RTL-SDR Tuning Knob?

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tip

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I don't know how other people feel, but after getting into the whole SDR thing (low level dongles), I think its the next best thing to sitting in front of a communications receiver, like in the old days! Except now with the added bonus of digital receive and data capture capability.

Having said this, I do miss the feeling of a weighted tuning knob! Which leads me to my question. I haven't done any research on this, but is there a USB accessory in the from of a tuning knob (replacing the mouse), that work with SDR dongles?

That would kind of round off the experience for me.

I am well aware of the all-in-one's like the Commradio CR-1 and beyond that have tuning knobs, but as stated, looking for something that would work with an RTL-SDR dongle.

Thanks

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jonwienke

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I haven't done any research on this, but is there a USB accessory in the from of a tuning knob (replacing the mouse), that work with SDR dongles?
AFAIK, no.

But generally, you do the research, then post the question.
 

br0adband

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Years ago Griffin (a PC and smartphone accessory maker) came out with a pretty cool knob controller called the PowerMate USB and even though it's very tough to track one down these days at decent pricing (there's one on eBay at this exact moment, says it's brand new in the box never opened) it's a potential answer. The one issue someone might have with it is tracking down drivers and the fact that for whatever reason Griffin decided not to create working Windows 7/8/8.1/10 drivers over the years - it is possible however to use the last available drivers and get it working with at least Windows 7 for sure using compatibility mode when installing the drivers.

Just something to consider, there have been a few people here at RR that used (and may still be using) that PowerMate USB controller and had good experiences/reviews of it. I have no idea why they'd choose not to just spend a little time and development to create a proper newer driver for 7/8/8.1/10, seems kinda stupid to be honest not to do such a thing and considering how many people interested in SDR these days would literally pounce on one of these devices for tuner control purposes.

What a colossal money-losing mistake that's turning out to be for Griffin. :)

EDIT:
Did some more research and discovered some more info that might prove useful including another device that's still supported with newer versions of Windows (latest 7/8/8.1/10 update was July 2016) and provides some buttons for additional functionality, the Contour Shuttle Xpress:

http://www.contourdesign.com/US/product/shuttlexpress/

http://swling.com/blog/2015/08/hamfest-find-griffin-technology-powermate-controller/

http://forums.radioreference.com/software-defined-radio/284450-usb-tuner-knob-sdr.html
 
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tip

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LZ... thanks for the pointer.

BB... I was just looking at their site. They still sell it for $45. They show:

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS:

Mac: Mac OS X 10.3.9 or greater, and a USB port
PC: Windows XP, or Vista, USB port

No mention of windows 8, 10.

Looks very interesting though. My radio PC is running windows 7 Pro, so may be in luck!
 

tip

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Their response to the 'will it run ok on my computer per win7 >:

*This software is not fully compatible with Windows 7, 8, or 10. However, many of our customers report that they are able to use the software in compatibility mode. We hope to have a Windows update available in the future but an immediate ETA for this update is unknown at this time.*

Who knows, maybe SDR will light a fire under them.

Thanks for the other links as well. Think I will go forward with the PowerMate... checking ebay first of course.

Tip
 

br0adband

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The one I saw on eBay was listing for $26.45 with free shipping and that's here if you haven't made a purchase yet. I'd grab it myself but I honestly don't think such a device would be useful for me and the workflow I have using SDR#/SDRConsole aka SDRRadio and other apps.
 

Markb

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Also, some people use DJ consoles for tuning and other functions, particularly with SDR Console, as it supports MIDI devices.
There are/were products made by XKeys that had a tuning knob and assignable keys (not radio specific) that could be used as a MIDI device. They were fairly pricey, from what I recall, however.

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tip

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I ended up purchasing the powermate... been playing with it a little bit with an SDRPlay-RSP2 and HDSDR/SDRUno/SDR#... feeling a little nostalgic using the wheel!

It feels pretty good, not as heavy as I would like, and it could use an indent on top, but not bad at all. Have only assigned mouse scroll up/down (for tuning), and it works as advertised.

Would like to see if I can assign controls to, for example, change step settings on the fly and such.

T
 
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