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Author Topic: Flex radio new architecture  (Read 23210 times)
W6RMK
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« on: March 09, 2010, 04:11:31 PM »

W9OY writes (in another thread):
 As far as version 2 goes I am running it today and have been for about 6 months. Its pre-release name is PB-PAL and has been available for quite some time. Much work is already done and ignorant supposition is not a substitute for knowledge.
---

By "new architecture" I mean the one presented by Frank Brickle and Bob McGwier several years ago, with abstracted radio functions, variously implemented in Erlang, etc.  This was originally intended to be the basis of "version 2" of PowerSDR.

From inspection of the source code for Pretty Betty (PB), it's basically more of a revision of the existing architecture.  One doesn't see an abstracted interface between the UI and the DSP functions, nor is there an abstracted interface between the radio hardware and the software.  Maybe it's there, but undocumented and unremarked.  

I have no quibble with evolutionary development. It's sound business practice. But it is at variance with Flex's various pronouncements over the years.
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N4BFD
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2010, 10:07:45 PM »

From what has been said, once PowerSDR 2 comes out, most programing resources will shift over to the "Deep Impact" code, which is the erlang based one.  PowerSDR 2.0 is not the new architecture.
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W6RMK
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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2010, 07:16:35 AM »

Indeed.. that would be nice.  But, given the incremental nature of development so far, the programming resources will be devoted to fixing/improving 2.x, rather than developing New Architecture.  There's an awful lot of inertia, and given that the New Architecture is going to be fundamentally different, it leaves Flex with the challenge of supporting 2 completely different approaches.  Practically speaking that means two separate corps of developers, because the time investment to become facile with either is substantial. Once someone has made the effort to do PowerSDR, they become too valuable as a resource to encourage them to leave the fold. Witness the work to move PowerSDR through the versions of VC, etc.  That's quite a chore.

The last time there was a significant change in software architecture was when they went from SDRConsole to PowerSDR.  And, the support for SDRConsole went away real fast, not that there was huge demand for it.  I don't see Flex abandoning the huge installed base of PowerSDR users the same way.  The market has truly changed.

It is true that the DSP core is pretty standalone, and always has been, allowing the DSP developers to do their thing in a "windows-free environment". Unfortunately, the "hard part" about the flex software architecture is gluing the UI and audio streams to that DSP back end, and that's where all the ugliness is.
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W9OY
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2010, 08:36:25 PM »

Sorry Jim I misunderstood what you were talking about.  

As I understand it what you are talking about is now called deep impact.  As far as I know active development is going on in that arena, and the Flex hardware will clearly support it (since after all it is being developed by Flex)  I don't think its very much on the front burner however

It is a promise I would love to see come to fruition but frankly I'm not sure the power of such a development wouldn't be wasted on the ham community in general.  We still live in a pretty much analogue based understanding of "radio" what with roofing filters and the illusion of "kit building" which pretty much means plugging a bunch of modules together and the need for a knob

having 15 virtual radios each with more horsepower than the present "man's best radio" spread across a network is lost on people who still think you need a buggy whip to get the Ferrari to move.  But just imagine what you could hear with such a rig and suitable antennas in a quiet location

73  W9OY
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KF6QEX
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2010, 10:45:41 PM »

W9OY is am not sure what it is about the way you string words together.

30 years from now, there will be K3s around.
There are people that like putting their equipment together. What's the matter with you?

Nine years from now, flex enclosures will be getting recycled to be used for some other project.
But do not despair, by then conveniently the FLex 9000cx  or what will then be called  the "buttered bread project" or "wet water" or some other cutsie name will be out.

With your way of thinking, we could launch a satellite loaded with an array of Flex radios and retransmit over XM radio. Then we won't need long antennas either. Best ears in the universe.
Orbiting remote Flex stations for rent. I can see it now Smiley
You can rack up the contest points without having to worry about  TVI,RFI, towers, antennas, neighbors or CC&Rs...Just fire up your netbook from starbucks and talk to the world.
wow....

I didn't have really anything against the technology parts of it but all this evangelizing is really annoying...
and that was before I stumbled on the idiotic video of Burt on youtube.
That did it.
Flex can go flex.

 

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W9OY
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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2010, 12:38:17 PM »

Dimitri

Funny post.  Thanks for your insight.

My greatest wish to you is you enjoy the heck out of your 30 year old K-3.  

73  W9OY
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KF6QEX
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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2010, 02:17:19 PM »

I have nothing to do with Elecraft. Elecraft doesn't even know I exist. I like what they have done. No I don't love the looks of the K3. But it's a self contained radio - "batteries not included".  I wish it had better "looks". But that's a subject for a different day Smiley

But I don't like your condesending remarks and poh-pohing on "old ancient analog" stuff, in what appears to be an obvious attempt to put a positive spin on a "mouse only" radio.

Funny ( in a way) story:
Back in 1994, I attended on of those Microsoft prelaunch events about windows 95. I don't have the event on vidotape or audio so you'll kinda have to take my word for it...but the MS guy on the stage when asked if the DOS command prompt will still be available he said yes, but "less and less people are actually using it, so it's not really needed as much".
Fast forward to present. We now have available from Microsoft PowerShell 1.0 !!! Because there are tasks that are best scripted instead of having to click fiuriously all over the place.
and the new generation of microsoft evangelists, are exhaulting the benefits of admins being able to work from the command line. In 2010...It took them long enough but they realized.
Some of us never stopped.
It's an amazing world. But I'd hate for ham radio equipment to go the same way.
We'll tell everyone that using the mouse is sooooo much better than the old analog knob and button stuff. And then some day "Here is an SDR that you can't tell it's an SDR because it looks like a real radio".

Discussing the software behind the fles or PSDR is not unlike discussing the plastic material from which buttons and switches and what kind of metals are used to manufacture these switches or even what sort of debouncing methods are used to debounce such switches.
What...? It's supposed to be ON when UP and OFF when down (or the other way around) but a discussion on switch manufacturing ...A discussion only a switch designer would love.
Or discussing the transparent material covering the LCD display. I don't really care. Even if  its easy to clean, doesn't break, doesn't scratch easily and doesn't fog when I use windex on it, it really doesn't matter. As long as I can replace it...problem solved. Don't try to tell me "This radio is better because it's uses polyrpoplasti-something-or-other which is soooo much better than glass because it doesn't break.

So whether it ugly mary or pretty betty or deep impact or burts-sideburn that runs the radio these are interesting topics from a philosophical point of view and they might even sell radios.
Until Visual Studio is obsoleted by microsoft and unless you rewrite it it won't compile on the successor of visual studio. I am sure you already know this. The guards of backward compatibility at microsoft lost the battle a few years back.

Just like when all cheapo transistor radions in the 50s and 60s used to have the words "Solid State" on them. I grew up thinking "Solid State" means something bad because that's what all the cheapo pocket radios had plastered on them. They certainly didn't sound as good as my grandfather's SABA. Obviously it wasn't a "Solid State" problem. The SABA was using 2 tweeters on each side of the radio and a humango 8 inch woofer at the front. The "solid state" pocket radios were using a barely 2 inch speaker that made everything sound like a telephone conversation.

Time to see if anyone is alive on 6m ... Smiley
 
Dimitri


 



   


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KF6QEX
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« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2010, 02:38:28 PM »

Ok..I'll give this away for free:
It would be a lot more beneficial to promote SDR radios and technology by getting them to try a softrock - in some cases you can even tap on the IF of your existing radioinstead of trying to convince them to throw out their current radio with the "small, hard to see buttons" and shell out $2500 - mouse control is great-but we'll give you 30 days and maybe we'll -be too-embarassed-to-return-it-so-you'll keep-it-guarantee" don't return or having silly Burt videos on youtube.

Softrock Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/softrock40/ 

Ridicilous videos of Burt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4iN9lQ1r_E
And here is one of his about the Flex: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnidaUi2L_8


6m was quiet Smiley


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KJ4SLP
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« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2010, 11:57:55 AM »

Hmmmm...someone is off his meds again.
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K0IZ
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« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2010, 05:46:23 PM »

I am in the early stages of setting up a remote station.  Strongly considered both the K3 and Flex 5000.  Because of the remote radio location and setup, I didn't want a computer (and its problems) to be part of the setup if it could be avoided.  Obviously the Flex requires one (at least A model).  I decided on the K3 controlled by serial server into internet.  No PC.  So at least with my situation, having a computer controlled radio was a disqualifying factor.
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