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Si570 parallel port control basics

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  • Lyle Koehler, K0LR
    Parallel port control of an Si570 offers an easy, inexpensive and very versatile way to provide the local oscillator signal for a software-defined radio. I
    Message 1 of 10 , Feb 27, 2008
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      Parallel port control of an Si570 offers an easy, inexpensive and very
      versatile way to provide the local oscillator signal for a
      software-defined radio. I have updated my writeup in the Files section
      in an attempt to summarize information that is probably all available,
      but buried in the message archives. And I'm not sure I am completely
      current, either. For example, I didn't know until a few days ago that
      the "SDR-1000" mode in the sr40 version of PowerSDR will work with the
      Si570, allowing continuous tuning of a SoftRock as if you were running
      the FlexRadio hardware. Thanks to Ray, W7RJC for pointing this out!
      The biggest obstacle to parallel port control is that a parallel port
      is no longer included on new notebook computers and on many new
      desktops. However, you can still find new desktops with a parallel
      port, and I expect that one of the PCI parallel port adapters that are
      sold on eBay for less than $5 can be made to work. There may also be
      some USB to parallel adapters that work, but the cheap ones will
      not!

      With parallel port control, you can select *any* center frequency
      supported by the Si570 and the software you are using. Using the
      WB8LGA Si570 VFO software, for example, the LO center frequency range
      is from 1 to 110 MHz (assuming a 4x divider in the receiver). As
      mentioned above, the sr40 version of PowerSDR
      (http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=172695)
      provides full frequency control of the Si570, and so does Winrad
      (www.weaksignals.com)

      Almost all of the components required for the control interface are
      included on the WB6DHW Si570 board with parts
      (http://wb6dhw.com/Si570/Si570.html),
      which is available for $8 US and $9 DX. The only other parts required
      are a DB25 male connector (Radio Shack 276-1547, $1.99), a short
      length of 3-conductor cable, and of course, the Si570 chip. If you are
      using the LVDS version of the Si570, some amplification will be needed
      to drive the CMOS dividers, but this is true no matter what frequency
      control method is used.

      For further information, including tips for frequency calibration of
      the Si570, see my writeup at
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/softrock40/files/Si570%20Parallel%20Port%20Control/

      Lyle, K0LR
    • Robin Midgett
      Lyle, Thank you so very much! This is exactly what these projects need/ed...clear, concise documentation which benefits the masses, not the bits & pieces which
      Message 2 of 10 , Feb 27, 2008
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        Lyle,
        Thank you so very much! This is exactly what these projects
        need/ed...clear, concise documentation which benefits the masses, not
        the bits & pieces which only those closest to the projects are fully aware of.


        At 12:50 PM 2/27/2008, you wrote:
        >Parallel port control of an Si570 offers an easy, inexpensive and very
        >versatile way to provide the local oscillator signal for a
        >software-defined radio. I have updated my writeup in the Files section
        >in an attempt to summarize information that is probably all available,
        >but buried in the message archives. And I'm not sure I am completely
        >current, either. For example, I didn't know until a few days ago that
        >the "SDR-1000" mode in the sr40 version of PowerSDR will work with the
        >Si570, allowing continuous tuning of a SoftRock as if you were running
        >the FlexRadio hardware. Thanks to Ray, W7RJC for pointing this out!
        >The biggest obstacle to parallel port control is that a parallel port
        >is no longer included on new notebook computers and on many new
        >desktops. However, you can still find new desktops with a parallel
        >port, and I expect that one of the PCI parallel port adapters that are
        >sold on eBay for less than $5 can be made to work. There may also be
        >some USB to parallel adapters that work, but the cheap ones will
        >not!
        >
        >With parallel port control, you can select *any* center frequency
        >supported by the Si570 and the software you are using. Using the
        >WB8LGA Si570 VFO software, for example, the LO center frequency range
        >is from 1 to 110 MHz (assuming a 4x divider in the receiver). As
        >mentioned above, the sr40 version of PowerSDR
        >(http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=172695)
        >provides full frequency control of the Si570, and so does Winrad
        >(www.weaksignals.com)
        >
        >Almost all of the components required for the control interface are
        >included on the WB6DHW Si570 board with parts
        >(http://wb6dhw.com/Si570/Si570.html),
        >which is available for $8 US and $9 DX. The only other parts required
        >are a DB25 male connector (Radio Shack 276-1547, $1.99), a short
        >length of 3-conductor cable, and of course, the Si570 chip. If you are
        >using the LVDS version of the Si570, some amplification will be needed
        >to drive the CMOS dividers, but this is true no matter what frequency
        >control method is used.
        >
        >For further information, including tips for frequency calibration of
        >the Si570, see my writeup at
        >http://groups.yahoo.com/group/softrock40/files/Si570%20Parallel%20Port%20Control/
        >
        >Lyle, K0LR
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >

        Thanks,
        Robin Midgett K4IDC
        615-322-5836 office - rolls to pager
        615-835-7699 pager
        615-301-1642 home
        K4IDC@...
        Radio Gear For Sale: http://www.people.vanderbilt.edu/~robin.midgett/index.htm
      • Brian Lloyd
        ... The only problem with parallel-port control is what Lyle already pointed out: most new computers do not have them and as time goes by, none will have them.
        Message 3 of 10 , Feb 27, 2008
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          On Feb 27, 2008, at 11:03 AM, Robin Midgett wrote:

          > Lyle,
          > Thank you so very much! This is exactly what these projects
          > need/ed...clear, concise documentation which benefits the masses, not
          > the bits & pieces which only those closest to the projects are fully
          > aware of.
          >

          The only problem with parallel-port control is what Lyle already
          pointed out: most new computers do not have them and as time goes by,
          none will have them. So if you make your station depend on that, odds
          are good that your next computer won't interface to your SDR radio.
          That is something to think about.

          There are two interfaces that are going to be on every computer for
          the foreseeable future: USB and Ethernet. So if I were developing
          software for SDRs, those would be the two interfaces I would write
          software for. (Actually there is a third: serial async over USB as
          that supports RS-232 and MIDI.)

          Brian Lloyd
          Granite Bay Montessori School 9330 Sierra College Bl
          brian AT gbmontessori DOT com Roseville, CA 95661
          +1.916.367.2131 (voice) +1.791.912.8170 (fax)

          PGP key ID: 12095C52A32A1B6C
          PGP key fingerprint: 3B1D BA11 4913 3254 B6E0 CC09 1209 5C52 A32A 1B6C
        • John Levreault
          I think you could also program an Si570 via a serial link. I m preparing to breadboard a design I saw at:
          Message 4 of 10 , Feb 27, 2008
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            I think you could also program an Si570 via a serial link.

            I'm preparing to breadboard a design I saw at:

            <http://www.schmartdeveloper.org/tiki-index.php?page=johnday&bl>

            This uses an FT232 for USB-to-RS232, and the NXP SC18IM700 for
            RS232-to-I2C. I actually bumped into this while investigating an
            in-circuit EEPROM programmer, but it seems this should work quite nicely
            for the '570 or any other I2C device. The circuit also contains
            provisions for controlling the GPIO pins on the SC18IM700, which could
            be useful for controlling other stuff in the vicinity.

            The SC18IM700 uses simple text messages for communicating with an I2C
            device. This could be done manually with Hyperterminal (or whatever) or
            somewhat automatically with any program that includes serial
            communications. The FT232 will show up as a COM port, usually COM5, in
            an XP device manager, using FTDI's d2xx drivers.

            I'm probably oversimplifying, and I'm sure there are some surprises
            lurking, as they alway do. But I think the theory looks sound. I'll know
            better in a couple of days after I've had a chance to breadboard
            something. And both chips are available off-the-shelf at Mouser.

            de John NB1I

            >
            >
          • dick_faust
            Previously [msg16629] I mentioned this device and a demo board OM6272, basicly the same as below is available from Digikey [Digi-Key # 568-3512-ND], if you go
            Message 5 of 10 , Feb 28, 2008
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              Previously [msg16629] I mentioned this device and a demo board
              OM6272, basicly the same as below is available from Digikey [Digi-Key
              # 568-3512-ND], if you go to NXP website you can get app note
              [AN10397], schematics and software for the SC18IM700 [DigiKey #568-
              321-5-ND]- See link below.
              http://www.standardics.nxp.com/support/boards/sc18im700/

              Demo board works well & I am starting to work on a VB6 controller
              program, similar to the demo.

              Dick Faust K9IVB

              --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, John Levreault <jlevro@...> wrote:
              >
              > I think you could also program an Si570 via a serial link.
              >
              > I'm preparing to breadboard a design I saw at:
              >
              > <http://www.schmartdeveloper.org/tiki-index.php?page=johnday&bl>
              >
              > This uses an FT232 for USB-to-RS232, and the NXP SC18IM700 for
              > RS232-to-I2C. I actually bumped into this while investigating an
              > in-circuit EEPROM programmer, but it seems this should work quite
              nicely
              > for the '570 or any other I2C device. The circuit also contains
              > provisions for controlling the GPIO pins on the SC18IM700, which
              could
              > be useful for controlling other stuff in the vicinity.
              >
              > The SC18IM700 uses simple text messages for communicating with an
              I2C
              > device. This could be done manually with Hyperterminal (or
              whatever) or
              > somewhat automatically with any program that includes serial
              > communications. The FT232 will show up as a COM port, usually COM5,
              in
              > an XP device manager, using FTDI's d2xx drivers.
              >
              > I'm probably oversimplifying, and I'm sure there are some surprises
              > lurking, as they alway do. But I think the theory looks sound. I'll
              know
              > better in a couple of days after I've had a chance to breadboard
              > something. And both chips are available off-the-shelf at Mouser.
              >
              > de John NB1I
              >
              > >
              > >
              >
            • John Levreault
              ... Sorry I missed your previous post. Thanks for the info! de John NB1I
              Message 6 of 10 , Feb 29, 2008
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                dick_faust wrote:

                >Previously [msg16629] I mentioned this device and a demo board
                >OM6272, basicly the same as below is available from Digikey [Digi-Key
                ># 568-3512-ND], if you go to NXP website you can get app note
                >[AN10397], schematics and software for the SC18IM700 [DigiKey #568-
                >321-5-ND]- See link below.
                >http://www.standardics.nxp.com/support/boards/sc18im700/
                >
                >Demo board works well & I am starting to work on a VB6 controller
                >program, similar to the demo.
                >
                >

                Sorry I missed your previous post. Thanks for the info!

                de John NB1I

                >--- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, John Levreault <jlevro@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                >>I think you could also program an Si570 via a serial link.
                >>
                >>
                >>
                >
                >
              • Logan Zintsmaster
                What a great find! I have been looking for chips like this for months. I wanted to keep the SoftRock side very simple and do all the programming on the
                Message 7 of 10 , Mar 1, 2008
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                  What a great find!  I have been looking for chips like this for months.  I wanted to keep the SoftRock side very simple and do all the programming on the computer side. 

                   

                  Let me know how things work out.  I will be ordering the chips next week.

                   

                  Logan, KZ6O

                   

                   


                  From: softrock40@yahoogroups.com [mailto:softrock40@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of John Levreault
                  Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2008 1:46 PM
                  To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [SPAM]Re: [softrock40] Si570 parallel port control basics

                   

                  I think you could also program an Si570 via a serial link.

                  I'm preparing to breadboard a design I saw at:

                  <http://www.schmartd eveloper. org/tiki- index.php? page=johnday& bl>

                  This uses an FT232 for USB-to-RS232, and the NXP SC18IM700 for
                  RS232-to-I2C. I actually bumped into this while investigating an
                  in-circuit EEPROM programmer, but it seems this should work quite nicely
                  for the '570 or any other I2C device. The circuit also contains
                  provisions for controlling the GPIO pins on the SC18IM700, which could
                  be useful for controlling other stuff in the vicinity.

                  The SC18IM700 uses simple text messages for communicating with an I2C
                  device. This could be done manually with Hyperterminal (or whatever) or
                  somewhat automatically with any program that includes serial
                  communications. The FT232 will show up as a COM port, usually COM5, in
                  an XP device manager, using FTDI's d2xx drivers.

                  I'm probably oversimplifying, and I'm sure there are some surprises
                  lurking, as they alway do. But I think the theory looks sound. I'll know
                  better in a couple of days after I've had a chance to breadboard
                  something. And both chips are available off-the-shelf at Mouser.

                  de John NB1I

                  >
                  >

                • drmail377
                  Hi John, I m curious why this design you re breadboarding uses an FTDI part for RS232 and NXP part for I2C. It seems one could use the FTDI FT232 for RS232 and
                  Message 8 of 10 , Mar 18, 2008
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                    Hi John,

                    I'm curious why this design you're breadboarding uses an FTDI part for
                    RS232 and NXP part for I2C. It seems one could use the FTDI FT232 for
                    RS232 and FT2232D for I2C. They would share the same virtual serial
                    port driver or you could use the FTDI supplied I2C (or SPI) DLL to
                    simplify application programming. Or maybe there's an issue with
                    having two FTDI parts connected at the same time? I've never tried it.
                    Hmmm...

                    One drawback to the FT2232D is there is no Linux driver for SPI or I2C.

                    Your Thoughts?

                    David


                    --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, John Levreault <jlevro@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > I think you could also program an Si570 via a serial link.
                    >
                    > I'm preparing to breadboard a design I saw at:
                    >
                    > <http://www.schmartdeveloper.org/tiki-index.php?page=johnday&bl>
                    >
                    > This uses an FT232 for USB-to-RS232, and the NXP SC18IM700 for
                    > RS232-to-I2C. I actually bumped into this while investigating an
                    > in-circuit EEPROM programmer, but it seems this should work quite
                    nicely
                    > for the '570 or any other I2C device. The circuit also contains
                    > provisions for controlling the GPIO pins on the SC18IM700, which could
                    > be useful for controlling other stuff in the vicinity.
                    >
                    > The SC18IM700 uses simple text messages for communicating with an I2C
                    > device. This could be done manually with Hyperterminal (or whatever) or
                    > somewhat automatically with any program that includes serial
                    > communications. The FT232 will show up as a COM port, usually COM5, in
                    > an XP device manager, using FTDI's d2xx drivers.
                    >
                    > I'm probably oversimplifying, and I'm sure there are some surprises
                    > lurking, as they alway do. But I think the theory looks sound. I'll
                    know
                    > better in a couple of days after I've had a chance to breadboard
                    > something. And both chips are available off-the-shelf at Mouser.
                    >
                    > de John NB1I
                    >
                    > >
                    > >
                    >
                  • drmail377
                    John, OOOPs, I didn t look closely at the drawing of the thing you re breadboarding. It seems to me that you just need a single FTDI FT2232D to do what they re
                    Message 9 of 10 , Mar 18, 2008
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                      John,

                      OOOPs, I didn't look closely at the drawing of the thing you're
                      breadboarding. It seems to me that you just need a single FTDI FT2232D
                      to do what they're doing on this board. The FTDI DLL will allow you to
                      simply interface your high end Windows app. Maybe take a look at this
                      part before you break out the breadboards.

                      Note the FT2232D is a newer version of the FT2232C and it seems some
                      of the applications and documentation on the FTDI site refer to the
                      FT2232C. Keep that in mind when searching.

                      73's David


                      --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "drmail377" <drmail377@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Hi John,
                      >
                      > I'm curious why this design you're breadboarding uses an FTDI part for
                      > RS232 and NXP part for I2C. It seems one could use the FTDI FT232 for
                      > RS232 and FT2232D for I2C. They would share the same virtual serial
                      > port driver or you could use the FTDI supplied I2C (or SPI) DLL to
                      > simplify application programming. Or maybe there's an issue with
                      > having two FTDI parts connected at the same time? I've never tried it.
                      > Hmmm...
                      >
                      > One drawback to the FT2232D is there is no Linux driver for SPI or I2C.
                      >
                      > Your Thoughts?
                      >
                      > David
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, John Levreault <jlevro@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > I think you could also program an Si570 via a serial link.
                      > >
                      > > I'm preparing to breadboard a design I saw at:
                      > >
                      > > <http://www.schmartdeveloper.org/tiki-index.php?page=johnday&bl>
                      > >
                      > > This uses an FT232 for USB-to-RS232, and the NXP SC18IM700 for
                      > > RS232-to-I2C. I actually bumped into this while investigating an
                      > > in-circuit EEPROM programmer, but it seems this should work quite
                      > nicely
                      > > for the '570 or any other I2C device. The circuit also contains
                      > > provisions for controlling the GPIO pins on the SC18IM700, which
                      could
                      > > be useful for controlling other stuff in the vicinity.
                      > >
                      > > The SC18IM700 uses simple text messages for communicating with an I2C
                      > > device. This could be done manually with Hyperterminal (or
                      whatever) or
                      > > somewhat automatically with any program that includes serial
                      > > communications. The FT232 will show up as a COM port, usually
                      COM5, in
                      > > an XP device manager, using FTDI's d2xx drivers.
                      > >
                      > > I'm probably oversimplifying, and I'm sure there are some surprises
                      > > lurking, as they alway do. But I think the theory looks sound. I'll
                      > know
                      > > better in a couple of days after I've had a chance to breadboard
                      > > something. And both chips are available off-the-shelf at Mouser.
                      > >
                      > > de John NB1I
                      > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > >
                      >
                    • John Levreault
                      ... Well, it s simple: My programming skills are, shall we say, limited , and I needed a quick solution for a work project. I can use the FT232 and the
                      Message 10 of 10 , Mar 18, 2008
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                        drmail377 wrote:

                        >Hi John,
                        >
                        >I'm curious why this design you're breadboarding uses an FTDI part for
                        >RS232 and NXP part for I2C. It seems one could use the FTDI FT232 for
                        >RS232 and FT2232D for I2C. They would share the same virtual serial
                        >port driver or you could use the FTDI supplied I2C (or SPI) DLL to
                        >simplify application programming. Or maybe there's an issue with
                        >having two FTDI parts connected at the same time? I've never tried it.
                        >Hmmm...
                        >
                        >One drawback to the FT2232D is there is no Linux driver for SPI or I2C.
                        >
                        >Your Thoughts?
                        >
                        >
                        Well, it's simple: My programming skills are, shall we say, "limited",
                        and I needed a quick solution for a work project. I can use the FT232
                        and the SC18IM700 through any old terminal program. Makes it real easy
                        to twiddle with virtually any I2C chip. And there are lots. So I figured
                        if I could do it....

                        Now that the pressure's off, I've learned a lot more. Your solution is
                        clearly better, but it does mean writing real software. I'm getting
                        better at that, but I haven't settled on a language of choice, though,
                        so I'm still in a learning phase. The way I see it, it's like pushups
                        for one's aging brain cells.

                        de John NB1I

                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
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