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eHam Forums => Software Defined Radio => Topic started by: NI0Z on September 02, 2012, 11:57:51 AM



Title: KX3 SDR
Post by: NI0Z on September 02, 2012, 11:57:51 AM
I have been playing with the KX3 as an SDR, it is actually an SDR, no less so than a Softrock or other soundcard based SDR.  This thread is dedicated to that topic.  I am going to ignore off topic conversation on this thread and would ask that you do the same.

Please feel free to post your comments here about the KX3 as an SDR.  I will add some later as I have a lot to report with actual experience setting one up and using one now as an SDR.

As always, I will advertise I am a newer ham, and as one trying to share in a timely manner, will likely make a mistake or two as I go.  My appolgies in advance, there is no intent to misrepresent anything here on my part.

Thanks for sharing in the discussion!


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: NI0Z on September 02, 2012, 02:56:54 PM
Today the KX3 whooped the Flex 5000A beyond any doubt as an SSB SDR.  The difference was completely convincing as far as receive capability goes.

The audio quality of the KX3 is amazing!  My advice for people about the speaker issue, forget it!  It would be like getting your cell phone speaker to play hiring music like your stereo.  That would not be a good expenditure of ones time, especially when you can plug in headphones or external speakers and experience ham radio like few probably have before.

The ability to pull weak signals out verses the Flex 5K today, same antenna same equipment and rf path, was nothing short of amazing.  I guess lab tests mean something after all unless I experienced a phenomena over the past two days.

I also continue to get great audio reports as well.  Today a user describe my audio as quality, smooth, and really easy to listen to.  This was default audio and just the hand mic at 23.

I think that if there were some high quality SDR software with all the features available there would be little question about what I am saying if you tried it yourself.

That's today's report, I'll be back after some more,fun on the radio!


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KE5JPP on September 02, 2012, 06:55:51 PM
Today the KX3 whooped the Flex 5000A beyond any doubt as an SSB SDR.  The difference was completely convincing as far as receive capability goes.

The audio quality of the KX3 is amazing!  My advice for people about the speaker issue, forget it!  It would be like getting your cell phone speaker to play hiring music like your stereo.  That would not be a good expenditure of ones time, especially when you can plug in headphones or external speakers and experience ham radio like few probably have before.

The ability to pull weak signals out verses the Flex 5K today, same antenna same equipment and rf path, was nothing short of amazing.  I guess lab tests mean something after all unless I experienced a phenomena over the past two days.

I also continue to get great audio reports as well.  Today a user describe my audio as quality, smooth, and really easy to listen to.  This was default audio and just the hand mic at 23.

I think that if there were some high quality SDR software with all the features available there would be little question about what I am saying if you tried it yourself.

That's today's report, I'll be back after some more,fun on the radio!

1. The KX3 comes with an internal speaker.  It should work correctly regardless of silly justifications and other excuses given.  Otherwise it is just a case of poor engineering.  Here is another example of the problem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAzP9SHKdxM&feature=youtu.be (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAzP9SHKdxM&feature=youtu.be)

2. It is not a surprise that the KX3 receives weak signals better than the Flex5K.  The phase noise is much lower for the KX3 than the Flex5K due to Elecraft using a si570 for the LO.  Like those of us who have had any experience at all with Direct Sampling Receivers, the effect of very low phase noise would have been obvious to you and is still better than the QSD based KX3.

3.  Since you have only really had any experience with the Yaesu 897D, ICOM 7000 and the Flex5K, your statement "you can plug in headphones or external speakers and experience ham radio like few probably have before" holds very little credibility.  Try actually operating some quality radios besides the clunkers you have experience with before declaring such nonsense as if the KX3 is some kind of miracle radio.  That statement of yours comes off as some over the top nonsense from a infatuated fan boy.

4. Using the KX3 tethered to a computer for its DSP is a complete waste of the Analog Devices SHARC DSP processor that Elecraft uses in the KX3.  It is more than capable of doing the DSP without using a PC like you are doing.  

Gene


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: NI0Z on September 02, 2012, 08:12:47 PM
Elcraft today looks to have committed to resolve the issue with the speaker.  

Note this issue really doesn't impact using this radio as an SDR though so I won't be covering it anymore.  You can get updates from the Elecraft site.  

I am in no way afilliated with Elecraft, I only happen to have and use and experiment with their radios.

This discussion thread should be specific to the use of the KX3 as an SDR tethered to a computer or other device like the iPad.  It's use as a standalone transceiver can be covered in another thread if folks want.

On the flip side, I had a few more wonderful QSOs and am really getting used to using this radio as an SDR.  More audio compliments as well.

I got to try the Heil headset, works great and I even was able to run some front end audio into the KX3 so other than having full power to drive and amp  this is now able to function as a near replacement for my Flex 5000.

I am concerned about the ability of this radio to run 10 watts for extended periods, however, it does have temperature controls that will prohibit from running more than it can at higher power.  It would be really interesting if Elecraft next made a full size SDR rig capable of the full 100 watts, ect.

The rig control is running through HRD and so NAP3 and CommCat both connect to HRD.  This actually works fairly well.  There is an issue though on transmit I am still working on when connected through HRD where the audio comes through for 1-2 seconds before cutting off.  This does not happen connecting directly to the Kx3 with NAP3.

I have something up my sleeve though that may change all this and will share that with you all when the time comes.  Until then, feel free to share your own KX3 SDR experiences or thoughts.


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KE5JPP on September 03, 2012, 05:00:43 AM
Note this issue really doesn't impact using this radio as an SDR though so I won't be covering it anymore.  You can get updates from the Elecraft site.  

I am in no way afilliated with Elecraft, I only happen to have and use and experiment with their radios.

This discussion thread should be specific to the use of the KX3 as an SDR tethered to a computer or other device like the iPad.  It's use as a standalone transceiver can be covered in another thread if folks want.


1. How do you not use the KX3 as an SDR?  The KX3 is an SDR regardless of whether it is connected to a computer or an iPad.   How does connecting it to a computer magically turn in into a SDR? You are making a distinction that does not exist.

2. In fact, you may be degrading the performance of the KX3 by using it with an external sound card and with some SDR software.  The I/Q output of the KX3 is tapped off before the ADC in the KX3 and it is analog audio, which you then must digitize with an external sound card.  You have already run into problems with ground loops and isolation when connecting it to your sound card.  You also add the noise generated internally in you computer to the equation.  Connect it to a crappy sound card and the dynamic range becomes no better than what you would get with a SoftRock connected to the same sound card.

3. Have you even bothered to look at the KX3 block diagram? http://www.elecraft.com/manual/KX3%20Manual%20Block%20Diagram.pdf (http://www.elecraft.com/manual/KX3%20Manual%20Block%20Diagram.pdf)

4. The internal speaker problem does impact the KX3 SDR because the KX3 is an SDR no matter how you use it.

Gene


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: NI0Z on September 03, 2012, 06:48:15 AM
1. How do you not use the KX3 as an SDR?  The KX3 is an SDR regardless of whether it is connected to a computer or an iPad.   How does connecting it to a computer magically turn in into a SDR? You are making a distinction that does not exist.

4. The internal speaker problem does impact the KX3 SDR because the KX3 is an SDR no matter how you use it.

This is the context in which I am using the KX3 right now, the configuration of my personal experiment if you will and the basis for which I will be sharing information.

Your question 4 is best answered by another question.  Why would I use the internal speaker in a base station installation when it's clearly the most inferior way I could listen to the output on the radio?  If I am not using it how is it relevant to the context which has been painted?

It would be like me sitting in my living room where I have a nice stereo and listening to music on my phone's built in speaker, why would any ham knowingly do that in a non field emergency situation when there is the equivalent of a hifi audio out jack on the side of the radio?

This is why the speaker issue is not relevant to this conversation.  I suggest if you want to talk about the KX3 speaker issue you start a thread on an appropriate forum for it, like the QRP forum for example where it may be more relevant.

Last but not least, I am using a middle range sound card, 24 bit sampling 192K, and it does not appear to be limiting the radios sound at all, in fact as an SDR it appears to haven even better performance than the sound coming directly from the jack. 

I have been comparing these to methods of audio if you will, side by side.  If you read above you'll see I have the Heil Pro headset which is taking the high quality audio from the phones jack on the rig.  While running this experiment it is interesting to run the radio as a hybrid if you will seeing how for example different filters impact the audio at the phones jack verses the audio coming through the sound card conversion. 

As I have openly claimed in the opening, I am not an expert, I am just sharing output of an experiement I am running.  If my input and feedback is not of value to you, then you are welcome to ignore me and move on to a different thread. 

I don't have any other agenda here than to just share the output of my experimenting and see if anyone else is experimenting with the radio in the way I am and getting there feedback.


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KE5JPP on September 03, 2012, 07:46:06 AM
1. How do you not use the KX3 as an SDR?  The KX3 is an SDR regardless of whether it is connected to a computer or an iPad.   How does connecting it to a computer magically turn in into a SDR? You are making a distinction that does not exist.

4. The internal speaker problem does impact the KX3 SDR because the KX3 is an SDR no matter how you use it.

This is the context in which I am using the KX3 right now, the configuration of my personal experiment if you will and the basis for which I will be sharing information.

Your question 4 is best answered by another question.  Why would I use the internal speaker in a base station installation when it's clearly the most inferior way I could listen to the output on the radio?  If I am not using it how is it relevant to the context which has been painted?

It would be like me sitting in my living room where I have a nice stereo and listening to music on my phone's built in speaker, why would any ham knowingly do that in a non field emergency situation when there is the equivalent of a hifi audio out jack on the side of the radio?

This is why the speaker issue is not relevant to this conversation.  I suggest if you want to talk about the KX3 speaker issue you start a thread on an appropriate forum for it, like the QRP forum for example where it may be more relevant.

Last but not least, I am using a middle range sound card, 24 bit sampling 192K, and it does not appear to be limiting the radios sound at all, in fact as an SDR it appears to haven even better performance than the sound coming directly from the jack.  

I have been comparing these to methods of audio if you will, side by side.  If you read above you'll see I have the Heil Pro headset which is taking the high quality audio from the phones jack on the rig.  While running this experiment it is interesting to run the radio as a hybrid if you will seeing how for example different filters impact the audio at the phones jack verses the audio coming through the sound card conversion.  

As I have openly claimed in the opening, I am not an expert, I am just sharing output of an experiement I am running.  If my input and feedback is not of value to you, then you are welcome to ignore me and move on to a different thread.  

I don't have any other agenda here than to just share the output of my experimenting and see if anyone else is experimenting with the radio in the way I am and getting there feedback.

1. You have posted this in a public forum, so you do not get to dictate what is discussed here if it does not interest you.  If you want to only tell people about the things that interest you, then you would be better off limiting it to your web page instead of a public forum.

2. The KX3 was designed for portable, QRP operation with internal QSD and DSP so that a separate PC is not required.  Elecraft decided to include an internal speaker in the KX3.  Using the KX3 as a "base station", as you call it, is more of a fringe use.  Since Elecraft decided to include the speaker, people have the right to be upset with the problems with the internal speaker.  Just because you use the KX3 in a non-standard way does not mean others will be happy lugging around external speakers.

3.  You seem to be very confused given your statement "I am using a middle range sound card, 24 bit sampling 192K, and it does not appear to be limiting the radios sound at all".  If you connect your sound card to the external speaker/headphone jack of the KX3 to use it as an amplified speaker, then just about any sound card will do and will not affect the "sound".  If you are connecting the I/Q audio output of the KX3 to your sound card and then using a SDR program to demodulate the audio, the quality of the sound card does affect the dynamic range of the KX3 (not the "sound').  In that case what you are doing is bypassing the internal ADC and DSP in the KX3 and replacing it with your sound card and DSP done in the SDR software on your PC.

4. You have not addressed question number 1 in my last post.  How do you not use the KX3 as an SDR?

Gene


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: NI0Z on September 03, 2012, 08:15:03 AM

1. You have posted this in a public forum, so you do not get to dictate what is discussed here if it does not interest you.  If you want to only tell people about the things that interest you, then you would be better off limiting it to your web page instead of a public forum.

This is an opinion, I respect that and since I am the one posting here it will be limited to the context I originally established.  I have asked nicely that people stick to that context and yes, there is nothing I can do if that request is not honored.

2. The KX3 was designed for portable, QRP operation with internal QSD and DSP so that a separate PC is not required.  Elecraft decided to include an internal speaker in the KX3.  Using the KX3 as a "base station", as you call it, is more of a fringe use.  Since Elecraft decided to include the speaker, people have the right to be upset with the problems with the internal speaker.  Just because you use the KX3 in a non-standard way does not mean others will be happy lugging around external speakers.

It is a minority use case for the radio, however, it is the use case this thread is intended to cover, please revist the opening two posts.

3.  You seem to be very confused given your statement "I am using a middle range sound card, 24 bit sampling 192K, and it does not appear to be limiting the radios sound at all".  If you connect your sound card to the external speaker/headphone jack of the KX3 to use it as an amplified speaker, then just about any sound card will do and will not affect the "sound".  If you are connecting the I/Q audio output of the KX3 to your sound card and then using a SDR program to demodulate the audio, the quality of the sound card does affect the dynamic range of the KX3 (not the "sound').  In that case what you are doing is bypassing the internal ADC and DSP in the KX3 and replacing it with your sound card and DSP done in the SDR software on your PC.

I have been clear in my use case here, please read the opening two posts.  Please read the rest of the posts as well for the answer to this question as well as the others.  If you don't find your answer there that you are looking for then perhaps someone else will answer it for you.  Again, you may have better luck in the QRP forum.

4. You have not addressed question number 1 in my last post.  How do you not use the KX3 as an SDR?

Simple answer, technically you don't, the KX3 is an SDR.  There are different use cases for it though, one as a QRP transceiver, one as a transceiver and another as a more traditional sound card based SDR.  This latter use case is the one covered here.

Gene


My responses are above.  I may not be able to respond to your questions or needs for this thread, in those cases I may not simply respond at all, perhaps another user will be able to address the questions you have.  I believe you are somewhat of an SDR expert, so I am not sure why you are asking me some of these questions.

I'll just be sharing with regards to the original context I established at the beginning.

Thanks for your interest in this thread!


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: K9IUQ on September 03, 2012, 12:20:31 PM
Kind of sounds like you're trying to control the conversation.  I doubt you'll be successful at doing that here at eHAM, and I hope not.  I learn a lot about SDR from those who make comments you don't seem to want to hear.  Just an observation.

Censorship is alive and well here on eham. It is hardly an open forum. Posts get deleted regularly.
Gosh they deleted your post N0YXB. Wonder why? It did not seem offensive. Fortuantely I already had it quoted.  ;) :D

I agree 100 % with "I learn a lot about SDR from those who make comments you don't seem to want to hear." We are a diverse group here on eham with differing views. If one only wants to see their view discussed they are not going to learn much.

Unfortunately lately we only get to see what the  Truth Restrictor eham moderator deems necessary

Stan K9IUQ


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: NI0Z on September 03, 2012, 12:31:07 PM
Elcraft today looks to have committed to resolve the issue with the speaker.  

Note this issue really doesn't impact using this radio as an SDR though so I won't be covering it anymore.  You can get updates from the Elecraft site.  

This discussion thread should be specific to the use of the KX3 as an SDR tethered to a computer or other device like the iPad.  It's use as a standalone transceiver can be covered in another thread if folks want.

Kind of sounds like you're trying to control the conversation.  I doubt you'll be successful at doing that here at eHAM, and I hope not.  I learn a lot about SDR from those who make comments you don't seem to want to hear.  Just an observation.



I am sorry you feel that way, maybe if you ask a question that you think I failed to respond to I can take a stab at it.

If its about the question on the block diagram, I believe I covered that, however, here is a bit more of an explanation.

When your using a Panadaptor and SDR software you have a hybrid situation, where you have the Kx3 as a standalone SDR receiver and then the hybrid SDR Reciever which you can manage through both the software and through the radio controls.  We don't have too many SDRs that I have seen that can operate like this.  You see, either way you use it, your still using an SDR as this was pointed out and somewhat obvious.

In some ways it can be like adding a Panadaptor and using the radio for everything else.  So you can listen to the sound through the audio jack while viewing the Panadaptor and tuning to signals with it via cat control. In this way we are not bypassing the block diagram and simply using the free Panadaptor support that comes as a result of buying the radio.  That said though, your still using an SDR.

In the other case though we can also demodulate using PC or other software like iSDR on the ipad. With the right software we can apply filters, and use the software, and yet still have the VFO knob on the radio and it's display to use.  

We can also switch back and forth on the fly between the two modes.  In this case we bypass the block diagram.  It may be interesting for some to know that we can also do both!  In this mode I have powered speakers on the audio jack and powered speakers on the PC and you can listen to both simultaneously.  This allows you to choose more options to recover a weak signal.

While a suggestion was made that bypassing the block diagram results in an inferior experience, I would disagree based on real actual usage of these modes I have described.  This may just be a difference in the speakers though.  I am not going to attempt to debate this issue technically much.  This is what I do know, a 24bit sound card in theory can handle 121DB of dynamic range when running at 192K.  I am not suggesting that you get this performance when running that way.  I don't have test equipment to use to get the actual answer.  Perhaps someone can take a mathematical stab at it.

Of course all of this I just said applies to the receive side of the SDR and the transmit side follows the block diagram.

I don't know how Sherwood tested the radio, it would be interesting to know exactly how this radio would fair running like this.  I am not sure though how well it would do in a lab environment because the software was not made to support this radio specifically.  What would be nice is some full featured software to use with it.  

As it was mentioned and I have said elsewhere, the use of an isolator may have some impact on performance running this way.  The notion of it being degraded is not supported in my unscientific experiments thus far.  It would seem that I am better able to recover a weak signal better through the software than the radio.  It would be cool to find out the impact of the isolator.  I don't have lab equipment though nor the resources to buy differing isolators.

Of course I can't control what's asked and answered here, I can only ask kindly that we keep on topic.

As I said earlier, some of the questions asked really belong in a QRP discussion in my humble opinion.  I honestly don't care that there are speaker issues.  Mine works well enough for me for QRP and I'd be more likely to just use the Heil Pro headset I got or headphones and the hand mic.

Other than responding to some insults made above I think I have responded to everything.  I don't care if people want to bash the radio, I am just trying to use it, experiment with it and report on the experiment.  I don't care about radio wars, it's not my thing and if you had a QSO with me you would know that.  I own the radio and use it now.

I have already received offline feedback and appreciation for restarting the discussion.  

Unfortunately these forums can get rather hostile at times which has prompted many hams to just go into silent mode.  These people have been referred to poorly by people here.  When we don't treat people nicely and with respect thats what happens.  

So the idea is to not make this about radio or people bashing.  I have said this in the spirit of asking that we all just try to get along, not to cause grief.  

It would appear though that people like me, newer hams don't belong here commenting, reporting or expressing opinions.  The thought seems to be that we are not qualified.  Perhaps it's just time to move on.  I will give it a little more time and see how it goes.

I have been told by many that it won't work out though for me to stay here, that all conversations will be controlled and thats the irony of the comment you made and that's a shame.  Someone can start the KX3 stinks thread and you won't see me participate.

Thanks for weighing in!


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KE5JPP on September 03, 2012, 01:49:01 PM
What the heck is the point of a one way conversation.  NI0Z, eHam is not your personal blog.   ::)

Unfortunately, when someone tries to discuss a feature of the KX3 that he doesn't want to talk about or he thinks is negative, NI0Z considers this bashing the radio.  Same when you ask a question that is technically way over NI0Z's head - he automatically assumes that you want to bash his shiny new toy.  When NI0Z makes incorrect statements about the KX3 and those incorrect statements are pointed out, NI0Z avoids discussing his errors and just uses the excuse that he is "not an expert" then proceeds to suggest that you are asking off topic questions in "his" eHam thread.  

NI0Z says he does not like bashing, yet the second post to this thread he created, NI0Z begins by bashing the Flex-5000a.

I think that the only reason he posts here is to get traffic to his website and advertise his book.  If he wants only to tell you his view without feedback or questions from others, NI0Z already can do that (and does that) on his website - the only thing missing is website traffic which he gets from posting a link to his website in every post he makes here on eHam.

Gene


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: NI0Z on September 03, 2012, 02:07:57 PM
What the heck is the point of a one way conversation.  NI0Z, eHam is not your personal blog.   ::)

Unfortunately, when someone tries to discuss a feature of the KX3 that he doesn't want to talk about or he thinks is negative, NI0Z considers this bashing the radio.  Same when you ask a question that is technically way over NI0Z's head - he automatically assumes that you want to bash his shiny new toy.  When NI0Z makes incorrect statements about the KX3 and those incorrect statements are pointed out, NI0Z avoids discussing his errors and just uses the excuse that he is "not an expert" then proceeds to suggest that you are asking off topic questions in "his" eHam thread.  

NI0Z says he does not like bashing, yet the second post to this thread he created, NI0Z begins by bashing the Flex-5000a.

I think that the only reason he posts here is to get traffic to his website and advertise his book.  If he wants only to tell you his view without feedback or questions from others, NI0Z already can do that (and does that) on his website - the only thing missing is website traffic which he gets from posting a link to his website in every post he makes here on eHam.

Gene

Which ones have I not answered?  I think the only thing you mentioned here was the speaker and I addressed why I believe it was not relevant to the conversation.

Why all that stuff in the quote?  I happen to own and use the other radio, I don't consider my comment bashing and in fact, I don't think the speaker comment was bashing either, it was brought up, I addressed it as far as I am capable.  I also believe I answered your other questions about the block diagram, so what's the issue here?


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: NO9E on September 06, 2012, 02:08:37 AM
I used KX3 portable. It is absolutely amazing on SSB transmit. Take miniature (to save weight) but lousy electret microphone. Transmit very bad. Equalize and then it sounds very well but weak, like a 10W radio. Turn on speech processing to the middle and stations start copying. Crank the speech processor to the max, and KX3's signal is copied with ease. My setup is 4 lb total in a small box including wires, ant connector, extra battery, CW key..

Ignacy, NO9E


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: K9IUQ on September 06, 2012, 02:55:23 AM
Crank the speech processor to the max

Yep, that is the way to do it. The bands are full of "all knobs to the right" operators...   :D

Stan K9IUQ


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: NI0Z on September 06, 2012, 08:35:25 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3TsFBKhzxE&sns=em

I am finding that the default settings are the default settings for a reason.  This is with default settings and that horrible hand mic.  :)  Mic  gain at 23.  Using little cheap iHome speakers for the sound.  The video was recorded on a cell phone.

Best way to know if the audio in a rig is decent is to just try one yourself.  Find a ham in a local club that has one that will invite you over to play, field day, ect.  Hands on and ears on, there is no substitue to find out if the issues being reported are real or hype.


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KE5JPP on September 06, 2012, 09:26:50 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3TsFBKhzxE&sns=em

I am finding that the default settings are the default settings for a reason.  This is with default settings and that horrible hand mic.  :)  Mic  gain at 23.  Using little cheap iHome speakers for the sound.  The video was recorded on a cell phone.

Best way to know if the audio in a rig is decent is to just try one yourself.  Find a ham in a local club that has one that will invite you over to play, field day, ect.  Hands on and ears on, there is no substitue to find out if the issues being reported are real or hype.

I noticed some audio distortion/vibration towards the end of the video.  It sounded a bit like a rattle at 1:50 or so.  It has hard to tell if it was from your external speakers or from the cell phone recording.  I listened to it on my iPad as well as my home computer to make sure it was not my speakers.  Otherwise, it sounded pretty good.

Gene


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KE5JPP on September 06, 2012, 09:32:08 AM
Here's another example with an external speaker http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FN-3zf_Xj3Q&feature=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FN-3zf_Xj3Q&feature=related)  Rattle/distortion starts about 0:40.  Maybe the internal audio amp just cannot drive external speakers at high volume with distortion?  I guess an external amplified speaker would help this though.

Gene


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: NI0Z on September 06, 2012, 09:37:25 AM
AGC was too high, checkout the guys next video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3urJBvTIMs&feature=youtube_gdata_player


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KE5JPP on September 06, 2012, 09:44:11 AM
AGC was too high, checkout the guys next video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3urJBvTIMs&feature=youtube_gdata_player

That seems to have improved his distortion problem.

What about in your video?  What is the cause of the rattle starting at 1:50?

Gene


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: NI0Z on September 06, 2012, 09:51:50 AM
I don't hear a rattle, but keep in mind, this is recorded using the cell phone mic so it could be any number of things in the room that your hearing.  Let's see if anyone else hears it and can elaborate more.  I even used headphones to listen to it.  Maybe I just don't have as refined hearing as others do here.

Of course, if I sold it and bought a real radio I wouldn't have the rattle right?  :). Let me see, Ahh yes, of course, the Answer is obvious, a TS 590 right?  Why have an SDR at all in the SDR forum, we can rename the Fourm to TS 590 Forum.  ;)

I am joking of course!  Don't be upset now, you have to admit its funny! :)

73


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KE5JPP on September 06, 2012, 10:04:43 AM
I don't hear a rattle, but keep in mind, this is recorded using the cell phone mic so it could be any number of things in the room that your hearing.  Let's see if anyone else hears it and can elaborate more.  I even used headphones to listen to it.  Maybe I just don't have as refined hearing as others do here.

Of course, if I sold it and bought a real radio I wouldn't have the rattle right?  :). Let me see, Ahh yes, of course, the Answer is obvious, a TS 590 right?  Why have an SDR at all in the SDR forum, we can rename the Fourm to TS 590 Forum.  ;)

I am joking of course!  Don't be upset now, you have to admit its funny! :)

73

I think you are being a little passive aggressive here?  I don't care whether you keep or sell your KX3 and I am certainly not suggesting that you buy a TS-590s - joking or not.  I am honestly asking these questions because I am considering purchasing a KX3, probably by next Spring. 

I don't think it is your cell phone introducing the rattle in the video because when you are speaking, the audio of the recording is very clear.  The rattling or popping starts about 1:50 in the video and it can be heard clearly.   I am not sure if it is coming from your KX3 or from maybe a resonance in your external speakers.   Can you try connecting some other speakers and making another video when you get a chance?

Gene


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: NI0Z on September 06, 2012, 12:18:53 PM
I'll listen again at home tonight and yes, I do plan on making a few more videos showing the Panadaptor, front end audio and CommCat integration.  Videos are not a strength of mine, so be forewarned.

Seriously though, this is not my end-state game with this radio, I have something that I hope will be awesome up my sleeve. The way I am operating right now is not ideal!  There is a plan though that I am working my way towards making this all work like I want.  Lol and by then a better radio will come out and that will be that! :). I am not sure where I am at with my Flex these days, it's not being used a lot right now because of the fun I am having with the little radio.

Here is the real scoop on the KX3 in my humble newbie opinion.

Yes, I can overdrive the external speakers very easily, to me that's a setting issue though and I can get what I want in the way of audio.  How easy is it, just start cranking the knobs clockwise.

Honestly, I think a lot of all this is going to be up to the end user and how they set things up and how much effort they put into getting it the way that want.  IE, buyer beware, this is not a fool proof radio.  

I use a mixture of getting others feed back and recording my own transmissions while making changes and then play it back to hear if its what I want.  And please note that what I want may not be what others want.

Radio is still really beta, there are still features not implemented yet and little bugs. Apparently if you build one of these radios yourself, you need to know how to calibrate it and have the right equipment to do it.  Its not about putting the radio together, can can happen in as little  a few hours.  I see many kit builders experiencing issues that those of us who bought the readymade radio don't.  

Elecraft is listening to user feedback and implementing lots of nice little changes.  Yes, they actually make them, hand the requesting user a alpha revision in the code and let them test and provide feedback before they add it to the main code base.  Actually quite impressive but no, not unique to them.  It's nice to know that there is more to come.  Honestly, a lot of this stuff seems like advanced feature requests.  The likes of me may never touch or use many of these features.

There is a real speaker issue.  Not everyone has it and it's somewhat subjective.  What do I mean?  Well I am sure the little speaker will sound awful if you have your AGC set certain ways verses others.  Is that a technical radio problem, or a user problem?  Honestly don't know and don't care because I am not having those issues the way I am using it.  It looks like some of the speakers though may have physical defects with the cone causing the issue.  If that's not it then  this may be a real tuff one to solve because it could be also come down to being an acoustical phenomena with the speaker they chose, the audio dynamics and the case itself.

The radio can get rather hot running 10-12 watts with a PS hooked up.  There is temperature control that will drop the power if it gets too hot.. But for me it seems too hot during long QSOs so I feel like if one were going to dedicate this to is minority use case of a desktop base station then fans will be in order in my humble opinion.  Maybe heat syncs.  I am not an EE so honestly, I can't say.  Also can't say if it's a real issue other than I do know enough that temperature variances can skew component performance.

Because the radio is so small you can literally end up with a pile of spaghetti cables laying around your radio.  Just one more thing to make sure you understand if your wanting to use it like I do.  A box with fans is probably what I will build for it.  That will hide the cables away and act like a docking bay of sorts as well as keep it cooler.

NAP3 is far from ideal for use as a real SDR software package if one wants to use the KX3 bypassing some of the radios architecture.  Hybrid operation is fine where one uses the knobs and some of the radios features.  I still have a nasty Xmit issue in my setup that prohibits me from having the audio on in NAP3 while transmitting.  This does not happen if I cat control direct from NAP3 to the radio, but does happen through Ham Radio Deluxe.  Why do I use HRD? It allows me to use both CommCat and NAP3 together.   There is LPB2 that I will try to see if I can bypass HRD.  Remember, NAP3 is a Panadaptor package.

The Panadaptor display is amazingly crisp in my opinion.  Very very nice!  There is the typical dip you see in the center.  I believe I read or saw somewhere this is common with sound based SDRs.  Lots of people are struggling to get it setup, it's easy to have a ground loop issue with this radio.  In my case an Isolator was an absolute necessity.  While I say tricky I will also say than if you know all the right things going into it, it's actually really simple.  I think the isolator is the real secret to success.  You may need more than one if you run digital modes using the phones jack audio to the PC.


I can't help but think PowerSDR could have been soo much more if someone were dedicated to working on it more.  This isn't a slam on anyone, it's just a feeling that NAP3 leaves you with, even lacking all the features of PowerSDR, as compared to using the Flex 5000 with Power SDR.  You can see some screenshots in my updates on my blog if you haven't seen the NAP3 version of PowerSDR

There is a noticeable and audible difference when comparing the KX3 and the Flex 5000.  Visually it's surprising to see that on the flex Panadaptor it shows a weaker signal than the NaP3 display does.  But listening is where you hear a difference.  This is again completely unscientific though and could be just the difference in the receive EQ settings.  More time comparing is needed.  Honestly, with the time I have available, it may never happen either.

It's ironic that we now have an SDR of sorts with knobs but we don't talk about it more.  It really is nice being able to  reach over and tune with a real radio interface with knobs and having physical buttons to change bands, adjust gain, ect.  If one wanted to set things up just so, you could literally switch between SDR architectures on the fly or listen simultaneously in real time.  It's literally like having two SDRs in one when you use it this way.  

Remember, on Xmit, it's not going to be like a flex radio or some others, your going to go through the physical radio architecture and not the PC.  In this regard, i am guessing there is not much difference in using a physical transceiver with an SDR receiver handling all the receiving.  So as exciting as it seems, in the end it's all not really that special and not really very new technology.  The upside is you have one box.  The down side is you have 12 watts max without an external amp.

In this use case, one is also forcing a box do do something it wasn't really intended to do.  With this said we can compare it to high end transceivers but in my humble opinion given its cost and real intended use as a mobile QRP rig it's not reasonable to think its going to excel as a replacement for a high-end base station transceiver and there are far easier and perhaps even less expensive paths to get there.  If you stop and think about it for a moment. You could buy just the base SDR and couple it with better software and use it as a sound card SDR for $900.  Say a QS1R and a TS-590 for example?  :)

Remember, what's intriguing for me about all this is that it's another SDR, I can take it with me, it's small and the lab tests out it at the top of the receivers chart.  It's not because of who makes it, and it wasn't too expensive to purchase all things considered.  There isn't really any more to it for me.  I wanted to experiment with this cool new radio.

Last but not least, keep in mind a few things about all my comments before considering them.  I am playing with all this for lure fun!  Fun in this hobby is my primary objective.  I am not looking for a place in the Ham hall of fame, don't chase awards, ect.

This is all with regards to SSB, I have not tested digital or other modes yet.  I build systems  a step at time so I can keep track of issues I create verses real issues.  Digital modes will come in time.  Also, I am far from an expert, again, not an EE and a pretty new ham.  

Finally, I am not here to sell you on these radios.  I am not here to sell you off these radios either.  It's your hard earned money and you need to decide for yourself how to spend it or not spend it.  

I admit making a joke there with Gene..  Sorry about that Gene, it's not passive aggressive.  I wanted to make light of all that has passed here.  If you met me you might think me one of the nicer people you'd meet.  And then again you might not, lol. Who knows!  Sorry man, none of this is personal for me and I hope it never becomes so for you.

Fact is, each ham here makes or breaks their own image, so it's not my job to settle any scores here.  I won't play around with people here either.  That's why if you play with me it usually doesn't work out too well.  Thats why if people struggle dealing with me, its because I am only really here to talk about SDR radios, thats really it. Seriously!  

Yes, I have been side tracked and made some mistakes.  I have been known to enjoy a good debate, but not so much these days.  Life is too short.  Ha ha, some people got me!  Jokes on me I guess if that was the goal!

I'll admit a mistake when I make one because I don't want to pass misinformation or be responsible for any decisions you make based off of listening to me.  That's my disclaimer, read me and decide at your own risk.

I came back here because people wrote me and asked me to try one last time.  So I am here right now, wont be as much as I was.  If it ceases to be useful to others or ceases to be fun then I will move on.

One last thing that I was reminded about in an e-mail. While Stan might seem hard on Flex radios and hard on Flex owners, flex radio users ought to thank Stan because his hounding definitely accounts for a lot of fixes that made their products better.  Stan gets no credit for that, only grief plus the pain and troubles he had with the radio itself.  Thanks Stan!

If I find anything else of interest good or bad with the Kx3 I will share it.

Sorry for this long post!

73


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: NI0Z on September 06, 2012, 07:09:56 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3TsFBKhzxE&sns=em

I am finding that the default settings are the default settings for a reason.  This is with default settings and that horrible hand mic.  :)  Mic  gain at 23.  Using little cheap iHome speakers for the sound.  The video was recorded on a cell phone.

Best way to know if the audio in a rig is decent is to just try one yourself.  Find a ham in a local club that has one that will invite you over to play, field day, ect.  Hands on and ears on, there is no substitue to find out if the issues being reported are real or hype.

I noticed some audio distortion/vibration towards the end of the video.  It sounded a bit like a rattle at 1:50 or so.  It has hard to tell if it was from your external speakers or from the cell phone recording.  I listened to it on my iPad as well as my home computer to make sure it was not my speakers.  Otherwise, it sounded pretty good.

Gene


The noise you hear was not from the KX3.  How do I know, because I recorded some more videos this evening and did hear maybe what you hear playing the video back, but I know live I didn't hear those things.  I will have two more videos tomorrow that will likely make it more evident that it's the cell phones mic and it's limited ability to capture the highs in ham radio.  Also, my chair when I move around makes some noises as well in these.

Check them out, make your own conclusion.

You'll also likely be surprised at some info I will share about one of the videos.


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: NI0Z on September 06, 2012, 08:20:37 PM
This is actualy the second of two QSOs tonight.  The crackling you hear is the cell phone speaker when you hear distortion.  I did not hear this live during the QSO.  Note, it happens with both the straight radio with attached iHome speakers and then with the sound being processed by the SDR software coming through the Bose PC speakers.  You should be able to see when I switch over and briefly run both simultaneously.

You'll hear N6JW play a short clip of my audio back.  I have to laugh because in the video it sound a lot better than it actually did.  You could tell live there was quite a bit of static due to my lower power and the fact it had the added static of coming back to me.  

You can see my power in and out if you look close at the meters to the right on the screen.  I didn't retune until after these two videos, so only 60 watts on my end for these. 

I think that last time I talked to N6JW he was testing with his KX3 on an amp and experimenting.  How ironic! :). He's on a K3, Amp running about 500 watts and Spider Beam in this QSO. Notice on the Panadaptor no splatter on his signal.  You can see splatter on other signals I think if you watch the Panadaptor closely.

The ATU in the KX3 is bypassed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv9oNxdqyH4&sns=em

I'll post the other tomorrow, it's still uploading from my phone to YouTube. :)

Have fun and if you have questions, just ask and I'll do my best to answer!


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KE5JPP on September 07, 2012, 03:39:41 AM
This is actualy the second of two QSOs tonight.  The crackling you hear is the cell phone speaker when you hear distortion.  I did not hear this live during the QSO.  Note, it happens with both the straight radio with attached iHome speakers and then with the sound being processed by the SDR software coming through the Bose PC speakers.  You should be able to see when I switch over and briefly run both simultaneously.

You'll hear N6JW play a short clip of my audio back.  I have to laugh because in the video it sound a lot better than it actually did.  You could tell live there was quite a bit of static due to my lower power and the fact it had the added static of coming back to me.  

You can see my power in and out if you look close at the meters to the right on the screen.  I didn't retune until after these two videos, so only 60 watts on my end for these. 

I think that last time I talked to N6JW he was testing with his KX3 on an amp and experimenting.  How ironic! :). He's on a K3, Amp running about 500 watts and Spider Beam in this QSO. Notice on the Panadaptor no splatter on his signal.  You can see splatter on other signals I think if you watch the Panadaptor closely.

The ATU in the KX3 is bypassed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv9oNxdqyH4&sns=em

I'll post the other tomorrow, it's still uploading from my phone to YouTube. :)

Have fun and if you have questions, just ask and I'll do my best to answer!

Why so much splatter in the spectrum when you are transmitting?  Also, the opposite sideband rejection on transmit does not seem to be very good as indicated by the energy in the spectrum display while you are transmitting.

Gene


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: NI0Z on September 07, 2012, 03:57:05 AM
It's my belief that your not actually seeing what actually goes out on Xmit on the Panadaptor and that what your seeing right now is in large part interference as far as the splatter goes.  

Remember above, I said I have an Xmit problem running through HRD with NA3P.  IE, what I believe you are seeing is an actual problem of leaky RF in my setup related,to my use of HRD for which I do not have an explanation for at this time.


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: NI0Z on September 07, 2012, 04:44:09 AM
Here is the second QSO to Wales 60 watts max same setup as,the first.  This video shows the equipment as well.  Sorry, this one takes a little while to make the QSO also, hard to break the pile up with lower power.

Again I will try to answer questions if you have them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTXus4ecYzo&sns=em

Again, my appologies for the low grade video, had to hold the phone camera and QSO at same time as well, I don't use VOX either.


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KE5JPP on September 07, 2012, 05:53:38 AM
It's my belief that your not actually seeing what actually goes out on Xmit on the Panadaptor and that what your seeing right now is in large part interference as far as the splatter goes.  

Remember above, I said I have an Xmit problem running through HRD with NA3P.  IE, what I believe you are seeing is an actual problem of leaky RF in my setup related,to my use of HRD for which I do not have an explanation for at this time.

It looks like the typical splatter and poor opposite sideband rejection you can see any day on the bands if you have a panadapter.  This is the advantage of a panadapter.  You can see your transmit signal as well.

One way to determine this is to use your Flex5K terminated into a dummy load and monitoring your KX3 transmit signal.  Were you possibly running too much clipping or compression?  How about the ALC level?

Gene


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: NI0Z on September 07, 2012, 06:58:22 AM
Up to you to believe me, however, I have already had a few Flex users validate that the signal I produce is tight.  Honestly, if you would have asked me about this 4 months ago, I would probably either go check it, or not understand it.  I think you and Zenki got me paranoid about splatter.  Once I read about it I Had people spot check me with the Flex and I was ok there as well.

 I will say though I see lots of splatter from all kinds of radios out there, yes, even K3s, FT 5000's ect and so my GUESS on this is that either they have issues in their shacks or that radio performance greatly varies from radio to radio.  If you look closely on the second QSO you can see that the guy i'm talking to has a little skirt on the bottom left of his signal lurking there on occasion.  Contrast that to N6JW's K3 signal and lots of thoughts can come to mind why two K3s are so different.  But our shacks consist of more than radios.  Look at my shack right now, it's a bit of a mess because of trying to integrate new additional radios.

Next time I am on and catch a person with a Panadaptor I will kindly ask them to send a screen shot if you want to see first hand what my signal looks like on a distant end.  

Keep in mind that I am not sending transmit audio through the software so what you are seeing is a representation of it looped back through the IQ lines.  What's my point?  Well, connecting NA3P through HRD I have unique issues verses connecting directly from NA3P to the radio.  None of this experimenting I am doing is really supported by anyone.  I also have 5Db of gain set on the sound card software as well so the skirt if that is what your referring to may be a gross misrepresentation of what is actually transmitted.  That's my best guess at this point and maybe some kind of loop due to polling times or delays between HRD and the radio and NA3P and HRD.

My goal is to not be using NA3P here in the next month.  We will just see how all that goes, it's all a big experiment for me.

Hope you enjoyed the videos, it's coincidence that the QSO's happened to be with K3's this time.  Making more videos of this setup as it sits right now would be a bore for all, so I will probably just read here for a while now and respond to any questions if I can.

Perhaps another real user who is more qualified can help as well.


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: ZENKI on September 13, 2012, 03:51:00 AM
Its fair to say that every radio splatters. Its by how much the splatter is suppressed by that  is the main concern.

The KX3 will be probably be ok at 10 watts of output because the potential for collateral damage is low because of the low power and poor antennas.

Why I am not impressed by 10 watt QRP radios and their IMD performance is that its inevitable that many operators will chose to  boost the signal with an external amplifier. 9 times out of 10 the choice is
a lousy crap box CB amp with poor IMD performance. There is this very  discussion on the Yahoo KX3 group now. People boasting about how good  a crap IMD performance RM Italy CB amp is when used
on a QRP radio. This is utter stupidity really by hams who are just following their  ex CB practices.

The point is that if the radio has poor IMD  performance and you combine it with a even worst IMD performance amp,  the total  combined IMD performance is worst than the best IMD performance from  either the radio or the AMP.
Its seems its going to be difficult to break the common QRP practice of using lousy amps with radios that have questionable IMD performance.

When radio is sold as   a 10 watt qrp radio its IMD performance is optimized for 10 watt QRP levels with low power. The radio wont have sufficient IMD performance for 1500 watt legal output level with big antennas. This essential
point many QRP enthusiasts forget about when stupidly connecting a CB amp to the output of their QRP radios.

Its early days for the KX3 we will have to wait for the ARRL review. The one aspect of the KX3's design that will be correct is that it will have a transmitter that does not produce ALC splatter. I am not optimistic about the IMD performance of a battery operated radio. The KX3 probably has  the potential to  use adaptive pre-distortion techniques that could give it the ultimate IMD performance. The design has a lot of potential.

A 10 watt QRP radio if it had sufficient IMD performance would make a nice  driver for a tube like the 4cx1500B. A 4cx1500b could deliver full legal output with less that 5 watts of drive. I would not do this with a radio that has marginal
IMD performance. This aspect of QRP radios utility is lost on the designers of QRP radio designers, they really squander the radios potential by producing a low power radio with poor IMD performance which could make excellent drivers for tetrode amplifiers.  It would be very easy to homebrew a 200 watt tube amp that only takes 1 watt of drive or less.


Up to you to believe me, however, I have already had a few Flex users validate that the signal I produce is tight.  Honestly, if you would have asked me about this 4 months ago, I would probably either go check it, or not understand it.  I think you and Zenki got me paranoid about splatter.  Once I read about it I Had people spot check me with the Flex and I was ok there as well.

 I will say though I see lots of splatter from all kinds of radios out there, yes, even K3s, FT 5000's ect and so my GUESS on this is that either they have issues in their shacks or that radio performance greatly varies from radio to radio.  If you look closely on the second QSO you can see that the guy i'm talking to has a little skirt on the bottom left of his signal lurking there on occasion.  Contrast that to N6JW's K3 signal and lots of thoughts can come to mind why two K3s are so different.  But our shacks consist of more than radios.  Look at my shack right now, it's a bit of a mess because of trying to integrate new additional radios.

Next time I am on and catch a person with a Panadaptor I will kindly ask them to send a screen shot if you want to see first hand what my signal looks like on a distant end.  

Keep in mind that I am not sending transmit audio through the software so what you are seeing is a representation of it looped back through the IQ lines.  What's my point?  Well, connecting NA3P through HRD I have unique issues verses connecting directly from NA3P to the radio.  None of this experimenting I am doing is really supported by anyone.  I also have 5Db of gain set on the sound card software as well so the skirt if that is what your referring to may be a gross misrepresentation of what is actually transmitted.  That's my best guess at this point and maybe some kind of loop due to polling times or delays between HRD and the radio and NA3P and HRD.

My goal is to not be using NA3P here in the next month.  We will just see how all that goes, it's all a big experiment for me.

Hope you enjoyed the videos, it's coincidence that the QSO's happened to be with K3's this time.  Making more videos of this setup as it sits right now would be a bore for all, so I will probably just read here for a while now and respond to any questions if I can.

Perhaps another real user who is more qualified can help as well.


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KE5JPP on September 13, 2012, 05:00:09 AM
This aspect of QRP radios utility is lost on the designers of QRP radio designers, they really squander the radios potential by producing a low power radio with poor IMD performance which could make excellent drivers for tetrode amplifiers.  It would be very easy to homebrew a 200 watt tube amp that only takes 1 watt of drive or less.

Can you recommend a tube?

Gene


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: ZENKI on September 14, 2012, 11:44:15 PM
4cx350FJ  a superb linear tube designed for SSB service that is readily available.  2 tone 3rd order IMD figures of around -44 db at 200 watts of output

This aspect of QRP radios utility is lost on the designers of QRP radio designers, they really squander the radios potential by producing a low power radio with poor IMD performance which could make excellent drivers for tetrode amplifiers.  It would be very easy to homebrew a 200 watt tube amp that only takes 1 watt of drive or less.

Can you recommend a tube?

Gene



Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KE5JPP on September 15, 2012, 06:35:25 AM
4cx350FJ  a superb linear tube designed for SSB service that is readily available.  2 tone 3rd order IMD figures of around -44 db at 200 watts of output

This aspect of QRP radios utility is lost on the designers of QRP radio designers, they really squander the radios potential by producing a low power radio with poor IMD performance which could make excellent drivers for tetrode amplifiers.  It would be very easy to homebrew a 200 watt tube amp that only takes 1 watt of drive or less.

Can you recommend a tube?

Gene


Thanks, will look into it!

Gene


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: NI0Z on September 16, 2012, 07:09:02 PM
I have been playing with some new software and while the cat control is not
implemented yet for Omnirig, this package has been real fun to play with. Cat
control should come in the next few months. you can read and see more here.

http://roaringstar.com/index.php/articles/68-kx3-with-studio-1?hitcount=0

Incidentally, I like this package so much I am likely going to put the IC 7000 up for sale and get a QS1R in the shack to run with this as well.


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: N7ZW on September 21, 2012, 10:35:41 AM
Can't we all just get along?  I just got my KX3 and want to set it up with my computer to learn more about SDR.  All I seem to find here is some arcane argument about what SDR means using insulting language to try to make this point.  OK, let's talk about what SDR means, but why does it have to take the form of an argument???

I'll check back in a while to see if the tone of conversation has changed and if there is anything actually interesting here that illuminates the KX3 and SDR.

GROW UP GUYS !!!


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: K9IUQ on September 21, 2012, 05:48:45 PM
Can't we all just get along? 

We are a diverse group here on eham with differing views. If one only wants to see their view discussed they are not going to learn much.

 ;)
Stan K9IUQ


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: WB2WIK on September 21, 2012, 06:43:52 PM
I have been playing with some new software and while the cat control is not
implemented yet

I think cat control is very important, as my neighbor's cat makes noise all night long when she's in heat and if our windows are open it's really annoying.


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: ZENKI on September 21, 2012, 07:37:48 PM
Have a look the KX3 could be this

http://www.reuter-elektronik.de/index.html

Simple 19 inch rack box with  KX3, power supply and 200 watt FET PA. A simple touch screen front panel running  any embdedded ARM processor, the result a hot knobbed SDR radio.

The possibilities are endless, some people just need to stop drinking Koolaid or maybe they should add some LSD to the Koolaid to get some color and imagination.

A radio that is dependent on a PC is a archaic tool that wont have place in the future. Witness the success of tablets. If everyone thinks they always going to be  able to buy a desktop PC in the future they  in for a rude awakening.
Typing your product to a PC based platform is a recipe for planned obsolescence. A Android tablet that could plug into the KX3 would be  a fantastic future option that would radically transform peoples thinking about knobbed radios.



Can't we all just get along?  I just got my KX3 and want to set it up with my computer to learn more about SDR.  All I seem to find here is some arcane argument about what SDR means using insulting language to try to make this point.  OK, let's talk about what SDR means, but why does it have to take the form of an argument???

I'll check back in a while to see if the tone of conversation has changed and if there is anything actually interesting here that illuminates the KX3 and SDR.

GROW UP GUYS !!!


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: PJ2BVU on September 21, 2012, 11:31:01 PM
Have a look the KX3 could be this

http://www.reuter-elektronik.de/index.html



Receiver 1 kHz ... 30 MHz, 50 MHz ... 54 MHz Ordering information RDR50B1 Price: 1.950,00 € -> $2500.00

Receiver 1 kHz ... 30 MHz, 50 MHz ... 54 MHz, 87.5 MHz ... 108, 144 ... 148 MHz Ordering information RDR50B2 Price: 2.150,00 € -> $2800.00

Receiver as RDR50B1 with 9-band HF transmitter 4 W PEP Ordering information RDR50B3 Price: 2.500,00 € -> $3250.00

Receiver as RDR50B2 with 9-band HF transmitter 4 W PEP Ordering information RDR50B4 Price: 2.700,00 € -> $3500.00

Transmit only on HF, no 6M/2M TX.

Jean-Claude PJ2BVU


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: K9IUQ on September 22, 2012, 03:03:02 AM

http://www.reuter-elektronik.de/index.html

Simple 19 inch rack box with  KX3, power supply and 200 watt FET PA. A simple touch screen front panel running  any embdedded ARM processor, the result a hot knobbed SDR radio.

The RDR 54B was interesting in that it has no buttons and only one knob. The Tablet like touch screen certainly looked like a good implementation for a SDR. As a regular Tablet user I would have to agree that this is the way to go for controlling a SDR. Mouse free and almost like a regular knobbed radio.

I wish my browser would have translated this site, I would have liked to seen more info in English. It is thinking and Engineering like this company exhibits that will obsolete SDR companies  like Flexradio.

Stan K9IUQ


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KE5JPP on September 22, 2012, 05:01:26 AM
If everyone thinks they always going to be  able to buy a desktop PC in the future they  in for a rude awakening.

You cannot get any real work done on a iPhone, iPad, Android tablet, etc...  Just try to do some programming on one, or do an Autocad drawing, run a serious simulation, or compose a serious document.  Do you think that the programmers who develop applications for these tablets or develop their firmware or their hardware design do so on a tablet?  ::) Desktop PCs will be around a long time because of this.  It's only the non-productive mindless PLAY BABIES that only want to search the internet, send emails, tweets, and text messages who believe the desktop PC is going away anytime soon.  The PLAY BABIES like the tablets for their incessant tweeting and facebooking (as if anyone really cares to hear about every little detail of what they are doing from minute to minute).

I have all of the above and I certainly do not think the desktop PC is going away anytime soon because of it.

Gene


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: K9IUQ on September 22, 2012, 05:58:20 AM
You cannot get any real work done on a iPhone, iPad, Android tablet, etc...  

Ahh, but for an interface for a SDR the tablet would seem to be perfect.

Before retiring I worked in Instrumentation in a industrial setting. All standalone Instruments were being phased out for touch screens thru computer control. There were many advantages to this over knobs and buttons and readouts on  an Instrument.

The same thing happened many years ago in motor control circuits. All touch screens, no start/stop buttons, no stepping relays etc. Devices like Allen Bradley PLC's completely changed the way industry controlled equipment.

The same thing IS going to happen in Hamradio and the German SDR link for radios is an excellent example of where it is going to go. Zenki is right, PC control of hamradios via mouse is old school. Very old school. Tablet control of (SDR) hamradios is coming soon. They will be an integral part of the radio.

I love Tablets. I love desktop PC's. Given a choice I would much rather have a Tablet control a hamradio.

I do not see Desktop PC's fading away in spite of the Tablet.

Hamradio Play Baby (Senior) Stan K9IUQ


 


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KE5JPP on September 22, 2012, 07:29:40 AM
You cannot get any real work done on a iPhone, iPad, Android tablet, etc...  

Ahh, but for an interface for a SDR the tablet would seem to be perfect.

Before retiring I worked in Instrumentation in a industrial setting. All standalone Instruments were being phased out for touch screens thru computer control. There were many advantages to this over knobs and buttons and readouts on  an Instrument.

The same thing happened many years ago in motor control circuits. All touch screens, no start/stop buttons, no stepping relays etc. Devices like Allen Bradley PLC's completely changed the way industry controlled equipment.

The same thing IS going to happen in Hamradio and the German SDR link for radios is an excellent example of where it is going to go. Zenki is right, PC control of hamradios via mouse is old school. Very old school. Tablet control of (SDR) hamradios is coming soon. They will be an integral part of the radio.

I love Tablets. I love desktop PC's. Given a choice I would much rather have a Tablet control a hamradio.

I do not see Desktop PC's fading away in spite of the Tablet.

Hamradio Play Baby (Senior) Stan K9IUQ
 

I agree that PC based control and DSP of SDRs is a problem and not necessarily the way to go.  I have argued this multiple times on eHam in the past.  I'd much rather see embedded control and DSP integrated into the SDR. 

My only issue with Zenki's statement is when he said that desktop PCs are going away period - he did not say that they were only going away for SDRs.   The only people who think desktop PCs are going away are the consumers of things, not the producers of things.  If these people really produced anything, they would immediately understand that a tablet, or phone, is not what you use to produce serious things (except for tweets, facebook posts, and other nonsense).

Gene


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: K9IUQ on September 22, 2012, 08:05:13 AM
If these people really produced anything, they would immediately understand that a tablet, or phone, is not what you use to produce serious things (except for tweets, facebook posts, and other nonsense).

The Tablet was never intended to produce anything except maybe emails, and as you say other nonsense.

It was and is a device to consume information and provide entertainment.. Information/Entertainment = Movies, Books, Newspapers, WebSurfing, Gaming etc. It is a game changer. I full expect paper produced Books/Newspapers/Magazines to be extinct within several years because of Tablets.

Using a Tablet for Controlling a ham radio would be a game changer too. Imagine a non-SDR radio like a Icom Pro III with one tuning knob and no mechanical buttons. A beautiful spectrum scope with waterfall on the tablet display.  All radio functions could be controlled by the integrated tablet on the front of the Radio. A propagation map/DX Cluster/Logbook could be integrated within the Radio's Tablet. Automatic CW/Digital decoding below the waterfall.  Get tired of radioing? Just hit the eham 'Button" on the Tablet and voila you are ready for serious complaining.  :D :D

Stan K9IUQ


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: NI0Z on September 22, 2012, 10:41:04 AM
Tablets rock!

Having said that, I don't have much desire to run my KX3 from my tablet with the current crop of software, I'd rather just operate blind! :)

As to the future of the desktop PC... Well, change is inevitable!  Lol, if not for my radios and a few websites that won't work with tablet browsers yet, I hardly use the desktops or laptops anymore.

Today's kids will shape tomorrow's consumers and today's kids think desktops are archaic and inconvenient!  They are being raised on phones and tablets and game consoles.  Corporations are moving more and more to mobile computing and bring your own device strategies as well.

Heck, I can even type over 30 worlds a minute on an iPad without external keyboard.  I print from it, and do most other daily functional things from it.  I am even doing photo editing and more complicated functions with it.

Everything changes with time!


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: K9IUQ on September 22, 2012, 12:04:50 PM
Tablets rock!

Everything changes with time!


You sound like a Playbaby Tablet Tweeter that does Facebook and other nonsense.  :D :D  ;)
From the looks of it Gene is not going to change. he seems stuck with a mouse.

I am not ready to give up Desktop PC's yet. Maybe when Tablets get a bigger size I will change my mind. A 10 inch screen just ain't big enough for Seniors. I use a 32' monitor on my PC. Somehow I can not see a 32' Tablet in my lap but maybe a 15' Tablet would be about right.  :o

Stan K9IUQ



Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KE5JPP on September 22, 2012, 12:21:16 PM
Tablets rock!

Everything changes with time!


You sound like a Playbaby Tablet Tweeter that does Facebook and other nonsense.  :D :D  ;)
From the looks of it Gene is not going to change. he seems stuck with a mouse.

I am not ready to give up Desktop PC's yet. Maybe when Tablets get a bigger size I will change my mind. A 10 inch screen just ain't big enough for Seniors. I use a 32' monitor on my PC. Somehow I can not see a 32' Tablet in my lap but maybe a 15' Tablet would be about right.  :o

Stan K9IUQ


.

I read and compose most of my eHam posts on my iPad as I am doing right now.  I have nothing against tablets, just stupid statements.

Gene


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KE5JPP on September 22, 2012, 12:31:46 PM
Tablets rock!

Having said that, I don't have much desire to run my KX3 from my tablet with the current crop of software, I'd rather just operate blind! :)

As to the future of the desktop PC... Well, change is inevitable!  Lol, if not for my radios and a few websites that won't work with tablet browsers yet, I hardly use the desktops or laptops anymore.

Today's kids will shape tomorrow's consumers and today's kids think desktops are archaic and inconvenient!  They are being raised on phones and tablets and game consoles.  Corporations are moving more and more to mobile computing and bring your own device strategies as well.

Heck, I can even type over 30 worlds a minute on an iPad without external keyboard.  I print from it, and do most other daily functional things from it.  I am even doing photo editing and more complicated functions with it.

Everything changes with time!


Yes, consumers are using tablets.  On what do you think all those applications that consumers use are wrtten on?  Definitely not a tablet! 

Gene
(composed on an iPad)


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KF6QEX on September 22, 2012, 01:59:05 PM
Quote
Today's kids will shape tomorrow's consumers and today's kids think desktops are archaic and inconvenient!  They are being raised on phones and tablets and game consoles.  Corporations are moving more and more to mobile computing and bring your own device strategies as well.

Today's kids are being shaped by adults into tomorrow's consumers.
Any kid that used a "fast desktop" will not think it's it's archaic and inconvenient.
Most kids don't know what "fast" is. Just like to most kids a 64Kb encoded mp3 "sounds fine". 
Kids used to want laptops because they didn't have to use mom's and dad's computer. Now they want a tablet because it's even more convenient than a laptop.
Or because their friend has one.
What they are being raised on, is developed and marketed and sold by adults.
Corporations are moving towards what they believe is the most profitable direction,  or what they believe will bring in the most venture capital. Either way it is done for the benefit of the corporation first and foremost. Consumer benefit (actual or perceived) is almost a side effect.
Of course there is a lot of keeping up with the Jones' going on when it is necessary....

We are all part of a market segment or someone's target demographic...


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: NI0Z on September 22, 2012, 04:51:27 PM
Today's kids are being shaped by adults into tomorrow's consumers.
Any kid that used a "fast desktop" will not think it's it's archaic and inconvenient.
Most kids don't know what "fast" is. Just like to most kids a 64Kb encoded mp3 "sounds fine". 
Kids used to want laptops because they didn't have to use mom's and dad's computer. Now they want a tablet because it's even more convenient than a laptop.
Or because their friend has one.
What they are being raised on, is developed and marketed and sold by adults.
Corporations are moving towards what they believe is the most profitable direction,  or what they believe will bring in the most venture capital. Either way it is done for the benefit of the corporation first and foremost. Consumer benefit (actual or perceived) is almost a side effect.
Of course there is a lot of keeping up with the Jones' going on when it is necessary....

We are all part of a market segment or someone's target demographic...

We are talking about what I call the Y generation here aren't we?  BTW, I have 4 of them here and there is not much shaping of this next gen coming whose single most asked question is (Y) why?

Why do I need to get a job?
Why do I need to follow rules?
Why do I need to work hard?
Why do I need a big PC?

:)


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: N3OX on September 23, 2012, 08:51:36 PM
Using a Tablet for Controlling a ham radio would be a game changer too. Imagine a non-SDR radio like a Icom Pro III with one tuning knob and no mechanical buttons. A beautiful spectrum scope with waterfall on the tablet display.  All radio functions could be controlled by the integrated tablet on the front of the Radio

Pinch-to-zoom would control actual RF filter bandwidth...


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: N2EY on September 24, 2012, 05:34:41 AM
3.  Since you have only really had any experience with the Yaesu 897D, ICOM 7000 and the Flex5K, your statement "you can plug in headphones or external speakers and experience ham radio like few probably have before" holds very little credibility.  Try actually operating some quality radios besides the clunkers you have experience with before declaring such nonsense as if the KX3 is some kind of miracle radio.  That statement of yours comes off as some over the top nonsense from a infatuated fan boy.

What would you suggest as "some quality radios" for comparison to the KX3?

How many of them cost less than $1000 US?

73 de Jim, N2EY


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: NO9E on September 24, 2012, 07:55:30 AM
KX3 is an amazing radio. Very smart that means great features at probably small manufacturing cost.

IMD with KX3 is interesting, It is a function of power supply - see a document on yahoo kx3 group. 3rd order of -40db with high voltage, dropping to -25db with the low voltage. One chooses what one wants: highest power at QRP level with battery, or low distortions when stationary with an amplifier.

Ignacy, NO9E


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: NI0Z on September 25, 2012, 04:31:41 PM
3.  Since you have only really had any experience with the Yaesu 897D, ICOM 7000 and the Flex5K, your statement "you can plug in headphones or external speakers and experience ham radio like few probably have before" holds very little credibility.  Try actually operating some quality radios besides the clunkers you have experience with before declaring such nonsense as if the KX3 is some kind of miracle radio.  That statement of yours comes off as some over the top nonsense from a infatuated fan boy.

What would you suggest as "some quality radios" for comparison to the KX3?

How many of them cost less than $1000 US?

73 de Jim, N2EY

I don't think I ever said anything about that quote.  I'll leave it at this.. I have played with low ends and high ends.  Those ends are not defined by me, you can go by Sherwood or by User ratings or personal criteria which appears to be the case for the remark.

What I have not dabbled in really is the ground in between, that I will agree with and that 4 radios and 1 year is not much experience.  But I have veer claimed otherwise.

If having an opinion as a new ham is a crime, then I am guilty! :)

73 De NI0Z


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: WA6MJE on October 27, 2012, 12:55:02 PM
I have been keeping my eye on SDR developments for half a decade, and am now interested in actually buying the KX3 to get my feet wet with this new technology.  I already have good experience with JT-65HF and PK31 modes using an audio interface with my old analog rig. But now I am not sure how to actually buy and deploy the KX3 with a computer SDR interface and then into digital modes.  I would appreciate feedback on my best guess hoping to avoid mistakes.

I would buy the KX3 and use the (E980231) I/Q Output Cable to plug directly into the audio in/out ports on my laptop WITHOUT any interface or isolation.  I would then run one of the many SDR pieces of software, but do not know which one.  I would then run a virtual cable to get the final audio into and out of the JT-65HF software.  Ideally, I would multitask the SDR software and JT-65HF software for a seamless workflow.

Of course, once I got it to work, then I would have all the fun of getting it to work better.  Once I hear from hams who have done this, and how they have done it, I will hit the "buy" button and get started.
73s, Rene

Basically I am trying to construct a working design of parts, components and software to use the KX3 without knobs as I would with say a Flex 1500 in JT65 mode just to get my feet wet with SDR, and at the same time have the KX3 to use as a stand alone portable rig, but am not sure of exactly how to do this in a step by step method.


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KF6QEX on October 27, 2012, 11:00:15 PM
Quote
Once I hear from hams who have done this, and how they have done it, I will hit the "buy" button and get started.

A) It's been done

B) With various degrees of ease or difficulty  depending on the presence or absence of a  variety of problems/issues none or all of which may apply to your specific geographical/intellectual/hardware/antenna  situation

C) Get started already

BCE  is sooo much simpler and a lot less painful
(Buy-Connect-Enjoy)   :)


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: NI0Z on October 29, 2012, 07:17:07 PM
Here is your ARRL review of the KX3.

http://www.arrl.org/files/file/protected/Group/Members/ProductReview/PROD%20REV%20December%202012.pdf

You'll need to sign in to access it.


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: WS4E on November 15, 2012, 01:09:54 PM
So what exactly is the bandwidth of the SDR IQ lines on the KX3? No where have I seen that listed.

I have a soundcard that will do 192Khz easy, and currently use it on the softrock and get a nice 192khz wide signal.

I think part of the problem is that only serious SDR users even have the type of soundcards or something like a FA66 that can do 192khz, and most people who have gotten a KX3 are not experienced SDR users, they are just regular hams.

So, does anyone know if the KX3 I/Q lines can be used at 192khz as well or are they limited to only 48, or 96khz wide?

Has anyone even tried to use a KX3 with a sound card that can do 192khz to test it?

Just curious.



Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: WA6MJE on November 15, 2012, 11:21:58 PM

So, does anyone know if the KX3 I/Q lines can be used at 192khz as well or are they limited to only 48, or 96khz wide?


I read that it could on page 26 of the KX3 user manual if fed into a 192khz sound card.  I am interested in buying a KX3 to use as an SDR rig, but have not read of anyone who has actually done this yet.  The manual is terse on this, and the forums provide little additional feedback on this thus far.   


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KE5JPP on November 16, 2012, 03:34:07 AM

So, does anyone know if the KX3 I/Q lines can be used at 192khz as well or are they limited to only 48, or 96khz wide?


I read that it could on page 26 of the KX3 user manual if fed into a 192khz sound card.  I am interested in buying a KX3 to use as an SDR rig, but have not read of anyone who has actually done this yet.  The manual is terse on this, and the forums provide little additional feedback on this thus far.   

NI0Z is using his KX3 with with SDR software.  Hopefully he will chime in and tell you what he has found.  NI0Z?

Gene


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KE5JPP on November 16, 2012, 05:12:31 AM

So, does anyone know if the KX3 I/Q lines can be used at 192khz as well or are they limited to only 48, or 96khz wide?


I read that it could on page 26 of the KX3 user manual if fed into a 192khz sound card.  I am interested in buying a KX3 to use as an SDR rig, but have not read of anyone who has actually done this yet.  The manual is terse on this, and the forums provide little additional feedback on this thus far.   

I wonder if the optional 'roofing filters' is added to the KX3 if that effects the I/Q output bandwidth?

Gene


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KE5JPP on November 16, 2012, 07:11:07 AM
According to the information I could find doing a search, it appears that 192 kHz is possible.  Still don't know what happens with the optional I/Q roofing filters as far as bandwidth.

Gene


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: NI0Z on November 17, 2012, 07:06:07 PM
Most of what you are looking for is in this article here including screen shots.

http://roaringstar.com/index.php/articles/66-kx3-nap3-lp-brige-dm780-setup

Hope this helps!


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KB1YOO on December 19, 2012, 12:33:34 PM
What happened to this thread?.. It was getting really interesting and then everybody ran out of gas. I just bought an SDR IQ and a KX3 and interface to an iPad using iSDR. Hey NI0Z your photographs are really incredible.
You also have the right perspective in your outlook. As a new ham you are Asking the right questions. As for myself, I got licensed at 13 in 1953 and the let my license lapse when i worked overseas. I finally got relicensed recently so i am looking at things from your point of view.  Don't let the arrogant engineers deter your initiative. I have run into these guys before and they think the world revolves around them instead of an actual product. Don't get me wrong, these guys are good at what they do but are never in charge of reality. There are some guys who think you don't know how to program unless you use UNIX with a Black and white text terminal.  Hi hi

So relative to your link on the KX3 bandwidth, I keep experiencing inconsistencies. From what I read, I believe the maximum possible KX3 IQ bandwidth display is 192kHz with a sample rate of 192kHz. The KX3 manual states this rather obtusely. I have to say that I have never seen any of the popular SDR programs show a KX3 bandwidth spectrum of 192kHz. I cannot get it to work either.  Maybe it's me.

Regards, WK1K previously KB1YOO


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: NI0Z on December 19, 2012, 07:37:40 PM
What happened to this thread?.. It was getting really interesting and then everybody ran out of gas.

So relative to your link on the KX3 bandwidth, I keep experiencing inconsistencies. From what I read, I believe the maximum possible KX3 IQ bandwidth display is 192kHz with a sample rate of 192kHz. The KX3 manual states this rather obtusely. I have to say that I have never seen any of the popular SDR programs show a KX3 bandwidth spectrum of 192kHz. I cannot get it to work either.  Maybe it's me.

Regards, WK1K previously KB1YOO

Lol, not out of gas, just really short on time these days.  Thanks for the nice comments.  Just as I try to understand long timer perspective I agree you can learn lots from short timers.  We newbies see everything through rosé colored glasses when it come to the hobby and there is so much that is new and exciting with ham radio.

You won't get more than 96K.  To get 96K you set the sampling rate to 192K.  IE you get half the set sampling rate.

As compared to many new SDRs this is rather limited.  It's still very usable.

What I find when people contact me most times with inconsistency is two things.

Failure to use an isolator like the one from radio shack or something better.
Use of NAP3 which in the version I last used has a bug where things can shift after you switch to CW and back.

While the article I provided isn't perfect, if followed carefully offers enough to get it all working.  Might have to read it a few times, but it's in there.

I am thinking that 2013 is going to bring us some cool stuff!

Have fun!
NI0Z


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KB1YOO on December 21, 2012, 10:35:09 AM
OK Somehow I have stumbled into the truth! Bottom line is (happily) the KX3 DOES do 196kHz bandwidth and I finally got it to work.  Remember that there are TWO IQ audio lines to sample at 192k each, which give you a BW of 96k each side of center .. sum total BW = 192k. So you set your sound card to stereo line in sampled at 192k. And then use your favorite program and it should display properly.

Here's what I did specifically..
.. used an old 2008 MacBook laptop dual boot running Windows 7 standalone.
.. configured sound card for stereo line in 16 bit 192k sample rate.
.. ran KX3 RX I/Q cable direct into stereo line in
...40 meters was pretty active so I tuned the KX3 to 7200 kHz
.. ran SDR-RADIO app
.. before hitting the start button, set up the BW display (right click) in the app for 200kHz
and set input for the Soundcard option then select line in as device @ 192k sample rate
… also INVERT the IQ
.. click the Start button
.. the waterfall will start and always be centered at the current KX3 frequency
. .if you tune the KX3 up in freq, the waterfall should shift left
.. The waterfall display will show funny frequencies on the bottom..ignore them and don't mess with the ham band buttons or you will lose the waterfall.

Then I started up another copy of SDR-RADIO and attached to my local SDR-IQ. I also connected to the same antenna. I centered the SDR-IQ freq to same as KX3 and voila! Both waterfalls pretty much matched. It looked like there was a spurious signal reflected off center at +- 40 kHz. It didn't move when I tuned freq. Probably need to use the I/Q balancing utility in SDR-RADIO.

I also ran the HDSDR app with KX3 input and got the same bandwidth pattern results..

Then I plugged the KX3 IQ into the iMic and connected to the USB on my laptop. I couldn't get more than 48kHz bandwidth. I am using the iMic on my iPad so it is good enough for now.

So if your laptop sound card can do 192k stereo per channel sample rate, you are probably good to go. Otherwise just buy one of the high performance USB sound cards (but NOT iMic).

So have fun.. now I am starting to think my SRD-IQ is redundant.

DJ - WK1K previously KB1YOO previously W8PID


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KE5JPP on December 21, 2012, 01:50:57 PM
OK Somehow I have stumbled into the truth! Bottom line is (happily) the KX3 DOES do 196kHz bandwidth and I finally got it to work.  Remember that there are TWO IQ audio lines to sample at 192k each, which give you a BW of 96k each side of center .. sum total BW = 192k. So you set your sound card to stereo line in sampled at 192k. And then use your favorite program and it should display properly.

Here's what I did specifically..
.. used an old 2008 MacBook laptop dual boot running Windows 7 standalone.
.. configured sound card for stereo line in 16 bit 192k sample rate.
.. ran KX3 RX I/Q cable direct into stereo line in
...40 meters was pretty active so I tuned the KX3 to 7200 kHz
.. ran SDR-RADIO app
.. before hitting the start button, set up the BW display (right click) in the app for 200kHz
and set input for the Soundcard option then select line in as device @ 192k sample rate
… also INVERT the IQ
.. click the Start button
.. the waterfall will start and always be centered at the current KX3 frequency
. .if you tune the KX3 up in freq, the waterfall should shift left
.. The waterfall display will show funny frequencies on the bottom..ignore them and don't mess with the ham band buttons or you will lose the waterfall.

Then I started up another copy of SDR-RADIO and attached to my local SDR-IQ. I also connected to the same antenna. I centered the SDR-IQ freq to same as KX3 and voila! Both waterfalls pretty much matched. It looked like there was a spurious signal reflected off center at +- 40 kHz. It didn't move when I tuned freq. Probably need to use the I/Q balancing utility in SDR-RADIO.

I also ran the HDSDR app with KX3 input and got the same bandwidth pattern results..

Then I plugged the KX3 IQ into the iMic and connected to the USB on my laptop. I couldn't get more than 48kHz bandwidth. I am using the iMic on my iPad so it is good enough for now.

So if your laptop sound card can do 192k stereo per channel sample rate, you are probably good to go. Otherwise just buy one of the high performance USB sound cards (but NOT iMic).

So have fun.. now I am starting to think my SRD-IQ is redundant.

DJ - WK1K previously KB1YOO previously W8PID

The KX3, Flex 5000, and SDR-IQ at 192 kHz is a total YAWN and old technology!  ::)  Some of the modern SDRs can go up to 2 MHz or more.

Gene


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KB1YOO on December 21, 2012, 03:43:16 PM
Gene
Actually the SDR-IQ samples the input at 66 MHz. The limiting factor is cramming the samples through the USB. So that's probably why only 192k. I think the newer SDR devices do simultaneous on board multiple channel demod with FPGAs. But now that's getting expensive. 192k is big enough bw for my poor addled brain to see what's around. So not the best but good enuf for amateur work!

DJ WK1K previously known as...this & that


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: WA6MJE on December 21, 2012, 07:27:57 PM
I just got a KX3 and will be configuring it for SDR over the holidays.  A month or so back I also got a Flex 1500.  My goal is to observe more bandwidth at a time hoping to locate more DX faster, mostly in the CW digital end of the bands.  When I got the Flex I was not aware it was limited to 48Khz bandwidth.  And, as posted above, some of the newer SDR systems have 2Mhz bandwidth.  I am considering how I would use that. 

The announced Flex 6500 is supposed to see multiple slices at a time which would be nice. BUT, now I am factoring my antennas into the equation.  I have to hide them, so I have several screwdriver verticals, magnetic loops and solutions that have very narrow bandwidth.  So, my limiting factor is antenna bandwidth rather than SDR bandwidth.  I can change the resonance of any of my antennas but that takes time and effort and sometimes a trip outside, so my antenna bandwidth limits minimizes the benefits of wideband SDR waterfalls for me.

So instead of thinking about the Flex 6500, I am now wondering if I would have a more efficient system if I just ran two or three independent rigs with two or three antennas at a time. 

For example, I can setup my "old" Icom 7000 on the JT 65 spot on one band, and the SSB mode is wide enough to see all I want within that one mode.  I can tune one of my antennas for that spot, and spend all day watching one band without touching anything. I can then take my Flex and watch the low end of the CW portion of that same band and use a second screwdriver antenna.  I can do the same with my KX3 using a third antenna, perhaps one of my magnetic loops.  These would all be slaved to laptops I have around the house.  With the three rigs going at once, I can be very efficient in terms of being in the right place at the right time. 

On the other hand, a wideband Flex 6500 with any of my antennas would require work to move from one spot to another.  Perhaps I can use an antenna tuner, which I have never done.  But with QRP, inefficient stealth antennas, I hate to introduce more inefficiency into my antenna designs.

In any event, I now have the three rigs to play with, and several months before the big Flex is ready for sale to determine what my dream station will be.

So I wonder how others use a SDR with enough bandwidth to see a whole band at once, but an antenna with say a 50 Khz 2.0 or lower SWR bandwidth?  It is like a round peg and a square hole.  Or, is there a way to make it work?

Rene - WA6MJE


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: WD5GWY on December 21, 2012, 08:17:04 PM
The SWR bandwidth won't effect reception enough for you to notice. Especially if the antenna(s) are still close to resonate on the band(s) you are using. Problems will arise when you transmit into a higher SWR(antenna too far out of resonance) than your radio(s) will tolerate.
  Using an SDR radio is fun ( I too have a Flex 1500). But, even though the display will show you
signals up and down the band.(within the bandwidth of the receiver) It won't tell you if the station(s) are DX stations or not. You will still have to tune them in. (point and click in the case of an SDR radio)
  The SDR radios mentioned that have 2Mhz bandwidth are receivers, not transceivers. They would be fine for monitoring, but, you'll still have to use another radio for transmit.  Personally, I cannot listen to more than one or two rigs at most, at any time. While the features of the new Flex 6000 Series Radios are great, how many people would use 4 to 8 receivers at one time?  How would you hear them all at once? The mockup software that Flex Radio shows at hamfests, shows several panadapter displays at once on a single screen, but, since it is only mockup software, no audio from any of the "slices".  And the new Flex radios are supposed to do 70Mhz of spectrum at once. (divided up into as much as 4 to 8 slices depending on which radio you have)
   Even then, with so much more bandwidth, you still won't be able to locate DX any faster.
An easier solution for that is keeping tabs on some of the DX Cluster websites and watching when someone spots a DX station. Of course, tons of other operators are doing the same thing and will pounce on them too!
  You could use a program like CW Skimmer to monitor the CW portion of the band to find DX contacts that way. It shows callsigns for multiple stations as it scans the band. Pretty cool too.
Have fun.
james
WD5GWY
     


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KE5JPP on December 22, 2012, 04:30:12 AM
Gene
Actually the SDR-IQ samples the input at 66 MHz. The limiting factor is cramming the samples through the USB. So that's probably why only 192k. I think the newer SDR devices do simultaneous on board multiple channel demod with FPGAs. But now that's getting expensive. 192k is big enough bw for my poor addled brain to see what's around. So not the best but good enuf for amateur work!

DJ WK1K previously known as...this & that

Yes, I am aware that the SDR-IQ samples at 66 MHz.  USB is not the excuse since other SDRs can pass at least 2 MHz of bandwidth over USB.  The reason the SDR-IQ is limited to 190 kHz is because of a poor choice in USB interface chip.

Gene


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: WA6MJE on December 22, 2012, 02:04:31 PM
  You could use a program like CW Skimmer to monitor the CW portion of the band to find DX contacts that way. It shows callsigns for multiple stations as it scans the band. Pretty cool too.
Have fun.
james
WD5GWY
James.  I agree that I could not listen to more than a couple of receivers at a time. But, after I started using JT-65 HF I got lazy.  That software listens only to about 3Khz at a time, and all of the stations fit into that.  I can watch and listen to all of them at once (on a single band) and that is how I got used to the JT 65 "mini panadapter" and wanted now more. And with JT-65 I found an add on product called JT Alert.  That one scans my log, decides what DX/State/Country/Zone/Grid Square I need, looks up the call signs it sees and alerts me to come to the computer and pay attention.  Until I am alerted, I am free to do anything I want such as pay attention to other modes/bands.  I then found CW Skimmer, but have not used it yet.  I need to get my CW speed back up to what it was years ago.  I am not sure if CW Simmer will integrate with my log, and analyze what I need like JT Alert does, but my hope is to get the same functionality.  CW Skimmer can listen to more than the 3Khz that JT 65 can watch, so that brought me to start learning about SDR where I can watch the entire CW portion of one band.

So my big plan is to use SDR, plus CW Skimmer, plus JT 65, plus spotting websites, and use technology to cut down on my workload so I can perhaps get on top of what is going on on the two best bands of the day. I am not sure if the design will be using the Flex 6500 in some way, or the three rigs I have including the KX3.  It takes a lot of time and trial and error to get the software all to work together and talk together. 

Another way  to explain my plan is this.  I also fly airplanes.  Decades ago when I started flying the technology in the cockpit was Spartan, and the pilot had to do everything by hand, navigate with paper maps, compute with a hand held flight computer, set VOR dials to track radials and so on.  Today, we have GPS systems that cut down on the workload. Now I put in all the waypoints into the GPS, and the GPS takes it from there with an autopilot allowing the pilot to concentrate on more important tasks. 

So I am hoping I can use technology to handle the tasks of DX stalking, moving from station to station, finding out who the are, deciding if I need them or not and so on.  My role is the use "skill" to design the workstation, plan the bands and modes for the day, manage the pileup, improve antennas, hardware and software over the months and years.   I want the same thing I have with JT 65 and JT Alert, but with coverage over the CW portion, PSK 31 portion, of the first and second hottest bands of the day.

Not sure what hardware can meet the concept design. Now I am worried more about antenna bandwidth restrictions than SDR, but by trial and error I will improve the efficiency of my workstation. And concerned about using three rigs, or one humongous SDR rig with four slices.  I am not sure how many antenna ports the Flex 6500 will have either.  So, it will be several months after it ships that I can get enough feedback about how it works before I hit the buy button.  For now, the Flex 1500 and KX3 will be "two slices" of a big pie.

Rene - WA6MJE


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: WD5GWY on December 22, 2012, 02:32:56 PM
Sounds like a lot of work to me!  ;D
Of course I am more of a casual DX'er and not hard core at all.
I enjoy spinning the dial of an old boat anchor rig and seeing what
I find. Or using my Flex 1500 to to click and go. To me, half the fun
in tuning the bands is finding that station that no one else has found
yet. I have had that happen quite a bit over the years and even now
with the internet being used for DX spotting, I can still find stations
before someone spots them and creates a huge pileup.
  To me it is like what Forrest Gump said" Life is like a box of chocolates.
You just never know what you're going to find". I look at my style of
DX'ing in the same manner. Tune around and enjoy the surprise!
  james
WD5GWY

Oh, I understand the thing about flying. But, at the same time, isn't
flying the plane the main objective? If you are off doing something
else and the Auto Pilot decides it would be fun to do a dive, that could
get quite interesting in a hurry!

 


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KB1YOO on January 04, 2013, 06:00:12 PM
Gene, you are absolutely right! I just did some more research and found current SDR tech (high priced) is doing 8 MS/sec into USB 2.0.

So now I see some people sampling the analog IQ output using 24 bit A/D sound cards and think they are getting high resolution dynamic range. I am wondering what the original analog IQ output is derived from. Is it 14bit? If so these guys are fooling themselves. Does anyone know?

Regards all for a 73 New Year
DJ WK1K/ex-KB1YOO/W8PID


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: NI0Z on January 04, 2013, 06:33:09 PM
Gene, you are absolutely right! I just did some more research and found current SDR tech (high priced) is doing 8 MS/sec into USB 2.0.

So now I see some people sampling the analog IQ output using 24 bit A/D sound cards and think they are getting high resolution dynamic range. I am wondering what the original analog IQ output is derived from. Is it 14bit? If so these guys are fooling themselves. Does anyone know?

Regards all for a 73 New Year
DJ WK1K/ex-KB1YOO/W8PID

Keep in mind that when you sample, regardless of source quality, you are dealing with loss.  That's why sampling at a greater bit width is always better than a smaller one, you loose less of the original artifact.

I would agree you can't turn an original 14 bits into 24 bits by revamping at a higher rate.  It would be like say you can produce more light by reflecting it with mirrors.


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: KF5KWH on January 06, 2013, 03:05:15 AM
Tablets rock!

Everything changes with time!


You sound like a Playbaby Tablet Tweeter that does Facebook and other nonsense.  :D :D  ;)
From the looks of it Gene is not going to change. he seems stuck with a mouse.

I am not ready to give up Desktop PC's yet. Maybe when Tablets get a bigger size I will change my mind. A 10 inch screen just ain't big enough for Seniors. I use a 32' monitor on my PC. Somehow I can not see a 32' Tablet in my lap but maybe a 15' Tablet would be about right.  :o

Stan K9IUQ


.

I read and compose most of my eHam posts on my iPad as I am doing right now.  I have nothing against tablets, just stupid statements.

Gene

I think we will in the near future be using Volumetric Haptic Displays with eyeglasses or implants to see 150 inch 4XHD displays all linked to SDRs the size of cell phones. Just saying things are really getting eclectically electric, more powerful and small, integration being directly intuitive and maybe even, put a cap on and think it, and it happens. Look at where a friend of mine is taking music production, in lobedemic sense, soon to be practidemic in a few years, think of the interface in the movie "Minority Report", but with glasses or an implant, and gloves with feed back.

http://www.n-ism.org/People/bill.php

Things will move fast, once a true SDR arrives, also just recently, you can buy a wideband (the whole RF spectrum) analog to Digital converter that uses 32 bit converters at a very high MHz rate for EU TV that can be used with PC Software, it wouldn't take much to link it to a iPad app like they do with this equipment,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1enkzuX-Z5A

Think of replacing the StudioLive digital mixer with a SDR.
Enjoy the 'rooter' discussion! ::)

Just saying,  but I agree the PC will stay until the ubiquitous of a parallel processing is realized.

Bill


Title: RE: KX3 SDR
Post by: WV4I on May 06, 2013, 06:10:23 AM
This is an older but useful thread.

I'm using the KX3 with HDSDR. Soundcard is a M-Audio 192 at 192kc sample rate. Win 7 32 bit. I've selected spectrum display of 192kc, but in noisier condx, can see the noise strength roll off from +-48kc to +-96kc from LO (center) freq. So you might miss a signal down say 1 S unit at 192kc display edges, but that's about it, etc..

HDSDR. To get away from (LO) center freq and I/Q imbalance spike, I offset the LO -5kc from Tune freq and select Sync LO from Options>Cat to Radio. Then to transmit KX3 on same freq as listening on HDSDR, I set KX3 XIT to +5kc. There may be a better way, but works for me.

In HDSDR, the PRE of the radio works, but lose radio NR, get HDSDR's routine instead. Similar to some other functions. But HDSDR does okay with synching the basics, including Freq and Mode.

For comparison I also run an SDR-IQ here with SDR-Radio V1.5, a TS-590S, ext T/R relay, etc.. SDR-Radio controls every function of the SDR-IQ, but I have not found a CAT program which does this very well for the KX3? The main downside for the separate Rcvr/Xmtr setup is latency from Tx to Rx in fast paced exchanges. For everyday use okay. Less of this latency with KX3 xmt and HDSDR receive via KX3 I/Q, but there.

Link, WV4I