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CTR2-Mini


KU7Q
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Hello all!

I just found this topic and thought, why not? I'm not usually one to pound my own drum and I've never liked being the focus of attention, but I thought there might be some interest out there in what I've been doing lately.

I call the project I've been working on 'CTR2-Mini', short for 'Control the Radio too - Miniature' and you can read a little about it in this months' QST (Sept. 2022). It's a much simpler take-off of a larger system I built last year called 'CTR2'. That project was published in the Sept/Oct 2021 and Jan/Feb 2022 issues of QEX. CTR2 was a pretty complicated system that allowed you to select up to 16 different radios and control them from a small display or a Node-RED flow. Unfortunately the global supply chain issues killed the project as many of the components I used on it are still unavailable.

I redesigned CTR2-Mini to be much simpler, easier to build, and a lot cheaper.

Here's a few photos of the unit.  The first shows the right-hand version. I can supply a left handed enclosure if that works better for you. The second photo is the small Radio I/O interface that connects the Mini to your radio. For size reference those are 1/8" phone jacks and a CAT5 connector on the board. The third photo shows two Minis in a dual enclosure with their Radio I/O units. The last photo shows two Minis operating an FTdx101 in Dual VFO control mode. The Mini on the left is controlling the Main VFO and the one on the right is controlling the the Sub VFO. Only one CAT connection to the radio is required. The Minis can be located anywhere in your shack (I like them just in back of my keyboard) so I can easily change radio settings. The Mini works with many other radios including FlexRadios where you can have one Mini controlling each slice in the radio. Of course the Mini includes a contest keyer too.

You can read more about the Mini in my blog, https://ctr2.lynovation.com  I also have a YouTube channel, https://youtube.com/lynovation where I demonstrate the various features of the system.

I can supply PCBs with the SMT components pre-installed for all the boards in this project. I can also supply assembled acrylic stands as shown in the photos. I have project lists on Mouser that allow you order all the through-hole parts and the Wio Terminal to build the project with just a couple of clicks. I can also supply custom built, complete, tested, ready to use systems if you don't want to build your own.

In addition to the Mini I'm working on a companion antenna switch controller that can control single and dual port antenna switches and an SO2R controller that shares mics, headphones, paddles, function buttons, and a remote PTT switch between two Minis and their radios. The information on those options is also on my blog.

Let me know if you have any questions,

73, Lynn, KU7Q

Front.jpg

Radio_IO.jpg

Dual_Minis.jpg

FTdx_Start.jpg

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ELMER

Hi Lynn. I will ‘see’ your posting and ‘raise you’ by promoting the post to our Picks section on the home page. Also, don’t forget to post your youtube channel in our Youtube channel section here: https://hamcommunity.com/links/category/21-youtube-channels/ and your blog here: https://hamcommunity.com/links/category/20-individual-blogs/

73

Jim

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  • 1 month later...


The Mini firmware includes several options to link two Mini's together. One of them is Remote Controller. Mini's that are linked are identified as Mini-A (server) and Mini-B (client). In Remote Controller link mode, Mini-B resides in your station and is connected directly to and controlling your radio. It is also connected to your LAN via WiFi. Mini-A connects to Mini-B over the IP network. Mini-A can be just about anywhere if you forward Mini-B's IP port through your router. Mini-A can also control the CTR2-Mini Antenna Switch Controller (ASC) remotely. You just need to forward the ASC's IP port through your router too. This gives you remote control for any radio the Mini can control.

If you have a Flex 6xxx radio a single Mini can connect to and control it over the internet without SmartSDR running.

In Remote Controller (and Flex control) you can remotely control PTT on the local radio. I currently don't support direct CW keying from Mini-A to Mini-B in Remote Controller link mode. but do support it when connected to the Flex radio. You'll need an audio server like Mumble or SonoBus to pass your radio's audio to and from your remote location. A cell phone or tablet works great for this.

The Mini doesn't support all options on every radio. By design I limit the CAT control to the basics like frequency and mode. There are expanded options for some radios such as the Flex, PCR-1000, and FTdx radios and I'm working on adding Kenwood to that list. The Mini doesn't provide the immersive remote control experience you can get with PC to PC systems or the dedicated remote control systems, but it works good for simple control such as when you just want to run the radio in the basement from your deck or family room. You can find more information on CTR2-Mini on my blog, https://ctr2.lynovation.com.

73, Lynn, KU7Q

 

 

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