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Assorted ramblings from the developer


Release: 3.0.17

Download here [Link].

External Radio

General

  • Ensure all program components start sequentially:
    • When DX Cluster is configured to starts when the program is launched it will no longer allow other processing until the cluster connection is established.
    • DX Cluster and the External Radio were starting simultaneously and this was causing the program to freeze.
  • Added sanity checks when defining filters:


     
  • Remote server: the connection window below is now much faster, especially when the remote server is hosting more than one SDR.


     
  • ANAN 10 – better (not perfect) display of output power. User calibration to come in a future kit.
  • TX Meters now work better when automatically adjusting displayed ranges.
  • TX display of ANAN PLL status changed to indicate when the PLL is stably locked.
  • Remote server web page updated: https://www.sdr-radio.com/Software/Version3/Server

LimeSDR


Release: 3.0.16

Download here [Link].

Important changes for QO-100 user, see below. What's new / changed in 3.0.16:

Display

  • DX Cluster bug fixed so the connection / non-connection can always be closed.
  • Added 'Always On Top' option when, when selected keeps SDR Console on top of all other applications.


     
  • The font used at the top of the RX and TX window has changed from non-proportional bold to proportional normal.
  • This kit correctly saves / restores the collapsed / expended state of the panes in the RX and TX DSP panels.
  • Added Program Lock.


     
  • With very high zoom levels the interpolation changes to use a cubic spline, in the image below see how round the spectrum curve is.


     

Converter Definitions

  • Now support a TX offset as well as RX.
  • The TX offset is shown at the top of the TX DSP panel.


     
  • The TX offset option has been removed.
  • Has a QO-100 button which prepares a standard QO-100 definition.
  • This affects QO-100 users - see https://www.sdr-radio.com/Console/EsHail2 and scroll down.
  • Existing definitions are kept (not lost).


     

ANAN

  • Modified forward power display for ANAN 10.
  • Changed PLL lock warning.

Hermes-Lite 2

  • PTT now supported.
  • TX Meters now display properly.
  • Added display of TX FIFO for Hermes-Lite 2, requires Gateware 68 (x44) or higher.

TX

  • Added CTCSS for Narrow FM transmission.


     

RX

  • Increased Narrow FM high-pass filter taps from 299 to 999, filter was not sharp enough.
  • Changed AM/CW/SSB squelch to use a new algorithm, works well with AM/SSB.
  • Removed redundant code from the demodulation audio output (functions that were never used).

General

  • Added checks to CW Skimmer interface to prevent serious memory leak if CW Skimmer stops working.
  • Removed program expiration.
  • Fixed a bug where file playback resulted in a memory leack which in turn caused the CPU to increase until the program ground to a halt.
  • Navigation with arrow keys, frequency entry with number pad digit keys now works properly.
  • Autostart works with network radios such as NetSDR, Afedri.
  • Fixed a bug where after dragging a VFO (RX1, RX2) a direct click to set frequency was unreliable. Similarly a click could be interpreted as dragging 0Hz.
  • Honour UTC setting when defining a Scheduled recording.
  • Fixes problem with crash while starting program on a very wide gaming console with non-default scaling.

Release: 3.0.15

Download here [Link].

What's new / changed in 3.0.15:

General

  • Added AM, SAM  and BFM independent sideband tuning (asymmetrical filtering)
    • Filter low and high sides are optionally independent, the default is (and was) that the filter is symmetrical.
    • In the Filter window added a new button, when highlighted Independent tuning is enabled.
    • The text in this button will change when I have a better idea!
    • When switching from ISB to Symmetrical filters take the greater of low & high and apply to both sides.
       
  • Markers now support alternate colours for DX spots.
  • Memories Organiser now correctly processes ^ and v buttons when more than one entry is selected.

  • Updated the Serial port PTT:

    • Should have anti-bounce logic, bounces < 100ms should not affect TX
    • More diagnostics available using DebugView.
       
  • Added 40, 50 and 60 minutes to the DX Cluster options.
  • Fix problem with scheduled recordings and WAV / RF64 setting (multiple  / single files).
  • Added MIDI support for some TX features as below:

     
  • The PSK beacon on QO-100 may change frequency at some point in the future, so I have updated the Geo Beacon window […] allowing the user to select the new frequency.

Radios

  • Fixed problem setting offset tuning option for RTL E4000 dongles.

  • FUNcube dongles – correctly support opening via bus/address. Please Search again for your dongles as the USB Bus and Address is now part of the dongle’s own address definition.

  • Hermes-Lite 2 (HL2) added Tx support.

  • Pluto – catch crash during device search (autodetect) when the ad9361 doesn’t start – happens with modified Pluto boards if a LO signal is missing.


Release: 3.0.14

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.


Display

  • Analog S Meter peak value is now optional
  • Markers
    • Display of memory markers now works properly, previously DX Cluster spots had to be enabled.
    • You can now select exactly what you want to display, for example just DX Cluster spots



       
  • Redrawing the waterfall after shifting the frequency with the main slider at the bottom now shown correctly (ie consistently).
  • Removed tootips from TX, Tone, Tune and … in the Transmit windows.
  • Basic change to default settings for pane windows such as Signal History, DX Cluster, BFM Spectrum. Previously, non-visible panes were affecting the restored size of visible panes.

Signal History

  • Added horizontal axis.
  • Added noise (optional).


     
  • Added extra options to Export (include comments, show frequency).


     

Recording

  • Audio
    • Recordings made during playback of an IQ data file:
      • Correctly show the frequency
      • Show time in local or UTC – depends on the UTC setting when selecting the IQ file.
    • ISO 8601, UTC option added to Audio Recording window.


       
  • Data
    • Fixed bug with chained Data recordings made by Perseus software.
    • Added data recording Power option. When the data recording is finished the program can be closed or the computer shut down. See Ribbon Bar, Rec/Playback, Data::Recording, Power.


       

Lime

  • Updated the Lime support library to the very latest version. One thing now working is the temperature display – at last! The status of the library is here: https://github.com/myriadrf/LimeSuite . Anyway, all fixes made by lime are now in this kit.

Pluto

  • TX Gain

    While working on these issues I’ve been testing by transmitting on 144.320 MHz and listening with a second computer using an Airspy HF+ Discovery. Robin Getz (AD support) suggested that the reason for low TX output was the digital filter design I used, he suggested using a library from Analog Devices. After a lot of work I found that my own filters were just as good, but for now this kit uses the AD filter design.

    ​As part of the new filter implementation:
    • Removed sample rates below 1.2 MHz as the AD filters are bad (very bad) with that much decimation, but good otherwise.
    • Removed the RX analogue filter selection – this is now set automatically as part of the RX filter setting (which calculates both analogue and digital at the same time).
    • Changed the digital (FIR) filter algorithm to use the library supplied by AD instead of my own. RX gain is different, but TX gain – not much difference.
    • At the bottom of the Radio pane I now show the peak transmit data  – in fact I should how far the peak is below the absolute maximum. In the example below the transmitted signal is 0.8dB below the maximum that can be sent to the Pluto.


       
    • In the … Options I added a new page FIR Filter. This shows the FIR filter design and has a Boost TX gain option which increases the filter taps values as much as possible (they are 16-bit signed integers), increasing the tap values increases the gain. The typical boost factor is ~1.275 which is only ~2dB in practice and should be used with care.


       
  • TX Buffering
    • Reworked the logic where the transmit data is buffered and sent to Pluto. The previous code was not great – I can now select a 20ms I/O buffer (send data to Pluto in 20ms chunks) without any breaks in transmission, in fact it also works with a 10ms setting.
    • At the bottom of the Radio pane you see the unsent buffer size in ms. We can probably fine tune this later, but it needs some testing first.


    • In the Buffers window I show the buffer settings, this will help with diagnostics.​

RTLSDR

  • Code now compiled with libusb-1.0.20
  • Support enhanced.

SDRplay

  • Fixed bug with SDRplay Duo. The Hi-Z antenna selection was incorrect when starting the radio.

Remote Server (Funcube)

  • Fixed problem with Remote Server when a soundcard must be selected.

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


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.


Release: 3.0.11

Download here [Link].

What's new / changed in 3.0.11:

General

  • CW Skimmer interface updated, minor bugs fixed. [Link]
  • Audio - minor change in WASAPI feed/output logic, buffers padded with zeros.
  • More intelligent buffering of unprocessed data in the FFT threads, improves resillience when main thread is interrupted.
  • Installation kit appearance updated.
  • Very minor enhancements to the processing behind the matrix display. I spent some time working out how I would get 48 receivers running smoothly – I haven’t done this, but at least I now know what I would have to do (multi-threaded Direct2D). I was running 20 receivers at once to test the above audio driver logic and wasn’t 100% happy with the performance.
  • NR3 – slight increase in sensitivity.

CTCSS squelch

  • CTCSS is an addition to the normal squelch.
  • Signal level is measured for each CTCSS frequency using Goertzel’s algorithm (the standard for this sort of thing).
  • Selected frequency level must be 5dB or more that the average measured across CTCSS tone range.
  • Once CTCSS frequency is detected the squelch stays open until the signal is lost. This will change in a future kit, CTCSS must be detected at least every two seconds (an over modulated transmission can affect the CTCSS tone).

Data Recording

As I use this a lot I attacked a few features which I didn’t like very much:

  • Recording Selection
    • Added [_] Reload on open which reloads the current folder when the Select Recording window is opened, rather than displaying the previous values which are stored in an XML file. As I use SSDs for the recordings the reload is fast, but an aged HDD may not be, hence the default which is to restore the previous values from a cache.
  • Playback
    • Added Gain (main toolbar only).
    • Slight change to the logic used to determine the display bandwidth when a file is opened.
    • Change to the layout of the Navigator window.
    • Added Show/Hide time button.
    • Dynamic positioning of the navigation grid based on available room in the window.

Display/UI

  • Fixed error displaying waterfall, spectrum and receiver markers where the radio was tuned close to 0 Hz.
  • Corrected redraw issues if the spectrum high value is automatic (Ribbon Bar, View,  Spectrum Scale, High) and the colour scale (right of display) is adjusted.
  • Tuning Bar
    o    Clicking the mouse in the unused area to the side of the tuning bar (bottom of display) now centres the tuning indicator at the click position, previously there was no action.
    o    Clicking << or >> at either end of the tuning bar now increments the offset by the zoom factor – 1 (was just zoom factor).
  • The new smoothing algorithm (One Euro Filter) now made symmetric.

Favourites

  • Updated Favourites Organiser:
    • Tree is collapsed by default,
    • Added Expand and Collapse buttons.
  • When a Favourite is added a default title is suggested.
  • Tooltips now show the frequency and mode for the first three receivers.

Radio

  • Airspy HF+ update API library. Recommended that the latest firmware is installed, this is 3.0.0 or newer.
  • Airspy R2 small change in decimation processing.
  • Added initial support for WiNRADiO Sigma.
  • Lime:
    • Calibration updated:
      • Rx Calibration and TX Calibration buttons have icons which show whether the RX / TX is calibrated.
      • TX Calibration prompts to disable any PA before the calibration proceeds. Calibration must use the current TX antenna at a relatively high gain.
      • Calibration values are stored in XML files for each band.
      • Calibration always performed at the recommended internal gain of 64dB.
    • Logfile optionally sent to the system debugger (DebugView).

Spectrum Markers

  • Initial implementation: Ribbon Bar, View, Spectrum, Markers.
  • Intergration with DX Clusters will be the main focus of 3.0.12.

Servers

  • Only one definition per server.
    • When you select the server a list of available radios is displayed.
    • If the remote server is using this kit you will see ‘ X In use’ if the SDR is in use. Earlier servers will always assume it is available.
    • Your list of server definitions should upgrade automatically.
    • Test with my server: 81.174.138.141 port 50101 .

Startup

  • When starting the console / applying a favourite only one receiver opens the audio output device at a time. Although there shouldn’t be a problem with multiple threads simultaneously opening an audio output at the same time it’s just better to do it this way, it’s cleaner and places less stress on the Windows mixer / driver logic.
  • Sanity improved when starting the program:
    • Ensure any floating panes are actually visible and not off the screen.
    • Rewrote some of the code for easier maintenance in the future (replaced fixed tables with dynamic logic).

Release: 3.0.10

Download here [Link].

What's new / changed in 3.0.10:

General

  • Audio device dropdown now shows a check mark next to the current device and L/R channel selection.
  • SDRplay radios – sanity check that the default frequency is valid – must be in the range 10 kHz to 2 GHz. previously a user started with the default frequency of 10Ghz which is not supported by the SDRplay library.
  • FM Stereo RDS logging was not working properly with multiple active receivers.
  • Fixed a long-standing bug in the tuning bar at the bottom of the main waterfall; this was an error which existed since the code was originally written over four years ago. A determined fool-hardy user could expose the problem and crash the program.
  • Scrolling at 8.333 kHz with rapid middle wheel spinning works properly.
  • Identity title now optionally shown in the program title bar.

DSP

  • More taps available for filters.
  • Corrected DSB filter editor.
  • Narrow FM de-emphasis redesigned to avoid audio pumping.
  • NR3 reworked. Threshold changed to Level, working much better.
  • Filters:
    • Changed appearance of the Filter design window.
    • Added more windowing options.
    • (I may add Remez design methodology later.)

Favourites

  • Sorting favourites by frequency is now reliable.

Installation

  • Slight change to installer appearance, kit now has updated images.
  • In previous kits an extra folder SDR-Radio.com was being created in the user folders, this extra folder was not used.

Memory

  • Applying a memory now restores the original center frequency and bandwidth if the memory frequency would not otherwise be visible.

Pluto

  • Pluto visible gain range changed to -60dB to 30dB.
  • Digital filter opened up to 0.95 and the offset tuning range increased to +/- 200kHz.

    Looking at the code I was enabling the Transmit Digital Filter with a normalised bandwidth of 0.2, so at 550kHz that’s 110kHz and with 128 taps not very sharp. This is why we were seeing lower outputs with greater offsets because offset tuning means just that – tuning at an offset from the center frequency.

    SoTo test, I set the digital filter to 0.95 of normalised bandwidth and this did not change the signal(s) seen on the remote receiver (Airspy HF+ Discovery). I was testing on 144.300 and the Discovery was picking up signals 60dB above the noise.

Recordings

  • Fixed a problem with audio recording of Broadcast FM when in mono, previousy a new file was created every time the mode switched between mono and stereo.
  • When the playback of a file starts the display bandwidth is set to the bandwidth of the recording. A more intelligent algorithm will be developed in 3.0.11.
  • ELAD files which are not valid WAV format are supported.
  • IQ recording now has a Range option, specify the center frequency and the bandwidth.

Ribbon Bar

  • Memory editor now supports 11 digits – frequencies up to 99.9GHz.
  • Adding a dropdown entry to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) now does not inhibit correct initialisation of the original dropdown. The dropdown in the QAT does not work though, this is being investigated. An example of a dropdown is Ribbon Bar, Home Bandwidth.
  • Entries added to the ribbon bar’s QAT (Quick Access Toolbar) are removed when starting if they contain dropdown entries. This is related to random crashes in the console.

RX

  • When a new receiver is added the default frequency is no longer the center of the display, rather an unused frequency in the visible display.
  • Adding a new receiver now clones the currently active receiver. It was working this way when 3.0 was released but was broken in a previous minor update.

Satellites

Spectrum

  • Implemented the One Euro Filter as default in the Spectrum Smoothing. This is much better than the other options, it preserves the peaks while reducing noise.
  • Fixed a slightly obscure bug only seen while scrolling the receiver frequency.

Transmit

  • Added Serial Port PTT.

  •  

Release: 3.0.9

Download here [Link].

Note: The main reason for this release is the fixes to transmit with the Pluto SDR.

What's new / changed in 3.0.9:

General

  • The 8.333 kHz tuning rate wasn’t working properly as it’s really 8.333 recurring.
  • The Analyser now correctly processes the Invert Spectrum option (swap IQ from the recording file).
  • The Ribbon Bar, Home. Radio, Bandwidth dropdown now shows the currently selected bandwidth when using radios where the actual bandwidth may differ slightly from the displayed bandwidth (Perseus at 95, 96 and 192kHz).
  • The bit smoothing option in RDS processing was not being set correctly.
  • USB Relay option now also part of the general Program Options.
  • Broadcast FM audio recordings now always created in stereo (two channel) mode – previously the recording was restarted every time the audio switched between mono and stereo.
  • RDS logfile now has a delay option in the Database selection pane, this is designed to be used in situations where there is considerable latency, for example when using a remote server.

Pluto

  • Transmit data is now controlled by a high-resolution timer with an accuracy < 1 millisecond.
  • Flow control has been added to compensate for the difference between the Pluto clock and the input device (microphone, VAC, …).
  • Added offset tuning, this ensures that the spur at the transmit LO is offset from the actual transmit frequency.

Release: 3.0.8

Download here [Link].

What's new / changed in 3.0.8:

Broadcast FM

New features and changes for 88 - 108MHz FM broadcast reception and the RDS decoder.

RDS decoding has been improved by making PI code detection mor sensitive.

US Callsign logic now uses data from NRSC for callsign and location.

Spectrum window now a docking pane. Display the spectrum window by selecting Ribbon Bar, Receive, Broadcast FM. 

Logging of station from the RDS decoding has been added, this is the RDS Logfile option. To display the logfile click the Log button in the BFM Spectrum.

The logfile has all the options you need:

  • Enable / Disaply updates
  • The number of recent entries displayed
  • Detail level (brief, full)
  • Font size for ageing eyes
  • Delete entries
  • Edit an entry
  • Export as text
  • Options

Click ••• to display the options.

Airspy Options

The Airspy options have moved from the ribbon bar to the Receive DSP panel.

USB Relay

The USB relay terminology has been changed to avoid confusion.

  • ON = Turn ON a relay channel (Activate).
  • OFF = Turn OFF a relay channel (Deactivate).

Data (IQ) Recording

Playback now correctly detects ELAD recerdings and displays the format as ELAD. later the contents of the elad chunk in the WAV file will be supported.

Scheduled Recordings

  • Now can select single file in the definition, this uses WAV RF64.
  • Fixed display issues.
  • Tidied up the code.

Geostationary Beacon

  • Increased bandwidth for LNBs with very serious drift!
  • Fixed crash when bandwidth changed past the minimum / maximum supported.

Frequency Database

AOKI URL updated and new format supported.

Font size selection for ageing eyes.

Defauly field order changed, will be user-configurable in a future release.

Perseus

The sample rates 192kHz, 96kHz and 95khz are now calibrated.

Satellites

Tidying up and extending the Select Satellite option. Instead of just selecting a satellite, pressing Select in the Satellite ribbon bar now display the Select Satellite window which provides an overview of the entries in the Satellite List as well as selection of new satellites.

Footprint configuration is now consolidated into a property page.

Narrow FM

Uses the original version 3 de-emphasis and has better peak volume control.

Pluto

Problems with the transmit signal bursting reduced by redesigned inefficient code, see Pluto support page for more information.


Recent Posts

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  • Release: 3.0.17 Posted 2 weeks ago
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