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eHam Forums => Software Defined Radio => Topic started by: W7SMJ on August 23, 2011, 01:29:47 PM



Title: QS1R Feedback
Post by: W7SMJ on August 23, 2011, 01:29:47 PM
Hi,

Are there any QS1R owners here that can provide some feedback?  The review section of eham is a little thin and the reviews that are there are getting dated.  I'm interested in purchasing a QS1R and I'm curious in overall impressions.  So far the only concern I have is the lack of a preamp, but I live in an urban environment, so I'm not sure that would really be an issue for me.

I guess my question is, given your experience with the QS1R, would you purchase one today, or are there other rigs you would look at?  Thanks for the feedback.

73,
Scott


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: KA4POL on August 23, 2011, 10:14:26 PM
I'm using a QS1R for over two years now. As an antenna I have the ALA 1530. This is a good combination in view of the missing preamplifier. You might also want to consider the Norton preamplifier like the one found under http://www.cliftonlaboratories.com/norton_amplifier.htm
The QS1R covers a wider frequency range than the Perseus for example. 6m is included. For any SDR you got to consider not only hardware but also the software. A good comparison is found under http://www.sm5bsz.com/lir/sim1/sim1.htm The recent software has been clearly improved against the previous version.
There is also a Yahoo group which is strictly moderated by the owner Phil Covington.
Since the beginning there have been plans for a preamplifier unit and even a transmitter. The target dates are constantly shifting into the future. So I do not expect to see anything. Using a converter brings you to whatever range you want to receive.
A major advantage is the open software. Compared to the Perseus this is a major advantage.
My practical experience is positive. I would buy it again but only as an add on for an existing HF rig.


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: OH6I on August 24, 2011, 12:40:04 AM
I find this helpful:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/qs1r/message/6843 (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/qs1r/message/6843)
Jari


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: W7SMJ on August 24, 2011, 07:36:29 PM
@KA4POL:
Thanks for the feedback.  I'm intending to augment my TS-2000 so the QS1R looks like a good fit.  I agree about the open source software and this is what drew me intially to look at a Flex-1500.  The fact that SDRMAX runs on Apple and Linux platforms is a definate plus too.  I have been following the QS1R Yahoo group for a while to get feel for the current status.  If the RFFE1 was available I wouldn't have any lingering questions...

@OH6I:
Thanks for the feedback, I saw Gene's post earlier and found it informative, but while definately a fair and grounded review, it appeared to be an early impression.   It's also been almost a year later now.

73,
Scott


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: KE5JPP on August 25, 2011, 09:47:04 AM

Thanks for the feedback, I saw Gene's post earlier and found it informative, but while definately a fair and grounded review, it appeared to be an early impression.   It's also been almost a year later now.

73,
Scott

I am glad my post was of some help.  One thing that changed is that I ended up purchasing a Perseus also after clearing up a few communication misunderstandings with the manufacturer.  The only other thing that I can add is that I still prefer the qs1r to the Perseus because I find that I prefer using the qs1r software.  I occasionally monitor 6 meters for openings with the qs1r which the Perseus can't do.

Gene


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: W7SMJ on August 26, 2011, 01:37:52 PM
I am glad my post was of some help.  One thing that changed is that I ended up purchasing a Perseus also after clearing up a few communication misunderstandings with the manufacturer.  The only other thing that I can add is that I still prefer the qs1r to the Perseus because I find that I prefer using the qs1r software.  I occasionally monitor 6 meters for openings with the qs1r which the Perseus can't do.

Gene

Thanks for the update Gene!

73,
Scott


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: ZENKI on September 17, 2011, 05:28:52 AM
You might want to read the review in QST, you can download it from the ARRL web page. The QS1R did not pass with flying colors!

I have  3 SDR receivers. The QSR1, Perseus and the Winradio Excalibur. The one with the most potential is the Excalibur. However if If I was buying today I would look at the new RFSPACE Netsdr, it really blows all these other products out of the water for value for money and technical features. The software is also stable and simple.

The Perseus software is old and clunky. Its recording facility is the  best of the bunch. For ham radio tuning and scanning the bands the Excalibur software is excellent. The excalibur also makes a great RF spectrum analyzer since its easy and fast to use. I use the excalibur now exclusively as a spectrum analyzer that monitors my PA output, its better than most HP spectrum analyzers at seeing and capturing dynamic voice IMD. Most spectrum analyzers are too slow and dont have enough dynamic range. The Perseus software is just clunky and the screens too small. SDRMAXII is excellent however the QSR1 has poor sensitivity and lacks  bandpass filters.

The Excalibur does not support Skimmer, the Perseus and the QSR1 supports skimmer.

Anyway today if I was buying it would be the RFSPACE NetSDR.


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: KE5JPP on September 18, 2011, 05:38:46 AM
You might want to read the review in QST, you can download it from the ARRL web page. The QS1R did not pass with flying colors!

SDRMAXII is excellent however the QSR1 has poor sensitivity and lacks  bandpass filters.

Anyway today if I was buying it would be the RFSPACE NetSDR.

Having already owned a QS1R and having had experience with it before the ARRL review, when the ARRL review came out I had to laugh.  Who goes by the bogus ARRL reviews anymore especially for any SDR?  They got the Perseus review wrong and they flubbed the QS1R review as well.  The Perseus manufacturer even sent supporting test data to show that the ARRL's antiquated test methods were in error, and the ARRL agreed with his data promising to publish a correction.  To this day, the ARRL had never published a correction and made good on their promise.  Wonder why that is?  Maybe the Perseus manufacturer does not have the big advertising dollars that ICOM, YAESU, OR KENWOOD has?

I already covered this in my review.  On the sensitivity issue, the QS1R can use an external preamp above 15 MHz as the sensitivity is way more than adequate below 15 MHz by at least 10-20 dB.  The Perseus, Excalibur, and netSDR also need an external preamp above 20 MHz, especially on 10 meters.  So in all three cases, you still are looking at purchasing an external preamp anyhow.  The additional sensitivity of the Perseus and the Excalibur are wasted below 14 MHz because the band noise is typically 20 - 30 dB higher or worse during bad conditions.  It is worth mentioning that none of the other SDRs besides the QS1R covers the 6 meter Ham band.

The netSDR you mention is almost twice the cost of the QS1R and Excalibur.  Like the Winradio Excalibur, the netSDR does not cover 6 meters either.

None of the SDRs mentioned above are perfect, but making a decision based on the bogus ARRL reviews is just stupid.

Gene




Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: ZENKI on September 19, 2011, 01:30:10 AM
Well to be fair to the ARRL,,, there is no internationally recognized test procedure for SDR radios that will produce some sort of figure of merit. Neither  the ITU nor ETSI have a test procedure for SDR receivers. Amongst the manufacturers many of them cant agree on a test methodology that will  test products in a favorable way.

I do agree  that regardless of how you test SDR receivers, they certainly do outperform all the current analog up or  down conversion radios. SDR radios do not suffer from reciprocal mixing problems so the potential of the receiver to cope under a torture test is much better than any current analog radio.

I use a simple test when testing SDR radios. I simply inject a very strong signal from my own transmitter into the SDR through a attenuator. I then inject a equally weak signal into the SDR at the same time. I keep on increasing the strength of the strong signal till I lose the weak signal or the signal to noise deteriorates. In every case radios like the QSR1, Perseus and Excalibur will outperform  any analog technology radio when doing this torture test. How you can define this test into a single figure of merit is a very tough question. I know  that  SDR technology because of the low phase noise performance can hear weak signals in the presence of very strong signals that would be impossible to copy on a analog radio because of the reciprocal mixing issue. I am exclusively using  my SDR receivers  these days because they are just so superior to any analog up or down conversion radio and the sound so much better.

When someone  does establish a legitimate test for SDR radios that can rate and produce reliable figure of merit it will be shown that direct sampling SDR radios make superior receivers in many many ways.

You might want to read the review in QST, you can download it from the ARRL web page. The QS1R did not pass with flying colors!

SDRMAXII is excellent however the QSR1 has poor sensitivity and lacks  bandpass filters.

Anyway today if I was buying it would be the RFSPACE NetSDR.

Having already owned a QS1R and having had experience with it before the ARRL review, when the ARRL review came out I had to laugh.  Who goes by the bogus ARRL reviews anymore especially for any SDR?  They got the Perseus review wrong and they flubbed the QS1R review as well.  The Perseus manufacturer even sent supporting test data to show that the ARRL's antiquated test methods were in error, and the ARRL agreed with his data promising to publish a correction.  To this day, the ARRL had never published a correction and made good on their promise.  Wonder why that is?  Maybe the Perseus manufacturer does not have the big advertising dollars that ICOM, YAESU, OR KENWOOD has?

I already covered this in my review.  On the sensitivity issue, the QS1R can use an external preamp above 15 MHz as the sensitivity is way more than adequate below 15 MHz by at least 10-20 dB.  The Perseus, Excalibur, and netSDR also need an external preamp above 20 MHz, especially on 10 meters.  So in all three cases, you still are looking at purchasing an external preamp anyhow.  The additional sensitivity of the Perseus and the Excalibur are wasted below 14 MHz because the band noise is typically 20 - 30 dB higher or worse during bad conditions.  It is worth mentioning that none of the other SDRs besides the QS1R covers the 6 meter Ham band.

The netSDR you mention is almost twice the cost of the QS1R and Excalibur.  Like the Winradio Excalibur, the netSDR does not cover 6 meters either.

None of the SDRs mentioned above are perfect, but making a decision based on the bogus ARRL reviews is just stupid.

Gene





Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: KA4POL on September 19, 2011, 01:46:20 AM
See http://www.sherweng.com/table.html I think they got a fairly good test procedure.


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: W7SMJ on September 19, 2011, 01:28:43 PM
You might want to read the review in QST, you can download it from the ARRL web page. The QS1R did not pass with flying colors!

I have  3 SDR receivers. The QSR1, Perseus and the Winradio Excalibur. The one with the most potential is the Excalibur. However if If I was buying today I would look at the new RFSPACE Netsdr, it really blows all these other products out of the water for value for money and technical features. The software is also stable and simple.

Thanks for the feedback.  I did read the QST review and also several posts regarding the review on the QS1R group which seemed to support the contention that the QST review was a bit lacking.

I have looked at the Excalibur and I'm curious why you feel it has the most potential?  In other words, how are you defining "potential"?

Quote
SDRMAXII is excellent however the QSR1 has poor sensitivity and lacks  bandpass filters.

Great point and I would prefer BPF and a preamp.  This is the only thing which is preventing me from pulling the trigger on the QS1R.  I'm anxiously looking forward to the RFFE1 and if it's reasonable in price I'll definitely be ordering a QS1R.

You mentioned using SDRMAXII, have you tried out the SDRMAXIV betas?  This looks like a much improved interface. 

Quote
Anyway today if I was buying it would be the RFSPACE NetSDR.

The NetSDR certainly seems like a nice SDR, but IMO it is just priced too high.  If I were to implement an array of receivers then it would be a no brainer, but utilizing just one receiver I just don't see a need for the ethernet interface.

73,
Scott


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: W7SMJ on September 19, 2011, 01:30:56 PM
See http://www.sherweng.com/table.html I think they got a fairly good test procedure.

Unfortunately neither the QS1R or the Excalibur have been tested...

73,
Scott


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: KA4POL on September 19, 2011, 10:13:03 PM
True, unfortunately the testing was not (yet?) done for the QS1R. There is a problem I contribute to Phil Covington. He does not supply test models to anyone and he does not argue much about critical reports. Probably it would be better to buy the test model anyway, but usually manufacturers supply test models for free in their very own interest.
http://www.sm5bsz.com/ has lots of interesting information on SDRs. He has also tested the new software of the QS1R and also has an mp3 sound file of the test signal. This new software is a dramatic improvement but still kind of beta version as you are getting updates relatively often.
For my QS1R I built a preselector http://www.bavarian-contest-club.de/projects/presel/list.htm
Basically a separate preamplifier is better. The Perseus has had some cases of dead preamplifiers which forces you to return the complete unit for repair. A good preamp is the Norton preamp from Clifton Labs http://www.cliftonlaboratories.com/norton_amplifier.htm#Specifications_Summary
I am curious when the QS1R preamp will be out. We have been told it would be soon since two years now.


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: OH6I on September 28, 2011, 11:55:42 AM
Exciter for QS1R:
http://qs1r.wikispaces.com/QS1E+Exciter (http://qs1r.wikispaces.com/QS1E+Exciter)

Jari


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: KA4POL on October 02, 2011, 10:28:46 AM
As stated it's an exciter which has been announced, i.e. not available yet. Now you can speculate why not a transmitter. Obviously he ran into problems generating clean signals. It is much easier to produce and filter small signals.


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: ZENKI on October 03, 2011, 12:51:39 AM
I wont hold my breath expecting that any ham SDR transmitter manufacturer will produce a transmitter with a clean PA. They all seem  have great ideas  and unfortunately when it comes to delivering a PA stage they  produce a 12 volt bipolar amp with IMD  specs that are no better than the worst CB radios.

Even the famed HPSDR groups produces a nice transmitter like the Penelope that is clean as can be, then they sell a 12 volt bipolar kit that cant maintain the drivers excellent IMD performance.  Its unfortunate that by the time most manufacturers finish designing a transmitter they seem to run out of energy and creativity and dump in any old 12 volt CB PA design with the worst possible IMD performance.  Look at  all the current high performance radios, K3, orion, Eagle and any other brand, they all have poor TX IMD performance.

I would have thought that era of SDR  transmitters would usher in a new age of high performance transmitters, unfortunately all we getting is the same old crap. I will bet that the QST1 and the new RFSPACE transmitter will have the usual poor TX   IMD performance.





As stated it's an exciter which has been announced, i.e. not available yet. Now you can speculate why not a transmitter. Obviously he ran into problems generating clean signals. It is much easier to produce and filter small signals.


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: KA4POL on October 03, 2011, 03:12:29 AM
I'm afraid you are right. Cheap Mosfets like IRF510 are no good for clean signals.
But this is the fault of those who think a good amplifier must be as cheap as possible.


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: N9VV on October 03, 2011, 06:36:10 PM
On 10/3/2011 6:46 PM, ke5jpp wrote:
>
> As stated it's an exciter which has been announced, i.e. not available yet.
> Now you can speculate why not a transmitter. Obviously he ran into problems
> generating clean signals. It is much easier to produce and filter small signals.
>


I think this fellow has reached a totally bogus conclusion
about the QS1E.

[1] Phil held a Poll of the 1800+ Yahoo Group Members asking what power
level they wanted. The Poll results are there for analysis by anyone,
but even a casual observer sees that there was an almost even split
between the 100mw and below group and the 5W and above group <g>

[2] Phil had to decide what size board and thermal issues made the most
sense to add this QS1E to existing QS1R Receivers. He promised the
original buyers/customers that he would follow with a modular approach
that would allow you to expand your QS1R using it's present Hammond case.

[3] His QS1E meets requirement #2 *and* allows for the addition of the
RFFE1 bandpass/preselector inside the QS1R case with no new ventillation holes or fans needed! He will supply a new end panel to accommodate the necessary connectors. The QS1E and RFFE1 connect to the QS1R via the EXISTING sockets that Phil engineered into the design back in 2007.

[4] The output of the QS1E is as clean as Phil can make it. He is a real Ham and wants his signals to be Class-A or better with no birdies and no spurs and no Tx IMD issues. It will be fun to see the published
performance numbers for the new QS1E.  The inductors used in the QS1E
and RFFE1 will probably surprise many designers. I sure look forward to
seeing what SMT units are used.

[5] Phil has stated that due to the thermal issues of creating a clean
10W unit, he will design an external companion Linear Amplifier PA to go with the QS1E. The end-user is left with an extremely clean and reliable Tx IMD signal to amplify as they wish.

[6] The fellow who was quoted, must not have investigated the four
DDC/DUC units that are being developed; (a) QuickSilver, (b) SDR-ONE by
RFSpace, (c) N2ADR/DB1CC "HiQSDR", and (d) the "Hermes" from the
OpenHPSDR group. *NONE* of these designers has ever mentioned a problem
generating a clean signal!  As a matter of fact, the Tx images provided
by these Engineers show EXCEPTIONALLY clean Tx output. Links to all four projects are on my webpage: http://www.n9vv.com (http://www.n9vv.com)

[7] Dr. Doug Smith PhD KF6DX, who wrote the ARRL DSP book, said emphatically in three QEX articles that the Sherwood testing methods are for ANALOG RADIO's and do not apply to the Third Generation DDC/DUC equipment that the QuickSilver Project is creating. Entirely new testing methods are needed. IP3 is quite a joke among SDR Engineers. I suggest you watch the VK6APH presentation at the 2009 ARRL DDC Conference where he discusses the DDC in detail and why none of the tired old Analog measurements apply.

[8] The QS1E should be released in October if the manufacturer of the boards can meet Phil's rigid requirements for quality. The RFFE1 has been designed and tested in prototype and should be released later this year. The Linear Amp PA to go with the QS1E will also be tested in prototype and finished by as soon as possible.

[9]  It has taken Phil six years to reach this milestone. He is a SINGLE PERSON company and has to do all the design/engineering/testing/production/webpages/software/firmware/shipping and service all by himself. I would say his record is quite astonishing with a total rewrite of both the Server and Client software in the past 6 months.  His QS1R DDC board has been stolen and cloned in England, Germany, Amsterdam, The Ukraine, and China. He no longer releases the design details of his equipment to try and protect his Intellectual Property and recover some of his personal savings that has gone into creating the QuickSilver phenomenon.


thanks for allowing me to express my opinion,
73 de Ken N9VV



Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: KA4POL on October 04, 2011, 02:15:41 AM

... bogus conclusion


[1] Phil held a Poll of the 1800+ Yahoo Group Members asking what power
level they wanted. The Poll results are there for analysis by anyone,
but even a casual observer sees that there was an almost even split
between the 100mw and below group and the 5W and above group <g>
Talking about bogus conclusion, at this time the result of the poll is:
                             votes     %
1 mW ( 0 dBm )            9    12    
10 mW ( 10 dBm )        4       5    
100 mW ( 20 dBm )    11     15    
1 W ( 30 dBm )            13    17    
5 W ( 37 dBm )            36    49

So just 73 have voted as a matter of fact.
100mW and below: 24
1W:                      13
5W:                      36

Any more questions  ;D


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: N8VB on October 04, 2011, 06:34:12 AM

Talking about bogus conclusion, at this time the result of the poll is:
                             votes     %
1 mW ( 0 dBm )            9    12    
10 mW ( 10 dBm )        4       5    
100 mW ( 20 dBm )    11     15    
1 W ( 30 dBm )            13    17    
5 W ( 37 dBm )            36    49

So just 73 have voted as a matter of fact.
100mW and below: 24
1W:                      13
5W:                      36

Any more questions  ;D

Hello Dieter,

Anyone who thinks that I based the design of the QS1E on a simple poll of output power is quite naive.   ;)

I had many responses from QS1R users via email and in the QS1R group concerning not only power output, but the desire for cleanliness.  It is very clear that different users have different expectations for what "a clean output" means.  I wanted to offer a low cost solution for existing QS1R users that would allow for the greatest versatility in use.  The QS1E will not only allow the QS1R to have transmit capabilities - it also will allow the QS1R to be used as a piece of test equipment with the QS1E acting as a signal/tracking generator.  

Your conclusion that I had some kind of difficulty in designing a clean power amplifier is incorrect.  I do have such a design and it will be offered as an add-on for those who want a very clean amplifier.  The QS1E will allow us to experiment with adaptive pre-distortion.  By not forcing users into using a particular RF PA, users can pick the power level and "cleanliness" they are happy with.  Some users want to use the QS1E with their transverters which only require -10 dBm input.  The QS1E itself provides an extremely clean adjustable RF output from -10 dBm to +10 dBm.  

Phil N8VB



Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: N8VB on October 04, 2011, 06:45:45 AM
I will bet that the QST1 and the new RFSPACE transmitter will have the usual poor TX   IMD performance.


Hello "Zenki",

The QS1E offers exceptional TX IMD performance.  Even with the add-on companion PA.  The QS1E will also allow us to do adaptive pre-distortion.

It is expensive to design and build an exceptionally clean RF PA.  Many of the same guys who complain about TX IMD performance would complain about the high cost of a transceiver with such exceptional TX performance.  That is one of the reasons that manufacturers provide transceivers with "good enough" TX IMD performance - which in some cases is horrible.

Phil N8VB



Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: WA2ELZ on October 04, 2011, 05:33:06 PM
As stated it's an exciter which has been announced, i.e. not available yet. Now you can speculate why not a transmitter. Obviously he ran into problems generating clean signals. It is much easier to produce and filter small signals.

Hello Dieter,

I am very happy with Phil's plan to provide an exciter. An exciter is far more valuable for my needs than a transmitter. A transmitter is also good, but doesn't a transmitter design begin with a well designed exciter? This will give me a justified rational to design my own power amplifier if I choose. I do not feel that the exciter design is a fall back position due to "problems generating clean signals". I love my QS1R, and can't wait for the excitement to come.


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: ZENKI on October 06, 2011, 01:52:44 AM
Hi Phil

Great to read that QST1 will have a clean transmitter. This will be good starting point towards a  linear QRO PA. I dont know what the target retail price will be for the QST1, whatever it is I would be willing to pay double for the option of having the adaptive feedforward/ultra clean PA. I am assuming here that the QST1 will cost lest than say a FT5000 or Icom 7700! So I do believe that  doubling whatever your final price will be,  will be good price to pay for building a ultra linear TX platform which many hams are seeking. I think you will be surprised at how many hams would be willing to pay for this as a option.


Anyway good luck with the QST1, I look forward to buying one when its released, I also look forward to the ongoing developments for things like adaptive pre-distortion whenever it  is developed.



I will bet that the QST1 and the new RFSPACE transmitter will have the usual poor TX   IMD performance.


Hello "Zenki",

The QS1E offers exceptional TX IMD performance.  Even with the add-on companion PA.  The QS1E will also allow us to do adaptive pre-distortion.

It is expensive to design and build an exceptionally clean RF PA.  Many of the same guys who complain about TX IMD performance would complain about the high cost of a transceiver with such exceptional TX performance.  That is one of the reasons that manufacturers provide transceivers with "good enough" TX IMD performance - which in some cases is horrible.

Phil N8VB




Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: WB6RQN on October 18, 2011, 04:58:38 PM
30dB gain blocks with output levels approaching +30dBm are available from MiniCircuits for not a lot of money. Virgil Stamps is working on a new HF SuperPacker Pro V3 amp that can be driven from a +20dBm (100mW) signal. It wouldn't take much to turn the exciter into a transmitter.

And as for talking about direct-sampling receivers, has anyone thought about how ADC noise figure impacts dynamic range?

73 de Brian, WB6RQN/J79BPL

P.S. In case anyone has been wondering where I have been, I've been really busy. I just finished building a car. (And it runs great! We thrashed it at Thunderhill and it didn't complain a bit!) FWIW, if anyone is looking for an argument over the pros and cons of Flex Radio Systems, they need to look somewhere else as I am not interested.


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: M0HCN on November 01, 2011, 01:41:35 PM
On the clean PA/exciter thing, I have a prototype all HF band transmitter on the bench downstairs that a 2 tone IMD3 of -63dB ref one tone (-69 ref PEP) @ 250W, via cartesian envelope feedback. It still needs the output filter board designing and building, but that is just a case of winding 20 or so large toroids.

The driver and PA stages are actually very conventional for the most part, RD16/BLW50F/BLW96 pairs, held to about 10db per stage with local feedback, with the overall envelope feedback error amplifier pair having 40db of gain, which, when you close the loop, makes the distortion just vanish.
Holding the stage gains down with local feedback means I need about 2 more gain stages then I would if I ran the things wide open, but  means that even open loop the performance is very much better then a lot of current commercial offerings.

The complexity is adding a couple of extra DDS chips, some ultra low noise opamps and a few more mixers, but I think it is worth it. 

My current project is to improve the efficiency of the PA by playing games with the supply voltage and bias using feed forward control from the DSP that produces the modulation signals. If I can get the average transmit power efficiency up far enough then the savings in heatsink metal may pay for the cartesian loop electronics.

One day I might write it up for Radcom/QEX/Dubus or just possibly just for the web.

Regards, Dan.


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: SWL535 on November 15, 2012, 08:22:21 PM
Coming up on 1 year after the RFFE1 Wiki update.....not a word....when you ask there are no replies...dead silence.



Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: ZENKI on November 16, 2012, 01:28:14 AM
QSR1 and QST1 is like the the ADAT radio, a dead end road going nowhere fast. Its unfortunate but I suppose when its not your full time job and a hobby you cant expect much.

I have a QSR1  and I like it a lot, its a wasted investment now since I just got my Hermes radio. I would suggest  you look at this option.

My Hermes with a Class A 10 watt amp is superb. I just putting the finnishing touches to my VRF150 amp with diplexer filters. I really dont need any other radios at the moment. Well I do, A HPSDR Hermes with a front panel!

HPSDR Hermes is a superb solution  and it is very affordable and blows away anything on the market at moment.

Coming up on 1 year after the RFFE1 Wiki update.....not a word....when you ask there are no replies...dead silence.




Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: KE5JPP on November 16, 2012, 03:32:28 AM
Coming up on 1 year after the RFFE1 Wiki update.....not a word....when you ask there are no replies...dead silence.

That is because users have found that they don't need it.  They are using filters and pre-amps from Clifton Labs, DX Engineering, and Minicircuits.  This information is on the Wiki if you bother to look for it.  I use a Clifton Labs norton preamp above 20 MHz with mine.   Then there is the appliance operators who think that unless their noise level is S9+20 on 80 meters, they don't have enough gain and they go looking for a pre-amp.   ::)  They are the same ones who chase columns of meaningless numbers on the Sherwood list.  There is no hope for those guys.

Gene


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: KE5JPP on November 16, 2012, 05:11:14 AM
QSR1 and QST1 is like the the ADAT radio, a dead end road going nowhere fast. Its unfortunate but I suppose when its not your full time job and a hobby you cant expect much.

I have a QSR1  and I like it a lot, its a wasted investment now since I just got my Hermes radio. I would suggest  you look at this option.

My Hermes with a Class A 10 watt amp is superb. I just putting the finnishing touches to my VRF150 amp with diplexer filters. I really dont need any other radios at the moment. Well I do, A HPSDR Hermes with a front panel!

HPSDR Hermes is a superb solution  and it is very affordable and blows away anything on the market at moment.

Coming up on 1 year after the RFFE1 Wiki update.....not a word....when you ask there are no replies...dead silence.


Weren't you just singing the praises of the ADAT a few weeks ago?  Now you are trashing it.  You already have very little credibility because you hide behind fake names like 'zenki' and 'plebian99' and your credibility further suffers when you continually post conflicting information.  Of course, being an anonymous coward, you do not worry about the embarrassment of continually contradicting yourself, do you?   ::)

I bought into the HPSDR stuff early on and it ended up being a huge sinkhole of wasted money and time.  It is supported by 'volunteers' and the software is in a terrible state.  Trying to figure out what version of firmware or software to load brings you multiple conflicting advice from the 'volunteers' on the mailing list.  When you eventually find and use the esoteric firmware loading program, you next find out that the firmware they told you to load is not the correct version for use with the current software available!  The only half way usable software for the HERPES, err... HERMES is based on a kluged version of Flex Radio's PowerSDR which has been stripped of Flex's latest 'features' such as the tracking notch filter.  PowerSDR also limits you to sound card sample rates of 192 kHz max, when the HERMES can do more.  The other 'volunteer' developed software is not usable and does not support transmitting and is continually deficient in any useful features.  They are more worried about trying to listen to 7 receivers at once then how you are going to transmit with the thing.  NO THANKS!

The ADAT is available and can be purchased, so I'd say it isn't dead.  It is too expensive, in my opinion, but still cheaper than the Flex-6000 series.   As far as the QS1R, there is no QS1T, so you obviously are talking out your you-know-what once again.  It is called the QS1E, not QS1T.   I have been using the QS1R with the QS1E exciter add-on board with my external class A amp for six months now.  The QS1E came out 6 months before HERMES.  At least the QS1R software is supported by a company with active development and not a lot of fooling around you have to subject yourself with the unsupported HPSDR stuff.

Gene


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: SWL535 on November 16, 2012, 06:38:13 AM
This information is on the Wiki if you bother to look for it.
I did "bother to look for it" but I would prefer the pre-amp/filter board to be....
A-be mounted in the QS1R box
B-be made FOR the QS1R by the same designer.

Did you "bother to look" and see I'm an SWL not a Ham....why would I want a Hermes?!


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: KE5JPP on November 16, 2012, 07:08:34 AM
This information is on the Wiki if you bother to look for it.
I did "bother to look for it" but I would prefer the pre-amp/filter board to be....
A-be mounted in the QS1R box
B-be made FOR the QS1R by the same designer.

So, in other words, you just want to whine and complain about it.  There are many advantages to having the pre-amp and filters outside the box.  Unless you have done it, you probably don't even realize why.

Did you "bother to look" and see I'm an SWL not a Ham....why would I want a Hermes?!

You are barking up the wrong tree, 'friend'.  Where did I recommend that you buy a HERMES?  I said nothing in my response to you about the HERMES.  Are your SWL glasses fogged over or something?  ::)

Gene


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: KA4POL on November 16, 2012, 07:55:18 AM
SWL: Don't take this to seriously, some very few people are happy to find a reason for bashing without understanding what the posting was about  ;) It's not even worth reading or even answering.
Mostly, however, you'll find reasonable contributions in eham forums.


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: ZENKI on November 21, 2012, 01:36:24 AM
 Yeah I was singing the praises of the radio, and I own one. The point is that it has limited distribution and marketing which limits  its marketing reach and appeal. It is a great radio  and if many more hams tried a DDC/DUC radio with knobs they would soon realize the potential of the technology.

Sure HPSDR is  a poor risky investment if you dont know what you doing. It does give you the ability to buy into and experiment with the future of ham radio. We unlikely to see things like adaptive pre-distortion, beam steering  or  DSP based DF systems from the Japanese manufacturers. People like Joe K5SO could  probably deliver a  complete system if their was some kind  of licensing system in place. I would be happy to pay  for a commercial version of something like power SDR if it offered the above features.  The same comments apply to Phil Covington, I dont expect anything for free. If he delivered the goods in terms of features and performance I will pay. The alternative is the broken  Flexradio model or being stuck with dinosaur technology like all the current manufacturers.

I am surprised that there has been no distributor appointed for the ADAT in the USA. I would have thought that a good marketing company like DXENGINEERING Or ARRAY Solutions would have done an excellent marketing job on such a  great radio. It certainly is a  lot more attractive than the super expensive Hilberling radio which  although a superb bit of engineering is a white elephant in technology terms. The price of the Hilberling radio  will doom it to a certain short lived and painful marketing death.



QSR1 and QST1 is like the the ADAT radio, a dead end road going nowhere fast. Its unfortunate but I suppose when its not your full time job and a hobby you cant expect much.

I have a QSR1  and I like it a lot, its a wasted investment now since I just got my Hermes radio. I would suggest  you look at this option.

My Hermes with a Class A 10 watt amp is superb. I just putting the finnishing touches to my VRF150 amp with diplexer filters. I really dont need any other radios at the moment. Well I do, A HPSDR Hermes with a front panel!

HPSDR Hermes is a superb solution  and it is very affordable and blows away anything on the market at moment.

Coming up on 1 year after the RFFE1 Wiki update.....not a word....when you ask there are no replies...dead silence.


Weren't you just singing the praises of the ADAT a few weeks ago?  Now you are trashing it.  You already have very little credibility because you hide behind fake names like 'zenki' and 'plebian99' and your credibility further suffers when you continually post conflicting information.  Of course, being an anonymous coward, you do not worry about the embarrassment of continually contradicting yourself, do you?   ::)

I bought into the HPSDR stuff early on and it ended up being a huge sinkhole of wasted money and time.  It is supported by 'volunteers' and the software is in a terrible state.  Trying to figure out what version of firmware or software to load brings you multiple conflicting advice from the 'volunteers' on the mailing list.  When you eventually find and use the esoteric firmware loading program, you next find out that the firmware they told you to load is not the correct version for use with the current software available!  The only half way usable software for the HERPES, err... HERMES is based on a kluged version of Flex Radio's PowerSDR which has been stripped of Flex's latest 'features' such as the tracking notch filter.  PowerSDR also limits you to sound card sample rates of 192 kHz max, when the HERMES can do more.  The other 'volunteer' developed software is not usable and does not support transmitting and is continually deficient in any useful features.  They are more worried about trying to listen to 7 receivers at once then how you are going to transmit with the thing.  NO THANKS!

The ADAT is available and can be purchased, so I'd say it isn't dead.  It is too expensive, in my opinion, but still cheaper than the Flex-6000 series.   As far as the QS1R, there is no QS1T, so you obviously are talking out your you-know-what once again.  It is called the QS1E, not QS1T.   I have been using the QS1R with the QS1E exciter add-on board with my external class A amp for six months now.  The QS1E came out 6 months before HERMES.  At least the QS1R software is supported by a company with active development and not a lot of fooling around you have to subject yourself with the unsupported HPSDR stuff.

Gene



Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: NI0Z on November 21, 2012, 06:41:19 AM
The quest for the newest best often ends in disappointment.  I am glad I have settled down now and don't have the bug so bad.

It's all in the level of the challenge for me, fun if its a stretch, a nightmare if what's desired is a near impossibility.

Time will sort out this market.  It goes back to the thread, to SDR or not to SDR. 

Perhaps someone will come up with something next year that will be Flex 6Kish at a reasonable cost with a reasonable level of effort to get results.

If the idea is not to have tons of virtual slices, one can have a lot of fun with the KX3.

What we really need for the experimenters is a really nice exciter amp solution.  Something that can take a few mili watts and give us a hundred what's out with a built in buffer and ability to daisy chain a legal limit amp off the back.  TenTec is getting closer, but we need a high quality answer to that.  Then all the experimenters have a viable outlet to play with.  Might be nice if it supported multiple radios as well, or even had the built in switching so one could hang multiple receive only SDRs.  Perhaps even multiple antennas as well.


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: KA4POL on November 21, 2012, 07:23:23 AM
If the idea is not to have tons of virtual slices, one can have a lot of fun with the KX3.
True, particularly if you compare the price of about $ 1200 for a mW QS1R/E transceiver with that of the KX3.


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: KE5JPP on November 22, 2012, 04:49:11 AM
If the idea is not to have tons of virtual slices, one can have a lot of fun with the KX3.
True, particularly if you compare the price of about $ 1200 for a mW QS1R/E transceiver with that of the KX3.

Apples to Oranges (actually more like pebbles to planets), once again.  It is not only about 'slices', which is an idiotic Flex Radio term for something that DDC based receivers have been capable of for a long time now.

Both require an external amp unless you enjoy the sometimes frustration of QRP.  The KX3's internal PA is not very clean and when you drive an external amp, it only gets worse from there.   You can achieve exceptional transmit cleanliness with the QS1E.  You are not limited to a manufacturers chosen arbitrary transmit bandwidth with the QS1E as you are with the KX3.  You can get, at best, 192 kHz view of spectrum with the KX3 when connected to a computer running some SDR software.  With the QS1R you can see and record up to 2 MHz of spectrum.  The old QSD based KX3 as a SDR (and that term is used loosely) is no where in the same class as the DDC based QS1R.  If you want to set up your own CW Skimmer, the QS1R is capable of decoding on 7 ham bands at once using CW Skimmer Server.  The best you can do with a KX3 and CW Skimmer is a few kHz on one band.  

At the end of the day, after the newness has worn off, the KX3 is not much different than any other radio from Icom, Kenwood, or Yaesu that has an IF output and it is just as limiting.  With a true DDC/DUC based SDR like the QS1R or HERMES, those limitations are gone.

A better comparison would have been comparing the QS1R - QS1E to the yet to materialize $7000+ Flex Radio 6000 series.  Both use the same FPGA - DDC/DUC based architecture, but the former is $6000 less expensive but gives you the same type of capabilities.

Gene


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: NI0Z on November 22, 2012, 05:21:10 AM
If the idea is not to have tons of virtual slices, one can have a lot of fun with the KX3.
True, particularly if you compare the price of about $ 1200 for a mW QS1R/E transceiver with that of the KX3.

Apples to Oranges (actually more like pebbles to planets), once again.  It is not only about 'slices', which is an idiotic Flex Radio term for something that DDC based receivers have been capable of for a long time now.

Both require an external amp unless you enjoy the sometimes frustration of QRP.  The KX3's internal PA is not very clean and when you drive an external amp, it only gets worse from there.   You can achieve exceptional transmit cleanliness with the QS1E.  You are not limited to a manufacturers chosen arbitrary transmit bandwidth with the QS1E as you are with the KX3.  You can get, at best, 192 kHz view of spectrum with the KX3 when connected to a computer running some SDR software.  With the QS1R you can see and record up to 2 MHz of spectrum.  The old QSD based KX3 as a SDR (and that term is used loosely) is no where in the same class as the DDC based QS1R.  If you want to set up your own CW Skimmer, the QS1R is capable of decoding on 7 ham bands at once using CW Skimmer Server.  The best you can do with a KX3 and CW Skimmer is a few kHz on one band.  

At the end of the day, after the newness has worn off, the KX3 is not much different than any other radio from Icom, Kenwood, or Yaesu that has an IF output and it is just as limiting.  With a true DDC/DUC based SDR like the QS1R or HERMES, those limitations are gone.

A better comparison would have been comparing the QS1R - QS1E to the yet to materialize $7000+ Flex Radio 6000 series.  Both use the same FPGA - DDC/DUC based architecture, but the former is $6000 less expensive but gives you the same type of capabilities.

Gene

The problem is power with the QS1R.  As a Reciever it would seem to be outstanding, for transmit thought there are hoops a person has to jump through.  The real point of my post was about the need for a solid exciter amp solution for these exceptional transceivers and not having too many hoops to jump through.  The KX3 has a nice receiver in it, but even at 10 watts running QRO requires more hoops to jump through. The ten Tec amp doesn't seem to be the answer for these radios yet.  Getting closer but still falls short in my humble and limited opinion.

If there were a nice solution, I'd have a QS1R already.  Hopefully 2013 will bring us the goods!


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: KE5JPP on November 22, 2012, 06:03:51 AM
If the idea is not to have tons of virtual slices, one can have a lot of fun with the KX3.

If you are going to use the KX3 as an SDR instead of its real purpose as a portable QRP rig, you'd do much better to save your $1000+ for the KX3 and purchase a $90 SoftRock Ensemble transceiver.  Just like the KX3 you need to use with with an external sound card and computer, but the capabilities as an SDR is pretty much the same.

Gene


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: KE5JPP on November 22, 2012, 06:07:33 AM

The problem is power with the QS1R.  As a Reciever it would seem to be outstanding, for transmit thought there are hoops a person has to jump through.  The real point of my post was about the need for a solid exciter amp solution for these exceptional transceivers and not having too many hoops to jump through.  The KX3 has a nice receiver in it, but even at 10 watts running QRO requires more hoops to jump through. The ten Tec amp doesn't seem to be the answer for these radios yet.  Getting closer but still falls short in my humble and limited opinion.

If there were a nice solution, I'd have a QS1R already.  Hopefully 2013 will bring us the goods!

How about elevating yourself above glorified CB operator/appliance operator status and actually build an amplifier for yourself instead of using the credit card and waiting on a sub-optimal packaged solution?  

There are plenty of decent plans for amplifiers out there.

Gene


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: NI0Z on November 22, 2012, 08:07:01 AM
How about elevating yourself above glorified CB operator/appliance operator status and actually build an amplifier for yourself instead of using the credit card and waiting on a sub-optimal packaged solution?  

There are plenty of decent plans for amplifiers out there.

Gene

Do you have yours running more than 100 watts yet?  If so, how long did it take?

Now, there is nothing anywhere that says you have to be electrical do it yourself to be a ham.  There are hams that also love to incorporate kit building, or even their own design and building into their hobby.

You just happen to enjoy doing both, and I might someday too when I don't have an extraordinarily busy life that even limits my radio time leave alone building stuff.

To each their own! 

It would be nice to hear more about where you currenty sit in your project, I seem to last recall you were still building.


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: KE5JPP on November 25, 2012, 04:47:10 AM
How about elevating yourself above glorified CB operator/appliance operator status and actually build an amplifier for yourself instead of using the credit card and waiting on a sub-optimal packaged solution?  

There are plenty of decent plans for amplifiers out there.

Gene

Do you have yours running more than 100 watts yet?  If so, how long did it take?

Now, there is nothing anywhere that says you have to be electrical do it yourself to be a ham.  There are hams that also love to incorporate kit building, or even their own design and building into their hobby.

You just happen to enjoy doing both, and I might someday too when I don't have an extraordinarily busy life that even limits my radio time leave alone building stuff.

To each their own!  

It would be nice to hear more about where you currenty sit in your project, I seem to last recall you were still building.

No, I am not 'still building' and have not been so for months now.  If you had bothered to read my earlier posts, you would see that my amp is running 250 Watts at -40 dB or better IMD.  I have been running this for a few months now.  The description of the amp is also in my earlier posts.  0 dBm (1mW) in, 250 Watts out.

There is nothing wrong with buying already existing equipment if it does the job you want.  However, there are too many Hams that bitch and moan about things they can't get and if they could build equipment like a real Ham, then they would not have that problem (other than laziness).

Gene


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: KX0O on November 26, 2012, 06:30:57 PM
Gene,

What plans did you use?

Doc


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: KE5JPP on November 27, 2012, 02:55:19 AM
Gene,

What plans did you use?

Doc

Please do a search of my posts on this subject.  I don't have the energy to repeat it all here again.  :-\

Gene


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: KX0O on November 27, 2012, 08:53:11 AM
I did before i asked... will look again. 


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: KE5JPP on November 27, 2012, 08:57:36 AM
I did before i asked... will look again.  

Start here:

http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php?topic=82448.15 (http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php?topic=82448.15)

Gene


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: KX0O on November 27, 2012, 09:06:56 AM
Thanks.. I did search again.. tough to dig anything out of the searches here


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: KE5JPP on November 27, 2012, 09:19:00 AM
Thanks.. I did search again.. tough to dig anything out of the searches here

It is easier if you click on a poster's ID and then select 'show the last posts of this person' (or something to that effect).

Gene


Title: RE: QS1R Feedback
Post by: N0YXB on November 27, 2012, 10:35:16 AM
Thanks.. I did search again.. tough to dig anything out of the searches here

I am interested in this project too.  Maybe Gene will write an article about it someday.   ;)

You may find this helpful:

eHam Forums / Software Defined Radio / RE: QS1R Receiver can now transmit (QS1E available)  on: September 01, 2012, 05:12:48 AM  
Quote from: ZENKI on August 31, 2012, 05:24:17 PM
Where did you buy the PCB boards for the project from?  Its a shame that the ARRL chose to release the project PCB files in a propriety PCB format.  Gerber files could have been used anywhere in the world. Besides
all PCB packages can import  Gerber files.  Its a real expensive nuisance having PCB boards manufactured in the USA when I could have had them milled or produced locally for a cheaper price.

I did my own PCB (photo etch) that integrates the 2x VRF151 stage, the 2x VRF148 driver stage, and the pre-driver stage onto a single PCB.  With the pre-driver, I needed to take the 0 dBm output of the exciter up to a level that would drive the 2x VRF148 stage.  I went back and carefully adjusted the biases and took measurements again.  Worst case IMD is about -43 dB now.   I used FreePCB software to lay out the PCB http://www.freepcb.com/

Gene