The AM Forum
July 18, 2024, 02:12:54 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 
   Home   Help Calendar Links Staff List Gallery Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2 ... 13   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: The 6M-160M HPSDR Transceiver Project Begins  (Read 231525 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
K1JJ
Contributing
Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8886


"Let's go kayaking, Tommy!" - Yaz


« on: January 20, 2011, 03:17:31 PM »

Just received the used, but still wrapped and sealed, HPSDR boards today. (High Performance Software Defined Radio) Found a super bargain for only $550 to build the complete HPSDR 160-6M transceiver. Included were the Atlas BackPlane, Pandora cabinet, Ozy computer interface, Janus sound card, Pinnochio extender card, LPU power supply,  Pennelope exciter and Mercury Receiver -     Don't ya just love those names?

Unfortunately, the EDS benchmat and straps I ordered won't be here until Monday... sigh.  If I were crazy (and I am) I could work 24 hours on assy and programming and actually have a working transceiver going with some luck.  But gonna just fondle the boards, in the static-proof plastic, and keep reading for now.

This kit will easily rival the Flex 5000 specs though it will put out only 500mW. I will have to add an SS linear later on, which is already built. The kit uses the same Flex PowerSDR software and will have dual diversity with null steering once I find a second Mercury RX board. The HPSDR is more for experimenters and not by any means a plug and play setup.

The second pic: There are over 700 pads to solder on this board alone. Definately magnifying glass stuff.

Third pic: What I hope the guts will look like next week.

This is my first jump into SDR other than a Softrock and KE1GF down-converter - thanks to Buddly and Huzman for lending those boards to me until I got going with this project. And thanks to Frank/GFZ for his SDR email mentoring.

I'm excited!  Wish me luck, especially ESD luck... Shocked Grin

T


More INFO?

http://openhpsdr.org/index.html




* YazPics 076.jpg (325.91 KB, 1280x960 - viewed 1658 times.)

* YazPics 079.jpg (324.24 KB, 1280x960 - viewed 1509 times.)

* HPSDR Transceiver.jpg (102.43 KB, 640x480 - viewed 2019 times.)
Logged

Use an "AM Courtesy Filter" to limit transmit audio bandwidth  +-4.5 KHz, +-6.0 KHz or +-8.0 KHz when needed.  Easily done in DSP.

Wise Words : "I'm as old as I've ever been... and I'm as young as I'll ever be."

There's nothing like an old dog.
W1AEX
Un-smug-a-licious
Contributing
Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1481


Apache Labs SDR


WWW
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2011, 03:29:39 PM »

Looks like a fun project Tom. I'm looking forward to hearing it on the bands!
Logged

One thing I'm certain of is that there is too much certainty in the world.
K5WLF
Guest
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2011, 04:21:37 PM »


The second pic: There are over 700 pads to solder on this board's connectors alone. Definately magnifying glass stuff.

T

Back in the last century, I got hired as the second engineer for a 32-track recording studio under construction. I was assigned the detail of making up the patch bay and all its associated connections -- mic connectors in the studio and vocal booths, ouput connectors to the board, etc. By the time it was done, I'd made over 14,000 solder joints. You'll make the 700 just fine, Tom. Get a cup of coffee, put on some Edouard (sp?) Hill for background music and solder away. Good luck with the project.

ldb
Logged
WA1GFZ
Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 11151



« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2011, 05:08:54 PM »

Tom,
You can assemble Atlas without an ESD mat or static strap. Notice you will need a USB cable with the right connector at Ozy. You will need some 4-40 hardware to mount Atlas in the chassis. Find yourself a clean 12 volt linear supply. As I told you you can borrow my old power supply set up that plugs into the Atlas connector. You should be on the lookout for a nice microscope.
Soon you won't be able to work without one.
Good luck and soon you will be running the same set up I have been playing with. The only other issue. you need a calibrated generator to calibrate the S meter. It took a long afternoon to solder those connectors in. Make sure thry piont the right way.....
Logged
WA1GFZ
Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 11151



« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2011, 05:12:02 PM »

Da, missed the picture of the HP606 in the background.
Logged
K1JJ
Contributing
Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8886


"Let's go kayaking, Tommy!" - Yaz


« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2011, 05:36:20 PM »

Thanks for the encouragement guys!  Yeah, some focused work and in a few weeks from now it'll look easy.


Frank, OK on no ESD precautions required for the Atlas BackPlane. I was gonna axe you about that. Then I can start on it tonight.  I can do Pinnochio too, in that case.

I have a good regulated 13.8VDC supply, about 20A, so shud be OK.  I'm missing all the cables that go everywhere. Is there a list of them somewhere?  I figgered I'd wait to the end and hit Rat Shark.

TNX.

T


Anyone want more INFO?

http://openhpsdr.org/index.html



Logged

Use an "AM Courtesy Filter" to limit transmit audio bandwidth  +-4.5 KHz, +-6.0 KHz or +-8.0 KHz when needed.  Easily done in DSP.

Wise Words : "I'm as old as I've ever been... and I'm as young as I'll ever be."

There's nothing like an old dog.
WA1GFZ
Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 11151



« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2011, 09:51:01 PM »

Mercury and Penny have BNC connectors so you will need to make up patch cables to get to a TR relay/amplifier. Look at the USB connector on ozy. It needs to interface with the USB port on your computer. You will need an 1/8 inch audio plug to get audio off Mercury. amplified stereo speakers will get you going. no need to pipe it into the sound card since there is an on board DSP chip. Then look at the mic connections and set up jumpers and a key if you want. I've never interfaced the key to my set up. i think lPU has a connector you need to mate. I don't have LPU and filed it out for a 115 VAC connector. I put a fuse on the back with switch and small neon panel light on the front.
Logged
K1JJ
Contributing
Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8886


"Let's go kayaking, Tommy!" - Yaz


« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2011, 11:46:41 PM »

Well, some good progress. Mounted about 45 surface mount parts and soldered about 700 connections on the Atlas backplane board. (Motherboard)    This is probably the hardest and longest assembly of the whole project.

I even tested all the caps, resistors and diodes on the board to be sure they were working in circuit.

Frank, on the D1- D5 LEDs....   They have small green dots marking the cathodes. On your board do D1-D3 cathodes point towards the board edge and D4-D5 point towards the board's center?  It is confusing in their description.


I set up a fan sucking air away to keep the solder smoke at bay. The tweezers worked FB and so did the solder station.  I used a pair of reading glasses and a magnifying lens/lamp together to see. I'm starting to like surface mount assembly.

The solder connections on the board bottom look strange in the picture below due to lighting effects, but are all FB in person.

Onto Pinnochio card extension and the power supply assembly tmw.

T


* YazPics 080.jpg (322.12 KB, 1280x960 - viewed 1424 times.)

* YazPics 082.jpg (321.63 KB, 1280x960 - viewed 1409 times.)
Logged

Use an "AM Courtesy Filter" to limit transmit audio bandwidth  +-4.5 KHz, +-6.0 KHz or +-8.0 KHz when needed.  Easily done in DSP.

Wise Words : "I'm as old as I've ever been... and I'm as young as I'll ever be."

There's nothing like an old dog.
KA2DZT
Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 2190


« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2011, 12:42:22 AM »

Tom,

Good luck with your new project.

Word of caution;  if your hair begins to stand up on its ends, you've made a mistake.

As always, hope my posts are helpful.

Fred
Logged
WBear2GCR
Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 4137


Brrrr- it's cold in the shack! Fire up the BIG RIG


WWW
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2011, 11:48:03 AM »



Gosh, I am slow... ok, so Tom you found a project that someone had acquired the "stuff" for and decided to bail out? Nice.

I'm reading the website, and I'm confused (nothing new there, eh?). A sound card that doesn't work as a soundcard?? And, what is the receiver? Looking at the block diagram, it's got me confused there too, they show a softrock or an SDR1000?? Say what? I need help on this...

Other than the several thousand dollars worth of man hours to solder the thing together, and the wring out with shaftware to run it, looks tremendous! Cheesy

Otoh, not so sure I want to troubleshoot one of these things... whew!
Only a handful of parts there!!

So what would the thing (hardware) cost normally, not the "bail out" price?

So far i like it more than the SDR commercial product on several levels... And I am totally impressed that there are people out there that can design and bring to fruition boards like these - this is not trivial stuff... makes me feel electronically irrelevant and illiterate. Gee.

                              _-_-bear

Logged

_-_- bear WB2GCR                   http://www.bearlabs.com
WA1GFZ
Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 11151



« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2011, 12:41:08 PM »

Tom,
I'm at work and can't answer your question. Here is a quick test. Connect a 5 volt supply to the 5 volt input and see if the 5 volt led lights.  Each supply bus has a LED. You can check each positive and negative voltage rails if you have a small variable supply. Hope you clocked the connectors correctly...
There is no way to unsolder the connectors with an iron.
Logged
n1eu
Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 112


« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2011, 12:42:06 PM »

I've been watching the HPSDR progress from a distance for quite a while.  I'm getting close to taking the plunge, but the "open" nature of the project also seems to mean that it's not easy figuring out the status of modules and where to get stuff.  For example, I still don't know if TAPR is going to do another run of Mercury boards or where I could get a Mercury-EU board which does seem to be available somewhere from someone.  Googling doesn't seem to help.

Direct sampling definitely seems the way to go, but I have to say that I appreciate the value that Flex Inc. brings toward "productizing" their offering compared to HPSDR.  Just don't know if I have the time to play the experimenter to the extent that seems to be demanded by HPSDR.

Good luck Tom and look forward to hearing about your progress.

Barry
Logged
WA1GFZ
Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 11151



« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2011, 01:14:34 PM »

I've been involved with HPSDR since day one. Yes hard to jump in late but the smart guys are very helpful with the new guys.
Logged
K1JJ
Contributing
Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8886


"Let's go kayaking, Tommy!" - Yaz


« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2011, 01:31:29 PM »

Caution: Old Buzzard Transmission coming....


Frank - OK on the tests - please let me know what yours looks like when ya get home anyway....   The connectors are correct. I checked the polarity of the connectors many times to be sure... Grin

Bear:  I'm maybe 2 weeks ahead of you when it comes to SDR. I'm struggling and just found out that a FPGA is a field programmable gate array that uses firmware and dithering is used to reduce spurs. Maybe you already knew that!  There's maybe a dozen guys on this site (AMfone) that have a DEEP interest in SDR as shown by a thread about 2 years ago that went on for hundreds of posts. I realized I was left WAY behind and needed to catch up.

The critical HPSDR boards (LSI chips and some parts too small for humans) are all preassembled by automated systems - they are near or equal mil spec quality. The only ones needing assembly are the motherboard and two other simple ones. The boards need firmware updates, if desired, and use the free Flex software. Many of the team (who put this stuff out at cost and basically work for free) are talented hams in industry. They're looking for high performance boards just like you and me.

There are a few kits out there for sale if you look for them. I put out a “wanted” ad on a few sites and scored within 10 minutes. The retail cost is maybe $1200 for a full set of boards.

As the hardware evolves, I expect to unplug an older board, sell it and upgrade. There will be higher bit samplers, better FPGA and so on. The Flex software is always getting CUSTOM HPSDR modified by these guys and gets better all the time. Flex made an agreement to support HPSDR which was a nice gesture. Of course, they benefit greatly from these talented hams too.

BTW, Huzman sent me ads for two Flex 5000’s for sale that are about $2600-$2800. One had two RX’s in it. That’s a bargain for someone looking for plug and play SDR.

I would suggest  you keep reading and go through the threads in their archives. Read the manuals too.  To start, get an Atlas backplane, Ozy comm board and a Mercury receiver. If used, they will be reasonable. The prices new are listed on their site. There is a NEW Mercury run due out soon. I would get a used USA Merc board or new one when available, but not the Euro Mercury cuz of slight differences, minor, but why go thru the trouble. Better resale in US too.

Barry:  I’ve been following your SDR comments via the latest posts you’ve made. There’s many ways to do it, but if you want to stay real flexible, learn a lot and get the latest bells and whistles coming out, then HPSDR is a good way to go. If you are more of an operator, then Flex is better. Until the commercials come out with a knob radio with the equivalent of a computer inside, it’s hard to beat the total flexibility of the separate SDR hardware and external computer at this point in time.

I look forward to the day I can (on the fly) tighten my transmit bandwidth up to 2.4khz when working DX on ssb to be a nice neighbor or slide up the band and do 3.5khz rag chewing or  +-6khz on AM.  Or look at AM activity on the Pan Scope and click to be there with the presets – ready to go in a second.   I might even build a mono-band tube KW linear for each band that gets auto-switched in from the mouse. Some are building big SS linears too.  I also like the null steering of two receivers to take out noise. It doesn’t get better than ant phasing in software to null noise. A noise blanker is a loose band-aid in comparison.

As you can tell, I’m excited about the possibilities and the convenience of clicking and controlling everything with precision. I think that HPSDR gives the biggest bang for the buck and future expand-ability for someone who doesn’t mind working hard for a few months to get over the pain of learning…  I know I’m suffering now but I still force myself to read a little more each night. Some of these HPSDR guys are unreal in their depth of knowledge and experience.  Great role models.

Funny – I saw some posts from one of the HPSDR gurus marveling over Steve/QIX’s class E stuff. They have plans of building a class E PDM linear. I could understand everything he was saying cuz I’d been there before.  That was the only time I felt SMUG on that site…   Hope you guys join in and we can all have some fun comparing notes.

T



Logged

Use an "AM Courtesy Filter" to limit transmit audio bandwidth  +-4.5 KHz, +-6.0 KHz or +-8.0 KHz when needed.  Easily done in DSP.

Wise Words : "I'm as old as I've ever been... and I'm as young as I'll ever be."

There's nothing like an old dog.
flintstone mop
Contributing
Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 5047


« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2011, 01:52:39 PM »

OK Tom,
Fabio and who's the other guy/transmitter there?? will have some company with your HPSDR.
Don't fondle the bags too much. I bet they're empty now and you're half way done.


Bear, it was probably the surface mount stuff that scared the other owner away. K7DYY's Class D 'kit' and SoftRock I.F. board had me swaying the white flag too.
You need good eyes and steady hands, the soldering tools, and maybe even a video system with macro-focus to see what yer doin' there. Some of that technology just uses a type of solder that you dab onto the PC traces with the components in place and put the work into a toaster oven. Latest tricks seen in QST last month for SMT.

It's amazing and really nice that " THIS FORUM" has embraced the newer technology coming into our hands and capable of challenging our minds with computer-age goodies. And we still use the Ancient Modulation mode. Nothing wrong with the tube technology. I still have stuff around and my R390A. I had broadcast transmitters with tubes and still enjoy the glow of hard working pubes blushing in their sockets.

Fred
Logged

Fred KC4MOP
WA1GFZ
Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 11151



« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2011, 03:43:18 PM »

I've directed a number of HPSDR guys to QIX site. They want to build an eer amp
Logged
WBear2GCR
Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 4137


Brrrr- it's cold in the shack! Fire up the BIG RIG


WWW
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2011, 04:21:46 PM »


Yep time has come to bite the SMT bullet - wide field stereo microscope on a boom, hot air rework station... damn no toaster ovens for this guy! That just seems wrong!?!?  Shocked Other wierd and micromini stuff, tiny teeny stuff. Oooops! that powdery looking stuff that was about 1,000 resistors... crud! I stepped on them!

Where is Tom Swift Jr. when I need him???


                           _-_-bear
Logged

_-_- bear WB2GCR                   http://www.bearlabs.com
K1JJ
Contributing
Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8886


"Let's go kayaking, Tommy!" - Yaz


« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2011, 04:34:08 PM »

Bear, I sent ya a PM with the ad ideas.

The thang wid  HPSDR is we need to cobble a rig together any way we can get it in the beginning. They don't keep making ALL boards once a new one is coming out. But once we get online and running, the new offerings are easy to get cuz they make 100's of boards. It's like jumping on a moving merry-go-round.   It's tough to get on, but once on, go for the ride and grab the brass rings.


I'll bet when the new Hermes transceiver comes out in a few months there will be plenty of used kits like I just found. But until then the Mercury, Penelope and Ozy boards will need seeking out. I'm gonna stick with separate TX and RX boards anyway.

Frank, I see your new Metis board (computer interface) is ready to be shipped real soon based on a post today.

T
Logged

Use an "AM Courtesy Filter" to limit transmit audio bandwidth  +-4.5 KHz, +-6.0 KHz or +-8.0 KHz when needed.  Easily done in DSP.

Wise Words : "I'm as old as I've ever been... and I'm as young as I'll ever be."

There's nothing like an old dog.
WA1GFZ
Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 11151



« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2011, 09:08:20 PM »

Tom,
I was just looking in my Atlas with a bright light and I can't see the registration marks on the LEDs. You can ohm out a LED just like any other diode to check polarity. I just sent you a copy of the extender  manual and schematic.
Yes, I just read the post on the new interface board. The Check should be at TAPR by now.
Logged
David, K3TUE
Per-spiring AM'er
Contributing
Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 394



« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2011, 09:29:09 PM »

Looks like I missed the boat on this.

I bought the Atlas when the whole project started up and I guess I fell asleep, since I went back and looked at the TAPR order site and, while a number of project are still available to order from, the receiver (Mercury) and the transmitter (Penelope), and the filters (Alex) seem to be now unavailable.

Do these boards come available ever (used, unused, otherwise)?  I ask because I could buy the kits that are available now and wait if the missing boards do come available on occasion.  Has the experience of this HPSDR project been worth it to those here who have participated enough to warrant the anticipated wait/hassle?

Have I missed the boat?
Logged

David, K3TUE
K1JJ
Contributing
Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8886


"Let's go kayaking, Tommy!" - Yaz


« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2011, 09:42:57 PM »

David,

There's another run of Mercury receiver boards to be produced from TAPR in the near future. Go on their site and you will find an "indication of interest" page or something like that to sign up.  I need a second one myself.  You can sometimes find them used and if hard up, there are Euro-Mercurys available from a German named Gerd. He can be found on the site.   He also has Penelope TX boards too, all available for shipment, but at full price.  You will need an OZY computer interface or better yet, the new replacement called Metris is being shipped soon.

No, you have NOT missed the boat. In fact you are very early. Things are changing so fast now that it's become a hotbed of amateur innovation. We will look back 5-10 years from now and it will look like the Apple II era in someone's garage... Grin  Heck, the big boys haven't jumped in both feet yet and Flex, a relatively small company, is dominating.  SDR has a long way to go and will eventually outperform conventional radios by a wide margin. Just a matter of time.

Frank, I figgered out the Pinnochio board, got it built and finishing up the LPU PS board now. That PS board was a lot of work too.  I'll look at the diodes tmw as you suggested. Tnx.

T

Logged

Use an "AM Courtesy Filter" to limit transmit audio bandwidth  +-4.5 KHz, +-6.0 KHz or +-8.0 KHz when needed.  Easily done in DSP.

Wise Words : "I'm as old as I've ever been... and I'm as young as I'll ever be."

There's nothing like an old dog.
WA1GFZ
Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 11151



« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2011, 09:48:28 PM »

Dave,
The new interface board starts shipping in a couple weekd to replace OZY with an Ethrnet interface. TAPR is considering another production run for Mercury. There is a guy in Germany making boards.
The hermes 1/2 watt transceiver is supposed to come out this year.
The Alex filter module never shipped. There must be some issues with the design. The price of relays has driven the price kind of high for what it does.
Just join HPSDR and watch the posts.
Logged
WA1GFZ
Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 11151



« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2011, 09:57:12 PM »

We waited for years to get the first Mercury boards. It had a numer of software bugs at first but everyone did testing and the smart guys fixed the code. I think there was around six revisions then it has been stable for a long time. The dual mercury has gone through a number of revision but I read it works pretty well now. I would like to pick up a second one and a second Atlas for my test set up. There are plans for a spectrum analyzer and VNA.
Logged
K1JJ
Contributing
Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8886


"Let's go kayaking, Tommy!" - Yaz


« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2011, 10:36:47 PM »

Are the spectrum analyzer plans all software?  What is the differnce between the existing pan adapter and the planned spectrum analyzer in operation?

Well, tonight I finished the Pinnochio extender board and the LPU power supply.  I decided not to use those homo Molex connectors and instead just hardwire the wires in. I just hate those intermittent things, esp when I make them myself... :-0

BTW, where do I get those crazy looking red/black plugs? What are they called? I can see matching up all these sockets on the boards is going to be a job in itself.  (they didn't includes mates)


So, by right I can actually mount the backplane into Pandora's box and start popping in the boards, but I'll wait for the ESD stuff to get here before I open those ESD-prone packages. I can test the PS board and read some more.

Gee, aren't these beautiful boards? Super high quality.  Looks like many have multi-layered tracks inside - is this true?

T


* YazPics 089.jpg (317.67 KB, 1280x960 - viewed 1414 times.)

* YazPics 090.jpg (314.51 KB, 1280x960 - viewed 1386 times.)
Logged

Use an "AM Courtesy Filter" to limit transmit audio bandwidth  +-4.5 KHz, +-6.0 KHz or +-8.0 KHz when needed.  Easily done in DSP.

Wise Words : "I'm as old as I've ever been... and I'm as young as I'll ever be."

There's nothing like an old dog.
WB2EMS
Contributing
Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 633



« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2011, 01:25:55 AM »

The red and black connectors are Anderson Power Poles. They come in a number of sizes, but 15 and 30 amp are the most commonly used for ham stuff. Pretty handy connectors, I converted to them about 5 years ago. I usually but my from Powerwerx. http://www.powerwerx.com/anderson-powerpoles/

I've never seen them at radio shack or any local outlets. They are becoming more common at hamfests, bagged in 10 or 25 piece kits.

Logged

73 de Kevin, WB2EMS
Pages: [1] 2 ... 13   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

AMfone - Dedicated to Amplitude Modulation on the Amateur Radio Bands
 AMfone © 2001-2015
Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
Page created in 0.067 seconds with 18 queries.