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Re: Perseus With Microsoft Surface Pro?

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  • Alberto I2PHD
    ... Probably they multiply that 1.7 GHz by the number of cores... so for a dual core you have the equivalent of a 3.4 GHz CPU. Just a guess, but likely... --
    Message 1 of 10 , Jul 24, 2013
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      On 7/24/2013 10:59 PM, bds2psu wrote:

      the speed varies between 1.2 GHz and 2.3 GHz (not sure how they do that on a 1.7 GHz CPU)

      Probably they multiply that 1.7 GHz by the number of cores... so for a dual core you have the equivalent of
      a 3.4 GHz CPU. Just a guess, but likely...

      --
      73 Alberto I2PHD
    • Anthony R Gargano
      Great report, Brett. Been weighing the Surface Pro vs a small laptop to dedicate to radio/SDR applications. It seems like the laptop route might be a better
      Message 2 of 10 , Jul 25, 2013
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        Great report, Brett. Been weighing the Surface Pro vs a small laptop to dedicate to radio/SDR applications. It seems like the laptop route might be a better way to go. For one, there is no need for a USB hub or and an external hard drive so it would be a more self-contained solution. Also, they're typically priced well under the price of the Surface Pro.

        Opinions?
        Tony N2SS

        On Jul 24, 2013, at 4:59 PM, bds2psu <bds2@...> wrote:

         



        Here's an initial (long) report after using the Surface Pro in a DXpedition-like setting for a few days during a vacation. For those who don't want to read all the gory details, I would say the Surface is a good (but not perfect) device for use with the Perseus.

        First, the pertinent specs on the tablet:

        128 GB solid state drive (approximately 64 GB free)
        64-bit Windows 8 Pro
        10.6" ClearType Full HD Display, 1920x1080 pixels, 16:9 (widescreen)
        3rd Gen Intel CoreTM i5-317U 1.7 GHz Processor
        Intel HD Graphics 4000
        4 GB dual-channel DDR3-1600 memory
        One full-size USB 3.0 port
        Stereo headset jack
        Microsoft "Type" Cover (mechanical keyboard)
        Task Manger reports 2 cores, 4 logical processors in use, and cache: L1=128kB, L2=512kB and L3=3.0MB

        Note that this is the Surface Pro model tablet, not the less expensive Surface RT which will not run Windows 7-compatible software.

        For an external hard drive I was using a LaCie USB 3.0 3TB "Porsche Design" Model P'9230 (no RPM speed indicated). The Perseus, a USB 2.0 Logitech MX wireless mouse and the 3TB USB 3.0 drive were attached to the Surface's single USB 3.0 port via an IOGear model GUH374 4-port powered USB 3.0 hub.

        As I reported earlier, I installed the Perseus 4.1a software and the latest USB drivers from the Microtelecom website. This appear to work fine under Windows 8. I also installed the Mestor recording software which has worked flawlessly for me in the past. For audio recording I installed Total Recorder v8.4. Other than these packages and Microsoft Office, I didn't install any other software on the Surface.

        The form factor of the Surface feels like a very small laptop when deployed with the Type Cover folded down as the keyboard and the built-in kickstand holding the tablet at an angle similar to a laptop screen. The keyboard flexes a bit when typing, but when used on a hard flat surface this is not very noticeable. The USB and headphone jack plug into the left side of the tablet and an Apple-like magnetic power supply connector plugs into the right side. The Surface also comes with a stylus pen which can be used as a pointing device, but in all honesty I don't find either the stylus or my finger to be ergonomic when using the Surface in a laptop configuration. The keyboard also has a built-in touch pad with left and right mouse buttons and two-finger scrolling. But, for the Perseus software, I find the Logitech mouse to be the best input device.

        The Perseus interface fills more than 3/4 of the Surfaces screen (which, while less than 11" in diameter, is still very easy to read even with my 50+ year old eyes.) When playing back Perseus 1600 kHz wide recordings, Windows Task Manager reports between 15-30% total CPU utilization and a speed of 1.05 GHz. Of that, Perseus only appears to be using 2-3% of the CPU. Live playback of Perseus uses about 15% of the CPU and the speed varies between 1.2 GHz and 2.3 GHz (not sure how they do that on a 1.7 GHz CPU). Recording that same size bandwidth appears to use about 20% of CPU at a speed of around 1.5 GHz.

        Now on to the all-important issue of performance. I am mostly happy with how the Surface handles recording and playback of Perseus files. I did not experience any stuttering on playback from the internal or external drives at any time, even when playing back files in the Perseus app while Mestor was simultaneously recording. I could also run Chrome and browse the web during playback with no ill effects. However, I did notice that when I recorded to the external USB hard drive using the Perseus program the recordings would stutter when transitioning from the end of one file segment to the start of the next. Sometimes this stuttering lasted the entire length of the next file segment. This stuttering was not noted when recording to the internal SSD drive, however, which leads me to believe that the simultaneous flow of data in and out of the USB port is near the limit of capacity of the interface. So, for the duration of my listening, I used Mestor for all the recording and that worked perfectly.

        One test I did not perform was to see how long the Surface could record or playback using only its built-in battery. However, given the advertised 4-hour life, I would put it squarely in the range of most normal laptops and certainly enough for a couple of hours in the field doing top of the hour recordings.

        So is the Surface Pro the perfect Perseus companion? If you must use the Perseus software for recording, then you will want to get a version with the largest internal solid-state drive you can afford (they just announced a version with 256 GB) and record to that. If you are satisfied using Mestor, then an external drive through a hub works well. For stutter-free playback, it's a real gem of a system (I'll be taking it along on my next business trip to review my recent recordings).

        Let me know if you have any specific questions about the Surface and I'll try to answer them.

        Brett Saylor
        N3EVB

        --- In perseus_SDR@yahoogroups.com, Nick Hall-Patch <nhp@...> wrote:
        >
        > May I respectfully suggest that the replies
        > remain "on-list"? This is a fascinating topic
        > to me, even though I'm not doing what you want to
        > do, Anthony. The W8 tablets also often have
        > just one USB port (though USB 2.0), but if you
        > can stream data in AND out through a hub, then
        > you could have a very functional low power system
        > for any number of applications. I know the
        > Clovertrail processor isn't an i5, but it's pretty capable.
        >
        > best wishes,
        >
        > Nick
        >
        >
        >
        > At 19:45 18-07-13, you wrote:
        > >
        > >
        > >Many thanks for your input on this, Brett. That
        > >is great news! I would very much appreciate
        > >hearing not only problems or issues but any
        > >recommendations you might have as you develop
        > >more experience with this combo. To save list
        > >bandwidth you can email me directly if you like.
        > >Thanks again!
        > >
        > >Anthony R Gargano
        > ><mailto:n2ss@...>n2ss@...
        > >
        > >On Jul 18, 2013, at 12:15 PM, bds2psu
        > ><<mailto:bds2@...>bds2@...> wrote:
        > >
        > >>
        > >>
        > >>
        > >>
        > >>Yes, it worked for me with the Surface Pro. I
        > >>was able to plug the Perseus, a USB-3 hard
        > >>drive and a Logitech USB mouse into the Surface
        > >>Pro's single USB port via a powered USB-3 hub
        > >>and run their software to listen live, record
        > >>to the external drive, and play back recorded
        > >>files without any problems or stutter. IIRC, I
        > >>used the latest USB drivers from Microtelecom
        > >>in their v4.1a release and followed the Windows
        > >>7 installation instructions. You'll need to
        > >>disable the driver signature enforcement in
        > >>Windows 8 when you install since they aren't
        > >>signed (Google those instructions).
        > >>
        > >>I will be using the setup extensively in the
        > >>coming week, and will report any problems or issues that I experience,
        > >>
        > >>Brett Saylor
        > >>N3EVB
        > >>
        > >>--- In
        > >><mailto:perseus_SDR%40yahoogroups.com>perseus_SDR@yahoogroups.com,
        > >>"n2_ss" <n2ss@> wrote:
        > >> >
        > >> > Anyone successfully using this combination?
        > >> I have been considering giving it a try.
        > >> > Thank You
        > >> >
        > >> > Anthony R Gargano
        > >> > n2ss@
        > >> >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >


        Anthony R Gargano



      • bjarnemjelde
        Opinion: I had planned to buy a Surface Pro for SDR use myself , however I wanted to wait for the Haswell CPU & 256 GB SSD so I ended up with ordering a
        Message 3 of 10 , Jul 25, 2013
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          Opinion:
          I had planned to buy a Surface Pro for SDR use myself , however I wanted to wait for the Haswell CPU & 256 GB SSD so I ended up with ordering a Surface RT instead (which of course isn't designed for SDRs).

          As for laptop use, I bought a Lenovo Thinkpad L520, replaced the stock 500GB drive with a 186 GB SSD and put the original HDD inside a caddy in the DVD slot. Its i3-2350M CPU runs the Perseus at full bandwidth without hiccups. It has room for a PCMCIA card with USB 3.0 capacity so external hard drives work well.

          Bjarne Mjelde
          arcticdx.blogspot.com

          --- In perseus_SDR@yahoogroups.com, Anthony R Gargano <n2ss@...> wrote:
          >
          > Great report, Brett. Been weighing the Surface Pro vs a small laptop to dedicate to radio/SDR applications. It seems like the laptop route might be a better way to go. For one, there is no need for a USB hub or and an external hard drive so it would be a more self-contained solution. Also, they're typically priced well under the price of the Surface Pro.
          >
          > Opinions?
          > Tony N2SS
          >
        • Simon GD4ELI/HB9DRV
          Waiting for Haswell is very sensible, not the least because they have the AVX2 instructions.
          Message 4 of 10 , Jul 25, 2013
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            Waiting for Haswell is very sensible, not the least because they have the AVX2 instructions.

             

            http://www.extremetech.com/computing/136219-intels-haswell-is-an-unprecedented-threat-to-nvidia-amd

             

            SSD just sweetens the deal.

             

            Simon GD4ELI/HB9DRV

            http://v2.sdr-radio.com/

             

            From: perseus_SDR@yahoogroups.com [mailto:perseus_SDR@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of bjarnemjelde

            I had planned to buy a Surface Pro for SDR use myself , however I wanted to wait for the Haswell CPU & 256 GB SSD so I ended up with ordering a Surface RT instead (which of course isn't designed for SDRs).

          • Anthony R Gargano
            Hi Brett, One important question: have you noticed any problem with noise being generated into the receiver by the tablet itself or from it s AC adapter?
            Message 5 of 10 , Sep 9, 2013
            • 0 Attachment
              Hi Brett,
              One important question: have you noticed any problem with noise being generated into the receiver by the tablet itself or from it's AC adapter?
              Thanks

              Anthony R Gargano

              On Jul 24, 2013, at 4:59 PM, bds2psu <bds2@...> wrote:

               



              Here's an initial (long) report after using the Surface Pro in a DXpedition-like setting for a few days during a vacation. For those who don't want to read all the gory details, I would say the Surface is a good (but not perfect) device for use with the Perseus.

              First, the pertinent specs on the tablet:

              128 GB solid state drive (approximately 64 GB free)
              64-bit Windows 8 Pro
              10.6" ClearType Full HD Display, 1920x1080 pixels, 16:9 (widescreen)
              3rd Gen Intel CoreTM i5-317U 1.7 GHz Processor
              Intel HD Graphics 4000
              4 GB dual-channel DDR3-1600 memory
              One full-size USB 3.0 port
              Stereo headset jack
              Microsoft "Type" Cover (mechanical keyboard)
              Task Manger reports 2 cores, 4 logical processors in use, and cache: L1=128kB, L2=512kB and L3=3.0MB

              Note that this is the Surface Pro model tablet, not the less expensive Surface RT which will not run Windows 7-compatible software.

              For an external hard drive I was using a LaCie USB 3.0 3TB "Porsche Design" Model P'9230 (no RPM speed indicated). The Perseus, a USB 2.0 Logitech MX wireless mouse and the 3TB USB 3.0 drive were attached to the Surface's single USB 3.0 port via an IOGear model GUH374 4-port powered USB 3.0 hub.

              As I reported earlier, I installed the Perseus 4.1a software and the latest USB drivers from the Microtelecom website. This appear to work fine under Windows 8. I also installed the Mestor recording software which has worked flawlessly for me in the past. For audio recording I installed Total Recorder v8.4. Other than these packages and Microsoft Office, I didn't install any other software on the Surface.

              The form factor of the Surface feels like a very small laptop when deployed with the Type Cover folded down as the keyboard and the built-in kickstand holding the tablet at an angle similar to a laptop screen. The keyboard flexes a bit when typing, but when used on a hard flat surface this is not very noticeable. The USB and headphone jack plug into the left side of the tablet and an Apple-like magnetic power supply connector plugs into the right side. The Surface also comes with a stylus pen which can be used as a pointing device, but in all honesty I don't find either the stylus or my finger to be ergonomic when using the Surface in a laptop configuration. The keyboard also has a built-in touch pad with left and right mouse buttons and two-finger scrolling. But, for the Perseus software, I find the Logitech mouse to be the best input device.

              The Perseus interface fills more than 3/4 of the Surfaces screen (which, while less than 11" in diameter, is still very easy to read even with my 50+ year old eyes.) When playing back Perseus 1600 kHz wide recordings, Windows Task Manager reports between 15-30% total CPU utilization and a speed of 1.05 GHz. Of that, Perseus only appears to be using 2-3% of the CPU. Live playback of Perseus uses about 15% of the CPU and the speed varies between 1.2 GHz and 2.3 GHz (not sure how they do that on a 1.7 GHz CPU). Recording that same size bandwidth appears to use about 20% of CPU at a speed of around 1.5 GHz.

              Now on to the all-important issue of performance. I am mostly happy with how the Surface handles recording and playback of Perseus files. I did not experience any stuttering on playback from the internal or external drives at any time, even when playing back files in the Perseus app while Mestor was simultaneously recording. I could also run Chrome and browse the web during playback with no ill effects. However, I did notice that when I recorded to the external USB hard drive using the Perseus program the recordings would stutter when transitioning from the end of one file segment to the start of the next. Sometimes this stuttering lasted the entire length of the next file segment. This stuttering was not noted when recording to the internal SSD drive, however, which leads me to believe that the simultaneous flow of data in and out of the USB port is near the limit of capacity of the interface. So, for the duration of my listening, I used Mestor for all the recording and that worked perfectly.

              One test I did not perform was to see how long the Surface could record or playback using only its built-in battery. However, given the advertised 4-hour life, I would put it squarely in the range of most normal laptops and certainly enough for a couple of hours in the field doing top of the hour recordings.

              So is the Surface Pro the perfect Perseus companion? If you must use the Perseus software for recording, then you will want to get a version with the largest internal solid-state drive you can afford (they just announced a version with 256 GB) and record to that. If you are satisfied using Mestor, then an external drive through a hub works well. For stutter-free playback, it's a real gem of a system (I'll be taking it along on my next business trip to review my recent recordings).

              Let me know if you have any specific questions about the Surface and I'll try to answer them.

              Brett Saylor
              N3EVB

              --- In perseus_SDR@yahoogroups.com, Nick Hall-Patch <nhp@...> wrote:
              >
              > May I respectfully suggest that the replies
              > remain "on-list"? This is a fascinating topic
              > to me, even though I'm not doing what you want to
              > do, Anthony. The W8 tablets also often have
              > just one USB port (though USB 2.0), but if you
              > can stream data in AND out through a hub, then
              > you could have a very functional low power system
              > for any number of applications. I know the
              > Clovertrail processor isn't an i5, but it's pretty capable.
              >
              > best wishes,
              >
              > Nick
              >
              >
              >
              > At 19:45 18-07-13, you wrote:
              > >
              > >
              > >Many thanks for your input on this, Brett. That
              > >is great news! I would very much appreciate
              > >hearing not only problems or issues but any
              > >recommendations you might have as you develop
              > >more experience with this combo. To save list
              > >bandwidth you can email me directly if you like.
              > >Thanks again!
              > >
              > >Anthony R Gargano
              > ><mailto:n2ss@...>n2ss@...
              > >
              > >On Jul 18, 2013, at 12:15 PM, bds2psu
              > ><<mailto:bds2@...>bds2@...> wrote:
              > >
              > >>
              > >>
              > >>
              > >>
              > >>Yes, it worked for me with the Surface Pro. I
              > >>was able to plug the Perseus, a USB-3 hard
              > >>drive and a Logitech USB mouse into the Surface
              > >>Pro's single USB port via a powered USB-3 hub
              > >>and run their software to listen live, record
              > >>to the external drive, and play back recorded
              > >>files without any problems or stutter. IIRC, I
              > >>used the latest USB drivers from Microtelecom
              > >>in their v4.1a release and followed the Windows
              > >>7 installation instructions. You'll need to
              > >>disable the driver signature enforcement in
              > >>Windows 8 when you install since they aren't
              > >>signed (Google those instructions).
              > >>
              > >>I will be using the setup extensively in the
              > >>coming week, and will report any problems or issues that I experience,
              > >>
              > >>Brett Saylor
              > >>N3EVB
              > >>
              > >>--- In
              > >><mailto:perseus_SDR%40yahoogroups.com>perseus_SDR@yahoogroups.com,
              > >>"n2_ss" <n2ss@> wrote:
              > >> >
              > >> > Anyone successfully using this combination?
              > >> I have been considering giving it a try.
              > >> > Thank You
              > >> >
              > >> > Anthony R Gargano
              > >> > n2ss@
              > >> >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >




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