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Report on Firewire 410 and others

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  • jpawlan
    Some here have reported that they experienced no luck using the m-audio Firewire 410 box with winrad, linrad or other software for use with the SDR radios. I
    Message 1 of 1 , May 25, 2006
      Some here have reported that they experienced no luck using the
      m-audio Firewire 410 box with winrad, linrad or other software for use
      with the SDR radios. I bought one of these a few yers ago just for
      this purpose and am finally trying it with several computers and with
      linrad and winrad in particular.

      The firmware or basic operating system within this box and also within
      most firewire sound boxes is loaded at boot time. It is not actually
      resident in the product! This is the big show stopper when trying to
      use them under linux. Since m-audio has no interest in providing a
      linux driver, you would need to make a bootloader that can load the
      firmware even though the driver was written for windows.

      Under windows 2000, the newer driver on the m-audio website did not
      work for me. I had to dig out the original CDROM that came with the
      product and scroll down to the folder labelled firewire410. This
      driver is annoying difficult to load, at least under 2000. You need to
      begin with the soundbox disconnected. Then after loading once you need
      to reboot with the box connected to your firewire port. You then need
      to reboot no less than three more times to get it to work.

      I tested the firewire on two very different computers. First I
      installed in on an old 800MHz notebook that does not have a firewire
      port. I used an Adaptec Duo Connect pcmcia card which I had to install
      first. Once I got the 410 driver working, I was able to test it with
      several audio programs as well as with winrad. It worked in every
      case, but was found to be a bit unstable owing to the extra interface
      layer of the pcmcia card and its driver. Whether in winrad or in
      Audition, occasionally it would disconnect itself. I had to unplug the
      firewire cable and rec-connect it. I know that hot plugging a firewire
      cable is not a great idea. It worked with both input and output on the
      410 and also worked with the notebook's ESS Allegro as the output device.

      I then installed the driver on a desktop computer with a Gigabyte
      motherboard that has a firewire port on-board. Again, I did this under
      win2K. The driver was just as annoying to install as it had been on
      the notebook. When done, the 410 worked well with winrad. I tried it
      as the input and with the delta44 as the output, and then with the
      delta44 as input and the 410 as the output. It worked well both ways.

      While I am on the subject of audio interfaces, I want to report that I
      also tested two others. I tested the m-audio Mobile Pre which is a low
      cost USB interface. My notebook and most of them have stereo out but
      only mono input. So by using the Mobile Pre I can operate portable and
      have decent two channel audio sampling. It also works fine with winrad
      as the input device and with the ESS Allegro chip as the output.
      I did some extensive testing and found that similar to reports of the
      creative usb products, there is a sample delay between the channels
      which means that you will need to compensate for this in winrad using
      the I&Q phase and amplitude balance. The phase difference is actually
      a little beyond what winrad can fully compensate for at this time.

      Finally, I tested a new highend 192KHz sound system made by Emu called
      the 1820m. It is quite good and works well with winrad in both wmme
      and in asio modes. I tested it under win2K and also XP. The mixer
      application they provide is far too complicated for our needs and the
      documentation is incomplete. But the hardware is excellent and soon
      winrad will have a 192KHz sampling selection. The 1820m will provide a
      flat 160KHz of display in I & Q mode.


      Jeffrey Pawlan WA6KBL
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