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SmartSDR for Mac FlexControl equivalent ...

W7NGA
W7NGA Member ✭✭✭
edited June 18 in SmartSDR for Mac

I'm just about to hop on Jet Blue and visit my son in NYC but I couldn't let go of my excitement over SmartSDR for Mac and wanted to share it with the forum. I realize this pales compared to all the TGXL and PGXL buzz, but this might be of interest. It seems the FlexControl is backordered and this could offer a nice available alternative.

SmartSDR for Mac supports Midi Controlled devices including the popular (and Amazon cheap) DJ2GO2 Touch by Numark. My first impression was that it was far too busy. Too many knobs and sliders and kinda gaudy looking. But I persevered and got over that as my pragmatic and parsimonious self emerged. I edited the mapping to incorporate VFO A and VFO B tuning controls. Nice. Smooth .. and sure, I wish I could replace the large knobs with those off of my Collins S-line, but I digress.

I assigned the little round headphone button as mute toggle. Perfect. Sliders on each side, assigned them to individual slice volume controls. Buttons 1,2,3,4 ... set active slice. Large fader in the middle .. active slice zoom. Oh yeah! Go nuts!

Setup is simple. In the tools section select Midi Controller and the DJ2GO2. Edit the button, fader, rotary control, and even LED mapping to your hearts desire.

The latest version of SmartSDR for Mac allows syncing of two slices. So, I can have a broader view (even entire band view) in one window, and in another panadapter a zoomed-in view of the slice frequency selected in the main panadapter. I operate AM and this is great for quickly viewing modulation sidebands. But now, I can use the fader control to zoom to any level I want. Of course you can click, and drag, and pull to do much the same ... but that's old-school now. Fade away!

Beyond the added utility, it's just plain fun. I have migrated to MacOS and the new M1 mini for $600 is a bargain. SmartSDR for Mac works marvelously well and incorporates many features I have wanted in the Windows version. This might not be for everyone .. but I find it useful and great fun.

Off to the airport ... thank you for taking your time here.

73

W7NGA - Seaside, Oregon

Comments

  • Ted  VE3TRQ
    Ted VE3TRQ Member ✭✭✭

    Thanks so much for posting this - anyone who owns and uses SSDR for Mac should have one! And they are truly inexpensive.

    Incredibly easy to customize and set up, and so useful. Bring up the edit screen, press a device button, and assign a function. Who needs a FlexControl! Two sides to the device for different slices or panadapters, and fading / volume controls galore to control audio volume, AGCT, diversity panning, etc.

    one of the great pluses to this community if finding tools like this and letting everyone know.

  • K3DCW
    K3DCW Member ✭✭

    Daniel,


    Would you care to share the full list of button/control settings you implemented?


    73


    Dave

    K3DCW

  • Neil D Friedman N3DF
    Neil D Friedman N3DF Dayton, OHMember ✭✭✭

    While this seems a good option for many, I like using my FlexControl with SSDR for Mac. It is only 3x4 inches. It controls 12 parameters, which is plenty for me. Setting the parameters is built into SSDR for Mac, making changes super easy.

  • Ted  VE3TRQ
    Ted VE3TRQ Member ✭✭✭

    No one can decide for you what functions to implement, and how. Frequency for two slices is pretty straightforward, so is main and slice volume. The rest depend entirely on how you operate. Just bring up the editor, click or move the control you wish to assign, and edit that control to give it your desired Flex function.

    You will need to experiment - not all functions are available for all controls.

  • K3DCW
    K3DCW Member ✭✭

    Agreed, Ted, but ideas are always useful. I was also having some issues getting the separate sides to work but I did figure that out.


    In any case, the settings might be useful to some, and I'll be sure to share my settings when I'm done setting it all up.

  • Ted  VE3TRQ
    Ted VE3TRQ Member ✭✭✭

    Agreed, Dave, having someone else’s insights is always useful. I’m not sure there is a convenient way to share settings - I’ll have to look into it.

    I always thought the FlexControl was too expensive for what it provided. This device expands on what’s available, albeit with a bit bigger footprint.

  • W7NGA
    W7NGA Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 25

    Funny .. when my son came and visited he noticed the funky looking DJ2GO2 on the ham shack desk and as a recording engineer exclaimed that there was a much better solution in his industry. Within seconds he had on his phone, photos of some lovely MIDI control boxes with a really nice rotary knob and encoder, black enclosure, styling befitting of the Flex, and ... uh, a $900 price tag. Shut down that notion immediately!

    You can buy the DJ2GO2 for $72 on Reverb.com and it's available everywhere. What's not to like?

  • Ted  VE3TRQ
    Ted VE3TRQ Member ✭✭✭

    It’s the reasonable price and decent functionality that attracted me. Would be nice if there was more documentation, but hey, what do you expect for the price.

    It has sufficient functionality to make the Mac easier to use with the Flex.

  • Jean_Luc F5JRC
    Jean_Luc F5JRC Member ✭✭

    I just received a DJ2GO2 and configured it with SmartSDR Mac, it's really great and very easy to use! Thanks for your advices!

  • K3DCW
    K3DCW Member ✭✭

    Here's my current mapping layout. I used the 1-4 buttons to select my common modes, the Master Level and Cue Level knobs to control volume for Slice A and B, and the far left and right sliders for bandwidth. Master mute is either of the headphones buttons. And, of course, the spinners are Slice A and B frequency controllers. I still haven't implemented anything for the Sync, Cue, Play/Pause, central slider or the Browse knob, but that's coming.


  • Ted  VE3TRQ
    Ted VE3TRQ Member ✭✭✭

    So far, I have not found any way to use the centre slider knob - it does not appear on the edit tab when activated like most of the other controls.

  • W7NGA
    W7NGA Member ✭✭✭

    Ted,

    Control 3848 doesn't show in the listing? I saw something similar and thought that perhaps it was linked to the buttons above it, so I cycled thru the Cue, Auto, Manual, Sampler selections and when I came back to Cue it worked fine. Later, I found there was no real association between those buttons and the fader and all has worked since.

    Like Dave, I assigned 3848 to Zoom Slice and find it useful.

    Daniel

  • Ted  VE3TRQ
    Ted VE3TRQ Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 26

    Thanks Daniel, I'll play with the buttons above the slider. I have the outside sliders set for bandwidth on slices A and B. I have yet to find a use for the "Browse" control - it seems to behave oddly, like a jog wheel.

    Not much time to play with SSDR Mac today, with FD. I need to use SSDR Win on Parallels so I can use N3FJP with JS8Call running on the Mac. Can't get N3FJP to run under Wine/Crossover so far - missing libraries.

  • W7NGA
    W7NGA Member ✭✭✭

    Be advised that the numbered buttons, [1],[2],[3],[4] are associated with each Pad Mode. There are four selectable Pad modes (cues, auto, manual, sampler) and the four numbered buttons, on each side, are assignable to each mode. So, thirty-two unique assignments are possible. Not that it is all that useful without labeling or some way of keeping track of the assignments. I mention this in case the buttons are not behaving as expected. You have to select the same Pad Mode you programmed within.

    Also, I will mention to Marcus and see if he could include the master volume control in the listing. Seems that would be a reasonable assignment for the Browse rotary control.

    dan

  • Ted  VE3TRQ
    Ted VE3TRQ Member ✭✭✭

    That’s a pretty natural use for the “Browse” control, and then the other 4 volume-type controls can function as slice volume and AGT for two slices.