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Author Topic: SDR tech inevitable?  (Read 5336 times)
AA4PB
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Posts: 12980




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« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2010, 07:36:50 AM »

Does it operated with a Dell PC and sound card? :-)
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KF6QEX
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Posts: 608




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« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2010, 08:49:40 AM »

AA4PB & K9IUQ, I'd love to see'em !

Got links?

I'm trying to resist splitting hairs, I guess anyone reading both posts will draw their own conclusions as to the "done already" claim Smiley

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W6RMK
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Posts: 659




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« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2010, 07:44:52 AM »

The Flex 5K is available as a "all in one, no PC required" box.  There are a variety of SDRS with embedded processors (e.g. theIC7000) with fixed function, but I suspect that what the original posters were talking about was SDR with "user changeable" software, and that is a smaller segment.   A commercial vendor (Icom, Kenwood, etc.) faces some regulatory problems with a totally open platform.

And, today, a lot of hams who are interested in SDR are interested as an "adjunct" to their regular station, so they want a lower entry price; just to try it out.  Leveraging the omnipresent PC to do that helps, at the expense of a fair number of compatibility hassles (what do you mean I have to upgrade my 386 from DOS3.1 to run the Flex?).  

Over time, as the regulatory and other issues get resolved, I suspect we'll see more "user upgradeable" radios, with software upgrades produced by the manufacturer (Ten Tec Argonaut V, for instance). "user programmable" in the "do anything with the radio" sense will always be a niche market, conceptually no different than homebrew amplifier builders or antenna builders.
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W9OY
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« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2010, 06:47:15 PM »

Plug into your computer sound card?  If you are referring to the Flex, what planet are you on?  Those radios haven't "plugged into a sound card" for many years.  

73  W9OY
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W6RMK
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Posts: 659




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« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2010, 07:37:12 PM »

Considering the Flex 5000 was *announced* in April 07, demo'ed in May at Dayton. (I don't recall when they started shipping, but it was certainly before the end of the year)...
In any event, let's call it significant sales in 2008 and 2009, and I'll bet that Flex was still selling SDR1Ks well into 2008, if not 2009, and the SDR1k does "plug into a soundcard"  (and folks are still selling SDR1Ks on the used market)

so, I don't think that's really "years" since Flex SDRs plugged into a sound card, especially in the context of lots of hams who are using radios made 50 years ago.
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KF6QEX
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Posts: 608




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« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2010, 10:26:48 PM »

>>You can get the links the same way I did. Google.

Why didn't I think of that? !!  Smiley

Obviously if I had found something that resembles a radio "face" ,
that can control the Flex, I wouldn't have claimed it doesn't exist.
I wouldn't be asking for a link from you, not to mention I would have
spent any time typing.



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KF6QEX
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Posts: 608




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« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2010, 10:48:01 PM »

Burt is excited about The FLEX 5000. That does it for me.

Now I know I really don't wish I had one.

Yikes & Yuck.

I once again predict:
Some of Burt's videos will go away soon
Unless the videos were produced before and after the attitude adjustment....no...wait...the attitude is the same...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWE7FrVY9T4&feature=fvw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnidaUi2L_8&feature=player_embedded
« Last Edit: February 26, 2010, 10:55:33 PM by Dimitri Patakidis » Logged
KF6QEX
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Posts: 608




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« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2010, 06:34:17 AM »

>http://www.flex-radio.com/Products.aspx?topic=F5K_accessories

LMAO!!! Obviously you are missing the point. Or not.

I'll stand by my original predictions which apparrently contrary to your unproven or misproven claims still have not taken place.



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W9OY
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« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2010, 09:24:19 PM »

Although it is still actively supported by PSDR, the SDR-1000 became obsolete in 2007.  This is 2010.  You do the math.

With the introduction of the F5K, sound card based SDR in the Flex world also became obsolete.  There are a few "kit" radios like the Softrock series that still use computer sound cards.

73  W9OY
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W6RMK
Member

Posts: 659




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« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2010, 10:22:36 AM »

Hmm.  A bit of math.. at the risk of beating the moribund equine.. Flex sold SDR1Ks in 2008. When did the FIRST F5K (non-beta test) version ship?.  An email from Gerald in JUNE of 2007 said:
"PC board production started the first week of May"
I think some were delivered in June/July, but as
John reported on 16 November: "Today's shipment of radios marks the first time that we will have met our posted delivery schedule for A models."


So, let's say the 5000 was "readily available at the end of 2007.  About 2 1/2 years ago.

Flex was selling lots of SDR1Ks into 2008, judging from comments on the mailing list.  Tough to figure out when it disappeared from the website, since the wayback machine can't retrieve it.

"Those radios haven't "plugged into a sound card" for *many* years. "

I take *many* to be something significantly greater than 2.
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WA3YAY
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Posts: 26




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« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2010, 04:31:25 PM »

Technology marches on. I just bought the little SoftRock v9.0 Lite Receiver kit to chomp on. For sixty bucks I can play to my hearts content. If I like it, and from playing with some of the free software and sample 'audio' files, I should.

I could see the rigs shrinking to the size of an Altoids tin very easily.

http://minrad.blogspot.com/
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N2EY
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Posts: 3909




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« Reply #26 on: April 02, 2010, 05:17:28 PM »

Let's look at history....

From the beginning of Amateur Radio until about the mid-1950s, hams used separate transmitters and receivers, at least on HF. This made perfect sense in for at least half a century, as the technology of radio developed and improved.

Then hams began to get the idea of using the same VFO to tune both the receiver and transmitter. The first versions shared only the VFO, using various heterodyne tricks to get the transmitted and receive frequencies exactly the same.

About the same time (mid-1950s), many hams were beginning to use SSB. One of the main problems with the mode was the complexity and cost of the transmitter, particularly if the filter method was used. Another problem was the skill needed to accurately zero-beat with separate transmitters and receivers. With AM or CW an error of 200 Hz or so was no big deal but with SSB that wasn't good enough.

Then somebody (probably at Collins Radio) came up with the idea of the HF SSB transceiver, using all the same oscillators, the SSB filter, and many of the tuned circuits for both transmit and receive. This radically reduced the cost and size of an HF SSB/CW rig, while eliminating the task of zero-beating completely.

Soon there were lots of HF transceivers on the amateur market. Some, like the Cosmophone, were made by unknown companies and didn't catch on. Others, like the KWM-2, started a revolution.

Of course at first the compromises of transceiver design were many, and "separates" were still the best performers. Many rigmakers produced both transceivers and separates that could be hooked together to transceive:

Collins had the KWM-2 and the S-line
Drake had the TR-3 and TR-4, and the R-4/T-4X line
Heathkit had the SB-100/101/102 and the SB-300/400 pairs

And that's just the ones I remember; there were many more.

When the Ikensu folks showed up in the US amateur radio market, they made both transceivers and separates.

The first few generations of amateur HF transceivers were full of compromises and shortcomings. Their main advantages were small size, ease of use, and low cost. But top performance required separates - usually matched-pairs that could transceive.

Over time, rigmakers began to put more features and better performance into their transceivers. The advantages of "separates" over transceivers began to disappear. By the late 1970s the differences were almost gone. By the early 1980s, rigmakers started quietly dropping "separates" and began selling only transceivers.

Of course there are still lots of separates around, and a ham can always choose to build them. More than a few hams prefer the older technologies, for a bunch of reasons. There are plenty of rigs from the separates era still on the air today.

But when it comes to new-ham-rig sales, transceivers have almost all of it.

Will the same sort of thing happen with SDRs? I don't know, but it wouldn't surprise me.

I remember when a PC in a hamshack was a rare thing, not because hams didn't like them, but because even a basic one cost a small fortune - much more than even a top-of-the-line transceiver. And those early PCs went from cutting-edge to doorstop in just a few years.

But now a shack computer really isn't that big an expense. This is particularly true if you get a refurb, hand-me-down or know how to assemble one.

I saw the end of the separates era and the beginnings of the transceiver era. It could happen again with SDR, and for similar reasons.

73 de Jim, N2EY



 
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W5DQ
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« Reply #27 on: April 06, 2010, 01:45:46 PM »

K9IUQ:
"The radio Face is MUCH bigger (got mine on a 26' monitor)....."

26 footer?  That is one BIG monitor.

I like it. Where can I get one Smiley))

Gene
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
N3OX
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Posts: 8847


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« Reply #28 on: April 08, 2010, 06:40:04 PM »

I like it. Where can I get one Smiley))

Gene

http://www.unplggd.com/uimages/unplggd/060908_sz_24monitors.jpg
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
KJ4SLP
Member

Posts: 22




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« Reply #29 on: April 25, 2010, 11:49:43 AM »

Knobs!  What is this thing about knobs?  I was dreaming up a rant about people who suffer from knob addiction until I remembered that when I began in SWL at age 8, I pored over the catalogs looking for the receivers that had the MOST KNOBS.  Knobs!  I wanted KNOBS!!!

Happily, I grew up.
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