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Hermes 14-bit SDR Xcvr available




 
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W1ITT
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« Reply #50 on: April 11, 2023, 07:38:43 PM »

Mike...  In the Anan series, the low level transmitted sample if switched and fed into the receiver and the magic happens.  You will need a coupler that samples the line and typically it wants to be around minus 50 db or so, and you still have room to attenuate from there, as necessary.  People sell couplers and you can make one fairly easily with a toroid over a piece of coax inner conductor in a minibox.   However, these simple couplers are non directional.  Depending on your reflected power, you could be feeding some reflected power along with the incident power, back to the receiver for analysis.  This reflected power will be of a different phase than the incident and could conceivably "confuse" the calculations.  A directional coupler is a good way to go.  W6PQL.COM sells a nice kit for 40 dollars and it has a minus 50 db tap, for our purposes. If you go to his website, look down the left side for "parts I can supply"  click then scroll down past the 1296, UHF/VHF stuff to the HF goodies.  Down there is the coupler kit.  Quality is excellent and the site has construction info. Jim is a sharp engineer and sell quality kits.
I tried to search for APD as Flex calls it but couldn't find any indication that it is out in the world.  Probably I didn't use the right search terms or hunt deep enough. Perhaps someone can chime in.
But anyway, get a directional coupler and box it up  with appropriate connectors as a good start on the journey. 
73 de Norm W1ITT
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K9MB
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« Reply #51 on: April 12, 2023, 10:15:49 AM »

Mike...  In the Anan series, the low level transmitted sample if switched and fed into the receiver and the magic happens.  You will need a coupler that samples the line and typically it wants to be around minus 50 db or so, and you still have room to attenuate from there, as necessary.  People sell couplers and you can make one fairly easily with a toroid over a piece of coax inner conductor in a minibox.   However, these simple couplers are non directional.  Depending on your reflected power, you could be feeding some reflected power along with the incident power, back to the receiver for analysis.  This reflected power will be of a different phase than the incident and could conceivably "confuse" the calculations.  A directional coupler is a good way to go.  W6PQL.COM sells a nice kit for 40 dollars and it has a minus 50 db tap, for our purposes. If you go to his website, look down the left side for "parts I can supply"  click then scroll down past the 1296, UHF/VHF stuff to the HF goodies.  Down there is the coupler kit.  Quality is excellent and the site has construction info. Jim is a sharp engineer and sell quality kits.
I tried to search for APD as Flex calls it but couldn't find any indication that it is out in the world.  Probably I didn't use the right search terms or hunt deep enough. Perhaps someone can chime in.
But anyway, get a directional coupler and box it up  with appropriate connectors as a good start on the journey. 
73 de Norm W1ITT

Hi Norm,
Many thanks for the insights and information.
The sampler-for me- is the simple part. I found several versions that can be made in a small diecast box.

http://www.lyonscomputer.com.au/Test-Equipment/50-Ohm-HF-RF-Sampler/50-Ohm-HF-RF-Sampler.html

The rest of it is dark to me at present, but you gave me some clues.
The receiver that is fed back to must be a second receiver in the transceiver?
I guess the signal is detected and the software analyzes the distortion and an algorithm corrects the waveform and it is somehow substituted in the transceiver transmit amplifier chain? 🤪 It sounds like “beam me up” magic at present.
Also, thanks for the FLEX attempt to discover any clues. FLEX obviously has not been out front on this, which is odd to me.
What about adaptation of this to Hermes14?
It is obviously associated witg Apache, though an open system project, so it should be compatible-right?
My portal into APD may be through Hermes and some low level Solid state linears to get me up to a 100 watt level (20 wattsAM).
Any further comments deeply appreciated.
73, Mike
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W1ITT
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« Reply #52 on: April 12, 2023, 10:39:18 AM »

Mike...   In the single receiver setups such as the Hermes 14 and 16 they use switching to connect the receiver either to the antenna or to the sampler, as appropriate.  I think the more capable Anans such as the 7000 and the new 8000 may just use the second receiver, although it would have to be switched out of its main use as well.  TAPR used to sell a switch for this purpose but it's out of stock now. Info to recreate it is posted on their site, nothing complicated or hard to find. The TAPR/Anan mods to PowerSDR work with both Hermes boards with the switching.
My suspicion, and not having any inside information, is that Flex is concentrating its efforts on its government and commercial client applications and just hasn't taken the time to advance their amateur products.  They certainly have the expertise.  All of these products seem to be on thin ice.  The team at Anan is constrained by materials and manpower and the software development is handled by a small bunch of brilliant open source volunteers.  We are lucky to have what we have!  The source code for PureSignal is all open source so others should have little trouble to adapt it to their products., if they had the will to do so  The bands would be cleaner if they did.
73 de Norm W1ITT
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K9MB
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« Reply #53 on: April 12, 2023, 02:27:48 PM »

Mike...   In the single receiver setups such as the Hermes 14 and 16 they use switching to connect the receiver either to the antenna or to the sampler, as appropriate.  I think the more capable Anans such as the 7000 and the new 8000 may just use the second receiver, although it would have to be switched out of its main use as well.  TAPR used to sell a switch for this purpose but it's out of stock now. Info to recreate it is posted on their site, nothing complicated or hard to find. The TAPR/Anan mods to PowerSDR work with both Hermes boards with the switching.
My suspicion, and not having any inside information, is that Flex is concentrating its efforts on its government and commercial client applications and just hasn't taken the time to advance their amateur products.  They certainly have the expertise.  All of these products seem to be on thin ice.  The team at Anan is constrained by materials and manpower and the software development is handled by a small bunch of brilliant open source volunteers.  We are lucky to have what we have!  The source code for PureSignal is all open source so others should have little trouble to adapt it to their products., if they had the will to do so  The bands would be cleaner if they did.
73 de Norm W1ITT
Hi Norm,
Good information- thanks.
Really cannot blame FLEX for going after Government contracts.
Collins followed that path while Amateur development died out.

Seems like you are saying that if I want APD now, a 7-8000 series ANAN is the best route.
$4-5k is a lot if money and then you get to wait.
I may just go for the best old school design and bide my time and it will be easier to make a clean rig cleaner than to try to add freshener spray to bad smelling garbage.
😉 Appreciate your wise counsel. 73, Mike
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W1ITT
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« Reply #54 on: April 12, 2023, 05:37:32 PM »

Mike..  Aside from the cost, the wait for Anan is glacial.  I think some guys on their forum are looking at a year.  I'm sure the folks there would like to be able to turn them out quickly but again, components are the problem.
A year or so ago, Tom K1JJ did a series of posts on his efforts to build a squeaky clean linear amplifier chain, deep Class A and paying attention to operating point at each stage of the chain. It's not PureSignal, just old school tech done up very well.
One of my to-do projects for "someday"  is to build a pair of 4X500s in the G2DAF configuration and see what PureSignal could do with it.  Those amps were famous for their occasional awful IMD.  They rectified some of the drive power to make a variable screen voltage so all you had was filaments and an anode supply to run a tetrode. Gee, what could go wrong ... ?
73  de Norm W1ITT
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« Reply #55 on: April 12, 2023, 08:18:26 PM »

General purpose questions.

Comparing the actual subjective operation of and sense of it:
- how does the Hermes 14 compare to the Anan 100D?
- how about that Red Pitaya or its Chi-com clone?
- how about the Flex 6000 series and the 5000?
- the newer Anan products?

Especially WRT receive audible qualities?

And what software options are to be had??

I was listening to an Anan 100D using the PowerSDR (that's it, right?) the other day on AM, and was not really terribly impressed with the way it sounded compared to my rather good R-390a --->IF OUT--->Malachite SDR Chi-com clone w/1.10d software --->(optional) BHI DSP audio noise reduction. 

But that is actually a killer good combination, imho.

Opinions and info, appreciated!

                                _-_-bear
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K9MB
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« Reply #56 on: April 13, 2023, 01:57:17 AM »

Mike..  Aside from the cost, the wait for Anan is glacial.  I think some guys on their forum are looking at a year.  I'm sure the folks there would like to be able to turn them out quickly but again, components are the problem.
A year or so ago, Tom K1JJ did a series of posts on his efforts to build a squeaky clean linear amplifier chain, deep Class A and paying attention to operating point at each stage of the chain. It's not PureSignal, just old school tech done up very well.
One of my to-do projects for "someday"  is to build a pair of 4X500s in the G2DAF configuration and see what PureSignal could do with it.  Those amps were famous for their occasional awful IMD.  They rectified some of the drive power to make a variable screen voltage so all you had was filaments and an anode supply to run a tetrode. Gee, what could go wrong ... ?
73  de Norm W1ITT
Hi Norm,
Tom has been a great influence on my desire to concentrate on quality vs quantity in high power rigs.
I am following Tom in building right now- a one hole 3-500z amp that should spec out at -35 to -38dB 3rd Order IMD taking 15-20 watts from an exciter and putting out about 150-200 watts that is clean into a pair of 3-1000z or a pair of 4-1000a. I have obtained two pair of 3-1000z now, so that is the direction I am going.
My goal there is to put out 600 watts carrier on AM and 1500watts SSB.
The goal is to make the limiting factor my exciter.
I have a Flex-5000a now that has a spec of -35dB at 100 watts. I will run it much lower into the single hole 3-500z intermediate power amp, so hope to get a few more dB in my 3rd order products at the output.
Worst case is that my signal ends up about -35dB and then I have to go the APD route to get into the -50s.
I do not see this as a fad or fettish, but a serious attempt to elevate the cleanness and spectral quality of my rig with the hope that we will not descend into CB qualitu horror.
As Tom has said, quality AM has been our there in the past when excellent operators had nothing but a scope and skill to adjust their transmitters.
Surely-with the spectral displays we all have now, there is no excuse for offending our neighbors on the bands and embarrassing our friends, who might not like to mention that our signal is wide and causing interference to adjacent stations.
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K9MB
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« Reply #57 on: April 13, 2023, 01:58:54 AM »

General purpose questions.

Comparing the actual subjective operation of and sense of it:
- how does the Hermes 14 compare to the Anan 100D?
- how about that Red Pitaya or its Chi-com clone?
- how about the Flex 6000 series and the 5000?
- the newer Anan products?

Especially WRT receive audible qualities?

And what software options are to be had??

I was listening to an Anan 100D using the PowerSDR (that's it, right?) the other day on AM, and was not really terribly impressed with the way it sounded compared to my rather good R-390a --->IF OUT--->Malachite SDR Chi-com clone w/1.10d software --->(optional) BHI DSP audio noise reduction. 

But that is actually a killer good combination, imho.

Opinions and info, appreciated!

                                _-_-bear

All good questions, Bear. I am asking them myself.
73, Mike
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w9jsw
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« Reply #58 on: April 13, 2023, 07:16:32 AM »

Anan is a commercial set of products based on the open source OpenHPSDR project. One of the results of the project was the Hermes board.

http://openhpsdr.org/wiki/index.php?title=HERMES

Hermes has 2 code components - gateware and software. Gateware (firmware actually) runs in the FPGA on the hermes board. It implements among other things, multiple virtual receivers. It is the capability of one of these receivers to monitor the transmitted signal and feed that back to the PC software for analysis and correction to the transmitted signal.

The software for Hermes was OpenHPSDR which has now been redesigned and enhanced and is called Thetis. This is where you control the adaptive component which is called Pure Signal.

There are multiple ways to get a Hermes setup. Anan is the commercial company founded by one of the original project members. Originally the OpenHPSDR group offered boards for Hermes. In conjunction with Anan, the recent Hermes 14-bit board was offered on a short-term run. It is just a board, that needs to be built into a transceiver adding a power supply and a PA.

There are other projects that run the openHPSDR code. One of them is Hermes-Lite. This is a variation of the Hermes gateware and software that provides most of the functionality of the mainline Hermes. I have one of these transceivers. This is a completely open source hardware project and you can occasionally purchase them from Makerfabs and get support from a mailing list. There are over 1000 of these in the wild.

http://www.hermeslite.com/

John
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K9MB
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« Reply #59 on: April 13, 2023, 10:30:47 AM »

Anan is a commercial set of products based on the open source OpenHPSDR project. One of the results of the project was the Hermes board.

http://openhpsdr.org/wiki/index.php?title=HERMES

Hermes has 2 code components - gateware and software. Gateware (firmware actually) runs in the FPGA on the ihermes board. It implements among other things, multiple virtual receivers. It is the capability of one of these receivers to monitor the transmitted signal and feed that back to the PC software for analysis and correction to the transmitted signal.

The software for Hermes was OpenHPSDR which has now been redesigned and enhanced and is called Thetis. This is where you control the adaptive component which is called Pure Signal.

There are multiple ways to get a Hermes setup. Anan is the commercial company founded by one of the original project members. Originally the OpenHPSDR group offered boards for Hermes. In conjunction with Anan, the recent Hermes 14-bit board was offered on a short-term run. It is just a board, that needs to be built into a transceiver adding a power supply and a PA.

There are other projects that run the openHPSDR code. One of them is Hermes-Lite. This is a variation of the Hermes gateware and software that provides most of the functionality of the mainline Hermes. I have one of these transceivers. This is a completely open source hardware project and you can occasionally purchase them from Makerfabs and get support from a mailing list. There are over 1000 of these in the wild.

http://www.hermeslite.com/

John
Hi John,
Thanks- great information.
So have you implemented APD in your Hermes Lite unit?
Buying a Hermes14 and building a power supply and adding a linear amplifier to raise the output from 500mW to 50-100 watts sounds easy.
I can also build the coupler to provide the feedback signal.
So after that- all that is needed is Thetis plus connections to the bus that can access one of the virtual receivers-right?
Is there anything else needed?
Thanks again for the excellent information.
73, Mike
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W1ITT
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« Reply #60 on: April 13, 2023, 01:34:07 PM »

Mike...  You mentioned that buying a Hermes and integrating it was the easy part.  T'aint so.  The last Hermes14 build was announced in February 2022, only 250 or 300 to be built.  I ordered mine the first day and it was almost a year until I..and the rest..got them.  Supply chain problems, etc. 
For now, HermesLite from Makerfabs  https://makerfabs.com/hermes-lite-2.html   is probably the way to go.  They are evidently having a build to be delivered later this month. You can also get a low pass filter that hitches right on as well.  I don't anticipate another Hermes build from Anan as they did the last one at-cost and it turned out to be more heartburn than they had planned on.  HermesLite is a 12-bit unit but probably won't make much difference unless you are a multi-multi contester. Check the online forums to see if it will play PureSignal games. 
SDR ham radio is still a pretty tough club to join if you don't want to drop $4K to start.
73 de Norm W1ITT
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K9MB
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« Reply #61 on: April 13, 2023, 11:55:28 PM »

Mike...  You mentioned that buying a Hermes and integrating it was the easy part.  T'aint so.  The last Hermes14 build was announced in February 2022, only 250 or 300 to be built.  I ordered mine the first day and it was almost a year until I..and the rest..got them.  Supply chain problems, etc. 
For now, HermesLite from Makerfabs  https://makerfabs.com/hermes-lite-2.html   is probably the way to go.  They are evidently having a build to be delivered later this month. You can also get a low pass filter that hitches right on as well.  I don't anticipate another Hermes build from Anan as they did the last one at-cost and it turned out to be more heartburn than they had planned on.  HermesLite is a 12-bit unit but probably won't make much difference unless you are a multi-multi contester. Check the online forums to see if it will play PureSignal games. 
SDR ham radio is still a pretty tough club to join if you don't want to drop $4K to start.
73 de Norm W1ITT

Hi Norm,
Wow! I may need to leave instructions in my will if this get much worse.
It is confusing to me.
I looked on Apache site and found the Hermes14 board and the 10 watt amplifier for sale and this message was on the catalog page as a notice:


Orders commence shipment from 5th October on first come first serve basis, you will receive an email from us once your order comes up in the Queue.

Apache Labs is NOT taking any mode orders for the Hermes Card and the 10W PA.

 

This is a special group order based on community demand, boards are being manufactured and sold at cost.


Please note - Shipping will be charged at actuals.

* 90 Day Warranty against Manufacturing defects
* Factory Assembled & Tested
* Immersion gold plated 8 layer PCB
* The Customer is responsibe for any Duties, Taxes or levies charged by customs during import

When they say the 5th of October, are they talking about 2023 or last year?
What do you think.
73, Mike
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« Reply #62 on: April 14, 2023, 07:00:20 AM »

Mike...  The crew at Anan is better at making radios than they are at keeping their site up to date.  Originally the Hermes 14 was offered in February 2022, promised for late March of that year.  Events transpired to delay that.  The lack of timely information is frustrating but worth it if and when the goods finally arrive.
The new G2 radio looks nice for $4K if you hit the lottery. 
73 de Norm  W1ITT
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« Reply #63 on: April 14, 2023, 07:41:08 AM »

Mike,

For Hermes lite 2, PS is fully functional. You have to add another SMA connector to the back panel to be fed from your coupler. Thetis setup for PS is well documented and straightforward. You can also run it on a Raspberry PI.

https://github.com/softerhardware/Hermes-Lite2/wiki/PureSignal

https://f5npv.wordpress.com/pure-signal-rf-sampler/

If you are considering a Hermes Lite 2, the ordering is now open. It is fully functional if you purchase the board, the N2ADR LPF board and the enclosure. It will put out a full 5W from 160M to 10M. No 6M support. I am considering ordering a second one.

I have not implemented it on mine as I am currently using mine as an exciter for my 813 rig. See my QRZ page for pics.

John
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« Reply #64 on: April 14, 2023, 10:16:02 AM »

Mike...  The crew at Anan is better at making radios than they are at keeping their site up to date.  Originally the Hermes 14 was offered in February 2022, promised for late March of that year.  Events transpired to delay that.  The lack of timely information is frustrating but worth it if and when the goods finally arrive.
The new G2 radio looks nice for $4K if you hit the lottery. 
73 de Norm  W1ITT

Thanks for confirming my suspicions and fears. ANAN obviously needs a cold blooded Capitalist manager to get their business model up to their tech genius.
As a design engineer who had many battles with my boss over time frames for finalizing designs over 32 years, I am sympathetic with their avoidance of managers like my boss, but I learned to balance practicality with excellence while pushing him to dyspepsia and he offered me royalties based on production quantities of my designs and we both made some money….
It is obvious that the techies are ascendent at ANAN now and thus, no site updates and ridiculous wait times abound…😬😉
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K9MB
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« Reply #65 on: April 14, 2023, 10:24:56 AM »

Mike,

For Hermes lite 2, PS is fully functional. You have to add another SMA connector to the back panel to be fed from your coupler. Thetis setup for PS is well documented and straightforward. You can also run it on a Raspberry PI.

https://github.com/softerhardware/Hermes-Lite2/wiki/PureSignal

https://f5npv.wordpress.com/pure-signal-rf-sampler/

If you are considering a Hermes Lite 2, the ordering is now open. It is fully functional if you purchase the board, the N2ADR LPF board and the enclosure. It will put out a full 5W from 160M to 10M. No 6M support. I am considering ordering a second one.

I have not implemented it on mine as I am currently using mine as an exciter for my 813 rig. See my QRZ page for pics.

John

Thanks John,
I just went to the Hermes Lite site and ordered the board, the LPF and the enclosure.
I had hesitated because it is a 12bit system, I understand, and that limits the receiver dynamic range on strong signals
However, since my real need is to be able to implement the Pure Signal feedback loop from my amplifier and lower my IMD, I can just use it for transmit, if dynamic range receiver limitations appear and use my Flex-5000a for reception as lomg as I protect the Flex receiver and silence it on transmit.
Since it puts out 5 watts, it will be easy to get an amp to bridge up to the power I need for my single hole 3-500z amp that will drive my big linear. Pure Signal- if it works will make all smooth then-theoretically…
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« Reply #66 on: April 14, 2023, 11:48:56 AM »

Thanks, John, for your continuing efforts to help us all achieve the best experience from the Hermes Lite II and Thetis.  It is only twelve bits, but how many kilobucks does does the Anan take to get just two more?  Lite II is truly affordable!

If I may make a couple observations regarding plans for employing "Pure Signal"...

As mentioned previously in this thread, it would be prudent to employ a directional coupler (instead of a simpler line sampler) to complete the PS feedback loop.  The software performs more effectively if not confused by the reflected signal component.  If your line sampler is placed at a point in the line that is perfectly matched (nil reflected component) then this may be a moot point.

Last, compare this adventure to that of the audiophile (NOT AUDIOPHOOL) endeavoring for the most accurate reproduction:  Make every stage in the signal path as perfect as possible, just like Tom (K1JJ) did in his station.  Do not compromise on the linearity of any of the stages as you build up the power level.  Once that is completed, then add the Pure Signal to clean up that which is out of reach.  (Don't ignore any of that "low-hanging fruit").
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« Reply #67 on: April 14, 2023, 02:58:05 PM »

Thanks, John, for your continuing efforts to help us all achieve the best experience from the Hermes Lite II and Thetis.  It is only twelve bits, but how many kilobucks does does the Anan take to get just two more?  Lite II is truly affordable!

If I may make a couple observations regarding plans for employing "Pure Signal"...

As mentioned previously in this thread, it would be prudent to employ a directional coupler (instead of a simpler line sampler) to complete the PS feedback loop.  The software perform more effectively if not confused by the reflected signal component.  If your line sampler is placed at a point in the line that is perfectly matched (nil reflected component) then this may be a moot point.

Last, compare this adventure to that of the audiophile (NOT AUDIOPHOOL) endeavoring for the most accurate reproduction:  Make every stage in the signal path as perfect as possible, just like Tom (K1JJ) did in his station.  Do not compromise on the linearity of any of the stages as you build up the power level.  Once that is completed, then add the Pure Signal to clean up that which is out of reach.  (Don't ignore any of that "low-hanging fruit").
Hi Rick,
Excellent advice, as always- thanks.
I am pursuing the old school excellence- as per Tom K1JJ has taught me.
I have a gap in power level if I implement the Hermes Lite II, however.
It puts out a maximum of 5 watts and I am considering that 1-2 watts, and I need a maximum of about 50 watts for my single hole 3-500 intermediate amp.
May run something in class A for that, if needed.
Any suggestions on boosting a clean 1-2 watts to a clean 30-50 watts?
73, Mike
PS: Got a confirmation on the Hermes Lite 2.0’plus BPF and enclosure and they say they are in stock. MB
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