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Inexpensive USB-only SDR

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  • vbifyz
    The idea below is inspired by the recent Softrock40 discussion and the FT-817 data interface project by Dan YO3GGX. It is possible to build a relatively chip
    Message 1 of 14 , Dec 4, 2011
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      The idea below is inspired by the recent Softrock40 discussion and the FT-817 data interface project by Dan YO3GGX.
      It is possible to build a relatively chip Softrock-based receiver that has only 2 ports: antenna and USB. No more messy audio cables.
      Parts are:
      - Softrock Ensemble RX II, modified to get power from the USB
      - Diamond SoundTube : http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Diamond+Multimedia+-+Sound+Tube+2-Channel+Stereo/3403987.p?id=1218399169056&skuId=3403987&ref=06&loc=01&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=3403987
      (make sure to reassemble the link from multiple lines in case Yahoo breaks it apart)
      - mini USB hub like this:
      http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0007YBFJ4/ref=asc_df_B0007YBFJ45?smid=A1XASWTIU8FRI5&tag=ciaouk-ce-mp-21&linkCode=asn&creative=22218&creativeASIN=B0007YBFJ4

      The total cost is a bit over $100, plus some case that holds everything together.

      RXTX can be assembled in a similar manner, but would require external 12V power.

      What do you think?

      73, Mike
    • Mike WA8BXN
      It looks like that diamond sound tube does output only from the computer. It would be useless for a softrock. You need stereo input to the computer, preferably
      Message 2 of 14 , Dec 4, 2011
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        It looks like that diamond sound tube does output only from the computer. It
        would be useless for a softrock. You need stereo input to the computer,
        preferably not band limited to normal audio frequencies.


        73/72 - Mike WA8BXN




        -------Original Message-------

        From: vbifyz
        Date: 12/04/11 17:37:16
        To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [softrock40] Inexpensive USB-only SDR


        The idea below is inspired by the recent Softrock40 discussion and the
        FT-817 data interface project by Dan YO3GGX.
        It is possible to build a relatively chip Softrock-based receiver that has
        only 2 ports: antenna and USB. No more messy audio cables.
        Parts are:
        - Softrock Ensemble RX II, modified to get power from the USB
        - Diamond SoundTube : http://www.bestbuy
        com/site/Diamond+Multimedia+-+Sound+Tube+2-Channel+Stereo/3403987
        p?id=1218399169056&skuId=3403987&ref=06&loc=01&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=3403987

        (make sure to reassemble the link from multiple lines in case Yahoo breaks
        it apart)
        - mini USB hub like this:
        http://www.amazon.co
        uk/dp/B0007YBFJ4/ref=asc_df_B0007YBFJ45?smid=A1XASWTIU8FRI5&tag=ciaouk-ce-mp-
        1&linkCode=asn&creative=22218&creativeASIN=B0007YBFJ4

        The total cost is a bit over $100, plus some case that holds everything
        together.

        RXTX can be assembled in a similar manner, but would require external 12V
        power.

        What do you think?

        73, Mike
      • cbayona.cb
        The card is stereo out and stereo input, but the manufacturer will not even say if it s a 16 bit or 24 bit card, or anything other that marketing hype. It will
        Message 3 of 14 , Dec 4, 2011
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          The card is stereo out and stereo input, but the manufacturer will not even say if it's a 16 bit or 24 bit card, or anything other that marketing hype. It will work but I would not expect great performance. Remember that the SoftRock performs only as good as it's sound card.


          At 04:37 PM 12/4/2011, you wrote:
          The idea below is inspired by the recent Softrock40 discussion and the FT-817 data interface project by Dan YO3GGX.
          It is possible to build a relatively chip Softrock-based receiver that has only 2 ports: antenna and USB. No more messy audio cables.
          Parts are:
           - Softrock Ensemble RX II, modified to get power from the USB
           - Diamond SoundTube : http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Diamond+Multimedia+-+Sound+Tube+2-Channel+Stereo/3403987.p?id=1218399169056&skuId=3403987&ref=06&loc=01&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=3403987
          (make sure to reassemble the link from multiple lines in case Yahoo breaks it apart)
           - mini USB hub like this:
          http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0007YBFJ4/ref=asc_df_B0007YBFJ45?smid=A1XASWTIU8FRI5&tag=ciaouk-ce-mp-21&linkCode=asn&creative=22218&creativeASIN=B0007YBFJ4

          The total cost is a bit over $100, plus some case that holds everything together.

          RXTX can be assembled in a similar manner, but would require external 12V power.

          What do you think?

          73, Mike

          Cecil
          k5nwa
          http://www.softrockradio.org/ > <  http://thepartsplace.k5nwa.com/ >
          http://parts.softrockradio.org/ >

          Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

        • The Silver Fox
          There are already SDRs that are designed around USB with only the need for antennas. Google the funcube SDR. 73 s Alan - W6ARH From:
          Message 4 of 14 , Dec 4, 2011
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            There are already SDRs that are designed around USB with only the need for antennas.  Google the funcube SDR.

            73’s

            Alan – W6ARH

             

            From: softrock40@yahoogroups.com [mailto:softrock40@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of vbifyz
            Sent: Sunday, December 04, 2011 2:37 PM
            To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [softrock40] Inexpensive USB-only SDR

             

             

            The idea below is inspired by the recent Softrock40 discussion and the FT-817 data interface project by Dan YO3GGX.
            It is possible to build a relatively chip Softrock-based receiver that has only 2 ports: antenna and USB. No more messy audio cables.
            Parts are:
            - Softrock Ensemble RX II, modified to get power from the USB
            - Diamond SoundTube : http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Diamond+Multimedia+-+Sound+Tube+2-Channel+Stereo/3403987.p?id=1218399169056&skuId=3403987&ref=06&loc=01&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=3403987
            (make sure to reassemble the link from multiple lines in case Yahoo breaks it apart)
            - mini USB hub like this:
            http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0007YBFJ4/ref=asc_df_B0007YBFJ45?smid=A1XASWTIU8FRI5&tag=ciaouk-ce-mp-21&linkCode=asn&creative=22218&creativeASIN=B0007YBFJ4

            The total cost is a bit over $100, plus some case that holds everything together.

            RXTX can be assembled in a similar manner, but would require external 12V power.

            What do you think?

            73, Mike

          • Bruce Tanner
            ...and check out the HF up converter available for it as well...
            Message 5 of 14 , Dec 4, 2011
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              ...and check out the HF up converter available for it as well...



              On 12/4/2011 7:05 PM, The Silver Fox wrote:
               

              There are already SDRs that are designed around USB with only the need for antennas.  Google the funcube SDR.

              73’s

              Alan – W6ARH

               

              From: softrock40@yahoogroups.com [mailto:softrock40@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of vbifyz
              Sent: Sunday, December 04, 2011 2:37 PM
              To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [softrock40] Inexpensive USB-only SDR

               

               

              The idea below is inspired by the recent Softrock40 discussion and the FT-817 data interface project by Dan YO3GGX.
              It is possible to build a relatively chip Softrock-based receiver that has only 2 ports: antenna and USB. No more messy audio cables.
              Parts are:
              - Softrock Ensemble RX II, modified to get power from the USB
              - Diamond SoundTube : http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Diamond+Multimedia+-+Sound+Tube+2-Channel+Stereo/3403987.p?id=1218399169056&skuId=3403987&ref=06&loc=01&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=3403987
              (make sure to reassemble the link from multiple lines in case Yahoo breaks it apart)
              - mini USB hub like this:
              http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0007YBFJ4/ref=asc_df_B0007YBFJ45?smid=A1XASWTIU8FRI5&tag=ciaouk-ce-mp-21&linkCode=asn&creative=22218&creativeASIN=B0007YBFJ4

              The total cost is a bit over $100, plus some case that holds everything together.

              RXTX can be assembled in a similar manner, but would require external 12V power.

              What do you think?

              73, Mike



              __________ Information from ESET Smart Security, version of virus signature database 6683 (20111204) __________

              The message was checked by ESET Smart Security.

              http://www.eset.com
            • William Dillon
              I just wish the Funcube cost about half as much as it is... ... I just wish the Funcube cost about half as much as it is... On Dec 4, 2011, at 4:24 PM, Bruce
              Message 6 of 14 , Dec 4, 2011
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                I just wish the Funcube cost about half as much as it is...

                On Dec 4, 2011, at 4:24 PM, Bruce Tanner wrote:

                 

                ...and check out the HF up converter available for it as well...



                On 12/4/2011 7:05 PM, The Silver Fox wrote:

                 

                There are already SDRs that are designed around USB with only the need for antennas.  Google the funcube SDR.

                73’s

                Alan – W6ARH

                 

                From: softrock40@yahoogroups.com [mailto:softrock40@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of vbifyz
                Sent: Sunday, December 04, 2011 2:37 PM
                To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [softrock40] Inexpensive USB-only SDR

                 

                 

                The idea below is inspired by the recent Softrock40 discussion and the FT-817 data interface project by Dan YO3GGX.
                It is possible to build a relatively chip Softrock-based receiver that has only 2 ports: antenna and USB. No more messy audio cables.
                Parts are:
                - Softrock Ensemble RX II, modified to get power from the USB
                - Diamond SoundTube : http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Diamond+Multimedia+-+Sound+Tube+2-Channel+Stereo/3403987.p?id=1218399169056&skuId=3403987&ref=06&loc=01&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=3403987
                (make sure to reassemble the link from multiple lines in case Yahoo breaks it apart)
                - mini USB hub like this:
                http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0007YBFJ4/ref=asc_df_B0007YBFJ45?smid=A1XASWTIU8FRI5&tag=ciaouk-ce-mp-21&linkCode=asn&creative=22218&creativeASIN=B0007YBFJ4

                The total cost is a bit over $100, plus some case that holds everything together.

                RXTX can be assembled in a similar manner, but would require external 12V power.

                What do you think?

                73, Mike



                __________ Information from ESET Smart Security, version of virus signature database 6683 (20111204) __________

                The message was checked by ESET Smart Security.

                http://www.eset.com


              • The Silver Fox
                Me too. The price is discouraging me from buying one. 73 s Alan -W6ARH From: softrock40@yahoogroups.com [mailto:softrock40@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                Message 7 of 14 , Dec 4, 2011
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                  Me too.  The price is discouraging me from buying one.

                  73’s

                  Alan –W6ARH

                   

                  From: softrock40@yahoogroups.com [mailto:softrock40@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of William Dillon
                  Sent: Sunday, December 04, 2011 4:35 PM
                  To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [softrock40] Inexpensive USB-only SDR

                   

                   

                  I just wish the Funcube cost about half as much as it is...

                   

                  On Dec 4, 2011, at 4:24 PM, Bruce Tanner wrote:



                   

                  ...and check out the HF up converter available for it as well...



                  On 12/4/2011 7:05 PM, The Silver Fox wrote:

                   

                  There are already SDRs that are designed around USB with only the need for antennas.  Google the funcube SDR.

                  73’s

                  Alan – W6ARH

                   

                  From: softrock40@yahoogroups.com [mailto:softrock40@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of vbifyz
                  Sent: Sunday, December 04, 2011 2:37 PM
                  To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [softrock40] Inexpensive USB-only SDR

                   

                   

                  The idea below is inspired by the recent Softrock40 discussion and the FT-817 data interface project by Dan YO3GGX.
                  It is possible to build a relatively chip Softrock-based receiver that has only 2 ports: antenna and USB. No more messy audio cables.
                  Parts are:
                  - Softrock Ensemble RX II, modified to get power from the USB
                  - Diamond SoundTube : http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Diamond+Multimedia+-+Sound+Tube+2-Channel+Stereo/3403987.p?id=1218399169056&skuId=3403987&ref=06&loc=01&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=3403987
                  (make sure to reassemble the link from multiple lines in case Yahoo breaks it apart)
                  - mini USB hub like this:
                  http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0007YBFJ4/ref=asc_df_B0007YBFJ45?smid=A1XASWTIU8FRI5&tag=ciaouk-ce-mp-21&linkCode=asn&creative=22218&creativeASIN=B0007YBFJ4

                  The total cost is a bit over $100, plus some case that holds everything together.

                  RXTX can be assembled in a similar manner, but would require external 12V power.

                  What do you think?

                  73, Mike



                  __________ Information from ESET Smart Security, version of virus signature database 6683 (20111204) __________

                  The message was checked by ESET Smart Security.

                  http://www.eset.com

                   

                   

                • vbifyz
                  I am using it with Ensemble VHF for meteor reflection monitoring. The performance is adequate for the task. When I peak all the filters carefully, the noise
                  Message 8 of 14 , Dec 4, 2011
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                    I am using it with Ensemble VHF for meteor reflection monitoring.
                    The performance is adequate for the task. When I peak all the filters carefully, the noise floor goes up about 20dB and drowns the few spurs that I saw initially. The central peak is still there though.

                    I looked for the parameters of the VIA VT1610 chip used inside, and it seems to be 48kHz 16-bit ADC. It is definitely stereo.

                    A step up, still in a compact package, would be Creative X-Fi USB:
                    http://us.store.creative.com/Sound-Blaster-XFi-Surround-5.1/M/B0017QQQAE.htm

                    73, Mike

                    --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "cbayona.cb" <CBayona@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > The card is stereo out and stereo input, but the manufacturer will
                    > not even say if it's a 16 bit or 24 bit card, or anything other that
                    > marketing hype. It will work but I would not expect great
                    > performance. Remember that the SoftRock performs only as good as it's
                    > sound card.
                    >
                  • James Hall
                    Did the price go up? Last I heard it was around $170, not too bad for a receiver that does 50-1300mhz and capable of SSB/CW at that. ... Did the price go up?
                    Message 9 of 14 , Dec 4, 2011
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                      Did the price go up? Last I heard it was around $170, not too bad for a receiver that does 50-1300mhz and capable of SSB/CW at that.

                      On Sun, Dec 4, 2011 at 9:28 PM, The Silver Fox <alan.r.hill@...> wrote:
                       

                      Me too.  The price is discouraging me from buying one.

                      73’s

                      Alan –W6ARH

                       

                      From: softrock40@yahoogroups.com [mailto:softrock40@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of William Dillon
                      Sent: Sunday, December 04, 2011 4:35 PM
                      To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [softrock40] Inexpensive USB-only SDR

                       

                       

                      I just wish the Funcube cost about half as much as it is...

                       

                      On Dec 4, 2011, at 4:24 PM, Bruce Tanner wrote:



                       

                      ...and check out the HF up converter available for it as well...



                      On 12/4/2011 7:05 PM, The Silver Fox wrote:

                       

                      There are already SDRs that are designed around USB with only the need for antennas.  Google the funcube SDR.

                      73’s

                      Alan – W6ARH

                       

                      From: softrock40@yahoogroups.com [mailto:softrock40@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of vbifyz
                      Sent: Sunday, December 04, 2011 2:37 PM
                      To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [softrock40] Inexpensive USB-only SDR

                       

                       

                      The idea below is inspired by the recent Softrock40 discussion and the FT-817 data interface project by Dan YO3GGX.
                      It is possible to build a relatively chip Softrock-based receiver that has only 2 ports: antenna and USB. No more messy audio cables.
                      Parts are:
                      - Softrock Ensemble RX II, modified to get power from the USB
                      - Diamond SoundTube : http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Diamond+Multimedia+-+Sound+Tube+2-Channel+Stereo/3403987.p?id=1218399169056&skuId=3403987&ref=06&loc=01&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=3403987
                      (make sure to reassemble the link from multiple lines in case Yahoo breaks it apart)
                      - mini USB hub like this:
                      http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0007YBFJ4/ref=asc_df_B0007YBFJ45?smid=A1XASWTIU8FRI5&tag=ciaouk-ce-mp-21&linkCode=asn&creative=22218&creativeASIN=B0007YBFJ4

                      The total cost is a bit over $100, plus some case that holds everything together.

                      RXTX can be assembled in a similar manner, but would require external 12V power.

                      What do you think?

                      73, Mike



                      __________ Information from ESET Smart Security, version of virus signature database 6683 (20111204) __________

                      The message was checked by ESET Smart Security.

                      http://www.eset.com

                       

                       


                    • William Dillon
                      For me, it s hard to justify the price when I can buy a 5 watt HT. Sure, it s SDR, but the HT has a battery, it s more robust, and ultimately far more useful.
                      Message 10 of 14 , Dec 4, 2011
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                        For me, it's hard to justify the price when I can buy a 5 watt HT.  Sure, it's SDR, but the HT has a battery, it's more robust, and ultimately far more useful.  I also have a hard time paying that when I know the component cost can't be more than $30.

                        On Dec 4, 2011, at 6:38 PM, vbifyz wrote:

                         

                        I am using it with Ensemble VHF for meteor reflection monitoring.
                        The performance is adequate for the task. When I peak all the filters carefully, the noise floor goes up about 20dB and drowns the few spurs that I saw initially. The central peak is still there though.

                        I looked for the parameters of the VIA VT1610 chip used inside, and it seems to be 48kHz 16-bit ADC. It is definitely stereo.

                        A step up, still in a compact package, would be Creative X-Fi USB:
                        http://us.store.creative.com/Sound-Blaster-XFi-Surround-5.1/M/B0017QQQAE.htm

                        73, Mike

                        --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "cbayona.cb" <CBayona@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > The card is stereo out and stereo input, but the manufacturer will
                        > not even say if it's a 16 bit or 24 bit card, or anything other that
                        > marketing hype. It will work but I would not expect great
                        > performance. Remember that the SoftRock performs only as good as it's
                        > sound card.
                        >


                      • The Silver Fox
                        I wouldn t mind the price if it included transmit but for receive only, I think I can get a better deal. 73 s Alan - ARH From: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
                        Message 11 of 14 , Dec 4, 2011
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                          I wouldn’t mind the price if it included transmit but for receive only, I think I can get a better deal.

                          73’s

                          Alan - ARH

                           

                          From: softrock40@yahoogroups.com [mailto:softrock40@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of James Hall
                          Sent: Sunday, December 04, 2011 6:42 PM
                          To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [softrock40] Inexpensive USB-only SDR

                           

                           

                          Did the price go up? Last I heard it was around $170, not too bad for a receiver that does 50-1300mhz and capable of SSB/CW at that.

                          On Sun, Dec 4, 2011 at 9:28 PM, The Silver Fox <alan.r.hill@...> wrote:

                           

                          Me too.  The price is discouraging me from buying one.

                          73’s

                          Alan –W6ARH

                           

                          From: softrock40@yahoogroups.com [mailto:softrock40@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of William Dillon
                          Sent: Sunday, December 04, 2011 4:35 PM
                          To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [softrock40] Inexpensive USB-only SDR

                           

                           

                          I just wish the Funcube cost about half as much as it is...

                           

                          On Dec 4, 2011, at 4:24 PM, Bruce Tanner wrote:

                           

                           

                          ...and check out the HF up converter available for it as well...



                          On 12/4/2011 7:05 PM, The Silver Fox wrote:

                           

                          There are already SDRs that are designed around USB with only the need for antennas.  Google the funcube SDR.

                          73’s

                          Alan – W6ARH

                           

                          From: softrock40@yahoogroups.com [mailto:softrock40@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of vbifyz
                          Sent: Sunday, December 04, 2011 2:37 PM
                          To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: [softrock40] Inexpensive USB-only SDR

                           

                           

                          The idea below is inspired by the recent Softrock40 discussion and the FT-817 data interface project by Dan YO3GGX.
                          It is possible to build a relatively chip Softrock-based receiver that has only 2 ports: antenna and USB. No more messy audio cables.
                          Parts are:
                          - Softrock Ensemble RX II, modified to get power from the USB
                          - Diamond SoundTube : http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Diamond+Multimedia+-+Sound+Tube+2-Channel+Stereo/3403987.p?id=1218399169056&skuId=3403987&ref=06&loc=01&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=3403987
                          (make sure to reassemble the link from multiple lines in case Yahoo breaks it apart)
                          - mini USB hub like this:
                          http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0007YBFJ4/ref=asc_df_B0007YBFJ45?smid=A1XASWTIU8FRI5&tag=ciaouk-ce-mp-21&linkCode=asn&creative=22218&creativeASIN=B0007YBFJ4

                          The total cost is a bit over $100, plus some case that holds everything together.

                          RXTX can be assembled in a similar manner, but would require external 12V power.

                          What do you think?

                          73, Mike



                          __________ Information from ESET Smart Security, version of virus signature database 6683 (20111204) __________

                          The message was checked by ESET Smart Security.

                          http://www.eset.com

                           

                           

                           

                        • James Hall
                          Well, I think of it in relation to what scanner receiver can you buy with SSB/CW that covers the same range for less than that. Then again, I suppose you could
                          Message 12 of 14 , Dec 4, 2011
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                            Well, I think of it in relation to what scanner receiver can you buy with SSB/CW that covers the same range for less than that. Then again, I suppose you could rig up a salvaged TV tuner to something like a softrock lite and get almost the same thing, except that might putter out at 950mhz or so.

                            On Sun, Dec 4, 2011 at 10:21 PM, The Silver Fox <alan.r.hill@...> wrote:
                             

                            I wouldn’t mind the price if it included transmit but for receive only, I think I can get a better deal.

                            73’s

                            Alan - ARH

                             

                            From: softrock40@yahoogroups.com [mailto:softrock40@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of James Hall
                            Sent: Sunday, December 04, 2011 6:42 PM


                            To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: Re: [softrock40] Inexpensive USB-only SDR

                             

                             

                            Did the price go up? Last I heard it was around $170, not too bad for a receiver that does 50-1300mhz and capable of SSB/CW at that.

                            On Sun, Dec 4, 2011 at 9:28 PM, The Silver Fox <alan.r.hill@...> wrote:

                             

                            Me too.  The price is discouraging me from buying one.

                            73’s

                            Alan –W6ARH

                             

                            From: softrock40@yahoogroups.com [mailto:softrock40@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of William Dillon
                            Sent: Sunday, December 04, 2011 4:35 PM
                            To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: Re: [softrock40] Inexpensive USB-only SDR

                             

                             

                            I just wish the Funcube cost about half as much as it is...

                             

                            On Dec 4, 2011, at 4:24 PM, Bruce Tanner wrote:

                             

                             

                            ...and check out the HF up converter available for it as well...



                            On 12/4/2011 7:05 PM, The Silver Fox wrote:

                             

                            There are already SDRs that are designed around USB with only the need for antennas.  Google the funcube SDR.

                            73’s

                            Alan – W6ARH

                             

                            From: softrock40@yahoogroups.com [mailto:softrock40@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of vbifyz
                            Sent: Sunday, December 04, 2011 2:37 PM
                            To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: [softrock40] Inexpensive USB-only SDR

                             

                             

                            The idea below is inspired by the recent Softrock40 discussion and the FT-817 data interface project by Dan YO3GGX.
                            It is possible to build a relatively chip Softrock-based receiver that has only 2 ports: antenna and USB. No more messy audio cables.
                            Parts are:
                            - Softrock Ensemble RX II, modified to get power from the USB
                            - Diamond SoundTube : http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Diamond+Multimedia+-+Sound+Tube+2-Channel+Stereo/3403987.p?id=1218399169056&skuId=3403987&ref=06&loc=01&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=3403987
                            (make sure to reassemble the link from multiple lines in case Yahoo breaks it apart)
                            - mini USB hub like this:
                            http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0007YBFJ4/ref=asc_df_B0007YBFJ45?smid=A1XASWTIU8FRI5&tag=ciaouk-ce-mp-21&linkCode=asn&creative=22218&creativeASIN=B0007YBFJ4

                            The total cost is a bit over $100, plus some case that holds everything together.

                            RXTX can be assembled in a similar manner, but would require external 12V power.

                            What do you think?

                            73, Mike



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                          • Bruce Tanner
                            There now is a companion up converter for HF which will extend the FCD from about 50 Khz to 1.7 Gigs. Pretty good coverage for the price. I think the total
                            Message 13 of 14 , Dec 4, 2011
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                              There now is a companion 'up converter' for HF which will extend the FCD from about 50 Khz to 1.7 Gigs.  Pretty good coverage for the price. I think the total is in the vicinity of $250 U.S. but I would have to do some research to be sure.  A second version of the HF converter is due to come out soon with some enhancements in filtering.

                              bet


                              On 12/4/2011 9:41 PM, James Hall wrote:  

                              Did the price go up? Last I heard it was around $170, not too bad for a receiver that does 50-1300mhz and capable of SSB/CW at that.

                              On Sun, Dec 4, 2011 at 9:28 PM, The Silver Fox <alan.r.hill@...> wrote:
                               

                              Me too.  The price is discouraging me from buying one.

                              73’s

                              Alan –W6ARH

                               

                              From: softrock40@yahoogroups.com [mailto:softrock40@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of William Dillon
                              Sent: Sunday, December 04, 2011 4:35 PM
                              To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [softrock40] Inexpensive USB-only SDR

                               

                               

                              I just wish the Funcube cost about half as much as it is...

                               

                              On Dec 4, 2011, at 4:24 PM, Bruce Tanner wrote:



                               

                              ...and check out the HF up converter available for it as well...



                              On 12/4/2011 7:05 PM, The Silver Fox wrote:

                               

                              There are already SDRs that are designed around USB with only the need for antennas.  Google the funcube SDR.

                              73’s

                              Alan – W6ARH

                               

                              From: softrock40@yahoogroups.com [mailto:softrock40@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of vbifyz
                              Sent: Sunday, December 04, 2011 2:37 PM
                              To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: [softrock40] Inexpensive USB-only SDR

                               

                               

                              The idea below is inspired by the recent Softrock40 discussion and the FT-817 data interface project by Dan YO3GGX.
                              It is possible to build a relatively chip Softrock-based receiver that has only 2 ports: antenna and USB. No more messy audio cables.
                              Parts are:
                              - Softrock Ensemble RX II, modified to get power from the USB
                              - Diamond SoundTube : http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Diamond+Multimedia+-+Sound+Tube+2-Channel+Stereo/3403987.p?id=1218399169056&skuId=3403987&ref=06&loc=01&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=3403987
                              (make sure to reassemble the link from multiple lines in case Yahoo breaks it apart)
                              - mini USB hub like this:
                              http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0007YBFJ4/ref=asc_df_B0007YBFJ45?smid=A1XASWTIU8FRI5&tag=ciaouk-ce-mp-21&linkCode=asn&creative=22218&creativeASIN=B0007YBFJ4

                              The total cost is a bit over $100, plus some case that holds everything together.

                              RXTX can be assembled in a similar manner, but would require external 12V power.

                              What do you think?

                              73, Mike



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                            • Dave
                              Re the Funcube Dongle. It may be not cheap bo comparison to the simple softrock kits. But it does come with a built in 96k sampling sound codec chip, and
                              Message 14 of 14 , Dec 5, 2011
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                                Re the Funcube Dongle.

                                It may be "not cheap" bo comparison to the simple softrock kits. But it
                                does come with a built in 96k sampling sound codec chip, and lots of
                                tweakable (via freely available software) filter and gain settings, post
                                mixer, pre digitising.

                                A portion of your money also goes to Amsat, to help fund the Funcube
                                satellites anyway.

                                It's not a kit, as the codec chip (among other things, I think including
                                the DTTV front end chip) was not condusive to DIY assembly, without a
                                reflow oven. Also, if you think some of the SMD parts used in the
                                SoftRock kits, at tiddly, "you aint seen nothing yet." Most of the parts
                                in the FCD are truly tiny. Realy tiny! Not the sort of thing you can
                                easily assemble yourself, although that's how the first few "production"
                                dongles were built by it's designer. Even he said it was not for the
                                feint of heart, or those with less than 20:20 close up vision.

                                He also says, that some 50% of the parts, are EMC/EMI/ESD related, to
                                keep the digital stuff out of the analogue channels, and for the
                                antistatic safety of the dongle active parts themselves.


                                When plugged into a windows PC, it "just appears" as another available
                                sound interface, and has to be said, it works *VERY* well indeed!

                                The controls (LO frequency selection etc) are accessed via the HID class
                                device it also "appears as". The freely available software, and firmware
                                updates are of good quality too. There is also a custom ExtIO.DLL for
                                it, for some of the popular SDR application software.


                                The only downside AFICT, is the need for an upconverter for signals below
                                (about) 70MHz. It also (due to it's top sample rate of 96k) has some
                                dificulty with FM broadcast signals distorting. But that's not it's
                                intended purpose, though it does work quite well for that, with a "paper
                                clip" antenna, just to listen to the news!

                                For VHF/UHF use, up to low GHz, it's suprisingly sensitive, and very
                                usable. It is also even able to power (up the coax) any LNA's you might
                                need via a built in bias tee. All that in a single USB dongle form
                                factor.

                                You do get a lot for your money with the FCD, but it will not suit
                                everyone, and it's RX only of course..


                                The current converter kits (I have one too, yet to assemble it due to
                                time constraints) put the IF at about 106MHz. Some have concerns about
                                local FM broadcast breakthrough, but others who have used it expecting
                                trouble, in fact say it's not a problem. You could change the LO
                                oscilator part anyway for a quieter IF frequency if you needed to.

                                I think there are also murmerings of a mk2 upconverter design to address
                                some people's comments. The developer of that, is in no way connected to
                                the Funcube project AFIK.


                                Cheers.

                                Dave G0WBX.
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