Sunday, July 19, 2009

Running The QS1R SDR On a Netbook

In previous postings, I have tested the SDR-IQ and the Perseus on the MSI Wind netbook, to see if relatively low powered netbooks can run processor-intensive software like software defined receivers. I was able to run two parallel instances of the SDR-IQ, and I also managed to run the Perseus in 1600 kHz recording mode when I overclocked the processor. All well so far.

So what about the QS1R? It appears to demand a little more from the processor than the Perseus, but the graphical user interface is responsible for most of the load. Once the GUI is minimised, the QS1R runs very light indeed. Otherwise, CPU load is around 20-40 %. I tried to lower the Panadapter Update Rate to around 5 fps and that may have caused a slight reduction in CPU load.

The GUI is scaleable, which is an advantage over Perseus with its fixed window size. Perseus is a little too large for the Wind's 1000 x 600 display, while QS1R can be adjusted to fit.

Since a recording function is not yet implemented, I don't know how well the Wind will handle a QS1R in recording mode.

The picture shows the QS1R in demod mode. The conclusion is: There is no problem running a QS1R with a netbook like the MSI Wind or similar. The processor is an Intel N270 Atom running on 1.6 GHz. This, and newer Atoms with higher speeds, are found in many netbooks nowadays.

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