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Rocky SDR software

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  • mxpklup1
    The author of Rocky for SoftRock-40 at dxatlas.com suggested I ask this question here. I m hoping a radio guru can answer this. I downloaded and ran the Rocky
    Message 1 of 9 , Aug 1, 2007
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      The author of Rocky for SoftRock-40 at dxatlas.com suggested I ask
      this question here. I'm hoping a radio guru can answer this.

      I downloaded and ran the Rocky software without and hardware frontend -
      I don't have a SoftRock-40 or any other hardware yet.

      I noticed a signal at 7054.00 Hz. Is that comimg from my soundcard or
      computer? There's nothing in the soundcard except a stereo out cable
      to my speakers. The soundcard is a built-on-the-motherboard Intel
      SigmaTel Audio, i.e., pretty low-end.

      I've added a screengrab in the photo album "Rocky"

      TIA
    • k5nwa
      ... When you run an FFT routine on the data from a sound card that has a small DC offset the FFT comes up with the fact that you have a signal at frequency 0,
      Message 2 of 9 , Aug 1, 2007
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        At 07:51 PM 8/1/2007, you wrote:

        >The author of Rocky for SoftRock-40 at dxatlas.com suggested I ask
        >this question here. I'm hoping a radio guru can answer this.
        >
        >I downloaded and ran the Rocky software without and hardware frontend -
        >I don't have a SoftRock-40 or any other hardware yet.
        >
        >I noticed a signal at 7054.00 Hz. Is that comimg from my soundcard or
        >computer? There's nothing in the soundcard except a stereo out cable
        >to my speakers. The soundcard is a built-on-the-motherboard Intel
        >SigmaTel Audio, i.e., pretty low-end.
        >
        >I've added a screengrab in the photo album "Rocky"
        >
        >TIA

        When you run an FFT routine on the data from a sound card that has a
        small DC offset the FFT comes up with the fact that you have a signal
        at frequency 0, remember the FFT is looking for + and - frequencies
        and 0 is just another frequency to it.



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

        "Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the light."
      • k5nwa
        ... I should have mentioned that if the data from the sound card is first passed through a high pass filter before doing the FFT you can eliminate the data at
        Message 3 of 9 , Aug 1, 2007
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          At 07:51 PM 8/1/2007, you wrote:

          >The author of Rocky for SoftRock-40 at dxatlas.com suggested I ask
          >this question here. I'm hoping a radio guru can answer this.
          >
          >I downloaded and ran the Rocky software without and hardware frontend -
          >I don't have a SoftRock-40 or any other hardware yet.
          >
          >I noticed a signal at 7054.00 Hz. Is that comimg from my soundcard or
          >computer? There's nothing in the soundcard except a stereo out cable
          >to my speakers. The soundcard is a built-on-the-motherboard Intel
          >SigmaTel Audio, i.e., pretty low-end.
          >
          >I've added a screengrab in the photo album "Rocky"
          >
          >TIA

          I should have mentioned that if the data from the sound card is first
          passed through a high pass filter before doing the FFT you can
          eliminate the data at 0 frequency.



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

          "Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the light."
        • Alex, VE3NEA
          ... { I should have mentioned that if the data from the sound card is first passed through a high pass filter before doing the FFT you can eliminate the data
          Message 4 of 9 , Aug 1, 2007
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            >The author of Rocky for SoftRock-40 at dxatlas.com suggested I ask
            >this question here. I'm hoping a radio guru can answer this.
            >
            >I downloaded and ran the Rocky software without and hardware frontend -
            >I don't have a SoftRock-40 or any other hardware yet.
            >
            >I noticed a signal at 7054.00 Hz. Is that comimg from my soundcard or
            >computer? There's nothing in the soundcard except a stereo out cable
            >to my speakers. The soundcard is a built-on-the-motherboard Intel
            >SigmaTel Audio, i.e., pretty low-end.
            >
            >I've added a screengrab in the photo album "Rocky"
            >
            >TIA

            {
            I should have mentioned that if the data from the sound card is first
            passed through a high pass filter before doing the FFT you can
            eliminate the data at 0 frequency.
            }

            This could be done more easily by zeroing a few FFT bins at the center.
            However, this does not make much sense because the data masked by the noise
            hump cannot be recovered anyway.

            The unusual thing about Fristen's screenshot is that the noise hump is not a
            typical bell shape, it has two peaks at about +/- 400 Hz from the center
            frequency. I thought that someone might be able to identify the source of
            the noise by its spectrum, so I suggested that Fristen posts his question
            here.

            73 Alex VE3NEA
          • k5nwa
            ... I would think an average of the surrounding bins might be better, why? Humans are not rational, that big spike make them worried, a zero on the bins goes
            Message 5 of 9 , Aug 1, 2007
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              At 08:55 PM 8/1/2007, you wrote:


              >This could be done more easily by zeroing a few FFT bins at the center.
              >However, this does not make much sense because the data masked by the noise
              >hump cannot be recovered anyway.
              >
              >The unusual thing about Fristen's screenshot is that the noise hump is not a
              >typical bell shape, it has two peaks at about +/- 400 Hz from the center
              >frequency. I thought that someone might be able to identify the source of
              >the noise by its spectrum, so I suggested that Fristen posts his question
              >here.
              >
              >73 Alex VE3NEA
              >

              I would think an average of the surrounding bins might be better,
              why? Humans are not rational, that big spike make them worried, a
              zero on the bins goes the other way, making it look weird, the
              average makes it look like the rest of the noise.



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

              "Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the light."
            • Dave
              ... I ve seen such a thing when I had audio output coupling into the I and Q inputs (had to do with the grounding configuration of my D44 card at the time:
              Message 6 of 9 , Aug 2, 2007
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                > The unusual thing about Fristen's screenshot is that the noise hump is
                > not a typical bell shape, it has two peaks at about +/- 400 Hz from
                > the center frequency.

                I've seen such a thing when I had audio output coupling into the I and Q
                inputs (had to do with the grounding configuration of my D44 card at the
                time: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/softrock40/message/8216 ). The +/-
                peaks tended to move closer or farther from the center as I tuned across
                the center, changing the audio tone frequency resulting from detecting
                the center peak.

                Dave, WA3OFF
              • mxpklup1
                ... frontend - ... soundcard or ... cable ... first ... center. ... the noise ... hump is not a ... center ... source of ... question ... I uploaded more
                Message 7 of 9 , Aug 2, 2007
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                  --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "Alex, VE3NEA" <alshovk@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > >The author of Rocky for SoftRock-40 at dxatlas.com suggested I ask
                  > >this question here. I'm hoping a radio guru can answer this.
                  > >
                  > >I downloaded and ran the Rocky software without and hardware
                  frontend -
                  > >I don't have a SoftRock-40 or any other hardware yet.
                  > >
                  > >I noticed a signal at 7054.00 Hz. Is that comimg from my
                  soundcard or
                  > >computer? There's nothing in the soundcard except a stereo out
                  cable
                  > >to my speakers. The soundcard is a built-on-the-motherboard Intel
                  > >SigmaTel Audio, i.e., pretty low-end.
                  > >
                  > >I've added a screengrab in the photo album "Rocky"
                  > >
                  > >TIA
                  >
                  > {
                  > I should have mentioned that if the data from the sound card is
                  first
                  > passed through a high pass filter before doing the FFT you can
                  > eliminate the data at 0 frequency.
                  > }
                  >
                  > This could be done more easily by zeroing a few FFT bins at the
                  center.
                  > However, this does not make much sense because the data masked by
                  the noise
                  > hump cannot be recovered anyway.
                  >
                  > The unusual thing about Fristen's screenshot is that the noise
                  hump is not a
                  > typical bell shape, it has two peaks at about +/- 400 Hz from the
                  center
                  > frequency. I thought that someone might be able to identify the
                  source of
                  > the noise by its spectrum, so I suggested that Fristen posts his
                  question
                  > here.
                  >
                  > 73 Alex VE3NEA
                  >

                  I uploaded more accurate screengrabs, where I slid the "dial"
                  directly over the 7054.0 mark. In the first grab it was not - it was
                  at 7053.70. Also, the first grab was looking at the signal in BPSK
                  mode. The new grab is CW mode. The shape changes from mode to mode
                  slightly, and more so when I slide the spectrum, and even more so
                  when I change to zoom slider - from 600Hz down to 20Hz. Changing the
                  volume to max alters the shape dramaticaly - see grab 7054-3.

                  I guess my real question is why that frequency (7054)? And if I
                  understand the responses correctly (Cecil), it's just a small
                  voltage on the soundcard causing it?

                  Thanks again.
                • k5nwa
                  ... 7.054MHz where the spike is in this case is the frequency of the LO crystal oscillator, anything deviating from that frequency is either a positive
                  Message 8 of 9 , Aug 2, 2007
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                    At 07:13 PM 8/2/2007, you wrote:


                    >I guess my real question is why that frequency (7054)? And if I
                    >understand the responses correctly (Cecil), it's just a small
                    >voltage on the soundcard causing it?
                    >
                    >Thanks again.

                    7.054MHz where the spike is in this case is the frequency of the LO
                    crystal oscillator, anything deviating from that frequency is either
                    a positive frequency for higher frequencies or a negative frequency
                    for lower frequencies. That frequency is typically slightly lower
                    than the crystal frequency due to the fact that the oscillator used
                    places a lot of capacitance on the crystal driving the oscillator
                    frequency down several KHz.

                    1.25mv (-40dB) offset in the sound card converters and amplifiers
                    translates to -80 dB at the antenna (actually a little higher due to
                    losses) given that the audio amplifier is running with 40 dB gain
                    that would be over +30 dB above the typical noise floor on 40M or
                    around -110dB or in plain English a big spike. You can easily have a
                    much bigger offset so it doesn't take much to have a large spike at
                    the LO frequency.

                    That can be frustrating, two people have the sound card one will have
                    a huge spike while another will have almost no spike due to the
                    variations in offsets, voltages on the sound card, ground loops in
                    the PC...etc.



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

                    "Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the light."
                  • Dave
                    ... Yeah, this does look to me like the audio feedback I described. Changing modes probably changes the appearance because of the change to the filter width
                    Message 9 of 9 , Aug 3, 2007
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                      > The shape changes from mode to mode slightly, and more so when I
                      > slide the spectrum, and even more so when I change to zoom slider -
                      > from 600Hz down to 20Hz. Changing the volume to max alters the shape
                      > dramaticaly - see grab 7054-3.

                      Yeah, this does look to me like the audio feedback I described.
                      Changing modes probably changes the appearance because of the change
                      to the filter width and position. Changes due to change in volume
                      are a rather obvious result.

                      In my case, both the detected audio out and the I/Q in ran through
                      Tony's D44 interface and the original grounding configuration allowed
                      audio output current to flow on the I/Q input shields, coupling
                      output audio onto the I/Q signal.

                      In your case, I believe you are operating with nothing connected to
                      the I/Q input, so it probably makes it easy to pick up the audio.
                      Try terminating the I/Q input (or grounding these inputs).

                      Dave
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