Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Flex 6700 vs Anan 100D  (Read 30918 times)
NI0Z
Member

Posts: 583


WWW

Ignore
« 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!
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 12:45:39 PM by NI0Z » Logged

M0HCN
Member

Posts: 473




Ignore
« Reply #1 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.
Logged
NI0Z
Member

Posts: 583


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #2 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!
Logged

N0YXB
Member

Posts: 331




Ignore
« Reply #3 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.   
Logged
NI0Z
Member

Posts: 583


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #4 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.

« Last Edit: April 26, 2013, 08:14:32 AM by NI0Z » Logged

N0YXB
Member

Posts: 331




Ignore
« Reply #5 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?
Logged
NI0Z
Member

Posts: 583


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #6 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!  Wink
Logged

KC9XG
Member

Posts: 19




Ignore
« Reply #7 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
Logged
NI0Z
Member

Posts: 583


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #8 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.
Logged

KC9XG
Member

Posts: 19




Ignore
« Reply #9 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


Logged
NI0Z
Member

Posts: 583


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #10 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

Smiley 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!
Logged

M0HCN
Member

Posts: 473




Ignore
« Reply #11 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.
Logged
K4FMH
Member

Posts: 269




Ignore
« Reply #12 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 Grin
Logged
W4HIJ
Member

Posts: 367




Ignore
« Reply #13 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..... Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
73,
Michael, W4HIJ
Logged
N0YXB
Member

Posts: 331




Ignore
« Reply #14 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?
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!