"Easy Setup" dialog proposal

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Mooneer Salem

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Nov 14, 2021, 5:49:03 PM11/14/21
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Hi all,

I've been working on a easier way to do initial setup for FreeDV and came up with something like the following:

Screen Shot 2021-11-14 at 2.43.32 PM.png

Basically, the amount of setup is reduced to the following (for most users):

1. Selection of the "radio" sound device (your PC's default audio device will be used for the other sound card).
2. Configuring CAT control for your radio via Hamlib.
3. Configuring PSK Reporter reporting, if desired.

For (1) and (2), you'll still be able to jump to the normal audio and PTT dialogs from this dialog if needed (e.g. for SDR setups with different RX and TX devices). "Test" will also trigger PTT and emit a constant carrier on the radio sound device until "Stop Test" is pressed so that you can verify that the radio is emitting RF. Does this sound reasonable? Are there other common scenarios that should be covered by this simplified setup?

Thanks,

-Mooneer K6AQ

Brian Morrison

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Nov 14, 2021, 7:49:51 PM11/14/21
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On Sun, 14 Nov 2021 14:48:43 -0800
Mooneer Salem <moo...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> I've been working on a easier way to do initial setup for FreeDV and came
> up with something like the following:
>
> [image: Screen Shot 2021-11-14 at 2.43.32 PM.png]

That looks quite nice. How do you decide on the initial Radio Device
and Rig Model selections?

>
> Basically, the amount of setup is reduced to the following (for most users):
>
> 1. Selection of the "radio" sound device (your PC's default audio device
> will be used for the other sound card).
> 2. Configuring CAT control for your radio via Hamlib.
> 3. Configuring PSK Reporter reporting, if desired.
>
> For (1) and (2), you'll still be able to jump to the normal audio and PTT
> dialogs from this dialog if needed (e.g. for SDR setups with different RX
> and TX devices). "Test" will also trigger PTT and emit a constant carrier
> on the radio sound device until "Stop Test" is pressed so that you can
> verify that the radio is emitting RF. Does this sound reasonable?

Mostly yes, I think it would be sensible for the "Test" button to start
off with the carrier at a low level to avoid a startle factor and any
potential bad effects on an untuned Tx. Maybe have a pop-up window with
a Tx power/level slider along with the "Stop Test" button, set the
slider to zero initially with an instruction to slowly increase it and
note the effect on Tx power output.

> Are there other common scenarios that should be covered by this simplified setup?

It seems to cover the essentials, which is probably what a newbie is
looking for.

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Brian G8SEZ

Peter Reichelt

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Nov 15, 2021, 1:01:30 AM11/15/21
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Hi Mooneer

That has simplified initial setup significantly Good!

I believe that the PTT function has been oversimplified, by only having one radio button with the issue described below not being addressed at the initial setup by a new user.

I own a IC7000 radio that has a 6 pin mini DIN Data socket that was common in the era, that provides audio in/out as well as PTT. There is a separate CAT (CIV) input that is used if rig control is required via Hamlib. I also own a ZLP Electronics ProPlus data interface controller, that internally provides 2 COM ports one for CAT control and the other for PTT control. The simplest interface, for me, is to use 1 cable between the radio and interface using the PTT pin in the mini DIN socket. To use Hamlib I require 2 cables. 

For older radios where input/output is required via mike socket and external speaker socket again a PTT conection is required 

The Signal Link interface uses a VOX derived PTT and so no COM port is required but other devices require a COM port to provide the PTT function

I believe that initially there should be just 2 radio buttons one for Hamlib PTT and the other for COM port PTT.

When either radio button is selected the appropriate COM Fields are displayed to be filled out and the other radio button is hidden.

Unchecking the selected radio button would again display both radio buttons.

Peter VK5APR

Mooneer Salem

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Nov 15, 2021, 4:21:40 AM11/15/21
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Hi Brian,

The selected devices were a combination of those previously set up (it's intended for this dialog to be accessible after initial setup as well) and what PortAudio thinks are the system's default input and output devices. While it seems to do the right thing on Mac, I'm not sure about other platforms just yet. That might be something that needs to be tested to figure out if any changes are needed.

As for TX power, perhaps the same TX Attenuation slider could be used. On the other hand, a constant carrier is a far different signal than the typical FreeDV one, so I'm not sure how much value that would actually have. Maybe it's okay that final volume setup is done during operation using the slider that already exists?

Thanks,

-Mooneer K6AQ

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Mooneer Salem

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Nov 15, 2021, 4:25:57 AM11/15/21
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Hi Peter,

I didn't include serial PTT initially since I figured Hamlib would be the most common setup method (followed by VOX based solutions such as SignaLink). It would be good to know how common the need for serial PTT is among this list (and possibly among digital mode users in general) and the most common setup used for serial PTT (e.g. DTR, RTS or some other method) to gauge what UI elements need to be included for that. Any info people can provide on that would be good for sure.

Thanks,

-Mooneer K6AQ

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Peter Reichelt

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Nov 15, 2021, 5:04:43 AM11/15/21
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Hi Mooneer

Using the Serial port I use RTS with positive checked.

As discussed above this is only applicable for older radios and people using a data interface that doesn't have VOX PTT (eg not a SignaLink). A lot of homemade interfaces from early data (packet radio) days used RTS PTT signalling. I don't know how big an issue it is today!

Regards

Peter

Tony Langdon

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Nov 15, 2021, 5:13:29 AM11/15/21
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On 15/11/21 8:25 pm, Mooneer Salem wrote:
> Hi Peter,
>
> I didn't include serial PTT initially since I figured Hamlib would be
> the most common setup method (followed by VOX based solutions such as
> SignaLink). It would be good to know how common the need for serial PTT
> is among this list (and possibly among digital mode users in general)
> and the most common setup used for serial PTT (e.g. DTR, RTS or some
> other method) to gauge what UI elements need to be included for that.
> Any info people can provide on that would be good for sure.

I'd be choosing between serial or Hamlib PTT for my FT-818. Won't be
using VOX myself (I don't have a Signalink or equivalent).


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73 de Tony VK3JED/VK3IRL
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Brian Morrison

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Nov 15, 2021, 11:29:09 AM11/15/21
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On Mon, 15 Nov 2021 01:21:25 -0800
Mooneer Salem <moo...@gmail.com> wrote:

> As for TX power, perhaps the same TX Attenuation slider could be used. On
> the other hand, a constant carrier is a far different signal than the
> typical FreeDV one, so I'm not sure how much value that would actually
> have.

I agree with you but I have seen comments from people who are
struggling to get any signal out on Tx so I was thinking that
demonstrating that the audio path is correct would be sensible, the
level for this is not critical but needs to be low to prevent overdrive
and possible PA damage.

> Maybe it's okay that final volume setup is done during operation
> using the slider that already exists?

WSJTX has a separate PTT test button which doesn't modulate, there is
a Tune button on the main window and level adjuster for fine tuning so
that approach should work for freedv.

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Brian Morrison

"I am not young enough to know everything"
Oscar Wilde

Curt

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Nov 17, 2021, 11:35:31 AM11/17/21
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GM Mooneer:

I use a TS2000 for all digital modes here.  It is primarily configured for WSJT modes for EME.  I have a simple audio Homebrew isolation box and the PTT is done via a hard relay contact into the ACC port.  Only band/freq data is done thru the cat port.   It is not possible to use the data input ACC connections for audio along with CAT PTT.  If one uses CAT ptt, you must access the mic input via the front panel mic connector.

My system for EME is set to interlock and sequence TX events via the 4 step sequencer so the Hard Wired PTT contact is the only real way to go.

In the Linux tower, I have a 2 port Serial RS232 card for the PTT and the CAT interface.

On the Win10 Thin Client, I use a USB-RS232 cable for the CAT and the single RS connection for Hard PTT.

This has been by digital mode config for over a decade now and has worked with Non-CAT rigs like the Drake 4 line, older Icom and KW rigs without CAT, etc for all from PSK, to RTTY to JT65.

For your collection of info.

Curt
KU8L
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Brian Morrison

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Nov 26, 2021, 10:04:39 AM11/26/21
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On Mon, 15 Nov 2021 01:21:25 -0800
Mooneer Salem <moo...@gmail.com> wrote:

> The selected devices were a combination of those previously set up (it's
> intended for this dialog to be accessible after initial setup as well) and
> what PortAudio thinks are the system's default input and output devices.
> While it seems to do the right thing on Mac, I'm not sure about other
> platforms just yet. That might be something that needs to be tested to
> figure out if any changes are needed.

Hi Mooneer

I have just tried your latest git version of the easy setup dialog, on
my system it now correctly identifies what is already set up in freedv
which the first version didn't.

A couple of minor issues with label alignment in the Step 1 box after
the "... through:" text, easily fixed I think.

In the Step 2 box I get no PTT action when I click the Test button, just
a brief darkening of the button background. If I select Advanced PTT
Settings then the Test button on the window that opens works correctly.

HTH

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Brian G8SEZ

Brian Morrison

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Nov 26, 2021, 3:44:10 PM11/26/21
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On Fri, 26 Nov 2021 15:04:31 +0000
Brian Morrison <b...@fenrir.org.uk> wrote:

> In the Step 2 box I get no PTT action when I click the Test button, just
> a brief darkening of the button background.

This is now working correctly with the new latest git version.

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Brian G8SEZ

Mooneer Salem

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Nov 26, 2021, 9:58:17 PM11/26/21
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Thanks for the testing! There are still a few things to add and some testing on my end but hopefully I should have a test build for others soon.

-Mooneer K6AQ

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Brian Morrison

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Nov 27, 2021, 11:19:29 AM11/27/21
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On Fri, 26 Nov 2021 18:58:03 -0800
Mooneer Salem <moo...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Thanks for the testing! There are still a few things to add and some
> testing on my end but hopefully I should have a test build for others soon.

I have built and installed a new version just half an hour ago, the UI
cleanups are nice. I am using the ms-easy-setup branch but with the
current ms-squelch-ux changes as well.

So far, so good!

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Brian G8SEZ

Mooneer Salem

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Nov 28, 2021, 3:43:10 AM11/28/21
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Hi all,

I have a build up at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/w5ubs3dvod907zd/AAD5NYdldHoV2Y-A1WuK55WMa?dl=0 that contains the following:

1. The current implementation of the Easy Setup dialog (audio/Hamlib but not serial PTT yet; still working out how best to do the latter).
2. Squelch usability enhancements when multi-RX is enabled: basically the squelch for each mode is set relative to 700D. For example, 700E's minimum SNR is 1dB (vs. -2dB for 700D), so the squelch used for 700E is 3dB higher than what's selected in the main window.

Let me know if you have any questions or run into any issues.

Thanks,

-Mooneer K6AQ

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