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Using PowerSDR/IF v1.19.3.5 with LP-PAN
Installation, Setup and Operation Guide
    

PowerSDR-IF v1.19.35 Installation & Setup

 

If you are running Vista or Windows 7, it is wise to be logged in as Administrator, or another user with admin privileges. If you are the only user, this is probably the case for your normal login. PowerSDR/IF requires .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (Service Pak 1). Update to this version if necessary before installing PowerSDR/IF. Use Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel (or Programs & Features, depending on OS) to check installed version. The latest version can be found at Microsoft.com.

 

The PowerSDR-IF v1.19.35 program can be downloaded at

http://www.wu2x.com/downloads/PowerSDR-IF%20Stage%20v1.19.3.5.zip

 

Please help Scott and his team with their work on this software with a donation if you use it and like it.
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Download and save the file to a convenient directory such as My Downloads. Unzip the file, and then click on the resultant folder. There should be two files in the folder… PowerSDR_Setup.msi and setup.exe. Click on either file to start installation.
Note: The version referenced in the pictures you see will read v1.19.35, not v1.19.02 as shown.
You will see the lower left screen. Click Next to continue. You will then see the lower right screen. If you are the only user on your PC, click on either of the choices. Accept the default installation folder and click Next.

 

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Agree to the license agreement, and confirm installation. If asked at any time about replacing newer files on your system with older ones, always keep your newer existing files.  The first time PowerSDR runs, you will see the following screen. This is a one time optimization that PowerSDR runs.

 

 

 

Click OK and wait for the routine to finish. PowerSDR will then launch. This is basically what it will look like (except that the name in the title bar will read v1.19.35).



 

 

Follow these steps to configure PowerSDR-IF…

 

Click on the Setup menu in the upper left of the program. This will open up the setup screen, as shown below. Most if not all of the settings will match this picture. If not, adjust them to match the picture. It is imperative that “Receive Only” be checked.




Click on the Audio tab. Adjust the entries to match the picture below. If you are using a sound card other than E-MU 0202, go to the Sound Card page for help with installing your sound card, then return here.


 

Click OK to close the setup window.
<> Click on the SetupIF menu at the top of the main PowerSDR screen. This will open the rig interface setup screen…

 




Select rig type to match your rig. Choices include K3, Yaesu (FT950/2000/5000), TS940S, TS950S and HRD. The HRD choice assumes that HRD is connected to the rig and provides a DDE link to HRD. This choice provides an wasy way to connect to rigs that are not directly supported. Set port number to match the port that your rig is connected to unless you are connecting though HRD. This can be a real serial port, a USB-to-serial adapter or a virtual port such as those created by LP-Bridge, LPB2 or microHam Router. It is smart to get PowerSDR/IF working directly with your rig before trying it through LP-Bridge or LPB2. Set baud rate to the fastest that your rig supports, and set your rig to match. Leave other settings at their defaults. If your rig is a K3, you have the option of syncing the RX Filter width in PowerSDR/IF with the K3. This feature has some limitations, and you may not like it. With a K3, it is normal to also poll for IF Frequency, which makes mode offset tracking automatic.



Click on the IF Frequencies tab. Shown above is the screen for K3. The Global Offset setting shown should be close for any recent LP-PAN. Units with serial number below 200 would use a Global Offset of 0. Global Offset needs to be fine tuned to exactly center the signals in the pan window. This procedure is covered in the Calibration section.

 Below is the screen for Yaesu. Remember, the audio cables need to be swapped for FT-950 / FT-2000 because the IF-2000 converter board reverses the sidebands. CW and FSK values depend on CW pitch and RTTY shift settings in the rig. Typical values are shown. 
Global Offset on recent LP-PANs will be near -6000 for most rigs, -7500 for Orion. Older models may  need a larger value. Once again, this has to be fine tuned. Since only the K3 reports actual mode offsets, you will need to enter values for other rigs. The values below should be close, but have to be fine tuned if you wish to listen to PowerSDR/IF and the rig's audio at the same time and have the pitch match. Swap I/Q should only be enabled for K2 & K3, which reverses IF injection on some bands. If you are using a transverter with your rig, set the maximum frequency limit to the highest frequency you will use, for instance 148.000 MHz or 470.000 MHz.





Click on Collapsible Display tab. Collapsible Display is a new feature that allows the user to fill the PowerSDR window with the panadapter (or waterfall or Panafall), covering up all the extraneous buttons and controls. Additional controls can be “added back” into the display as desired. Check the additional items that you want displayed whenever displaying collapsed view. Click OK to close the window.




Click Start in the upper left corner of PowerSDR/IF. You should now see the K3 VFO frequencies in PowerSDR/IF, and you should see signals in the panadapter, as shown below. The display defaults to the “fill” style, where the graph is filled down to the noise floor. This can be changed to the style shown by going to the Setup>Display tab and un-clicking the “Fill” selection. If you have speakers connected to the E-MU, you should also hear sound from them. If not, check to see if the Mute button is lit in PowerSDR/IF. If it is, click on it to un-mute. Listening to PowerSDR/IF is of course optional. It can be used solely as a panadapter display and interface if you choose.

 

psdr35_expand_2a



Setup for Rigs Without CAT Interface



To display a relative frequency scale instead of actual rig frequency, check the “Show Freq Offset” box in the PowerSDR Setup tab depicted above. The resulting display will appear as shown below. Tuning the rig will cause the signals to shift. The red line represents the center of the IF passband, ie. frequency the rig is tuned to.





PowerSDR-IF v1.19.35  Collapsed View

 
PowerSDR/IF can be customized to provide the look you like, including expanded or collapsed view. The collapsed view can be toggled by clicking on the “Collapse” menu. When in collapsed view, the menu changes to “Expand” Clicking on Expand toggles back to Expanded view. The picture above shows the default expanded view. The pictures below are variations of the Collapsed view. In addition to the view, the windows can be resized, colors changed and different “skins” chosen as well.
 



Above… Collapsed view with all additional controls displayed, and with panadapter only selected.  
        
Below… Collapsed view with no additional controls displayed, and with Panafall selected.

 




Below is the normal (Expanded) PowerSDR/IF Stage display. We have added color box overlays to help identify the various control sections. The sub-receiver is activated in this picture. Your view may be slightly different, depending on how you size the window. PowerSDR-IF can be sized from 1024x768 up to the full screen resolution of you monitor. As you zoom up the window, the pan display becomes a larger percentage of the window. Most of the receive controls are active for LP-PAN use. The transmit controls only work with FlexRadio hardware.

 



 

PowerSDR/IF Stage provides several ways of tuning, and supports both VFO A and VFO B of the K3.

 

Tuning of VFO A can be accomplished in these ways…

 

-      Using the tuning knob on the K3

-      Clicking and dragging the pan display for large excursions

-      Using the mousewheel for fine tuning. The tuning step size is set in the box between VFO A and VFO at the top of the program.

-          Point-and-click is invoked by right-clicking in the pan display to activate a yellow cursor. Position the cursor over a signal and left-click to tune to the signal.

-          Enter a frequency directly into the VFO A window

 

Tuning of VFO A can be accomplished in these ways…

 

-      Using the VFO B tuning knob on the K3

-      Clicking and dragging the blue sub-RX passband and dragging it

-          Using the mousewheel for fine tuning. The tuning step size is set in the box between VFO A and VFO at the top of the program. Hold Ctrl while using the mousewheel to tune VFO B

-          Point-and-click is invoked by right-clicking twice in the pan display to activate a red cursor. Position the cursor over a signal and left-click to tune VFO B to the signal. When the red cursors are on, mousewheel tuning adjusts VFO B.

-          Enter a frequency directly into the VFO B window

 

From the WU2X website… “As an additional tip here, Logitech has a series of mice that have something called "Hyper Scroll Wheel". These are mice with a weighted mouse wheel. The wheel does not have detents, it freewheels when you spin it - just like a weighted VFO knob!   Coding guru Chad has implemented a time based queue so that when you spin the weighted mouse wheel, the tuning of the external radio is perfectly smooth.  As it was, the free spinning VFO knob in PowerSDR/IF Stage would overload the external rig with CAT frequency changes.  We really dig the hyper scroll Logitech mice and highly recommend them.”

 

Here is a summary of the various controls that are supported in this version of PowerSDR, referenced to their location on the screen.

 
PURPLE SECTION

VFO A, VFO B... Display the values of the rig's VFOs. You can directly enter frequencies here, but this is rarely necessary. The small boxes in each VFO window indicate the  TX/RX assignment of the VFO. The lower box indicates the band segment that is tuned, based on IARU Region 1.
 
VFO Lock... Prevents the VFOs from being changed.
 
Tune Step... Sets the step size for mousewheel tuning and point/click accuracy.

Save/Restore
... Saves the current frequency for later recall.


RED SECTION

 

<>MUT, MON The term mute in context with PowerSDR means the muting of the audio output of PowerSDR when transmitting. If you use LP-PAN only as a display, mute has no real meaning. Normally, mute is a software function handled by LP-Bridge and PowerSDR. It can be disabled by selecting MON in PowerSDR if you want to hear your transmit signal. PowerSDR always displays the spectrum of your low level transmit signal. Hardware mute is also provided by LP-PAN, but will not be needed by most operators. In general, LP-Bridge will provide fast enough muting to handle muting in software for VOX or semi-break-in CW keying. This is not the case with HRD, which has a sizable delay. If you require faster or special muting, contact TelePost support for suggestions on using hardware mute.

 

X2TR… Not used

 

Red Dot, Green Arrow…Controls the sound recorder. Clicking on the red dot starts recording of the entire panadapter passband. Clicking on the green arrow allows playback. During playback, you can tune around anywhere in the recorded passband.

 

AF…Controls overall audio monitor level

 

AGC-T… Sets the AGC threshold

 

Drive… Not used

 

AGC/Preamp… Sets AGC speed and preamp setting, only for PowerSDR. If you set up the Aux CAT interface in LP-Bridge, the preamp setting will follow the K3

 

Squelch… Adjusts squelch… mainly useful for FM, but active in all modes.

 

BCI rejection… Not used

 


YELLOW SECTION


Split / A>B / A<B / A<>B…
Self explanatory. Other controls in this group are not implemented.


BLUE SECTION

 

NR… Digital Noise Reduction (PowerSDR Only)

 

ANF… Automatic Notch Filter (PowerSDR Only)

 

NB, NB2… Digital Noise Blankers (PowerSDR Only)

 

SR, BIN… Not used

 

Display Selector… Determines what is displayed in the graph window. Choices are Panadapter, Scope, Phase, Spectrum, Waterfall, PanaFall (PowerSDR Only)

 

AVG / PEAK… Provide averaging or peak hold behavior for the signals in the panadapter. Settings are on the Display tab in Setup. (PowerSDR Only)

 

MultiRX / Swap… Controls the sub-receiver (PowerSDR Only). Sliders determine the routing and mixing of audio from the main and sub-receiver. When Sub RX is on, there are two passbands displayed… green for main and blue for sub. Green passband is linked to VFOA and blue is linked to VFOB.


WHITE SECTION


Mode Specific Controls… Panel changes depending on Mode setting.

 

CW Pitch… The most important control is CW Pitch, which only appears when a CW Mode is selected. Set to match your K3 CW Pitch setting.

 

Show TXCW Frequency…When CW mode is selected, checking the "Show TXCW Frequency" box places a vertical yellow line on the tuned frequency.  This is particularly helpful when working split and looking for an open frequency in a CW pileup.



GREEN SECTION

 

Band Selects band for both PowerSDR and K3. This can be used as a quick way to change bands.

 

Mode Selects mode for both PowerSDR and K3. Modes not supported in K3 are ignored by K3. Modes such as DRM require additional software to decode. SAM is Synchronous AM mode.

 

Filter Selects PowerSDR DSP filters in both PowerSDR and K3, unless filter syncing is disabled in SetupIF>IF Frequencies.

 

Width and Shift Follow passband indicator on the pan display. If you checked the “RX Filter Width” box in SetupIF, the Width will synchronize with the DSP settings on the K3, regardless of whether changes are made in PowerSDR or the K3. But there are limitations to the use of this, since Shift cannot be linked. This can cause erratic behavior, especially if you try to adjust the lower side of the passband. You can temporarily disable the link by clicking on “Var2”, or permanently disable it in SetupIF.


ORANGE SECTION

 

RX Meter allows several different modes for the S-Meter to be selected



TURQUOISE SECTION

 

Pan & Zoom adjusts the portion of the passband that is displayed in the panadapter. Wide display is far left in zoom bar, PAN should be centered.

 


 TOOLBAR


 

In addition to the highlighted areas, there are several other controls which are useful. They are accessed in the toolbar at the top of the program.

 

RX EQ enables graphic equalizer for PowerSDR receiver. The equalizer can be set in the Equalizer pull down menu at the top of the program.

 

Memory… save popular frequencies for recall.

 

DONATE… Please consider a donation to Scott and Chad for their hard work in customizing PowerSDR/IF for use with LP-PAN!

 

Expand/Collapse… Toggle between the Expanded (original) view and the Collapsed (uncluttered) view.

 


Calibration...


Gain adjustment -

To set the gain display accuracy requires a signal source with known output level. This can come from a calibrated signal generator, or something as simple as the Elecraft  XG1,  XG2 or XG3 test oscillators. This section assumes an XG2 is being used, which has an output of about –73dBm (50uV / S9). Set the K3 preamp and attenuator OFF, and the Preamp setting in PowerSDR to MED. Turn Avg. on in PowerSDR. Connect your generator to the RX ANT input of the K3, and select RX ANT. Adjust your sound card inputs to about 40% of full gain. If you are using the E-MU 0202, set the pots to about the 10 or 11 o’clock position. In all cases, the left and right level controls should be set exactly the same. Most software based controls are “ganged” so that they can be adjusted together. Adjust R29 on LP-PAN to mid scale. These settings should work well for most users. If you find that you need less gain to avoid overload by strong signals, you can turn down the sound card inputs or the LP-PAN gain. If you need more sensitivity, you can increase the sound card inputs, or better still, install the K3 IF buffer mod (available from Elecraft) and/or the LP-PAN preamp.
Tune in the XG2 signal at 3.579, 7.040 or 14.060 MHz. The peak on the pan display should be –73dBm. If it’s not, PowerSDR can be calibrated to display the correct level easily.



Click on Setup in PowerSDR, then click on the Calibration tab on the second row of tabs.
Enter the XG2's frequency in the Frequency box of the Level Cal window. Enter –73 in the Level box. Click Start to perform the calibration. When calibration is finished, close the Setup window. The signal peak should now be –73dBm. If you make any changes in the future, such as a change in sound card input level or the addition of the K3 IF buffer mod, you can rerun the calibration.


If you have an adjustable signal generator, you can set the maximum signal that LP-PAN can handle without clipping. A good compromise between weak signal display and maximum signal handling is a clipping point of about –10 dBm with the K3 preamp OFF. You will need to jockey the sound card and R29 settings to find the best compromise.


Global Offset and Mode offset adjustments –

Refer back to SetupIF pictures of the IF Frequencies tab. If your rig is a K3, all the mode offsets should be set to 0. LP-Bridge provides an offset value to PowerSDR which keeps the IF center frequency of PowerSDR synchronized with the K3. For other rigs, set the starting mode offset values as indicated. It is important that AM be set to 0.

Due to intentional offset of the local oscillator of LP-PAN, and slight variations in the xtals, you must fine tune the software to exactly line it up with the rig. This is done with the Global Offset control. The nominal offset will be 6kHz with newer LP-PANs, but earlier models had various offsets before we standardized on 6kHz. This was done to move the center of the passband slightly to avoid problems with some older or cheaper sound cards which have difficulty near an audio frequency of 0 Hz. On earlier K3 models without the additional offset, the nominal value will be 0. Global Offset is set in the PowerSDR SetupIF window.

Set your rig to AM mode and tune in an AM signal on a known frequency, like WWV. Zoom the PowerSDR/IF display in all the way. Adjust the Global Offset so that the carrier is centered on the red line in the middle of the display. This is all that is necessary for the K3.



To fine tune the individual mode offsets for other rigs, set the rig to the mode to be adjusted and tune in a carrier for a comfortable pitch. Turn the volume of the sound card monitor up so that you hear the output of PowerSDR at about the same level as the rig. The two tones should be similar, but probably not exactly the same pitch. Adjust the IF Frequency control for each mode to zero beat the tones.  Note: Any IF shift or DSP shift controls in the rig will affect the pitch, so make sure that the rig controls are centered when making the adjustments.