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Sound cards

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  • Richard Gagnon
    Hello All This is probably basic to most of you but how do I find the sampling rate of my sound card? I have a 1.3g cpu motherboard with the sound card part of
    Message 1 of 16 , Sep 26, 2005
      Hello All

      This is probably basic to most of you but how do I find the sampling
      rate of my sound card? I have a 1.3g cpu motherboard with the sound
      card part of the motherboard. W98SE. I know the sound works but that
      is about it. I do not like messing with what works.
      Below is from the documentation and I have the mobo cd. The mobo is a
      M810LMR.

      AC97 Codec
      Compliant PC97 2.1 specification
      Supports 18-bit ADC (Analog Digital Converter) and DAC (Digital Analog
      Converter) as well as 18-bit stereo full-duplex codec

      I suppose I could feed in an audio signal but there must be a way
      using the software to figure this out. After all, it is a computer.

      Thank you.

      Richard
    • Loren Moline WA7SKT
      Hello, I have a Soundblaster SB0410 24 bit sound card coming. Does this card work ok for 96Khz sample time. How is this card performing? Loren If I do not
      Message 2 of 16 , Oct 8, 2006
        Hello,

        I have a Soundblaster SB0410 24 bit sound card coming. Does this card work
        ok for 96Khz sample time. How is this card performing?

        Loren



        If I do not dream then it can't come true!
        Loren Moline WA7SKT CN86cx
        Member: ARRL, Pacific Northwest VHF Society #151
      • Kees & Sandy
        I heard it said time and time again about quality sound cards and I finally came across a reasonably priced (
        Message 3 of 16 , Aug 1, 2007

          I heard it said time and time again about quality sound cards and I finally came across a reasonably priced (<$50) used Delta 44 card with the breakout box ......man what a reduction of the SoftRock center hump over the Santa Cruz card which I thought was pretty good before............

          73 Kees K5BCQ 

        • k5nwa
          ... Good price, do they have more than one? Wait until you try an Edirol Firewire or a Ozy/Janus sound card. Cecil K5NWA www.softrockradio.org www.qrpradio.com
          Message 4 of 16 , Aug 1, 2007
            At 09:13 PM 8/1/2007, you wrote:

            >I heard it said time and time again about quality sound cards and I
            >finally came across a reasonably priced (<$50) used Delta 44 card
            >with the breakout box ......man what a reduction of the SoftRock
            >center hump over the Santa Cruz card which I thought was pretty good
            >before............
            >
            >73 Kees K5BCQ

            Good price, do they have more than one?

            Wait until you try an Edirol Firewire or a Ozy/Janus sound card.



            Cecil
            K5NWA
            www.softrockradio.org www.qrpradio.com

            "Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the light."
          • Peter W. Borders
            I am just getting started with SDR s and the Softrock radios and was looking at getting a good sound card. I know the Delta 44 is highly recommended but I was
            Message 5 of 16 , Jul 19, 2008
              I am just getting started with SDR's and the Softrock radios and was
              looking at getting a good sound card. I know the Delta 44 is highly
              recommended but I was wondering if anyone had tried the M-Audio
              Audiophile 192. It is basically a Delta 44 without the preamp / mixer
              box but with 24bit 192KHz sampling for the same price.

              Do you need any of the mixing or preamp functions of the Delta 44 IO box
              with a Softrock radio? The Audiophile 192 still has the 4 in / 4 out but
              it just uses a simple breakout cable in place of the fancy IO box. I am
              guessing that since the Delta 44 interface that is available for the
              Softrock radio connects directly to the 25 pin connector on the Delta 44
              PCI card that you don't need any of the IO box functions.


              Any other suggestions for a really good card are welcome. I have been
              reading past posts but some information gets dated very fast. I figure
              if I cam going to spend over $100 for a sounds card I would like to get
              the best possible.

              Pete - WB4TKA
            • k5nwa
              ... I don t have one but I have seen reports from those that have tested it. You forgot to add with added noise The audiophile card has more noise than the
              Message 6 of 16 , Jul 19, 2008
                At 05:30 PM 7/19/2008, you wrote:
                >I am just getting started with SDR's and the Softrock radios and was
                >looking at getting a good sound card. I know the Delta 44 is highly
                >recommended but I was wondering if anyone had tried the M-Audio
                >Audiophile 192. It is basically a Delta 44 without the preamp / mixer
                >box but with 24bit 192KHz sampling for the same price.
                >
                >Pete - WB4TKA
                I don't have one but I have seen reports from those that have tested it.

                You forgot to add "with added noise" The audiophile card has more
                noise than the Delta 44/66 it uses a different chip and most sound
                cards companies only look at noise below 20KHz since that is all you
                can possibly hear, not so with a radio, the entire spectrum must be clean.


                Cecil
                K5NWA
                www.softrockradio.org www.qrpradio.com

                "Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the light."
              • Mark J. Dulcey
                ... It s not accurate to say that nobody looks at noise above 20KHz . Many audio interfaces do something called noise shaping
                Message 7 of 16 , Jul 19, 2008
                  k5nwa wrote:
                  >
                  > You forgot to add "with added noise" The audiophile card has more
                  > noise than the Delta 44/66 it uses a different chip and most sound
                  > cards companies only look at noise below 20KHz since that is all you
                  > can possibly hear, not so with a radio, the entire spectrum must be clean.

                  It's not accurate to say that "nobody looks at noise above 20KHz". Many
                  audio interfaces do something called noise shaping
                  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noise_shaping) -- the sampling technique
                  is deliberately distorted in a way that improves noise performance in
                  the audible range at the expense of making it worse in the above-audible
                  frequencies. Yes, noise shaping actually does make digital audio sound
                  better to human ears, so it's not a silly thing for audio interface
                  designers to do. But it's a disaster for an SDR.

                  Now, you may wonder... if those frequencies are inaudible to human ears,
                  and if you're just going to make the interface handle them badly anyway,
                  why bother with sampling rates higher than 48KHz for audio? The short
                  answer: it sounds better. The slightly longer answer: the best available
                  theory is that there are TIME domain (rather than frequency domain)
                  effects that human hearing is sensitive to, and the imperfection of
                  digital audio is at least in part due to those effects. The higher
                  sample rate allows sounds to be placed more accurately in time, and thus
                  they sound better. (WHY higher sample rates sound better is still a
                  matter of some debate in the audio community. But the fact that they DO
                  sound better is easily demonstrated, although the effect is subtle.)
                • k5nwa
                  ... The second you start chastising me with an incorrect quote you lost me, the mail went in the trash. You even claimed to quote me by putting a phrase I did
                  Message 8 of 16 , Jul 19, 2008
                    At 07:34 PM 7/19/2008, you wrote:
                    >k5nwa wrote:
                    > >
                    > > You forgot to add "with added noise" The audiophile card has more
                    > > noise than the Delta 44/66 it uses a different chip and most sound
                    > > cards companies only look at noise below 20KHz since that is all you
                    > > can possibly hear, not so with a radio, the entire spectrum must be clean.
                    >
                    >It's not accurate to say that "nobody looks at noise above 20KHz". Many
                    >audio interfaces do something called noise shaping

                    The second you start chastising me with an incorrect quote you lost
                    me, the mail went in the trash. You even claimed to quote me by
                    putting a phrase I did not say in quotes like somehow I said that
                    when the little bit of my old email shows that the quote is totally bogus.

                    Have a nice day. Filters up Scotty!


                    Cecil
                    K5NWA
                    www.softrockradio.org www.qrpradio.com

                    "Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the light."
                  • Mark J. Dulcey
                    ... Apologies. To correctly preserve the sense of the original statement it should have been most companies don t look at noise above 20KHz. Or I could have
                    Message 9 of 16 , Jul 19, 2008
                      k5nwa wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > At 07:34 PM 7/19/2008, you wrote:
                      > >k5nwa wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > You forgot to add "with added noise" The audiophile card has more
                      > > > noise than the Delta 44/66 it uses a different chip and most sound
                      > > > cards companies only look at noise below 20KHz since that is all you
                      > > > can possibly hear, not so with a radio, the entire spectrum must be
                      > clean.
                      > >
                      > >It's not accurate to say that "nobody looks at noise above 20KHz". Many
                      > >audio interfaces do something called noise shaping
                      >
                      > The second you start chastising me with an incorrect quote you lost
                      > me, the mail went in the trash. You even claimed to quote me by
                      > putting a phrase I did not say in quotes like somehow I said that
                      > when the little bit of my old email shows that the quote is totally bogus.

                      Apologies. To correctly preserve the sense of the original statement it
                      should have been "most companies don't look at noise above 20KHz." Or I
                      could have quoted the original text, at the cost of convoluting the
                      syntax of what I was trying to say.

                      In any case, it is even more accurate to say that they DO look at that
                      noise, but they're willing to accept that compromise because they gain
                      something more important to their goals by accepting it.

                      The real point was not to chastise anybody, but to point out that there
                      is an actual reason why so many audio interfaces have poor noise
                      performance above 20KHz. It's not that the designers are careless; it's
                      that they are carefully designing for a different market.

                      Noise shaping really does make audio interfaces sound better to human
                      ears. That is an experimentally verifiable and repeatable result. It has
                      the unfortunate side effect of making the interfaces perform poorly in
                      SDR applications, but we are not the target market of the chip
                      designers, and we aren't a big enough market to have any influence on
                      the products that the audio chip makers will produce.

                      If we want an interface that will perform as we want in an SDR, we may
                      have to design it ourselves. And we will face the challenge that most of
                      the readily available audio chipsets are designed to do the wrong thing
                      for ham radio use; noise shaping is designed into the chipsets and not
                      defeatable.
                    • steve gunsel
                      Hi, Just getting started in this. Are there any recommended sound cards, internal or external, for use with the softrock radios? Most available cards seem to
                      Message 10 of 16 , Jun 2, 2010
                        Hi,

                        Just getting started in this.
                        Are there any recommended sound cards, internal or external, for use
                        with the softrock radios?
                        Most available cards seem to require some flavor of Windows,
                        presumably not ideal.
                        Thanks.

                        Steve - N8MYA
                      • Alan
                        ... From: steve gunsel Subject: [softrock40] Sound cards ... Most people do use Windows. Almost any card will work for SDR. Try with what you have, get a
                        Message 11 of 16 , Jun 2, 2010
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "steve gunsel"
                          Subject: [softrock40] Sound cards


                          > Are there any recommended sound cards, internal or external, for use
                          > with the softrock radios?
                          > Most available cards seem to require some flavor of Windows,
                          > presumably not ideal.

                          Most people do use Windows. Almost any card will work for SDR. Try with what
                          you have, get a better one later if you feel you need it.
                          If you don't use Windows someone else must tell..

                          73 Alan G4ZFQ
                        • Chris
                          If you have a free PCI slot a M-Audio Audiophile 192 will have the desired bitrate (and cost) and I used it with Ubuntu Studio (Until my music studio was
                          Message 12 of 16 , Jun 2, 2010

                            If you have a free PCI slot a M-Audio Audiophile 192 will have the desired bitrate (and cost) and I used it with Ubuntu Studio (Until my music studio was robbed) now I use a M-audio Fast Track pro (USB) ( be carefull there are 2 versions and no distinction between them but one does not work right) but really anything that is 192khz sampling rate will be your best bet and will provide you with the most "Chunk" of the spectrum.  Check out the line that M-Audio provides, most of them are cheap enough www.zzounds.com would be a good spot to check but the most important is the 192khz Sampling rate, other than that stick to the main brands, and check for updated drivers, if there are none and the device has been out for a while chances are you will be stuck with any problems forever.Hope this helps.

                            --KD8JBX

                            --- On Wed, 6/2/10, steve gunsel <sgunsel@...> wrote:

                            From: steve gunsel <sgunsel@...>
                            Subject: [softrock40] Sound cards
                            To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
                            Date: Wednesday, June 2, 2010, 4:13 PM

                             

                            Hi,

                            Just getting started in this.
                            Are there any recommended sound cards, internal or external, for use
                            with the softrock radios?
                            Most available cards seem to require some flavor of Windows,
                            presumably not ideal.
                            Thanks.

                            Steve - N8MYA


                          • R R Robson
                            You WILL need to have a sound card that has STEREO inputs (line in). From: Alan Sent: Wednesday, June 02, 2010 3:27 PM To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com Subject:
                            Message 13 of 16 , Jun 2, 2010
                              You WILL need to have a sound card that has STEREO inputs (line in).

                              From: Alan
                              Sent: Wednesday, June 02, 2010 3:27 PM
                              Subject: Re: [softrock40] Sound cards

                               


                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: "steve gunsel"
                              Subject: [softrock40] Sound cards

                              > Are there any recommended sound cards, internal or external, for use
                              > with the softrock radios?
                              > Most available cards seem to require some flavor of Windows,
                              > presumably not ideal.

                              Most people do use Windows. Almost any card will work for SDR. Try with what
                              you have, get a better one later if you feel you need it.
                              If you don't use Windows someone else must tell..

                              73 Alan G4ZFQ

                            • Alan
                              ... From: steve gunsel
                              Message 14 of 16 , Jun 2, 2010
                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: "steve gunsel" <
                                Subject: [softrock40] Sound cards


                                > Are there any recommended sound cards, internal or external, for use
                                > with the softrock radios?

                                I expected you to get more replies! At
                                <http://homepages.wightcable.net/~g4zfq/Si570.htm> Section 5 are some links
                                to discussions on this subject.
                                As Robby says about the only definite thing is that is has have a stereo
                                line input.
                                Understand that if you really want to start with selecting 96KHz or 192KHz
                                cards it is not quite as simple as Chris says. Some do not cover the
                                equivalent audio range.

                                73 Alan G4ZFQ
                              • G8SQH
                                On Wed, 2 Jun 2010 20:27:42 -0000 Alan wrote: I m a Linux man, and (like many) I use the Delta 44 with good results. For Linux the
                                Message 15 of 16 , Jun 3, 2010
                                  On Wed, 2 Jun 2010 20:27:42 -0000
                                  "Alan" <alan4alan@...> wrote:

                                  I'm a Linux man, and (like many) I use the Delta 44 with good results. For Linux the only extra requirement is driver availability - some vendors help, some won't.

                                  Things you might consider:

                                  - You must have stereo input at line level. More inputs are useful (e.g. to connect a microphone if you want to run voice, to measure signals using audio analyser software). More outputs are convenient - I use one to connect headphones.

                                  - 96 or 192 kHz sampling is nice, in that it widens the chunk of RF you can see without retuning the LO. Was much more important with the crystal controlled Softrocks. I work on 30m, which is only 50 kHz wide, so 96 is all I need. 192 is less common (and do check there are no fixed audio LPFs)

                                  - 16 bits would be enough - *if* the card noise really was that low. My "24 bit" Delta really has around 19 or 20 noise free. The key is to ensure that the weakest signals are not dominated by quantization noise. On HF the noise from the antenna pretty much does this

                                  - Full duplex is needed for voice, and by the jack audio I use on Linux. Only really an issue for USB sound cards - USB 1.1 can't do 96 kHz 24 bits 2 in 2 out all at once. USB 2.0 soundcards are rare - beware that "USB 2.0 compatible" does *not* mean sends data at USB high speed, and that's what >48 kHz needs

                                  In general, look for cards designed for musicians, and look on ebay for people upgrading.

                                  As to whether Windows is ideal - well that's a religious matter :-) There are far more hams using Windows - I happen to think Linux is better for serious home-brew, just because I can get inside it when needed.

                                  Hope to hear you and your Softrock soon

                                  --David G8SQH

                                  >
                                  > ----- Original Message -----
                                  > From: "steve gunsel"
                                  > Subject: [softrock40] Sound cards
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > > Are there any recommended sound cards, internal or external, for use
                                  > > with the softrock radios?
                                  > > Most available cards seem to require some flavor of Windows,
                                  > > presumably not ideal.
                                  >
                                  > Most people do use Windows. Almost any card will work for SDR. Try with what
                                  > you have, get a better one later if you feel you need it.
                                  > If you don't use Windows someone else must tell..
                                  >
                                  > 73 Alan G4ZFQ
                                  >


                                  --
                                  <djch-yahoo@...>
                                • g8voip
                                  Hi Steve, Some additional things to consider when choosing a sound card for SDR. Ultimately the sound card is the most important part of the SoftRock type SDR
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Jun 3, 2010
                                    Hi Steve,

                                    Some additional things to consider when choosing a sound card for SDR.

                                    Ultimately the sound card is the most important part of the SoftRock type SDR receivers and largely determines the performance.

                                    As the others have said, when first dipping your toes in the water, most on board or general purpose sound cards are adequate to gain an appreciation of the potential of Software Defined Radio. These devices are often limited to 16 bit sampling and a maximum sampling rate of 48kHz.

                                    There are some possible operating system limitations using the Rocky program with Windows Vista or Windows 7.

                                    If you then decide to progress further, the 'standard' sound card most people use is one that has 24 bit sampling and can run at 96kHz sampling rate. This provides a number of benefits to improve the RX performance.

                                    One other thing to consider is if you want to transmit using SDR, then it is necessary to have two stereo inputs and two outputs available. You could use a mono input for the microphone.

                                    It is possible to use two separate sound cards to achieve this, however there can be some difficulty configuring this type of set up, and some features in PowerSDR are not available. Many people are however using this approach successfully.

                                    Although it is the most expensive option, selecting a sound card that is 'fully supported' in the PowerSDR software does make things considerably easier to set up, and allows use of all of the features.

                                    I was most reluctant to adopt the 'supported' card approach, but once I took the plunge and acquired a Delta 44 card, I have never looked back. I know of several others who have followed that advice and are extremely pleased with the results having struggled with the 2 card approach.

                                    Enjoy playing with SDR, it is addictive!

                                    73, Bob G8VOI


                                    --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "Alan" <alan4alan@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > ----- Original Message -----
                                    > From: "steve gunsel" <
                                    > Subject: [softrock40] Sound cards
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > > Are there any recommended sound cards, internal or external, for use
                                    > > with the softrock radios?
                                    >
                                    > I expected you to get more replies! At
                                    > <http://homepages.wightcable.net/~g4zfq/Si570.htm> Section 5 are some links
                                    > to discussions on this subject.
                                    > As Robby says about the only definite thing is that is has have a stereo
                                    > line input.
                                    > Understand that if you really want to start with selecting 96KHz or 192KHz
                                    > cards it is not quite as simple as Chris says. Some do not cover the
                                    > equivalent audio range.
                                    >
                                    > 73 Alan G4ZFQ
                                    >
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