The "Portsdown 2018" Software
During early February 2018, the "Portsdown 2018" software was launched. This software retains the same transmitting functionality as previous software versions, but is intended to make control of the transmitter from the touchscreen a lot easier.
Most of the main menu buttons bring up a sub-menu to allow selection of one of a number of options. The exceptions are the transmit receive and preset buttons. The 4 preset buttons each store Modulation, Encoding, Output device, Picture Format, Picture Source, Frequency, Symbol Rate FEC, Band and Audio preference. To store the current configuration, press "Store Preset" which will turn red. If you then select any of the presets, the configuration will be stored by that button. If you touch any other part of the display, the "Store Preset" command will be cancelled. The Band and Attenuator functionality supports 5 direct transmission bands and 4 transverters. Details here: Portsdown 2018 Band Switching.
The sub-menus have a maximum of 10 buttons as shown here:
Some buttons on the main menu and on the sub-menus are greyed out if they do not make sense for the other options selected. For example, the audio button is greyed out if H264 encoding is selected, as audio with H264 is proving impossible to implement at present. Although greyed-out, these buttons can still be selected to allow settings to be changed for other modes.
The Attenuator button specifies the currently-produced PE43713 and the PE4312. The superceded PE43703 and PE4302 versions available on eBay work equally well.
Menu 2 is intended as the place to select additional features. For example, the Spectrum Display or Signal Generator can be selected from here. Additional functionality will be added here as it becomes available. The Shutdown button and the Info Display can be selected from the bottom line.
Menu 3 is intended as the configuration menu. As time goes on, more and more functionality will be migrated from the Console Menu to the touchscreen, making use of the keyboard that has been included. The keyboard is called up whenever text or numeric entry is required. Although it does have lower and upper case, it only has a limited set of special characters. Note that it is essential to use the Touchscreen Calibration facility before attempting to use the keyboard, as individual screens have significant variations.
Portsdown 2018 software has a number of limitations. Please note that:
- It is not permissable to put spaces in the callsign text as it causes the caption-generating software to fail. The use of spaces in other text fields is not advised, as it causes the Console software to behave in an unpredictable manner. Please use underscores in Button Labels, rather than spaces. The same issue applies to hyphens as the first character of text fields.
- The transverter switching functionality cannot be used in the same hardware installation as keyed switching of the transmitter or streams, as the same GPIO line (pin 7) is used for the keyed transmission indication and the Transverter select.
- Although there is a separate band designated for 13 cm (anything > 2000 MHz), and the attenuator value can be set independently from the 23 cm attenuator value, there is no external switching between the 13 cm and 23 cm bands. For more details see the Portsdown 2018 Band Switching page.