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Advice on Softrock RX performance

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  • dave_g3zqh
    I m back for more help after some great advice got me on the right track with my Softrock Ensemble RX kit. Over the last few weeks I have learned a lot,
    Message 1 of 27 , Jan 24, 2014
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      I'm back for more help after some great advice got me on the right track with my Softrock Ensemble RX kit. Over the last few weeks I have learned a lot, especially about sound cards and all the problems with line in/mic inputs. I eventually moved a desktop PC to my shack and this was far superior to the laptops I tried before and gave a nice 96 kHz on screen. Now it all seems to be behaving itself, but...


      Now, the question I have for the group is whether my RX is lacking sensitivity. I feel that it is, but am I expecting too much from this very affordable RX? I have reception on all HF bands. But, when I compare it with my main rig (Yaesu FT1000MP- admittedly this is an excellent rig) signals are very much weaker. For example, a signal at S9 on my main rig on 80m is barely detectable on the Softrock (using the same antenna). It's the same on the other bands- without the comparison I would probably be happy with the performance since I hear plenty of loud stations.


      I have checked and double-checked all the soldering, particularly with the coils and toroids. So, now I am thinking that if performance is not right that I might just buy another kit rather than spend many hours trying to find the fault. However, I'd like some opinions on whether I should be getting better performance before I send off for a new kit.


      Any advice very welcome.


      73 Dave G3ZQH


    • vbifyz
      The experiment to diagnose the SR sensitivity is very simple. 1. Run your SDR software with SR power off and antenna disconnected. Note the noise floor level.
      Message 2 of 27 , Jan 24, 2014
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        The experiment to diagnose the SR sensitivity is very simple.
        1. Run your SDR software with SR power off and antenna disconnected. Note the noise floor level.
        2. Turn on the SR power. The noise floor should go up a few dB. If it doesn't, try increasing the recording level in your OS mixer settings, tweaking the advanced mixer controls like "microphone boost" etc.
        3. Once the soundcard gain is set correctly, connect the antenna. The noise floor should go even higher, except above 18MHz, where SR has known sensitivity issues and the external noise may be lower than the internal noise. On 80m you should see at least some birdies from the computer and other sources.

        I compared FT-817 and SR RX II Ensemble side by side, fed from a splitter. The sensitivity does not differ that much. I can hear the same weak signals on both.

        73, Mike
      • dave_g3zqh
        Hi Mike Thanks, that was a simple and useful test. What I noted was that I could not see an increase in the noise level with SR power on compared with off
        Message 3 of 27 , Jan 25, 2014
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          Hi Mike

          Thanks, that was a simple and useful test. What I noted was that I could not see an increase in the noise level with SR power on compared with off whatever the input mic level setting. The same applied to switching the antenna in. So, I guess this means that there is a sensitivity problem as I suspected. 

          73 Dave G3ZQH

        • Alan
          ... Subject: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance ... Dave , Strange, the noise from the op-amps of a Softrock usually overcomes the input noise
          Message 4 of 27 , Jan 25, 2014
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            ----- Original Message -----
            Subject: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance


            > What I noted was that I could not see an increase in the noise level with SR power on compared with off whatever the input mic
            > level setting.

            Dave ,
            Strange, the noise from the op-amps of a Softrock usually overcomes the input noise of a soundcard, other than a really bad one.
            Make sure the resistor values are correct around this chip.

            73 Alan G4ZFQ

            >The same applied to switching the antenna in. So, I guess this means that there is a sensitivity problem as I suspected.
          • ac4fc
            Is it possible that your FT1000 is using an internal antenna tuner? This may explain the difference. It is very important that the impendence of your antenna
            Message 5 of 27 , Jan 25, 2014
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              Is it possible that your FT1000 is using an internal antenna tuner?  This may explain the difference.  It is very important that the impendence of your antenna match the impedance of the Softrock.


              With the antenna matched to the softrock, I see no difference in sensitivity between my primary ham rig and the softrock.


              You may try using an external antenna tuner if you have one available.


              Regards,


              Chris

              AC4FC



            • dave_g3zqh
              Now I have full sensitivity! It was the op amps. Checked all the components in the op amp circuitry and I had made the very basic error of using the 49.9 ohm
              Message 6 of 27 , Jan 26, 2014
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                Now I have full sensitivity! It was the op amps. Checked all the components in the op amp circuitry and I had made the very basic error of using the 49.9 ohm instead of the 4.99 k ohm resistors. 


                Today I checked all bands and I find signals coming in on the Ensemble more or less equivalent to my main rig. It's taken nearly a month on and off, but now I think I have a fully working RX.


                Thanks to those in the group for helping me to find the faults.


                73 Dave G3ZQH


              • lbs983405
                Dave, Congrats! So, are you saying that the sense on 17, 15, 12 , 10 is OK compared to your other rig?? I thought someone said the softrocks had poor sense on
                Message 7 of 27 , Jan 26, 2014
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                  Dave,
                  Congrats!
                  So, are you saying that the sense on 17, 15, 12 , 10 is OK compared to your other rig??
                  I thought someone said the softrocks had poor sense on the higher bands?? (I hope I was mis-informed)
                  Thanks,
                  Lee
                   
                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: g3zqh.dave <g3zqh.dave@...>
                  To: softrock40 <softrock40@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Sun, Jan 26, 2014 4:44 pm
                  Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance

                   
                  Now I have full sensitivity! It was the op amps. Checked all the components in the op amp circuitry and I had made the very basic error of using the 49.9 ohm instead of the 4.99 k ohm resistors. 

                  Today I checked all bands and I find signals coming in on the Ensemble more or less equivalent to my main rig. It's taken nearly a month on and off, but now I think I have a fully working RX.

                  Thanks to those in the group for helping me to find the faults.

                  73 Dave G3ZQH

                • Alan
                  ... Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance ... I thought someone said the softrocks had poor sense on the higher bands?? (I hope I was
                  Message 8 of 27 , Jan 26, 2014
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                    ----- Original Message -----
                    Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance



                    >So, are you saying that the sense on 17, 15, 12 , 10 is OK compared to your other rig??
                    I thought someone said the softrocks had poor sense on the higher bands?? (I hope I was mis-informed)

                    Lee,

                    It depends, some, including me, say a Softrock lacks sensitivity on 21MHz and above.
                    Others disagree.
                    Maybe the Softrocks vary although I have several that cover those bands, they are all the same.
                    But what does vary is background noise in different locations.

                    I do not find it a big difference but if you are in a quiet location and want the best be prepared for a small preamp.
                    Or use a low noise soundcard and reduce the gain of the opamps.

                    73 Alan G4ZFQ
                  • lbs983405
                    Alan & all, So would he Peaberry be better in this regard? Thanks, Lee ... From: Alan To: softrock40
                    Message 9 of 27 , Jan 27, 2014
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                      Alan & all,
                      So would he Peaberry be better in this regard?
                      Thanks,
                      Lee
                       
                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: Alan <alan4alan@...>
                      To: softrock40 <softrock40@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Mon, Jan 27, 2014 1:51 am
                      Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance

                       

                      ----- Original Message -----
                      Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance

                      >So, are you saying that the sense on 17, 15, 12 , 10 is OK compared to your other rig??
                      I thought someone said the softrocks had poor sense on the higher bands?? (I hope I was mis-informed)

                      Lee,

                      It depends, some, including me, say a Softrock lacks sensitivity on 21MHz and above.
                      Others disagree.
                      Maybe the Softrocks vary although I have several that cover those bands, they are all the same.
                      But what does vary is background noise in different locations.

                      I do not find it a big difference but if you are in a quiet location and want the best be prepared for a small preamp.
                      Or use a low noise soundcard and reduce the gain of the opamps.

                      73 Alan G4ZFQ
                    • Alan
                      ... Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance ... Lee, Possibly. I guess the integrated sound chip is of good quality. The schematic I
                      Message 10 of 27 , Jan 27, 2014
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                        ----- Original Message -----
                        Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance



                        >So would he Peaberry be better in this regard?

                        Lee,

                        Possibly.
                        I guess the integrated sound chip is of good quality.
                        The schematic I have seems to indicate the opamps have been optimised fror that chip but the values are not actually printed for the
                        vital resistors. It is probably mentioned somewhere on that site.

                        73 Alan G4ZFQ
                      • lbs983405
                        Thanks Alan, Good news. I want to get something for 20/17/15 so I may do one on the Peaberrys Seems like the sound card I have is really working well. tr is
                        Message 11 of 27 , Jan 27, 2014
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                          Thanks Alan,
                          Good news.
                          I want to get something for 20/17/15 so I may do one on the Peaberrys
                          Seems like the sound card I have is really working well.
                          tr is the SB Xfi surround USB. 96KC
                          Lee
                           
                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: Alan <alan4alan@...>
                          To: softrock40 <softrock40@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Mon, Jan 27, 2014 10:48 am
                          Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance

                           

                          ----- Original Message -----
                          Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance

                          >So would he Peaberry be better in this regard?

                          Lee,

                          Possibly.
                          I guess the integrated sound chip is of good quality.
                          The schematic I have seems to indicate the opamps have been optimised fror that chip but the values are not actually printed for the
                          vital resistors. It is probably mentioned somewhere on that site.

                          73 Alan G4ZFQ

                        • David Turnbull
                          Back in the day most everyone used a Delta-44 for SDR. You could design something around that card and everyone would get similar results. These days when
                          Message 12 of 27 , Jan 27, 2014
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                            Back in the day most everyone used a Delta-44 for SDR. You could design something around that card and everyone would get similar results. These days when someone asks if a sound card SDR will meet some performance goal the best answer is "it depends on your sound card".

                            Integrating ADC/DAC into the radio gives everyone the same performance specifications. This allows us to discuss all the usual radio measurements when pondering applications and design changes. The November 2013 issue of QST has the results from ARRL testing of the Peaberry V2.

                            I set MDS for 60-10m on the Peaberry V2 to -115dBm. Nobody has yet asked for more. If they did I would direct them to install the 5k resistors in R10-R11 which would add about 15dB of gain. Excess sensitivity wastes your dynamic range on antenna noise, so more isn't better unless you didn't have enough to start.

                            You can optimize your SoftRock to match the sound card you are using. Simply change the gain of the LT6231 until you get the MDS you want. Your MDS target depends on the band noise of your QTH and antenna.

                            While this may not exactly answer your question about SoftRock performance on 10m, hopefully it explains why you can't find a definitive answer.

                            73 David AE9RB


                            On Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 6:57 AM, <Kc9cdt@...> wrote:


                            Alan & all,
                            So would he Peaberry be better in this regard?
                            Thanks,
                            Lee
                             
                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: Alan <alan4alan@...>
                            To: softrock40 <softrock40@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Mon, Jan 27, 2014 1:51 am
                            Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance

                             

                            ----- Original Message -----
                            Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance

                            >So, are you saying that the sense on 17, 15, 12 , 10 is OK compared to your other rig??
                            I thought someone said the softrocks had poor sense on the higher bands?? (I hope I was mis-informed)

                            Lee,

                            It depends, some, including me, say a Softrock lacks sensitivity on 21MHz and above.
                            Others disagree.
                            Maybe the Softrocks vary although I have several that cover those bands, they are all the same.
                            But what does vary is background noise in different locations.

                            I do not find it a big difference but if you are in a quiet location and want the best be prepared for a small preamp.
                            Or use a low noise soundcard and reduce the gain of the opamps.

                            73 Alan G4ZFQ

                          • lbs983405
                            David, Is the performance of the Peaberry equivelant or even better than a SR Ensemble RX/TX WITH a Delta 44 sound card? Thanks, Lee ... From: David Turnbull
                            Message 13 of 27 , Jan 27, 2014
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                              David,
                              Is the performance of the Peaberry equivelant or even better than a SR Ensemble RX/TX WITH a Delta 44 sound card?
                              Thanks,
                              Lee
                               
                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: David Turnbull <dturnbull@...>
                              To: softrock40 <softrock40@yahoogroups.com>
                              Sent: Mon, Jan 27, 2014 2:40 pm
                              Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance

                               
                              Back in the day most everyone used a Delta-44 for SDR. You could design something around that card and everyone would get similar results. These days when someone asks if a sound card SDR will meet some performance goal the best answer is "it depends on your sound card".

                              Integrating ADC/DAC into the radio gives everyone the same performance specifications. This allows us to discuss all the usual radio measurements when pondering applications and design changes. The November 2013 issue of QST has the results from ARRL testing of the Peaberry V2.

                              I set MDS for 60-10m on the Peaberry V2 to -115dBm. Nobody has yet asked for more. If they did I would direct them to install the 5k resistors in R10-R11 which would add about 15dB of gain. Excess sensitivity wastes your dynamic range on antenna noise, so more isn't better unless you didn't have enough to start.

                              You can optimize your SoftRock to match the sound card you are using. Simply change the gain of the LT6231 until you get the MDS you want. Your MDS target depends on the band noise of your QTH and antenna.

                              While this may not exactly answer your question about SoftRock performance on 10m, hopefully it explains why you can't find a definitive answer.

                              73 David AE9RB


                              On Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 6:57 AM, <Kc9cdt@...> wrote:


                              Alan & all,
                              So would he Peaberry be better in this regard?
                              Thanks,
                              Lee
                               
                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: Alan <alan4alan@...>
                              To: softrock40 <softrock40@yahoogroups.com>
                              Sent: Mon, Jan 27, 2014 1:51 am
                              Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance

                               

                              ----- Original Message -----
                              Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance

                              >So, are you saying that the sense on 17, 15, 12 , 10 is OK compared to your other rig??
                              I thought someone said the softrocks had poor sense on the higher bands?? (I hope I was mis-informed)

                              Lee,

                              It depends, some, including me, say a Softrock lacks sensitivity on 21MHz and above.
                              Others disagree.
                              Maybe the Softrocks vary although I have several that cover those bands, they are all the same.
                              But what does vary is background noise in different locations.

                              I do not find it a big difference but if you are in a quiet location and want the best be prepared for a small preamp.
                              Or use a low noise soundcard and reduce the gain of the opamps.

                              73 Alan G4ZFQ

                            • dave_g3zqh
                              Hi Lee You asked about 20-10m performance of my SR Ensemble RX compared with my main rig. I did do some direct checks, with an A/B antenna switch. With a weak
                              Message 14 of 27 , Jan 27, 2014
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                                Hi Lee

                                You asked about 20-10m performance of my SR Ensemble RX compared with my main rig. I did do some direct checks, with an A/B antenna switch. With a weak signal just above my noise level readability was about the same on my FT1000MP compared with the SR. I do have a high local noise level (typically S3-4), so that may mask any absolute differences in sensitivity but in actual use for me there was little difference. I noticed that the SSB audio had a better quality on the SR, easier to listen to. However, CW tuning I found quite difficult on the SR using around 250 Hz filter because it was very hard to tune smoothly across signals close together. Probably there is a better way to do this.


                                This was my first introduction to SDR (I suspect like many who build the SR kits), and I am very impressed at what can be achieved. 


                                73 Dave G3ZQH


                              • Cecil Bayona
                                Set the scroll wheel on the mouse to move the frequency in very slow steps, anywhere from 10Hz to 50Hz per step, you will need to experiment. ... -- Cecil -
                                Message 15 of 27 , Jan 27, 2014
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                                  Set the scroll wheel on the mouse to move the frequency in very slow
                                  steps, anywhere from 10Hz to 50Hz per step, you will need to experiment.


                                  At 03:19 PM 1/27/2014, you wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >Hi Lee
                                  >
                                  >You asked about 20-10m performance of my SR Ensemble RX compared
                                  >with my main rig. I did do some direct checks, with an A/B antenna
                                  >switch. With a weak signal just above my noise level readability was
                                  >about the same on my FT1000MP compared with the SR. I do have a high
                                  >local noise level (typically S3-4), so that may mask any absolute
                                  >differences in sensitivity but in actual use for me there was little
                                  >difference. I noticed that the SSB audio had a better quality on the
                                  >SR, easier to listen to. However, CW tuning I found quite difficult
                                  >on the SR using around 250 Hz filter because it was very hard to
                                  >tune smoothly across signals close together. Probably there is a
                                  >better way to do this.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >This was my first introduction to SDR (I suspect like many who build
                                  >the SR kits), and I am very impressed at what can be achieved.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >73 Dave G3ZQH

                                  --
                                  Cecil - k5nwa
                                  < http://thepartsplace.k5nwa.com/ > < http://www.softrockradio.org/ >

                                  Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.
                                • David Turnbull
                                  ... I don t have a Delta 44 or even a computer that it could plug into. Also, the Delta 44 came out in 2001, isn t in production anymore, and really isn t a
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Jan 27, 2014
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                                    On Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 12:00 PM, <Kc9cdt@...> wrote:
                                    David,
                                    Is the performance of the Peaberry equivelant or even better than a SR Ensemble RX/TX WITH a Delta 44 sound card?

                                    I don't have a Delta 44 or even a computer that it could plug into. Also, the Delta 44 came out in 2001, isn't in production anymore, and really isn't a great card by modern standards. In other words, a terrible benchmark for 2014.

                                    Using SoftRock results from a member of this group:
                                    And Peaberry results from ARRL testing...

                                    A SoftRock with a Delta 44 has an MDS of -116dBm with 91dB of two-tone dynamic range.
                                    A Peaberry V2 has an MDS of -115dBm with 99dB of two-tone dynamic range.

                                    There's nothing wrong with a 91dB radio. That's up there with the top 10 on the Sherwood list.

                                    73 David AE9RB
                                  • Alan
                                    ... Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance The way I understand it is that for best sensitivity and dynamic range you tailor the gain
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Jan 27, 2014
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                                      ----- Original Message -----
                                      Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance


                                      The way I understand it is that for best sensitivity and dynamic range you tailor the gain of the opamps to suit the noise floor of
                                      the soundcard.
                                      The Softrock gain is set so to suit a mid-quality 16 bit system.
                                      The gain may be reduced if a low noise 24 bit system is used.
                                      The Delta 44 is getting outdated. There are several cards which have lower noise levels although care should be taken when reading
                                      the manufacturer's figure.

                                      The gain should just be enough for the opamp noise to overcome the input noise of the sound device.
                                      This gives the best dynamic range.
                                      If the antenna input is then too great, most likely on the lower frequencies, an attenuator must be used.

                                      I guess on the lower bands the opamp gain could be reduced so that the lowest antenna noise was just seen. Then opamp noise may not
                                      be seen.

                                      But the basic test is that you can just see and hear antenna noise on the highest band covered, sensitivity is then adequate for
                                      that band in your situation.

                                      73 Alan G4ZFQ


                                      > Back in the day most everyone used a Delta-44 for SDR. You could design
                                      > something around that card and everyone would get similar results. These
                                      > days when someone asks if a sound card SDR will meet some performance goal
                                      > the best answer is "it depends on your sound card".
                                      >
                                      > Integrating ADC/DAC into the radio gives everyone the same performance
                                      > specifications. This allows us to discuss all the usual radio measurements
                                      > when pondering applications and design changes. The November 2013 issue of
                                      > QST has the results from ARRL testing of the Peaberry V2.
                                      >
                                      > I set MDS for 60-10m on the Peaberry V2 to -115dBm. Nobody has yet asked
                                      > for more. If they did I would direct them to install the 5k resistors in
                                      > R10-R11 which would add about 15dB of gain. Excess sensitivity wastes your
                                      > dynamic range on antenna noise, so more isn't better unless you didn't have
                                      > enough to start.
                                      >
                                      > You can optimize your SoftRock to match the sound card you are using.
                                      > Simply change the gain of the LT6231 until you get the MDS you want. Your
                                      > MDS target depends on the band noise of your QTH and antenna.
                                      >
                                      > While this may not exactly answer your question about SoftRock performance
                                      > on 10m, hopefully it explains why you can't find a definitive answer.
                                      >
                                    • lbs983405
                                      David your answer is what I was looking for I know several things effect the overall performance of any radio...especially the SDR s. Can I run HDSDR or POWER
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Jan 27, 2014
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                                        David your answer is what I was looking for I know several things effect the overall performance of any radio...especially the SDR's.
                                        Can I run HDSDR or POWER SDR IQ on the Peaberry?
                                        Thanks,
                                        Lee
                                         
                                        -----Original Message-----
                                        From: David Turnbull <dturnbull@...>
                                        To: softrock40 <softrock40@yahoogroups.com>
                                        Sent: Mon, Jan 27, 2014 2:40 pm
                                        Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance

                                         
                                        Back in the day most everyone used a Delta-44 for SDR. You could design something around that card and everyone would get similar results. These days when someone asks if a sound card SDR will meet some performance goal the best answer is "it depends on your sound card".

                                        Integrating ADC/DAC into the radio gives everyone the same performance specifications. This allows us to discuss all the usual radio measurements when pondering applications and design changes. The November 2013 issue of QST has the results from ARRL testing of the Peaberry V2.

                                        I set MDS for 60-10m on the Peaberry V2 to -115dBm. Nobody has yet asked for more. If they did I would direct them to install the 5k resistors in R10-R11 which would add about 15dB of gain. Excess sensitivity wastes your dynamic range on antenna noise, so more isn't better unless you didn't have enough to start.

                                        You can optimize your SoftRock to match the sound card you are using. Simply change the gain of the LT6231 until you get the MDS you want. Your MDS target depends on the band noise of your QTH and antenna.

                                        While this may not exactly answer your question about SoftRock performance on 10m, hopefully it explains why you can't find a definitive answer.

                                        73 David AE9RB


                                        On Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 6:57 AM, <Kc9cdt@...> wrote:


                                        Alan & all,
                                        So would he Peaberry be better in this regard?
                                        Thanks,
                                        Lee
                                         
                                        -----Original Message-----
                                        From: Alan <alan4alan@...>
                                        To: softrock40 <softrock40@yahoogroups.com>
                                        Sent: Mon, Jan 27, 2014 1:51 am
                                        Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance

                                         

                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                        Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance

                                        >So, are you saying that the sense on 17, 15, 12 , 10 is OK compared to your other rig??
                                        I thought someone said the softrocks had poor sense on the higher bands?? (I hope I was mis-informed)

                                        Lee,

                                        It depends, some, including me, say a Softrock lacks sensitivity on 21MHz and above.
                                        Others disagree.
                                        Maybe the Softrocks vary although I have several that cover those bands, they are all the same.
                                        But what does vary is background noise in different locations.

                                        I do not find it a big difference but if you are in a quiet location and want the best be prepared for a small preamp.
                                        Or use a low noise soundcard and reduce the gain of the opamps.

                                        73 Alan G4ZFQ

                                      • lbs983405
                                        Alan, So far so good. I am running the SR Ensemble RX/TX on 80/40. Using HDSDR SW. My sound car & the gain must be pretty good match up. I am very impressed
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Jan 27, 2014
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                                          Alan,
                                          So far so good. I am running the SR Ensemble RX/TX on 80/40. Using HDSDR SW.
                                          My sound car & the gain must be pretty good match up.
                                          I am very impressed with the RX. No overload noted, seems to hear anything the Orion II can hear.
                                           
                                          I do have some 60 cycle hum on transmit.
                                          I am using a wall wart.
                                           
                                          Any ideas what to look for?
                                          I have now scoped the wall wart yet...but I will tonight.
                                           
                                          Thanks,
                                          Lee
                                           
                                          -----Original Message-----
                                          From: Alan <alan4alan@...>
                                          To: softrock40 <softrock40@yahoogroups.com>
                                          Sent: Mon, Jan 27, 2014 5:30 pm
                                          Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance

                                           

                                          ----- Original Message -----
                                          Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance

                                          The way I understand it is that for best sensitivity and dynamic range you tailor the gain of the opamps to suit the noise floor of
                                          the soundcard.
                                          The Softrock gain is set so to suit a mid-quality 16 bit system.
                                          The gain may be reduced if a low noise 24 bit system is used.
                                          The Delta 44 is getting outdated. There are several cards which have lower noise levels although care should be taken when reading
                                          the manufacturer's figure.

                                          The gain should just be enough for the opamp noise to overcome the input noise of the sound device.
                                          This gives the best dynamic range.
                                          If the antenna input is then too great, most likely on the lower frequencies, an attenuator must be used.

                                          I guess on the lower bands the opamp gain could be reduced so that the lowest antenna noise was just seen. Then opamp noise may not
                                          be seen.

                                          But the basic test is that you can just see and hear antenna noise on the highest band covered, sensitivity is then adequate for
                                          that band in your situation.

                                          73 Alan G4ZFQ

                                          > Back in the day most everyone used a Delta-44 for SDR. You could design
                                          > something around that card and everyone would get similar results. These
                                          > days when someone asks if a sound card SDR will meet some performance goal
                                          > the best answer is "it depends on your sound card".
                                          >
                                          > Integrating ADC/DAC into the radio gives everyone the same performance
                                          > specifications. This allows us to discuss all the usual radio measurements
                                          > when pondering applications and design changes. The November 2013 issue of
                                          > QST has the results from ARRL testing of the Peaberry V2.
                                          >
                                          > I set MDS for 60-10m on the Peaberry V2 to -115dBm. Nobody has yet asked
                                          > for more. If they did I would direct them to install the 5k resistors in
                                          > R10-R11 which would add about 15dB of gain. Excess sensitivity wastes your
                                          > dynamic range on antenna noise, so more isn't better unless you didn't have
                                          > enough to start.
                                          >
                                          > You can optimize your SoftRock to match the sound card you are using.
                                          > Simply change the gain of the LT6231 until you get the MDS you want. Your
                                          > MDS target depends on the band noise of your QTH and antenna.
                                          >
                                          > While this may not exactly answer your question about SoftRock performance
                                          > on 10m, hopefully it explains why you can't find a definitive answer.
                                          >

                                        • Alan
                                          ... Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance ... My sound car & the gain must be pretty good match up. I am very impressed with the RX.
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Jan 27, 2014
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                                            ----- Original Message -----
                                            Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance



                                            >So far so good. I am running the SR Ensemble RX/TX on 80/40. Using HDSDR SW.
                                            My sound car & the gain must be pretty good match up.
                                            I am very impressed with the RX. No overload noted, seems to hear anything the Orion II can hear.
                                            I do have some 60 cycle hum on transmit.
                                            I am using a wall wart.
                                            Any ideas what to look for?
                                            I have now scoped the wall wart yet...but I will tonight.


                                            Lee,

                                            Yes, PSU a possibility.
                                            Or the mic, try turning the gain right down.

                                            73 Alan G4ZFQ
                                          • bill.bathgate
                                            Lee, You can run any software on the Peaberry that you can on a Softrock RXTX, I have personally run HDSDR, PowerSDR, Rocky etc. They all work fine. Bill
                                            Message 21 of 27 , Jan 28, 2014
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                                              Lee,

                                              You can run any software on the Peaberry that you can on a Softrock RXTX, I have personally run HDSDR, PowerSDR, Rocky etc. They all work fine.

                                              Bill

                                              KD8IGK

                                            • lbs983405
                                              Bill, That s good news... Thanks Bill, Lee ... From: bill.bathgate To: softrock40 Sent: Tue, Jan 28,
                                              Message 22 of 27 , Jan 28, 2014
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                                                Bill,
                                                That's good news...
                                                Thanks Bill,
                                                Lee
                                                 
                                                -----Original Message-----
                                                From: bill.bathgate <bill.bathgate@...>
                                                To: softrock40 <softrock40@yahoogroups.com>
                                                Sent: Tue, Jan 28, 2014 10:25 am
                                                Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance

                                                 
                                                Lee,

                                                You can run any software on the Peaberry that you can on a Softrock RXTX, I have personally run HDSDR, PowerSDR, Rocky etc. They all work fine.
                                                Bill
                                                KD8IGK
                                              • Ron
                                                Hi Bill, Did you do anything special to get Rocky to run on the Peaberry. I have run HDSDR, PowerSDR, Sdr-radio with the Peaberry and they all run fine, but
                                                Message 23 of 27 , Jan 28, 2014
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                                                  Hi Bill,
                                                  Did you do anything special to get Rocky to run on the Peaberry.
                                                  I have run HDSDR, PowerSDR, Sdr-radio with the Peaberry and they all run
                                                  fine, but the audio out from Rocky is terrible. I have attempted
                                                  several different audio adjustments, but nothings seems to work for me.

                                                  73

                                                  Ron/ W4MMP


                                                  On 1/28/2014 10:25 AM, bill.bathgate@... wrote:
                                                  > You can run any software on the Peaberry that you can on a Softrock
                                                  > RXTX, I have personally run HDSDR, PowerSDR, Rocky etc. They all work
                                                  > fine.
                                                • lbs983405
                                                  Dave, Thanks very much for the details...just what I wanted to hear. Me too, this is a beginning for me. I am amazed at the quality of RX and TX. I just
                                                  Message 24 of 27 , Jan 28, 2014
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                                                    Dave,
                                                    Thanks very much for the details...just what I wanted to hear.
                                                    Me too, this is a beginning for me.
                                                    I am amazed at the quality of RX and TX.
                                                    I just finished a QSO with a guy and he gave me 5-9 and really nice audio report.
                                                    That's with this cheap Radio Shack Mic!
                                                     
                                                    I am using my Alpha 91b for a temporary amp right now...getting 12 watts out.
                                                     
                                                    The guy I had QSO with was actually thinking of getting one of these...now he is READY!
                                                    I guess were spreading the word these are not toys, but nice radios.
                                                     
                                                    Did you try your mouse roller for tuning??
                                                     
                                                    73,
                                                    Lee
                                                     
                                                     
                                                    -----Original Message-----
                                                    From: g3zqh.dave <g3zqh.dave@...>
                                                    To: softrock40 <softrock40@yahoogroups.com>
                                                    Sent: Tue, Jan 28, 2014 1:28 pm
                                                    Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance

                                                     
                                                    Hi Lee
                                                    You asked about 20-10m performance of my SR Ensemble RX compared with my main rig. I did do some direct checks, with an A/B antenna switch. With a weak signal just above my noise level readability was about the same on my FT1000MP compared with the SR. I do have a high local noise level (typically S3-4), so that may mask any absolute differences in sensitivity but in actual use for me there was little difference. I noticed that the SSB audio had a better quality on the SR, easier to listen to. However, CW tuning I found quite difficult on the SR using around 250 Hz filter because it was very hard to tune smoothly across signals close together. Probably there is a better way to do this.

                                                    This was my first introduction to SDR (I suspect like many who build the SR kits), and I am very impressed at what can be achieved. 

                                                    73 Dave G3ZQH

                                                  • bill.bathgate
                                                    Ron, I got Rocky working to RX and TX after I came to realize that HDSDR would not run my key. It worked but after I loaded PowerSDR-iq, I have not looked
                                                    Message 25 of 27 , Jan 29, 2014
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                                                      Ron,

                                                      I got Rocky working to RX and TX after I came to realize that HDSDR would not run my key. It worked but after I loaded PowerSDR-iq, I have not looked back. There was no point PowerSDR was so superior to all the others on Windows based platforms I only use that software now.

                                                      Bill

                                                      KD8IGK

                                                    • lbs983405
                                                      Bill, I may give powersdr-iq a try. For CW reasons. I am pretty spoiled on HDSDR screens & how it works. I love the layout, waterfall, tuning, and at the
                                                      Message 26 of 27 , Jan 29, 2014
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                                                        Bill,
                                                        I may give powersdr-iq a try. For CW reasons.
                                                        I am pretty spoiled on HDSDR screens & how it works.
                                                        I love the layout, waterfall, tuning, and at the bottom the way to adj the bandwidth, & bring in or out each side to get rid of QRM.
                                                        Why is powersdr-iq better than HDSDR (not including CW)
                                                         
                                                        Lee
                                                         
                                                        -----Original Message-----
                                                        From: bill.bathgate <bill.bathgate@...>
                                                        To: softrock40 <softrock40@yahoogroups.com>
                                                        Sent: Wed, Jan 29, 2014 10:53 am
                                                        Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance

                                                         
                                                        Ron,

                                                        I got Rocky working to RX and TX after I came to realize that HDSDR would not run my key. It worked but after I loaded PowerSDR-iq, I have not looked back. There was no point PowerSDR was so superior to all the others on Windows based platforms I only use that software now.
                                                        Bill
                                                        KD8IGK
                                                      • Alan
                                                        ... Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance ... Lee, I reckon you have to answer that yourself. Personally I m not so sure, but I don t
                                                        Message 27 of 27 , Jan 29, 2014
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                                                          ----- Original Message -----
                                                          Subject: Re: [softrock40] RE: Advice on Softrock RX performance



                                                          >Why is powersdr-iq better than HDSDR (not including CW)

                                                          Lee,

                                                          I reckon you have to answer that yourself. Personally I'm not so sure, but I don't use CW.
                                                          Maybe they are different enough so various features satisfy different users?

                                                          73 Alan G4ZFQ
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