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[Linrad] Re: USB

Hi Ken,

> I would add that the HPSDR Mercury/Penelope receiver and transmitter use the
> USB approach too (though the Ozy USB interface card) and so is independent
> of sound cards.

I expect amateur radio SDR to not go through soundcards in the future.
Hopefully we will have digital units at a low enough cost in time before
Windows XP becomes obsolete. Enthusiasts can always use Linux or obsolete

> I noted with some interest that I2PHD is looking at a WinUSB driver for  Ozy
> and while his intention is to use it for WinRad, it seems to me that it
> should be relatively (?) easy to adapt an successful code to Linrad. This
> should provide support into the future (Windows 7 including 64 bit version).
It should be easy to interface to Albertos dll, but it might be a better
idea to put the code inside Linrad as I did for the SDR-14 and SDR-IQ.
The problem is that HPSDR Mercury/Penelope seems messy to me. Admittedly
I did not spend much time trying to understand the status of this project,
but pieces of information did not fit together for me so I decided I would
not buy a unit and spend my time on a rapidly moving target.

Maybe you can shed some light on the status of today.

> >> After having found out that Windows is useless with PCI soundcards on
> modern motherboards 
> I find this to be rather strange - I assume does it applies to plug in cards
> and not to motherboard sound systems as well - these MB systems have some
> pretty impressive specs these days (192 kHz and 24 bit) although these are
> not found in 4-channel versions (like Delta 44) as far as I have seen. 
Oooh! No. The problem is only with the PCI cards as far as I know. I have no
reason to believe that PCI Express cards have problems and I know for
sure that the 192 kHz sound system on my D5400XS motherboard works fine with
all Windows versions I can install on it. I failed to install Windows 2000
and I did not even try Windows 98.

> I note that the M-Audio web site compatibility guide very conspicuously
> omits Vista as a compatible system.
That is clever. Vista is useless for audio in my opinion. I am not so
sure Windows 7 is good enough, but maybe is will be ok when one uses ASIO 
drivers. In my opinion it does not handle WMME drivers in an acceptable way
in its current state. Maybe Microsoft will improve it, maybe not.
There is always Linux and while Windows is becoming more difficult Linux is
becoming more easy. Now with the "shrink partition" that Microsoft kindly
supplies it is a trivial thing to make dual boot computers and have
Vista as well as Linux available. 

> So I have kept my old Delta44 card in the XP box, but have an EMU1212 in the
> quad core - which has a PCI Express slot for the video card - without
> apparent problems, although I have not given it a proper test. 
The problem is not immediately visible. You might get poor decodes in MAP65
without any indication of an error. I suggest you make a test with a near 
saturating sine-wave. 

> I note that
> EMU has a driver for the 1212M (V2.1) that supports Windows Vista 32-bit and
> Windows Vista 64-bit as well as Windows XP 32-bit and Windows XP 64-bit
> versions.  I imagine that a determined person could be two EMU cards in a PC
> and sync them using the external sampling clock option.
I do not think that would help because I think the problem is one of
the PCI drivers that Windows uses. Maybe we will get something from
"Windows Update" some day that fixes the problem.

> Anyway - going to the USB interface simplifies things greatly. HPSDR is
> looking at supporting multiple (up to 8) Mercury boards in one backplane
> through the Ozy board  - a development still off in the future, but still
> offering me hope for eventual MAP65 use.
OK. When I know for sure that something is stable and good enough I will
be interested:-)


Leif / SM5BSZ

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