I received my Hermes card from the first production run in October 2012. This page has notes about my bring-up process and links to resources I found useful.
I'm very impressed by the listening quality of this receiver. Finally, at last, I get the type of reception I've always wanted. Everything about this SDR exceeds my expectations so far. Including the learning curve of the PowerSDR user interface, lol.
I'm a big subscriber to the approach "find the simplest possible thing that could work" and gain experience to make knowledgeable choices from there. So, I'll see how far this old (but pretty fast) Pentium-4 can take me (free!) before buying a new system.
Here are a couple photos to give you a sense of the K7BWH shack during our QSO party.
The Hermes SDR is working fine with a few caveats at this time.It’s very jury-rigged and temporary just to get it up and running. It is receive-only until the 10w amp and low-pass filters arrive. And I have almost no idea about how to drive PowerSDR yet. It took two minutes just to find the Mute button, lol.
One suggestion is to get rid of the smt/SO239 adapter. It puts too much stress on the board. A better method is to use a short jumper cable with smt on one end and SO239 on the other and small coax between.
I'm starting with a Dell 9100 system unit. Pentium-4 at 3 GHz with 1 GB of RAM.
It’s dedicated to SDR with nothing else but a fresh install of 64-bit Windows-7. Not sure yet if it’s sufficient for this task. It works okay so far but it’s seven years old.
I will be exploring what situations overload the CPU. Seems to be running at 60 to 80% utilization so far. In all likelihood the PC will need replacing, but the machine was available on short notice and I'm interested to see how well it works.
I’m a big subscriber to the problem-solving approach of starting with the simplest possible thing that could possibly work, and gain experience to make knowledgeable decisions for improvement.
A NASA control station would be fun, I've always wanted one. But NASA does it the stupid way, with consoles arranged in long horizontal rows. They really should be stacking them vertically for more efficient use of space. Think how simple it would be for the boss to pass down instructions from his desk at the highest point in a ballistic communications protocol. Isn't it strange how they never asked me personally for my fabulous ideas on this.
My layout goals are:
Installing Hercules DJ Control for Hermes SDR
This software runs from a forked version of PowerSDR identified as "PowerSDR-UI". This is manually installed by copying distribution files into an installed FlexRadio PowerSDR folder. The versions must match.
Check version of base PowerSDR by examining file properties of c:\Program Files\OpenHPSDR\PowerSDR (W5WC)\OpenHPSDR.exe". Use the Details tab to find Product version e.g. 184.108.40.206.
At the time of writing, Oct 31, 2012 the versions are:
December 2012 Update
I'm finishing initial bring-up of Hermes + Anan-10 package.
My 30-day trial of Windows-7 Pro timed out. Installed Win-7 Ultimate on Dell 9100.
Visit openhpsdr.org/download.php and install "PowerSDR v220.127.116.11 (W5WC) Setup" in place of 18.104.22.168. The new version came up fine on receiver. But still shows Hermes firmware version 1.8. So, how to update firmware for Hermes SDR?
Things work great with Hermes alone! Now to connect Anan-10 and try the same receiver test again.
It works great. This rig is a joy to use, and very quiet.
March 2013 Update
I installed a new Dell T110 computer running Windows Server 2012 Essentials, on Intel E3-1230 V2 with 8 GB of RAM.
October 2013 Update
It's time to update my firmware and software.
Last update 2013-11-30
©1998-2014 By Barry Hansen