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39259Re: [softrock40] ESI UGM96 soundcard mini-review

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  • Sid Boyce
    Jan 2, 2010
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      On 02/01/10 16:53, Rob wrote:
      >
      >
      > Hi Group,
      >
      > Now I have two working SR systems, and an understanding of PowerSDR-IQ,
      > thought I would try different sound cards. Here's a look at the UGM96,
      > using an Edirol FA66 as a yardstick.
      >
      > The advantage of the UGM96 hits you when you realise how small and cheap
      > it is, see http://www.esi-audio.com/products/ugm96/
      > <http://www.esi-audio.com/products/ugm96/>
      >
      > The test system was:
      > Samsung Q320 laptop with Windows XP SP3
      > PowerSDR-IQ V1.12.20
      > Softrock RxTx V6.3 with MoBo V4.3 beta
      > Alinco DM330 power supply (switch mode)
      >
      > Unlike the multi channel Edirol, the UGM96 has only a stereo in and out.
      > So I had to use my PC for the sound output/input and have the VAC tab
      > active in PSDRIQ.
      >
      > It took some fiddling with settings to get the UGM96 working smoothly. I
      > am using the V2.3 windows driver from ESI, which is newer than the one
      > on the install CD. The buffer size in the ESI system-tray panel needs to
      > be increased to 256. In PSDRIQ the latency was set to 1024, with the
      > ASIO driver.
      >
      > PSDRIQ gives a stern warning about not using an approved card, but apart
      > from having to fiddle with VAC, it's not a show stopper.
      >
      > The patchbay software supplied by ESI is confusing. There is still no
      > documentation on how to use it. Leaving it "unpatched" seemed to work.
      >
      > I noted no big difference on Rx or Tx performance between the two cards.
      > Both cards give spurious spikes in the panadaptor. The zero spike of the
      > UGM96 was bigger, but the wideband spikes smaller. I usually strap the
      > FA66 to the Softrock chassis to reduce the zero spike anyway. The Alinco
      > power supply causes some spurious "humps" but not too bad.
      >
      > The input op-amps on the UGM96 are JRC4580, which are not really high
      > performance chips. They could be replaced by alternatives.
      >
      > The CPU load with the UGM96 was higher, but shouldn't be a problem on a
      > reasonably specced PC. The main operational issue is the buffer size.
      > When tuning, there's a slight delay between hitting a frequency and the
      > audio coming through.
      >
      > There's a picture of my SR Mk.2 with the UGM96 attached in the photos
      > section.
      >
      > Conclusion: UGM96 plays well with PSDRIQ, within the limitations of a
      > two channel, unsupported card. For base station use, the FA66 has the
      > edge. For portable use... I will fit the UGM96 inside my SR, making an
      > integrated USB-in, antenna-out box.
      >
      > 73s,
      > M0RZF
      >

      Reviews elsewhere suggests that it would only do 24-bits @ 48K, or
      16-bits @ 96K.
      Which of those 2 are you using?
      73 ... Sid.
      --
      Sid Boyce ... Hamradio License G3VBV, Licensed Private Pilot
      Emeritus IBM/Amdahl Mainframes and Sun/Fujitsu Servers Tech Support
      Specialist, Cricket Coach
      Microsoft Windows Free Zone - Linux used for all Computing Tasks
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