How PowerSDR-UI users set up their DJ Consoles

FlexRadio Contest Knob alternative PowerSDR-UI lifts the FlexRadio experience to a totally new level. Since the first release of PowerSDR-UI an avid community is forming it selve around the project. Literally, I receive now everyday feedback from new users expressing their appreciation. In this post you will find pictures which have been provided from satisfied PowerSDR-UI users. These pictures shall inspire and help you to set up your DJ Console.

Join the community

If you are looking for knobs and buttons to control your SDR transceiver, then I highly recommend to join the PowerSDR-UI Yahoogroup. The community will be happy to answer questions and discuss User Interface related topics with you.

Within the Yahoogroup users also have uploaded pictures which show exactly how they use the DJ Console to control any FlexRadio.

Here are some examples of pictures and videos which have been created by individuals of the PSDR-UI community:

W4TQ PowerSDR-UI Setup

IZ7AUH PSDR-UI Setup

Alternative for Flexradio Contestknob

Alternative to Flexradio Contestknob

the above picture was kindly provided by Laurie, VK7ZP

Alternative to Flexradio Contest knob

PowerSDR-UI DJ Console Labels

The two images above have been supplied by Bernd DL9UAS. He created labels with Corel Draw and printed them on adhesive foil. Bernd kindly provided the Corel Draw Source file for download.

About Tobias (DH1TW)

Self-confessed Starbucks addict. Loves to travel around the globe. Enjoys the technical preparations of Amateur-Radio contests as much as the contests themselves. Engineer by nature. Entrepreneur. For more, follow him @DH1TW

Comments

  1. Many thanks for use my picture, looking my Blog Post on http://www.iz7auh.com/blog
    A little video on Youtube!

    http://youtu.be/B-Qp2mMdAt0

    73 de IZ7AUH Frank

  2. Awesome video Frank! I just embedded it into this post!

  3. I need information about a W7PP set, CW mem I not able to set this button

  4. IZ7AUH says:

    Ops, I have a 0.95 beta I install 0.96 alla ok for CW memory, when it’s possible to introduce a button macro to able and disable VAC IQ?

  5. Bernd - DL9UAS says:

    How was the console labeled (shown above from VK7ZP)? Great!

  6. Bill - ND0B says:

    Very very neat idea. Any chance it could be done without the need for special version of PSDR. Seems like DDUtil does something similar through the CAT port so it may be possible???

    Thanks!

    73 de Bill ND0B

    • Hey Bill!
      Yes – I definitely want to create a standalone application. The problem with PSDR is the vintage CAT interface. This interface was not build for applications like the FlexControl or the DJ Console. DDUtil doesn’t solve this problem either. DDUtil has to use the CAT interface as well in order to communicate with PSDR. The reason why I still maintain the DJ Console code within PSDR is the massiv reduction of CPU load in comparison to the standard CAT interface. I’d love so much to see a more modern interface (e.g. TCP/IP) better suited for User Interface improvements!
      73 Tobias

  7. Bill says:

    Not sure how to respond to a response so will just post. This goes back to the comment I made on June 22 about a standalone program and a thought on it.

    This is more thinking out loud than anything… If you make the assumption you are only interested in a control that the user changed on the DJ console (a rare event) and that you are only interested in ANY control when you change it, could you query PSDR for just the current state of just that control and, if appropriate to that controls current position, make the change up or down. That would avoid having to constantly query all controls and the associated overhead at the expense of a slight amount of latency. This would limit the overhead to just when a control is moved and “possibly” be smooth enough for most operators.

    73 de Bill ND0B

    • Hey Bill,
      the VFO knob is the most critical control. The high resolution of the rotary pulse encoder provides 80 impluses per 360 degree. This means that you can “fill up the CAT queue” with 400+ individual commands to just to increment (or decrement) the VFO within one second. The CAT parser of PSDR is not able to handle to work up the “queue” in realtime. This is when you start noticing a latency.

  8. Bill says:

    I have ran into similar situations. In practice with any digital display data can be input faster than it can be seen to update. That is not really different than CAT not being able to keep up. The key is to track the pulses from the encoder (so you stay true to what the operator is trying to do) but to only actually process them as fast as the CAT parser can deal with the messages. If the operator is turning the knob too fast the display will be jumping in larger increments but still probably being updated several times a second and accurately for what the operator is asking for. If the knob is being turned slow the updates should be slow enough that the radio is updated every pulse or two. If CAT can be updated 10 times a second (WAG number) then the 400+ commands would end up as 10 commands that each increment the VFO 40+ of whatever the current increment unit is.

    Most (All?) of the CAT control commands respond back with the new value, that could be the key as to when to send the next one if the control in question has continued to move making the increment based on the number of pulses that have been received. I think that would occur fast enough that the display / human response times would just see it as a faster increment of the display.

    Based on previous experience in other project I “think” that would work. If you want to discuss further you can email me and keep it off the board. I am willing to put some programming time in to help.

    73 de Bill ND0B

    • Hey Bill,
      this is exactly the way how K6TU and K6TD have resolved the problem in the FlexRadio Contest knob. You are right, they key is counting the impulses and the then transmitting the number of impulses rather sending a single command to the CAT interface for each impulse. I’m already doing some tests. If I don’t succeed I’ll be more than happy to come back to your offer!
      73 Tobias

  9. Roberto says:

    Hi Tobias,
    I was speechless after seeing your idea happen, really a lot of compliments.

    Can you tell me if in the future we will be able to use the controller with the SoftRock (Si570) instead of the Flex ..!

    Thank you in advance.

    73 de IW4CBY Roberto

    • Hey Roberto,

      I’m happy if you like the DJ Console idea. It was actually just a prove-of-concept and I hope it inspires our fellow Hams to create their own, personalized User Interface! Regarding your question and the Si570 support:
      Unfortunately, PSDR-UI doesn’t Support the Si570 oscillator driven softrock kits. So until today, you need to have either a single band softrock or one of flex-systems’ radios. Maybe I’ll have a look at it one day. However it depends also on the demand of the Ham Community.

      73,
      Tobias

  10. Hey Tobias,

    Congratulations! It’s what I was waiting for to start to use SDR on Contests. I’m ready to invest in FlexRadio and a console DJ and use then on the next big contest!

    I just publish a article about your project in DXBrasil (www.dxbrasil.net), so expect some PY interest soon.

    http://www.dxbrasil.net/wp/artigo/powersdr-ui-radioamador-dj/

    Best 73, Luc
    PY8AZT

  11. Very nice indeed.
    I have a herclues djconsole mp3 e2.

    Only one question. If I use the original software with the console I noticed buttoms can light up.
    There seems to be a light underneath the buttons.

    Is it possible to have it working with powersdr so it light up in the dark.

    Keep up the good work. You made one flexradio 1500 user very happy.

    • Hey Maarten,
      yes – the lightning will be added in one of the next PSDR-UI versions!
      73 Tobias

  12. Cool interface!

  13. Matthew says:

    Hi, just to clarify… as I am looking at the Flex 5000a… The Hercules DJ Control MP3 E2 will do the job with PSDR-UI. This sounds awesome… what, if any, functionality does one lose with the latest version of PSDR-UI vs. having no DJ control and sticking with PowerSDR 2.2.3? And, has the Hercules DJ Control MP3 E2 now been added to the PSDR-UI interface? If not, are there any plans to have this particular DJ interface added. I am a newbie here, and want to know how I can make this interface work with PSDR-UI. Thank you very much for your help! 73!

    • Hi Matthew,
      PowerSDR is the Product of FlexRadio Systems which was build to complement their hardware (Flex3000, 5000, etc). A vast part of the Sourcecode has been contributed by Ham which are not affiliated with FlexRadio Systems. Therefore a great part of the Software is published under the GPL license. But there are also a few part of PSDR (mainly the lately added features like TNF) that are published under a Commercial license which prohibits further distribution.
      However I do have the written permission of FlexRadio Systems to so with PowerSDR-UI.

      PowerSDR-UI is a recompilation of this source code with the only difference that I’m adding the DJ Console interface. FlexRadio System has their own solution (FlexControl) and therfore doesn’t support the DJ Console natively.
      I´ll do my best to keep on developing PowerSDR-UI. However external circumstances e.g. change in the license model are outside of my influence.
      Anyway, most users tell me that the value of the new User Interface is way more worth than the 80 USD they paid for the console :-)

      I hope this helps.
      73 Tobias

  14. Hi Tobias,

    this to inform you of another happy user of your application, received the console yesterday, installation whent flawless configuration too.
    I thought to let you know and thank you for sharing your skill and application to the Ham Community.

    My HW platform is the little 1500, in the next few days I will make indepth tests, at the first glance the feeling is excellent, I noticed just a couple of things which might be usefull for you to know.
    -AF TX Monitor does not operate while on transmit, it does change on receive, the updated value become visible when on TX again.
    - Unused Deck A loops/FX (shift) button triggers the same programmed function as per the one set on the 4th push button (in my case CW4 memory) of Deck B loops/FX area.

    73, I4LEC

    • Hi Claudio,
      thanks for your comments. I’ll investigate them. The loops/FX (shift) button are not assigned intentionally. The problem is that they shift the buttons of 1/2/3/4 to 5/6/7/8. I fear this causes more confusion than acutal help.
      73 & have fun with your Flex-1500,
      Tobias

  15. Hi, Tobias!
    I just purchased the Hercules console, and look forward to getting it installed in the next day or two.
    Wonderful job you did!
    73, Jim KQ6EA

  16. Hi Tobias ,
    I have just gotten my console up and running. worked first time, and beautifully.
    One question ? where is the file that holds the data for the console and can I edit it directly ?

    Regards Bob ZS6BXI

    • Bob, the settings are Stored in a XML file which is located in the(hidden) directory of the PSDR database. Please do not edit the file if you are not 100% sure what you are doing.
      73 Tobias

  17. Pedro says:

    Hi, I have the Hercules DJ Console RMX at home. ¿It’s posible to use this console model with PowerSDR Software?

    thanks, in advance for the response.

    73′s from EA5CCY

    • Hey Pedro,
      unfortunately, the RMX console is not fully support. If You are lucky, a few buttons might work. As far as I remember, the RMX DJ Console has a similar MIDI interface. Just give it a try and report pls!

      73 Tobias

  18. I’m a late comer to the party, but just hooked up the controller and having great fun with it.
    Thank you very much for your time and effort……..

    Ken

  19. Hello Tobias,

    du you plan to upgrade you very nice Software to the new PSDR 2.3.5?

    Thanks,
    Emil, de DL8JJ

    • Hi Emil,
      yes – I’m currently working on the next version (codebase 2.3.5).
      For news, please subscribe to the Yahoogroups list!

      73 Tobias

  20. Smitty says:

    I just purchased a Hercules MP3 E2. I installed the MP3 E2 drivers and PowerSDR-UI 0.991 and everything seems to loaded properly.
    I bring up PSDR-UI software and go to setup>general>user interface. I click on select user interface and a separate window appears that shows DJ Control MP3 E2 MIDI. I then click on configure and the Hercules DJ console configuration window comes up. So i configured about 30 percent of the controls. Saved the settings clicked ok on PowerSDR setup and save in the select DJ console window.

    I then get a Select DJ Console window with a a red circle with a white X in it. The window says –Unhandled exception has occurred in your application. If you click continue, the application will ignore this error and and attempt to continue. If you click Quit, the application will close immediately.
    There are no driver installed on you system. If I click on continue nothing happens and if I click Quit PowerSDR-UI shuts down.

    I can’t get any of the controls that I configured on the MP3 E2 to work at all.

    Can someone help me with this issue.

    73,
    Smitty

  21. Michele says:

    Hi Tobias!
    You make a great job, a lot of compliments.
    The tuning wheel controls well the LO-Si570 VFO of my 1W-SDR-homemade when PowerSDR-UI ‘set for Flex1000.
    But I have big problems with the PTT.
    When I connected to the PTT to active Si570 interface does not work.
    I tried to control the PTT via serial port, but when serial port on PowerSDR-IU is activated it go to transmission. The transmission ends only when serial port deactivated (RTS always been high and DTR also).
    In Windows, serial port is set with no handshake.
    Can someone help me?

    73′ de IZ8QOT

    • Hey Michele,
      I’m sorry, I don’t know the answer to your problem, but I suggest to ask on the Softrock email refector. The guys on the list there have a lot of experience with Si570 LO and it’s software interfaces!
      73 & gl Tobias

  22. Bart (Pa3hea) says:

    Hello,

    Version 2.4.4 from powersdr is for download available.
    this version wil not work with the current version of the driver.
    Wil there come a driver update or is this project dead.
    I wil be verry happy if i stil can use my hercules with powersdr 2.4.4

  23. Achim says:

    Hello Tobias,
    do you upgrade the software to the new version 2.4.4?

    mni 73 de achim dk2wa

  24. Robert says:

    Greetings Tobias,
    I am impressed with your website and blog. I am a 40+ year amateur operator. Currently in catch up mode with amater radio SDR strides and gains. I am located in the Middle East and will relocate here shortly. I was considering the GSDR from the boys in Australia. I really like the DJ based knob and button UI that you created. The mouse and keyboard are not the final MMI solution in my view. So I am now leaning toward the Flex radio camp. Thanks for your work. I will stay tuned. Warm Regards,
    Robert

  25. Richard - VE2BQX says:

    Tobias

    Finally got the UI working.
    A great addition to the Flex 1500.
    So thank you for me and many others for your fine work.

    Richard
    VE2BQX

  26. Hi Tobias,
    congratulation and thanks for your wonderful job.

    many 73*s de Raf iz2obs

  27. Great enhancement to my SDR3000…just purchased for 35 Euro a Hercules MK2…

    One remark, I can’t get RIT control assigned to the big knobs of the MK2. I works for the smaller sizes knobs …Would like to have VFOA on the left knob and RIT on the right one..

    73′s Carel, pc5m

  28. Dave says:

    Hi! Do other MIDI device (eg. DAW control surfaces) currently work with PowerSDR-UI?
    Because many other good control surfaces are offered on the market and you can even build your own (Livid). Thanks and good job man! 73′s de Dave VE2OAR

    • Hi Dave,
      sorry, currently only the three mentioned Midi devices are supported. It is certainly possible to support other Midi devices, but I don’t have the time to implement them these days.
      73 Tobias

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Hercules with the software from DH1TW (it just dumps into the Flex software folder) works perfectly first time. [...]

  2. [...] controller to be assigned to control many of the functions provided by PowerSDR. See the following website for some ideas on how other Hams have set up the DJ Controller. There is also an yahoo group on the use of the DJ [...]

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