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SoftRock + WSPR

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  • g3zoh
    Almost certainly a dumb question but here goes ... I would like to use my SoftRock Lite receivers for WSPR monitoring but am unclear about the actual set-up.
    Message 1 of 14 , Nov 30, 2009
      Almost certainly a dumb question but here goes ... I would like to use my SoftRock Lite receivers for WSPR monitoring but am unclear about the actual set-up. Do you simply set the SoftRock rx centre frequency so that the WSPR audio output is in the correct range for the PC soundcard or is there some way of running Rocky (say) and WSPR software concurrently? Presumably the first option would leave an image signal to contend with?

      Many thanks

      Brian
      G3ZOH
    • Alan
      ... From: g3zoh Subject: [softrock40] SoftRock + WSPR ... Yes, you need to send the audio from the Softrock to WSPR. It can be done with two soundcards, just
      Message 2 of 14 , Nov 30, 2009
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "g3zoh"
        Subject: [softrock40] SoftRock + WSPR


        > Almost certainly a dumb question but here goes ... I would like to use my
        > SoftRock Lite receivers for WSPR monitoring but am unclear about the
        > actual set-up. Do you simply set the SoftRock rx centre frequency so that
        > the WSPR audio output is in the correct range for the PC soundcard or is
        > there some way of running Rocky (say) and WSPR software concurrently?
        > Presumably the first option would leave an image signal to contend with?
        >

        Yes, you need to send the audio from the Softrock to WSPR.
        It can be done with two soundcards, just linking them with a cable. I've not
        tried this, I do think it should work reasonably well, others will say you
        will lose too much in the two conversions.

        If you look on WSPR net 40m you may see a few spots of G4ZFQ at 100mW, I've
        just got it going with one card and a 48/80 SR6.1TX/RX
        http://yt1dl.veze.net/sdr.html gives the details. For RX you just need one
        VAC.

        73 Alan G4ZFQ
      • Preston Douglas
        I have used both a SoftRock Lite II on 40 and my Genesis3020 on WSPR. I have two sound cards, and the VAC function built in to PSDR40 works perfectly with
        Message 3 of 14 , Nov 30, 2009
          I have used both a SoftRock Lite II on 40 and my Genesis3020 on WSPR.  I have two sound cards, and the VAC function built in to PSDR40 works perfectly with this setup.  You can also use a single sound card if it has two stereo in/out lines, like the Delta 44, using the third party VAC program that is sold by its programmer for $30.  To do it this way, see this site for full details on how to use third party software with SDR radios:  http://yt1dl.veze.net/sdr.html

          Using either the built-in VAC function in PSDR40, or a third party VAC program, you avoid the need to cable between the two sound cards, and all of the data is exchanged in digital form inside your computer, rather than converting back and forth between A/D an extra time, with the inherent loss and delay that entails.

          You can also see at the above site how to use Ham Radio Deluxe and DM780 for PSK31.  This is also possible, I think, with Rocky, though I have not tried it.  

          Preston Douglas WJ2V
        • Alan
          ... From: Preston Douglas Subject: Re: [softrock40] SoftRock + WSPR ... To TX/RX I am using a D44 but only one half, one in one out (1/2). I m just not able
          Message 4 of 14 , Nov 30, 2009
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Preston Douglas"
            Subject: Re: [softrock40] SoftRock + WSPR


            > You can also use a single sound card if it has two stereo in/out lines,
            > like the Delta 44,

            To TX/RX I am using a D44 but only one half, one in one out (1/2). I'm just
            not able to actually hear the signals.

            73 Alan G4ZFQ
          • g3zoh
            Alan and Preston, Many thanks for the replies and links. That s very useful information to help me up the learning curve! Alan, I will certainly look out for
            Message 5 of 14 , Nov 30, 2009
              Alan and Preston, Many thanks for the replies and links. That's very useful information to help me up the learning curve! Alan, I will certainly look out for your 40m signal on WSPR.

              Thanks again,

              73, Brian G3ZOH


              --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "Alan" <alan4alan@...> wrote:
              >
              > Yes, you need to send the audio from the Softrock to WSPR.
              > It can be done with two soundcards, just linking them with a cable. I've not
              > tried this, I do think it should work reasonably well, others will say you
              > will lose too much in the two conversions.
              >
              > If you look on WSPR net 40m you may see a few spots of G4ZFQ at 100mW, I've
              > just got it going with one card and a 48/80 SR6.1TX/RX
              > http://yt1dl.veze.net/sdr.html gives the details. For RX you just need one
              > VAC.
              >
              > 73 Alan G4ZFQ
              >
            • Rob
              Not a very dumb question Brian... There are pitfalls with setting it up. For frequency, look at the band you want to use, e.g. 40m is 7038.6kHz dial frequency.
              Message 6 of 14 , Nov 30, 2009
                Not a very dumb question Brian...

                There are pitfalls with setting it up. For frequency, look at the band you want to use, e.g. 40m is 7038.6kHz dial frequency. WSPR has a 1.5kHz offset, so is actually centered on 7040.1kHz. Use USB mode.

                The WSPR software and your front end (Rocky, PSDR, etc) have to run concurrently. You also need virtual audio ports, unless you route the sound out then in again.

                Setting the audio socket is done in a console window. If you get it wrong WSPR may crash.

                Other pitfalls are your PC's clock accuracy (install Dimension 4), and your Softrock's frequency stability. There's no major problem with an "image signal". Rocky or PSDR-IQ will largely take care of that.

                I had big success with Softrock + WSPR on 40m. I also transmit with 37dBm (5W) and find spots from Australia/New Zealand regularly.

                Cheers,
                Rob
                (M0RZF)

                --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "g3zoh" <george.familyuk@...> wrote:
                >
                > Almost certainly a dumb question but here goes ... I would like to use my SoftRock Lite receivers for WSPR monitoring but am unclear about the actual set-up. Do you simply set the SoftRock rx centre frequency so that the WSPR audio output is in the correct range for the PC soundcard or is there some way of running Rocky (say) and WSPR software concurrently? Presumably the first option would leave an image signal to contend with?
              • g8voip
                Hi Brian, In your original question you asked about setting the centre frequency for your Lite receivers. The centre frequency is always set at the fixed
                Message 7 of 14 , Nov 30, 2009
                  Hi Brian,

                  In your original question you asked about setting the centre frequency for your Lite receivers. The centre frequency is always set at the fixed frequency for the crystal oscillator. For most of the lower frequency versions that is a quarter of the crystal frequency.

                  Frequency calibration is done by varying the centre frequency entered in the SDR program set up.

                  Once calibrated you just tune to the required frequency using the SDR software, the centre frequency remains fixed.

                  If you have more than one receiver you intend using with Rocky, in the set up select 'multi-band' and you can edit the Rocky.ini file to add additional new centre frequencies. When you change receivers you can select the appropriate band / centre frequency from the pull down to the right of the main frquency display. Makes it a bit easier swapping quickly between two or more receivers.

                  73, Bob G8VOI


                  73, Bob G8VOI


                  --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "Rob" <robbrown@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Not a very dumb question Brian...
                  >
                  > There are pitfalls with setting it up. For frequency, look at the band you want to use, e.g. 40m is 7038.6kHz dial frequency. WSPR has a 1.5kHz offset, so is actually centered on 7040.1kHz. Use USB mode.
                  >
                  > The WSPR software and your front end (Rocky, PSDR, etc) have to run concurrently. You also need virtual audio ports, unless you route the sound out then in again.
                  >
                  > Setting the audio socket is done in a console window. If you get it wrong WSPR may crash.
                  >
                  > Other pitfalls are your PC's clock accuracy (install Dimension 4), and your Softrock's frequency stability. There's no major problem with an "image signal". Rocky or PSDR-IQ will largely take care of that.
                  >
                  > I had big success with Softrock + WSPR on 40m. I also transmit with 37dBm (5W) and find spots from Australia/New Zealand regularly.
                  >
                  > Cheers,
                  > Rob
                  > (M0RZF)
                  >
                  > --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "g3zoh" <george.familyuk@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Almost certainly a dumb question but here goes ... I would like to use my SoftRock Lite receivers for WSPR monitoring but am unclear about the actual set-up. Do you simply set the SoftRock rx centre frequency so that the WSPR audio output is in the correct range for the PC soundcard or is there some way of running Rocky (say) and WSPR software concurrently? Presumably the first option would leave an image signal to contend with?
                  >
                • Ray J
                  If using PowerSdr software.. the radio speaker line is also coming out on the delta 44.. w9Ray
                  Message 8 of 14 , Nov 30, 2009
                    If using PowerSdr software.. the radio speaker line is also coming out on the delta 44..

                    w9Ray

                    Alan wrote:
                    ----- Original Message ----- 
                    From: "Preston Douglas"
                    Subject: Re: [softrock40] SoftRock + WSPR
                    
                    
                      
                     You can also use a single sound card if it has two stereo in/out lines, 
                    like the Delta 44,
                        
                    To TX/RX I am using a D44 but only one half, one in one out (1/2). I'm just 
                    not able to actually hear the signals.
                    
                    73 Alan G4ZFQ 
                    
                    
                    
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                  • drmail377
                    Rob, Why is the PC s clock an issue with WSPR? Is it accuracy or stability or both that is a problem? Why install Dimension 4 (link
                    Message 9 of 14 , Nov 30, 2009
                      Rob,

                      Why is the PC's clock an issue with WSPR? Is it accuracy or stability or both that is a problem?

                      Why install Dimension 4 (link http://www.thinkman.com/dimension4/)? I would think NTPD would work much better; it is the "gold" standard. NTPD is free, Dimension 4 is not. NTPD is typically installed by default by most Linux/Unix distributions (with the exception of OpenBSD, see below). A Precompiled Windows NTPD binary installer is freely available here:

                      http://www.meinberg.de/english/sw/ntp.htm

                      When I speak of NTPD I'm referring to the "real" NTPD from Dr. David Mills of the University of Delaware, not OpenNTPD which is part of the OpenBSD project. I find NTPD to be superior to OpenNTPD, but it is my opinion only.

                      NTPD is quite sophisticated and therefore a bit harder to set-up though. But it is worth it if disciplining the PC's clock is truly necessary for WSPR operation - which I question. I've never used WSPR though, so I'm certainly no expert.

                      With NTPD, if you have a GPS receiver with NMEA serial output and 1-PPS output, you can GPS discipline your PC via the an RS-232 serial port.

                      * More on NTPD here:

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ntpd

                      http://www.eecis.udel.edu/~mills/ntp/html/index.html

                      * The NTP server pool project where you will find servers to sync with:

                      http://www.pool.ntp.org/en/

                      Best 73's, David WB4ONA

                      --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "Rob" <robbrown@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Not a very dumb question Brian...
                      >
                      > There are pitfalls with setting it up. For frequency, look at the band you want to use, e.g. 40m is 7038.6kHz dial frequency. WSPR has a 1.5kHz offset, so is actually centered on 7040.1kHz. Use USB mode.
                      >
                      > The WSPR software and your front end (Rocky, PSDR, etc) have to run concurrently. You also need virtual audio ports, unless you route the sound out then in again.
                      >
                      > Setting the audio socket is done in a console window. If you get it wrong WSPR may crash.
                      >
                      > Other pitfalls are your PC's clock accuracy (install Dimension 4), and your Softrock's frequency stability. There's no major problem with an "image signal". Rocky or PSDR-IQ will largely take care of that.
                      >
                      > I had big success with Softrock + WSPR on 40m. I also transmit with 37dBm (5W) and find spots from Australia/New Zealand regularly.
                      >
                      > Cheers,
                      > Rob
                      > (M0RZF)
                      >
                      > --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "g3zoh" <george.familyuk@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Almost certainly a dumb question but here goes ... I would like to use my SoftRock Lite receivers for WSPR monitoring but am unclear about the actual set-up. Do you simply set the SoftRock rx centre frequency so that the WSPR audio output is in the correct range for the PC soundcard or is there some way of running Rocky (say) and WSPR software concurrently? Presumably the first option would leave an image signal to contend with?
                      >
                    • drmail377
                      Rob, just noticed Dimension-4 is free for non-commercial use. Sorry. David
                      Message 10 of 14 , Nov 30, 2009
                        Rob, just noticed Dimension-4 is free for non-commercial use. Sorry. David

                        --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "Rob" <robbrown@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Not a very dumb question Brian...
                        >
                        > There are pitfalls with setting it up. For frequency, look at the band you want to use, e.g. 40m is 7038.6kHz dial frequency. WSPR has a 1.5kHz offset, so is actually centered on 7040.1kHz. Use USB mode.
                        >
                        > The WSPR software and your front end (Rocky, PSDR, etc) have to run concurrently. You also need virtual audio ports, unless you route the sound out then in again.
                        >
                        > Setting the audio socket is done in a console window. If you get it wrong WSPR may crash.
                        >
                        > Other pitfalls are your PC's clock accuracy (install Dimension 4), and your Softrock's frequency stability. There's no major problem with an "image signal". Rocky or PSDR-IQ will largely take care of that.
                        >
                        > I had big success with Softrock + WSPR on 40m. I also transmit with 37dBm (5W) and find spots from Australia/New Zealand regularly.
                        >
                        > Cheers,
                        > Rob
                        > (M0RZF)
                        >
                        > --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "g3zoh" <george.familyuk@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Almost certainly a dumb question but here goes ... I would like to use my SoftRock Lite receivers for WSPR monitoring but am unclear about the actual set-up. Do you simply set the SoftRock rx centre frequency so that the WSPR audio output is in the correct range for the PC soundcard or is there some way of running Rocky (say) and WSPR software concurrently? Presumably the first option would leave an image signal to contend with?
                        >
                      • grahamg3zod
                        WSPR transmissions take place on even numbered UTC minutes and last for around 1 minute 51 seconds. That s why PC clocks need to be set reasonably accurately
                        Message 11 of 14 , Dec 1, 2009
                          WSPR transmissions take place on even numbered UTC minutes and last for around 1 minute 51 seconds. That's why PC clocks need to be set reasonably accurately to UTC. However, around +/- half a second is more than adequate as the software will synchronize itself to incoming signals to within a few seconds.

                          Windows XP/Vista don't actually need any external software for clock synchronization; the registry can be modified to change the default synchronization period to whatever is appropriate for the particular computer's clock creep. However, on XP the firewall needs to be set up to allow access to the NTP port and additionally not everyone may feel comfortable changing the registry.

                          I'm happy just to let XP get on with it, but the Windows time synchronization is pretty minimalistic and many users will find it easier to install third party software. I'd rather not introduce more software / services than necessary though.

                          73 de Graham G3ZOD FISTS #8385
                          http://www.fists.co.uk


                          --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "drmail377" <drmail377@...> wrote:
                          > Why is the PC's clock an issue with WSPR? Is it accuracy or stability or both that is a problem?
                          >
                          > Why install Dimension 4 (link http://www.thinkman.com/dimension4/)? I would think NTPD would work much better; it is the "gold" standard. NTPD is free, Dimension 4 is not. NTPD is typically installed by default by most Linux/Unix distributions (with the exception of OpenBSD, see below). A Precompiled Windows NTPD binary installer is freely available here:
                          >
                          > http://www.meinberg.de/english/sw/ntp.htm
                          >
                          > When I speak of NTPD I'm referring to the "real" NTPD from Dr. David Mills of the University of Delaware, not OpenNTPD which is part of the OpenBSD project. I find NTPD to be superior to OpenNTPD, but it is my opinion only.
                          >
                          > NTPD is quite sophisticated and therefore a bit harder to set-up though. But it is worth it if disciplining the PC's clock is truly necessary for WSPR operation - which I question. I've never used WSPR though, so I'm certainly no expert.
                          >
                          > With NTPD, if you have a GPS receiver with NMEA serial output and 1-PPS output, you can GPS discipline your PC via the an RS-232 serial port...
                        • Alan
                          ... From: Ray J Subject: Re: [softrock40] SoftRock + WSPR ... I have 3 D44s on my computer. When set to D44 D44 Asio does not seem to have
                          Message 12 of 14 , Dec 1, 2009
                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: "Ray J" <ray@...>
                            Subject: Re: [softrock40] SoftRock + WSPR


                            > If using PowerSdr software.. the radio speaker line is also coming out
                            > on the delta 44..
                            >

                            I have 3 D44s on my computer. When set to "D44" D44 Asio does not seem to
                            have any way of selecting the one I want. Asio4all interferes with other
                            soundcard processes on my computer and I was unable get it to work with VAC
                            anyway.
                            The only way I have found to get it to work on my setup is to use the 3rd
                            D44 as an "Unsupported Card" and MME drivers. VAC only allows WSPR to be
                            connected to the Softrock VAC output.
                            There may be another way but with hours of experimenting I have not found
                            it. If I really wanted audio I suppose I could send the IQ input to another
                            card and run another SDR program..

                            73 Alan G4ZFQ
                          • drmail377
                            Thanks Graham for the explanation. Given that second level time sync is only required, the likes of Dimension-4 or many other simple time sync applications
                            Message 13 of 14 , Dec 1, 2009
                              Thanks Graham for the explanation. Given that second level time sync is only required, the likes of Dimension-4 or many other simple time sync applications should be fine. No need for NTPD IMHO. I need to learn more about WSPR and other small signal protocols/techniques.

                              Regards, David

                              --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "grahamg3zod" <grahamg3zod@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > WSPR transmissions take place on even numbered UTC minutes and last for around 1 minute 51 seconds. That's why PC clocks need to be set reasonably accurately to UTC. However, around +/- half a second is more than adequate as the software will synchronize itself to incoming signals to within a few seconds.
                              >
                              > Windows XP/Vista don't actually need any external software for clock synchronization; the registry can be modified to change the default synchronization period to whatever is appropriate for the particular computer's clock creep. However, on XP the firewall needs to be set up to allow access to the NTP port and additionally not everyone may feel comfortable changing the registry.
                              >
                              > I'm happy just to let XP get on with it, but the Windows time synchronization is pretty minimalistic and many users will find it easier to install third party software. I'd rather not introduce more software / services than necessary though.
                              >
                              > 73 de Graham G3ZOD FISTS #8385
                              > http://www.fists.co.uk
                              >
                              >
                              > --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "drmail377" <drmail377@> wrote:
                              > > Why is the PC's clock an issue with WSPR? Is it accuracy or stability or both that is a problem?
                              > >
                              > > Why install Dimension 4 (link http://www.thinkman.com/dimension4/)? I would think NTPD would work much better; it is the "gold" standard. NTPD is free, Dimension 4 is not. NTPD is typically installed by default by most Linux/Unix distributions (with the exception of OpenBSD, see below). A Precompiled Windows NTPD binary installer is freely available here:
                              > >
                              > > http://www.meinberg.de/english/sw/ntp.htm
                              > >
                              > > When I speak of NTPD I'm referring to the "real" NTPD from Dr. David Mills of the University of Delaware, not OpenNTPD which is part of the OpenBSD project. I find NTPD to be superior to OpenNTPD, but it is my opinion only.
                              > >
                              > > NTPD is quite sophisticated and therefore a bit harder to set-up though. But it is worth it if disciplining the PC's clock is truly necessary for WSPR operation - which I question. I've never used WSPR though, so I'm certainly no expert.
                              > >
                              > > With NTPD, if you have a GPS receiver with NMEA serial output and 1-PPS output, you can GPS discipline your PC via the an RS-232 serial port...
                              >
                            • groups
                              David, (Graham, not wishing to tread on your toes !) I had a problem the other day when I was only RX ing half of the stations I could hear correctly, then I
                              Message 14 of 14 , Dec 1, 2009

                                David,

                                 

                                (Graham, not wishing to tread on your toes !)

                                 

                                I had a problem the other day when I was only RX’ing half of the stations I could “hear” correctly, then I realised that I had not updated my PC clock prior to WSPR use. What I think may have happened is that some stations were transmitting slightly out of time sync and my station was wrong in the opposite direction, time wise, thus not being able to decode them within the WSPR tolerance. The problem vanished as soon as I updated the PC clock.  Being new to WSPR I was puzzled for a while, still, the wonderful thing about radio is you learn something new every day. I now have dimension 4 running.

                                 

                                While I am posting: I would like to add my thanks to Tony KB9YIG for the great job in providing kits. I have an RX 9 and am waiting for the RXTX special situation: Tony, take your time, we all appreciate your efforts.

                                 

                                73 de Roger G7RUH

                                 

                                 

                                PS, I am looking forward to a torroid time doing all that winding !

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