Free Custom PowerSDR Skins for OpenHPSDR mRX Versions - W1AEX

IMPORTANT INFORMATION BEFORE YOU START:  This project requires a basic understanding of file structure and folder hierarchy. If you are uncomfortable with the thought of navigating through folders and subfolders, then this is not for you. I do not do this for a living and do not provide technical support, so if you decide to try this you are on your own! If you know how to navigate through folders and files with Windows explorer, and know how to unzip files, then I have no doubt that you will enjoy playing around with these display skins. Keep in mind that this project ADDS folders and files to the PowerSDR Skins directory, but it does NOT alter any files that are installed by OpenHPSDR mRX.

INSTALLATION NOTES: In Windows 7 and Windows 8 the path to the OpenHPSDR skins folder can be found here:

C:\Users\your windows login account name\AppData\Roaming\FlexRadio Systems\PowerSDR\skins

Note that these OpenHPSDR skin archives have a recursive Console sub-folder inside them. All you have to do is unzip the folder into the skins directory and you are done. Make sure that you shut down OpenHPSDR before you unzip a new pack as your skin will not be recognized unless OpenHPSDR is restarted. Be aware that if you attempt to install a custom skin, and it does not show up in the list of available skins, or the skin displays incorrectly, the problem is ALWAYS a result of incorrect placement of your custom folder and its Console subfolder. After examining the file and folder structure, if you are still stuck visit the Troubleshooting Page for help.

DISCLAIMER:  With all that being said, if you somehow manage to mess things up, I take no responsibility for any issues that you cause for yourself! If you are brave enough to give it a try you'll see how easy this actually is. The reality is that PowerSDR is so forgiving that it will start up and display an interface even if your selected skin has an empty Console folder! It will be ugly, but just like those "People of Walmart" photos that get passed around, OpenHPSDR doesn't really care how you dress it up. What the heck, it's ham radio! You're supposed to experiment and have fun! It's my hope that someone with more artistic skill and creativity than I have will visit the PowerSDR Skins Tutorial Page and make some beautiful display skins to share with the entire SDR community. If you come up with something great, I'd love to see it. If you have some ideas to share, feel free to contact me. If you would like any of these skins to be included in future software releases, tell the OpenHPSDR mRX authors that they are always welcome to anything that is here!

COMPATIBILITY NOTE: If you see a display skin on my Flex Radio PowerSDR Skins page that you would like to use go ahead and install it. It will come up fine but will be missing several buttons and sliders. To correct this, simply go down to the bottom of this page and download a slider and button pack and unzip those right into the skin's console folder. When you restart OpenHPSDR all the controls will then display and function correctly.

RANDOM THOUGHTS:  After studying the file structure of the skins in OpenHPSDR mRX it was possible to find the elements that were needed to display all the buttons and sliders correctly. Everything displays correctly in my version of OpenHPSDR mRX with the skins that I have re-compiled and other OpenHPSDR mRX users have confirmed that it all works correctly for them. As a new Apache Labs ANAN-100 user, I have to say that I am very happy to have access to the collapsed view that is shown below. There appears to be a lot of very cool functionality with the OpenHPSDR version of PowerSDR that I was not aware of until I studied what was under the hood. Note that your meter and frequency displays will be the traditional dark colors rather than the yellow coloring shown in the pictures. I always change them to a yellow background as my eyes seem to like the high contrast it offers. There are instructions for making this change if you are interested in doing so at the bottom of the page at this link:    http://www.w1aex.com/psdr/psdr.html

Collapsed view of the "Clarity N" skin available below. This view is a nice feature that is sadly not present in the FLEX version of PowerSDR.
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Quick Installation Notes


- I found that OpenHPSDR placed its skins files in the "Roaming" folder for my login account of my Windows 7 installation. I have been told Windows 8 uses the same path:     C:\Users\Your Login Name\AppData\Roaming\FlexRadio Systems\PowerSDR\Skins

- Note that these skin packs should be extracted directly to the Skins directory without manually creating a Console folder.

- If you have trouble seeing a skin pack that you have installed in your list of choices in OpenHPSDR this is always the result of an incorrect folder hierarchy or incorrect file placement. Check the troubleshooting page for help.

Good luck and 73!

Rob W1AEX   6


NEW!    W1AEX "ANAN Old School" skin
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Download W1AEX "ANAN Old School" skin


NEW!  W1AEX "ANAN New School" skin
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Download W1AEX "ANAN New School" skin


NEW!   W1AEX "Grilled" skin
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Download W1AEX "Grilled" skin


NEW!  K2GX "World Time Blue" Display Skin
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Download K2GX "World Time Blue" Display Skin



K2GX "World Time Green" Display Skin
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Download K2GX "World Time Green" skin


K2GX "World Time" Display Skin
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Download K2GX "World Time" Skin


K2GX "The Darkness" Display Skin
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Download K2GX "The Darkness" skin


K2GX "Superhero" Display Skin
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Download K2GX Superhero Skin


K2GX "BW GEM Dark" Display Skin
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Download K2GX "BW GEM Dark" skin


K2GX "Brushed Black" Display Skin
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Download K2GX "Brushed Black" skin


K2GX "Blue Gem" Display Skin
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Download K2GX "Blue Gem" skin


K2GX "Green Metal" Display Skin
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Download K2GX "Green Metal" skin


New!  K2GX "Gold Bars: skin
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Download K2GX "Gold Bars" skin


W1AEX "Clarity N" display skin with bright edge-lit buttons that make it easy to focus on what you need to see as you are operating. The collapsed view of this skin can be seen at the top of the page.
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The W1AEX "Clarity N" Display Skin with RX2 enabled
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Download W1AEX Clarity N Skin


W1AEX "Clarity A" Display Skin
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Download W1AEX Clarity A Skin


W1AEX Tektronix 465 Scope Display Skin
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Download W1AEX Tektronix 465 Scope Skin
(Note: The Tektronix logo will not display when the second RX is enabled)
View this skin being used on YouTube


W1AEX HPSDR ONE Display Skin
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Download W1AEX HPSDR ONE Skin


W1AEX HPSDR TWO Display Skin
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Download W1AEX HPSDR TWO Skin


Dual Receiver View of the W1AEX SINCGARS Military Transceiver Skin
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Download W1AEX HPSDR SINCGARS Military Transceiver Skin


W1AEX Cosmic Blue National NC-155 Display Skin
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Download W1AEX HPSDR Cosmic Blue National NC-155 Skin


W1AEX HPSDR Tactical Display Skin
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Download W1AEX HPSDR Tactical Skin


W1AEX Black Wrinkle Display Skin
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Download W1AEX HPSDR Black Wrinkle Skin


W1AEX Heavy Metal Display Skin
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Download W1AEX HPSDR Heavy Metal Skin


W1AEX HPSDR Collins Replica Display Skin
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Download W1AEX HPSDR Collins Replica Skin
(Note: The Collins emblem in the lower left corner of the expanded view will be covered by various elements of the functional overlay if not sized to give it space.)


W1AEX Central Electronics Replica Novelty Skin
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Download W1AEX  HPSDR CE100V Replica Skin



For those who are feeling adventurous and creative!

The button packs in the links below include all the button components used in the OpenHPSDR and FLEX versions of PowerSDR. These can be unzipped into any skin on my main download page and all the buttons should then display correctly in OpenHPSDR version 3.1.5. The three gradient slider packs at the links below have all the slider component parts used with OpenHPSDR and the FLEX version of PowerSDR. These can be unzipped into any of my skins from the main download page and this will allow correct functionality with OpenHPSDR. Simply choose the slider pack that looks best with any skin and unzip it into the console directory for the skin you wish to apply them to. Take a look at the two narrative sections under the links and then feel free to experiment!


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http://www.w1aex.com/hpsdr/packs/v264_bright_buttons.zip


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http://www.w1aex.com/hpsdr/packs/v264_smartsdr1_buttons.zip


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http://www.w1aex.com/hpsdr/packs/v264_smartsdr2_buttons.zip


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http://www.w1aex.com/hpsdr/packs/v264_sincgars_buttons.zip


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http://www.w1aex.com/hpsdr/packs/v264_high_visual_buttons.zip


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http://www.w1aex.com/hpsdr/packs/k2gx_button_pack.zip


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http://www.w1aex.com/hpsdr/packs/v264_dark_sliders.zip


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http://www.w1aex.com/hpsdr/packs/v264_med_sliders.zip


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http://www.w1aex.com/hpsdr/packs/v264_light_sliders.zip


The Short Story About Creating your own skins for OpenHPSDR and PowerSDR - W1AEX

Here's the short story about how incredibly easy it is to create your own custom skin for PowerSDR. All you need is one of the button packs and one of the slider packs from above. Seriously, that's all you need to create a functional skin that will work fine. Take a look at the screenshot below of what happens when you unzip the v264_smartsdr2_buttons.zip and v264_light_sliders.zip files into a correctly placed "Console" directory inside of the PowerSDR Skins folder hierarchy:


Buttons and Sliders Only! Look Ma, no console! This skin will work fine, but it uses whatever default texture windows inserts into the graphics.
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Here's what happens if you add a file called "Console.png" to fill in the main body of the interface:    Buttons + sliders + one file called Console.png
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Finally, this is what it looks like when you insert a file called "PicDisplay.png" which fills in the area behind the panadapter grid:
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So... that's pretty much all there is to it. There actually are nine other files that are involved in the event you wish to add additional texture effects in various places of the interface, but they are not essential. If you are interested in all the details take a look at the full PowerSDR tutorial. There is one VERY IMPORTANT CAVEAT about playing around with these skins. It would be a violation of copyright laws if you took any skin provided by the Flex Radio Corporation and then modified it and distributed it. These include, but are not limited to, any skin that begins with "IK3VIG" and "Beppe" or even the Default series of skins for PowerSDR. Flex has specifically listed its skins as copyright protected, so please respect that. You are welcome to take any of the graphic components (buttons, sliders, consoles) or complete skins that I have created and do whatever you like with them, but be very careful with the copyright protected materials provided by others in PowerSDR or OpenHPSDR. One other thing, if you make something really nice, be sure to share it with the SDR community!

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