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Yet another knob for the Flex - Introducing CTR2-Micro
I'm just finishing up a new member of the CTR2 family and thought maybe you'd like a break from the SmartLink posts :). You may know about CTR2-Mini from its review in the May 2023 issue of QST. For many, the Mini is more than they need so I've been working a something I think you'll like...
I'd like to introduce the new CTR2-Micro. As you can see from the photo above, its A LOT smaller than the Mini, but it does almost everything the Mini does. Plus it has a few new tricks up its sleeve.
Since its running the same core code base as the Mini it supports all of the radios the Mini does, including the Flex 6000 series.
The big change obviously, is that there's no display. This makes the Micro cheaper and pretty rugged for those road and POTA trips. To configure it and access its advanced features, you Telnet into it to it. (A web browser interface is on the roadmap).
You can use about any Telnet program as a display. I use Tera Term and Putty. Once you configure the Micro's WiFi port using its serial USB port you can connect to it over the network. This means you can use a remote PC, Apple, or Linux, or your cell phone or tablet to control your radio.
The Micro has three programmable buttons that can be setup to access commonly used features and radio parameters. It can also be set to auto-connect to your radio on power up. This means you can just plug it into a USB power source and you have a micro sized tuning dial and contest keyer for your radio. You can deploy additional Micros to control more slices on your radio. It also works with SmartSDR for iOS and makes a great portable tuning knob. Like the Mini it can control PTT and Key on the Flex over the network so the configuration below is possible (the Micro in this photo is an early prototype with one button).
You can power it with your PC, USB-C phone charger, USB battery pack, or from an OTG adapter on your phone or tablet.
The Micro has a new Code Report option that when enabled reports the frequency, mode, and/or menu selections using Morse code. This is a great alternative when using the Micro without a Telnet session for many tasks. Its also useful for sight impaired hams. And, if you don't know the code, or want to increase your code speed and proficiently this gives you the perfect code practice buddy. Because you'll want to run the code report at a high speed your code speed will increase and you'll learn to visualize the characters as they're sent. You can't get more 'ham radio geeky' than that!
The Micro is available as a PCB and/or Enclosure kit, a full kit with everything you need to build it, or a fully assembled and tested unit.
Now, the best news... the price!
The introductory price of the full kit, including everything you need to build the Micro, is $30 plus shipping. The full kit includes the CNC milled enclosure and labels. At this price it would make a great club build project.
The introductory price of the fully assembled and tested Micro is $47 plus shipping.
You can buy the just the PCB with all SMT devices factory installed for $5 and the CNC milled enclosure for $7 if you want to buy your own parts.
If you have other radios besides the Flex, the Micro is available with an external DIP switch for setting the CAT polarity for an additional $3.
You can choose between a detent or no-detent (smooth) encoder at no charge.
Radio I/O cables are extra if you want to interface it to a radio with serial CAT. NOTE: USB CAT control is not supported.
I'm taking pre-orders now. The first batch of PCBs should arrive this week so if Murphy stays home I'll start filling orders next week.
You can visit my blog at https://ctr2.lynovation.com/ for more information. The Micro page is at https://ctr2.lynovation.com/announcing-the-ctr2-micro and the pre-order form is at https://ctr2.lynovation.com/ctr2-micro-pre-order-form
Let me know if you have any questions,
73, Lynn, KU7Q
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