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Re: [sdr-widget] Widget news: Some good, some not so good.

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  • Sid Boyce
    ... With the number of Mobos, SR v6.3 s and SR63ng s out there and the availability of a new Mobo supply source I would have expected a better response. It
    Message 1 of 20 , Oct 29, 2010
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      On 29/10/10 23:53, George Boudreau wrote:
      > Hi Guys,
      >
      > I made a wonderful discovery a few moments ago!
      >
      > Digikey is now carrying AKM products including our precious AK5394A
      > chips. They are $4 more expensive than from Nuhorizon but they do not
      > have the $100 minimum and sky-hi shipping to Canada. For the widget it
      > will not matter as the 100piece price is the same as Nuhorizon.
      >
      > Some less encouraging news... widget BETA sales have trailed off at 38
      > units. :(
      >
      > Keep your fingers crossed.
      >
      > Regards,
      > George
      >
      > --

      With the number of Mobos, SR v6.3's and SR63ng's out there and the
      availability of a new Mobo supply source I would have expected a better
      response. It would be a pity if you can't make the magic number.
      BTW I received SR63ng kit number 2 on Tuesday, soon to be added to the
      already working SR v6.3 + Mobo v3.6, SR63ng + Mobo v4.3.4, UHFSDR + the
      K5BCQ SRtg kit that I received today.
      73 ... Sid.

      --
      Sid Boyce ... Hamradio License G3VBV, Licensed Private Pilot
      Emeritus IBM/Amdahl Mainframes and Sun/Fujitsu Servers Tech Support
      Senior Staff Specialist, Cricket Coach
      Microsoft Windows Free Zone - Linux used for all Computing Tasks
    • g8voip
      Hi Sid, I suspect there are a number of factors that will severely limit interest in the SDR-Widget. I do appreciate there has been a tremendous amount of
      Message 2 of 20 , Oct 30, 2010
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        Hi Sid,

        I suspect there are a number of factors that will severely limit interest in the SDR-Widget.

        I do appreciate there has been a tremendous amount of effort and skill gone into its development, and those involved commended.

        For a start, the high cost ($150), whilst it appears to offer a high quality USB sound device, there are commercial ones available for comparable prices along with all the guarantees etc.

        As more than 90% of the SDR community are running Windows, because of the operating system limitations, only having a maximum of 48kHz sampling for RX and TX is very restrictive.

        It is not a supported card in PSDR, so no different to running two separate sound cards.

        Finally, the reason I personally am not going down the Widget route, whilst the performance is a little better than my existing Delta 44 sound cards, the slightly lower noise floor of the Widget would actually degrade my v6.3ng / v4.3 mobo system and make it even poorer to use.

        To expand on that, with the v6.3 on its own, on bands above 20m, there is a little QRM generated by the USB activity when tuning from the control interface. Mating the v4.3 mobo onto it, the level of QRM increases dramatically.

        Below 20m, the band noise masks the problem, above 20m, the receiver is virtually unusable, the effect is much like the original Si570 use without 'smooth tuning'.

        Having compared notes with a friend, his v4.3 mobo combo exhibits the same level of QRM from the USB activity, so I am pretty sure this is a limitation of the design / PCB layout and not a build error.

        I suspect many of those who have committed to buying the SDR-Widget already have not given too much thought to what, if any benefit it would actually provide to their SDR system as a whole, perhaps more of a 'must have item'.

        73, Bob G8VOI





        >
        > With the number of Mobos, SR v6.3's and SR63ng's out there and the
        > availability of a new Mobo supply source I would have expected a better
        > response. It would be a pity if you can't make the magic number.
        > BTW I received SR63ng kit number 2 on Tuesday, soon to be added to the
        > already working SR v6.3 + Mobo v3.6, SR63ng + Mobo v4.3.4, UHFSDR + the
        > K5BCQ SRtg kit that I received today.
        > 73 ... Sid.
        >
        > --
        > Sid Boyce ... Hamradio License G3VBV, Licensed Private Pilot
        > Emeritus IBM/Amdahl Mainframes and Sun/Fujitsu Servers Tech Support
        > Senior Staff Specialist, Cricket Coach
        > Microsoft Windows Free Zone - Linux used for all Computing Tasks
        >
      • Flemming Nielsen
        Hi Bob .   I have the same noise/QRM on usb port activity.Starting on 17m  and up to 10m.   73 vy oz5agk / Flemming . ... Fra: g8voip
        Message 3 of 20 , Oct 30, 2010
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          Hi Bob .
           
          I have the same noise/QRM on usb port activity.Starting on 17m  and up to 10m.
           
          73 vy oz5agk / Flemming .



          --- Den lør 30/10/10 skrev g8voip <g8voi.reeves59@...>:

          Fra: g8voip <g8voi.reeves59@...>
          Emne: [softrock40] Re: [sdr-widget] Widget news: Some good, some not so good.
          Til: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
          Dato: lørdag 30. oktober 2010 09.03

           

          Hi Sid,

          I suspect there are a number of factors that will severely limit interest in the SDR-Widget.

          I do appreciate there has been a tremendous amount of effort and skill gone into its development, and those involved commended.

          For a start, the high cost ($150), whilst it appears to offer a high quality USB sound device, there are commercial ones available for comparable prices along with all the guarantees etc.

          As more than 90% of the SDR community are running Windows, because of the operating system limitations, only having a maximum of 48kHz sampling for RX and TX is very restrictive.

          It is not a supported card in PSDR, so no different to running two separate sound cards.

          Finally, the reason I personally am not going down the Widget route, whilst the performance is a little better than my existing Delta 44 sound cards, the slightly lower noise floor of the Widget would actually degrade my v6.3ng / v4.3 mobo system and make it even poorer to use.

          To expand on that, with the v6.3 on its own, on bands above 20m, there is a little QRM generated by the USB activity when tuning from the control interface. Mating the v4.3 mobo onto it, the level of QRM increases dramatically.

          Below 20m, the band noise masks the problem, above 20m, the receiver is virtually unusable, the effect is much like the original Si570 use without 'smooth tuning'.

          Having compared notes with a friend, his v4.3 mobo combo exhibits the same level of QRM from the USB activity, so I am pretty sure this is a limitation of the design / PCB layout and not a build error.

          I suspect many of those who have committed to buying the SDR-Widget already have not given too much thought to what, if any benefit it would actually provide to their SDR system as a whole, perhaps more of a 'must have item'.

          73, Bob G8VOI

          >
          > With the number of Mobos, SR v6.3's and SR63ng's out there and the
          > availability of a new Mobo supply source I would have expected a better
          > response. It would be a pity if you can't make the magic number.
          > BTW I received SR63ng kit number 2 on Tuesday, soon to be added to the
          > already working SR v6.3 + Mobo v3.6, SR63ng + Mobo v4.3.4, UHFSDR + the
          > K5BCQ SRtg kit that I received today.
          > 73 ... Sid.
          >
          > --
          > Sid Boyce ... Hamradio License G3VBV, Licensed Private Pilot
          > Emeritus IBM/Amdahl Mainframes and Sun/Fujitsu Servers Tech Support
          > Senior Staff Specialist, Cricket Coach
          > Microsoft Windows Free Zone - Linux used for all Computing Tasks
          >


        • g8voip
          Hi Flemming, Thanks for that information. Interesting, the more these things come out into the open, the more people come forward and actually say something. I
          Message 4 of 20 , Oct 30, 2010
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            Hi Flemming,

            Thanks for that information.

            Interesting, the more these things come out into the open, the more people come forward and actually say something. I suspect like me, I initially thought it was a unique problem to my system, until a good friend who I respect very much, confirmed the same results.

            In some respects I really do hate to post negative comments regarding any aspects of the SDR projects.

            I have great admiration and respect for all those involved in the design and development of these great projects, but at times I do feel that those too close to the heart of them paint a somewhat 'rosy' picture and sometimes perhaps hide or sweep some of the short comings away.

            I have no regrets in building my v4.3 mobo, an interesting experience and on the whole it works reasonably well. One day I might find some time and build up the enthusiasm to rip it apart and try to get to the source of the problem.

            Personally I would much rather prefer people to be aware of all the information available, then they can make their own 'informed' decision. If potential problems or weaknesses are actually highlighted, then possible solutions can be investigated. The worse thing would be for anyone to spend their time and money, only to be disappointed with the final result.

            73, Bob G8VOI








            --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, Flemming Nielsen <daekt1@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Bob .
            >  
            > I have the same noise/QRM on usb port activity.Starting on 17m  and up to 10m.
            >  
            > 73 vy oz5agk / Flemming .
            >
            >
            >
            > --- Den lør 30/10/10 skrev g8voip <g8voi.reeves59@...>:
            >
            >
            > Fra: g8voip <g8voi.reeves59@...>
            > Emne: [softrock40] Re: [sdr-widget] Widget news: Some good, some not so good.
            > Til: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
            > Dato: lørdag 30. oktober 2010 09.03
            >
            >
            >  
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Hi Sid,
            >
            > I suspect there are a number of factors that will severely limit interest in the SDR-Widget.
            >
            > I do appreciate there has been a tremendous amount of effort and skill gone into its development, and those involved commended.
            >
            > For a start, the high cost ($150), whilst it appears to offer a high quality USB sound device, there are commercial ones available for comparable prices along with all the guarantees etc.
            >
            > As more than 90% of the SDR community are running Windows, because of the operating system limitations, only having a maximum of 48kHz sampling for RX and TX is very restrictive.
            >
            > It is not a supported card in PSDR, so no different to running two separate sound cards.
            >
            > Finally, the reason I personally am not going down the Widget route, whilst the performance is a little better than my existing Delta 44 sound cards, the slightly lower noise floor of the Widget would actually degrade my v6.3ng / v4.3 mobo system and make it even poorer to use.
            >
            > To expand on that, with the v6.3 on its own, on bands above 20m, there is a little QRM generated by the USB activity when tuning from the control interface. Mating the v4.3 mobo onto it, the level of QRM increases dramatically.
            >
            > Below 20m, the band noise masks the problem, above 20m, the receiver is virtually unusable, the effect is much like the original Si570 use without 'smooth tuning'.
            >
            > Having compared notes with a friend, his v4.3 mobo combo exhibits the same level of QRM from the USB activity, so I am pretty sure this is a limitation of the design / PCB layout and not a build error.
            >
            > I suspect many of those who have committed to buying the SDR-Widget already have not given too much thought to what, if any benefit it would actually provide to their SDR system as a whole, perhaps more of a 'must have item'.
            >
            > 73, Bob G8VOI
            >
            > >
            > > With the number of Mobos, SR v6.3's and SR63ng's out there and the
            > > availability of a new Mobo supply source I would have expected a better
            > > response. It would be a pity if you can't make the magic number.
            > > BTW I received SR63ng kit number 2 on Tuesday, soon to be added to the
            > > already working SR v6.3 + Mobo v3.6, SR63ng + Mobo v4.3.4, UHFSDR + the
            > > K5BCQ SRtg kit that I received today.
            > > 73 ... Sid.
            > >
            > > --
            > > Sid Boyce ... Hamradio License G3VBV, Licensed Private Pilot
            > > Emeritus IBM/Amdahl Mainframes and Sun/Fujitsu Servers Tech Support
            > > Senior Staff Specialist, Cricket Coach
            > > Microsoft Windows Free Zone - Linux used for all Computing Tasks
            > >
            >
          • Andrea Montefusco
            Bob, many thanks for sharing your negative experience with MoBo. ... I would like explain some reason I committed to the sdr-widget, maybe someone can find
            Message 5 of 20 , Oct 30, 2010
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              Bob,
              many thanks for sharing your negative experience with MoBo.


              > I suspect many of those who have committed to buying the SDR-Widget already
              > have not given too much thought to what, if any benefit it would actually provide
              > to their SDR system as a whole, perhaps more of a 'must have item'.

              I would like explain some reason I committed to the sdr-widget,
              maybe someone can find useful to decide if support the project:

              0) is developed according to open source model (like Softrock)
              1) has good performance (as Bob reported)
              2) is an USB device: I have a Delta44, but very few PCI slot where I can insert it :-(
              3) is usable as standalone device (doesn't need MoBo or SoftRock either) together with any QSD
              receiver with a far better form factor than Ozy-Janus
              4) is working on Linux, maybe I am in the other 10% here :-), but this feature
              is, IMHO, very useful to build a low cost embedded system


              *am*

              ---------------------------------------------------------
              Andrea Montefusco iw0hdv http://www.montefusco.com
              tel: +393356992791 fax: +390623318709
              ---------------------------------------------------------
            • Eric Söderman
              Hi, I find 0 and 4 as the most interesting points. It will be easier to build packages for Linux and/or embedded and maybe have a special distribution
              Message 6 of 20 , Oct 30, 2010
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                Hi,

                I find 0 and 4 as the most interesting points. It will be easier to
                build packages for Linux and/or embedded and maybe have a special
                distribution (complete Linux OS or at least all software/settings for
                SDR in one install). These could attract people that are not so
                interesting in learning Linux but just want to have something that
                works.

                I hope we can go forward with the beta.

                Eric SA5BKE


                On Sat, Oct 30, 2010 at 11:44 AM, Andrea Montefusco
                <andrea.montefusco@...> wrote:

                > 0) is developed according to open source model (like Softrock)
                > 1) has good performance (as Bob reported)
                > 2) is an USB device: I have a Delta44, but very few PCI slot where I can insert it :-(
                > 3) is usable as standalone device (doesn't need MoBo or SoftRock either) together with any QSD
                > receiver with a far better form factor than Ozy-Janus
                > 4) is working on Linux, maybe I am in the other 10% here :-), but this feature
                > is, IMHO, very useful to build a low cost embedded system
              • g8voip
                Hi Andrea, I certainly would not dispute any of the points you make, and sure the SDR-Widget will make an excellent, high quality USB sound device that
                Message 7 of 20 , Oct 30, 2010
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                  Hi Andrea,

                  I certainly would not dispute any of the points you make, and sure the SDR-Widget will make an excellent, high quality USB sound device that potentially fills a big hole for some SDR users.

                  The majority of those I have seen expressing an interest in the SDR-Widget are by in large the most experienced people contributing to the various forums, so I would not expect them to have any difficulty in configuring and using the device, and sure they fully understand what they are getting.

                  I can see the great attraction to those using Linux, but that is a much smaller, 'niche market', and most likely probably really explains the limited interest and uptake so far.

                  I really do hope the minimum number of advanced orders reaches the threshold to allow the build to proceed.

                  The point I was trying to make, for the majority of Windows SDR users, apart from those wanting a high quality USB sound device, the limitations do not make it so attractive.

                  A few of those I have seen commenting ordering them I suspect will get quite a shock when they realise it is not a straight out of the box 'plug and prey' item! The firmware is still constantly evolving and developing, so will need to be updated, and installing the multiple drivers appears to be considerably more difficult than the 'simple' current 'USB' one that appears to cause many difficulty.

                  There is a wide gulf in knowledge and ability across the spectrum of those interested in SDR, I just feel from what I have observed that it would be very hard for many to justify the expense, particulary if they were not aware of the possible benefits, or indeed pitfalls of going down the SDR-Widget route.

                  Only time will tell :)

                  73, Bob G8VOI






                  --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, Andrea Montefusco <andrea.montefusco@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Bob,
                  > many thanks for sharing your negative experience with MoBo.
                  >
                  >
                  > > I suspect many of those who have committed to buying the SDR-Widget already
                  > > have not given too much thought to what, if any benefit it would actually provide
                  > > to their SDR system as a whole, perhaps more of a 'must have item'.
                  >
                  > I would like explain some reason I committed to the sdr-widget,
                  > maybe someone can find useful to decide if support the project:
                  >
                  > 0) is developed according to open source model (like Softrock)
                  > 1) has good performance (as Bob reported)
                  > 2) is an USB device: I have a Delta44, but very few PCI slot where I can insert it :-(
                  > 3) is usable as standalone device (doesn't need MoBo or SoftRock either) together with any QSD
                  > receiver with a far better form factor than Ozy-Janus
                  > 4) is working on Linux, maybe I am in the other 10% here :-), but this feature
                  > is, IMHO, very useful to build a low cost embedded system
                  >
                  >
                  > *am*
                  >
                  > ---------------------------------------------------------
                  > Andrea Montefusco iw0hdv http://www.montefusco.com
                  > tel: +393356992791 fax: +390623318709
                  > ---------------------------------------------------------
                  >
                • pete5111
                  On the subject of diverse knowledge and ability, it does highlight the desperate need for an SDR manual that brings all the information together into one
                  Message 8 of 20 , Oct 30, 2010
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                    On the subject of diverse knowledge and ability, it does highlight the desperate need for an SDR 'manual' that brings all the information together into one place.

                    I appreciate such a seemingly simple statement will open up a monumental can of worms, but there you go.

                    I consider myself computer literate but I am yet to find a single, easy to follow source of information that covers all the steps needed to get on the air.

                    Whilst I appreciate that comes across as 'I want to be spoon fed' I like to think it is more along the lines of where Linux distro's were about 15 years ago. If you weren't a geek or were involved with posix systems they you had not chance.

                    I think there a plenty of folks who just need a user friendly 'SDR for dummies' guide to get them to take the plunge.

                    --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "g8voip" <g8voi.reeves59@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Hi Andrea,
                    >
                    > I certainly would not dispute any of the points you make, and sure the SDR-Widget will make an excellent, high quality USB sound device that potentially fills a big hole for some SDR users.
                    >
                    > The majority of those I have seen expressing an interest in the SDR-Widget are by in large the most experienced people contributing to the various forums, so I would not expect them to have any difficulty in configuring and using the device, and sure they fully understand what they are getting.
                    >
                    > I can see the great attraction to those using Linux, but that is a much smaller, 'niche market', and most likely probably really explains the limited interest and uptake so far.
                    >
                    > I really do hope the minimum number of advanced orders reaches the threshold to allow the build to proceed.
                    >
                    > The point I was trying to make, for the majority of Windows SDR users, apart from those wanting a high quality USB sound device, the limitations do not make it so attractive.
                    >
                    > A few of those I have seen commenting ordering them I suspect will get quite a shock when they realise it is not a straight out of the box 'plug and prey' item! The firmware is still constantly evolving and developing, so will need to be updated, and installing the multiple drivers appears to be considerably more difficult than the 'simple' current 'USB' one that appears to cause many difficulty.
                    >
                    > There is a wide gulf in knowledge and ability across the spectrum of those interested in SDR, I just feel from what I have observed that it would be very hard for many to justify the expense, particulary if they were not aware of the possible benefits, or indeed pitfalls of going down the SDR-Widget route.
                    >
                    > Only time will tell :)
                    >
                    > 73, Bob G8VOI
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, Andrea Montefusco <andrea.montefusco@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Bob,
                    > > many thanks for sharing your negative experience with MoBo.
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > > I suspect many of those who have committed to buying the SDR-Widget already
                    > > > have not given too much thought to what, if any benefit it would actually provide
                    > > > to their SDR system as a whole, perhaps more of a 'must have item'.
                    > >
                    > > I would like explain some reason I committed to the sdr-widget,
                    > > maybe someone can find useful to decide if support the project:
                    > >
                    > > 0) is developed according to open source model (like Softrock)
                    > > 1) has good performance (as Bob reported)
                    > > 2) is an USB device: I have a Delta44, but very few PCI slot where I can insert it :-(
                    > > 3) is usable as standalone device (doesn't need MoBo or SoftRock either) together with any QSD
                    > > receiver with a far better form factor than Ozy-Janus
                    > > 4) is working on Linux, maybe I am in the other 10% here :-), but this feature
                    > > is, IMHO, very useful to build a low cost embedded system
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > *am*
                    > >
                    > > ---------------------------------------------------------
                    > > Andrea Montefusco iw0hdv http://www.montefusco.com
                    > > tel: +393356992791 fax: +390623318709
                    > > ---------------------------------------------------------
                    > >
                    >
                  • Sid Boyce
                    ... That pretty much also covers the reasons why I m committed to the project. As for the stated noise problems, I ve found it more of a problem with the Mobo
                    Message 9 of 20 , Oct 30, 2010
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                      On 30/10/10 10:44, Andrea Montefusco wrote:
                      > Bob,
                      > many thanks for sharing your negative experience with MoBo.
                      >
                      > > I suspect many of those who have committed to buying the SDR-Widget
                      > already
                      > > have not given too much thought to what, if any benefit it would
                      > actually provide
                      > > to their SDR system as a whole, perhaps more of a 'must have item'.
                      >
                      > I would like explain some reason I committed to the sdr-widget,
                      > maybe someone can find useful to decide if support the project:
                      >
                      > 0) is developed according to open source model (like Softrock)
                      > 1) has good performance (as Bob reported)
                      > 2) is an USB device: I have a Delta44, but very few PCI slot where I can
                      > insert it :-(
                      > 3) is usable as standalone device (doesn't need MoBo or SoftRock either)
                      > together with any QSD
                      > receiver with a far better form factor than Ozy-Janus
                      > 4) is working on Linux, maybe I am in the other 10% here :-), but this
                      > feature
                      > is, IMHO, very useful to build a low cost embedded system
                      >
                      > *am*
                      >
                      > ---------------------------------------------------------
                      > Andrea Montefusco iw0hdv http://www.montefusco.com
                      > tel: +393356992791 fax: +390623318709
                      > ---------------------------------------------------------
                      >

                      That pretty much also covers the reasons why I'm committed to the project.
                      As for the stated noise problems, I've found it more of a problem with
                      the Mobo v3.6 than with the v4.3.4.
                      73 ... Sid.

                      --
                      Sid Boyce ... Hamradio License G3VBV, Licensed Private Pilot
                      Emeritus IBM/Amdahl Mainframes and Sun/Fujitsu Servers Tech Support
                      Senior Staff Specialist, Cricket Coach
                      Microsoft Windows Free Zone - Linux used for all Computing Tasks
                    • Sid Boyce
                      Something along the lines of Ubuntu remix that can be run off a CD or USB stick has been mentioned before. It s been on my todo list for a while, inspired by
                      Message 10 of 20 , Oct 30, 2010
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                        Something along the lines of Ubuntu remix that can be run off a CD or
                        USB stick has been mentioned before. It's been on my todo list for a
                        while, inspired by the linpup distribution and other small Linux
                        distributions like Damn Small Linux.
                        73 ... Sid.

                        On 30/10/10 11:10, Eric Söderman wrote:
                        > Hi,
                        >
                        > I find 0 and 4 as the most interesting points. It will be easier to
                        > build packages for Linux and/or embedded and maybe have a special
                        > distribution (complete Linux OS or at least all software/settings for
                        > SDR in one install). These could attract people that are not so
                        > interesting in learning Linux but just want to have something that
                        > works.
                        >
                        > I hope we can go forward with the beta.
                        >
                        > Eric SA5BKE
                        >
                        >
                        > On Sat, Oct 30, 2010 at 11:44 AM, Andrea Montefusco
                        > <andrea.montefusco@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >> 0) is developed according to open source model (like Softrock)
                        >> 1) has good performance (as Bob reported)
                        >> 2) is an USB device: I have a Delta44, but very few PCI slot where I can insert it :-(
                        >> 3) is usable as standalone device (doesn't need MoBo or SoftRock either) together with any QSD
                        >> receiver with a far better form factor than Ozy-Janus
                        >> 4) is working on Linux, maybe I am in the other 10% here :-), but this feature
                        >> is, IMHO, very useful to build a low cost embedded system
                        >


                        --
                        Sid Boyce ... Hamradio License G3VBV, Licensed Private Pilot
                        Emeritus IBM/Amdahl Mainframes and Sun/Fujitsu Servers Tech Support
                        Senior Staff Specialist, Cricket Coach
                        Microsoft Windows Free Zone - Linux used for all Computing Tasks
                      • Alan
                        ... From: pete5111 Subject: [softrock40] Was: Widget news: Some good, some not so good.| Is : SDR for dummies manual ... Will open up a cry of Where do I
                        Message 11 of 20 , Oct 30, 2010
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                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "pete5111"
                          Subject: [softrock40] Was: Widget news: Some good, some not so good.| Is :
                          SDR for dummies manual


                          > On the subject of diverse knowledge and ability, it does highlight the
                          > desperate need for an SDR 'manual' that brings all the information
                          > together into one place.
                          >
                          > I appreciate such a seemingly simple statement will open up

                          Will open up a cry of "Where do I start?" It is a very large subject needing
                          people to know construction techniques, fault finding, computer/sound
                          settings, software, searching..

                          Look through Robby's site <http://www.wb5rvz.com/>

                          Look at my links <http://homepages.wightcable.net/~g4zfq/Si570.htm>

                          A search will find the information is all there but to put it all together
                          would make such a large volume most would give up and ask here.
                          There are some FAQs but the answers change and over time so do the
                          questions.

                          Please volunteer!

                          73 Alan G4ZFQ
                        • Nicholas Pate
                          Bob, I haven t heard anyone say it yet, but the USB Audio Class (UAC2) functionality of the widget is the most salient feature for me. I am sick to death of
                          Message 12 of 20 , Oct 30, 2010
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Bob,

                            I haven't heard anyone say it yet, but the USB Audio Class (UAC2) functionality of the widget is the most salient feature for me. I am sick to death of proprietary, unsupported drivers for audio hardware, so I jumped at the chance to get something that is, as you said, plug-and-play. Obviously the firmware isn't completely debugged yet, but the idea is to have zero installation or configuration needed using the UAC2 profile found in every major operating system... except Windows. Even Windows can enjoy the plug-and-play 48KHz/24b UAC1 functionality until Microsoft gets around to updating their USB stack, as they surely will.

                            It is unfortunate that so many SDR enthusiasts are fragmented across older versions of Windows, but there's not much to be done about that but keep polishing the software and see where the community goes. I suspect those who prefer to drive their radio from the front panel will lock into a Windows-based solution like FlexRadio, and those who enjoy tinkering with RF will follow the open source development where it is possible to collaborate meaningfully. The later is the industry I'm pursuing, hopefully with an SDR-Widget.

                            73s,

                            Nicholas
                            KI4MVM


                            On Oct 30, 2010, at 5:38 AM, g8voip wrote:

                             

                            Hi Andrea,

                            I certainly would not dispute any of the points you make, and sure the SDR-Widget will make an excellent, high quality USB sound device that potentially fills a big hole for some SDR users.

                            The majority of those I have seen expressing an interest in the SDR-Widget are by in large the most experienced people contributing to the various forums, so I would not expect them to have any difficulty in configuring and using the device, and sure they fully understand what they are getting.

                            I can see the great attraction to those using Linux, but that is a much smaller, 'niche market', and most likely probably really explains the limited interest and uptake so far.

                            I really do hope the minimum number of advanced orders reaches the threshold to allow the build to proceed.

                            The point I was trying to make, for the majority of Windows SDR users, apart from those wanting a high quality USB sound device, the limitations do not make it so attractive.

                            A few of those I have seen commenting ordering them I suspect will get quite a shock when they realise it is not a straight out of the box 'plug and prey' item! The firmware is still constantly evolving and developing, so will need to be updated, and installing the multiple drivers appears to be considerably more difficult than the 'simple' current 'USB' one that appears to cause many difficulty.

                            There is a wide gulf in knowledge and ability across the spectrum of those interested in SDR, I just feel from what I have observed that it would be very hard for many to justify the expense, particulary if they were not aware of the possible benefits, or indeed pitfalls of going down the SDR-Widget route.

                            Only time will tell :)

                            73, Bob G8VOI

                            --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, Andrea Montefusco <andrea.montefusco@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Bob,
                            > many thanks for sharing your negative experience with MoBo.
                            >
                            >
                            > > I suspect many of those who have committed to buying the SDR-Widget already
                            > > have not given too much thought to what, if any benefit it would actually provide
                            > > to their SDR system as a whole, perhaps more of a 'must have item'.
                            >
                            > I would like explain some reason I committed to the sdr-widget,
                            > maybe someone can find useful to decide if support the project:
                            >
                            > 0) is developed according to open source model (like Softrock)
                            > 1) has good performance (as Bob reported)
                            > 2) is an USB device: I have a Delta44, but very few PCI slot where I can insert it :-(
                            > 3) is usable as standalone device (doesn't need MoBo or SoftRock either) together with any QSD
                            > receiver with a far better form factor than Ozy-Janus
                            > 4) is working on Linux, maybe I am in the other 10% here :-), but this feature
                            > is, IMHO, very useful to build a low cost embedded system
                            >
                            >
                            > *am*
                            >
                            > ---------------------------------------------------------
                            > Andrea Montefusco iw0hdv http://www.montefusco.com
                            > tel: +393356992791 fax: +390623318709
                            > ---------------------------------------------------------
                            >


                          • Kaj Wiik
                            2010/10/30 g8voip ... I do not understand, why lower noise floor could be a bad thing? Do you mean that it is good to have
                            Message 13 of 20 , Oct 30, 2010
                            • 0 Attachment
                              2010/10/30 g8voip <g8voi.reeves59@...>

                              > Finally, the reason I personally am not going down the Widget route, whilst the performance is a little better than my existing Delta 44 sound cards, the slightly lower noise floor of the Widget would actually degrade my v6.3ng / v4.3 mobo system and make it even poorer to use.

                              I do not understand, why lower noise floor could be a bad thing? Do
                              you mean that it is good to have higher noise floor because it is
                              covering out the birdies?

                              > To expand on that, with the v6.3 on its own, on bands above 20m, there is a little QRM generated by the USB activity when tuning from the control interface. Mating the v4.3 mobo onto it, the level of QRM increases dramatically.

                              Have you tried if the QRM disappears when the Widget inputs are
                              terminated? If so, it is not a problem with Widget but bad shielding
                              and/or wiring.

                              Cheers,
                              Kaj
                            • g8voip
                              Hi Kaj, Currently the v4.3 mobo appears to suffer very badly from noise picked up from the USB traffic. On the HF band from 20m or lower, the receiver noise
                              Message 14 of 20 , Oct 30, 2010
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Hi Kaj,

                                Currently the v4.3 mobo appears to suffer very badly from noise picked up from the USB traffic.

                                On the HF band from 20m or lower, the receiver noise floor is higher than the QRM generated on the mobo and therefore does not cause any problem. On the bands higher than 20m, the noise floor is much lower and then the USB QRM becomes a major problem.

                                I totally agree in principal that a lower noise floor is a good thing, but in my case, and from several others using the mobo, the lower noise floor obtained with the SDR-Widget would only make the USB QRM problem appear even worse as.

                                I was just putting forward the reason why I would consider it to be a waste of money for me to bother 'upgrading' to the SDR-Widget.

                                I do not believe my situation is by any means unique, so was making the point that it might not be of any real benefit if some purchasers are expecting miracles :)

                                In response to the other post regarding the class of USB audio, I totally agree, for those using operating systems that support UAC2, there is potentially a major benefit. I would suspect the majority of SDR users would not have a clue what you are talking about.

                                I really do not want to open up the Windows / Linux debate that has been thrashed to death many times before.

                                I believe I am pretty typical of the majority of SDR users. Going by those who have visited Fred PE0FKO's website and my 'Firmware' Users documentation, just checked the latest figures:

                                Of 4770 visitors:

                                Linux Users - 6.19%
                                Windows XP Users - 60.88%

                                That would appear to make the point quite nicely, and really shows perhaps the real state of play amongst SDR users.

                                There is a very small minority pushing the boundaries and at the forefront of SDR work, probably no more than a couple of hundred world wide at most.

                                I have not seen any figures published for the v4.3 mobo project, but I suspect only 100 - 150 kits have been sold, and of those less than half completed, so the apparent lack of interest in the SDR-Widget, or at least those willing to put their money up front does not surprise me at all.

                                73, Bob G8VOI










                                --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, Kaj Wiik <kaj.wiik@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > 2010/10/30 g8voip <g8voi.reeves59@...>
                                >
                                > > Finally, the reason I personally am not going down the Widget route, whilst the performance is a little better than my existing Delta 44 sound cards, the slightly lower noise floor of the Widget would actually degrade my v6.3ng / v4.3 mobo system and make it even poorer to use.
                                >
                                > I do not understand, why lower noise floor could be a bad thing? Do
                                > you mean that it is good to have higher noise floor because it is
                                > covering out the birdies?
                                >
                                > > To expand on that, with the v6.3 on its own, on bands above 20m, there is a little QRM generated by the USB activity when tuning from the control interface. Mating the v4.3 mobo onto it, the level of QRM increases dramatically.
                                >
                                > Have you tried if the QRM disappears when the Widget inputs are
                                > terminated? If so, it is not a problem with Widget but bad shielding
                                > and/or wiring.
                                >
                                > Cheers,
                                > Kaj
                                >
                              • Kaj Wiik
                                Hi Bob, ... OK, you were referring to mobo and USB traffic in general, not Widget. Shielding and using a single grounding point (to avoid ground loops) usually
                                Message 15 of 20 , Oct 30, 2010
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Hi Bob,
                                  > Currently the v4.3 mobo appears to suffer very badly from noise picked up from the USB traffic.

                                  OK, you were referring to mobo and USB traffic in general, not Widget.
                                  Shielding and using a single grounding point (to avoid ground loops)
                                  usually cures noise-related problems.

                                  Of course more careful construction practices are needed when the A/D
                                  noise level goes down. I am sure SDR-Widget is superior for users
                                  needing high-end equipment. Certainly there are cases however, where
                                  'motherboard sound-card' quality is enough.

                                  Cheers,
                                  Kaj OH6EH
                                • g8voip
                                  Hi Kaj, Yes claimed performance of the SDR Widget is great, and tested by itself, gives good results. Unfortunately if you use it with poor SDR hardware, it is
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Oct 30, 2010
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Hi Kaj,

                                    Yes claimed performance of the SDR Widget is great, and tested by itself, gives good results.

                                    Unfortunately if you use it with poor SDR hardware, it is not going to magically make it a lot better, irrespective of the operating system used.

                                    There are fundamental USB noise problems with the 4.3 mobo itself.

                                    Perhaps by using the controller on the Widget, removing the USB traffic from the mobo might improve the situation as only the I2C lines are connected between them. It will be interesting to see, but I am not prepared to gamble $150 to prove that point :)

                                    73, Bob G8VOI




                                    --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, Kaj Wiik <kaj.wiik@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Hi Bob,
                                    > > Currently the v4.3 mobo appears to suffer very badly from noise picked up from the USB traffic.
                                    >
                                    > OK, you were referring to mobo and USB traffic in general, not Widget.
                                    > Shielding and using a single grounding point (to avoid ground loops)
                                    > usually cures noise-related problems.
                                    >
                                    > Of course more careful construction practices are needed when the A/D
                                    > noise level goes down. I am sure SDR-Widget is superior for users
                                    > needing high-end equipment. Certainly there are cases however, where
                                    > 'motherboard sound-card' quality is enough.
                                    >
                                    > Cheers,
                                    > Kaj OH6EH
                                    >
                                  • Charles (WC5MC)
                                    And now for the positve side of Widget/MoBo. The effort on the Widget and MoBo is wonderful to be a part of. It is leading more and more to a user wide
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Oct 30, 2010
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      And now for the positve side of Widget/MoBo.

                                      The effort on the Widget and MoBo is wonderful to be a part of. It is leading more and more to a "user" wide Linux solution.

                                      I would not be interested in buying into it if it were'nt for the productive and effective effort I have seen from the developement group.

                                      As I've followed the Widget developement, skimming the news-group every few days, Alex and several others publish several or more times a month on how they have set up WORKING Mobo/Widget SDR improvements.

                                      The Widget group is pushing one of the most interesting solutions for softrock SDR from the ground up, and for me it's a priveledge to get in on the ride. That's just me sharing my opinion.

                                      Several times over the past year people ask how Alex has setup his linux configuration, and he promptly posts an outline of what/how to install what packages and config files. Sid helps quite a bit in this too. :)

                                      This is why I'm a beleiver in the project and I have placed an order.

                                      My thanks to all the MoBo/Widget SDR dev team(s).

                                      -- Charles WC5MC



                                      --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "g8voip" <g8voi.reeves59@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Hi Kaj,
                                      >
                                      > Yes claimed performance of the SDR Widget is great, and tested by itself, gives good results.
                                      >
                                      > Unfortunately if you use it with poor SDR hardware, it is not going to magically make it a lot better, irrespective of the operating system used.
                                      >
                                      > There are fundamental USB noise problems with the 4.3 mobo itself.
                                      >
                                      > Perhaps by using the controller on the Widget, removing the USB traffic from the mobo might improve the situation as only the I2C lines are connected between them. It will be interesting to see, but I am not prepared to gamble $150 to prove that point :)
                                      >
                                      > 73, Bob G8VOI
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, Kaj Wiik <kaj.wiik@> wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > Hi Bob,
                                      > > > Currently the v4.3 mobo appears to suffer very badly from noise picked up from the USB traffic.
                                      > >
                                      > > OK, you were referring to mobo and USB traffic in general, not Widget.
                                      > > Shielding and using a single grounding point (to avoid ground loops)
                                      > > usually cures noise-related problems.
                                      > >
                                      > > Of course more careful construction practices are needed when the A/D
                                      > > noise level goes down. I am sure SDR-Widget is superior for users
                                      > > needing high-end equipment. Certainly there are cases however, where
                                      > > 'motherboard sound-card' quality is enough.
                                      > >
                                      > > Cheers,
                                      > > Kaj OH6EH
                                      > >
                                      >
                                    • applewiz2000
                                      Hi Bob et al. It s been ages since I posted on this group! Anyway I have been busy testing a Softrock/MoBo/Widget system. The noise on the MoBo V4.3 is mostly
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Oct 30, 2010
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        Hi Bob et al.

                                        It's been ages since I posted on this group! Anyway I have been busy testing a Softrock/MoBo/Widget system.

                                        The noise on the MoBo V4.3 is mostly not from USB. It largely comes from the I2C bus. I put some ferrite beads on the bus lines, and "slugged down" the lines with 100pF caps. That reduces noise bursts on I2C traffic substantially.

                                        I was curious to see if disconnecting the MoBo V4.3 processor and using the widget I2C would improve what noise and spurious I do see. My widget board is in a screened off section, and feeds the MoBo/Softrock combination through a screened cable. So the only active digital signal in my analogue section is I2C. Apart from having a common ground, the USB is on the other side of 2mm of aluminum.

                                        The result is little difference in spurious/noise. In other words I never had serious noise in the first place, so didn't see much change by separating the USB.

                                        One of my pastimes is sitting the rig at 28.200MHz, the international beacon frequency, with the squelch on. The squelch sits closed all the time, even when the PC is used for other tasks. Hoping for sunspots ;-)

                                        In terms of spurious, my worst problem now is large spikes appearing around certain frequencies. I believe these come from the Softrock V6.3 board itself. It's the H-mode mixer and it's digital drive circuit coming home to roost!

                                        I am preparing a document comparing the noise level of the widget vs. Edirol FA-66, to be released in the next week.

                                        The bad news about the widget is nobody has come forward to provide a Windows driver for >48kHz. Less than 20 widgets are built and probably some of those are not installed in working rigs yet. Don't write off a project which has only been going for 10 months and has already solved some big problems. Flex have been stalled with PowerSDR for longer than that.

                                        73s,
                                        Rob
                                        (M0RZF)


                                        > Yes claimed performance of the SDR Widget is great, and tested by itself, gives good results.
                                        >
                                        > Unfortunately if you use it with poor SDR hardware, it is not going to magically make it a lot better, irrespective of the operating system used.
                                        >
                                        > There are fundamental USB noise problems with the 4.3 mobo itself.
                                        >
                                        > Perhaps by using the controller on the Widget, removing the USB traffic from the mobo might improve the situation as only the I2C lines are connected between them. It will be interesting to see, but I am not prepared to gamble $150 to prove that point :)
                                      • Graeme
                                        Hi Group, Here are a couple of points to add to the comments made so far (Really good discussion) to explain why I have pre-subscribed to the sdrWidget
                                        Message 19 of 20 , Oct 30, 2010
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          Hi Group,

                                          Here are a couple of points to add to the comments made so far (Really good discussion) to explain why I have pre-subscribed to the sdrWidget project.

                                          1. I have bought a netbook so that I can use my sdr while away in my RV. Normally I use a FA-66 which is a firewire card. With no firewire port on the netbook I needed similar performance for USB and I am happy to have better with a widget.

                                          2. PowerSDR-IQ meets my needs at present and runs on the netbook but I get much better performance from sdr-shell under linux in terms of system loading and my netbook performs better so it appears that linux will become the platform of choice. Even though the software gui's are inferior at present this is changing rapidly. Mind you I could say the same for windows. This means that Microsoft's issue of being unable to successfully implement UAC2 won't affect me and I am sure 3rd parties will create drivers in the future. 48 KHz is still pretty good on an sdr if I do stay with windows anyway.

                                          3. The developers of the widget have the ability, drive and facilities to see the project operational and advance. They have commitment to maintain it and the integrity not to leave the participants high and dry. I am sure that I won't have my investment abandoned; and to be able to communicate directly with the developers won't happen to me for any other sound card.

                                          4. I don't want to be a "taker" all the time. I'm getting on a bit now and development work is a bit harder for me. This is one way I can give back to those who beaver away to advance my hobby for me and everyone else who wants to take advantage of it. I just simply participate.

                                          5. My aim is to finish up with a "wow!" transceiver which matches or exceeds a lot of commercial ones at a somewhat lesser price. A softrock/Mobo/Widget combination will cost a fair bit but not more than a typical 10 year old second hand transceiver and I have the pleasure and satisfaction of saying "I made that".

                                          73 Graeme ZL2APV

                                          --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "Charles (WC5MC)" <eplerkeppler@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > And now for the positve side of Widget/MoBo.
                                          >
                                          > The effort on the Widget and MoBo is wonderful to be a part of. It is leading more and more to a "user" wide Linux solution.
                                          >
                                          > I would not be interested in buying into it if it were'nt for the productive and effective effort I have seen from the developement group.
                                          >
                                          > As I've followed the Widget developement, skimming the news-group every few days, Alex and several others publish several or more times a month on how they have set up WORKING Mobo/Widget SDR improvements.
                                          >
                                          > The Widget group is pushing one of the most interesting solutions for softrock SDR from the ground up, and for me it's a priveledge to get in on the ride. That's just me sharing my opinion.
                                          >
                                          > Several times over the past year people ask how Alex has setup his linux configuration, and he promptly posts an outline of what/how to install what packages and config files. Sid helps quite a bit in this too. :)
                                          >
                                          > This is why I'm a beleiver in the project and I have placed an order.
                                          >
                                          > My thanks to all the MoBo/Widget SDR dev team(s).
                                          >
                                          > -- Charles WC5MC
                                          >
                                          [SNIP]
                                        • visierl
                                          I realize this is probably just piling on, but I think it is worthwhile anyway. All of the people who have contributed in all aspects of the softrock / mobo /
                                          Message 20 of 20 , Nov 1, 2010
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            I realize this is probably just piling on, but I think it is worthwhile anyway. All of the people who have contributed in all aspects of the softrock / mobo / widget / whatever is to come community deserve a great deal of praise for their efforts. This includes the designers, the kitters, the build notes suppliers, the software developers, and the people who offer their expertise to bring the rest of us along.

                                            For my part, buying (or, as is the case at the moment, attempting to buy) a widget serves two purposes, one social and one technical:

                                            1) it supports the efforts of those who spent their time
                                            and energy bringing the Widget into existence by making
                                            it just a bit more likely that a successful Widget will
                                            become available to anyone.

                                            2) It gives me a single USB control and data solution that
                                            allows me to isolate control / data collection from
                                            RF processing in my radio (I plan to put the Widget in
                                            a separately shielded compartment in my final radio
                                            only sending I2C to the radio -- 6.3/Mobo 4.3 -- via
                                            the Mobo's isolated I2C connection).

                                            My first purpose is to help ensure that work like this continues by supporting the immediate community. My second will, I believe, give me the radio I want to have when I am done and will allow me to use it with my laptop or a future netbook or a desktop machine as I see fit.

                                            Linux also plays a part in this, since I am a serious programmer and I find it stifling to work on a platform where programming is largely discouraged. The learning curve for using Linux is dropping day by day and the value of open-source development is rising. SoftRock support on Linux is a tiny but important part of this.

                                            In the end, I have no doubt that the intrepid widget developers will solve the Windows problem (I would hope by providing a UAC2 device driver for Windows, but perhaps by providing a Widget device driver for Windows). For my immediate goals, that is moot since I will never use it, but for the health of the project, I am sure it is crucial.

                                            Eric
                                            AC0OP

                                            --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "Graeme" <gvj@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            > Hi Group,
                                            >
                                            > Here are a couple of points to add to the comments made so far (Really good discussion) to explain why I have pre-subscribed to the sdrWidget project.
                                            >
                                            > 1. I have bought a netbook so that I can use my sdr while away in my RV. Normally I use a FA-66 which is a firewire card. With no firewire port on the netbook I needed similar performance for USB and I am happy to have better with a widget.
                                            >
                                            > 2. PowerSDR-IQ meets my needs at present and runs on the netbook but I get much better performance from sdr-shell under linux in terms of system loading and my netbook performs better so it appears that linux will become the platform of choice. Even though the software gui's are inferior at present this is changing rapidly. Mind you I could say the same for windows. This means that Microsoft's issue of being unable to successfully implement UAC2 won't affect me and I am sure 3rd parties will create drivers in the future. 48 KHz is still pretty good on an sdr if I do stay with windows anyway.
                                            >
                                            > 3. The developers of the widget have the ability, drive and facilities to see the project operational and advance. They have commitment to maintain it and the integrity not to leave the participants high and dry. I am sure that I won't have my investment abandoned; and to be able to communicate directly with the developers won't happen to me for any other sound card.
                                            >
                                            > 4. I don't want to be a "taker" all the time. I'm getting on a bit now and development work is a bit harder for me. This is one way I can give back to those who beaver away to advance my hobby for me and everyone else who wants to take advantage of it. I just simply participate.
                                            >
                                            > 5. My aim is to finish up with a "wow!" transceiver which matches or exceeds a lot of commercial ones at a somewhat lesser price. A softrock/Mobo/Widget combination will cost a fair bit but not more than a typical 10 year old second hand transceiver and I have the pleasure and satisfaction of saying "I made that".
                                            >
                                            > 73 Graeme ZL2APV
                                            >
                                            > --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "Charles (WC5MC)" <eplerkeppler@> wrote:
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > And now for the positve side of Widget/MoBo.
                                            > >
                                            > > The effort on the Widget and MoBo is wonderful to be a part of. It is leading more and more to a "user" wide Linux solution.
                                            > >
                                            > > I would not be interested in buying into it if it were'nt for the productive and effective effort I have seen from the developement group.
                                            > >
                                            > > As I've followed the Widget developement, skimming the news-group every few days, Alex and several others publish several or more times a month on how they have set up WORKING Mobo/Widget SDR improvements.
                                            > >
                                            > > The Widget group is pushing one of the most interesting solutions for softrock SDR from the ground up, and for me it's a priveledge to get in on the ride. That's just me sharing my opinion.
                                            > >
                                            > > Several times over the past year people ask how Alex has setup his linux configuration, and he promptly posts an outline of what/how to install what packages and config files. Sid helps quite a bit in this too. :)
                                            > >
                                            > > This is why I'm a beleiver in the project and I have placed an order.
                                            > >
                                            > > My thanks to all the MoBo/Widget SDR dev team(s).
                                            > >
                                            > > -- Charles WC5MC
                                            > >
                                            > [SNIP]
                                            >
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