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Perseus Survey - My story and I'm sticking to it

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  • daiche
    Thanks for the survey responses so far! I just discovered yesterday that my Perseus had a problem with insensitivity. (I ve been told I have that problem
    Message 1 of 10 , Mar 24 1:44 PM
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      Thanks for the survey responses so far!

      I just discovered yesterday that my Perseus had a problem with insensitivity. (I've been told I have that problem myself). Anyway, I was running Superloop antenna tests using both my SDR-IQ and Perseus and noticed the Perseus seemed 'quieter' than usual, much quieter!!! I don't know what happened or why, but it obviously needs to go in for repair. Walter mentioned similar problems and that they were related (in his case anyway) with the use of 'alternate' power supplies. I use both a single stage 7805 regulator with a 100mfd filter capacitor, as well as 6V batteries with 1 dropping diode to lower the voltage. I never had problems with these power supplies and am not sure that my problem was caused because of this. No puff of smoke here that I know of! The radio still works but my formerly strong local station at S10 +20 is now at S7. Not a good thing, and no my attenuator is not on.

      Moving on with my thoughts, I did notice lot's of work by many people to 'fix' an obvious user need, a power supply for portable, non-AC, off-the-grid operation. What I wanted was a consistant, repeatable solution that was 'approved' by Microtelecom (probably not manufactured by Nico) and available for portable Perseus use. Some of you have gone to great pains to add dual stage regulators to distribute the heat, spike removal, etc. It would be nice to have a commercial solution or at least a kit or kit instructions so that we would have a reliable solution, not likely to damage the Perseus. I know Mark has done a wonderful job in the past of documenting this type of thing. (I'm NOT volunteering you Mark, but thanks for your past, longterm contributions to the hobby!)

      Whether done as instructions, kits or as a commercial offering, I see 3 types of solutions that to me would work:

      1. A fused, dual stage regulator with spike removal, etc. This seems to be the primary choice for many of you. I opted for the simplier lazy-man choice of a very hot single stage 7805 regulator, that as mentioned by others, wastes lot's of energy on heat, great if you are confined to a cold car and have a big battery!

      2. A USB cable with the Perseus power connector on one end, along with the Perseus USB data connector. The other end of the cable would have 2 USB connectors, one being a 'power only' connector and the other being a 'power and DATA' connector to pass the IQ data. This option would be nice if you already had big batteries and/or a quiet regulator for your laptop. There would be less 'dingle-dangle' of cabling to deal with. You would use up 2 USB ports on you laptop, of course, which would leave only one left for the mouse on many netbooks. By the way, this cable concept is used on some USB hard drives. Cables for this are available for about $5 US. The only thing missing is the Perseus power connector (or a USB to Perseus adaptor).

      3. A safe 6V option for powering the Perseus. A typical 6V gell cell seems to have about 6.5V on average when fully charged. How much is really too much before the Perseus can be damaged by this option? Nico, can you answer this question? One of my current options is to use 1 dropping diode (.8V) which leaves the voltage as high 5.7V when fully charged. Nico or anyone have thoughts on this? It is a simple, quiet solution, but it does mean yet another power source and more 'dingle-dangle'.

      So, what are your thoughts on all this and is this something that Nico should consider? Should SDR vendors perhaps move away from using 5V power supplies, or offer 12V options as standard issue? I think this is all good discussion to make a great product even better! Share your thoughts.
    • Marco IK1ODO
      ... I remember discussing this matter with Nico three years ago. The point was to avoid a switching power supply (inevitably noisy) inside Perseus box. Also, a
      Message 2 of 10 , Mar 24 1:57 PM
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        At 21.44 24/03/2010, Daiche wrote:
        >
        >Should SDR vendors perhaps move away from using 5V power supplies,
        >or offer 12V options as standard issue? I think this is all good
        >discussion to make a great product even better! Share your thoughts.

        I remember discussing this matter with Nico three years ago. The
        point was to avoid a switching power supply (inevitably noisy) inside
        Perseus box. Also, a good ADC and a decent FPGA consume just too much
        power for a standard USB port.
        To power from a 6V gel cell I would use a low-drop 5 V regulator.
        There is plenty of them around, with voltage drops in the order of
        500 mV. One or two diodes in series is a risky thing - you are never
        sure of the real voltage delivered to the logic, and the margins are
        stringent (5 V +/- 5%, at 5.7 V nobody warrants that you won't fry
        something). In doubt go at lower voltage, but not higher.

        73 - Marco IK1ODO
      • daiche
        Thanks Marco for the information. There is clearly a demand for a portable power solution for the Perseus. Maybe between us we can come up with a solution that
        Message 3 of 10 , Mar 24 2:08 PM
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          Thanks Marco for the information. There is clearly a demand for a portable power solution for the Perseus. Maybe between us we can come up with a solution that is acceptable for all. Perhaps this is a new market opportunity for someone enterprising!



          --- In perseus_SDR@yahoogroups.com, Marco IK1ODO <ik1odo@...> wrote:
          >
          > At 21.44 24/03/2010, Daiche wrote:
          > >
          > >Should SDR vendors perhaps move away from using 5V power supplies,
          > >or offer 12V options as standard issue? I think this is all good
          > >discussion to make a great product even better! Share your thoughts.
          >
          > I remember discussing this matter with Nico three years ago. The
          > point was to avoid a switching power supply (inevitably noisy) inside
          > Perseus box. Also, a good ADC and a decent FPGA consume just too much
          > power for a standard USB port.
          > To power from a 6V gel cell I would use a low-drop 5 V regulator.
          > There is plenty of them around, with voltage drops in the order of
          > 500 mV. One or two diodes in series is a risky thing - you are never
          > sure of the real voltage delivered to the logic, and the margins are
          > stringent (5 V +/- 5%, at 5.7 V nobody warrants that you won't fry
          > something). In doubt go at lower voltage, but not higher.
          >
          > 73 - Marco IK1ODO
          >
        • bjarnemjelde
          If you have enough USB connections on your laptop, you can use two of them to power the Perseus. There are cables available that will combine two USB ports
          Message 4 of 10 , Mar 24 3:32 PM
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            If you have enough USB connections on your laptop, you can use two of them to power the Perseus. There are cables available that will combine two USB ports into one DC connector.

            Bjarne Mjelde
            Berlevag, Arctic Norway

            --- In perseus_SDR@yahoogroups.com, "daiche" <daiche@...> wrote:
            >
            > Thanks Marco for the information. There is clearly a demand for a portable power solution for the Perseus. Maybe between us we can come up with a solution that is acceptable for all. Perhaps this is a new market opportunity for someone enterprising!
            >
            >
            >
            > --- In perseus_SDR@yahoogroups.com, Marco IK1ODO <ik1odo@> wrote:
            > >
            > > At 21.44 24/03/2010, Daiche wrote:
            > > >
            > > >Should SDR vendors perhaps move away from using 5V power supplies,
            > > >or offer 12V options as standard issue? I think this is all good
            > > >discussion to make a great product even better! Share your thoughts.
            > >
            > > I remember discussing this matter with Nico three years ago. The
            > > point was to avoid a switching power supply (inevitably noisy) inside
            > > Perseus box. Also, a good ADC and a decent FPGA consume just too much
            > > power for a standard USB port.
            > > To power from a 6V gel cell I would use a low-drop 5 V regulator.
            > > There is plenty of them around, with voltage drops in the order of
            > > 500 mV. One or two diodes in series is a risky thing - you are never
            > > sure of the real voltage delivered to the logic, and the margins are
            > > stringent (5 V +/- 5%, at 5.7 V nobody warrants that you won't fry
            > > something). In doubt go at lower voltage, but not higher.
            > >
            > > 73 - Marco IK1ODO
            > >
            >
          • John Plimmer
            On the suggestion of my good friend Guy Atkins I ordered the following http://www.futurlec.com/Mini_Power.shtml it came quickly mailed from Hong Kong. I have
            Message 5 of 10 , Mar 25 12:10 AM
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              On the suggestion of my good friend Guy Atkins I ordered the following
              it came quickly mailed from Hong Kong.
              I have tested it on Perseus and everything seems to work fine = no noise and not hot.
               
              It will be going into the field next week and I will let you know how it goes.
               
              John Plimmer, Montagu, Western Cape Province, South Africa
              South 33 d 47 m 32 s, East 20 d 07 m 32 s
              Icom IC-7600, Perseus SDR
              ERGO software
              Drake SW8. Sangean 803A, Redsun RP2100
              Sony 7600D, GE SRIII, Grundig G8, Eton E100
              Antenna's RF Systems DX 1 Pro Mk II, Datong AD-270
              Kiwa MW Loop.
              http://www.dxing.info/about/dxers/plimmer.dx 
               
               
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: daiche
              Sent: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 8:44 PM
              Subject: [perseus_SDR] Perseus Survey - My story and I'm sticking to it

               

              Thanks for the survey responses so far!

              I just discovered yesterday that my Perseus had a problem with insensitivity. (I've been told I have that problem myself). Anyway, I was running Superloop antenna tests using both my SDR-IQ and Perseus and noticed the Perseus seemed 'quieter' than usual, much quieter!!! I don't know what happened or why, but it obviously needs to go in for repair. Walter mentioned similar problems and that they were related (in his case anyway) with the use of 'alternate' power supplies. I use both a single stage 7805 regulator with a 100mfd filter capacitor, as well as 6V batteries with 1 dropping diode to lower the voltage. I never had problems with these power supplies and am not sure that my problem was caused because of this. No puff of smoke here that I know of! The radio still works but my formerly strong local station at S10 +20 is now at S7. Not a good thing, and no my attenuator is not on.

              Moving on with my thoughts, I did notice lot's of work by many people to 'fix' an obvious user need, a power supply for portable, non-AC, off-the-grid operation. What I wanted was a consistant, repeatable solution that was 'approved' by Microtelecom (probably not manufactured by Nico) and available for portable Perseus use. Some of you have gone to great pains to add dual stage regulators to distribute the heat, spike removal, etc. It would be nice to have a commercial solution or at least a kit or kit instructions so that we would have a reliable solution, not likely to damage the Perseus. I know Mark has done a wonderful job in the past of documenting this type of thing. (I'm NOT volunteering you Mark, but thanks for your past, longterm contributions to the hobby!)

              Whether done as instructions, kits or as a commercial offering, I see 3 types of solutions that to me would work:

              1. A fused, dual stage regulator with spike removal, etc. This seems to be the primary choice for many of you. I opted for the simplier lazy-man choice of a very hot single stage 7805 regulator, that as mentioned by others, wastes lot's of energy on heat, great if you are confined to a cold car and have a big battery!

              2. A USB cable with the Perseus power connector on one end, along with the Perseus USB data connector. The other end of the cable would have 2 USB connectors, one being a 'power only' connector and the other being a 'power and DATA' connector to pass the IQ data. This option would be nice if you already had big batteries and/or a quiet regulator for your laptop. There would be less 'dingle-dangle' of cabling to deal with. You would use up 2 USB ports on you laptop, of course, which would leave only one left for the mouse on many netbooks. By the way, this cable concept is used on some USB hard drives. Cables for this are available for about $5 US. The only thing missing is the Perseus power connector (or a USB to Perseus adaptor).

              3. A safe 6V option for powering the Perseus. A typical 6V gell cell seems to have about 6.5V on average when fully charged. How much is really too much before the Perseus can be damaged by this option? Nico, can you answer this question? One of my current options is to use 1 dropping diode (.8V) which leaves the voltage as high 5.7V when fully charged. Nico or anyone have thoughts on this? It is a simple, quiet solution, but it does mean yet another power source and more 'dingle-dangle' .

              So, what are your thoughts on all this and is this something that Nico should consider? Should SDR vendors perhaps move away from using 5V power supplies, or offer 12V options as standard issue? I think this is all good discussion to make a great product even better! Share your thoughts.



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            • MarkWA1ION
              I would be a bit reluctant to go with a switching type regulator since, unavoidably, RF fields are produced in the process. That said, one isn t likely to be
              Message 6 of 10 , Mar 25 5:12 AM
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                I would be a bit reluctant to go with a switching type regulator since, unavoidably, RF fields are produced in the process. That said, one isn't likely to be able to operate a loop or other antenna close to a Perseus + laptop set-up anyway since these items also have switching DC-DC converters and digital timing pulses that would radiate for a short distance. So the outcome could well be, as long as your power adaptor is quieter than your laptop / netbook, then it doesn't really matter that much if it employs switching or is linear.

                You will be using an antenna separated some distance from the receiving set-up fed either with balanced line to a balun (the better method, as recommended by Lankford and others) or coaxial cable with at least one common-mode choke on it. The bigger the antenna and the farther it is from the receiver/PC set-up the better. I don't find much in the way of interference from the netbook with a broadband (2 m by 2 m square) loop on the roof of the car. The fact that the car acts as somewhat of a Faraday shield and that the loop is fed with transformer-coupled balanced feed (speaker wire) no doubt helps.

                On the other hand, a coaxially-fed active whip on the roof of the car is more susceptible to PC clocking signals. A similar ~3 m vertical located about 5 m away from the car is cleaner. If it is worked against earth ground / radials and is transformer-coupled, instead of operating against the coax-shield / "station ground" with no transformer, further RFI reduction can be expected. You could even improve the situation another step by having the whip-amp battery-powered at the antenna and then transformer-coupling the output to balanced line back to the in-car operating position where a 2:1 balun would be placed right ahead of the Perseus or phasing unit input.

                John, I will be looking forward to your review, since this is a cheap and simple solution if RFI does not turn out to be a problem. I do see that the specified input is 7 to 12 VDC. Maybe a two or three dropping diodes (1N5400 or similar) in series at the input would be advisable if operating from a normal car battery which can be as high as 14V.

                Mark Connelly, WA1ION - Billerica, MA + South Yarmouth, MA, USA

                --- In perseus_SDR@yahoogroups.com, "John Plimmer" <plimmer@...> wrote:
                >
                > On the suggestion of my good friend Guy Atkins I ordered the following
                > http://www.futurlec.com/Mini_Power.shtml
                > it came quickly mailed from Hong Kong.
                > I have tested it on Perseus and everything seems to work fine = no noise and
                > not hot.
                >
                > It will be going into the field next week and I will let you know how it
                > goes.
                >
                > John Plimmer, Montagu, Western Cape Province, South Africa
                > South 33 d 47 m 32 s, East 20 d 07 m 32 s
                > Icom IC-7600, Perseus SDR
                > ERGO software
                > Drake SW8. Sangean 803A, Redsun RP2100
                > Sony 7600D, GE SRIII, Grundig G8, Eton E100
                > Antenna's RF Systems DX 1 Pro Mk II, Datong AD-270
                > Kiwa MW Loop.
                > http://www.dxing.info/about/dxers/plimmer.dx
                >
              • Axel
                I am looking forward to the results too. The LM2575 datasheet shows that it can handle an absolute maximum of 45V at the input, so I guess you don t need any
                Message 7 of 10 , Apr 1, 2010
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                  I am looking forward to the results too.

                  The LM2575 datasheet shows that it can handle an absolute maximum of 45V at the input, so I guess you don't need any diodes!

                  Axel
                  PA1XL
                • John Plimmer
                  Okay, I just got back from a three day field DXpedition where there was only battery power. The futurlec worked perfectly - it did not get hot at all and had
                  Message 8 of 10 , Apr 1, 2010
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                    Okay, I just got back from a three day field DXpedition where there was only battery power.
                    The futurlec worked perfectly - it did not get hot at all and had 12.5 to 13v DC into it and gave out a constant 5v DC to Perseus
                    It did not emit any detectable RFI
                     
                    It was used for a total of two hours.
                     
                    I am very happy with my purchase and the price paid for it. It is robust and well made
                     
                    John Plimmer, Montagu, Western Cape Province, South Africa
                    South 33 d 47 m 32 s, East 20 d 07 m 32 s
                    Icom IC-7600, Perseus SDR
                    ERGO software
                    Drake SW8. Sangean 803A, Redsun RP2100
                    Sony 7600D, GE SRIII, Grundig G8, Eton E100
                    Antenna's RF Systems DX 1 Pro Mk II, Datong AD-270
                    Kiwa MW Loop.
                    http://www.dxing.info/about/dxers/plimmer.dx 
                     
                     
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: Axel
                    Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2010 9:21 AM
                    Subject: [perseus_SDR] Re: 12v to 5v power board

                     

                    I am looking forward to the results too.

                    The LM2575 datasheet shows that it can handle an absolute maximum of 45V at the input, so I guess you don't need any diodes!

                    Axel
                    PA1XL



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                  • maurits van driessche
                    -- John are you using this with a car battery ? Thanks Maurits Van Driessche Belgium ... From: John Plimmer To: perseus_SDR@yahoogroups.com Cc: tvi2@online.no
                    Message 9 of 10 , Apr 1, 2010
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                      --
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                      John are you using this with a car battery ?
                       
                      Thanks
                       
                      Maurits Van Driessche
                       
                      Belgium
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                      --- Original Message -----
                      Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2010 4:43 PM
                      Subject: [perseus_SDR] Re: 12v to 5v power board

                       

                      Okay, I just got back from a three day field DXpedition where there was only battery power.
                      The futurlec worked perfectly - it did not get hot at all and had 12.5 to 13v DC into it and gave out a constant 5v DC to Perseus
                      It did not emit any detectable RFI
                       
                      It was used for a total of two hours.
                       
                      I am very happy with my purchase and the price paid for it. It is robust and well made
                       
                      John Plimmer, Montagu, Western Cape Province, South Africa
                      South 33 d 47 m 32 s, East 20 d 07 m 32 s
                      Icom IC-7600, Perseus SDR
                      ERGO software
                      Drake SW8. Sangean 803A, Redsun RP2100
                      Sony 7600D, GE SRIII, Grundig G8, Eton E100
                      Antenna's RF Systems DX 1 Pro Mk II, Datong AD-270
                      Kiwa MW Loop.
                      http://www.dxing. info/about/ dxers/plimmer. dx 
                       
                       
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: Axel
                      Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2010 9:21 AM
                      Subject: [perseus_SDR] Re: 12v to 5v power board

                       

                      I am looking forward to the results too.

                      The LM2575 datasheet shows that it can handle an absolute maximum of 45V at the input, so I guess you don't need any diodes!

                      Axel
                      PA1XL



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                      http://www.eset. com



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                    • John Plimmer
                      Yes, it was a large 98 amp hour tractor battery John Plimmer - Montagu, Western Cape Province, SOUTH AFRICA ... From: maurits van driessche To:
                      Message 10 of 10 , Apr 1, 2010
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                        Yes, it was a large 98 amp hour tractor battery
                        John Plimmer - Montagu, Western Cape Province, SOUTH AFRICA
                         
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2010 7:26 PM
                        Subject: Re: [perseus_SDR] Re: 12v to 5v power board

                         

                        --
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                        John are you using this with a car battery ?
                         
                        Thanks
                         
                        Maurits Van Driessche
                         
                        Belgium
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                        --- Original Message -----
                        Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2010 4:43 PM
                        Subject: [perseus_SDR] Re: 12v to 5v power board

                         

                        Okay, I just got back from a three day field DXpedition where there was only battery power.
                        The futurlec worked perfectly - it did not get hot at all and had 12.5 to 13v DC into it and gave out a constant 5v DC to Perseus
                        It did not emit any detectable RFI
                         
                        It was used for a total of two hours.
                         
                        I am very happy with my purchase and the price paid for it. It is robust and well made
                         
                        John Plimmer, Montagu, Western Cape Province, South Africa
                        South 33 d 47 m 32 s, East 20 d 07 m 32 s
                        Icom IC-7600, Perseus SDR
                        ERGO software
                        Drake SW8. Sangean 803A, Redsun RP2100
                        Sony 7600D, GE SRIII, Grundig G8, Eton E100
                        Antenna's RF Systems DX 1 Pro Mk II, Datong AD-270
                        Kiwa MW Loop.
                        http://www.dxing. info/about/ dxers/plimmer. dx 
                         
                         
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: Axel
                        Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2010 9:21 AM
                        Subject: [perseus_SDR] Re: 12v to 5v power board

                         

                        I am looking forward to the results too.

                        The LM2575 datasheet shows that it can handle an absolute maximum of 45V at the input, so I guess you don't need any diodes!

                        Axel
                        PA1XL


                        Yahoo! Groups


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