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Author Topic: SDR Tech Future?  (Read 15963 times)
N5RWJ
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« on: November 19, 2011, 01:20:41 PM »

Seem very slow to take over from analog radio. Why?
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W6RMK
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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2011, 09:17:22 PM »

depends on the market.  In the wireless market in general, SDR is dominant. 

In amateur radio, which has user requirements that are fairly unusual compared to most radio services, there's also a fair amount of tradition and long lasting surplus hardware.  There are a LOT of hams using >20year old gear which serves perfectly well.

Out of the 700,000 or so licensed amateurs, a pretty small fraction buy a new radio in any given year.
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N5RWJ
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« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2011, 03:37:55 PM »

Wonder what Flex radio has to say?
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N5RWJ
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2011, 11:48:20 AM »

depends on the market.  In the wireless market in general, SDR is dominant. 

In amateur radio, which has user requirements that are fairly unusual compared to most radio services, there's also a fair amount of tradition and long lasting surplus hardware.  There are a LOT of hams using >20year old gear which serves perfectly well.

Out of the 700,000 or so licensed amateurs, a pretty small fraction buy a new radio in any given year.
* Some say out of that 700,000, that half are Technicians that work VHF, or have lost interest in ham radio, so that must also hurt?
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W6RMK
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2011, 08:33:18 PM »

could be..

Amateur radio has lots of different aspects, and for some of them, SDR isn't interesting in itself, nor a solution to a problem. If your interest is in restoring boat anchors then SDR isn't for you.

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NI0Z
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« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2011, 06:54:56 AM »

My two cents as a newbie based on my observations is the following.

Ham radio hobby appears to mainly consist of long time operators having a deep and long history of using knobbed radios.  Change is not very appealing for them.

If You look at Yaesu, there road into the SDR realm is to give you really nice transceivers and that make the computer a peripheral rather than the heart of the radio.  Much more appealing to traditional hams and far more marketable because you get a good traditional radio that can be expanded into the computer world.  The problem with that paradigm right now is lag in the displays and yes, the same RF issues that many straight SDR users face.

To me, a logical step in evolution would be to marry the computer and radio together in a traditional radio cabinet with knobs.  I have added knobs to my Flex 5000 and like it 10 times more than without. Traditional  Computers though are giant RFI generators, so design wise this needs to be accounted for and shielding within a radio like I am describing would be very important.

One roadmap for SDR would be to integrate a computer in the radio, offer traditional knobs for many of the functions, programmable knobs that the user can assign, and the ability to filter like the Flex and other radios due with software.  Also, these radios would be software upgradeable like the Flex is through Power SDR.  The result is the best of both worlds, a cool slick radio with traditional controls with a state of the art software programmable and upgradeable feature set.

Power SDR needs work in my opinion.  The marriage of say FleX Pad by woodboxradio and the Panadaptor displays of POwer SDR would be nice.

Also, it would be nice to see a true open source tol set that manufactures could bundle with their radios that has everything already set up for the digital modes, contesting, ect.  Many people don't seem to enjoy the thrill of getting things to work, so a ready install able package on the Computer would make things more attractive as well as a radio that has already minimized the RFI issues of marrying a computer and a radio.  Lag issues need to be addressed as well, however, having the computer in the radio would solve a lot of that since the radio would have direct high speed access to the computer and visa versa.

A self contained version of Linux or something like the would be great.  Also the ability to still interface to your regular PC! Mac or whatever would allow users to use other software if they like.

Honestly, SDR as it stands today can be pretty challenging and even difficult to manage depending on a persons circumstances and operating environment.  Change is something that I have learned that most people don't deal with very well.  I find that the older I get the more difficult change is to embrace.  We are in an aging hobby and sometimes less is more.  I have tuned my station installation to such a point that I don't use most of the available features.  The Panadaptor though is huge and the true golden handcuffs for me!

NI0Z

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NI0Z
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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2011, 08:44:12 AM »

Here is the FX-Pad link.  So if you put a touch display like this on the a flex like SDR with the computer inside and some knobs you can you can see a possible future.  The FX-Pad would be ultra nice if it could display the Panadaptor and waterfall as well.

http://www.woodboxradio.com/uk/FXpad.html

NI0Z
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M0HCN
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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2011, 09:57:18 AM »

Got to admit that I personally despise touchscreen interfaces. Sure they are a great way to cram a lot of stuff in without needing complex metalwork, but I find them very tiring to use (there are specific exceptions), damm it I just like tactile feedback.

Probably the optimum is a hybrid with a touchscreen for the seldom used stuff and proper controls for the stuff you need all the time (Which probably varies by user!).

Lots of radios (probably the majority) have computers built in these days, they just are not PCs.

On the latency issue, building in the computer does not solve that, what does is doing the baseband processing in a dedicated processor that can work sample by sample rather then working in blocks. This pretty much means bare metal with the processing done in a ISR (tricky to debug but it can be done). This is one place where including a real DSP chip is a win.

I am thinking of stuffing a little ARM board in my latest homebrew to handle things like data modes, user configuration, CAT and such, maybe a OMAP or something from simtech, it may well end up running some variant on linux. Conventional PC boards tend to run excessively hot, and are difficult to adequately screen (Even when all the RF and IF stages are in screening cans).

Regards, Dan.
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PJ2BVU
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2011, 08:09:36 AM »

SDR = Flex Huh
While Flex is the only company advertising a commercial SDR transceiver most modern transceivers are SDRs.
Icom 746/756, 7000 series.
Yaesu FT-2000 and above.
Ten Tec Orions and Eagle.
Elecraft K3.
QRP SDR transceivers are also coming: Elecraft KX3, Ten Tec 539.

Jean-Claude PJ2BVU

Note: ADAT is also advertising a SDR transceiver but it is barely advertised.
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N5RWJ
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« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2011, 11:00:55 AM »

Well ten-tec had that nice 526 all mode 6m and 2m radio, here on E-HAM reviews it got a 4.1 out of 5 . Maybe they could be encourage to build us SDR version  with more top bands.www.tentec.com give them a call?
« Last Edit: November 27, 2011, 02:01:45 PM by N5RWJ » Logged
W7MJM
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« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2011, 12:56:21 PM »

Larry Post's < www.telepostinc.com > $200 Telepan SDR-IQ interface introduced me to the SDR world. I run it with a 20-year-old Kenwood TS-950SDX and get to experience the best of both worlds; knob tuning with the Kenwood's analog plus digital filters or click-and-go panadapter tuning of both an SDR receiver and my Kenwood. I think such "bridge" technologies will bring many older hams into exploration of what SDR has to offer.
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N5RWJ
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« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2011, 04:44:36 PM »

When SDR and our current analog radios are integrated, into one unit then it will take off. Depending on price point. High price  will slow acceptance.
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N5RWJ
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« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2011, 03:41:06 PM »

When SDR and our current analog radios are integrated, into one unit then it will take off. Depending on price point. High price  will slow acceptance.
**It looks to me, that a lot  of analog radios, are starting use SDR design . Two that i have seen ,are the ten-tec eagle and new QRP 539 ( not release yet). I know theirs a lot more brands?  But more important is were this tread is taking us. Anyone  care to Guess?**
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N5RWJ
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Posts: 461




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« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2011, 06:36:47 PM »

SDR = Flex Huh
While Flex is the only company advertising a commercial SDR transceiver most modern transceivers are SD Rs.
Icon 746/756, 7000 series.
Yeas FT-2000 and above.
Ten Tec Orions and Eagle.
Elecraft K3.
QRP SDR transceivers are also coming: Elecraft KX3, Ten Tec 539.

Jean-Claude PJ2BVU

Note: ADAT is also advertising a SDR transceiver but it is barely advertised.
Jean ,what is this trend leading us too, or what is at the end of this road?
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 06:40:54 PM by N5RWJ » Logged
WB4LCN
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« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2011, 07:10:40 PM »

Here is the FX-Pad link.  So if you put a touch display like this on the a flex like SDR with the computer inside and some knobs you can you can see a possible future.  The FX-Pad would be ultra nice if it could display the Panadaptor and waterfall as well.

http://www.woodboxradio.com/uk/FXpad.html

NI0Z

Nice link, Everstar! Check this out:

http://www.woodboxradio.com/uk/FX5000.html


The panadapter is killer tho. Wonder if you could merge the two?

dave
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First, make it work, then make it pretty.
Yaesu Rigs: Kenwood TS-480HX, FT-8900R, FTM-350AR (Bluetooth motorcycle mobile), VX-8DR, SB-102 boat anchor (built one as a kid)

Moderate Spock: "Live for a reasonable amount of time and scrape by."
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