Posts Tagged ‘ettus’

Show Notes #086

Introduction:

  • Tonight’s episode is proof that LHS is at least as popular as the All-Star Game.

Topic:

  • Interview with Bob Finch, W9YA, principal maintainer of yfktest.
  • Bob got involved with the yfktest project because he was looking for a logging program like the old DOS program, WR9R.
  • His ideal logger did not use graphics, did not require a mouse, and was very easy to learn. yfktest was close, but had a few problems, so Bob began submitting fixes and improvements.
  • Over the past year, Bob began submitting code changes and eventually became the principle maintainer of the program, and has made over 150 patches in that time.
  • Russ described his problem with the program for Field Day logging. Bob explains that the issue was due to the error checking, and had Russ not tried to enter the signal report into the Class field, it would have worked fine. Russ suggests having a line of text above the fields that provides hints as to what each field should contain. Bob added that to his To-Do list.
  • yfktest is written in Perl, so no compilation is necessary to install.
  • Bob is working on a version that is completely contained on a USB stick that would be operating system agnostic.
  • Rudimentary networking features are in the code now, but disabled. So, it’s possible that networking might be a future enhancement.
  • Get your copy of the latest version of yfktest by following the instructions in the README.NOW link at bfinch.net.
  • Bob then describes another of his interests, rocketry, and is involved in the open source/open hardware rocketry project Altus Metrum.

Feedback:

  • Rich, KD0BJT, of the Low SWR podcast writes to tell us of a Field Day logging program called fdlog. It’s written in Python and has networking capabilities for multiple stations. Rich also mentions the Java-based logging program JL. Thanks, Rich. fdlog is a graphical Field Day logging program written in Tcl/Tk, but hasn’t been updated in about a year.
  • Leif, KC8RWR, sends us a link to a series of Youtube video tutorials for GNU Radio, the open source software project for RTL Software Defined Radios. He wonders if he could use an NE602 at the front end of the radio for HF, and use a Raspberry Pi to run GNU Radio. Our hosts discuss this and the Signetics NE602, a balanced mixer and oscillator on a chip.
  • Dave, M0DCM, has been catching up on LHS episodes while convalescing. He describes his system for listening, and some experiences with the Ettus SDR, Funcube Dongle, and digital modes with his new Yaesu FT-817ND.
  • David, KE0AZ, tells us that the power output of the Ettus transmitter daughterboards is anywhere from 50 to 200 mW.

Contact Info:

Music:

  • “Ancient (The Deepest Sky I’ve Ever Seen)” by Olga Scotland from the album Castles Under the Water, courtesy of Jamendo.

 

Show Notes #084

Introduction:

  • No music this time; just one hour jam-packed with LHS goodness!

Announcements:

  • Remember to sign up for the following LHS services:
    • The LHS SubReddit
    • The LHS Mailing List
    • The LHS Mobile app. Follow our updates via the mobile applications available for iPod, iPhone, iPad and Android devices.
    • Be an LHS Ambassador! Please join our Ambassador program. The event calendar has expanded quite a bit and we need your help. These events are now world-wide, so we could use some help outside the US as well as all over the country from California to Maine.
  • YFKtest: Yes, there really does seem to be a problem. It’s been confirmed by John, EI7IG, that the program does not log contacts for the ARRL Field Day contest. Other contests work fine. Russ plans on emailing the developer, DJ1YFK, with these observations.
  • From the “Yes, It’s an Antenna” File: Multi-band HF dipole made from horse fencing.
  • Pulling a Lunduke: Holding Source Code Hostage. Our hosts discuss this blog post by Tom Nardi about Bryan Lunduke’s recent move to open source his software. Bryan is one of the hosts of The Linux Action Show.

Topics:

  • Software Defined Radio (SDR)
    • A common topic Russ encountered at Dayton was about the available Linux options for software defined radios.
    • GNU Radio Project
      • Version 3.6.0 released in early May, 2012.
      • Version 3.2.2 is in the Debian Sid repository.
      • The latest version can be retrieved with git. (Install git with the command “apt-get install git”.) To download the software, issue the command “git clone git://gnuradio.org/gnuradio”.
      • Build instructions are available for most of the major Linux distributions.
    • SDR Hardware
      • Ettus USRP series works with the GNU Radio Project software. There are various models ranging in price from $700 to $2000, depending on the frequency range and options. Various modules allow receive and/or transmit on bands from 30kHz to 5.9GHz. Unfortunately, power output appears to be just 50-200mW, depending on the bands provided by the transmitter daughter board chosen.
      • Funcube Dongle costs £128 (~$200) and is a receiver only. The Funcube Dongle is a “radio receiver designed to allow anyone to try their hand at reception of satellites like FUNcube”. It covers 51.5MHz – 1.7GHz, less the region from 1.1GHz to 1.2GHz.
      • Perseus SDR costs $1000 and is also receive-only. It receives 10kHz to 40MHz.
      • SoftRock SDR is a kit available in various models from $20 to $90. Most are receive-only, but the Ensemble is a 1W HF transceiver. Some models are unavailable at the moment. The SoftRock RXTX Ensemble Transceiver Kit will allow you to build a 1W transceiver for one of the following bands or band groups: 160m, 80m/40m, 30m/20m/17m, or 15m/12m/10m.
      • RTL-SDR Devices range in price from $20 to $200 and are receive-only. More on the RTL-SDR project in an upcoming episode.

Feedback:

  • Stewart, VA3PID, wrote to say that Russ was the first person, possibly ever, to correctly place his Scottish accent at Hamvention. He also remarked (in reference to a discussion in episode 71) that Chirp has come a long way; it can now program his Yaesu FT-857D!
  • Jonas recently re-discovered LHS and expressed his appreciation for the show. Thanks, Jonas!
  • Stefano, IZ3NVR/KD2BGM, asks for more help getting so2sdr built on his Linux machine. Russ suggests installing the compiler with “apt-get install g++ build-essential”, installing Qt and several other packages as described in Episode 83, then try building the so2sdr program again.
  • Lastly, David Dominicki left a mostly unintelligible comment in response to Episode 78. Um, thanks… we think.

Contact Info:

Music:

  • None.

LHS Episode #084: GNU Radio

The 84th installment of your most favoritest podcast is now in the wild. As you may have noticed, we make a lot of assumptions about our listeners on this show; for example: You all love us. We have a good show in store for you today, including antennas made from electric fencing, a question about whether GPL software can be profitable, and most importantly a look at software defined radio and the GNU Radio project. Towards the end we address some feedback, solve a technical problem in Italian and try to stage an intervention for one of our more peculiar fans. ALL THIS WEEK on Linux in the Ham Shack!


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