Listen to the Hermes-Lite

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Steve Haynal

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Oct 10, 2014, 12:17:56 AM10/10/14
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Hello List,

Thank you to Rob Frohne, KL7NA, for keeping a Hermes-Lite on the internet nearly 24/7. He runs either a v1.0 or v1.1 that he built. His QTH is fairly rural and has an excellent antenna system, which really helps make the Hermes-Lite sound great. In case you don't know, here is how you can listen to a Hermes-Lite:
  • Android
    • Go to the Google Play Store and install glSDR
    • Once the program is running, you can select Rob's server (74.85.89.174 KL7NA) from the "Servers" menu item (menu, or horizontal bars at the bottom left)
  • Windows
    • Download the Sep 2 QtRadio zip file and unzip to find the QtRadio subdirectory
    • Within the QtRadio subdirectory, double-click on the QtRadio application (there is no install that I know of) to bring up the QtRadio GUI
    • Under the Receiver menu (top left), select "Quick Server List"
    • Select KL7NA from the list and then Connect
  • Linux
    • I've always compiled from source, which has never been without effort. You can find instructions here.

The main link to the ghpsdr project is here.

73,

Steve
KF7O

Rob Frohne

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Oct 10, 2014, 2:16:17 AM10/10/14
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Greetings,

Tonight I set up another laptop to act as a server while I figure out how to address the port issue of running two server instances on one machine. 

Now you can listen on the triband beam on receiver 3 or 4 which is using a Hermes-Lite v-1.0,
and if you listen on receivers 0 or 1 you get a Hermes Lite v-1.2 on the 40-80 meter dipole.

So you can switch antennas in this way.

73,

Rob
KL7NA
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Steve Haynal

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Oct 10, 2014, 11:07:19 AM10/10/14
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Hi Rob,

Thanks for setting this up. I think the hpsdrserver software for RX0 has crashed or gone into some weird state this morning. Maybe related to your switch of computers.

73,

Steve
KF7O 

Rob Frohne

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Oct 10, 2014, 11:10:33 AM10/10/14
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My apologies because it didn't last.  Sometime last night, v-1.2 had some kind of hardware failure and now all I'm getting from the A/D is zeros.  I'll work on sorting that out later.  At this point only RX2 and RX3 are on line.

73,

Rob
KL7NA

Steve Haynal

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Oct 12, 2014, 12:19:18 PM10/12/14
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Hello List,

Sorry, but Rob's server has not been working the past few days. (I should have made arrangements with him before posting how to listen instructions.) 

Rob - I see nothing on RX0.  RX1, RX2 and RX3 are not accessible via QtRadio or Android.

73,

Steve
KF7O

Rob Frohne

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Oct 14, 2014, 1:18:36 AM10/14/14
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Hi All,

My apologies for the trouble I have been having with v-1.1 of Hermes Lite.  Something intermittently gets it confused, and it seems to get stuck sending zeros.  I thought maybe I needed to add a heat sink to the regulators, but they aren't really hot and the voltages were fine.  I found that my reset capacitor wasn't still soldered on both sides, and thought maybe it was getting bumped and reset, but that wasn't it either.  So I finished building up the second v-1.1.  It is now online one RX0 and RX1 on the triband beam.  The v-1.0 is connected to a repaired 40-80 dipole that is working better than it was.  (This is the opposite of what it was, and may not ma  The latest v-1.1 has been running a couple hours so far without a problem.  We will see how long it lasts.

Some things I did differently on the second v-1.1.  I left off the reset capacitor.  I built a balun on a larger core and it seems more sensitive than the first one by maybe an S unit.  More precise measurements will follow as I get a chance to make them.  The version (fairly recent) of the firmware I'm using on both units seems to have the lights acting as an indicator of the level of signal strength.  When I connect it to the 40-80 dipole, all lights are often pegged.  I haven't had a chance to look at the source to see what the lights are now up to for sure, but that is how they appear.  I also don't have the jumper to PWREN# inserted, but it runs fine off a USB power supply.  The newest v-1.1 doesn't seem to require the reset capacitor, but taking the capacitor out of the  first one makes it not work.

I'm still working on perfecting the stencil process.  Some problems have been overcome, but others have popped up.

73,

Rob
KL7NA
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-- 
Rob Frohne, PhD, PE
Professor
EF Cross School of Engineering
Walla Walla University
100 SW 4th Street
College Place, WA 99324
(509) 527-2075

Steve Haynal

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Oct 14, 2014, 10:04:48 PM10/14/14
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Hi Rob,

Nice progress at KL7NA! I was able to connect to RX1 for the first time last night, and then RX2 and RX3 today. Just to make sure I understand the setup:

RX0,RX1 are on a v1.1 connected to your yagi. (Listed incorrectly as v1.2 and dipole.)
RX2,RX3 are on a v1.0 connected you your dipole. (Listed incorrectly as connected to yagi.)

Is that correct?

Sometimes different ethernet connections can exhibit the problems you saw with your first v1.1. Did you switch BeMicro boards, ethernet cables, or whatever device the other end of the ethernet cable is connected to?

I have a 9:1 balun on mine and found that it is an improvement.

With the new firmware, there are two LEDs (farthest from the heartbeat) that indicate clipping on the ADC, one led that is a heartbeat, and five LEDs (nearest to the heartbeat) that indicate the DAC transmit level. Something is wrong if you see all of the LEDs light up when not transmitting.

The variation in reset requirements is interesting. I did not forget about the importance of reset in the prototype. I was following the AD9866 evaluation board, which has a separate chip for reset, and knew I would leave that off. I didn't know how I would eventually do reset, and since there was an exposed pad on the pull-up resistor, I left it unconnected with the idea to connect a wire to the exposed resistor pin later for experiments. But when I didn't have a reset issue, I was distracted by other issues. I need to revisit my board that doesn't work and see if it is a reset issue.  On page 43 of the datasheet, it recommends reset be held low for at least 10ms after power up. A proper reset sequence in the RTL is coming after I finish some front-end boards for v1.2.

So far, 6 Hermes-Lite variants have been built: 2 v0.9, 2 v1.0 and 2 v1.1. It would be nice to know of any variations within this group.

73,

Steve
KF7O



John Williams

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Dec 3, 2014, 4:04:51 PM12/3/14
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Have not seen K7NLA on the air for the last few days...


Steve Haynal

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Dec 3, 2014, 4:45:17 PM12/3/14
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I don't know why KL7NA is down. Rob is a professor and this is a busy time at the end of the quarter for him, so maybe it is just that he has no time. I've found that these radio stay up for ~8 hours and then there is a software glitch and they must be restarted. Hopefully that can be improved with time.

73,

Steve
KF7O

Steve Haynal

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Dec 29, 2014, 3:49:28 PM12/29/14
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Hello List,

It appears that KL7NA is playing with his true Hermes for a while so I'm making my Hermes-Lite available via ghpsdr3-alex. Look for KF7O or Hermes-Lite. 

Please don't blame differences in hardware for differences in performance. I only have an attic dipole which is close to all the noise in my house and neighborhood. KL7NA has a tribander at 90+ feet... You'll notice a lot of regular noise on 15M. I haven't been able to figure out what is causing this but see it on all versions of the Hermes-Lite with various power supplies. I think my neighbor must have installed some new electronic gadget. Kudos to the first person who can tell me what causes this noise.

Only 1 RX is available. I use the other RX for JT65/9 skimming and the report always shows as used by 1.

This version has the AGC enabled. Turn it off by unchecking Random. If Random is off, dither and the slider bar control gain as before. Dither on implies slider is -12dB to +20Db, Dither off implies slider is +20dB to +48 dB.

73,

Steve
KF7O

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