3 March 2016

Early panel thoughts

So with all this nonsense of wanting to design my own control panel, just what are the controls that I feels are so important to have? Here's my list for starters:
  • Separate VFO-A and VFO-B knob. Nice big weighty ones, like you get on proper radios(!)
  • A decent display that shows all the stuff I am interested in for at least two radios. The 6500 can do up to four... could be a challenge.
  • Separate volume encoders for A & B
  • Filter width and shift encoders for A & B
  • A couple of spare encoders that can be assigned to things like notch, noise blanker, etc.
  • A band select key pad
  • A bunch of other push buttons for various things such as split/simplex, mode selection, et al
  • VFO-A & VFO-B LED buttons, a la FT5000, for quick control of which VFO does what
That should just about do it I think. Now to start thinking about suitable enclosures, panel layouts, etc.


  1. Hi John

    Looks very interesting...will this also work for the Anan range of SDR's?

    Charlie GI4FUE

  2. I don't think so Charlie. Although the Flex API is a published specification, as far as I know it is still unique to Flex radios.

  3. John, Would this unit work in parallel with smart sdr so that one can maintain full spectrum display etc. I currently use the little Flex Control remote unit with my rig as I find that very hand to quickly tweak the tuning, RIT, gains or whatever can be set with the 4 functions available on it. It would be useful to have access to power output too. I got the impression that the Maestro cannot be used simultaneously with ssdr, at least on the early releases.
    73 Malcolm G3PDH

  4. This is a more complex question than it might at first appear! I'm not sure that I have fully understood the answer yet either. The simple answer is that as I am currently developing it, my controller works with SSDR. If you change something on SSDR it changes on my controller and vice-versa.

    I've been looking at why, if I close SSDR, my controller also stops working. It turns out that there can only be one controller sending commands to the radio (which seems logical) but that SSDR accepts/sends changes from/to a "slave" controller.

    So, prima facie, it appears that it is possible for the external controller to operate in conjunction with SSDR or independently. I have yet to figure out how to do the latter.

  5. Thanks for sharing John, great project.
    Longer term, are you also considering 6300 users in your dev thoughts?
    I run my 6300 remotely (its in the garage) and all works perfectly apart from CW sidetone: as you know, sidetone is not fed via DAX, only though the phones socket etc. on the box itself. Are you considering investigating a means to generate sidetone to address this limitation when used remotely in this context?
    73, Ian GM4KLN

  6. As far as I can see, the 6300 & 6700 all work in exactly the same way, so I am sure the answer is that the 6300 will be supported.

    The lack of CW sidetone is a nuisance but I imagine that it's because of latency issues - you'll have noted that the DAX outputs lag real time slightly. IW7DMH has an interesting solution to this problem on his web site and I may well do something along those lines in due course.