Alex and Thetis

Joe-W4WT
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Alex and Thetis

Postby Joe-W4WT » Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:38 am

I see there is no button for Alex on Thetis nor can I find a way to turn "Alex" off. By Alex, I mean firmware control. With our old software turning off Alex (pressing the "Alex" Button next to Mox) disabled firmware control but without the button I can't seem to find a way to do it. I need to disable firmware control since I run an 8000 board but have the old 200D PA and antenna switching which has some different select sequences for 80 and 40m than the 7/8000.

Anyone know how to get out of "firmware" control with the latest Thetis? I did see that if I select another "radio", say 7000, then select the 200D again in General H/W Select, it seems to come out of firmware control until I try to select a different frequency then I hear a relay click and I'm back to no receive on 80 and 40m. If there is no way to get out of firmware control, this is a definite no-go for me.

Thanks,

Joe W4WT
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w-u-2-o
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Re: Alex and Thetis

Postby w-u-2-o » Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:41 pm

Joe,

AFAIK, there is no longer a "firmware" control mechanism in Thetis/P2 firmware. IMHO this is a welcome change and the way things ought to work, as the operator should always be in full control of the preselector state.

I do, however, wish there was a button that would allow changing between preselector OFF (bypass) and ON states.

It would also be SUPER handy to have some sort of preselector annunciation on the main console that showed what BPFs and LPFs were currently in place.

At any rate, in Thetis/P2 all control of preselector and LPF states is now found exclusively in Setup > General > Ant/Filters.

73,

Scott
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Re: Alex and Thetis

Postby Joe » Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:44 pm

Gentlemen,
I did add the function of HPF disable (Alex disable) to the main screen, I also added a few more functions to the source code regarding the expanded window. I forwarded the changes to Doug some time back on the Alex disable but have not forwarded the latter additions. I also put in the code a function that the filtering is disabled when the “wb” button is selected. I hope in the future I can or someone else could install the function of automatically disabling the filters when the panadapter is selected at a large frequency swath. I am fairly a new learner in the code so I hope Doug check these additions out. I have been using these changes on my 8000 for quite some time and all seems good.

73’s
Joe
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Re: Alex and Thetis

Postby Joe-W4WT » Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:10 pm

Joe, thanks so much for your effort! I have been contemplating the hardware changes I would need to make on the 200D PA board to accommodate 80, 40, and 30 meters under firmware control and didn't really want to do them so maybe I won't have to if Doug adopts your code. In the meantime, I'm back to protocol 1.

The current Thetis Beta seems very close now and has a lot of very nice features that are quite desirable. It obviously represents a lot of work and I commend the developers! In addition, v1.3 of the P2 firmware seems to be a big step up and I did not have any of the previous problems that were in 1.2 running it.

I hope Simon's code has a method to disengage firmware filter control too. I haven't seen it yet so I don't know if it does or not. Perhaps I should ask to get on the beta list to check that out.

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Re: Alex and Thetis

Postby w-u-2-o » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:33 pm

Just to be clear: there is NO "firmware control" mode for preselection or LPFs in Protocol 2 firmware. It is wholly controlled by Thetis.
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Re: Alex and Thetis

Postby Joe-W4WT » Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:10 am

Ok, Scott, got it. The problem is still the fact that Thetis is doing EXACTLY what the firmware did using Protocol 1 with Alex ON as regards filter selection. What Thetis is NOT doing is honoring the selection of 200D in the Hardware selection menu as regards filter selections and instead, I assume, reading the firmware and seeing that it is Orion MKII and setting the filters according to that rather than the 200D selection. We can call it whatever we want but that is the issue for me.

Joe
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Re: Alex and Thetis

Postby Ernie » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:07 am

Joe wrote:Gentlemen,
I did add the function of HPF disable (Alex disable) to the main screen, I also added a few more functions to the source code regarding the expanded window. I forwarded the changes to Doug some time back on the Alex disable but have not forwarded the latter additions. I also put in the code a function that the filtering is disabled when the “wb” button is selected. I hope in the future I can or someone else could install the function of automatically disabling the filters when the panadapter is selected at a large frequency swath. I am fairly a new learner in the code so I hope Doug check these additions out. I have been using these changes on my 8000 for quite some time and all seems good.

73’s
Joe
WD5Y



Is there any progress on this? I am running Thetis on a 7000DLE with almost no issues, but I sure miss the ALEX button.
73
Ernie
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Re: Alex and Thetis

Postby W3MMR » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:32 pm

Ernie wrote:
Joe wrote:Gentlemen,
I did add the function of HPF disable (Alex disable) to the main screen, I also added a few more functions to the source code regarding the expanded window. I forwarded the changes to Doug some time back on the Alex disable but have not forwarded the latter additions. I also put in the code a function that the filtering is disabled when the “wb” button is selected. I hope in the future I can or someone else could install the function of automatically disabling the filters when the panadapter is selected at a large frequency swath. I am fairly a new learner in the code so I hope Doug check these additions out. I have been using these changes on my 8000 for quite some time and all seems good.

73’s
Joe
WD5Y



Is there any progress on this? I am running Thetis on a 7000DLE with almost no issues, but I sure miss the ALEX button.
73
Ernie
W2FMU


Ernie,
On 3.4.9, do you notice Alex effecting anything else besides what its designed to do, with it off? Just wondering the need to turn it on and off. I always left it on and couldn't notice a difference when it was off. I don't even get spurious emissions from an AM radio stations transmitter site that's less than 2 air miles from my QTH. It is only 1000w though. Only issue I've ever had with a broadcast station was a very strong 40m shortwave station that was hitting me with a -11dbm signal (+60db or s9 :shock: :shock: ), that was giving me spurs from 160m clear through 6m, and it was the same with Alex on or off. So yeah, I've never seen any difference with it on or off in any situation. Maybe it's just where I live. But my father experiences spurs with it off, and we aren't that far from each other. I figured me being 7 miles SW of Center City Philadelphia, I would see a difference with Alex on or off.

Any insight from anyone else as well would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Perry

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Studio "A" - Anan 200D, P2 1.8, Thetis 2.6.9, Dell XPS 8700 i7-4770k, Samsung EVO 860 SSD, Nvidia GeForce GTX1050ti, 16GB RAM, Shure SM7B, AL80BX
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Re: Alex and Thetis

Postby w-u-2-o » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:16 pm

The pre-selection (bandpass) filtering in the ANAN series of radio hardware is, I believe, only a 3-pole design. Therefore the selectivity ("Q") of these filters is not terribly impressive.

A good way to demonstrate this to yourself is to use the WB (wideband) display feature of Thetis and select different filters manually.

To obtain noticeably good performance from a preselector one needs to be using 7-pole filters with descent Q.

Because the pre-selector performance is so minimal in the ANAN series radio hardware I have disabled it so that I don't have to worry about fussing with it when running RX1 and RX2 on different bands.

73,

Scott
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Re: Alex and Thetis

Postby Ernie » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:18 pm

Perry,

I turn ALEX off when I listen to 2 different bands on 1 antenna (RX1 & RX2). I turn it on when my neighbor is transmitting during contests as he modulates ALL bands. It works well for this. I really miss having the control on the user interface. Having to go into setup each tie is a big (and unnecessary) step backwards in my opinion.

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Re: Alex and Thetis

Postby W3MMR » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:28 am

Ernie wrote:Perry,

I turn ALEX off when I listen to 2 different bands on 1 antenna (RX1 & RX2). I turn it on when my neighbor is transmitting during contests as he modulates ALL bands. It works well for this. I really miss having the control on the user interface. Having to go into setup each tie is a big (and unnecessary) step backwards in my opinion.

W2FMU



Ernie,
Understood. See I dont normally listen to multiple bands on the same antenna, nor utilize the second receiver much at all, and in your situation with Sherman being so close to you, that makes sense. I could see how having to go into setup each and every time could be quite annoying.

Perry
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Studio "A" - Anan 200D, P2 1.8, Thetis 2.6.9, Dell XPS 8700 i7-4770k, Samsung EVO 860 SSD, Nvidia GeForce GTX1050ti, 16GB RAM, Shure SM7B, AL80BX
Studio "B" - Heath-Kit DX100, D-104, National NC-303, Hammarlund HQ-140-X
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Re: Alex and Thetis

Postby K9RX » Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:05 pm

Scott,

I know you have the 8000 ... doesn't it have preselectors on each RX? You made the comment if you are using both RX1 and 2 you leave Alex off - but if indeed there are independent preselectors this would not be necessary - what am I missing?

Gary
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Re: Alex and Thetis

Postby w-u-2-o » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:21 pm

Hi Gary,

What you say is only true under certain circumstances. Remember that the term "RX2" in the context of our radios is a highly variable thing. If you equate RX2 to ADC2 (or ADC1, depending on whether you start counting at 0 or not :D ) then, yes, you are absolutely correct. This is also true for the 7000, it too has separate preselector banks for both ADCs.

However, if RX2 is merely a DDC/spectral display/demodulator (controlled by VFO B), then that point of view might not be correct. And this is how I prefer to think of RX2.

As it happens, because I only have a single antenna for receive, I assign both RX1 and RX2 to the first ADC. I don't use the second ADC for anything right now. Hence in my setup both RX1 and RX2 must fight over the first ADC preselector in that context.

See also this thread.

73!

Scott
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Re: Alex and Thetis

Postby K9RX » Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:57 pm

Ah yes - I should have realized that was what you were referring to. Thanks.

Gary

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