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New to SDR's, some questions.

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  • cutsgems
    First some background. Been a ham for 25 years, been out of it for a while and now I m jumping back into the hobby. What got me interested in SDR s is
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 29, 2011
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      First some background. Been a ham for 25 years, been out of it for a while and now I'm jumping back into the hobby. What got me interested in SDR's is websdr.org. In particular the ability to see a broad portion of the spectrum and the ability to select different filter combinations for SSB in particular.

      I've got a Ensemble RX on pre-order. My kit building skills are good. I've read the SDR getting started info and have been reading other information trying to wrap my head around everything. I have some questions and I'm hoping folks can enlighten me and lead me in the right direction.

      My main interest is in having an alternative receiver with better filtering than my Yaesu rig. It's probably asking for a bit much but it's an experiment. As best I can tell so far, I'l need to run Powersdr-iq to have the variable bandwidth filter selection like that in the websdr. Is this correct?

      I have a Compac Evo 610C laptop that is my shack computer. It is a 2 gHz P4 with Win XP. It has a SoundMax internal sound card which has a max sample rate of 48 kHz. As I understand it, that will limit me to 24 kHz either side of the center frequency. Is there any other limitations that I need to be aware of? Are there any reasonable options for a better quality & suitable USB sound card? I don't want to go overboard piecing things together when I can buy the entry level Flexradio for $625.

      What I envision is using the receiver in conjunction with my Yaesu transceiver. Has anyone set up a method to perform T/R switching?

      Thanks in advance.

      Charles KK4HP
    • Bruce Tanner
      Welcome! Yes, this can be done use an Elad RF sensitive relay with any SDR hardware and software which will allow control of your external radio. SDRadio and
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 29, 2011
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        Welcome!

        Yes, this can be done use an 'Elad' RF sensitive relay with any SDR hardware and software which will allow control of your external radio. SDRadio and HDSDR are two which can do this.

        Sent from my iPhone

        On Nov 29, 2011, at 10:49 PM, "cutsgems" <cutsgems@...> wrote:

         

        First some background. Been a ham for 25 years, been out of it for a while and now I'm jumping back into the hobby. What got me interested in SDR's is websdr.org. In particular the ability to see a broad portion of the spectrum and the ability to select different filter combinations for SSB in particular.

        I've got a Ensemble RX on pre-order. My kit building skills are good. I've read the SDR getting started info and have been reading other information trying to wrap my head around everything. I have some questions and I'm hoping folks can enlighten me and lead me in the right direction.

        My main interest is in having an alternative receiver with better filtering than my Yaesu rig. It's probably asking for a bit much but it's an experiment. As best I can tell so far, I'l need to run Powersdr-iq to have the variable bandwidth filter selection like that in the websdr. Is this correct?

        I have a Compac Evo 610C laptop that is my shack computer. It is a 2 gHz P4 with Win XP. It has a SoundMax internal sound card which has a max sample rate of 48 kHz. As I understand it, that will limit me to 24 kHz either side of the center frequency. Is there any other limitations that I need to be aware of? Are there any reasonable options for a better quality & suitable USB sound card? I don't want to go overboard piecing things together when I can buy the entry level Flexradio for $625.

        What I envision is using the receiver in conjunction with my Yaesu transceiver. Has anyone set up a method to perform T/R switching?

        Thanks in advance.

        Charles KK4HP

      • Sebastian, W4AS
        I m not familiar with websdr.org, but there are many software packages that you can use with an SDR, in addition to Powersdr-iq. You didn t mention how much
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 29, 2011
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          I'm not familiar with websdr.org, but there are many software packages that you can use with an SDR, in addition to Powersdr-iq.

          You didn't mention how much memory is in your laptop, but if it's only 1 gigabyte, then you may be a bit disappointed with it's performance unless you use basic software such as Rocky. It may be time to consider obtaining a newer computer, instead of upgrading your current laptop, or spending over $600 on the Flex-1500, which is probably what you have looked at.

          The Flex 1500 is only capable of displaying 48 kHz, regardless of the soundcard. Take a look at the review in the current QST before you buy it.

          73 de Sebastian, W4AS



          On Nov 29, 2011, at 10:49 PM, cutsgems wrote:

          > First some background. Been a ham for 25 years, been out of it for a while and now I'm jumping back into the hobby. What got me interested in SDR's is websdr.org. In particular the ability to see a broad portion of the spectrum and the ability to select different filter combinations for SSB in particular.
          >
          > I've got a Ensemble RX on pre-order. My kit building skills are good. I've read the SDR getting started info and have been reading other information trying to wrap my head around everything. I have some questions and I'm hoping folks can enlighten me and lead me in the right direction.
          >
          > My main interest is in having an alternative receiver with better filtering than my Yaesu rig. It's probably asking for a bit much but it's an experiment. As best I can tell so far, I'l need to run Powersdr-iq to have the variable bandwidth filter selection like that in the websdr. Is this correct?
          >
          > I have a Compac Evo 610C laptop that is my shack computer. It is a 2 gHz P4 with Win XP. It has a SoundMax internal sound card which has a max sample rate of 48 kHz. As I understand it, that will limit me to 24 kHz either side of the center frequency. Is there any other limitations that I need to be aware of? Are there any reasonable options for a better quality & suitable USB sound card? I don't want to go overboard piecing things together when I can buy the entry level Flexradio for $625.
          >
          > What I envision is using the receiver in conjunction with my Yaesu transceiver. Has anyone set up a method to perform T/R switching?
          >
          > Thanks in advance.
          >
          > Charles KK4HP
        • vbifyz
          ... I am running HDSDR and the bandwidth control in it is very intuitive and works great. It also has multiple notch filtering. I know that HDSDR can control
          Message 4 of 5 , Nov 30, 2011
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            --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "cutsgems" <cutsgems@...> wrote:
            >

            > My main interest is in having an alternative receiver with better filtering than my Yaesu rig. It's probably asking for a bit much but it's an experiment. As best I can tell so far, I'l need to run Powersdr-iq to have the variable bandwidth filter selection like that in the websdr. Is this correct?
            >
            I am running HDSDR and the bandwidth control in it is very intuitive and works great. It also has multiple notch filtering. I know that HDSDR can control the another ("main") rig through OmniRig feature, but I've never tried it, or the T/R switching control.

            > I have a Compac Evo 610C laptop that is my shack computer. It is a 2 gHz P4 with Win XP. It has a SoundMax internal sound card which has a max sample rate of 48 kHz. As I understand it, that will limit me to 24 kHz either side of the center frequency. Is there any other limitations that I need to be aware of? Are there any reasonable options for a better quality & suitable USB sound card? I don't want to go overboard piecing things together when I can buy the entry level Flexradio for $625.

            The internal soundcard may be noisy, showing all kinds of spikes on the display. You can just run HDSDR with no Softrock connected (click through the message about it not being found). Make sure that the external input is selected in the mixer, and not the built-in microphone. If you see spikes more that few dB above the noise floor, try a $20-50 external USB soundcard. I am using Diamond SoundTube, $30 at Fry's. $2-$10 cheapo USB sticks won't do it, because they have mono microphone input.
            2GHz P4 should be ok for 48kHz sampling rate.

            73, Mike
          • vbifyz
            Last night I ran a little experiment: Ensemble RX II connected to my ancient Dell CPi laptop with P2-266MHz and 128MB RAM, running Windows 2000 and HDSDR. BIOS
            Message 5 of 5 , Dec 1, 2011
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              Last night I ran a little experiment: Ensemble RX II connected to my ancient Dell CPi laptop with P2-266MHz and 128MB RAM, running Windows 2000 and HDSDR. BIOS offers a choice of "half duplex" or "disabled" for the onboard sound.
              It worked, but the only sampling rate at which it didn't stutter was 8kHz. 12kHz pegged the CPU.
              It is still ok for demodulation/filtering/listening. Waterfall display is not very useful though.

              I have another setup monitoring meteor reflections 24/7: Ensemble VHF, Compaq laptop with P3-450 CPU and 256MB RAM, running Spectrum Lab in I/Q mode. This one easily handles 24kHz sampling rate.

              This is to show that whatever computer you have, go ahead and try it with SDR. It may work fine for your application.

              73, Mike

              --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "vbifyz" <3ym3ym@...> wrote:

              > 2GHz P4 should be ok for 48kHz sampling rate.
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