We've designed the RadioPort software to make it easy to control the hardware features of the RadioPort and to blend these seamlessly into the computer. Basic features, like the sound card chip and the serial chips, are recognized as such by Windows XP, Mac OS X, and Linux. In addition to the core sound and serial functions, we've provided additional control for Windows XP users. The Radio Port Manager (RPM) is a sophisticated tray application and a set of drivers that allow direct control of the I2C bus inside the RadioPort. In addition, the RPM provides direct access to the EEPROM and Flash memory in the RadioPort. This allows Internet-based updating of RadioPort firmware.

The RPM main screen lists all of the RadioPorts attached to the computer. All? Our vision, of course, is that you will want to RadioPort enable all of your rigs, so we designed the RPM with the notion that you may actually have more than one RadioPort. Each RadioPort can be named (in the diagram, we've named the RadioPort after the radio to which it is connected - in this case, an Icom 756PRO). Selecting a RadioPort and double-clicking (or clicking "Configure") brings up the control panel for that specific RadioPort.

This panel shows the version of firmware loaded into this RadioPort alongside the latest version that you have access to via the RAI Laboratory LLC website. If a newer version is available, a button will appear that, when clicked, re-flashes your RadioPort. Basic options in the RadioPort (that would probably be jumper-selected in competitive devices) are also shown. Signals to and from the rig, such as carrier detect and PTT, are mapped by the microcontroller in the RadioPort to various serial port control lines. This allows considerable flexibility in matching the RadioPort to your favorite digital mode software. You have full control over mapping as well as polarity (active high or active low). At the bottom of the panel, real-time LED-like bargraphs show the audio levels passing through the RadioPort. Each bargraph also has a slider that actuates the digital trimmer in the RadioPort, giving you instant control over levels without opening the rig interface. And if you have taken the step of fully automating your multi-rig shack with multiple RadioPorts, this feature is especially useful - the RadioPort does not even need to be in reach to set the levels.

Across the top of this panel are a number of tabs that give further access to your RadioPort and its features. The "Ports" tab provides an especially convenient feature. Your RadioPort has two built-in serial ports, and the COM port numbers are automatically allocated when your RadioPort's drivers are loaded. The Ports tab shows you which COM port numbers have been allocated - you will need this information in your favorite digital mode software. The Ports tab will also let you change the port number allocations.

A really cool feature of the RPM is its built-in spectrum analyzer. It won't replace a fancy and highly calibrated piece of test equipment, but it does provide you with some great insight during installation and operation. It is your window into the audio performance of your rig, noise sources, and so on. You can set the sampling rate and the FFT window size. A simple waterfall is included, and you can adjust the MIN and MAX values for the waterfall with a convenient double-slider on the side of the window.

Under the Settings and Updates tab on the main screen, you have the option to have the RPM periodically check the RAI Laboratory LLC website for updates. This feature will automatically download updates for both the RPM and for the RadioPort firmware.

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