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Author Topic: Anan 100/D  (Read 75224 times)
WD5GWY
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« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2013, 11:37:40 AM »

Wouldn't it have been great for the radio comparison producer to have had the forethought to put one radio on the left channel and the other on the right so we could do a true side by side, not a failed, pointless, A/B punctuated by flailing of settings?
I had wondered the same thing. It would have helped to some degree. My thoughts are he
should have set things up and left the setting alone. (maximizing both as needed beforehand)
But, listening to the same conservation in each channel, it might be harder to tell which one
is the clearer of the two. I have used dual receive both with my FT-1000MP MKV and the
Flex 1500 (in the same band but two different conversations I wanted to monitor) and at best
it became confusing. It is almost like standing in a crowded room and trying to listen in on more
than one conversation. If can be done, but, something always seems to get lost trying to focus
  on two conversations at once. I saw one YouTube video of the 6700 running 4 qso's at the same
time and it sounded like a crowded room to me for sure! Watching the displays(slices) for activity on a particular band/frequency, would seem better in some instances. But, trying to pay attention to two or more conversations at once, is just too tiring! (might be getting old, younger folks seem
better able to do that.......or so they claim!)
james
WD5GWY
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WD5GWY
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« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2013, 11:52:32 AM »

Ok, what I heard 2/3rds the way through the video when he switched to the flex was that the flex seemed to have no hiss or static as compared to the Anan.  In fact, the Flex seemed strangly clear.  Not saying there is anything huge about this, I was just curious if anyone else noticed it and had impressions on it.

I have asked a,lot of questions in the yahoo group about the Anan 100D and am starting to get some of the answers back.  So far pretty positive responses coming back.

Active development working on their version of PowerSDR.  These include 384K width, and other filter improvements.  Works with the DJ controller so no fork needed to get my knobs.  I think I can convert my unbalanced to balanced mic input easy enough.  I could even create my own plug to continue running unbalanced if I wanted.  So far though, only 2 receivers in PowerSDR.

cuSDR looks promising.  I have seen 4 receivers in videos.  It appears that transmit though is not enabled yet in that software.  

My impression so far is that we are talking about a radio that will have several years of software developments to tap its full potential.  Really in some ways I expect SmartSDR to be pretty much the same, the difference being that the Apache is here today, open source so lots of developers creating for it where as the Flex is not baked yet and has closed APIs.

I do wonder though if the full potential of either radio will ever be realized.  Diversity reception won't be for everyone.  It only has mildly served me on my dual RX flex 5K.

Still, I am close to getting one, the experimenter in me is liking what I see.

That's all I have uncovered worth noting so far.

The Hermes , Anan radios etc. are definitely a work in progress, as is the 6000 Series Radios.
I am certain that it will be a long time before their full potential is reached. (and like you, if ever)
  I went to the Belton Texas hamfest yesterday, and had the chance to try out the 6700. But, only got to play with the receiver as they were using a wire antenna strung out the back door and on the ground. The Flex rep who was demo'ing it, managed to get the computer to lock up. Not the 6700 itself, but, the computer he was using. Turned out he had several instances of SmartSDR open at the same time and had used up the computer's resources. Shutting down those instances and for added insurance, rebooting the 6700, brought things back to normal. For an antenna on the ground , it worked pretty good. Not great, but, better than I expected. I was told that one of the holdups to release was the software. That has yet to reach the point that they feel comfortable about shipping radios. (this was from one of their developers that was there) They know they are going to have issues with the software no matter when they release the radios, but, they are wanting to have as much bugs etc. taken care of before letting the end users at it.
  I still like the Anan radios that I have read about and watched (and listened to) videos of. With the ongoing support from the open source community, they have a lot of potential and fixes can
appear sooner than later.
   As for Flex Radio's API's being closed, those that are going to be used for the presentation software (thin client) will not be closed. Only the firmware for the radio itself, will be closed
to outsiders. That is a good thing on Flex's part. It keeps people from causing problems that
would be difficult to track down. At the most, a developer that writes an app, for say, a tablet
computer, only has to get commands and receive the responses back from the radio and present that information, along with audio (incoming and outgoing) and the video for the display. (slice receivers etc.) I have had some experience with API's (love programming) and while you can
crash a system passing parameters incorrectly, it is hard to do, if the API is written correctly.
It the developer is tracking errors returned from the API(as he/she should) then that can be
handled in the application gracefully. YOU IDIOT........ YOU SENT THE WRONG COMMAND!!
(well, not quite like that!!!  Shocked   )
james
WD5GWY

Oh, and I still want at least an Anan 10 !!!
 
« Last Edit: April 21, 2013, 11:55:04 AM by WD5GWY » Logged
G7CNF
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« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2013, 04:09:37 AM »

Hi Guys. First time poster long time lurker...

I wanted to comment about NI0Z's observation - and explain it. Often PowerSDR is treated like a legacy radio, especially by newcomers to SDR but there are functions which from a legacy radio perspective are counter intuitive - like the pre-amp not increasing the signal level but rather lowering the noise floor!

The lack of noise on the Flex was due to the operator lowering the AGC-T (threshold) or the level at which the AGC begins to act. If you look closely at the video the OM is almost constantly adjusting the AGC-T on PowerSDR - this shows him to be a 'veteran' SDR user. At one point the AGC-T is reduced to 34 at which point there is no noise floor audible whatsoever. However, the OM does not adjust the AGC(T) on the Hermes and it stays at 101, except for a couple of times.

To simplify: increase the AGC(T) = increase the noise floor (gain). High values result in loud hiss between syllables, lowering the value reduces the hiss. For almost the entire video (I think) the Hermes is on 101 which is excessive for any band (except maybe 6m) while the Flex is tweaked.

I don't have a Hermes - (I do have a Flex 5000). I believe the videographer inadvertently presented an unbalanced view of both by not also balancing the AGC proportionately and had this been done, the Hermes would also have offered the 'no noise floor' audio the Flex did. Another observation is that the Flex (PowerSDR) had binaural audio enabled which 'stereoises' the resultant audio making it almost 3D, I don't know if the other SDR software has this funtion, if it did, it was turned off. This lead to a significant improvement of the Flex audio over the Hermes. What was the graphic EQ set to? Unless the two are intimately set like-for-like there will not be a realistic comparison. Sorry to the videographer, I don't mean to criticise.

One trick often not learned by SDR users (Flexers in particular) is when trying to receive a weak station, rather than turn up the AGC(T) to try an tease out the signal, one needs to turn the AGC(T) down and turn the AF gain up. This immediately improves S/N, so much so that I've had visitors practically fall over astounded. This technique is not restricted to PowerSDR and should work with any SDR with direct access to the AGC control.

Another trick is in ragchew mode, adjust the AGC(T/G) until your QSO partners audio just begins to dip. At that point, unless they are at the noise floor, the noise floor will have receded to a very low or even nil level. These adjustments are simply not possible with legacy radios.

Don't get me wrong, I love my 5000 (since 2008) and have a 6000 on order. Angelia is a significant move forward in open hardware and very impressive - and a lot more is yet to come in the various softwares available. And with the loss of the Flex-5000 from FlexRadio's arsenal with immediate effect due to manufacturing supplier problems, the Anan's are in a position to capitalise on price-point.

73

Nige.
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G7CNF
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« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2013, 10:14:31 AM »

Wow, so coming back here I see I've made 9 posts, so much for being a first time poster. . . Darned if I can remember LOL. The rest still stands though.
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K5TED
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« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2013, 08:13:23 PM »

Hi Guys. First time poster long time lurker...

I wanted to comment about NI0Z's observation - and explain it. Often PowerSDR is treated like a legacy radio, especially by newcomers to SDR but there are functions which from a legacy radio perspective are counter intuitive - like the pre-amp not increasing the signal level but rather lowering the noise floor!

The lack of noise on the Flex was due to the operator lowering the AGC-T (threshold) or the level at which the AGC begins to act. If you look closely at the video the OM is almost constantly adjusting the AGC-T on PowerSDR - this shows him to be a 'veteran' SDR user. At one point the AGC-T is reduced to 34 at which point there is no noise floor audible whatsoever. However, the OM does not adjust the AGC(T) on the Hermes and it stays at 101, except for a couple of times.

To simplify: increase the AGC(T) = increase the noise floor (gain). High values result in loud hiss between syllables, lowering the value reduces the hiss. For almost the entire video (I think) the Hermes is on 101 which is excessive for any band (except maybe 6m) while the Flex is tweaked.

I don't have a Hermes - (I do have a Flex 5000). I believe the videographer inadvertently presented an unbalanced view of both by not also balancing the AGC proportionately and had this been done, the Hermes would also have offered the 'no noise floor' audio the Flex did. Another observation is that the Flex (PowerSDR) had binaural audio enabled which 'stereoises' the resultant audio making it almost 3D, I don't know if the other SDR software has this funtion, if it did, it was turned off. This lead to a significant improvement of the Flex audio over the Hermes. What was the graphic EQ set to? Unless the two are intimately set like-for-like there will not be a realistic comparison. Sorry to the videographer, I don't mean to criticise.

One trick often not learned by SDR users (Flexers in particular) is when trying to receive a weak station, rather than turn up the AGC(T) to try an tease out the signal, one needs to turn the AGC(T) down and turn the AF gain up. This immediately improves S/N, so much so that I've had visitors practically fall over astounded. This technique is not restricted to PowerSDR and should work with any SDR with direct access to the AGC control.

Another trick is in ragchew mode, adjust the AGC(T/G) until your QSO partners audio just begins to dip. At that point, unless they are at the noise floor, the noise floor will have receded to a very low or even nil level. These adjustments are simply not possible with legacy radios.

Don't get me wrong, I love my 5000 (since 2008) and have a 6000 on order. Angelia is a significant move forward in open hardware and very impressive - and a lot more is yet to come in the various softwares available. And with the loss of the Flex-5000 from FlexRadio's arsenal with immediate effect due to manufacturing supplier problems, the Anan's are in a position to capitalise on price-point.

73

Nige.

Great observations, Nige. So often we see "comparisons" that are actually so poorly executed as to be useless. That particular one had great promise, with the side by side screens, but the constant fiddling, lack of attention to the AGC and missed opportunity to have it all set right and do a side by side on a weak station.. Sheesh..
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NI0Z
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« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2013, 05:59:02 PM »

100D is pretty cool, got mine today and got it setup.  Lots of the complaints in the forums didn't seem to impact me.  I had my slot on the rack ready for it, the Ethernet, antennas, prescribed audio cables and a set of iHome speakers.

Radio was decently packaged and arrived as promised when promised from Apache Labs.

The calibration showed at least 97 Watts on all bands into the dummy load.
Ethernet connection was smooth and seamless, I connected directly to the PC.
Lots of people seem to struggle with the Mic, however, I had dug into it ahead of time and had the needed adapters to run my existing mic in without having to open the radio to change any jumpers. I was able to connect up my Heil PTT hand switch as well.

The Amp was easy to hook up as well.

All said because VAC, VSP DDutil and all my software were setup for the Flex 5K the Anan plugged right in and was up and going in about 10 minutes after I connected the power.

It was a bit strange to get used to the differences in PowerSDR, however, after a bit of operating it feels pretty familiar.

I have to admit I was a little underwhelmed at first because it was all so easy and when I was playing around on 17, the band conditions were not so great which was confusing my views on the performance.  At one point I was wondering if the radio was under performing so I flipped on the 5K and that's when it became obvious that the Anan was performing wonderfully.  

I had to actually double check it because the first thing that grabbed me was the noise floor looked lower.  So I tuned to the same signal I was listening to on the Anan and it was much fainter.  Switching back and forth the signal was stronger and the noise floor was lower.

Since I don't have a way of knowing if the noise flloor is actually lower or the radios simply measure it differently I looked some more.  To the best of my ability it looks like the signal sticks out 4-5 DB more from the floor on the Anan.  This is completely unscientific so no need to challenge it because I am not going to debate my observation.  It's merely one signal.  The big aha was 17M was not all that hot earlier.  In the evening it pickup nicely.

From the video link I posted earlier I was worried that the Anan audio quality was inferior to the Flex 5Ks, however, I found them to be indistinguishable in today's usage.  Of course the AGC explanation helped clear that up as well.

I had a huge swath of spectrum available, from 17600 to 18800 I could zoom in and out of.  Really nice!

Second Reciever worked well also, need to play with that more as I have an inverted V on it, not near the performance of the Hex but it raked in signals.

I need to work on my transmit audio.  I switched off the rack and am using a focus rite scarlet device and I am not too impressed with it so far.  Probably my fault.  I'll switch back to the rack audio tomorrow and see what I get.  I am getting some distortion and it has something to do with my mike cable.  Wiggling it would briefly resolve the issues.  I have torn up my shack and have been rebuilding so all this is going on at the same time.

All in all I am impressed so far!  Lots of testing and playing to sort through before I have any solid opinions.

Digital modes worked fine, I had a PSK contact with Russia 10 watts barefoot.  The Anan doesn't drive my Amp apples to apples compared to the flex yet, however, I was still pumping out 400 watts which is what I run with about 42 watts in.  This likely has more to do with the mess my shack is in right now.

I made a small unimpressive video I will share later once I get it up on YouTube.

http://youtu.be/6114iunuFDo

Well there you have it, an Anan 100/D first report!
« Last Edit: May 23, 2013, 06:42:37 PM by NI0Z » Logged

NI0Z
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« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2013, 08:14:48 AM »

Here is a simple compare video, pretty much concludes that on average day to day communications you won't see to much difference.  I will make another during a contest weekend and we will likely see a bigger difference.

http://youtu.be/6114iunuFDo

Sorry for the low quality video!
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NI0Z
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« Reply #22 on: May 28, 2013, 12:31:04 PM »

I thought an update was in order.

So far, real good with the Anan 100D.  This is not an endorsement, simply a message to say that I have it all working and effectively it is doing everything my Flex 5K does and more.

The version of PowerSDR for the Anan is really decent.  The developers working the code are awesome!

So far its been a pleasant ride with no surprises!

The next few weeks will be most telling!
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K3GM
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« Reply #23 on: May 28, 2013, 05:27:21 PM »

I thought an update was in order.

So far, real good with the Anan 100D.  This is not an endorsement, simply a message to say that I have it all working and effectively it is doing everything my Flex 5K does and more.

The version of PowerSDR for the Anan is really decent.  The developers working the code are awesome!

So far its been a pleasant ride with no surprises!

The next few weeks will be most telling!

That's good to hear.  My order should be in the next shipment starting June 5. my buddy ordered an ANAN-10. We decided on them based on a long conversation with the TAPR boys out at Dayton.  I was hot for the SSB Zeus ZX-1 until I talked to TAPR, and they convinced me otherwise.  I just don't like the method that Apache Labs came to "owning" the Hermes board.  I talked with the TAPR guys about the situation, and after listening to them, have half a notion to lay out a new version of the Hermes board myself, and I have the resources to do so (Cadence Allegro). We'll see..... In the meantime, can you tell me about the FCC 740 process?  When FedEX notifies you (by email?), what do you have to do to get the radio delivered? Do you email or fax the completed form?  Did you pay any duty?  I have a Harmonized Tariff  Code to use that others say absolved them of paying duty.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 05:52:55 PM by K3GM » Logged
NI0Z
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« Reply #24 on: May 28, 2013, 05:36:07 PM »

I have a lot of that written up and was going to start putting it on my webpage.  I'll get to it this week. In summary it was no big deal at all.

I am guessing you'll like your Anan.

My big want is for a team to modernize PowerSDR.  If I could muster the funds I would get some developers to revamp the GUI, add more receivers, add and IQ server so you could serve up IQ to other programs or over the Internet, ect.

I think the assumption that we need to pitch PowerSDR is a bad one.  I think Flex is living the reallity of trying to write new software right now.  It's no small task.

Revamp powerSDR to 64 bit, give it a totally new skin and modular receivers so they can be placed where ever.

That's my vote because I think it would be a lot faster to do.
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NK2F
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« Reply #25 on: May 28, 2013, 08:36:10 PM »


My big want is for a team to modernize PowerSDR.  If I could muster the funds I would get some developers to revamp the GUI, add more receivers, add and IQ server so you could serve up IQ to other programs or over the Internet, ect.

I think the assumption that we need to pitch PowerSDR is a bad one.  I think Flex is living the reallity of trying to write new software right now.  It's no small task.

Revamp powerSDR to 64 bit, give it a totally new skin and modular receivers so they can be placed where ever.

How about using Kickstarter? The challenge may be coming up with features & requirements that please as many users as possible rather than gathering the funds.
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NI0Z
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« Reply #26 on: May 29, 2013, 02:02:07 PM »

I thought an update was in order.

So far, real good with the Anan 100D.  This is not an endorsement, simply a message to say that I have it all working and effectively it is doing everything my Flex 5K does and more.

The version of PowerSDR for the Anan is really decent.  The developers working the code are awesome!

So far its been a pleasant ride with no surprises!

The next few weeks will be most telling!

That's good to hear.  My order should be in the next shipment starting June 5. my buddy ordered an ANAN-10. We decided on them based on a long conversation with the TAPR boys out at Dayton.  I was hot for the SSB Zeus ZX-1 until I talked to TAPR, and they convinced me otherwise.  I just don't like the method that Apache Labs came to "owning" the Hermes board.  I talked with the TAPR guys about the situation, and after listening to them, have half a notion to lay out a new version of the Hermes board myself, and I have the resources to do so (Cadence Allegro). We'll see..... In the meantime, can you tell me about the FCC 740 process?  When FedEX notifies you (by email?), what do you have to do to get the radio delivered? Do you email or fax the completed form?  Did you pay any duty?  I have a Harmonized Tariff  Code to use that others say absolved them of paying duty.

Parts one and two have been posted and cover the ordering and shipping experience and provide more of the details you might be looking for on 740.

http://roaringstar.com/index.php/articles
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K3GM
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« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2013, 04:39:07 AM »

Very nice write-up and photos!  Thank you for the information.  It removes the mistique I had regarding the import process.
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NI0Z
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« Reply #28 on: June 04, 2013, 10:02:18 AM »

I have posted my Early review of the Anan 100D.  Hopefully people will find it useful and interesting.

This is probably it for me for a while an the Anan unless there are questions.

http://roaringstar.com/index.php/articles/95-anan-100d-early-review-by-ni0z
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K3GM
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« Reply #29 on: June 09, 2013, 02:10:43 PM »

Mark, I've been following mine across the Atlantic to where it presently sits in Memphis with a "Clearance Delay".  The tracking status at the top says "A detailed commodity breakdown with itemized description and values is required".  Under that there is a "recommended action":
"Shipper or importer must provide a statement or revised invoice with detailed commodity breakdown."

Do you recall seeing this and if so, what did you do?  I have not been contacted by anyone as of Sunday afternoon.
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