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Author Topic: SDR Transceiver for HF+6M  (Read 13639 times)
AB2JL
Member

Posts: 21




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« Reply #30 on: July 08, 2008, 02:55:19 PM »

being a fairly experienced powerSDR user i still printed the Wonderradio Manual out and followed it step by step.

everything went flawlessly from wiring to calibration.

calibration for frequency, level, and rx image was quick. i used a Crystek CO27VS12DE-02 10.000000 +- 1.5 PPB OXCO powered by an Instek GPS-2303 for 6 hours previously for the reference frequency. the oscillator has an output level of +3dbm so it was padded down with a few attenuators until it was about 40 db above the noise floor.

the Edirol FA-66 gave me a few headaches. the Edirol documentation is not clear where to plug in your headphones. i used the front panel jack which apparently is not activated in the mode the FA-66 is being operated in. i ended up using the read panel speaker jacks instead. more on this in later posts.

the rx is excellent, all bands were checked except 6 meters. i was able to copy 40 meter cw and ssb with no problems even as the foreign broadcasters started up. that in itself is a testament to the simply fantastic and peerless filtering ability of powerSDR. make no mistake about it, the guys at flex radio know their stuff.

with 1 watt SSB on 40 meters i was not able to establish contact with anyone. the noise floor was S9 to +10 over with crashes to +30 over. i had trouble hearing the usual guys across the band. both kenwood TS-850's had a tough time too and made no contacts at low power. i use these radios as my benchmark as they are my all time favorite knobbed radio.

some parts were ordered to build up th interface box between the 15 pin D on the wonderradio and my commander magnum. the parts will be here in next couple of days. with one watt i should be able to get 50 to 100 watts out of the magnum which will help get over the noise.

so far this box is a hit in my mind. it ran overnight on 40 meters in the rx mode with powerSDR up and running with no hiccups and worked fine when i started looking at it this morning.

i am going to check into ecars tomorrow morning at 1 watt to see if i can be heard.

if time allows, i plan to run some quanitative tests over the next few days.

if anyone would like for me to run any special tests, or try a contact, let me know.

i also heard from Abhishek at sdrTEC. he thanked me for the review and acknowledged my observations. he said the new production boards do not have the jumper anymore.

thanks,

phil AB2JL
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CT1BPT
Member

Posts: 1




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« Reply #31 on: July 08, 2008, 03:04:28 PM »

Phil tanks for reports!
The photos are good, now we wait for the tests, hi, and me for my WonderRadio.
73s to all
Sílvio
CT1BPT
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PJ2BVU
Member

Posts: 115




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« Reply #32 on: July 10, 2008, 08:01:23 AM »

Very interesting information Phil and waiting for more reports on your on the air tests.
I received an e-mail from SdrTec and they are ready to ship but ran into a little problem: the service they are using do not ship to Curacao. They checked for another service and found DHL can do it for an exorbitant price. SdrTec offered to absorb half the difference which I appreciate very much.
I also have a Miami mail box which is a service provided by the local post office and decided to have the radio shipped to Miami:
The fee charged for the Miami-Curacao shipping should be much less that half the DHL fee.
DHL would have to clear the package with customs and they would charge me for the paperwork. The post office has a custom officer full time and thus do not charge for the paperwork, only the duty.

Besides that I made a few inquiries regarding the SDR-1000 and 6m which is my main activity.
By using a LNA in front of the SDR-1000 the performance is very good. Transmitting using an amplifier produces good results in SSB. In CW many spurs of unacceptable level repeat around the transmit frequency.
Using a transverter is the way to go and what I was planning to do.
I already have the LNA, mixers, a 15W PA module and a 36MHz 3rd overtone Xtal which will be perfect for a 14MHz IF, even better than a 28MHz IF as the SDR-1000 is also running out of speed on this band.
I made reference to the SDR-1000 as it is what people used before and the WonderRadio should be very similar.

Jean-Claude PJ2BVU
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WB5YPV
Member

Posts: 2




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« Reply #33 on: July 11, 2008, 03:53:02 PM »

I received my Radio today and it works fine...Had 2 on the small mounting screws that mount the board to the cabinet broke in shipment..Replace them and had to use a plastic spacer in front of the board to push the connectors closer to the end of the cabinet... The Hosa cables 3.5MM stero connectors would push out so had to trim the ends back to get them to stay in. I am using A Delta 44 sound card and breakout box. I try to use the USB to parellel adaptor but could not get the USBIO driver from Flex to work, yet. The cabinet holes for the connectors need to be somewhat bigger. I was impress with the circuit board quality and the initial test on the Radio was good

Bob
WB5YPV
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PJ2BVU
Member

Posts: 115




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« Reply #34 on: July 11, 2008, 08:43:25 PM »

Good evening all,

After a few days without internet I am finally back. The previous message was sent from work.

Bob, congratulations for your new radio and we hope to hear from you with some tests. Regarding the USB converter - when you have it working - do not forget to go to Device Manager -> USB Root Hub -> Properties -> Power Management -> Unmark "Allow the Computer to turn off this device to save power".

Phil, thanks for the pictures. Here I received the schematics (PDF) which are readable when printed on letter size, thanks SdrTec.

Power connector: a while back I was wondering why the enclosure is so high but did not elaborate. It seems to me that the PA will not be housed in this enclosure: first because of the power plug and second there is no internal connector which would be needed to switch the output filters of the PA. I imagine the PA in its own enclosure with the proper power plug and using the X2 connector for band switching. This could be a problem if one wants to use also transverters.
Does anyone has the characteristics of the power plug? As far as components are concerned Curacao is almost a desert island and I should start looking around for one as my WonderRadio shipped today.

Someone else must have a WonderRadio in the US. From the Flex Reflector, posted on July 7th:

"ZS6AVM Wrote:
I spoke to a friend in VK (VK7ZE) on 20M yesterday, he mentioned that
he'd spoken to a Ham in the States who was using the Wonder Radio (1Watt
version driving a 100W PA)"

73 de Jean-Claude PJ2BVU

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AB2JL
Member

Posts: 21




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« Reply #35 on: July 17, 2008, 08:43:39 AM »

the best i can achieve is only -48 db of rx image rejection using the edirol FA-66. the firebox works better,-78 db with automatic calibration. the edirol should be better than the firebox, i might have a bad unit or i am missing theboat here. does anyone have any ideas?

thanks,

phil AB2JL
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PJ2BVU
Member

Posts: 115




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« Reply #36 on: July 18, 2008, 10:07:59 PM »

This is rather odd, there should not be much difference between sound cards. I suppose you followed the instructions as described in the "Edirol FA-66 Quick Start Guide" from Flex-Radio. Did you install only the driver as it could be due to some sound effects from the software. You said you will use XP and not Vista, so it is not due to some glitch from Vista. Do you have the same problem while trying to do the TX image reject?
Did you use this board before when you had the SDR-1000?

Here the post office notified me of the arrival of the package in Miami and the USPS tracking system is not very good: only yesterday did the tracking worked and said "We have received notice that the originating post is preparing to dispatch this mail piece."
They received the package and delivered it but it says the same. Lucky it did not end up in Alaska.

Does anyone else has some report on the WonderRadio? May be it is time to open a new eham review.

73 de Jean-Claude PJ2BVU
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SDRTEC
Member

Posts: 1




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« Reply #37 on: July 20, 2008, 10:08:12 AM »

Hi Folks,

Let me begin by thanking all for the support we have received, we appreciate it.
There has been quite a few requests for a WonderRadio Yahoo Usergroup...so we decided to start one, all existing customers have already been send a join request,here are the details:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wonderradio/

73s,

Abhishek Prakash
SDRTec.com
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W6RMK
Member

Posts: 672




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« Reply #38 on: September 30, 2008, 08:38:54 AM »

PowerSDR lets you set the DDS multiplier and the frequency of the reference. On the SDR1K, a fair number of people used an external 10MHz (or other frequency) reference to replace the onboard 200MHz oscillator (which was quiet but drifts).

Sure, the guys in India could have designed a new radio and used newer parts, different interfaces, etc.  But that would have greatly increased their development time and hassle.  Particularly if they had a different interface design than the SDR1K or F5K, they would have had to either fork PowerSDR (philsophically bad in the F/OSS world, because you then wind up with two ever diverging sets of software) or convince the keepers of the PowerSDR flame to integrate their drivers in. As an aside, adding a new interface to PowerSDR that differs substantially from the existing ones would be a technically challenging task. For all we know, the guys in India are hardware centric, and don't want to spend time fooling with software development, which is a perfectly reasonable strategy (otherwise all the PC clone makers wouldn't be in business, eh?)
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W6RMK
Member

Posts: 672




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« Reply #39 on: September 30, 2008, 08:41:20 AM »

"
they did mention they hired an SDR expert to assist in software development if i am interpreting the email properly. i would expect them to deliver software sometime in the future. powerSDR being open source does not convey an unlimited use license. i.e., flex may be able to say you cannot use powerSDR software on any radio but theirs. there also may be intellectual property issues between sdrtec, flex, and motorola. who knows. "

PowerSDR is GPLed, which essentially means that you can use it for whatever you want.  Obviously Flex isn't on the hook to support PowerSDR on Brand X hardware.
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W6RMK
Member

Posts: 672




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« Reply #40 on: September 30, 2008, 08:46:08 AM »

"if their pc board is designed well the 40 MHz should work well. in the network hardware i've designed using 5 to 64x pll's good grounding and bypassing was paramount in low pk-pk jitter. when you see specs do not be fooled by low rms jitter specs, these are basically useless specs, you need pk-pk jitter."

--  If you're clocking bits into an interface, pk-pk is important. If you're using the jitter spec as a time domain version of the integrated phase noise (which is basically what it is), rms is more appropriate.

All of these DDS schemes have tradeoffs.  Do you use a high frequency overtone mode crystal in an oscillator or do you use a lower frequency crystal and multiply it up. If the latter, do you use direct multiplication or a PLL.

I suspect that no matter WHAT they do, it will be better than the vast majority of rigs on the air.
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W4YN
Member

Posts: 3




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« Reply #41 on: May 31, 2009, 06:06:02 PM »

Hi
Have you been by SRDTEC latley?
They have announced they are closing and they still owe me parts for my Wonder PRO radio.
Tim
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