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Made a QSO with SDR exciter

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  • Terry
    Well, I have added myself to those who actually made a QSO using Tony s new exciter. At 855PM this evening, I was able to talk with WU9F in Madison, WI (his
    Message 1 of 7 , Oct 1, 2006
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      Well, I have added myself to those who actually made a QSO using Tony's
      new exciter. At 855PM this evening, I was able to talk with WU9F in
      Madison, WI (his name is also Terry). My RST was only 449, but it came
      up during the QSO. Madison on 1/2 watt from Charleston, SC isn't too
      bad for a first-time contact.

      Now, if only I can figure out PowerSDR with my laptop (keying and turn-
      around of audio is a pain). Tx/Rx changeover was a lot of fun!!
      Terry
    • Bill Tracey
      Congrats Terry. Guess I forgot to post on how the Tx/Rx changeover can be seutp -- PowerSDR can use a serial port on the PC to control the SoftRock T/R
      Message 2 of 7 , Oct 1, 2006
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        Congrats Terry.

        Guess I forgot to post on how the Tx/Rx changeover can be seutp --
        PowerSDR can use a serial port on the PC to control the SoftRock T/R switching

        To set it up, you will need to go into Setup->CAT and Enable PTT Control
        on that page, by selecting a port and checking RTS as the pin to use.

        The comm port will be setup such that:

        DTR - T/R out positive = Xmit, negative=Recv -- this goes the SoftRock
        T/R line

        RTS - will be tied positive

        CTS - PTT in -- pull high to xmit.

        If PowerSDR insists upon going into MOX when you start it you will need to
        start it with a --ignore-pp-ptt option to get it to ignore the parallel port.

        You can also hook a key to the Serial port and use PowerSDR's keyer --
        I'll have to look around a bit and find the docs on the wiring for that.

        Cheers,

        Bill (kd5tfd)

        At 08:15 PM 10/1/2006, Terry wrote:
        >Well, I have added myself to those who actually made a QSO using Tony's
        >new exciter. At 855PM this evening, I was able to talk with WU9F in
        >Madison, WI (his name is also Terry). My RST was only 449, but it came
        >up during the QSO. Madison on 1/2 watt from Charleston, SC isn't too
        >bad for a first-time contact.
        >
        >Now, if only I can figure out PowerSDR with my laptop (keying and turn-
        >around of audio is a pain). Tx/Rx changeover was a lot of fun!!
        >Terry
      • Terry Fox
        Thanks Bill. I got the Tx control via DTR working before the QSO, but I had two other issues - both related to using a laptop on my bench. The first issue is
        Message 3 of 7 , Oct 1, 2006
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          Thanks Bill.  I got the Tx control via DTR working before the QSO, but I had two other issues - both related to using a laptop on my bench.
           
          The first issue is having to plug and unplug the audio out from laptop sound card to exciter.  In receive I needed it unplugged to hear the receive signal on the laptop speakers.  In transmit, I needed to plug it in so the IF audio gets to the exciter.  I have two sound cards in the laptop, the internal one and an Audigy 2 ZS PCMCIA card.  I use the Audigy for receiving, but I cannot seem to get the PowerSDR to use the Audigy for transmit.  Once I figure that out, I no longer need to change the cable, and can use the internal sound card for hearing the receiver.
           
          The second issue is that once I used COM1 for the PTT, I couldn't get PowerSDR to also use COM1 for a key input.  Therefore, I had to use keyboard typing for the QSO.  This leads to a carrier always on whenever the keyboard buffer is empty (or if Iambic is enabled, continuous dots and dashes being transmitted).  Can one use the same COM port for both PTT out and keyer in?  I haven't figured out that magic yet.
           
          I admit that while I printed out the over 200 pages of PowerSDR manual, I only read a minimum to get it running so far.  I am reading more as I can now, however.
           
          Thanks for the response, and thanks for helping make this a fun project.
          Terry
          WB4JFI
           
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Sunday, October 01, 2006 9:47 PM
          Subject: Re: [softrock40] Made a QSO with SDR exciter

          Congrats Terry.

          Guess I forgot to post on how the Tx/Rx changeover can be seutp --
          PowerSDR can use a serial port on the PC to control the SoftRock T/R switching

          To set it up, you will need to go into Setup->CAT and Enable PTT Control
          on that page, by selecting a port and checking RTS as the pin to use.

          The comm port will be setup such that:

          DTR - T/R out positive = Xmit, negative=Recv -- this goes the SoftRock
          T/R line

          RTS - will be tied positive

          CTS - PTT in -- pull high to xmit.

          If PowerSDR insists upon going into MOX when you start it you will need to
          start it with a --ignore-pp- ptt option to get it to ignore the parallel port.

          You can also hook a key to the Serial port and use PowerSDR's keyer --
          I'll have to look around a bit and find the docs on the wiring for that.

          Cheers,

          Bill (kd5tfd)

          At 08:15 PM 10/1/2006, Terry wrote:
          >Well, I have added myself to those who actually made a QSO using Tony's
          >new exciter. At 855PM this evening, I was able to talk with WU9F in
          >Madison, WI (his name is also Terry). My RST was only 449, but it came
          >up during the QSO. Madison on 1/2 watt from Charleston, SC isn't too
          >bad for a first-time contact.
          >
          >Now, if only I can figure out PowerSDR with my laptop (keying and turn-
          >around of audio is a pain). Tx/Rx changeover was a lot of fun!!
          >Terry

        • Terry
          Bill, could you provide some guidance? Thanks in advance for helping with this. I am busy digesting the SDR-1000 manual, but can no longer transmit properly.
          Message 4 of 7 , Oct 2, 2006
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            Bill, could you provide some guidance? Thanks in advance for helping
            with this. I am busy digesting the SDR-1000 manual, but can no
            longer transmit properly. Feel free to communicate directly
            (tfox@...) if you think this is off-topic here.

            I've looked through the SDR-100 manual now, and am still puzzled. I
            have gone backwards, in that I can't seem to change the transmit
            frequency anymore. I am using the Soft Rock exciter, not an SDR-1000.

            1. After playing a lot with the sound card controls, it appears that
            changing sound card input/output/mixer selections only affects the
            SDR software the next time PowerSDR is started. Is that correct,
            that these selections cannot happen "on the fly"?

            2. Is there any way to use the same COM port for both PTT out and
            keyer input?

            3. Is there a way to select one sound card for the IF/RF (tx & rx
            audio), and a different sound card for receive audio to speakers (and
            mic input for eventual SSB)? Would VAC enable me to do that? I have
            an Audigy 4 ZS Notebook (PCMCIA card) for RF sampling, and the
            motherboard sound card could be used for listening to receive audio.
            I haven't messed with VAC yet. That would avoid having to plu &
            unplug stuff between Tx and Rx.

            4. After my first QSO, I haven't had any more luck. It appears that
            no matter where in the 48kHz band I select to listen, the transmit
            audio is the same tone as the TUN tone. I thought it had been
            changing frequency, but now it's not. This is verified with a scope
            and listening on a separate rig. Both the DDS and VFO locks are
            off. What stupid thing am I doing wrong?

            I think that's it for now.
            Thanks again.
            Terry
            WB4JFI




            --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "Terry Fox" <wb4jfi@...> wrote:
            >
            > Thanks Bill. I got the Tx control via DTR working before the QSO,
            but I had two other issues - both related to using a laptop on my
            bench.
            >
            > The first issue is having to plug and unplug the audio out from
            laptop sound card to exciter. In receive I needed it unplugged to
            hear the receive signal on the laptop speakers. In transmit, I
            needed to plug it in so the IF audio gets to the exciter. I have two
            sound cards in the laptop, the internal one and an Audigy 2 ZS PCMCIA
            card. I use the Audigy for receiving, but I cannot seem to get the
            PowerSDR to use the Audigy for transmit. Once I figure that out, I
            no longer need to change the cable, and can use the internal sound
            card for hearing the receiver.
            >
            > The second issue is that once I used COM1 for the PTT, I couldn't
            get PowerSDR to also use COM1 for a key input. Therefore, I had to
            use keyboard typing for the QSO. This leads to a carrier always on
            whenever the keyboard buffer is empty (or if Iambic is enabled,
            continuous dots and dashes being transmitted). Can one use the same
            COM port for both PTT out and keyer in? I haven't figured out that
            magic yet.
            >
            > I admit that while I printed out the over 200 pages of PowerSDR
            manual, I only read a minimum to get it running so far. I am reading
            more as I can now, however.
            >
            > Thanks for the response, and thanks for helping make this a fun
            project.
            > Terry
            > WB4JFI
            >
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: Bill Tracey
            > To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com ; softrock40@yahoogroups.com
            > Sent: Sunday, October 01, 2006 9:47 PM
            > Subject: Re: [softrock40] Made a QSO with SDR exciter
            >
            >
            > Congrats Terry.
            >
            > Guess I forgot to post on how the Tx/Rx changeover can be seutp --

            > PowerSDR can use a serial port on the PC to control the SoftRock
            T/R switching
            >
            > To set it up, you will need to go into Setup->CAT and Enable PTT
            Control
            > on that page, by selecting a port and checking RTS as the pin to
            use.
            >
            > The comm port will be setup such that:
            >
            > DTR - T/R out positive = Xmit, negative=Recv -- this goes the
            SoftRock
            > T/R line
            >
            > RTS - will be tied positive
            >
            > CTS - PTT in -- pull high to xmit.
            >
            > If PowerSDR insists upon going into MOX when you start it you
            will need to
            > start it with a --ignore-pp-ptt option to get it to ignore the
            parallel port.
            >
            > You can also hook a key to the Serial port and use PowerSDR's
            keyer --
            > I'll have to look around a bit and find the docs on the wiring
            for that.
            >
            > Cheers,
            >
            > Bill (kd5tfd)
            >
            > At 08:15 PM 10/1/2006, Terry wrote:
            > >Well, I have added myself to those who actually made a QSO using
            Tony's
            > >new exciter. At 855PM this evening, I was able to talk with WU9F
            in
            > >Madison, WI (his name is also Terry). My RST was only 449, but
            it came
            > >up during the QSO. Madison on 1/2 watt from Charleston, SC isn't
            too
            > >bad for a first-time contact.
            > >
            > >Now, if only I can figure out PowerSDR with my laptop (keying
            and turn-
            > >around of audio is a pain). Tx/Rx changeover was a lot of fun!!
            > >Terry
            >
          • Bill Tracey
            Comments in line below. ... Don t really know. I d think hitting the Power button on the console would cause it to change sound devices. ... I think it should
            Message 5 of 7 , Oct 2, 2006
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              Comments in line below.

              At 07:40 PM 10/2/2006, Terry wrote:
              >Bill, could you provide some guidance? Thanks in advance for helping
              >with this. I am busy digesting the SDR-1000 manual, but can no
              >longer transmit properly. Feel free to communicate directly
              >(tfox@...) if you think this is off-topic here.
              >
              > I've looked through the SDR-100 manual now, and am still puzzled. I
              >have gone backwards, in that I can't seem to change the transmit
              >frequency anymore. I am using the Soft Rock exciter, not an SDR-1000.
              >
              >1. After playing a lot with the sound card controls, it appears that
              >changing sound card input/output/mixer selections only affects the
              >SDR software the next time PowerSDR is started. Is that correct,
              >that these selections cannot happen "on the fly"?

              Don't really know. I'd think hitting the Power button on the console would
              cause it to change sound devices.


              >2. Is there any way to use the same COM port for both PTT out and
              >keyer input?

              I think it should work, but I've never set it up myself so cannot say for
              sure. Will try and set it up here and fix the code if it can't be done.


              >3. Is there a way to select one sound card for the IF/RF (tx & rx
              >audio), and a different sound card for receive audio to speakers (and
              >mic input for eventual SSB)? Would VAC enable me to do that? I have
              >an Audigy 4 ZS Notebook (PCMCIA card) for RF sampling, and the
              >motherboard sound card could be used for listening to receive audio.
              >I haven't messed with VAC yet. That would avoid having to plu &
              >unplug stuff between Tx and Rx.

              I think this can be done with VAC. Quite sure it cannot be done without it.


              >4. After my first QSO, I haven't had any more luck. It appears that
              >no matter where in the 48kHz band I select to listen, the transmit
              >audio is the same tone as the TUN tone. I thought it had been
              >changing frequency, but now it's not. This is verified with a scope
              >and listening on a separate rig. Both the DDS and VFO locks are
              >off. What stupid thing am I doing wrong?

              No idea on this one -- any chance the hardware configuration has changed
              and the code thinks it has an SDR 1000 attached?


              >I think that's it for now.
              >Thanks again.
              >Terry
              >WB4JFI
            • Terry
              Thank you for the very quick response. Here is what I just found out regarding tx frequency setting. If I just tune in a receive signal, the transmit audio
              Message 6 of 7 , Oct 2, 2006
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                Thank you for the very quick response.

                Here is what I just found out regarding tx frequency setting. If I
                just tune in a receive signal, the transmit audio does not change
                frequency. Probably a good thing, in tha it prevents small receive
                tuning changes to afec the transmit frequency as well. I had been
                tuning in a station on receive, then hitting MOX to respond to their
                CQ. That doesn't work, as the Tx freq is wherever you left it.

                In order to move the transmit freq to match the newly tuned-in Rx
                freq, I must first select one of the pre-canned messages to send (CWX
                page), then hit stop. Only then does the tx frequency move. Also,
                the KEY button on the CWX page does not key the transmitter, I must
                hit the MOX button of the main screen to transmit on the proper freq.

                Regarding the PTT & keyer: Under the CAT control, I have selected
                COM1 and DTR (I can change to RTS). Then, when I go to the DSP tab,
                keyer subtab, and try to select Com1 uner connections/primary, I get
                a message saying "Primary Keyer Port [COM1] could not be opened". If
                I try to select COM1 under secondary, I get a message box
                saying "Comport for keyer program could not be opened". My wish
                would be to allow the PTT and both iambic key paddle connections to
                be on the same COM port.

                I really apologize if this is normal, and I am not using the software
                right. Please take the above as being helpful, and identifying
                potential issues.

                Terry


                --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, Bill Tracey <kd5tfd@...> wrote:
                >
                > Comments in line below.
                >
                > At 07:40 PM 10/2/2006, Terry wrote:
                > >Bill, could you provide some guidance? Thanks in advance for
                helping
                > >with this. I am busy digesting the SDR-1000 manual, but can no
                > >longer transmit properly. Feel free to communicate directly
                > >(tfox@...) if you think this is off-topic here.
                > >
                > > I've looked through the SDR-100 manual now, and am still
                puzzled. I
                > >have gone backwards, in that I can't seem to change the transmit
                > >frequency anymore. I am using the Soft Rock exciter, not an SDR-
                1000.
                > >
                > >1. After playing a lot with the sound card controls, it appears
                that
                > >changing sound card input/output/mixer selections only affects the
                > >SDR software the next time PowerSDR is started. Is that correct,
                > >that these selections cannot happen "on the fly"?
                >
                > Don't really know. I'd think hitting the Power button on the
                console would
                > cause it to change sound devices.
                >
                >
                > >2. Is there any way to use the same COM port for both PTT out and
                > >keyer input?
                >
                > I think it should work, but I've never set it up myself so cannot
                say for
                > sure. Will try and set it up here and fix the code if it can't be
                done.
                >
                >
                > >3. Is there a way to select one sound card for the IF/RF (tx & rx
                > >audio), and a different sound card for receive audio to speakers
                (and
                > >mic input for eventual SSB)? Would VAC enable me to do that? I
                have
                > >an Audigy 4 ZS Notebook (PCMCIA card) for RF sampling, and the
                > >motherboard sound card could be used for listening to receive
                audio.
                > >I haven't messed with VAC yet. That would avoid having to plu &
                > >unplug stuff between Tx and Rx.
                >
                > I think this can be done with VAC. Quite sure it cannot be done
                without it.
                >
                >
                > >4. After my first QSO, I haven't had any more luck. It appears
                that
                > >no matter where in the 48kHz band I select to listen, the transmit
                > >audio is the same tone as the TUN tone. I thought it had been
                > >changing frequency, but now it's not. This is verified with a
                scope
                > >and listening on a separate rig. Both the DDS and VFO locks are
                > >off. What stupid thing am I doing wrong?
                >
                > No idea on this one -- any chance the hardware configuration has
                changed
                > and the code thinks it has an SDR 1000 attached?
                >
                >
                > >I think that's it for now.
                > >Thanks again.
                > >Terry
                > >WB4JFI
                >
              • Bill Tracey
                Hi Terry, No need for apologies -- you re finding glitches I need to go hunt down. The xmit frequency thing makes a bit of sense to me now. I m setting the
                Message 7 of 7 , Oct 2, 2006
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                  Hi Terry,

                  No need for apologies -- you're finding glitches I need to go hunt down.

                  The xmit frequency thing makes a bit of sense to me now. I'm setting the
                  xmit frequency in the MOX button handling code - so am somewhat confused
                  why that is not working. Will have to dig into the code -- sounds like
                  there's a path thru there I did not catch.

                  PTT & Keyer needing to be under different COM ports -- looks like I need
                  to make parts of the code aware of each other. The keyer code wants to
                  open and control the port and the CAT part of the code has already done
                  it. Will add it to the list of things to fix. I too would like to get
                  the PTT out to the SR and keyer connections on the same comm port.

                  Regards,

                  Bill (kd5tfd)

                  At 10:31 PM 10/2/2006, Terry wrote:
                  >Thank you for the very quick response.
                  >
                  >Here is what I just found out regarding tx frequency setting. If I
                  >just tune in a receive signal, the transmit audio does not change
                  >frequency. Probably a good thing, in tha it prevents small receive
                  >tuning changes to afec the transmit frequency as well. I had been
                  >tuning in a station on receive, then hitting MOX to respond to their
                  >CQ. That doesn't work, as the Tx freq is wherever you left it.
                  >
                  >In order to move the transmit freq to match the newly tuned-in Rx
                  >freq, I must first select one of the pre-canned messages to send (CWX
                  >page), then hit stop. Only then does the tx frequency move. Also,
                  >the KEY button on the CWX page does not key the transmitter, I must
                  >hit the MOX button of the main screen to transmit on the proper freq.
                  >
                  >Regarding the PTT & keyer: Under the CAT control, I have selected
                  >COM1 and DTR (I can change to RTS). Then, when I go to the DSP tab,
                  >keyer subtab, and try to select Com1 uner connections/primary, I get
                  >a message saying "Primary Keyer Port [COM1] could not be opened". If
                  >I try to select COM1 under secondary, I get a message box
                  >saying "Comport for keyer program could not be opened". My wish
                  >would be to allow the PTT and both iambic key paddle connections to
                  >be on the same COM port.
                  >
                  >I really apologize if this is normal, and I am not using the software
                  >right. Please take the above as being helpful, and identifying
                  >potential issues.
                  >
                  >Terry
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