Thursday, October 7, 2010

There have been a couple of interesting developments recently that I'd like to highlight.

The first one, I'm most excited about it, is the announcement of the SDR-Cube Transceiver.
A Portable Software Defined Radio
Utilizing An Embedded DSP Engine
for Quadrature Sampling Transceivers
George Heron, N2APB   and   Juha Niinikoski, OH2NLT
Very Neat! This kit takes a SoftRock 6.3 SDR and provides a dsPIC with all the brains to do AM/SSB/CW. It's apparently built to be very easy to couple with a NUE-PSK modem for not only computer-less SDR but PSK operation too. The makers say it can work with other computer coupled I/Q SDR boards as well, so it should work with any other SoftRock. The case will come painted black and several kit options will be available. They are planning to be a source for the SoftRock 6.3 RXTX if you want to go with that option. Personally I'd rather use an Ensemble RXTX and have 3 bands.
I highly recommend anyone to check out the website here.

NUE-PSK modem. I kinda wish they had a keyboard built-in. It'd look a lot like an old Tandy Model 100 though. That wouldn't be a bad thing, I don't think.

Something similar is the Mobo 4.3 Project. I don't know a whole lot about this project so I'll let the page speak for itself:
An all singing and all dancing all band 5W HF Software Defined Transceiver based on the popular Softrock 6.3 RxTx kit.
The Motherboard, or Mobo v.4.3 is an addon board to plug onto the Softrock v6.3 RxTx, to transform it into an all band (160-10m) HF SDR transceiver electronically controlled via USB.  This project, which started in mid 2009  has now been through the initial development phase, the result being a nicely performing all band transceiver, with an exceptionally linear transmitter output.  Measured IMDR is of the order of 48dB at 1W PEP and a respectable 31dB at 5W.  

Sounds pretty neat but again, with this project you require a PC to run the radio. Now if we could combine these two projects somehow, that'd be really neat. One thing that really impresses me is the digital power/swr meter. It's the smaller board to the right in the above picture. If the mainboard detects a high swr, it can automatically reduce your power so you don't burn out the driver. How cool is that?

Finally, Wouxun has announced a new radio in their line-up. It is a dual-band mobile radio. Link to the image, the Ed that runs has all the details. No pricing information on it yet.

  • Dual Receive (Truely, not dual-watch like the handhelds)
  • Crossband
  • Dual Frequency display
  • 50W
  • 999 channels
  • Remote head.. Mount radio somewhere else and just put the head on your dash. Looks like Mic plugs directly into the head also. Hope that's a standard feature and includes mounting gear.
Looks like there are going to be multiple versions like the handhelds. 218-260 is listed! So there's a possiblity there of 2m/222.. 136-174/218-260. There's also some weird stuff like the possibility of 2mhz-30mhz AM-only receive. Or 500-2000khz, Or 50-500khz all AM-only. I don't really see the point in it but there you go. Apparently FM broadcast is available too. So one option there gets you AM & FM radio. The 2-30mhz option is kinda pointless unless you want to listen to CB though!

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