Screenless Maestro

  • 4
  • Idea
  • Updated 2 years ago
I might be one of a few wanting this, but I would love to have a Maestro w/out the screen. Think of it as FlexControl (or Elecraft K-Pod) on steroids. Given that I have a 27" monitor dedicated to smartSDR that can easily display 8 slices, Maestro's screen is of no use to me, and quite frankly makes the whole package too big for my desk. 

However, It would be really nice to have the buttons/knobs similar to those provided by Maestro in a nice compact package to do those fiddly things like adjusting lo/hi cutoff, shift/width, setting up splits etc... that are a pain in the neck to do with a mouse and are just easier to do with physical controls. 


 
Photo of W9TVX

W9TVX

  • 55 Posts
  • 25 Reply Likes

Posted 2 years ago

  • 4
Photo of John G3WGV

John G3WGV

  • 199 Posts
  • 37 Reply Likes
You might be interested in this.

73, John
Photo of Alex - DH2ID

Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

  • 973 Posts
  • 180 Reply Likes
Photo of Al / NN4ZZ

Al / NN4ZZ

  • 1849 Posts
  • 670 Reply Likes
Hi Ross,
Here is a link to an existing idea that is what you are asking for.  It was submitted 10 months ago and has 5 votes so far.  

https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/maestrocontrol-the-next-generation-flexcontrol

If you agree, add your comment and a vote.  

I suspect that when the concurrent client feature is added to V2.x I'll order a Maestro to use as a control surface but I'd much rather have this smaller device on the desktop.




Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
SSDR / DAX / CAT/ 6700 -  V 1.10.16
Win10
Photo of Clay N9IO

Clay N9IO

  • 597 Posts
  • 156 Reply Likes

A Flex Control on steroids, you know I thought the title to this thread a little off but
I really like the idea.

I would buy it!

Photo of W9TVX

W9TVX

  • 55 Posts
  • 25 Reply Likes
Up voted and commented on your idea. I'm s exactly what I had in mind
Photo of Bill W2PKY

Bill W2PKY

  • 509 Posts
  • 86 Reply Likes
Al-
I spoke to one of the FRS representatives about this very product 2 years ago at Dayton.
Photo of Ria - N2RJ

Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

  • 2311 Posts
  • 950 Reply Likes
I would really like a screenless Maestro, or at least the ability to use the knobs without having to use the tiny monitor. 
Photo of Norm - W7CK

Norm - W7CK

  • 754 Posts
  • 160 Reply Likes
I have a FlexControl and until recently I just haven't used it much.  Part of the issue, for me anyway, is that the FlexControl has a cable which makes it just a little bit cumbersome to pull out of the spot that I store it on my desk and into the area where it is comfortable for me to use it. (I don't like cords.  Even my headset is wireless). 

Last week I decided to force myself once again to start using my FlexControl more often.  I have to admit, its starting to finally grow on me a bit. 

I'm thinking I'd really like the next generation of FlexControl to be wireless! with the ability to plug it in to the USB port and use it wired if one likes to or to charge the internal Lithium Iron 18650 battery.  I love this size and style of battery.

I have programmed my FlexControl with the functions I feel are most important to my operating style but there is one function I wish was possible.   I'd LOVE to be able to press a button to scroll through the slices and as I toggle through them not only have them active but also selected as the TX slice.  I just don't know how to do this with a single button.

Has anyone figured this out?

Norm
Photo of Ken - NM9P

Ken - NM9P, Elmer

  • 4189 Posts
  • 1334 Reply Likes
@Norm.  You can program one of the AUX buttons on the FlexControl Knob to toggle through all of the slices, making each one "active" in turn.  (I use AUX1)  But you are correct, it doesn't change the TX assignment.

However, SDRStack has a function that will make the active slice also the TX slice by default.  If you load SDRStack up and set this click-box your FlexControl AUX button will then toggle not only active slice status, but also the TX assignment.

This can be handy.  But it could also lead you to transmit on an unexpected slice if you are not careful.  But that is a control operator issue.  it is up to you to decide if you want it that way.  You can also manually select a different TX assignment with your mouse after an "auto-select" with the AUX1 button.  But if you press AUX1 again, the TX will go with it.

SDRStack can run in the background and has a variety of controls that you can assign to it, as well as memories, mic profiles, etc.  It is a handy little program.  I don't use it all the time, but when there is a function I want for a particular activity that isn't standard in SSDR or FlexControl, I open it up and adjust it's configurations.  WHen I don't need that function...I just close SDRStack and the rig functions as usual.

You can do some other things with DDUtil.  Check it out.

I have a macro that automatically sets my CW filter to 50 Hz, turns NR on at 10, turns APF on at 35, and sets AGC to FAST - all of it whenever I select CW mode on slice A. 

I have another macro linked to SSB selections.....

Ken - NM9P
Photo of Norm - W7CK

Norm - W7CK

  • 754 Posts
  • 160 Reply Likes
Thanks Ken.  I already use SDRStack.  I was hoping to get away with one less application running on the computer.   I also use DDUtil, and it gives additional control over the FlexControl.  

Thanks again

Norm
Photo of Ken - NM9P

Ken - NM9P, Elmer

  • 4203 Posts
  • 1338 Reply Likes
A screen-less Maestro would be a nice option, if not too expensive.

In the mean time -- I use the FlexControl Knob and really like it.

I know some flexers, like Al - NN4ZZ, who use TWO FlexControls - one standard, and one linked via DDUtil to do multiple functions.

And there are still others using MIDI controllers like the CMD-Micro or Hercules DJ2 LE series.  If you follow the threads about these devices, there are some hams currently working on porting William's fine program to C#, and others continuing to modify the version created with the "Processing" editor.  using these devices, or the Behring CMD-PL1 that I have played with, you can approximate many of the controls that would be found on a screen-less Maestro.

Ken - NM9P
Photo of Al / NN4ZZ

Al / NN4ZZ

  • 1849 Posts
  • 670 Reply Likes
Hi Ken,
I'm actually now using SDR-Bridge to control one and SSDR to control the other.

DDUtil worked great and actually had more FlexControl options but since I changed all my peripherals to use the new USB cables the only thing I was using DDUTil for was the FlexControl.  Now one less program to run ( K.I.S.S)

So yes, 2 FlexControls are nice but if the "screenless Maestro"  was available I'd get one for sure. 

I didn't see you in Xenia, did you get to make the trip this year?

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
Photo of Ken - NM9P

Ken - NM9P, Elmer

  • 4203 Posts
  • 1338 Reply Likes
Sorry I missed you, Al.  I looked for your booth, among others, but didn't find it.
I kept missing Chris Tate, too - he zigged while I zagged...

I was at Alpha Team Gathering and Flex Dinner on Thursday.
Didn't make it to the fest until about 11:30 AM Friday (TRAFFIC!)
Made it about the same time Saturday, not because of traffic,  because I was having a great conversation with some other hams - 2 of them VK's - at breakfast at the Hotel.

Had to leave about 4:30 PM Saturday to get back for Sunday responsibilities. (4 1/2 hour drive) 

I spent time in 4 different forums, leaving little time to wander all of the buildings.

Since I put a deposit on a 6600 Trade-up on Thursday afternoon, I didn't have much more money to spend anyway!  I picked up a pair of new UV82's for $25 each and some Dacron/Poly rope for my tower, that's about it.

Next time I hope to be able to attend the Contest and DX dinners and super-suites.  It sounds like there was a lot of fun and conversation there!
Photo of Al / NN4ZZ

Al / NN4ZZ

  • 1849 Posts
  • 670 Reply Likes
Ken,
Sorry I missed you.    I attended the Saturday Flex Dinner and like you was there on Friday and Saturday PM.    We didn't have our booth this year (not sure what it would be like so just came for fun this time.)

I did pick up a new Begali Sculpture Mono to add to my collection....They should last a lifetime!




Catch you next year!

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
Photo of Tim VE6SH

Tim VE6SH

  • 281 Posts
  • 35 Reply Likes

The key piece of hardware I have come to love is the Genovation 24 keypad linked through DDutil. I have changed the programs for the buttons over time so I have various "splits", amp on/off, CWX at my fingertips. The fact you can reprogram it as your needs change is a plus.

Tim VE6SH

Photo of Clay N9IO

Clay N9IO

  • 597 Posts
  • 156 Reply Likes
Tim how do you set it up with DDUTIL?

I must admit I have not messed with DDUTIL at all.
Looked at DDUTIL once and thought OMG I don't want to mess with that without a bunch of coaching so I have passed to this point.
Photo of Dan -- KC4GO

Dan -- KC4GO

  • 340 Posts
  • 70 Reply Likes
Me to is there a FLEX how 2   some where? 
Photo of Tim VE6SH

Tim VE6SH

  • 281 Posts
  • 35 Reply Likes

It is fairly simple. You identify the com port the Genovation keypad is attached to and then there are a number of scripts or templates you can install for each button. I used a template from Howard, KY6LA as a starting point and modified it to fit my needs. You do need to purchase the VSP version of the keypad though (they have different versions).

I can send you the template Howard sent to me if you like. There is also a thread on the community that explains how to set it up.

Tim VE6SH ve6sh@iaru.org

Photo of Tim VE6SH

Tim VE6SH

  • 281 Posts
  • 35 Reply Likes
Photo of Clay N9IO

Clay N9IO

  • 597 Posts
  • 156 Reply Likes

Thanks Tim.  You know what? 
I think I may order one and give it a go.
This could add a lot of operating value/convenience to my flex.

VSP version?  How do I identify it?

Photo of Tim VE6SH

Tim VE6SH

  • 281 Posts
  • 35 Reply Likes

I find it very useful even with the Maestro. I have several different "splits" set up so I can quickly move to where the DX is listening. I also have labels to use CWX for several variations of my call given the suffix ("s" space "h" and at the suggestion of K1ZZ-"S5"!)

I ordered mine off of Amazon. The first one I received was labeled "USB" and I had to return it for the virtual serial port model. If you go to the Genovation website they show all the models and explain the differences (I have the 12 button pad with a toggle so one button can do two functions).


Tim

Photo of Clay N9IO

Clay N9IO

  • 597 Posts
  • 156 Reply Likes

You ARE the man!  Thanks Tim, very happy I chimed in on this.

73'

Photo of Clay N9IO

Clay N9IO

  • 597 Posts
  • 156 Reply Likes
Tim,
I ordered the 24 key Genovation VSP version.
Guess I am going to muddy the waters and add DDUTIL to my setup.
Sounds interesting, this should be good.
Photo of Clay N9IO

Clay N9IO

  • 597 Posts
  • 156 Reply Likes

Hello Tim,

I received the vsp keypad from Genovation.  Please expound just a little on the installation with DDUTil.  Question: Do I need to install the program drivers Genovation sent on their CD or do I just do the install with DDUTil only?

Photo of Clay N9IO

Clay N9IO

  • 597 Posts
  • 156 Reply Likes

Hello Tim,

I received the vsp keypad from Genovation.  Please expound just a little on the installation with DDUTil.  Question: Do I need to install the program drivers Genovation sent on their CD or do I just do the install with DDUTil only?

Photo of Tim VE6SH

Tim VE6SH

  • 281 Posts
  • 35 Reply Likes

I believe I just installed with the drivers and then used DDUTil to program. It was a while since I have done that though and will check when I get home.

Tim

Photo of Clay N9IO

Clay N9IO

  • 597 Posts
  • 156 Reply Likes
Lemme know. TU.
Photo of Rich - N5ZC

Rich - N5ZC

  • 187 Posts
  • 24 Reply Likes
I'd like to see a FlexControl (or a screenless Maestro) with a few more buttons and have it plug into the USB port on the back of Flex 6xxx

I enjoy using a dedicated 29" ultra wide monitor for SmartSDR

I currently use a FlexControl plugged into my computer, but sometimes it's choppy or doesn't respond at all.  I've gone through the USB parameters as suggested by Flex, and while it's improved the FlexControls response, it's still not 100%.

Rich - N5ZC
Photo of Tim VE6SH

Tim VE6SH

  • 281 Posts
  • 35 Reply Likes
Clay


Have a look at this post

https://community.flexradio.com/flexr...


---------

You don't create the macros in the CP24, the only thing that gets programmed into the CP24 are the DDUtil macro calls, M 01 CR, M 02 CR, etc. The macros are created on DDUtils Macro Tab. It's been a while but all I remember having to do was load the example DDUsample.ckd file onto the CP24 using the CP24 software. Then writing new macros for the DDUtil macro buttons.
----------

Tim
(Edited)
Photo of Clay N9IO

Clay N9IO

  • 597 Posts
  • 156 Reply Likes
Thanks Tim I think I have everything I need to get started.  I will be a day or so till I can devote enough time but will keep you posted.
Thank you again.
Clay N9IO