[TenTec] Displaying radio data externally, or a new way to buildradios

Dave Bernstein aa6yq at ambersoft.com
Tue Oct 7 23:43:04 EDT 2003

I'd be interested in understanding what UI functionality you are seeking
for the SDR-1000. Just before I added DXLab support for the Orion,
Jupiter, Argo V, and Pegasus, I added support for the SDR-1000. 


       Dave, AA6YQ

-----Original Message-----
From: tentec-bounces at contesting.com
[mailto:tentec-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Duane Grotophorst
Sent: Tuesday, October 07, 2003 10:35 PM
To: tentec at contesting.com
Subject: [TenTec] Displaying radio data externally, or a new way to

--- Mark Erbaugh <mark at microenh.com> wrote:
> Duane,
> Ethernet would work, but the internal software would
> have to support an external interface to get the
> data.

Obviously I'm talking about a whole new radio
architecture (user interface/control side) that is
beyond what the Pegasus/Jupiter/Orion now are. A radio
with its "computer" intelligence built around the
basic PC motherboard platform/PCI bus for example,
then adding things like video cards and Ethernet can
be done by using off-the-shelf "commodity" board-level

It's too bad that the Flex-Radio SDR1000 isn't built
on a PCI card, I would think that it would then have
even greater potential than it already has. As it is
the parallel port control I/O is somewhat limiting
especially when using NT kernel based OSes like Win2K
or XP.

Nevertheless I'm following the SDR1000's progress
closely. If the software to support it reaches a
higher level of maturity and includes the kind of UI functionality I'm
looking for I'll then start building the next iteration of my VHF/UHF
weak signal station with several SDR1000's. They would then replace the
6 Pegasus herd that I now use for transverter IF's. The economic
advantage of the hardware design approach of the SDR1000 is already
compelling. Its real-world RF performance and software is what needs to
be proven yet (at least in my mind). But if the SDR1000 can't achieve
proven RF performance I'll just wait a bit longer for the next
generation of PC based SDR's. 

Hopefully Ten Tec will pursue this avenue for their
future products, after all they did break new ground
(right behind Kachina) in the SWL/ham market with the
RX320 and Pegasus 5 or so years ago. Either way fun
times are ahead in ham radio for sure.

> For example, the spectrum scope on the
> Jupiter screen is better than anything you can get
> on an external display. The problem with displaying
> the data externally is that if you sweep the
> frequency quickly, you get artifacts of the
> receiver's AGC decaying and you see a sawtooth
> pattern.

I know all about the "sawtoothing" effect of the Pegasus/Jupiter
sweeping over the serial port. AGC action aside it simply underscores
the need for an interface that is faster than RS232 for connecting
radios to PC's or with other radios (if we want to really creative).

> I asked Gary Barbour how
> they got around that on the
> Jupiter and he said that when the Jupiter is
> sweeping they handle the AGC
> differently. That can't be done with software
> commands.

For the Pegasus/Jupiter I would think that a special
"mode" could be created in firmware that is
specifically designed for sweeping, a "mode" that
produces no audio, therefore the AGC action could be
optimized for sweep performance. Perhaps with that functionality 1-2
second sweeps for 150 KHz would be then do-able. As it is now anything
faster than 4-5 seconds per 150KHz sweep will sawtooth.


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