Date   

Re: SDR4+ Not Tuning Reliably

Jim <mail@...>
 

On 25/11/2016 20:42, chris.mm1ptt@gmail.com wrote:

I use my SDR-4+ with HDSDR and have WSPR 4.0 controlling HDSDR via a virtual serial port.
I can have WSPR running for days or even weeks at a time.

Every now and then HDSDR will stop controlling the SDR-4+, the frequency display on WSPR
and HDSDR will match but the actual frequency of the the SDR-4+ will be on a previous
requested frequency. Changing the frequency on HDSDR doesn't do anything, you don't hear
the band pass filters click or see any changes on the waterfall.

When that happens I just need to click on the 'ExtIO' button within HDSDR, which brings up the
PE0FKO ExtIO_Si570 Softrock Configuration Tool. On the general tab I click the 'Open' button,
which reestablishes the connection, then 'Hide' to close the window. ...
Seems exactly the same as my problem (no WSPR involved). Worth looking into as well.

73, Jim


Re: Question on HF Active Antenna Bandwidth

Chris Moulding
 

On the later HF Active Antennas we used a hybrid transformer rather than the Owen splitter to reduce the RF loss through the base unit.

Ideally both outputs should be terminated for best results in terms of RF output and to reduce coupling between the two RF outputs. If only one receiver is in use a 50 ohm load should be used on the other socket. The small 50 ohm loads used for terminating ethernet cables are ideal for the job.

Regards,

Chris G4HYG


Re: Question on HF Active Antenna Bandwidth

Chris Morrison
 

I just noticed tonight that my HF Active Antenna appears to have better performance when both the output BNC's are used. I have the SDR-4+ on one of the outputs and a Yaesu FRG-100 on the other. 

On the 80m with just the SDR-4+ connected the noise floor is about -110db in HDSDR. When I connect the FRG-100 to the other output the noise floor raises to -90db but all the signals in the waterfall also increase in strength. A similar thing can observed the other way around with just the FRG-100 connected, the signal meter reading increases when the SDR-4+ is connected. Is this normal? Should both the BNC's on the Active Antenna be terminated with a load for optimum performance or could I have a ground loop problem?

Chris

M1PTT


Re: SDR4+ Not Tuning Reliably

Chris Morrison
 

I use my SDR-4+ with HDSDR and have WSPR 4.0 controlling HDSDR via a virtual serial port. I can have WSPR running for days or even weeks at a time.

Every now and then HDSDR will stop controlling the SDR-4+, the frequency display on WSPR and HDSDR will match but the actual frequency of the the SDR-4+ will be on a previous requested frequency. Changing the frequency on HDSDR doesn't do anything, you don't hear the band pass filters click or see any changes on the waterfall.

When that happens I just need to click on the 'ExtIO' button within HDSDR, which brings up the PE0FKO ExtIO_Si570 Softrock Configuration Tool. On the general tab I click the 'Open' button, which reestablishes the connection, then 'Hide' to close the window. I don't need to close or restart the HDSDR or WSPR program. For some reason the Softrock Si570 Tool closes the connection between HDSDR and the SDR-4+ and HDSDR doesn't give you any feedback to let you know. If everything was working normally you when you opened the Softrock tool the button would be labelled 'Close' not 'Open'

I normally know about the problem because someone will email me to say I sending WSPR spots with the wrong frequency e.g. the SDR-4+ is stuck on 80m but WSPR thinks its changing band and reporting the 80m spots on every band. 

I cant recreate the problem with HDSDR on demand but is its probably related to RF upsetting my USB ports. Sometimes when I tune up stray RF gets into the PC and disconnects and reconnects USB devices, I'm aware of it because of the Windows System sounds.


Chris

M1PTT


Re: SDR4+ Not Tuning Reliably

Jim <mail@...>
 

On 25/11/2016 19:58, Chris Moulding wrote:

It's probably not a driver problem as such. If the driver isn't working then
you would be fixed on the receiver default frequency (7.050 MHz as new) at startup
and it wouldn't change frequency at all.

The USB driver and firmware in the SDR-4+ use the libusb library to communicate.
If you have another USB accessory plugged in to the computer that uses the libusb
library it's possible that there may be an occasional clash or timing problem where
commands to the SDR-4+ go missing. HDSDR just gives a single frequency change command
without checking that it's happened.

If that's the case try removing the USB connected items until you have 100% control
of the SDR-4+.
There's a Titan SDR on the computer as well, but that's on USB-3.
First I'll see if I can determine if this only happens when they're
both running.

SDR4's on USB-2, but I'll put the Titan on another computer if it
turns out there's a clash.

Regards

Jim


Re: SDR4+ Not Tuning Reliably

Chris Moulding
 


It's probably not a driver problem as such. If the driver isn't working then you would be fixed on the receiver default frequency (7.050 MHz as new) at startup and it wouldn't change frequency at all.

The USB driver and firmware in the SDR-4+ use the libusb library to communicate. If you have another USB accessory plugged in to the computer that uses the libusb library it's possible that there may be an occasional clash or timing problem where commands to the SDR-4+ go missing. HDSDR just gives a single frequency change command without checking that it's happened.

If that's the case try removing the USB connected items until you have 100% control of the SDR-4+.

Regards,

Chris G4HYG


Re: SDR4+ Not Tuning Reliably

Jim <mail@...>
 

On 25/11/2016 17:10, Jim wrote:

GE,

For some time my SDR4+ often sticks on one frequency despite
my tuning up and down (in HDSDR) in MHz or kHz, or doesn't tune
to a new frequency when going into auto record (stays on whatever
the RX was last tuned to).

What do I need to reinstall?

73m Jim


Re: Question on HF Active Antenna Bandwidth

Chris Moulding
 

The later versions of the HF Active Antenna have a 60 MHz low pass filter between the balanced FET pre-amp and the driver amplifier  feeding the ethernet cable.

The low pass filter was originally added after tests with one of the first customers who lives in New York. He was line of sight with the high power FM broadcast stations transmitting from the high buildings there and he had a serious overload problem. The low pass filter prevented the driver amplifier from being overloaded so it cured his problem.

At 144 MHz the filter has about 45 db attenuation so it's possible that it's the FET pre-amp that's being overloaded. It's not easy to design a filter for the input to the FET amps as the input impedance is around 1M ohm and it would probably disturb the 180 degree phasing between the inputs.

What's the length of the whips? If each whip is 1m long then it would match perfectly as a half wave to the FET amplifier on 2m and the main lobe would fire right at your 2m antenna. It might be worth trying a longer whip say 1.5m long as that would be a 3/4 wavelength on 2m with a mismatched feed impedance of around 90 ohms and the radiation pattern on 2m would be two lobes firing up at 45 degrees and down into the ground away from your 2m antenna.

I would usually recommend mounting the antenna horizontally to add some cross-polarisation loss between the 2m antenna and the HF antenna but that would defeat the object of having an omni-directional antenna. It might be worth trying it just to see if that cured the problem and also to give an indication of how bad the overload is.

I do like your mounting system for the antenna. It's the simplest method I've seen for mounting one of those antenna in a vertical position without the feeder affecting it.

Regards,

Chris G4HYG


Question on HF Active Antenna Bandwidth

WA8LMF
 

I have had one of the CCW Active HF Antennas for over 6 months now.   The web page specs the frequency response as going up to 50 MHz.   How wideband is the amplifier in real life?

I am using the antenna with "BeaconSee", a sound card app for monitoring the IARU HF beacon stations on all 5 upper HF bands.  You can see the resulting web page, which shows the reception in central Michigan, USA in real time,  generated by this program on my site at: 

     <http://wa8lmf.ddns.net:14439/beacons.htm>

The photo below shows the mounting of the Active Antenna.  I have it oriented vertically since I want omni DX reception for the beacons.  The lower whip is resting inside a 10' (3m) piece of 3/4" PVC water pipe u-bolted to a chain-link fence.  The feed line is stretched out at 90 degrees (more-or-less horizontally) to a notch in the end of a second plastic pipe, where it then makes a 90-degree bend to the ground. 

The problem I am having is that the active antenna amp seems to be getting overloaded when I transmit on TWO METERS.   The white trash on 15 meters on the beacon display is from my APRS igate/digi running 25 watts on 144.39 to an vertical antenna about 50' (15m) away.   I didn't think the HF antenna would have enough bandwidth to respond to signals on 2m at all.   The HF rig is a Yaesu FT-100 with blown finals that are now pure unobtanium. This has rendered the radio a nice computer-controllable receiver-only.  In the FT-100's speaker, the interference manifests itself as an elevated broadband white noise level while the two-meter rig transmits.  

I inserted an old Johnson 30MHz lowpass TVI filter in the coax line just before the radio. It had absolutely no effect, confirming my suspicion that the overload is happening at the antenna; not the radio.   It's not some idiosyncrasy of the conversion/mixing scheme of the FT-100.  I hear the same effect on my Kenwood TS-2000 and TS-690 which have completely different conversion schemes and IF frequencies.  When I remove the DC power to the antenna, the trash (along with most of the signal!) disappears. 

Any thoughts?

 

 


Re: You have been added to CrossCountryWireless@groups.io

Chris Moulding
 

Hi Stephen,

Everything should go to the new ,io group now. All the Yahoo members have moved across and all the messages from the old group are now on this group and can be searched.

It had got to the point where the Yahoo group was impossible to use. Many times I couldn't get in it to post messages or moderate it and messages took hours to arrive.

I'll post a close down message on the Yahoo group when I can with a link to this new group.

Regards,

Chris G4HYG


Re: You have been added to CrossCountryWireless@groups.io

WA8LMF
 

On 11/22/2016 8:21 PM, CrossCountryWireless wrote:

Hello,

The owner of the cross_country_wireless Yahoo Group has moved the group to Groups.io, a new Groups service. You have been subscribed to the new group using your Yahoo Group subscription settings. The title of the new group is Cross Country Wireless, and messages can be sent to it at CrossCountryWireless@groups.io. The group homepage is located here.


How is this going to work.....  

  • Will posts on one group automatically go to both Yahoo and groups.io for a while?

  • Will there be a transition period, after which the Yahoo group will disappear?

  • Should I cc: both groups for a while, or just .io ?


Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
Skype:        WA8LMF
EchoLink:  Node #  14400  [Think bottom of the 2-meter band]
Home Page:          http://wa8lmf.net

 _______ Windows 10 Outrages! _______
   <http://WA8LMF.net/Windows10_Info>

Live Off-The-Air APRS Activity Maps
   <http://wa8lmf.net/map>

Long-Range APRS on 30 Meters HF
   <http://wa8lmf.net/aprs/HF_APRS_Notes.htm>


 


Sentry 5 status? #chat

Brian Bowers G0VAX
 

A new chat has been created:

Hi Chris, Whats the latest news on the Sentry 5 trx?


Brian G0VAX

View/Join This Chat


Re: Using CW Skimmer and RBN Aggregator with the Sentinel 2 and Sentry 5

Chris Moulding
 

Hi Steve,

Unfortunately there is no option to CAT control the SDR-4+ in CW Skimmer. Usually you would look for a SoftRock Ensemble option as it uses the same Si570 controller.

One option is to use the CFGSR program to set the SDR-4+ frequency then enter that frequency in CW Skimmer as if it was a fixed SoftRock receiver. You can't tune around with it though.

It motivated me to design the controller for the Sentinel 2 receiver (and also the new Sentry 5 transceiver). It can take CAT control commands to work directly with CW Skimmer. You can also use any suitable digital mode program while using the Sentinel SDR program just as a receiver front end program processing the RF signals to audio.

Regarding my vision, it's fixed now, thanks. I've cut back on the amount of programming I do now but it doesn't look like it looking at my desk this evening as I chase the last bug in the Sentry 5 firmware!

Regards,

Chris, G4HYG




Re: Using CW Skimmer and RBN Aggregator with the Sentinel 2 and Sentry 5

Chris Moulding
 

--
Chris Moulding
Cross Country Wireless
7 Thirlmere Grove, Bolton, Lancs, BL4 0QB, UK
Tel: +44(0)1204 410626
Mob: +44(0)7752 391908
Secure email: g4hyg@protonmail.com
Web: http://www.crosscountrywireless.net

-original message-
Subject: Re: [CrossCountryWireless] Using CW Skimmer and RBN Aggregator with the Sentinel 2 and Sentry 5
From: "steve Jones via Groups.Io" <scj9874=aol.com@groups.io>
Date: 23/11/2016 1:01 pm

Hi Chris,

Would this be the same procedure for the SDR4+ HF to use with CW skimmer?



How did you get on with your vision, did they get it sorted out for you.



Did you ever need to go and see Mr Charles in Wilmslow?



Steve

G4GVD



From: CrossCountryWireless@groups.io [mailto:CrossCountryWireless@groups.io] On Behalf Of Chris Moulding
Sent: 23 November 2016 11:04
To: CrossCountryWireless@groups.io
Subject: [CrossCountryWireless] Using CW Skimmer and RBN Aggregator with the Sentinel 2 and Sentry 5



Here's a quick guide to get a Sentinel 2 receiver or a Sentry 5 transceiver working with CW Skimmer and the Reverse Beacon Network Aggregator.

1) Follow the instructions for CW Skimmer and the RBN Aggregator to set up your callsign and grid locator.

2) In CW Skimmer click View then Settings... then the Radio Tab.

Set Hardware Type as SoftRock-IF abd Sampling Rate as 48 kHz

Set CW Pitch to 750 Hz and Audio IF to 750 Hz.

3) Select the Audio tab.

Set Soundcard Driver to MME and Signal I/O Device to USB AUDIO CODEC.

Set Audio I/O device to the sound carddriving your loudspeakers so that you can hear the CW when you click the loudspeaker icon on the main window.

Set Channels to Left/Right = I/Q and Shift Right Channel Data By ) samples

4) Click the CAT tab.

Click Use Radio 1

Click the Configure button.

Set the Omni-Rig Settings to:

Rig Type Elecraft K3

Port The COM port for the Sentinel 2 or Sentry 5. Use the Sentinel SDR program to display all COM ports on your PC.

Baud rate 38400

Data bits 8

Parity None

Stop bits 1

Leave the other settings at the default values and click OK.

5) Select Telnet tab

Click Enable Telnet Server and click Do not send callsigns without "CQ".

Click Allow SKIMMER Commands.

Click OK.

On the main form click the small radio icon on the left hand side to start the program working.

Right click on the frequency display to bring up a frequency entry box and set a suitable frequency say 14012.0 kHz.

You should now see CW signals displayed and if you click the loudspeaker icon be able to hear them.

Now that CW Skimmer is working you can now set up the RBN Aggregator to share your CW spots with the world.

To set your spots to the precise frequency click on Connections and click on Add a base frequency (in kHz) to spots. Enter 0.75 in the text box.

This will correct for the Audio IF setting of 750 Hz in CW Skimmer.

At this stage if everything is connected correctly you should see CW being decoded correctly, spots sent to the Reverse Beacon Network and hear the CW in the loudspeakers. As you click around the band the CAT control retunes the radio.

When the Sentry 5 is available you will be able to click on any of the CW stations and transmit back netted perfectly onto their frequency.

It seems a bit long for a quick guide but with the programs in front of you it's fairly quick to set up.

Regards,

Chris G4HYG


Re: Using CW Skimmer and RBN Aggregator with the Sentinel 2 and Sentry 5

scj9874@...
 

Hi Chris,

                 Would this be the same procedure for the SDR4+ HF to use with CW skimmer?

 

How did you get on with your vision, did they get it sorted out for you.

 

Did you ever need to go and see Mr Charles in Wilmslow?

 

Steve

            G4GVD

 

From: CrossCountryWireless@groups.io [mailto:CrossCountryWireless@groups.io] On Behalf Of Chris Moulding
Sent: 23 November 2016 11:04
To: CrossCountryWireless@groups.io
Subject: [CrossCountryWireless] Using CW Skimmer and RBN Aggregator with the Sentinel 2 and Sentry 5

 

Here's a quick guide to get a Sentinel 2 receiver or a Sentry 5 transceiver working with CW Skimmer and the Reverse Beacon Network Aggregator.

1) Follow the instructions for CW Skimmer and the RBN Aggregator to set up your callsign and grid locator.

2) In CW Skimmer click View then Settings... then the Radio Tab.

Set Hardware Type as SoftRock-IF abd Sampling Rate as 48 kHz

Set CW Pitch to 750 Hz and Audio IF to 750 Hz.

3) Select the Audio tab.

Set Soundcard Driver to MME and Signal I/O Device to USB AUDIO CODEC.

Set Audio I/O device to the sound carddriving your loudspeakers so that you can hear the CW when you click the loudspeaker icon on the main window.

Set Channels to Left/Right = I/Q and Shift Right Channel Data By ) samples

4) Click the CAT tab.

Click Use Radio 1

Click the Configure button.

Set the Omni-Rig Settings to:

Rig Type  Elecraft K3

Port  The COM port for the Sentinel 2 or Sentry 5. Use the Sentinel SDR program to display all COM ports on your PC.

Baud rate   38400

Data bits 8

Parity None

Stop bits 1

Leave the other settings at the default values and click OK.

5) Select Telnet tab

Click Enable Telnet Server and click Do not send callsigns without "CQ".

Click Allow SKIMMER Commands.

Click OK.

On the main form click the small radio icon on the left hand side to start the program working.

Right click on the frequency display to bring up a frequency entry box and set a suitable frequency say 14012.0 kHz.

You should now see CW signals displayed and if you click the loudspeaker icon be able to hear them.

Now that CW Skimmer is working you can now set up the RBN Aggregator to share your CW spots with the world.

To set your spots to the precise frequency click on Connections and click on Add a base frequency (in kHz) to spots. Enter 0.75 in the text box.

This will correct for the Audio IF setting of 750 Hz in CW Skimmer.

At this stage if everything is connected correctly you should see CW being decoded correctly, spots sent to the Reverse Beacon Network and hear the CW in the loudspeakers. As you click around the band the CAT control retunes the radio.

When the Sentry 5 is available you will be able to click on any of the CW stations and transmit back netted perfectly onto their frequency.

It seems a bit long for a quick guide but with the programs in front of you it's fairly quick to set up.

Regards,

Chris G4HYG


Using CW Skimmer and RBN Aggregator with the Sentinel 2 and Sentry 5

Chris Moulding
 

Here's a quick guide to get a Sentinel 2 receiver or a Sentry 5 transceiver working with CW Skimmer and the Reverse Beacon Network Aggregator.

1) Follow the instructions for CW Skimmer and the RBN Aggregator to set up your callsign and grid locator.

2) In CW Skimmer click View then Settings... then the Radio Tab.

Set Hardware Type as SoftRock-IF abd Sampling Rate as 48 kHz

Set CW Pitch to 750 Hz and Audio IF to 750 Hz.

3) Select the Audio tab.

Set Soundcard Driver to MME and Signal I/O Device to USB AUDIO CODEC.

Set Audio I/O device to the sound carddriving your loudspeakers so that you can hear the CW when you click the loudspeaker icon on the main window.

Set Channels to Left/Right = I/Q and Shift Right Channel Data By ) samples

4) Click the CAT tab.

Click Use Radio 1

Click the Configure button.

Set the Omni-Rig Settings to:

Rig Type  Elecraft K3

Port  The COM port for the Sentinel 2 or Sentry 5. Use the Sentinel SDR program to display all COM ports on your PC.

Baud rate   38400

Data bits 8

Parity None

Stop bits 1

Leave the other settings at the default values and click OK.

5) Select Telnet tab

Click Enable Telnet Server and click Do not send callsigns without "CQ".

Click Allow SKIMMER Commands.

Click OK.

On the main form click the small radio icon on the left hand side to start the program working.

Right click on the frequency display to bring up a frequency entry box and set a suitable frequency say 14012.0 kHz.

You should now see CW signals displayed and if you click the loudspeaker icon be able to hear them.

Now that CW Skimmer is working you can now set up the RBN Aggregator to share your CW spots with the world.

To set your spots to the precise frequency click on Connections and click on Add a base frequency (in kHz) to spots. Enter 0.75 in the text box.

This will correct for the Audio IF setting of 750 Hz in CW Skimmer.

At this stage if everything is connected correctly you should see CW being decoded correctly, spots sent to the Reverse Beacon Network and hear the CW in the loudspeakers. As you click around the band the CAT control retunes the radio.

When the Sentry 5 is available you will be able to click on any of the CW stations and transmit back netted perfectly onto their frequency.

It seems a bit long for a quick guide but with the programs in front of you it's fairly quick to set up.

Regards,

Chris G4HYG


Transfer of Yahoo group members and messages underway

Chris Moulding
 

One of the advantages of using Groups.io is that they offer the service to transfer members and messages from the old Yahoo group into the new one.

I've just set that in motion so over the next few days we should hopefully see everyone joining the new group.

We will also see the 5294 messages currently on the Yahoo group transferred to the archives of this group and they will be searchable so a quick search will probably reveal the answer to any questions you have in operating Cross Country Wireless products.

Regards,

Chris G4HYG


Re: Test. New Group

Bill Vodall <wa7nwp@...>
 

It looks like an improvement on Yahoo Groups.
Groups.io has an interesting story. It's created by the same person
(team?) that did the original system that was sold to Yahoo to become
Yahoo groups.

Groups.io looks really good.. It has features for complete off line
archives which is critical for a group like this.

Bill


All CCW files and manuals now in Files section.

Chris Moulding
 

I've just uploaded the latest versions of all CCW files, manuals and FAQ to the Files section.

This includes the latest version of Sentinel_SDR v1.30 for use with the Sentinel 2 receiver and the Sentry 5 transceiver. You can try the program out using your PC sound card to generate some "radio type" noises and search for USB ports.

It's been tested on the latest version of Windows 10 but I can't test it on earlier versions so I would welcome any feedback. The program should load, you should see a display and you should be able to select sound cards for Rx and Tx.

Regards,

Chris G4HYG


Re: Test. New Group

Chris Moulding
 

I should be able to get all the existing messages on the Yahoo group moved to this new group in the next week or so..

There is a search facility on this group, Yahoo removed it on the other group as part of the "updates".

It was always useful to search through the posts as many problems had come up before and it was also invaluable when setup details were posted especially on non Windows systems.

Regards,

Chris

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