Interface Re-Design

Hi everyone,

I decided to redesign the KX3 Companion interface to have the spectrum/waterfall always visible and to have more room for it.

The following are the sketches I made showing how I’m thinking to reposition things.

Horizontal View

KX3 Companion - Horizontal

 

Vertical View

 

KX3 Companion - Vertical

 

Macros will be only 10 but will be per Mode. So 10 macros for CW, 10 for PSK31 and 10 for RTTY for a total of 30 macros.

Let me know what you think about the new design and if having the audio spectrum/waterfall always visible is something that you want or not.

72/73, Andrea IU4APC

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9 thoughts on “Interface Re-Design

  1. Hi Andrea,
    Personally, what I like about the app is that there is a lot of space for text and macros on screen. While the audio spectrum and waterfall are interesting I don’t necessarily want on them screen all the time. It can get too busy. Callable, like the SWR meter, is fine by me.

    I’d just as soon have the 20 text macros being generic to all modes since, for me, they can pretty much apply to all.

    John KB0NE

    • Hi John,
      thanks for your feedback.
      I’ll take that into account.
      Probably I’ll use that layout for a panadapter app. An app centered on the audio spectrum from both the IQ sides with most of the KX3 Companion features.
      73, Andrea IU4APC

      • I think this is the right way to go Andrea, make a panadapter specific version that focuses on, to be blunt about it, competing with the PX3.

        I can easily see why a lot of operators would want to have the full macros version and even a customized contesting version.

        UI Design is extremely difficult, and I’m certainly no good at it.

        The biggest challenge is to find new innovative ways to present.

        Personally I feel that amateur radio design, both hardware & software have been stuck in traditional conventions for a long time now and are ready to be disrupted.

        An example is your concept of ‘chat mode’ (emit)

        Nothing wrong with an interface that might be psk31, looks for signals from call signs that you ‘follow’, and creates a newsfeed of messages like a social network would.

        I’m sure there are people who don’t like this idea, but major disruptions are always painful to some.

        Utilizing the full capabilities of software development with RF transceivers has yet to be fully capitalized on.

        Internet connectivity allows for many great features like mapping and propagation reporting.

        APRS.fi is an interesting example. And it turns out pskreporter.info is pretty important. People are freaking out that its been offline now for almost a week.

        So many opportunities……

        Anyway, easy for me to dream, as I am not skilled to actually develop any of this 🙂

        73’s Andrea, and feel free to drop me a line at any time if you want to take this conversation out of the threads here. (adamATcurryDOTcom)

        Ac-KF5SLN

      • Ciao Adam,

        as always you read my mind 😀

        I already developed the new interface and I’m playing with it right now.

        I agree that this is much more indicated for a panadapter app as also John stated.

        Also I just started working on a DX Cluster feature. Found the right data source and now working on showing spots on Google Maps as I also have info about longitude and latitude of the spot. So it’d be nice to have a spots popping up on the map.

        It’ll be possible to filter by band.

        I’ll try to make it so that clicking the marker will let you see info and eventually QSY to the frequency.

        I used APRS in the past and like the idea. And I personally use a lot pskreporter and wprsnet.

        Let’s see what I’m able to integrate into the companion.

        73, Andrea IU4APC

        P.S: I sent you an email earlier this morning. Did you got it?

  2. Bad news… I just realized that the jack on Android only has mono mic and to process IQ I need stereo!

    I’m trying by using an external USB sound card but it’s not trivial. In this Apple devices are way better. I could easily attach a USB audio card to the iPad and have a stereo in.

    Maybe working via Bluetooth…

    Andrea IU4APC

  3. Hi Andrea et al,

    Using KX3 and this fine Companion I just finished my first contest with 154 CW QSOs. The latest version, loaded just before the IARU HF Championship, worked smoothly – again thanks a lot.

    The current GUI is by far no contest GUI, but it does the job for some semi-casual operations. As operator you better shouldn’t become nervous because errors are difficult to correct. I also miss the quick wipe function to clean all current entries on the screen at once, quickly to be ready again for the next QSO when the one before didn’t finish successfully.

    During my operation I observed that most of the time the lower half of the screen (in landscape format) was anyway hidden by the touch keyboard. I barely could reach the first line of macro buttons.

    I don’t see Waterfall and Spectrum as a mandatory feature but as an option. Currently I can use the tablet with this app nicely in the mountains with my KX3. There I don’t need this visualization but a good performing, lightweight logging and keyer engine.

    At home I have my notebook running HDSDR as panadapter. I also have an additional big screen mobile phone, actually providing the perfect target for a yet to be developed panadapter app 🙂

    Joerg, HB9FDJ / DL8WPX

    • HI Joerg,

      thanks a lot for the feedback.

      The app is not intended for contests but I try to adapt things so that it is more “contest friendly”. I’ll surely add a simple way to delete all the QSO data in case of a not closed one. Something like a long press of one of the fields.

      About the soft keyboard is a problem not easy to solve. I had to redesign the interface a few times to find a good solution but I can try to “sacrifice” something to let the macro visible. At least the first line.

      But there are very good additional soft keyboards that occupy much less space and some that are “resizable”. I personally use “swift” that also is very fast to be used by sweeping and can be resized.

      Spectrum and waterfall may not be mandatory for SSB and CW, but it is for PSK31 and RTTY.

      I’m thinking about continuing developing the app with “unlockable” modulus so that based on the needs, one can use only the additional features he/she really need.

      I’m actually working on adding:

      – eQSL support (QSL automatically send after the QSO is logged)
      – DXCluster (with touch QSY)
      – QRZ.com XML and Hamlog support so that as soon as you type the CALL, all the other fields are filled (assuming there’s an internet connection)
      – WPRS sending
      – QRSS sending
      – Panadapter with real IQ (if I’ll be able to solve a technical issue related to Android hardware limitation)

      Some may be interesting for you, and some not.

      Thanks again for your suggestion and feedback. They are always very precious to me.

      Many compliments again!

      72/73, Andrea IU4APC

  4. Yes I would love to have the ;scope or Waterfall running and not have to close them to use the Macro’s…would be nice to see….move to…and paste call sign…then hit answer macro without closing anything…How sweet..!
    I enjoy using the KX3 Compainion with my sanyo Android…works great.
    Thanks … WES…………

    • Yes I’d like too… the problem is space. I tried to partially solve the problem by using a popup menu for the macros that you can access even when the audio spectrum/waterfal is visible.
      Try it and let me know 😉
      72/73 Andrea IU4APC

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