Stream Deck and Node-Red tools at KG5VK
A buddy of mine (K8KI) recently said
"He had heard of both tools but was unsure how he would benefit from their use"
I decided to document my answer here...
Stream Deck (Manufactured by Elgato)
I use the Stream Deck tool for two things:
- Allow quick access to buttons which launch Aps
- Allow use of Macros via other Software on my Desktop
The first is the Aps, which I could easily navigate to on my Computer Desktop via mouse movements, but I find much easier with a one button click are pictured below on the Main Stream Deck profile I use
From Top left to Bottom right, I have the "Next Profile button, SDR, DAX, CAT, Tune etc.
SDR launched my FlexRadio SDR software, Dax and Cat are launchable if I have terminated them for some reason (They normally launch when Smart SDR is launched)
Tune allows quick access to Enable/Disable of the SDR Tune button versus movement of the mouse
TQSL simply launches that app versus mouse usage and the same with N1MM+, Antenna Genius Software, DxLabs, FRStack and Slice-Master are there for less mouse use as well.
The CQ Test button takes me to another profile set within within my Stream Deck
allowing use of buttons to send Voice keyer messages, The FlexRadio Power button keys the shut shutdown of my radio locally in the shack.
Pressing the Commander button allows me one button selection of tools within the DxLabs Commander control of my radio allowing one button selection of keys like A=B VFO, A/B VFO, etc. which would other wise require mouse movement and mouse clicks.
I find pressing a button or even two or three buttons easier
than dragging a mouse and clicking several times
much easier especially under contest or working a needed DX entity much less stressful.
My Stream Deck is the smaller 15 key version, however keep in my
we can have many different profiles for different page sets of keys and what they do for us
Some of my keys launch a new page profile, some of the keys simply launch an App versus dragging the Mouse, the key is you setup your Stream Deck for your needs.
First off what the heck is Node-Red......
Node-RED is a programming tool for wiring together hardware devices, APIs and online services in new and interesting ways.
It provides a browser-based editor that makes it easy to wire together flows using the wide range of nodes in the palette that can be deployed to its runtime in a single-click.
IOW it is a Browser based tool for building a Program to do something with Hardware or other software, without the requirement to get a degree in C# Computer programming or even have a basic understanding of C#
Want to learn more there is a fantastic Groups dot IO email reflector with lots of
Flows (Scripts) on Node-Red for use in Ham Radio here is a link to it.....https://groups.io/g/nodered-hamradio/messages
So how do I use Node-Red tools:
Mainly for both local and remote control of equipment with my Ham Radio shack
I mainly built this to use when I am on the road and want to use my station remotely and be able to select different antennas, rotate an antenna etc.
My display layout is a bit rough, but it works for me
You will note two exact columns of beam heading on the right side
The Left column is for my 40m beam and the right one is for my HF Log periodic
I do not have a Flow installed on my Raspberry Pi that holds my Node-Red software and Scripts
which would show the Radio's different meters, I do have two other Node Display pages, which are available by clicking on the ICON to the Top Left of My Callsign on the page shown.
They look like this....
The Top one controls relays to a Receive antenna , changing the direction it is favoring
The lower screen controls a board with eight different relays mounted to my Raspberry Pi
for other tools in the shack, such as selecting an entirely different Receive antenna.
There are more than a few different tutorials on YouTube of getting started with use of Node-Red
my recommendation is just jump in and play with it
Start with small sketches and build-up from there.
I am far from a programmer, having only learned a bit of basic programming in the 70's in high school with Basic and punch cards.
I barely know what C Sharp (C #) is :)
Node-Red Flows are built using Sketches versus writing Scripts or Code
I will tell you building Stream Deck profiles is supper easy