Flexcontrol to major Tong what's the meaning of off/on?

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  • Updated 5 years ago
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So I love my flexcontrol but I keep looking at it and trying to figure out what the heck Mode, On/Off and Toggle are for? They don't mean or do anything nor have anything to do with the drop down menus under AUX 1, 2 or 3. Anybody know?
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Steve N4LQ

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Posted 5 years ago

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Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

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Official Response
Yes, I can tell you exactly what they were intended for...

The original design conceived by K6TD and myself was of a knob with no switches except the one on the shaft encoder...  as a clue to what follows, we are both very active contesters...

In a contest, you have two types of operation - Running (calling CQ on a single frequency) and Search & Pounce.  We wanted to support two sets of functions, for example, while in Run mode, have the knob tune EITHER VFO A or RIT, and then in Search and Pounce mode, tune EITHER VFO A or VFO B....

So the idea was the TOGGLE would show mode of operation and be accessed via a LONG press on the shaft encoder switch.

ON/OFF would show whether you were on the primary function for the tuning knob, or the secondary - you would switch between them with a single short Press on the shaft encoder switch.

Last but not least, we supported the idea of a Double tap on the shaft encoder switch to signal things like RIT return to Zero.

As part of the early alpha testing, we included Lee W9OY in the group...  Lee wanted the AUX switches as a way of controlling additional functionality through DDUtil - in which Steve K5FR had graciously agreed to include the host support to drive CAT commands into PowerSDR.

So, we added the switches and not content with that, Lee W9OY asked for the same three action support (single, double and long clicks) for each of the three buttons as well as the shaft encoder... which, as the firmware guy, I added.

DDutil stills stays close to this metaphor today with SmartSDR and also correctly implements the accelerated tuning algorithm that I conceived from another idea that Kevin K6TD had - ie the faster you turned the knob, the larger the step tuned - so you could be tuning in 10 Hz steps, then turn the knob quickly and be able to move rapidly up the band without having to change anything.

When FlexRadio agreed to turn the then beta knob into the FlexControl product, they also added support in PowerSDR for the FlexControl - this implementation was similar but not identical to that in DDUtil (a different acceleration algorithm was implemented)...

Support for FlexControl in SmartSDR is still evolving and should eventually be similar to the support in PowerSDR.

So there you have the LONG story from the horses mouth...

As a final (!) comment, the FlexControl was conceived to address workflow in a contest and avoid having to change window focus between the logging program and Power/SmartSDR.  It does that and more...  but still leaves some controls on the radio inaccessible other than via the mouse and a window focus change.

So, when SmartSDR was under development, I decided to write the K6TU Control iPad application to further streamline radio control in a contest or DXing workflow.  With both a FlexControl and the iPad app, I'm a very happer camper and have really streamlined the workflow.

Here's what I look at in a contest...

More info on the iPad app (yes, a shameless plug) can be found at:


This is Major Tong to ground control...

73! :-)
Stu K6TU