RX888 MkII - How To ?

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Fernando Castellani

May 22, 2024, 11:38:32 AMMay 22
to SparkSDR
I am using SparkSDR with an original SDRPlay RSP1 and it´s running fine.
I bought an RX888 MKII, running ok with HDSDR, but not with SparkSDR.
I already tried to manually create the documents\SparkSDR\ExtIO_32bit and documents\SparkSDR\ExtIO_64bit and use the ExtIO dll available at <https://github.com/ik1xpv/ExtIO_sddc/releases/tag/v1.3.0RC1>, but it´s not working...
I tried to use SparkSDR.2.0.975 as it is the only version available for download that have the option to enable ExtIO drivers (I don´t know if is there any other version available that is supposed to work with RX888).
I also tried to use the extio drivers from <https://www.sparksdr.com/download/sparkextiodrivers.zip>, but I always have errors when running the .exe files and never have the files extrated to the right place...
If anyone could give me some advice, I would be very thankfull.
By the way, SparkSDR is awesome !
Thanks for any help.

Fernando Castellani

May 23, 2024, 7:23:00 AMMay 23
to SparkSDR
Hi again!
Yesterday I was successfull on running the RX888 MKII on HDSDR and SDRConsole with the ExtIO dll V.1.3.0RC1 (not connected to an external antenna yet), but failed on making SparkSDR to find my RX888:
Another progress is that running the the extio files from <https://www.sparksdr.com/download/sparkextiodrivers.zip>, on Windows 11, the .exe files are executed with no errors, but no file is created on documents\SparkSDR\ExtIO_32bit or documents\SparkSDR\ExtIO_64bit... 

Even inserting the extIO from <https://github.com/ik1xpv/ExtIO_sddc/releases/tag/v1.3.0RC1> on the folders that I created manually, SparkSDR is not detecting the RX888 MKII. By the way, the option to use the use ExtIO driver is active on SparkSDR 0.975 .

So, I am still trying to guess what am I doing wrong on this setup.
Any advice is welcome!

Fernando Castellani

May 24, 2024, 7:46:46 AMMay 24
to SparkSDR
     After some trial and error, I have some good news with the RX888 and SparkSDR.
      I tested many versions that I could find, and the only version that worked (with full running of the RX888) for some time was this: <https://www.sparksdr.com/download/SparkSDR.2.0.915.win64.zip> .  
     As described on the help file,  2 folders must be created:  
x:\Users\username\Documents\SparkSDR\ExtIO_32bit and
and then placed the files, in my case for RX888 they are ExtIO_SDDC.dll and libfftw3f-3.dll , on both folders. 
      Then, before starting SparkSDR it must be excuted the 
\SparkSDR.2.0.915.win64\sparksdr2\drivers\SparkExtIOsource.exe and 
\SparkSDR.2.0.915.win64\sparksdr2\drivers\SparkExtIOsource_x86.exe . Something I notted is that the x86 is ok (the comand window appears for some seconds and load the DLL ), but the 64bit version (SparkExtIOsource.exe) appears not to be executed (the comand window just appears for less than 1 second and closes).
      After starting SparkSDR, there will be the ExtIO_SDDC.dll receiver available. After clicking to enable the SDR , the ExtIO_SDDC.dll V1.3.0 RC1 | FX3 V2.02 | RX888 mkII window will be available and the comunication with the SDR will start.
      A configuration file is created after the first use at x:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\m0nnb\SparkSDR2\settings\ExtIO_SDDC.dll.json .
\RX888 and SparkSDR V915.jpeg
        During this test, SparkSDR 2.0.915 (win64) was running on a Windows 11 laptop, with 8 decoding virtual receivers , using 32 MHz bandwidth (64Msps), USB 3.0 port. The CPU is a I7 with 6 Cores (12 Threads). The process is very CPU intensive. After some time , usually 15 to 30 minutes, the comunication with the SDR is lost, and the software must be started again. After 2 or 3 restarts, I had to disconnect and connect again the USB cable because the software stoped to comunicate with the SDR.
         Still no antenna connected. I am trying to have a stable running before making tests on real signals.
         I will try to make more trial and error tests during this weekend and sorry for english mistakes on the texts.
Fernando, PT2FHC


Jun 1, 2024, 8:14:45 AMJun 1
to SparkSDR

Thanks for keeping us up to date. This will be helpful for me when I get time to try it.
One thing to try, if you haven't already, is to put a fan on the MkII while operating to
see if you get a longer stretch of time before it stops...?

If that's helpful you may want to do a search for some heat sink mods others have
done to the unit.

=Rick / N1GP

Mikael Dagman

Jun 4, 2024, 3:18:21 AMJun 4
to SparkSDR
There is some interesting cooling mods for the rx888 presented here: https://ka7oei.blogspot.com/2023/08/improving-thermal-management-of-rx-888.html


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