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eHam Forums => Software Defined Radio => Topic started by: NI0Z on April 25, 2013, 12:31:34 PM



Title: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: NI0Z on April 25, 2013, 12:31:34 PM
In an effort to be objective and also double check my thinking about the Anan 100D Verses the Flex 6700 I'll share what I believe to be some points of interest.  I invite others to chime in and help create a clear view comparing the two transcievers.

First of all, let's get the notion of IF addressed.  The Flex 6700 for all practical purposes does not exist yet.  No units have been released and we do not have a formal release date.  Some of the points of interest below assume it will be released this year.  Lets call it late Q4 for the sake of putting that point behind us and acknowledge that it may be sooner or may be later.

While the Anan 100D is shipping already for the Anan 100D to compete there are assumptions as well on software. There are multiple options for the Anan 100D, some based off exisiting code bases and some new software being written that can not yet fully function for full transciever capabilities.

Ironic that both camps face the fact that there is not yet any software available to realize the full core aspects of the hardware.

Fair table setting?

I'll assume I have been fair with regards to each camp above and continue forward.

To further set the table lets say we are talking about each SDR's ability to function as a full RX/TX transceiver.

Flex 6700
The Flex Radios core features promise thin client access.  I believe that means you can hook a Mic to your PC and so long as it has a speaker you can access and use the radio anywhere on your home network.  A future promise is remote Internet access.

One will be able to access all 8 slices from a given thin client.  I do not believe it was stated that more than one thin client may be used to access slices at a time meaning I could be using 4 or fewer slices upstairs while someone else used 4 or fewer slices downstairs.

The Flex has 2 Capture units to achieve Diversity Reception with 4 slices per Capture Unit

The Flex 6700 will have one option for Software, SmartSDR which is still unlreased, will require a maintenance fee of $200 annually and is new and likely to be buggy upon initial release (comment based on past experience with Flex Radio Systems).  The software will be able to fully access the hardware and all 8 slices when its released.  The radio is being marketed as a commercial elite ham radio system.

 

Anan 100D
The Anan radios core features promise thick client access now and possible thin client access later.  (note no thin client software is available or on the drawing board that I know of).  While the radio is connected via Ethernet you will hook a Mic to the radio and use your PC to control the radio.  Users desiring remote access either at home or on the internet would use the current skype and remote PC access software.

One will be able to access all 2 of the 14 slices slices from a given thick client.  I do not believe it was stated that more than one thick client may be used to access slices at a time meaning I could be using 7 or fewer slices from one client while using another 7 or fewer slices from another software package.

The Anan has 2 ADC's to achieve Diversit Reception 7 slices available per ADC and expandability for additional soft cores

There are several Software packages new and old that are at various stages of development available for the Anan 100D.  These are mostly Open Source and there are no commercial fees on the plus side, however, no commitments for delivery on the minus side.  Also on the plus side, the radio is enthusiasticaly embraced with bug fixes often being released within hours of being reported.

PowerSDR - pretty stable - can only access 2 receivers on 1 or 2 of the ADCS.

These below are not fully functional packages yet.  
cuSDR - Very promising so far.  4 slices receive only so far.  
KISS - Seems limited so far, under development
Please feel free to add others here with comments as I am still exploring all the options.

The Anan 100D is marketed as a Experimental Kit SDR, calims of greatness seem very limited.  While no build is required, it would appear that some configuration and calibrations are required.


What else can people think of along these lines of thought?  Please be factual and objective.

Summary

The Flex 6700 may still reach maturity in terms of accessing more of the hardwares capability sooner than later.
The Anan 100D appears to be hardware wise to have more capability than the Flex in terms of potential, (14 Slices verses 8 slices) however, it will take a very large network of unpaid developers to tap all of its potential.  It is entirely possible that a good part of the radios potential may go untapped simply due to the code that needs to be developed and or the PC resources that may be required to run 14 slices from 2 ADCs.

Flex 6700 over $7000 plus $200 a year for software
Anan 100D $3000 and no fees

Ok folks, lets see if we can be civil and capture the rest of what needs to be captured!


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: M0HCN on April 25, 2013, 01:43:28 PM
The flex appeared (at least in the hardware I saw) to have relay switched bandpass filters ahead of the ADCs, while the 100D uses a combination of the transmit LPF and switched HPFs on ADC1, with the second converter having only an anti aliasing filter....

The flex runs the ADCs at 250 Msamples/second vs 125M for the Hermes derived designs, possibly an issue on 6M where good aliasing performance is a big ask of the filters, this difference does however explain the larger slice count on the 100D as the FPGA area per slice will be about 1/4 - 1/2 that of that for the flex all else being equal.

The flex supports synchronous sampling at least for government users, but will apparently not support it for our market, this according to some discussion at the UK national rally last year (Something about ITAR regs in the US).
A pity, as electronically steered beam forming has interesting possibilities, especially if multiple receivers were widely geographically dispersed and locked to gps or similar (Think long baseline interferometry or HF radar).  The Anan hardware and software looks somewhat more amenable to having this sort of thing grafted on.

Finally, the Hermes/Anan rigs look to be hackable in a way the Flex is not.

73, Dan.


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: NI0Z on April 25, 2013, 01:59:18 PM
Excellent Points!

Just the sort of objective response I am hoping we get so we can all learn and exchange views!

Thanks!


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: N0YXB on April 25, 2013, 04:08:45 PM
Interesting conversation, but until someone can actually get their hands on their own 6700, all we can do is compare the ANAN with the 6700's product specs and marketing.

Hopefully some ANAN owners will chime in about their experiences.   


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: NI0Z on April 26, 2013, 07:52:37 AM
Upated

Flex 6700
The Flex Radios core features promise thin client access.  I believe that means you can hook a Mic to your PC and so long as it has a speaker you can access and use the radio anywhere on your home network.  A future promise is remote Internet access.

The Flex does its processing work on the radio and then sends the processed output to the thin client resulting in a smaller package for the netowrk connection and thin client to process.

One will be able to access all 8 slices from a given thin client.  I do not believe it was stated that more than one thin client may be used to access slices at a time meaning I could be using 4 or fewer slices upstairs while someone else used 4 or fewer slices downstairs.

The Flex has 2 Capture units to achieve Diversity Reception with 4 slices per Capture Unit

The Flex 6700 will have one option for Software, SmartSDR which is still unlreased, will require a maintenance fee of $200 annually and is new and likely to be buggy upon initial release (comment based on past experience with Flex Radio Systems).  The software will be able to fully access the hardware and all 8 slices when its released.  The radio is being marketed as a commercial elite ham radio system.

 

Anan 100D
The Anan radios core features promise thick client access now and possible thin client access later.  (note no thin client software is available or on the drawing board that I know of).  While the radio is connected via Ethernet you will hook a Mic to the radio and use your PC to control the radio.  Users desiring remote access either at home or on the internet would use the current skype and remote PC access software.

The Ana does its processing work on the PC by sending the IQ through the netwrok connection toi the fat client to be processed.  This requires a greater network bandwidth to send the fat data to the fat client.

One will be able to access all 2 of the 14 slices slices from a given thick client.  I do not believe it was stated that more than one thick client may be used to access slices at a time meaning I could be using 7 or fewer slices from one client while using another 7 or fewer slices from another software package.

The Anan has 2 ADC's to achieve Diversit Reception 7 slices available per ADC and expandability for additional soft cores

There are several Software packages new and old that are at various stages of development available for the Anan 100D.  These are mostly Open Source and there are no commercial fees on the plus side, however, no commitments for delivery on the minus side.  Also on the plus side, the radio is enthusiasticaly embraced with bug fixes often being released within hours of being reported.

PowerSDR - pretty stable - can only access 2 receivers on 1 or 2 of the ADCS.

These below are not fully functional packages yet.  
cuSDR - Very promising so far.  4 slices receive only so far.  
KISS - Seems limited so far, under development
Please feel free to add others here with comments as I am still exploring all the options.

The Anan 100D is marketed as a Experimental Kit SDR, calims of greatness seem very limited.  While no build is required, it would appear that some configuration and calibrations are required.


What else can people think of along these lines of thought?  Please be factual and objective.

Summary and Additional Comparison

Posted by: M0HCN
The flex appeared (at least in the hardware I saw) to have relay switched bandpass filters ahead of the ADCs, while the 100D uses a combination of the transmit LPF and switched HPFs on ADC1, with the second converter having only an anti aliasing filter....

The flex runs the ADCs at 250 Msamples/second vs 125M for the Hermes derived designs, possibly an issue on 6M where good aliasing performance is a big ask of the filters, this difference does however explain the larger slice count on the 100D as the FPGA area per slice will be about 1/4 - 1/2 that of that for the flex all else being equal.

The flex supports synchronous sampling at least for government users, but will apparently not support it for our market, this according to some discussion at the UK national rally last year (Something about ITAR regs in the US).
A pity, as electronically steered beam forming has interesting possibilities, especially if multiple receivers were widely geographically dispersed and locked to gps or similar (Think long baseline interferometry or HF radar).  The Anan hardware and software looks somewhat more amenable to having this sort of thing grafted on.

Finally, the Hermes/Anan rigs look to be hackable in a way the Flex is not.


The Flex 6700 may still reach maturity in terms of accessing more of the hardwares capability sooner than later.
The Anan 100D appears to be hardware wise to have more capability than the Flex in terms of potential, (14 Slices verses 8 slices) however, it will take a very large network of unpaid developers to tap all of its potential.  It is entirely possible that a good part of the radios potential may go untapped simply due to the code that needs to be developed and or the PC resources that may be required to run 14 slices from 2 ADCs.

Verses the Flex the Anan is more dependent on a clean fat network connection to send fat data to the PC.  This may be relevant if more than one radio is on a network or the network has many other devices consuming bandwidth.  Remote access comes to mind.  This can likely overcome with a dedicated network for the radio.

Flex 6700 over $7000 plus $200 a year for software
Anan 100D $3000 and no fees

Once we get some more points of interest captured I will consolidate again and repost.



Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: N0YXB on April 26, 2013, 08:14:25 AM
Or, we can read the follow up posts as they occur and save you the cutting and pasting.  I saw nothing new in your latest post.  Am I missing something?


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: NI0Z on April 26, 2013, 08:19:20 AM
Yes, there are a few new comments about the nature of how they work.  I think the difference in how they work with relation to the network is relevant.

I will continue to condense once enough info rolls in, its nice to be able to digest it for some of us in a single read.  Pleased feel free to follow along and or particpate either way!  ;)


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: KC9XG on April 26, 2013, 11:22:50 AM
The ANAN-* radios use the OpenHPSDR Hermes design for the receivers.  Theoretically, Hermes can implement 7 receivers at one time, using the same antenna.  No "slices" are involved.  Each of these receivers operates at the selected sample rate.  Presently, when operating at the highest selected sample rate of 384k, OpenHPSDR PowerSDR 3.0.10 stitches together 3 of these receivers to create RX1, with a bandwidth of 1.1mhz.  The second ANAN-10 or ANAN-100 virtual receiver, RX2, provides 384khz bandwidth, using the same antenna.  This bandwidth could increase when Gigibit Ethernet is implemented in firmware.

  The ANAN-100D incorporates an independant Hermes receiver/ADC as RX2, using a separate antenna connection.  This 2nd receiver can also theoretically have up to 7 receivers active at one time.  The OpenHPSDR PowerSDR 2.2.3 Diversity application permits full diversity operation with the ANAN-100D.

Having more than 2 receivers active at the same time presents some problems with the typical setup, since most computer systems are limited to one set of stereo speakers.  Utilizing the additional receivers to increase receive bandwidth was, IMO, a good use of available resources.

Presently, the 1.1 mhz bandwidth of RX1 allows you to view the entire bandwidth of most HF bands (6 and 10 meters excepted).  The lower bandwidth of RX2, can be used like a "bandspread" control, when RX1 and RX2 are synced together.  Search and Pounce is much easier and precise with this narrower bandwidth.  When examining the modulation characteristics of a received signal, I usually reduce the same rate to 48khz in order to increase the resoultion of the displayed signal.   Using the highest sample rate may not always be the best solution.

Comparing the OpenHPSDR Hermes/Angelia design with the Flex 6700 fairly may not be possible since the design approaches differ considerably.   These radio's were not designed to compete with each other, but to stand alone on their merits.  Without fail, we all have biases that will color our purchasing decisions.   Your operating biases and cost are usually the deciding factors.

Bill KC9XG


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: NI0Z on April 26, 2013, 12:58:11 PM
Comparing the OpenHPSDR Hermes/Angelia design with the Flex 6700 fairly may not be possible since the design approaches differ considerably.   These radio's were not designed to compete with each other, but to stand alone on their merits.  Without fail, we all have biases that will color our purchasing decisions.   Your operating biases and cost are usually the deciding factors.

Bill KC9XG


Hey Bill, great points.  I agree they are vastly different hardware designs and so this thread is as much about comparing the radios as it is the merits of the designs and how those factors may or may not be relevant to the average Ham who wants to use them.

If we go back to another thread one user talks about how they like the fact that the Anan appears hackable.  While most hams dont probably care about hacking the radios themselves I liken it to how the masses often benefit from jailbreaks or hacks.  I know some cameras for example have been hacked to provide greater frame rate recording capabilities than the manufacture released with the camera.  The same may apply to the masses if and how these radios may be hacked as those hacks may open up new features in the Opensource software.

You obviously have other people that just want a commercial product that allows them to have a stellar operating experience, cost not being a real factor.

Some of this discussion we have already captured talks about some of the limitations and considerations around choosing one Radio over the other.  lol, and there are those who can afford and will own both.

Hopefully we can continue to explore the considerations of each design.  Thanks for sharing some nice bits of info there on the recievers in the Anan, great stuff and very educational for some of us.


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: KC9XG on April 26, 2013, 03:03:57 PM
The OpenHPSDR hardware and software are open source, hence the name.  No need to hack what are open designs to begin with.  The hardware and firmware source is available on line via TAPR's SVN server.  All are welcome to view, use or modify to their hearts content, under the license terms.

IMO, we need to ignore all of the market speak nonsense and focus on ham radio and how you operate.  You can argue specifications all day long, but in the end, will the product perform to your satisfaction.  Are we having fun yet?

Bill KC9XG




Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: NI0Z on April 26, 2013, 04:21:02 PM
The OpenHPSDR hardware and software are open source, hence the name.  No need to hack what are open designs to begin with.  The hardware and firmware source is available on line via TAPR's SVN server.

 Are we having fun yet?

Bill KC9XG

:) Hacking Open Source somehow sounds like more fun!

Seriously though, I was reading about soft ore processing on Cyclone FPGA's this afternoon.  Intriguing stuff!


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: M0HCN on April 27, 2013, 03:45:17 AM
We are indeed having fun, particularly as I found a local guy who can mount fine pitch BGA and QFN for me on prototypes (hint, look for someone who repairs Playstation and X box units, the better end of these guys will have a proper BGA rework station).

My version is taking shape in Altium, a sort of Hermes variant along the lines of the 100D but set up for cartesian feedback on transmit and with the finals (pair of VRF151) drain supply derived from a buck converter so the drain supply can be made to track the envelope (and output impedance) for better power efficiency and less heat.

I have also moved the main anti alias filter into the RX BPF filtering so that subsampling will work for reception on the 2M & 70cm bands without needing a transverter (The 2208 has a sample and hold bandwidth out to 700Mhz). Transmit on these bands will need a different PA of course.

The neat thing about NIOS II is that while it is not itself a very good processor, it can tie into application specific FPGA logic, so expensive things like FFTs can be pushed out to dedicated hardware in the gate array. 

Now if only the bigger FPGAs (and especially the good AD chips) were a bit cheaper.....

Regards, Dan.


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: K4FMH on May 02, 2013, 10:44:15 AM
Great discussion, folks! We other sdr folks can only benefit from non-inflammatory exchanges like this.

I am interested in a portable SDR HF but prefer open-source whenever possible so the Aoache Labs line with a possible Juma amp looks promising!

Frank
K4FMH ;D


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: W4HIJ on May 02, 2013, 04:19:07 PM
I can only dream about owning either of these radios at this time but it's interesting to me that folks are so high on the Anan when currently it is dependent on the PC  for much of it's operation. That's something that earlier Flex radios like the 5K, 3K and the 1500 have been roundly trashed by their critics for. Now the 6700 is a thin client access radio. Seems to me people should make up their minds what exactly it is they want. Just sayin..... ::) ::)
73,
Michael, W4HIJ


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: N0YXB on May 03, 2013, 10:10:17 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?


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: SWL2002 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.


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: W4HIJ 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


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: SWL2002 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.


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: KC9XG 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




Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: WD5GWY 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


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: WD5GWY 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
 


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: KC9XG 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


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: WD5GWY 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

   


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: N0YXB 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?


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: KC9XG 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


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: NI0Z 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.


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: KC9XG 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



Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: NI0Z 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.



Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: K3GM 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.


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: NI0Z 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!


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: WD5GWY on May 07, 2013, 05:24:21 PM
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.
Apache Labs has said that they will be at Dayton. But, they may or may not, be able to bring
any radios to sell. They said they planned to demo the radios there. But, could not say if they
would be allowed to bring anything to sell. If they did, I'd almost bet they would sell out the
first day!
james
WD5GWY


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: ZENKI on May 08, 2013, 02:44:35 AM
And both radios have such lousy transmitter IMD specifications that in the real world would  making having such excellent receivers of waste of good technology in the real world.
Both manufacturers simply dont get it! They build receivers  that perform well yet put cheap 12 volt  poor IMD amplifiers in the box. Its plain technical stupidity.

Despite the admirable aims of the HPSDR group, they too are the leaders in producing lousy PA designs that causes excessive IMD or splatter. These days how hard is it really
too design a high voltage FET PA in place of a lousy  12 volt crap amplifier design that is no better than the average CB radio in IMD performance.

Everyone who buys and owns these radios will wax lyrically about the amazing receiver technology and say nothing about the stone age transmitter amplifier, that affects how all
other receiver perform in the real world regardless of price. The IMD performance is  slipping down a greasy slope to the abyss and yet the ARRL and others dont give a damn. The ARRL continues
too heap ton of praise on radios with lousy transmitters in their ARRL reviews. Its clear that people like the ARRL and the RSGB amongst others are becoming convenient marketing tools for companies
that produce poor transmitting equipment. These bodies are supposed to uphold technical standards and promote technical excellence rather than trying too promote cheap equipment that at the end of the day
is making the ham bands sound like the CB band that is full of splatter.

FLEXRADIO 0 Stars for a crap transmitter design
ANAN 0 Stars for another crap PA in   radio that should of  had a  world class PA.

What gets me is that most ham radio models now exceed the price of commercial marine, military and aeronautical HF equipment yet ham equipment could not even meet these basic ITU standards for commercial products.
We getting ripped off by the manufacturers  who are selling substandard equipment. Really they all need to get their cheap eye blinkers off and forget about receiver performance and employ real RF engineers who know how too design a proper PA with decent IMD performance. Hams need to  wake up and get a reality check and start demanding better transmitters performance, while we still carrying on about receiver performance numbers the manufacturers will definetly know that we a bunch of idiots when  we make no mention of the transmitter performance that will never let any ham realize  their  high performance receivers potential. A huge waste of money and you might as well buy a IC718 because you cant realize any more performance BECAUSE OF THE CRAP TRANSMITTERS LIKE THE FLEXRADIO AND ANAN.

Oh Another SDR radio blah blah blah, same crap transmitter from yesteryear!



Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: WD5GWY on May 08, 2013, 03:07:52 AM
Just how do you know that either of these radios have poor IMD performance?
Have you tested either one or both? Since only the Anan radios are currently
available, do you have one? If so, post the results of your tests.
Simply saying that because they use 12 volt parts alone is not proof that their
transmitters are poor performers, IMD wise.
I'm beginning to think as others do, that you simply keep posting the same thing
with no proof that(outside of what you did post in the Amplifier section about the
RM Italy amp's) just because they are using 12 volt parts, that they are unable to
make them work properly and not emit excessive IMD products.
One statement used where I live is, "Put up, or shut up".
james
WD5GWY
   


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: N0YXB on May 08, 2013, 08:39:13 AM
And both radios have such lousy transmitter IMD specifications that in the real world would  making having such excellent receivers of waste of good technology in the real world.
Both manufacturers simply dont get it! They build receivers  that perform well yet put cheap 12 volt  poor IMD amplifiers in the box. Its plain technical stupidity.


I want to like the Apache, but this is what I have been concerned about. While your posts about transmitter IMD annoy many, you are of course correct to be concerned.  I wish more were. 

Looks like I'll stay on my original course and purchase the QS1R and exciter.   


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: WD5GWY on May 08, 2013, 09:07:59 AM
And both radios have such lousy transmitter IMD specifications that in the real world would  making having such excellent receivers of waste of good technology in the real world.
Both manufacturers simply dont get it! They build receivers  that perform well yet put cheap 12 volt  poor IMD amplifiers in the box. Its plain technical stupidity.


I want to like the Apache, but this is what I have been concerned about. While your posts about transmitter IMD annoy many, you are of course correct to be concerned.  I wish more were. 

Looks like I'll stay on my original course and purchase the QS1R and exciter.   
  I don't really find his posts annoying, but, rather poorly stated and on the verge (at times) of being belligerent. And except in a very few instances, he does not substantiate his claims about IMD issues with different radios. Unless he is one of the few beta testers for Flex Radio, he has nothing to back up his claim concerning their latest radio's IMD performance other than the same,
tired old argument about 12 volt FET's  and PA designs.  I have even read a post where he said that 12 volt PA's could be designed to be very clean and done so inexpensively.
If that were true, then why has no company followed his advice? Maybe he works for one of the companies he keeps ranting about. Maybe, he has tried in his job, to get them to make the changes he says needs to be made and failed. BUT, all this is conjecture on my part and until he can actually back up his claims with FACTS and FIGURES ( which he did do in the Amplifier Forum concerning the RM Italy amps) from tests that HE has made, then he just appears to be another forum troll.
  I too am concerned with IMD and because of his statements concerning the RM Italy amps, specifically the HLA-150 and HLA-300(which he FINALLY did say he tested and offered his results) that is one reason I have never bought an HLA-300.
 But, to continually rail against something and not back it up with proof AND being willing to
identify one's self, (which he will not do) it is no different than me making such statements and using some other user name other than my callsign and name, then there is nothing to add credence to my statements. There would be no proof, such as a background in RF engineering,
that would demonstrate that I knew what I was talking about.
And that is the problem with Zinki. He gives no background, no way to add validity to his statements. He could just be a very bitter ex-employe of any one of a number of companies that he has made his statements against.
  I like reading his posts to a point. But, when all he can do, or will do, is post how everything is another crap CB amplifier design, then anything he might have said of substance has been lost.
james
WD5GWY

     


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: K2GWK on May 08, 2013, 09:36:32 AM
I couldn't agree more. I couldn't find an IMD spec on the Anan 100D so unless he tested it himself, he really can't say anything about IMD one way or another. Sorry....... He is starting to sound like a skipping record.


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: W4HIJ on May 08, 2013, 02:28:00 PM
Blah blah blah....same ole same ole from Zenki except now it sounds like he wants us all to totally forget about  receive performance in the name of IMD. Seems Zenki would be satisfied with a crystal and a cat whisker just as long as his IMD was spectacular. As far as IMD, I wish the labs would give us more information than "worst case IMD" at full power.  A lot of folks use rigs at reduced power, either driving an amp or running some type of low power digital mode. It might be interesting to know where things shake out in real world applications.  Just sayin...
73,
Michael, W4HIJ


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: SWL2002 on May 08, 2013, 02:42:19 PM
If the Flex or the ANAN used 50 V FETs in the PA, Zenki would find something else to bitch about like the price.  Ham equipment is not sold in large volumes like the commercial stuff.  Instead of the Flex-6700 costing $7000 it would cost $12,000.

-robert


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: WD5GWY on May 08, 2013, 02:47:52 PM
If the Flex or the ANAN used 50 V FETs in the PA, Zenki would find something else to bitch about like the price.  Ham equipment is not sold in large volumes like the commercial stuff.  Instead of the Flex-6700 costing $7000 it would cost $12,000.

-robert
I have to agree about that statement completely.
james
WD5GWY


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: WD5GWY on May 08, 2013, 03:05:19 PM
Blah blah blah....same ole same ole from Zenki except now it sounds like he wants us all to totally forget about  receive performance in the name of IMD. Seems Zenki would be satisfied with a crystal and a cat whisker just as long as his IMD was spectacular. As far as IMD, I wish the labs would give us more information than "worst case IMD" at full power.  A lot of folks use rigs at reduced power, either driving an amp or running some type of low power digital mode. It might be interesting to know where things shake out in real world applications.  Just sayin...
73,
Michael, W4HIJ
I think that giving us "worst case IMD" is a good thing. It does give us some yardstick to go by
when considering amplifiers etc.  Take a look at W8JI's website, he has some very interesting things to say about the methods the ARRL and others, use when testing IMD. The accepted use
of two tones makes sense, but, at the same time, the variances of the human voice do make
a difference in test results, and in real world results. My voice might be higher pitched than yours and yours could be much lower and those differences can effect IMD suppression in the same
transmitter or amplifier. W8JI says that a test that varies the tones between a selected high
point and low point would give a better indication of IMD generated in actual use.
Even Zenki has mentioned the same differences between using the two tone test and actual human voice effects on IMD products.  I know from some of the reading that I have done concerning IMD, that the use of two tones was to create a standard of measurement that can
be used between all types of transmitters and amplifiers. W8JI seems to be saying that his idea
could be implemented and give better, and possibly, more accurate results.
   I know that Zenki can be very frustrating at times with his caustic remarks, but, he does have some valid points. But, he rarely, ever, backs his points up with real statistics. And as I said earlier, he won't give any background, his name or anything like that, that would lend any level
of confidence to his statements. If he said I'm, Joe Smith and I'm an engineer with XYZ corp and have several patents in RF design etc. Then, I would be more inclined to agree with him.
But, when he jumps on products that he is almost certain not to own (Flex 6000 Series) then I have to question his statements.
   I will be very surprised if he comes back to this thread (if at all) and makes any positive, helpful comments on this subject. Much less, offers some background on himself and his qualifications to make those statements.
  Unlike W8JI, who is well known and respected in his field, we know nothing about Zenki other than he is a constant complainer.
james
WD5GWY
 


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: W4HIJ on May 08, 2013, 03:40:11 PM
Blah blah blah....same ole same ole from Zenki except now it sounds like he wants us all to totally forget about  receive performance in the name of IMD. Seems Zenki would be satisfied with a crystal and a cat whisker just as long as his IMD was spectacular. As far as IMD, I wish the labs would give us more information than "worst case IMD" at full power.  A lot of folks use rigs at reduced power, either driving an amp or running some type of low power digital mode. It might be interesting to know where things shake out in real world applications.  Just sayin...
73,
Michael, W4HIJ
I think that giving us "worst case IMD" is a good thing. It does give us some yardstick to go by
when considering amplifiers etc.  Take a look at W8JI's website, he has some very interesting things to say about the methods the ARRL and others, use when testing IMD. The accepted use
of two tones makes sense, but, at the same time, the variances of the human voice do make
a difference in test results, and in real world results. My voice might be higher pitched than yours and yours could be much lower and those differences can effect IMD suppression in the same
transmitter or amplifier. W8JI says that a test that varies the tones between a selected high
point and low point would give a better indication of IMD generated in actual use.
Even Zenki has mentioned the same differences between using the two tone test and actual human voice effects on IMD products.  I know from some of the reading that I have done concerning IMD, that the use of two tones was to create a standard of measurement that can
be used between all types of transmitters and amplifiers. W8JI seems to be saying that his idea
could be implemented and give better, and possibly, more accurate results.
   I know that Zenki can be very frustrating at times with his caustic remarks, but, he does have some valid points. But, he rarely, ever, backs his points up with real statistics. And as I said earlier, he won't give any background, his name or anything like that, that would lend any level
of confidence to his statements. If he said I'm, Joe Smith and I'm an engineer with XYZ corp and have several patents in RF design etc. Then, I would be more inclined to agree with him.
But, when he jumps on products that he is almost certain not to own (Flex 6000 Series) then I have to question his statements.
   I will be very surprised if he comes back to this thread (if at all) and makes any positive, helpful comments on this subject. Much less, offers some background on himself and his qualifications to make those statements.
  Unlike W8JI, who is well known and respected in his field, we know nothing about Zenki other than he is a constant complainer.
james
WD5GWY
 
I did not read the entire article on the HLA amps by W8JI but took the time to skim over the important parts. At one point he did find a drive level that produced an acceptable IMD if I recall. I didn't mean to imply it was bad thing to give us "worst case IMD"  but I think more information would be helpful like "half power IMD"  for instance. I would agree that a varying tone test would give us a better indicator of real world use. Not only with voice but with digital.  I mean how many different tones are there in a JT-65 or PSK-31 signal. How about SSTV?  Just saying, "OK I fired this rig up on 40 meters at full power and found the worst case IMD to be X" is not enough information in my opinion and I don't think it's wholly what you should judge the TX on anyway especially considering most ops will not be putting it in a worst case scenario that often. I will take the time, when I can find it, to read more on W8JI's site. Right now I'm planning and researching some new antennas!
73,
Michael, W4HIJ


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: WD5GWY on May 08, 2013, 06:06:48 PM

I did not read the entire article on the HLA amps by W8JI but took the time to skim over the important parts. At one point he did find a drive level that produced an acceptable IMD if I recall. I didn't mean to imply it was bad thing to give us "worst case IMD"  but I think more information would be helpful like "half power IMD"  for instance. I would agree that a varying tone test would give us a better indicator of real world use. Not only with voice but with digital.  I mean how many different tones are there in a JT-65 or PSK-31 signal. How about SSTV?  Just saying, "OK I fired this rig up on 40 meters at full power and found the worst case IMD to be X" is not enough information in my opinion and I don't think it's wholly what you should judge the TX on anyway especially considering most ops will not be putting it in a worst case scenario that often. I will take the time, when I can find it, to read more on W8JI's site. Right now I'm planning and researching some new antennas!
73,
Michael, W4HIJ
IF people did drive an amp like the HLA 150 (like the one W8JI used in his tests) with lower drive
it would as he stated result in lower IMD products. If I remember correctly he said if output from the amp was kept to 90 watts or less, then results would be acceptable. The IMD products would still be there, but, much weaker and less noticeable to stations away from the main signal.
But, what some would respond by saying is, most users would drive the amp to full output.
For instance, my Flex 1500 (already noted to have poor IMD numbers on 40 meters, but, decent numbers on the rest of the HF bands, as tested by the ARRL) only puts out 5 watts max.  A lot of users would want to drive the amp with full output from the radio and that would drive it beyond
90 watts to something like 110 watts or so. At that point, problems might occur.
My point in the above statement, is, most, but not all Amateurs, would not drive an amp like the RM Italy at half power to avoid splatter. And for transceivers with problem numbers (even at 100 watts output) the same thing would happen. Most would tend to run it full out. Unless, they were driving an amp that did not require 100 watts to produce decent output. Otherwise, most people would be tempted to run it full bore.
I think it would be rare for someone to run a transmitter or amp at half power. Not that it does not happen, but, most would want to get all they can out of their equipment. ( listen to the 40 and 80 meter power houses sometimes.............full bore most of the time for the really strong stations)
There are some things that SDR developers can do in software to help reduce IMD on transmit. And as I understand it, the developers of the opensource software for the Anan radios are working on doing just that. And Flex Radio has mentioned on their reflectors that the same is being developed for the 6000 Series radios. So, there are ways to fix the problems.
  I am really leaning towards an Anan 100D or even the Anan 10 at some point in the not so distant future. Even the numbers that I have found on Apache Lab's website, seem to indicate
that the IMD numbers for their radios are pretty good. And with developers working on ways to reduce it even further, then that is a big step in the right direction.
Interesting discussion!!
james
WD5GWY


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: KC9XG on May 09, 2013, 08:13:43 AM
Just got the Apache Labs 100D SDR to replace my ANAN-10.  Works great.  Using G5RV for RX1 and 130 meter horizontal loop for RX2.   Have left speaker on RX1, and right speaker on RX2.   When signal fades on one antenna, it picks up the other one.  You can hear the signal moving from left to right etc.  Fascinating.

The Hermes/Angelia boards can put out a maximum of 600mw, but the Apache Lab ANAN-100 and ANAN-100d get 100 watts out with only 20mw or so of drive.  No clue what the IMD looks like though.

Bill KC9XG


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: NK2F on May 09, 2013, 09:18:17 AM

I know that Zenki can be very frustrating at times with his caustic remarks, but, he does have some valid points. But, he rarely, ever, backs his points up with real statistics. And as I said earlier, he won't give any background, his name or anything like that, that would lend any level
of confidence to his statements. If he said I'm, Joe Smith and I'm an engineer with XYZ corp and have several patents in RF design etc. Then, I would be more inclined to agree with him.
But, when he jumps on products that he is almost certain not to own (Flex 6000 Series) then I have to question his statements.
   I will be very surprised if he comes back to this thread (if at all) and makes any positive, helpful comments on this subject. Much less, offers some background on himself and his qualifications to make those statements.
  Unlike W8JI, who is well known and respected in his field, we know nothing about Zenki other than he is a constant complainer.
james
WD5GWY
 

Best practices are best practices regardless of who is quoting them. Even if Zenki were to reveal his identity there will be plenty of challengers who will ignore his/her credentials and experience and claim they know better, based on their personal experience with bad practices. I have seen this first hand, including with posters in this very thread. IMHO, there is no need for Zenki to reveal his/her true identity.

I am not a PA expert and if I were to look for a design I won't count on the thoughts of this or that person in this forum; instead will hit the library and Amazon for solid sources.


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: W4HIJ on May 09, 2013, 10:20:43 AM

I did not read the entire article on the HLA amps by W8JI but took the time to skim over the important parts. At one point he did find a drive level that produced an acceptable IMD if I recall. I didn't mean to imply it was bad thing to give us "worst case IMD"  but I think more information would be helpful like "half power IMD"  for instance. I would agree that a varying tone test would give us a better indicator of real world use. Not only with voice but with digital.  I mean how many different tones are there in a JT-65 or PSK-31 signal. How about SSTV?  Just saying, "OK I fired this rig up on 40 meters at full power and found the worst case IMD to be X" is not enough information in my opinion and I don't think it's wholly what you should judge the TX on anyway especially considering most ops will not be putting it in a worst case scenario that often. I will take the time, when I can find it, to read more on W8JI's site. Right now I'm planning and researching some new antennas!
73,
Michael, W4HIJ
IF people did drive an amp like the HLA 150 (like the one W8JI used in his tests) with lower drive
it would as he stated result in lower IMD products. If I remember correctly he said if output from the amp was kept to 90 watts or less, then results would be acceptable. The IMD products would still be there, but, much weaker and less noticeable to stations away from the main signal.
But, what some would respond by saying is, most users would drive the amp to full output.
For instance, my Flex 1500 (already noted to have poor IMD numbers on 40 meters, but, decent numbers on the rest of the HF bands, as tested by the ARRL) only puts out 5 watts max.  A lot of users would want to drive the amp with full output from the radio and that would drive it beyond
90 watts to something like 110 watts or so. At that point, problems might occur.
My point in the above statement, is, most, but not all Amateurs, would not drive an amp like the RM Italy at half power to avoid splatter. And for transceivers with problem numbers (even at 100 watts output) the same thing would happen. Most would tend to run it full out. Unless, they were driving an amp that did not require 100 watts to produce decent output. Otherwise, most people would be tempted to run it full bore.
I think it would be rare for someone to run a transmitter or amp at half power. Not that it does not happen, but, most would want to get all they can out of their equipment. ( listen to the 40 and 80 meter power houses sometimes.............full bore most of the time for the really strong stations)
There are some things that SDR developers can do in software to help reduce IMD on transmit. And as I understand it, the developers of the opensource software for the Anan radios are working on doing just that. And Flex Radio has mentioned on their reflectors that the same is being developed for the 6000 Series radios. So, there are ways to fix the problems.
  I am really leaning towards an Anan 100D or even the Anan 10 at some point in the not so distant future. Even the numbers that I have found on Apache Lab's website, seem to indicate
that the IMD numbers for their radios are pretty good. And with developers working on ways to reduce it even further, then that is a big step in the right direction.
Interesting discussion!!
james
WD5GWY

James,
You and I have had a similar discussion to this before. I'll have to concede that a lot of hams will run everything at full output unless conditions such as driving an amp or running digital modes force them not to do so and there are a lot out there who run way too much power on digital and are going to splatter up the bands anyway. However, I still think it's wrong to judge a rig solely on IMD numbers or it's suitability for driving an amplifier based on the worst case of those numbers.  I'd wager there are  a lot of rigs in the market place right now that won't cut the mustard if judging solely by such standards. From what I've read Zenki seems to want to indict every last 12 volt amplifier design out there and that seems pretty outlandish to me. In case he hasn't noticed, 13.8 volts is pretty much the standard for running a modern day transceiver.
73,
Michael, W4HIJ


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: M0HCN on May 09, 2013, 11:18:01 AM
The annoying thing is that at almost no cost (AND without changing the PA in any way) the Anan radios could have provided a way to significantly improve the transmitter performance.

Adding a relay to switch the rx input to sample the forward power would have allowed either semi open loop adaptive predistortion (And could be done entirely in the baseband processing computer) or a cartesian loop (Really needs to be in the fpga), either of which should be good for 20dB improvement without breaking any sweat at all, and 30+db of improvement is possible.
-31dB ref PEP (From the Anan100D brochure) really is not great, -51 would be almost best in breed....
Even if nothing else, it would have allowed the waterfall to show the transmit spectrum as measured.

In the case of the 100D, it would have been possible to go one better, and sample both current and voltage at the aerial socket, which means that load mag Z and phase angle could be calculated. This opens up some interesting possibilities if one was to get smart with the drain power supply to the fets (This would obviously need PA changes).

Now granted, it is not a massive thing if starting with a hermes or similar to add that relay and appropriate attenuators and such, but it would have been nearly trivial to integrate onto the PA board in the ANAN series rigs and would have made all sorts of improvements only a software patch away.

73 Dan.


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: PJ2BVU on May 09, 2013, 12:33:52 PM
The annoying thing is that at almost no cost (AND without changing the PA in any way) the Anan radios could have provided a way to significantly improve the transmitter performance.

Adding a relay to switch the rx input to sample the forward power would have allowed either semi open loop adaptive predistortion (And could be done entirely in the baseband processing computer) or a cartesian loop (Really needs to be in the fpga), either of which should be good for 20dB improvement without breaking any sweat at all, and 30+db of improvement is possible.
-31dB ref PEP (From the Anan100D brochure) really is not great, -51 would be almost best in breed....
Even if nothing else, it would have allowed the waterfall to show the transmit spectrum as measured.

In the case of the 100D, it would have been possible to go one better, and sample both current and voltage at the aerial socket, which means that load mag Z and phase angle could be calculated. This opens up some interesting possibilities if one was to get smart with the drain power supply to the fets (This would obviously need PA changes).

Now granted, it is not a massive thing if starting with a hermes or similar to add that relay and appropriate attenuators and such, but it would have been nearly trivial to integrate onto the PA board in the ANAN series rigs and would have made all sorts of improvements only a software patch away.

73 Dan.

You visibly do not follow the HPSDR reflector and listen to the weekly TeamSpeak audio. Such work is currently being done but is not yet prime for distribution in the current release of the software.
Using LDMOS 50V PA the TX IMD is improved by 30dB, less for BJT or other types of MosFets (no numbers yet published for these type of transistors).
When the software is available the improvement in TX IMD can be added at almost no cost: a RF sampler + attenuator and a relay which can be switched by one of the several digital outputs available on Hermes/Angelia boards.
As of today any rig using Hermes/Angelia can monitor and MEASURE its own TX IMD.

Jean-Claude PJ2BVU


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: M0HCN on May 09, 2013, 02:40:05 PM
I am aware of the work, and was mainly bemoaning the missed opportunity to distribute a semi turn key radio with the required sampler, pad and relay preinstalled.

It is not an issue for you and me, but I get the feeling that the average purchaser of a 100D might be quite happy to upgrade the software and FPGA bitstream, but rather less happy to do the admittedly minor hardware hack required. 

I will probably end up getting a hermes, for all that what I would really like is an anglia logic board (The high speed IO port looks kind of interesting), as I am finding the time to spend with altium working up my own version is hard to come by.

Regards, Dan.


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: NI0Z on May 09, 2013, 07:11:15 PM
It seems like there are a lot of cool things in the works for these radios, I know I am looking forward to mine.  Look for an interesting announcement at Dayton as well.

What's ironic in a way as just as Flex has moved the processing back to the radio, it looks like the possibilities of processing at the PC might up the Antne!

These are becoming exciting SDR times!

Lets see what unfolds!

NI0Z


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: W4HIJ on May 10, 2013, 09:25:24 AM
It seems like there are a lot of cool things in the works for these radios, I know I am looking forward to mine.  Look for an interesting announcement at Dayton as well.

What's ironic in a way as just as Flex has moved the processing back to the radio, it looks like the possibilities of processing at the PC might up the Antne!

These are becoming exciting SDR times!

Lets see what unfolds!

NI0Z
Yes, the competition benefits us all. Maybe someday I will see my dream of a turn key or near turn key, 2M/70cm all mode SDR designed exclusively for weak signal and satellite work.
73,
Michael, W4HIJ


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: N0YXB on May 10, 2013, 02:20:45 PM
Yes, the competition benefits us all. Maybe someday I will see my dream of a turn key or near turn key, 2M/70cm all mode SDR designed exclusively for weak signal and satellite work.
73,
Michael, W4HIJ


That sounds awesome to me.


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: M0HCN on May 11, 2013, 03:21:57 AM
Yes, the competition benefits us all. Maybe someday I will see my dream of a turn key or near turn key, 2M/70cm all mode SDR designed exclusively for weak signal and satellite work.
I am not quite sure what exclusively for means in this context, and I will grant that it would not quite be turnkey, but if you took a hermes and pulled the anti alias filter, then preceded it with a suitable pair of BPFs and LNAs, you would come close by running it as a subsampler (The sample and hold bandwidth is ~700MHz).
The ADC noise figure does argue for quite a bit of front end gain, so you would need those filters.

Providing a VHF and UHF input path was one of the motivations for me trying to find the time to cook my own version.

73, Dan.


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: G7CNF on May 19, 2013, 06:27:21 AM
Bringing the topic back to OP.

One thing that has not thus far been mentioned is the duty cycle of the transmitter. The Flex 6x00 has, in line with it predecessors, kept with a 100% duty TX whereas reading the Anan 100D manual it states quite clearly that the output must be restricted to 30w for high duty modes. I can bear witness that the Flex-5000 will key-down indefinitely at full rated output.

For a UK OM with an average amp this is not an issue but for our NA cousins and anyone else with a legal power more than the UK's 400w this might well mean yet another interim PA in order to drive the QRO to full power. . . I suspect there might be more than a few who will be caught out by this. Needless to say this would not improve IMD. I thought that quite important to bring up.

I also haven't noted any mention of an ATU?? The 6x00 has an ATU whereas the Anans do not. Not a big thing for some, a show-stopper for others.

The Anan's RX stops at 55MHz but the 6500 goes to 77MHz which includes the rapidly increasing international allocations on 4m (70MHz). The 6700 includes 2m RX. Just how good is anyone's guess though but it is there.

The phase noise for both radios seems about equal but I have it written here somewhere but cannot reference it right now, that when the phase noise was measured on the 6x00's the design spec was exceeded by an order of magnitude, making the guys at Flex 'smile'. Again without figures this is little more than conjecture but worth noting for those for whom it matters.

In a world where our market surveillance authorities have failed us (us being users of the EM spectrum) the performance of either the Flex or Anan will be well-below the noise floor and thus a moot point for many. My 5K might have an MDS of -135 in places but I haven't any bands where my noise floor is that low and I'm certain that I'm not alone. And it is only going to get worse, especially with the 10,000 fold output power increase in powerline networking products which was agreed due to the lack of interest by the relevant amateur representatives. . .

My take is that it matters much less how far into a disappearing noise floor a radio can dig but rather how it can pull weak stations from among the big guns and sporadic E front-end-cracking openings without gain compression.


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: HAMMYGUY on May 19, 2013, 10:20:54 AM
The Apache Labs Anan-100D look very interesting.  However does anybody have concerns about longevity of this India company?  Almost $3000 bucks to drop on the latest and greatest SDR is not cheap.  At least in this regard Flex-Radio has been around for quite some time.  

I remember the WonderRadio built in India (the SDR-1000 clone) that wasn't around very long. I think they started in mid 2008 and by early 2009 the manufacturer SDRTec had shut down its website.  They left a few buyers hanging from what I gather just reading a thread here on eHam. Shortly thereafter the main boards started showing up cheap on various sites.  


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: NI0Z on May 19, 2013, 06:56:01 PM
The Apache Labs Anan-100D look very interesting.  However does anybody have concerns about longevity of this India company?  Almost $3000 bucks to drop on the latest and greatest SDR is not cheap.  At least in this regard Flex-Radio has been around for quite some time.  

I remember the WonderRadio built in India (the SDR-1000 clone) that wasn't around very long. I think they started in mid 2008 and by early 2009 the manufacturer SDRTec had shut down its website.  They left a few buyers hanging from what I gather just reading a thread here on eHam. Shortly thereafter the main boards started showing up cheap on various sites.  

Of course there is a risk ordering from over seas, perhaps what is a little different here is the design is pretty much open source. 

One can buy a 100D Angelina board separate if you want as a backup.  So far they have been shipping as promised.  There are some US Hams helping support them as well. 

Probably the big difference here in my mind is you are buying an experimental product with the Anan 100D.  Some make take offense at that, however it is what it is, although its a very evolved experimental radio and the 100D is very much over engineered for the future.

The problem today though is many products you buy can have companies go out of business on you. 

Keep reading up on them before you buy and only buy if and when your comfortable.  More and more hams are getting their 100Ds now so we will get the real skinny soon.


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: ZENKI on May 20, 2013, 05:15:32 AM
I do, but I will believe it when I see a  practical working example. At the moment its all hot air. I am however optimistic that pre-distortion delivered and will be  of great benefit to the ham radio service. At the moment however we hear all these radios on the air splattering  with  cheap CB PA designs. I have heard more Anans on the air with cheap RM italy amplifiers causing havoc,  the kit producers dont even aspire towards producing a decent higher voltage FET amp. This clearly shows how  the priority is for producing a amplifier design with superior IMD performance. Heck a pair  of MRF150s can produce -40db 3rd products without trying so why  go for a cheap bipolar design in such a high performance radio. Some in the HPSDR group needs to reset their design priorities. The Flex6700 will be in the same boat, excellent receiver and opportunity to produce world class transmitter squandered. For the price that they are charging I would have expected a PA design with at least -40db 3rd order performance. Homebrewers  are doing this now, why cant a manufactured  radio that costs 6000 dollar achieve this performance? The answer is simple because hams dont really understand the importance of the issues and the designers of radios like the Flex60000 are maximizing their profits. Look at the Kenwood TS990S. A 8000 dollar radio with -24db 3rd IMD performance on the higher bands. Thats a disgrace for a 8000 dollar radio.

Anyway pre-distortion and the cartesian loop systems is the way forward. Maybe Icoms new radio will adopt this new technology. However I am skeptical because look at the IC7800 they spend more effort making the S-meter look pretty and dancing correctly rather than calibrating the S-meter. With these poor priorities I dont expect any ham  equipment manufacturer to produce a clean transmitter.  The sad part about this is that I can buy 1500 dollar marine transmitter that has better dynamic IMD performance that meets ITU standards  and one that runs on 12 volts. I wonder why Icom can produce  marine transmitters that can meet ITU standards and then sell 10,000 garbage radio models to the ham radio service. Hams have to stand up and complain that these crap transmitter designs  need to be removed from the market place. I know you understand this issue, its a shame more hams dont get it. We starting to buy radios like CB'ers if it has knobs and a cool name it must be good regardless of the performance!

The annoying thing is that at almost no cost (AND without changing the PA in any way) the Anan radios could have provided a way to significantly improve the transmitter performance.

Adding a relay to switch the rx input to sample the forward power would have allowed either semi open loop adaptive predistortion (And could be done entirely in the baseband processing computer) or a cartesian loop (Really needs to be in the fpga), either of which should be good for 20dB improvement without breaking any sweat at all, and 30+db of improvement is possible.
-31dB ref PEP (From the Anan100D brochure) really is not great, -51 would be almost best in breed....
Even if nothing else, it would have allowed the waterfall to show the transmit spectrum as measured.

In the case of the 100D, it would have been possible to go one better, and sample both current and voltage at the aerial socket, which means that load mag Z and phase angle could be calculated. This opens up some interesting possibilities if one was to get smart with the drain power supply to the fets (This would obviously need PA changes).

Now granted, it is not a massive thing if starting with a hermes or similar to add that relay and appropriate attenuators and such, but it would have been nearly trivial to integrate onto the PA board in the ANAN series rigs and would have made all sorts of improvements only a software patch away.

73 Dan.

You visibly do not follow the HPSDR reflector and listen to the weekly TeamSpeak audio. Such work is currently being done but is not yet prime for distribution in the current release of the software.
Using LDMOS 50V PA the TX IMD is improved by 30dB, less for BJT or other types of MosFets (no numbers yet published for these type of transistors).
When the software is available the improvement in TX IMD can be added at almost no cost: a RF sampler + attenuator and a relay which can be switched by one of the several digital outputs available on Hermes/Angelia boards.
As of today any rig using Hermes/Angelia can monitor and MEASURE its own TX IMD.

Jean-Claude PJ2BVU


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: NI0Z on May 20, 2013, 10:33:03 AM
Whats the ROI for a Transciever manufacturer for improved transmit?  So few people understand it or value it.    Until someone makes it a buzzword in Ham Radio I doubt we will see it much. 

My two unpopular cents!

Fortunately I might get it in my Anan some day.  :)


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: G4VGO on December 17, 2016, 01:47:10 PM
I owned a Flex 6300, bought an ANAN 10E and compared them A/B on my band of interest - 160 meters.

Short summary:  I sold the Flex 6300 and now have an ANAN 100D and the ANAN 10E.  My only Flex radio is the 1500 which I have set up as a dedicated CW Skimmer machine.

The fact that I am not a REAL contester, only a S+P sort of operator the 100D is great on CW, fantastic on RTTY, and fabulous on SSB. 

I have been a ham for more than 50 years and wish I had another 50 so I could watch the SDR evolve into what it surely must be - a brave new world.

My 2 cents worth

73 de Bob KH6KG

also G4VGO 9V1GO YB5AQB YI9CC SV0BV etc etc


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: W9OY on December 17, 2016, 04:35:16 PM
I'm also a low band op and I sold the 100D and bought a 6700

73  W9OY


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: WB8VLC on December 17, 2016, 10:38:09 PM
Ugh, Darn and I was hoping for a good majority review to decide on a new rig, either an Anan or a Flex.

But now this isn't gonna be easy as the last 2 post are 50% for the Anan and 50% for the Flex.

I sure wish we had a E-HAM electoral college review board to break ties so I could decide.

Oh what the H, I'm such a cheap ham I'll just hold on to my 25 year old no problem Kwd TS-690S and put my money into Aluminum and make my own antennas.


Title: RE: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D
Post by: W3RSW on December 18, 2016, 10:22:04 AM
The original post is a three year old necro. Might be fun when starting a new thread to see how both have improved in the years since before making up your mind. Flex and Anan usuable software and features have improved. Software on the Anan has several GUI program choices too.

Anan's coming out with a new radio as others have mentioned in recent threads.  See the headline advert here :

https://apache-labs.com