Thursday, November 10, 2011

G33DDC Version 1.68 - An Important Software Update

The first official software update since the introduction of the G33DDC has just been made available, with numerous small and a few very important changes.

In version 1.61, if one tuned around inside the DDC spectrum while recording (and who wants to be stuck on one frequency while recording), the spectrum itself would actually move, making it impossible to play back the recording properly. The demodulated frequency would change with the changing DDC spectrum. I first thought this was a bug but in fact it isn't; it's a feature but with an unwanted side effect. The feature is that one can move the DDC spectrum at will within the 0-30 (or 50) MHz range while recording.

The update makes it impossible to move the DDC spectrum while recording with the .ddc extension. So you are free to tune around inside the spectrum. For recordings with the .rxw extension, moving the DDC spectrum during recording requires the "Insert FDT" function to be disabled. So, if you record a DDC file, or an RXW file with FDT enabled, the spectrum will not move.

Another important change is how the playback bar works. Previously, it was cumbersome to move within playback of a DDC spectrum recording. The playback bar has been redesigned so that the handle or thumb is easier to "grab" with the mouse pointer, and the left and right arrows have been assigned to five-second steps. In addition, if you click on the bar, the recording will move back or forth with what I believe is 1/30 of the length of the file (or files, if they are linked into one larger recording). Of course if you move the handle you can maneuver at will within the recording.
Another thing that has been up lately (though unrelated to the software update) is that DDC files recorded in the .ddc format in one time zone (or during daylight savings time) will not show the correct time when played back in a different time zone (or during "normal" time). This is because the date and time information is not embedded in the file, but merely part of the file name.

This not a problem if recordings are made in the .rxw format, which is Winradio's proprietary format. However, .ddc is the default file extension, so you have to actively select rxw when you start a recording. Press "Browse" and select "RXW" from the file types dropdown. Or simply replace ".ddc" in the file path with ".rxw". The software will remember the file format for subsequent recordings, even if you shut down the program. For scheduled recordings it's a bit more cumbersome as you need to define the file format for each task you add.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

The RF Space NetSDR

After having played around with the RF Space NetSDR a few weeks, I thought it was time to share my impressions. A PDF-file is available in the Links section to the right, or you can view it as an html-page here.