Date   

Re: K4

Ed Pflueger
 

I have that on all three of my P3’s.. Hi Hi  I Just think that VGA is awful old technology.  I have two K3S’s 10853 and 10858 and a 2971 K3, KPA500, KAT500, KPA1500 and 5 SP3’s so I’m far over equipped.  Hi..  I just liked the menu system on my Orion II and Omni VII.   The K3’s menus are OK and the yellow screen is fine as well and do like the display on the P3.  Works for me.  I named my Orion II Dolly with the two big knobs.

 

Ed.. AB4IQ

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of harry latterman via Groups.Io
Sent: Sunday, May 5, 2019 4:54 PM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] K4

 

K4 has been a almost standing joke here for quite sometime.  The K3S still has a lot of life in it, just as my K3 does.  That said Wayne, Eric and all don't let weeds grow between their toes.  I am sure that in the backroom someplace another secret project is slowly being developed that will kick up the technology to something awesome and like the K2 and K3 unique.  In the meantime we can enjoy what we have.

 

Not sure you know about this Ed, but you can get a SVGA option for you P3 and plug a huge monitor into it.  I had mind running for probably 7 yrs.. Check it out if you are not aware of it.  Easy to put in and works great.

 

Not having 220 in the back radio room and living on limited income now means not KPA1500 for me, but I do LOVE my KPA500 and KAT500 combo.

 

Harry K7ZOV

 

On Sunday, May 5, 2019, 1:49:37 PM MST, Ed Pflueger <ab4iq@...> wrote:

 

 

Well I like what I have with the K3S with the excellent receivers and the idea that I can add options when I want.  It would be nice with the P3 to have mouse capabilities and maybe the K3’s menu options appear on the P3 sort of like the Orion II’s and Omni VII’s.  A friend of mine does all of his operating via remote just several miles out of town and would like to have an easier way to connect to the rig somewhat as easy as the Flex’s without using remote rig and a pile of cables etc.  As far as an 8 inch screen what about just having a Display or HDMI port available either coming off the P3 or the K4.  Probably the K4 would be best for that option because not everyone wants a P3.

 

Anyway if a K4 is offered at Dayton I’ll probably buy one just like I did my KPA1500.  I just had to get my two cents worth in on the topic and would like the rig to stay approximately the same size that I have been accustomed to operating.

 

Ed… AB4IQ

 


Re: KPOD question

Wes Stewart
 

Ken,

It's really minor but I'm keenly aware of it.  When I first tried the KPOD I often had cases where a button press would elicit a beep without a corresponding action from the K3S.  I complained to Wayne and he couldn't duplicate the issue.  So I did what I had to do on another occasion to convince Elecraft I know what I'm talking about, I recorded a little video.  On the second push; beep with no action.  New firmware for the K3S fixed it.

Wes


Re: K4

southdaleus
 

I wonder what you mean when you say the K3 has a lot of life in it?  

I don’t look at a radio as having a life, but I also look at a radio for it’s usefulness.  

If you are just looking for new things, well that’s another matter.  If you need a radio that does it all and is the best then look no further…That K3 is tops.  

Dale, K9VUJ


On 05, May 2019, at 16:54, harry latterman via Groups.Io <harrylatterman@...> wrote:

K4 has been a almost standing joke here for quite sometime.  The K3S still has a lot of life in it, just as my K3 does.  That said Wayne, Eric and all don't let weeds grow between their toes.  I am sure that in the backroom someplace another secret project is slowly being developed that will kick up the technology to something awesome and like the K2 and K3 unique.  In the meantime we can enjoy what we have.

Not sure you know about this Ed, but you can get a SVGA option for you P3 and plug a huge monitor into it.  I had mind running for probably 7 yrs.. Check it out if you are not aware of it.  Easy to put in and works great.

Not having 220 in the back radio room and living on limited income now means not KPA1500 for me, but I do LOVE my KPA500 and KAT500 combo.

Harry K7ZOV

On Sunday, May 5, 2019, 1:49:37 PM MST, Ed Pflueger <ab4iq@...> wrote:


Well I like what I have with the K3S with the excellent receivers and the idea that I can add options when I want.  It would be nice with the P3 to have mouse capabilities and maybe the K3’s menu options appear on the P3 sort of like the Orion II’s and Omni VII’s.  A friend of mine does all of his operating via remote just several miles out of town and would like to have an easier way to connect to the rig somewhat as easy as the Flex’s without using remote rig and a pile of cables etc.  As far as an 8 inch screen what about just having a Display or HDMI port available either coming off the P3 or the K4.  Probably the K4 would be best for that option because not everyone wants a P3.

 

Anyway if a K4 is offered at Dayton I’ll probably buy one just like I did my KPA1500.  I just had to get my two cents worth in on the topic and would like the rig to stay approximately the same size that I have been accustomed to operating.

 

Ed… AB4IQ

 



Re: K4

southdaleus
 

I wouldn’t hold your breath yet…

Dale, k9vuj



On 05, May 2019, at 15:49, Ed Pflueger <ab4iq@...> wrote:

Well I like what I have with the K3S with the excellent receivers and the idea that I can add options when I want.  It would be nice with the P3 to have mouse capabilities and maybe the K3’s menu options appear on the P3 sort of like the Orion II’s and Omni VII’s.  A friend of mine does all of his operating via remote just several miles out of town and would like to have an easier way to connect to the rig somewhat as easy as the Flex’s without using remote rig and a pile of cables etc.  As far as an 8 inch screen what about just having a Display or HDMI port available either coming off the P3 or the K4.  Probably the K4 would be best for that option because not everyone wants a P3.
 
Anyway if a K4 is offered at Dayton I’ll probably buy one just like I did my KPA1500.  I just had to get my two cents worth in on the topic and would like the rig to stay approximately the same size that I have been accustomed to operating.
 
Ed… AB4IQ
 


Re: SDR

Jeffrey griffin <kb2m@...>
 

Yes. The Flex SmartSDR software will focus on the total bandwidth. If I’m seriously trying to work someone, or in a contest on a crowded band I would operate single channel/single band. But if one is casual operating you can listen to a net on any band, work FT8 on another, listen/look for 6m band openings on 50.100 to 50.125, well you get the idea, it is very handy to have available. The more than 2 separate bands. Also,  I don’t have enough antennas to support a 6700 or I would have one in my station….

 

73 Jeff kb2m

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io <Elecraft-K3@groups.io> On Behalf Of Rob Sherwood
Sent: Sunday, May 05, 2019 11:34 AM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

 

Jeff,

 

One additional comment.  If a second slice using the same ADC is on a different band, then the front has to go broadband.  If using a second ADC, then separate frontend filtering is still in effect. 

 

Rob, NC0B

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of Rob Sherwood
Sent: Sunday, May 05, 2019 9:29 AM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

 

Hi Jeff,

 

Last night I asked Warren the same question, and here is his answer.   My assumption was the User Interface / LCD real estate was a major issue. Here is Warren’s answer.  73, Rob

 

Hi Rob,

 

As to how many hams make use of more than two slices or receivers, I don’t think there are very many.  Adding slices/receivers is not a frequent request from the openHPSDR operators.  When they see it, they think it’s kind of cool; but, for the most part, they don’t know what to do with them. 

 

For the IC-7610, one would need to be sure the FPGA was big enough and that there was enough processing power in the DSP chip to add more slices.  However, for a radio with knobs, I suspect the bigger challenge for more slices would be the user interface.  For example:  Does the display have enough screen real estate for more panadapters?  Where do you put more knobs and buttons to control the additional slices, or, do you somehow share the ones that are there among multiple slices, etc.?

 

Yes, the Apache products provide more than one slice per ADC.  However, only two complete software receivers and one sub-receiver are currently exposed to the operator by the UI.  If the radio hardware has only one ADC, both receivers get “slices” from that ADC.  If the hardware has two ADCs, the operator has the option to use one ADC for one receiver and the other for the other receiver.

 

In our new beta console version, Thetis, all the underpinnings are there to offer almost an unlimited number of slices.  However, the user interface for that is not done currently.  It’s been tested with a proof-of-concept version that works fine.

 

73,

Warren  NR0V

 

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jeffrey griffin
Sent: Sunday, May 05, 2019 6:28 AM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

 

Thanks Rob, and thanks Warren for the clear explanation of what a slice is. Now what is the difference between the Icom 7610, and the Flex 6000 series? The flex 6000, except the 6300 can get four ‘slices’ per  their Spectral Capture unit, while the 7610 manages only one? The Flex doesn’t seem to lose any performance advantage while doing this, so what is the difference hardware wise  between  the two?

 

73 Jeff kb2m

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io <Elecraft-K3@groups.io> On Behalf Of Rob Sherwood
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 11:02 PM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

 

Jeff. As promised, Warren has some answers for you.  Hopefully this helps. We all get to learn. Rob, NC0B

 

Hi Rob,

 

There are many questions embedded in this discussion!  I hardly know where to start.  However, let me try to cover some of the basics about “ADCs”, “FPGAs”, “slices”, and a few other things.

 

First, the job of an ADC is conceptually very simple; although, it’s important that it does its job accurately.  An ADC can be viewed as a digital voltmeter.  It repeatedly and periodically measures the voltage presented to its input and reports that as a digital value.  Think of your handheld digital voltmeter that periodically updates the reading that’s displayed.

 

Second, we have to take note of a very important principle, the Nyquist-Shannon Sampling Theorem.  This theorem states that the faster the ADC repeats its voltage measurements, the more bandwidth it can capture.  More specifically, the amount of bandwidth it can capture is equal to one-half of the rate at which it samples the signal (measures the voltage).  So, if we had an ADC running at 122.88Mhz (measuring the voltage 122.88 million times per second), it could accurately and completely capture all the  signals/information in a bandwidth of 61.44 Mhz.

 

If we have an ADC running at 122.88 Mhz, it can capture all the ham bands up through 6M at the same time.  However, a data rate of 122.88 million samples per second is just too much for today’s conventional CPUs to absorb and process.  That’s where the FPGA comes in.  (Today’s direct-sampling radios such as the Apache-Labs ANAN series, Flex Radio Systems, ICOM 7300, etc., use an FPGA.)  An FPGA is difficult to program and is not suitable for many general algorithms; HOWEVER, it can process data very fast.  So, the FPGA is used to accept the very high-speed data from the ADC and “decimate” it to lower sample-rates that can be processed by conventional CPUs.

 

OK, this “decimation” to lower sample-rates is interesting.  So, we can have a sample-rate of 122.88 million samples-per-second going into the FPGA.  The FPGA may put out samples at a rate of only, for example, 768,000 samples-per-second by using this “decimation” process.  The output rate of 768,000 samples-per-second is something that a conventional CPU can further process.  However, again taking note of the Nyquist-Shannon Sampling Theorem, we must conclude that this output data stream can only transfer one-half of that, or, 384 Khz of bandwidth.  That’s not so bad!  384Khz can encompass a significant part or all of each of the various HF bands.  We’ll call that 384Khz of bandwidth a “slice”.

 

FPGAs are usually “large” enough that they have enough programmable elements that they can do this “decimation” process multiple times in parallel.  So, using the same 122.88Mhz input rate (61.44Mhz of bandwidth), one decimation process could pick out part of the 80 meter band, another the entire 40M band, another the 20M band, etc., all in parallel.  So, we can receive multiple “slices”, all from the same ADC.  Then it’s just up to the software and user interface to make that multiple receiver functionality available to the operator.

 

Multiple ADCs.  There are times when more than one ADC can be advantageous in a radio.  These often relate to mitigation of interference.  I’ll give two examples; however, there are other cases.

 

Example 1:  ADCs can be overloaded, just like your favorite digital voltmeter.  Suppose you want to simultaneously receive signals on 80M and 10M.  However, you have a next-door neighbor who is transmitting on 40M.  One way to deal with this is to connect your 80M antenna through an 80M bandpass filter to the first ADC – that works for the 80M reception.  Then, connect your 10M antenna through a 10M bandpass filter to the second ADC.  In both cases, the 40M interfering signal is filtered-out so it can’t overload an ADC.

 

Example 2:  Two ADCs can be connected to two different antennas.  We then “mix” the two outputs, on the same frequency, to null interference being received from a particular direction.  This is often called “beam-forming” or “diversity reception”.

 

73,

Warren  NR0V

 

 

 

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of Rob Sherwood
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 6:02 PM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

 

Hi Jeff,

 

I don’t know that I can adequately answer your question as to programming an ADC.  I am forwarding this thread to NR0V who programs all the DSP for Apache products.  I would assume the speed (and cost) of an ADC chip affects how much horsepower is available to do multiple jobs at the same time.  I’ll report back with a more precise explanation when I receive it.   

 

Both the Flex and new Icom radios are direct sampling, so there is no debate there.  Icom chose to use one ADC per receiver, be it a 7300 with one ADC chip, or the 7610 with two ADC chips and two receivers.  The Flex 6700 has two ADC chips, and can do four slices per chip, or a total of 8 slices.  Your 6500 has one ADC chip and as you say can handle up to 4 slices.  The 6300 has one chip but can only do 2 slices with a slower less expensive ADC chip.  The 6700 had several very expensive parts, and was a $7500 radios when it was introduced.  On the other hand a friend of mine priced out the cost of the parts in an IC-7300 and said no electronic part cost over $20.00 in quantity.  For $1000 the 7300 is quite a nice radio, and Icom has sold zillions of them. [Well maybe only (?) 30,000.]   

 

It would seem to come down to a price performance ratio as to how much money to allocate to the ADC chip.  There are also one or more  FPGA chip or chips, and again there is added cost for a faster and larger FPGA.  There is a thread on the Apache reflector talking about the 10E and 100D running out of space in the FPGA and barely being able to run their new operating system that is under development.  The FPGA is 97% full, so choices had to be made as to what features could be offered.

 

My friend with a 6700 uses 7 slices to monitor 7 MARS frequencies at once.  On the other hand I rarely use my 7610’s second receiver unless I am trying to work a DXpedition running split.  During 2018 CQ Worldwide I only worked three stations split out of 542 contacts. Proficient SO2R operators likely make much more use of the second receiver or possibly a third or fourth receiver.  I don’t multi-process well, so I leave that to others. 

 

The new Yaesu FTdx-101D has two receivers, but they are down-conversion superhets like the K3 / K3S with the second receiver option.  As I mentioned earlier, in really rough RF environments a radio like the K3S with its mode specific narrow roofing filters can handle very strong signals on the same band better than any direct sampling radio.  Consider the front end L/C filters in a Flex, Icom and Apache direct sampling radio as the “roofing filter”, but that filter is as wide as each individual band.  The ADC has to handle a strong signal or multiple strong signals even if these other signals are hundreds of kHz removed from a desired weak signal.  Most of the time overload isn’t the performance limit for reception.  My nearest ham is 13 miles away!

 

The operator of any direct sampling radio needs to handle total gain more carefully than the operator of  a K3, TS-890S or FTdx-101D.  By that I mean keep the preamp OFF unless you really need it.  Use attenuation as appropriate, which means there is no reason to have band noise reading upscale on the S meter.  Of course this is true of any radio if it is operated at  its maximum capability. For instance during a 160m CW contest I run between 12 and 18 dB attenuation at night with any radio I own, direct sampling or superhet.  I want band noise to be about 6 dB below the AGC threshold to significantly reduce operator fatigue.

 

If I get more answers, I’ll respond again.  73, Rob, NC0B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jeffrey griffin
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 4:58 PM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

 

Hi Rob, always good information in your posts. Can you explain the differences, as you see it between the direct receivers from  Flex radio vs the Icoms? I have a Flex 6500 and on occasion use the  4 available slices. I find them very useful. I don’t understand why the 7610 can receive only two separate signals. There must be a difference in how the direct receive frontend  is done by both manufactures. Do you have any input on this?

 

Oh, and to keep this on subject I also have a K3 I bought in 2007, I have upgraded to K3S specs, I would never sell…

 

73 Jeff kb2m

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io <Elecraft-K3@groups.io> On Behalf Of Rob Sherwood
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 12:59 PM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

 

From my perspective, the term SDR (software defined radio) today is virtually meaningless.  A K3S is a superhet down-conversion radio with lots of DSP software programming in the tail end of the radio.  The TS-890S is also a down-conversion superhet, but with a direct sampling bandscope and waterfall display.  It also has software programming that can be upgraded by a firmware flash.  The newly released FTdx-101D is a hybrid like the TS-890S. 

 

The Flex transceivers are direct sampling radios, as are the IC-7300, IC-7610 and IC-9700.  There is an embedded OS in the Icom radios and lots of firmware upgradable software. 

 

All the Apache radios are direct sampling, and some of the software is in the radio, but a lot of the processing is in the PC.

 

I am not a programmer, so I don’t know if it is possible to write code to run on Windows,  Apple and Linux platforms without separate binaries. 

 

If you are looking for an Elecraft “SDR”, I assume you are meaning a direct sampling radio.  Direct sampling has advantages and disadvantages.  Most of the time the architecture doesn’t matter much, but if you are operating Field Day, or have another ham a mile away, a down-conversion radio like the K3S will not overload nearly as easily as a direct sampling radio, if both stations are on the same band at the same time.  On the other hand, the contest DX K3S package is on sale for $5959.95, while an IC-7610 cost between $3000 and $3100.  The direct sampling radio has a cost advantage, and the hybrid TS-890S and FTdx-101D are both under $4000.  These are all great radios, but there are times with the K3S wins hands down.  (I am assuming the FTdx-101D will test out well, and I’ll know that in a week.)

 

73, Rob, NC0B

 

 

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of N S via Groups.Io
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 8:41 AM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

 

I wonder if Elecraft is ever going to replace the K3S with a true SDR radio that provides the processing in the rig and uses the front controls and or a low power computer to interface with it.  Similar to what Flex is doing.  I would also like the PC software to be generic platform independent so that it can run on Windows, Mac, or Linux.  I'd love to see Elecraft join the competition or maybe even jump ahead of the SDR competition.  It would also be nice to have a SDR that was STABLE in the VHF/UHF bands, unlike the new Icom 9700 which drifts and can't seem to stay on frequency.

Just thinking out loud.....

Norm

 


If this email is spam, report it to www.OnlyMyEmail.com

 


If this email is spam, report it to www.OnlyMyEmail.com

 


If this email is spam, report it to www.OnlyMyEmail.com

 


If this email is spam, report it to www.OnlyMyEmail.com

 


If this email is spam, report it to www.OnlyMyEmail.com


Re: K4

harry latterman <harrylatterman@...>
 

K4 has been a almost standing joke here for quite sometime.  The K3S still has a lot of life in it, just as my K3 does.  That said Wayne, Eric and all don't let weeds grow between their toes.  I am sure that in the backroom someplace another secret project is slowly being developed that will kick up the technology to something awesome and like the K2 and K3 unique.  In the meantime we can enjoy what we have.

Not sure you know about this Ed, but you can get a SVGA option for you P3 and plug a huge monitor into it.  I had mind running for probably 7 yrs.. Check it out if you are not aware of it.  Easy to put in and works great.

Not having 220 in the back radio room and living on limited income now means not KPA1500 for me, but I do LOVE my KPA500 and KAT500 combo.

Harry K7ZOV

On Sunday, May 5, 2019, 1:49:37 PM MST, Ed Pflueger <ab4iq@...> wrote:


Well I like what I have with the K3S with the excellent receivers and the idea that I can add options when I want.  It would be nice with the P3 to have mouse capabilities and maybe the K3’s menu options appear on the P3 sort of like the Orion II’s and Omni VII’s.  A friend of mine does all of his operating via remote just several miles out of town and would like to have an easier way to connect to the rig somewhat as easy as the Flex’s without using remote rig and a pile of cables etc.  As far as an 8 inch screen what about just having a Display or HDMI port available either coming off the P3 or the K4.  Probably the K4 would be best for that option because not everyone wants a P3.

 

Anyway if a K4 is offered at Dayton I’ll probably buy one just like I did my KPA1500.  I just had to get my two cents worth in on the topic and would like the rig to stay approximately the same size that I have been accustomed to operating.

 

Ed… AB4IQ

 


K4

Ed Pflueger
 

Well I like what I have with the K3S with the excellent receivers and the idea that I can add options when I want.  It would be nice with the P3 to have mouse capabilities and maybe the K3’s menu options appear on the P3 sort of like the Orion II’s and Omni VII’s.  A friend of mine does all of his operating via remote just several miles out of town and would like to have an easier way to connect to the rig somewhat as easy as the Flex’s without using remote rig and a pile of cables etc.  As far as an 8 inch screen what about just having a Display or HDMI port available either coming off the P3 or the K4.  Probably the K4 would be best for that option because not everyone wants a P3.

 

Anyway if a K4 is offered at Dayton I’ll probably buy one just like I did my KPA1500.  I just had to get my two cents worth in on the topic and would like the rig to stay approximately the same size that I have been accustomed to operating.

 

Ed… AB4IQ

 


Re: KPOD question

N4KS Ken Stuber
 

Wes,

Thanks for your input. I would find the latency annoying too (and a show stopper).

73, Ken N4KS


Re: SDR

 

I agree with Warren that more than two slices presents UI issues. But it also depends on how you define "slice."

Here is how I would optimize the use of slices. This is just a proposed underlying hardware model; the user should be presented with a traditional main/sub user interface, so they'd never have to think about "slice receivers" unless they wanted to read about it in the theory of operation section.

- If there's one ADC, pull three slices off of it -- one (wide band) for the panadapter and two (narrow band) for main/sub demodulation ports. Process them independently so CW QSK isn't compromised.

- As Rob mentioned, even with a single ADC you can still put main and sub on different bands, but in that case you'd have to bypass the band-pass filters. If this resulted in excessive out-of-band interference, you'd need to manage it by using less gain or adding attenuation.

- Even in the scenario above (one ADC) you could still show dual panadapters by "bouncing" (alternately tuning) the wide band slice between the two bands.

- If a second ADC were available, you could use it to provide an additional wide band panadapter slice, eliminating the need to bounce the center frequency in the dual-pan case. Of course you'd also gain two more demodulation slices. When the sub was turned on, you could use one of the demodulation slices from the second ADC.

- We would definitely endow the second ADC with its own set of band-pass filters, eliminating the need to bypass them.

- I would go further, providing an optional dual superhet downconverter for those users who need K3S-level blocking and narrow band IMD dynamic range.

As far as I know, at present there is no radio on the market that incorporates all aspects of the above scheme. Flex, Anan and Icom's direct-sampling radios don't have a superhet option. Kenwood and Yaesu's newest radios doesn't use direct sampling for the demodulation channels; they're superhet-only for this purpose, so any SDR algorithms applied here would be limited by the bandwidth of the crystal filters.

73,
Wayne
N6KR

On May 5, 2019, at 8:29 AM, Rob Sherwood <rob@nc0b.com> wrote:

Hi Jeff,

Last night I asked Warren the same question, and here is his answer. My assumption was the User Interface / LCD real estate was a major issue. Here is Warren’s answer. 73, Rob

Hi Rob,

As to how many hams make use of more than two slices or receivers, I don’t think there are very many. Adding slices/receivers is not a frequent request from the openHPSDR operators. When they see it, they think it’s kind of cool; but, for the most part, they don’t know what to do with them.

For the IC-7610, one would need to be sure the FPGA was big enough and that there was enough processing power in the DSP chip to add more slices. However, for a radio with knobs, I suspect the bigger challenge for more slices would be the user interface. For example: Does the display have enough screen real estate for more panadapters? Where do you put more knobs and buttons to control the additional slices, or, do you somehow share the ones that are there among multiple slices, etc.?

Yes, the Apache products provide more than one slice per ADC. However, only two complete software receivers and one sub-receiver are currently exposed to the operator by the UI. If the radio hardware has only one ADC, both receivers get “slices” from that ADC. If the hardware has two ADCs, the operator has the option to use one ADC for one receiver and the other for the other receiver.

In our new beta console version, Thetis, all the underpinnings are there to offer almost an unlimited number of slices. However, the user interface for that is not done currently. It’s been tested with a proof-of-concept version that works fine.

73,
Warren NR0V


From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jeffrey griffin
Sent: Sunday, May 05, 2019 6:28 AM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

Thanks Rob, and thanks Warren for the clear explanation of what a slice is. Now what is the difference between the Icom 7610, and the Flex 6000 series? The flex 6000, except the 6300 can get four ‘slices’ per their Spectral Capture unit, while the 7610 manages only one? The Flex doesn’t seem to lose any performance advantage while doing this, so what is the difference hardware wise between the two?

73 Jeff kb2m

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io <Elecraft-K3@groups.io> On Behalf Of Rob Sherwood
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 11:02 PM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

Jeff. As promised, Warren has some answers for you. Hopefully this helps. We all get to learn. Rob, NC0B

Hi Rob,

There are many questions embedded in this discussion! I hardly know where to start. However, let me try to cover some of the basics about “ADCs”, “FPGAs”, “slices”, and a few other things.

First, the job of an ADC is conceptually very simple; although, it’s important that it does its job accurately. An ADC can be viewed as a digital voltmeter. It repeatedly and periodically measures the voltage presented to its input and reports that as a digital value. Think of your handheld digital voltmeter that periodically updates the reading that’s displayed.

Second, we have to take note of a very important principle, the Nyquist-Shannon Sampling Theorem. This theorem states that the faster the ADC repeats its voltage measurements, the more bandwidth it can capture. More specifically, the amount of bandwidth it can capture is equal to one-half of the rate at which it samples the signal (measures the voltage). So, if we had an ADC running at 122.88Mhz (measuring the voltage 122.88 million times per second), it could accurately and completely capture all the signals/information in a bandwidth of 61.44 Mhz.

If we have an ADC running at 122.88 Mhz, it can capture all the ham bands up through 6M at the same time. However, a data rate of 122.88 million samples per second is just too much for today’s conventional CPUs to absorb and process. That’s where the FPGA comes in. (Today’s direct-sampling radios such as the Apache-Labs ANAN series, Flex Radio Systems, ICOM 7300, etc., use an FPGA.) An FPGA is difficult to program and is not suitable for many general algorithms; HOWEVER, it can process data very fast. So, the FPGA is used to accept the very high-speed data from the ADC and “decimate” it to lower sample-rates that can be processed by conventional CPUs.

OK, this “decimation” to lower sample-rates is interesting. So, we can have a sample-rate of 122.88 million samples-per-second going into the FPGA. The FPGA may put out samples at a rate of only, for example, 768,000 samples-per-second by using this “decimation” process. The output rate of 768,000 samples-per-second is something that a conventional CPU can further process. However, again taking note of the Nyquist-Shannon Sampling Theorem, we must conclude that this output data stream can only transfer one-half of that, or, 384 Khz of bandwidth. That’s not so bad! 384Khz can encompass a significant part or all of each of the various HF bands. We’ll call that 384Khz of bandwidth a “slice”.

FPGAs are usually “large” enough that they have enough programmable elements that they can do this “decimation” process multiple times in parallel. So, using the same 122.88Mhz input rate (61.44Mhz of bandwidth), one decimation process could pick out part of the 80 meter band, another the entire 40M band, another the 20M band, etc., all in parallel. So, we can receive multiple “slices”, all from the same ADC. Then it’s just up to the software and user interface to make that multiple receiver functionality available to the operator.

Multiple ADCs. There are times when more than one ADC can be advantageous in a radio. These often relate to mitigation of interference. I’ll give two examples; however, there are other cases.

Example 1: ADCs can be overloaded, just like your favorite digital voltmeter. Suppose you want to simultaneously receive signals on 80M and 10M. However, you have a next-door neighbor who is transmitting on 40M. One way to deal with this is to connect your 80M antenna through an 80M bandpass filter to the first ADC – that works for the 80M reception. Then, connect your 10M antenna through a 10M bandpass filter to the second ADC. In both cases, the 40M interfering signal is filtered-out so it can’t overload an ADC.

Example 2: Two ADCs can be connected to two different antennas. We then “mix” the two outputs, on the same frequency, to null interference being received from a particular direction. This is often called “beam-forming” or “diversity reception”.

73,
Warren NR0V




From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of Rob Sherwood
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 6:02 PM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

Hi Jeff,

I don’t know that I can adequately answer your question as to programming an ADC. I am forwarding this thread to NR0V who programs all the DSP for Apache products. I would assume the speed (and cost) of an ADC chip affects how much horsepower is available to do multiple jobs at the same time. I’ll report back with a more precise explanation when I receive it.

Both the Flex and new Icom radios are direct sampling, so there is no debate there. Icom chose to use one ADC per receiver, be it a 7300 with one ADC chip, or the 7610 with two ADC chips and two receivers. The Flex 6700 has two ADC chips, and can do four slices per chip, or a total of 8 slices. Your 6500 has one ADC chip and as you say can handle up to 4 slices. The 6300 has one chip but can only do 2 slices with a slower less expensive ADC chip. The 6700 had several very expensive parts, and was a $7500 radios when it was introduced. On the other hand a friend of mine priced out the cost of the parts in an IC-7300 and said no electronic part cost over $20.00 in quantity. For $1000 the 7300 is quite a nice radio, and Icom has sold zillions of them. [Well maybe only (?) 30,000.]

It would seem to come down to a price performance ratio as to how much money to allocate to the ADC chip. There are also one or more FPGA chip or chips, and again there is added cost for a faster and larger FPGA. There is a thread on the Apache reflector talking about the 10E and 100D running out of space in the FPGA and barely being able to run their new operating system that is under development. The FPGA is 97% full, so choices had to be made as to what features could be offered.

My friend with a 6700 uses 7 slices to monitor 7 MARS frequencies at once. On the other hand I rarely use my 7610’s second receiver unless I am trying to work a DXpedition running split. During 2018 CQ Worldwide I only worked three stations split out of 542 contacts. Proficient SO2R operators likely make much more use of the second receiver or possibly a third or fourth receiver. I don’t multi-process well, so I leave that to others.

The new Yaesu FTdx-101D has two receivers, but they are down-conversion superhets like the K3 / K3S with the second receiver option. As I mentioned earlier, in really rough RF environments a radio like the K3S with its mode specific narrow roofing filters can handle very strong signals on the same band better than any direct sampling radio. Consider the front end L/C filters in a Flex, Icom and Apache direct sampling radio as the “roofing filter”, but that filter is as wide as each individual band. The ADC has to handle a strong signal or multiple strong signals even if these other signals are hundreds of kHz removed from a desired weak signal. Most of the time overload isn’t the performance limit for reception. My nearest ham is 13 miles away!

The operator of any direct sampling radio needs to handle total gain more carefully than the operator of a K3, TS-890S or FTdx-101D. By that I mean keep the preamp OFF unless you really need it. Use attenuation as appropriate, which means there is no reason to have band noise reading upscale on the S meter. Of course this is true of any radio if it is operated at its maximum capability. For instance during a 160m CW contest I run between 12 and 18 dB attenuation at night with any radio I own, direct sampling or superhet. I want band noise to be about 6 dB below the AGC threshold to significantly reduce operator fatigue.

If I get more answers, I’ll respond again. 73, Rob, NC0B








From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jeffrey griffin
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 4:58 PM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

Hi Rob, always good information in your posts. Can you explain the differences, as you see it between the direct receivers from Flex radio vs the Icoms? I have a Flex 6500 and on occasion use the 4 available slices. I find them very useful. I don’t understand why the 7610 can receive only two separate signals. There must be a difference in how the direct receive frontend is done by both manufactures. Do you have any input on this?

Oh, and to keep this on subject I also have a K3 I bought in 2007, I have upgraded to K3S specs, I would never sell…

73 Jeff kb2m

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io <Elecraft-K3@groups.io> On Behalf Of Rob Sherwood
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 12:59 PM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

From my perspective, the term SDR (software defined radio) today is virtually meaningless. A K3S is a superhet down-conversion radio with lots of DSP software programming in the tail end of the radio. The TS-890S is also a down-conversion superhet, but with a direct sampling bandscope and waterfall display. It also has software programming that can be upgraded by a firmware flash. The newly released FTdx-101D is a hybrid like the TS-890S.

The Flex transceivers are direct sampling radios, as are the IC-7300, IC-7610 and IC-9700. There is an embedded OS in the Icom radios and lots of firmware upgradable software.

All the Apache radios are direct sampling, and some of the software is in the radio, but a lot of the processing is in the PC.

I am not a programmer, so I don’t know if it is possible to write code to run on Windows, Apple and Linux platforms without separate binaries.

If you are looking for an Elecraft “SDR”, I assume you are meaning a direct sampling radio. Direct sampling has advantages and disadvantages. Most of the time the architecture doesn’t matter much, but if you are operating Field Day, or have another ham a mile away, a down-conversion radio like the K3S will not overload nearly as easily as a direct sampling radio, if both stations are on the same band at the same time. On the other hand, the contest DX K3S package is on sale for $5959.95, while an IC-7610 cost between $3000 and $3100. The direct sampling radio has a cost advantage, and the hybrid TS-890S and FTdx-101D are both under $4000. These are all great radios, but there are times with the K3S wins hands down. (I am assuming the FTdx-101D will test out well, and I’ll know that in a week.)

73, Rob, NC0B



From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of N S via Groups.Io
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 8:41 AM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

I wonder if Elecraft is ever going to replace the K3S with a true SDR radio that provides the processing in the rig and uses the front controls and or a low power computer to interface with it. Similar to what Flex is doing. I would also like the PC software to be generic platform independent so that it can run on Windows, Mac, or Linux. I'd love to see Elecraft join the competition or maybe even jump ahead of the SDR competition. It would also be nice to have a SDR that was STABLE in the VHF/UHF bands, unlike the new Icom 9700 which drifts and can't seem to stay on frequency.

Just thinking out loud.....

Norm

If this email is spam, report it to www.OnlyMyEmail.com

If this email is spam, report it to www.OnlyMyEmail.com

If this email is spam, report it to www.OnlyMyEmail.com

If this email is spam, report it to www.OnlyMyEmail.com


Re: SDR

 

Unless the radio -- in some variants -- provides an independent set of band-pass filters for the second ADC. That's how we would do it.

Wayne
N6KR

On May 5, 2019, at 8:34 AM, Rob Sherwood <rob@nc0b.com> wrote:

Jeff,

One additional comment. If a second slice using the same ADC is on a different band, then the front has to go broadband. If using a second ADC, then separate frontend filtering is still in effect.

Rob, NC0B

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of Rob Sherwood
Sent: Sunday, May 05, 2019 9:29 AM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

Hi Jeff,

Last night I asked Warren the same question, and here is his answer. My assumption was the User Interface / LCD real estate was a major issue. Here is Warren’s answer. 73, Rob

Hi Rob,

As to how many hams make use of more than two slices or receivers, I don’t think there are very many. Adding slices/receivers is not a frequent request from the openHPSDR operators. When they see it, they think it’s kind of cool; but, for the most part, they don’t know what to do with them.

For the IC-7610, one would need to be sure the FPGA was big enough and that there was enough processing power in the DSP chip to add more slices. However, for a radio with knobs, I suspect the bigger challenge for more slices would be the user interface. For example: Does the display have enough screen real estate for more panadapters? Where do you put more knobs and buttons to control the additional slices, or, do you somehow share the ones that are there among multiple slices, etc.?

Yes, the Apache products provide more than one slice per ADC. However, only two complete software receivers and one sub-receiver are currently exposed to the operator by the UI. If the radio hardware has only one ADC, both receivers get “slices” from that ADC. If the hardware has two ADCs, the operator has the option to use one ADC for one receiver and the other for the other receiver.

In our new beta console version, Thetis, all the underpinnings are there to offer almost an unlimited number of slices. However, the user interface for that is not done currently. It’s been tested with a proof-of-concept version that works fine.

73,
Warren NR0V


From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jeffrey griffin
Sent: Sunday, May 05, 2019 6:28 AM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

Thanks Rob, and thanks Warren for the clear explanation of what a slice is. Now what is the difference between the Icom 7610, and the Flex 6000 series? The flex 6000, except the 6300 can get four ‘slices’ per their Spectral Capture unit, while the 7610 manages only one? The Flex doesn’t seem to lose any performance advantage while doing this, so what is the difference hardware wise between the two?

73 Jeff kb2m

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io <Elecraft-K3@groups.io> On Behalf Of Rob Sherwood
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 11:02 PM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

Jeff. As promised, Warren has some answers for you. Hopefully this helps. We all get to learn. Rob, NC0B

Hi Rob,

There are many questions embedded in this discussion! I hardly know where to start. However, let me try to cover some of the basics about “ADCs”, “FPGAs”, “slices”, and a few other things.

First, the job of an ADC is conceptually very simple; although, it’s important that it does its job accurately. An ADC can be viewed as a digital voltmeter. It repeatedly and periodically measures the voltage presented to its input and reports that as a digital value. Think of your handheld digital voltmeter that periodically updates the reading that’s displayed.

Second, we have to take note of a very important principle, the Nyquist-Shannon Sampling Theorem. This theorem states that the faster the ADC repeats its voltage measurements, the more bandwidth it can capture. More specifically, the amount of bandwidth it can capture is equal to one-half of the rate at which it samples the signal (measures the voltage). So, if we had an ADC running at 122.88Mhz (measuring the voltage 122.88 million times per second), it could accurately and completely capture all the signals/information in a bandwidth of 61.44 Mhz.

If we have an ADC running at 122.88 Mhz, it can capture all the ham bands up through 6M at the same time. However, a data rate of 122.88 million samples per second is just too much for today’s conventional CPUs to absorb and process. That’s where the FPGA comes in. (Today’s direct-sampling radios such as the Apache-Labs ANAN series, Flex Radio Systems, ICOM 7300, etc., use an FPGA.) An FPGA is difficult to program and is not suitable for many general algorithms; HOWEVER, it can process data very fast. So, the FPGA is used to accept the very high-speed data from the ADC and “decimate” it to lower sample-rates that can be processed by conventional CPUs.

OK, this “decimation” to lower sample-rates is interesting. So, we can have a sample-rate of 122.88 million samples-per-second going into the FPGA. The FPGA may put out samples at a rate of only, for example, 768,000 samples-per-second by using this “decimation” process. The output rate of 768,000 samples-per-second is something that a conventional CPU can further process. However, again taking note of the Nyquist-Shannon Sampling Theorem, we must conclude that this output data stream can only transfer one-half of that, or, 384 Khz of bandwidth. That’s not so bad! 384Khz can encompass a significant part or all of each of the various HF bands. We’ll call that 384Khz of bandwidth a “slice”.

FPGAs are usually “large” enough that they have enough programmable elements that they can do this “decimation” process multiple times in parallel. So, using the same 122.88Mhz input rate (61.44Mhz of bandwidth), one decimation process could pick out part of the 80 meter band, another the entire 40M band, another the 20M band, etc., all in parallel. So, we can receive multiple “slices”, all from the same ADC. Then it’s just up to the software and user interface to make that multiple receiver functionality available to the operator.

Multiple ADCs. There are times when more than one ADC can be advantageous in a radio. These often relate to mitigation of interference. I’ll give two examples; however, there are other cases.

Example 1: ADCs can be overloaded, just like your favorite digital voltmeter. Suppose you want to simultaneously receive signals on 80M and 10M. However, you have a next-door neighbor who is transmitting on 40M. One way to deal with this is to connect your 80M antenna through an 80M bandpass filter to the first ADC – that works for the 80M reception. Then, connect your 10M antenna through a 10M bandpass filter to the second ADC. In both cases, the 40M interfering signal is filtered-out so it can’t overload an ADC.

Example 2: Two ADCs can be connected to two different antennas. We then “mix” the two outputs, on the same frequency, to null interference being received from a particular direction. This is often called “beam-forming” or “diversity reception”.

73,
Warren NR0V




From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of Rob Sherwood
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 6:02 PM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

Hi Jeff,

I don’t know that I can adequately answer your question as to programming an ADC. I am forwarding this thread to NR0V who programs all the DSP for Apache products. I would assume the speed (and cost) of an ADC chip affects how much horsepower is available to do multiple jobs at the same time. I’ll report back with a more precise explanation when I receive it.

Both the Flex and new Icom radios are direct sampling, so there is no debate there. Icom chose to use one ADC per receiver, be it a 7300 with one ADC chip, or the 7610 with two ADC chips and two receivers. The Flex 6700 has two ADC chips, and can do four slices per chip, or a total of 8 slices. Your 6500 has one ADC chip and as you say can handle up to 4 slices. The 6300 has one chip but can only do 2 slices with a slower less expensive ADC chip. The 6700 had several very expensive parts, and was a $7500 radios when it was introduced. On the other hand a friend of mine priced out the cost of the parts in an IC-7300 and said no electronic part cost over $20.00 in quantity. For $1000 the 7300 is quite a nice radio, and Icom has sold zillions of them. [Well maybe only (?) 30,000.]

It would seem to come down to a price performance ratio as to how much money to allocate to the ADC chip. There are also one or more FPGA chip or chips, and again there is added cost for a faster and larger FPGA. There is a thread on the Apache reflector talking about the 10E and 100D running out of space in the FPGA and barely being able to run their new operating system that is under development. The FPGA is 97% full, so choices had to be made as to what features could be offered.

My friend with a 6700 uses 7 slices to monitor 7 MARS frequencies at once. On the other hand I rarely use my 7610’s second receiver unless I am trying to work a DXpedition running split. During 2018 CQ Worldwide I only worked three stations split out of 542 contacts. Proficient SO2R operators likely make much more use of the second receiver or possibly a third or fourth receiver. I don’t multi-process well, so I leave that to others.

The new Yaesu FTdx-101D has two receivers, but they are down-conversion superhets like the K3 / K3S with the second receiver option. As I mentioned earlier, in really rough RF environments a radio like the K3S with its mode specific narrow roofing filters can handle very strong signals on the same band better than any direct sampling radio. Consider the front end L/C filters in a Flex, Icom and Apache direct sampling radio as the “roofing filter”, but that filter is as wide as each individual band. The ADC has to handle a strong signal or multiple strong signals even if these other signals are hundreds of kHz removed from a desired weak signal. Most of the time overload isn’t the performance limit for reception. My nearest ham is 13 miles away!

The operator of any direct sampling radio needs to handle total gain more carefully than the operator of a K3, TS-890S or FTdx-101D. By that I mean keep the preamp OFF unless you really need it. Use attenuation as appropriate, which means there is no reason to have band noise reading upscale on the S meter. Of course this is true of any radio if it is operated at its maximum capability. For instance during a 160m CW contest I run between 12 and 18 dB attenuation at night with any radio I own, direct sampling or superhet. I want band noise to be about 6 dB below the AGC threshold to significantly reduce operator fatigue.

If I get more answers, I’ll respond again. 73, Rob, NC0B








From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jeffrey griffin
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 4:58 PM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

Hi Rob, always good information in your posts. Can you explain the differences, as you see it between the direct receivers from Flex radio vs the Icoms? I have a Flex 6500 and on occasion use the 4 available slices. I find them very useful. I don’t understand why the 7610 can receive only two separate signals. There must be a difference in how the direct receive frontend is done by both manufactures. Do you have any input on this?

Oh, and to keep this on subject I also have a K3 I bought in 2007, I have upgraded to K3S specs, I would never sell…

73 Jeff kb2m

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io <Elecraft-K3@groups.io> On Behalf Of Rob Sherwood
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 12:59 PM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

From my perspective, the term SDR (software defined radio) today is virtually meaningless. A K3S is a superhet down-conversion radio with lots of DSP software programming in the tail end of the radio. The TS-890S is also a down-conversion superhet, but with a direct sampling bandscope and waterfall display. It also has software programming that can be upgraded by a firmware flash. The newly released FTdx-101D is a hybrid like the TS-890S.

The Flex transceivers are direct sampling radios, as are the IC-7300, IC-7610 and IC-9700. There is an embedded OS in the Icom radios and lots of firmware upgradable software.

All the Apache radios are direct sampling, and some of the software is in the radio, but a lot of the processing is in the PC.

I am not a programmer, so I don’t know if it is possible to write code to run on Windows, Apple and Linux platforms without separate binaries.

If you are looking for an Elecraft “SDR”, I assume you are meaning a direct sampling radio. Direct sampling has advantages and disadvantages. Most of the time the architecture doesn’t matter much, but if you are operating Field Day, or have another ham a mile away, a down-conversion radio like the K3S will not overload nearly as easily as a direct sampling radio, if both stations are on the same band at the same time. On the other hand, the contest DX K3S package is on sale for $5959.95, while an IC-7610 cost between $3000 and $3100. The direct sampling radio has a cost advantage, and the hybrid TS-890S and FTdx-101D are both under $4000. These are all great radios, but there are times with the K3S wins hands down. (I am assuming the FTdx-101D will test out well, and I’ll know that in a week.)

73, Rob, NC0B



From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of N S via Groups.Io
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 8:41 AM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

I wonder if Elecraft is ever going to replace the K3S with a true SDR radio that provides the processing in the rig and uses the front controls and or a low power computer to interface with it. Similar to what Flex is doing. I would also like the PC software to be generic platform independent so that it can run on Windows, Mac, or Linux. I'd love to see Elecraft join the competition or maybe even jump ahead of the SDR competition. It would also be nice to have a SDR that was STABLE in the VHF/UHF bands, unlike the new Icom 9700 which drifts and can't seem to stay on frequency.

Just thinking out loud.....

Norm

If this email is spam, report it to www.OnlyMyEmail.com

If this email is spam, report it to www.OnlyMyEmail.com

If this email is spam, report it to www.OnlyMyEmail.com

If this email is spam, report it to www.OnlyMyEmail.com

If this email is spam, report it to www.OnlyMyEmail.com


Re: K3 Line Utilities on Linuc

N S <kl7rs@...>
 

Dennis,
I have the Elecraft KAT500 and KPA500 utilities running under Ubuntu 18.x.  Everything works except the ON/OFF.  I can turn the units off but can't turn them back on.  Any ideas?

Norm


Re: KPA500 macros Remote Power OFF

N S <kl7rs@...>
 

I've used both the Windows and Linux remote software for the KAT500 and KPA500.  The Linux version does not let you remotely power up and down the radio.  Once powered off, the Linux PC no longer sees the device.  I never spent enough time investigating this issue so it may  be something I'm doing wrong at my end.   Anyone else here try the Linux version of the remote software?

Norm


Re: KPOD question

Wes Stewart
 

Sure, I do it.  It turns out though that I seldom use them because there is a touch of latency that annoys me.

Wes  N7WS


Re: SDR

Rob Sherwood
 

Jeff,

 

One additional comment.  If a second slice using the same ADC is on a different band, then the front has to go broadband.  If using a second ADC, then separate frontend filtering is still in effect. 

 

Rob, NC0B

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of Rob Sherwood
Sent: Sunday, May 05, 2019 9:29 AM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

 

Hi Jeff,

 

Last night I asked Warren the same question, and here is his answer.   My assumption was the User Interface / LCD real estate was a major issue. Here is Warren’s answer.  73, Rob

 

Hi Rob,

 

As to how many hams make use of more than two slices or receivers, I don’t think there are very many.  Adding slices/receivers is not a frequent request from the openHPSDR operators.  When they see it, they think it’s kind of cool; but, for the most part, they don’t know what to do with them. 

 

For the IC-7610, one would need to be sure the FPGA was big enough and that there was enough processing power in the DSP chip to add more slices.  However, for a radio with knobs, I suspect the bigger challenge for more slices would be the user interface.  For example:  Does the display have enough screen real estate for more panadapters?  Where do you put more knobs and buttons to control the additional slices, or, do you somehow share the ones that are there among multiple slices, etc.?

 

Yes, the Apache products provide more than one slice per ADC.  However, only two complete software receivers and one sub-receiver are currently exposed to the operator by the UI.  If the radio hardware has only one ADC, both receivers get “slices” from that ADC.  If the hardware has two ADCs, the operator has the option to use one ADC for one receiver and the other for the other receiver.

 

In our new beta console version, Thetis, all the underpinnings are there to offer almost an unlimited number of slices.  However, the user interface for that is not done currently.  It’s been tested with a proof-of-concept version that works fine.

 

73,

Warren  NR0V

 

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jeffrey griffin
Sent: Sunday, May 05, 2019 6:28 AM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

 

Thanks Rob, and thanks Warren for the clear explanation of what a slice is. Now what is the difference between the Icom 7610, and the Flex 6000 series? The flex 6000, except the 6300 can get four ‘slices’ per  their Spectral Capture unit, while the 7610 manages only one? The Flex doesn’t seem to lose any performance advantage while doing this, so what is the difference hardware wise  between  the two?

 

73 Jeff kb2m

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io <Elecraft-K3@groups.io> On Behalf Of Rob Sherwood
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 11:02 PM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

 

Jeff. As promised, Warren has some answers for you.  Hopefully this helps. We all get to learn. Rob, NC0B

 

Hi Rob,

 

There are many questions embedded in this discussion!  I hardly know where to start.  However, let me try to cover some of the basics about “ADCs”, “FPGAs”, “slices”, and a few other things.

 

First, the job of an ADC is conceptually very simple; although, it’s important that it does its job accurately.  An ADC can be viewed as a digital voltmeter.  It repeatedly and periodically measures the voltage presented to its input and reports that as a digital value.  Think of your handheld digital voltmeter that periodically updates the reading that’s displayed.

 

Second, we have to take note of a very important principle, the Nyquist-Shannon Sampling Theorem.  This theorem states that the faster the ADC repeats its voltage measurements, the more bandwidth it can capture.  More specifically, the amount of bandwidth it can capture is equal to one-half of the rate at which it samples the signal (measures the voltage).  So, if we had an ADC running at 122.88Mhz (measuring the voltage 122.88 million times per second), it could accurately and completely capture all the  signals/information in a bandwidth of 61.44 Mhz.

 

If we have an ADC running at 122.88 Mhz, it can capture all the ham bands up through 6M at the same time.  However, a data rate of 122.88 million samples per second is just too much for today’s conventional CPUs to absorb and process.  That’s where the FPGA comes in.  (Today’s direct-sampling radios such as the Apache-Labs ANAN series, Flex Radio Systems, ICOM 7300, etc., use an FPGA.)  An FPGA is difficult to program and is not suitable for many general algorithms; HOWEVER, it can process data very fast.  So, the FPGA is used to accept the very high-speed data from the ADC and “decimate” it to lower sample-rates that can be processed by conventional CPUs.

 

OK, this “decimation” to lower sample-rates is interesting.  So, we can have a sample-rate of 122.88 million samples-per-second going into the FPGA.  The FPGA may put out samples at a rate of only, for example, 768,000 samples-per-second by using this “decimation” process.  The output rate of 768,000 samples-per-second is something that a conventional CPU can further process.  However, again taking note of the Nyquist-Shannon Sampling Theorem, we must conclude that this output data stream can only transfer one-half of that, or, 384 Khz of bandwidth.  That’s not so bad!  384Khz can encompass a significant part or all of each of the various HF bands.  We’ll call that 384Khz of bandwidth a “slice”.

 

FPGAs are usually “large” enough that they have enough programmable elements that they can do this “decimation” process multiple times in parallel.  So, using the same 122.88Mhz input rate (61.44Mhz of bandwidth), one decimation process could pick out part of the 80 meter band, another the entire 40M band, another the 20M band, etc., all in parallel.  So, we can receive multiple “slices”, all from the same ADC.  Then it’s just up to the software and user interface to make that multiple receiver functionality available to the operator.

 

Multiple ADCs.  There are times when more than one ADC can be advantageous in a radio.  These often relate to mitigation of interference.  I’ll give two examples; however, there are other cases.

 

Example 1:  ADCs can be overloaded, just like your favorite digital voltmeter.  Suppose you want to simultaneously receive signals on 80M and 10M.  However, you have a next-door neighbor who is transmitting on 40M.  One way to deal with this is to connect your 80M antenna through an 80M bandpass filter to the first ADC – that works for the 80M reception.  Then, connect your 10M antenna through a 10M bandpass filter to the second ADC.  In both cases, the 40M interfering signal is filtered-out so it can’t overload an ADC.

 

Example 2:  Two ADCs can be connected to two different antennas.  We then “mix” the two outputs, on the same frequency, to null interference being received from a particular direction.  This is often called “beam-forming” or “diversity reception”.

 

73,

Warren  NR0V

 

 

 

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of Rob Sherwood
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 6:02 PM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

 

Hi Jeff,

 

I don’t know that I can adequately answer your question as to programming an ADC.  I am forwarding this thread to NR0V who programs all the DSP for Apache products.  I would assume the speed (and cost) of an ADC chip affects how much horsepower is available to do multiple jobs at the same time.  I’ll report back with a more precise explanation when I receive it.   

 

Both the Flex and new Icom radios are direct sampling, so there is no debate there.  Icom chose to use one ADC per receiver, be it a 7300 with one ADC chip, or the 7610 with two ADC chips and two receivers.  The Flex 6700 has two ADC chips, and can do four slices per chip, or a total of 8 slices.  Your 6500 has one ADC chip and as you say can handle up to 4 slices.  The 6300 has one chip but can only do 2 slices with a slower less expensive ADC chip.  The 6700 had several very expensive parts, and was a $7500 radios when it was introduced.  On the other hand a friend of mine priced out the cost of the parts in an IC-7300 and said no electronic part cost over $20.00 in quantity.  For $1000 the 7300 is quite a nice radio, and Icom has sold zillions of them. [Well maybe only (?) 30,000.]   

 

It would seem to come down to a price performance ratio as to how much money to allocate to the ADC chip.  There are also one or more  FPGA chip or chips, and again there is added cost for a faster and larger FPGA.  There is a thread on the Apache reflector talking about the 10E and 100D running out of space in the FPGA and barely being able to run their new operating system that is under development.  The FPGA is 97% full, so choices had to be made as to what features could be offered.

 

My friend with a 6700 uses 7 slices to monitor 7 MARS frequencies at once.  On the other hand I rarely use my 7610’s second receiver unless I am trying to work a DXpedition running split.  During 2018 CQ Worldwide I only worked three stations split out of 542 contacts. Proficient SO2R operators likely make much more use of the second receiver or possibly a third or fourth receiver.  I don’t multi-process well, so I leave that to others. 

 

The new Yaesu FTdx-101D has two receivers, but they are down-conversion superhets like the K3 / K3S with the second receiver option.  As I mentioned earlier, in really rough RF environments a radio like the K3S with its mode specific narrow roofing filters can handle very strong signals on the same band better than any direct sampling radio.  Consider the front end L/C filters in a Flex, Icom and Apache direct sampling radio as the “roofing filter”, but that filter is as wide as each individual band.  The ADC has to handle a strong signal or multiple strong signals even if these other signals are hundreds of kHz removed from a desired weak signal.  Most of the time overload isn’t the performance limit for reception.  My nearest ham is 13 miles away!

 

The operator of any direct sampling radio needs to handle total gain more carefully than the operator of  a K3, TS-890S or FTdx-101D.  By that I mean keep the preamp OFF unless you really need it.  Use attenuation as appropriate, which means there is no reason to have band noise reading upscale on the S meter.  Of course this is true of any radio if it is operated at  its maximum capability. For instance during a 160m CW contest I run between 12 and 18 dB attenuation at night with any radio I own, direct sampling or superhet.  I want band noise to be about 6 dB below the AGC threshold to significantly reduce operator fatigue.

 

If I get more answers, I’ll respond again.  73, Rob, NC0B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jeffrey griffin
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 4:58 PM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

 

Hi Rob, always good information in your posts. Can you explain the differences, as you see it between the direct receivers from  Flex radio vs the Icoms? I have a Flex 6500 and on occasion use the  4 available slices. I find them very useful. I don’t understand why the 7610 can receive only two separate signals. There must be a difference in how the direct receive frontend  is done by both manufactures. Do you have any input on this?

 

Oh, and to keep this on subject I also have a K3 I bought in 2007, I have upgraded to K3S specs, I would never sell…

 

73 Jeff kb2m

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io <Elecraft-K3@groups.io> On Behalf Of Rob Sherwood
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 12:59 PM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

 

From my perspective, the term SDR (software defined radio) today is virtually meaningless.  A K3S is a superhet down-conversion radio with lots of DSP software programming in the tail end of the radio.  The TS-890S is also a down-conversion superhet, but with a direct sampling bandscope and waterfall display.  It also has software programming that can be upgraded by a firmware flash.  The newly released FTdx-101D is a hybrid like the TS-890S. 

 

The Flex transceivers are direct sampling radios, as are the IC-7300, IC-7610 and IC-9700.  There is an embedded OS in the Icom radios and lots of firmware upgradable software. 

 

All the Apache radios are direct sampling, and some of the software is in the radio, but a lot of the processing is in the PC.

 

I am not a programmer, so I don’t know if it is possible to write code to run on Windows,  Apple and Linux platforms without separate binaries. 

 

If you are looking for an Elecraft “SDR”, I assume you are meaning a direct sampling radio.  Direct sampling has advantages and disadvantages.  Most of the time the architecture doesn’t matter much, but if you are operating Field Day, or have another ham a mile away, a down-conversion radio like the K3S will not overload nearly as easily as a direct sampling radio, if both stations are on the same band at the same time.  On the other hand, the contest DX K3S package is on sale for $5959.95, while an IC-7610 cost between $3000 and $3100.  The direct sampling radio has a cost advantage, and the hybrid TS-890S and FTdx-101D are both under $4000.  These are all great radios, but there are times with the K3S wins hands down.  (I am assuming the FTdx-101D will test out well, and I’ll know that in a week.)

 

73, Rob, NC0B

 

 

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of N S via Groups.Io
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 8:41 AM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

 

I wonder if Elecraft is ever going to replace the K3S with a true SDR radio that provides the processing in the rig and uses the front controls and or a low power computer to interface with it.  Similar to what Flex is doing.  I would also like the PC software to be generic platform independent so that it can run on Windows, Mac, or Linux.  I'd love to see Elecraft join the competition or maybe even jump ahead of the SDR competition.  It would also be nice to have a SDR that was STABLE in the VHF/UHF bands, unlike the new Icom 9700 which drifts and can't seem to stay on frequency.

Just thinking out loud.....

Norm

 


If this email is spam, report it to www.OnlyMyEmail.com

 


If this email is spam, report it to www.OnlyMyEmail.com

 


If this email is spam, report it to www.OnlyMyEmail.com

 


If this email is spam, report it to www.OnlyMyEmail.com

 


If this email is spam, report it to www.OnlyMyEmail.com


Re: SDR

Rob Sherwood
 

Hi Jeff,

 

Last night I asked Warren the same question, and here is his answer.   My assumption was the User Interface / LCD real estate was a major issue. Here is Warren’s answer.  73, Rob

 

Hi Rob,

 

As to how many hams make use of more than two slices or receivers, I don’t think there are very many.  Adding slices/receivers is not a frequent request from the openHPSDR operators.  When they see it, they think it’s kind of cool; but, for the most part, they don’t know what to do with them. 

 

For the IC-7610, one would need to be sure the FPGA was big enough and that there was enough processing power in the DSP chip to add more slices.  However, for a radio with knobs, I suspect the bigger challenge for more slices would be the user interface.  For example:  Does the display have enough screen real estate for more panadapters?  Where do you put more knobs and buttons to control the additional slices, or, do you somehow share the ones that are there among multiple slices, etc.?

 

Yes, the Apache products provide more than one slice per ADC.  However, only two complete software receivers and one sub-receiver are currently exposed to the operator by the UI.  If the radio hardware has only one ADC, both receivers get “slices” from that ADC.  If the hardware has two ADCs, the operator has the option to use one ADC for one receiver and the other for the other receiver.

 

In our new beta console version, Thetis, all the underpinnings are there to offer almost an unlimited number of slices.  However, the user interface for that is not done currently.  It’s been tested with a proof-of-concept version that works fine.

 

73,

Warren  NR0V

 

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jeffrey griffin
Sent: Sunday, May 05, 2019 6:28 AM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

 

Thanks Rob, and thanks Warren for the clear explanation of what a slice is. Now what is the difference between the Icom 7610, and the Flex 6000 series? The flex 6000, except the 6300 can get four ‘slices’ per  their Spectral Capture unit, while the 7610 manages only one? The Flex doesn’t seem to lose any performance advantage while doing this, so what is the difference hardware wise  between  the two?

 

73 Jeff kb2m

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io <Elecraft-K3@groups.io> On Behalf Of Rob Sherwood
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 11:02 PM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

 

Jeff. As promised, Warren has some answers for you.  Hopefully this helps. We all get to learn. Rob, NC0B

 

Hi Rob,

 

There are many questions embedded in this discussion!  I hardly know where to start.  However, let me try to cover some of the basics about “ADCs”, “FPGAs”, “slices”, and a few other things.

 

First, the job of an ADC is conceptually very simple; although, it’s important that it does its job accurately.  An ADC can be viewed as a digital voltmeter.  It repeatedly and periodically measures the voltage presented to its input and reports that as a digital value.  Think of your handheld digital voltmeter that periodically updates the reading that’s displayed.

 

Second, we have to take note of a very important principle, the Nyquist-Shannon Sampling Theorem.  This theorem states that the faster the ADC repeats its voltage measurements, the more bandwidth it can capture.  More specifically, the amount of bandwidth it can capture is equal to one-half of the rate at which it samples the signal (measures the voltage).  So, if we had an ADC running at 122.88Mhz (measuring the voltage 122.88 million times per second), it could accurately and completely capture all the  signals/information in a bandwidth of 61.44 Mhz.

 

If we have an ADC running at 122.88 Mhz, it can capture all the ham bands up through 6M at the same time.  However, a data rate of 122.88 million samples per second is just too much for today’s conventional CPUs to absorb and process.  That’s where the FPGA comes in.  (Today’s direct-sampling radios such as the Apache-Labs ANAN series, Flex Radio Systems, ICOM 7300, etc., use an FPGA.)  An FPGA is difficult to program and is not suitable for many general algorithms; HOWEVER, it can process data very fast.  So, the FPGA is used to accept the very high-speed data from the ADC and “decimate” it to lower sample-rates that can be processed by conventional CPUs.

 

OK, this “decimation” to lower sample-rates is interesting.  So, we can have a sample-rate of 122.88 million samples-per-second going into the FPGA.  The FPGA may put out samples at a rate of only, for example, 768,000 samples-per-second by using this “decimation” process.  The output rate of 768,000 samples-per-second is something that a conventional CPU can further process.  However, again taking note of the Nyquist-Shannon Sampling Theorem, we must conclude that this output data stream can only transfer one-half of that, or, 384 Khz of bandwidth.  That’s not so bad!  384Khz can encompass a significant part or all of each of the various HF bands.  We’ll call that 384Khz of bandwidth a “slice”.

 

FPGAs are usually “large” enough that they have enough programmable elements that they can do this “decimation” process multiple times in parallel.  So, using the same 122.88Mhz input rate (61.44Mhz of bandwidth), one decimation process could pick out part of the 80 meter band, another the entire 40M band, another the 20M band, etc., all in parallel.  So, we can receive multiple “slices”, all from the same ADC.  Then it’s just up to the software and user interface to make that multiple receiver functionality available to the operator.

 

Multiple ADCs.  There are times when more than one ADC can be advantageous in a radio.  These often relate to mitigation of interference.  I’ll give two examples; however, there are other cases.

 

Example 1:  ADCs can be overloaded, just like your favorite digital voltmeter.  Suppose you want to simultaneously receive signals on 80M and 10M.  However, you have a next-door neighbor who is transmitting on 40M.  One way to deal with this is to connect your 80M antenna through an 80M bandpass filter to the first ADC – that works for the 80M reception.  Then, connect your 10M antenna through a 10M bandpass filter to the second ADC.  In both cases, the 40M interfering signal is filtered-out so it can’t overload an ADC.

 

Example 2:  Two ADCs can be connected to two different antennas.  We then “mix” the two outputs, on the same frequency, to null interference being received from a particular direction.  This is often called “beam-forming” or “diversity reception”.

 

73,

Warren  NR0V

 

 

 

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of Rob Sherwood
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 6:02 PM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

 

Hi Jeff,

 

I don’t know that I can adequately answer your question as to programming an ADC.  I am forwarding this thread to NR0V who programs all the DSP for Apache products.  I would assume the speed (and cost) of an ADC chip affects how much horsepower is available to do multiple jobs at the same time.  I’ll report back with a more precise explanation when I receive it.   

 

Both the Flex and new Icom radios are direct sampling, so there is no debate there.  Icom chose to use one ADC per receiver, be it a 7300 with one ADC chip, or the 7610 with two ADC chips and two receivers.  The Flex 6700 has two ADC chips, and can do four slices per chip, or a total of 8 slices.  Your 6500 has one ADC chip and as you say can handle up to 4 slices.  The 6300 has one chip but can only do 2 slices with a slower less expensive ADC chip.  The 6700 had several very expensive parts, and was a $7500 radios when it was introduced.  On the other hand a friend of mine priced out the cost of the parts in an IC-7300 and said no electronic part cost over $20.00 in quantity.  For $1000 the 7300 is quite a nice radio, and Icom has sold zillions of them. [Well maybe only (?) 30,000.]   

 

It would seem to come down to a price performance ratio as to how much money to allocate to the ADC chip.  There are also one or more  FPGA chip or chips, and again there is added cost for a faster and larger FPGA.  There is a thread on the Apache reflector talking about the 10E and 100D running out of space in the FPGA and barely being able to run their new operating system that is under development.  The FPGA is 97% full, so choices had to be made as to what features could be offered.

 

My friend with a 6700 uses 7 slices to monitor 7 MARS frequencies at once.  On the other hand I rarely use my 7610’s second receiver unless I am trying to work a DXpedition running split.  During 2018 CQ Worldwide I only worked three stations split out of 542 contacts. Proficient SO2R operators likely make much more use of the second receiver or possibly a third or fourth receiver.  I don’t multi-process well, so I leave that to others. 

 

The new Yaesu FTdx-101D has two receivers, but they are down-conversion superhets like the K3 / K3S with the second receiver option.  As I mentioned earlier, in really rough RF environments a radio like the K3S with its mode specific narrow roofing filters can handle very strong signals on the same band better than any direct sampling radio.  Consider the front end L/C filters in a Flex, Icom and Apache direct sampling radio as the “roofing filter”, but that filter is as wide as each individual band.  The ADC has to handle a strong signal or multiple strong signals even if these other signals are hundreds of kHz removed from a desired weak signal.  Most of the time overload isn’t the performance limit for reception.  My nearest ham is 13 miles away!

 

The operator of any direct sampling radio needs to handle total gain more carefully than the operator of  a K3, TS-890S or FTdx-101D.  By that I mean keep the preamp OFF unless you really need it.  Use attenuation as appropriate, which means there is no reason to have band noise reading upscale on the S meter.  Of course this is true of any radio if it is operated at  its maximum capability. For instance during a 160m CW contest I run between 12 and 18 dB attenuation at night with any radio I own, direct sampling or superhet.  I want band noise to be about 6 dB below the AGC threshold to significantly reduce operator fatigue.

 

If I get more answers, I’ll respond again.  73, Rob, NC0B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jeffrey griffin
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 4:58 PM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

 

Hi Rob, always good information in your posts. Can you explain the differences, as you see it between the direct receivers from  Flex radio vs the Icoms? I have a Flex 6500 and on occasion use the  4 available slices. I find them very useful. I don’t understand why the 7610 can receive only two separate signals. There must be a difference in how the direct receive frontend  is done by both manufactures. Do you have any input on this?

 

Oh, and to keep this on subject I also have a K3 I bought in 2007, I have upgraded to K3S specs, I would never sell…

 

73 Jeff kb2m

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io <Elecraft-K3@groups.io> On Behalf Of Rob Sherwood
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 12:59 PM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

 

From my perspective, the term SDR (software defined radio) today is virtually meaningless.  A K3S is a superhet down-conversion radio with lots of DSP software programming in the tail end of the radio.  The TS-890S is also a down-conversion superhet, but with a direct sampling bandscope and waterfall display.  It also has software programming that can be upgraded by a firmware flash.  The newly released FTdx-101D is a hybrid like the TS-890S. 

 

The Flex transceivers are direct sampling radios, as are the IC-7300, IC-7610 and IC-9700.  There is an embedded OS in the Icom radios and lots of firmware upgradable software. 

 

All the Apache radios are direct sampling, and some of the software is in the radio, but a lot of the processing is in the PC.

 

I am not a programmer, so I don’t know if it is possible to write code to run on Windows,  Apple and Linux platforms without separate binaries. 

 

If you are looking for an Elecraft “SDR”, I assume you are meaning a direct sampling radio.  Direct sampling has advantages and disadvantages.  Most of the time the architecture doesn’t matter much, but if you are operating Field Day, or have another ham a mile away, a down-conversion radio like the K3S will not overload nearly as easily as a direct sampling radio, if both stations are on the same band at the same time.  On the other hand, the contest DX K3S package is on sale for $5959.95, while an IC-7610 cost between $3000 and $3100.  The direct sampling radio has a cost advantage, and the hybrid TS-890S and FTdx-101D are both under $4000.  These are all great radios, but there are times with the K3S wins hands down.  (I am assuming the FTdx-101D will test out well, and I’ll know that in a week.)

 

73, Rob, NC0B

 

 

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of N S via Groups.Io
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 8:41 AM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

 

I wonder if Elecraft is ever going to replace the K3S with a true SDR radio that provides the processing in the rig and uses the front controls and or a low power computer to interface with it.  Similar to what Flex is doing.  I would also like the PC software to be generic platform independent so that it can run on Windows, Mac, or Linux.  I'd love to see Elecraft join the competition or maybe even jump ahead of the SDR competition.  It would also be nice to have a SDR that was STABLE in the VHF/UHF bands, unlike the new Icom 9700 which drifts and can't seem to stay on frequency.

Just thinking out loud.....

Norm

 


If this email is spam, report it to www.OnlyMyEmail.com

 


If this email is spam, report it to www.OnlyMyEmail.com

 


If this email is spam, report it to www.OnlyMyEmail.com

 


If this email is spam, report it to www.OnlyMyEmail.com


Re: KPOD question

N4KS Ken Stuber
 

Thanks Jim! I received it loud and clear via email. Exactly what I was looking for. 

73, Ken N4KS


Re: KPOD question

Jim N7US
 

The images weren’t conveyed from the reflector.

 

The programmer’s reference manual has a list of the commands.  M1 is SWT21; and M2 is SWT31; for example.

 

 

Jim N7US

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io <Elecraft-K3@groups.io> On Behalf Of Jim N7US
Sent: Sunday, May 5, 2019 08:39
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] KPOD question

 

Sure.  I have macros for M1 and M2 below:

 

I have a little Excel sheet with a list of them so I can print it and refer to it.

 

 

Jim N7US

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io <Elecraft-K3@groups.io> On Behalf Of N4KS Ken Stuber via Groups.Io
Sent: Sunday, May 5, 2019 06:38
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: [Elecraft-K3] KPOD question

 

Does anybody know if the KPOD can be programmed to duplicate the M1-M4 message functions of the K3? I would like to be able to bring the CW and SSB message functions to the desktop. For example, pressing F1 through F4 on the KPOD would do the same thing as pressing M1-M4 on the K3. Setting up the message memories would continue to be done via the K3.

73, Ken N4KS

_._,_._,_


Re: KPOD question

Jim N7US
 

Sure.  I have macros for M1 and M2 below:

 

 

I have a little Excel sheet with a list of them so I can print it and refer to it.

 

Jim N7US

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io <Elecraft-K3@groups.io> On Behalf Of N4KS Ken Stuber via Groups.Io
Sent: Sunday, May 5, 2019 06:38
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: [Elecraft-K3] KPOD question

 

Does anybody know if the KPOD can be programmed to duplicate the M1-M4 message functions of the K3? I would like to be able to bring the CW and SSB message functions to the desktop. For example, pressing F1 through F4 on the KPOD would do the same thing as pressing M1-M4 on the K3. Setting up the message memories would continue to be done via the K3.

73, Ken N4KS

_._,_._,_


Re: PL259 - how tight?

HB
 

They are expensive to manufacture. We use them at work. Most hams are cheap and they’re not many Chinese knockoffs I’m aware of. 

We pay upwards of $35/ea in quantity. 

Hank
K4HYJ

On May 4, 2019, at 11:55 PM, w9bik <w9bik@...> wrote:

Since we're talking about RF connectors, does anyone know why the C-Type connectors never caught on in ham radio applications. We used them in the military and they were great. Quarter turn snap lock, so no over-torque issues, and they are waterproof. Seems like they would be nice for ham radio. 


Re: SDR

Jeffrey griffin <kb2m@...>
 

Thanks Rob, and thanks Warren for the clear explanation of what a slice is. Now what is the difference between the Icom 7610, and the Flex 6000 series? The flex 6000, except the 6300 can get four ‘slices’ per  their Spectral Capture unit, while the 7610 manages only one? The Flex doesn’t seem to lose any performance advantage while doing this, so what is the difference hardware wise  between  the two?

 

73 Jeff kb2m

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io <Elecraft-K3@groups.io> On Behalf Of Rob Sherwood
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 11:02 PM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

 

Jeff. As promised, Warren has some answers for you.  Hopefully this helps. We all get to learn. Rob, NC0B

 

Hi Rob,

 

There are many questions embedded in this discussion!  I hardly know where to start.  However, let me try to cover some of the basics about “ADCs”, “FPGAs”, “slices”, and a few other things.

 

First, the job of an ADC is conceptually very simple; although, it’s important that it does its job accurately.  An ADC can be viewed as a digital voltmeter.  It repeatedly and periodically measures the voltage presented to its input and reports that as a digital value.  Think of your handheld digital voltmeter that periodically updates the reading that’s displayed.

 

Second, we have to take note of a very important principle, the Nyquist-Shannon Sampling Theorem.  This theorem states that the faster the ADC repeats its voltage measurements, the more bandwidth it can capture.  More specifically, the amount of bandwidth it can capture is equal to one-half of the rate at which it samples the signal (measures the voltage).  So, if we had an ADC running at 122.88Mhz (measuring the voltage 122.88 million times per second), it could accurately and completely capture all the  signals/information in a bandwidth of 61.44 Mhz.

 

If we have an ADC running at 122.88 Mhz, it can capture all the ham bands up through 6M at the same time.  However, a data rate of 122.88 million samples per second is just too much for today’s conventional CPUs to absorb and process.  That’s where the FPGA comes in.  (Today’s direct-sampling radios such as the Apache-Labs ANAN series, Flex Radio Systems, ICOM 7300, etc., use an FPGA.)  An FPGA is difficult to program and is not suitable for many general algorithms; HOWEVER, it can process data very fast.  So, the FPGA is used to accept the very high-speed data from the ADC and “decimate” it to lower sample-rates that can be processed by conventional CPUs.

 

OK, this “decimation” to lower sample-rates is interesting.  So, we can have a sample-rate of 122.88 million samples-per-second going into the FPGA.  The FPGA may put out samples at a rate of only, for example, 768,000 samples-per-second by using this “decimation” process.  The output rate of 768,000 samples-per-second is something that a conventional CPU can further process.  However, again taking note of the Nyquist-Shannon Sampling Theorem, we must conclude that this output data stream can only transfer one-half of that, or, 384 Khz of bandwidth.  That’s not so bad!  384Khz can encompass a significant part or all of each of the various HF bands.  We’ll call that 384Khz of bandwidth a “slice”.

 

FPGAs are usually “large” enough that they have enough programmable elements that they can do this “decimation” process multiple times in parallel.  So, using the same 122.88Mhz input rate (61.44Mhz of bandwidth), one decimation process could pick out part of the 80 meter band, another the entire 40M band, another the 20M band, etc., all in parallel.  So, we can receive multiple “slices”, all from the same ADC.  Then it’s just up to the software and user interface to make that multiple receiver functionality available to the operator.

 

Multiple ADCs.  There are times when more than one ADC can be advantageous in a radio.  These often relate to mitigation of interference.  I’ll give two examples; however, there are other cases.

 

Example 1:  ADCs can be overloaded, just like your favorite digital voltmeter.  Suppose you want to simultaneously receive signals on 80M and 10M.  However, you have a next-door neighbor who is transmitting on 40M.  One way to deal with this is to connect your 80M antenna through an 80M bandpass filter to the first ADC – that works for the 80M reception.  Then, connect your 10M antenna through a 10M bandpass filter to the second ADC.  In both cases, the 40M interfering signal is filtered-out so it can’t overload an ADC.

 

Example 2:  Two ADCs can be connected to two different antennas.  We then “mix” the two outputs, on the same frequency, to null interference being received from a particular direction.  This is often called “beam-forming” or “diversity reception”.

 

73,

Warren  NR0V

 

 

 

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of Rob Sherwood
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 6:02 PM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

 

Hi Jeff,

 

I don’t know that I can adequately answer your question as to programming an ADC.  I am forwarding this thread to NR0V who programs all the DSP for Apache products.  I would assume the speed (and cost) of an ADC chip affects how much horsepower is available to do multiple jobs at the same time.  I’ll report back with a more precise explanation when I receive it.   

 

Both the Flex and new Icom radios are direct sampling, so there is no debate there.  Icom chose to use one ADC per receiver, be it a 7300 with one ADC chip, or the 7610 with two ADC chips and two receivers.  The Flex 6700 has two ADC chips, and can do four slices per chip, or a total of 8 slices.  Your 6500 has one ADC chip and as you say can handle up to 4 slices.  The 6300 has one chip but can only do 2 slices with a slower less expensive ADC chip.  The 6700 had several very expensive parts, and was a $7500 radios when it was introduced.  On the other hand a friend of mine priced out the cost of the parts in an IC-7300 and said no electronic part cost over $20.00 in quantity.  For $1000 the 7300 is quite a nice radio, and Icom has sold zillions of them. [Well maybe only (?) 30,000.]   

 

It would seem to come down to a price performance ratio as to how much money to allocate to the ADC chip.  There are also one or more  FPGA chip or chips, and again there is added cost for a faster and larger FPGA.  There is a thread on the Apache reflector talking about the 10E and 100D running out of space in the FPGA and barely being able to run their new operating system that is under development.  The FPGA is 97% full, so choices had to be made as to what features could be offered.

 

My friend with a 6700 uses 7 slices to monitor 7 MARS frequencies at once.  On the other hand I rarely use my 7610’s second receiver unless I am trying to work a DXpedition running split.  During 2018 CQ Worldwide I only worked three stations split out of 542 contacts. Proficient SO2R operators likely make much more use of the second receiver or possibly a third or fourth receiver.  I don’t multi-process well, so I leave that to others. 

 

The new Yaesu FTdx-101D has two receivers, but they are down-conversion superhets like the K3 / K3S with the second receiver option.  As I mentioned earlier, in really rough RF environments a radio like the K3S with its mode specific narrow roofing filters can handle very strong signals on the same band better than any direct sampling radio.  Consider the front end L/C filters in a Flex, Icom and Apache direct sampling radio as the “roofing filter”, but that filter is as wide as each individual band.  The ADC has to handle a strong signal or multiple strong signals even if these other signals are hundreds of kHz removed from a desired weak signal.  Most of the time overload isn’t the performance limit for reception.  My nearest ham is 13 miles away!

 

The operator of any direct sampling radio needs to handle total gain more carefully than the operator of  a K3, TS-890S or FTdx-101D.  By that I mean keep the preamp OFF unless you really need it.  Use attenuation as appropriate, which means there is no reason to have band noise reading upscale on the S meter.  Of course this is true of any radio if it is operated at  its maximum capability. For instance during a 160m CW contest I run between 12 and 18 dB attenuation at night with any radio I own, direct sampling or superhet.  I want band noise to be about 6 dB below the AGC threshold to significantly reduce operator fatigue.

 

If I get more answers, I’ll respond again.  73, Rob, NC0B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jeffrey griffin
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 4:58 PM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

 

Hi Rob, always good information in your posts. Can you explain the differences, as you see it between the direct receivers from  Flex radio vs the Icoms? I have a Flex 6500 and on occasion use the  4 available slices. I find them very useful. I don’t understand why the 7610 can receive only two separate signals. There must be a difference in how the direct receive frontend  is done by both manufactures. Do you have any input on this?

 

Oh, and to keep this on subject I also have a K3 I bought in 2007, I have upgraded to K3S specs, I would never sell…

 

73 Jeff kb2m

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io <Elecraft-K3@groups.io> On Behalf Of Rob Sherwood
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 12:59 PM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

 

From my perspective, the term SDR (software defined radio) today is virtually meaningless.  A K3S is a superhet down-conversion radio with lots of DSP software programming in the tail end of the radio.  The TS-890S is also a down-conversion superhet, but with a direct sampling bandscope and waterfall display.  It also has software programming that can be upgraded by a firmware flash.  The newly released FTdx-101D is a hybrid like the TS-890S. 

 

The Flex transceivers are direct sampling radios, as are the IC-7300, IC-7610 and IC-9700.  There is an embedded OS in the Icom radios and lots of firmware upgradable software. 

 

All the Apache radios are direct sampling, and some of the software is in the radio, but a lot of the processing is in the PC.

 

I am not a programmer, so I don’t know if it is possible to write code to run on Windows,  Apple and Linux platforms without separate binaries. 

 

If you are looking for an Elecraft “SDR”, I assume you are meaning a direct sampling radio.  Direct sampling has advantages and disadvantages.  Most of the time the architecture doesn’t matter much, but if you are operating Field Day, or have another ham a mile away, a down-conversion radio like the K3S will not overload nearly as easily as a direct sampling radio, if both stations are on the same band at the same time.  On the other hand, the contest DX K3S package is on sale for $5959.95, while an IC-7610 cost between $3000 and $3100.  The direct sampling radio has a cost advantage, and the hybrid TS-890S and FTdx-101D are both under $4000.  These are all great radios, but there are times with the K3S wins hands down.  (I am assuming the FTdx-101D will test out well, and I’ll know that in a week.)

 

73, Rob, NC0B

 

 

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of N S via Groups.Io
Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2019 8:41 AM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: [Elecraft-K3] SDR

 

I wonder if Elecraft is ever going to replace the K3S with a true SDR radio that provides the processing in the rig and uses the front controls and or a low power computer to interface with it.  Similar to what Flex is doing.  I would also like the PC software to be generic platform independent so that it can run on Windows, Mac, or Linux.  I'd love to see Elecraft join the competition or maybe even jump ahead of the SDR competition.  It would also be nice to have a SDR that was STABLE in the VHF/UHF bands, unlike the new Icom 9700 which drifts and can't seem to stay on frequency.

Just thinking out loud.....

Norm

 


If this email is spam, report it to www.OnlyMyEmail.com

 


If this email is spam, report it to www.OnlyMyEmail.com

 


If this email is spam, report it to www.OnlyMyEmail.com

5061 - 5080 of 35836