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SoftRock Series - Future?

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  • n3hkn
    First I mess with my Softrock V5s every day along with the various software packages used for PC based operation. A question that may be in the minds of some
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 7, 2006
      First I "mess with" my Softrock V5s every day along with the various
      software packages used for PC based operation. A question that may be
      in the minds of some is what is the future path for the Softrock
      series. As we approach the release of V6 of the series what are the
      possible objectives and limitations?

      Is it really possible to use a low cost SDR above 17mhz without
      noticeable compromises?

      Should the sensitivity be improved to match or exceed the V40?

      Can a transceiver be created based upon some Softrock design?

      Would that transceiver (or stand-alone transmitter) have SSB capability?

      While miniaturization has benefits, would a physically larger layout
      be preferable? (SMT at RF has advantages)

      Are their any major "must haves" in the supporting software?

      What is the most practical DDS-VFO spur free approach for the Softrock
      series? Is an analog VFO with a Huff & Puff stabilizer an answer?


      These are some of the questions that I have. Obviously biased by my
      perspective. Tossed out for comment. I will be in my "flame proof"
      bunker with Dick Cheney making up 28ga. loads.

      Dick N3HKN
    • Ford Peterson
      ... Dick, and others... I think you have humorously touched upon the reason the V40, V5, and the soon-to-be V6 exist. These elementary design appear to
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 7, 2006
        ...snip...

        > These are some of the questions that I have. Obviously biased by my
        > perspective. Tossed out for comment. I will be in my "flame proof"
        > bunker with Dick Cheney making up 28ga. loads.
        >
        > Dick N3HKN

        Dick, and others...

        I think you have humorously touched upon the reason the V40, V5, and the soon-to-be V6 exist. These elementary design appear to meander about a central theme. I get the impression that the theme is to make an all band wrist watch sized radio that kinda-sorta works so we can all sit back and say "gee-whiz." If that is the goal, I might as well get off this reflector as I have little interest in miniaturization for the sake of smallness. My only goal is performance. If the new topologies can provide superior performance over traditional superhets, then I'm all over it. If not, then my priorities will meander elsewhere.

        To me, the reason to be developing new topologies is to make better radios. Radios that "work" can be had on ebay for very little money. Said radios can be used to chase DX, rag chew, contest, EMCOM, you name it. What these radios do not provide is baseband audio to be processed by high performance audio equipment. The IQ approach to detection is, to some extent, a potential distraction. Doubly balanced mixers used in traditional superhets have solved many of the image problems long ago. And people have been making 'birdie free' VFOs for years.

        To some extent, these simple receivers are akin to soapbox derby racers. Yes, they do work. The power of gravity makes them move in one direction--down the hill, and are thus completely useless for commuting to work. Truly wonderful toys to play with and marvel over. These are a learning tool at best. I for one am anxious to move past the kiddie car stage and start strapping some booster rockets on to make this stuff really sing! The first guy to hit Mach III wins!

        Ford-N0FP
        ford@...
      • KY1K
        ... I have similar interests, it s about being inexpensive and high performance for me. If it fits on the head of a pin, so much the better, but smallness for
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 7, 2006
          At 01:58 PM 3/7/2006, you wrote:
          >...snip...
          >
          > > These are some of the questions that I have. Obviously biased by my
          > > perspective. Tossed out for comment. I will be in my "flame proof"
          > > bunker with Dick Cheney making up 28ga. loads.
          > >
          >
          >
          >I think you have humorously touched upon the reason the V40, V5, and
          >the soon-to-be V6 exist. These elementary design appear to meander
          >about a central theme. I get the impression that the theme is to
          >make an all band wrist watch sized radio that kinda-sorta works so
          >we can all sit back and say "gee-whiz." If that is the goal, I
          >might as well get off this reflector as I have little interest in
          >miniaturization for the sake of smallness. My only goal is
          >performance. If the new topologies can provide superior performance
          >over traditional superhets, then I'm all over it. If not, then my
          >priorities will meander elsewhere.

          I have similar interests, it's about being inexpensive and high
          performance for me. If it fits on the head of a pin, so much the
          better, but smallness for the sake of being small doesn't do much for me.

          The very best commutating detector is limited by the leakage of the
          switches and is ABSOLUTELY limited by the soundcard performance. I
          don't think we would have the commutating type detector today if it
          wasn't for the soundcards that cost 10 to 20 dollars and are mass
          produced for computers.

          If the little softrocks didn't perform any better than many
          superhets, I'd probably not be very interested in them. But, they do
          perform, they are much cheaper to build and require no alignment. My
          only wish is that they had test points in them to facilitate easy
          connection to and from the various major nodes of the circuit. Easily
          accessible test points would help with experimentation, but the
          current degree of miniaturization is a very nice compromise between
          practicality and ease of assembly.

          I'd definitely give Tony a lot of credit for being practical in this
          respect. Thank you Tony.

          In closing, I'd also say that all of the chips in the softrock-40 are
          available as bare dice, meaning that all the chips could be mounted
          in a single package, and there are many custom manufacturers that
          could do the assembling and wire attaching/packaging for a reasonable
          price. Looks like all the chips in a single package (including an
          oscillator) could fit in a 22 pin dip. For anyone who wants
          compactness, a single chip softrock equivalent could be made. If a
          softrock was made based on such a custom chip, I'd probably buy
          several of the chips at the minimum.

          Regards,

          Art
        • Ford Peterson
          Kees wrote: ... Did you look at the LT5502? It has a 4dB noise figure instead of the 12dB of the 5517 or the 6dB of the 5506. I m just curious as to why you
          Message 4 of 4 , Mar 7, 2006
            Kees wrote:
             
            ...snip...
             
            > Dave and I have a LT5517 and LT5506 configuration we want to try relative to HF SDR and compare to the SR-40
            > "standard". It's mixer does not use FST switches and I'm sure
            there is a down side, but it's fun to go see. It would have
            > NEVER crossed my mind to even TRY those little parts before. Thanks,
            Tony.
            >
            > 73 Kees K5BCQ
             
            Did you look at the LT5502?  It has a 4dB noise figure instead of the 12dB of the 5517 or the 6dB of the 5506.  I'm just curious as to why you picked these two parts to try.
             
            Ford-N0FP
             
             
              
             
             
             
             
                
            n3hkn@...>
            Date: Tue, 07 Mar 2006 18:32:58 -0000
            Subject: [softrock40] SoftRock Series - Future?
             
            First I "mess with" my Softrock V5s every day along with the various
            software packages used for PC based operation. A question that may be
            in the minds of some is what is the future path for the Softrock
            series. As we approach the release of V6 of the series what are the
            possible objectives and limitations?

            Is it really possible to use a low cost SDR above 17mhz without
            noticeable compromises?

            Should the sensitivity be improved to match or exceed the V40?

            Can a transceiver be created based upon some Softrock design?

            Would that transceiver (or stand-alone transmitter) have SSB capability?

            While miniaturization has benefits, would a physically larger layout
            be preferable? (SMT at RF has advantages)

            Are their any major "must haves" in the supporting software?

            What is the most practical DDS-VFO spur free approach for the Softrock
            series?  Is an analog VFO with a Huff & Puff stabilizer an answer?


            These are some of the questions that I have. Obviously biased by my
            perspective. Tossed out for comment. I will be in my "flame proof"
            bunker with Dick Cheney making up 28ga. loads.

            Dick  N3HKN




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