When I introduced CTR2 last year I included basic control features for Flex radios. In a nutshell, you could control the A slice and a few other basic features of the radio. The idea was to provide enough utility to allow you to use CTR2 to control your Flex without SmartSDR running.
When I ported the code from CTR2 to create CTR2-Mini those same features came over to the Mini. Several hams wondered if it would be possible to control more than just slice A so I got to work. I’m happy to report that you can now connect to and control any slice on your Flex with your Mini. You can also create new slices and/or panadapters on the fly. You can connect more than one Mini to your Flex radio with each controlling its own slice. You can decide whether to connect as the GUI client or non-GUI client. The GUI client mode allows you display a mini-panadapter on the Mini as shown below. This allows you to place a Mini somewhere else in your house (or anywhere else) to monitor band activity.
When two or more Mini’s are connected to your radio, tuning any of them immediately brings that slice into focus on SmartSDRs panadapter and pressing the [A] button (Tx Enable) on any Mini makes that slice active. If another Mini was active, it will switch to inactive mode.
The Mini supports CW and PTT keying over the IP network. This means that you can connect a straight key or set of paddles to your Mini, enable network keying, then connect the Mini to your Flex and have a real CW QSO. You can run SmartSDR on your iPad or iPhone if you want the full panadapter experience like Stefan, VA3AR, does in the photo below (photo courtesy of VA3AR), otherwise just use Mini to run your radio as a POR (Plain Old Radio). Network enabled PTT allows you to key PTT remotely and use an audio server and your cell phone to transmit and receive audio from your radio.
I demonstrate many of these features in this YouTube video. Click here to watch it. However, since this video was produced, I’ve added a lot more Flex control features to the Mini and have added a new CTR2-Mini+ model with an integrated function keypad that allows you to map many Flex functions to the function buttons.
Build your own Flex-only Mini
For those of you that like to build your own gear you can easily convert a Wio Terminal into a Flex-only Mini. The circuit below will give you an encoder to control the Wio Terminal and a functional keypad. I don’t sell enclosures for this configuration but with a little work it’s the cheapest way to get a remote knob for your Flex. Many have used the PacTec KEU-5 enclosure I use for the Mini+ to house this circuit.