Additional slice controls for your Flex 6000 series radio
Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Clone or download
Latest commit 597ceff Jul 1, 2018
Permalink
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.
screenshots Add files via upload May 8, 2018
README.md Update README.md Jul 1, 2018

README.md

Slice Master 6000

version 0.10.5

Donald Beaudry (K1DBO)


Take control of your Flex 6000 series radio's slice receivers with Slice Master 6000.

Features

Automatically configures and launches multiple third party applications

  • CW Skimmer, GRITTY, DM780, WSJT-X, flDigi

Overlays bandmap on pop-out panafalls

  • displays spot data from CW Skimmer, GRITTY, WSJT-X, N1MM Logger+, telnet clusters, CCuser, SpotCollector, HRD Logbook, and Logger32

Colors CW Skimmer spots with N1MM Logger+ multipliers

Aggregates CW Skimmer, GRITTY, and WSJT-X spots into a single telnet connection

Supports per slice and TX following HRD TCP client connections

Supports per slice and TX following CAT over TCP client connections

Synchronizes slice and panadapter attributes between slices

  • zoom, scale, center, frequency

Provides audio mixer panel

  • solo, mute, agc, sidetone, monitor, and level presets

Slice Master 6000's primary focus is on dynamically configuring and launching other third party programs to work with the slice receivers in your radio. A program instance can be launched for any active slice so long as its panadapter is assoicated with the necessary resources. Two way communication between Slice Master 6000 and the programs it launches is maintained. Clicking on a signal in CW Skimmer, for example, will cause the associated slice receiver to change frequency. Likewise, changing the frequency of a slice receiver will cause the associated CW Skimmer to follow along.

Slice Master 6000 is not just for managing other third party programs. Its powerful slice and panadapter synchronization features, and its convienient audio mixer panel make it useful when used alone. Even when Slice Master 6000 does not control the third party program, its HRD TCP listener provides Flex specific functionality to HRD clients that cannot be found anywhere else.

Slice Master 6000's bandmap can display spot data inside of a Smart SDR pop-out panafall window. The spot data displayed in the bandmap comes from many sources. Internally launched applications have their spot data aggregrated and presented to external loggers via the built-in telnet aggregration server. This data is also available for display in the bandmap. The Slice Master 6000 bandmap can also be configured to aquire spot data from external sources. Telnet cluster, N1MM Logger+, and DXLab's Spot Collector are all supported.

Getting Started

The current version of this README can be viewed at

https://github.com/K1DBO/slice-master-6000

and the latest release can be downloaded from

https://github.com/K1DBO/slice-master-6000/releases

Just download, open the zip file, and extract the contents to a convienient place. The executable is all you'll need and doesn't require a formal installation or escalated privileges to run or install. You can run Slice Master 6000 from any folder. Windows is likely to ask you to allow a firewall exception so Slice Master 6000 can estabilish a network connections with your third party programs and your radio.

Third party programs should be run at least once outside of Slice Master 6000. Their configurations dont have to be fully functional but should include all "station information" needed by the program. Slice Master 6000 will take care of the rest of the configuration for you. When Slice Master 6000 configures a new instance of a third party program it will start with the program's default configuration and adjust from there. Having your "station information" in the default configuration means you wont have to re-enter it each time Slice Master 6000 makes a new copy.

Configuration

Once running Slice Master 6000 will present you with a collection of tabs to control various aspects of your slices.

Launch

Launch

A primary goal of Slice Master 6000 is to configure and launch third party applications to work with your Flex Signature series radio. In all cases, multiple instances of these programs are supported and can be run on any or all slices at the same time. When Slice Master 6000 launches a program for you, it take care of selecting the rig type and audio devices. You only need to make sure that your slice in SmartSDR is set correctly for the application. This usually means selecting an appropriate mode and chosing a DAX device. If something doesnt look right, Slice Master 6000 will display a helpful message in it the status area.

The Launch tab lets you decide when/if a third party application will be launched for each of the slices. The launch option can be set to 'Never', 'When active' or 'By mode'. If set to 'When active', anytime the slice is active in SmartSDR, Slice Master 6000 will launch an instance of the application configured to work with the current slice settings. If set to 'By mode', anytime the slice is active and switched into one of the selected modes, Slice Master 6000 will launch a properly configured instance of the application.

Dont worry if your list of application doesnt match what you see here. Slice Master 6000 will not present launch options for programs that are not installed on your computer.

CW Skimmer

CW Skimmer Launch

Slice Master 6000 can configure and launch CW Skimmer for you. With the exeception of adjusting personal preferences, there's no need to even open CW Skimmer's settings dialog. Slice Master 6000 has already set the radio type and audio device options for you. Note that CW Skimmer uses a DAXIQ channel, not a DAX audio channel. The DAXIQ channel is set in the SmartSDR panafall options.

CW Skimmer, has multiple 'On Click' options. They are used to control what happens when a click is made inside the CW Skimmer window. At any given time in SmartSDR there is an active slice. This is the slice with the yellow triangle and frequency marker. If the 'Select' option is chosen here, whenever a click is made inside the CW Skimmer window, the slice associated with that CW Skimmer instance will become the active slice. Likewise, choosing the 'TX' option will cause SmartSDR's TX slice to change. Regardless of these options, a click inside of CW Skimmer's window will change the slice frequency to match.

Slice Master 6000 can also control your XIT and RIT settings as 'On Click' options. When clicking inside CW Skimmer close to (within 500hz) the current signal, instead of moving the operating frequency, Slice Master will adjust either the RIT or XIT to the newly specified offset. This will let you "listen around" while keeping your TX frequency fixed or "xmit around" while keeping your RX frequency fixed. Click outside of this "close" range to reset XIT/RIT to zero.

CW Skimmer serves as a source of spot data for Slice Master 6000's bandmap and telnet aggregration server.

CW Skimmer Settings

The spots generated by CW Skimmer are sent to the internal aggregration server and then to any clients connected to the server. Connecting clients directly to a CW Skimmer instance's telnet server is discouraged.

Often it's usful to know which CW Skimmer instance spotted a signal. This is great for anyone comparing antennas with a dual SCU radio. When enabled, the option to 'Append slice label to spotter's call sign will append a slash followed by the slice letter to the callsign used in the spot. Normally, this is your own callsign and might appear as K1DBO/A if the CW Skimmer was running on slice A.

Minimal spot filtering is available too. Choose between 'Any', 'CQ or DE', and 'CQ only' to specify which spots will be send to the bandmap aggregration server.

GRITTY

GRITTY Launch

GRITTY, has two 'On Click' options. They are used to control what happens when a click is made inside the GRITTY window. If the 'Select' option is chosen, whenever a click is made inside the GRITTY window, the slice associated with that GRITTY instance will become the active slice in SmartSDR. Likewise, choosing the 'TX' option will cause SmartSDR's TX slice to change to the associated slice.

For GRITTY to launch, the slice must have a DAX audio channel selected and that channel must be enabled in the SmartSDR DAX Control Panel.

The settings panel for GRITTY

GRITTY Settings

is very similar to the settings panel for CW Skimmer.

Ham Radio Deluxe's DM780

DM780 Launch

DM780 can be launched automatically depending on mode or whenever a slice is active. If you are currently using DM780 identities to manage different configurations the 'Identity' option will be familar. If not, you might consider learning about the feature. In short, a DM780 identity will remember your screen layout, radio layout, and operating mode. Having a seperate one for each or similar digimodes will minimize the amount mode specific manual reconfiguration you'll need to do each time Slice Master 6000 launches DM780.

For DM780 to launch, the slice must have a DAX audio channel selected and that channel must be enabled in the SmartSDR DAX Control Panel.

WSJT-X

WSJT-X Launch

WSJT-X supports multiple settings folders. To run multiple instances of WSJT-X, it's necessary to choose a different settings folder for each instance. By default, Slice Master 6000 provices a settings folder for each slice. But, creating new ones is easy enough if you have the need. Select the <new> settings from the drop down menu and change the name to anything you like. Be sure to press the enter key when you are done naming your new settings folder.

Note that WSJT-X also provides a feature known as 'Configurations'. A Configuration, in this context, is complete set of settings that exist inside the Settings folder where your instance in running. Dont confuse settings and configurations.

Aside from personal preferences and changing operating modes, you should not need to adjust the settings in the WSJT-X setting dialog. If you do take a look there, you might be surprised to find that the Rig has been set to 'Ham Radio Deluxe'. This is the correct setting. The Network Server specified belongs to Slice Master. There is no need to change these settings.

For WSJT-X to launch, the slice must have a DAX audio channel selected and that channel must be enabled in the SmartSDR DAX Control Panel.

WSJT-X Settings

Since WSJT-X is also a source of spot data, its settings panel provides the 'Append slice label to spotter's call sign' option as well as basic spot filtering. See the section on CW Skimmer for a more detailed description of these options.

FlDigi

FlDigi Launch

FlDigi supports multiple instances and these instances can share configurations. Feel free to use the default configuration or create a new one for each mode. To create a new configuration, select the <new> option from the configuration drop down menu. Then, enter a name for the new configuration and press enter.

For DM780 to launch, the slice must have a DAX audio channel selected and that channel must be enabled in the SmartSDR DAX Control Panel.

Sync

The Sync tab lets you choose how slices interact with each other and other programs.

Follow

Sync Follow

Each slice supports a "follow" option. This option is used to make the frequency of one slice follow the frequency of another slice. So, if slice B is set to follow slice A, anytime slice A changes frequency, slice B will follow with a change of frequency. If you would like slice A and slice B to always have the same frequency, you'll have to tell slice A to follow slice B and slice B to follow slice A. Otherwise, moving slice B will not cause slice A to move. If you would like slice B to follow close to slice A but not match it exactly, you can specify a value in the offset field.

Selecting 'Panadapter Center' will cause the center frequency of a slice's panadapter to change whenever the center frequency of the followed slice's panadapter changes.

'Panadapter zoom' will cause the display bandwidth of the slice's panadapter to follow changes to the displayed bandwidth of the followed slice. A scaling factor can be applied to by setting the factor option.

'Panadapter scale' will cause the vertical scale of slice's panadapter to follow the vertical scale of the followed slice.

Selecting 'Keep centered' will cause the slice's panadapter to be recentered under the slice frequency.

HRD TCP TX Listener

HRD Sync

Ham Radio Deluxe defines a TCP protocol for passing radio control information to clients like DM780 or HRD Logbook. Check the enable box in the HRD TCP Listener group and there's no need to run the Rig Control component of Ham Radio Deluxe. Instead, clients can connect to any slice though Slice Master 6000's HRD TCP Listener. A seperate listener is provided for each slice.

The 'On MOX' settings gives you control over how the slice will act when the connected program engages the transmitter. When working with digimode programs it's important to insure that the DAX function is enabled. Setting this option to 'Toggle DAX On' will ensure DAX is enabled when needed but not disrupt the state of other slices. Likewise, choosing 'Toggle TX Slice' will cause the slice to be the active TX slice only when transmit is requested. Once the transmission ends, TX will return to its previous slice.

On the settings tab

HRD Settings

you'll also find an HRD TCP Listener panel to enable a listener that follows the TX slice. You must specify the port number for Slice Master to listen on and then configure the program you'd like to follow you your TX slice to use that port number when connecting to Slice Master 6000.

If you have ever wished HRD Logbook would support more that once slice, this might be the feature you've been looking for.

TCP CAT TX Listener

TCP CAT Sync

The TCP CAT Listener is similar to SmartSDR CAT's TCP support. It is known to work with hamlib's Flex 6xxx rig definition.

The 'On MOX' settings gives you control over how the slice will act when the connected program engages the transmitter. When working with digimode programs it's important to insure that the DAX function is enabled. Setting this option to 'Toggle DAX On' will ensure DAX is enabled when needed but not disrupt the state of other slices. Likewise, choosing 'Toggle TX Slice' will cause the slice to be the active TX slice only when transmit is requested. Once the transmission ends, TX will return to its previous slice.

On the settings tab, there are options for a TCP CAT TX Listener

HRD Sync

that will follow the TX slice. You must specify the port number for Slice Master to listen on and then configure the program you'd like to follow you your TX slice to use that port number when connecting to Slice Master 6000.

Mix

Mix

The Mix tab gives you a convenient place to control the audio output settings of all your slices. The vertical slider will adjust the audio gain, while the knob adjusts the pan. The button between them shows the current audio gain and can be activated to reset the gain and pan to a preset value. The 'M' button will mute the slice while the 'S', solo, button mute all other slices.

If you hold the shift key while clicking on the gain preset button, instead of returning the gain to the preset value, the preset values will be changed to the current values. So the next time you activate the button, the gain and pan will be restored to the current values.

The Mix section of the settings page allows the mixer to be customized. If you'd like to hide inactive slices or enable AGC adjustments, select the corresponding options there.

Mix

With AGC controls enabled each slice will have two sliders. One for the audio gain and another for the AGC threshold. A button for the AGC mode is also provided. The AGC preset button works like the preset button for the audio gain except it affects only the AGC threshold and AGC mode.

Settings

The Settings tab lets you control the less slice specific aspects of Slice Master 6000.

Bandmap

Bandmap Settings

The bandmap panel controls the visibilty of the bandmap as well as its content. With the 'Enable Overlays' option selected, Slice Master 6000 will watch for pop-out panafall windows belonging to Smart SDR. When it finds one, it will attach a menu bar to the title bar of the panafall and start displaying spots on top of the panafall. The items in the title bar contol what happens when spot is selected on the panafall.

Spot sources

Slice Master 6000 supports three different kinds of spot data sources. The programs that Slice Master 6000 knows how to manage and can produce spot data are one kind. Telnet clusters are the second, and specialized adapter to third party logging programs are the third.

Internally launched programs have their own settings to control which spots are sent to the aggregation server. For telnet clusters, enter the URI for your favorite cluster. Follow this pattern to construct the URI:

telnet://<callsign>:<password>@<host>:<port>?<initial command>

The angle bracket denote the different fields. Only the <host> is required, though the <port> is often needed too.

So, telnet://XXXX@ve7cc.net will get you started (replace XXXX with your call sign. I also use telnet://k1dbo@daphne:7301?sh/dx to connect to a CC User instance running on a near by computer.

If you use DXLabs SpotCollector, give

dxlab://localhost/spots

a try. The colors used in the bandmap are defined in Spot Collector. If Spot Collector is not running on the local computer, you must enable its web server.

If you are an HRD Logbook user, you'll get even more data about your spots by specifying

hrdlog://localhost

HRD Logbook is a bit different from the others. It doesnt supply spots. Instead, however, it will "color" the spots from other sources both internal and external. If the spot shows up in the bandmap with green text, it's a new country. If red, it's a new country for the band. And, if blue, it's a new QSO for the band. Gray text will let you know you've already worked that callsign on the current band.

Note that you dont need to add telnet connections to your CW Skimmers if they are launched by Slice Master 6000.

Bandmap Overlay

Double clicking on a spot in the bandmap will move a slice to that spot. But first, a slice must be chosen. By default, the chosen slice is the active slice. In SmartSDR, it's the one decorated with the yellow triangle. In the bandmap menu, the active slice is marked with an '@'. But you can choose any slice to control, even the TX slice or a slice in a different panafall.

The check boxes in the bandmap menu bar will determine what happens when you double click a spot. A single click will simply display additional information about the spot.

The SM6K label can be thought of as a handle on the bandmap overlay. It's useful to know this in case the bandmap becomes disassociated with the panafall or becomes associated with the wrong panafall. If you notice things are odd, you have two choices. Either disable then enable the overlays, or just grab the lost SM6K label and drag it on top of the panafall. Slice Master will then re-associate them. Note this hardly every happens but contesters might be interested in the quickest way to get back in sync.

The combo box will let you choose which slice will be affected when a spot from that band map is double-clicked. The slices are labeled as expected A-H. So if you choose A then double-click a spot, slice A will change frequency to the frequency of the spot. If the "TX" check box is checked, slice A will also become the TX slice. If the "Select" check box is checked, slice A will also become the selected slice (yellow triangle in SSDR). If the "Mode" check box is checked, the mode of slice A will be changed to the mode indicated by the spot.

There are two special entries in the slice selection combo-box: '@' and 'TX'. When '@' is the chosen slice, the actions I described above will affect the slice that is currently selected in SSDR. Likewise, when 'TX' is the chosen slice, the actions described above will affect SSDR's TX slice.

In case you need to get them out of the way, the small round button on the right side of the menubar will hide and show the spots.

Note that overlaying a window on top of another is tricky business. You should expect to see some minor issues.

Telnet

Telnet Settings

Enable the telnet aggregation server if you would like a logging program or cluster telnet client to receive the spots found by CW Skimmer or other Slice Master 6000 managed sources. Your logging program or telnet client should connect to the aggregation server on the 'Telnet port'. This eliminates the need to restart or reconfigure your telnet client each time a CW Skimmer starts or stops. It also allows access to spots that are not normally available through a telnet connection, like those from WSJT-X.

N1MM Logger+

N1MM Logger+ Settings

N1MM Logger+ users can broadcast their multipliers to Slice Master 6000. Slice Master 6000's default is to listen on N1MM's default broadcast port 12060. You'll just need to enable the broadcasts in the N1MM Logger+ Configurer dialog. See the N1MM Logger+ documentation for more information.

Note that option will accept packets from any program that sends packets in N1MM+ broadcast format. Logger32 is not only capable of sending N1MM+ style broadcast packets, it also includes additional color information.

Mixer Settings

The Mixer section of the settings tab lets you control the visibilty of the master volume control and the headphone volume control. Note that when operating with "REMOTE" audio selected in SmartSDR, the master volume control does not function. This is a limitation of SmartSDR as it hands over control to the local computer. Controls for inactive slices can be hidden and additional controls adjusting AGC parameters and be enabled.

Trouble Shooting

On occasion, CW Skimmer will not start properly and display an "access violation" dialog. When this happens, you can shut down CW Skimmer by selecting the tab for the slice and choosing 'never' as the launch option. Then, try restarting by selecting 'CW only' or 'When active'.

If a CW Skimmer instance doesnt appear when you think it should, verify that the slice receiver is active (visible somewhere in SmartSDR) and set to CW mode if 'CW only' was selected as the launch option. Also make sure that the panadapter containing the slice has a DAXIQ channel selected. When attempting to restart CW Skimmer, as described above, keep an eye on Slice Master 6000's status line. Many start up errors are reported there.

If Slice Master 6000 dies an unexpected death it might not clean up after itself and leave some third party programs running. If this happens, it or the third party programs, might have trouble stating again. Killing these programs either from their menus or from the task manager can often help. This can even apply to programs that have launched other programs. OmniRig is sometimes the culprit.

Sometimes you really do need to reboot everything. If everything seems to be working correctly but CW Skimmer launches with the wrong 'Signal I/O Device' in its settings, first try restarting the DAX Control Panel. But if that doesnt fix it, reboot.