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Re: Inexpensive USB audio dongle

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  • kenahardy
    David I am so glad you posted your experience with the Enermax Dreambass. I purchased one from Amazon a month or so back to replace my old Soundblaster Live
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 10, 2013
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      David

      I am so glad you posted your experience with the Enermax Dreambass.
      I purchased one from Amazon a month or so back to replace my old
      Soundblaster Live 24bit USB I use with my laptop.
      having received it I was very disappointed as despite the spec. defining it as stereo mic and earphone out all it seemed to give was a mono SDR display.
      Eventually after several several hours of frustration it got consigned
      to my junk box as another one of my failed purchases.
      Then I spotted your message and pulled out the Enermax again. Straitway by inserting a delay of 1 on the right channel of HDSDR
      I had a stereo SDR display. With Rocky a minus 1 Rx delay also
      does the trick.
      The XP Windows driver that loads on plugging it in is exactly the same as for the old Soundblaster.
      I am very pleased as it seems to give a lower noise base than I had before.

      Happy SDR softrocking and thanks again
      Ken M0XBK

      --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "David" <g0jvy@...> wrote:
      >
      > As you know many netbooks and laptops only have a mono audio input thus severely limiting their usefulness for playing with SDR. Earlier this year, on this list, the Enermax AP001 Dreambass Genie USB dongle was suggested as a solution. At the time these were difficult to find in the UK but now Scan (www.scan.co.uk) are selling them through their webshop and their Ebay store for just 6 GBP (about $9). There is also a version that comes with earphones for a little more. Unfortunately, their delivery charge is another 5 GBP!
      >
      > I had a play with one of these odd looking dongles and it does seem reasonable value for money. For one thing, it can transform your mono 16-bit 48 ksps netbook into something that can work in stereo 24-bit 96 ksps mode even though it might not have the best performance.
      >
      > I have only done some limited testing with a homebrew quadrature signal generator. One thing I noticed was that the left and right channels are not sampled synchronously: there seems to be a one sample delay between them. This can be accommodated by the HDSDR software; once the delay is set in HDSDR's channel skew adjustment panel, image rejection is very good. On the other hand, because the constant time delay introduces a frequency dependent phase difference between the channels, the clever automatic IQ correction used by SDR# fails. In fact, my initial tests were with SDR# and the lack of image rejection made me think the dongle had a mono input.
      >
      > I am not affiliated with Scan - I just thought someone might like to know about this source of inexpensive dongles.
      >
      > David G0JVY
      >
    • David
      ... Hi Ken, I did mean to answer when I first saw your post a few days ago. Anyway, I m happy to hear that my information helped you. I m only sorry it came
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 14, 2013
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        "kenahardy" wrote:

        > I am so glad you posted your experience with the Enermax Dreambass.

        Hi Ken,

        I did mean to answer when I first saw your post a few days ago. Anyway, I'm happy to hear that my information helped you. I'm only sorry it came after the several hours of frustration you had. You might like to know that after failing to get good results with SDR#, the way I discovered the problem with the dongle was with Audacity ("Free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds").

        I should say I wasn't technically correct when I said "the left and right channels are not sampled synchronously", they are, it's just a "packaging" problem for want of a better word. It seems crazy that a left channel sample is packaged with the right channel sample taken one sampling period earlier. It's a pity that some SDR applications don't have any means of correcting for this defect. Of course, perhaps someone more clever than I am could write a driver wrapper to eliminate the skew before it becomes a problem for the application.

        Cheers,

        David G0JVY
      • jor
        Hi David and Ken, The Dreambass works good also correcting the phase error in SDR# Be aware thad the sterio audio plug has the propper size otherwise you can
        Message 3 of 6 , Mar 15, 2013
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          Hi David and Ken,

          The Dreambass works good also correcting the phase error in SDR#
          Be aware thad the sterio audio plug has the propper size otherwise you can make connect it as a mono in the Dreambass socket.
          See photo in files PE1KTH.

          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/softrock40/files/PE1KTH%20%20SDR%20AND%20SOUNDCART%20INFO%20%20AND%20%20APT%20%20INFO/

          73' Joris PE1KTH


          --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "David" <g0jvy@...> wrote:
          >
          > "kenahardy" wrote:
          >
          > > I am so glad you posted your experience with the Enermax Dreambass.
          >
          > Hi Ken,
          >
          > I did mean to answer when I first saw your post a few days ago. Anyway, I'm happy to hear that my information helped you. I'm only sorry it came after the several hours of frustration you had. You might like to know that after failing to get good results with SDR#, the way I discovered the problem with the dongle was with Audacity ("Free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds").
          >
          > I should say I wasn't technically correct when I said "the left and right channels are not sampled synchronously", they are, it's just a "packaging" problem for want of a better word. It seems crazy that a left channel sample is packaged with the right channel sample taken one sampling period earlier. It's a pity that some SDR applications don't have any means of correcting for this defect. Of course, perhaps someone more clever than I am could write a driver wrapper to eliminate the skew before it becomes a problem for the application.
          >
          > Cheers,
          >
          > David G0JVY
          >
        • Kenneth Hardy
          David and Jor   Thanks all your interesting information and  technical update. Just to say here I am getting used to the blue pyrotechnics now and and
          Message 4 of 6 , Mar 16, 2013
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            David and Jor
             
            Thanks all your interesting information and  technical update. Just to say here I am getting used to the blue pyrotechnics now and
            and would  be happy to recommend the Endermass to anyone  as a cheap fix to overcome their soundcard difficulties.
            Ken M0XBK

            From: jor <kthkit@...>
            To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Friday, March 15, 2013 3:05 PM
            Subject: [softrock40] Re: Inexpensive USB audio dongle
             
            Hi David and Ken,

            The Dreambass works good also correcting the phase error in SDR#
            Be aware thad the sterio audio plug has the propper size otherwise you can make connect it as a mono in the Dreambass socket.
            See photo in files PE1KTH.

            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/softrock40/files/PE1KTH%20%20SDR%20AND%20SOUNDCART%20INFO%20%20AND%20%20APT%20%20INFO/

            73' Joris PE1KTH

            --- In mailto:softrock40%40yahoogroups.com, "David" <g0jvy@...> wrote:
            >
            > "kenahardy" wrote:
            >
            > > I am so glad you posted your experience with the Enermax Dreambass.
            >
            > Hi Ken,
            >
            > I did mean to answer when I first saw your post a few days ago. Anyway, I'm happy to hear that my information helped you. I'm only sorry it came after the several hours of frustration you had. You might like to know that after failing to get good results with SDR#, the way I discovered the problem with the dongle was with Audacity ("Free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds").
            >
            > I should say I wasn't technically correct when I said "the left and right channels are not sampled synchronously", they are, it's just a "packaging" problem for want of a better word. It seems crazy that a left channel sample is packaged with the right channel sample taken one sampling period earlier. It's a pity that some SDR applications don't have any means of correcting for this defect. Of course, perhaps someone more clever than I am could write a driver wrapper to eliminate the skew before it becomes a problem for the application.
            >
            > Cheers,
            >
            > David G0JVY
            >

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