Push to VOX version 1.0.0 is now available

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Push-to-VOX will automatically enable and disable VOX control on your Flex 6000 series radio.  It can be controlled with your mouse or keyboard through its on screen interface or with a serial port connected footswitch.



Push-to-VOX does as its name implies.  Rather than simply acting like another MOX button, Push-to-VOX will enable VOX control when the footswitch is depressed and disable it when the footswitch is released.  Alternately, you can use a quick tap of your foot to enable or disable VOX.  The settings panel will let you tailor the behavior to your liking.  If VOX operation is not desired, but the quick tap feature is, select 'Push to MOX' instead of 'Push to VOX'.  Timers are available to latch the current mode after the footswitch has been depressed for longer than the preset time period.  A quick tap of the footswitch will release the latch.




Also included is an ID timer that obnoxiously reminds you it needs resetting every 10 minutes.  It can be enabled from the settings page.




Best of all, it wont cost you anything.  Download your copy here: https://github.com/K1DBO/push-to-vox/releases


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Note that the footswitch wiring is the same as what's used with SmartSDR CAT to map an "Existing" COM port for PTT.  It's a very simple cable.  Wire it so your PTT switch will short pins 7 and 8.  This will raise CTS on the COM port and activate the transmitter.
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K1DBO

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Posted 2 years ago

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KC2QMA_John

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Smart, Simple & and very useful! Great work. The timer is a nice touch.
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Jim

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First of all, NIce applicatiion...........However, now as we now move into the future with a limited number of actual physical COM ports supported by computer hardware and an unlimited number of virtual com ports via USB..........It can be a little challenging to make sure the entire configuration is set up properly....

Here is an example........I use the following configuration / Com Port assignments with my Flex 6700 for SO2R contesting:

COM 3 is a real USB to RS-232 Cable for my Orion 2800 Rotator Controller (RC2800PX)

COM 4 is the Flex Control Knob (K6TD/K6TU)

COM 5 is a USB to USB cable between the Computer and the Alpha 9500 Amplifier (This allows the DDUTIL application to control the Auto-band switching and Flex 6700 amplifier drive power levels of the Alpha 9500 when RF hits the amplifier).

I also have a series of N1MM Ports for using N1MM as my SO2R contest application:

COM 6 / COM 106 is the Flex virtual serial port Pair set up by Smart SDR CAT for Slice A  (VFO A or Radio A)

In N1MM COM 6 is the Flex 6000 radio CAT port set to the following: 38400, N,8,1, DTR=Always On (Pin 4), and RTS=Always On (Pin 7) and N1MM Set to Radio #1


COM 7 / COM 107 is the virtual COM port Pair set up by Smart SDR CAT for Slice B (VFO B or Radio B)

In N1MM COM 7 is the Flex 6000 radio CAT port set to the following: 38400, N,8,1, DTR=Always On (Pin 4), and RTS=Always On (Pin 7) and N1MM Set to Radio #2

COM 8 / COM 108 is the virtual COM port Pair set up by Smart SDR which allows the use of the SO2R radio protocol for Radio 1 (Slice A) and Radio 2 (Slice B). It shows up as an O in Smart SDR CAT. 

In  N1MM COM 8 the port is set as Radio = None with the CW/Other checked. This port is configured as follows: DTR (Pin 4) = Always On, RTS (Pin 7) = Always On, Radio Number = Both, and Two Radio Protocol = OTRSP (Note: OTRSP is the Flex Smart SDR two Radio Control protocol (Radio A or Radio 1 and Radio B or Radio 2)

COM 9 / COM 109 is the Flex Virtual COM port Pair set up by Smart SDR for WINKEYER emulation, if you do not have an actual Winkeyer.  It shows up as a W in Smart SDR CAT.

In N1MM COM 9 is set as Radio = None with the CW/Other checked. This port is configured as follows: DTR (Pin 4)  Always On, and RTS (Pin 7) = Always OFF, and WINKEY Checked. 

Summary: 

After all of this configuration, this allows the N1MM to generate SSB Voice Contest Calls with the N1MM macro keys (F1 thru F8), however, it requires that the Smart SDR has DAX enabled on both Radio A / SliceA (Channel 1) and Radio B / Slice B (Channel 2) as well as DAX enabled overall. 

However, when I interrrupt a voice keyer Wave File with the ESC button on the keyboard, I cannot use my VOX to make a live call........................


VOX does not work with the FLEX 6700 with DAX enabled..........Only Push to Talk works.........

Question..............Is there a way to configure the new "Push to VOX" application to allows the DAX to be enabled for Macro Voice Wav files and then to momentarily disable the DAX so that the VOX will key the transmitter out over the Air? 

Currently, I use the headset with the Yaesu front panel audio connector that drives the mic audio and also has a 1/4 inch jack for a Foot Switch for PTT via that front connector. This works, however, there is NO option for any VOX operation when you are primarily depending on the N1MM (F1 thru F8) voice wave files being generated, however, only going over the air with DAX enabled........

The final option, I guess, is to just wait until Flex allows VOX and DAX to be able to be used at the same time..............

Thanks for your help.......Just wanted to see if the new "Push-to-VOX" app could provide a temporary workaround. 

Regards, 

Jim
K4PV
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K1DBO

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VOX does not work with the FLEX 6700 with DAX enabled..........Only Push to Talk works.........
Is the 6700 different from the 6500 in this regard.  I've only been able to test with my 6500 but I have no trouble at all using VOX when DAX is enabled.
Question..............Is there a way to configure the new "Push to VOX" application to allows the DAX to be enabled for Macro Voice Wav files and then to momentarily disable the DAX so that the VOX will key the transmitter out over the Air? 
The option doesnt currently exist but if I understand you correctly, it would be very easy to add an option to, say, disable DAX anytime VOX is enabled and re-enable when VOX is disabled.  Then the tap to toggle logic in Push to VOX would probably work as you are hoping... or not ;)

But, 

Currently, I use the headset with the Yaesu front panel audio connector that drives the mic audio and also has a 1/4 inch jack for a Foot Switch for PTT via that front connector.
This might be where our configurations differ.  Push to VOX is designed to work with a serial port foot switch, not one plugged directly into the radio.  I have thought about making it all work regardless of how the transmitter is keyed but since I mostly operate remote, I havent got around to implementing it.  Regardless, your issue is likely related to a design decision in the radio itself.  Flex made it so that when using hardware keying it will only take audio from a hardware mic.  Likewise, software keying only takes audio from DAX or the computer's mic.

I use VoiceMeeter Banana to mix audio from various sources, N1MM being one and the mic connected to my audio adapter being another.  Then I can key the mic or use VOX and N1MM can too.  The output of Banana goes to the DAX TX stream and it all works nicely.
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Jim

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"Is the 6700 different from the 6500 in this regard.  I've only been able to test with my 6500 but I have no trouble at all using VOX when DAX is enabled."

Having DAX enabled on a Flex 6500 should be no different than a Flex 6700.........However, having DAX enabled with the Flex procedures provided for an SO2R configuration with N1MM may be a totally different situation that you example with the Flex 6500.

If DAX is enabled with the N1MM SO2R configuration all of the N1MM audio wave files operate normally, however, you must disable DAX in order to enable VOX within Smart SDR.

In general, there may be work arounds such as "VoiceMeeter Bamama", however, Flex is currently in the process of more tightly integrating Flex 6000 products with the new "Maestro Control panel" as well as the N1MM contesting application............Hopefully, they will address this issue for SSB contesters using both the N1MM Voice Keyer as well as a microphone that can use VOX and not only the microphone PTT from a hand switch or a foot switch.

It is all about seamless integration of the operator's devices: Headset / Boom Mike, Flex 6700, Maestro, N1MM, DDUTIL, Smart SDR, Smart SDR CAT, and any other external applications needed for a totally integrated Contest Friendly configuration.

In talking with the Flex Radio personnel, the longer range strategy is to be able to integrate more of these options with less and less dependence on "3rd party" Windows Applications.

It is just going to take some time.

Regards,

Jim
K4PV
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K1DBO

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Yeah, this is a tough one.  I've verified a couple of things and am pretty sure there's no easy solution even for a 3rd party application.

First, the problem you are seeing is not so much that DAX disables VOX, it doesnt.  VOX works fine with DAX so long as the audio is coming from DAX.  It's just that VOX ignores the hardware mic when DAX is enabled.  And that's why my Banana setup works... all audio comes in through DAX.

Second, as far as I can tell, there's no way to determine the state of the hardware PTT switches.  The radio will send a message to indicate that a transmit request was issued by a hardware PTT switch but only if it's not currently transmitting.  This, in my opinion, is a bug.  If the transmitter only paid attention to the switch that initiated the transmission, it would be harder to make that claim.  But, if a transmission is initiated by a hardware PTT and then a software xmit request (MOX) is issued, that request sort of takes over.  The hardware PTT can be release but the transmission will continue until MOX is released.  For this to be consistent the radio should send a message indicating the take over... but I digress.

Back to your issue, Jim.  I could have Push to VOX make the DAX button track the VOX state so that when VOX is on, DAX is off.  This gets close to what you are asking for but I think it misses an important case.  With DAX off, N1MM's voice keyer wont be heard until you disable VOX (to reenable DAX) again.  That sounds like a pain.

Any other solution I can think of would require some changes from flex.  As it stands, the radio doesnt give a lot of information about about why the transmitter is being keyed.  It does talk about hardware keying as RCA, ACCessory, or MIC.  But, if the software does the keying it only says 'SW'. And, VOX keying is reported as SW.  Better would be if it was reported as VOX, CAT, or MOX.

Another option would be for them to add a mic selection to the VOX settings in SmartSDR to let the user pick which mic input VOX should respond to.

A quality audio interface will cost you about $100 and give you a lot of mic options.  I've tried a couple and really like the Mackie Onyx Blackjack.  Once you go down that path the only thing you'll have to complain about is the difficulty associated with using a hardware PTT switch with DAX.  ...yada ...yada ...yada, Push to VOX. (or SmartSDR CAT) and a hardware serial port.