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RF Amplifier for Softrock RX/TX or other board level SDRs

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  • n8mdp
    I m trying to find out if there would be a serious interest in a companion RF Amplifier for the Softrock RX/TX board or other board level SDRs. I created a
    Message 1 of 15 , Sep 7, 2013
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      I'm trying to find out if there would be a serious interest in a companion RF Amplifier for the Softrock RX/TX board or other board level SDRs. I created a simple survey that you can take that should only take 2 minutes of your time.


      The survey can be taken at:  http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2VYZZ5P

      I'm not selling anything on this survey. I'm just trying to see if there would be interest in a companion RF Amplifier.

      Thanks.
      John
      N8MDP
    • Simon Thompson
      I am interested, but I cannot answer the survey on iPad; I cannot select an answer, but I can enter text into a text box.
      Message 2 of 15 , Sep 7, 2013
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        I am interested, but I cannot answer the survey on iPad; I cannot select an answer, but I can enter text into a text box.

        On Saturday, September 7, 2013, wrote:
         

        I'm trying to find out if there would be a serious interest in a companion RF Amplifier for the Softrock RX/TX board or other board level SDRs. I created a simple survey that you can take that should only take 2 minutes of your time.


        The survey can be taken at:  http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2VYZZ5P

        I'm not selling anything on this survey. I'm just trying to see if there would be interest in a companion RF Amplifier.

        Thanks.
        John
        N8MDP

      • n8mdp
        Simon, If you can see the questions, then send me your responses via email to ars_n8mdp@windstream.net. I can add your responses to the results when I have
        Message 3 of 15 , Sep 7, 2013
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          Simon,


          If you can see the questions, then send me your responses via email to ars_n8mdp@.... I can add your responses to the results when I have received enough replies.


          Thanks.

          John

          N8MDP 



          --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, <softrock40@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

          I am interested, but I cannot answer the survey on iPad; I cannot select an answer, but I can enter text into a text box.

          On Saturday, September 7, 2013, wrote:
           

          I'm trying to find out if there would be a serious interest in a companion RF Amplifier for the Softrock RX/TX board or other board level SDRs. I created a simple survey that you can take that should only take 2 minutes of your time.


          The survey can be taken at:  http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2VYZZ5P

          I'm not selling anything on this survey. I'm just trying to see if there would be interest in a companion RF Amplifier.

          Thanks.
          John
          N8MDP
        • Simon Thompson
          OK ... OK On 2013-09-07, at 4:57 PM, ars_n8mdp@windstream.net wrote: Simon, If you can see the questions, then send me your responses via email to
          Message 4 of 15 , Sep 7, 2013
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            OK

            On 2013-09-07, at 4:57 PM, ars_n8mdp@... wrote:

             

            Simon,


            If you can see the questions, then send me your responses via email to ars_n8mdp@.... I can add your responses to the results when I have received enough replies.


            Thanks.

            John

            N8MDP 



            --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, <softrock40@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

            I am interested, but I cannot answer the survey on iPad; I cannot select an answer, but I can enter text into a text box.

            On Saturday, September 7, 2013, wrote:
             

            I'm trying to find out if there would be a serious interest in a companion RF Amplifier for the Softrock RX/TX board or other board level SDRs. I created a simple survey that you can take that should only take 2 minutes of your time.


            The survey can be taken at:  http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2VYZZ5P

            I'm not selling anything on this survey. I'm just trying to see if there would be interest in a companion RF Amplifier.

            Thanks.
            John
            N8MDP


          • John
            There is no 160m option in the survey? John From: ars_n8mdp@windstream.net Sent: Saturday, September 07, 2013 11:34 PM To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com Subject:
            Message 5 of 15 , Sep 8, 2013
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              There is no 160m option in the survey?
               
              John
               

              Sent: Saturday, September 07, 2013 11:34 PM
              Subject: [softrock40] RF Amplifier for Softrock RX/TX or other board level SDRs

               

              I'm trying to find out if there would be a serious interest in a companion RF Amplifier for the Softrock RX/TX board or other board level SDRs. I created a simple survey that you can take that should only take 2 minutes of your time.


              The survey can be taken at:  http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2VYZZ5P

              I'm not selling anything on this survey. I'm just trying to see if there would be interest in a companion RF Amplifier.

              Thanks.
              John
              N8MDP
            • John Rabson
              ... Or 72/137/472 kHz? F5VLF
              Message 6 of 15 , Sep 8, 2013
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                On 8 Sep 2013, at 14:01CEST, John wrote:

                >
                > There is no 160m option in the survey?
                >
                > John

                Or 72/137/472 kHz?

                F5VLF
              • John Greusel
                There already is a fairly Softrock specific amplifier available. http://www.qsl.net/k5bcq/Kits/Kits.html It s 20 watts out and easily interfaces to Softrocks
                Message 7 of 15 , Sep 8, 2013
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                  There already is a fairly Softrock specific amplifier available.
                  http://www.qsl.net/k5bcq/Kits/Kits.html
                  It's 20 watts out and easily interfaces to Softrocks and other low power transceivers.

                  John
                  KC9OJV

                   



                  From: "ars_n8mdp@..." <ars_n8mdp@...>
                  To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Saturday, September 7, 2013 6:57 PM
                  Subject: RE: Re: [softrock40] RF Amplifier for Softrock RX/TX or other board level SDRs

                   
                  Simon,

                  If you can see the questions, then send me your responses via email to ars_n8mdp@.... I can add your responses to the results when I have received enough replies.

                  Thanks.
                  John
                  N8MDP 


                  --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, <softrock40@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                  I am interested, but I cannot answer the survey on iPad; I cannot select an answer, but I can enter text into a text box.

                  On Saturday, September 7, 2013, wrote:
                   
                  I'm trying to find out if there would be a serious interest in a companion RF Amplifier for the Softrock RX/TX board or other board level SDRs. I created a simple survey that you can take that should only take 2 minutes of your time.

                  The survey can be taken at:  http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2VYZZ5P

                  I'm not selling anything on this survey. I'm just trying to see if there would be interest in a companion RF Amplifier.

                  Thanks.
                  John
                  N8MDP


                • carpentercurt45
                  I d be interested in a preselector/rf amp for my Ensemble II receiver. Mention it here as the survey is focused on a TX amp.
                  Message 8 of 15 , Sep 8, 2013
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                    I'd be interested in a preselector/rf amp for my Ensemble II receiver. Mention it here as the survey is focused on a TX amp.
                  • KF5ULI
                    i replied to the survey ... -- Angi Amatuer Radio Operator call sign:* KF5ULI* *Trained SKYWARN weather spotter* *SpotterNet weather spotter* *CoCoRaHS weather
                    Message 9 of 15 , Sep 8, 2013
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                      i replied to the survey


                      On Sun, Sep 8, 2013 at 11:48 AM, carpentercurt45 <1cjcarpenter@...> wrote:
                       

                      I'd be interested in a preselector/rf amp for my Ensemble II receiver. Mention it here as the survey is focused on a TX amp.




                      --
                      Angi
                      Amatuer Radio Operator
                      call sign: KF5ULI
                      Trained SKYWARN weather spotter
                      SpotterNet weather spotter
                      CoCoRaHS weather station AR-SR-6

                      FRBG Breeding Services, Specalizing in the problem and hard to breed does, In Arkansas and Missouri
                      AI services for Caprine, Cervid, Cattle, Sheep,
                      AI Classes in Caprine, In Ar and surrounding states

                       
                        
                    • kb9gpm
                      I just took your survey. I was on the fence about what power level to pick and the bands. As far as bands go. Would it be possible to have it be user
                      Message 10 of 15 , Sep 8, 2013
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                        I just took your survey.  I was on the fence about what power level to pick and the bands. 


                        As far as bands go.  Would it be possible to have it be user selectable by the toroid/winding and capacitors we choose.  Much like the Ensemble RXTX does.  Even better would be one that could cover several bands and be switch selectable.  Maybe using something like the filters used in the Mobo project.


                        But this does sound like and interesting project.


                        73

                        David KB9GPM




                        --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, <angiharrover@...> wrote:

                        i replied to the survey


                        On Sun, Sep 8, 2013 at 11:48 AM, carpentercurt45 <1cjcarpenter@...> wrote:
                         

                        I'd be interested in a preselector/rf amp for my Ensemble II receiver. Mention it here as the survey is focused on a TX amp.




                        --
                        Angi
                        Amatuer Radio Operator
                        call sign: KF5ULI
                        Trained SKYWARN weather spotter
                        SpotterNet weather spotter
                        CoCoRaHS weather station AR-SR-6

                        FRBG Breeding Services, Specalizing in the problem and hard to breed does, In Arkansas and Missouri
                        AI services for Caprine, Cervid, Cattle, Sheep,
                        AI Classes in Caprine, In Ar and surrounding states

                         
                          
                      • aj4tf
                        In addition to the product mentioned there is also the TAPR Pennywhistle ($85). http://www.tapr.org/kits_pw.html Also there is the Hardrock 50 which is a bit
                        Message 11 of 15 , Sep 9, 2013
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                          In addition to the product mentioned there is also the TAPR Pennywhistle ($85). 
                          http://www.tapr.org/kits_pw.html

                          Also there is the Hardrock 50 which is a bit more sophisticated, more expensive, still awaiting FCC approval.

                          https://sites.google.com/site/hardrock50beta/home



                          --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, <goofy_36@...> wrote:

                          I just took your survey.  I was on the fence about what power level to pick and the bands. 


                          As far as bands go.  Would it be possible to have it be user selectable by the toroid/winding and capacitors we choose.  Much like the Ensemble RXTX does.  Even better would be one that could cover several bands and be switch selectable.  Maybe using something like the filters used in the Mobo project.


                          But this does sound like and interesting project.


                          73

                          David KB9GPM




                          --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, <angiharrover@...> wrote:

                          i replied to the survey


                          On Sun, Sep 8, 2013 at 11:48 AM, carpentercurt45 <1cjcarpenter@...> wrote:
                           

                          I'd be interested in a preselector/rf amp for my Ensemble II receiver. Mention it here as the survey is focused on a TX amp.




                          --
                          Angi
                          Amatuer Radio Operator
                          call sign: KF5ULI
                          Trained SKYWARN weather spotter
                          SpotterNet weather spotter
                          CoCoRaHS weather station AR-SR-6

                          FRBG Breeding Services, Specalizing in the problem and hard to breed does, In Arkansas and Missouri
                          AI services for Caprine, Cervid, Cattle, Sheep,
                          AI Classes in Caprine, In Ar and surrounding states

                           
                            
                        • warrenallgyer
                          Hi John: It is an interesting idea to me if you would do something to take the RXTX up to the 100 watt level. This is likely more than you are thinking but I
                          Message 12 of 15 , Sep 9, 2013
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                            Hi John:


                            It is an interesting idea to me if you would do something to take the RXTX up to the 100 watt level. This is likely more than you are thinking but I think less than that is kind of pointless. An amplifier in the 10 - 50 watt range gets you stuck betwixt and between: it is too much to be QRP and too little for serious SSB work. Care would need to be taken though because the RXTX as it is can have marginal harmonic and IMD performance. Here are some features that I would dream about in a 100 watt amplifier:


                            1) At least 25 dB gain. The RXTX design can perform reliably from the standpoint of IMD at about half power and the gain of the amplifier should be enough to make full power on 500 mW of drive.

                            2) Input bandpass filters similar or better than the AE9RB V2 Peaberry. The filters should remain inline for receive operations.

                            3) A switchable 15 - 20 dB pad in the receive RF path.

                            4) A regulated 13.8 volt supply for the RXTX. Controlling the driving rig's supply voltage will be helpful in maintaining IMD performance. The higher, the better...... keeping in mind the 16 VDC rating of some of the RXTX PS components. 

                            5) Two extra RF connectors and switching circuitry configured such that the TUNE position would route the amplifier output to the DUMMY LOAD connector and the antenna would be routed out to the ANTENNA ANALYZER connector. This allows convenient checks on both the amplifier and the antenna performance.

                            6) Monitoring test points for drive level, output level, and total current.


                            Like I said.... probably more than you had in mind. I have built an external console with all of these features except the PA and I find it a very convenient for operations.


                            Warren Allgyer - 9V1TD



                            --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, <softrock40@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                            I'm trying to find out if there would be a serious interest in a companion RF Amplifier for the Softrock RX/TX board or other board level SDRs. I created a simple survey that you can take that should only take 2 minutes of your time.

                            The survey can be taken at:  http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2VYZZ5P

                            I'm not selling anything on this survey. I'm just trying to see if there would be interest in a companion RF Amplifier.

                            Thanks.
                            John
                            N8MDP
                          • Bill Cromwell
                            Hi Warren, Those are some very nice features but I wonder how much they will increase the price of the product. I have noticed how much the bells and whistles
                            Message 13 of 15 , Sep 9, 2013
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                              Hi Warren,

                              Those are some very nice features but I wonder how much they will
                              increase the price of the product. I have noticed how much the bells and
                              whistles cost when we buy a Flex or some of the Elecraft radios. It's
                              good to have lower cost options that allow us to build up some of those
                              features for ourselves. We can save some money by re-using the external
                              hardware with other radios AND we get to build more gear - just as you
                              have done.

                              73,

                              Bill KU8H


                              On 09/09/2013 09:14 AM, allgyer@... wrote:
                              >
                              > Hi John:
                              >
                              >
                              > It is an interesting idea to me if you would do something to take the
                              > RXTX up to the 100 watt level. This is likely more than you are
                              > thinking but I think less than that is kind of pointless. An amplifier
                              > in the 10 - 50 watt range gets you stuck betwixt and between: it is
                              > too much to be QRP and too little for serious SSB work. Care would
                              > need to be taken though because the RXTX as it is can have marginal
                              > harmonic and IMD performance. Here are some features that I would
                              > dream about in a 100 watt amplifier:
                              >
                              >
                              > 1) At least 25 dB gain. The RXTX design can perform reliably from the
                              > standpoint of IMD at about half power and the gain of the amplifier
                              > should be enough to make full power on 500 mW of drive.
                              >
                              > 2) Input bandpass filters similar or better than the AE9RB V2
                              > Peaberry. The filters should remain inline for receive operations.
                              >
                              > 3) A switchable 15 - 20 dB pad in the receive RF path.
                              >
                              > 4) A regulated 13.8 volt supply for the RXTX. Controlling the driving
                              > rig's supply voltage will be helpful in maintaining IMD performance.
                              > The higher, the better...... keeping in mind the 16 VDC rating of some
                              > of the RXTX PS components.
                              >
                              > 5) Two extra RF connectors and switching circuitry configured such
                              > that the TUNE position would route the amplifier output to the DUMMY
                              > LOAD connector and the antenna would be routed out to the ANTENNA
                              > ANALYZER connector. This allows convenient checks on both the
                              > amplifier and the antenna performance.
                              >
                              > 6) Monitoring test points for drive level, output level, and total
                              > current.
                              >
                              >
                              > Like I said.... probably more than you had in mind. I have built an
                              > external console with all of these features except the PA and I find
                              > it a very convenient for operations.
                              >
                              >
                              > Warren Allgyer - 9V1TD
                              >
                            • ac0owinco
                              What about 30M?? --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, wrote: There is no 160m option in the survey? John From: ars_n8mdp@... Sent:
                              Message 14 of 15 , Sep 9, 2013
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                                What about 30M?? 



                                --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, <softrock40@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                                There is no 160m option in the survey?
                                 
                                John
                                 

                                Sent: Saturday, September 07, 2013 11:34 PM
                                Subject: [softrock40] RF Amplifier for Softrock RX/TX or other board level SDRs

                                 

                                I'm trying to find out if there would be a serious interest in a companion RF Amplifier for the Softrock RX/TX board or other board level SDRs. I created a simple survey that you can take that should only take 2 minutes of your time.


                                The survey can be taken at:  http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2VYZZ5P

                                I'm not selling anything on this survey. I'm just trying to see if there would be interest in a companion RF Amplifier.

                                Thanks.
                                John
                                N8MDP
                              • warrenallgyer
                                Hi Bill What you say is undeniably true. Such features would cost more, perhaps a lot more. I am relating this to my experience with bare bones amplifiers that
                                Message 15 of 15 , Sep 9, 2013
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                                  Hi Bill

                                  What you say is undeniably true. Such features would cost more, perhaps a lot more.

                                  I am relating this to my experience with bare bones amplifiers that I have built myself and like those i have tried from folks like Ramsey. Raw gain and power are very simple and very cheap with today's components. Such amps are also nearly unusable if employed in the same minimalist environment as is encouraged by the Softrocks radios. Without good filtering, careful adjustment and control, and good monitoring it is almost unavoidable that your signal will be badly distorted and include spurious outputs that greatly exceed legal limits. If you can really get "cheap, simple, clean, legal, and significant power" all in one product, then you really have something. Based on my experience I am skeptical but I would be really interested and I would buy it if it could be done.

                                  Warren Allgyer - 9V1TD

                                   



                                  --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, <softrock40@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                                  Hi Warren,

                                  Those are some very nice features but I wonder how much they will
                                  increase the price of the product. I have noticed how much the bells and
                                  whistles cost when we buy a Flex or some of the Elecraft radios. It's
                                  good to have lower cost options that allow us to build up some of those
                                  features for ourselves. We can save some money by re-using the external
                                  hardware with other radios AND we get to build more gear - just as you
                                  have done.

                                  73,

                                  Bill KU8H


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