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SoftRock Ensemble RXTX Kit  Built for (40/30/20 Meters)

RXTXEnsembleKit

 

startbuild

smt2

completed

 

The first testng done with the unit after building and configuring the software was with WSPR (Weak Signal Propagation Reporter)

The map is a 24 hour capture of received and transmitted decoded signals using WSPR digital mode on 40 Meters running from 600-700 mW output with a 40 meter OCFD antenna.

WSPRMAP

If you’re looking for a kit that will help you learn about SDR (Software Defibed Radio) and possibly up for a challenge with SMT components and IC’s, winding your own inductors and don’t mind using a magnifier to see with! Then I would recommend this as a neat project and a nice little receiver or QRP transceiver.

You will need a  decent computer with good soundcard(s) two sound cards needed if you’re going to transmit voice- if you  interested in CW/digital modes a Virtual audio cable program either VAC or VB-Cable works really well along with 1 soundcard.

A few downloads of free SDR software and driver configuration files and you can be having fun. Many of the applications will run on windows XP-windows 10 technical preview)

The kits can be ordered from Tony Parks KB9YIG-

http://www.fivedash.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=7

A browse at the build manual can be found here as well

http://www.wb5rvz.org/ensemble_rxtx/index?projectId=14

(Pay attention as there are choices that need to be made for which bands you intend to use the rig to transmit on- click the bands button and choose your option this will select the proper component values needed (I built mine using 40/30/20 option) however the receiver will operate outside of those bands but not at its full potential mine seems to receive well on 160, 80 and 17 meters and falls off on 15, 12 and 10 general coverage works pretty well

The kit is well laid out and the builds are broken down into sections of the transceiver which helps you understand just how a transceiver works and what each stage does

Firing up the rig for the first time and getting it configured then clicking the PSDR program and hearing it come alive is really neat

Along with the SDR programs ( I prefer the Homebuilt rig version of Power SDR 2.4.4 by SV1EIA and FlexRadio) it offers a lot of options and good filtering formats plus an audio recorder and tunable notch filtering - you can use Virtual comports and a utility called DDUTIL which allows the programs to talk with the rig and one another over virtual com ports allowing you to use HRD logging and DM780 digital suite- many of the N3FJP loggers, WSPR, JT65, WSJTX and many other digital mode programs which are great for a QRP rig typically the rigs will output up to a watt depending on band built for. On 40 I can max output around 850-900 mW that’s close to a watt. But run it 600-700 mW since WSPR transmits for 2 minute intervals at a time.

I’ve been letting this run on 40 Meters using the WSPR program – it’s a neat way to check propagation and visually see how times of day effect radiated signals and also allows you to see how well your antenna system is working – clicking ling below and selecting the map for 40 Meters look for my call or enter call in the search option.

http://wsprnet.org/drupal/wsprnet/map

http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/K1JT/wspr.html

 

 

I've been asked how I have the Softrock RX/TX -PSDR-and WSPR configured (The PDF) below is a basic outline which should help sort out and help get you going. There are many ways to do this - using the options out-lined in the PDF has worked well for me- I also use a similiar setup with the Flex SDR 3000 when operating digital modes-

Softrock RX/TX PSDR-Digital Mode configutaion

 

Rick

N8SDR

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