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FAQ - Frequenty Asked/Answered Questions

The HPSDR Project

Q. How do I get in direct email contact with project leaders?

A. The project leaders are active on the HPSDR Discussion List and you may contact them by posting a message to the list. As an alternative, most project leaders also have an alias email address assigned to them: use their ham call followed by "at" sign and "hpsdr" dot "org". An example of this for W9BQC would be "w9bqc@hpsdr.org".

Q. What is the status of the various boards or modules?

A. Here's the scoop on some as of December 25, 2006:

  ATLAS - in production, order through http://tapr.org
  PINOCCHIO - in production, order through http://tapr.org
  OZY - staging for 1st production run - watch for announcements in early January.
  JANUS - staging for 1st production run - watch for announcements in January.

All others - in various stages of design/development -- see their wiki pages. Once Ozy and Janus are in production, you'll most likely see a lot of progress of other boards as project leaders and designers are free from Ozy/Janus concerns.

Q. Will the modules be offered in kit or assembled form, and what about cost?

A. Atlas and Pinocchio are offered as a bare board and kit of parts. Ozy and Janus yet to be determined, but most likely will be assembled and tested. We should see announcements in January. Costs are yet undetermined but will be announced first as a planned cost (estimate) and then after determining interest, a firm cost will be shown when orders are actually solicited.

Q. Will Ozy and Janus "bare boards" be available?

A. No firm plans as of late Dec. 2006, but bare boards (not kits of parts) may be available through TAPR.

Q. Will the Gerber files (PCB artwork) be available for anyone's use?

A. Yes. They will be released under the new (yet to be firmed up) TAPR open source hardware license called OHL. The board designer may restrict commercial use. The OHL license, as of late December 2006, is expected to be presented for open comment in early January.

Q. Why not put OZY and JANUS on a single board?

A. The overall HPSDR project design philosophy has been to partition the design into modules small enough to allow experimentation with part and design changes and to be able to put together a system meeting individual needs. Putting the ADC chip with associated circuit on the Janus board allows a future (and hopefully better) chip to be used on a similar board, but keeping Ozy for the interface and control. Flexibility is the goal.

Q. How much better will the Ozy-Janus combination be in terms of performance when used with the SDR-1000 in place of a sound card such as the Delta 44?

A. To be determined -- but of course, we expect better results.

Q. Will a Ozy-Janus-Atlas combination work with my PowerSDR software used for my Flex Radio SDR-1000 in place of a sound card in my PC?

A. Yes, that is one of the early goals of the HPSDR group. Yet to be determined is if the support will be "built in" to the regular Flex Radio's release of PowerSDR or if it will take a special version of it.

Q. Is the HPSDR project going to use Microsoft Windows (R) or some flavor of Linux?

A. Yes!

The HPSDR Wiki

Q. Do I need to register for log in?

A. No. Only those who are active leaders, designers or documentors of various projects need login capability to edit their respective project pages. No login is needed to read any of the wiki.

ATLAS Backplane

Q. Will the Atlas be offered assembled?

A. Probably not. It is fairly easy to assemble with a very minimal amount of surface mount parts. Quite a few solder pads due to the 96 pin connectors. If you are not able to do this work yourself, our advice is to ask on the HPSDR Discussion List (reflector) to see if you can pay someone to do the work for you.

Q. Can solder paste and a hot air heat gun (or oven) be used on Atlas for "all those connections" ?

A. Probably yes -- we have one person who was going to try it and I'm sure he will report results.

Q. Will a larger (or smaller?) number of slots version be offered?

A. Possibly, if the need and demand warrant.

Q. I don't see assignment of all the bus pins. Is there a list somewhere?

A. Some are not assigned a function yet, due to the developing nature of the HPSDR project.


Q. Availability?

A. The bare board and connectors are now available from TAPR http://tapr.org


Q. Will the USB connection from Ozy to my PC require anything special in terms of USB port specification or drivers?

A. A USB 2 connection will be required on the PC. Most modern PCs have this as standard. With MS Windows, for the USB driver we are using the LibUsb-Win32 library which is a free download from http://libusb-win32.sourceforge.net/ A Linux version is also available, see http://www.linux-usb.org/ and http://libusb.sourceforge.net/ .

Q. Why do we need a "configuration device" when the software can just load the FPGA via USB and the Cypress CY7C68013 (FX2) chip? The schematic shows the programming pins connected from FX2 GPIO pins to FPGA.

A. It does load via USB and this is how OZY is normally used. BUT, there will come a time when someone wants to use the OZY without PC attached and the configuraton device allows this possibility.


Q. Will I be able to use Janus for other non-SDR sound applications?

A. In theory, Yes! This will require a Windows or Linux driver; there is no reason one can't be written, we just need a volunteer!


Project leaders: feel free to contribute answers -- especially where it says "TBD" (email to AE5K).

General Readership: have a question that should be here? Email AE5K specifically mentioning the wiki FAQ.