Will version 1.5 have a completed multimode squelch

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  • Updated 4 years ago
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I'm really hoping version 1.5 has a proper squelch function.  Every rig I have has a squelch that works on all modes.  The existing FM squelch really needs some work too.  It is constantly breaking squelch and filling the room with a loud burst of static, then goes silent again. I don't think a properly operating multi-mode squelch function is too much to ask for.

Norm
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Norm - W7CK

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Posted 4 years ago

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K6OZY, Elmer

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+Like!
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Stan - VA7NF

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Glad someone else has that problem with existing squelch.  It is like a relaxation oscillator in that the closer you are to signal level the more frequently it breaks squelch.
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Dave Dave

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Tim says 1.5 will NOT have Squelch ....... I simply cant believe ANY radio, especially one that will receive multiple signals don't have friggin squelch !

Squelch is to EASY to write .... all you do is mute according to meter reading.

Im starting to think the flex has tubes ...... back to the stone age.

Ive talked 2 people outta buying flex till they get squelch, I had to show one guy on mine because he didn't believe me, he said that's crazy, I agree!

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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Yours Is an Interesting perspective

I can't remember when I have ever used squelch on HF SSB

On ALL digital modes I totally mute the audio as there is no point listening to the sound.

On the extremely rare occasion I do CW, I mute the sound and use CWskimmer since CW is just another slow digital mode.

Which I guess leaves FM where I do use squelch occasionally but not enough to matter to me.

As Tim stated. It's on the LIST. Definitely not at the top as there are many other things that have much higher desirably to more people.

Of course, you are shooting yourself in the foot by talking potential customers out of buying a Flex as you are only losing potential votes to push squelch higher on the list.
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Dave Dave

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My wording wasn't so good ..... neither considered no squelch acceptable, both assumed it would have squelch like any other radio does, both like me tried to run demo software before buying but couldn't find it.

Digital just mute sure.

I find plenty people that feel like me, I cant imagine listening to multiple hf all day with no squelch.

Many, like me have more then one freq they like to monitor and listen for friends.

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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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What demo software?

Did I miss this?

73

Steve K9ZW

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Bill -VA3WTB

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Dave, you did Flex and yourself a disservice, all because what you want is not within your timeline of what you feel should happen. Your friends just lost an opportunity to have a wonderful performing radio with or without squelch.
You along with some others forget this radio is in development, so as this goes we wait for things to improve step by step, most understand this.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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I'd like to better understand the use cases for squelch on HF, as I am also one who has never used squelch on HF in my 40 years of hamming.  If this is about noise mitigation rather than making HF sound like FM, then I personally find that adjusting AGC-T is a more effective control.
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Dan -- KC4GO

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          I for one do more than DX and Contest. I spend some time monitoring Utility, Aviation, Marine, Military and other HF Frequencies. It would be nice to Squelch them and only hear the transmissions. Also provides easy way to control scanning of a list of HF frequencies (I do find it intersting that Flex has addressed Squelch and level in the memory for all frequencies stored). Note FRStack has a form of scanning built into the new release but had to build his own and use the slice Mute to control the audio based on meter reading.                    AGC-T is not a sub for Squelch in any case. I also like to monitor various Ham frequencies for activity that doesn't mean I wish to listen to white noise all day long.
          When I travel in my RV after the close of the RV Service net on 7191 at 09:00 EST I will leave my TS-480 on frequency and set the squelch so if some of my fellow travelers pop in I'll hear them without listening to all the noise. I'm looking forward to taking the FLEX 6500 mobile this fall for several trips. 

Tim, I hope this helps you to understand those of use the Flex 6000 in other ways have for Squelch. And don't get me wrong The 6500 is the best RX I have ever owned or used both commercial and amateur. 
(Edited)
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Martin Ewing AA6E

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So I, for one, have an HF use case!  I'd like a real squelch for FreeDV operation.   I could go either way on this, but at times I think I'd like to squelch the noise when there is no FDV signal on channel. 

On the other hand, when there is a weak FDV signal, the radio will go quiet until you get a successful decode.  That's kind of nice, too.

It's nothing to lose sleep over.
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K6OZY, Elmer

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I have requested a FDV squelch many times.  The open source modem has that by default.  I do not want to hear the analog side if no FDV signal is present.
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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We talked with the FreeDV team before implementation and they recommended not implementing a squelch.  Here's the logic -- many HFers find the digital modes to be a nuisance, but the thing that really torques them is when a digital mode person will transmit over a SSB / CW signal because they are not listening.  In order to have the best "good neighbor" rating, the decision was made from the FreeDV guys not to allow squelch.  I hear and "got" the logic so we also did not implement it that way.
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K6OZY, Elmer

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Couldn't that be said about any squelch, not just FDV squelch?
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Dave Dave

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Please answer so im clear on my understanding, SSB will eventually have Squelch, Right?
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Martin Ewing AA6E

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@Steve - I can see it both ways. (Squelch with FDV) I don't think Flex (or the FreeDV project) needs to decide whether FDV users "should" use squelch.  Provide it (if it's not too expensive) and let users figure out the etiquette. 

A glance at the panafall actually works pretty well to tell if the channel is active. "Listen before transmit" is a basic ham principle, but it doesn't mean my shack needs to suffer an open audio channel all day when I'm waiting for some FDV activity.  Same logic as with FM channels.
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Ken - NM9P

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The only difference that comes into play is that a signal level squelch would open whenever there is ANY signal on the frequency. Whereas a FDV squelch would open only when a DIGITAL signal is on frequency, giving users a false indication of a clear frequency.

As a person who occasionally dabbles in SSTV, EasyPAL, and FDV, I have seen the abuses run both ways on all three "reserved" frequencies.... People firing up SSB on top of the digital modes as if they won't bother them because they are t "voice" modes... And I have seen people just fire up SSTV on top of SSB qso's that were on "their" frequency as if they were intruders that deserved no respect.

Even so... I would support a selectable option. We probably shouldn't try to idiot-proof the rig too much, or lots of good users will find their experience limited too much because of fear of the idiots.....

Ken-NM9P
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Burt Fisher

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Why would anyone use SSTV, 2 minutes to send a picture of Mickey Mouse?
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Richard McClelland, AA5S

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You were licensed three months and seventeen days before me.  That makes you an old-timer.
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Mark - W3II

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The staff at Flex Radio are hard at work on many feature / function items and have been transparent on what they are working on. When there is functionality desired which is not currently in the product many Flex'ers have provided add-on programs and utilities to close the gaps. It would be great if every feature / function desired was part of SmartSDR. My goal is not to start a debate on what features make more sense or are easy to implement. It is to point out just such a feature exists in my FRStack program, I called it "SSB Meter Level Mute".

https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/frstack-1-4-7-adds-scanning-band-edge-beep-band-use...

You may already be aware of this but I want to make sure the Flex Community knew. I appreciate and learn something new from the Flex Community every week.

73, Mark
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James Whiteway

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While I don't use squelch on HF, (other than my CB radio in my big truck.) I do understand why some might want it. Like Dave, he monitors two frequencies at once. While talking on one, with a squelch set on another slice receiver, he would hear nothing from the second receiver until it's squelch broke due to a signal strong enough to break past the level set in the second slice.
James
WD5GWY
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Burt Fisher

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I asked a rep at an ARRL convention about a filter to filter out contests, he pointed to the power button.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Problem is, that filters everything out as well....
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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The ultimate brick wall filter ;-)
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Burt Fisher

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But it works, I just go watch TV or read a book
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Bob - W7KWS -

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Many rigs have a squelch for HF but few work very well. On
most rigs setting squelch to a usable level is difficult due to QSB constantly
varying received signal strengths.

I've heard of a workable approach to HF squelch for SSB that detects speech or
another that compares the energy in the upper & lower sideband channels but
it's not clear to me of their effectiveness with other modes.

57 years as a ham & I can't remember anyone ever using HF squelch due to
these reasons.

Flex could add marginal squelch that doesn’t work any better than other rigs
but duplicating mediocrity hasn’t been their style. It seems to me that taking
on this difficult task would be a huge diversion of resources that should go elsewhere.

As a Flex 6300 owner I encourage Flex to proceed on the current plan until they have time to do it better than anyone else.
(Edited)
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Norm - W7CK

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Bob,
I have squelch on 2 Icom rigs and a Yaesu rig that works just fine on SSB.  I use it all the time for 6m openings and to listen to the maritime mobile net on 14.300.  Works fine!
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Bob - W7KWS -

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Norm,

I guess it must be a difference between our operating practice. I've never found squelch reliable having used a very long list of rigs over the years, most recently a K3, Kenwood TS-590, Icom IC-756 PRO, among others.

A few years ago, I was one of the net control operators for the Pacific Seafarer's net on 14.300. The many signals from around the Pacific varied so much that if I'd set the squelch for a particular level, there would have been a high probability of missing many calls due to multipath fading taking signals below the squelch set point. Setting it lower and noise bursts would keep it open much of the time.

I think that multi-mode HF squelch can be done well but it isn't trivial to make it "set and forget". In my expierience, none of the dozens of rigs I've owned from all manufacturers from Collins forward
Have done it well. I hope when they get to it at Flex that they do it right.

Please give me some insight on how you use squelch and the radio model you use. I have 14 HF transceiver models around here & I'd like to duplicate your experience. Thanks!
(Edited)
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Norm - W7CK

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Well I bought my 6700 because it has 8 slice receivers.  That's 8 different receivers that can be use on any band on any mode all at the same time.  A squelch that works as well as any of the many Icom, Kenwood or Yaesu HF rigs that have come out over the past 15-20 years would be great.

I would like to use it for monitoring openings on both 2m SSB and 6m SSB.  I also have a few marine frequencies, and a few frequencies on 160, 40 and 20m that I listen to on a continual basis.  It would be very nice to have a squelch that I could turn up the volume but not have to listen to the background hiss / white noise all day long.  The AGC-T isn't a substitute for squelch. 

I have 8 slice receivers and I'd like to be able to use them more comfortably.  How difficult is squelch on SSB?  Shoot every rig on the market has it.  

Norm
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Ken - NM9P

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While at present I don't usually use squelch on HF other than FM, with the 6500 and multiple slices it has become more appealing to me.  Especially when monitoring for band openings on 6 meters while talking on other bands.  I can see it especially effective with the following enhancements...

1) When the second (or third or fourth) slice is squelched, the audio levels act just as if they were muted, meaning that the audio power is NOT balanced between the various slices.  When squelch is broken, the audio power sharing is implemented.

2) It would be especially nice if the SSB Squelch was based upon audio detection of the voice rather than merely based upon signal strength.  This would prevent random noise bursts, sweeps, carriers, etc. from opening the squelch.  This would be much more effective.

3) It would be really nice to have some type of encoded squelch similar to DCS or the tone burst used on aviation HF that could be used to open the squelch on a channel - i.e. for EOC uses, emergency nets, etc.  it could be as simple as sending a string of dits, an encoded sequences of pulses, or a two or three tone burst similar to the automatic mode identification on some of the digital modes. 

My main thought in any of these options, and in using an HF squelch in general, is to limit unnecessary noise in my receiver speakers or headphones, especially when monitoring fairly inactive bands while working other bands at the same time.  Even when sliding one or two slices to the right or left and adjusting AGC-t carefully, the extra noise is distracting.  It is especially distracting when trying to work a new weak one.

Ken - NM9P
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Bob Wright, N7ZO

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I use NR cranked all the way up (with AGC set properly) as a “soft” squelch.  Throughout the sporadic E season, I normally have a second panadapter and slice open monitoring 50.125 using this technique and have found the results acceptable.

Bob, N7ZO
(Edited)
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Steve Gw0gei

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I use squelch on 6m ssb one one slice and on 4m Tvtr via 10m if on the second slice to monitor both bands ssb calling frequencies most days. I have owned ic575 current ic7400 and various yaesu and a recent ts590 all of which had satisfactory squelch operation on ssb. The current squelch on my 6300 is flaky when listening to 4m fm and often needs switching on and off . I often have both slices on same band too - monitoring 50150 and 50110. Or 70200 and 70450.

It's not a game changer but it is a needed feature for those of us who spend as much time on VHF as we do on lf

73

Steve gw0gei
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Thanks everyone for sharing your use cases.  We'll factor this data in when making our next release planning decisions.
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Dave Dave

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Factor in this, I cant find a radio less then 15 years old that don't have squelch.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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give it a rest Dave, those remarks are getting really old....
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Official Response
I am closing this question because it has been asked and answered; SmartSDR v1.5.0 will not have any additional squelch features of improvements..  Any additional discussions on future Squelch implementations should be submitted as Idea posts.  Any issues on the current implementation of FM squelch needs to be added as a Problem post.  Thanks.

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