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Author Topic: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D  (Read 26742 times)
M0HCN
Member

Posts: 473




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« Reply #45 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.
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PJ2BVU
Member

Posts: 114




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« Reply #46 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
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M0HCN
Member

Posts: 473




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« Reply #47 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.
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NI0Z
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Posts: 569


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« Reply #48 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
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W4HIJ
Member

Posts: 367




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« Reply #49 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
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N0YXB
Member

Posts: 321




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« Reply #50 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.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2013, 02:23:12 PM by N0YXB » Logged
M0HCN
Member

Posts: 473




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« Reply #51 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.
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G7CNF
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Posts: 10


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« Reply #52 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.
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HAMMYGUY
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Posts: 85




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« Reply #53 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.  
« Last Edit: May 19, 2013, 10:24:08 AM by HAMMYGUY » Logged
NI0Z
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Posts: 569


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« Reply #54 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.
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ZENKI
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Posts: 960




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« Reply #55 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
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NI0Z
Member

Posts: 569


WWW

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« Reply #56 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.  Smiley
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