Controller V2

va7qi
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Controller V2

Postby va7qi » Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:40 am

Hello All,

This posting should really be under its own heading, but I did not see a way to create new forum. I would like to see others share their experiences and questions here.

My Controller v2 arrived last week and I have put it through some initial testing with my Anan-10 running v1 firmware.

I am quite impressed with the amount of functions John Melton et al managed to put into the Pi. The touch screen is easy to use and configuration of encoders and switches is easy.

There is no manual for v2. Much of what is written for v1 is no longer valid since a LOT of changes has been made to the software before v2 was shipped out. I am willing to try and update the manual, but will need someone else to help with the project as I am not planning on rewriting the whole thing. Any volunteers?

Any experiences to share? And questions?

I have one: The power switch seems to need about 5 seconds' push before it does anything. My question is will the power button shut down the app and Pi OS gently or will it basically crash the computer?

Another one: Some functions that switches can be assigned to, do not seem to work (e.g. ANF). Is this a matter of changing some configuration file? I have yet to poke around in the files on the Pi.

Anyway, hope to hear from other happy owners of the new Controller.

73 & HNY de va7qi, ....Erik.
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w-u-2-o
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Re: Controller V2

Postby w-u-2-o » Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:56 pm

Hi Erik,

Thanks for starting this topic. It will no doubt be useful as more people receive Controller V2 units.

You can blame me for the software-centric organization of the forum ;) piHPSDR effectively is the controller. Hardware specific differences between piHPSDR controllers are generally minor. So this is a very good place (sub-forum) to have this topic and discussion.

I will tag @John-G0ORX so with luck he will take notice of this thread as well.

73!

Scott
va7qi
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Re: Controller V2

Postby va7qi » Fri Jan 15, 2021 4:19 am

I hooked the Controller up to my Anan 7000 DLE MKII for a SSB QSO on 80 m. Here is what I noticed:

- After selecting Protocol 2, it found the radio very quickly
- It works well with one receiver. I used default sampling rate.
- Interesting that the AGC/Gain cannot be set below -100. In my case, that was my noise level, so that's OK - for that band.
- It seems to work with two receivers, no apparent timing issues, but I did not try audio on the 2nd receiver (band was closed)
- TX went well, but I had to crank the compression up fully (20). I may need to play a little with mike gain.

- ANF still does not work when a button is set up to set ANF.

- Button assignment went back to the default. Perhaps is it dependent on the type of receiver?

Will do further tests with the 7000 as time permits.

73 de va7qi, ....Erik.
va7qi
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Controller V2 User Guide Available

Postby va7qi » Wed Jan 27, 2021 6:13 am

All,

First draft of the Controller V2 User Guide is available at: www.va7qi.ca/Documents

Corrections/updates/comments are welcome.

73 de va7qi, ....Erik.
w3ub
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Re: Controller V2

Postby w3ub » Fri Jan 29, 2021 7:47 pm

Your link does not seem to work, but one can navigate from your home page and find it.
Thanks for working on it!
Doug
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KA5KKT
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Re: Controller V2

Postby KA5KKT » Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:58 pm

I'm a little confused on the operation capabilities of the Controller V2.

In the case of a 7000DLE MkII can the Controller V2 provide all that is necessary to operate without the 7000 having a connection to a full computer / network and HPSDR?

If so, what are the Pros and Cons of operating in such a manner?


Kind regards,
Dick - KA5KKT
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w-u-2-o
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Re: Controller V2

Postby w-u-2-o » Sat Jan 30, 2021 6:24 pm

KA5KKT wrote:I'm a little confused on the operation capabilities of the Controller V2.

In the case of a 7000DLE MkII can the Controller V2 provide all that is necessary to operate without the 7000 having a connection to a full computer / network and HPSDR?

Short answer: no.

Longer answer: the Controller V2, https://apache-labs.com/al-products/1054/Controller-V2.html, is the second hardware iteration of of something that was originally called the PiHPSDR Controller.

The Controller is, by itself, a full computer. It consists of a Raspberry Pi, a touchscreen, and some buttons and knobs that are interfaced to the standard Pi GPIO interface port. It runs the Raspian Linux operating system instead of Windows. Instead of running Thetis or PowerSDR mRX it runs a thick client SDR application called PiHPSDR. It requires a wired Ethernet connection to the ANAN hardware you are using.

If so, what are the Pros and Cons of operating in such a manner?

That's a great question, Dick. What follows is my personal opinion. I would say that it appeals to those who are seeking a more "conventional" user interface experience as opposed to using a mouse and keyboard. There are some people who just prefer using knobs and buttons. However, the trade-off is that the PiHPSDR does not provide every function and capability that is found in Thetis or PowerSDR.

I also suspect that many who buy the Controller expect a more appliance-like experience. That has not been my experience. Linux computers require the same care and feeding as any other sort of computer. And I speak as someone who built their own Controller Version 1. This is particularly true if one wants to set up local audio (instead of plugging into the ANAN hardware) or wishes to add digi mode software to their Controller. At which point you will wind up with a mouse and keyboard attached to the Controller anyway.

One can also debate the merits of Linux vs. Windows on both philosophical and user experience levels. Such debates can often reach the level of holy war :D
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KA5KKT
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Re: Controller V2

Postby KA5KKT » Sat Jan 30, 2021 9:13 pm

Great answer, Scott!

I couldn't find that explained anywhere I had looked. Your reply is in keeping with what I had expected or wanted to know.

It seems one can operate the Anans with the Controller V2, but with limited functionality.


Kind regards,
Dick - KA5KKT

PS Ever envious of your avitar, I created my own.
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w-u-2-o
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Re: Controller V2

Postby w-u-2-o » Sat Jan 30, 2021 11:17 pm

This is the old controller. I have not been able to find any video yet of the new one. I understand piHPSDR has advanced quite a bit since the old one was first introduced.

va7qi
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Re: Controller V2

Postby va7qi » Mon Feb 01, 2021 5:33 am

All,

First of all, sorry about the link to the user guide that did not work. My web design tool seems to have a disconnect somewhere. All subordinate pages have to be specified in lower case: http://www.va7qi.ca/documents

As for the piHPSDR controller, I find that it has the vast majority of the controls that most people would need. Sometimes you have to use the menu to get at them and sometimes you have to use the ribbon on the bottom of the screen. Don't get me wrong, it is not Thetis, but OTOH some people may find the Thetis screen a little overwhelming, which piHPSDR is not (and therefore I have a reduced chance of screwing up a setting). And yet, there is a lot of functionality in the Controller. I use it every night for SSB work and do not miss any function. It also seems to have a slightly better rendering of the signal than Thetis does - even though I use the same audio chain for either. That may just be my subjective experience since I have no metrics to back it up and maybe also because of the more intimate feeling from using the Controller.

And no, no other computer is needed when you use the pi Controller since it contains it own (Raspberry PI 4B). I use Thetis on a Windows computer for digital work and swap Ethernet connection when I switch between the two clients. Of course, I COULD use a switch, but that is not my current setup with my Anan-7000. I do have my Anan-10 on a switch, but that is used almost exclusively with Thetis and WSJT-x on a separate computer, so both configurations have been tested. BTW, there are ways to connect the Controller to another computer to, for instance, run a logging program or a digital mode This I have yet to explore.

All in all, I have no regrets about buying the controller. The performance is nothing less than amazing when you consider the processor and overall it is very satisfying to use. John and company have done a great job!

BTW, I am still working on refining the User Guide. Look for an update within a week.

73 de va7qi, ....Erik.
va7qi
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Re: Controller V2

Postby va7qi » Wed Feb 03, 2021 6:04 am

The manual has been updated: http://www.va7qi.ca/documents

Have fun, va7qi, ....Erik.
va7qi
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Re: Controller V2

Postby va7qi » Sun Mar 21, 2021 5:30 am

The manual has been updated. It is now version2.1. Can anyone supply text for the PS section?
See www.va7qi.ca/documents

73 de va7qi, ....Erik.

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