Date   

Re: HB9VQQ testing Kiwi SDR

KD2OM
 

Rolf,
I am using three different amplifiers built by N4CY Everett Sharp. They all are 11 dB gain. He has changed the version several times, one has a relay to disconnect the antenna when no power is supplied. I am feeding power to them using a bias T, also built by Everett. 
I do need to increase the gain for my beverage antenna, candidates are a 20 dB gain amplifier from Advanced Receiver Research and a 23 dB amplifier designed by K8ZOA from DX Engineering.

73,
Steve KD2OM 

On Oct 15, 2021, at 13:44, Rolf Ekstrand <rekstrand@...> wrote:

Hi again y'all

I have run my Kiwi  here with AM filter for more than a year now almost 24/7 and I am very happy with it.  I am only using an old ground mounted  Cushcraft R7.  I am still planning to expand with additional kiwis  for the low bands and a vertical log periodic towards middle EU.  In the meantime I like to try a LNA ( with a 50 ohm HP on let say 10 Mhz) on the vertical.     

I guess I could cobble together a Norton amp or similar and the HP filter, but before doing so,  what are the "big gun" WD kiwi stations out there using if they need a boost??

73  Rolf


Re: HB9VQQ testing Kiwi SDR

WA2TP - Tom
 

Not sure I’d consider myself a big gun, but I have had very good results with high spot counts. 

I am not using any and pre-amplification on the resonant antennas. 

The only antenna with a pre-amp here, is the wellbrook active loop. 

I have been plagued with CM paths and local noise sources, which is what I focused on.

I built my own filters for the AM BB problem stations. 

Tom
WA2TP 

On Oct 15, 2021, at 7:44 AM, Rolf Ekstrand <rekstrand@...> wrote:

Hi again y'all

I have run my Kiwi  here with AM filter for more than a year now almost 24/7 and I am very happy with it.  I am only using an old ground mounted  Cushcraft R7.  I am still planning to expand with additional kiwis  for the low bands and a vertical log periodic towards middle EU.  In the meantime I like to try a LNA ( with a 50 ohm HP on let say 10 Mhz) on the vertical.     

I guess I could cobble together a Norton amp or similar and the HP filter, but before doing so,  what are the "big gun" WD kiwi stations out there using if they need a boost??

73  Rolf


Re: HB9VQQ testing Kiwi SDR

Rolf Ekstrand
 

Hi again y'all

I have run my Kiwi  here with AM filter for more than a year now almost 24/7 and I am very happy with it.  I am only using an old ground mounted  Cushcraft R7.  I am still planning to expand with additional kiwis  for the low bands and a vertical log periodic towards middle EU.  In the meantime I like to try a LNA ( with a 50 ohm HP on let say 10 Mhz) on the vertical.     

I guess I could cobble together a Norton amp or similar and the HP filter, but before doing so,  what are the "big gun" WD kiwi stations out there using if they need a boost??

73  Rolf


Re: New install on Pi4 question

Bruce KX4AZ
 

On Fri, Oct 15, 2021 at 08:46 AM, KD2OM wrote:
I think the problem may be the names. There is no need to use a call as the receiver name.
You are correct!  Right after my last post I went back to the original example conf file example (from the web site) and changed the receiver name to remove the '/T' suffix from the call sign, while leaving it present for the uploaded spots - important for me to distinguish different locations I use.  After a restart the spots  began uploading correctly.  I also did some more editing of the example conf file to change all of the "no" values to "yes" for the noise related reporting.  Hopefully that is working correctly too - I have a lot ore learning to do to figure out how to verify that.


Re: New install on Pi4 question

KD2OM
 

I think the problem may be the names. There is no need to use a call as the receiver name. It gets the call from the config file. Your receiver names should be like Kiwi_1, Kiwi_2, etc. if is is an audio channel it must be Audio_0 or Audio_1? 
In the schedule you need to use MERGED_x for the list of receivers even if you are scheduling only only one receiver.

My names are BE, DI, VE for the receivers and the schedule list looks like this:
“MERGED_RX_1  BE                                 KD2OM FN12GX password”
“MERGED_RX_2 BE,DI,VE,AUDIO_0      KD2OM FN12GX password”


Then the schedule:
(“01:00
             MERGED_RX_1,2200
             MERGED_RX_2,20”
)


Steve KD2OM 

On Oct 15, 2021, at 06:15, Bruce KX4AZ <bruce@...> wrote:

Also, these are the current contents in the wsprdaemon.log file:

Fri 15 Oct 2021 09:40:49 AM UTC: watchdog_daemon() starting as pid 2904
Fri 15 Oct 2021 09:40:49 AM UTC: WARNING: spawn_upload_to_wsprnet_daemon() found a stale uploading.pid file with pid 1438. Deleting file /home/pi/wsprdaemon/uploads.d/wsprnet.d/spots.d/uploads.pid
Fri 15 Oct 2021 09:40:49 AM UTC: WARNING: spawn_ftp_upload_to_wsprdaemon_daemon() found a stale file '/home/pi/wsprdaemon/uploads.d/wsprdaemon.d/uploads.pid' with pid 1452, so deleting it
sed: -e expression #1, char 16: unknown option to `s'
sed: -e expression #1, char 16: unknown option to `s'
sed: -e expression #1, char 16: unknown option to `s'
sed: -e expression #1, char 16: unknown option to `s'
sed: -e expression #1, char 16: unknown option to `s'
sed: -e expression #1, char 17: unknown option to `s'
./wsprdaemon.sh: line 5375: /tmp/wsprdaemon/kiwi_gps_status/KX4AZ/T_last_gps_fixes.log: No such file or directory
cat: /tmp/wsprdaemon/kiwi_gps_status/KX4AZ/T_last_gps_fixes.log: No such file or directory
date: /tmp/wsprdaemon/kiwi_gps_status/KX4AZ/T_last_gps_fixes.log: No such file or directory
./wsprdaemon.sh: line 5381: 1634290885 -  : syntax error: operand expected (error token is "-  ")
 


Re: New install on Pi4 question

Bruce KX4AZ
 

Also, these are the current contents in the wsprdaemon.log file:

Fri 15 Oct 2021 09:40:49 AM UTC: watchdog_daemon() starting as pid 2904
Fri 15 Oct 2021 09:40:49 AM UTC: WARNING: spawn_upload_to_wsprnet_daemon() found a stale uploading.pid file with pid 1438. Deleting file /home/pi/wsprdaemon/uploads.d/wsprnet.d/spots.d/uploads.pid
Fri 15 Oct 2021 09:40:49 AM UTC: WARNING: spawn_ftp_upload_to_wsprdaemon_daemon() found a stale file '/home/pi/wsprdaemon/uploads.d/wsprdaemon.d/uploads.pid' with pid 1452, so deleting it
sed: -e expression #1, char 16: unknown option to `s'
sed: -e expression #1, char 16: unknown option to `s'
sed: -e expression #1, char 16: unknown option to `s'
sed: -e expression #1, char 16: unknown option to `s'
sed: -e expression #1, char 16: unknown option to `s'
sed: -e expression #1, char 17: unknown option to `s'
./wsprdaemon.sh: line 5375: /tmp/wsprdaemon/kiwi_gps_status/KX4AZ/T_last_gps_fixes.log: No such file or directory
cat: /tmp/wsprdaemon/kiwi_gps_status/KX4AZ/T_last_gps_fixes.log: No such file or directory
date: /tmp/wsprdaemon/kiwi_gps_status/KX4AZ/T_last_gps_fixes.log: No such file or directory
./wsprdaemon.sh: line 5381: 1634290885 -  : syntax error: operand expected (error token is "-  ")
 


Re: New install on Pi4 question

Bruce KX4AZ
 

Thanks for the suggestion, I removed the _1 in the receiver name used in the conf file, rebooted and restarted wsprdaemon.  Still not uploading any spots, though the status shows a longer list, with  _1 in the receiver name and a "never ran" error (snapshot attached).  Will continue studying the documentation from the web site, has to be something real basic that I am doing wrong.


Re: New install on Pi4 question

Jim Lill
 

I'm not sure it likes _ in the RX name or if the various people who track spots do

On 10/14/21 9:11 PM, Bruce KX4AZ wrote:
When I went back and re-read the original installation message I realized it was simply asking me for permission to create a RAM drive, so I answered YES and proceeded from there.  After editing the example wsprdaemon.conf file for my specific setup, I now have it running and can see that it is connected to the KiwiSDR.  It's not uploading any spots so far, and when I check the status, each of the five receivers says "Got PID xxx from file, but it is not running".  I am assuming I made a simple mistake somewhere along the line.


Re: New install on Pi4 question

Bruce KX4AZ
 

When I went back and re-read the original installation message I realized it was simply asking me for permission to create a RAM drive, so I answered YES and proceeded from there.  After editing the example wsprdaemon.conf file for my specific setup, I now have it running and can see that it is connected to the KiwiSDR.  It's not uploading any spots so far, and when I check the status, each of the five receivers says "Got PID xxx from file, but it is not running".  I am assuming I made a simple mistake somewhere along the line.


Re: New install on Pi4 question

Jim Lill
 

see man fstab

On 10/14/21 5:35 PM, Bruce KX4AZ wrote:
Thank you, I located the fstab file in the etc directory and will halt the wsprdaemon and add that line.....I am curious about the "0 0" after the size=300m term - what function does it serve?


Re: New install on Pi4 question

Bruce KX4AZ
 

Thank you, I located the fstab file in the etc directory and will halt the wsprdaemon and add that line.....I am curious about the "0 0" after the size=300m term - what function does it serve?


Re: New install on Pi4 question

Jim Lill
 

There is also an access speed issue that the ram disk helps.

this line needs to be added to the end of your /etc/fstab file

tmpfs /tmp/wsprdaemon tmpfs defaults,noatime,nosuid,size=300m    0 0

you may not need 300m, I use that as I have 26 channels running from 2 kiwi.  After adding that reboot and see that you that ram disk   and then I'd simply reinstall wd

On 10/14/21 4:10 PM, Bruce KX4AZ wrote:
Very new to Linux & Pi, so being very cautious...but also not afraid to ask the very dumb questions that follow below.  When I initiated a new installation of Wsprdaemon, it displayed a warning message about the /tmp/wsprdaemon directory not being configured as a RAM drive, so that every 2 minutes the WSPR write cycle will eventually wear out the microSD card in the Pi.  I decided to pause the install until I get some input.  So my questions are...
1) If I proceed as is, what might be a typical lifetime for a 32GB Samsung microSD card? In other words, is the warning a real concern for a new user, or more of a standard disclaimer ("I TOLD you this might wear out a solid state drive!").
2) Is there a VERY simple set of commands (e.g. a short narrative entitled "300 MB RAM Drive Set Up for Dummies") that I can use to create the RAM drive for wsprdaemon to use?
3) If I proceed without setting up a RAM drive, is that something I can do after the wsprdaemon installation, or do I need to I halt things and do that first?

Thanks in advance for any advice.  I WAS able to get the new Pi4 set up with a solid wifi connection, running headless with SSH & VNC access enabled, so looking forward to giving wspr daemon a try.


New install on Pi4 question

Bruce KX4AZ
 

Very new to Linux & Pi, so being very cautious...but also not afraid to ask the very dumb questions that follow below.  When I initiated a new installation of Wsprdaemon, it displayed a warning message about the /tmp/wsprdaemon directory not being configured as a RAM drive, so that every 2 minutes the WSPR write cycle will eventually wear out the microSD card in the Pi.  I decided to pause the install until I get some input.  So my questions are...
1) If I proceed as is, what might be a typical lifetime for a 32GB Samsung microSD card? In other words, is the warning a real concern for a new user, or more of a standard disclaimer ("I TOLD you this might wear out a solid state drive!").
2) Is there a VERY simple set of commands (e.g. a short narrative entitled "300 MB RAM Drive Set Up for Dummies") that I can use to create the RAM drive for wsprdaemon to use?
3) If I proceed without setting up a RAM drive, is that something I can do after the wsprdaemon installation, or do I need to I halt things and do that first?

Thanks in advance for any advice.  I WAS able to get the new Pi4 set up with a solid wifi connection, running headless with SSH & VNC access enabled, so looking forward to giving wspr daemon a try.


Re: HB9VQQ testing Kiwi SDR

Rolf Ekstrand
 

Thank you Rob

No doubt there could be a difference between a narrow band Air Spy  and the Kiwi in a band hopping application.  Another possible issue that could influence the outcome will be the splitter design on a single antenna.  

73 Rolf


Re: Web Noise Plots

admin
 

Hello,
I am not sure what you mean with changing colors but I did a small change to the Station Noise Stats page to make the colors there more "stable". Hope that resolves your issue.

Regards
Arne

On 13.10.21 21:18, KD2OM wrote:
Why do the colors of the lines change? The lines from my three receivers change, it seems to vary based on the noise level.

73
Steve KD2OM


Re: Web Noise Plots

Gwyn Griffiths
 
Edited

Dean
The link you gave is to wspr.live, which is written and maintained by Arne.
He takes the wsprdaemon noise data and provides these plots in Grafana.
Your queries are best answered by him.

If I have the right Dean Shutt, AL7CR, your noise plots on the wsprdaemon.org site are all showing at:
http://wsprdaemon.org/graphs/AL7CR/ 

Steve - the color changes are a feature of Arne's code in Grafana. Rob's note on blue and red being fixed only refers to the plots
at http://wsprdaemon.org/graphs/index.html and  http://wsprdaemon.org/graphs/yourcallsign

regards
Gwyn G3ZIL


Re: Web Noise Plots

Rob Robinett
 

There are two noise level measurement techniques reported by wsprdaemon:

In Red is the RMS noise level for the whole WSPR band taken from the 0-1 seconds and 110-120 seconds of each 2 minute WSPR cycle when all transmitters are supposed to be quiet.  However this measurement can be disturbed by the presence of an RF carrier (e.g. CW station) which persists through those measurement windows.

In Blus is a FFT noise level which is derived from the quietest 4 Hz channels of the WSPR band.  This measurement looks at the whole 2 minutes of the WSPR cycle, so it averages the noise over a much longer period but may be perturbed by transient noise events like thunderstorms.

In general the FFT measurements seem more useful and frequently show slightly lower noise levels, but we chart them both.

Gywn and Clint have written about this noise subject and you can find links to their documents at http://wsprdaemon.org/technical.html

The noise level measurement database we are building seems to be unique in the radio research world and we have started some efforts to exploit it for new insights into the ionosphere.

On Wed, Oct 13, 2021 at 12:18 PM KD2OM <steve@...> wrote:
Why do the colors of the lines change? The lines from my three receivers change, it seems to vary based on the noise level.

73
Steve KD2OM



--
Rob Robinett
AI6VN
mobile: +1 650 218 8896


Re: HB9VQQ testing Kiwi SDR

Rob Robinett
 

Hi Bruce,

In case you and others in this group missed my posts' to Roland's WSPR Beacon Project Telegram group on this subject,  I'll copy those remarks here,  but the subject of how to construct high performance (and what that means needs to be defined), easy to deploy and cost effective WSPR receive site is far more complex than can be covered in one post, but here is my perspective:

Roland wants to deploy a wspr rx system which mirrors his tx system and feels that to do that the cost of each site needs to be $200 or less.  At $400 for a Kiwi + Pi4, on cost alone that system doesn't qualify, so he could have stopped there and settled on the Airspy + Pi and compared it against other single channel SDRs.  However he also wants to know how well his low cost system compares in performance to the Kiwi + Pi used by many of the top spotting sites.  But in making that comparison he put the Kiwi system at a severe and undocumented disadvantage by not adding the AM and LNA requried to properly utilize the Kiwi which is used at those top sites.  

As one of many examples of the disadvantages potentially suffered by the Kiwi in such a comparison, without an AM blocking filter the Kiwi (and and wide band SDR) is likely to be frequently going into overload.  The Kiwi GUI displays those events with the flash of a red OV next to the S-meter, but if you are comparing over a 24 hour period there is no place to find out on the Kiwi the number and severity of those events.  In order to document this problem, wsprdaemon records the frequency and severity of OV events to a log file which the operator should examine to see if there is sufficient filtering to minimize overload events.

As a second example, if there is no blocking filter and no overload events, there is evidence that the Kiwi system is not receiving a strong enough RF signal and it needs a  LNA ahead of it.

While a single channel SDR probably doesn't need blocking filter(s), it too can suffer from impairments introduced by its installation environment, and those are much harder to identify than when using a wideband SDR.

People write whole books on the subject of building a good receive station and I worry that the effort to deploy low-cost plug-and-play rx systems will result in many 'deaf' stations.  Certainly by listening only to the bands and wspr cycles when/where WSPR Beacon stations are transmitting, many potentially interesting spots from non-Project stations will be missed.  So I think it is a shame to invest a lot of time and money in rx stations which could be far more useful to the wider community.

But Roland deserves credit for funding this and I hope his rx stations do make a contribution to our understanding of radio propagation.  But his tests don't prove the Airspy is a 'better' WSPR receiver than a Kiwi.  The Airspy just works better in the way he has been testing and the way he wants to deploy his systems.

73,

Rob



==========

"I understand your application requirements are different, but for many users the Kiwis are cheaper and better solutions when they are properly deployed.  My point here is to clarify to others that your comparison tests are for your specific application:  band hopping with no external filters or amplifiers.

Rob Robinett AI6VN, [Oct 10, 2021 at 1:35:29 PM]:

Given your cost and single band at a time requirements, then the Airspy seems the better choice.  But the Kiwi is not 'bad', it has different features and testing by many knowledgeable hams has shown how to optimize its performance to match that of other top quality receivers like the Airspy.  So I don't think it is appropriate to characterize the $40/rx channel Kiwi as 'worse' than' than the $170/channel Airspy when your test criteria precludes optimizing the Kiwi's RF feed.   I think you have identified the Airspy as the right SDR for your application, but that doesn't mean it is the 'best' SDR for all applications"



On Wed, Oct 13, 2021 at 1:49 PM Bruce KX4AZ <bruce@...> wrote:
Rolf,
I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Airspy HF+ Discovery outperforms the KiwiSDR for WSPR spot counts, give the different architecture and narrower bandwidth on the Airspy.  In my informal comparisons of the two (attached to a simple y-splitter), the Airspy had a measurably higher S/N ratio on the weakest signals.  It appears that modest signal amplification (very carefully applied) can compensate for the difference.  I'll leave it to the experts on this forum to (like KA7OEI) to detail the pluses/minuses of amplification.

I just started setting up a new Pi4 today and hope to get the wsprdaemon running with the KiwiSDR one of these days.

I also wanted thank you for your post, calling my attention to yet another groups.io that I'll need to join!  Might be a good place to discuss my current 10 microwatt WSPR experiments.
73,
Bruce KX4AZ



--
Rob Robinett
AI6VN
mobile: +1 650 218 8896


Re: HB9VQQ testing Kiwi SDR

Jim Lill
 

From my experience on both my own and KD2OM kiwi,  above 10 MHz or so, the Kiwi may need a bit on gain in the path depending on what antenna is used.  You may note that both Steve KD2OM and Tom WA2TP both rank high in wspr reporters and use kiwi.

-Jim

WA2ZKD

On 10/13/21 4:49 PM, Bruce KX4AZ wrote:
Rolf,
I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Airspy HF+ Discovery outperforms the KiwiSDR for WSPR spot counts, give the different architecture and narrower bandwidth on the Airspy.  In my informal comparisons of the two (attached to a simple y-splitter), the Airspy had a measurably higher S/N ratio on the weakest signals.  It appears that modest signal amplification (very carefully applied) can compensate for the difference.  I'll leave it to the experts on this forum to (like KA7OEI) to detail the pluses/minuses of amplification.

I just started setting up a new Pi4 today and hope to get the wsprdaemon running with the KiwiSDR one of these days.

I also wanted thank you for your post, calling my attention to yet another groups.io that I'll need to join!  Might be a good place to discuss my current 10 microwatt WSPR experiments.
73,
Bruce KX4AZ


Re: HB9VQQ testing Kiwi SDR

Bruce KX4AZ
 

Rolf,
I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Airspy HF+ Discovery outperforms the KiwiSDR for WSPR spot counts, give the different architecture and narrower bandwidth on the Airspy.  In my informal comparisons of the two (attached to a simple y-splitter), the Airspy had a measurably higher S/N ratio on the weakest signals.  It appears that modest signal amplification (very carefully applied) can compensate for the difference.  I'll leave it to the experts on this forum to (like KA7OEI) to detail the pluses/minuses of amplification.

I just started setting up a new Pi4 today and hope to get the wsprdaemon running with the KiwiSDR one of these days.

I also wanted thank you for your post, calling my attention to yet another groups.io that I'll need to join!  Might be a good place to discuss my current 10 microwatt WSPR experiments.
73,
Bruce KX4AZ

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