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TOPIC: Wishes/Software/Hardware

Wishes/Software/Hardware 20 Oct 2016 08:15 #16

  • g0cgl
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  • Erik EI4KF / G0CGL
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My eHam review stirred up some interest, judging by the emails I have received asking if the MB1 is yet in a state where a purchase is worth considering. In that review I promised to update this thread to try to provide an unbiased account of the software development and if it is yet worthy of an expensive transceiver.

That eHam review was full of optimism but 2 months on and I have to report that optimism is tempered by some pessimism. By now the serious faults should have been corrected. They are not. Moreover, users have been subjected to additional faults and bugs. In one version the S meter was inoperative and in a version just released (RC5) the RIT and XIT controls are disabled. Other new faults have appeared which calls into question the degree to which the software is tested before release.

Pre-existing bugs not yet fixed include:
1 disparity in audio volume between CW and SSB modes causing serious impact on the ears when wearing headphones
2 disparity in TX gain between DIG and SSB modes causing distortion and over-driving
3 resting S-meter on 50mhz with no RF input at S6 (now s7 in RC5)
4 all the reported non-working controls (frequency input, mem, several others) still are not working
5 ALC action from amplifier not working thus it is imperative to ensure low exciter power
6 above issue hampered by a working but too hard to understand 'power correction' system
7 many other bugs, all reported but not fixed and of a quantity too high to list here

This is all a dreadful shame and I fear for the longevity of the product and the brand. Not listening to customers will impact on sales. Existing users are being let down. I count myself as one of the champions of EE and MB1 because I can see the potential of the radio and have devoted much time to authoring a supplementary manual and counselling existing and potential MB1 users. But since the latest debacle of RC5 I have to report that I feel insulted.

This is the situation at the current time. I still have some hope that a shake-up at EE will save the day. But it is now only a hope and not an expectation.
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Wishes/Software/Hardware 20 Oct 2016 15:47 #17

  • VassiL
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Dear Erik,
I want to thank you for your activity. You are one of those who make the software better. Beause reports from you are very usefull and accurate.
Tomorrow(may be after tomorrow) will be published the new 1.1.3 RC6 version with bug fixes.

1. For the equal audio level in CW and SSB will be added different RF and AF gain saving per modes to the 1.1.3 RC6 version.
2. The cause of the big difference in VAC TX Gain between SSB and DIGI modes is switched off Mic AGC. Mic AGC should adjust signals level to normal. We will fix this issue for switched off Mic AGC in 1.1.3 RC6.
3. S-meter readings for 6M band was fixed, will available in RC6.
4. Frequency entering via ENT button works only in MB1 GUI(programmer will add it to Desktop GUI in 1.1.4 version). All non working buttons(TNF, M.IN, M.RD, XVTR, F11-F21) will be available in 1.1.4 version of the software.
5. ALC will work in 1.1.4 version.
6. Now the power correction coefficients digits are not equal to power in watts, but after ALC will be finished it can be tied to power level in watts.
7. If you know about many other bugs, please, inform us in forum or by email.

The plan for 1.1.4 version in priority from high to bottom:
1. Saving antenna ports per bands.
2. Transverters support.
3. Memory panel in the MB1 GUI, also the M.IN and M.RD buttons support.
4. ENT button for Desktop GUI.
5. TNF functions (TNF.P, TNF.W controls) support.
6. Functional buttons F11-F21 support.
7. ALC control
8. Power correction coefficients can be tied to real output power.

Remote control growing in parralel and has a different software.

After 1.1.4 version all main functions and small wishes will be finished. Next step - full duplix, predistortion and other features.
Василий, Vasily,
Expert Electronics
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Wishes/Software/Hardware 20 Oct 2016 16:04 #18

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Ok Vassily - I will wait for 1.1.3 RC6 when it is ready and see how things are then. I do not think Mic AGC is the cause of the issue because having it on only means having to increase VAC gain to recover output to the same power level. Hence the same problem occurs but just by another route. But I will not pre-judge and see how it is in RC6 and if necessary report my findings by email.

I am grateful for the road map for 1.1.4 - this is the clearest communication to customers about future development so far and I am glad to see finally some reasoned assurance of software improvement.

Either here or in an email, please explain the feature added recently called " CAT Global Volume Control". In English language, 'global' is defined by "relating to or encompassing the whole of something, or of a group of things". Audio or volume cannot be categorised that way so the title of this feature does not describe its purpose or methodology. A description therefore is appropriate for MB1 users if would kindly provide it for us.
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Wishes/Software/Hardware 20 Oct 2016 17:06 #19

  • f4bwj
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Hi,

for my part I'm waiting for RC6 too. ;-)

Vassily, in next versions of the software, do you plan to implement features such as internal ATU management, e.g, possibility to automatically enable or disable the ATU according used bands or used antenna?
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Wishes/Software/Hardware 21 Oct 2016 10:38 #20

  • VassiL
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To Erik,
The global volume control is the common volume control for VFOA, VFOB of RX1 and the same for RX2. Global volume control can be controled via CAT system.

To f4bwj,
Now we are testing RC6 version, today the link will be uploaded to forum. After a few days and good feedbacks it will be uploaded as official version 1.1.3 to the web-site.
Good idea with ATU management, it can be implemented after antenna saving per bands and transverter mode. We will discuss it and will add to wish list. TNX
Василий, Vasily,
Expert Electronics
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Wishes/Software/Hardware 21 Oct 2016 14:49 #21

  • g0cgl
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I must update this thread and my comments of 20 October. Please refer to them and Vassily's later response:

To the credit of Expert Electronics, even though it took a long time, considerable effort has now been made to correct the deficiencies in the software and to bring the MB1 into the mainstream elite grade transceiver class.

Notably points 1, 2 and 3 have been addressed in version RC6.
For point 4, now non-working controls flash an informative message to the software advising the user of their current status.
Points 5 and 6 are to be addressed in a later version.
Point 7 - small bugs are fixed.

I have not as yet deeply tested but overall RC6 is by far the most robust and functionally most usable version so far. I have no hesitation in recommending the MB1 as a high end replacement for your current transceiver. Rest assured, I will keep you updated.
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