A bit more off topic, but here goes
My new book "Amsats and Hamsats" hit the shelves today. You can buy a copy at Amazon (print and Kindle) or from the RSGB with a discount for RSGB or AMSAT-UK members.
Here is the sales blurb!
The book provides a comprehensive guide to how you communicate through amateur radio satellites and how to receive signals from other small satellites and 'weather' satellites. Link to Amazon
Amsats and Hamsats gets right into the techniques you will need for working amateur radio stations through amateur radio satellites, then it moves on to listening, or watching, signals from satellites. There are chapters answering questions like, "how do satellites stay in orbit" and "why are they so expensive to launch?" Followed by sections about the history of amateur radio satellites, the mathematics governing orbits, different types of satellite and their orbits. It covers the equipment you need, to track and use the amateur satellites and some of the satellite tracking software that is available. There are detailed sections covering feeders, Masthead preamplifiers, antenna systems and automated rotator control. There are the details of FUN cube Satellites, Weather Satellites and even the International Space Station. If you want to know the art of the possible and what satellites ae available, where they are, new ones that are planned and even the bands you can operate. There is much more besides, as Amsats and Hamsats provides the ultimate guide to operating satellites.
Amsats and Hamsats provides in its impressive 368 pages a great value guide to this stimulating and challenging area of amateur radio activity. If you want to get started or are already an experienced operator you will find something of value in these pages.Post is under moderationStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
PowerSDR/OpenHPSDR mRX PS v3.4.9 (19 March 2018)
• Bug fix for manually entering frequency
PowerSDR/OpenHPSDR mRX PS v3.4.8 (17 March 2018)
• Creates new wisdom file for each folder when using the -datapath command
• Bug fix for Behringer mini-wheels mapping issue when mapping AGC gain
• Added support for mapping drive level to a Behringer mini-wheel
• Added Panafall display for RX2
• Corrected a resizing problem when enabling RX2
• NB/NB2 is turned OFF while transmitting when DUP is enabled
• Added 2kHz Tune Step
• Changed ANF behavior so that it is disabled when in CW mode
• Removed the 750Hz CW filter and added a 150Hz CW filter (requires database reset to update)
• Added an Audio Adaptive Variable Resampler with monitor tools
• Increased display buffer to support larger than 4k displays
• Added separate VFO Lock controls for VFOA and VFOB. New VFO Lock button will require additional skin files to operate correctly. Skins packaged with OpenHPSDR/PowerSDR will contain the required files. You may need to create them for other skin packages.
• Added a dropped packet ("OOOPs") counter that measures the number of dropped receive packets from radio to PC. This may be useful in identifying problems with network setup.
• fixed bug in CAT Command ZZPT## to change TXProfiles in different modes
• Updated CAT Commands documentation. Found in the Documentation/Radio folder
MIDI interface: Bug fix for Behringer mini-wheels when mapping to AGC gain. Added support for mapping drive level to a Behringer mini-wheel. Added individual button mappings for VFOA and VFOB. Changed previous VFO Lock function to a round-robin toggle: Unlocked, VFOA locked, VFOA&B locked, Unlocked.
CAT interface: Added two functions to individually lock the two VFOs:
• ZZUX and ZZUY locks/unlocks VFOA and VFOB, respectively. 1=lock, 0=unlock
• ZZVL now implements a round-robin toggle for VFO locks: Unlocked, VFOA locked, VFOA&B locked, Unlocked.
Added the following new functions:
• ZZUS initiates a PureSignal single cal function
• ZZUT turns a two-tone test on or off (1 or 0)
• ZZGU sets RX2 AGC speed
• ZZAF,ZZAE sets VFOA N tune steps up,down respectively
• ZZBF,ZZBE sets VFOB N tune steps up,down respectively
• ZZXH sets VOX delay
• ZZCN/CO sets VFO A/B CTUN state
• ZZNU sets RX2 ANF state
• ZZXN gets combined RX1 status
• ZZXO gets combined RX2 status
• ZZXV gets combined VFO status
Adaptive Variable Resampler:
This release of PowerSDR mRX introduces an optional Adaptive Variable Resampler option for VAC audio. The implementation is a true resampler and not just a data "smoother".
Since both the radio and the PC use different clocks to obtain their nominal 48KHz audio sampling rate, the rate in the radio will not exactly match the rate in the PC. This sample rate mismatch leads inevitably to audio buffer under- and over-runs that often result in audible glitches in the VAC audio streams, both transmit and receive. The resampler acts to transform audio data across the radio clock domain and the PC clock domain, thereby substantially eliminating these glitches. The resampler also works for those who are using the VAC IQ data output at all IQ sample rates, and spur levels will be extremely low even at 192KHz.
To use the resampler, first be sure to have achieved a reasonably stable and well performing VAC configuration without the resampler active. Then check the "Resampler" checkbox in Setup > Audio > VAC1 (and/or VAC2 if using VAC2). You will probably see the under- and -over-flow counters start counting. It then takes a few seconds for the resampler algorithm to begin making estimates of the sample rate mismatch. Once the initial estimate of sample rate mismatch is obtained, the Var Ratio display will begin to show the measured ratio between the PC and radio audio sample rates. This will update in a continuous fashion and usually does not remain static, as the sample clocks do drift over time, over temperature, etc.
At this point you should use the mouse to hover over the various displays and controls, read the tool-tips that pop up over each one, and thereby become more familiar with them. The "Force" controls can be left alone, they are only there for diagnostic purposes..
After the resampler has become stable, which should occur in about ten seconds or so, you can click on the various counters to reset them to zero. This will allow you to more easily monitor resampler performance. Resampler performance depends quite heavily on the performance of your particular PC and your particular VAC configuration. Some people obtain zero under- and over-runs in both the transmit and receive directions for many hours, others see a steady but slow trickle that racks up to a few tens of them per hour.
A measure of latency can also be obtained by noting the size of the ringbuffer shown in the diagnostic display. Smaller buffer size equates to less latency. The size of the ringbuffer is determined by an algorithm that considers primary buffer size, VAC buffer size, VAC sample rate, and VAC Buffer Latency settings. The smallest possible ringbuffer on the receive side is 512, the smallest on the transmit side is 1024.
By using the monitoring features in the resampler you can work to optimize your primary and VAC buffer settings to achieve the fewest under- and over-runs, as well as the lowest latency. A general procedure is suggested as follows, although this is by no means the only method. This is also a useful procedure if you are having problems getting the resampler to converge, i.e. you are experiencing out of control under- and over-runs.
1. Start with a large primary buffer size.
2. Start with Buffer Latency set to 0mS & "Manual".
3. Start with VAC buffer size set to match your audio interface buffer size (if you know it, otherwise start with a large value).
If you get poor audio quality, try un-checking and checking the Buffer Latency Manual button a few times.
1. If you absolutely can't get it to run, let Buffer Latency go back to automatic. If that works, you can then try various values for manual buffer latency until you find the smallest one that works for you.
2. Once things seem stable, you can experiment with reducing the primary buffer size in order to obtain smaller ringbuffer sizes while still maintaining good audio quality.Post is under moderationStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
Hi all, I finally got around to updating the Amazon / Kindle version of my book Software Defined Radio - for amateur radio operators and shortwave listeners. It is now 99% the same as the RSGB version.
I know it is a bit "off topic," but my new book "Amsats and Hamsats" about amateur radio and other small satellites, will go on sale worldwide on, I think, the 8th of April. It will be available on the RSGB web-store with a discount to RSGB members, and also on Amazon and Kindle.Post is under moderationStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
Hi all, a slightly updated second edition of my SDR book, "SDR, Software Defined Radio, for amateur radio operators and shortwave listeners" is now available from the RSGB store. There is a discount for RSGB members. The book is also still available in printed form or Kindle from Amazon.
73 de Andrew ZL3DWPost is under moderationStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
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I had big problems getting VAC1 Direct I/Q - Output to VAC to work. Others on the Apache Labs forum have had similar problems. You always get "Invalid Sample Rate" and "Invalid Stream pointer" errors when you try to turn on VAC1 Direct IQ..
Finally after some months, I have the answer and now I can send a full 48 kHz of IQ bandwidth to MRP-40. It will work with CW Skimmer as well.
1. The Buffer Size and Sample Rate on the Audio : VAC1 tab must be set the same as the Buffer Size and Sample Rate on the Audio : Primary tab.
2. That means that you can not set a sample rate of >192000 on the Audio : Primary tab.
3. You can set the Buffer Size and Sample Rate on the Audio : VAC1 tab but output is unreliable.
4. No matter what the settings are in PowerSDR the IQ output is always 48 kHz wide. This is hard coded. So set your third party application for a 48 kHz IQ signal.Post is under moderationStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
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I have just negotiated a deal with the RSGB who plan to sell my SDR book on their RSGB Store website. Hopefully it will be available before Christmas. This will enable RSGB members to purchase the book with a 15% members discount. It will continue to be available from Amazon worldwide as well.
Amazon is about to launch in Australia, so I assume that it will be available from there as well. The Kindle version is already listed on Amazon.com.au.Post is under moderationStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
PowerSDR mRX v3.4.5 has been released. Apparently I can't upload the release notes as 900kB, so here is an excerpt.
PowerSDR/OpenHPSDR mRX PS v3.4.5 (20 November 2017)
• Bug fix for .NET unhandled exception error when starting without radio online.
PowerSDR/OpenHPSDR mRX PS v3.4.4 (19 November 2017)
• Added MIDI CAT support for the Behringer CMD Studio 2a
• Added support for the ANAN-7000DLE transceiver
• Added feature to select between receive or transmit antenna for receiving
• Use of seperate TX Profiles for various modes.
o LSB, USB, DSB, CWL, CWU, SPEC, & DRM
o AM & SAM
o DIGL & DIGU
• PRO Latency feature added.
Improved CTUN mode operation:
A "CTUN Scroll" check box has been added to the Setup-General-Options tab. When this box is checked:
• The display scrolls when the VFO gets near the display edges allowing tuning to continue. The VFO cursor stays near the scrolling edge.
• Frequency changes greater than 500kHz cause a re-centering (e.g. when recalling a memory from a far removed frequency) When this box is unchecked:
• CTUN behaves as before these CTUN enhancements - VFO tuning stops at the receiver bandwidth edges (e.g. 192kHz edges)
Forcing CTUN to turn OFF when selecting Split or MultiRX has been eliminated.
MIDI controller support
MIDI controller mapping now supports the Behringer CMD Studio 2a. In fact, it may work with all the Behringer controllers now, barring unforseen additional behavior of specific controllers that differs from the currently supported ones (the CMD PL-1, CMD Micro, and now CMD Studio 2a).
Fixed MIDI/CAT VFO manipulations (A>B, B>A, A<> so they behave exactly like the corresponding buttons on the console. Previously the CAT versions of these commands only changed frequency and nothing else associated with the VFO (e.g. mode).
Added handling of variable codes coming from wheels in the Hercules Compact controller; it was resulting in digital "backlash."
MIDI VFO sensitivity control:
VFO knob sensitivity (speed) can now be adjusted. In the past, as you turned a MIDI knob (usually one of the big jog wheels), you got one tune step per MIDI wheel or knob MIDI message output. Now you can change the wheel sensitivity by specifying the number of MIDI updates required to produce one frequency step.
Two new up/down controls have been added to the Setup/CAT Control tab next to the "Configure MIDI" button, labeled as ""MIDI Wheel updates/step. These controls set the minimum and maximum number of MIDI wheel updates per frequency step (i.e. maximum and minimum wheel sensitivity, respectively). These two values can then be alternated between using a new MIDI command and mapping as below.
The following three functions and mappings are new:
1. "Increase wheel rotation per VFO tune step" - increments the number of wheel updates per tuning step, mappable to a button, staring at 1 and increasing by factors of 2 up to a maximum of 32.
2. "Decrease wheel rotation per VFO tune step" - decreases the number of wheel updates per tuning step, mappable to a button, starting at the current setting and decreasing by a factor of 2 down to a minimum of 1.
3. "VFO Wheel Sensitivity High/Low Toggle" - toggles between the high and low values set in MIDI setup, mappable to a button
The typical use for "Toggle" would be as a high/low tuning sensitivity (speed) control. You can zip across a band at high speed, then switch to low speed as you get close to a signal of interest.
All of these settings, combined with the existing Tune Step MIDI settings, should allow a much greater range of tuning "feel" and control than before. Note that the Behringer controllers' jog wheels that enable variable tuning rates continue to work as before and now can be further tailored using these settings.
Disabled audio processing in digital modes CFC is now disabled automatically when switching to DIGL or DIGU. This operates in the same way the disabling of other processing functions, such as TX EQ, operates now, in that it simply disables the function in the currently selected transmit profile to ensure that CFC isn't used in digital modes. Note: A better way to handle this, as some are already doing, is to create a transmit profile for digital modes and switch to it before selecting a digital mode.
• Support added for the ANAN-7000DLE transceiver. Packet ReOrdering (PRO Latency) feature to re-sequence out of order packets.
• Added a feature to choose between receive antenna and transmit antenna.
• Added the ability to block a receive antenna from being used as a transmit antenna for antenna ports 2 and 3.
• Fixed bug that caused PowerSDR to crash if console closed after Setup form was closed.
• Modified VHF band stacks to be 5-deep like the others.
• Eliminated most display scale shifting when going between transmit and receive.
• Fixed a bug causing a crash when zoomed in past the point where the passband fits in the display. Fixed bugs in split VFO operation when RX2 is on.
• Fixed a bug resulting in incorrect vertical display scale in transmit under certain circumstances.
PowerSDR/OpenHPSDR mRX PS v3.4.3 (not released)
This release can be downloaded from the TAPR Github website. https://github.com/TAPR/OpenHPSDR-PowerSDR/releaseshttps://github.com/TAPR/OpenHPSDR-PowerSDR/releasesPost is under moderationStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
I just bought an SDRplay RSP2 receiver. It seemed to have good specs for the price. I already had a FunCUBE Pro Plus which covers roughly the same spectrum but it can only support a 96 kHz wide panadapter, which is a bother on VHF. The SDRplay RSP2 can be set for 500kHz, 1, 2, 3 ,4, 6, 7, 8, or 10 MHz (10MHz is at a lower bit rate at least on SDRconsole). This is neat because you can watch the whole of the 2m ham band or the 70cm band. (Not both at once).
The native software for the RSP2 is SDRuno which apparently was built from Studio1. It is OK, but a bit odd. For example each receiver has buttons for the HF bands and 2m, but not 6m. The buttons on the subsequent receivers don't work at all if RX0 is set to a VHF or UHF frequency. Each receiver can have its own panadapter and audio panadapter so you end up with lots of windows and it can be rather confusing working out which receiver relates to which panadapter. Having a separate panadapter for each receiver is pretty pointless since each receiver must be inside the maximum 10Mhz of bandwidth. Although you can have panadapters zoomed in to show smaller sections of the 10MHz spectrum available. Personally I would rather have all of the receivers displayed on a single panadapter. The HF band buttons only really work on RX0 and even then they are extremely annoying. I would have expected that pressing the button would switch the receiver so that the panadapter showed the band of interest... but it doesn't. If for example you have the sample rate set for a 6 MHz bandwidth and you press the 20m button, the receiver sets the current cursor position to 14.0 MHz. If the cursor happens to be at the center of the panadapter you get 11.5 MHz to 16.5 MHz on the panadapter. The memories work exactly the same way. If for example you have 5 repeaters setup as memories, each time you click on one the panadapter shifts and you lose visibility of the other repeaters. This really bugs me. The SDRconsole memory management is 1000 times better. Yeah I know you can lock the Local Oscillator, but it is still clunky.
Everything you look at on UHF or VHF is in a band. Aircraft band, Marine band, 70cm ham band etc. When you click on a band memory (s1b file). It should set the panadapter to show the band of interest or at least as much of it as possible. If the band is wider than 10 MHz, you could always save separate high and low band s1b files. Then when you click on a saved memory the panadapter should stay fixed and the cursor (receiver) should jump to the channel that you want to listen to. the developer needs to exploit the advantage of having a wideband panadapter, instead of thinking of the radio as a single channel receiver. The software is actually pretty good and it works OK. The panadapter works better than the one on SDRconsole which is strange and unpredictable especially if you change bandwidth to a different sample rate. Just a teething problem I guess. SDRconsole is pre-beta so it is unfair to be critical.
SDRuno is really very good, but some things do bug me. My main gripes about SDRuno are.
1 the band buttons should make the panadapter display a band, not just jump to the bottom of the band.
2 the band store should remember the current panadapter settings and actually be a 'band store' not just a directory
3 Saving a workplace is great except the receiver frequencies are lost not recalled. On a program restart or change of workplace, all of the receivers pop up on the same frequency. So you have to go and set them all to the right channels again.
4 you cant set the bandwidth of a receiver without opening its audio spectrum display window.Post is under moderationStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
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