Windows Tablet Requirements?

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  • Updated 4 years ago
Looking at possibly purchasing a capable windows tablet to run SmartSDR with my flex 6300. I saw the post on the inexpensive microsoft model for 79. I was wondering what requirements are needed. Can it be run on a surface. I want to make sure I get the right thing.
Thanks
Luke
wx4aa
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Luke Reynolds

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Posted 4 years ago

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Rob N4GA

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Also interested in the replies. Thanks n 73
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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I have read that some have gotten it going on surface pro.. make sure you have a cpu with a little bit of firepower.. I just tested SSDR on a quad core atom and it choked..
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Jon W1JDB

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I use a Surface 3 Pro (i7) (note: not the newly introduced Surface 3).
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Jon W1JDB

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I'm sure it would also work on the Pro 3 with the i5 processor as well.
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Luke Reynolds

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I just wonder about the tablet OS . I know the non pro won't run outside windows apps such as smartsdr
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Luke Reynolds

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I likely won't get a surface but looking for a tablet that has a proper OS
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Simon Lewis

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Surface 3 runs full win 8.1
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Jon W1JDB

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The Surface Pro 3 AND the Surface 3 both run the full Windows OS. You can also use an Ipad running Parallels. Much about that on this community.
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James Whiteway

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I have ran SSDR on a cheap Nextbook tablet. While it works, it's not the greatest and I certainly would not recommend it for daily use. There are several tablets out there that run the full version of Win 8.1. But, you have to be careful about available memory for the OS,  apps and memory for storage. The PRO 3 tablets seem to be the best option for full time use. I would think WiFi specs should be considered too. A slow connection will result in dropped packets and poor performance.
   My test program runs great on my Nextbook tablet, but, my program is not doing near the work that SSDR does. Once I add a panadapter and waterfall, I'm sure it will not be good enough to handle the extra workload.
  Best best advice is get the tablet that has the best specs that you can afford. Or, wait for William's app to show up and grab a nice Android tablet!
james
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Robbie - KI4TTZ

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Just don't get the surface pro 2. (the pro 3 is probably fine though).  I have the pro 2 and the video card is buggy.  I'll probably get rid of my 2 and get a 4 when/if it comes out just to have something portable to go along with my full sized desktop pc.
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Dell Venue 11 works fine here (base model). Good wifi is a must.
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Bob - W7KWS -

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I've tested three Windows 8.1 tablets with SmartSDR 1.4.11.  Two are pretty much useless. One works quite well.

The marginal machines were based on the Intel Bay Trail CPUs Z3735 & Z3740.  The first is the HP Stream 7 with one GB of RAM.  The second was a Dell Venue 8 PRO with two GB of RAM.

Both worked but SSDR was sluggish & latency was so long as to usually result in only one red bar on the SSDR performance indicator.

On the other hand, my Asus T100TAM tablet with an Intel Z3775 works extremely well with green bars all the way across almost all of the time. Audio is crisp & clear using a carefully selected external Mic. The only negative is that the T100s built in Mic is awful so I don't use it.

The T100 is a ten inch tablet which is a little bigger than I prefer. When Windows 10 launches on July 29th, several Intel Cherry Trail tablets are scheduled for introduction. As soon as this happens, I'll be looking for an eight inch machine with a full HD display.
(Edited)
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Bob W7KWS

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Update:

Regarding the HP Stream 7 tablet with Intel Z3735 processor, upon investigation, it appears that the 2.4GHz Bluetooth interferes with the 2.4 GHz. WiFi causing sluggish conditions.  I'm using Bluetooth to connect a mouse for Flex tuning.

If I turn Bluetooth off and use a wired mouse with an OTG adapter, SmartSDR runs well.

The T100TAM and a recently acquired ThinkPad 8 run SmartSDR well under Windows 8.1 with the same Bluetooth mouse activated so I think it has to do with the particular wireless adapter(s) in each machine. 

Since discovering this it seems all of the Bay Trail processors I've tried do OK with SmartSDR under Windows 8.1 using around 20% to 25% CPU capacity.  In some I have to turn off many other tasks to keep the total from reaching 100% but with that, they seem quite usable.

73
(Edited)
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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You guys probably all know this, but just in case:

Windows tablets generally come optimized for low power utilization, as opposed to performance. Some tablets go to very great lengths to achieve as absolutely much power saving as possible.

When evaluating a Windows tablet for use with SSDR, be sure to turn off as many power savings gee gaws as you possibly can.  This includes creating your own power plan, focused on "performance."

One of the downsides of using a tablet (like the Surface Pro 3 or Surface 3,  for example) is that streaming from WiFi can be unpredictable, and the drivers for many of the USB networking adapters can often have abusively long ISRs and/or DPCs. I know this can result in glitches during audio/video streaming... so I assume it can also cause problems with SSDR.  The hardware vendors are "working on the problem"...  cough, cough.

None of this should be much of a problem if you only use your tablet for SSDR occasionally... but if  you're buying a tablet with the primary use being running SSDR, you might want to take the above into account.

Hope that helps,

Peter
K1PGV
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Lee - N2LEE

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Seems to me that running a full copy of SSDR is the wrong approach. A native tablet app is the right development architecture for both power consumption and usability. I think Stu and others are on the right track instead of trying to make a windows surface run a desktop app.

https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/k6tu-remote-sneak-preview
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Lee, Elmer

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I just today installed a set top box called Egreat i6 with a Intel Bay Trail Z3735.  Thing runs 2 monitors at 1920x1080 has both wifi and ethernet and bluetooth.  I can run SSDR skimmer and Log4OM or writelog DDUTIL and SDR-Bridge as well as a couple of chrome windows for monitoring email and such.  It's fanless.  Very adequate if you want a simple $140 radio computer, or a simple remote LAN computer.  I'm not recommending this since it can be run out of resources, but I am having a blast with it.  My i7 chassis died and this thing got me on the air for the weekend 

73  W9OY  
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Bob W7KWS

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All of the above is great input especially for intense operating.  Right now, while it's hot upstairs in the shack, convenience is my priority. A Maestro is on order but until it arrives this ThinkPad 8 running Windows &  SSDR is a100% performer for casual operating from the living room or the deck. I've only had to substitute an external microphone since the one built in performs poorly.

John, N0SNX emailed asking what I'd done to reduce the load on my tablet.  I've pasted my response below for anyone else who is interested.  Remember what Peter said above, all these tablets have different components driven by varying design goals.  Your mileage will vary.  Please make backups first in case you kill your machine.

73

"John,

It seems to depend a lot on the hardware the tablet is running & the WiFi/Bluetooth adapter(s) included & how much interfering WiFi signals there are around you.

Start by right clicking in a blank space in the task bar. This is usually at the bottom of the desktop. Then select "Task Manager". At the bottom there should be a selection for "More Details". Click that & select the "Processes" tab if it isn't already showing. You should see a list of tasks & how much CPU each is using.

I'm not knowledgeable of most of these so I just picked things that didn't seem too important and ended the task if it was using a lot of resources. Dropbox is an example. Another might be an anti-virus program in addition to Windows Defender. So far, so good, I haven't killed it yet.

I also opened the "Device Manager" in the Control Panel & uninstalled all of the Flex DAX drivers. They aren't needed for remote audio listening.

In the task manager I ended Flex CAT as I don't use it on my tablet, only on the desktop computer in my shack. Remember to remove all Flex entries in the "Start" menu or they will cause error messages when they can't find the DAX drivers & one will restart CAT."


Quick Update:

I should have added that programs that use a lot of resources like Dropbox or duplicate anti-virus software should be prevented from restarting when a reboot occurs or uninstalled if you don't really think that you need them.

Bob
(Edited)
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Bob - W7KWS -

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If you are interested in remapping Windows tablet buttons for tuning your Flex 6000 and for PTT, AutoHotKey is free Windows software that does a good job of it without having to deal with registry editing.  Download the program at www.autohotkey.com.

Read the "Quick Start"  guide on how to create a script.  The script below will remap the "Volume Up & Down" buttons for tuning when SSDR is in focus on the screen.  It will also remap some wired earbud/mic "Call Buttons" to send "Space-bar" which will key SSDR after MOX has been used one time first.

If you hold your tablet up side down, reverse {WheelUp} & {WheelDown} in the script.

Another nice, free Windows program is TouchMousePointer at www.lovesummertrue.com/touchmousepointer/en-us/  This software will give your Windows tablet an on screen track-pad. (For some reason this link only seems to work if I copy it & then paste it into my browser's address bar).

I've used both of these programs for several years without any problems that I know of.  Since computers are all different & have different software running on them, please make backups.  You are experimenting.  These things are working well for me but they might not for you.

73, Bob

--------------------

#NoEnv  ; Recommended for performance and compatibility with future AutoHotkey releases.
; #Warn  ; Enable warnings to assist with detecting common errors.
SendMode Input  ; Recommended for new scripts due to its superior speed and reliability.
SetWorkingDir %A_ScriptDir%  ; Ensures a consistent starting directory.

#InstallKeybdHook

Volume_up::
send {WheelDown}
return

Volume_down::
send {WheelUp}
return

Media_Play_Pause::
send {Space}
return

------------------
(Edited)
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Bob - W7KWS -

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I started having WiFi throughput problems to my tablet last night. I followed the advice in the article linked below & switched to channel 11 in an effort to avoid other WiFi signals in my neighborhood & one other in my home.  It seems to have helped considerably.

I'll probably order a dual band router to get 5-GHz & hopefully avoid these increasing interference problems.

73

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/179344-how-to-boost-your-wifi-speed-by-choosing-the-right-chann...
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K6NOK- Bill

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I've been using a Hewlett Packard Spectre 360 and it runs fine with Smartsdr and my 6300.