Discussion:
Software development with C#
(too old to reply)
KD5NWA
2005-10-05 20:45:16 UTC
Permalink
Are any other C# platforms being successfully used to compile the
Flex software other that MS Visual Studio ?

What about ;

Mono
Grasshopper
C#Builder

??

Cecil Bayona
KD5NWA
www.qrpradio.com

I fail to see why doing the same thing over and over and getting the
same results every time is insanity: I've almost proved it isn't;
only a few more tests now and I'm sure results will differ this time ...
Philip Covington
2005-10-05 22:31:03 UTC
Permalink
Hi Cecil,

The short answer is no, not easily.

It is possible to compile the PowerSDR Console source with
SharpDevelop if you already have the compiled DLLs for DttSP, FFTW,
PortAudio, etc... You will have to make quite a few changes to the
source code to get it to compile though. It is not fun after having
done it a few times. Every time a new version is released you have to
go back through the process of changing the source code to get it to
compile with SharpDevelop. This is using the .NET 1.1 framework.

Because of the use of the DttSP, FFTW, PortAudio, etc DLLs you would
have to make extensive changes to get it to compile under Mono running
on Linux. You *can* use shared libraries in Mono/Linux just like you
can use DLLs in Mono/Windows using interop. It would be so much of a
job that it would be much easier to start from scratch.

Frank Brickle announced that there would be a big update to jDttSP
along with a GUI very soon on Linux. I think it is a collaboration
between Bob Cowdery, Bob McGwier, and Frank Brickle so I am sure one
of them can tell you more.

73 de Phil N8VB
Post by KD5NWA
Are any other C# platforms being successfully used to compile the
Flex software other that MS Visual Studio ?
What about ;
Mono
Grasshopper
C#Builder
??
Cecil Bayona
KD5NWA
www.qrpradio.com
I fail to see why doing the same thing over and over and getting the
same results every time is insanity: I've almost proved it isn't;
only a few more tests now and I'm sure results will differ this time ...
_______________________________________________
FlexRadio mailing list
FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz
http://mail.flex-radio.biz/mailman/listinfo/flexradio_flex-radio.biz
--
Philip A Covington
http://www.philcovington.com
KD5NWA
2005-10-05 23:12:50 UTC
Permalink
That's the feeling I was getting, that is not a simple setup a
project and recompile. There is so much more to a programming
environment, all the libraries would have to be compatible or your
dead in the water.

I was wondering, I went to the icSharpDevelop site and I got the
impression that the software is only a IDE for the MS C# compiler, so
you would still have to have the MS software anyway. Is that correct
or will it work with it's own or other C# compilers.

They have a evaluation version of MS C# has anyone succeeded in
compiling the Flex software with that free software?

Is anyone using the Borland C#Builder environment? I like Delphi and
you get C# included so It would not be so bad to upgrade. My son is
going to the local University so a student copy would also be
reasonable in term of $$

I would imagine it's going to be like everything else MS C#,
C#Builder, Mono, or Grasshopper all would be fine for a new software
project but to convert a project from another environment would be a
lot of work.

Lissssp anyone? :-P
Post by Philip Covington
Hi Cecil,
The short answer is no, not easily.
It is possible to compile the PowerSDR Console source with
SharpDevelop if you already have the compiled DLLs for DttSP, FFTW,
PortAudio, etc... You will have to make quite a few changes to the
source code to get it to compile though. It is not fun after having
done it a few times. Every time a new version is released you have to
go back through the process of changing the source code to get it to
compile with SharpDevelop. This is using the .NET 1.1 framework.
Because of the use of the DttSP, FFTW, PortAudio, etc DLLs you would
have to make extensive changes to get it to compile under Mono running
on Linux. You *can* use shared libraries in Mono/Linux just like you
can use DLLs in Mono/Windows using interop. It would be so much of a
job that it would be much easier to start from scratch.
Frank Brickle announced that there would be a big update to jDttSP
along with a GUI very soon on Linux. I think it is a collaboration
between Bob Cowdery, Bob McGwier, and Frank Brickle so I am sure one
of them can tell you more.
73 de Phil N8VB
Post by KD5NWA
Are any other C# platforms being successfully used to compile the
Flex software other that MS Visual Studio ?
What about ;
Mono
Grasshopper
C#Builder
??
Cecil Bayona
KD5NWA
www.qrpradio.com
I fail to see why doing the same thing over and over and getting the
same results every time is insanity: I've almost proved it isn't;
only a few more tests now and I'm sure results will differ this time ...
_______________________________________________
FlexRadio mailing list
FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz
http://mail.flex-radio.biz/mailman/listinfo/flexradio_flex-radio.biz
--
Philip A Covington
http://www.philcovington.com
Cecil Bayona
KD5NWA
www.qrpradio.com

I fail to see why doing the same thing over and over and getting the
same results every time is insanity: I've almost proved it isn't;
only a few more tests now and I'm sure results will differ this time ...
Jim Lux
2005-10-05 23:48:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by KD5NWA
That's the feeling I was getting, that is not a simple setup a
project and recompile. There is so much more to a programming
environment, all the libraries would have to be compatible or your
dead in the water.
Is anyone using the Borland C#Builder environment? I like Delphi and
you get C# included so It would not be so bad to upgrade. My son is
going to the local University so a student copy would also be
reasonable in term of $$
Except that it would probably violate the terms of the licensing agreement,
unless your son is doing the development as part of a class on developing
SDR software. The educational license also forbids redistribution of works
you create using the software. (see the excerpt below). Whatever you might
think of big software companies and the cost of development tools, you
should really play by the rules.

There's also a philosophical thing here.. If you think the development
software is too expensive (a call you have to make for yourself, depending
on your situation), then one of the ways you can encourage the maker of the
software to reduce the price is to not use it until they do
so. Bootlegging development just encourages them to keep the price up,
because the mfr gets the best of both worlds: no support costs when you
have a problem (because it's a bootleg, you can hardly complain about poor
customer support) and increased usage of their proprietary program.

Here is one of the big advantages of developing for Linux. Tools ARE
available for free (as in beer). They may be clunky, or not as polished, or
not as useful as those that you pay for, but at least you're not shut out
of the game.

For what it's worth VC#.NET 2003 Standard edition is only $109. I have no
idea whether that's all you'd need to compile PowerSDR, though.

Also, consider that just as you would have to buy a decent soldering iron,
some tools, and a DMM to build a hardware radio (if not an oscilloscope,
counter, signal generator, etc.), you probably need to buy some tools to
build a software radio. Sure, you can do without, or borrow from a friend,
or buy used, but life is much easier if you make the investment. (Folks..
don't beat up on me because the analogy breaks down real quickly... but you
get the idea)

Jim, W6RMK




From Borland's website:
"
4.2 ADDITIONAL LICENSE TERMS APPLICABLE TO SOFTWARE LICENSED FOR
EDUCATIONAL USE

Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, you may exercise your
rights under this license to use the Product and to create Works solely for
your
own personal use in providing or receiving instruction within the limited
scope
of guided computer programming and/or software training courses in which
you are
a direct and personal participant, either as student or instructor
("Courses").
You may only reproduce, distribute and use Works, in source or object code
form,
to other participants of the Courses and then only for educational or training
purposes. You may not use the Products or Works created with the products for
any commercial, business, governmental or institutional purpose of any kind,
except to the extent you are an instructor teaching a Course. All rights not
specifically granted to you herein are retained by Borland.
"
KD5NWA
2005-10-06 02:06:20 UTC
Permalink
You missed the previous statement, "It would not be so bad to
upgrade." I own a non-student "Professional" version of Delphi (and
Kylix) that I could upgrade to the 2005 version.

Right now I was hoping there was a multi-platform solution for this
project. Borland has a free Personal edition that allows you to
distribute code for non-commercial use, but it no longer support Linux.

But now, do you have any useful advice on the rest of the email?
Post by Jim Lux
Post by KD5NWA
That's the feeling I was getting, that is not a simple setup a
project and recompile. There is so much more to a programming
environment, all the libraries would have to be compatible or your
dead in the water.
Is anyone using the Borland C#Builder environment? I like Delphi and
you get C# included so It would not be so bad to upgrade. My son is
going to the local University so a student copy would also be
reasonable in term of $$
Except that it would probably violate the terms of the licensing
agreement, unless your son is doing the development as part of a
class on developing SDR software. The educational license also
forbids redistribution of works you create using the software. (see
the excerpt below). Whatever you might think of big software
companies and the cost of development tools, you should really play
by the rules.
There's also a philosophical thing here.. If you think the
development software is too expensive (a call you have to make for
yourself, depending on your situation), then one of the ways you can
encourage the maker of the software to reduce the price is to not
use it until they do so. Bootlegging development just encourages
them to keep the price up, because the mfr gets the best of both
worlds: no support costs when you have a problem (because it's a
bootleg, you can hardly complain about poor customer support) and
increased usage of their proprietary program.
Here is one of the big advantages of developing for Linux. Tools
ARE available for free (as in beer). They may be clunky, or not as
polished, or not as useful as those that you pay for, but at least
you're not shut out of the game.
For what it's worth VC#.NET 2003 Standard edition is only $109. I
have no idea whether that's all you'd need to compile PowerSDR, though.
Also, consider that just as you would have to buy a decent soldering
iron, some tools, and a DMM to build a hardware radio (if not an
oscilloscope, counter, signal generator, etc.), you probably need to
buy some tools to build a software radio. Sure, you can do without,
or borrow from a friend, or buy used, but life is much easier if you
make the investment. (Folks.. don't beat up on me because the
analogy breaks down real quickly... but you get the idea)
Jim, W6RMK
"
4.2 ADDITIONAL LICENSE TERMS APPLICABLE TO SOFTWARE LICENSED FOR
EDUCATIONAL USE
Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, you may exercise your
rights under this license to use the Product and to create Works
solely for your
own personal use in providing or receiving instruction within the
limited scope
of guided computer programming and/or software training courses in
which you are
a direct and personal participant, either as student or instructor
("Courses").
You may only reproduce, distribute and use Works, in source or
object code form,
to other participants of the Courses and then only for educational or training
purposes. You may not use the Products or Works created with the products for
any commercial, business, governmental or institutional purpose of any kind,
except to the extent you are an instructor teaching a Course. All rights not
specifically granted to you herein are retained by Borland.
"
--
No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
Version: 7.0.344 / Virus Database: 267.11.10/120 - Release Date: 10/5/2005
Cecil Bayona
KD5NWA
www.qrpradio.com

I fail to see why doing the same thing over and over and getting the
same results every time is insanity: I've almost proved it isn't;
only a few more tests now and I'm sure results will differ this time ...
Philip Covington
2005-10-06 02:47:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jim Lux
Here is one of the big advantages of developing for Linux. Tools ARE
available for free (as in beer). They may be clunky, or not as polished, or
not as useful as those that you pay for, but at least you're not shut out
of the game.
Many of those tools are also available for Windows. I am using
libusb-win32 for my FX2 development work. It is a port of the libusb
library for linux. I have written a C# wrapper for the libusb API
that works on BOTH Linux and Windows without recompiling under Mono.
Many of the tools I use on Linux are also available on Windows through
cywin and MinGW.

The open source SDCC compiler that I am using for FX2 firmware
development works well in Linux and Windows.

73 de Phil N8VB


--
Philip A Covington
http://www.philcovington.com
Philip Covington
2005-10-06 02:54:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by KD5NWA
I was wondering, I went to the icSharpDevelop site and I got the
impression that the software is only a IDE for the MS C# compiler, so
you would still have to have the MS software anyway. Is that correct
or will it work with it's own or other C# compilers.
In SharpDevelop you can choose between using the MS csc compiler or
the Mono mcs compiler in the project options configuration. You can
also choose either the .NET framework runtime or the Mono runtime. I
almost always use SharpDevelop with Mono selected for both since the
executables and libraries will run on both Windows and Linux without
recompiling. So, to answer your question - no you are not stuck with
the MS compiler or the .NET framework if you use SharpDevelop.

73 de Phil N8VB
Frank Brickle
2005-10-06 03:19:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by KD5NWA
Lissssp anyone? :-P
Don't I wish.

All you need to be convinced is to see the edifice that Bill Schottaedt
of CCRMA has built around CLM, CMN, and snd to see the value of that
kind of programming environment. His stuff works across all the current
Lisps. He doesn't consign you to using Lisp, either. You can leverage
his work in C, guile, Ruby...pretty astonishing.

One of the reasons we're rolling much of the effort over into Python is
the extent to which that platform provides much of what you'd like to
have from Lisp, except the programmable syntax. It wouldn't be
surprising if the same considerations weighed heavily in the choice of
Python as the medium for gnuradio.

73
Frank
AB2KT
Frank Brickle
2005-10-06 03:32:20 UTC
Permalink
...a big update to jDttSP
along with a GUI very soon on Linux. I think it is a collaboration
between Bob Cowdery, Bob McGwier, and Frank Brickle so I am sure one
of them can tell you more.
That's right. Now that we're past the official fork between the Linux
and Windows versions, the complete Linux environment is crystallizing
fast. Bob G3UKB has done heroic work in building the console and remoted
control environment. The debugging is mostly a question of ironing out
version inconsistencies between various supporting software chunks.

The main outstanding question right now is how to provide a complete
system for the early adopters that won't have them tearing their hair
out over massive installation requirements and dependency problems. This
is a non-trivial issue and difficult to solve without forcing everybody
to the same Linux distro, release, and supplementary libraries. Nothing
conclusive yet.

N4HY and I are down for the count right now with AMSAT and other
commitments, but we will be concentrating on the Linux release again
during the coming week.

73
Frank
AB2KT
VA3MA - Dan
2005-10-06 03:16:23 UTC
Permalink
http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/4108#42946

Not a nice review - yet is buying another!
Tim Ellison
2005-10-06 13:23:18 UTC
Permalink
Bom dia. Oi.

For me, this was an informative and interesting review. I am very seriously considering the purchase of an SDR-1000. In preparation, I have upgraded my computer, purchased the Delta44 and Eric's ground isolation kit. The only thing that has prevented me from purchasing one to date is that I had to leave the country for 2 months on business.

I am going into my SDR-1000 adventure with my eyes wide open. I am aware that the software is a work in progress and that this is not an "appliance operator" type of radio. No problem. I've lived on the cutting edge before so I know what to expect. The support and contributions of this group also has lessened my fears that the ~$1500 will be a well spent future investment.

What concerns me is that a core part of my reasoning for going ahead with the SDR-1000 purchase was based on the assumption that the hardware component of the radio was, for the most part solid. I am aware that there have been minor improvements in the past to correct issues. That is to be expected.

But the e-ham review brought up some interesting issues. Mostly about the construction quality, PA oscillations and RF susceptibility. I realize that one review doesn't properly describe the true state of things, but along with the other threads on this forum about problems being attributed to cold solder joints, I started wondering about my future purchase.

The rebuttal e-ham review by KD5RD clearly defined the well known accolades and potential issues of *software* defined radios but doesn't address any of the hardware construction issues raised by AA8VL.

Therefore I am interested in the discussion that this review will generate in this forum and also on e-ham. Hopefully my fears will be abated by the responses.

At? logo

73 de W4TME

-Tim
---
Integrated Technical Services

"You can't close the door when the walls cave in" --Robert Hunter

-----Original Message-----
From: FlexRadio-bounces at flex-radio.biz [mailto:FlexRadio-bounces at flex-radio.biz] On Behalf Of VA3MA - Dan
Sent: Wednesday, October 05, 2005 11:16 PM
To: FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz
Subject: [Flexradio] Eham Review

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/4108#42946

Not a nice review - yet is buying another!
Dale Boresz
2005-10-06 14:40:43 UTC
Permalink
Hello Tim,

I'm confident that the hardware issues related to the Eham review are
the exception and not the rule. Remember, many early purchasers of the
SDR-1000 assembled their radios in sections, probably purchasing the
board stack first, with the remainder to follow. That leaves a lot of
opportunity to benfit from careful assembly technique, or to suffer from
poor assembly technique.

I've had my SDR-1000 for about a year and a half, and started with just
the board stack. Later on, I purchased the 100 watt PA, and when I
realized that keeping all of them out in the open was just inviting
disaster via a dropped tool or metal cable connector, I ordered the
cabinet.

Regarding assembly of the radio, the only 'extra' precaution I took was
to thoroughly remove every last bit of paint on all mating surfaces of
the panel. The documention recommended removing the paint where the
screws connect the cabinet sections together, but I carried it a bit
further figuring it couldn't hurt.

Right from the beginning, I had concerns about the fact that the total
radio 'system' was actually distributed between a computer and the
SDR-1000 hardware, and took the precaution of assuring that both the
computer and the power supply for the radio were connected to the same
isolated power source via an APC brand UPS system, model # "Back-UPS XS
1500".

Regarding the microphone connector on the front panel of the radio, I
used it only once, then realized that it made more sense to plug the
microphone directly into the sound card via a homemade adapter. There
are no ferite beads on any external wiring to either the SDR-1000 or the
computer. Frankly, I'm amazed that none were needed, but that's the way
it is.

So, the removal of paint on adjoining panel surfaces on the cabinet, and
the use of a common AC mains power source (UPS) are the extent of any
extraordinary measures taken with this radio. I've used it on 160M
through 17 meters, with and without an external Ameritron AL-811H
amplifier, and on 2 meters with an Elecraft XV144 transverter and have
never experienced *any* rf feedback. I've also never experienced any
instability with the 100 watt PA. To the contrary, I've found the PA to
have been particularly tolerant of my multiple inadvertent attempts to
destroy it by transmitting into 'thin air' or the wrong antenna. The
antennas here are resonant, with SWR's that are below 2:1, but they're
not perfect.

I can honestly say that except for the 1/8" phone jacks, I have no
complaints about the hardware, and have had no problems related to
hardware.

Regarding the 'work in progress', yes, to the extent that algorithms
improve, new modulation modes appear, and new features and functionality
are added, the radio is a work in progess. How fortunate for all of us!
However, remember that Flex-Radio maintains an official stable release
of the software. Those of us who enjoy trying the absolute latest
updates, and are willing to accept the inevitability of bugs but enjoy
the adventure will continue to download and experiment with the latest
Beta releases as soon as the become available. Those who have no time
for such nonsense, or who just want to get on the air with the best
radio on the market can do so by using the current stable release of the
software, and upgrade to the next stable release when it becomes
available. I know of NO other radio on the market which offers this
flexibility.

As an owner of the wonderful Elecraft K2, and an ICOM 746PRO, and being
in the fortunate position of living about a mile away from AES Cleveland
where I can always check out the latest and greatest from those other
'hardware-bound' manufacturers, I can say with all sincerity that the
receiver of the SDR-1000 is the best that I have ever heard or used,
anywhere. Period.

I've been a ham for 40 years, and it's the greatest hobby around, and I
remember with fondness the excitement of the 'old days', trying out new
antennas, modes, and equipment. But things have become a bit 'stable'
over the last 30 years or so with fewer of those exciting moments.

Well, the excitement is back; over and over again, with each new release
of the PowerSDR console!

Looking forward to hearing you on the air with your own SDR-1000, Tim.

73, Dale WA8SRA
Post by Tim Ellison
Bom dia. Oi.
For me, this was an informative and interesting review. I am very seriously considering the purchase of an SDR-1000. In preparation, I have upgraded my computer, purchased the Delta44 and Eric's ground isolation kit. The only thing that has prevented me from purchasing one to date is that I had to leave the country for 2 months on business.
I am going into my SDR-1000 adventure with my eyes wide open. I am aware that the software is a work in progress and that this is not an "appliance operator" type of radio. No problem. I've lived on the cutting edge before so I know what to expect. The support and contributions of this group also has lessened my fears that the ~$1500 will be a well spent future investment.
What concerns me is that a core part of my reasoning for going ahead with the SDR-1000 purchase was based on the assumption that the hardware component of the radio was, for the most part solid. I am aware that there have been minor improvements in the past to correct issues. That is to be expected.
But the e-ham review brought up some interesting issues. Mostly about the construction quality, PA oscillations and RF susceptibility. I realize that one review doesn't properly describe the true state of things, but along with the other threads on this forum about problems being attributed to cold solder joints, I started wondering about my future purchase.
The rebuttal e-ham review by KD5RD clearly defined the well known accolades and potential issues of *software* defined radios but doesn't address any of the hardware construction issues raised by AA8VL.
Therefore I am interested in the discussion that this review will generate in this forum and also on e-ham. Hopefully my fears will be abated by the responses.
At? logo
73 de W4TME
-Tim
---
Integrated Technical Services
"You can't close the door when the walls cave in" --Robert Hunter
-----Original Message-----
From: FlexRadio-bounces at flex-radio.biz [mailto:FlexRadio-bounces at flex-radio.biz] On Behalf Of VA3MA - Dan
Sent: Wednesday, October 05, 2005 11:16 PM
To: FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz
Subject: [Flexradio] Eham Review
http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/4108#42946
Not a nice review - yet is buying another!
_______________________________________________
FlexRadio mailing list
FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz
http://mail.flex-radio.biz/mailman/listinfo/flexradio_flex-radio.biz
_______________________________________________
FlexRadio mailing list
FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz
http://mail.flex-radio.biz/mailman/listinfo/flexradio_flex-radio.biz
Jim Lux
2005-10-06 14:51:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dale Boresz
Hello Tim,
I'm confident that the hardware issues related to the Eham review are
the exception and not the rule. Remember, many early purchasers of the
SDR-1000 assembled their radios in sections, probably purchasing the
board stack first, with the remainder to follow. That leaves a lot of
opportunity to benfit from careful assembly technique, or to suffer from
poor assembly technique.
I doubt anyone soldered their own boards, and some of the problems with
early units that have been reported have been either design decisions
(switching vs linear regulator; heat problems with the DDS chips), failed
components, or things like broken traces.

Yep, the 1/8" stereo mini-phone jack connectors are crummy, but as I
understand it, that was a design decision to allow folks to get up and
running quickly with cables from radio shack or best buy. Ya gotta pick
something when making that first board run, and then you're stuck with it.
Post by Dale Boresz
Right from the beginning, I had concerns about the fact that the total
radio 'system' was actually distributed between a computer and the
SDR-1000 hardware, and took the precaution of assuring that both the
computer and the power supply for the radio were connected to the same
isolated power source via an APC brand UPS system, model # "Back-UPS XS
1500".
That's not a static inverter type UPS (at least as far as the cutsheet
shows), so it doesn't really provide an isolated power source. when not
running off batteries, it's really no different than plugging everything
into a standard surge protected plug strip.



James Lux, P.E.
Spacecraft Radio Frequency Subsystems Group
Flight Communications Systems Section
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mail Stop 161-213
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
tel: (818)354-2075
fax: (818)393-6875
lloen
2005-10-06 20:31:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jim Lux
Post by Dale Boresz
Hello Tim,
I'm confident that the hardware issues related to the Eham review are
the exception and not the rule. Remember, many early purchasers of the
SDR-1000 assembled their radios in sections, probably purchasing the
board stack first, with the remainder to follow. That leaves a lot of
opportunity to benfit from careful assembly technique, or to suffer from
poor assembly technique.
Post by Jim Lux
I doubt anyone soldered their own boards, and some of the problems with
early units that have been reported have been either design decisions
(switching vs linear regulator; heat problems with the DDS chips),
failed
Post by Jim Lux
components, or things like broken traces.
You still have to plug the boards together. I bought mine fully
assembled, with enclosure, to avoid all that. I did own a 3 board stack,
briefly, but quickly swapped for the full monty with W0VB who, himself,
upgraded the stack.

No problems going fully assembled and now that the boards aren't for sale
separately, hopefully we're near the end of hearing about it.
Post by Jim Lux
Yep, the 1/8" stereo mini-phone jack connectors are crummy, but as I
understand it, that was a design decision to allow folks to get up and
running quickly with cables from radio shack or best buy. Ya gotta pick
something when making that first board run, and then you're stuck with
it.
I was told this was also done to enable certain board manufacturing
techniques in terms of placement of the plugs directly on the board.

I have often advocated that, someday, we minimize/get rid of this
altogether with some sort of true USB interface to a small microprocessor,
possibly sending in the I and Q stream as integers or IEEE floats,
depending on what works best and then have either the D44 or an ordinary
D/A A/D hidden inside either the current box or some sort of "caboose" for
us old timers. Well, I can dream, can't I?

But, it would get rid of _all_ the cable problems once and for all. I
have the USB-to-parallel and it works fine on my underpowered laptop (1.4
GHz, Celeron) even without the latest recommended fix.

I personally think this would get rid of 90 per cent of the problems if
Gerald and that talented Flex team could somehow make it happen.
Post by Jim Lux
Post by Dale Boresz
Right from the beginning, I had concerns about the fact that the total
radio 'system' was actually distributed between a computer and the
SDR-1000 hardware, and took the precaution of assuring that both the
computer and the power supply for the radio were connected to the same
isolated power source via an APC brand UPS system, model # "Back-UPS XS
1500".
Post by Jim Lux
That's not a static inverter type UPS (at least as far as the cutsheet
shows), so it doesn't really provide an isolated power source. when not
running off batteries, it's really no different than plugging everything
into a standard surge protected plug strip.
This guy has a genius for finding problems I haven't. Not discounting
them -- this isn't an appliance rig. And, I haven't hooked up an external
KW yet, so maybe I'll have my own problems later.

But, I've used my desktop with D44 and Santa Cruz, without half the
problems. Now lappy plus Extigy, and I got that working within hours
(after I learned where the driver was).

I'm struggling a little with the D44 and SSB, though I have the audio
solution for that which I just haven't put in. Need to ensure the Extigy
is OK (as the Santa Cruz was) and I'm off to Belize with this.

And this here note is from a guy who made about every possible mistake,
including an inferior G5RV with RF feedback issues, an inadequate 12 v
supply, and being clueless about sound card setup until my friends bailed
me out. Several times.

But, I got going and, eventually, I got into a groove where troubles
stopped happening.

Hope we can still make this guy happy. Maybe he should be on Teamspeak
more? I don't recognize the call right away.



Larry WO0Z
Jim Lux
2005-10-07 03:02:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by lloen
I have often advocated that, someday, we minimize/get rid of this
altogether with some sort of true USB interface to a small microprocessor,
possibly sending in the I and Q stream as integers or IEEE floats,
depending on what works best and then have either the D44 or an ordinary
D/A A/D hidden inside either the current box or some sort of "caboose" for
us old timers. Well, I can dream, can't I?
Yep.... would be nice to have a digital output... but, practically
speaking, designing high performance A/D,D/A stuff is a royal pain.
Post by lloen
But, it would get rid of _all_ the cable problems once and for all. I
have the USB-to-parallel and it works fine on my underpowered laptop (1.4
GHz, Celeron) even without the latest recommended fix.
Why not have it spit out on Ethernet?


James Lux, P.E.
Spacecraft Radio Frequency Subsystems Group
Flight Communications Systems Section
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mail Stop 161-213
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
tel: (818)354-2075
fax: (818)393-6875
Larry Loen
2005-10-07 05:26:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jim Lux
Why not have it spit out on Ethernet?
I thought about this at length. I think it is better and more flexible
for the hypothetical new SDR (even with the added USB/micro in between
us and the current rig) to be a USB 2.0 appliance rather than a network
appliance. The network appliance would be at the next level up (Windows
orLinux, user choice) and would enable a lot of the customization people
are probably interested in doing (command line versus GUI, true network
port/portal versus TightVNC, etc.). Keeping the device simple and low
level allows lots of options and is also easier to setup for many.

For instance, there's cases like mobile computing where one may not want
to deal with the added complexity of a network at all. Just toss it in
the car, hook up the USB, and get on the air.

By not requiring a network, that whole process is less complicated and
is accessible to more people, even in the base station case.


Larry WO0Z
Simon Brown
2005-10-07 13:03:38 UTC
Permalink
If a decision is made to abandon the serial port protocol I would go for
ethernet so that the radio *can* be put on a network.

Simon Brown, HB9DRV
---
www.sysgem.com, www.hb9drv.ch, www.laax.ch
---

----- Original Message -----
From: "Larry Loen" <lloen at rapidwebllp.com>
Post by Larry Loen
I thought about this at length. I think it is better and more flexible
for the hypothetical new SDR (even with the added USB/micro in between
us and the current rig) to be a USB 2.0 appliance rather than a network
appliance. The network appliance would be at the next level up (Windows
orLinux, user choice) and would enable a lot of the customization people
are probably interested in doing (command line versus GUI, true network
port/portal versus TightVNC, etc.). Keeping the device simple and low
level allows lots of options and is also easier to setup for many.
For instance, there's cases like mobile computing where one may not want
to deal with the added complexity of a network at all. Just toss it in
the car, hook up the USB, and get on the air.
By not requiring a network, that whole process is less complicated and
is accessible to more people, even in the base station case.
Philip Covington
2005-10-07 13:44:45 UTC
Permalink
That can be done right now if someone wants to take up integrating the
Socket Utilities Library and TCPListener Class that I wrote into the
current PowerSDR source code. I added it to a test version of
PowerSDR 1.3.12 (see blog entry for Tuesday, June 28, 2005 at
http://pcovington.blogspot.com/) that supported up to 10 concurrent
connections on a user defined port. Basically it interfaces in the
exact same way that the SIOListener Class does for serial CAT comms,
so it will seemlessly work with Bob Tracy's CAT code as-is.

There is another app on my webpage that bridges the vCOM (or hardware)
serial ports to TCP to allow programs like HRD to connect over a
network. Or someone can just connect on the TCP port and send CAT
commands to PowerSDR over the network.

I still use my patched PowerSDR 1.3.12 version from time to time when
I want to listen to the SDR-1000 from my laptop outside (over wireless
LAN) running HRD on the laptop.

All the code is available from my website and I can send anyone that
requests it, the PowerSDR 1.3.12 source code with the TCPListener mod
if they want to take up integrating it into the current 1.4.5 source
code.

73 de Phil N8VB
Post by Simon Brown
If a decision is made to abandon the serial port protocol I would go for
ethernet so that the radio *can* be put on a network.
Simon Brown, HB9DRV
---
www.sysgem.com, www.hb9drv.ch, www.laax.ch
Philip Covington
2005-10-07 13:55:08 UTC
Permalink
Of course I should note that you will still have to have a PC
connected to the SDR-1000 but that can be easily done with a mini-itx
board. Better, yet it would be cool to strip most or all of the GUI
stuff out of PowerSDR except for the setup forms (to make setting
changes to the database - this could be done in a separate app too)
and just command the radio via CAT over TCP or serial.

73 de Phil N8VB
Post by Philip Covington
That can be done right now if someone wants to take up integrating the
Socket Utilities Library and TCPListener Class that I wrote into the
current PowerSDR source code. I added it to a test version of
PowerSDR 1.3.12 (see blog entry for Tuesday, June 28, 2005 at
http://pcovington.blogspot.com/) that supported up to 10 concurrent
connections on a user defined port. Basically it interfaces in the
exact same way that the SIOListener Class does for serial CAT comms,
so it will seemlessly work with Bob Tracy's CAT code as-is.
There is another app on my webpage that bridges the vCOM (or hardware)
serial ports to TCP to allow programs like HRD to connect over a
network. Or someone can just connect on the TCP port and send CAT
commands to PowerSDR over the network.
I still use my patched PowerSDR 1.3.12 version from time to time when
I want to listen to the SDR-1000 from my laptop outside (over wireless
LAN) running HRD on the laptop.
All the code is available from my website and I can send anyone that
requests it, the PowerSDR 1.3.12 source code with the TCPListener mod
if they want to take up integrating it into the current 1.4.5 source
code.
73 de Phil N8VB
Post by Simon Brown
If a decision is made to abandon the serial port protocol I would go for
ethernet so that the radio *can* be put on a network.
Simon Brown, HB9DRV
---
www.sysgem.com, www.hb9drv.ch, www.laax.ch
--
Philip A Covington
http://www.philcovington.com
Simon Brown
2005-10-07 14:39:52 UTC
Permalink
Exactly.

Simon Brown, HB9DRV
---
www.sysgem.com, www.hb9drv.ch, www.laax.ch

----- Original Message -----
From: "Philip Covington" <p.covington at gmail.com>


Of course I should note that you will still have to have a PC
connected to the SDR-1000 but that can be easily done with a mini-itx
board. Better, yet it would be cool to strip most or all of the GUI
stuff out of PowerSDR except for the setup forms (to make setting
changes to the database - this could be done in a separate app too)
and just command the radio via CAT over TCP or serial.
Larry Loen
2005-10-07 13:44:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Brown
If a decision is made to abandon the serial port protocol I would go for
ethernet so that the radio *can* be put on a network.
Simon Brown, HB9DRV
---
www.sysgem.com, www.hb9drv.ch, www.laax.ch
---
And, under my scheme, nothing whatever would stop you from doing so. It
would happen in the most natural and obvious way -- you'd hook it up to
your PC using USB, put your PC on the net (which would be smart enough
to deal with firewalls, IPv4 versus IPv6 whenever that becomes important
and a host of other things known and unknown). You'd be able to run the
regular code with TightVNC or custom code that dealt with incoming
requests more directly.

Meanwhile, you would not be _required_ to put the radio on a network to
use it in the ordinary fashion, a skill some people do not possess in
abundance or which some would not wish to exercise in their automobile
if they take their SDR mobile. There, USB is a much, much simpler
interface.

It's really a question of where the complexity belongs. Networks are
nasty little things and it's ideal for a real computer. We could do it
at the peripheral level, but for the reasons I give, I think we'd repent
of it quickly. Besides, the USB line is assuredly dedicated and it
would also simplify timing questions not to have even the possibility of
an ethernet collision.


Larry WO0Z
W2AGN
2005-10-06 14:42:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tim Ellison
Bom dia. Oi.
For me, this was an informative and interesting review. I am very seriously considering the purchase of an SDR-1000. In preparation, I have upgraded my computer, purchased the Delta44 and Eric's ground isolation kit. The only thing that has prevented me from purchasing one to date is that I had to leave the country for 2 months on business.
I would take ANY eham review with more than just a grain of salt. One
need only read some of the "articles" and their comments to see the
mentality that frequents eham.

In the old days, trolls lived under bridges, now they live at eham.
--
_ _ _ _ _
/ \ / \ / \ / \ / \ John L. Sielke
( W ) ( 2 ) ( A ) ( G ) ( N ) http://w2agn.net
\_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/
"CRUSTY OLD CURMUDGEON - AND PROUD OF IT!"
Mike Naruta
2005-10-06 15:10:26 UTC
Permalink
Well, let?s look at the complaints.


?RF suppression is inadequate. The SDR has little to
"NO" RF shielding. This means if you run an external
amplifier...GOOD LUCK! If you run the internal 100W PA...
you will need some luck as well. This radio was
originally designed as a QRP 1 watt transmitter...
since then they added a 100W PA without adding
suppression...youre just asking for problems.?

It?s a metal enclosure. If you use shielded cables to
connect to it, you may be okay.

I remember decades ago when I used to get an RF burn on
my lip when it touched the microphone. RF in the shack
is often an antenna/feedline issue.

I haven?t hooked up an external amplifier yet, but I am
running the 100 Watt internal PA. I was disappointed
with the output power until the software version 1.4.4
came out. Now there's lots of power.

I don?t use a direct microphone input, but I use an old
Shure microphone mixer ($20 on eBay) that gives me
flexibility on transmit audio sources, and I can turn
down the sound card gain and avoid RFI issues.


?The SDR's PA board oscillates between 1 watt and 200 watts
all by itself (most notably when running an external
amplifier on the lower frequencies, but occasionally if
you're not running an amp and on the higher bands).
I have partially cured this instability by running
additional grounding.?

I have not observed this. My SDR-1000 was ordered at
Dayton 2005. I have since done the PA bias adjustment ECO.
One fellow was having problems until he re-soldered some
suspicious-looking solder joints on the PA


?-The radio locks up in receive, transmit, or both a little
more often than periodically. I talked to flex and this is
a known issue that should be taken care of in newer models.?

I have not observed this. Note: by applying the Engineering
Change Orders and updating the software, you have the latest
version of the transceiver.


?-The sound card recommended is a Delta 44 which has 1/2
inch Phono connectors...the SDR connectors are sloppy 1/8
inch connectors. When you plug the cables in you can feel
the guts of the radio shift back and forth...and the 1/8
inch input cables are cheesy and prone to just fall out of
the radio. The power terminals to the SDR are cheesy.
The whole 4 pin mic connector just spins when you try to
screw on a mic. Basically all the connectors on the SDR
chassis are cheesy and weak. You can plug the parallel
cable upside down into the radio and not even know it!!!?

Yeah, the miniature phone jacks are not the most elegant
choice, but it was originally designed for a PC sound card.
There are a bunch of these connectors in use in the world.
If you don?t have a plug with extra molding around it that
keeps it from seating properly through the back panel holes,
it works.

The power terminals are traditional binding posts.
I?d like to use a banana plug, but it won?t handle the
high current. I crimped a lug on to 12 gauge stranded
wire and it handles more than 20 Amps. I couldn?t measure
any voltage drop across the posts. The red and black
insulated ?nuts? will unscrew all the way off the post,
so you can use a lug with a hole; you don?t need one that
is open. One guy modified it for the RACES connectors,
if that?s what you like.

Parallel cable: I look before I screw a cable on to see
the orientation. I suppose that I could put it on upside
down. The external control connector is a DB-15 high-density;
very standard in the industry. The microphone connector
is a traditional one; mine doesn?t spin. Perhaps he got
one that wasn?t tightened properly. The antenna connector
is a BNC. I am glad to see this instead of the SO-239
?UHF? connector.

The Delta-44 sound card does have a remote dongle with
phone jacks. I soldered phone plugs on some miniature
phone cables, so it works fine. There is a kit that plugs
right into the sound card and does away with the dongle
and supports using a off-the-shelf miniature phone cord
jumper.


?-The inside of the SDR is wired by a lot of loosely
connected stereo speaker like connectors. You know the
ones that always don"t seat properly, always get noise,
and you just end up cutting them off and hard wiring them.
Well that is how most of the jumpers connect to the PA
boards are configured etc etc etc. Almost all of the
connectors visible from the top don't even snap on they
are just pushed in and hope for the best.?

No problems here yet.


?-No Vox, QSK or the like?

I think VOX is coming. No QSK. I believe that this is a
PC issue, not a SDR-1000 hardware one. Definitely not a
?full-break-in? transceiver.


?-No ON/OFF LED on the chassis.?

No power indicator on the transceiver. I went to AutoZone
and bought an illuminated power switch that fits in the
same hole. Works fine.


?-Don't plan on surfing the web or working on documents
while RX / TX with the SDR...the audio will get choppy
like a skipping CD and or PowerSDR will lock up.?

I?m running on a 2 Ghz PC. I use other software (Ham Radio
Deluxe and PSK31) and I surf while using the SDR-1000.
The SDR-1000 takes less than 10% of my CPU. I do notice
it get choppy when I am doing something like a Windows
software update, or a Symantec update.


?-You will need a nice set of amplified computer
speakers...otherwise you wont get much audio from the
sound card.?

Yep. Same as a regular PC. Off the sound card I?ve got
an old ?HiFi? receiver with some big speakers and when I
open up the bandwidth on the SDR-1000, the audio is just
beautiful.


?-The monitor circuit is almost unusable do to the delay
in the software buffers. This makes CW almost unusable
if your not using an external electronic CW Iambic Keyer.
The SDR is certainly not setup as a contester or CW rig.?

Yep, I don?t use the monitor because of the delay.


73,
Mike - AA8K
Post by Tim Ellison
Bom dia. Oi.
For me, this was an informative and interesting review. I am very seriously considering the purchase of an SDR-1000. In preparation, I have upgraded my computer, purchased the Delta44 and Eric's ground isolation kit. The only thing that has prevented me from purchasing one to date is that I had to leave the country for 2 months on business.
I am going into my SDR-1000 adventure with my eyes wide open. I am aware that the software is a work in progress and that this is not an "appliance operator" type of radio. No problem. I've lived on the cutting edge before so I know what to expect. The support and contributions of this group also has lessened my fears that the ~$1500 will be a well spent future investment.
What concerns me is that a core part of my reasoning for going ahead with the SDR-1000 purchase was based on the assumption that the hardware component of the radio was, for the most part solid. I am aware that there have been minor improvements in the past to correct issues. That is to be expected.
But the e-ham review brought up some interesting issues. Mostly about the construction quality, PA oscillations and RF susceptibility. I realize that one review doesn't properly describe the true state of things, but along with the other threads on this forum about problems being attributed to cold solder joints, I started wondering about my future purchase.
The rebuttal e-ham review by KD5RD clearly defined the well known accolades and potential issues of *software* defined radios but doesn't address any of the hardware construction issues raised by AA8VL.
Therefore I am interested in the discussion that this review will generate in this forum and also on e-ham. Hopefully my fears will be abated by the responses.
At? logo
73 de W4TME
Jim Lux
2005-10-06 17:01:56 UTC
Permalink
Well, let's look at the complaints.
<snip>
I have not observed this. Note: by applying the Engineering
Change Orders and updating the software, you have the latest
version of the transceiver.
Not all versions can be updated with the latest ECOs. If you have one of
the "Mark I" versions, you might not be able to change some things. It's
not *entirely* a software radio.


Parallel cable: I look before I screw a cable on to see
the orientation. I suppose that I could put it on upside
down. The external control connector is a DB-15 high-density;
very standard in the industry.
ALthough.. one must be careful if you buy "extension cords" for the HD15..
A lot of them are VGA monitor application specific (i.e. they have 3 coax
runs, and connect all the grounds together).
"-Don't plan on surfing the web or working on documents
while RX / TX with the SDR...the audio will get choppy
like a skipping CD and or PowerSDR will lock up."
I'm running on a 2 Ghz PC. I use other software (Ham Radio
Deluxe and PSK31) and I surf while using the SDR-1000.
The SDR-1000 takes less than 10% of my CPU. I do notice
it get choppy when I am doing something like a Windows
software update, or a Symantec update.
Hopefully, this kind of thing will go away as folks move to a more
partitioned architecture, with a small standalone PC (booting off CF or
network) tied to the radio, and the UI running on some other box.

Trying to do realtime processing along with anything else is asking for
trouble. This isn't unique to the SDR1000... I doubt anyone expects to run
a high performance game and simultaneously work on a powerpoint
presentation or install software.





Jim, W6RMK
Robert McGwier
2005-10-06 19:08:06 UTC
Permalink
ALL of my three SDR-1000's are Mark I radios and they all have all of
the ECO's.

Bob
N4HY
Post by Jim Lux
Well, let's look at the complaints.
<snip>
I have not observed this. Note: by applying the Engineering
Change Orders and updating the software, you have the latest
version of the transceiver.
Not all versions can be updated with the latest ECOs. If you have one of
the "Mark I" versions, you might not be able to change some things. It's
not *entirely* a software radio.
--
Laziness is the number one inspiration for ingenuity. Guilty as charged!
Jim Lux
2005-10-06 23:42:52 UTC
Permalink
ALL of my three SDR-1000's are Mark I radios and they all have all of the
ECO's.
Bob
N4HY
Post by Jim Lux
Post by Mike Naruta
I have not observed this. Note: by applying the Engineering
Change Orders and updating the software, you have the latest
version of the transceiver.
Not all versions can be updated with the latest ECOs. If you have one of
the "Mark I" versions, you might not be able to change some things. It's
not *entirely* a software radio.
ECO-002 will not fit on an original (sans RFE) radio.

While not exactly an ECO (more a design change), the 5V regulator was
originally a switcher and is now a linear. (not documented on the website
list of ECOs)

I suppose the point is that it still is a piece of hardware.
--
Laziness is the number one inspiration for ingenuity. Guilty as charged!
James Lux, P.E.
Spacecraft Radio Frequency Subsystems Group
Flight Communications Systems Section
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mail Stop 161-213
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
tel: (818)354-2075
fax: (818)393-6875
Lyle Johnson
2005-10-07 00:02:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jim Lux
While not exactly an ECO (more a design change), the 5V regulator was
originally a switcher and is now a linear. (not documented on the website
list of ECOs)
Actually, it was *originally* a linear regulator.

Some users were concerned about the heat from the regulator in the
original three board stack with no case. The switcher was found and
installed by many.

SDR-1000s were briefly produced with the switcher from the factory, as I
recall.

Later, some objected to the switcher RFI/noise and production SDR-1000s
went back to linear regulators.

Around that time the case appeared and made heatsinking it less of a
problem.

Enjoy!

Lyle KK7P
Jim Lux
2005-10-07 03:04:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lyle Johnson
Post by Jim Lux
While not exactly an ECO (more a design change), the 5V regulator was
originally a switcher and is now a linear. (not documented on the website
list of ECOs)
Actually, it was *originally* a linear regulator.
Some users were concerned about the heat from the regulator in the
original three board stack with no case. The switcher was found and
installed by many.
SDR-1000s were briefly produced with the switcher from the factory, as I
recall.
My first SDR1000 has the switcher.. the ones I got for work have linear and
a big sheet of aluminum as a heat sink.
Post by Lyle Johnson
Later, some objected to the switcher RFI/noise and production SDR-1000s
went back to linear regulators.
Around that time the case appeared and made heatsinking it less of a problem.
"less" is the operative word, the DDS will cook without added cooling.




James Lux, P.E.
Spacecraft Radio Frequency Subsystems Group
Flight Communications Systems Section
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mail Stop 161-213
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
tel: (818)354-2075
fax: (818)393-6875
Robert McGwier
2005-10-07 11:23:43 UTC
Permalink
Ah. Thanks for clearing this up. Mine ALL had the linear regulator,
and we did in fact have to remove those and replace them with the
regulator on the other side of the board to mount to the heat sink. I
was wondering which of us had lost their minds. WHile it wasn't that,
I am clearly losing my memory! But the end analysis says, all of these
changes retrofit on the originial boards.

Bob
Post by Lyle Johnson
Post by Jim Lux
While not exactly an ECO (more a design change), the 5V regulator was
originally a switcher and is now a linear. (not documented on the
website list of ECOs)
Actually, it was *originally* a linear regulator.
Some users were concerned about the heat from the regulator in the
original three board stack with no case. The switcher was found and
installed by many.
SDR-1000s were briefly produced with the switcher from the factory, as
I recall.
Later, some objected to the switcher RFI/noise and production
SDR-1000s went back to linear regulators.
Around that time the case appeared and made heatsinking it less of a
problem.
Enjoy!
Lyle KK7P
--
Laziness is the number one inspiration for ingenuity. Guilty as charged!
Dale Richardson
2005-10-06 19:50:33 UTC
Permalink
I have owned my SDR1K since Oct 2004. I have never had any problems with
RFI or grounding. I run high power with an Ameritron AL-1500 with the
SDR about 1 foot away and have never had a problem. I started with the
Audigy 2ZS card and soon realized its limitations. When I switched to
the Delta 44 all of the sound card induced problems disappeared. This is
by far, the best receiver I have ever seen. The transmit audio is also
the cleanest of all the transmitters I have owned. I have been licensed
since 1964. The ECO program is the best in the business. No complaints here.
73,
Dale AA5XE
Post by Tim Ellison
Bom dia. Oi.
W5gi
2005-10-06 13:57:39 UTC
Permalink
Here's the post that I plan to put on Eham


I?ve had my SDR1000 since the beginning of the year. It is my 3,018
radio-yes I?ve owned over 3000 rigs during 45 plus years of hamming. The only rig I?
ve not used is the Yaesu FT9000.
In the beginning, pre-Delta 44 sound card, I had to deal with a few
problems. I expected the problems because, at the time of purchase, the SDR was still
in development. And, although, at times I got frustrated, I really enjoyed
the challenge of working with a radio on the cutting edge of technology.
Today, the radio is not a work in progress but a fully capable radio that
exceeds all my expectations. In short, it ranks number 1 on my list of all time
favorite radios. Here are just a few reasons why I like my SDR1000.
The best receiver that I?ve ever owned-any filter combination I desire!
The best sounding transmitter I?ve ever owned-any transmitter width I desire
up to 20 KHz!
The most versatile radio I?ve ever owned-I can save all operating parameters
by just storing them in a data base file!
The best and easiest to use display panel of any radio I?ve ever owned!
Unique and/or superior features like a lab grade spectrum scope, noise gate,
31 band EQ on receive and transmit, sweep generator, absolute control of
receiver sensitivity and power output and much, much more
The simplest computer controlled radio I?ve ever used!
The most fun radio I?ve ever used!
And, because software updates are issued several times a month, I feel like
I have a new radio every time new software is released.
To put it simply, I have a radio that performs like a radio costing over $10
grand but costing well under $2K and it will only get better!
As for RF, until recently, I ran a Henry 4K amp without a single bit of RF
in my audio. To ensure the SDR1000 was RFI proof I ran tests by increasing
the RF in my shack to the point where all five of my rigs had RFI. The
solution to eliminating all RFI was the same on all rigs-I put snap-on beads on the
microphone cables. [The ultimate solution is to have an RF shielded shack.]
The SDR had no more or less RFI than the other radios. [Note: users of the
early SDRs reported RFI, which was really audio distortion from improper bias
settings. This has been corrected.]
With regard to the SDR1000 not being for the faint of heart, this might have
been true in the early days, but the Flex Radio?s turn key system is as
finished a product as any other radio on the market. The biggest difference is
the Flex Radio gets significantly better every time you download new software.
If you want PERFORMANCE and EXCITEMENT and LOW COST get a FLEX RADIO
SDR1000!
In a message dated 10/6/2005 8:24:33 A.M. Central Daylight Time,
tellison at itsco.com writes:

Bom dia. Oi.

For me, this was an informative and interesting review. I am very seriously
considering the purchase of an SDR-1000. In preparation, I have upgraded my
computer, purchased the Delta44 and Eric's ground isolation kit. The only
thing that has prevented me from purchasing one to date is that I had to leave
the country for 2 months on business.

I am going into my SDR-1000 adventure with my eyes wide open. I am aware
that the software is a work in progress and that this is not an "appliance
operator" type of radio. No problem. I've lived on the cutting edge before so
I know what to expect. The support and contributions of this group also has
lessened my fears that the ~$1500 will be a well spent future investment.

What concerns me is that a core part of my reasoning for going ahead with
the SDR-1000 purchase was based on the assumption that the hardware component
of the radio was, for the most part solid. I am aware that there have been
minor improvements in the past to correct issues. That is to be expected.

But the e-ham review brought up some interesting issues. Mostly about the
construction quality, PA oscillations and RF susceptibility. I realize that
one review doesn't properly describe the true state of things, but along with
the other threads on this forum about problems being attributed to cold
solder joints, I started wondering about my future purchase.

The rebuttal e-ham review by KD5RD clearly defined the well known accolades
and potential issues of *software* defined radios but doesn't address any of
the hardware construction issues raised by AA8VL.

Therefore I am interested in the discussion that this review will generate
in this forum and also on e-ham. Hopefully my fears will be abated by the
responses.

At? logo

73 de W4TME

-Tim
---
Integrated Technical Services

"You can't close the door when the walls cave in" --Robert Hunter

-----Original Message-----
From: FlexRadio-bounces at flex-radio.biz
[mailto:FlexRadio-bounces at flex-radio.biz] On Behalf Of VA3MA - Dan
Sent: Wednesday, October 05, 2005 11:16 PM
To: FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz
Subject: [Flexradio] Eham Review

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/4108#42946

Not a nice review - yet is buying another!



_______________________________________________
FlexRadio mailing list
FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz
http://mail.flex-radio.biz/mailman/listinfo/flexradio_flex-radio.biz

_______________________________________________
FlexRadio mailing list
FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz
http://mail.flex-radio.biz/mailman/listinfo/flexradio_flex-radio.biz




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Pedlow, Lee
2005-10-06 14:28:16 UTC
Permalink
I bought my SDR from Gerald at the 2004 DCC after seeing it in the QEX ads and articles. In general, I have had very good experience with the HW and bought the system incrementally. The boards came separate from the case, then came the PA, the ATU, the USB. There have been a few ECOs that were frankly minor. The current "new" HW ECO is the first in many, many months and is optional - the unit works quite well without it and is for the "fringe" element looking for the ultimate performance enhancement, the same types that spend $$$ modifying their brand new Porsche for additional power and handling beyond the high quality of the factory vehicle. For most of us, just being able to own such a sports car would be quite sufficient - unmodified.

The majority of issues both personally encountered and discussed on the forum/reflector for the past 13 months have mainly centered around:
1. desired features - realistic and fantastic
2. issues seen in new features introduced in beta sw releases
3. problems resulting from cockpit error, non-standard configurations, etc.

Lee Pedlow
San Diego, CA


(858) 942-2538
Lee.Pedlow at am.sony.com



CONFIDENTIAL

This email is covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. 2510-2521 and is legally privileged. This e-mail is intended only for the personal and confidential use of the individual(s) to which it is addressed and may contain confidential information. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that you have received this document in error, and that any review, distribution, copying or disclosure is not authorized. If you have received this communication in error, please notify the sender immediately by telephone and destroy the message.




-----Original Message-----
From: Tim Ellison [mailto:tellison at itsco.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2005 6:23 AM
To: FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz
Subject: Re: [Flexradio] Eham Review

Bom dia. Oi.

For me, this was an informative and interesting review. I am very seriously considering the purchase of an SDR-1000. In preparation, I have upgraded my computer, purchased the Delta44 and Eric's ground isolation kit. The only thing that has prevented me from purchasing one to date is that I had to leave the country for 2 months on business.

I am going into my SDR-1000 adventure with my eyes wide open. I am aware that the software is a work in progress and that this is not an "appliance operator" type of radio. No problem. I've lived on the cutting edge before so I know what to expect. The support and contributions of this group also has lessened my fears that the ~$1500 will be a well spent future investment.

What concerns me is that a core part of my reasoning for going ahead with the SDR-1000 purchase was based on the assumption that the hardware component of the radio was, for the most part solid. I am aware that there have been minor improvements in the past to correct issues. That is to be expected.

But the e-ham review brought up some interesting issues. Mostly about the construction quality, PA oscillations and RF susceptibility. I realize that one review doesn't properly describe the true state of things, but along with the other threads on this forum about problems being attributed to cold solder joints, I started wondering about my future purchase.

The rebuttal e-ham review by KD5RD clearly defined the well known accolades and potential issues of *software* defined radios but doesn't address any of the hardware construction issues raised by AA8VL.

Therefore I am interested in the discussion that this review will generate in this forum and also on e-ham. Hopefully my fears will be abated by the responses.

At? logo

73 de W4TME

-Tim
---
Integrated Technical Services

"You can't close the door when the walls cave in" --Robert Hunter

-----Original Message-----
From: FlexRadio-bounces at flex-radio.biz [mailto:FlexRadio-bounces at flex-radio.biz] On Behalf Of VA3MA - Dan
Sent: Wednesday, October 05, 2005 11:16 PM
To: FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz
Subject: [Flexradio] Eham Review

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/4108#42946

Not a nice review - yet is buying another!



_______________________________________________
FlexRadio mailing list
FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz
http://mail.flex-radio.biz/mailman/listinfo/flexradio_flex-radio.biz
Gerald Youngblood
2005-10-06 15:34:46 UTC
Permalink
Hi Tim,

I am afraid I must chime in on this topic because of some misperceptions
that may arise from the exam review.

First, the reviewer purchased a used radio with components purchased in kit
form and built up by two previous owners over a two year period. We keep a
database of every radio and upgrade shipped. That radio's original 3 board
set was manufactured in Bulgaria in mid 2003, while current production is in
Austin, Texas.

The current units also have some differences in the packaging, including a
deeper enclosure with the fan moved inside, metal spacers vs. the earlier
nylon ones, LED lighted switch, internal wiring improvements, etc. This is
in addition to its now being the highest dynamic range receiver on the
market. One thing that has been different about this radio is that the
purchaser of serial number uno over two years ago has had the opportunity to
upgrade to the latest performance.

Secondly, I spent quite some time with the reviewer on the phone even though
his rig is well out of warranty. I am not aware of any other customer who
has experienced similar RF feedback problems to those he described.
However, I experienced a similar problem in my shack on a late 1990s, fully
shielded, unnamed Japanese made radio at any power level of >50W. I am sure
my problem was RF radiation in the shack but I never had time to solve it.
Too busy building radios.

Finally, we hope that the software will FOREVER be a "work in progress!" If
it not, you and we have run out of good ideas. PowerSDR is a work in
progress in the same way that Windows, Linux, Quicken, MixW, and you name
your favorite application is a work in progress. This is a SOFTWARE radio.
The hardware is very stable and is unlikely to change a lot now. It now has
top receiver and transmitter performance that can be increased even further
through software enhancements. We have plans to do just that.

PowerSDR version 1.4.4 is a VERY stable official release. Use it if you are
uncomfortable with beta. PowerSDR v1.4.5 is also very stable but it is
still beta code. Unlike most software, PowerSDR allows you to keep all
previous versions on the computer so you can switch between them. That
means that you can try out the latest and greatest beta and switch back
instantly to the official release. You can even have multiple versions
loaded at the same time so long as only one is running.

I will note that we do more frequent beta releases than most companies
because we believe that our customers enjoy having access to new features
and performance sooner rather than later. The down side is that it creates
the PERCEPTION of instability. We have discussed creating a separate
discussion board for beta only because of the confusion that may cause new
visitors. We would be interested in hearing from you on the reflector as to
whether that would be a good idea.

In closing, let me state that FlexRadio is unaware of any hardware problems
that need to be addressed on current production units. However, older units
may require ECOs to bring them up to the latest performance.

We appreciate all feedback and ideas, especially the encouragement we have
received from so many of you. We want everyone to have a great experience
with the radio even back to serial number 1 (VE3CEK) on May 7, 2003.

73,
Gerald
K5SDR
FlexRadio Systems
Post by Tim Ellison
-----Original Message-----
From: FlexRadio-bounces at flex-radio.biz
[mailto:FlexRadio-bounces at flex-radio.biz] On Behalf Of Tim Ellison
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2005 8:23 AM
To: FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz
Subject: Re: [Flexradio] Eham Review
Bom dia. Oi.
For me, this was an informative and interesting review. I am
very seriously considering the purchase of an SDR-1000. In
preparation, I have upgraded my computer, purchased the
Delta44 and Eric's ground isolation kit. The only thing that
has prevented me from purchasing one to date is that I had to
leave the country for 2 months on business.
I am going into my SDR-1000 adventure with my eyes wide open.
I am aware that the software is a work in progress and that
this is not an "appliance operator" type of radio. No
problem. I've lived on the cutting edge before so I know
what to expect. The support and contributions of this group
also has lessened my fears that the ~$1500 will be a well
spent future investment.
What concerns me is that a core part of my reasoning for
going ahead with the SDR-1000 purchase was based on the
assumption that the hardware component of the radio was, for
the most part solid. I am aware that there have been minor
improvements in the past to correct issues. That is to be expected.
But the e-ham review brought up some interesting issues.
Mostly about the construction quality, PA oscillations and RF
susceptibility. I realize that one review doesn't properly
describe the true state of things, but along with the other
threads on this forum about problems being attributed to cold
solder joints, I started wondering about my future purchase.
The rebuttal e-ham review by KD5RD clearly defined the well
known accolades and potential issues of *software* defined
radios but doesn't address any of the hardware construction
issues raised by AA8VL.
Therefore I am interested in the discussion that this review
will generate in this forum and also on e-ham. Hopefully my
fears will be abated by the responses.
At? logo
73 de W4TME
-Tim
---
Integrated Technical Services
"You can't close the door when the walls cave in" --Robert Hunter
-----Original Message-----
From: FlexRadio-bounces at flex-radio.biz
[mailto:FlexRadio-bounces at flex-radio.biz] On Behalf Of VA3MA - Dan
Sent: Wednesday, October 05, 2005 11:16 PM
To: FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz
Subject: [Flexradio] Eham Review
http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/4108#42946
Not a nice review - yet is buying another!
_______________________________________________
FlexRadio mailing list
FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz
http://mail.flex-radio.biz/mailman/listinfo/flexradio_flex-radio.biz
_______________________________________________
FlexRadio mailing list
FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz
http://mail.flex-radio.biz/mailman/listinfo/flexradio_flex-radio.biz
Larry W8ER
2005-10-06 16:35:42 UTC
Permalink
It is sad that Chris chose to review the radio this way. It makes the
SDR1000 appear questionable and nothing could be further from the truth.
Frustration can do some nasty things however. He is one of six reviews of
the SDR1000 on eHam. Maybe some of us should also let eHam know how we feel
about the radio so Chris's review is not a stick in the eye.

--Larry W8ER



----- Original Message -----
From: "Gerald Youngblood" <gerald at flex-radio.com>
To: "'Tim Ellison'" <tellison at itsco.com>; <FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz>
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2005 11:34 AM
Subject: Re: [Flexradio] Eham Review


Hi Tim,

I am afraid I must chime in on this topic because of some misperceptions
that may arise from the exam review.

First, the reviewer purchased a used radio with components purchased in kit
form and built up by two previous owners over a two year period. We keep a
database of every radio and upgrade shipped. That radio's original 3 board
set was manufactured in Bulgaria in mid 2003, while current production is in
Austin, Texas.

The current units also have some differences in the packaging, including a
deeper enclosure with the fan moved inside, metal spacers vs. the earlier
nylon ones, LED lighted switch, internal wiring improvements, etc. This is
in addition to its now being the highest dynamic range receiver on the
market. One thing that has been different about this radio is that the
purchaser of serial number uno over two years ago has had the opportunity to
upgrade to the latest performance.

Secondly, I spent quite some time with the reviewer on the phone even though
his rig is well out of warranty. I am not aware of any other customer who
has experienced similar RF feedback problems to those he described.
However, I experienced a similar problem in my shack on a late 1990s, fully
shielded, unnamed Japanese made radio at any power level of >50W. I am sure
my problem was RF radiation in the shack but I never had time to solve it.
Too busy building radios.

Finally, we hope that the software will FOREVER be a "work in progress!" If
it not, you and we have run out of good ideas. PowerSDR is a work in
progress in the same way that Windows, Linux, Quicken, MixW, and you name
your favorite application is a work in progress. This is a SOFTWARE radio.
The hardware is very stable and is unlikely to change a lot now. It now has
top receiver and transmitter performance that can be increased even further
through software enhancements. We have plans to do just that.

PowerSDR version 1.4.4 is a VERY stable official release. Use it if you are
uncomfortable with beta. PowerSDR v1.4.5 is also very stable but it is
still beta code. Unlike most software, PowerSDR allows you to keep all
previous versions on the computer so you can switch between them. That
means that you can try out the latest and greatest beta and switch back
instantly to the official release. You can even have multiple versions
loaded at the same time so long as only one is running.

I will note that we do more frequent beta releases than most companies
because we believe that our customers enjoy having access to new features
and performance sooner rather than later. The down side is that it creates
the PERCEPTION of instability. We have discussed creating a separate
discussion board for beta only because of the confusion that may cause new
visitors. We would be interested in hearing from you on the reflector as to
whether that would be a good idea.

In closing, let me state that FlexRadio is unaware of any hardware problems
that need to be addressed on current production units. However, older units
may require ECOs to bring them up to the latest performance.

We appreciate all feedback and ideas, especially the encouragement we have
received from so many of you. We want everyone to have a great experience
with the radio even back to serial number 1 (VE3CEK) on May 7, 2003.

73,
Gerald
K5SDR
FlexRadio Systems
Post by Tim Ellison
-----Original Message-----
From: FlexRadio-bounces at flex-radio.biz
[mailto:FlexRadio-bounces at flex-radio.biz] On Behalf Of Tim Ellison
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2005 8:23 AM
To: FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz
Subject: Re: [Flexradio] Eham Review
Bom dia. Oi.
For me, this was an informative and interesting review. I am
very seriously considering the purchase of an SDR-1000. In
preparation, I have upgraded my computer, purchased the
Delta44 and Eric's ground isolation kit. The only thing that
has prevented me from purchasing one to date is that I had to
leave the country for 2 months on business.
I am going into my SDR-1000 adventure with my eyes wide open.
I am aware that the software is a work in progress and that
this is not an "appliance operator" type of radio. No
problem. I've lived on the cutting edge before so I know
what to expect. The support and contributions of this group
also has lessened my fears that the ~$1500 will be a well
spent future investment.
What concerns me is that a core part of my reasoning for
going ahead with the SDR-1000 purchase was based on the
assumption that the hardware component of the radio was, for
the most part solid. I am aware that there have been minor
improvements in the past to correct issues. That is to be expected.
But the e-ham review brought up some interesting issues.
Mostly about the construction quality, PA oscillations and RF
susceptibility. I realize that one review doesn't properly
describe the true state of things, but along with the other
threads on this forum about problems being attributed to cold
solder joints, I started wondering about my future purchase.
The rebuttal e-ham review by KD5RD clearly defined the well
known accolades and potential issues of *software* defined
radios but doesn't address any of the hardware construction
issues raised by AA8VL.
Therefore I am interested in the discussion that this review
will generate in this forum and also on e-ham. Hopefully my
fears will be abated by the responses.
At? logo
73 de W4TME
-Tim
---
Integrated Technical Services
"You can't close the door when the walls cave in" --Robert Hunter
-----Original Message-----
From: FlexRadio-bounces at flex-radio.biz
[mailto:FlexRadio-bounces at flex-radio.biz] On Behalf Of VA3MA - Dan
Sent: Wednesday, October 05, 2005 11:16 PM
To: FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz
Subject: [Flexradio] Eham Review
http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/4108#42946
Not a nice review - yet is buying another!
_______________________________________________
FlexRadio mailing list
FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz
http://mail.flex-radio.biz/mailman/listinfo/flexradio_flex-radio.biz
_______________________________________________
FlexRadio mailing list
FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz
http://mail.flex-radio.biz/mailman/listinfo/flexradio_flex-radio.biz
Jim Lux
2005-10-06 17:06:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gerald Youngblood
Hi Tim,
I am afraid I must chime in on this topic because of some misperceptions
that may arise from the exam review.
One thing that has been different about this radio is that the
purchaser of serial number uno over two years ago has had the opportunity to
upgrade to the latest performance.
It would be handy if the flex-radio website gave details on this process:
which radios, which s/n, what upgrades needed, what's the cost, etc. Or is
it individually negotiated?
Post by Gerald Youngblood
the PERCEPTION of instability. We have discussed creating a separate
discussion board for beta only because of the confusion that may cause new
visitors. We would be interested in hearing from you on the reflector as to
whether that would be a good idea.
This would be a good idea...



Jim , W6RMK
Robert McGwier
2005-10-06 19:01:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gerald Youngblood
Hi Tim,
I am afraid I must chime in on this topic because of some misperceptions
that may arise from the exam review.
Let me comment as follows. The low bands are absolutely trashed by high
power users who own Yaesu FT-1000 family radios with the horribly
designed keying shaping circuit. There have been several fixes posted
on 3rd party sites but the point to be made is, Yaesu NEVER released an
ECO. There has never been an official statement from this on this
topic. And this is just one topic. The ECO policy of Flex has been one
of its most winning features to me. Gerald designed the radio in his
basement and never expected to turn this into a business. The step by
step learning process Flex leading to the ECO's, which may be applied by
ANY SDR-1000 owner, is a really refreshing way to do business. When
the SDR-1000 amplifier and ATU came out, I gladly sold my FT1000MP.

Bob
N4HY
Post by Gerald Youngblood
In closing, let me state that FlexRadio is unaware of any hardware problems
that need to be addressed on current production units. However, older units
may require ECOs to bring them up to the latest performance.
We appreciate all feedback and ideas, especially the encouragement we have
received from so many of you. We want everyone to have a great experience
with the radio even back to serial number 1 (VE3CEK) on May 7, 2003.
73,
Gerald
K5SDR
FlexRadio Systems
--
Laziness is the number one inspiration for ingenuity. Guilty as charged!
KD5NWA
2005-10-06 15:56:26 UTC
Permalink
Sola Constant Voltage Harmonic Neutralized Transformer for great
isolation and surge suppression.

I have 1KW unit in the closet so I don't have to listen to the hum.
The power various supplies the feeds the radios plugs into it, and
now so will the PC to run the PowerFlex Software.

I have another one for my PC's, the UPS plugs into it, and the PC's
into the UPS, works wonders with the nasty power I have locally.

The only pain about it is not only the hum, but that you need to turn
it off when not in use, that puppy has a 100% duty factor, it pulls
close to a KW while sitting idle. I actually gets hotter when there
is no load on it.

They were going to trash it at work, all it had was a bad capacitor,
and a thorough cleaning, I fixed it for about $30
Post by Jim Lux
Post by Dale Boresz
Hello Tim,
I'm confident that the hardware issues related to the Eham review are
the exception and not the rule. Remember, many early purchasers of the
SDR-1000 assembled their radios in sections, probably purchasing the
board stack first, with the remainder to follow. That leaves a lot of
opportunity to benfit from careful assembly technique, or to suffer from
poor assembly technique.
I doubt anyone soldered their own boards, and some of the problems with
early units that have been reported have been either design decisions
(switching vs linear regulator; heat problems with the DDS chips), failed
components, or things like broken traces.
Yep, the 1/8" stereo mini-phone jack connectors are crummy, but as I
understand it, that was a design decision to allow folks to get up and
running quickly with cables from radio shack or best buy. Ya gotta pick
something when making that first board run, and then you're stuck with it.
Post by Dale Boresz
Right from the beginning, I had concerns about the fact that the total
radio 'system' was actually distributed between a computer and the
SDR-1000 hardware, and took the precaution of assuring that both the
computer and the power supply for the radio were connected to the same
isolated power source via an APC brand UPS system, model # "Back-UPS XS
1500".
That's not a static inverter type UPS (at least as far as the cutsheet
shows), so it doesn't really provide an isolated power source. when not
running off batteries, it's really no different than plugging everything
into a standard surge protected plug strip.
James Lux, P.E.
Spacecraft Radio Frequency Subsystems Group
Flight Communications Systems Section
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mail Stop 161-213
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
tel: (818)354-2075
fax: (818)393-6875
_______________________________________________
FlexRadio mailing list
FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz
http://mail.flex-radio.biz/mailman/listinfo/flexradio_flex-radio.biz
Cecil Bayona
KD5NWA
www.qrpradio.com

I fail to see why doing the same thing over and over and getting the
same results every time is insanity: I've almost proved it isn't;
only a few more tests now and I'm sure results will differ this time ...
Bill Guyger
2005-10-06 20:41:52 UTC
Permalink
t the risk of over beating a dead horse, I've got get this off my chest. I'm sorry Chris had some issues, hopefully they will be resolved through the proper channels. It certainly looks like Gerald is trying on his end.

But you know..........what amazes me about Eham Reviews, is the disparity of opinions. Take for example the GAP Titan DX antenna that I bought recently. It had any number of this is a pretty good antenna entries, and one or two this is the worst piece of @%$# I've ever seen report(s). Sometimes when things don't work the way we THINK they should we totally get out of even believing that there is something we are not seeing and write the thing off as an impossible piece of @%&#.

That's the nice thing about this reflector. If we're having issues, there is going to be someone out there who has knowledge of the issue that we can turn to. I stand in awe of the expertise of some of the guys on this reflector. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

Bill AD5OL
"Gerald Youngblood" <gerald at flex-radio.com> 10/06/05 10:34AM >>>
Hi Tim,

I am afraid I must chime in on this topic because of some misperceptions
that may arise from the exam review.
Jim Lux
2005-10-07 03:16:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by ecellison
Bill
This was the last message on the topic that I read. Kill the horse, since
you hit on the MOST important of all facts which make this radio different
than others, in your last paragraph. The many comments about the 'review'
hit on many aspects which make it a great radio but still not unique.
The truly unique factor IS: it is the ONLY UDR, User Defined Radio.
for the amateur market, Matt Ettus and the gnuradio folk might differ with
the "ONLY"... http://www.ettus.com/


The SDR1000 is certainly the closest to a "plug and play" ham rig.


There's also a huge number of user defined radios in the commercial world.
Check out companies like Pentek. For that matter, the new Electra radio
used on Mars Reconaissance Orbiter is a "software radio", in that most of
the radio's processing is done in software. (Initially modeled in Matlab,
for that matter.

http://marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/mro/mission/sc_instru_electra.html
http://lists.contesting.com/pipermail/fourlanders/2005-August/000778.html

Yep.. Electra's right at 437.1 MHz in the middle of the 70cm ham band.


James Lux, P.E.
Spacecraft Radio Frequency Subsystems Group
Flight Communications Systems Section
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mail Stop 161-213
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
tel: (818)354-2075
fax: (818)393-6875
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ecellison
2005-10-07 01:26:09 UTC
Permalink
Bill

This was the last message on the topic that I read. Kill the horse, since
you hit on the MOST important of all facts which make this radio different
than others, in your last paragraph. The many comments about the 'review'
hit on many aspects which make it a great radio but still not unique.

The truly unique factor IS: it is the ONLY UDR, User Defined Radio. It IS
the users who are 'building' this radio, and will keep it newer all the
time. Newer is NOT always better, (vis a vis beta releases) but is always
the key to constant evolution, TOWARDS better, which a fixed hardware system
will do an order of magnitude slower than software. It IS the key, however,
to making it better. You want better? Buy the next ricebox with new knobs
for another 2 to 10 grand and a slight proprietary change in the control
software!

This version of the hardware is solid and reaching the practical limit of
what this version of the hardware portion of the radio can be. Even the
ECO's were initially user suggested or contributed by collective discussion
or expertise from users. Hopefully Gerald is not too exhausted to be
designing the next version of the hardware. After all it is contra
entempreneur, and BIG Business oriented, in that the improvements are user
contributed and use the SAME hardware! The SAME Radio (hardware) which keeps
"getting better" is a death knell in conventional business. Just maybe there
is a new Amateur paradigm at work? I hope so for Gerald's sake.

I and others who bought the radio hardware early have MANY times mentioned,
perhaps a revival of sorts of what Amateur Radio was meant to be, and if it
is to survive MUST be! Innovation, Advancement of the state of the art of
communications. In that current advancement, technology such as Internet,
Teamspeak as well as HF communications actually play a synergistic role. All
of these have contributed to the SDR-1000 to NOT DIE. It IS the users who
are the momentum for this effort, NOT FlexRadio Systems, who just
'facillitated' our user effort to the platform we were offered. Almost EVERY
new SDR-1000 owner becomes a contributor to the 'state of the art' serving
as 'elmers' to the existing base as well as every new owner' THIS IS WHAT
Amateur Radio was meant to be.

If we are lulled to sleep by Yeasu, Icom, Kenwood with the profit, appliance
motive in mind, AMATEUR radio will die.

I still remember the long trip to the Lafayette Radio store RT 17, Paramas
NJ. in 1964, as WN2WYK, and purchasing a NEW 7.187 crystal for my DX-60
being absolutely THRILLED by the thought of being able to work yet another
fixed frequency as a novice. The SAME feeling is back when I bought the
SDR-1000 and became a User Defining the Radio a UDR!

Eric - AA4SW
C'est La Vie Ham Radio!








-----Original Message-----
From: FlexRadio-bounces at flex-radio.biz
[mailto:FlexRadio-bounces at flex-radio.biz] On Behalf Of Bill Guyger
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2005 4:42 PM
To: FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz; gerald at flex-radio.com; tellison at itsco.com
Subject: Re: [Flexradio] Eham Review

t the risk of over beating a dead horse, I've got get this off my chest. I'm
sorry Chris had some issues, hopefully they will be resolved through the
proper channels. It certainly looks like Gerald is trying on his end.

But you know..........what amazes me about Eham Reviews, is the disparity of
opinions. Take for example the GAP Titan DX antenna that I bought recently.
It had any number of this is a pretty good antenna entries, and one or two
this is the worst piece of @%$# I've ever seen report(s). Sometimes when
things don't work the way we THINK they should we totally get out of even
believing that there is something we are not seeing and write the thing off
as an impossible piece of @%&#.

That's the nice thing about this reflector. If we're having issues, there is
going to be someone out there who has knowledge of the issue that we can
turn to. I stand in awe of the expertise of some of the guys on this
reflector. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

Bill AD5OL
"Gerald Youngblood" <gerald at flex-radio.com> 10/06/05 10:34AM >>>
Hi Tim,

I am afraid I must chime in on this topic because of some misperceptions
that may arise from the exam review.
Bill Guyger
2005-10-07 02:11:52 UTC
Permalink
Amen Eric

Yes it does put the fun back in hamming after years of McDonald rigs (McRigs?) I think I've mentioned this before, but I bought my SDR to be the VFO and station receiver for a transmitter I'm building out of the "55 handbook htat is built around parts out of a BC-375. It has a 813 final, it's big, it's black (wrinkle), it's heavy, and it glows in the dark. I hope I don't get a hernia lifting the power supply.

I built my first electronic project 50 years ago when I was 8 years old. It was a neon relaxiation code practice oscillator. It operated directly off the AC line, was dangerious as Hell, and it's where I learned what burning Selenium smelled like.

This UDR project as you refer to it is the most fun I've had in a long time. And as I stated previously getting the chance to rub elbows with the Flex-Radio staff at Hamcom and via E-Mail with the likes of Bob McGwier, Jim Lux, and the other Software and DSP gurus is a treat.

Bill AD5OL
"ecellison" <ecellison at comcast.net> 10/06/05 08:26PM >>>
I and others who bought the radio hardware early have MANY times mentioned,
perhaps a revival of sorts of what Amateur Radio was meant to be, and if it
is to survive MUST be! Innovation,
I
Eric - AA4SW
C'est La Vie Ham Radio!








-----Original Message-----
From: FlexRadio-bounces at flex-radio.biz
[mailto:FlexRadio-bounces at flex-radio.biz] On Behalf Of Bill Guyger
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2005 4:42 PM
To: FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz; gerald at flex-radio.com; tellison at itsco.com
Subject: Re: [Flexradio] Eham Review

t the risk of over beating a dead horse, I've got get this off my chest. I'm
sorry Chris had some issues, hopefully they will be resolved through the
proper channels. It certainly looks like Gerald is trying on his end.

But you know..........what amazes me about Eham Reviews, is the disparity of
opinions. Take for example the GAP Titan DX antenna that I bought recently.
It had any number of this is a pretty good antenna entries, and one or two
this is the worst piece of @%$# I've ever seen report(s). Sometimes when
things don't work the way we THINK they should we totally get out of even
believing that there is something we are not seeing and write the thing off
as an impossible piece of @%&#.

That's the nice thing about this reflector. If we're having issues, there is
going to be someone out there who has knowledge of the issue that we can
turn to. I stand in awe of the expertise of some of the guys on this
reflector. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

Bill AD5OL
"Gerald Youngblood" <gerald at flex-radio.com> 10/06/05 10:34AM >>>
Hi Tim,

I am afraid I must chime in on this topic because of some misperceptions
that may arise from the exam review.
Lee A Crocker
2005-10-07 14:33:49 UTC
Permalink
At the risk of being antagonistic, I would like to
hear an accurate analysis from users about the
problems with this design. I see a lot of apologetics
and denial regarding the this review:

Eham is stupid
The problem is the antenna
The guy has old boards

yada yada yada

I am on the fence about purchasing one of these based
on what I percieve as some design issues that
eventually will need to be addressed, and it is very
unclear how they will in fact be resolved. One issue
is that people tend to address "hardware" as only the
SDR-1K box. This clearly is not rational as the
entire system is devised to be worked against a
computer/soundcard combo, so that aspect of "hardware"
is integral to the system and it is not secondary as
far as performance is concerned.

So where does the "hardware" go? 2 soundcards has
been suggested? 2 computers with one processor
dedicated to being the hertbeat of the radio and the
other dedicated to being a console/control? Gigabit
networking to connect these now three boxes? Maybe a
multi-processor multi-soundcard workstation? Now the
$1500 radio starts looking like a $4000 radio. I read
a recent thread where a man was considering what
computer to go with and wound up going with a dual
core AMD machine, no small expense. Others have
talked about 3+ gig pentium 4 machines especially if
you want CW due to the better timing characteristics
of the P-4 machine. That comment will probably start
a spate of "I got mine runnin on my trusty ol 386",
but the point is I think these considerations need to
be part of the discussion if one is going to be honest
about the real cost/benefit/performance analysis of
the system, and the future expandibilty of the
"hardware".

I have noticed a tendancy on this reflector to sweep
the problems with this design under the rug as if they
are to be expected QSK.... no we don't do QSK CW
well it really has a good CW reciever buttttttt... VOX
....any day now... any day now..... I don't think
these issues are going to be solved by spiffing up the
code a little. You may see a marginal improvement by
code diddling but it would appear to me a redesing in
system philosphy is where it's at.

That being said I find the concept of this radio and
the response I have witnessed by the folks at flex are
superb, and I don't mean to sound critical but not
addressing these issues directly is what invites the
kind of EHAM review that was issued, and padding EHAM
with a bunch of "why its the best radio since sliced
bread" propaganda does nothing to advance the state of
the art. It only serves to muddy the water. When I
read the QST review and I see this kind of report:

"Although I could not altogether
eliminate the delay, I was able to
train my brain to work with it."

And then I look at the CW waveform and there are 2 key
closures before the first dit is transmitted, it make
me very nervous when I see the CW issue and other
design flaws being devalued, or the true cost of
ownership vs. performance as a "real" problems. THe
Flex people have been very upfront about the issues,
but on the reflector it tends to get whitewashed.

Flex will never move beyond being a hobby radio or a
cultist radio if these issues are not addressed, and
personally I would like to see Flex succeed beyond
their wildest expectations. It is in this kind of
design that I see the future of high performance Ham
radio. I can see the day when contesters use
something like a joy stick to with total software
control to double their point totals. When the guy
with 2 Steppir beams and a Flex kicks hell out of the
guy with the big bertha tower and the stack and a
rack panel full of clicky old FT-1000mp's because it
takes 3 minutes for the big bertha to come around,
while the steppir guy hits a button on the joy stick,
and the front and the back side of the beam reverses
saving 2 minutes and 50 seconds of rotator time. The
steppir guy has already worked 6 more stations while
the big bertha guys is still turning the stack. That
is all in the not too distant future but if the radio
doesn't do qsk CW and it doesnt do VOX it will not be
part of the future, I don't care how good your dynamic
range is.

73 W9OY
W2AGN
2005-10-07 14:52:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dale Richardson
When I
"Although I could not altogether
eliminate the delay, I was able to
train my brain to work with it."
And then I look at the CW waveform and there are 2 key
closures before the first dit is transmitted, it make
me very nervous when I see the CW issue and other
design flaws being devalued, or the true cost of
ownership vs. performance as a "real" problems. THe
Flex people have been very upfront about the issues,
but on the reflector it tends to get whitewashed.
The CW question is what keeps me from throwing in my money. Is there any
chance we will see QSK, or even true "semi-break-in" CW with the FLEX? I
fear some may say, "why make new technology accomodate an obsolete
mode?" If that is the case, and CW will remain an orphan in the
Flexradio, then I wiould be better off looking elsewhere.
--
_ _ _ _ _
/ \ / \ / \ / \ / \ John L. Sielke
( W ) ( 2 ) ( A ) ( G ) ( N ) http://w2agn.net
\_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/
"CRUSTY OLD CURMUDGEON - AND PROUD OF IT!"
lloen
2005-10-07 18:09:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by W2AGN
The CW question is what keeps me from throwing in my money. Is there any
chance we will see QSK, or even true "semi-break-in" CW with the FLEX? I
fear some may say, "why make new technology accomodate an obsolete
mode?" If that is the case, and CW will remain an orphan in the
Flexradio, then I wiould be better off looking elsewhere.
--
Many tears and blood have been shed over the CW part of this radio.

I have worked, now, about 127 contries in less than six months with the
most modest antenna I have ever put up (G5RV as a sloper, apex at about 33
feet). I've done a bunch of RTTY lately, so I can't readily break down
which is which, country-wise and of course some are done with both, but
well over half of that 127 count are done with CW without doubt. I've
broken pileups like Oman with it, too.

This winter, I plan to get DXCC on 80 and CW features prominently in these
plans.

If you're a CW purist, you're going to have some trouble, however.

But, at least if your main interest is chasing DX, as opposed to high
speed rag chewing, it gets the job done and, nowadays, quite nicely.

The more recent levels of software (starting at 1.4.1) are a substantial
improvement over the past, so some of this you may read about is old news,
too. But, there are some inherent problems in trying to key CW via a
parallel port. The software masks these problems admirably however.

Some report really fine success using an old fashioned serial port to key
the transmitter. I haven't tried that yet, and I may yet do so. That
will get you closer by all accounts.

I can report that the radio as it stands is very usable, albeit not ideal.
But, I'm running CW every night and I'm getting results.

Maybe you should make a sked with someone and have a listen to how it
sounds. Is it possible to find someone nearby that has one and give it a
try? In the end, that's the acid test.


Larry WO0Z
Larry W8ER
2005-10-07 16:46:15 UTC
Permalink
Lee,

If Gerald and the guys at Flex were putting these radios into police cars, I
am sure that they would be more commercial in construction and cost a
million dollars more each. This radio is being marketed to group of
individuals that are supposed to have a working knowledge of electronics,
like how to use a soldering iron, and certainly how to ground the radio
properly to eliminate RF interference and how to connect a microphone.

One thing that seems to be a point of complaint, as an example, are the
jacks that are used. Could they be gold plated BNC's .. sure. Would it
improve the performance .. not really. Would it be more difficult to get
ready made cables .. yep. Would they be more expensive .. yep. So the
question now becomes "what sort of complaints do you wish to field?" I know
of several SDR1000's that have come out of the box and hit the floor
running, with little or no problems, including my used one, so what would
the use of gold plated BNC's accomplish?
Post by Lee A Crocker
I don't mean to sound critical but not
addressing these issues directly is what invites the
kind of EHAM review that was issued
The radio is advertised fairly, priced fairly, well constructed for it's
purpose, is well supported and everyone given the opportunity to look at the
manuals, watch the reflector and decide for themselves if the radio is for
them. It's all out in the open with high resolution color pictures. Given
the open book atmosphere, what do you say to a guy who buys one and
complains about things like RFI when he hasn't even connected a ground to
it, or complains that everyone is having problems when it simply isn't true?
What causes the kind of review that was posted to eHam has nothing to do
with not addressing issues!


--Larry W8ER

----- Original Message -----
From: "Lee A Crocker" <lee_crocker at yahoo.com>
To: <FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz>
Sent: Friday, October 07, 2005 10:33 AM
Subject: [Flexradio] Eham Review
Post by Lee A Crocker
At the risk of being antagonistic, I would like to
hear an accurate analysis from users about the
problems with this design. I see a lot of apologetics
Eham is stupid
The problem is the antenna
The guy has old boards
yada yada yada
I am on the fence about purchasing one of these based
on what I percieve as some design issues that
eventually will need to be addressed, and it is very
unclear how they will in fact be resolved. One issue
is that people tend to address "hardware" as only the
SDR-1K box. This clearly is not rational as the
entire system is devised to be worked against a
computer/soundcard combo, so that aspect of "hardware"
is integral to the system and it is not secondary as
far as performance is concerned.
So where does the "hardware" go? 2 soundcards has
been suggested? 2 computers with one processor
dedicated to being the hertbeat of the radio and the
other dedicated to being a console/control? Gigabit
networking to connect these now three boxes? Maybe a
multi-processor multi-soundcard workstation? Now the
$1500 radio starts looking like a $4000 radio. I read
a recent thread where a man was considering what
computer to go with and wound up going with a dual
core AMD machine, no small expense. Others have
talked about 3+ gig pentium 4 machines especially if
you want CW due to the better timing characteristics
of the P-4 machine. That comment will probably start
a spate of "I got mine runnin on my trusty ol 386",
but the point is I think these considerations need to
be part of the discussion if one is going to be honest
about the real cost/benefit/performance analysis of
the system, and the future expandibilty of the
"hardware".
I have noticed a tendancy on this reflector to sweep
the problems with this design under the rug as if they
are to be expected QSK.... no we don't do QSK CW
well it really has a good CW reciever buttttttt... VOX
....any day now... any day now..... I don't think
these issues are going to be solved by spiffing up the
code a little. You may see a marginal improvement by
code diddling but it would appear to me a redesing in
system philosphy is where it's at.
That being said I find the concept of this radio and
the response I have witnessed by the folks at flex are
superb, and I don't mean to sound critical but not
addressing these issues directly is what invites the
kind of EHAM review that was issued, and padding EHAM
with a bunch of "why its the best radio since sliced
bread" propaganda does nothing to advance the state of
the art. It only serves to muddy the water. When I
"Although I could not altogether
eliminate the delay, I was able to
train my brain to work with it."
And then I look at the CW waveform and there are 2 key
closures before the first dit is transmitted, it make
me very nervous when I see the CW issue and other
design flaws being devalued, or the true cost of
ownership vs. performance as a "real" problems. THe
Flex people have been very upfront about the issues,
but on the reflector it tends to get whitewashed.
Flex will never move beyond being a hobby radio or a
cultist radio if these issues are not addressed, and
personally I would like to see Flex succeed beyond
their wildest expectations. It is in this kind of
design that I see the future of high performance Ham
radio. I can see the day when contesters use
something like a joy stick to with total software
control to double their point totals. When the guy
with 2 Steppir beams and a Flex kicks hell out of the
guy with the big bertha tower and the stack and a
rack panel full of clicky old FT-1000mp's because it
takes 3 minutes for the big bertha to come around,
while the steppir guy hits a button on the joy stick,
and the front and the back side of the beam reverses
saving 2 minutes and 50 seconds of rotator time. The
steppir guy has already worked 6 more stations while
the big bertha guys is still turning the stack. That
is all in the not too distant future but if the radio
doesn't do qsk CW and it doesnt do VOX it will not be
part of the future, I don't care how good your dynamic
range is.
73 W9OY
_______________________________________________
FlexRadio mailing list
FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz
http://mail.flex-radio.biz/mailman/listinfo/flexradio_flex-radio.biz
Mike Naruta
2005-10-07 18:21:16 UTC
Permalink
"I see a lot of apologetics
and denial regarding the this review:

Eham is stupid
The problem is the antenna
The guy has old boards"


RFI: Most of us are aware that a radiating
feedline could cause RFI in the shack.
Even with grounding, it could still be an
issue with a well-designed transceiver.
I do not think that I am in denial by pointing
out that he may have a feedline radiation issue.
Now, I am only running the 100 Watt PA,
but I have not experienced RFI problems
with the SDR-1000. And I live 1/4 mile
from an FM broadcast station, 1 1/3 miles
from AM and FM broadcast stations, and
less than 2 miles from a hospital/EMS complex
plus county and municipal communications sites.
I live 3 houses away from another ham.
Then there?s the paging transmitters.
On some rigs I heard all kinds of garbage.
A crystal set works real good here.
Lotsa signal.

--------------------------------------------

"So where does the "hardware" go? 2 soundcards has
been suggested? 2 computers with one processor
dedicated to being the hertbeat of the radio and the
other dedicated to being a console/control? Gigabit
networking to connect these now three boxes? Maybe a
multi-processor multi-soundcard workstation? Now the
$1500 radio starts looking like a $4000 radio."


I took an old PC, bought a new motherboard and CPU;
ASUS K8V-X K8T800 - $78, CPU AMD 64 |3000+
ATHLON 64 RTL $146. I added Microsoft Windows
XP Professional - $146. I bought a Delta 44 sound
card - $160 from Flex Radio. The motherboard has a
second sound card that I can use for RTTY/packet/etc..
For memory, 512MB, 184-pin DIMM - $56.

So, I took a junker PC, spent $600 and now I have a
2 GHz PC that runs the SDR-1000 and has 90% CPU
available. It doesn't ?chop?, except when Windows
or Symantec is doing an automatic software update.
I use Ham Radio Deluxe while operating the SDR-1000.
I can look up the call on QRZ while talking with someone.
The Power SDR console runs on the same PC that is
connected to the SDR-1000, no second PC is needed,
only if you want to run your shack from another
physical location.

Even if I throw away my SDR-1000, I still have the
2 GHz PC to use for other purposes.

Let?s say that you spend a $1,000 on a PC.
The additional Delta 44 sound card ($160)is probably
the item that you would not have normally bought for a PC.
You still have the PC and a ways from $4,000.

73,

Mike - AA8K


Lee A Crocker wrote:
lloen
2005-10-07 20:46:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Naruta
RFI: Most of us are aware that a radiating
feedline could cause RFI in the shack.
I definitely have a problem here. Alan Davis, N2WS, helped explain why.

Basically, I built a cheapo G5RV without the balun at the feedpoint (based
on bad advise, many field days ago).

I need to get around to putting in a Balun -- I even have one, but I don't
think it's good for a KW, so I haven't done this yet.

My biggest problem was solved when I put a ferrite bead (the usual one
available everywhere for about a dollar) on my PC's keyboard cable.

Still have some problems (e.g. get into my own TV), but it's workable
until I get around to the KW capable balun.

It has not inhibited progress any more than it would have with previous
rigs where I made similar mistakes :-) .
Post by Mike Naruta
--------------------------------------------
"So where does the "hardware" go? 2 soundcards has
been suggested? 2 computers with one processor
dedicated to being the hertbeat of the radio and the
other dedicated to being a console/control? Gigabit
networking to connect these now three boxes? Maybe a
multi-processor multi-soundcard workstation? Now the
$1500 radio starts looking like a $4000 radio."
Two sound cards is, strictly speaking, only necessary for RTTY.

You can't have VOX without it, but at least in my case, I did without VOX
years ago. Even on my nice TS 930S, I found it more trouble than it was
worth.

But, it's only an absolute necessity for RTTY unless you think VOX is
absolutely necessary.

The second sound card can be practically anything if you have a Delta 44
for the one running the SDR.

I had a 35 dollar Turtle Beach card I was using before the D44 and using
it for RTTY has worked superb. I could probably use it for other things
(e.g. SSB input maybe), but it isn't a priority for me.


As for horsepower, I think it could be true (especially for CW, perhaps)
that a slower PC is marginal. Make sure you have SETI at home and things
like that turned off, too. But, my 2.4 GHz box hardly breathes when
running this. Typically around 30 per cent, peak. My 1.4 GHz Celeron
laptop (not bought with this in mind) is going to Belize, having already
shown it can do the job (more marginally, to be sure, but it works).

But, it just isn't that hard or expensive to get a desktop PC above 1.5
GHz nowadays that's either a good Athlon or a true Pentium IV type.
Compared to a 10K rig, even the extra 500 dollars (and, if you work at it,
less) for a stronger PC is a bargain comparing this radio to its
conventional competition. The desktop will, of course, permit the Delta
44, which by itself solves a host of problems and raises quality a bit.


Larry WO0Z
Larry Taft
2005-10-07 16:22:43 UTC
Permalink
Lee,

Please look at the technical information that is scattered in amongst
"charged language" of the fanatics. What you will find is the SDR radios
are being designed, improved, repaired, modified, etc as they are
produced. Gerald's hardware is a small portion of the overall system which
opens pandora's box for the infinite possibilities of computers, sound
cards, software and mounting methods.

As an engineer I have many times dealt with customers who thought they were
buying a finished product that had a long history of successful
operation. In fact they were getting a giant experiment that may work to
their satisfaction after extensive field work. In the case of the SDRs you
are not being sold a finished product. What you are getting is membership
in the club of a new technology that you can further develop as you wish.

What I like about the SDR radios is the exploration of new methods to
communicate by combining RF and internet links. Is the present scheme
flawed beyond hope? Not yet! Parts of it don't work well today and will
require continuing effort to resolve the problems.

In particular, QSK CW is a difficult mode for a transceiver system. Maybe
the solution is a dual transceiver that runs one as the receiver and the
other as the transmitter and has a separate switching network for the
QSK. I did it years ago with a bunch of 6SN7s that turned down the
receiver, protected the antenna input, turned on the VFO and keyed the grid
of the driver. This system ran a KW and I could hear between the dits at
20 WPM. All electronic, no relays.

Many time a new technology leads to a dead end. I have a Softwave receiver
card that was one of the first attempts at using the PC as part of the
rig. When Softwave closed their door the card became an orphan, no
possible way to upgrade the software. I have a Patcomm 1600 transceiver
that is also an orphan. It was an interesting attempt at using a
microprocessor to control a direct conversion transceiver. It had several
problems that never got resolved. My point here is the two orphans were
dependent on their creators to keep going. The SDRs have multiple creators
and will go on long past the present crowd. Mongrels!

The SDR radios have many open pathways to success as the RF hardware is
simple and the software is in the public domain so your investment will
have a long and fruitful lifetime. The SDRs do require direct technical
involvement on the part of the owner/operator.

73, Larry K2LT
Post by Lee A Crocker
At the risk of being antagonistic, I would like to
hear an accurate analysis from users about the
problems with this design. I see a lot of apologetics
--
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Larry Taft
2005-10-08 05:29:09 UTC
Permalink
Lee,

Well, you have a point with the VOX problem as that shouldn't require a
minimum delay system to run. I suspect the VOX will soon or has been
solved. I don't use VOX as I can't think or talk fast enough to keep it
pulled in without an inordinate hang time.

PINs: Come to think of it I have an Ameritron PIN diode board that I
actually had running for a few times. Got sidetracked by other interests
at the time so its in the attic at the moment.

Maybe the CW solution is to use a realtime operating system a la the
programmable logic controllers that are used for machine control. I've
installed many on all kinds of machines in the past and they were quick
considering the little processor ran at a few MHz. Then run the windows
programs on the side for the display stuff. Hmmm, I bet it can be done in
the same computer with a bit of time slicing.

If you are expecting a complete, bug free radio then the SDR stuff is not
for you.

It is a paradigm shift in the way radios are conceived, built and operated.

There are problems now but most of them will be solved. There hasn't yet
been a fundamental limitation to the present scheme. The main software is
undergoing another internal reorganization to make it much more modular
instead of the original spaghetti code. This should allow many more of the
programmer types to contribute to the system.

As far as the receiver goes, of the many I've used over the past 50 years
this is the best for several reasons, its affordable, flexible and neat to
play with.

73, Larry K2LT
What you say is true. However my point is that you
miss the 800 pound gorilla in the room when touting
your rig as having MAN'S BEST RECIEVER, and you can't
get a friggin vox to work. I use pin diodes to do
what you did with the 6SN7's by the way.
My point in writing was that it is not clear to me
that a little fiddleing with the software is going to
make the system behave. You have proposed yet another
hardware based fix of a seperate system of transmitter
and reciever, with dedicated switching. Your solution
I think is a good one, but note this is basically a 2
processor/memory/soundcard plus switching hardware
solution and is exactly what I was driving at: How ya
gonna solve the glaring deficiencies in the radio. If
it is going to require a redesign then I'm waiting to
throw my 1500 bux in the pot.
73 Lee W9OY
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Eric Wachsmann - FlexRadio
2005-10-07 20:35:04 UTC
Permalink
Lee,

Gerald's response should be considered the official response from
FlexRadio on the less than perfect eham review. (link below)

http://mail.flex-radio.biz/pipermail/flexradio_flex-radio.biz/2005-Octob
er/002698.html


Consider the following my personal response:

Note that we have never pitched this radio as QSK or a "perfect" CW rig.
Having said that, it is a darn good setup for CW enthusiasts mainly due
to the high quality receiver/filters. Add a keyer with a sidetone (to
eliminate any DSP delay) and you can have your cake and eat it too.

The complaints about the craftsmanship of the enclosure are unfounded
regarding the microphone connector and wiring. The 1/8" connectors are
probably the weakest point in the current hardware.

It helps to understand how this radio came about. Gerald spent years
dreaming up this radio and working on it as a hobby. He laid out the
prototype and coded the original VB application in his spare time while
getting excellent advice from experts around the globe via the internet.
Gerald spent time to write the 4 QEX articles (see our Articles link on
the webpage) and the interest was so great that he turned it into a
business.

Now, given the radio's infancy, it is not hard to understand why the
current radio uses the parallel port and 1/8" connectors. This is what
everyone already had on their desk! Is it a perfect hardware design
from a reliability stance? No. Having an 1/8" cable get pulled out
unexpectedly can be frustrating. But it is hardly a showstopper. The
drawbacks pale in comparison to the operating fun this radio offers.
Not to mention that the performance compares with radios costing 10x as
much. ;)

As someone else stated, probably the best situation would be to have you
find someone near you with an SDR-1000 and go get a hands on demo.
Seeing/hearing is believing.


Eric Wachsmann
FlexRadio Systems
Post by Tim Ellison
-----Original Message-----
From: FlexRadio-bounces at flex-radio.biz [mailto:FlexRadio-bounces at flex-
radio.biz] On Behalf Of Lee A Crocker
Sent: Friday, October 07, 2005 9:34 AM
To: FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz
Subject: [Flexradio] Eham Review
At the risk of being antagonistic, I would like to
hear an accurate analysis from users about the
problems with this design. I see a lot of apologetics
Eham is stupid
The problem is the antenna
The guy has old boards
yada yada yada
I am on the fence about purchasing one of these based
on what I percieve as some design issues that
eventually will need to be addressed, and it is very
unclear how they will in fact be resolved. One issue
is that people tend to address "hardware" as only the
SDR-1K box. This clearly is not rational as the
entire system is devised to be worked against a
computer/soundcard combo, so that aspect of "hardware"
is integral to the system and it is not secondary as
far as performance is concerned.
So where does the "hardware" go? 2 soundcards has
been suggested? 2 computers with one processor
dedicated to being the hertbeat of the radio and the
other dedicated to being a console/control? Gigabit
networking to connect these now three boxes? Maybe a
multi-processor multi-soundcard workstation? Now the
$1500 radio starts looking like a $4000 radio. I read
a recent thread where a man was considering what
computer to go with and wound up going with a dual
core AMD machine, no small expense. Others have
talked about 3+ gig pentium 4 machines especially if
you want CW due to the better timing characteristics
of the P-4 machine. That comment will probably start
a spate of "I got mine runnin on my trusty ol 386",
but the point is I think these considerations need to
be part of the discussion if one is going to be honest
about the real cost/benefit/performance analysis of
the system, and the future expandibilty of the
"hardware".
I have noticed a tendancy on this reflector to sweep
the problems with this design under the rug as if they
are to be expected QSK.... no we don't do QSK CW
well it really has a good CW reciever buttttttt... VOX
....any day now... any day now..... I don't think
these issues are going to be solved by spiffing up the
code a little. You may see a marginal improvement by
code diddling but it would appear to me a redesing in
system philosphy is where it's at.
That being said I find the concept of this radio and
the response I have witnessed by the folks at flex are
superb, and I don't mean to sound critical but not
addressing these issues directly is what invites the
kind of EHAM review that was issued, and padding EHAM
with a bunch of "why its the best radio since sliced
bread" propaganda does nothing to advance the state of
the art. It only serves to muddy the water. When I
"Although I could not altogether
eliminate the delay, I was able to
train my brain to work with it."
And then I look at the CW waveform and there are 2 key
closures before the first dit is transmitted, it make
me very nervous when I see the CW issue and other
design flaws being devalued, or the true cost of
ownership vs. performance as a "real" problems. THe
Flex people have been very upfront about the issues,
but on the reflector it tends to get whitewashed.
Flex will never move beyond being a hobby radio or a
cultist radio if these issues are not addressed, and
personally I would like to see Flex succeed beyond
their wildest expectations. It is in this kind of
design that I see the future of high performance Ham
radio. I can see the day when contesters use
something like a joy stick to with total software
control to double their point totals. When the guy
with 2 Steppir beams and a Flex kicks hell out of the
guy with the big bertha tower and the stack and a
rack panel full of clicky old FT-1000mp's because it
takes 3 minutes for the big bertha to come around,
while the steppir guy hits a button on the joy stick,
and the front and the back side of the beam reverses
saving 2 minutes and 50 seconds of rotator time. The
steppir guy has already worked 6 more stations while
the big bertha guys is still turning the stack. That
is all in the not too distant future but if the radio
doesn't do qsk CW and it doesnt do VOX it will not be
part of the future, I don't care how good your dynamic
range is.
73 W9OY
_______________________________________________
FlexRadio mailing list
FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz
http://mail.flex-radio.biz/mailman/listinfo/flexradio_flex-radio.biz
Eric Wachsmann - FlexRadio
2005-10-07 20:56:28 UTC
Permalink
John,

The current hardware is not QSK as the time required to switch the TR
relays at this point is 50ms minimum. This doesn't mean that someone
(including FlexRadio) will not figure out a way to modify the hardware
for QSK. It just means that the current hardware will not do better
than Semi Break in.

Which brings me to ask: Can you define "true semi-break-in"? Without a
clear definition, I have a hard time qualifying whether our radio will
meet your expectations. Suffice it to say that FlexRadio is VERY
interested in continuing to improve the CW operation of the SDR-1000.

Eric Wachsmann
FlexRadio Systems
Post by Tim Ellison
-----Original Message-----
From: FlexRadio-bounces at flex-radio.biz [mailto:FlexRadio-bounces at flex-
radio.biz] On Behalf Of W2AGN
Sent: Friday, October 07, 2005 9:52 AM
To: Lee A Crocker
Cc: FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz
Subject: Re: [Flexradio] Eham Review
The CW question is what keeps me from throwing in my money. Is there
any
Post by Tim Ellison
chance we will see QSK, or even true "semi-break-in" CW with the FLEX?
I
Post by Tim Ellison
fear some may say, "why make new technology accomodate an obsolete
mode?" If that is the case, and CW will remain an orphan in the
Flexradio, then I wiould be better off looking elsewhere.
--
_ _ _ _ _
/ \ / \ / \ / \ / \ John L. Sielke
( W ) ( 2 ) ( A ) ( G ) ( N ) http://w2agn.net
\_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/
W2AGN
2005-10-07 21:09:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Eric Wachsmann - FlexRadio
John,
The current hardware is not QSK as the time required to switch the TR
relays at this point is 50ms minimum. This doesn't mean that someone
(including FlexRadio) will not figure out a way to modify the hardware
for QSK. It just means that the current hardware will not do better
than Semi Break in.
Which brings me to ask: Can you define "true semi-break-in"? Without a
clear definition, I have a hard time qualifying whether our radio will
meet your expectations. Suffice it to say that FlexRadio is VERY
interested in continuing to improve the CW operation of the SDR-1000.
Eric Wachsmann
FlexRadio Systems
Well, I am sure opinions vary, but I consider true break-in (QSK0 to be
able to hear between characters. "Semi Break in" would be able to hear
between words. 50ms I can certainly live with, but I wonder, why TR
relays and not solid state switching?
I do apprecaite being able to actually communicate with the folks
designing the radio. The only other radio that you can do that with is
the Elecraft ones (of which I have several).

Anxiously watching for "ENHANCED" cw capabilities.
--
_ _ _ _ _
/ \ / \ / \ / \ / \ John L. Sielke
( W ) ( 2 ) ( A ) ( G ) ( N ) http://w2agn.net
\_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/
"CRUSTY OLD CURMUDGEON - AND PROUD OF IT!"
Mel Whitten
2005-10-07 21:26:58 UTC
Permalink
...semi-break-in (and for a real challenge, QSK) that works as well or
better than a K2.
Mel
K0PFX


----- Original Message -----
From: "Eric Wachsmann - FlexRadio" <eric at flex-radio.com>
To: "'W2AGN'" <w2agn at w2agn.net>; "'Lee A Crocker'" <lee_crocker at yahoo.com>
Cc: <FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz>
Sent: Friday, October 07, 2005 3:56 PM
Subject: Re: [Flexradio] Eham Review
Post by Eric Wachsmann - FlexRadio
John,
The current hardware is not QSK as the time required to switch the TR
relays at this point is 50ms minimum. This doesn't mean that someone
(including FlexRadio) will not figure out a way to modify the hardware
for QSK. It just means that the current hardware will not do better
than Semi Break in.
Which brings me to ask: Can you define "true semi-break-in"? Without a
clear definition, I have a hard time qualifying whether our radio will
meet your expectations. Suffice it to say that FlexRadio is VERY
interested in continuing to improve the CW operation of the SDR-1000.
Eric Wachsmann
FlexRadio Systems
Post by Tim Ellison
-----Original Message-----
From: FlexRadio-bounces at flex-radio.biz [mailto:FlexRadio-bounces at flex-
radio.biz] On Behalf Of W2AGN
Sent: Friday, October 07, 2005 9:52 AM
To: Lee A Crocker
Cc: FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz
Subject: Re: [Flexradio] Eham Review
The CW question is what keeps me from throwing in my money. Is there
any
Post by Tim Ellison
chance we will see QSK, or even true "semi-break-in" CW with the FLEX?
I
Post by Tim Ellison
fear some may say, "why make new technology accomodate an obsolete
mode?" If that is the case, and CW will remain an orphan in the
Flexradio, then I wiould be better off looking elsewhere.
--
_ _ _ _ _
/ \ / \ / \ / \ / \ John L. Sielke
( W ) ( 2 ) ( A ) ( G ) ( N ) http://w2agn.net
\_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/
_______________________________________________
FlexRadio mailing list
FlexRadio at flex-radio.biz
http://mail.flex-radio.biz/mailman/listinfo/flexradio_flex-radio.biz
ecellison
2005-10-09 14:52:48 UTC
Permalink
Guys

Guess I'll jump in again.

No one piece of gear is suitable for all hams, and for that reason many hams
own a multitude of rigs.

If your sole criteria is QSK so you can hear between element spacing you'll
probably have to wait for Gerald's next hardware offering or stick with your
current rig which probably does it. Otherwise I don't see too many other
glaring deficiencies which have not been addressed over the last 1.5 years.
These are all covered by ECO's which you can do yourself or send the radio
in to Flex for updating. That includes every SDR ever shipped. (Pretty
remarkable!)

Actually I do think that on Teamspeak about 5 months ago we did come up with
a QSK work around. A little unconventional but I think it worked. It
involved using the K2 as the transmitter with an external fast antenna
switch using the SDR-1000 as the receiver. I don't think it was tried by too
many since there are not too many QSK folk left.

In any case, it really IS what you GET with this paradigm shift of a radio
rather than what is lacking. Something you don't get from other radio
manufacturers selling Ham radio equipment.

You get a seat on the board of directors of a company which has two paid
employees and a vote on the evolution of the radio. You get a very wise CEO
who listens to the board, and accommodates them. He also keeps a company
supported version of the radio software which is stable and ever improving.
He has kept every promise he has ever made. He participates almost weekly on
Teamspeak, and has actually used Teamspeak in a group conference to design
hardware.

In this paradigm shift you as a user also get the opportunity to contribute
to the definition of the radio and thereby help all other owners and board
members. Not all users become contributors, but they certainly become
beneficiaries. Therefore you have the opportunity to become an inventor, and
one of the MANY 'unpaid employees' who are satisfied with the company.

One night on Teamspeak, 10 minutes after the release of a new beta version
of the 1.3.x software 5 folks downloaded, tried, identified a reproducible
bug, identified the problem in source, corrected it, shipped the modified
code back to Eric using AOL AIM and the fixed version offered the next
morning.

This radio has attracted, and continues to attract the best-of-the best in
all aspects of amateur radio. From operation, to hardware design, software
design, marketing etc. These people are contributing in a myriad of ways to
insure that this radio, not only survives, but becomes better all the time.

I don't think anyone minds if someone waits to buy the next version of the
hardware. I do think there are a large number of owners who dislike undue
shots at a radio which is a moving target and consistantly negates the
criticism with the next ECO, or software release.

Not only that but this is the most fun radio I have ever had. Sure beats
trying to memorize the friggin nested menus on my hohum 857! I'ts not
another ricebox.

Eric - AA4SW





Lee,

If you are expecting a complete, bug free radio then the SDR stuff is not
for you.

It is a paradigm shift in the way radios are conceived, built and operated.

There are problems now but most of them will be solved. There hasn't yet
been a fundamental limitation to the present scheme. The main software is
undergoing another internal reorganization to make it much more modular
instead of the original spaghetti code. This should allow many more of the
programmer types to contribute to the system.

73, Larry K2LT
My point in writing was that it is not clear to me
that a little fiddleing with the software is going to
make the system behave. You have proposed yet another
hardware based fix of a seperate system of transmitter
and reciever, with dedicated switching. Your solution
I think is a good one, but note this is basically a 2
processor/memory/soundcard plus switching hardware
solution and is exactly what I was driving at: How ya
gonna solve the glaring deficiencies in the radio. If
it is going to require a redesign then I'm waiting to
throw my 1500 bux in the pot.
73 Lee W9OY
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