Panadapter Data Visualization . . .

Win4k3Suite Panadapter with DX Spots on the Waterfall . . .

Just when you thought you have seen everything – then there is THIS. DX spots on the waterfall – WOW – finally, a ham radio software designer who isn’t using 1980’s Visual Basic neanderthal UX/UI design, but someone who might even know who has heard of Edward Tufte.

My hand at trying to do “data visualization” a la Edward Tufte. I did get a great response from this . . . 

I’ve had and used the P3, PX3 and HDSDR based panadapters. None of them wowed me like this one. Adding the station that is in the waterfall is just perfect. In this case, the hardware setup couldn’t be simpler- and this is because the KX-3 does all of the “heavy lifting” and offers data from its RF/IQ jack. I do think its just amazing what the KX-3 does in such a small box – the more I think of its architecture, the more I think its even better than the K3, and boy did I live my K3 – which I had for 10 years – the logest of any rig.

The Hardware Diagram for this setup [UPDATE: I found the Contour Shuttle Xpress to not be helpful – the knob on the KX-3 is better]

The KX-3 was fully loaded and I purchased from an op I know – who takes great care of his gear – it was truly like new and fully loaded – $1000. The Xonar was $89 and the Contour Shuttle Xpress was $58. The Shuttle Xpress is optional – the knob on the KX-3 is actually quite nice – but I saw another SDR blog where the fellow was crowing about how great the Shuttle Xpress is – and I hopefully will receive mine today. If you to be ultra portable, the KX-3, Xonar and Laptop are all you need. This would be an awesome setup for someone in a mobile home or camper. All can be charged using a portable solar charger . . . . if you want day hiker or back packer – go for the KX-2 – hi hi. This setup is “small-ish”. If you were doing SOTA work from State Parks in your car or van – this also would work very nicely.

Everytime I tried a panadapter before – after just a few hours I pretty much ignored it. You see, I learned how to DX using just my ears and being able to tune split and track the DX instinctively and wothout a second RX or dual watch or any other such nicety. HOWEVER – the dual watch on the KX-3 is AWESOME.

I really can’t say enough about this wonderful setup. Its crazy – but while I am drooling over the Elecraft K4, I am a lot more excited about this little setup. Here is a really funny thing – when I put the KX-3 next to my Collins Gold Dust Twins, and see what 1950’s top of the line was, and now what Elecraft is doing. WOW. Truly amazing – and truly fun.

Yeah – I think I still love this hobby. Look around – there is always something cool to spend your money on – hi hi

6 Comments on “Panadapter Data Visualization . . .

  1. That is genuinely nice. I see why you’re so enthusiastic.

    But… It’s Windows software. Guess I’ll continue to rough it.


    • I use a Mac at work and Windows 10 at Home. I actually like both equally – I think Windows 10 is the first Microsoft OS that I feel this way about. But yeah – most ham software is Windows based.


      • My issue is the crazy things that happen every time there’s a Windows update of some kind. I use a Windows 10 computer at work. It’s pretty nice, actually. But, there’s a staff of people who do their best to keep everything running. Nobody like that here…

        Last summer when I decided to give WSJT-X and FT8 a try, I bought a Chromebook and repurposed it to run Galliumos, which is a Linux flavor optimized for repurposed Chromebooks. It works pretty darned well, with very few issues that weren’t due to me not being versed in the subtleties of using Linux on a former Chromebook.


      • I have wanted to use Linux in the shack for years – I have a stack of old PC’s and a Mac Tower that are still very good computers, but need an OS upgrade. I guess if I ever need a server, I have a stack of them – Linux can make old computers sing . . . .

        At work I have been doing full stack development using Postgres, Java Spring Boot / JPA and React – all browser based UI development. I would only consider doing Ui/UX development using a browser based stack because then it can run on any OS. Having software that is Windows or Mac specific is getting really long in the tooth for me – but I can say with confidence – learning React is no easy feat – its about the most strange but wonderful thing I’ve ever learned in IT-Landia. JavaScript is pretty much the most bizarre language – its half broken, but why am I loving it so much? I guess its because the web browser was never designed from the start to support such highly interactive and beautiful apps – they are supposed to look ugly – like most ham radio software – hi hi.

        Win4K3Suite looks like it might have been written in something like C# – I will have to ask the developer.


  2. Can you be more specific as the hardware and software set-up you used? Thanks, AG6CX

    Sent from my iPhone



    • Hello Ed,

      I’ve added a block diagram. I think when I wrote that yesterday it was after a fantastic but tiring week at work. Anyway – good point – it was time for a block diagram, so I’ve added that. There are pictures of the gear in the previous post – including the Contour Shuttle Xpress.


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