Disabling "Daily" Recording Scheduler in FDM-SW2 while DXing live

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Disabling "Daily" Recording Scheduler in FDM-SW2 while DXing live

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 12 May 2016 15:05

Is this possible?

I just updated to the latest FDM-SW2 software in the hope that the record scheduler might have had some big fixes or improvements. None, it seems at first glance, but time till tell if the recordings switching off problem has been rectified.

I programmed the S2 to record while DXing live. You can't do that. You might ask why Geoffrey (thanks for that one Tim - I thought it was funny), well Geoffrey ...

I want to have the S2 record, minute by minute, scanning 6MHz at a time, but scanning all sections of the band, in sequence, minute by minute. Hope that makes sense. Programming individual minutes will result in a huge number of entries, but there are some easy ways to get around this.

I want to have the S2 recording the whole band if I go out. Simple! The easiest way is to use the "Daily" record option for each file, otherwise I have to re-programme each file every day and there's no way I am even considering that. The problem with the "Daily" setting is that the record scheduler overrides manual live listening. I cannot find a way to switch it off or any other little trick to get around this problem.

Does anybody else know a workaround for this?

If only the SDR Console had a record scheduler, although I suspect it may be back to square one unless Console's files were playable in the S2.

Thanks

John

daveB
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Re: Disabling "Daily" Recording Scheduler in FDM-SW2 while DXing live

Post by daveB » 15 May 2016 18:43

Hi John,

Do you really need to do these recordings on the Elad software? I'm not into the level of recording that your posts indicates - at the moment I just record long chunks at the bottom of the band but I think HDSDR will do what you want it to. I set up a recording schedule of the type you described - as the attached screenshot shows. I've set it up to record 2 minute files that cover the whole of the FM band in three chunks. I was pleased to see that when I committed the first entry by adding the task it automatically offered me the next 2 minute interval - so I only had to change frequency.

As I play back my recordings on SDR Sharp I have restricted the file size to 4095 MHz for compatibility with the File Player plug-in. I love the waterfall feature of File Player - which normally appears as a thin vertical ribbon down the left - but I open it right out leaving just enough of the normal view so that I can use the IF filter for fine tuning the playback bandwidth.

As the screenshot shows it should tick all your boxes - i.e you can enable/disable the recording scheduler and you can set up a once-only session or a series of daily recordings. Just remember if you give it a go to check whether you need to swap I/Q channels
Screenshot 2016-05-15 17.58.34.png
HDSDR recording scheduler
Ok - you have to change programs which is a small pain - but it may be worth it. I've not found any free SDR software that does what I want entirely so I end using more than one program to get the best of things. Also you would need to use an app to bulk edit the file name to change the time format from 123456 to 12-34-56 if you must have the exact time on the playback.

If you have never used the file record option in HDSDR - you access the recording scheduler by right-clicking on the record button.

The only thing is - it takes quite a time to set up all those entries and I suppose for SpE it is better to have 2 minute files so that you cover the whole band fairly quickly for when the openings are short. And that just leaves finding time to play them back. But then you can be home recording on a quiet day and playback the more interesting recordings from thje previous days - as I have been doing.

BTW - I'm going to do some serious setting up of the HDSDR recording scheduler - to use when I'm not at the radios - so thanks for the post that has given me the idea.

David
SDRPlay, AirSpyMini, RTL dongles, SB920s, Yamaha TX930. 5 ele compact yagi on rotator at 18ft agl. FM5 facing east, FM5 facing south, FM3 facing NE, OIRT dipole, 3-ele Moxon vertical facing east.

satnipper
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Re: Disabling "Daily" Recording Scheduler in FDM-SW2 while DXing live

Post by satnipper » 16 May 2016 15:07

Surely the way to go is I7 PC with large SSD disk running two Airspys/SDR# covering 20 MHz?

daveB
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Re: Disabling "Daily" Recording Scheduler in FDM-SW2 while DXing live

Post by daveB » 16 May 2016 17:00

Or how about a slice of Lime?

https://www.crowdsupply.com/lime-micro/limesdr

Simon Brown (SDR-Console) has bought one to work on - so it may be very interesting by the time the next batch is available. At least two receivers - covers 100 kHz to "way beyond" with a very wide bandwidth - so you can cover FM band and OIRT simultaneously.
SDRPlay, AirSpyMini, RTL dongles, SB920s, Yamaha TX930. 5 ele compact yagi on rotator at 18ft agl. FM5 facing east, FM5 facing south, FM3 facing NE, OIRT dipole, 3-ele Moxon vertical facing east.

satnipper
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Re: Disabling "Daily" Recording Scheduler in FDM-SW2 while DXing live

Post by satnipper » 17 May 2016 11:54

Blimey - recording 64 Mhz - that will be a PC challenge!

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John Faulkner, Skegness
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Re: Disabling "Daily" Recording Scheduler in FDM-SW2 while DXing live

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 19 May 2016 01:15

Not as challenging as my &%$£#@ computer has been lately. Four Windows 7 re-installations in five days! Never had so many software and hardware failures occurring at once. Just re-configuring the S2. Hopefully back up and running in the next 24 - 48 hours.

Thanks for the info - will catch up with this as time permits.

AndyP (Telford)
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Re: Disabling "Daily" Recording Scheduler in FDM-SW2 while DXing live

Post by AndyP (Telford) » 05 Feb 2017 18:11

Hi David

Can you repost the HDSDR recording scheduler picture as its disappeared from the forum and I want to try these settings out, thanks.

Andy.

daveB
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Re: Disabling "Daily" Recording Scheduler in FDM-SW2 while DXing live

Post by daveB » 05 Feb 2017 22:15

Hi Andy,
Fortunately I'm a bit lazy about cleaning up the auto screenshot save to Dropbox - so here it is:
Screenshot 2016-05-15 17.58.34.png
Note that to the left of the "Add task" button is the rick box to make it Daily.

Also - thanks - as it reminds me to go through the task of setting up a comprehensive schedule in the coming days - before we hit the Es season. Plenty of scope to play.

David
SDRPlay, AirSpyMini, RTL dongles, SB920s, Yamaha TX930. 5 ele compact yagi on rotator at 18ft agl. FM5 facing east, FM5 facing south, FM3 facing NE, OIRT dipole, 3-ele Moxon vertical facing east.

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Re: Disabling "Daily" Recording Scheduler in FDM-SW2 while DXing live

Post by John Faulkner, Skegness » 06 Feb 2017 11:24

I did write a day-long scheduler file for the FDM-S2 so I could have it recording the whole band while I was away from the receiver. I must have lost it during one of my many computer crashes last year.

The idea was to record one minute blocks in each of the four necessary frequency ranges, consecutively, all day - if necessary. The way I split the band into the four ranges is like this:

File 1: 87.5 - 93.3
File 2: 93.4 - 99.2
File 3: 99.3 - 105.1
File 4: 102.2 - 108.0 (There's a bit of overlap in this one.)
File 5: Back to the beginning.

This way, you shouldn't miss any DX while you are out. The drawbacks are, lots of hard drive space is necessary and lots of time is needed to check the files, but it means you shouldn't miss anything.

A degree of familiarity of the scheduler files is necessary as you need to keep changing them to suit your recording needs. Backups of the original files are essential.

I will rewrite this file and post a link to it here soon. I will try to get this done before the next Es seasons begins.

daveB
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Re: Disabling "Daily" Recording Scheduler in FDM-SW2 while DXing live

Post by daveB » 07 Feb 2017 00:13

Yes, well, Murphy says that when you are off one frequency block something exotic will pop up for just a minute or so. All one can do is to maximise the chances of catching the DX. My exotic reception from Israel lasted no more than a couple of minutes - all bar a couple of station were in one period of under one minute.

My personal preference - 'cos I can't deal with opening 60 files to cover an hour of recording is to use the Baseband Recorder and File Player in SDR# and record 5 or 6 minute blocks. The Baseband recorder has a mode "FullRF64" which allows for very long files.

I know it is totally subjective but to me it seems easier to spot short duration signals when the file is a few minutes long. As I have an SDRPlay and and Airspy mini I can cover about 16 MHz between them if I run at maximum sampling rate. With a 2Tb hard drive that gives me about 12 hours - but I intend to buy a 2nd external drive before the SpE season.

Where it gets complicated is when the OIRT band is coming in as well - that works better with shorter files targetted to just before the hour and half hour to pick up vocal station ids.

My second resource is it to scan 24/7 during the SpE season using FMSuite in SDR#. I've got a pair of RTL dongles fed from the East and South Facing aerials via splitters. They are hooked up to a dedicated mini desktop PC I got second-hand. When there is a SpE opening it takes about 4-5 minutes to scan the entire band. When it finds a station it will stop for 6 seconds other wise it skips straight past in mill-seconds.

The RTL dongle might not be as good as an AirSpy/SDRPlay - but by 'eck it don't half do the job. I've also had some pretty decent tropo on the East facing aerial on the RTL-dongle. Of course I'm only capturing signals strong enough for RDS - but it gives a pretty good idea of what conditions were like when i'm away (or asleep !).

And if I can't record from the AirSpy or SDRPlay because I've run out of space - I run them in scan mode.

I've now got the process of marrying scan log files - either from RDSDatalogger or FMSuite - with RDSSpy logs by dropping the csv files into a Spreadsheet - down to a fine art. Multiple formulae minimise the likelihood of errors

David

Note: other cases of Murphy's law 1) you started scanning - but forgot to start the log file - so have no idea what frequencies the RDSpy log relates to! 2) you paused the recording - and forgot to start it again.
SDRPlay, AirSpyMini, RTL dongles, SB920s, Yamaha TX930. 5 ele compact yagi on rotator at 18ft agl. FM5 facing east, FM5 facing south, FM3 facing NE, OIRT dipole, 3-ele Moxon vertical facing east.

AndyP (Telford)
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Re: Disabling "Daily" Recording Scheduler in FDM-SW2 while DXing live

Post by AndyP (Telford) » 11 Feb 2017 13:57

Thanks for the pointers; having a play now.

BTW: Does anyone know if it's possible to get HDSDR to save an image of the waterfall to disk?

Andy.

daveB
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Re: Disabling "Daily" Recording Scheduler in FDM-SW2 while DXing live

Post by daveB » 12 Feb 2017 11:17

Where it gets complicated is when the OIRT band is coming in as well - that works better with shorter files targetted to just before the hour and half hour to pick up vocal station ids.
Cross referencing to my post on HDSDR recording - I've worked out a compromise. The OIRT dipole isn't too bad at picking up Band 2 signals - probably 3-4 dB down on the 5 ele so all I have to do is include the OIRT band in the schedule. Of course I have to put up with the fact it is bi-directional so get more interference off of the back of the antenna, but checking the band it turned out soime locals were weaker and some stronger
SDRPlay, AirSpyMini, RTL dongles, SB920s, Yamaha TX930. 5 ele compact yagi on rotator at 18ft agl. FM5 facing east, FM5 facing south, FM3 facing NE, OIRT dipole, 3-ele Moxon vertical facing east.

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