Using the V6.2 lite Softrock Rx as a panadaptor with Elecraft K3

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Using the V6.2 lite Softrock Rx as a panadaptor with Elecraft K3

Jerry Flanders
As a panadaptor for my Elecraft K3, I have one of KB9YIG's 6.2 lite
SR40 receivers with the special IF for the K3 (32764 KHz crystal).
This gives the SR40 a LO freq of 8191, 24 Khz below the 8215 IF of
the K3. I routinely watch a panorama of about +/- 12 Khz on the
PowerSDR display (using 96 KHz samping). I was watching +/- 24 KHz
initially but my power supply gave me a weak constant waterfall
birdie that I haven't eliminated yet.

I also have one of Jack Smith's Z-10000U buffer amplifiers (Clifton
Laboratories) running between the K3's KXV3 output and the SR40 for
isolation. (I didn't test to see if the isolation is really needed -
maybe not, since the LO is offset 24 KHz.)

The above combination is giving me the best panadaptor I have ever
used, and I have been using them since Heathkit made one for the
Heathkit SB303 in the early '70's. The current ICOM receivers have
panadaptors, but the resolution is lacking. With KB9YIG's SR40
rx  and PowerSDR, I can even identify the various signal types on
sight. I am using the version of PowerSDR that has simultaneous
waterfall and panorama.

I have PowerSDR calibrated so that the display gives an S9 reading
when the K3 sees a 50uV S9 signal from my XG-2 generator. Sensitivity
is amazing - I can see signals on the waterfall well down into the noise level.

As an indication of what is possible software-wise with the
Panadaptor add-on, I am able to run PowerSDR and Skimmer (or Rocky,
just as well) simultaneously here on a Sempron 2 GHz 1GB machine,
along with Writelog with RTTYRITE in CW mode as well as CWGET all
simultaneously. PSDR and Skimmer are both using the same two input
channels of my Delta-44, and Skimmer sees the entire I/Q IF range,
not just the audio. No audio routing tricks or "Y cables" are needed.
The remainder are using the on-board VIA AC97 sound card. Total CPU
usage ranges 50 - 70% with all running or around 20-40% with PowerSDR
but without Skimmer/Rocky. The computer also generates CW and I have
not seen any CW keying hiccups so far in limited S&P yesterday in the
contest even at 70% CPU. This machine does not use on-board video,
which might slow it further - it has a dual-monitor AGP video card.

This is a simple panadaptor setup - I view only and have no K3
control or click tuning from PowerSDR or Rocky/Skimmer.

FYI, it is often possible to run multiple apps on the same sound card
- I once had 8-10 copies of MMTTY running on a VIA AC97 on-board
sound "card" under XP home as a test to see if multiple simultaneous
RTTY profiles worked. Each copy only added about 2% to the CPU load.

Note: I understand KB9YIG has retired this particular kit, but a
replacement may be available in the future (see [hidden email] ).

Jerry W4UK

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Re: Using the V6.2 lite Softrock Rx as a panadaptor with Elecraft K3

W6NEK
Hi Jerry,
Since the KB9YIG 6.2 lite is no longer available, a super deluxe replacement
designed specifically for the K3 is available.  Of course I talking about
Larry's (N8LP) LP-PAN Software Defined IQ Panadapter.  He is taking orders
at his web site <http://www.telepostinc.com/LP-PAN.html> and has just
released the PRELIMINARY Manual
<http://www.telepostinc.com/LP-PAN-Manual.pdf>.

I totally agree with your comments regarding the panadapter display
resolution provided by PowerSDR.  I own a Icom 7800 and the PowerSDR display
is far, far superior.  I can easily see signals at the noise level and the
detail is so sharp I can often tell the modulation being used.  Coupled with
Larry's free LP-Bridge software (available soon) or Ham Radio Deluxe and you
have full "point and click" frequency control of the K3 (not to mention that
PowerSDR has it's own SDR receivers which can be used to simultaneously
listen to two inband frequencies at once.  It's a very powerful addition to
the K3.

Just passing along info to K3 users who may be interested in adding a
computer supported panadapter to their K3.

73,
Frank - W6NEK

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jerry Flanders" <[hidden email]>
To: <[hidden email]>
Cc: <[hidden email]>
Sent: Sunday, May 25, 2008 12:39 PM
Subject: [Elecraft] Using the V6.2 lite Softrock Rx as a panadaptor with
Elecraft K3


> As a panadaptor for my Elecraft K3, I have one of KB9YIG's 6.2 lite SR40
> receivers with the special IF for the K3 (32764 KHz crystal). This gives
> the SR40 a LO freq of 8191, 24 Khz below the 8215 IF of the K3. I
> routinely watch a panorama of about +/- 12 Khz on the PowerSDR display
> (using 96 KHz samping). I was watching +/- 24 KHz initially but my power
> supply gave me a weak constant waterfall birdie that I haven't eliminated
> yet.
>
> I also have one of Jack Smith's Z-10000U buffer amplifiers (Clifton
> Laboratories) running between the K3's KXV3 output and the SR40 for
> isolation. (I didn't test to see if the isolation is really needed - maybe
> not, since the LO is offset 24 KHz.)
>
> The above combination is giving me the best panadaptor I have ever used,
> and I have been using them since Heathkit made one for the Heathkit SB303
> in the early '70's. The current ICOM receivers have panadaptors, but the
> resolution is lacking. With KB9YIG's SR40 rx  and PowerSDR, I can even
> identify the various signal types on sight. I am using the version of
> PowerSDR that has simultaneous waterfall and panorama.
>
> I have PowerSDR calibrated so that the display gives an S9 reading when
> the K3 sees a 50uV S9 signal from my XG-2 generator. Sensitivity is
> amazing - I can see signals on the waterfall well down into the noise
> level.
>
> As an indication of what is possible software-wise with the Panadaptor
> add-on, I am able to run PowerSDR and Skimmer (or Rocky, just as well)
> simultaneously here on a Sempron 2 GHz 1GB machine, along with Writelog
> with RTTYRITE in CW mode as well as CWGET all simultaneously. PSDR and
> Skimmer are both using the same two input channels of my Delta-44, and
> Skimmer sees the entire I/Q IF range, not just the audio. No audio routing
> tricks or "Y cables" are needed. The remainder are using the on-board VIA
> AC97 sound card. Total CPU usage ranges 50 - 70% with all running or
> around 20-40% with PowerSDR but without Skimmer/Rocky. The computer also
> generates CW and I have not seen any CW keying hiccups so far in limited
> S&P yesterday in the contest even at 70% CPU. This machine does not use
> on-board video, which might slow it further - it has a dual-monitor AGP
> video card.
>
> This is a simple panadaptor setup - I view only and have no K3 control or
> click tuning from PowerSDR or Rocky/Skimmer.
>
> FYI, it is often possible to run multiple apps on the same sound card - I
> once had 8-10 copies of MMTTY running on a VIA AC97 on-board sound "card"
> under XP home as a test to see if multiple simultaneous RTTY profiles
> worked. Each copy only added about 2% to the CPU load.
>
> Note: I understand KB9YIG has retired this particular kit, but a
> replacement may be available in the future (see
> [hidden email] ).
>
> Jerry W4UK

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Subscriber Info (Addr. Change, sub, unsub etc.):
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