse movement in a contest.
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K1UO - Larry

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Since I find it easier to find weak signals using the waterfall, the tendency here is to reduce the Panadapter real estate  to a minimum while maintaining sufficient slice flag information.

 Adding the spot information below the waterfall vertically oriented as Al has represented would be perfect.  However persistence would be a must and having the ability to turn on/off or resize the spot display would be welcomed. 

 I think even this method during a very crowded contest condition or pileup could get a little messy

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Barry N1EU

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Here's a mockup I made a few years ago:


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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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At first, I liked Al's idea best - vertical under the panafal - but after looking at this, I might go with this version if the calls were typed vertically, like in Al's suggestion.  I don't like to turn my head sideways to read!  Either way would be really nice, as long as ther persistence was there, things were easy to read, and the display didn't get too cluttered.  (Reduced Pan Display Clutter is one point in favor of Al's version.)  Choices, Choices.

Actually both versions have their strong points, depending upon the application... DXing vs Contesting, etc...
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Paul Christensen, W9AC, Elmer

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I prefer in the waterfall.  Reason:  On a crowded split DX pile-up for example, the display persistence in CW Skimmer allows for easily matching the call sign with the signal.  The reference point is right at the persistence trail.  I'm afraid that ability will be lost if moved to the spectrum where peaks are constantly changing.  Sure, it looks nice up there with a lot of screen real estate, but I think tracking accuracy will be lost. 

Paul, W9AC

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Barry N1EU

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Just a note that we need to be thinking of not just cw but ssb as well (and digi modes)

(Edited)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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100% agree. There are also SSB contests and SSB DX.
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Charles - K5UA

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Since I never use waterfall, I would prefer the spots displayed in vertical text in the panadapter. 
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Robert -- N5IKD, Elmer

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I like the way CWSkimmer does it with the sideways waterfall. an integrated solution would have to have an option to turn the whole panafall on it's side.

...Talk about upsetting the apple cart.

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Bill-W9OL

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As I'm used to the sideways CWSkimmer program method, I think I'd adapt to the vertical-below the waterfall easily. Plus in a contest, the spectrum would be flooded and may be to hard to view. With constantly changing callsigns of the Called station and Callers on top of him.
During a split DX Operation, it may not be so cluttered, dependent on how rare the station is.
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k0eoo

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Hi Ed, boy, decisions, decisions.... 

I like Al's (NN4ZZ) post with the calls vertical below the waterfall best, and definitely want the persistence as Al described.  But, if push came to shove, I'd adapt to what ever the contesters agreed upon....  Because at the end of the day, if we want to grow the flex ranks that's the group we need to work with....
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Howard -W6HDG

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I vote for spectrum display to keep things neat and compact.  I need all the screen real estate I can get since I run HRD Logbook above the spectrum to improve workflow.  Barry's vertical call mockup allows all spots to be along the same horizontal axis and allows a lot of calls to be shown in a narrow bandwidth.  Very clean!

It sounds like you folks have been asking for this feature for a while. I'm new here but my Flex 6300 is going to be my backup rig until I have something that approximates my Yaesu with NaP3.  I also would like white shading under the spectrum trace as an option. 
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Ed - W2RF

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I'm working on connecting NaP3 to the 6000. Is that something you would be interested in?

73 Ed W2RF
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Howard -W6HDG

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Ed,
I'd love to try that. I wish HRD had a more robust Rig control for the 6000 so that I wouldn't need SmartSDR at all. Keep me posted.
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Stan - VA7NF

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Preference, to reduce eye and mouse motion plus save screen real estate, in panadapter rotated text as in the mock up above. 

Work flow is critical for 12 hour shifts. FlexControl - Left Hand,  Mouse - Right Hand,  Keyboard - No hands if possible.  Right thumb can flick the enter key without taking it away from the mouse.

Need a way to click a call sign, populate a text line between panadapter and waterfall, click fields to populate the contest logger.  Trying to imagine voice workflow without constant left hand motion.  Phonetics to text?  Perhaps that's why I'm a CW op at heart.

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Ed - W2RF

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I'm arriving at the same conclusion:  Flex-ibility!
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Well, if we have the choice to choose, of course, Al's is best.  I am big on flexibility.  But if technologically we can only get one of them, then I think that on the top of the panadapter display, with vertical calls, and lines that appear upon hovering to identify the correct pip is an option that I would support.  But in reality, I prefer the ability to choose!  (If it doesn't sacrifice other things that I would like to choose.)

The sky's the limit!  Actually not.  We will ultimately be limited by the amount of code this machine can store, and its ability to access it in a timely manner without introducing unacceptable latency.
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k0eoo

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I also like Al's idea if this level of flexibility is possible....
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Bill-W9OL

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Al's idea is the best for me, A DXer and part time Contester.
Especially DXing, where I could decode the signal of who he answered and then easily find the callsign in the skimmer, would be the best.
A mouse click on the callsign last worked, or after determining the DX's pattern, making the correct frequency jump.
For me, the vertical calls  would be the best.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Ken I bet how much cod can be stored is not even a concern. They likely are not even close to topping it out.
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W5XZ - dan

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i like horizontal text in the spectrum; properly formatted for legibility, of course..

hey, 20 hours into a contest, with no sleep?

JM2C  73, w5xz, dan
(Edited)
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Lee, Elmer

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So you're telling me you want every line in this display tagged?
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W5XZ - dan

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just for mults, early, and fresh meat, late...when the rate is dropping...

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EMIL-DL8JJ

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I'm also for flexibility and choise with persistance per band. Depend of conditions and wish to make the choise.

Spots in the spectrum
Spots in a bandmap below the spectrum. ( do not use waterfall and this will be prefered Kind for me)
Spots in a bandmap below the waterfall.
Spots outside of SSDR (like now) for second Monitor etc. ( On  27 zoll Monitor and 4 slices with spectrum, watterfall and skimmer will be tightly:) )

Thanks.

Emil, de DL8JJ 

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Lee, Elmer

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Dan this WAS early, an hour before sundown.  3 hours later it was even more ferocious.  My point was we are used to looking at nearly un-populated displays.  Skimmer presently shows only about 10 khz over the entire vertical dimension.  My screen shot has 2 khz granularity, so if you're going to do this what are the limits of resolution when displayed information becomes hard to discern  Here is a shot of the writelog band map



Look how crowded compared to skimmer yet look how much information is displayed.  In my experience the band map was more effective in controlling freq than either skimmer or SSDR at first click.  Skimmer was more effective in fine tuning especially when using 100 hz filters and SSDR could be expanded or contracted at will and with the waterfall was most effective at finding an empty slot to call CQ.  Each data presentation had its own advantage
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W5XZ - dan

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when there's TMI ( too much information), ya just zoom in...and take each band segment a chunk at a time..

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Beppe IK3VIG

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The SPOT os the spectrum is and old idea available by years in SW-2 software.


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Ed - W2RF

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Thanks, Beppe. Another good example of integrating spots in the spectrum.

I'm tending to favor spectrum integration over a separate panadapter tier.

73 Ed W2RF
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Stan - VA7NF

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An aside:  Oh I would like to have antenna systems that would give me this choice.

When running in a contest I like to keep my panadapter quite narrow, say 1-2 KHz as stuff outside my operating range is totally unnecessary and incurs useless processing overhead.  In search mode I look at spectrum parts to see the colour of the spots, then expand that area.  Alternately sort the spots by beam direction and work an area.  The latter has the slice move to that area.

Only when picking a frequency to run would a wide view of the band be useful, and then the general colour of the spots is important, not each individual entry.  Clutter is not important in this phase.

Spots in the panadapter is still my (very personal, without prejudice) choice.

Nothing says it cannot be an option.  When there are multiple valid reasons for options, then it is wise to make those options selectable.  (Must be my Canadian upbringing).

Regards to all opinions.

Stan  

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Lee, Elmer

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Ed how is this going to be characterized?  Is it going to be part of the radio FPGA firmware or is it going to simply be an overlay on the radio's display?
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Ed - W2RF

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Lee,

I was curious about the desirability of the option, the extent of interest, and how users would like to see and interact with integrated spots. Thus the community poll.

I think implementation is not yet on the roadmap. That would be a question for Steve.

73 Ed W2RF
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Doug K0DV

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I for one have no opinion about integrating DX spots in the Flex spectrum display or waterfall, as long as I could turn it off.  I use HRD, not that its the best logging program around but with a CAT connection, all I have to do is click the spot list station and the Flex immediately tunes to it.  I use two monitors so things are all available to see without making the Flex display confusing, vertical or otherwise hard to read.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I bet it will get around on the air by anti Flexer's that Flex radios have spots now..Hi Hi