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Re: External Soundcards YAD

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  • john.regnault@btinternet.com
    If the external E-Mu 0404 is anything like the PCI version I would not recommend it. OK at 96Khz sampling - but a total dog @ 192Khz Search for my earlier
    Message 1 of 11 , Dec 1, 2009
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      If the external E-Mu 0404 is anything like the PCI version I would not recommend it. OK at 96Khz sampling - but a total dog @ 192Khz

      Search for my earlier posts on the subject

      73
      John G4SWX

      --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, Mr Doug - <dsc3507@...> wrote:
      >
      > yad = yet another discussion!
      >
      > After the last discussion of external soundcards on this list several weeks ago, I did some research and looked at reviews of available products. It is rather difficult to work from specs and reviews for an SDR card. The proof is in the pudding as they say and the only way to really find out is to put them to test in an SDR application. It would be nice to be able to buy every known external card and put them to the SDR test but unfortunately I don't have the money or time to do that!
      >
      > I would say for 2 channels (maybe even 4) up to 192K SR that USB2.0 is fine. Firewire might be an overkill and just lead to more cost.
      >
      > I tried to look at as many external boxes as I could and it seems I keep coming back to the EMU products for quality vs. cost. The EMU 0202, which has been reviewed for SDR many times, still seems to be a good choice but the EMU Tracker Pre USB is a newer model that now might be a better choice. The EMU 0404, while almost twice the cost of the 0202, does have better specs and more flexibility and might be the best EMU external choice in a reasonable price range.
      >
      > http://www.emu.com/products/welcome.asp?category=610
      >
      > Yes I know the emu 1212M internal card might be the best choice of all, in the EMU line, but I am limiting choices here to external boxes only.
      >
      > There are also many cards in the >$200 area. Most give more channels but usually similar specs. I am not going to spend $400 or more to get a spec'ed dB or two of snr improvement but I am willing to look at anything that is out there.
      >
      > An external box, if it has good specs and works well, has so many advantages over its internal counterpart. Its usability with multiple operating systems and the fact that you can move it around at will are very nice features.
      >
      > In my non-sdr digital modes craze of several years ago I started out using the internal card and quickly realized that the cables alone were a mess. I bought two different external USB multimode digital A/D D/A boxes and found them so much easier to use. The computer can be a great distance from the box which sets atop the transceiver with short audio and control cables. A real godsend in my book. So I would like the same for my SDR endeavors!
      >
      > One could even buy one of these external boxes, gut it, and install it inside one box with the SDR transceiver with a USB (or firewire) connector on the back. Maybe we need to develop an A/D D/A USB or firewire, great spec, no frills board! Tony can add that to his kit list!
      >
      > Comments?
      >
      > Doug
      >
    • Mr Doug -
      I looked at the specs and there are considerable differences between these two although some specs appear better for the PCI 0404 and some better for the USB
      Message 2 of 11 , Dec 1, 2009
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        I looked at the specs and there are considerable differences between these two although some specs appear better for the PCI 0404 and some better for the USB 0404. I am convinced that most of these specs are meaningless and like a flat screen TV the proof is in the pudding or in this case actually using the card. That is why I asked the group at large if anyone is using them and what they found.

        You can look at specs and read audio reviews but most do not seem to correlate with SDR use.

        Doug

        --- On Tue, 12/1/09, john.regnault@... <john.regnault@...> wrote:

        From: john.regnault@... <john.regnault@...>
        Subject: [softrock40] Re: External Soundcards YAD
        To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Tuesday, December 1, 2009, 4:44 PM

         

        If the external E-Mu 0404 is anything like the PCI version I would not recommend it. OK at 96Khz sampling - but a total dog @ 192Khz

        Search for my earlier posts on the subject

        73
        John G4SWX

        --- In softrock40@yahoogro ups.com, Mr Doug - <dsc3507@... > wrote:
        >
        > yad = yet another discussion!
        >
        > After the last discussion of external soundcards on this list several weeks ago, I did some research and looked at reviews of available products. It is rather difficult to work from specs and reviews for an SDR card. The proof is in the pudding as they say and the only way to really find out is to put them to test in an SDR application. It would be nice to be able to buy every known external card and put them to the SDR test but unfortunately I don't have the money or time to do that!
        >
        > I would say for 2 channels (maybe even 4) up to 192K SR that USB2.0 is fine. Firewire might be an overkill and just lead to more cost.
        >
        > I tried to look at as many external boxes as I could and it seems I keep coming back to the EMU products for quality vs. cost. The EMU 0202, which has been reviewed for SDR many times, still seems to be a good choice but the EMU Tracker Pre USB is a newer model that now might be a better choice. The EMU 0404, while almost twice the cost of the 0202, does have better specs and more flexibility and might be the best EMU external choice in a reasonable price range.
        >
        > http://www.emu. com/products/ welcome.asp? category= 610
        >
        > Yes I know the emu 1212M internal card might be the best choice of all, in the EMU line, but I am limiting choices here to external boxes only.
        >
        > There are also many cards in the >$200 area. Most give more channels but usually similar specs. I am not going to spend $400 or more to get a spec'ed dB or two of snr improvement but I am willing to look at anything that is out there.
        >
        > An external box, if it has good specs and works well, has so many advantages over its internal counterpart. Its usability with multiple operating systems and the fact that you can move it around at will are very nice features.
        >
        > In my non-sdr digital modes craze of several years ago I started out using the internal card and quickly realized that the cables alone were a mess. I bought two different external USB multimode digital A/D D/A boxes and found them so much easier to use. The computer can be a great distance from the box which sets atop the transceiver with short audio and control cables. A real godsend in my book. So I would like the same for my SDR endeavors!
        >
        > One could even buy one of these external boxes, gut it, and install it inside one box with the SDR transceiver with a USB (or firewire) connector on the back. Maybe we need to develop an A/D D/A USB or firewire, great spec, no frills board! Tony can add that to his kit list!
        >
        > Comments?
        >
        > Doug
        >


      • Chris Albertson
        ... External USB audio interfaces have features that make them more usable. For example knobs on the front panel (to set pre amp gain) and LEDs that display
        Message 3 of 11 , Dec 1, 2009
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          On Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 3:26 PM, Mr Doug - <dsc3507@...> wrote:


          I looked at the specs and there are considerable differences between these two although some specs appear better for the PCI 0404 and some better for the USB 0404. I am convinced that most of these specs are meaningless

          External USB audio interfaces have features that make them more usable.  For example knobs on the front panel (to set pre amp gain) and LEDs that display clipping level and they can be used without fidling with an "octopus" adaptor behind the computer and importantly can be used in the next computer you might buy which just may not have a PCI slot.

          Cabling is different too.  With the external box, you place the box near the other equipment and then run a single USB cable to the computer.  With the internal card you have to run all the analog ables to the computer.  How to you want to set up your desk?

          --
          =====
          Chris Albertson
          Redondo Beach, California
        • Mr Doug -
          Chris,  I know all that and understand fully the advantages and flexibility of external vs. internal. Thats one of the main reasons I want external. The
          Message 4 of 11 , Dec 1, 2009
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            Chris,  I know all that and understand fully the advantages and flexibility of external vs. internal. Thats one of the main reasons I want external. The question is what external card is best or should I say best for the money. Let say in the <$200 retail class.

            Doug

            --- On Tue, 12/1/09, Chris Albertson <albertson.chris@...> wrote:

            From: Chris Albertson <albertson.chris@...>
            Subject: Re: [softrock40] Re: External Soundcards YAD
            To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Tuesday, December 1, 2009, 6:37 PM

             



            On Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 3:26 PM, Mr Doug - <dsc3507@yahoo. com> wrote:


            I looked at the specs and there are considerable differences between these two although some specs appear better for the PCI 0404 and some better for the USB 0404. I am convinced that most of these specs are meaningless

            External USB audio interfaces have features that make them more usable.  For example knobs on the front panel (to set pre amp gain) and LEDs that display clipping level and they can be used without fidling with an "octopus" adaptor behind the computer and importantly can be used in the next computer you might buy which just may not have a PCI slot.

            Cabling is different too.  With the external box, you place the box near the other equipment and then run a single USB cable to the computer.  With the internal card you have to run all the analog ables to the computer.  How to you want to set up your desk?

            --
            =====
            Chris Albertson
            Redondo Beach, California

          • g8voip
            Hi, I do not have any external sound devices, so wonder if having knobs to adjust the levels is really an advantage? Given that you need to balance the gain
            Message 5 of 11 , Dec 1, 2009
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              Hi,

              I do not have any external sound devices, so wonder if having knobs to adjust the levels is really an advantage?

              Given that you need to balance the gain between channels to better than 0.01dB to achieve 60dB of image rejection, I would have though if you as much as sneezed in the general direction of the controls you would upset the image rejection.

              Over time analogue pots usually become noisy, unless they are actually used to control electronic attenuators rather than the adjusting the audio level itself.

              I would be interested to know of any experiences using them.

              73, Bob G8VOI




              --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, Chris Albertson <albertson.chris@...> wrote:
              >
              > On Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 3:26 PM, Mr Doug - <dsc3507@...> wrote:
              >
              > >
              > >
              > > I looked at the specs and there are considerable differences between these
              > > two although some specs appear better for the PCI 0404 and some better for
              > > the USB 0404. I am convinced that most of these specs are meaningless
              > >
              >
              > External USB audio interfaces have features that make them more usable. For
              > example knobs on the front panel (to set pre amp gain) and LEDs that display
              > clipping level and they can be used without fidling with an "octopus"
              > adaptor behind the computer and importantly can be used in the next computer
              > you might buy which just may not have a PCI slot.
              >
              > Cabling is different too. With the external box, you place the box near the
              > other equipment and then run a single USB cable to the computer. With the
              > internal card you have to run all the analog ables to the computer. How to
              > you want to set up your desk?
              >
              > --
              > =====
              > Chris Albertson
              > Redondo Beach, California
              >
            • Alan
              ... From: g8voip Subject: [softrock40] Re: External Soundcards YAD ... Yes, really levels need to be set once, before setting image rejection, and never be
              Message 6 of 11 , Dec 2, 2009
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                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "g8voip"
                Subject: [softrock40] Re: External Soundcards YAD


                > I do not have any external sound devices, so wonder if having knobs to
                > adjust the levels is really an advantage?
                >
                > Given that you need to balance the gain between channels to better than
                > 0.01dB to achieve 60dB of image rejection, I would have though if you as
                > much as sneezed in the general direction of the controls you would upset
                > the image rejection.
                >
                > Over time analogue pots usually become noisy, unless they are actually
                > used to control electronic attenuators rather than the adjusting the audio
                > level itself.
                >

                Yes, really levels need to be set once, before setting image rejection, and
                never be touched again.
                Recently, as Bob indicates, someone had a problem using the mixer
                adjustments. The electronic steps were not precise enough to maintain proper
                image rejection for different output powers.
                If someone wants to use a linear mode then ideally they should also use the
                same settings with a non-linear mode, even though it means a lower power
                output.
                On the other hand, if you use just the barefoot output of the Softrock even
                30dB image rejection is not going to put much of a signal on the wrong
                frequency! In this country we are just required not to radiate harmful
                interference, The more precise adjustment of image rejection is important if
                a Softrock is followed by an amplifier. In that case it would be essential
                to keep all settings constant.

                73 Alan G4ZFQ
              • Sid Boyce
                ... I ve been there on elbows and knees with a flash light. It also may mean having to use lengthy audio cables for which I m using very thick high quality
                Message 7 of 11 , Dec 2, 2009
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                  On 01/12/09 23:37, Chris Albertson wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > On Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 3:26 PM, Mr Doug - <dsc3507@...
                  > <mailto:dsc3507@...>> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > I looked at the specs and there are considerable differences between
                  > these two although some specs appear better for the PCI 0404 and
                  > some better for the USB 0404. I am convinced that most of these
                  > specs are meaningless
                  >
                  >
                  > External USB audio interfaces have features that make them more usable.
                  > For example knobs on the front panel (to set pre amp gain) and LEDs that
                  > display clipping level and they can be used without fidling with an
                  > "octopus" adaptor behind the computer and importantly can be used in the
                  > next computer you might buy which just may not have a PCI slot.
                  >
                  I've been there on elbows and knees with a flash light. It also may mean
                  having to use lengthy audio cables for which I'm using very thick high
                  quality ones 2m long.

                  > Cabling is different too. With the external box, you place the box near
                  > the other equipment and then run a single USB cable to the computer.
                  > With the internal card you have to run all the analog ables to the
                  > computer. How to you want to set up your desk?
                  >
                  Now my E-MU 0404 PCI card has gone faulty and I'm using the E-MU 0404
                  USB, I see a great opportunity of keeping the cables short and easily
                  interchangeable between desktop, laptops and the beagleboard.
                  > --
                  > =====
                  > Chris Albertson
                  > Redondo Beach, California
                  >
                  The 0404 USB works now, it didn't when I first tried it under Linux with
                  the SR v6.3 and the sound card matrix says input is not supported though
                  I had been using it successfully for a couple of years for guitar work,
                  so I bought the 0404 PCI. When I had a temporary XP box around, the USB
                  box worked under all the software.
                  73 ... Sid.
                  --
                  Sid Boyce ... Hamradio License G3VBV, Licensed Private Pilot
                  Emeritus IBM/Amdahl Mainframes and Sun/Fujitsu Servers Tech Support
                  Specialist, Cricket Coach
                  Microsoft Windows Free Zone - Linux used for all Computing Tasks
                • Mr Doug -
                  Sid,  Regarding the 0404 USB you say works but how well or how well compared to other cards you have tried for SDR?  Also many of the cards including the EMU
                  Message 8 of 11 , Dec 2, 2009
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                    Sid,

                     Regarding the 0404 USB you say works but how well or how well compared to other cards you have tried for SDR?  Also many of the cards including the EMU series can use the ASIO or ASIO2 driver which much improves the thoughput. I wonder if you are using that?

                    I can also see where the physical levels could be a convenience but also a detriment regarding image rejection. I suppose being able to lock the controls would help if it had that ability.

                    Doug



                    --- On Wed, 12/2/09, Sid Boyce <sboyce@...> wrote:

                    From: Sid Boyce <sboyce@...>
                    Subject: Re: [softrock40] Re: External Soundcards YAD
                    To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2009, 6:10 AM

                     


                    Now my E-MU 0404 PCI card has gone faulty and I'm using the E-MU 0404
                    USB, I see a great opportunity of keeping the cables short and easily
                    interchangeable between desktop, laptops and the beagleboard.
                    > --
                    > =====
                    > Chris Albertson
                    > Redondo Beach, California
                    >
                    The 0404 USB works now, it didn't when I first tried it under Linux with
                    the SR v6.3 and the sound card matrix says input is not supported though
                    I had been using it successfully for a couple of years for guitar work,
                    so I bought the 0404 PCI. When I had a temporary XP box around, the USB
                    box worked under all the software.
                    73 ... Sid.
                    --
                    Sid Boyce ... Hamradio License G3VBV, Licensed Private Pilot
                    Emeritus IBM/Amdahl Mainframes and Sun/Fujitsu Servers Tech Support
                    Specialist, Cricket Coach



                  • Sid Boyce
                    ... It was the only one I tried under Windows with ASIO and it worked fine with Rocky, PowerSDR-IQ and powerSDR-sr40. At one stage it ran at 192K, then for
                    Message 9 of 11 , Dec 2, 2009
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                      On 02/12/09 15:24, Mr Doug - wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > Sid,
                      >
                      > Regarding the 0404 USB you say works but how well or how well compared
                      > to other cards you have tried for SDR? Also many of the cards including
                      > the EMU series can use the ASIO or ASIO2 driver which much improves the
                      > thoughput. I wonder if you are using that?
                      >
                      It was the only one I tried under Windows with ASIO and it worked fine
                      with Rocky, PowerSDR-IQ and powerSDR-sr40. At one stage it ran at 192K,
                      then for some reason I couldn't figure it would only work at 96K max.
                      Under Linux pretty much the same as the E-MU 0404 PCI before that went
                      bust. On Linux alsa seems hardwired to run at 48K only and I'm still
                      looking for a way to change that to a higher rate.

                      > I can also see where the physical levels could be a convenience but also
                      > a detriment regarding image rejection. I suppose being able to lock the
                      > controls would help if it had that ability.
                      >
                      > Doug
                      >
                      On Windows I adjusted the controls to about the 8 o'clock position and
                      under Linux I have to leave both turned right down as the noise floor
                      would raise, depending on the band, from -110dBm/-120dbM to ~-90dBm when
                      at the 8 o'clock position.
                      Perhaps it would have been better to test against other than the PCI card.
                      73 ... Sid.

                      >
                      >
                      > --- On *Wed, 12/2/09, Sid Boyce /<sboyce@...>/* wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > From: Sid Boyce <sboyce@...>
                      > Subject: Re: [softrock40] Re: External Soundcards YAD
                      > To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
                      > Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2009, 6:10 AM
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Now my E-MU 0404 PCI card has gone faulty and I'm using the E-MU 0404
                      > USB, I see a great opportunity of keeping the cables short and easily
                      > interchangeable between desktop, laptops and the beagleboard.
                      > > --
                      > > =====
                      > > Chris Albertson
                      > > Redondo Beach, California
                      > >
                      > The 0404 USB works now, it didn't when I first tried it under Linux with
                      > the SR v6.3 and the sound card matrix says input is not supported though
                      > I had been using it successfully for a couple of years for guitar work,
                      > so I bought the 0404 PCI. When I had a temporary XP box around, the USB
                      > box worked under all the software.
                      > 73 ... Sid.
                      > --
                      > Sid Boyce ... Hamradio License G3VBV, Licensed Private Pilot
                      > Emeritus IBM/Amdahl Mainframes and Sun/Fujitsu Servers Tech Support
                      > Specialist, Cricket Coach
                      >
                      >
                      >

                      --
                      Sid Boyce ... Hamradio License G3VBV, Licensed Private Pilot
                      Emeritus IBM/Amdahl Mainframes and Sun/Fujitsu Servers Tech Support
                      Specialist, Cricket Coach
                      Microsoft Windows Free Zone - Linux used for all Computing Tasks
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