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K6TU Control iPad application is available!

With great thanks to all who helped with the alpha/beta testing of the app and to FlexRadio Systems, I'm delighted to announce that the K6TU Control iPad is now available. Full details including a video shot by Mack W4AX are available here: K6TU's Ethergeist blog
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Comments

  • W9XCW9XC Member
    edited May 8
    Stu, looks great. This is probably heresy, but....Android? - Les, W9XC
  • edited August 2016
    Quick! Where's the garlic and the wooden stake???? Sorry Les, but I'm not going to dive into Android any time soon. I did consider trying one of the alleged frameworks that support cross platform app design but came to the conclusion that it made everything a poor compromise. Stu K6TU
  • Robert -- N5IKDRobert -- N5IKD Member ✭✭
    edited May 8
    Stu, Thanks for the great iOS app. I have played with it for a few minutes and I have some notes which you may or may not already be aware. 1. I was able to open and control slices without ever opening SmartSDR. This is great and due to the K6TU Control being an independent client. 2. When I finally did open SmartSDR, the slice created from the K6TU Control was not visible in SmartSDR. Slices created in SmartSDR, however, do properly show up in the list of slices in K6TU Control. 3. The state of the Line Out and Headphone volume and mute are saved with the profile even though those settings are not displayed on the profiles page. 4. I would like to see memories implemented much like you have implemented profiles. The main difference would be that it would include frequency and mode. If each parameter could be optionally saved into the profile then the user could decide if a parameter such as volume, or frequency, or power setting should be saved with the saved profile/memory.
  • edited August 2016
    Robert, Thanks for the feedback... 1. Yes - the app is an independent client like SmartCAT - so you can create slices without SSDR being open although my preference is to use SmartSDR as the display. You can tune the slice by sliding your finger on the frequency display as Mack W4AX showed in the video. 2. The issue with slices created before running SmartSDR is known and should be fixed in the next update to the latest beta of SmartSDR. Slices created after SmartSDR is running are correctly shown. 3. Yes, this is correct and intended operation. Also saved are the settings available of the Setup view such as TX relay controls etc. 4a. Memories - I think about this... its not a big deal from an implementation point of view but a bigger deal from how to integrate into the user interface. Saving frequency, mode and filter setting is also pretty straightforward. 4b. Optional state saving... the challenge here is that some of these parameters are slice specific - unlike the line out and headphone settings that are radio specific. As you can see, all the radio specific functions except TX power level, ATU state are saved - I may have missed a couple of others... I made a deliberate design decision not to save slice related state. This is to avoid clashing with the persistence features implemented in the radio itself that are now visible as part of the 1.0.24 beta release. For example; if the app is started and there are already slices open, what should the app do? This gave me enough of a headache I kicked that can down the road! :-) Thanks for the positive feedback! I very much appreciate it! Stu K6TU
  • Robert -- N5IKDRobert -- N5IKD Member ✭✭
    edited March 2015
    Stu, 3. If since the volume settings are saved, they should be on the profiles page to make this clear and easily adjustable. 4a and 4b. I can see where updating the radio with slice data could be a hassle. You would need a way to indicate which slice to apply the settings. As far as optional state setting, I imagined graying out settings that will not be updated. This could be toggled with either a long press (pretty but not intuitive) or a nearby toggle switch (intuitive but not pretty). 5. I forgot to mention that DAX mode worked if it was already selected from SmartSDR but not on creating a new slice. I am sure that is because the app was submitted to the app store before DAX was available.
  • edited August 2016
    Robert, Re 3, I'll think about that - it is described in the documentation and as you will see, some of the controls on the Profile page are not saved (the power level and MOX for example). On DAX, there will be an update to the app in a few days that will both show DAX channels per slice and allow them to be configured. This is via the addition of a DAX button on the slice view. I'll be submitting this update into the App Store process shortly. Updates get highlighted automatically via the AppStore app on the iPad. Stu K6TU
  • iz7auh iz7auh Member ✭✭
    edited May 8
    Congratulations, surely this is a great application but the price seems very expensive, though the cost was cheaper to make the purchase ....
  • edited August 2016
    Pricing is always a challenge... especially because Ham's seem to be very cost conscious despite spending $$$$ on radios, amplifiers, towers, antennas etc. The functionality of the application is extensive - its about a third of the price of a FlexControl and not even twice as expensive as BobMeters which many folks seem to purchase and which is tied to one radio by serial number. For one purchase price, you get to install the app on any iPad you own and use with any number of radios. I happily pay $30/year for Writelog as my logging software - its only available on a subscription model. Yes, I could use N1MM for free but I prefer the functionality and support of Writelog. Compare the functionality you get with other options and I think you'll see the value delivered for a fair price. Stu K6TU PS: Several of my alpha testers purchased an iPad to dedicate to the app and their station control - I think that also puts the price in perspective.
  • DonSDonS Member ✭✭
    edited May 8
    Stu Somewhat off the subject, I was wondering what platform you are running SmartSDR. Don
  • Stu, At some point in the future, will it be possible to port audio through your iPad app? I hate the thought of using another app/program just for audio. Tnx! Paul, W9AC
  • edited August 2016
    Its a MacBook pro running Parallels - Windows 7 and CentOS as VMs. I use JollysFastVNC to access the computer that lives next to the radios - it used to run my Flex 5000 and still handles all the peripherals like amps, rotors etc. The MacBook Pro happily runs the two monitors you see in the picture. Stu K6TU
  • edited August 2016
    Paul, There won't be audio or pan adaptor support in the K6TU Control application. I have started work on a full remote client for the iPad that will have both. I designed K6TU Control specifically for contest operation or other situations where smooth workflow integration is a requirement. I didn't want to sacrifice screen real estate... I don't have an estimate at this point for the availability of the full remote client but will post an update as I make progress. Stu K6TU
  • DonSDonS Member ✭✭
    edited December 2013
    Do you have any issues with SmartSDR running in Parallels? I am using an iMAC 27 with 16gb of memory and I found SmartSDR flaky at times with DAX. Don
  • edited August 2016
    Don, I haven't tried running DAX under the Parallels environment. The screen you can see on the right runs SmartSDR under Windows/Parallels while the one one the left is a VNC connection to a QuadCore machine running 64 Bit Windows 7 at 2.33 GHz. I haven't had any problems running DAX on that machine. One thing I have done is to allocate multiple cores to the Windows VM under Parallels - that did make quite a difference especially when running multiple pan adaptors full screen as you can see in the picture. Stu K6TU
  • Gary Robertson - KY5RGary Robertson - KY5R Member ✭✭
    edited May 8
    I downloaded the app to my iPad. However, the wireless iPad cannot see my radio when I open Radio Chooser. I suspect that the issue has to do with my home network configuration, specifically my ASUS wireless network. I have no problem accessing the internet via the ASUS wireless network for my iPad, iPhones, wireless printer, etc. I have the Flex-6500 ethernet cable running directly into a Netgear Gigibit switch. I also have my computer's ethernet cable and my internet ethernet cable plugged directly into the same switch. My computer can find the Flex-6500 just fine via this ethernet cable arrangement through the switch. Can someone point me in the right direction for properly setting up my home network so that I can access my Flex-6500 through both my wired ethernet cable and my ASUS wireless network arrangement.
  • edited August 2016
    George, There are two possible issues... 1. The WiFi access point and the radio must be on the same subnet - for example, if the radio IP address is 10.1.1.10, then the WiFi access point should also be on the 10.1.1.**** network. 2. The access point must forward UDP broadcast packets - if the AP and the radio are on the same subnet, this should happen by default. I'm not familiar with the ASUS WiFi support but I am confident that it can be configured to work. Please check the two points above - I suspect that the first is the issue... you may need to assign your WiFi access point a specific IP address and then tell your Internet modem to leave a piece of its address space for static IP addresses. If you have problems getting this to work, please email directly and we can set up a time where I can talk you through this. Sorry you are having network connectivity issues! Stu K6TU
  • edited August 2016
    I did have a quick look at some of the ASUS access points... please send me the model number of the one you have so I can pull the manual. Looks like some of them have a firewall built in... in order for the radio to show in the Radio Chooser, the firewall must pass UDP port 4992 FROM the "Internet" side to the Wifi side. Stu K6TU
  • Michael - N5TGLMichael - N5TGL Member ✭✭
    edited October 2016
    Well that's disappointing. :-(
  • edited July 2018
    Stu, Is a 16GB ipad mini sufficient memory, and screen size, to run your app? Or would a 32 GB (or 64 GB) ipad Air a better long term investment considering future upgrades and apps you may be envisioning?
  • Ernest - W4EGErnest - W4EG Member ✭✭
    edited January 2015
    Me too! :-(
  • edited May 8
    Charles, I have run the K6TU Control app on a 16 GB iPad mini - it works fine. However, I prefer the larger screen real estate of the iPad air etc. You don't need much memory for the current application so a 32 GB would be ample. Think more about what other things you will use the iPad for... I get all my newspapers, magazines, books, music etc all on the iPad. Video and music are the things that consume the storage space. Stu K6TU
  • edited July 2018
    Thanks Stu, This mini would be used strictly for you app for contesting and DXing, so maybe the 32 GB would give me a bit of headroom. The only other consideration would be desk footprint vs readability and adequate screen real estate to effectively use the app. Do you feel the larger ipad screen earns its footprint in usability? In other words, will the mini screen be too crowded in a contest environment? Thanks so much for your speedy reply. Anxious to use this wonderful app.
  • edited May 8
    Charles, I personally find the mini a little small - perhaps its because I started with an iPad Retina and have never looked back. K6TU Control works fine on both mini and regular sized - in the heat of a contest I prefer the larger screen as the controls feel easier to use. Stu
  • edited July 2018
    That's what I needed to know. The 32 GB iPad Air is in the shopping bag! Thanks for the guidance Stu. Looking forward to a Mac SSDR client someday for my new Mac Mini. Running SSDR under Bootcamp/Win 7 but tired for messing with Microsoft all these years. Will be downloading your app as soon as I get the iPad Air in my hands. Charles
  • k0eook0eoo Member ✭✭
    edited May 8
    Hi Stu, I get the screen on my iPad but nothing shows up to select; no joy.... I'm running a Buffalo Air wireless router WiFi connected to my PC/Flex-6500 and iPad... What did I do wrong? Dennis, k0eoo
  • k0eook0eoo Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Do I have to have "remote on" enabled?
  • NorbertNorbert Member ✭✭
    edited May 8
    Happy New Year Stu and to all the others, I use your App since Yesterday , it's great..to use it ....thanks for your great work with you'd done with all the other HAMs...I use it without any problems...I like it and it is a great add on for all my applicatitions with the Flex Environment ...I'm happy that I can Support your work with the fees for the App ... It is easy for me to accept this if I see all the work which you'd done for us, Hny Norbert DJ7JC
  • edited August 2016
    Dennis, The "remote on" enable is for powering the radio on remotely by using the RCA connector on the back for power on. Assuming that the radio is powered on via the ON button on the 6500, if the iPad WiFi connection is on the same network as the radio, you should see the radio appear in the Radio Chooser. Check that the radio and iPad are on the same network. Run SmartSDR and once you have connected to the radio, use the Setup menu item and find the IP address of the radio - let's say the radio is 192.168.1.100. Now open the iPad and got to the Settings applet - tap on the WiFi button and then make sure you are connected to right WiFi network - then tap on the > button to the right of the network name. That will show you the IP address of the iPad. If the first three numbers are the same as the radio - i.e. 192.168.1 - then they are on the same network. If they are on the same network please let me have the model number of the Buffalo unit so I can pull the manual and see what the likely configuration problem may be. Sorry you are having a problem - the most likely cause is that the wired ports on the router and the WiFi aren't on the same network. Stu K6TU
  • edited August 2016
    Norbert, Thanks for the feedback! Much appreciated and great that you are enjoying the app. It took me almost 6 months to develop and test the app - along with the help of almost 20 alpha/beta users! Stu K6TU
  • k0eook0eoo Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Hi Stu, Just to make sure you have an accurate picture of how I'm connected here: My Buffalo Air model WHR-HP-G54 "Wireless G" is connected to my DSL model and is WiFi connected to my PC and iPad... In have my Flex plugged into my PC's Ethernet port and my PC is WiFi connected to my router IPv4 192.168.11.7. My Flex's IP address from the PC is 169.254.7.132. My iPad's IP address is 192.168.11.5. Cheers and HNY! Dennis, k0eoo

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