Category Archives: Hardware

Softrock RX Ensemble II HF Receiver build and Quisk Config

Yesterday my Softrock RX Ensemble II HF Receiver arrived from Five Dash Inc. in the US within ten days and was very well packed. Any way like most grown men with a new toy I descided to take the day out and build it, the took me about 15 hours in total. The guide by WB5RVZ is comprehensive and easy enough to follow in a half dozen so steps. I also have a nice box for the Ensemble II RX coming from the KM5H store and it will make it to be a nice looking package.

Here are some pics from the build

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SeaSDR_40 and Quisk

My SeaSDR_40 kit arrived from Italy. Last night I finished off building the kit together, the is rather easy to put together and the only real thing to watch out for is the toriod with the primary and secondary windings on it, to soldering it in correctly.

I also got the SeaSDR_40 working with Quisk by only having to make a couple minor alterations to the ~/ file.

near the top of the file I changed the hardware import

import quisk_hardware_model as quisk_hardware


import quisk_hardware_fixed as quisk_hardware

This will allow you to have frequency shown in Quisk based on the VFO of the SeaSDR_40.

To alter the VFO to that of the SeaSDR_40 change

fixed_vfo_freq = 7056000


fixed_vfo_freq = 7080500

All that is left for me to do is buy a metal box to mount the board into with some socket and connectors.

ENE Technology, Inc. SD card reader (UB6250)

This is how I got the ENE UB6250 card reader working under Debian testing one my Acer Aspire One D255E


Bus 001 Device 005: ID 0cf2:6250 ENE Technology, Inc. SD card reader (UB6250)

This card reader uses the ums-eneub6250 module and needs firmware to operate correctly which is currently not included in the Debian firmware-linux or firmware-linux-nonfree packages.

The way I have gotten around the problem at the moment is to downloaded the Ubuntu linux-firmware package and extracted the deb package to copy the directory ene-ub6250 from the extracted directory /lib/firmware/ to /lib/firmware/ on my working system as I not wanted to install 40 odd megabyte of other firmware I not needed.

After moving the files over run the following and all should be ready to use
# depmod -ae
# update-initramfs -u


[Part 2] ALSA Speech Compression and FT-857D

This is just an update from my older post. I have built an isolation box to use between the computer and the FT-857D which at the moment only consists of two 3K 1:1 audio transformers and 500K trimpot to not over load the radios audio input on the data port. I have still got to add the optocoupler into the box so can get the computer to control the PTT via the data port too.

At the moment there has been no noticeable different in the audio quality with the isolation transformers inline, and the compressed audio still sounds good :-)

Yaesu FT-897D and double SSB problem

Last couple weeks I have a had a problem with my 897D doing double SSB on RX and TX. Last night I was looking around for a firmware update for the 897D to see if that might fix my problem as I have tried other things like full CPU reset on the rig etc.

Well I found the page below in my travels and it had reference to relay cleaning by hold down the UP and DWN keys and powering the rig ON will start the cleaning of the relays and display CLEANING RELAYS on the screen. The great news is that this little unknown trick to me has fixed my double SSB problem :-)


[How To] Nouveau Dualhead Setup

Well I thought I’d have another play with Nouveau the open source driver for nVidia GPU’s, as it been a while since played around with them. Since the last time I played with Nouveau it was very buggy and unstable and 3D support was even worse, but I very surprised that there is some 3D support via Gallium3D.

Anyways this how I setup my xorg.conf for dual head setup with nouveau under Debian testing (wheezy):

Section "Monitor"
          Identifier   "monitor0"
          Option       "PreferredMode" "1920x1080_60.00"

Section "Monitor"          
          Identifier   "monitor1"
          Option       "PreferredMode" "1440x900_60.00"
          Option       "RightOf" "monitor0"

Section "Device"
    Identifier 	       "device0"
    VendorName         "nVidia Corporation"
    BoardName          "GeForce GT 220"
    Driver  	       "nouveau"
    Option  	       "Monitor-DVI-I-1" "monitor0"
    Option  	       "Monitor-VGA-1" "monitor1"

Section "Screen"
    Identifier "screen0"
    DefaultDepth 24
      SubSection "Display"
        Depth      24
        Virtual 3360 1080
    Device "device0"

Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier 			"layout0"
    Screen 			    "screen0"

At the moment I am very happy with Nouveau and going to keep using it till it borks it again :-)

Also if you not want to go through the hassle of xorg.conf you could run or put this in your session startup file, example this what I used for testing with ~/.fluxbox/startup

$ xrandr --output DVI-I-1 --mode 1920x1080 --pos 0x0 && xrandr --output VGA-1 --mode 1440x900 --pos 1920x0 &

The above does the same as the above xorg.conf configuration.

Coax bulkhead

For the last week or so in my spare time I have been working on a coax bulkhead for my window for my coax runs to go too and throw form the window without letting the bad weather and bugs outside.

Hardware used:
* IP65 ABS sealed boxes
* SO259 panel mounts
* RG213 coax (mil spec)
* various nuts and bolts
* length of timber

About 30AUD and spare time and cans of drink ;-)

head over to my gallery and check out the images

Compile SD-PEX15022 (MCS9922) drivers for Debian

Recently I purchased a Syba SD-PEX15022 (MCS9922) PCI-e to Serial card for Amateur Radio radio control. Well the drivers that came on the CDRom would not compile and got heaps of errors, any ways after 30 mins or so of trolling the Internet for more update drivers which I found here and they compiled under the 3.0.0-1 kernel with no problems.

In case the drivers go a miss from the above ASIX link you can grab them from here:

UPDATE 2011-12-28
As of the release of the 3.1 Kernel this card now works out the box, so no need to compile the drivers for it if running kernel 3.1 onwards.

Doing ‘lspci -v‘ shows – note the ‘Kernel driver in use:‘. Also the port assignment has change from ‘/dev/ttyF0‘ etc, back to ‘/dev/ttyS0‘ etc.

04:00.0 Serial controller: NetMos Technology PCIe 9922 Multi-I/O Controller (prog-if 02 [16550])
        Subsystem: Device a000:1000
        Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 17
        I/O ports at e880 [size=8]
        Memory at fbffd000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
        Memory at fbffc000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
        Capabilities: <access denied>
        Kernel driver in use: serial

04:00.1 Serial controller: NetMos Technology PCIe 9922 Multi-I/O Controller (prog-if 02 [16550])
        Subsystem: Device a000:1000
        Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 18
        I/O ports at ec00 [size=8]
        Memory at fbfff000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
        Memory at fbffe000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
        Capabilities: <access denied>
        Kernel driver in use: serial

[How to] Belkin 600VA UPS (F6S600auUSB) with NUT

I recently purchased a Belkin 600VA UPS for my 12V fanless Mini ITX system and Wireless AP to keep them running through brown outs. This is what I had to do to get the UPS to work with NUT under Debian.

UPDATE Monday 21 May 09:49:17 CST 2012: now that I have had a long enough power outage I can confirm that the beeps do get faster towards end batter life and about then the computer starts its shutdown process.

Set the correct permissions to access the UPS
Edit and add the following to /lib/udev/rules.d/52-nut-usbups.rules:

#  F6S600auUSB - blazer_usb
ATTR{idVendor}=="0665", ATTR{idProduct}=="5161", MODE="664", GROUP="nut"

Run the following to activate the newly set permissions for the UPS:

# udevadm trigger --action=change

Installing and configuring NUT to work with the newly connected Belkin UPS
Install NUT:

# apt-get install nut

Edit /etc/nut/ups.conf and add the following to the end of file:

driver = blazer_usb
port = auto

Edit /etc/nut/nut.conf and change the mode:


Edit /etc/nut/upsd.users and add the following users

password = adm_pwd
action = SET
instcmds = ALL

password = ups_pwd
upsmon master

Edit the /etc/nut/upsmon.conf and check the following is active and correct.

MONITOR belkin@localhost 1 upsmon ups_pwd master
SHUTDOWNCMD "/sbin/shutdown -h +0"
POWERDOWNFLAG /etc/killpower

Start NUT daemon:

# invoke-rc.d nut start

Check for errors in logs:

# tail -f /var/log/daemons.log
# tail -f /var/log/messages

Check UPS status:

upsc belkin