Input device and other downs

For the early roll-out of the Dashboard

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Input device and other downs

Postby TDx » Wed Dec 25, 2013 10:26 pm

Why is there a menu with File/Settings/Audio/Input Device/ FUNcube Dongle AND menu Capture/Capture From Funcube Dongle? (etc) The possible permutations of these two are bound to confuse.
What is the difference between Save Session As and Write Capture Data to File?
Why is there a nasty spike in the middle of the FCD spectrum display? Yes what is it? But really why isn't it taken out?
And I can't use this software on a machine that has other useage, it just dies on me and needs a complete power cycle.
Early days, yes, but not to have a version that will run on a RPi seems very short sighted particularly as that is also aimed squarely at education.

Tony
G4CJC
TDx
 
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Re: Input device and other downs

Postby Lauriston » Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:59 am

Hi, Tony.

An initial response to your points:
- the central spike is an artefact of the FCD, not the Dashboard. The frequency set by the Dashboard is 145.925 MHz instead of 145.935 MHz to take account of this. Pull the 'blind' across from the left to exclude it.
- I run the Dashboard alongside other programs without issue. Have a look at the hardware spec of your computer, perhaps.
- I think the developers chose the Windows platform because it is commonly available in schools, so i would question whether they have been 'short-sighted'. A version for RPi may be good for a system dedicated to FuNcube.
- menu settings are fine as they are but no doubt will be refined in future versions
- Save Session As and Write Capture Data to File: I'll have a look!

73

Paul VK3DBP
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Re: Input device and other downs

Postby TDx » Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:02 pm

Hi Paul

"Short sighted" about the RPi was perhaps harsh as this is a developing project. I'm no Linux guru anyway but my IRLP node runs 24/7 quite happily on one.

I still think having to use two different menu positions to engage the FCD needs amending.

There is also a slight lack of consistency in using either Hz as shown on the spectrum display or kHz as shown on the settings FDC Centre. kHz is surely enough.

My Dashboard continues to lock solid for no apparent reason. This time on a Zoostorm note book now dedicated to FCD only. It went fine for 24 hours then in the middle of a data collection as I clicked to turn on the monitor audio it locked needing a complete reboot of the note book.

73
Tony G4CJC
TDx
 
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Re: Input device and other downs

Postby Duncan » Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:01 am

Paul you are spot on, cheers, day one we needed a dashboard that could locate a FUNcube signal amongst the noise, track it whilst doppler does its worst, recover data using FEC, decode and display the telemetry, upload the telemetry to the data warehouse. This we achieved.
There is a lot of hype about the RPi, I would hazard that at the moment, most are in the hands of developers like me (I have two) and not schools, finding a windows pc/laptop in a school is generally not difficult, that is why we have initially gone with a windows client.
We have however developed with other operating systems in mind, the core audio sampling, tracking, FEC decoding code is all c/c++ and has been compiled on linux.

There are some UI issues, I would consider the slow charting a more serious failing than any of the ones you kindly pointed out Tony, we will get round to them, however at the moment I am primarily looking at improving the decode performance with FC dongles.

Cheers,
Duncan.
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Re: Input device and other downs

Postby TDx » Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:44 am

Thanks for the info Duncan and you are probably correct about most of the RPis being in the hands of developers rather than schools. I also have a couple of spares beside the one in the IRLP unit.
The issues I have found so far are nagging rather than major. Except Dashboard locking up on me.
Improving the decode with the FCD would be great. Today at 10:00 (approx) I had a good strong signal, I could hear what I take to be the data bursts but managed a decode of only 15/81, if I'm reading the Dashb correctly. Still its all good fun. Next to do something with the data I have collected and see how/if I can interest my local schools in using it when they are not on the Exam Train or SATs or League Table climbing.

73

Tony G4CJC
TDx
 
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Re: Input device and other downs

Postby Duncan » Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:54 am

Tony, 15/81 is the decoded/missed counts, it is calculated by looking at the sequence numbers of the packets you did get, being sequential it can add up all those you should have got in between. With antenna nulls, obstructions etc it is never going to be 100% but there is room for improvement.

Cheers
Duncan.
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Re: Input device and other downs

Postby TDx » Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:33 pm

I kind of gathered that Duncan but this was a 0/0 at AoS and 15/81 at the LoS. Many of the bursts I could hear with a (visibly) strong signal but didn't get a decode. So as you imply I'm prob never going to get them all. Just, if I can hear them fairly well why don't they decode? However I think you said that was (one of) the things you were working on.

73

Tony G4CJC
TDx
 
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Re: Input device and other downs

Postby Lauriston » Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:05 am

Hi, Duncan.

I like your description of the requirement for Day One - and you and the other developers nailed it!

We got good frames at first attempt on Launch Day (UTC - it was Friday morning in Melbourne) by letting FCD and Dashboard do their magic. I was pleased to note that our school wi-fi extended out to our listening position on the school oval, so we uploaded the frames in real time and saw our name come up as a data provider.

I'm always happy to help with encouraging amateur operators to go to their local schools for a FUNcube session.

Cheers

Paul
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