In the beginning was CTR
The Mini and Mini+ are the third generation of radio controllers that I’ve designed and built. CTR stands for Control The Radio. The Mini traces it’s linage back to the original CTR Windows Pocket PC program I wrote back in 2001. I designed a companion Bluetooth interface for CTR called CTR-BlueLync that allowed you to control your radio with your Pocket PC over a Bluetooth link. The project was published in the February 2007 issue of QST.
then came CTR2
Fast-forward 18 years when I decided I wanted a knob for my Flex 6400 transceiver. I had just retired and the pandemic was just starting so I had a lot of free time. I started working on CTR2, CTR‘s sibling on steroids. The “2” in CTR2 stands for “too” or “also” because in addition to radio control it evolved into a complete multi-radio station control system that didn’t just offer rig control but a contest memory keyer, DSP audio signal processing, FFT frequency display, CW and RTTY decoding, touchscreen with touch tuning, buttons, available Node-RED interface, and automatic rig and antenna routing. It quickly grew into an oversized shack control system that was very expensive and hard to build.
CTR2 Board Stack and CTR2 Touchscreen Console
QEX featured it in the Sept/Oct 2021 and Jan/Feb 2022 issues. I’ve kept the CTR2 blog posts here for posterity. They make excellent reading for chronic insomniacs
I discontinued work on CTR2 when global supply chain issues made it impossible to source the parts needed to build it. And honestly, because of the cost, there was very little interest in it anyway.
and finally CTR2-Mini
I started working on CTR2-Mini in Dec. 2021. The goal was to return to the original concept of a control knob for my Flex 6400 (and any of the other radio I own) by removing as much bloat from CTR2 as possible. This made it easier and cheaper to build.
I chose the Wio Terminal from Seeed Studios as the controller/display for this project. It’s a great little development system.
There are actually two Mini models, the original Mini and the new Mini+. The Mini was featured in an article in the September 2022 issue of QST.
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