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Re: [softrock40] Re: An Idea, tell me what you think:

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  • Russ Hines
    Peter, what you post is all very interesting, but what does this have to do with KB9YIG s SoftRock radios? 73, Russ WB8ZCC
    Message 1 of 29 , Mar 1, 2010
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      Peter, what you post is all very interesting, but what does this have to do with KB9YIG's SoftRock radios?

      73,
      Russ
      WB8ZCC




      Peter wrote:
       

      This is all very approximate and subject to change, but with some analysis behind it. I think a set of modules to build a basic, crystal-controlled SDR (motherboard, filter, qsd, LO, and audio) could be sold, as assembled modules, for about $105. As kits, $65. As boards with bill of materials and assembly notes online, $50.

      To upgrade to a multiband radio, add a microcontroller module, and replace the oscillator and single-band filter with a DDS and multiband filter. Cost: about $100 assembled, $60 as kits, and $20 for just the boards.

      Am I in the ballpark?

      --- In softrock40@yahoogro ups.com, "Peter" <pete@...> wrote:
      >
      > Would there be demand for a small line of SDR building-block kits? What I'm thinking of is perhaps a motherboard with RF, IF, and USB connectors as well as a power supply, and headers to accept interchangeable filter boards, interchangeable QSD or I/Q mixer boards, interchangeable LO boards, interchangeable audio, USB isolator, perhaps a digitizer, etc. Probably would use surface mount parts throughout, but would allow staged assembly, and a newbie could buy some blocks assembled and others as kits, and would be able to try out surface mount techniques without risking a large, expensive project. It would also allow for low-cost experimentation with different approches to LO, QSD, interface, etc. Would something like this be worthwhile?
      >
      > 73,
      > Pete, NI9N
      > www.garage-shoppe. com
      > www.lazydogengineer ing.com
      >



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    • k5nwa
      There is already a kit available that uses a knob to control the Si570 chip; It works well and it s configurable.
      Message 2 of 29 , Mar 1, 2010
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        There is already a kit available that uses a knob to control the Si570 chip;
        < http://www.qsl.net/k5bcq/Kits/Kits.html >

        It works well and it's configurable.

        At 11:36 AM 3/1/2010, you wrote:


        >N3ZI's new 2010 DDS definitely has a "spinner" control, using a
        >mechanical encoder. There's a youtube video of the tuning action.
        ><http://www.pongrance.com/super-dds.html>http://www.pongrance.com/super-dds.html
        >
        >
        >But even if you don't like mechanical encoders it is compatible with
        >Optical encoders, and has several tuning parameters that can be
        >tweaked via the serial port. (And don't flame me about serial ports,
        >you can buy a USB to serial port converter on ebay for $2, shipping
        >included, and yes, it works fine with them)
        >
        >I'm not sure what you mean by "switch band-pass filters/sidebands
        >etc" that's not really part of a DDS. But if you are talking about
        >a function that has outputs to select bands, sidebands, etc., based
        >on the DDS frequency. There's no spare I/O anyway, but you could
        >easily add a PIC attached to the serial port that does that. Other
        >people have done that.
        >
        >It uses a AD9834, slightly overclocked(80MHz) output up to
        >34MHz. With an IF in the ~10MHz range you can get high side up
        >through 15 meters. If you really want high side on 10Meters then
        >you are out of luck, but if you can design a filter to knock out the
        >8MHz image in this case then you shouldn't be fooling around with
        >this stuff anyway.
        >
        >If you need 4x and sqaure waves you shouldn't be using a Analog DDS
        >anyway, use a Si570, much cheper and wider range.
        >
        >The code is written in "C" and is not released. It would be far
        >easier for a qualified individual to write it from scratch than it
        >would be to figure it out. Writing code that works is one thing,
        >writing code so that someone else can understand it is much more complex.
        >
        >
        >--- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "drmail377" <drmail377@...> wrote:
        > >
        > > There is a "black hole" in the ham kit/product market it is the
        > VFO. What is needed is a VFO kit (DDS or Si570-based) with an
        > actual "spinner" knob that covers near DC through 120 MHz (for
        > divide by four PC-based SDR's) or at least near DC through 75MHz
        > for dual conversion! superhe ts with 45MHz first IF and 455kHz
        > second IF. There is nothing like this out there. We have
        > ADI9834/5-based knob VFO's that go through 34MHz or 21MHz with
        > pretty lousy SFDR, then there are the AD99XX DDS's, expensive and I
        > don't know of one with a tuning knob.
        > >
        > > Yes I know about KB5CQ's Si570 tuner/display, it is not a "spinner".
        > >
        > > Plus, every time I run across a DDS knob VFO I can buy (only one
        > comes to mind) there is no open firmware source so I can switch
        > band-pass filters/sidebands etc. Locked-up tight.
        > >
        > > This is the first building block we need.
        > >
        > >
        > > --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "Peter" pete@ wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Would there be demand for a small line of SDR building-block
        > kits? What I'm thinking of is perhaps a motherboard with RF, IF,
        > and USB connectors as well as a power supply, and headers to accept
        > interchangeable filter boards, interchangeable QSD or I/Q mixer
        > boards, interchangeable LO boards, interchangeable audio, USB
        > isolator, perhaps a digitizer, etc. Probably would use surface
        > mount parts throughout, but would allow staged assembly, and a
        > newbie could buy some blocks assembled and others as kits, and
        > would be able to try out surface mount techniques without risking a
        > large, expensive project. It would also allow for low-cost
        > experimentation with different approches to LO, QSD, interface,
        > etc. Would something like this be worthwhile?
        > > >
        > > > 73,
        > > > Pete, NI9N
        > > > www.garage-shoppe.com
        > > > www.lazydogengineering.com
        > > >
        > >
        >
        >
        >


        Cecil
        K5NWA
        www.softrockradio.org www.qrpradio.com

        "Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the light."
      • Peter
        Larry, I agree that the idea is to foster innovation. I would want people to try designing modules themselves. Thank you for your input on the pricing, and
        Message 3 of 29 , Mar 1, 2010
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          Larry, I agree that the idea is to foster innovation. I would want people to try designing modules themselves. Thank you for your input on the pricing, and for your suggestion.

          --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, Larry Acklin <acklin@...> wrote:
          >
          > Decide on a standard of signal and I/O levels, somewhat standard in/out
          > (which side of the building block does what) etc. and make these standards
          > public. Else you will end up with single source, and you want to encourage
          > innovation.
          >
          > I think the pricing is about right.
          >
          > 73
          > Larry
          > KB3CUF
          >
          > On Mon, Mar 1, 2010 at 12:38 PM, Peter <pete@...> wrote:
          >
          > >
          > >
          > > This is all very approximate and subject to change, but with some analysis
          > > behind it. I think a set of modules to build a basic, crystal-controlled SDR
          > > (motherboard, filter, qsd, LO, and audio) could be sold, as assembled
          > > modules, for about $105. As kits, $65. As boards with bill of materials and
          > > assembly notes online, $50.
          > >
          > > To upgrade to a multiband radio, add a microcontroller module, and replace
          > > the oscillator and single-band filter with a DDS and multiband filter. Cost:
          > > about $100 assembled, $60 as kits, and $20 for just the boards.
          > >
          > > Am I in the ballpark?
          > >
          > >
          > > --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com <softrock40%40yahoogroups.com>, "Peter"
          > > <pete@> wrote:
          > > >
          > > > Would there be demand for a small line of SDR building-block kits? What
          > > I'm thinking of is perhaps a motherboard with RF, IF, and USB connectors as
          > > well as a power supply, and headers to accept interchangeable filter boards,
          > > interchangeable QSD or I/Q mixer boards, interchangeable LO boards,
          > > interchangeable audio, USB isolator, perhaps a digitizer, etc. Probably
          > > would use surface mount parts throughout, but would allow staged assembly,
          > > and a newbie could buy some blocks assembled and others as kits, and would
          > > be able to try out surface mount techniques without risking a large,
          > > expensive project. It would also allow for low-cost experimentation with
          > > different approches to LO, QSD, interface, etc. Would something like this be
          > > worthwhile?
          > > >
          > > > 73,
          > > > Pete, NI9N
          > > > www.garage-shoppe.com
          > > > www.lazydogengineering.com
          > > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
        • k5nwa
          ... I don t know if you are familiar with Diz but he offers a set of small boards to build conventional receivers and they re fairly popular. So the concept is
          Message 4 of 29 , Mar 1, 2010
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            4321`At 11:38 AM 3/1/2010, you wrote:
            >This is all very approximate and subject to change, but with some
            >analysis behind it. I think a set of modules to build a basic,
            >crystal-controlled SDR (motherboard, filter, qsd, LO, and audio)
            >could be sold, as assembled modules, for about $105. As kits,
            >$65. As boards with bill of materials and assembly notes online, $50.
            >
            >To upgrade to a multiband radio, add a microcontroller module, and
            >replace the oscillator and single-band filter with a DDS and
            >multiband filter. Cost: about $100 assembled, $60 as kits, and $20
            >for just the boards.
            >
            >Am I in the ballpark?

            I don't know if you are familiar with Diz but he offers a set of
            small boards to build conventional receivers and they're fairly
            popular. So the concept is good, but the price may be an issue, a
            small SoftRock sells for $13 from Tony.

            < http://partsandkits.com/rftoolkits.php >

            Most of the DDS chips that are reasonably inexpensive have a lot of
            spur issues that is why the SI570 is in use, another plus is that the
            output is already in digital form. when you can see the spectrum the
            spurs is a big turnoff.




            Cecil
            K5NWA
            www.softrockradio.org www.qrpradio.com

            "Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the light."
          • Peter
            Directly, nothing. Indirectly, the idea is to facilitate learning about and experimentation with SDRs. That s why Tony started the Softrock project, as I
            Message 5 of 29 , Mar 1, 2010
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              Directly, nothing. Indirectly, the idea is to facilitate learning about and experimentation with SDRs. That's why Tony started the Softrock project, as I understand it, and it seems to be what this group is about. I hope no one objects, because I certainly don't want to step on anyone's toes.

              I've been reading a lot of discussion about things like audio and USB isolation, different synthesizer configurations, different QSD configurations, etc. It seems like it would be nice to be able to try out a different QSD, let's say, without building a whole radio. That's what I'd like to facilitate. Seems consistent with this group, but if the group says otherwise, I'll drop the subject.

              73,
              Pete, NI9N
              www.garage-shoppe.com
              www.lazydogengineering.com
              Inconveniently located 110 km. from Radioville

              --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, Russ Hines <russ@...> wrote:
              >
              > Peter, what you post is all very interesting, but what does this have to
              > do with KB9YIG's SoftRock radios?
              >
              > 73,
              > Russ
              > WB8ZCC
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Peter wrote:
              > >
              > >
              > > This is all very approximate and subject to change, but with some
              > > analysis behind it. I think a set of modules to build a basic,
              > > crystal-controlled SDR (motherboard, filter, qsd, LO, and audio) could
              > > be sold, as assembled modules, for about $105. As kits, $65. As boards
              > > with bill of materials and assembly notes online, $50.
              > >
              > > To upgrade to a multiband radio, add a microcontroller module, and
              > > replace the oscillator and single-band filter with a DDS and multiband
              > > filter. Cost: about $100 assembled, $60 as kits, and $20 for just the
              > > boards.
              > >
              > > Am I in the ballpark?
              > >
              > > --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com
              > > <mailto:softrock40%40yahoogroups.com>, "Peter" <pete@> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > Would there be demand for a small line of SDR building-block kits?
              > > What I'm thinking of is perhaps a motherboard with RF, IF, and USB
              > > connectors as well as a power supply, and headers to accept
              > > interchangeable filter boards, interchangeable QSD or I/Q mixer
              > > boards, interchangeable LO boards, interchangeable audio, USB
              > > isolator, perhaps a digitizer, etc. Probably would use surface mount
              > > parts throughout, but would allow staged assembly, and a newbie could
              > > buy some blocks assembled and others as kits, and would be able to try
              > > out surface mount techniques without risking a large, expensive
              > > project. It would also allow for low-cost experimentation with
              > > different approches to LO, QSD, interface, etc. Would something like
              > > this be worthwhile?
              > > >
              > > > 73,
              > > > Pete, NI9N
              > > > www.garage-shoppe.com
              > > > www.lazydogengineering.com
              > > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > __________ NOD32 4903 (20100228) Information __________
              > >
              > > This message was checked by NOD32 antivirus system.
              > > http://www.eset.com
              >
            • Peter
              Thanks for your input, Cecil. I m not trying to compete with Tony, and at his prices I don t think anyone could. I see this concept as somewhat complimentary
              Message 6 of 29 , Mar 1, 2010
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                Thanks for your input, Cecil. I'm not trying to compete with Tony, and at his prices I don't think anyone could. I see this concept as somewhat complimentary to what Tony's doing. I'll check out Diz's website. The URL sounds a lot like Dan's Small Parts and Kits. Same guy?

                73,
                Pete, NI9N
                www.lazydogengineering.com
                www.garage-shoppe.com
                Inconveniently located 110 km. from Radioville

                --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, k5nwa <k5nwa@...> wrote:
                >
                > 4321`At 11:38 AM 3/1/2010, you wrote:
                > >This is all very approximate and subject to change, but with some
                > >analysis behind it. I think a set of modules to build a basic,
                > >crystal-controlled SDR (motherboard, filter, qsd, LO, and audio)
                > >could be sold, as assembled modules, for about $105. As kits,
                > >$65. As boards with bill of materials and assembly notes online, $50.
                > >
                > >To upgrade to a multiband radio, add a microcontroller module, and
                > >replace the oscillator and single-band filter with a DDS and
                > >multiband filter. Cost: about $100 assembled, $60 as kits, and $20
                > >for just the boards.
                > >
                > >Am I in the ballpark?
                >
                > I don't know if you are familiar with Diz but he offers a set of
                > small boards to build conventional receivers and they're fairly
                > popular. So the concept is good, but the price may be an issue, a
                > small SoftRock sells for $13 from Tony.
                >
                > < http://partsandkits.com/rftoolkits.php >
                >
                > Most of the DDS chips that are reasonably inexpensive have a lot of
                > spur issues that is why the SI570 is in use, another plus is that the
                > output is already in digital form. when you can see the spectrum the
                > spurs is a big turnoff.
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Cecil
                > K5NWA
                > www.softrockradio.org www.qrpradio.com
                >
                > "Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the light."
                >
              • Dave - WB6DHW
                Mark: I make a couple of boards you might be interested in. My 995x board will accept an AD9951, AD9952, AD9953, or AD9954. My 9912 board will take an AD9912.
                Message 7 of 29 , Mar 1, 2010
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                  Mark:
                  I make a couple of boards you might be interested in.
                  My 995x board will accept an AD9951, AD9952, AD9953, or AD9954. My 9912
                  board will take an AD9912. Both have a PIC18F2550 with all unused I/O
                  pins brought out to headers. With a bootloader burned into the chip, all
                  firmware updates can be done over the USB bus.
                  Buck Ewing has written firmware to make the 995x into a stand alone
                  generator. Since I still haven't had a chance(I have the programs) to
                  test it out, I have not pushed it yet. Buck is also working on similar
                  firmware for the 9912 board. Both use a rotary encoder for tuning. If
                  you are interested, I can send you a copy of the software.

                  Dave - WB6DHW
                  <http://wb6dhw.com>

                  Mark J Dulcey wrote:
                  > On 3/1/2010 6:02 AM, drmail377 wrote:
                  >
                  >> There is a "black hole" in the ham kit/product market it is the VFO.
                  >> What is needed is a VFO kit (DDS or Si570-based) with an actual
                  >> "spinner" knob that covers near DC through 120 MHz (for divide by four
                  >> PC-based SDR's) or at least near DC through 75MHz for dual conversion
                  >> superhets with 45MHz first IF and 455kHz second IF. There is nothing
                  >> like this out there. We have ADI9834/5-based knob VFO's that go through
                  >> 34MHz or 21MHz with pretty lousy SFDR, then there are the AD99XX DDS's,
                  >> expensive and I don't know of one with a tuning knob.
                  >>
                  >> Yes I know about KB5CQ's Si570 tuner/display, it is not a "spinner".
                  >>
                  >> Plus, every time I run across a DDS knob VFO I can buy (only one comes
                  >> to mind) there is no open firmware source so I can switch band-pass
                  >> filters/sidebands etc. Locked-up tight.
                  >>
                  >> This is the first building block we need.
                  >>
                  >
                  > The closest thing I know about is WA6UFQ's Universal VFO Controller
                  > (http://home.roadrunner.com/~wa6ufq//universal_vfo_controller.html )
                  > which will operate a variety of frequency generation modules (both DDS
                  > and Si570). But it's not open source, and it uses a two-knob tuning
                  > system (coarse and fine) with low-resolution mechanical encoders.
                  >
                  > This idea is actually pretty close to something I was planning to work
                  > on. I want single-knob capability using a higher-resolution optical
                  > encoder -- that would make it a premium priced design, a really nice
                  > optical encoder is a $50 part or more (examples: Digikey 102-1008-ND and
                  > 102-1010-ND), though there is also a decent lower-resolution one in the
                  > $15-20 class (Digikey EM14A0D-C24-L064S-ND). I don't like mechanical
                  > encoders; they don't have enough resolution for a proper VFO feel, they
                  > wear out, and most of them have detents.
                  >
                  > I was originally planning to make it work with the DDS-60 from AmQRP
                  > (AD9851) and the new DDS-150 from PQRP (AD995x), but I recently found
                  > out about WA6UFQ's Si570 module in the same form factor so I'll add that
                  > as well. I like the idea of working with a separate frequency generation
                  > module so I can take advantage of the good RF layout design that others
                  > have done and not have to get personally involved in that, and
                  > separating the RF part of the design from the digital control part is
                  > good for noise minimization.
                  >
                  > I'm currently looking at using a PIC18F series part, perhaps one with
                  > USB capability so a computer interface could eventually be added, though
                  > I'd consider using a PIC24F if that doesn't turn out to be fast enough.
                  > (The PIC24F part would complicate the design a bit because it's a
                  > low-voltage part and most of the inexpensive surplus LCD modules are 5V
                  > parts; either the LCD selection would have to be limited or voltage
                  > translators would be needed.) I'd be programming in C, not assembler,
                  > which should speed the development process a little (please, no flame
                  > wars about the relative merits of computer languages - I've done a lot
                  > of them and know what works for me) and make it easier to shift to
                  > different PIC microcontrollers in the future (the C compiler and
                  > libraries hide most of the differences between the models). And yes, it
                  > will be 100% open source, hardware and software, though I will sell kits
                  > if there is enough interest.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • k5nwa
                  ... There are many ways to skin the cat, I have been experimenting with the detector lately and have found some interesting ways to implement the mixer, it
                  Message 8 of 29 , Mar 1, 2010
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                    At 12:43 PM 3/1/2010, you wrote:

                    >Directly, nothing. Indirectly, the idea is to facilitate learning
                    >about and experimentation with SDRs. That's why Tony started the
                    >Softrock project, as I understand it, and it seems to be what this
                    >group is about. I hope no one objects, because I certainly don't
                    >want to step on anyone's toes.
                    >
                    >I've been reading a lot of discussion about things like audio and
                    >USB isolation, different synthesizer configurations, different QSD
                    >configurations, etc. It seems like it would be nice to be able to
                    >try out a different QSD, let's say, without building a whole
                    >radio. That's what I'd like to facilitate. Seems consistent with
                    >this group, but if the group says otherwise, I'll drop the subject.
                    >
                    >73,
                    >Pete, NI9N
                    >www.garage-shoppe.com
                    >www.lazydogengineering.com
                    >Inconveniently located 110 km. from Radioville

                    There are many ways to skin the cat, I have been experimenting with
                    the detector lately and have found some interesting ways to implement
                    the mixer, it works at much higher frequencies than the standard
                    SoftRock mixer, I'm getting good results at 2M at present and the
                    scheme could work at much higher frequencies (GHz), I'm not finished
                    but I already have a scheme that might work even better. Having
                    modules would speed the development up versus chopping up SoftRocks.

                    I'm not sure how many in this group are actively working on
                    improvements , I would guess that most are passengers for the ride
                    but having the modules available might make more participate in
                    trying out new things, the more the merrier.



                    Cecil
                    K5NWA
                    www.softrockradio.org www.qrpradio.com

                    "Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the light."
                  • Larry Acklin
                    I second that emotion. a Lego approach would let one concentrate on the area of innovation, letting the other modules work as appliances. How many of us
                    Message 9 of 29 , Mar 1, 2010
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                      I second that emotion.
                       
                      a "Lego" approach would let one concentrate on the area of innovation, letting the other modules work as appliances.  How many of us care about the PC we design great programs for?
                       
                      Well, you know what I mean- I don't hand build a speaker to listen to music.
                       
                      Larry
                       


                       
                      On Mon, Mar 1, 2010 at 2:28 PM, k5nwa <k5nwa@...> wrote:
                       

                      At 12:43 PM 3/1/2010, you wrote:

                      >Directly, nothing. Indirectly, the idea is to facilitate learning
                      >about and experimentation with SDRs. That's why Tony started the
                      >Softrock project, as I understand it, and it seems to be what this
                      >group is about. I hope no one objects, because I certainly don't
                      >want to step on anyone's toes.
                      >
                      >I've been reading a lot of discussion about things like audio and
                      >USB isolation, different synthesizer configurations, different QSD
                      >configurations, etc. It seems like it would be nice to be able to
                      >try out a different QSD, let's say, without building a whole
                      >radio. That's what I'd like to facilitate. Seems consistent with
                      >this group, but if the group says otherwise, I'll drop the subject.
                      >
                      >73,
                      >Pete, NI9N
                      >www.garage-shoppe.com
                      >www.lazydogengineering.com
                      >Inconveniently located 110 km. from Radioville

                      There are many ways to skin the cat, I have been experimenting with
                      the detector lately and have found some interesting ways to implement
                      the mixer, it works at much higher frequencies than the standard
                      SoftRock mixer, I'm getting good results at 2M at present and the
                      scheme could work at much higher frequencies (GHz), I'm not finished
                      but I already have a scheme that might work even better. Having
                      modules would speed the development up versus chopping up SoftRocks.

                      I'm not sure how many in this group are actively working on
                      improvements , I would guess that most are passengers for the ride
                      but having the modules available might make more participate in
                      trying out new things, the more the merrier.


                      Cecil
                      K5NWA
                      www.softrockradio.org www.qrpradio.com

                      "Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the light."


                    • Rob
                      Hi Pete, Relating that to the Softrock... Frankly you would be reinventing the wheel. IMO there wouldn t be demand to make money from it. A Softrock backplane
                      Message 10 of 29 , Mar 1, 2010
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                        Hi Pete,

                        Relating that to the Softrock... Frankly you would be reinventing the wheel. IMO there wouldn't be demand to make money from it. A Softrock backplane has been discussed many times.

                        If you like to form a group to redesign the same technology as the SR6.3+MoBo V4.3 combination, good luck, see you in 2 years!

                        Personally I'd like to see a backplane version of the technology as you describe, but it has to have the support of all parties. Perhaps the time for it will be after the SDR-Widget project is mature?

                        Cheers,
                        Rob
                        (M0RZF)

                        --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "Peter" <pete@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Would there be demand for a small line of SDR building-block kits? What I'm thinking of is perhaps a motherboard with RF, IF, and USB connectors as well as a power supply, and headers to accept interchangeable filter boards, interchangeable QSD or I/Q mixer boards, interchangeable LO boards, interchangeable audio, USB isolator, perhaps a digitizer, etc. Probably would use surface mount parts throughout, but would allow staged assembly, and a newbie could buy some blocks assembled and others as kits, and would be able to try out surface mount techniques without risking a large, expensive project. It would also allow for low-cost experimentation with different approches to LO, QSD, interface, etc. Would something like this be worthwhile?
                      • ijdownie@optusnet.com.au
                        It sounds to me like you are re inventing a PICASTAR, or do you have something quite different in mind? Ian
                        Message 11 of 29 , Mar 2, 2010
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                          It sounds to me like you are re inventing a PICASTAR, or do you have something quite different in mind?

                          Ian

                        • Peter Johnson
                          Hi Ian. I don t think so. Already built one. Regards Peter F1VKK
                          Message 12 of 29 , Mar 2, 2010
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                            Hi  Ian.
                             
                            I don't think so.
                            Already built one.
                             
                            Regards Peter F1VKK
                             
                             
                            On 02/03/2010 12:07:54, ijdownie@... wrote:
                            > It sounds to me like you are re inventing a PICASTAR, or do you
                            have
                            > something quite different in mind?
                            > Ian
                            >
                            >
                            >
                          • Pete Goodmann
                            After a very quick, cursory look, I think what I have in mind is significantly different and more versatile. I take a more in-depth look at PICASTAR and let
                            Message 13 of 29 , Mar 2, 2010
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                              After a very quick, cursory look, I think what I have in mind is significantly different and more versatile.  I take a more in-depth look at PICASTAR and let you know.

                               

                              73,

                              Pete, NI9N

                              Lazy Dog Engineering LLC

                              www.lazydogengineering.com

                              www.garage-shoppe.com

                               

                            • genesysltduk
                              ... And a softrock as a panadaptor for it is very useful :-) Duncan G4ELJ
                              Message 14 of 29 , Mar 2, 2010
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                                --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "Peter Johnson" <m1bcv@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Hi Ian.
                                >
                                > I don't think so.
                                > Already built one.
                                >
                                > Regards Peter F1VKK
                                >

                                And a softrock as a panadaptor for it is very useful :-)

                                Duncan
                                G4ELJ
                              • Lieuwe De Vries
                                A similar project? http://home.kpn.nl/rw.engberts/sdr_kth_buyers.htm ________________________________ From: k5nwa To:
                                Message 15 of 29 , Mar 2, 2010
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                                  A similar project?


                                  From: k5nwa <k5nwa@...>
                                  To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
                                  Sent: Mon, March 1, 2010 7:09:04 PM
                                  Subject: Re: [softrock40] Re: An Idea, tell me what you think:

                                   

                                  There is already a kit available that uses a knob to control the Si570 chip;
                                  < http://www.qsl. net/k5bcq/ Kits/Kits. html >

                                  It works well and it's configurable.

                                  At 11:36 AM 3/1/2010, you wrote:

                                  >N3ZI's new 2010 DDS definitely has a "spinner" control, using a
                                  >mechanical encoder. There's a youtube video of the tuning action.
                                  ><http://www.pongranc e.com/super- dds.html>http://www.pongranc e.com/super- dds.html
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >But even if you don't like mechanical encoders it is compatible with
                                  >Optical encoders, and has several tuning parameters that can be
                                  >tweaked via the serial port. (And don't flame me about serial ports,
                                  >you can buy a USB to serial port converter on ebay for $2, shipping
                                  >included, and yes, it works fine with them)
                                  >
                                  >I'm not sure what you mean by "switch band-pass filters/sidebands
                                  >etc" that's not really part of a DDS. But if you are talking about
                                  >a function that has outputs to select bands, sidebands, etc., based
                                  >on the DDS frequency. There's no spare I/O anyway, but you could
                                  >easily add a PIC attached to the serial port that does that. Other
                                  >people have done that.
                                  >
                                  >It uses a AD9834, slightly overclocked( 80MHz) output up to
                                  >34MHz. With an IF in the ~10MHz range you can get high side up
                                  >through 15 meters. If you really want high side on 10Meters then
                                  >you are out of luck, but if you can design a filter to knock out the
                                  >8MHz image in this case then you shouldn't be fooling around with
                                  >this stuff anyway.
                                  >
                                  >If you need 4x and sqaure waves you shouldn't be using a Analog DDS
                                  >anyway, use a Si570, much cheper and wider range.
                                  >
                                  >The code is written in "C" and is not released. It would be far
                                  >easier for a qualified individual to write it from scratch than it
                                  >would be to figure it out. Writing code that works is one thing,
                                  >writing code so that someone else can understand it is much more complex.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >--- In softrock40@yahoogro ups.com, "drmail377" <drmail377@. ..> wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > There is a "black hole" in the ham kit/product market it is the
                                  > VFO. What is needed is a VFO kit (DDS or Si570-based) with an
                                  > actual "spinner" knob that covers near DC through 120 MHz (for
                                  > divide by four PC-based SDR's) or at least near DC through 75MHz
                                  > for dual conversion! superhe ts with 45MHz first IF and 455kHz
                                  > second IF. There is nothing like this out there. We have
                                  > ADI9834/5-based knob VFO's that go through 34MHz or 21MHz with
                                  > pretty lousy SFDR, then there are the AD99XX DDS's, expensive and I
                                  > don't know of one with a tuning knob.
                                  > >
                                  > > Yes I know about KB5CQ's Si570 tuner/display, it is not a "spinner".
                                  > >
                                  > > Plus, every time I run across a DDS knob VFO I can buy (only one
                                  > comes to mind) there is no open firmware source so I can switch
                                  > band-pass filters/sidebands etc. Locked-up tight.
                                  > >
                                  > > This is the first building block we need.
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > --- In softrock40@yahoogro ups.com, "Peter" pete@ wrote:
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Would there be demand for a small line of SDR building-block
                                  > kits? What I'm thinking of is perhaps a motherboard with RF, IF,
                                  > and USB connectors as well as a power supply, and headers to accept
                                  > interchangeable filter boards, interchangeable QSD or I/Q mixer
                                  > boards, interchangeable LO boards, interchangeable audio, USB
                                  > isolator, perhaps a digitizer, etc. Probably would use surface
                                  > mount parts throughout, but would allow staged assembly, and a
                                  > newbie could buy some blocks assembled and others as kits, and
                                  > would be able to try out surface mount techniques without risking a
                                  > large, expensive project. It would also allow for low-cost
                                  > experimentation with different approches to LO, QSD, interface,
                                  > etc. Would something like this be worthwhile?
                                  > > >
                                  > > > 73,
                                  > > > Pete, NI9N
                                  > > > www.garage-shoppe. com
                                  > > > www.lazydogengineer ing.com
                                  > > >
                                  > >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >

                                  Cecil
                                  K5NWA
                                  www.softrockradio. org www.qrpradio. com

                                  "Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the light."


                                • Loftur Jónasson
                                  Hi all, Just to chime with my two cents :) ... The firmware developed for the Mobo 4.3 includes a rotary encoder enabled, variable speed VFO. The firmware,
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Mar 2, 2010
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Hi all,

                                    Just to chime with my two cents :)

                                    > There is a "black hole" in the ham kit/product market it is the
                                    VFO.
                                    > What is needed is a VFO kit (DDS or Si570-based) with an actual
                                    > "spinner" knob that covers near DC through 120 MHz (for divide by
                                    four
                                    > PC-based SDR's) or at least near DC through 75MHz for dual
                                    conversion
                                    > superhets with 45MHz first IF and 455kHz second IF. There is
                                    nothing
                                    > like this out there. We have ADI9834/5-based knob VFO's that go
                                    through
                                    > 34MHz or 21MHz with pretty lousy SFDR, then there are the AD99XX
                                    DDS's,
                                    > expensive and I don't know of one with a tuning knob.
                                    >
                                    > Yes I know about KB5CQ's Si570 tuner/display, it is not a
                                    "spinner".
                                    >

                                    The firmware developed for the Mobo 4.3 includes a rotary encoder enabled, variable speed VFO.  The firmware, while tailored towards the Softrock 6.3 / Mobo 4.3, can easily be adapted to any other platform, and all source code is free for use and rework, as long as it is not for commercial purposes.  What I'm alluding at, is that if anyone wants to make a standalone VFO project based on the Si570, then you are welcome to use the Mobo 4.3 firmware as a base.  It runs on any Atmel 8bit USB enabled Microcontroller (AT90USBxxx, ATmega32Ux..., virtually unchanged.  Only addition needed is a Si570 and a decent Rotary Encoder and a nice heavy VFO knob.

                                    http://groups.google.com/group/MOBOKITS (you need to be registered, but anyone is welcome)

                                    http://sites.google.com/site/lofturj/mobo4_3

                                    The SDR Widget project which has also been mentioned a few times here on the softrock40 list, will include the full Mobo 4.3 firmware functionality, in addition to being a high quality 192kb/s 24 bit audio card, eliminating the need for anything other than one USB connection between the SDR and the PC.  Who knows, it may also evolve into providing direct DSP audio processing, we'll see :))
                                    This project, while still in its infancy, already has a working USB composite device consisting of a set of DG8SAQ/Serial/HID/Audio devices (no small feat, singlehandedly by Alex, 9V1AL).  As this is a volunteer group effort by a number of dedicated radioamateurs, we expect to have a working configuration ready in a few months.  Ohh, and yes, it includes a VFO :))

                                    http:/groups.google.com/group/SDR-WIDGET

                                    73 de Loftur, ve/tf3lj

                                    2010/3/2 Lieuwe De Vries <lieuwe.devries@...>
                                     

                                    A similar project?


                                    From: k5nwa <k5nwa@...>
                                    To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
                                    Sent: Mon, March 1, 2010 7:09:04 PM
                                    Subject: Re: [softrock40] Re: An Idea, tell me what you think:

                                     

                                    There is already a kit available that uses a knob to control the Si570 chip;
                                    < http://www.qsl. net/k5bcq/ Kits/Kits. html >

                                    It works well and it's configurable.

                                    At 11:36 AM 3/1/2010, you wrote:

                                    >N3ZI's new 2010 DDS definitely has a "spinner" control, using a
                                    >mechanical encoder. There's a youtube video of the tuning action.
                                    ><http://www.pongranc e.com/super- dds.html>http://www.pongranc e.com/super- dds.html
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >But even if you don't like mechanical encoders it is compatible with
                                    >Optical encoders, and has several tuning parameters that can be
                                    >tweaked via the serial port. (And don't flame me about serial ports,
                                    >you can buy a USB to serial port converter on ebay for $2, shipping
                                    >included, and yes, it works fine with them)
                                    >
                                    >I'm not sure what you mean by "switch band-pass filters/sidebands
                                    >etc" that's not really part of a DDS. But if you are talking about
                                    >a function that has outputs to select bands, sidebands, etc., based
                                    >on the DDS frequency. There's no spare I/O anyway, but you could
                                    >easily add a PIC attached to the serial port that does that. Other
                                    >people have done that.
                                    >
                                    >It uses a AD9834, slightly overclocked( 80MHz) output up to
                                    >34MHz. With an IF in the ~10MHz range you can get high side up
                                    >through 15 meters. If you really want high side on 10Meters then
                                    >you are out of luck, but if you can design a filter to knock out the
                                    >8MHz image in this case then you shouldn't be fooling around with
                                    >this stuff anyway.
                                    >
                                    >If you need 4x and sqaure waves you shouldn't be using a Analog DDS
                                    >anyway, use a Si570, much cheper and wider range.
                                    >
                                    >The code is written in "C" and is not released. It would be far
                                    >easier for a qualified individual to write it from scratch than it
                                    >would be to figure it out. Writing code that works is one thing,
                                    >writing code so that someone else can understand it is much more complex.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >--- In softrock40@yahoogro ups.com, "drmail377" <drmail377@. ..> wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > There is a "black hole" in the ham kit/product market it is the
                                    > VFO. What is needed is a VFO kit (DDS or Si570-based) with an
                                    > actual "spinner" knob that covers near DC through 120 MHz (for
                                    > divide by four PC-based SDR's) or at least near DC through 75MHz
                                    > for dual conversion! superhe ts with 45MHz first IF and 455kHz
                                    > second IF. There is nothing like this out there. We have
                                    > ADI9834/5-based knob VFO's that go through 34MHz or 21MHz with
                                    > pretty lousy SFDR, then there are the AD99XX DDS's, expensive and I
                                    > don't know of one with a tuning knob.
                                    > >
                                    > > Yes I know about KB5CQ's Si570 tuner/display, it is not a "spinner".
                                    > >
                                    > > Plus, every time I run across a DDS knob VFO I can buy (only one
                                    > comes to mind) there is no open firmware source so I can switch
                                    > band-pass filters/sidebands etc. Locked-up tight.
                                    > >
                                    > > This is the first building block we need.
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > --- In softrock40@yahoogro ups.com, "Peter" pete@ wrote:
                                    > > >
                                    > > > Would there be demand for a small line of SDR building-block
                                    > kits? What I'm thinking of is perhaps a motherboard with RF, IF,
                                    > and USB connectors as well as a power supply, and headers to accept
                                    > interchangeable filter boards, interchangeable QSD or I/Q mixer
                                    > boards, interchangeable LO boards, interchangeable audio, USB
                                    > isolator, perhaps a digitizer, etc. Probably would use surface
                                    > mount parts throughout, but would allow staged assembly, and a
                                    > newbie could buy some blocks assembled and others as kits, and
                                    > would be able to try out surface mount techniques without risking a
                                    > large, expensive project. It would also allow for low-cost
                                    > experimentation with different approches to LO, QSD, interface,
                                    > etc. Would something like this be worthwhile?
                                    > > >
                                    > > > 73,
                                    > > > Pete, NI9N
                                    > > > www.garage-shoppe. com
                                    > > > www.lazydogengineer ing.com

                                    > > >
                                    > >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >

                                    Cecil
                                    K5NWA
                                    www.softrockradio. org www.qrpradio. com

                                    "Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the light."



                                  • Chris Albertson
                                    Maybe all that is required is a better knob. Software can connect the knob to any existing VFO. There are some very nice mechanical controls with computer
                                    Message 17 of 29 , Mar 2, 2010
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      Maybe all that is required is a better knob. Software can connect the
                                      knob to any existing VFO. There are some very nice mechanical
                                      controls with computer interfaces

                                      http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/powermate

                                      http://www.amazon.com/3Dconnexion-SpaceNavigator-3D-Navigation-3DX-700029/dp/B000LB41BM/ref=pd_sim_e_3

                                      http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Contour Design/004970/

                                      Another general purpose controller that I think would work well for
                                      radio is this

                                      http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Korg-Nano-KONTROL?sku=703401&ZYXSEM=0&src=3AGGWXX2




                                      On Mon, Mar 1, 2010 at 3:02 AM, drmail377 <drmail377@...> wrote:
                                      > There is a "black hole" in the ham kit/product market it is the VFO. What is needed is a VFO kit (DDS or Si570-based) with an actual "spinner" knob that covers near DC through 120 MHz (for divide by four PC-based SDR's) or at least near DC through

                                      --
                                      =====
                                      Chris Albertson
                                      Redondo Beach, California
                                    • Lee Boulineau
                                      I think Kanga US has a 1-100 Mhz DDS..... 73 de N4MVL Lee ... From: Loftur Jónasson Subject: Re: [softrock40] Re: An Idea, tell me what
                                      Message 18 of 29 , Mar 2, 2010
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        I think Kanga US has a 1-100 Mhz DDS.....

                                        73 de N4MVL Lee

                                        --- On Tue, 3/2/10, Loftur Jónasson <lofturj@...> wrote:

                                        From: Loftur Jónasson <lofturj@...>
                                        Subject: Re: [softrock40] Re: An Idea, tell me what you think:
                                        To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
                                        Date: Tuesday, March 2, 2010, 9:29 AM

                                         

                                        Hi all,

                                        Just to chime with my two cents :)

                                        > There is a "black hole" in the ham kit/product market it is the VFO.
                                        > What is needed is a VFO kit (DDS or Si570-based) with an actual
                                        > "spinner" knob that covers near DC through 120 MHz (for divide by four
                                        > PC-based SDR's) or at least near DC through 75MHz for dual conversion
                                        > superhets with 45MHz first IF and 455kHz second IF. There is nothing
                                        > like this out there. We have ADI9834/5-based knob VFO's that go through
                                        > 34MHz or 21MHz with pretty lousy SFDR, then there are the AD99XX DDS's,
                                        > expensive and I don't know of one with a tuning knob.
                                        >
                                        > Yes I know about KB5CQ's Si570 tuner/display, it is not a "spinner".

                                        ___

                                      • drmail377
                                        Hi Lee, Yes, I forgot about the DDSV4. I ve been in-touch with Kanga US (a Distributor) and the manufacturer, Dick at www.rmt-tech.com. The DDSV4 is a
                                        Message 19 of 29 , Mar 15, 2010
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          Hi Lee,

                                          Yes, I forgot about the DDSV4. I've been in-touch with Kanga US (a Distributor) and the manufacturer, Dick at www.rmt-tech.com. The DDSV4 is a "spinner" and can go through 160MHz. Pre-built around $120 USD. Not bad considering the VFO's are seemingly built by hand in batches (labor costs must be considered) on a demand basis. Dick has been very straightforward about availability. The Beauty of the DDSV4 is that in the spirit of Ham innovation, the source code and schematics are available and relatively unencumbered. Kudos to the DDSV4 project! There's a lot of old docs regarding the DDSV4 on distributor sites, go to Dick to get the latest. The DDS reference clock is now no longer +/-100ppm as in some old docs. Much better now. Looks like a winner.

                                          --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, Lee Boulineau <n4mvl@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > I think Kanga US has a 1-100 Mhz DDS.....
                                          >
                                          > 73 de N4MVL Lee
                                          >
                                          > --- On Tue, 3/2/10, Loftur Jónasson <lofturj@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > From: Loftur Jónasson <lofturj@...>
                                          > Subject: Re: [softrock40] Re: An Idea, tell me what you think:
                                          > To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
                                          > Date: Tuesday, March 2, 2010, 9:29 AM
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >  
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Hi all,
                                          >
                                          > Just to chime with my two cents :)
                                          >
                                          > > There is a "black hole" in the ham kit/product market it is the
                                          > VFO.
                                          >
                                          > > What is needed is a VFO kit (DDS or Si570-based) with an actual
                                          >
                                          > > "spinner" knob that covers near DC through 120 MHz (for divide by
                                          > four
                                          >
                                          > > PC-based SDR's) or at least near DC through 75MHz for dual
                                          > conversion
                                          >
                                          > > superhets with 45MHz first IF and 455kHz second IF. There is
                                          > nothing
                                          >
                                          > > like this out there. We have ADI9834/5-based knob VFO's that go
                                          > through
                                          >
                                          > > 34MHz or 21MHz with pretty lousy SFDR, then there are the AD99XX
                                          > DDS's,
                                          >
                                          > > expensive and I don't know of one with a tuning knob.
                                          >
                                          > >
                                          >
                                          > > Yes I know about KB5CQ's Si570 tuner/display, it is not a
                                          > "spinner".
                                          >
                                          > ___
                                          >
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