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Assorted ramblings from the developer


Transparent S Meter

Version 3.0.13 introduced analog S meters and resulted in requests for transparency. One of the big features of SDR Console is the use of Direct2D graphics which is a lot more complicated than the GDI/GDI+ used in many other ham radio programs such as Ham Radio Deluxe.

Working out transparency wasn't easy, finally a Microsoft example showed me how to do this. A day when you don't learn something is a day wasted.

Here's an example of transparency. This will be part of 3.0.14.


Release: 3.0.13

Download here [Link].

What's new / changed in 3.0.13:

General

  • Fixed frequency display problem in the RDS display. 100.05 was displayed as 100.5.
  • Minor change to logic when closing the Matrix window, linked to a memory leak.
  • Reduced background thread start-up time.
  • Added Equaliser… option to the Playback device selection.


     
  • The Radio Selection windows displays Connect when a V3 Server is selected, otherwise Start.
  • New option to replace 0 with O in the main frequency display.


     
  • Added Google Turbo and Inferno colour schemes.


     

Markers

  • Memory definitions can now be shown as markers: new option in Markers dropdown and on the memories pane of the ribbon bar.
  • Display of markers more efficient.
  • Enhanced the marker display logic, allowed more room when markers overlap.

Recordings

  • Audio recordings made while playing an IQ recording are now timestamped with the time from the playback, not the current time.
  • Added Status option to Playback pane in the ribbon bar. When selected the playback status is shown in the waterfall (the default). If not selected then playback status is not shown.

Ribbon Bar

  • Fixed Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) customise keyboard problem (Accelerator table was missing)
  • View, Spectrum, Peaks – new option to show either symbol or value.

RTL Dongle

  • Now dynamically linked to libusb 1.0.22
  • Added:
    • Bias-T
    • Offset Tuning for zero IF tuners (Radio Configuration)
    • HF Mode = Direct Sampling for frequencies < 28.8 MHz. (Radio Configuration)
  • EEPROM update of serial no. now implemented fully, so if you have two or more dongles you can select by serial no. If you only have one then it is always opened, serial no. is ignored.
  • Fixed the startup problem where the filter selection was not restored, instead it reverted to the default filter for the current mode. Note: this was a design issue which goes back 3 ½ years. I now have time to look at this sort of situation as the underlying code structure is robust and importantly stable.

Spectrum Window

  • Added Analog S Meters https://www.sdr-radio.com/Console/SMeter 
  • Added Scale… to the buttons shown in the main spectrum window:
  • The spectrum will now show a lower noise floor while the peaks are preserved, This is the data averaging – this is nothing to do with Smoothing; it’s processing of the FFT data before the data is smoothed.
  • Added sanity checks to prevent a negative frequency when clicking to the left of a signal.
  • Mouse cursors drawn correctly in CW-L.

Website


Google Turbo

Turbo, An Improved Rainbow Colormap for Visualization 

https://ai.googleblog.com/2019/08/turbo-improved-rainbow-colormap-for.html

On Tuesday, August 20, 2019 Google posted an interesting colour scheme which they named 'Turbo'. Read more about this in the blog entry (link is above). Below is the colour map in action on the 25m shortwave broadcast band. As of 3.0.13 this is a standard colourmap[ in SDR Console.

Also of interest is the use of a SNR (Signam to Noise) S Meter option.


S-Meters

After much pestering by users, I finally added an Analog S-meter to SDR Console. These will be available in 3.0.13, coming to a desktop near you soon.

Background

A few weeks previously a reasonable logic was implemented for measuring the noise floor. Purists will not be happy, but they rarely are, but it works for me.

Take the output from the SDR radio, ignore 15% of the bandwidth at the high and low end of the output to avoid the ant-alias filtering, and we're left with a healthy 70% of the signal. Now sort the FFT bins by value, take the mean of the lowest 10% and that's the noise floor.

Digital

Starting with the standard digital metere:

Analog

Here are a few screenshots of the Analog S Meter.

First a tradition meter in S units.

  • Red = peak signal
  • Yellow = current signal
  • Grey = noise floor

 

Here's a dBm meter, same colours as above.

 

And here.s a Signal to Noise (SNR) meter.


Pluto on Es'Hail 2

Here's a screenshot of my Pluto SDR on Es'Hail 2, this screenshot shows the suggested settings for pluto(bottom left-hand side).

Note the RX Gain is set to Slow Attack (Manual value is ignored) and the Visual is set to -40dB.


Windows Upgrade

Yesterday I powered on a small ATOM 330 server which was last started five years ago. Well, up came Windows 7 Professional and of course the normal zillions of updates appeared. Anyway, I wondered whether the now officially expired free update from Windows 7 to Windows 10 was still available. Google brought me to this link on www.zdnet.com .

In https://www.zdnet.com/article/heres-how-you-can-still-get-a-free-windows-10-upgrade/ the suggestion is to  go to the Download Windows 10 webpage whioch I did. then I clicked the Download too now button. Thereafter I just followed my nose and two hours later my little server was proudly running a licemced version of Windows 10.

So the free upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 is till available!

Toodles


Release: 3.0.12

Download here [Link].

What's new / changed in 3.0.12:

General

  • CW Skimmer bugs resolved, confirmed as working by Kurt, DF4XX.
  • Data recorder supports Range values of 48kHz and 96kHz.
  • Frequency display overflow error fixed.
  • Memory definitions > 2 GHz could crash the console – fixed.
  • Radio Calibration window changed to avoid confusion, now shows 0 PPM instead of None when no calibration is in effect.
  • Rare hang situation during program start found and fixed.

DX Cluster

See https://www.sdr-radio.com/Console/DXCluster.

  • Ribbon Bar, View, Spectrum, DX Cluster.
  •  Markers must be enabled: Ribbon Bar, View, Spectrum, Markers.
  • Comes with a list of suggested nodes.
  • Autostart option.
  • Can be docked anywhere.
  • Runs even when window is closed.
  • Cluster implements a timeout / reconnect logic:
    • If no messages are received for 60 seconds an ‘echo # keepalive’ command is sent, this will reset the reconnect timer if the cluster node is running.
    • If no messages are received for a further 30 seconds:
      1. The connection is closed,
      2. The connection is restarted.


Recent Posts

  • Release: 3.0.14 Posted 1 days ago
    Download here [Link]. What's new / changed in 3.0.14: General Closing threads (and the program) now much faster if the thread had not been started, also System Debugger diagnostics have been enabled to find any other issues when closing the program if the ‘Not Responding’ text was seen in the title bar. Fixed bug where a high-pass filter could be incorrectly applied to broadcast FM demodulation. RDS logfile now supports UTC as set in the … Options window. Geostationary beacon window now applies the current contrast when floating. Receive audio equaliser now correctly initialised when started from either: Audio dropdown, Ribbon bar. FM Squelch: big change on the FM squelch front: Now suing power suqelch instead of noise squelch, the squelch threshold/level values will be different, sorry about that. The original code was over nine years old and was a cheap and cheerful solution. In the kit the whole concept has changed, now it’s an advanced squelch based on signal power. Synchronous AM, ECSS Lock Range: ribbon bar entrry added. ...
  • Transparent S Meter Posted 2 weeks ago
    Version 3.0.13 introduced analog S meters and resulted in requests for transparency. One of the big features of SDR Console is the use of Direct2D graphics which is a lot more complicated than the GDI/GDI+ used in many other ham radio programs such as Ham Radio Deluxe. Working out transparency wasn't easy, finally a Microsoft example showed me how to do this. A day when you don't learn something is a day wasted. Here's an example of transparency. This will be part of 3.0.14.
  • Release: 3.0.13 Posted 3 weeks ago
    Download here [Link]. What's new / changed in 3.0.13: General Fixed frequency display problem in the RDS display. 100.05 was displayed as 100.5. Minor change to logic when closing the Matrix window, linked to a memory leak. Reduced background thread start-up time. Added Equaliser… option to the Playback device selection.   The Radio Selection windows displays Connect when a V3 Server is selected, otherwise Start. New option to replace 0 with O in the main frequency display.   Added Google Turbo and Inferno colour schemes.   Markers Memory definitions can now be shown as markers: new option in Markers dropdown and on the memories pane of the ribbon bar. Display of markers more efficient. Enhanced the marker display logic, allowed more room when markers overlap. Recordings Audio recordings made while playing an IQ recording are now timestamped with the time from the playback, not the current time. Added Status option to Playback pane in the ribbon bar. When selected the playback status is shown in the waterfall (the default). If not selected then playback status is not ...
  • Google Turbo Posted 3 weeks ago
    Turbo, An Improved Rainbow Colormap for Visualization  https://ai.googleblog.com/2019/08/turbo-improved-rainbow-colormap-for.html On Tuesday, August 20, 2019 Google posted an interesting colour scheme which they named 'Turbo'. Read more about this in the blog entry (link is above). Below is the colour map in action on the 25m shortwave broadcast band. As of 3.0.13 this is a standard colourmap[ in SDR Console. Also of interest is the use of a SNR (Signam to Noise) S Meter option.
  • S-Meters Posted 3 weeks ago
    After much pestering by users, I finally added an Analog S-meter to SDR Console. These will be available in 3.0.13, coming to a desktop near you soon. Background A few weeks previously a reasonable logic was implemented for measuring the noise floor. Purists will not be happy, but they rarely are, but it works for me. Take the output from the SDR radio, ignore 15% of the bandwidth at the high and low end of the output to avoid the ant-alias filtering, and we're left with a healthy 70% of the signal. Now sort the FFT bins by value, take the mean of the lowest 10% and that's the noise floor. Digital Starting with the standard digital metere: Analog Here are a few screenshots of the Analog S Meter. First a tradition meter in S units. Red = peak signal Yellow = current signal Grey = noise floor   Here's a dBm meter, same colours as above.   And here.s a Signal to Noise (SNR) meter.
Read More »

 

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