News

DV3000 AMBE Card Available Now

The UDR supports an optional AMBE Vocoder card for D-STAR Digital Voice or DV. During the last prototype layout of the UDR, it occurred to me that there are over 2 million Raspberry Pis, so if we used the same connector as the Pi, it would have the following advantages.

  • Pi users would have access to AMBE
  • Software development would be in parallel with UDR development
  • Other cards made for the Pi could potentially be used on the UDR

Jonathan Naylor, G4KLX, has adapted his Dummy Repeater to work with the DV3000 on the Pi. This let’s hams talk over the D-STAR network using their computer instead of a radio. He also built several wav / AMBE conversion utilities for testing and comparison of different vocoders. Jonathan joined us at Hamvention for the release of the DV3000, where we sold over 30 units.

The AMBE3000 Chip supports vocoding for:

  • D-STAR – Supported NOW by G4KLX
  • DMR and dPMR
  • Yaesu Fusion
  • P25 Phase 2

Check out the DV3000DS or go to the PRODUCTS page to buy online.

There is a Hamvention special for $89.00, which will be honored for 1 month or until the first run of 100 is gone.

Receiver Sensitivity

Just out of the RF Lab, the receive chain with 25kHz IF is fully functional and initial testing shows a MDS (Minimum Detectable Signal) of better than -130dBm (0.07 uV). That’s before any process gain in the modem section. We will release complete Eb/No curves for the receiver prior to shipment.

Here’s a sample of the receiver performance at 440MHz. Dennis hooked a key up to his Agilent Sig-Gen. Note if you were actually working CW you’d add in a SW narrowband audio filter after the 25KHz IF stage.

-100dBm -110dBm -120dBm -130dBm

 

This completes initial testing of the LNA thru the IQ XCVR and into the processor. The 100kHz IF stage needs some changes in the SAW filter circuit, so we can’t check that off just yet.

Onward!

UDRX is on the air

We have the Transmit side of the RF deck checked out and operational. This includes the 9600 FSK Modem and 25kHz IF stages.

Dennis is working on the 100kHz IF while I’m checking out the TX/RX switch.

Keep the faith,
Bryan K7UDR

DDS Success

We redesigned the DDS (Direct Digital Synthesizer) for prototype II because it wasn’t meeting design goals for phase noise after being up-converted to our 740MHz LO.

LO = (Fout-IF)*2

Noise present in the LO appears in the final output and limits the amount of amplification available. This is why many HTs and other integrated radio products cannot be attached to power amps and stay legally in the channel.

The new design is working now and tests show adequate margin to take this design to production. This is a significant milestone behind us and puts us one large step forward to production.

Bryan K7UDR

To learn more about PhaseNoise

Q1 Progress Report

Prototype 2 has come back from assembly and passed initial bring-up. It is now in RF characterization. I expect this prototype to be fully functional but require some changes for full power operation.

We will have a full report at the MicroHAMS Digital Conference.

Thanks for your patience,
Bryan, K7UDR

Band Limited SDR …

… and a lot of other stuff

From my 2013 DCC Presentation.

Thanks to Gary Pearce of  HAMRADIONOW.tv for his videography.

UDR56k becomes UDRX

Press Release
Friday Harbor, WA

NW Digital Radio

Universal Digital Radio Name Change to UDRX-440

NW Digital Radio has renamed it’s forthcoming digital radio platform. Since its inception, the Universal Digital Radio was designed to be a multi-application, multi-protocol, and multi-mode digital radio platform.

When announced at Hamvention® 2012 , the radio design focused around a high integration “radio on a chip” platform that provided both the RF section as well as integrated modems. The selected device proved to be somewhat limited and did not meet the high expectations of the design team and was later abandoned in favor of a modular design that separates the RF and modem stages.

The new design provides an I/Q interface for detection and modulation of the RF signal. This affords maximum flexibility for a software defined modem system, providing a variety of modulation choices at varying data rates, thus freeing the radio from the fixed modulation and data rate choices of the earlier design.

When the radio was first announced it was targeted to a maximum data rate of 56 kilobits per second, based on available modulation choice and the limitations of the US regulations for amateur radio on the 70 cm band. The model name of UDR56k-4 was chosen to reflect this set of specifications. Now that the design allows for additional modulation choices, higher data rates are available within the specified bandwidth and, along with proposed rule changes before the US Federal Communications Commission, has prompted NW Digital Radio to increase the data rates available on the Universal Digital Radio platform.

The company re-opened the naming of the product, seeking input from its growing user interest group, and has adopted a new naming convention. The first radio design is now designated the UDRX-440. This model is a 430-450 mHz digital radio with integrated software defined modems, protocol engine, and Linux application platform.

NW Digital Radio is currently accepting order commitments from individuals who participated in the Q2-2013 pre-order process.

Confirm

Ordering will be opened to the general amateur community in late Q1 or early Q2-2014 with delivery anticipated in mid to late Q2.

John D. Hays
Director of Marketing

UDR Available for Pre-Order Confirmation

Season’s Greetings to all of you!

Dennis has the TX and RX Paths operational and sensitivity looks good. The power path has also passed preliminary bring-up. I am finalizing the layout over the Holidays and will be in Fab in a week or so.

For those of you who pre-ordered, You may increase or decrease your quantity up to a maximum of 5 units. Your call-sign is your discount code.

Please confirm by December 31st 2013.

Confirm

Delivery will be in Q2 and you will not be charged until we have final specifications and a confirmed manufacturing slot.

We will  accept new orders at that time as well as accessories.

Thanks for making the UDR a reality!
Bryan, Basil, John and Dennis

UDR Progress Report

Hello All,

Basil delivered  the IQ ADC/DAC driver earlier this month and Dennis has an initial port of the modem completed, so we are moving into RF characterization. Once the transmit chain has been checked out, I will be working on the PA, RX/TX switch and thermal characterization while Dennis proceeds with the receive chain.

I have started layout on prototype II. I anticipate a third spin on the prototype before moving to pilot production in China.

We will not accept orders until I have fully functional prototypes in hand and then there is a 8-12 week production cycle.

Best case is orders this year for delivery in late Q1.

The initial deliverable includes:

  • 9600 MSK and 4800 GMSK Modems
  • Support for AX.25 and D-STAR DV
  • Winlink Client/Server
  • APRS Tracker/IGate
  • D-STAR IrcDDB Gateway
  • Hi-Speed Test Mode*

D-STAR Voice using the AMBE add-on card will be released after initial shipments are complete.

*We are not implementing legacy 56k support as there is little installed equipment and our engineering efforts are better spent on faster modes with FEC. The Hi-Speed Test will allow us to prove out our hardware and start gathering channel characterization data.

Full support for Hi-Speed TCP/IP and D-STAR DD will be a free Software Update in Q3 2014.

Thanks to all of you for your patience and support,
Bryan Hoyer, K7UDR

Breaking the 100kbit Barrier

At DCC this year we announced our intention to develop a new open-source Link Protocol and Modem specifically for high speed Amateur Radio Networking.

Preliminary Specifications, 100kHz Channel, 70cm band:

  • 4FSK or QPSK Modulation (2bits/symbol) up to 170kbps*
  • Forward Error Correction (FEC)
  • Automatic Repeat reQuest (ARQ)
  • IPv6 Friendly
  • Support for TCP, UDP and RTP
  • Authentication
  • Designed to work with Ad-Hoc Networking

In addition we will scale this down to 42.5kbps in a 25kHz Channel.

This will be a modular design to allow for experimentation with different modems and FEC and have built-in negotiation so nodes with different capabilities can achieve optimal communications.

This is a clean sheet design after reviewing all of the available open standards. Remember, this is a hi-speed data mode not a narrow band voice mode like D-STAR DV, DMR, P25 etc. We expect a lot of user feedback, testing and changes next year before this becomes any kind of Amateur Radio Standard.

We are in discussions with TAPR to act as the keeper of the spec as they do for AX.25 and will have a formal announcement at Pacificon next month.

Your feedback is requested, please post your questions and comments on the Yahoo Groups forum.

*see separate post: ARRL Moves to Kill Speed Limit