Thursday, March 27, 2014

(best viewed on youtube in full screen mode.  Just click the youtube icon at the bottom of the video applet)

An interesting aspect of SDR is the ability to remote control the radio.  SDR's have bee turned into radio "servers", where a physical receiver can serve up what it receives to a browser anywhere on the planet.  I use the SDR receivers at  Many of these receivers require JAVA to work, but the RX at University of Twente in the Netherlands uses HTML5, a more secure solution.

I made a recording of a pileup on the club station XW0JYJ on 17m CW.  The circuit is from Laos to the Netherlands then to my web browser in Florida.

Here is a pic of the receiver at U Twente:

This receiver is receiving the HF spectrum and is presently serving 182 users.  Here is a pic of some of users including w9oy (near the bottom).  The entire pic takes up more screen than my screen capture software can capture.:


Here is a shot of the antenna!  Note the entire receiving element is only 5 x 10 cm!  This antenna might be interesting to use in the development of wide band receiving 4 square.  More study required by me.

Here is a shot of the receiver control panel.  As you can see pretty much everything basic is covered, freq, band width , mode etc.

This is my first attempt at creating a narrated video screen capture.  I hope to develop this technique to include in further posts.  SDR is visually so dynamic screen shots don't really do justice to the experience.  The video capture tool I am using is the Apowersoft Free Screen Recorder.  Desktop version.

73  W9OY

Monday, March 24, 2014

New 'Puter

My new computer arrived about 4:30.  I made a cursory inspection and plugged that sucker in!!

Here are a few pics  (you can click the pics to get a bigger shot and you can just keep clicking to scroll through all the shots in this post)

This shot gives some idea of the size.  The rig has a dual core  a 2.6 ghz Celeron G1610 Ivy bridge processor on a i3 die and is designed to be a home theater PC and run signage.  It has HDMI and DVI outputs (lower right), 2 x 1GB ethernet, mini PCIe wifi,  8gb ram and windows 8.1.

Here is a shot of the rig driving 2 monitors.  On the left is a 24" Toshiba 1080p HDMI TV and the right is a 20' Acer 1600 x 900 DVI LED monitor.   

these shots show the resolution.

Below is a shot of each monitor running separate instances of the U of Twente WebSdr server.  This allows me to listen to two different frequencies at once.  This server runs HTML5 in the browser feed so there is no need to install Java (i.e. no security compromise) to get it to run.

 I was afraid this sub $50 dollar processor would not have the horsepower but so far I must say I am more than impressed!!  I may try doing a screen capture video of this lash-up and posting it to you tube

73 W9OY

Thursday, March 20, 2014

New Computer

Since I'm starting from scratch, I decided to build a new computer for this station.  According to the 6000 specs a core 2 duo was the least processor I could choose.  I have been a fan of Shuttle computers for years and wanted something small and quiet.  Here is the chassis I chose:

A Shuttle DS 61 v1.1   

It's a tiny quiet box with rave reviews.  It is designed to run signage and as such is more commercial grade than consumer grade in its construction.  The computer has 2 x 1gb Ethernet ports, 4 USB 2 ports, 2 USB 3 ports, audio I/O 2 video ports (HDMI and DVI) and a pair of serial ports.  The chassis is designed for Intel LGA 1155 sandy and ivy processors up to 65w including Ivy Celeron, i3. It can handle up to 16gb DDR3 ram, and has 1 mini PCIe slot.  It comes configured for a 2.5 inch drive.  I was looking on ebay and found this computer configured with a 2.6 ghz Celeron G1610 Ivy processor, 8gb ram, 160g HD, Windows 8.1 and a mini PCIe wifi card.  Everything I need to get into deep trouble!

I'm not sure if this processor is going to have enough horse power to run SmartSDR on 2 monitors but from the reviews I have read its worth a shot.  If not I'll upgrade to a i-3 dual core 65w processor with the 4000 graphics engine.  I also have a 256mb SATA 3 SSD on the way.  I have another 8gb of ram to add also totaling 16gb.  The box is in the mail and I expect to see it in the flesh on Monday.  Maybe by Tue the new computer will be upgraded and ready for business.  I hope the reported experience will give the reader some idea of how much computer is needed.   I haven't built a new computer in years so I'm looking forward to seeing how well this thing performs.  More to follow....

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

After a 3 year hiatus I decided to restart my blog on SDR.  However Google's "blogger" had other ideas.  Somehow my blog had become dormant and I was unable to post to it anymore.   Since I want this blog to constitute my experience as I transition into the new line of Flex radio, the 6000 series I decided to start with a tabula rasa, Latin for: blank slate.  Tabula rasa also is also the concept of a state of mind as it exists before an experience is experienced (as in the philosophy of John Locke).

I want to take the reader through my tabula rasa experience as I build a Flex 6000 station from the ground up.  Starting with a choice of computer, then a choice of radio, and finally adding amplifier, tuner and antenna switch and various third party software to complete a fully integrated cutting edge software defined ham radio.  My hope is the reader can take away from my experience ideas that he or she may apply to their own integrated station design.

My old blog is still viewable at