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Author Topic: Configuring an SDR as a Second Receiver  (Read 6227 times)
WA6MJE
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Posts: 71




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« on: November 24, 2012, 09:23:23 AM »

I would like to deploy one of the better SDR receivers, and there are several to choose from.  My essential feature is bandwidth wider than 192khz.  There are several SDR receivers that would work, but none of them come as a transceiver, yet (barring the Flex radio brand, and I already have the Flex 1500, and Flex is limited to 192khz).  Thus, there is no reason I could not use the transmitter side of my existing Icom transceiver together with the SDR receiver and in essence have most of the benefits of the SDR world.

The devil is in the details.  I would need an SDR receiver that used software that would interface with CAT commands that would trigger the receiver mute and transmitter and antenna relay, or perhaps something like Ham Radio Deluxe to oversee all of this process. I am aiming at digital modes, so the entire process would have to tie into the digital software as well. 

I would dread trying to configure all of this on a trial and error basis until I found a configuration of hardware and software that would integrate together to get the job done.

Hence I am hoping that someone has already done this with a SDR receiver as in essence a second receiver for their knob type stand alone transceiver and would share how it was that you got it all to work together.  The design of the integration hardware and software specification is what is keeping me from jumping deeper into SDR with more power and more panadapter bandwidth than I have with my Flex 1500. 

Otherwise I must wait for the Flex 6500 or one of the others to get a 100 W transceiver with more than 192khz wide panadapter off the ground.  I am 67 years old, been ham for 55 of them, and do not have much time left for waiting  Smiley 
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ND6P
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Posts: 93




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« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2012, 07:31:25 PM »

Here is a way of doing this with a Kenwood, but it may work with ICOM as well.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/wadei/HOWTO_TS-590S_with_SDR_IQ.pdf
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KE5JPP
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« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2012, 04:53:15 AM »

I would like to deploy one of the better SDR receivers, and there are several to choose from.  My essential feature is bandwidth wider than 192khz.  There are several SDR receivers that would work, but none of them come as a transceiver, yet (barring the Flex radio brand, and I already have the Flex 1500, and Flex is limited to 192khz).  Thus, there is no reason I could not use the transmitter side of my existing Icom transceiver together with the SDR receiver and in essence have most of the benefits of the SDR world.

The devil is in the details.  I would need an SDR receiver that used software that would interface with CAT commands that would trigger the receiver mute and transmitter and antenna relay, or perhaps something like Ham Radio Deluxe to oversee all of this process. I am aiming at digital modes, so the entire process would have to tie into the digital software as well. 

I would dread trying to configure all of this on a trial and error basis until I found a configuration of hardware and software that would integrate together to get the job done.

Hence I am hoping that someone has already done this with a SDR receiver as in essence a second receiver for their knob type stand alone transceiver and would share how it was that you got it all to work together.  The design of the integration hardware and software specification is what is keeping me from jumping deeper into SDR with more power and more panadapter bandwidth than I have with my Flex 1500. 

Otherwise I must wait for the Flex 6500 or one of the others to get a 100 W transceiver with more than 192khz wide panadapter off the ground.  I am 67 years old, been ham for 55 of them, and do not have much time left for waiting  Smiley 

Hello,

Before purchasing a QS1E exciter for my QS1R receiver, I used (and still occasionally do use) my QS1R as a second receiver with my Kenwood TS-590S.  Both radios are synced via the CAT connection.  Before the TS-590S, I had an ICOM IC-7000 that I used in the same way with a CV-I CAT connection to the QS1R.  It worked flawlessly too.  With the QS1R you can see up from 20 kHz to 2 MHz of bandwidth which is much more than the Flex stuff.

Gene
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KE5JPP
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« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2012, 04:55:33 AM »

Here is a way of doing this with a Kenwood, but it may work with ICOM as well.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/wadei/HOWTO_TS-590S_with_SDR_IQ.pdf

With the SDR-IQ, you still only get about 190 kHz of spectrum.  He said he wanted more than that, so this is not a solution for him.

Gene
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WA6MJE
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Posts: 71




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« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2012, 09:12:27 AM »


Before purchasing a QS1E exciter for my QS1R receiver, I used (and still occasionally do use) my QS1R as a second receiver with my Kenwood TS-590S.  Both radios are synced via the CAT connection.  Before the TS-590S, I had an ICOM IC-7000 that I used in the same way with a CV-I CAT connection to the QS1R.  It worked flawlessly too.  With the QS1R you can see up from 20 kHz to 2 MHz of bandwidth which is much more than the Flex stuff.

Gene


Both comments are great suggestions, and get me both hopeful and pointed in the right direction.

Gene.  Since I have the Icom 7000 and since the QS1R is an excellent choice for my needs, your station configuration seems spot on for me.  My IC 7000 works well with HRD, and Signal Link for all digital mode communications, so I do not fear the computer/CAT side of things. 

I would appreciate greater detail on how you go the QS1R and IC 7000 to live together. What antenna switch did you use?  What SDR software did you use with the QS1R.  And of course other than the USB CAT cable from the IC 7000 which I have working well now, what other hard wired connections did you make with the IC7000 if any. 

I am excited over this configuration.  If I can get the QS1R to work well with the IC7000 transmitter, it would seem that I have move light years forward in performance and technology with that combination while I await better offerings in SDR transceivers.

The advice from the two posts here saves me a lot of trial and error frustration.

73s - Rene WA6MJE 
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KE5JPP
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« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2012, 09:07:45 AM »


Before purchasing a QS1E exciter for my QS1R receiver, I used (and still occasionally do use) my QS1R as a second receiver with my Kenwood TS-590S.  Both radios are synced via the CAT connection.  Before the TS-590S, I had an ICOM IC-7000 that I used in the same way with a CV-I CAT connection to the QS1R.  It worked flawlessly too.  With the QS1R you can see up from 20 kHz to 2 MHz of bandwidth which is much more than the Flex stuff.

Gene


Both comments are great suggestions, and get me both hopeful and pointed in the right direction.

Gene.  Since I have the Icom 7000 and since the QS1R is an excellent choice for my needs, your station configuration seems spot on for me.  My IC 7000 works well with HRD, and Signal Link for all digital mode communications, so I do not fear the computer/CAT side of things.  

I would appreciate greater detail on how you go the QS1R and IC 7000 to live together. What antenna switch did you use?  What SDR software did you use with the QS1R.  And of course other than the USB CAT cable from the IC 7000 which I have working well now, what other hard wired connections did you make with the IC7000 if any.  

I am excited over this configuration.  If I can get the QS1R to work well with the IC7000 transmitter, it would seem that I have move light years forward in performance and technology with that combination while I await better offerings in SDR transceivers.

The advice from the two posts here saves me a lot of trial and error frustration.

73s - Rene WA6MJE  

For suggestions on antenna switches, search the QS1R yahoo group as well as the Wiki.  It has been discussed a lot on the group.  I use an antenna switch from DX Engineering and I also have a home built one I use. http://www.dxengineering.com/parts/dxe-rtr-1 Another possibility for an antenna switch I see mentioned is the antenna switch from ELAD (ASW-1).  

I use the software that comes with the QS1R for communications with the ic-7000.  It includes the CAT capability for the ic-7000.  The only other connection to the ic-7000 is that I used the accessory PTT line (pin 3) on the ic-7000 to control the antenna switch.   For CI-V, I used a USB to CI-V cable I got on Amazon for $6 which works very well.  It only took about 30 minutes to get going once I had the stuff in hand.  That includes the time to solder the acc connector for the PTT line on the ic-7000.

Gene
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 09:19:32 AM by KE5JPP » Logged
KE5JPP
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Posts: 0




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« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2012, 09:23:01 AM »

Also check out VE7IG's review of the DX Engineering RX switch and his comments on using the QS1R and KX3 together with it.

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/8664

How he describes using the antenna switch is how I am using it too.  You can download the manual from the DX Engineering website.  http://static.dxengineering.com/global/images/instructions/dxe-rtr-1a-rev1.pdf  Diagram 9 is the one you want to check out.  Ignore the items in the diagram marked 'optional'.  Connect acc pin 3 of the ic-7000 to the TX GND RCA connector on the antenna switch.  The antenna switch will handle up to 200 Watts.  Works great for me.

Gene
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 09:41:10 AM by KE5JPP » Logged
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