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SO2R Knobs for SmartSDR

I know this has been previously discussed, but it was a few years ago. Wondering what the state-of-the-art is now.

With Maestro's having a 10 week backorder, I am looking at other options for independently and simultaneously controlling the frequency of two slices in SmartSDR. Basically, two VFO knobs for SO2R. Can two FlexControl's do this ? Other options ?

73,
Steve, N2IC

Comments

  • KD0RCKD0RC Broomfield, COMember ✭✭✭

    Hey Steve, long time no see!! Last time I saw you, you were still living in Boulder County. I used your "trolley wire" technique to raise my own antenna after helping you with yours one day in the late eighties or early nineties.

    I am working on just such a project as we speak (I just got a Flex 6400 this Februrary). Take a look at my QRZ.com page for pics. I have two versions; one using an Arduino Due with an Ethernet Shield (no room for a display), and one version using a Teensy 4.1 (Arduino work-alike) that has built-in Ethernet, and therefore plenty of room for a color TFT display. Half the box is dedicated to slice A and the other half to slice B. My current roadblock is stand-alone connectivity to the Flex from the Teensy. The Due connects to the Flex just fine whether on a DHCP served LAN or just using a plain switch. The Teensy connects, then fails when using the switch. For home use, it is usable, but for Field Day and other camping trips, it does not work (yet...).

    I still have a few controls to code for and I need to get the touch controller working and coded. The original design called for a bunch of buttons and LEDs, but with the TFT display, most of those can go away. So to directly answer your question, my Flex control box can do SO2R, so it will probably be a viable option in a couple of weeks (depending on how much fishing I do...).

    73,

    Len, KD0RC

    P.S. Do you still sprint up your tower??

  • Steve LondonSteve London Member ✭✭
    Hi Len - Great to hear from you ! Can your MiniMaestro connect to SmartSDR, which then does the heavy lifting, or does it connect directly to the radio ? In my case, I'm trying to keep it very KISS. Use SmartSDR locally, radio at remote location. SmartSDR is adequate for the controls I infrequently use, but not acceptable for VFO control of 2 slices in a SO2R contest environment. So, what I think I'm aiming at is a way to have slice VFO control with knobs, but leave everything else in SmartSDR.

    I still climb my towers (too often my XYL says), but not quite sprinting any more.

    73,
    Steve, N2IC
  • KD0RCKD0RC Broomfield, COMember ✭✭✭

    My XYL can't watch when I climb mine...

    Well, the MiniMaestro connects to the radio via ethernet. How do you have your computer with SmartSDR connected? If it is remote enough to need SmartLink, then this won't work (at least not yet). If you have a switch/router in the shack that connects to the Flex via a cable or WiFi, then it should work. You would need to have the computer, MiniMaestro and Flex all on the same network segment. That segment would need to be served by a DHCP server (at least until I figure out the direct connect issue).

    The way it works is that SmartSDR operates normally (there is no connection to the MM). If you QSY using the mouse, the MM follows along. If you QSY using the MM, SSDR follows along. The functions currently on the MM are VFO, VOL, Low cut/Shift, Hi cut/width, AGC-T, CW speed/Mic gain. All have a separate set of knobs for slice A and B except for CW/speed/Mic gain which is mode dependent. In the works are step size up/down (independent of SSDR step size), tuning rate up/down, RIT/XIT (shared with AGC-T knob) and buttons for NR and NB (probably will be implemented as touch screen items).

    I don't contest much, but in casual operating, I have gotten really used to this thing. As I take things apart to get it into a permanent box, I am going to miss the functionality!

    73,

    Len

  • Al_NN4ZZAl_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭

    Steve,

    Here are some notes on my web page about using 2 (or more) FlexControls with SSDR.

    http://www.nn4zz.com/FLEX6700.htm#FlexControl_setup_to_use_2_knob_with_SSDR



    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ

    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com

    6700 Win10 SSDR V2.4.10

  • John K3MAJohn K3MA Member ✭✭
    edited September 22
    You can use either a Hercules MP3e2 controller or a Behringer CMD Micro controller. I have used both and they are shown in the picture. You would also need to get a copy of a N4PY Pegusus Plus software to make interfacing them to SmartSDR easy and seamless. I no longer use either of these controllers and they are no longer available from retailers. If you interested in one or both them send me email at [email protected] and we can discuss pricing.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/kKfu3PukikNjoCKt9

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