Software extensions



I agree. I know there are products out there being sold that use Open Source software, including my own. Still, I made that decision when I made it Open Source. My theory is that, if someone stands on my shoulders and makes something I started better for everyone, we all win. However, I do get a little miffed when someone takes something that is not Open Source and either sells it (M0NKA's SDR transceiver) or gives it away (my books on torent sites).

I do think the CAT interface does offer a way to extend the software without making all of it Open Source. It appears that we are slowly standardizing the CAT protocol. I would like to see the community pull together and formalize a CAT interface. It would require support from The Big Three and that could dissolve into a pissing contest. If that happens, I say screw 'em and we as users form our own CAT standard interface. (If this is all Greek to you, check out for a simple way to specify a series of CAT commands.)

For CAT to work, processors need to be on the "radio end" and the "user end" of the CAT connection. For Hans QSX, the radio end will be a processor in the STM32F4 family. On the user end, it could be whatever the user wants. Me? I plan on having a touch screen waterfall display that doesn't rely on a PC. It will be a self-contained SDR a la M0NKA or the G-90. For others, write a PC program in your favorite language that can read ASCII data from a port and do whatever you want with the data you get via CAT.

All of this could be super cool stuff. I know Al and I are going to dig into it when the dust settle a bit.

Jack, W8TEE

On Wednesday, December 18, 2019, 3:45:59 PM EST, Arv Evans <arvid.evans@...> wrote:


Well-said.  You made it very clear what the pro's and con's are regarding giving away
intellectual property versus securing said property.   Micro-controller based systems are
particularly problematic because some of the micro-controller chips can be read back
and copied at the bit or byte level.  The AVR is one of the micro-controller chips that
does have fuse bits that can be used to help protect the device from being copied. 

We are seeing some of this problem over on the BITX discussion group, where individuals
have made their own junk-box variations of the hardware, modified the open-source software,
and now seem to expect that Farhan will troubleshoot their mistakes. 

Micro-processor ICs that do not have built-in copy protection have to rely on "mouse-
traps" that use hidden code to erase or mutilate the code if it is tampered with. 

Since recent trends seem to indicate that even homebrew rigs need to support some form
of CAT control, maybe that is where the user customization needs to reside.  If there
is an adequate set of basic functions, then maybe user code in the CAT software could
allow those who want something else could add that feature or function?


On Wed, Dec 18, 2019 at 7:58 AM jjpurdum via Groups.Io <> wrote:
Everything I've written since I retired is Open Source and, for me at least, doing so is a true dilemma. That is: Two choices, both bad. I'll bet Hans has waded through the same decision-making process.

If you make your code Open Source, you lose control of it and it does end up being stolen, sometimes for profit. Even worse, some people will attempt to modify your code and, when it doesn't work, they actually have the audacity to ask you to fix it...for free! Not good...not fair.

On the other hand, if you don't make it Open Source, some people think you're a Grinch because they can't make your code do exactly whatever it is they want it to do.  They, too, want you to add such-and-such a feature, but fail to realize there are not a lot of deaf, blind, people who only speak Latin. (The Grinch Factor, to me, is a myth. It's my don't like it, write your own.)

So, what's the answer? First of all, given what Hans has managed to stuff into a Nano, there can't be more than a few bytes left. So, my guess is that putting something in means taking something else out. For most of us, that means "Leave it alone." However...

The QSX is going to be another beast altogether, since it will be using the STM32F4 series of microcontroller. Hans has some headroom there because of the memory resource depth and a faster clock. Yet, from Hans' perspective, how does he address the dilemma of lost control versus the Grinch factor? I think the best solution is an API--Application Programmer Interface. An API provides entry points to methods that allow you to extend the functionality of the program in much the same way that libraries allow you to extend the Arduino core. The downside is that it takes a lot more effort on Hans part to provide an API for us.

So...what's the correct answer from everyones' standpoint? I don't have a clue.

Jack, W8TEE

On Wednesday, December 18, 2019, 9:23:11 AM EST, R. Tyson via Groups.Io <> wrote:

As pointed out in another post I doubt there is sufficient memory left. The radio has a remarkable set of facilities and Hans has done a brilliant job on it.

Someone suggested that the software should be open source... that would enable others to produce cloned versions of Hans' work - in effect he does the work and someone else steals it and profits from it.

Tuning up and own the band is good exercise - I remember when we had to get out of our chair and walk across the room to change T.V. channels and there were only 2 or 3 of them.

The facilities available from these little radios is amazing but there is not the infinite capacity to keep adding stuff from "wish lists".

Reg              G4NFR


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