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Author Topic: SDR Hype ..  (Read 4180 times)
W9IQ
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Posts: 1715




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« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2017, 08:52:01 PM »

I find it interesting that William picks on S-meter calibration and NB pops as examples of SDR shortcomings since these can easily be fixed with a software update. On a conventional superhet design, the same fixes would involve solder smoke and probably a trip to the service center.

We are just at the beginning stages of enjoying the advantages of a well supported SDR design. It will be fun to look back at our hobby 5 years from now.

- Glenn W9IQ
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- Glenn W9IQ

I never make a mistake. I thought I did once but I was wrong.
ZS5WC
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« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2017, 09:51:58 PM »

 ;DThank you Jarrad and all others for the well paced and substantiated responses!.
I guess I got off lightly!--HiHi!.
I have been watching your Videos there Jarrad, and the 7610 certainly looks the part!.
Thanks for confirming the NB pop is still there occasionally , but not really that worrysome.
It was a huge irritation for me with the IC-7700, so that went away and I now run the FTDX-3000, which also has an occasional POP!, but does not bother me too much.
Switch on the old TS-870s next to it, there are no NB issues.

Yes, the 'S' meter and NB issues , must say I crossed over from SDR to DSP in my thead, simply because both are upgradeable via firmware and software, but no amount of Mail to ICOM would get the NB issue resolved.
Here I guess the SDR will shine as updates should be available regularly?. (Especially open source SRD's)

Anyhow, I guess for the time being i'll revamp my old superhets--Two KWM-380's I am busy with, and shortly followed by a Drake TR-4C, and two Kenwood TS-940's..
Someone mentioned a 75-A4, wow, I miss that old Girl!..

I guess we all have tastes and preferences, but the hobby gives us common ground. Wink

73 de William
ZS4L / ZS5WC
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KA4DPO
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Posts: 819




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« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2017, 07:36:14 AM »

For me there is a lot more to it then strong signal handling.
There is the band scope, lots of useful information on it for me.
There are the filters, any bandwidth you want, very good filters, drag the edge just where you want.
There is the fidelity, AM, sync AM, ssb, all mode, 20Hz to 20 KHz if you want, with low noise and low distortion.
The ability to click between bands with the mouse, I have an all band fan dipole so I can go between 160 and 6 meters with just the click of the mouse.
Transmit fidelity and the ability to set the bandwidth to whatever you want, wide or narrow.
Built in audio tools, with profiles, DX pileup sharp to broadcast station fidelity, EQ, phase rotation, multiband compressors.
The ability to operate remote, some guys work their home station from their car over the cell network and it works great.
Pure signal, which can make a signal VERY clean, even out of a dirty amp.
Diversity reception with its qsb elimination and noise cancellation.

Some good sdr receivers can cover 100 KHz to 2 GHz with no gaps, all mode, for around $150.00.
Show me an all mode receiver with a band scope that will show up to 6 MHz of bandwidth if you want for under $200.00 without it being an sdr.

My point exactly, strong signal handling is a plus but there is more, like sensitivity, noise reduction, and audio clarity.  For me a band scope is fluff since I have been a CW op for fifty plus years and the display really doesn't tell me much that I don't already know.  The scope on my radio does absolutely nothing in the way of improving receiver performance.  I have several filter presets that I very rarely change and of course I can jump between signals or bands using a mouse but I don't, I'm just old school I guess.  I tune by ear because I don't work stations on the scope.

So my only real purpose for wanting an IC 7610 is to have diversity reception for weak CW signals, I built a diversity switch in the 80s but it was only useable on 15 meters because of the impedance matching requirements.  I managed WAC in short order though and didn't have a band scope,,,imagine that.  I have noticed that the big screen with lots of activity on it mostly appeals to noobs who think they need a TV to be a better op.  I suppose if that's what blows your skirt up then cool.  Like I said before, the big screen is mostly fluff unless you are working RTTY or PACTOR.  I use mine for digital contacts occasionally and can use a wireless keyboard with the rig, same goes for the 7610 but CW operation will be the ultimate test and you don't need a display for that, only your ears.
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AC7CW
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Posts: 1011




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« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2017, 08:55:35 AM »

People went wild over "direct sampling" right? Elecraft rigs are down converting and still very muchly in the top of the listings at Sherwood Engineering's website. That points to the idea that we can homebrew SDR rigs that are great. We might see only as little as 384khz of a band [there's a little sarcasm intended there] so there's that...

Superhet rigs have been around for a hundred years and have probably gone as far as they can go, while SDR rigs are just starting to scratch the surface of what's possible.
I was talking about downconverting SDR radios. We can homebrew hardware that outputs downconverted quadrature info to a soundcard and have some tremendous capabilities like puresignal, brickwall filtering, bandscopes, etc...
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N2DTS
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« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2017, 09:32:51 AM »

Some sdr radios work with different programs which offer completely different options and features.
It may be like having 3 or more different pieces of equipment, and there are often updates where they add things, big things like pure signal.

Most hardware radios are the best they are ever going to be when you buy them, but many sdr radios get much better.
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K9IUQ
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Posts: 2801




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« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2017, 11:02:58 AM »

Most hardware radios are the best they are ever going to be when you buy them, but many sdr radios get much better.

Very True. For Instance, Flexradio SDR's are severely limited when they first sell them. Flexradio first sells their radios with high dollar reservations. You get the privilege of sending them $$$ for MANY months while they design and prepare the radios for sale.

Then after you finally get one, the radio is missing (basic) features. Flexradio gives new meaning to the term Beta Tester. Not to worry, as every Flexradio made comes with promises, which may or may not come true.  Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

Stan K9IUQ
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KA4DPO
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Posts: 819




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« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2017, 11:19:33 AM »

Some sdr radios work with different programs which offer completely different options and features.
It may be like having 3 or more different pieces of equipment, and there are often updates where they add things, big things like pure signal.

Most hardware radios are the best they are ever going to be when you buy them, but many sdr radios get much better.

Some radios are completely self contained and don't need a bunch of peripheral computer junk to make them work.  Others have an optional control panel but it looks like an afterthought.  I have not seen any of the current crop of SDR get a lot better, they still have a lot of the same problems they always have.  AFWIW, Icom does put out software updates after they have been thoroughly tested and they know that it works, so yeah, they get better.

Your cheesy dig at Icom is just that, cheesy.  They sold more 7300's than Flex or Anon (sic) has since they both started in business.  That's because people want radios that work and have clear bright displays.  The Maestro display looks crappy, I think the door display on a Panasonic refrigerator looks better.  

Pure signal?  They only added that because they sounded like crap before, and half of them still do because the operators don't know how to implement it.  The IC-7300 sounds really good on the air, I bet the 7610 will sound just as good or possibly better.  Anything more is just ESSB play stuff, like Behringer audio boards and roger beeps.  
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N6YFM
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Posts: 517




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« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2017, 11:20:06 AM »

Most hardware radios are the best they are ever going to be when you buy them, but many sdr radios get much better.

Very True. For Instance, Flexradio SDR's are severely limited when they first sell them. Flexradio first sells their radios with high dollar reservations. You get the privilege of sending them $$$ for MANY months while they design and prepare the radios for sale.

Then after you finally get one, the radio is missing (basic) features. Flexradio gives new meaning to the term Beta Tester. Not to worry, as every Flexradio made comes with promises, which may or may not come true.  Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

Stan K9IUQ

Hi Stan:

Let's be fair.   I think that Flex SDR radios have different stages of growth during ownership than "severely limited" to "beta".

It seems like the actual three stages of ownership, from talking to various Flex owners and sellers, is;

Stage 1:  Somewhat Limited.
Stage 2:  Mostly Complete.
Stage 3:  Mostly frustrating.

At least, this is the uninformed view I get from the forums, and previous owners.
It could be entirely different, since Flex owners have not chosen to hang out in a fully neutral  independent
forum, but instead use the vendor forum, which Flex "edits" for a pretty "public open house" clean showing.  :-)

Cheers,

Neal
[  N6YFM  - Just another annoying no-code Extra ]
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N6YFM
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Posts: 517




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« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2017, 11:26:53 AM »


 Not to worry, as every Flexradio made comes with promises, which may or may not come true.  Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

Stan K9IUQ

Wow!
Flex Radio and the USA White House finally have something in common:

Many many promises,  which rarely come true :-)

Beligerant, bullying behavior toward anyone who questions them on their public forum.

OK, OK, ok....   I will shut up and crawl back under my rock.

Neal
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K0OD
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Posts: 2991




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« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2017, 11:28:18 AM »

Quote
It seems like the actual three stages of ownership, from talking to various Flex owners and sellers, is;

Stage 1:  Somewhat Limited.
Stage 2:  Mostly Complete.
Stage 3:  Mostly frustrating.

There's an exciting fourth stage. Ask someone who's using the KE9NS software with his old Flex. I like my 5000 better than ever.
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N2DTS
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Posts: 748




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« Reply #25 on: November 13, 2017, 01:01:21 PM »

That was what I was talking about, the new software takes the old flex 3000 to 192 KHz I hear, plus other new features, on a radio that is no longer sold or made by Flex anymore.
Its like having an Icom 735 and having it updated for free to an Icom 7610.
They added TX audio features and abilities as well, and now I hear they added a 2nd meter display.

The Anan radios get updates as well, they never had pure signal and other features when they come out...
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K9IUQ
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Posts: 2801




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« Reply #26 on: November 13, 2017, 01:06:06 PM »

There's an exciting fourth stage. Ask someone who's using the KE9NS software with his old Flex. I like my 5000 better than ever.

How many years did you have to wait for that exciting fourth stage? LMAO... I gave up my Flex 5K at Stage 1, when it was still worth some $$$. Flexradio 3K and 5K's are about as popular and exciting as a Kenwood TS-520s.

Stan K9IUQ

« Last Edit: November 13, 2017, 01:12:00 PM by K9IUQ » Logged
WD4ELG
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Posts: 187




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« Reply #27 on: November 13, 2017, 04:53:25 PM »

Stan, I still have my TS520S.  To me, when tuning the finals it can be more exciting.   Grin
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AB4D
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« Reply #28 on: November 13, 2017, 09:32:40 PM »



There's an exciting fourth stage. Ask someone who's using the KE9NS software with his old Flex. I like my 5000 better than ever.

I agree, the Flex 5000a and the KE9NS augmented version of Power SDR, provides a great and interesting operating experience. It's older technology, but it still allows for personal customization by the end user, and the addition of significant new features.  Open source, was always one of the attractions to SDR.

However, these new SDR transceivers in an analog box, end users will always be at the mercy of the manufacturer for any updates.  Companies, such as Icom, Kenwood, and Yaesu, will never let the end user have access to the source code.  The GUI and other parameters will always appear basically the same, with no ability to significantly change anything to suit the end user.

They label them SDR which they are correct, but these companies will continue to handle updates, just as they always have done for the current crop of analog rigs. Marginal updates that fix bugs and issues, but no real significant changes to the product. They'll save develop of new features for that next radio they plan to sell, because that is how they profit.  I wish some of them would adopt a different business model, to provide meaningful and significant feature upgrades for a fee to existing hardware. I believe owners of the IC-7300 would benefit from that, and it could be very profitable.  However, I don't predict that would ever happen.

Jim AB4D       
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NI0Z
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« Reply #29 on: November 18, 2017, 08:24:31 PM »

SDRs will go back into knobbed boxes, likely in almost their entirety and the SDR nomenclature will be the new superhet so to speak and thus no big deal.  In fact, many hams in the future won’t really care much about what’s under the hood as the past time continues to dumb itself down into more recreational users.

This is something I predicted back in 2014 in an article I wrote for SDRzone.  If you follow the big boys SDR Development, Elecraft got it right before the other big players, they in great part stayed in the box.  Only shortcoming was them putting the panadapter displays outside the main box, but the rest was in the main unit and all knob and button controlled.

Flex and HPSDR saw a need to move the processing back into the box and both are moving towards knobbed controls again.  Flex even offers a knobbed stand-alone box.  Still both are tied to Windows in part as is most all other radios for logging software, digital modes ect.

Expert Electronics made a really elegant knobbed SDR, it’s very nice and enjoyable to use,  it alas it has Windows 10 under the hood though. Sad

The next generations will move to their own proprietary operating systems and full contained controls.  Think back to the Yaesu 5000, you could hook up a Monitor and have the band display addon box as well.

The winners will have a Rig much like the EE MB1, no windows or commercial OS, logging, skimming, digital modes and more all built in.  You’ll be able to link it to a mouse and Keyboard wirelessly, and a display monitor, network and never worry about a computer and it will cover the needs of the vast majority of Hams for contesting, DXing, ect.  And with regards to size, they won’t be nearly as large as yesteryears rigs, remotely controllable, yaddy yaddy ya.

It’s where it’s headed and sadly a lot of us won’t be here to see or experience it.  Lol. So until then, dream large and wait for it, it’s on the way.
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