FAQ - Frequenty Asked/Answered Questions
The HPSDR Project
Q. I have a question that is not covered in this FAQ. How/who do I ask?
A. After searching for an answer and not finding it, usually the best way is to post your question on the HPSDR Discussion List (reflector). This allows two things to happen: (1) it permits someone other than the very busy developers to answer the question if they can, and (2) it allows everyone on the list to gain the benefit of any reply.
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 "firstname.lastname@example.org".
Q. What is the status of the various boards or modules?
A. Here's the scoop on some as of February 19, 2007:
ATLAS - in production, order through http://tapr.org PINOCCHIO - in production, order through http://tapr.org OZY - ready for 1st production run - indicate intent at http://www.hamsdr.com on projects page JANUS - ready for 1st production run - indicate intent at http://www.hamsdr.com on projects page MERCURY - alpha PENELOPE - being laid out for first alpha boards
All others - in various stages of design/development -- see their wiki pages.
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 are to be offered either bare board or assembled and tested. Costs are yet undetermined but have been announced now at a planned cost (estimate) and then after determining interest, a firm cost will be shown when orders are actually solicited. No parts kit is being offered for Ozy or Janus.
Q. Will Ozy and Janus "bare boards" be available?
A. Bare boards (not kits of parts) will be available through TAPR around April (estimates).
Q. Why doesn't TAPR offer a kit of parts or at least the hard to obtain parts for Ozy or Janus?
A. (TBD -- we need an official reply here from 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 finalized and released) TAPR open source hardware license called OHL. The board designer may restrict to non-commercial use. The OHL license, as of February 2007, has been presented for open comment and finalization expected in March. See 
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. There are some preliminary results on the wiki and in the discussion list.
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. And yes, it works on tests done so far.
Q. Is the HPSDR project going to use Microsoft Windows (R) or some flavor of Linux?
Q. What user name and password do I use to access the HPSDR svn repository?
A. None is required for reading the SVN, only required to place something in the repository. The IP address of the repository is shown on the resources page of the main HPSDR.org website.
Q. Will HPSDR be developed for higher frequencies like those used for satellite and space communications, e.g. VHF, UHF and Microwave?
A. There is a group doing SDR for microwave:  Current HPSDR projects could certainly be used as an IF for a transverter, but there is nothing going on with HPSDR that is specifically aimed at microwave.
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.
Q. What if I find that a correction is needed in the wiki?
A. Reports such as this are welcomed by the WikiSysOp -- email ae5k at hpsdr dot com with details.
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. There are 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. It is possible, but at least one report indicates problems with the center row on the connectors. If considering doing this, we suggest you ask on the discussion list. If anyone has had success or failure, please report it to the wikisysop so we can update this reply.
Q. Will a larger (or smaller?) number of slots version be offered?
A. Possibly, if the need and demand warrant. Nothing is in the plans right now (as of Feb. 2007).
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 and the use of the FPGA.
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/ . Experience will tell us if there are any problems with certain types of USB2 ports.
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. Is the design of Ozy such that it can be used for other purposes than SDR?
A. We certainly hope so and expect that some will use it as a learning tool or development platform for other projects not even remotely related to SDR. I provides an inexpensive piece of hardware for many purposes.
Q. Is Janus a "sound card" ?
A. NO! The usual meaning of a sound card is one which plugs into a personal computer (ISA, PCI, or other bus). The Janus module plugs into our Atlas bus and contains some of the components of the usual sound card. It requires also the Ozy or similar interface to use it in applications which call for a PC sound card.
Q. Will I be able to use Janus for other non-SDR sound applications with my PC?
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.