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Knob – No Knob – Knob – Advanced Knob – Flex-5000A 22 - November - 2008

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio.
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Working with a computer driven radio the last several years, I had grown fond of the Remote Tuning Pod of my TenTec Pegasus and TenTec Jupiter.

TenTec Tuning Pod

 

While the radios needed a computer to run, I need a Knob to tune.

When the Flex-5000A arrived I went “knob-less” and found quickly it was a bad idea for my style of operating.

It wasn’t a handful of QSOs before I dug out a Griffith PowerMate “Knob” and set it up with the Toshiba Laptop.

Griffin PowerMate

Whew – MUCH better, but for those of you who have operated a PowerMate you know there are only a few commands a PowerMate will handle – turn right/left, click & turn again right/left, click & release and click & hold.

The TenTec Pod had lots of buttons to program for one’s operating taste.

With the PowerMate I went from No-Knob to Knob, but wanting more.

So I’ve ordered the ShuttlePro v2 device.

ShuttlePro v2

I’ll wait until I have the new Dell 100% up to install the ShuttlePro and configure the Flex-5000A to run with the device.

You can find out more at Flex-Radio’s website:  http://www.flex-radio.com

73

Steve
K9ZW

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Comments»

1. B. Scott Andersen (NE1RD) - 22 - November - 2008

Very spiffy. I use one of those ShuttlePro gizmos on my big Mac for video editing. It is a great UI device. I think it will work well with your radio setup.

Take care. 73!

— Scott (NE1RD)

2. Scot - 22 - November - 2008

Compelling generational statement regarding human to machine interface (HMI). I detect a sense of relief when an HMI device fulfilled the tactile role of a traditional radio. Why the need to spin the dial instead of using mouse movement or no movement for control of the screen?

I perceive a sense of nostalgia that is, “I’m willing to relinquish to a specific point my relationship with traditional radio. However there remains an elemental quality when one really spins the dial. This quality cannot be subtracted from radio.”

My software controlled radio (SCR) in association with N1MM Contest Logger nearly achieves computer screen operation. On the other hand, we might say, a mouse is an HMI device.

I’m reading with interest as you chronicle the relationship between operator and software defined radio (SDR).

73
Scot, KA3DRR

3. k9zw - 24 - November - 2008

I’m wondering about whether my preference for a tangible turning knob is Generational (like, hey guys, I have a way to go to even qualify for the Quarter Century Wireless Club…..) or that I am a dual-focus machine operator?

On the generational side I was, and remain keen on the split-hand style of program control started by WordStar and taken to a near art in the Borland Turbo-Languages. Simple, easy to remember and when used right keeps your mouse/tablet/ball hand free for creative work. I still use a CAD program that is targeted to operate this way.

There is also something good about the control feedback of a real mechanical control. As I found when I’ve flown light planes with electric flap controls, I prefer the eyes-off easy movement feedback of deploying flaps with a johnston bar mechanically control. Or next best was a panel control that shared the tactile feel of the mechanical control, even if it was really a hydraulic valve!

Will look more into this and perhaps write more about it.

73

Steve
K9ZW


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