3 October 2016

SDR with knobs on!

My presentation at the RSGB Convention is on Saturday 8th October at 11:45-12:30, in lecture room N138/N141. I look forward to seeing lots of you there. 

The theme of my presentation is the emergence of SDR as mainstream amateur radio technology and the way that has brought into focus mouse & keyboard ergonomics issues, resulting in products like Maestro. 

I will demonstrate that there is nothing that restricts SDR to panel-less operation and that, on the contrary, the advent of open source APIs such as the Flex API has created a vast opportunity for radio amateurs to create and customise their own radio front panels. I will use my own Flex API-based controller as a case study.

Gerald, K5SDR, the President and CEO of FlexRadio, will also be presenting at the convention. His slots are Saturday 13:30-14:15 and Sunday 14:30-15:15. We're working together to ensure that there isn't too much overlap.


  1. Hi John - sorry for silence: QRL took over this summer....
    Best of luck with the presentation and good to see working with Gerald@Flex: will either of the presentations be recorded, or at the very least, yours added to this blog? Sadly I can't attend, so that would be helpful.

    The controller project continues to look utterly amazing and I’m still as keen as ever to replicate at some point. Did you ever have further thoughts about the mini / lite version, with less (button) versatility etc.? I note all the comments you make about the MK II being based on Udoo X86 etc.: do you think the “mini” will be based on the MK I or II platform?

    Thanks once again for sharing.
    73, Ian GM4KLN

  2. Hi Ian,

    Thanks for the comments.

    The existing software will work just fine in a mini configuration - it's just a case of running the profile manager to create the necessary profile, having decided what controls you want on the mini controller. That's the whole idea of the project.

    I don't know what will happen yet regarding a Mk II. I've been running the Mk I for a few weeks now and it works very well. My concerns over performance have turned out to be unwarranted. However, I can see a more integrated system using a Windows (X86) solution that would combine the controller function with the ability to run logging software, etc. all in a single system. I suspect that's the direction the Mk II will take.

    I will be making my presentation available via the Blog in due course. I am not aware of any plans to record either of our talks.

    73 and thanks again for the comments. It's good to know there's still someone out there!