On-Line User's Manual

Bob Larkin, W7PUA & Mike Reed, KD7TS


This is an amateur radio project, intended to explore the use of Digital Signal Processing (DSP) as the i-f and a-f processing of a transceiver. The primary application is weak-signal work on the bands above 2-meters. Interestingly the transceiver also operates at 2-meters as presently built and can also be used on that band. Transverters are used ahead of the transceiver for the higher frequencies allowing operation into the microwave range. The control and the front panel for the transceiver is any PC running DOS and having VGA graphics. The keyboard controls the transceiver. Status information, along with spectral and signal strength displays, are on the screen. Audio comes from the DSP, not the PC. No internal sound card is required.

Background for this project is available in the three-part article by Bob Larkin, W7PUA, "The DSP10---An All-Mode 2-Meter Transceiver Using DSP I-F and PC Front Panel," QST Sept, Oct and Nov 1999, and "A DSP Based Transceiver for UHF and Microwaves." This manual has been assembled from the program notes for versions 1.6 , 2.0, and 3.0 of the software, that have long been available. In addition, material that is new to version 3.94 of the program is also included. Thus this document is the basic operating manual for the transceiver. It does not include the hardware assembly information, nor the software source code and background. That collection of information is quite extensive and remains available from the Internet

Feedback -
Please email corrections, comments and suggestions to this manual to kd7ts 'at' comcast.net
Program bugs should be reported to W7PUA boblark 'at' proaxis.com.

A few highlights for Version 3.96

It has been my good fortune to be among the "beta" testers and in a location with active DSP-10 users. Operations have been on a daily basis for a number of years on 10 GHz and recently 24 Ghz has been added. To add to my good fortune, there are two local home  stations, W7LHL and W7SZ  to provide signals with their DSP-10 and transverter on 10 and 24 GHz. 

The DSP-10 is a user configurable signal processing system that can be used as a weak signal communications platform or as a tool for investigating propagation.  To make this useful as a tool, accurate  frequency is needed, also to be useful for weak signal communications, accurate timing is needed. Frequency control is handled by use of GPS disciplined 10 MHz references. In the recent past, time was done manually, by the user, with whatever time source could be pressed into service. Usually this is WWV and an HF receiver, but could be anything available.

Time in the x386 architecture is a daunting task for the programmer, and time accurate to the 55 millisecond level is possible with some diligence. The  clock in most Personal Computers is not well suited to maintaining correct time for long periods. To overcome this problem a
system was devised by Johann, KC7WW,  to switch the PC between the DSP-10 and a GPS interface. Bob, W7PUA wrote the code to incoroporate control into the DSP-10 software based on Johanns  routines. This provides automatic time setting and update, or manual update using the NMEA0183 data and the 1 PPS from the GPS engine. The software also allows switching by manually operated serial switch box, or even simply reconnecting the cables between the GPS, DSP-10 and PC.  GPS is not a requirement for general use. The requirement of the TZ environment variable has been removed for the PC and time is now all done in GMT. The DSP-10 continues to perform using the original system of time set with WWV etc.
The addition of the Clock and GPS routines suggested the possibility of  calculating distance and headings between stations, and this has been added to the Version 3.80 control software. Although the GPS was a motivation for the routines being added, it is not a requirement.

Many improvements make the operation easier, and faster. One of the these is the DOS VISIT. This has been available in past versions, but with the addition of dynamic memeory allocation, has made the use of the hard drive more attractive as opposed to running from a floppy drive. This is very useful to transfer screen saves (which save very quickly on the hard drive) to a floppy while in the middle of a weak signal QSO. This may have limited appeal, but has been very useful locally.

Have fun !

Mike KD7TS

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