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  • zlham
    zlham replied to the topic piHPSDR in Apache Labs
    Hi KD8TUT, I have ordered the Asus Tinker board and the 7" touchscreen. I figure I can make sure that it works before I pay the big bucks for the kit from ANAN. Total outlay so far is $66 for the Tinker board incl. freight to NZ, (free freight is only to USA addresses). The screen is about $83, but I bought that from a local New Zealand dealer as it was the same price.
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  • zlham
    Don't quote me but I "think" it is a Linux variant.

    FlexRadio Systems SmartSDR has three levels of API. The high level one is called FLEXLIB. It is a Windows .NET access into the SmartSDR client running on your PC. A sort of "super CAT."

    The next layer down is called the Ethernet or Network API. It effectively allows you to write your own client to write Ethernet UDP and TCP-IP packets to the radio and read the data back from the radio.

    The Waveform API lets you add to (but not edit) the code running on the ARM processor in the radio. You can create new modes and SmartSDR will integrate them into the radio. I believe that this is an API access, not open source access to their code. In other words you can hook into the FlexRadio Systems code like using a DLL but you cant change their code.
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  • zlham
    zlham replied to the topic SDR Books in SDR Talk
    Thanks Mark. When I finished the first SDR book, I felt that it was a little too technical for radio hams who were completely new to SDR. It also only dealt with HF radios. There was a lot more I could say! The new book is called "Software Defined Radio: for Amateur Radio Operators and Short Wave Listeners" By Andrew Barron ZL3DW.

    The new book, is much bigger 308 pages vs 76 for the old book. It is more general and wide ranging. One buyer review said that he read the first two chapters and found it too dry... he missed the dragons and fairy castles in chapter 3. Seriously I tried to make it easily readable rather than being a reference book, but ya cant please everyone. Overall it is getting good reviews.

    I was aware that there is no written user guide for PowerSDR in spite of it being used pretty widely. There are a lot of settings and features which I felt a lot of people may be unaware of. In fact there are one or two features that I still have no idea how to use ;-) So I wrote a section on PowerSDR with tips and tricks. There are also sections about SDR#, cuSDR and SmartSDR. Near the end there is a glossary of 65 SDRs currently on the market. It is just a very minimal comparison of the features of each radio. Frequencies covered, transmit power, number of panadapters, ADC bits etc. I thought that it would be useful for anyone making a buying decision. Yes you can get the same information from the Internet if you want to go to 65 manufacturers websites. I have just done that for you and put in a handy table.

    The new book is available on Kindle as well as a printed edition and this has proved very popular, with slightly more than 50% of sales being Kindle editions. The Kindle edition is cheaper because it doesn't have to be printed and posted. I didn't publish the first book on Kindle because it was full color and had big drawings that I felt wouldn't translate well. It is still available (printed format only) if you want a more technical book.

    Here is the Amazon link for the new book www.amazon.com/Software-Defined-Radio-Op...eners/dp/1534992421/

    Here is the Amazon blurb...
    This book is intended for Amateur Radio Operators, Short Wave Listeners, and anyone interested in radio as a hobby. It includes sections on how different types of software defined radios work, the advantages of using them, and how they are tested. It also covers future trends including the development of Direct Fourier Conversion. There is a big section with tips for PowerSDR users and sections about other commonly used SDR software, plus a comparison of the basic specifications of 65 different SDR receivers and transceivers. The book is not a textbook or a reference book. It is written in an easy to read conversational style. I explain the basics without getting too technical. There are no pages of software code or complex mathematics. I find that simple diagrams can often make things easier to understand so I have included some helpful drawings and photographs. The book contains sections on: • What to look for when buying an SDR • What is different about SDR? • What computer skills do you need? • What is digital? – a brief recap on digital theory • Definitions of software defined radio • Generations and types of SDR • Are SDRs better? • Future trends • Common questions about SDR • SDR software on the PC • Audio connections for digital modes • SDR for shortwave listening, CW, digital modes, contesting, interference monitoring, EME, microwave, and satellite operation • SoftRock, Genesis radios, RTL dongle, FUNcube dongle, USB connected receivers, USRP, Noctar, HackRF and Blade RF • SDRs with knobs • On-board or external DSP? • FlexRadio Systems transceivers and SmartSDR • Apache Labs ANAN transceivers and PowerSDR • cuSDR, KISS Konsole, SDR#, and GNU radio software • I and Q signals, Quadrature sampling, Direct Digital Synthesis, Direct Fourier Conversion • The ADC, The FPGA or microcomputer, Server / Client architecture, FFT magic, DSP, Panadapter and waterfall displays • Radio performance testing • Catalog of Software Defined radios – a comparison of 65 SDR receivers and transceivers • Glossary of abbreviations and acronyms • List of drawings and images
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  • zlham
    zlham created a new forum post in Apache Labs
    I am planning on buying a piHPSDR controller for my ANAN-100. I don't really need one but they seem to be a pretty neat addition to the ANAN radio. It is probably my bad case of MB1 envy ;-)

    I think that I will go with the kit from ANAN and add my own computer and touch screen. This is mostly because I want to use the ASUS Tinker board rather than a pi3 single board computer.

    Do you have any experience with the piHPSDR and Tinker board combination? I would be interested in hearing from you!

    The Tinker board is only about $30 more than the Pi3. That makes it almost twice the price of a Pi3, but it is not a big additional cost overall. It is significantly faster, pin compatible with the Pi3, and it has much better (24 bit) audio. The Tinker board has a microphone input, which the Pi3 does not. But I don't know if the piHPSDR software can take advantage of that.
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  • Following on from my last post. The next in line (by price) will be the Icom-7610. This promises to be very good indeed. But possibly not as well spec'd as the Flex-6400M. It does have 2 panadapters and 2 VFOs (dual watch). I think it will appeal to a different section of the market. i.e. those that want a conventional radio format with SDR performance rather than those that want an SDR with knobs.

    Next by price is the Flex-6600M, two ADCs so it can do diversity reception. 14 MHz panadapters. Four panadapters and 4 slice receivers (only 2 on the built in screen ???)

    Then there is the Expert Electronics MB1. This is tricky to compare against the Flex-6600M. It is a little more expensive and you only get 2 panadapters, but you get 4 simultaneous VFOs. Two per panadapter. You get the 2m band and there is a built in i5 PC for running digital modes. None of the other radios can run digital modes without an external PC. I like the ExpertSDR software as well.
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  • I just found out that the touchscreen on the new Flex models has a higher resolution to the one fitted on a Maestro. I suspect that this is just a technology improvement and that they will probably fit the better touchscreen to the next edition of the Maestro. Also the Flex-6400 has front end filters, which from memory the Flex-6300 lacked. So a very useful improvement there.

    I have been comparing the 'SDRs with knobs' and the new FlexRadios seem to be good value for money.
    The Icom-7300 is excellent for people a bit timid about switching to SDR, it is excellent value and by far the cheapest. But it does not support an external monitor and it only has one panadapter and one VFO (slice receiver). The Flex-6400M is next (by price) it supports two panadapters and two slice receivers. It has an 8" screen vs 4.3" on the Icom and can support a 7Mhz panadapter vs 1MHz on the Icom.
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  • zlham
    zlham created a new forum post in Flex Radio Systems
    Well it just goes to show that FlexRadio Systems are watching the competition. Or perhaps it was inevitable that they would produce a model with knobs. A first for FlexRadio and quite an exciting option.

    The Flex-6400 seems to be an upgraded 6300 in a different box and it seems that the 6300 is now retired. The Flex-6400M is basically a 6400 with a Maestro bolted on the front. [Edit: The screen resolution is slightly better on the built in screen than the maestro]. The M option is $200 cheaper than buying the Maestro separately, but you can still do that if you want to. Personally I think I would pay the extra $200 and get the portability offered by the Maestro. Strangely there is no mention of the new front panel supporting two panadapters / band displays (Flex calls them receivers). I assume that it does because Maestro does. On the Flex-6400 an antenna tuner is a $300 optional extra.

    The Flex-6600 seems to be a 6500 in a different box. The price is the same as well. The Flex-6600M is a 6600 with a Maestro bolted on the front. [Edit: The screen resolution is slightly better on the built in screen than the maestro]. It is $200 cheaper than buying the Maestro separately, but you can still do that if you want to. You can also run the radio with both the front panel and an external Maestro.

    Good price pointing by FlexRadio, they now have models at $2k, $3k, $4k, $5k and $7k. That should fit almost any budget.

    I am assuming that in the future, it will be possible to upgrade at any time from a standard model to an M model. It should not be difficult, I imagine you could do the upgrade at home.
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  • zlham
    zlham just registered on the site
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  • zlham
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