7 May 2016

Mini controller?

A key design criterion for the G3WGV Flex Controller is that it can be physically implemented according to personal taste. The software is designed from the outset to work with essentially any number of controls, all of which can, within reason, perform any function.

Right now, my development work is focussed on a physically quite large controller and I discussed the logic of this approach in some detail here. As I start to see light at the end of the long tunnel of concept through initial development, my mind is turning to the possibility of a more compact form of controller. The main driver for this is the prospect of operating remotely, perhaps from a hotel room when I'm away from home.

The debate quickly boils down to ergonomics, convenience and the resultant physical size of the panel. My thoughts are tending towards the idea that the mini-controller would only need one VFO knob (capable of controlling either VFO at the press of a button), four rotary encoders and eight push button switches. For numerous reasons, I would want to retain the 5" TFT display. This could give rise to a physical layout something like this:

In dimensional terms, this panel would be about 200mm wide by 130mm high (8" x 5"). As there is very little "inside the box", there is no real need for depth and the controller could go in a sloping panel console style of enclosure, perhaps something like the one below.

This would make a quite compact controller that could easily be taken on trips or, as the Flex radio permits multiple controllers, used as a secondary controller - an intriguing prospect.

I would be interested to hear what my readers think about this (if any remain - you're mostly somewhat uncommunicative for much of the time!).


  1. Hi John
    I really like the option to have both the full sized, and the compact controller: I too travel a lot so having a portable version appeals, but what I can't envisage at the moment is whether the compact would be more than sufficient for all my (albeit narrow / specialist) needs (6m digital modes) when home. I could be tempted to try the compact first...it's inevitably going to be superior to my existing 100% mouse operating, no matter what.
    Changing tune step, easier VFO A/B tx/rx control for 6m MS, etc. will itself make a huge difference to my operating, and afaict, that will be equally possible on either controller.
    thanks again John.
    73, Ian GM4KLN

  2. The enticing prospect with this design is that it is possible to visualise any size/complexity of controller. So it should be possible to create a controller that matches exactly any specific operating requirement.

    73, John, G3WGV