Friday, September 26, 2008

Running Two SDR-IQs On An MSI Wind

The MSI Wind is one of the new generation of "netbooks" - small laptops with Intel Atom processors and 10" or smaller displays. My Wind worked well with the Perseus, running at 800 kHz.

The ultimate portable reception setup would be a Wind and two SDR-IQs, since you don't need external power supplies for the IQs. This evening I tested this setup, and I was pleased (but not very surprised) to see that the Wind copes admirably with two SDR-IQs. The screendump to the left shows two instances of SpectraVue running. The CPU load was 60-75%. Luckily SpectraVue is resizeable, so the two windows can match the small display reasonably well.

Now, the current 3-cell Wind doesn't have much to brag about in terms of battery capacity, so you should either buy the 6-cell Wind or a replacement battery if you plan to spend a few hours on the beach. The two IQs take their toll on battery life.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

And when will Mjelde Test Laboratories test the Wind with Perseus 1.1C???

Takk,
Chuck

Bjarne Mjelde said...

Any time soon! But I am not overly optimistic about the outcome, since my old Dell Inspiron 1.8 GHz did not manage to run Perseus in 1000-mode without stops and distortion.

Guy Atkins said...

Regarding Perseus, Bjarne, when do you expect to be updating your Perseus review to include 1.1C and 1600 kHz recording? Your writings are always insightful and I look forward to your review.

Guy

Manolis said...

Excellent!

I also read about Perseus & Wind.

I just bought the Asus 1000H which is similar (or even better) than the Wind and I'm also looking for the ultimate portable DX setup.

I'm not sure which SDR to choose, since the Perseus has excellent software but is expensive and requires an external PSU while the IQ is smaller, cheaper, no PSU but I am not aware of a software which resembles more a radio than an spectrogram analyzer.

Also I wonder which of IQ and Perseus is easier to setup for automated recordings (not wideband ones, just to record several stations at different times and frequencies during the day.

Excellent blog. Thanks!
Manolis

Bjarne Mjelde said...

Manolis:
What to say... the pros and cons you mention are correct observations. For automated recordings, the IQ has a very basic timer. The Perseus has non per se, but some add-ons have been developed which makes automated recordings somewhat easier. I use the TOTH software which works quite well. See the Perseus yahoogroup for info.

Manolis said...

Thanks Bjarne,

While both radios are designed as "panoramic" receivers, it is a pity that they don't include a simple, lightweight utility to use them as simple HF receivers with a basic set of controls, and be able to record specific stations at specific times.

I'll investigate the subject a bit further...

Cheers from Crete, Greece,
Manolis