Fw: [SDRWG:258] Welcome!

Paul Rinaldo prinaldo@mindspring.com
Sun, 23 Feb 2003 17:00:13 -0500 (EST)

Tacos Gang,

Here's an email from Doug Smith as chairman of the ARRL software defined radio working group welcoming some new members and trying to bring them up to speed.

Paul, W4RI

  Hello gang,

   Please welcome new participants:

Eric Blossom of GNU Radio
Brad Brannon, N4RGI
Stephane Fillod, F8CFE
Jim Scarlett, KD7O

   For the benefit of our newcomers: We
wish to refer you to the two reports we
have already filed with the Technology
Task Force (TTF), our parent body, headed
by ARRL Vice Director Howard Huntington,
K9KM.  They may be found by surfing
to www.arrl.org/announce and looking
for "Board and Committee Reports."
The specific dates of interest are Jan 2003
and July 2002.  Also review the other TTF
reports going back to its inception in 2000.
    Our other participants are:

Leif Ã…sbrink, SM5BSZ
Gary Barbour, AC4DL
Mike Marcus, N3JMM
Paul Rinaldo, W4RI
Gerald Youngblood, AC5OG

    Here is a little background on our
newcomers.  None is a neophyte when
it comes to software radio.  Brad and Jim
have contributed articles to QEX; they work
at Analog Devices, an acknowledged leader
in data-conversion technology.  Eric is the
force behind GNU Radio.  Stephane is
central in the development of "hamlib," an
API for ham radio gear.
    Now if I have mischaracterized any of that,
please correct me!  Otherwise, I wish to
acknowledge our common interest in advancing
the state of the Amateur Radio art.  Let us
discuss software radio and APIs.  Our group has
several projects under way and we anticipate
that software radio will have a significant impact on
Amateur Radio in the next few years and beyond.
   Our group has several public-speaking
engagements scheduled for this year, including the
Charlotte Hamfest, Mar 9; Georgia Tech, Mar 10;
Dayton Hamvention, May 18; and the ARRL
National Convention at Hamcom in June.  Certainly
there is a possibility for the ARRL/TAPR Digital
Communications Conference (DCC) in September.
Details may be gathered by surfing to www.doug-smith.net.
   Gerald will join me at the National Convention; other
than that, I am on my own.  One of our orders of
business is to promote our cause through dissemination
of information and I encourage you to consider joining
us at those gatherings.  Contact me for details.  Let us
also think about other software-radio articles for QST
and QEX.
   Separate from hamlib, Winradio have put forth an
API.  Please visit their Web site and study their
system.  We've arranged with the ARRL Industry
Advisory Council to keep manufacturers informed
about plans for command and control interfaces.
They'll support the idea as long as it doesn't preclude
unique features they tout. At Dayton 2000, I received
universal support for a standard control interface to ham
rigs; but the contest-logging software writers all asked,
"How are you going to do that?"  Well, perhaps the time
has come.
   Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM), the international
consortium of digital audio broadcasters, has released
a PC-based software capable of demodulating their
transmissions.  Certain receivers may be fitted with
an ancillary conversion module that takes 455-kHz
IFs to a VLF IF that feeds a sound card.  The Ten-Tec
RX-320 already has such a VLF IF and it has been
tested successfully with the DRM software.
   At www.drm.org, the software may be purchased
for 60 Euros or about $50 US.  Listeners have organized
themselves at www.drmrx.org.  It is my understanding
that open source code is available.
   I have state-of-the-art hardware, generously donated
to our cause by Analog Devices, thanks to Jim Scarlett.
It is a 14-bit, 80-Msample/s ADC with tremendous dynamic
range and a 80-Msample/s digital receiver down-converter.
I will plug those things together in an effort to create a
next-generation receiver.  We will need volunteers to
build a microcontroller that handles data passage between
the radio and a PC.  The PC would perform demodulation,
noise blanking, and so forth.  USB and Firewire are under
consideration for the interface. It would be neat to adapt
existing packages, such as Linrad, SDR-1000 and KD7O,
to this radio.  When the receiver is done, we should start
work on an exciter.
   I'm therefore interested in including in any open API
the ability to set and control digital data exchange between
such a radio and a PC, as Winradio have done.  Your
comments are requested!

   All for now,

   Doug Smith, KF6DX