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My latest MIDI controller opus

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:05 pm
by w-u-2-o
As you know, I'm mostly a mouse user (a very nice Logitech M705 wireless mouse with "Hyperscroll"). But I am invested in MIDI controllers to the extent that I actually own two of them! Recently there was information posted about an Arduino based controller called Odin. I was sufficiently intrigued with both the main line setup on the Odin and the contest observations of G8NJJ as well. To that end, I decided to investigate whether or not I could duplicate the set of controls on the Odin that were motivated by SSB phone contesting using one of the MIDI controllers I have.

I chose the smaller of the two MIDI controllers I have as being more representative of Odin in terms of size, number of controls, and types of controls. With two exceptions, only one being important IMHO, I was able to completely duplicate the controls shown on the Odin that were on the "contest list". The two exceptions were:

1. No diversity controls are enabled in MIDI. IMHO this is not really very important except for very small minority of users who are actually set up to use this feature. However certainly these functions could be added to the MIDI repertoire because nearly all MIDI functions are based on the corresponding CAT functions and the Odin team has already added the CAT for this in both PowerSDR and Thetis.

2. More importantly, while the MIDI controls for adjusting the passband edges do exist, they are only support for "wheel" type controls at this time. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the controls on most MIDI controllers are knobs and sliders. If "knob/slider" control were added for the Filter High and Filter Low MIDI functions that would solve this problem.

Having accomplished that, I finally got motivated to come up with a layout commensurate with my normal rag chew op's and occasional forays into DX, and I got out the label maker as well. The results are depicted in the two attached photos.

For my purposes I was more interested in split functionality than in being able to switch modes or bands. Both of the latter functions were on the "contest list" of controls. Hence the buttons under the large jog wheels are dominated by split functions. However, in the "contest" setup I had made those controls mode and band buttons instead, and collapsed the Tune Speed controls into a single button that allows changing between high and low rate tuning speeds. Yes, that is Tune Speed, as in Hertz/Jog Wheel Step, not "Tune Step", which is an entirely different set of controls also available by MIDI.

Similarly, I'm more interested in VOX and Squelch controls, but in the "contest mode" I had those controls set up for Mic Gain, RF Drive and Tune functions.

It is worth noting that the white buttons on the Hercules DJControl Compact are able to be illuminated under control of the MIDI functionality in PowerSDR and Thetis. Hence I used those for buttons that represented a state of ON/OFF and you can see in the photos how that can work.

Finally, I left the passband knobs labeled that way in the shameless hope that I can beg Chris to add knob mode support for the Filter High and Filter Low MIDI commands ;-)



IMG_20190420_142002.jpg (2.45 MiB) Viewed 2284 times

Re: My latest MIDI controller opus

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 10:46 am
by Tony EI7BMB
Nice job on the labeling Scott

Re: My latest MIDI controller opus

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:03 am
by w-u-2-o
Thanks, Tony! :)

Re: My latest MIDI controller opus

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 1:46 pm
by K9RX
Scott ... indeed nice job on the labeling - how'd you do it? I have a Dymo machine here that does the sticky paper labels ... worked for a while on my CMD2A but now some are peeling off... would love to know which tool and tape you used (it appears to be a clear background)


Re: My latest MIDI controller opus

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 1:56 pm
by w-u-2-o
I used a P-Touch label maker similar to this one:

12mm white on black tape, 12mm black on clear tape, sharp scissors, razor blade, tweezers, and a lot of patience ;)

I was pretty lazy. I used the built-in font in 12pt bold. You can, however, attach the label maker I have to a PC via USB and use their software to do all sorts of cool custom graphics. If that's something you might be interested in then definitely buy one of their USB equipped machines.

I use the label maker for a lot of projects, and my XYL uses it for more conventional office type stuff. They are great to have around. Always make sure you have two of every kind of tape you want. Nothing worse than running out of tape in the middle of a project!

Re: My latest MIDI controller opus

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 3:13 pm
by wa1oxt
Great job Scott.

My DJ console support.


Re: My latest MIDI controller opus

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 3:55 pm
by w-u-2-o
Very slick, Gary!

I have a block of wood that holds mine at a 45 degree angle but then I can't slide it out of the way under my monitors. But for serious use it attaches with Velcro.

Now I'm waiting for you to put that on a boom mount :D

Re: My latest MIDI controller opus

Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2019 6:57 pm
by dl4zbg
Hello Scott,

- when I try to configure the right button "1" you are using als "SQL" on my DJ Console Compact, I get the same ID reply as I get from the right wheel (49). So I cannot use both at the same time. Did you have the same problem?




Re: My latest MIDI controller opus

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 3:11 am
by w-u-2-o
Hi Volker,

Yes, absolutely the same problem. Here is the work around, and also the opportunity to program a lot more functions:

If you press and hold the MODE button and then press the "2" button on the B side, the "FX" annunciator on the B side will illuminate and the four white buttons in that group will have four unique MIDI addresses. You can do the same thing with the "3" (Sample) and "4" (Cue) buttons. It is therefore possible to program 15 different functions on these buttons with the exception of the #1 button in the Loop mode.

The same is true on the A side, but on that side there are no restrictions and a full 16 functions can be programmed.

And, finally, if you don't use the SHIFT button for something else, you can hold down the SHIFT button and, when pressing any of the white buttons, access another MIDI address and therefore another function on the white buttons. Thus it is possible to assign 30 functions the B side and 32 functions to the A side white buttons.



Re: My latest MIDI controller opus

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:45 pm
by dl4zbg
Hi Scott,

thank you so much. Will test it on Wednesday....