Fun with building GHPSDR

I may have mentioned, a friend loaned me his TAPR HPSDR chassis and cards. I kinda had to assemble things a little first but that was fun. Then I decided to build mac-GHPSDR. It was a lot of fun. Sorta like slamming my head in a car door. Figured I'd make some notes. Oh, this wasn't exactly the first time. It took me a while to figure everything out. Oh, is a VERY useful link to figure out how to make everything work.

First off, I had to install the required bits. I use Macports, I install gtk2, libusb, and libfftw3. Then I tweaked out the Makefile so it'd work with the /opt/local path needed. Here's my updated Makefile bits as guidance

INCLUDES=-I. -I/opt/local/include/gtk-2.0\

LIBS=-L"/usr/X11R6/lib" -L.\
     -L"/opt/local/lib" \
     -lfftw3f -lfreetype -lfontconfig -lusb-1.0\
     -lgtk-x11-2.0 -lgdk-x11-2.0 -latk-1.0\
     -lpangoft2-1.0 -lgdk_pixbuf-2.0\
     -lm -lpangocairo-1.0 -lgio-2.0 -lcairo -lpango-1.0 -lz\
     -lgobject-2.0 -lgmodule-2.0 -lglib-2.0 \
     -framework IOKit -framework CoreFoundation

Well, it built mostly but eventually blew up with some nasty errors. It took a little while, but finally figured out that I needed a different fftw install. The key was installing fftw-3-single.

After that, building the OzyUtils-MacOS package worked just fine and then just had to grab the latest firmware and boomph, it worked! Previously I had used Windows to upgrade the firmware on Mercury and Penelope. And then tested the HPSDR hardware using PowerSDR. I forget exactly where I grabbed the latest firmware but at some point I located it. Just copy it into the directory with OzyUtils. Oh, and there are some I2C errors that throw up when you fire up initozy. They are Janus related and can be ignored.

Categories: sdr, hpsdr, brainexplosion
Date: 2011-02-23, 13 years and 149 days ago

Sadly, I don't see a way to leave a review on their site but I have to mention somewhere that rocks.

Generic Right Angle PL259 adapter, local stores for cheap far-east piece of junk $10 avg. TestParts for actual Amphenol $7.95. Might not seem like a huge savings until you factor in that most places sell that Amphenol for $15, and it doesn't break like the cheap ones too. I'm sure there are some reasonable cheap versions, but they seem to be hard to find. TestParts also has a huge range of other connectors and very good prices across the board for them all. As I like predicable parts I will probably be buying a lot of Amphenol from them...

Oh, I should mention shipping. I was in a rush because because my normal supplier was having issues with shipping through all the snow in Texas. I asked them to Overnight it. They shipped via USPS for actual rate and got it out within an hour of my phone order. If you're not in a rush and meet the minimum ( $25 I think ) then shipping is free.

Anyhow, normal disclaimers, I dont work for TestParts, I don't know anyone at TestParts, I just know they have done right by me and earned a mention. Banner

Categories: parts
Date: 2011-02-11, 13 years and 161 days ago

And another new toy, SGC-37

Friend of mine is selling me ( very reasonably ) an SGC QMS-37 mobile HF antenna setup, which is the SG-237 Smartuner in a really fancy suction cupped thing. This weekend I fully intend to give it a spin with a ground rod, as many radials as I can run in my limited (concrete) yard, and as much wire as I can make vertical. If it works at all, I'll drop the money on a fiberglass flagpole and get the recommendly 28+ feet of wire in the air and *finally* have an HF rig at home on the air. Very exciting for me...

On the mobile front, I am still doing battle with SWR. I've done some more grounding, but I think I have a cable issue due to a rather severe right angle bend the coax has to make. I bought a right-angle connection from HRO, but its standard import *insert profanity here* and broke on the drive home. I've ordered an actual expensive amphenol right-angle and will do some work this weekend and see if I can make things happier. I have to say, the coax that High Sierra uses in their cable assembly seems pretty cheap. The braid is maybe 80% coverage which I'm not a fan of. I grew up mostly using Ancor marine coax which is 95%+ coverage. Maybe High Sierra just had a bad batch?

Categories: hf, base, antennas
Date: 2011-02-02, 13 years and 170 days ago

I'm now rigged for mobile!

Not that anyone actually reads this site, but figured I'd mention I now have a mobile rig set up in my car and I'm quite excited.

Icom IC7000, High Sierra HS1800Pro, BetterRF screwdriver controller and tune control, Diamond triband 2m/220/70cm antenna.

Its not perfect yet. SWR tunes up fine on 40, but is rather high on 80. Need to run some good ground straps and see if that makes things happier.

In non-mobile news, I finally finished rebuilding my Kenwood TS930SAT. Power supply main regulator is fully replaced and I replaced the kinda ugly regulators for other voltages in the unit. Just as a note, if you are rebuilding one of these and its a later serial number version, there is a 21v regulator on the board that is not on the replacement. You will have to come up with something to replace that as it powers most of the radio. I used an LM350. I tested the current draw of that section of the radio and its below 1.5amps, but an LM317 would probably be very unhappy there. Anyhow, powers up just nifty now. After testing it I installed the Piexx CPU board which went in and works like a dream. In a few days I should have an antenna to try running at the house too. Very exciting. Michael (VK4AMZ) who designed the new regulator board was very helpful and patient with questions while I determined that the SCRs I used had some quirks. A couple small caps and its nice and stable.

If you actually read this and have any questions or something, you can email me. tom@ this domain will get me.

Gee, I should also mention that I finally got N4YLC's HPSDR to work and receive something after a protracted battle with firmware. What we've learned is VMWares USB support is not insanely fast and the people who wrote the docs I found to follow are friggen Rockstars. While not perfect, they were detailed enough that I was able to muddle through and make it work. Now I'm afraid he might want it back. Really want to play with it once I have an antenna up for 6meters.

Its been a busy couple months since my last update. Lets see what else... FRG7 got backburnered while I repair the HP sweep generator I bought with the theory it'd make things easier to work on. Trimble Thunderbolt frequency reference is working fine. Besides setting up an antenna at home for HF and fixing the high SWR issue in my mobile setup I also have a Yaesu FT757GXII to work on. Not to mention other non-Ham related activities. At least I feel like I'm making progress...

Ah well, enough updates for now esp as I am talking to myself most likely...

Categories: mobile, hf, equipment
Date: 2011-01-25, 13 years and 178 days ago

Test Equipment Time

Last week or two I've been rebuilding some HP8640B's I bought. Well, rebuilding one as I bought one in working condition. I now have two working and lots of spare parts.

I also have started assembling my Trimble Thunderbolt into a workable 10mhz source for keeping my test equipment on frequency.

I suppose at some point I need to actually get back to work on my Yaesu FRG-7. It definitely has something weird going on with it... I mean, that was why I wanted a signal generator in the first place.

Categories: testequipment, repair, amused
Date: 2010-10-04, 13 years and 291 days ago

A PakRatt of my very own.

I bought a PK232MBX last swapmeet. I have now upgraded it to DSP and PSK.

Here is a picture in case you are one of the 2 people in the world that hasn't seen the inside of a PK232 Here.

Next step, need to test it on the air!

Why a PakRatt? I've always wanted one...

Categories: stuff, gallery, learning
Date: 2010-09-21, 13 years and 304 days ago

Pictures Online

I have put a simple gallery of pictures online Here.

Misc things I have been up to while not actually using my radio.

Remember, its the journey, not the destination.

Categories: stuff, gallery, learning
Date: 2010-09-07, 13 years and 318 days ago

More GAS!

And another pass at HRO.

And the shopping list:

  • Yaesu VX8DR car charger
  • Mag Mount dual band antenna ( cheap but not MFJ )
  • Dual Band J-Pole
  • Coax
  • Swapped Diamond antenna for one with BNC on it.

Rant Time

I've had way too much experience with SMA connectors. I've installed kazillions of the damn things on hardline. I've never had one fail however N7JAK and I had a discussion and it made me start thinking about it some more and some points he made started to make sense after I swapped antennas and coax for the 8millionth time. I figure I'll settle down after a while but until then I'm going to leave an SMA/BNC adapter on all my radios and swap at that level so I can wear out an easy to replace connector and not the one built in to the radios.

Besides, I really hate putting on SMA connectors.

Categories: gas, equipment
Date: 2010-08-27, 13 years and 329 days ago

I've got GAS!

Gear Acquisition Syndrome has landed. I bought myself a birthday present of a radio.

HRO should be happy.

And the shopping list:

  • Yaesu VX8DR
  • Charging Cradle
  • Misc connectors and adapters.
  • Diamond DualBand antenna
  • Vectronics Shortwave antenna
Categories: gas, equipment
Date: 2010-08-25, 13 years and 331 days ago

Got my License

After many decades of procrastination I finally got my license. Tested with the Sunnyvale VEC ARC. Passed all 3 on the first try. with some very large amount of luck.

I know, not much of a first post but I'm testing out this new Blog software.

I do want to provide a link to the testing site I used. Ham Test Online's system is great and I definitely found it useful and of course highly recommend it

HamTestOnline - online courses for the ham radio exams
Categories: stuff, learning
Date: 2010-08-21, 13 years and 335 days ago