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Author Topic: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D  (Read 23157 times)
SWL2002
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Posts: 227




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« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2013, 10:58:41 AM »

I'm not so sure that most care one way or the other about having to use an external PC. In either case they just want it to work well. I wonder if ANAN users are experiencing stuttering or other problems that some Flex users have complained about?

That could be an issue seeing how the ANAN hardware is using a modified PowerSDR.
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W4HIJ
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« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2013, 01:37:19 PM »

I'm not so sure that most care one way or the other about having to use an external PC. In either case they just want it to work well. I wonder if ANAN users are experiencing stuttering or other problems that some Flex users have complained about?
My point was that some of the criticism of the Flex radios in the past was directed towards the fact that they used PC's running Windows and that Windows was not a real time OS. I guess I should have been more specific rather than just citing the use of an external PC.  The critics always harped on latency and said that the Flex line would always have issues because of it. Now some of those same folks seem to be championing the ANAN over the Flex and it appears to me the ANAN is just as dependent on the PC and OS as the older Flex radios while the newer Flex 6700 is not. It's just an observation.

On another note, PowerSDR was free software that made a lot of other projects possible. People complained about issues being fixed in a timely manner and generally whined when their pet feature request wasn't done yesterday. Flex certainly had some culpability in things by promising people feature enhancements before they were ready. But again, PowerSDR was free. I don't think Flex is going to be able to have the same faulty approach when it comes to Smart SDR because it's no longer a freebie. I'll never know because I don't have the money for a 6700 and probably would not spend that amount of cash on ANY radio if I had it, no matter the brand, but I suspect that Smart SDR will be a lot more ready for prime time upon release and not be the buggy piece of code the Flex critics would love for it to be. My guess would be that the desire to get things right the first time is what has caused delay in the 6700 production. Free software is one thing but you cannot realistically expect to charge a hefty yearly maintenance fee for a piece of software and not be on the ball and stay on top of things as far as functionality and bug fix issues. I think the folks at Flex know this. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out, even to a bystander standing on the sidelines like myself. Meanwhile I will continue to enjoy my 1500 and it's superb RX for the money. Best 640 bucks I ever spent!
73,
Michael, W4HIJ
« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 01:45:34 PM by W4HIJ » Logged
SWL2002
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Posts: 227




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« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2013, 03:38:01 PM »

I'm not so sure that most care one way or the other about having to use an external PC. In either case they just want it to work well. I wonder if ANAN users are experiencing stuttering or other problems that some Flex users have complained about?
My point was that some of the criticism of the Flex radios in the past was directed towards the fact that they used PC's running Windows and that Windows was not a real time OS. I guess I should have been more specific rather than just citing the use of an external PC.  The critics always harped on latency and said that the Flex line would always have issues because of it. Now some of those same folks seem to be championing the ANAN over the Flex and it appears to me the ANAN is just as dependent on the PC and OS as the older Flex radios while the newer Flex 6700 is not. It's just an observation.

On another note, PowerSDR was free software that made a lot of other projects possible. People complained about issues being fixed in a timely manner and generally whined when their pet feature request wasn't done yesterday. Flex certainly had some culpability in things by promising people feature enhancements before they were ready. But again, PowerSDR was free. I don't think Flex is going to be able to have the same faulty approach when it comes to Smart SDR because it's no longer a freebie. I'll never know because I don't have the money for a 6700 and probably would not spend that amount of cash on ANY radio if I had it, no matter the brand, but I suspect that Smart SDR will be a lot more ready for prime time upon release and not be the buggy piece of code the Flex critics would love for it to be. My guess would be that the desire to get things right the first time is what has caused delay in the 6700 production. Free software is one thing but you cannot realistically expect to charge a hefty yearly maintenance fee for a piece of software and not be on the ball and stay on top of things as far as functionality and bug fix issues. I think the folks at Flex know this. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out, even to a bystander standing on the sidelines like myself. Meanwhile I will continue to enjoy my 1500 and it's superb RX for the money. Best 640 bucks I ever spent!
73,
Michael, W4HIJ


Other SDRs on the market have proven that decent performance on an external PC is possible.  Flex just took a long time to get it right.  Well, almost right as they still have some problems with CW latency for high speed operators.
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KC9XG
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Posts: 18




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« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2013, 06:41:27 AM »

Dual core PC's available today can handle PowerSDR without much strain.  Here are some measurements I made with Windows 7 task manager Resource monitor and the Apache Labs ANAN-10 running on a Gateway I3 (dual core), 3Ghz, 6mb RAM, Windows 7 64 Pro. 

OpenHPSDR PowerSDR mRX-FFT v3.0.2,
Main display FPS = 30

Single receiver panadapter displayed,
Sample rate   384khz   192khz   96khz   48khz
RX1 bandwidth   1.1mhz    550khz  277khz   139khz
Ethernet RX   85mbs   42.mbs  21.2mbs 10.5mbs
Avg CPU%   9%   6.7%   5.7%   4.7%

2 receiver panadapters displayed
RX2 bandwidth   370khz   185khz   92khz   46khz
Avg CPU%   10%   7.8%   6.5%   5%

Single receiver, collapsed display, all controls showing.
Avg CPU%   7%   5%   4.4%   3.5%

Dual receivers, collapsed display, all controls showing.
Avg CPU%   12%   9.3%   7.7%   7.1%

Main Display FPS = 15.
Single receiver, collapsed display, all controls showing.
Avg CPU%   5.3%   4.0%   3.1%   2.2%

Note:  The collapsed display is an OpenHPSDR PowerSDR feature which limits the display to only necessary buttons and the panadapter(s).

Bill KC9XG


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WD5GWY
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Posts: 391




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« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2013, 10:33:22 AM »

Interesting!! Have you ran the same tests while running cuSDR? Since it has the ability
to run up to 7 receivers at once, I think it would be interesting to see what kind of
load it puts on a setup such as yours. I am very much interested in getting one of the
Anan radios. Even the Anan-10 would make me happy.
  I am hoping the developer of cuSDR is able to get the transmit side of his software working.
The receive side looks very impressive.
james
WD5GWY
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WD5GWY
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Posts: 391




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« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2013, 10:43:12 AM »



 My guess would be that the desire to get things right the first time is what has caused delay in the 6700 production. Free software is one thing but you cannot realistically expect to charge a hefty yearly maintenance fee for a piece of software and not be on the ball and stay on top of things as far as functionality and bug fix issues. I think the folks at Flex know this. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out, even to a bystander standing on the sidelines like myself. Meanwhile I will continue to enjoy my 1500 and it's superb RX for the money. Best 640 bucks I ever spent!
73,
Michael, W4HIJ

Michael, you are correct about the main delay for the 6000 Series radios. I know a couple of developers that work with Flex and both have said that getting the software going as intended has been the biggest delay in the release of the 6000 Series radios. Flex has said they have started shipping. (in their latest newsletter) But, in very limited quantities. And most likely, though they won't confirm it, the first few are going to people that will be in their "expanded" beta program.
That has caused more than a few people to get upset. Some that had ordered their radios at Dayton have said they have not been notified of getting their radios or being added to the beta group. So, they have no ideas yet as to when they will get their radios. And folks that have ordered since then, are probably not going to see anything before this Fall. (I did not get to read the latest newsletter, but, have read quotes from it posted on Flex's Yahoo group.)
  Not good for the PR department at Flex Radio at all. I'm sure they will be announcing shipping has started at Dayton. But, it will be interesting to see how many are actually being shipped by then.
 james
WD5GWY
 
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KC9XG
Member

Posts: 18




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« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2013, 12:39:52 PM »

Interesting!! Have you ran the same tests while running cuSDR? Since it has the ability
to run up to 7 receivers at once, I think it would be interesting to see what kind of
load it puts on a setup such as yours. I am very much interested in getting one of the
Anan radios. Even the Anan-10 would make me happy.
  I am hoping the developer of cuSDR is able to get the transmit side of his software working.
The receive side looks very impressive.
james
WD5GWY

   The main limitation right now is the amount of Ethernet bandwidth available.  The OpenHPSDR radio firmware currently only support 100baseT at the present time and this limits you to 5 receivers with a 384khz sample rate, resulting in about 85mbs to the computer.  If the sample rate were reduced to 192khz or lower, you could conceivably run 7 receivers in CuSDR, though I haven't tried that. 

     It is neat to view CuSDR with multiple receivers running.  Herman has done a WONDERFUL job with the GUI.  But IMO, it is somewhat impractical to have more than 2 receivers, from an operational standpoint, but I don't operate digital modes, or CWSkimmer etc, just SSB and some CW.  I usually have both receivers active, with RX1 in the right speaker, and RX2 in the left speaker.  Works really great when operating split.

   The OpenHPSDR developers choose to stitch receivers together to give increased BW, rather than attempting to present these additional receivers individually to the user. 

    The OpenHPSDR developers are working on providing 1000baseT Ethernet.  Hopefully, this will be available in the next few weeks, but with volunteer efforts, it is difficult to predict availability.  Not exactly sure how they will integrate 2 additional receivers, but suspect they will increase RX1 BW to 1.5mhz and RX 2 to 768khz.

    I rarely use the 384khz sample rate and resulting 1.1mhz bandwidth, because it is just too coarse for my liking.  I generally run the 96khz sample rate, resulting in about 277khz BW on RX1, and 96khz on RX 2.  This results in more detailed representations of the received signal on RX2.  I use RX2 for search and pounce because it is easier to click on the desired signal since it appears 3 times wider in the RX2 panadapter than the same signal appearing on the RX1 panadapter.

Bill KC9XG
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WD5GWY
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Posts: 391




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« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2013, 02:22:34 PM »

Bill, thanks for the explanation. I too have read that the developers for HPSDR were working
on making the software capable of using 1000baseT Ethernet speeds. Once that happens, I would
think that adding more receivers would be easier.
  I have run my Flex 1500 in dual receive mode (same band) and have found it hard to listen to.
I have heard a demo of the Flex 6700 running 4 receivers at once. (slices) And it sounds like trying
to listen to several conservations in a crowded room at the same time. It can be done, but, something always gets lost in the translation. So, while a novel idea, I don't see (for me) how practical it really would be in every day use.
  Also, I don't run the display on the 1500 at full bandwidth either. Usually it is set around 20-30Khz. at most. I have one of the SDR dongles that will display up to 3Mhz at a time too. But, that is way too much bandwidth to look at. (plus I really don't have an antenna that is broadbanded enough to take advantage of it)
  Lots of fun and interesting technology to play with and I'm glad to be around to see it and hopefully to give it all a ride.
james
WD5GWY

   
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N0YXB
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Posts: 302




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« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2013, 12:32:05 PM »

I'm not so sure that most care one way or the other about having to use an external PC. In either case they just want it to work well. I wonder if ANAN users are experiencing stuttering or other problems that some Flex users have complained about?
My point was that some of the criticism of the Flex radios in the past was directed towards the fact that they used PC's running Windows and that Windows was not a real time OS. I guess I should have been more specific rather than just citing the use of an external PC.  The critics always harped on latency and said that the Flex line would always have issues because of it. Now some of those same folks seem to be championing the ANAN over the Flex and it appears to me the ANAN is just as dependent on the PC and OS as the older Flex radios while the newer Flex 6700 is not. It's just an observation.


Yeah, I understand.  It will be interesting to see this plays out.  Also, I have been curious if ANAN users have experienced issues with latency and their external PC?
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Vince
KC9XG
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Posts: 18




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« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2013, 02:02:18 PM »

I'm not so sure that most care one way or the other about having to use an external PC. In either case they just want it to work well. I wonder if ANAN users are experiencing stuttering or other problems that some Flex users have complained about?
My point was that some of the criticism of the Flex radios in the past was directed towards the fact that they used PC's running Windows and that Windows was not a real time OS. I guess I should have been more specific rather than just citing the use of an external PC.  The critics always harped on latency and said that the Flex line would always have issues because of it. Now some of those same folks seem to be championing the ANAN over the Flex and it appears to me the ANAN is just as dependent on the PC and OS as the older Flex radios while the newer Flex 6700 is not. It's just an observation.


Yeah, I understand.  It will be interesting to see this plays out.  Also, I have been curious if ANAN users have experienced issues with latency and their external PC?

Latency has not been an issue with my I3 3.1ghz dual core.  No stuttering, or holes in the received audio.  CW seems really snappy.  Seems slightly more responsive than my Flex 1500 on the same computer, even with the increased BW of the Hermes receiver.  I suspect that many of the Flex latency problems were related to the Firewire drivers and hardware, but have no definitive proof of that. 

Of course, users with older and slower computers may see things differently, but I haven't heard of many latency complaints.  Many reported problems get resolved with PowerSDR database resets or settings changes.

I am sure at some point, comparing the Flex 6xxx and Apache radios could be accomplished, but it is likely to end up being apples and oranges, due to the different software approaches.  The difference in prices should also be considered, both hardware and software.

Bill KC9XG
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NI0Z
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Posts: 560


WWW

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« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2013, 07:43:03 PM »

Hey folks, I have been away a bit learning as much as I can about The Anan SDRs.

I read a few notes here and thought I would pass on what I have learned.

If you go and research the two camps in question here you will learn there are reasons for their paths, IE, processing in radio verses processing in PC.  There are some interesting videos out there you can watch for free on Ham Radio Now starting at 61 and running through 64 or so on SDRs.  Good stuff.  In summary Flex wanted to get away from the pain of supporting windows issues while the Mercury team wanted to reduce cost and move processing to the PC.  The second upshot of moving it to the PC for them is all the open source development that can be done building the radio in software.

It would seem the big bet is Ethernet will speed up the data transfer to the PC and thus reduce the bottleneck.  You will still want a good SDR PC if your going to run all the junk I do plus multiple slices.

Lets talk about Flex for a second.  I would say the average ham wanting a flex would likely be content with the 6500.  Unless you want to have a second Antenna hooked up for additional slices or coverage, you really probably won't use it.  As referenced, you can only listen to so many at a time.  It's the visual element if anything that will be interesting. 

You can see the whole HF spectrum on either rig in a single slice so that alone will help a ham monitor band activity. 

I have not heard of sputtering or hiccups in the user form yet.  The Anan's look like they are very hands on as far as setup and config.  The Flex rigs will likely be more out of the box ready.  Truly apples and oranges in many respects.  One being a very commercial offering and the other coming from a ham homegrown approach.
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KC9XG
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« Reply #26 on: May 06, 2013, 06:52:51 AM »

Hey folks, I have been away a bit learning as much as I can about The Anan SDRs.

I read a few notes here and thought I would pass on what I have learned.

If you go and research the two camps in question here you will learn there are reasons for their paths, IE, processing in radio verses processing in PC.  There are some interesting videos out there you can watch for free on Ham Radio Now starting at 61 and running through 64 or so on SDRs.  Good stuff.  In summary Flex wanted to get away from the pain of supporting windows issues while the Mercury team wanted to reduce cost and move processing to the PC.  The second upshot of moving it to the PC for them is all the open source development that can be done building the radio in software.

It would seem the big bet is Ethernet will speed up the data transfer to the PC and thus reduce the bottleneck.  You will still want a good SDR PC if your going to run all the junk I do plus multiple slices.

Lets talk about Flex for a second.  I would say the average ham wanting a flex would likely be content with the 6500.  Unless you want to have a second Antenna hooked up for additional slices or coverage, you really probably won't use it.  As referenced, you can only listen to so many at a time.  It's the visual element if anything that will be interesting. 

You can see the whole HF spectrum on either rig in a single slice so that alone will help a ham monitor band activity. 

I have not heard of sputtering or hiccups in the user form yet.  The Anan's look like they are very hands on as far as setup and config.  The Flex rigs will likely be more out of the box ready.  Truly apples and oranges in many respects.  One being a very commercial offering and the other coming from a ham homegrown approach.

  Have you ever setup an ANAN?  Not much to it.  Install the software, connect the Ethernet cable to your computer or switch or router.  That's it.  Nothing more to do.  The radio just works, right out of the box.  Exactly what type of setup issues did you have that require "hands on" setup and config?

There is a lot of incorrect info floating around.  Well meaning people expound on issues they know nothing about.  Please enlighten us with your experiences.

Bill KC9XG

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NI0Z
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« Reply #27 on: May 06, 2013, 08:37:52 AM »


  Have you ever setup an ANAN?  Not much to it.  Install the software, connect the Ethernet cable to your computer or switch or router.  That's it.  Nothing more to do.  The radio just works, right out of the box.  Exactly what type of setup issues did you have that require "hands on" setup and config?

There is a lot of incorrect info floating around.  Well meaning people expound on issues they know nothing about.  Please enlighten us with your experiences.

Bill KC9XG


Hi Bill,

at this point my comment is based on observations and reading user posts in the yahoo group.  I hope to actually have one this summer when the backlog is filled.

I am refering to user threads on calibrating the power output, mic setup, Vac Setup, Power connectors, ect.  Depening on what software a user selects to use there may be other variables.  I suppose this is true of many other SDRs as well and my comparison might be more akin to SDR's in general verses a typical traditional knobbed radio.

Not trying to say its a big deal, just more to it than pulling it out of the box and poluging it in if you want to use it as a full blown transciever.  As a reciever its probably as easy as pulling it out and hooking it up and powering up.

Of course anyone is free to join the Yahoo group and make their own observations.  In fact, I encourage it!

I am contrasting what I read based on already owning and using a Flex today as well as a KX3 that I sometimes use as an SDR as well.  

I am looking forward to my future Anan.  I do not believe Apache-labs is actually pitching these as easy to setup rigs.  I do not want to be the ham that creates unrealistic expectations for future owners.  This is merely my position about buying and owning products.  I wish to communicate to others hams as I would want them to communicate to me and not glorify and sugar coat products.  I am not accusing you of doing this, just saying I condone fanboy posts in genreal when they are misleading.

« Last Edit: May 06, 2013, 08:48:39 AM by NI0Z » Logged

K3GM
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Posts: 1767




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« Reply #28 on: May 07, 2013, 09:33:42 AM »

Wondering if Apache is bringing any merchandise to Dayton to sell.  I kind of doubt it though.  I've got a brand new i5 idling on my shack desk just waiting to be plugged into either an ANAN-10 or ANAN-100.  It'll be interesting to see their display and be able to do a fair comparison with Flex.
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NI0Z
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« Reply #29 on: May 07, 2013, 11:19:25 AM »

Well, I think what you will see if you look at it running Power SDR is a few differences, but nothing major in terms of your Flex on PowerSDR.  If you look closer at the MRX version of PowerSDR its a bit different with a lot more controls embedded in it.  No notch filters yet.  One cool thing though is the DJ knobs are built in tot he core code.  Second reciever can show a wider swatch of bandwidth as I understand it.  You have to really dig into the MRX version of PowerSDR to appreciate it.

cuSDR on the other hands looks to be very graphically appealing.  No Xmit yet, however, its being worked on.

Both SDRs look to hold a lot of future promise!
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