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Announcing PySDRVNA - A Software Toolkit to use your SoftRock as a VNA

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  • shaynal01
    Inspired by Rocky s VNA mode, I ve written a software toolkit (http://pysdrvna.googlecode.com
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 25, 2013
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      Inspired by Rocky's VNA mode, I've written a software toolkit (http://pysdrvna.googlecode.com ) that enables a SoftRock RXTX Ensemble to be used as a simple vector network analyzer.  The differences with Rocky's VNA are listed below. I have found this software very useful for antenna experiments and want to share and develop it with the SoftRock community.

      • Only runs under Linux with a working Jack Audio and SoftRock setup. A brave soul should be able to port it to Windows.
      • Makes use of the Si570 found in the latest SoftRocks to sweep across the entire supported frequency range of your SoftRock. 
      • Measures complex impedance, reflection coefficient, SWR and return loss.
      • Uses an interactive and programmatic Python interface as this is what I like for experiments. In fact, the tutorial is an iPython Notebook that you can walk through and execute step by step. (Think MATLAB notebook.)  It should be possible to wrap a GUI around the toolkit.
      • Generates high-quality plots and smith charts with matplotlib. Visit http://pysdrvna.googlecode.com to see examples.
      • Requires only 1 or 2 minor modifications to your SoftRock RXTX Ensemble. These modifications are described on the site and should also allow you to use Rocky's VNA with your SoftRock.

      73,

      Steve
      KF7O



    • MIKE DURKIN
      cool .. wonder how it would work with a UHFSDR ... To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com From: steve@softerhardware.com Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2013 02:44:00 +0000 Subject:
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 25, 2013
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        cool .. wonder how it would work with a UHFSDR ...


        To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
        From: steve@...
        Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2013 02:44:00 +0000
        Subject: [softrock40] Announcing PySDRVNA - A Software Toolkit to use your SoftRock as a VNA

         


        Inspired by Rocky's VNA mode, I've written a software toolkit (http://pysdrvna.googlecode.com ) that enables a SoftRock RXTX Ensemble to be used as a simple vector network analyzer.  The differences with Rocky's VNA are listed below. I have found this software very useful for antenna experiments and want to share and develop it with the SoftRock community.

        • Only runs under Linux with a working Jack Audio and SoftRock setup. A brave soul should be able to port it to Windows.
        • Makes use of the Si570 found in the latest SoftRocks to sweep across the entire supported frequency range of your SoftRock. 
        • Measures complex impedance, reflection coefficient, SWR and return loss.
        • Uses an interactive and programmatic Python interface as this is what I like for experiments. In fact, the tutorial is an iPython Notebook that you can walk through and execute step by step. (Think MATLAB notebook.)  It should be possible to wrap a GUI around the toolkit.
        • Generates high-quality plots and smith charts with matplotlib. Visit http://pysdrvna.googlecode.com to see examples.
        • Requires only 1 or 2 minor modifications to your SoftRock RXTX Ensemble. These modifications are described on the site and should also allow you to use Rocky's VNA with your SoftRock.

        73,

        Steve
        KF7O




      • David Turnbull
        ... Peaberry V2: Disconnect L11 and pull the gate of Q1 to 5V from power supply U2 to keep the receiver connected during transmit. This is trivial because one
        Message 3 of 8 , Jun 25, 2013
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          On Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 7:44 PM, shaynal01 <steve@...> wrote:
          • Requires only 1 or 2 minor modifications to your SoftRock RXTX Ensemble. These modifications are described on the site and should also allow you to use Rocky's VNA with your SoftRock.
          For anyone with a Peaberry who wants to try this:

          Peaberry V2: Disconnect L11 and pull the gate of Q1 to 5V from power supply U2 to keep the receiver connected during transmit. This is trivial because one of the holes from L11 goes directly to the gate of Q1. Optionally, ground the center tap of T4 to reduce power by attaching a wire to R38 or R39.
           
          Peaberry V1: This is a little tricker because you have to lift the gates of Q1 and Q2 from the PCB. Q1 needs to be pulled to 5V and Q2 grounded to keep the receiver connected during transmit. Optionally, ground the center tap of T4 to reduce power by attaching a wire to R38 or R39.

          Note that I haven't tried the software yet. However, the hardware mods are simple enough to translate.


        • David Turnbull
          ... There s only one set of mixers on the UHFSDR. It can t transmit and receive simultaneously. 73 David http://AE9RB.com/
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 25, 2013
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            On Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 7:53 PM, MIKE DURKIN <Patriot121@...> wrote:
            cool .. wonder how it would work with a UHFSDR ...

            There's only one set of mixers on the UHFSDR. It can't transmit and receive simultaneously.

          • Dave
            Mike: The Softrock mod on the site enables the receiver and the transmitter. That is not possible on the UHFSDR as their is only one set of mixers and the
            Message 5 of 8 , Jun 25, 2013
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              Mike:
                The Softrock mod on the site  enables the receiver and the transmitter.  That is not possible on the UHFSDR as their is only one set of mixers and the audio is switched between rec and transmit.  Now is the I or Q output of the I/Q generator could be used for the transmit and the UHFSDR used in rec mode, I think that could work(although the I and Q outputs are square waves and might require LPF's.

              Dave - WB6DHW
              <http://wb6dhw.com>

              On 6/25/2013 7:53 PM, MIKE DURKIN wrote:
               

              cool .. wonder how it would work with a UHFSDR ...


              To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
              From: steve@...
              Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2013 02:44:00 +0000
              Subject: [softrock40] Announcing PySDRVNA - A Software Toolkit to use your SoftRock as a VNA

               


              Inspired by Rocky's VNA mode, I've written a software toolkit (http://pysdrvna.googlecode.com ) that enables a SoftRock RXTX Ensemble to be used as a simple vector network analyzer.  The differences with Rocky's VNA are listed below. I have found this software very useful for antenna experiments and want to share and develop it with the SoftRock community.

              • Only runs under Linux with a working Jack Audio and SoftRock setup. A brave soul should be able to port it to Windows.
              • Makes use of the Si570 found in the latest SoftRocks to sweep across the entire supported frequency range of your SoftRock. 
              • Measures complex impedance, reflection coefficient, SWR and return loss.
              • Uses an interactive and programmatic Python interface as this is what I like for experiments. In fact, the tutorial is an iPython Notebook that you can walk through and execute step by step. (Think MATLAB notebook.)  It should be possible to wrap a GUI around the toolkit.
              • Generates high-quality plots and smith charts with matplotlib. Visit http://pysdrvna.googlecode.com to see examples.
              • Requires only 1 or 2 minor modifications to your SoftRock RXTX Ensemble. These modifications are described on the site and should also allow you to use Rocky's VNA with your SoftRock.

              73,

              Steve
              KF7O





            • Sid Boyce
              Excellent, I ll have to get the Ensemble RXTX again to test. I haven t looked at whether or how a RLB could be used with the RXTX to lessen the possibility of
              Message 6 of 8 , Jun 26, 2013
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                Excellent, I'll have to get the Ensemble RXTX again to test. I haven't looked at whether or how a RLB could be used with the RXTX to lessen the possibility of damage to the RX frontend.

                I wonder if anyone has tried qvna.py that comes with quisk using a softrock.

                I have used qvna.py and the dl2stg.de qvna with the HiQSDR where it worked well checking out my Lightning Bolt Quad on 20m - 10m and for which there is also a Return Loss Bridge (RLB) to use with it.

                Dave, with the UHFSDR wired for separate antennas it should be possible????

                http://dl2stg.de/stefan/hiqsdr/qvna.html for Stefan's HiQSDR qvna built with qt4. The page also has the plots. The idea for Hermes VNA was based on Stefan's HiQSDR qvna, except the Hermes VNA software is for Windows only.

                The one chosen for Hermes/HPSDR is at www.wetterlin.org/sam/SA/Operation/3BeadBalunBridge.pdf‎

                Another useful writeup is at rhttp://www.yagicad.com/projects/ARRLB.htm

                I need to try Hermes VNA under Crossover Office on Linux. So far with Crossover Office I had PowerSDR running very slowly but with recent CXO versions I have not got it to launch. Rocky used to launch but could not access the sound cards when tried with Softrock.

                openHPSDR Kissconsole under CXO finds Hermes but fails looking for Alex filters that I don't have fitted or selected and no one on the reflector has offered up a suggestion though it's been reported to work under Windows..
                73 ... Sid.


                On 26/06/13 03:44, shaynal01 wrote:
                 


                Inspired by Rocky's VNA mode, I've written a software toolkit (http://pysdrvna.googlecode.com ) that enables a SoftRock RXTX Ensemble to be used as a simple vector network analyzer.  The differences with Rocky's VNA are listed below. I have found this software very useful for antenna experiments and want to share and develop it with the SoftRock community.

                • Only runs under Linux with a working Jack Audio and SoftRock setup. A brave soul should be able to port it to Windows.
                • Makes use of the Si570 found in the latest SoftRocks to sweep across the entire supported frequency range of your SoftRock. 
                • Measures complex impedance, reflection coefficient, SWR and return loss.
                • Uses an interactive and programmatic Python interface as this is what I like for experiments. In fact, the tutorial is an iPython Notebook that you can walk through and execute step by step. (Think MATLAB notebook.)  It should be possible to wrap a GUI around the toolkit.
                • Generates high-quality plots and smith charts with matplotlib. Visit http://pysdrvna.googlecode.com to see examples.
                • Requires only 1 or 2 minor modifications to your SoftRock RXTX Ensemble. These modifications are described on the site and should also allow you to use Rocky's VNA with your SoftRock.

                73,

                Steve
                KF7O





                -- 
                Sid Boyce ... Hamradio License G3VBV, Licensed Private Pilot
                Emeritus IBM/Amdahl Mainframes and Sun/Fujitsu Servers Tech Support
                Senior Staff Specialist, Cricket Coach
                Microsoft Windows Free Zone - Linux used for all Computing Tasks
                
              • shaynal01
                Thank you for the Peaberry mod information. I would like to try it if and when I get a Peaberry. 73, Steve KF7O
                Message 7 of 8 , Jun 26, 2013
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                  Thank you for the Peaberry mod information. I would like to try it if and when I get a Peaberry.

                  73,

                  Steve
                  KF7O
                • shaynal01
                  Thanks for capturing several other bridge and SDR VNA projects. I did look at Quisk s VNA and correspond with the author, but decided it would be quite a bit
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jun 26, 2013
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                    Thanks for capturing several other bridge and SDR VNA projects. I did look at Quisk's VNA and correspond with the author, but decided it would be quite a bit of work to modify it to work with the SoftRock RXTX Ensemble. I have looked at the qvna software in the past, but not closely as it doesn't work with the SoftRock. The only other VNA software that works with a SoftRock that I am aware of is Rocky's VNA. Are there others? I only have a SoftRock and wanted something inexpensive to use for antenna experiments. I've been quite happy with the results I am getting and would love to hear about how it works for others.

                    73,

                    Steve
                    KF7O
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