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Re: Ensemble RXTX transmit

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  • Catalin
    Hi Sam ! I finished also the transceiver s building few days ago and I have the same problem as you, on the TX part. Reading the posts on this group, I
    Message 1 of 7 , Feb 1, 2012
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      Hi Sam !

      I finished also the transceiver's building few days ago and I have the same problem as you, on the TX part.

      Reading the posts on this group, I concluded that for tests, it is not necessary to use a sound blaster card, but only the I/Q signal at the transceiver's input. I found some recorded signals but even with these I did not start the TX. I use also the software application recommended by WB5RVZ (IQ Gen), but with no effect.

      Again, I started looking for information about the requirements of the sound card and I noticed something very strange: there are very few references to the output level of the Sound Blaster signal. I measured about 1,4 Vp-p at my speaker output level, with 1 Vp-p lower then the value specified by WB5RVZ in his documentation, at chapter 10 (PA) - http://www.wb5rvz.com/sdr/ensemble/10_pa.htm -
      section abouta "PA Output - Scope Test".

      Being the maximum value that I can get with my Sound Blaster, I thought to use a sinusoidal signal from a function generator, with an amplitude close to 2.4 Vp-p. And, the TX part works ! The RF power output is less the 1 watt, but it is enough to light a 12V small bulb.

      So, in my case, I think that the main issue is the low level output on my sound card. Now, I start to build a little stereo amplifier, in order to improve my output level.

      Best 73!

      Catalin, YO3FVR



      --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "ke4ekx" <ihatespam@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hey can somebody help me here:
      >
      > I got my RXTX working well on the receiving side and I have a few questions for the transmitting side. I have not found a clear description of what is really going on but here is what i gather.
      >
      > When I need to transmit, I am thinking the SDR program sends command 0x50 through the usb port to the si570. The frequency is already set up, and the attiny85 brings line PB4 high. This turns on the led in the opto isolator and the PTT line gets conducted to ground, the transmitter is now activitated. If there is a tone coming out of the laptop or computer sound card, or other modulation, this is mixed with the carrier and the transmitter transmits the modulation mixed with the carrier and we have modulated RF on the antenna jack. It looks to me that if the paddle jack, pin 5 (the tip) is connected to ground, the attiny85 sees this on PB5. The sdr software is reading the attiny85 with command 0x51 and then reads the PB5 and PB1 pins and the software knows if it is a dot or a dash. Then the appropriate tone duration is used and tadah! we have cw.
      >
      > The question is, how do I get HDSDR to transmit, or Rocky, or anything for that matter? I can press the TX button with a tone and it transmits a tone, but the keyer doesnt work. You would think connecting the tip on the keyer plug to ground would tell the software that I want to transmit, it would generate the i/q tone, it would go out the laptop speaker, into the rxtx, the attiny85 would raise pb4, and the tone would be transmitted until the keyer is released. Try as I might, I cant get the Rocky program or hdsdr to do this. I can do it manually but I think I am missing some program step here. The si570 obviously is changing freq, the transmitter transmits, and the mixer mixes. The test routine in the cfgsdr recognizes the cw keyer but I cant get the PTT to activate from the keyer. It goes into the attiny85 but its like the sdr software sees this in test mode but not in operation mode. The ABPF box is unchecked by the way.
      >
      > The other question is why do I have to use two external usb sound cards with windows 7, but with xp I can use the internal sound and an external usb sound card. Thats what the builders notes say, but they dont say why. I have never been able to get a tone out of the laptop speaker (windows 7), or the the keyer to activate the ptt in the software, even though the test in cfgsdr shows it working.
      >
      > Last question is, and this may be a clue, when I use the cw keyer in the test tab on cfgsdr, the cw1 indicator works, the cw2 works also, but when cw2 is indicated, the si570 panel says the si570 is not connected. Looking at the schematic, PB1 is grounded with cw2 activity. PB1 is also connected to SDA on the si570. So when Q1 is conducting to ground, the serial data line is grounded. Why would the data line of the si570 need to be grounded? PB1 is used as an output to feed the data into the si570, but used as an input when keying?
      >
      >
      > Thanks in advance!
      > Sam
      >
    • Alan
      ... From: Catalin Subject: [softrock40] Re: Ensemble RXTX transmit ... Catalin, Your measurements do show a low output from the soundcard. I presume you have
      Message 2 of 7 , Feb 1, 2012
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Catalin"
        Subject: [softrock40] Re: Ensemble RXTX transmit


        >
        > Again, I started looking for information about the requirements of the
        > sound card and I noticed something very strange: there are very few
        > references to the output level of the Sound Blaster signal. I measured
        > about 1,4 Vp-p at my speaker output level, with 1 Vp-p lower then the
        > value specified by WB5RVZ in his documentation, at chapter 10 (PA) -
        > http://www.wb5rvz.com/sdr/ensemble/10_pa.htm -
        > section abouta "PA Output - Scope Test".
        >
        > Being the maximum value that I can get with my Sound Blaster, I thought to
        > use a sinusoidal signal from a function generator, with an amplitude close
        > to 2.4 Vp-p. And, the TX part works ! > So, in my case, I think that the
        > main issue is the low level output on my sound card. Now, I start to build
        > a little stereo amplifier, in order to improve my output level.
        >

        Catalin,

        Your measurements do show a low output from the soundcard. I presume you
        have set the sliders to maximum.
        But even these low levels should drive the Softrock and you should see,
        perhaps 200mW. I suggest a simple diode and meter across a 50 ohm load would
        give meaningful measurements and be better than a light bulb.
        Rather than build a preamp it should be possible to increase the gain of the
        Softrock opamp. I think just increasing R16, R19 should do it.
        If no-one answers this message I suggest you start a new thread, often it is
        a mistake to ask an new question in an old thread.

        73 Alan G4ZFQ
      • g8voip
        Hi Catalin, Remember if you feed a single sine wave into the transmitter rather than proper I/Q signals you will end up with a double sideband signal, i.e. no
        Message 3 of 7 , Feb 1, 2012
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          Hi Catalin,

          Remember if you feed a single sine wave into the transmitter rather than proper I/Q signals you will end up with a double sideband signal, i.e. no TX image rejection.

          Measuring the output power with a wideband device such as a diode probe, light bulb etc will show the total power, but of course half is in the unwanted sideband.

          What SDR program are you using as usually they can provide too much audio drive level and need to be reduced to avoid the SoftRock being driven into distortion. For CW set the drive for 1W, for SSB keep the output to around 500mW for the best spectral output, particularly if you intend to add any amplifier afterwards.

          73, Bob G8VOI


          --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "Catalin" <yo3fvr@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi Sam !
          >
          > I finished also the transceiver's building few days ago and I have the same problem as you, on the TX part.
          >
          > Reading the posts on this group, I concluded that for tests, it is not necessary to use a sound blaster card, but only the I/Q signal at the transceiver's input. I found some recorded signals but even with these I did not start the TX. I use also the software application recommended by WB5RVZ (IQ Gen), but with no effect.
          >
          > Again, I started looking for information about the requirements of the sound card and I noticed something very strange: there are very few references to the output level of the Sound Blaster signal. I measured about 1,4 Vp-p at my speaker output level, with 1 Vp-p lower then the value specified by WB5RVZ in his documentation, at chapter 10 (PA) - http://www.wb5rvz.com/sdr/ensemble/10_pa.htm -
          > section abouta "PA Output - Scope Test".
          >
          > Being the maximum value that I can get with my Sound Blaster, I thought to use a sinusoidal signal from a function generator, with an amplitude close to 2.4 Vp-p. And, the TX part works ! The RF power output is less the 1 watt, but it is enough to light a 12V small bulb.
          >
          > So, in my case, I think that the main issue is the low level output on my sound card. Now, I start to build a little stereo amplifier, in order to improve my output level.
          >
          > Best 73!
          >
          > Catalin, YO3FVR
          >
          >
          >
          > --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "ke4ekx" <ihatespam@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Hey can somebody help me here:
          > >
          > > I got my RXTX working well on the receiving side and I have a few questions for the transmitting side. I have not found a clear description of what is really going on but here is what i gather.
          > >
          > > When I need to transmit, I am thinking the SDR program sends command 0x50 through the usb port to the si570. The frequency is already set up, and the attiny85 brings line PB4 high. This turns on the led in the opto isolator and the PTT line gets conducted to ground, the transmitter is now activitated. If there is a tone coming out of the laptop or computer sound card, or other modulation, this is mixed with the carrier and the transmitter transmits the modulation mixed with the carrier and we have modulated RF on the antenna jack. It looks to me that if the paddle jack, pin 5 (the tip) is connected to ground, the attiny85 sees this on PB5. The sdr software is reading the attiny85 with command 0x51 and then reads the PB5 and PB1 pins and the software knows if it is a dot or a dash. Then the appropriate tone duration is used and tadah! we have cw.
          > >
          > > The question is, how do I get HDSDR to transmit, or Rocky, or anything for that matter? I can press the TX button with a tone and it transmits a tone, but the keyer doesnt work. You would think connecting the tip on the keyer plug to ground would tell the software that I want to transmit, it would generate the i/q tone, it would go out the laptop speaker, into the rxtx, the attiny85 would raise pb4, and the tone would be transmitted until the keyer is released. Try as I might, I cant get the Rocky program or hdsdr to do this. I can do it manually but I think I am missing some program step here. The si570 obviously is changing freq, the transmitter transmits, and the mixer mixes. The test routine in the cfgsdr recognizes the cw keyer but I cant get the PTT to activate from the keyer. It goes into the attiny85 but its like the sdr software sees this in test mode but not in operation mode. The ABPF box is unchecked by the way.
          > >
          > > The other question is why do I have to use two external usb sound cards with windows 7, but with xp I can use the internal sound and an external usb sound card. Thats what the builders notes say, but they dont say why. I have never been able to get a tone out of the laptop speaker (windows 7), or the the keyer to activate the ptt in the software, even though the test in cfgsdr shows it working.
          > >
          > > Last question is, and this may be a clue, when I use the cw keyer in the test tab on cfgsdr, the cw1 indicator works, the cw2 works also, but when cw2 is indicated, the si570 panel says the si570 is not connected. Looking at the schematic, PB1 is grounded with cw2 activity. PB1 is also connected to SDA on the si570. So when Q1 is conducting to ground, the serial data line is grounded. Why would the data line of the si570 need to be grounded? PB1 is used as an output to feed the data into the si570, but used as an input when keying?
          > >
          > >
          > > Thanks in advance!
          > > Sam
          > >
          >
        • Catalin
          Dear Alan, dear Bob, Thank you both for your hints ! I will follow them as soon as the weekend begins. And, I will be back, in a new post. Best 73 ! Catalin,
          Message 4 of 7 , Feb 1, 2012
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            Dear Alan, dear Bob,

            Thank you both for your hints ! I will follow them as soon as the weekend begins. And, I will be back, in a new post.

            Best 73 !

            Catalin, YO3FVR

            --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "g8voip" <g8voi.reeves59@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Sam,
            >
            > The I2C SDA line and one CW paddle input share the same I/O pin on the ATtiny chip. Once the Si570 frequency is set, when you go to transmit, there is no need to communicate with the Si570, so the line is used for the CW key input. Its the only way it was possible to do it with the limited number of I/O pins available on the 8 pin ATtint chip. Apart from the error message seen on the CFGSR Test tab, in practice it has no other ill effects.
            >
            > Forget about HDSDR for transmitting for the moment, it is at a very early stage in its development and not really of any practical use yet.
            >
            > Rocky can automatically control the PTT line via the USB commands. In CW mode, select VOX mode from the Transmit pulldown and it will key up the SoftRock when the paddles or CW key is pressed.
            >
            > Likewise PowerSDR controls the PTT over the USB interface, or you can use virtual COM ports to link an external datamode program to PSDR to control the PTT.
            >
            > Not used Windows 7 for any SDR use here, so cannot answer the soundcard problems apart from a very general comment. Rocky supports using two separate sound cards, but is very limitted in its facilities. Most Windows users opt for running one of the modified versions of PowerSDR such as one of Christos SV1EIA's versions. Whilst it is possible to get some limited results running 2 sound cards, to use PSDR properly requires a decent sound card providing 2 pairs of stereo line inputs and outputs. The Delta 44 PCI card is by far the most popular, for USB there are a couple of EMU devices or Christos SV1EIA's USB2SDR module.
            >
            > 73, Bob G8VOI
            >
            >
            > --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "ke4ekx" <ihatespam@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Hey can somebody help me here:
            > >
            > > I got my RXTX working well on the receiving side and I have a few questions for the transmitting side. I have not found a clear description of what is really going on but here is what i gather.
            > >
            > > When I need to transmit, I am thinking the SDR program sends command 0x50 through the usb port to the si570. The frequency is already set up, and the attiny85 brings line PB4 high. This turns on the led in the opto isolator and the PTT line gets conducted to ground, the transmitter is now activitated. If there is a tone coming out of the laptop or computer sound card, or other modulation, this is mixed with the carrier and the transmitter transmits the modulation mixed with the carrier and we have modulated RF on the antenna jack. It looks to me that if the paddle jack, pin 5 (the tip) is connected to ground, the attiny85 sees this on PB5. The sdr software is reading the attiny85 with command 0x51 and then reads the PB5 and PB1 pins and the software knows if it is a dot or a dash. Then the appropriate tone duration is used and tadah! we have cw.
            > >
            > > The question is, how do I get HDSDR to transmit, or Rocky, or anything for that matter? I can press the TX button with a tone and it transmits a tone, but the keyer doesnt work. You would think connecting the tip on the keyer plug to ground would tell the software that I want to transmit, it would generate the i/q tone, it would go out the laptop speaker, into the rxtx, the attiny85 would raise pb4, and the tone would be transmitted until the keyer is released. Try as I might, I cant get the Rocky program or hdsdr to do this. I can do it manually but I think I am missing some program step here. The si570 obviously is changing freq, the transmitter transmits, and the mixer mixes. The test routine in the cfgsdr recognizes the cw keyer but I cant get the PTT to activate from the keyer. It goes into the attiny85 but its like the sdr software sees this in test mode but not in operation mode. The ABPF box is unchecked by the way.
            > >
            > > The other question is why do I have to use two external usb sound cards with windows 7, but with xp I can use the internal sound and an external usb sound card. Thats what the builders notes say, but they dont say why. I have never been able to get a tone out of the laptop speaker (windows 7), or the the keyer to activate the ptt in the software, even though the test in cfgsdr shows it working.
            > >
            > > Last question is, and this may be a clue, when I use the cw keyer in the test tab on cfgsdr, the cw1 indicator works, the cw2 works also, but when cw2 is indicated, the si570 panel says the si570 is not connected. Looking at the schematic, PB1 is grounded with cw2 activity. PB1 is also connected to SDA on the si570. So when Q1 is conducting to ground, the serial data line is grounded. Why would the data line of the si570 need to be grounded? PB1 is used as an output to feed the data into the si570, but used as an input when keying?
            > >
            > >
            > > Thanks in advance!
            > > Sam
            > >
            >
          • Alan
            ... From: Catalin Subject: [softrock40] Re: Ensemble RXTX transmit ... Catalin, I note that in my tests of an RXTX about 1V2 pk-pk audio gave me 500mW RF
            Message 5 of 7 , Feb 2, 2012
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              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Catalin"
              Subject: [softrock40] Re: Ensemble RXTX transmit


              >I measured about 1,4 Vp-p at my speaker output level,

              Catalin,

              I note that in my tests of an RXTX about 1V2 pk-pk audio gave me 500mW RF
              out.
              <http://sites.google.com/site/g4zfqradio/levels-measured-in-a-softrock-tx>

              73 Alan G4ZFQ
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