Using SmartSDR with FRStack3 and Touch Portal

  • 4
  • Idea
  • Updated 2 weeks ago
I thought I would take a moment and share my adventures with using SmartSDR with FRStack3 and a program called Touch Portal.

Touch portal is similar to the Stream Deck in that there are buttons and macros or actions are performed with the button is pressed.  Touch Portal however can have up to 110 buttons and unlimited pages, has the ability to run powershell scripts, http gets i.e. rest api capabilities an so on. 

I have been wanting to use such a capability with a touch screen to perform actions on SmartSDR with a single tap of a button.  This helped me to keep my hands off of the mouse and the touch sliders, etc. and focus on flex control and logging.  I wanted to keep the main screen up top with the panadapter and waterfall and the buttons separate.  (It would be nice if each of the SDR controls like Mic, EQ, filters, etc were individual pop outs and can be docked at various point on another screen that was touch capable,and when resized enlarged so that the target areas where larger.  but for  now they are not.)

Below is a capture of the screen layout and then view of the shack.  Some of the buttons basically do a rest call while the ones for power control are calling a powershell script to add logic, i.e. put amp in standby and then tune, or preventing the RF +5 button from going too high when the amp is engaged.

I understand that this setup or the reason why may not be for everyone but works for me and may give others an idea or two.

The Shack;
Photo of Wayne Westfield

Wayne Westfield

  • 57 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes

Posted 1 month ago

  • 4
Photo of WW1SS - Steve

WW1SS - Steve

  • 820 Posts
  • 271 Reply Likes
Does it use the same rest api as streamdeck??
Photo of Wayne Westfield

Wayne Westfield

  • 57 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes
Ina sense that streamdeck is using FRSStack which is the REST API server
Photo of WW1SS - Steve

WW1SS - Steve

  • 820 Posts
  • 271 Reply Likes
Can you send me a copy of your file so I can see the command structure. I am not a programmer and been playing with it for a day now trying to get a button to work
Photo of Joe N3HEE

Joe N3HEE

  • 492 Posts
  • 112 Reply Likes
Like Wayne I have also been experimenting with Touch Portal over the past several months.  I find it more flexible and cost effective compared to Stream Deck.  For $9.99 (Touch Portal Pro) I turned a very old iPad that was sitting around doing nothing into a full featured station controller.  New features are being added to Touch Portal on a regular basis and has excellent customer support in near real time via their Discord portal.

I use a combination of FRStack, FRLogger, N1MM, Home Assistant, PowerShell scripts and Windows 10 native shortcut keys to make up my Touch Portal buttons.  I found it pretty straight forward to create pages and buttons.  No real programming required for the most part.  You can create mult-press buttons and buttons with custom logic to do just about anything imaginalbe.

I'm happy to share my pages, buttons and other info with anyone who wants to try Touch Portal.




Touch Portal shown running on ancient iPad !




Top row are folders that lead to additional pages of buttons.
Second row are buttons that launch frequently used Windows apps.
Third row are buttons that activate Flex profiles.
Fourth row are buttons that activate FRStack memory functions and homebrew SkedTune scripts.
Fifth row are buttons that activate macros in FRLogger and homebrew voice keyer buttons.
Sixth row are buttons that activate Flex mode control.  LSB is a multi-press button for USB/LSB
Seventh row are buttons that control Flex volume, frequency, homebrew audio recorder, rig power.

Joe
N3HEE
Photo of Wayne Westfield

Wayne Westfield

  • 57 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes
How did you set up the Voice Keyer part?
Photo of WW1SS - Steve

WW1SS - Steve

  • 820 Posts
  • 271 Reply Likes
Joe . . . Sent you an email to send your file to me so i can get started

Appreciate it . . . Steve . . . WW1SS
Photo of Bob G   W1GLV

Bob G W1GLV

  • 829 Posts
  • 148 Reply Likes
Joe, send me a copy also. Thanks
w1glv@w1glv.com
Photo of Wayne Westfield

Wayne Westfield

  • 57 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes
Gents I will also send a copy when I get home.
Photo of Wayne Westfield

Wayne Westfield

  • 57 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes
I have to get with TP team, seems I am getting errors trying to export this page.
Photo of Wayne Westfield

Wayne Westfield

  • 57 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes
For everyone,
I am using a
Planar Helium PCT2235 Touch Screen 22" attached to my windows 10 mobx

Since Touch portal does not yet have a native player for windows I installed NOX android emulator on my computer and then run the TouchPortal app on it.


Right now TouchPortal is not as sophisticated as StreamDeck in that the buttons cannot yet be updated with the responses from the API call, that is in the works.

(Edited)
Photo of Joe N3HEE

Joe N3HEE

  • 473 Posts
  • 111 Reply Likes
I like how you are using your BIG touch screen Wayne ! Very clever.

I've told the TP dev team what I am using TP for.  They liked it.  They are working on an API and SDK for one of their upcoming releases.  Probably January time frame.

I will supply my TP pages and buttons and package up my PowerShell scripts, custom button images, and other custom stuff I've writen.  Most of it will work except for the webhook calls to my home automation hub.  The rest of it can be easily modified to suite other needs.
Photo of Rob G6EIH

Rob G6EIH

  • 116 Posts
  • 16 Reply Likes
Hi Guys, can I get  copy of the files in use to get me started, bob@g6eih.co.uk
Photo of Joe N3HEE

Joe N3HEE

  • 492 Posts
  • 112 Reply Likes
Since I have more people asking for my TP stuff I think I will put my configurations on Dropbox and provide a link to it in this thread.  I am quite busy right now so give me a few days to put everything together with some brief documentation of what I did.  Thanks -Joe
Photo of WW1SS - Steve

WW1SS - Steve

  • 820 Posts
  • 271 Reply Likes
Great ... Thanks Joe ... Looking forward to it
Photo of Rob G6EIH

Rob G6EIH

  • 116 Posts
  • 16 Reply Likes

Thanks Joe that will help a lot with getting me started, just downloaded the app and will have a play with it later today.

Photo of WW1SS - Steve

WW1SS - Steve

  • 820 Posts
  • 271 Reply Likes
OK so I got it going. If you want to make a button work put the streamdeck url into http get in the touch panel app example: http://localhost:13522/api/ActiveSlice/nb?param=2  this willl turn the Noise Blanker on or off.

Only thing I cannot figure out is the visuals or the button. Some times it works in reverse. I have NB set up to change background to red if on and a light green if off. Sometimes it will be a light green button for off but NB will be on.

Any of you guru's have any ideas???
Photo of Wayne Westfield

Wayne Westfield

  • 57 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes
This would be the correct way according to TP, however there may be a better way now that they have the button events supposedly working.  The following works for me.


(Edited)
Photo of WW1SS - Steve

WW1SS - Steve

  • 820 Posts
  • 271 Reply Likes
My Setup So Far








Photo of Joe N3HEE

Joe N3HEE

  • 492 Posts
  • 112 Reply Likes
Sorry this took so long to post.  Here is a link to my TP files including TP page exports, PowerShell scripts and TP icons.  It's all there but you will have to sort through it and use what applies to your situation.  I am using FRStack, FRLogger, Windows PowerShell, Home Assistant to make everything work.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ym3bu7qfuqa498m/TP_N3HEE.zip?dl=0
Photo of WW1SS - Steve

WW1SS - Steve

  • 820 Posts
  • 271 Reply Likes
Anybody know how to make a button press on the Maestro show up on the touch portal button.
IE: If i push my NB button on my maestro it will not show up as on in the Touch Portal interface like it does with streamdeck
Photo of Wayne Westfield

Wayne Westfield

  • 57 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes
Hi Steve,
Right now that is not possible, there is no means to get the results of an API and modify the buttons accordingly.  Then the next problem is getting that to refresh on some schedule, it will not be possible to get it live as there is not a way to subscribed to changes.   

These are things that would be better done writing an app to perform and recreating the screens in it.  Something I am looking at myself.
Photo of WW1SS - Steve

WW1SS - Steve

  • 820 Posts
  • 271 Reply Likes
That is odd because it works in Streamdeck. That must be because of the Slicemaster App that runs it correct??
Photo of Wayne Westfield

Wayne Westfield

  • 57 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes
Not odd at all Touch Portal has not implemented yet to the degree that Stream Deck has built their interface.  Essentially FRStack has built a custom interface (Program) aka plugin that when you press the button calls the program takes the command and returns the results and sets the button display.  Touch portal does not have the ability to interface from outside the application into it, it can only send out commands at the moment.  I have requested such features and they may be in the works but who knows what the timeline is.

Kind regards,
(Edited)
Photo of Joel N9LQ

Joel N9LQ

  • 32 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
Has anyone been successful at zooming in and out on a panadapter?  If so, could you please share how you did it? Thanks!
Photo of WW1SS - Steve

WW1SS - Steve

  • 820 Posts
  • 271 Reply Likes
Photo of Joel N9LQ

Joel N9LQ

  • 32 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
I have managed to use the FRStacks hotkeys editor to define hotkeys to zoom in and out of the panadapter.  Touch Portal buttons then provide the "keypress" which zooms in and out.  It works really great!  However, I would also like to try and do it via the http calls to the api.  I can't get it to work, and sure I am overlooking something basic.  Can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks!
Photo of WW1SS - Steve

WW1SS - Steve

  • 820 Posts
  • 271 Reply Likes
in Touch portal put this into http get

http://localhost:13522/api/ActiveSlice/pan?param=down

I think that is what you are asking??
Photo of Joel N9LQ

Joel N9LQ

  • 32 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
Steve, thanks for that.  I tried it, but it does not work for me (yet).  FWIW, I am using latest Windows 10, and running FRStack as Administrator.  A couple of questions:  1. Is there a setting or switch in FRStack that I need to turn on to permit this http call to work?  2. Do I need to separately install the api, or is that available automatically when FRStack is running? 3. Might this be a firewall (Windows Defender) or other security system preventing the command from getting through?  Any help much appreciated. 73, Joel

Photo of Wayne Westfield

Wayne Westfield

  • 57 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes
Hi Joel,
With your SDR running, FRSTack also running open up a  web browser and copy the above line in to the address bar and hit enter you should get a response, if not try another command and if that does not work, it is not going to be an issue with TouchPorttal.  My radio is off due to pending storms right now so I cannot check and see if there was anything in the settings for FRStack to turn on the Rest API.

Good luck
Photo of Joel N9LQ

Joel N9LQ

  • 32 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
Well, I just figured out what I was doing wrong.  I am still on FlexSDR 2.4.9, so using FRStack ver 2.4 instead of FRStack3.  How embarrassing...sorry for taking up the bandwidth.  On the bright side, I am now looking forward to upgrading!  Thanks for trying to help.  73
Photo of Joel N9LQ

Joel N9LQ

  • 32 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
Upgraded to Flex 2.6.1 and FRStack 3, and was able to make the HTTP Get calls work.  Very powerful....thanks for developing this great tool!  73, Joel