And so began the experiment with the KX3 and Studio 1 by WoodBoxRadio!
First impressions after about 3 hours play time is that they have done a really nice job with this software! I highly suggest reading the quick start guide before digging into the program. You'll need to read these to understand how notch and other filters work. I am still going through it after just getting things working without reading it first.
It works with the IQ signals coming out of the KX3. As it stands right now, there is no CAT control, however, Sandro thinks this will be ready by late September.
I am using the MME 16 bit option right now. I tried a quick install of the ASIO drivers but they didn't work as easily as I wanted, so I uninstalled and will work on that when I have the time to dig into it proper. Fortunately even though his software says 16bit, it works fine with the devices in the control panel set to 24 bit 192K, so no need to change that right now that I can see if you run NAP3 like I suggested in another article. Note though, this only gives you about 40K of spectrum in the Panadaptor.
Since there is no CAT control right now, you'll not be able to keep the frequency locked between the Panadaptor in Studio 1 with the radio VFO. I have found though that if I manually sync the two on a frequency centered in the portion of the band available in studio 1 then changing the VFO will keep you in sync on the Panadaptor visually. You need to know that when I say visually I mean that you can point and click on signals in the panadaptor and so long as you do not move the VFO knob on the KX3 the correct signal will be displayed in the panadaptor. Remeber though when you do this if you transmit ot will still be on the frequency the radio is set to since the radio has no way of knowing you moved.
Again, this is just a limitation of not having Cat support yet for Omnirig which is what we will get at the end of this month. Don't get too caught up with this you you dare to try this out like I am right now.
There are some nice options for configuring the Panadaptor display and you also get some really nice controls for filters, AGC, ect. Honestly, as a newer ham I can't even begin to explain them all, so I will spare you that! What I can tell you is Studio 1 is really sharp looking! Panadaptor eye candy for sure!
Notch filters are interesting! You get 4 and you can place them where you want and adjust their width. Worked really well for me to notchout someone who was tuning up in the QSOs I listened to.
The sound quality is really sweet from Studio 1! Strong crisp audio and the NB and NR filters are very nice so far in the limited times I have turned them on.
There is a small delay between the radio audio and the Studio 1 audio, however, it's my understanding that this is adjustable, however some amount of latency is pretty much inevitable because we have a connection to the PC and the PC sound card must do a conversion. That's not going to happen as fast as the radio does its own conversion in the DSP. I just need to play with the buffer control and the delay settings to see how much I can optimize for the KX3.
You can run as many virtual slices as you like it seems. This is somewhat practical if you want to get a few views of the same band. I use two, one for the full 40K on my small monitor and then the normal working space zoomed in to about 20K of bandwidth.
I like that all the windows are detached and you can place them where you like. The key windows are resize able as well. As I said, Studio 1 is sharp sharp looking and pretty versatile as far as tuning signals. Some of the controls are pretty different from Power SDR. The notch filters are interesting in how you deploy, place and adjust them. Once you understand Studio 1's operating paradigm it's consistent across the operating experience.
There is a link to a short video where I am just playing around at the bottom of this article.
Well, Iguessing that the issue of transmit signal bleeding in the Panadaptor is somewhat complicated. I did figure it out while stewing on it today and i spoke to Elecraft today and confirmed my suspicions. Let me see if I can explain this for you! It goes back to the delay I referenced earlier. So the IQ signals in the Kx3 are tapped before the DSP in the signal chain. So they get created before and after the signals get to the DSP and after they leave the DSP. Ergo, your transmit audio will be in the IQ signals. if there were a cat connection in Studio 1 or in other software for that matter it could see when the radio was transmitting and mute the incoming IQ signal. I think this is PowerSDR works on the flex, except they offer the option to monitor your transmit audio. If you have tried this before you get the same echo.
Here is where things get interesting though. In PowerSDR they must have a delay to suspend your transmit audio long enough to catch the Cat command and mute it before your audio starts. I have noticed in NaP3 that this issue lasts about 1-2 seconds and then mutes the transmit audio in NAP3 software. Unless you get in the habit of pausing before you speak it's still very annoying. There also is the issue of the transmit IQ signal being much stronger and so it looks like splatter. Interestingly enough it looks like Studio 1 handles this last issue better than NAP3. You still see an increase in amplitude in the main Panadaptor however, it looks fine in the filter Panadaptor. I posted a message to the Studio 1 forum asking them to make sure they catch the transmit from the cat connection and offer a monitor on or off feature like in Power SDR. I don't know since we are talking IQ signals here if they will be able to improve upon NAP3 with regards to this issue. Keep in mind that some of the Panadaptor software packages are meant to be just that, receive onlyPanadaptors software packages.
Elecrafts handling of the inquiry today was professional and they confirmed what I had already come to realize during the time between my call and them calling me back. I thought they were polite and did not just brush me off either. The question was an odd one and so I know they had to follow-up and ask 1 of the developers about it.
I really had fun this evening working with Studio one, even without the cat control. So if you just let go of the frequency being accurate on the Panadaptor and center on the available spectrum then when you turn the VFO, the signals move across the screen in the direction you are turningyour knob or towards center and away from center. So using the knob you can tunevisually by moving the desired signal you see to the pass band and center of the display. This is actually very efficient as I was able to make several rapd QSOs off the salmon run contest this evening by just working my way up 20 meters.
I get more power running 20M so I actually had a really nice hot signal into Washington tonight. Using LP bridge I can actually make large jumps in frequency if needed using HRD via cat. As I said though, it was really really a smooth experience using the KX3 VFO knob and the Studio 1 display and an overall pleasurable run up the dial.
That's the latest fun here at RoaringStaR!