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Re: Si570 software

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  • Clive Wallis
    Des M0AYF wrote - ... I can strongly recommend BBC BASIC for Windows, for doing this sort of thing. It fully supports Windows GUI applications and DLL files.
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 28 3:39 AM
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      Des M0AYF wrote -

      >Alas programing is not one of my talents though I can just about get
      >to grips with BASIC. In the short term I can use the existing software
      >to set the desired frequency for things like the Softrock but in the
      >longer term I was thinking about using the si570 to provide a s-l-o-w
      >swept frequency source for things like filter response checking etc.

      I can strongly recommend BBC BASIC for Windows, for doing this sort of
      thing. It fully supports Windows GUI applications and DLL files. Your
      main problem would be to find a way of interfacing with your existing
      hardware/software.

      The program is available from the author's website www.rtrussell.co.uk .
      Although not freeware, the program only costs 30 GBP, and there is a
      demo version available, which shows it's capabilities. The author
      Richard Russell G4BAU provides a very high level of support.

      I've put a package of software to control the Si570, in my folder
      (G3CWV), on the group's website. This may be of interest, if you wish
      to study Si570 programming, as I've included a lot of documentation and
      commented source codes.

      My program reads the default registers from the Si570, and calculates
      the registers for any other frequency. With the LDVS chip from the
      group buy, it works from 7 to 600 MHz.

      There is a trivial program for a PICAXE which could be easily
      implemented on other PICs. The remainder of the calculations are done
      in the PC. I'm sure that the code culd be changed to provide a slow
      frequency scan.

      I found that the Si570 documentation was rather difficult to understand,
      and the various data fields spanned register boundaries, which
      complicated programming.

      Hope this helps.

      73

      Clive G3CWV

      Hitchin, North Hertfordshire, UK.
    • Des
      Hi Clive and the group, Clive (G3CWV) wrote: I ve put a package of software to control the Si570, in my folder(G3CWV), on the group s website. ***** I had a
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 29 6:57 AM
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        Hi Clive and the group,

        Clive (G3CWV) wrote:
        I've put a package of software to control the Si570, in my
        folder(G3CWV), on the group's website.
        *****

        I had a look at the folder this morning, the documentation is very
        good and easy to follow. Many thanks.

        Clive (G3CWV) wrote:
        There is a trivial program for a PICAXE which could be easily
        implemented on other PICs.
        *****

        Not so trivial and very fortunate for me since I use the PICAXE 28X
        for QRSS experiments so it should be easy to adapt the software to my
        requirements. I have used the I2C protocol before with Plessy
        snthesiser chips many years ago, devices like the now obsolete NJ88C33
        etc though I have never used the I2C functions on the PICAXE so your
        code example will save me a lot of time and help me to get going quickly.

        I had been hoping to use the PICAXE 28X with the si570 after spotting
        the I2C reference in the PICAXE documentation though it soon became
        clear that the 28X math capability was not good enough to fully
        control the si570 "on-the-fly". Having said that it might be possible
        to use the 28X as a "dumb" controller for the si570. In QRSS
        applications the number of frequency changes/increments is often quite
        limited. e.g. In the 30 Mtr band the qrss sub-band is generally
        between 10.140000 and 10.140200 MHz. It might therefore be possible to
        perform calibration and frequency calculation on a PC and then upload
        those values to a PICAXE. The PICAXE could then use a "look-up" table
        to set the si570,s frequency and/or select frequency increments.

        Clive (G3CWV) wrote:
        I can strongly recommend BBC BASIC for Windows, for doing this sort of
        thing. It fully supports Windows GUI applications and DLL files.
        *****

        Thank-you for the reference, I quickly scanned the website this
        morning and from what I have seen so far the software would easily
        perform the tasks I had in mind. I like the the option to create
        stand-alone "exe" files which don't require any extra bits to make
        them work. I will have to study BBC BASIC for Windows in more detail
        but it looks like it would be something I could use straight
        out-of-the-box :-)

        Thanks for the info' and for sharing your software with the group.

        73,s

        Des (M0AYF)




        --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, Clive Wallis <g3cwv@...> wrote:

        > I can strongly recommend BBC BASIC for Windows, for doing this sort of
        > thing. It fully supports Windows GUI applications and DLL files. Your
        > main problem would be to find a way of interfacing with your existing
        > hardware/software.
        >
        > The program is available from the author's website www.rtrussell.co.uk .
        > Although not freeware, the program only costs 30 GBP, and there is a
        > demo version available, which shows it's capabilities. The author
        > Richard Russell G4BAU provides a very high level of support.
        >
      • Clive Wallis
        Des M0AYF wrote - ... I ve tested the code on the 18X and 28X1 chips with equal success. You should be able program it into your PICAXE, and then use the EXE
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 30 4:02 AM
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          Des M0AYF wrote -

          >Not so trivial and very fortunate for me since I use the PICAXE 28X
          >for QRSS experiments so it should be easy to adapt the software to my
          >requirements.

          I've tested the code on the 18X and 28X1 chips with equal success. You
          should be able program it into your PICAXE, and then use the EXE program
          on the PC to command the Si570. By adding parameters to the RUN command,
          defaults such as baudrate, com port, frequency multiplier, and startup
          frequency can be changed.

          > I have used the I2C protocol before with Plessy snthesiser chips many
          > >years ago, devices like the now obsolete NJ88C33etc though I have
          > never >used the I2C functions on the PICAXE so yourcode example will
          > save me a >lot of time and help me to get going quickly.

          All the I2C protocol is done in the functions provided by the PICAXE
          system, so you don't need to know much about I2C. Just make the calls
          with the parameters needed. They have also included easy to use
          functions for the serial ports, single I/O lines, and various other
          devices, such as a digital temperature sensor.

          >I had been hoping to use the PICAXE 28X with the si570 after spotting
          >the I2C reference in the PICAXE documentation though it soon became
          >clear that the 28X math capability was not good enough to fully
          >control the si570 "on-the-fly".

          The remainder of the PICAXE code is little more than assembler code :-(
          After using BBC BASIC for Windows, using GOTOs and just two parameters
          per statement is a bit of a cultural shock!


          > It might therefore be possible to perform calibration and frequency
          > >calculation on a PC and then upload those values to a PICAXE. The
          > PICAXE >could then use a "look-up" table to set the si570,s frequency
          > and/or >select frequency increments.

          No problem in doing this. Many of the users on this forum have adopted
          this approach. However, I feel that as you need a powerful computer for
          SDR, you might as well use some of it's power for changing the VXO
          frequency.

          What I do feel we need is some way of communicating between the SDR &
          VXO programs to indicate or command the frequency changes. See my other
          posting.


          >>Clive (G3CWV) wrote:

          >>I can strongly recommend BBC BASIC for Windows, for doing this sort of
          >>thing. It fully supports Windows GUI applications and DLL files.

          >Thank-you for the reference, I quickly scanned the website this morning
          >>and from what I have seen so far the software would easily perform the
          >>tasks I had in mind.

          If you download the trial version (from www.rtrussell.co.uk) you'll be
          able to try out the small extract from my software, as well as the many
          demo programs.

          The author provides a very high level of support for his software. There
          is a comprehensive help system in the program, a Wiki, and the BB4W
          forum on Yahoo.

          >I like the the option to create stand-alone "exe" files which don't
          >>require any extra bits to make them work. I will have to study BBC
          >BASIC >for Windows in more detail but it looks like it would be
          >something I could >use straight out-of-the-box :-)

          It's very easy to make changes to a program, and then run it with a
          single mouse click.

          73

          Clive G3CWV

          Hitchin, North Hertfordshire, UK.
        • Des
          Hello again Clive and the group, Many thanks for the additional feedback Clive and the sales pitch for BB4W :-) You convinced me enough to take a closer look
          Message 4 of 4 , Jul 30 5:45 AM
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            Hello again Clive and the group,

            Many thanks for the additional feedback Clive and the "sales pitch"
            for BB4W :-)

            You convinced me enough to take a closer look at the BB4W webpage, I
            also e-mailed Richard with a couple of questions which he promptly
            anwered to my complete satisfaction. So I will be another proud owner
            of BB4W very shortly. BTW I downloaded some of the example code and
            was very impressed, the term "BBC BASIC" brought back memories of
            "blocky" graphics and "beeps" as an excuse for sound but the new BBC
            BASIC for Windows (BB4W) is exceptional taking full advantage of the
            modern PC,s hardware. I am only now beginning to understand Windows
            API's but its clear that BB4W's ability to use them offers great
            versitility.

            Clive wrote:
            > The remainder of the PICAXE code is little more than assembler code :-(
            *****

            I agree but I supose its good enough for its intended market.
            Certainly very handy devices to have around the shack. I have used the
            28X part here to generate normal (12 WPM) and s-l-o-w CW plus various
            pattenrs for qrss using the PWM O/P's. The demands on the PICAXE BASIC
            have not been to great. The limit on the number of variables did pose
            a problem sometimes but I think the newer 28X parts have updated
            firmware to address this problem.

            Clive wrote:
            > What I do feel we need is some way of communicating between the SDR
            & VXO programs to indicate or command the frequency changes.
            *****

            Looking at the way developments with SDR software and si570 style
            synthesisers are converging it probably will not be long before a
            common interface is developed. Thats the nice thing about groups like
            this one which exchange thoughts and ideas and speed-up development.
            The USB port driven si570 does IMHO appear to be a sucessful development.

            Clive wrote:
            However, I feel that as you need a powerful computer for
            > SDR, you might as well use some of it's power for changing the VXO
            > frequency.
            *****

            Good point and indeed that will be the prefered method when using the
            Softrock and/or performing other SDR/si570 experiments here in the
            shack. My interest in the stand-alone si570/PICAXE applications (no
            PC) will be restricted to little more that single band applications
            with the ability to QSY a few steps/Hz if required. The PICAXE will
            probably cope with that.

            Thanks again for the software pointers and I look forward to using BB4W.

            73,s

            Des (M0AYF)

            --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, Clive Wallis <g3cwv@...> wrote:
            >
            > Des M0AYF wrote -
            >
            > >Not so trivial and very fortunate for me since I use the PICAXE 28X
            > >for QRSS experiments so it should be easy to adapt the software to my
            > >requirements.
            >
            > I've tested the code on the 18X and 28X1 chips with equal success. You
            > should be able program it into your PICAXE, and then use the EXE program
            > on the PC to command the Si570. By adding parameters to the RUN command,
            > defaults such as baudrate, com port, frequency multiplier, and startup
            > frequency can be changed.
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