DR Processor Testing and Discussion (2 Viewers)

N6BY

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I have released the first beta version of DR Processor. :grinbounce

You may download the program and manual from my website at: http://n6by.com

I have been working on the program full time since December and it turned out to be extremely challenging! This beta release should be stable when running on Windows 7. It probably will have audio glitches if you run it on Windows 10, which maxes out the CPUs at times.

I intend to add many features and much more capability in the future. But now I must return to my real job and this will just be part time. But now that the basic functionality is there, additional features should be much easier to add.

If you are interested in Digital Signal Processing, I highly recommend this book: Amazon product I could not have developed this program without it.

Please let me know if you experience any problems with the program.

 

KE4EST

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I gotta get an SDR module plugged back in and running now so I can try this out. Only Windows 10 here though so...
 

N6BY

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I gotta get an SDR module plugged back in and running now so I can try this out. Only Windows 10 here though so...
It will still work on Windows 10, but once or twice a minute there may be a brief audio glitch.

Right now, the processing threads in DR Processor are running at default priority. Since its time critical, I am going to see if raising the priority helps.

... Also, would like to hear from anyone who has tried the program -- just to know if it works outside of my test environment here.
 

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... Also, would like to hear from anyone who has tried the program -- just to know if it works outside of my test environment here.
I've tried it on a W7 Ultimate 64-bit i3 machine with an AirSpy and an RTL-SDR, just on the FM band so far. Works well, but with one or two glitches.
Would you like bug reports by PM or here in the thread?
 

N6BY

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I've tried it on a W7 Ultimate 64-bit i3 machine with an AirSpy and an RTL-SDR, just on the FM band so far. Works well, but with one or two glitches.
Would you like bug reports by PM or here in the thread?
Thanks for trying it. Here in this thread would be good for bug reports.

... One bug I discovered tonight is that dragging the signal graph sometimes changes the squelch setting to maximum. Will include the fix for that in the next beta.
 

KE4EST

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Yes, put the bugs in the thread here so all can discuss and give feedback.
 

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A few comments:

I do like the way that when you drag the spectrum left or right, the tuning stays on the selected frequency. (SDR# does not do this, and that's annoying, although I can see that it's a way to tune to another frequency, but my preference is to enter the frequency directly.)

I find the two spectrum range setting controls counter-intuitive. I would expect the top position of the slider to be the least negative value, and the bottom position of the slider to be the most negative value. Having said that, my intuition has been conditioned by using other SDR software for quite a while, so newer users may not find this counter-intuitive!

(Using AirSpy extio_airspy_cmake_mgw-v1.0.4) The Audio Output control doesn't seem to have any effect. Audio is output to the default setting whatever value is chosen here.
Probably a feature of the extio driver, but the maximum value of the LNA gain control is much less than with the AirSpy's own driver (for SDR#). I can't overload the tuner as I can with SDR#.

You've made a great start with this - keep up the good work!
 
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N6BY

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A few comments:

I do like the way that when you drag the spectrum left or right, the tuning stays on the selected frequency. (SDR# does not do this, and that's annoying, although I can see that it's a way to tune to another frequency, but my preference is to enter the frequency directly.)
Thanks. Only if you drag the spectrum close to the edge of the window will the program change the tuned frequency (to make sure its always visible).
I find the two spectrum range setting controls counter-intuitive. I would expect the top position of the slider to be the least negative value, and the bottom position of the slider to be the most negative value. Having said that, my intuition has been conditioned by using other SDR software for quite a while, so newer users may not find this counter-intuitive!
The peak signal goes in the same direction as the top slider, and the noise floor follows the bottom slider. I could change this to work differently. With the current design, my thinking is that you generally want the noise floor at the bottom of the window, and the signal peak near the top. So if you disregard the numbers, think of it as 'the bottom slider moves the noise floor and the top slider moves the peak'. While you can adjust the slider controls at any time, my design only makes sense if you do it while the signal is streaming.

With SDR# the sliders are 'Offset' and 'Zoom'. With those, I find myself needing multiple adjustments back and forth to get the noise floor and signal peak where I want them.
(Using AirSpy extio_airspy_cmake_mgw-v1.0.4) The Audio Output control doesn't seem to have any effect. Audio is output to the default setting whatever value is chosen here.
I'm seeing the same problem here. This will be the next thing I fix.
Probably a feature of the extio driver, but the maximum value of the LNA gain control is much less than with the AirSpy's own driver (for SDR#). I can't overload the tuner as I can with SDR#.

You've made a great start with this - keep up the good work!
Yes, its the ExtIO driver. DR Processor has no control over the settings dialog. SDRSharp's driver DLLs seem to be more frequently updated.

The other problem with the current ExtIO drivers is that they are 32-bit. This forces DR Processor (and any other program that uses them) to be 32-bit apps. Would love to switch to 64-bit.

... Yesterday I completely rewrote the FM demodulator in DR Processor. While the audio sounds fine in Beta #1, it doesn't work very well (if at all) when piping audio to programs like DSD+, Dump1090, JAERO, etc. The new FM demodulator works fine now with the digital decoding programs. It will be in Beta #2, along with a few other fixes.
 
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N6BY

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DR Processor Beta #2 is nearing release -- major feature additions

Beta2.jpg


Enhancements:
1) Record to Wave file
2) Scan a list of frequencies
3) Tone squelch
4) Tone display to show the current tone that is detected
5) Wide bandwidth FFT (up to 16X of the SDRs maximum). The above screen shot shows from 370 to 530 MHz
6) Shows band labels over ranges of frequencies. User configurable ranges, colors, and text labels

Fixes:
1) Works with Windows 10
2) Audio output device selection is fixed
3) Audio buffering algorithm has been improved. Substantially reduces rate variation.
4) Audio output cleaned up to work well for piping to other software

My focus for this release was to add features that were suggested in the other thread and that are missing from other SDR software. Some of this was extremely challenging coding!!!

Although frequency scanning is implemented, it needs many additional features and options to make it more useful. That will be the focus of beta #3. But I decided to release this soon (probably by the end of the week) so people will be able to play with it.
 

N6BY

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I am not entirely happy with the appearance of the controls on the left side of the screen, especially now that there are several more than in Beta #1. While I still want to keep them on the left side of the screen, I could change their colors, rearrange them, and/or make them smaller. Suggestions?
 

N6BY

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Beta 2 has been released :)

You may download it at http://www.n6by.com The downloaded archive contains the program, the revised manual, and a BandList.csv file which you can customize.

In addition to the improvements/fixes listed in post #9, I have rearranged the controls and changed their visual style to look much cleaner and better (I think). Also, it supports UHD and high DPI displays. The FFT looks great in UHD.

Please try it and tell me what you would like to see changed, or added next.
 
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KE4EST

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Direct frequency entry from the keypad.
Also how about a few memories. I know with a computer we could have tons of memories but just a handful is fine.
Have the ability to go in the settings and turn memory view on or off.
If on say in the left panel at the bottom have little boxes with 0 - 9 or something and one could click to go to the memory of their choosing.
If you add direct keypad input(By this I mean from the physical keyboards numeric pad on the right) frequency entry, maybe hold down shift and hit 0 - 9 for memory without having to use a mouse or turn on the little memory boxes on the display. Also you a function key to toggle memory display on or off.
 
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KE4EST

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...one more thing on the memory, have a label show up if a memory is stored, just like band labels. Some how make this small and not to intrusive but labeled somewhere.
 

N6BY

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Will be implementing numeric frequency entry as KE4EST suggested and frequency storage/recall. After that I'm going to add more functionality to scanning --like pause, resume, lockout, add frequency, delete, etc. Then maybe a Mac version.
 

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More features, I'd like to see in an upcoming build.
  • Use the mouse scroll wheel for fine tuning. User select-able: 10MHz, 1Mhz, .1Hhz, and .01MHz, from menu.
  • Squelch, with a slider, so I can set how "tight" I want the squelch.
  • When up-converter have a way to go in menu and set the offset, like mine is 125MHz, then have a simple tick box, to turn on freq + offset or freq.
Slight bug I found by accident, when entering an offset in frequency correction, too high a number and it crashes the program, need an error trap for that.
 

N6BY

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More features, I'd like to see in an upcoming build.
  • Use the mouse scroll wheel for fine tuning. User select-able: 10MHz, 1Mhz, .1Hhz, and .01MHz, from menu.
  • Squelch, with a slider, so I can set how "tight" I want the squelch.
  • When up-converter have a way to go in menu and set the offset, like mine is 125MHz, then have a simple tick box, to turn on freq + offset or freq.
Slight bug I found by accident, when entering an offset in frequency correction, too high a number and it crashes the program, need an error trap for that.
Fine tuning would be a good use for the mouse wheel.

And speaking of frequency adjustment, I have implemented numeric entry of the frequency. Now when you click a frequency digit, it highlights it and makes it the starting point for numeric frequency entry. When you press 'enter' it zeroes out the remaining digits (if any) and returns to the first non-zero digit from the left. You can still adjust digits the old way, but you have to be pressing and holding the 'control' key when you click.

There actually is a squelch adjustment but it is far from obvious. In 'FM', 'USB' and 'LSB' modes there is a small triangle below the signal bar. You adjust the squelch by moving the triangle.

The frequency correction is handled entirely by the ExtIO dll, so the crash if the number is out of bounds is not fixable by me (without the DLL source code). Which ExtIO dll was it and where did you find it?
 

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