The radio is mostly configured now and I’ve used it in several QSOs, including 38 contacts in the Michigan QSO party last weekend. I’ve receive three unsolicited “good audio” reports – unusual for me. I probably sound better on SSB than I ever have before.
I installed the Xtronic XDC-1 coupler to the output of my Alpha 89 amplifier, and connected its sampled signal through 9dB of attenuation (a series combo of 3 and 6, purchased on Amazon) to the PS Input port on the 8k. PureSignal worked the first time both with and without the amplifier. The internal step attenuator adjusts easily. I just leave PS enabled now.
I continued to work on the modifications to the OpenHPSDR-PowerSDR (Px) code that supports the Behringer controllers, to add support for the CMD Micro model. I don’t have one, but with the help of John, W1JA, who summarized its messages, I was able to write some minor additional code to support it along with the PL-1. Like the PL-1, the Micro doubles up on some of the control IDs as sent in its messages. Thus, I added a simple routine to handle the dupes in a similar way to the PL-1, by simply re-mapping those messages to use an unused control ID. Only the sliders duplicated messages with those used by some buttons.
I may get one of these controllers myself. One advantage is that although it’s as thick as the PL-1, it’s only 4″ wide so it fits in back of the keyboard below the monitor. Another is that it has five sliders instead of one, and has two large wheels for tuning. One disadvantage is that the two large wheels are smaller and cheaper feeling compared with the large one on the PL-1. Another is that it only has two small knobs and one mini-wheel-type knob. This means fewer choices. It makes sense to use the two knobs as AF gains or an AF/RF gain pair for one receiver, or something else that maps logically onto a limited range control. That leaves the only small wheel/knob for the RIT/XIT. So I added a “Sync” checkbox to Px to cause RIT/XIT to lock together. This is the way many rigs with knobs do it anyway, so it’s quite natural. But this is SDR! So let’s make it a choice – hence the new check box.
The CMD Micro has no control LEDs, just the standard button LEDs, so there was nothing to add to make control LEDs function. The buttons can be handled as usual with the existing Advanced MIDI setup window.
Although I nearly always operate using headphones, I connected the headphone jack to the Aux inputs on my old Bose Wave Radio as speakers. It sounds great! Maybe I’ll experiment with other speakers.
Lastly, I modified the Multi-Switcher to properly key the rig on CW, so that I can use it with N1MM Logger+ and DXLab. I did get both of those software packages working for logging, using VSPE to establish virtual serial ports. See the Apache Forum for details.
Next, since there was a new Protocol-2 firmware release two days ago, I may take the plunge and try installing it along with Thetis. My main motivation is to try the 8000 with G4ELI’s beautiful SDRConsole client program, which requires the new protocol.