Hamfest & Misc
tfox at knology.net
Sat Feb 2 18:45:54 CST 2008
We had the annual Charleston hamfest today. It's wierd having hamfests on
Saturday! But, in the bible-belt, it makes sense.
In addition to selling some small stuff, we had a demo of SDRs, showing a
SoftRock Lite receiver, SoftRock RxTx V6.1, and a Brainerd board.
As usual, the metal building proved to be an adequate faraday shield for HF
signals. If anybody ever needs a chamber, just use the room that you will
be showing off actual receiving equipment. That's guaranteed to prevent
I was able to receive an AM broadcast station, thanks to demoing the tunable
Brainerd board. The SoftRocks were fixed on 40M only.
There was quite a bit of interest in SDRs in general, and the Brainerd board
in particular. Many were concerned about construction, some even with the
SoftRocks. But, for this small hamfest, I was pleased with the number of
people showing interest. I had my FT817 with me (to create a signal), but
decided not to set it up.
Winterfest is coming soon, is AMRAD setting up another demo there? I
remember last year there was quite a bit of interest. Also, has anybody in
DC put together the Brainerd board yet?
David Brainerd just received the first prototype QSE exciter boards, I have
one coming. Is anybody else in AMRAD working with this stuff?
I also note that Phil Covington just announced that his QS-1R SDR receiver
board is coming to the market. It is a 15-bit direct-to-A/D board, with an
FPGA doing digital-down-conversion, decimation, and LP filtering. No QSD,
QSE, or sound card issues. The good news is that it's closer to the cutting
edge of technology. The bad news is that it costs $799, plus more if you
want a more stable oscillator. I'm passing at this time, due to cost.
One last thing: TAPR is getting ready to take orders for their Penelope, a
1/2W transmitter/exciter board. Delivery is close to Dayton timeframe. I
believe the companion Mercury (which is close to Phil's QS-1R in concept) is
further behind. They are also working on their Phoenix, which is a
combination QSD/receiver and QSE/exciter.
Lots happening in the HF SDR world.
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