Thank you to Tysonpower (aka Manuel DO5TY) for submitting information about how he's managed to convert a cheap €14.33 USB audio control dial into a VFO tuning knob for use in SDR programs like SDR-Console V3. He writes:
I sometimes miss a VFO Knob while using my SDRs, especially with SSB Signals or CW where you need to adjust the Frequency very fine.
Because of that I got myself an Audio Dial with USB, reverse engineered it somewhat and wrote a new Firmware for the STM32 used in the USB Dial.
It all worked out and it now simulates a mouse wheel with three different scroll speeds. There is also a Mute Function when you long press the Button.
I had a lot of fun during this project, even when it was a lot of time just for a VFO Knob :)
Back in August Maxim who runs his small company "ExpElectroLab" wrote in and shared with us news of his upcoming product called "SDR-Remote" which is a physical tuning knob and control panel for SDR#.
Recently the product was released for sale on his shop, and costs $57.50 USD + shipping. The vk.com store is for Russian customers only, but you contact him at [email protected] if you are non-Russian and are interested in his products. The features of the SDR-Remote are pasted below:
The heart is ARDUINO NANO V3.0, buttons, encoder and software.
tuning the frequency of reception with frequency of 1 kHz, 100 kHz, 1 MHz (additionally 50 Hz)
Maxim hand builds these in his home country of Russia, and has noted that since the case is 3D printed he can only create a few per week at the moment. The knob interfaces with SDR# via an Arduino driver and SDR# plugin which can be downloaded.
Over on YouTube a Russian reviewer has uploaded a video showing SDR-Remote v2.1 in action. The video is narrated in Russian, but YouTube auto-captions combined with auto-translate does a decent job.
Recently Maxim who runs his small company "ExpElectroLab" wrote in and wanted to share a new product that he's developed called "SDR-Remote v2.0". This is a physical tuning knob that connects to your PC, and can be used with programs like SDR#. Apart from the knob, there are also several buttons for volume control, presets, and various other functions. He writes:
Heart - ARDUINO NANO V3.0, buttons, encoder and software. Sketch wrote to order a professional programmer.
tuning the reception frequency with a multiplicity of 1 kHz, 100 kHz, 1 mHz (additionally 50 Hz)
It appears that Maxim doesn't have a full store, but rather sells the devices on VK Markets, which is a Russian clone of Facebook. Also at the moment only SDR-Remote V1.0 is available for sale, but V2.0 seems to be due to go on sale soon. Version 1.0 sells for 2,650 Rub, which is equivalent to around US$42. His store also contains various other home brew SDR related products such as upconverters, LNA's, filters and a fractal antenna. The video below in in Russian, but shows V2.0 being unboxed and demonstrates it working with SDR#.
Maxim has noted that you can contact him at [email protected] if you are non Russian and are interested in his products.
Earlier in the month we showed a post where Mile Kokotov hacked together a $3 SDR frequency tuning knob out of a mouse and cheap rotary encoder.
Now over on YouTube user m khanfar shows us another cheap solution. Instead of using a hacked mouse, m khanfar uses the volume wheel on his keyboard. Some keyboards have these extra multimedia action buttons and controls but not all. He simply uses a multimedia keyboard remapping program called MKey to map the volume wheel into a scroll wheel.
(HDSDR controller Tuning Knob)-Turn your keyboard volume scrolling button to Tuning Knob
If you love using SDR’s on the PC but miss the old feeling of tuning the frequency with a knob then 19max63 has a solution for you. On his blog he’s posted about how he built his own tuning knob by using a USB mouse PCB circuit and replacing the mouse wheel with a rotary encoder with no detents. Detents are the little clicks or steps that you can feel in some knobs, but for accurate frequency tuning you don’t want those.
His post shows the exact parts he bought (knob, mouse, buttons), the mods he made to the knob and mouse PCB, and how he put it all together. He writes that parts can all be found cheaply on eBay or Aliexpress and the total cost to produce a single knob was only about $4 (though he had to buy some parts in lots of 5 to 10).