Friday, August 27, 2010

Ensemble - Config Info

This is my build adventures and recommendation for using the Softrock Ensemble SDR.

Note: my computer is an MS XP with SP3 - works for me details for other configurations may vary.

This is my best recollection of my build and test process, others can help by providing corrections, Thanks.

Note: not all Review Edits and Corrections have been made.

The following information is NOT anything new, it is just documented here for easy access.

In general, without any of the following software installed, the first time the Softrock Ensemble is plugged into the computer via the USB cable, it will request for a "new driver" and will ask where it should be found. This simple request for a "new driver" is good news - it means the computer has recognized new hardware. Note: only the USB cable is needed, the normal 12 Volt Power Cable, Antenna and Audio cables are not necessary for these initial LO tests.

Unplug the Softrock Ensemble from the Computer, so that is will wake up again for the following steps, after the initial programs are installed.

Links to programs and most of this information can be found in the Softrock Ensemble Build Instruction (down about 4 pages).

The following software is necessary:

USB Driver = A USB Driver for the onboard ATTiny85 CPU
  • Download the above ZIP'd file and de-compress it into a folder, you will need to know the path to the folder for the next step.
  • Re-plug in the Softrock Ensemble via the USB, it (as before) will request for "new driver" and where it should look to find it - supply the path to the above saved folder.
  • If all goes well, it will install and complete.
  • You should be able to un-plug and re-plug in the Softrock Ensemble with out errors or warning, you should hear the Standard MS Windows "ba-blink" or "ba-blonk" sound when plugging in or out.

CFGSR  = Configure Software Radio - Used to test Manual control of the Si570 Local Oscillator
SRDLL = Software Radio DLL - Used with CFGSR
  • Create a folder called CFGSR  some place, I suggest: C:\Program Files\CFGSR
  • Save above two downloads into this new folder, they must be in the same folder together.
  • I suggest: create a short-cut to the CFGSR.exe file for your Desktop, it will be handy for now and later testing.
  • Execute CFGSR.exe, the Si570 "control panel" will appear, which will allow you to set the Si570 Local Oscillator frequency, test as requested in the build instructions, Or, tune to a known radio frequency that you can monitor - you should hear the LO quite your receiver.
  • Follow the remaining build instructions -    . . .  You know, all of those dang filter toroids! - for the love of Ham Radio.
  • Note: after the initial testing of the Si570 Local Oscillator, these two programs will not normally be used. But they are good to keep around for trouble shooting.

WinradHD = A User Interface Program for Normal SDR Operation.
ExtIO_Si570.dll   = A Si570 IO DLL for programmatic control
  • Download and install "WinradHD"
  • Download and move the "ExtIO_Si570.dll" file into the "WinradHD" folder, normally found at C:\Program Files\Winradhd\
  • Note: a copy of this "ExtIO_Si570.dll" file may be needed in each of folders of any other SDR User Interface Programs that you may want to try.
  • Create a Short-cut link for the Desktop to the WinradHD.exe  program.
  • I suggest, right click on the link, edit properties add "-wv -as" to the execution line. The "-wv" allows WinradHD to be displayed in a normal (movable) Desktop window, and the "-as"  does an auto-start, see WinRadHD Home Page.
  • Note: you may need to select a "sound card" and the "Si570" IO from the WinradHD configuration controls.
Update: as of Dec 23, 2010 WinradHD changed name to HDSDR see:

Now, it is time for having some fun with SDR SWL.


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