The Pluginator User's Guide

Frequency Manager Suite

The Pluginator
User’s Guide
Copyright © 2015 Jeff Knapp N8GJL sdrs.freqmgr@cox.net

Introduction

The Pluginator (called TP in the rest of this guide) is a free standalone program designed to be used for the management of SDR# plugins.  By using the simple user interface, you may add, delete, and change the sequence of SDR# plugins without having the manually edit the plugin XML file.

System Requirements

Basically if you can run SDR Sharp, you can use The Pluginator plugin.  As with any software, the more capable your hardware the better the software will run.
  • Operating Systems: Windows 7, Windows 8.x, and Windows 10.  The binaries are compiled for a 32-bit environment for the broadest compatibility but run equally well in an x64 environment.
  • Processor: 1-gigahertz processor or faster; 2 or more cores is recommended for suitable performance.
  • Memory: 1 gigabyte or more total in the computer.
  • Hard Disk: The software requires less than 25KB.
  • .NET: Version 4.6 runtime as required by SDR Sharp.
  • SDR Sharp: Revision 1430 or newer.
Important Note
SDR# is a hobby project created by other people and I am not involved in it.  I have no control over changes made to SDR#.  I am completely at their mercy as to how their changes affect TP.  They are under no obligation to inform me of changes; I won’t know if their changes will break my plugins until the plugins are run with the new version of SDR# and you tell me there is a problem. As a result there will be a period after they make a breaking change in which my plugins may not work.  Please be assured I will make any necessary changes, and release updates, as soon as practical after SDR# is changed and I have identified the issue.

Using The Pluginator

The Pluginator automatically loads the SDRSharp plugins file, so it must be run from the SDRSharp folder.
Caution
It is good practice to back up your Plugins.xml file before making any changes so that you can recover in case of error.

The Pluginator Window

The window consists of:
  • A grid listing the currently installed plugins.
  • Buttons for Adding and Deleting plugins, Saving the plugin list, and Exiting the application.

The grid consists of two columns of data:
  • The Key column tells SDR# the name of the plugin.
  • The Value column tells SDR# the technical information it needs to load the plugin.  This information consists of two text fragments separated by a comma.
The Key column can be just about any text because it is never displayed or used by SDR#.  The Value column is extremely important because it tells SDR# what Dynamic Link Library (DLL) contains the plugin and the name of the plugin inside that DLL.  The components of the Value column must be correct or SDR# will not be able to find or load the plugin.
The Key and Value texts will be provided by the author of the plugin.  These are the text that you would have manually entered into the Plugins.xml file for those plugins that do not have an automated installer.
If the file contains XML comments they will be shown in the grid with the comment in the Key column and the word “Comment” in the value column.  You may move the comments around the same as you would move plugins.
Close all running copies of SDR# before attempting to edit the Plugins.xml file using The Pluginator.

Add a Popular Plugin

The Pluginator already knows how to install the software configurations for many popular plugins. To use one of the FMSuite plugins, or a plugin from another author, click the “Add a popular plugin” button. A popup menu will appear with the plugin choices. Select one and it will be added to the bottom of the plugin list for you. You may later change the order of the plugins if you desire.
Important Note
The authors of plugins other than those from Frequency Manager Suite may add, change, or discontinue plugins at any time. They are not obligated to tell me about those changes. As a result this list could be outdated. In that event I will upgrade it as soon as practical.

Important Note
Please note that this feature only installs the software configurations for these plugins; you must still download the desired plugins and place their software in the SDR# folder.

Add a Plugin Manually

To add a plugin you need to know at least the Value component of the plugin entry.  Click the Add a Plugin Manually button and a popup dialog will appear.
In the top text box, enter the name of the plugin.  This can be any text because it is never used anywhere, but making it relevant to the plugin will help you if you ever need to work in The Pluginator again.

In the second text box, enter the Value.  Recall that Value is two text components separated by a comma.  The Value is case-sensitive; capital and lowercase letters must be exact or SDR# will not load the plugin!
When you are finished entering plugins, click the Save Plugins button to make your changes permanent.

Delete Selected Plugins

To delete a plugin, simply select it (or them, if several) and click the Delete Selected Plugins button.

Save Changes

This button saves your changes to the SDR# Plugins.xml file.

Changing the order of your plugins.

If you have ever wanted to easily change the order of the SDR# plugins, this feature is for you.  To move a plugin up and down the list, simply left-click the mouse and hold for a moment.  Without releasing the left mouse button, drag the plugin up and down the list and release the mouse button when the plugin is in the sequence you wish.  A couple of things you should know:
  • To move a plugin to the bottom of the list, drop it on the last plugin in the list, not the blank line after the last plugin.  All the plugins will move up 1 line and your moved plugin will be the last in the list.
  • You cannot move the built-in collapsible panels that come with SDR#.  For example the Radio, Audio, AGC, and FFT Display panels cannot be moved because they are not plugins – they are a permanent part of SDR#.

Troubleshooting

I wish I could say that there will never be any challenges, but in reality stuff happens.  Please try the following remedies if you have problems.
Problem
Potential Solution(s)
A popup appears with the message “An error occurred.  The error was:” followed by some technical information.
The exact problem is listed in the technical information.  If you cannot identify the problem and solve it, send the error text to me at the email address at the top of this document.
A popup appears with the message “That Value appears to be incorrect; I couldn't find a comma between parameters.
The Value you entered didn’t appear to be correctly formed.  Inspect the entry and confirm it with the plugin author’s documentation.
Some other popup or error appears.
Send an email containing the text from the popup to the address on the first page of this document.  I will attempt to identify and fix the problem.

Known Issues

None.

Notices

  • “SDR Sharp”, “SDR#”, and the SDR# software are Copyright © Youssef TOUIL 2012.
  • “FreqMgr”, “Frequency Manager + Scanner”, “Frequency Manager Suite” and software distributed with the Frequency Manager Suite are Copyright © 2013-2015 Jeff Knapp.

2 comments:

  1. Avez vous la traduction en FR de FMSuite. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vous pouvez traduire quoi que ce soit sur mon site web en utilisant le "Select Language" déroulante au bas de la colonne de droite de chaque page. Merci.

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