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© 1995-2013, TelePost, Inc. All rights reserved.
Pricing and specifications subject to change without notice.
Updated January 1, 2013
using LP-PAN with several PCs,
including a 2.8 GHz Pentium 4, a two year old Dual Core laptop and a
new custom built i3 based system. Unless you
plan to run just the display
application at 48 kHz display width, I would recommend the following
minimum PC platform...
* 2.8 GHz processor (the more the
merrier), preferably dual or quad core.
* 1 GB RAM (the more the merrier,
limited to 3GB on 32-bit systems, which are recommended)
* 16-bit sound card, preferably not
integrated into motherboard. 24-bit preferred (lower noise floor)
* 48 kHz sound card... 96 or 192 KHz
preferred (display width is roughly equal to sampling rate)
* Separate video card, or integrated
video with sufficient dedicated memory. Most of the SDR applications
are video intensive
* A good serial port is critical. A built-in port is the best option,
followed by a PCI based serial port. These are often not possible, such
as with a laptop. In the case you can use a USB to serial adapter, but
stay away from units with a Prolific chipset. The preferred chipset is
FTDI. You can find suitable adapters, with a listing of the chipset
being used, at www.byterunner.com. Digital interfaces such as those
from microHam also fall under the USB to serial adapter category, but
seem to work well.
recommend XP or Windows 7 32-bit for the
operating system. I would avoid Vista or any 64-bit OS. Almost
all ham applications are 32-bit native and will run best on a 32-bit
OS. Most sound cards run better on XP due to more mature drivers, but
most of the recommended sound cards will run fine on Windows 7 32-bit
as long as you use the ASIO driver or set up the card in Windows Mixer
We have tested all the recommended sound cards and apps with Windows 7
64-bit. The results are summarized on our Soundcards
page. Most work OK
with ASIO, but not all
apps support ASIO (TRX-Pan, CW Skimmer). We recommend the E-MU 0204
over the discontinued E-MU 0202 if the OS is 64-bit. We maintain
systems for support purposes... one with XP/SP3, one with Win7/32-bit
and one with Win7/64-bit.
seems to be an issue with some E-MU drivers and some systems with more
than 4GB RAM. The symptom is breakup of the audio output after a
period of time. This is only important if you listen to the sound card
output, as opposed to the radio. There are two fixes for this...
You can select a different sound card in the Output section of NaP3 or
PowerSDR/IF. Since the maximum filter width is 10kHz, you can use any
sound card for listening, including a built-in one. The Input would
still be the E-MU, and sampling rate can still be set to 192kHz.
You will need to use the MME driver to allow use of both sound cards at
the same time. You will need to set up the E-MU in Windows Mixer as
well, and set input level in mixer Advanced Properties to "5". Also,
bump the Latency setting is the SDR to 25ms for MME.
can limit the usable RAM on Windows 7 for
systems with more than 4GB. This can be done in
software by running MSCONFIG, selecting BOOT, then Advanced Options
and setting the Maximum Memory to 4095 and rebooting the computer.
Here are some recommended
configurations based on the software packages and sound card you intend
BASIC: LP-Bridge, TRX-Pan or
or FireWire sound card, one logger
Pentium 4 or Xeon, 2 GHz +, 1GB RAM, integrated video
MID-LEVEL: LP-Bridge, any SDR app, 192kHz PCI or FireWire sound
Skimmer, multiple loggers
Dual core processor, 2.8 GHz +, 2GB RAM, separate video card
be inexpensive card)
TOP-LEVEL: LP-Bridge, any SDR app, USB sound
Skimmer, multiple loggers
Quad core processor,
4GB RAM, separate video card (can be inexpensive card)
For suggestions to improve system
tuning for SDR use, check out this link...
paper on tuning any OS for best
sound card performance. Vista
Tuning for LP-PAN.pdf
Note: Do not attempt these
suggestions unless you have some familiarity with computers, as some of
the recommended tricks alter basic Windows operation. All tricks are
reversible if you don't like the results, I believe.