Blank PC Boards for Charleston Receiver

Tom Azlin, N4ZPT n4zpt at
Tue Jul 28 07:00:30 CDT 2009

Hi Frank.

I am interested in participating. I have done some surface mount
soldering.  So I would like a board.

Do we need to separately order the parts or are you planning a parts
order once you have our parts money??

73, Tom n4zpt

Frank Gentges wrote:
> Glenn,
> I am replying to you and cc:ing to all the others on tacos that may have
> missed the activities on the project.  Terry and the group in Charleston
> have been doing the heavy lifting down there; thus the name.
> Go over to the web site at
> I had 10 boards made and they came out at $20 each.  The parts for each
> board look to be about $67 + shipping at last count.  We had hoped to
> get it in at $60 and maybe later.  This board is seriously surface mount
> but I have a solder paste stencil to help everyone along.  I still have
> some boards if you or anyone else wants to join in the fun.
> In addition, you will need to buy a Nexsys2 board from Digilent.  You
> can order one at
> The basic board at $129 has 500k gates and for $40 more you can get an
> "enhanced" version with 1200k gates.  They have a special price for
> qualified students but I don't think my 1965 ID will work for this.
> Right now I do not know enough to figure out if the larger number of
> gates is useful and I have the 500k version for now.  It reminds me of
> the days when we used 4k of memory and were happy.
> All the software can be downloaded for free so that part of the project
> is free and I am looking at making up a data DVD with the essentials.
> What you end up with is an 76 megasamples/sec 12 bit front end and
> enough software to get from the antenna input to the computer USB port.
>   A `4 or 16 bit front end would be more desirable but not at a low cost.
> We have a spectrum analyzer program that runs under Windows that can use
> the Charleston USB stream.  We also have a set of GNUradio programs you
> can run under Linux right now.
> There is WINrad that we think can be adapted with minimal effort to act
> as a spectrum display and demodulator under Windows but we need to write
> the dll to do this.  I am confident we can adapt this and Alberto,
> I2PHD, WINrad's author can give us help over any rough spots.  He has
> written a guide to go with the source code that should be very helpful.
> The attraction of the Charleston project is that with all these gates we
> can design FPGA functions to do better than we can do in the computer
> alone.
> Gate based signal processing was hot in the early 70s but processors
> took over.  Now with FPGAs we can slide back to the future and get a lot
> more performance with FPGA implementation than with a stored program
> processor since the FPGA can execute in a massively parallel form.  We
> have the lowest cost approach for experimenters to learn with a hands on
> system.
> In a nutshell, this is what it is about.
> Frank
> Glenn Baumgartner wrote:
>> Frank what is the cost of an assembled board?  May I assume you have
>> the Software to run it ?  got any specs on this board.  I've been gone
>> a while and missed much of the discussion.  Sounds interesting from
>> what I do know. Glenn b.
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