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Beta kits status, Motherboard FST3253 Switched

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  • Art
    Hi all, Just a short note to update those interested in Alex s Motherboard FST3253 project. Beta kits have been sold out. There are 10 users who will be
    Message 1 of 18 , Dec 1, 2008
      Hi all,

      Just a short note to update those interested in Alex's Motherboard
      FST3253 project.

      Beta kits have been sold out. There are 10 users who will be building
      the beta kits.

      At the present time, I am doing the final reconciliation-that is,
      comparing my parts list to the most current version of Alex's BOM.
      Once this is done, I will order the parts for the beta kits. It is my
      hope that this will be done tonight.

      Some recent changes/improvements from the original BOM are as follows:

      -Gold plated header and mating pins for the .1 inch spacing headers

      -SOT-223 (SMT with heat sink to PCB) version of the 2N2222 transistor
      (external heat sink no longer required)

      -Diodes, both diodes are now SMT and are the same type and in the
      same package (BAS-21, SOT-23)

      -solderwick supplied with kit

      I would very much like to change the BS170 mosfets to an SMT package
      in order to user the PCB as a heatsink (SOT-223 type package), but it
      appears the BS-170 is only available in packages that do not support
      the use of a PCB as a heat sink. If any users have suggestions or a
      source for PCB heat sinkable BS-170's, please email me off list.

      Ken asked about the pricing for the production version of the kit. It
      is almost impossible to predict whether the price will increase in
      the future. If no changes are needed relative to the current BOM, the
      price will increase very slightly. If major changes are needed, one
      can only guess as to the price. I wish I had a better answer, but
      much depends on the report of the beta testers, I don't have a crystal ball.

      Regards,

      Art
    • sailingto
      Thanks for the update Art - and as for pricing, I am thinking ONLY in terms of todays prices - there is no way to tell about price increases in parts. If I
      Message 2 of 18 , Dec 1, 2008
        Thanks for the update Art - and as for pricing, I am thinking ONLY in
        terms of todays prices - there is no way to tell about price
        increases in parts.

        If I remember the parts and PCB is around $50 to $60? That coupled
        with the RXTX V6.3 Softrock would give a complete 5 watt 160 thru 10
        transciver with all RX and TX both switched from the USB port? Do I
        have this correct?

        That is the package I'm looking forward to, and SMT stuff is fine for
        me. I'm actually liking the SMT (1206 stuff) better than thru hole.

        73 de Ken H. K9FV


        --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, Art <KY1K@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi all,
        >
        > Just a short note to update those interested in Alex's Motherboard
        > FST3253 project.
        >
        > Beta kits have been sold out. There are 10 users who will be
        building
        > the beta kits.
        >
        > At the present time, I am doing the final reconciliation-that is,
        > comparing my parts list to the most current version of Alex's BOM.
        > Once this is done, I will order the parts for the beta kits. It is
        my
        > hope that this will be done tonight.
        >
        > Some recent changes/improvements from the original BOM are as
        follows:
        >
        > -Gold plated header and mating pins for the .1 inch spacing headers
        >
        > -SOT-223 (SMT with heat sink to PCB) version of the 2N2222
        transistor
        > (external heat sink no longer required)
        >
        > -Diodes, both diodes are now SMT and are the same type and in the
        > same package (BAS-21, SOT-23)
        >
        > -solderwick supplied with kit
        >
        > I would very much like to change the BS170 mosfets to an SMT
        package
        > in order to user the PCB as a heatsink (SOT-223 type package), but
        it
        > appears the BS-170 is only available in packages that do not
        support
        > the use of a PCB as a heat sink. If any users have suggestions or a
        > source for PCB heat sinkable BS-170's, please email me off list.
        >
        > Ken asked about the pricing for the production version of the kit.
        It
        > is almost impossible to predict whether the price will increase in
        > the future. If no changes are needed relative to the current BOM,
        the
        > price will increase very slightly. If major changes are needed, one
        > can only guess as to the price. I wish I had a better answer, but
        > much depends on the report of the beta testers, I don't have a
        crystal ball.
        >
        > Regards,
        >
        > Art
        >
      • Art
        ... Hi Ken, I wasn t referring to the price changes in the future-I meant to say that the BOM might change, based on the input from the beta testers. So, there
        Message 3 of 18 , Dec 1, 2008
          At 05:14 PM 12/1/2008, you wrote:
          Thanks for the update Art - and as for pricing, I am thinking ONLY in
          terms of todays prices - there is no way to tell about price
          increases in parts.

          Hi Ken,

          I wasn't referring to the price changes in the future-I meant to say that the BOM might change, based on the input from the beta testers. So, there might be parts additions, deletions or changes, which could impact the first production run pricing.

          If I remember the parts and PCB is around $50 to $60?  That coupled
          with the RXTX V6.3 Softrock would give a complete 5 watt 160 thru 10
          transciver with all RX and TX both switched from the USB port?  Do I
          have this correct?

          Alex sells the board for $20, the kit is (currently) priced at $32. My guess is that the toroids can be found for less, although the increased cost of the color coded high tech magnet wire cost will probably cancel each other out (once into production). So, the outlook is good for the overall prices to remain about the same...or possibly a modest increase in price.

          That is the package I'm looking forward to, and SMT stuff is fine for
          me.  I'm actually liking the SMT (1206 stuff) better than thru hole.

          Just between you and me Ken, the only people who can't do SMT soldering are those who have not tried::> I don't mean that the nearly microscopic sized SMT components are practical for us homebrew types, but certainly the 1206 to 0603 sizes are quite practical.

          It looks like I will be able to order this evening-the final reconciliation of Alex's BOM and my parts list is going well.

          More news as it becomes available.

          Regards,

          Art
        • alexle188
          ... Hi Ken, Just the Motherboard and the SR v6.3 will not give you the complete all band transceiver completely remotely controlled via a single USB port yet
          Message 4 of 18 , Dec 1, 2008
            --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "sailingto" <sailingto@...> wrote:
            >
            > If I remember the parts and PCB is around $50 to $60? That coupled
            > with the RXTX V6.3 Softrock would give a complete 5 watt 160 thru 10
            > transciver with all RX and TX both switched from the USB port? Do I
            > have this correct?
            >

            Hi Ken,

            Just the Motherboard and the SR v6.3 will not give you the complete
            all band transceiver completely remotely controlled via a single USB
            port yet :-) You will need, in addition:

            1. a uController such as the UBW (with the additional i/o ports for
            band switching that the existing USB-i2c interface based on the AVR
            ATTINY uC does not have). A future version of the ATTINY based
            interface may have the extra i/o pins and the firmware update.

            2. a linear PA to boost the 1W output from motherboard/SRv6.3 to your
            desired power output. I use a modified PA-100 SDR 5W AMP sold by
            Virgil K5OOR in my setup (See PHOTOS->9V1AL).

            3. an ADDON swithced LPF bank to do the final harmonics filtering.

            So it will cost you more, but not very much more :-)

            73's

            Alex
            9V1AL
          • sailingto
            Ooops, I was thinking (there I go again)... Let s see, the RXTX V6.3, the HF-BPF kit, the Si570 kit - this gets a RXTX with 1 watt output and the input filters
            Message 5 of 18 , Dec 1, 2008
              Ooops, I was thinking (there I go again)...

              Let's see, the RXTX V6.3, the HF-BPF kit, the Si570 kit - this gets a
              RXTX with 1 watt output and the input filters controlled via the
              Si570 chip, but the output bandpass filters still have to be manual
              changed - is this correct?

              Your system allows the output bandpass filters to be switched via the
              Si570?

              OK, now does that give me everything for a complete 1 watt computer
              controlled SDR?

              You folks who are developing this stuff are so far ahead of us mere
              mortals it's hard for us to grasp exactly what is going on
              sometimes. Robby is doing a GREAT job of putting the documentation
              together as the stuff comes out of beta stage to final stage. My
              problem is I keep trying to stay up with the beta testing also and I
              don't understand enough.... yet. I just finished the V9.0Lite this
              weekend and final connections tonight. Everything seems to be
              working - just need an external soundcard for this notebook.

              Thanks to all for the great work and answering simple questions from
              us mere mortals.

              73 de Ken H> K9FV

              --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "alexle188" <lee188@...> wrote:
              >
              > --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "sailingto" <sailingto@> wrote:
              > >
              > > If I remember the parts and PCB is around $50 to $60? That
              coupled
              > > with the RXTX V6.3 Softrock would give a complete 5 watt 160 thru
              10
              > > transciver with all RX and TX both switched from the USB port?
              Do I
              > > have this correct?
              > >
              >
              > Hi Ken,
              >
              > Just the Motherboard and the SR v6.3 will not give you the complete
              > all band transceiver completely remotely controlled via a single USB
              > port yet :-) You will need, in addition:
              >
              > 1. a uController such as the UBW (with the additional i/o ports for
              > band switching that the existing USB-i2c interface based on the AVR
              > ATTINY uC does not have). A future version of the ATTINY based
              > interface may have the extra i/o pins and the firmware update.
              >
              > 2. a linear PA to boost the 1W output from motherboard/SRv6.3 to
              your
              > desired power output. I use a modified PA-100 SDR 5W AMP sold by
              > Virgil K5OOR in my setup (See PHOTOS->9V1AL).
              >
              > 3. an ADDON swithced LPF bank to do the final harmonics filtering.
              >
              > So it will cost you more, but not very much more :-)
              >
              > 73's
              >
              > Alex
              > 9V1AL
              >
            • cesco12342000
              ... Let me try to explain one aspect of the story. The automatically switched BPF needs two control lines to select the frequency range of the BPF. In the V9
              Message 6 of 18 , Dec 1, 2008
                > the input filters controlled via the
                > Si570 chip,

                Let me try to explain one aspect of the story.

                The "automatically switched BPF" needs two control lines to select
                the frequency range of the BPF. In the V9 rx, the attiny45 controller
                does have those two spare control pins for the BPF. You dont need to
                change anything, the stock V9 rx will do "automatically switched BPF"
                fine.

                The RXTX6.3 is another story ... it needs one additional control line
                for RX - TX switching. But there is no unused IO pin left on the
                attiny45 controller. BPF + rx-tx doesent work here. You need a chip
                with more IO pins.
              • alexle188
                ... The HF-BPF kit is designed for Rx only for the Softrock v9.0. It can be automatically switched through the USB with Cesco s dll software (which can be
                Message 7 of 18 , Dec 1, 2008
                  --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "sailingto" <sailingto@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Ooops, I was thinking (there I go again)...
                  >
                  > Let's see, the RXTX V6.3, the HF-BPF kit, the Si570 kit - this gets a
                  > RXTX with 1 watt output and the input filters controlled via the
                  > Si570 chip, but the output bandpass filters still have to be manual
                  > changed - is this correct?
                  >
                  > Your system allows the output bandpass filters to be switched via the
                  > Si570?
                  >

                  The HF-BPF kit is designed for Rx only for the Softrock v9.0. It can
                  be automatically switched through the USB with Cesco's dll software
                  (which can be utilized by PowerSDR).

                  For the RXTX v6.3, the Motherboard allows both the Rx and the Tx
                  bandpass filters to be switched electronically. This requires a
                  uController with more i/o pins than the stock USB-i2c interface kit
                  (that is supplied by Tony for Si570 control).

                  RXTX v6.3 has the SI570 onbard. It also has a small PIC uC for
                  selecting the SI570 frequency. However, this PIC uC does not have USB
                  connectivity capability for remote control with a PC.



                  > OK, now does that give me everything for a complete 1 watt computer
                  > controlled SDR?
                  >

                  So to have a complete 1 W computer controlled SDR Transceiver, you
                  will need (as one possible option):

                  1. RxTx v6.3
                  2. Motherboard
                  3. UBW (a uController board sold by Sparkfun either as a fully
                  assembled board with SMT parts, or a thru hole component kit)
                  4. A switched (eg by relays) LPF board and the relay driver

                  With firmware you can download free for the UBW (from
                  FILES->9V1AL->UBW Emulator), the above 4 boards will give you the SDR
                  Transceiver. The UBW will control the Si570 freq on the RxTx v6.3,
                  the BPF switching of the Motherboard (both Rx and Tx), Rx/Tx PTT
                  switch, and automatic switching of the LPF board. In turn, the UBW
                  communicates via a single USB port with the PC. On the PC, you can
                  use PowerSDR to control the complete SDR - no switches (except the
                  Power ON/OFF), and no swapping of modules.

                  It is a fairly complex setup at first glance, but it can be done
                  successfully. I have a working setup with the above (Plus a 20W
                  linear PA) you can see in PHOTOS->9V1AL.

                  73's

                  Alex
                • alexle188
                  ... This is mostly correct - the HF-BPF kit can be used for RXTX v6.3 to allow automatic switching of the Rx function. Tx BPF modules still have to be
                  Message 8 of 18 , Dec 2, 2008
                    > --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "sailingto" <sailingto@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Let's see, the RXTX V6.3, the HF-BPF kit, the Si570 kit - this gets a
                    > > RXTX with 1 watt output and the input filters controlled via the
                    > > Si570 chip, but the output bandpass filters still have to be manual
                    > > changed - is this correct?
                    > >
                    >

                    This is mostly correct - the HF-BPF kit can be used for RXTX v6.3 to
                    allow automatic switching of the Rx function. Tx BPF modules still
                    have to be manually swapped. The RXTX v6.3 has onboard Si570. So for
                    PC control of the Si570 using USB, you have to use something like
                    Tony's USB-i2c interface to plug into the socket of the PIC on the
                    RXTX v6.3 pcb. Alternatively, you can use other methods of Si570
                    control, such as parallel port or serial port. The parallel port
                    interface, I understand, also has pins for BPF/LPF switching.

                    Alex
                  • sailingto
                    Thanks for the info Alex - that is what I m looking for.... just what you have in your setup with the 20 watt amp. It sounds like it is all available now,
                    Message 9 of 18 , Dec 2, 2008
                      Thanks for the info Alex - that is what I'm looking for.... just what
                      you have in your setup with the 20 watt amp. It sounds like it is
                      all available now, just from different sources? That is ok, I'll
                      start trying to learn more about that.

                      I've just finished my V9.0 Lite so need to play with it some - I
                      think the hardware is working ok, just need to get the
                      software/computer side working.... soundcard issues.

                      I have looked at your photos - GREAT job. Well, most of them anyway -
                      the server is hanging and won't advance or go back. I could not
                      even post this msg, I had to post later. I'll see the rest of them
                      as bandwidth permits. You are using the PowerSDR program to control
                      the rig? is this with Cesco's dll?

                      It would be good to have a complete list of links to the actual items
                      from each site - I'm not sure what the "motherboard" is - is this a
                      custom board you made to tie all the different parts together? Maybe
                      a drawing showing how it all ties together.

                      What would you expect the total cost of parts for this setup?

                      I LIKE IT!!!

                      Thanks for the info and photos.

                      73 de Ken H. K9FV



                      --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "alexle188" <lee188@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "sailingto" <sailingto@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Ooops, I was thinking (there I go again)...
                      > >
                      > > Let's see, the RXTX V6.3, the HF-BPF kit, the Si570 kit - this
                      gets a
                      > > RXTX with 1 watt output and the input filters controlled via the
                      > > Si570 chip, but the output bandpass filters still have to be
                      manual
                      > > changed - is this correct?
                      > >
                      > > Your system allows the output bandpass filters to be switched via
                      the
                      > > Si570?
                      > >
                      >
                      > The HF-BPF kit is designed for Rx only for the Softrock v9.0. It
                      can
                      > be automatically switched through the USB with Cesco's dll software
                      > (which can be utilized by PowerSDR).
                      >
                      > For the RXTX v6.3, the Motherboard allows both the Rx and the Tx
                      > bandpass filters to be switched electronically. This requires a
                      > uController with more i/o pins than the stock USB-i2c interface kit
                      > (that is supplied by Tony for Si570 control).
                      >
                      > RXTX v6.3 has the SI570 onbard. It also has a small PIC uC for
                      > selecting the SI570 frequency. However, this PIC uC does not have
                      USB
                      > connectivity capability for remote control with a PC.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > > OK, now does that give me everything for a complete 1 watt
                      computer
                      > > controlled SDR?
                      > >
                      >
                      > So to have a complete 1 W computer controlled SDR Transceiver, you
                      > will need (as one possible option):
                      >
                      > 1. RxTx v6.3
                      > 2. Motherboard
                      > 3. UBW (a uController board sold by Sparkfun either as a fully
                      > assembled board with SMT parts, or a thru hole component kit)
                      > 4. A switched (eg by relays) LPF board and the relay driver
                      >
                      > With firmware you can download free for the UBW (from
                      > FILES->9V1AL->UBW Emulator), the above 4 boards will give you the
                      SDR
                      > Transceiver. The UBW will control the Si570 freq on the RxTx v6.3,
                      > the BPF switching of the Motherboard (both Rx and Tx), Rx/Tx PTT
                      > switch, and automatic switching of the LPF board. In turn, the UBW
                      > communicates via a single USB port with the PC. On the PC, you can
                      > use PowerSDR to control the complete SDR - no switches (except the
                      > Power ON/OFF), and no swapping of modules.
                      >
                      > It is a fairly complex setup at first glance, but it can be done
                      > successfully. I have a working setup with the above (Plus a 20W
                      > linear PA) you can see in PHOTOS->9V1AL.
                      >
                      > 73's
                      >
                      > Alex
                      >
                    • Ray
                      Hi Cesco, Thanks for the breakdown - In my case I don t need to switch anything other than SI570LVDS frequency since I will be operating within the 2 band
                      Message 10 of 18 , Dec 2, 2008
                        Hi Cesco, Thanks for the breakdown -

                        In my case I don't need to switch anything other than SI570LVDS frequency
                        since I will be operating within the 2 band design limits for the 6.3 RXTX.
                        So I am looking for a simple interface that basically tracks PwrSDR via USB.

                        73, Ray, N0FY

                        > -----Original Message-----
                        > From: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
                        > [mailto:softrock40@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of cesco12342000
                        > Sent: Monday, December 01, 2008 11:59 PM
                        > To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
                        > Subject: [softrock40] Re: Beta kits status, Motherboard
                        > FST3253 Switched
                        >
                        > > the input filters controlled via the
                        > > Si570 chip,
                        >
                        > Let me try to explain one aspect of the story.
                        >
                        > The "automatically switched BPF" needs two control lines to
                        > select the frequency range of the BPF. In the V9 rx, the
                        > attiny45 controller does have those two spare control pins
                        > for the BPF. You dont need to change anything, the stock V9
                        > rx will do "automatically switched BPF"
                        > fine.
                        >
                        > The RXTX6.3 is another story ... it needs one additional
                        > control line for RX - TX switching. But there is no unused IO
                        > pin left on the
                        > attiny45 controller. BPF + rx-tx doesent work here. You need
                        > a chip with more IO pins.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > ------------------------------------
                        >
                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                        >
                      • alexle188
                        ... I m using the PowerSDR program. There is no need to use Cesco s dll (which is for Rx only and works with the USB-i2c interface). I m using the UBW with
                        Message 11 of 18 , Dec 3, 2008
                          --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "sailingto" <sailingto@...> wrote:

                          >
                          > You are using the PowerSDR program to control
                          > the rig? is this with Cesco's dll?
                          >

                          I'm using the PowerSDR program. There is no need to use Cesco's dll
                          (which is for Rx only and works with the USB-i2c interface). I'm
                          using the UBW with the UBW Emulator firmware (that I wrote, and it is
                          freely downloadable under FILES->9V1AL->UBW Emulator).

                          I'm using the stock PowerSDR-sr40 program by Guido. No
                          modification/addons are needed.

                          My hope is that a newer version of the USB-i2c interface will be
                          available soon with more i/o pins and updated firmware to do Rx/Tx and
                          Band switching. So for people who prefer to use the USB-i2c interface
                          (rather than the UBW), they can still control the Motherboard for Rx
                          and Tx Band switching.


                          > It would be good to have a complete list of links to the actual items
                          > from each site - I'm not sure what the "motherboard" is - is this a
                          > custom board you made to tie all the different parts together? Maybe
                          > a drawing showing how it all ties together.
                          >
                          > What would you expect the total cost of parts for this setup?
                          >

                          I have uploaded a drawing of how all the pieces tie together. See
                          FILES->9V1AL->SDR_SETUP.jpg

                          Before going into the details, please be advised that there are many
                          ways/options available for you to build a similar all band automatic
                          PC controlled SDR. My setup is just one possibility :-)

                          Yes, the motherboard was designed by me (with a lot of help from Mike
                          Collins, KF4BQ). The motherboard you see in PHOTOS->9V1AL is the
                          prototype v1.0 board. The enhanced v3.5 motherboard is being Beta
                          tested by 10 builders now and if all goes well it will go into
                          production run in Jan 2009.

                          The links and rough costs of each piece of the jigsaw puzzle are as
                          follows:

                          1. Softrock v6.3 - $50. You don't need to purchase the Tx BPF/PA
                          modules. They can be replaced by the motherboard.

                          2. Motherboard v3.5. - $52.50 for the Beta Kit (sold out). The
                          production kit may cost more or less than this amount though. See
                          this forum message #28214, #27425 and #27460.

                          3. +12V -> +24V Switching PSU - $20

                          See http://wb6dhw.com/For_Sale.html#24V

                          4. PA-100 SDR AMP - $58

                          See http://www.hfprojectsyahoo.com/amps.html

                          5. UBW $24.95

                          See http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8265

                          6. Switched LPF (The one I use is Ex-commercial equipment I bought at
                          a junk yard for $1). I would recommend this at $69:

                          http://www.hfprojectsyahoo.com/lowpafimo161.html

                          7. RxTx Relay Driver/SWR protection - see my circuit diagram under
                          FILES->9V1AL. The parts are not expensive and I use a protoboard to
                          put them together. Maybe $10?

                          8. LPF relay driver - I use 7 2N3904's and 7 2N3906's plus a bunch of
                          resistors, on the protoboard to put it together. Maybe $10?

                          9. SDS RF relays - no bounce, 6 ms on/off time, pcb mounted, capable
                          of 200W RF. $5.90 each x2

                          See http://www.xs4all.nl/~barendh/Cateng/Cateng_relais.htm

                          10. The Aluminium casing $10


                          73's

                          Alex
                        • R. R. Robson
                          ... is ... and ... interface ... items ... a ... Maybe ... Mike ... products_id=8265 ... at ... of ... capable ... Hmmm….. Homebrew 1. Softrock v6.3
                          Message 12 of 18 , Dec 4, 2008
                            --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "alexle188" <lee188@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "sailingto" <sailingto@> wrote:
                            >
                            > >
                            > > You are using the PowerSDR program to control
                            > > the rig? is this with Cesco's dll?
                            > >
                            >
                            > I'm using the PowerSDR program. There is no need to use Cesco's dll
                            > (which is for Rx only and works with the USB-i2c interface). I'm
                            > using the UBW with the UBW Emulator firmware (that I wrote, and it
                            is
                            > freely downloadable under FILES->9V1AL->UBW Emulator).
                            >
                            > I'm using the stock PowerSDR-sr40 program by Guido. No
                            > modification/addons are needed.
                            >
                            > My hope is that a newer version of the USB-i2c interface will be
                            > available soon with more i/o pins and updated firmware to do Rx/Tx
                            and
                            > Band switching. So for people who prefer to use the USB-i2c
                            interface
                            > (rather than the UBW), they can still control the Motherboard for Rx
                            > and Tx Band switching.
                            >
                            >
                            > > It would be good to have a complete list of links to the actual
                            items
                            > > from each site - I'm not sure what the "motherboard" is - is this
                            a
                            > > custom board you made to tie all the different parts together?
                            Maybe
                            > > a drawing showing how it all ties together.
                            > >
                            > > What would you expect the total cost of parts for this setup?
                            > >
                            >
                            > I have uploaded a drawing of how all the pieces tie together. See
                            > FILES->9V1AL->SDR_SETUP.jpg
                            >
                            > Before going into the details, please be advised that there are many
                            > ways/options available for you to build a similar all band automatic
                            > PC controlled SDR. My setup is just one possibility :-)
                            >
                            > Yes, the motherboard was designed by me (with a lot of help from
                            Mike
                            > Collins, KF4BQ). The motherboard you see in PHOTOS->9V1AL is the
                            > prototype v1.0 board. The enhanced v3.5 motherboard is being Beta
                            > tested by 10 builders now and if all goes well it will go into
                            > production run in Jan 2009.
                            >
                            > The links and rough costs of each piece of the jigsaw puzzle are as
                            > follows:
                            >
                            > 1. Softrock v6.3 - $50. You don't need to purchase the Tx BPF/PA
                            > modules. They can be replaced by the motherboard.
                            >
                            > 2. Motherboard v3.5. - $52.50 for the Beta Kit (sold out). The
                            > production kit may cost more or less than this amount though. See
                            > this forum message #28214, #27425 and #27460.
                            >
                            > 3. +12V -> +24V Switching PSU - $20
                            >
                            > See http://wb6dhw.com/For_Sale.html#24V
                            >
                            > 4. PA-100 SDR AMP - $58
                            >
                            > See http://www.hfprojectsyahoo.com/amps.html
                            >
                            > 5. UBW $24.95
                            >
                            > See http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?
                            products_id=8265
                            >
                            > 6. Switched LPF (The one I use is Ex-commercial equipment I bought
                            at
                            > a junk yard for $1). I would recommend this at $69:
                            >
                            > http://www.hfprojectsyahoo.com/lowpafimo161.html
                            >
                            > 7. RxTx Relay Driver/SWR protection - see my circuit diagram under
                            > FILES->9V1AL. The parts are not expensive and I use a protoboard to
                            > put them together. Maybe $10?
                            >
                            > 8. LPF relay driver - I use 7 2N3904's and 7 2N3906's plus a bunch
                            of
                            > resistors, on the protoboard to put it together. Maybe $10?
                            >
                            > 9. SDS RF relays - no bounce, 6 ms on/off time, pcb mounted,
                            capable
                            > of 200W RF. $5.90 each x2
                            >
                            > See http://www.xs4all.nl/~barendh/Cateng/Cateng_relais.htm
                            >
                            > 10. The Aluminium casing $10
                            >
                            >
                            > 73's
                            >
                            > Alex
                            >
                            Hmmm…..
                            Homebrew
                            1. Softrock v6.3 $50.00
                            2. Motherboard v3.5 $52.50
                            3. +12V -> +24V Switching PSU $20.00
                            4. PA-100 SDR AMP $58.00
                            5. UBW $24.95
                            6. Switched LPF $69.00
                            7. RxTx Relay Driver/SWR protection $10.00
                            8. LPF relay driver $10.00
                            9. SDS RF relays - no bounce, 6 ms on/off time $10.00
                            10. The Aluminium casing $10.00
                            Total $314.45

                            Appliance (+homebrew)
                            Flex Radio 1500 $499.00
                            PA-100 SDR AMP $58.00
                            Total $557.00

                            Getting close.
                            We've come a long way since Tony's original premise of an affordable,
                            low-cost entry into the world of SDR. Of course that premise is
                            still alive and well in the SR Lite kits.


                            73 de robby wb5rvz
                          • cesco12342000
                            ... The problem might be than starters will usually go directly to the complicated kits instead of getting the very affordable crystal kits first. They skip
                            Message 13 of 18 , Dec 4, 2008
                              > We've come a long way since Tony's original premise of an affordable,
                              > low-cost entry into the world of SDR. Of course that premise is
                              > still alive and well in the SR Lite kits.

                              The problem might be than starters will usually go directly to the
                              complicated kits instead of getting the very affordable crystal kits
                              first. They skip the learning phase with the simpler kits.

                              For more experienced builders the "V9 + switched BPF board" is an
                              excellent thing, and still very affordable. But it's not entry level,
                              it's a complete all band rx.

                              Getting "on air" with the softrock is something special. It's an
                              accomplishment. To buy a flex and plug it in is not the same experience.
                            • R. R. Robson
                              ... affordable, ... experience. ... I agree. I returned to ham radio after a 30 year hiatus, during which I had let my license lapse. When I relicensed (in
                              Message 14 of 18 , Dec 4, 2008
                                --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "cesco12342000" <cesco1@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > > We've come a long way since Tony's original premise of an
                                affordable,
                                > > low-cost entry into the world of SDR. Of course that premise is
                                > > still alive and well in the SR Lite kits.
                                >
                                > The problem might be than starters will usually go directly to the
                                > complicated kits instead of getting the very affordable crystal kits
                                > first. They skip the learning phase with the simpler kits.
                                >
                                > For more experienced builders the "V9 + switched BPF board" is an
                                > excellent thing, and still very affordable. But it's not entry level,
                                > it's a complete all band rx.
                                >
                                > Getting "on air" with the softrock is something special. It's an
                                > accomplishment. To buy a flex and plug it in is not the same
                                experience.
                                >
                                I agree. I returned to ham radio after a 30 year hiatus, during which
                                I had let my license lapse. When I relicensed (in 2007), I discovered
                                this thing called SDR and promised myself that I would not go on the
                                air (HF) until I had done so with a SDR rig I had built myself. I
                                still do not have a commercial rig (other than my 2m HT).
                                73 de robby wb5rvz
                              • Bruce Tanner
                                Yes, I agree, there is great value in the do it yourself process even though one can not put a pecuniary ($s and Pounds) measure on it! Behind me I have an
                                Message 15 of 18 , Dec 4, 2008
                                  Yes, I agree, there is great value in the 'do it yourself' process even
                                  though one can not put a pecuniary ($s and Pounds) measure on it! Behind
                                  me I have an IC-756 Pro II, and a new Tokyo Hypower Amp and tuner, the
                                  latter recently purchased at the Dayton Hamvention. Right after that I
                                  became infatuated with SDR and the Softrock kits and have not even
                                  turned on the commercial gear now for many months while I daily enjoy
                                  just playing with and listening to the V8.3 RX (actually built by
                                  Ronnie, with the Si570 and USB-I2C mods constructed by myself).

                                  I have to stop this playing and get on with the construction of the
                                  V6.3 RX/TX so that I can get on the air. I may be able to unload all of
                                  that expensive stuff at Dayton next year as being obsolete to my
                                  interests and needs!

                                  Carry on Gurus of SDR, even if it gets a little more expensive but I do
                                  think there is a place for keeping a line of the inexpensive and more
                                  easily constructed kits for new comers. That does seem like a very
                                  important step to keep the SDR and Softrock culture growing. I cut my
                                  teeth on the SR40 Lite which now is on my 'collectibles' shelf and
                                  occasionally is lent out for others to demo, but I probably would never
                                  have begun this journey on something like the V9.0 or RX/TX 6.3+.
                                  Tony... ? Please don't retire all of those early kits!

                                  Bruce, K2BET
                                  ------------

                                  cesco12342000 wrote:
                                  >
                                  > > We've come a long way since Tony's original premise of an affordable,
                                  > > low-cost entry into the world of SDR. Of course that premise is
                                  > > still alive and well in the SR Lite kits.
                                  >
                                  > The problem might be than starters will usually go directly to the
                                  > complicated kits instead of getting the very affordable crystal kits
                                  > first. They skip the learning phase with the simpler kits.
                                  >
                                  > For more experienced builders the "V9 + switched BPF board" is an
                                  > excellent thing, and still very affordable. But it's not entry level,
                                  > it's a complete all band rx.
                                  >
                                  > Getting "on air" with the softrock is something special. It's an
                                  > accomplishment. To buy a flex and plug it in is not the same experience.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > __________ Information from ESET Smart Security, version of virus
                                  > signature database 3664 (20081204) __________
                                  >
                                  > The message was checked by ESET Smart Security.
                                  >
                                  > http://www.eset.com
                                • alexle188
                                  Hi all, Building your own all band 20W transceiver is certainly not an undertaking for the beginner, whether conventional or SDR. There is certainly a place
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Dec 4, 2008
                                    Hi all,

                                    Building your own all band 20W transceiver is certainly not an
                                    undertaking for the beginner, whether conventional or SDR. There is
                                    certainly a place for the SR Lite kits for people to get their feet
                                    wet, so to speak.

                                    My own journey started with the crystal controlled SR v6.2, and then
                                    the SR v8.3 with Si570 control. By that time I was ready to embark on
                                    an automatically switched all bander based on the SR v6.3.

                                    The total cost of my setup of about US$350 is quite fair value for the
                                    capability (btw, the computation of the comparative cost of the
                                    SDR1500 omitted the $69 switched LPF). The happiness, pride and self
                                    confidence gained is, of course, invaluable.

                                    With more experienced gained from the present Beta run, and the open
                                    source nature of the designs, it is my hope that someone, somewhere
                                    will be able to offer the same capabilities at a lower cost to the SDR
                                    enthusiast community in future.

                                    73's

                                    Alex
                                  • alexle188
                                    ... In comparison, ... Adding the Switched LPF and the 12-24V supply required to be comparable (needed for the PA-100 SDR AMP to output 20W and meet with FCC
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Dec 4, 2008
                                      Taking a closer look at the costs:


                                      > >
                                      > Hmmm…..
                                      > Homebrew
                                      > 1. Softrock v6.3 $50.00
                                      > 2. Motherboard v3.5 $52.50
                                      > 3. +12V -> +24V Switching PSU $20.00
                                      > 4. PA-100 SDR AMP $58.00
                                      > 5. UBW $24.95
                                      > 6. Switched LPF $69.00
                                      > 7. RxTx Relay Driver/SWR protection $10.00
                                      > 8. LPF relay driver $10.00
                                      > 9. SDS RF relays - no bounce, 6 ms on/off time $10.00
                                      > 10. The Aluminium casing $10.00
                                      > Total $314.45
                                      >

                                      In comparison,

                                      > Appliance (+homebrew)
                                      > Flex Radio 1500 $499.00
                                      > PA-100 SDR AMP $58.00
                                      >
                                      >
                                      Adding the Switched LPF and the 12-24V supply required to be
                                      comparable (needed for the PA-100 SDR AMP to output 20W and meet with
                                      FCC requirements for harmonics):

                                      Switched LPF $69.00
                                      12-24V PSU $20.00

                                      Total $646.00

                                      Alex
                                    • sailingto
                                      Alex - Thank you so very much for the break down in costs - and what you have is where I m heading. I started with the basic $10 single band RX, now just
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Dec 5, 2008
                                        Alex - Thank you so very much for the break down in costs - and what
                                        you have is where I'm heading. I started with the basic $10 single
                                        band RX, now just finished the V9.0 with my plans for starting the
                                        RXTX next Jan. My plans are to wind up with what you have - perhaps
                                        by the time I get there, a complete kit will be available - WITH a
                                        soundchip on board - perhaps that's on possible, not sure.

                                        Your statement earlier in thread of " The happiness, pride and self
                                        confidence gained is, of course, invaluable." is exactly why we build
                                        and homebrew stuff. I just enjoy melting solder and learning new
                                        things - I realize I do learn slow, but something are better slow
                                        {grinning}.

                                        I have taken your list of links and prices listed and printed them
                                        out for review and learning more. Not that I am planning to start
                                        ordering just like that right now, but it will be a source of
                                        learning.

                                        Thank you for taking the time for such an in-depth reponse to my
                                        question.

                                        73 de Ken H<> K9FV

                                        --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "alexle188" <lee188@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Taking a closer look at the costs:
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > > >
                                        > > Hmmm…..
                                        > > Homebrew
                                        > > 1. Softrock v6.3 $50.00
                                        > > 2. Motherboard v3.5 $52.50
                                        > > 3. +12V -> +24V Switching PSU $20.00
                                        > > 4. PA-100 SDR AMP $58.00
                                        > > 5. UBW $24.95
                                        > > 6. Switched LPF $69.00
                                        > > 7. RxTx Relay Driver/SWR protection $10.00
                                        > > 8. LPF relay driver $10.00
                                        > > 9. SDS RF relays - no bounce, 6 ms on/off time $10.00
                                        > > 10. The Aluminium casing $10.00
                                        > > Total $314.45
                                        > >
                                        >
                                        > In comparison,
                                        >
                                        > > Appliance (+homebrew)
                                        > > Flex Radio 1500 $499.00
                                        > > PA-100 SDR AMP $58.00
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > Adding the Switched LPF and the 12-24V supply required to be
                                        > comparable (needed for the PA-100 SDR AMP to output 20W and meet
                                        with
                                        > FCC requirements for harmonics):
                                        >
                                        > Switched LPF $69.00
                                        > 12-24V PSU $20.00
                                        >
                                        > Total $646.00
                                        >
                                        > Alex
                                        >
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