More progress in using SDRSharp, for those interested

Jeremy <icu8it2@...>

Hey all,
I wrote a while back and asked if anyone on list had ever had any experiences with finding any of the SDR applications accessible. While there were a few things that worked okay in HDSDR, out of the keyboard shortcuts that come as a default, there were still a number of things that didn't seem to be able to be changed from just the keyboard. After messing about with SDRSharp, one of the other highly recommended programs, I ran across an email post where a user of SDRSharp had been working on a autohotkey script that would add some keyboard shortcuts to it.

While the interface for SDRSharp has more elements that are readable by NVDA compared to HDSDR, SDRSharp doesn't really have any keyboard shortcut support by default. As soon as you use the autohotkey script though, it actually becomes quite usable. While it's worth noting that these shortcuts don't actually make inaccessible areas of the application readable from NVDA, by pressing tab or whatever, it does mean that you can still jump to them and change stuff there.

Currently where I find this most important is in the area that displays your current frequency. Even though NVDA isn't able to actually read the numbers there, you can still use the keyboard shortcut to jump to the area and then move through the number selection area and change them on the fly. You also have the option to type out the frequency, which is much quicker than moving up and down in the different positions of the frequency area.

Where moving to the different positions of the freq area and changing them with the up and down arrows might be useful though could possibly be in trying to locate something to listen to up in the higher bands. If you wanted to locate something to listen to up around the 70 CM band, as an example, this would be how I'd try and approach it.

First I'd use the key that jumps you to the frequency area, which currently is set to f. Even though NVDA says unknown, I know that each time I use the f key it places me on the one hundreds position of the megahertz part of the frequency. I could then type 460025 to jump up to 460.025, which is a local Dallas Police channel.

One thing that's really neat about SDRSharp by default, as I mentioned previously, is the number of elements that are accessible and that you can reach with tab and shift tab. NVDA wont really give you any indication of the stuff that's greyed out, so settings for squelch if you're in WFM as an example, but as soon as you change to a modulation that makes it available, NFM, you can tab around and you'll find the option.

It's also worth noting that there are a fair number of things that NVDA doesn't read the label for correctly, but I've been working my way through the accessible parts of the program and noting them down for anyone else who might want to try it later. Some of them are sorta obvious too, so the combo box after the squelch checkbox, even though it reads it as CW shift, it's actually where you adjust the level of squelch for the band.

Even though it'd be super neat if NVDA was able to read the frequency area, there are workarounds where you can figure it out. The guy that's been working on the keystrokes script has also been super helpful in writing back and forth and has mentioned ways to make it even easier.

Even though I'm super new to SDR and still figuring out a lot of this stuff, I also know that there are a fair number of people who've posted with questions as to how to make it more accessible, so I wanted to send it where it might be helpful. I'd also be greatly interested if anyone has figured out anything else or has any other questions that I may be able to help with. Apologies for seriously geeking out and for the silly long email, but this got me all excited, like a fat kid in a candy store, so I wanted to share. :)

Basically I payed like 20 dollars for this dongle and even though the accessibility of most of the SDR programs sucks, I now have something that I can actually play with and that's kinda fun. lol
Take care and hope everyone's well.

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