S Meter Lite Reference
This version of S Meter Lite supports the following radios:
It is assumed that the Yaesu FT-1000MP Mark V will work if specified as a FT-1000MP. Radios marked with a * character do not yet have a tested default calibration. The initial calibration may have been taken from another model by the same manufacturer, and are no doubt incorrect. You should perform your own calibration for these radios. If you do, please contact me so that I can incorporate your data into S Meter Lite as the defaults for your radio model.
In order to use S Meter Lite, you must connect the radio to the computer. If you have already done this for other software, a logging program, for example, you are all set. All you need know is the COM port number of the radio connection. In most all cases, this is COM 1 or COM 2, although numbers as high as COM 8 are supported.
If your radio is not currently connected to your (Windows) computer, you will need to connect them together.
For the ICOM radios, you will additionally need an interface box, such as the ICOM CT-17. ICOM has chosen to allow more than one radio to be simultaneously connected to a proprietary bus called the CI-V bus. In order to transition to the standard RS-232 serial interface, you need a level converter. While the CT-17 is the recommended ICOM product, it is also somewhat expensive. A number of alternate interfaces exist which can be built for a few dollars in parts, and a few hours of assembly. Please check the Internet or other information sources for details. These interfaces will also require an external power source, usually between 9 and 15 volts, and at a very low current. The CT-17 presents the older-style DB-25 interface. Most recent computers use the smaller DB-9 connector. You will need to use an appropriate cable and potentially adapters in order to connect your level converter to the computer. In addition to the physical connection, you must make sure that the radio address and baud rate agree between the radio and the computer. This information is specified on the Configuration dialog box.
The Yaesu radios have a DB-9 computer interface jack mounted directly on their back panels. Simply connect a standard DB-9 straight-through male/female interface cable between the radio and your COM port. If your computer is an older model, you may need a DB-9 to DB-25 adapter. Yaesu radios do not require further configuration. The baud rate is not adjustable, and there is no notion of radio or computer address (as in the case of ICOM).
S Meter Lite runs on Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT. It has not been tested on Windows 2000, however, it should run on Windows 2000.
S Meter Lite help and documentation, this set of pages, can be viewed with the HTML Help Viewer. This is the viewer that is standard on Windows 98 (and all more recent Windows operating systems) . The S Meter Lite help information is fully integrated with the user manual.
Microsoft makes available the help viewer to all Windows users, such as users of Windows 95. If you surf the Microsoft web site you should be able to find the help viewer and download it. We do not supply a direct link here because the organization of their web site appears to be always changing.
S Meter Lite is supplied in a self-extracting compressed archive that requires approximately 550 Kilobytes of disk space. After S Meter Lite is installed, the files in the S Meter Lite folder will require about 400 Kilobytes of disk space.
S Meter Lite requires approximately 2.5 megabytes of RAM when executing.
[Note: Windows, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Other product and company names mentioned on this site may be the trademarks of their respective owners.]
The S Meter Lite program is in the form of a Windows dialog box, and it supports the standard dialog box keyboard interface. Controls on the window have been assigned shortcut keys which can be used to operate the corresponding control. The shortcut key is the character in the control title text that is underlined. The following table indicates the shortcuts for the main window controls. Either upper or lower case may be used for these shortcuts.
|Same as the Run button.|
|Same as the Stop button. (what the Run button is titled when the S Meter is running)|
|Same as the Help button.|
|Same as the Hide button.|
|Same as the Restore button. (what the Hide button is titled when the window is not unfolded)|
|Same as the Mark button.|
|Same as the Erase button.|
|Same as the .25 Sec button.|
|Same as the .50 Sec button.|
|Same as the 1.0 Sec button.|
|Same as the 2.0 Sec button.|
|Same as the Never button.|
|Same as the dB button.|
|Same as the S Unit button. (what the dB button is titled when the dB scale is displayed)|
|Same as the Configure button.|
|Same as the Copy button.|
|Same as the About button.|
|Same as the Exit button.|
|control+r||Display the raw data stream (see the Hidden Commands).|
|control+s||Save the contents of the Data Graph to a file (see the Hidden commands).|
|control+o||Restore (open) the contents of the Data Graph from a file (see the Hidden Commands).|
In addition to the shortcut keys, you can use the Tab key and arrow keys to navigate between command buttons. The Spacebar key will activate the button that has the input focus. This sort of interaction is standard on Windows. Please consult Windows documentation for further information. The shortcut keys are functional even when the Data Graph is not visible.
The secondary dialog boxes support the same keyboard interface style. Look for the underlined character.
Please note that one side-effect of S Meter Lite being implemented as a dialog box is that the Escape key (Esc) will terminate the program.
Use the Copy button to place a copy of the S Meter Lite graph on the system clipboard. From the clipboard, the bitmap can be pasted into many other applications for saving or printing. The dB/S Unit Graph dialog box also contains a Copy button that will copy that graph to the clipboard.
S Meter Lite is downloaded from a web page on the Internet. Select this link to go to the download page.
S Meter Lite is supplied in a self-extracting compressed archive file that can be downloaded from the Internet. Typically, the file is downloaded to your computer desktop, where it will become visible on the screen. After downloading, execute (double click on the icon) the file in order to begin installation.
The default downloaded file name is a combination of the program name (smeter) and the major version number of the program. smeter1.exe, for example, is the name of the installation file for version 1.0 of S Meter Lite. From time the time, enhancements and/or bug fixes may cause the program version to increase. Each new major version, therefore, will have its own unique file name, since the major version number is part of the file name.
The downloaded file serves only to contain the files that need to be installed, and the installation procedure. Once the installation is complete, the downloaded file is no longer needed, and you may delete it. Please note that even if you uninstall S Meter Lite, the initial downloaded file will not be removed. The file that you downloaded is your responsibility, and you can either keep it or remove it after installation. The uninstall program only uninstalls what was installed.
You may want to check the S Meter Lite web page from time to time to see if there is a newer version available.
Once you have a copy of the self-extracting compressed archive installation file, you may execute it in order to install S Meter Lite.
The S Meter Lite Setup Wizard will check for sufficient resources, ask some configuration questions, and finally, install S Meter Lite.
After S Meter Lite has been installed, you may execute it through the Start menu. Unless you change the configuration during installation, the correct Start menu path will be: Start|Programs|S Meter Lite|S Meter Lite. The S Meter Lite name appears twice because the first name is the folder name, and the second name is the program name.
The folder will also include the S Meter Lite Uninstall program. This second program should be used to remove S Meter Lite completely from your system. Alternatively, the S Meter Lite installation can be removed through the Windows Add/Remove Programs applet on the Control Panel.
Errors may occur during the installation. They will be reported in a message box, and the installation will be terminated. The most common error will occur when the download of the installation file is interrupted, and not allowed to complete. This could happen, for example, when an Internet connect is lost during download. If this is the error you receive, you should repeat the download step. If other errors occur that cannot be cleared up, please Email me at email@example.com.
Although the downloading and installation procedures have been described in terms of Internet-centric steps, the Internet is not a required part of the process. So long as you can get a copy of the self-extracting compressed archive installation file, you can install S Meter Lite. That file could be placed on a floppy disk and taken to a computer not on the Internet, for example.
If you want to move the S Meter Lite files to a different folder, please uninstall the software then install it again, specifying the new folder. This is the only way to insure that the S Meter Lite-related registry information is correct and consistent. If you do this, please be sure to save any calibration information across the uninstall-install step.
S Meter Lite settings are stored within the Windows Registry. The settings will be saved each time they are changed, and restored each time the program is started. The settings are saved under HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Seed Solutions/S Meter Lite. You can certainly remove this information if you do not want it on your computer. In that case, removed settings will default to initial values the next time that S Meter Lite is started. The S Meter Lite Uninstall program will also clean up the registry.
Please note that S Meter Lite and/or the S Meter Lite Setup Wizard will make other entries in the registry. These entries enable the Add/Remove Programs applet in the Control Panel to understand how to remove S Meter Lite. In general, manual editing of the registry is not advised, since it may cause a program to fail if inconsistent entries are created. If you want to make sure that all S Meter Lite-related entries are removed from the registry, please uninstall the program with the supplied uninstall program.
When an error occurs within S Meter Lite, a message box is displayed that contains a description of the error. By far, the most common error is that the program cannot communicate with the radio.
If the program cannot open the COM port, check to see if another program is currently communicating with the radio. Perhaps a logging program.
If the radio is not responding, check the baud rate or radio address (ICOM radios).
Here's one I've done more than once. I turn off the radio with S Meter Lite running. In a few seconds, an error will be reported since the radio appears unresponsive.
While S Meter Lite is communicating with the radio, the user interface is unresponsive. Since this normally takes a fraction of a second, it is not even noticed. When the radio connection fails, however, the program will retry for a few seconds. During those few seconds, the program will continue to be unresponsive. The program will abort the communication, display a message box with the error information, then return to normal operation.
The ICOM radio architecture allows more than one radio to be connected to a single computer. The ICOM CI-V bus is a shared bus. One feature of this design is that you can put your radio into transceive mode, where changes made to one radio will be echoed on all other attached radios. When a radio is in transceive mode, it will automatically transmit all changes in state. These transmissions occur on the same circuit used by S Meter Lite. In other words, these change messages compete for bandwidth with the S Meter Lite commands that read the S Meter.
In the extreme, S Meter Lite will not be able to successfully read the S Meter before an internal time-out occurs. This will result is a communications error. More commonly, S Meter Lite will no longer be able to sample at the normal rate of 20 times per second. The program will simply communicate with the radio as quickly as is possible. It is usually possible to disable transceive mode from the radio menu. You may also want to increase the communications baud rate (if possible) so that there is more available communications bandwidth.
S Meter Lite has several hidden commands. These commands can only be executed via the keyboard.
The first is activated with the control+r key combination. This command toggles the display of the raw data value obtained from the radio. This is a number in the range of 0 to 255. When the program is running, the decimal data value is shown right above the upper left corner of the S Meter main window. This value will be updated 20 times per second.
The second command saves the data in the Data Graph window to a text file. The command is executed with the control+s (save) key combination.
The third command reads data from a file saved with the previous command, and loads in into the Data Graph. The command is executed with the control+o (open) key combination.
The save and open commands save and restore data in the Data Graph. They were added to make it easier to separate data capture from data analysis. This is especially useful when doing antenna pattern plots, since there are so many options on that window.
Suggestions and comments can be Emailed to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I am especially interested in hearing about radios that allow remote S Meter reading and are not supported by S Meter Lite.
S Meter Lite was developed by, and is owned by Seed Solutions, Inc. Copyright ©, 2000, 2001, 2002, Seed Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved. No warranty of any kind is made as to performance, or fitness of use in any application. Your use of this software is your agreement with these terms. You agree to hold Seed Solutions, Inc. free from responsibility for any damages that may or may not be associated with the installation or operation of the program.
This software may be redistributed in original form. No fee may be charged for redistribution without the prior and specific written consent of Seed Solutions. Inc. This software is licensed for personal and non-commercial use only, and is subject to the export laws and regulations as defined by the State Department of the United States of America, and other applicable regulatory agencies.
Last update:Sunday, October 27, 2002 06:57:07 PM
Back to the S Meter Lite Home Page