FlexRadio Systems announces the immediate availability of SmartSDR v1.5.0 for the FLEX-6000 Signature Series SDRs which includes the new Wideband Noise Blanker (WNB) to complement the previously enhanced Noise Reduction (NR) and Automatic Notch Filter (ANF). This release represents the fulfilment of the enhanced noise mitigations features for SmartSDR. In addition to the WNB, SmartSDR v1.5.0 includes a number of new features, existing feature enhancements and addresses various defects identified in previous versions of SmartSDR for Windows. Please consult the SmartSDR Software User’s Guide for details on using the new and updated features of SmartSDR for the most optimal operating experience.
New Wideband Noise Blanker: SmartSDR now incorporates a totally new class of noise mitigation targeted at correlated impulse noise. The purpose of WNB is to visually and audibly remove periodic types of noises such as ignition noise, power line noise, electric fence noise and other types of periodic impulse noises. Operating at a very high sampling rate, it provides a breakthrough in the ability to reduce this type of noise not only inside the receiver passband but across the entire spectral display bandwidth.
RTTY AFSK Mode: SmartSDR now has a dedicated AFSK digital mode specifically engineered for RTTY operation with third-party digital mode applications, like MMTTY. Then new RTTY mode is designed for LSB operation where the Slice receiver carrier line is on the RTTY Mark frequency. One advantage of Mark being on the carrier line is that spotting RTTY signals will send and tune to the actual frequency of the spotted signal. The frequency offset value for Mark and the value for Shift can be set by the user and is Slice receiver specific for operating RTTY at different baud rates in addition to the standard 45.5 baud (2125 offset with a 170 Hz shift) symbol rate. Within the RX passband filter, there are alignment marks for both Mark and Space tones for optimal signal alignment. As with other SmartSDR modes, both RIT and XIT are fully supported for RTTY.
DIGx Mode Improvements: Several improvements have been made to DIGL and DIGU to enhance the operation of digital mode with third-party applications. They include DIGU/DIGL specific AFSK offsets that allow for the dynamic realignment of the center frequency for preset RX filters and ClickTuning. When a signal is ClickTuned on the spectrum display, it will tune the Slice receiver to the center of the RX filter.
D-STAR Waveform Mode: A new waveform has been added that allows users to use D-STAR with the ThumbDV module from NW Digital Radio. With a ThumbDV plugged into the back of the radio and the D-STAR waveform, any 6000 Series radio can now communicate using D-STAR protocol for voice and data. The waveform is bundled with the ThumbDV Waveform GUI client application that control common D-STAR fields and shows decoded D-STAR information to ensure proper operation with repeaters and direct QSOs.
FDX: As part of our effort to enhance the FLEX-6000 for contest operation, a full duplex (FDX) mode of operation is now supported. Full Duplex will allow you to transmit and receive at the same time, but there are limitations. The limitations include the possibility of an SCU overload condition that depends on the signal entering into the SCU, signal path isolation inside the radio and additional RF gain provided by the RF preamps. To operate in FDX mode, you will need a dedicated receiving antenna and the Slice receiver must be on a different frequency from the transmitter. Please refer to the SmartSDR for Windows Software User’s Guide for detailed instructions on how to operate in FDX mode and how to calculate if your transmitted signal will overload the SCU before operating in FDX mode.
CAT Changes to Support SO2R Contesting (FLEX-6700 Only): SmartSDR Cat has been enhanced to support the Open Two Radio Switching Protocol (OTRSP). This, along with the new SO2R and OTRSP port types, allows a single FLEX-6700 to operate seamlessly in SO2R mode with logging applications such as N1MM Logger+. In this configuration, the FLEX-6700 Slice B is configured as the 2nd radio.
Max Power: A new feature to set the power amplifier’s maximum output has been added. This feature should be used with high gain PAs to ensure that the maximum driver level is not exceeded while transmitting or using the TUNE function. This feature is located in the Transmit tab in the Settings->Radio Setup menu.
Improve Frequency Calibration: For FLEX-6000s that do not utilize a GPSDO, the frequency calibration routine found in the Receive tab in the Settings->Radio Setup menu has undergone significant improvement. The frequency calibration routine is more accurate and works well when WWV is experiencing atmospheric and Doppler fading. Frequency accuracy of less than 1Hz may be obtained with an adequately strong WWV signal. It is recommend that all users without a GPSDO recalibrate your radio using the new frequency calibration routine for optimal radio performance.
FlexControl Improvements: A significant effort was focused on the operation of the FlexControl for SmartSDR v1.5.0. The FlexControl detection and data processing logic has been optimized to provide more consistent, reliable, and stable operation.
NOTE: SmartSDR v1.5.0 supports updated waveform module functionality. A new version of FreeDV is required for SmartSDR v1.5.0. If you had previously installed the FreeDV waveform, you must remove it from your radio and uninstall it from your PC after installing SmartSDR v1.5. Then download and install the updated FreeDV waveform. SmartSDR waveforms can downloaded from the Waveforms web page.
SmartSDR for Windows v1.5.0 and the Release Notes can be downloaded for the FlexRadio web site:
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