LD-1B Part One
I ordered the Lazy Dog Engineering LD-1B SDR receiver on Tuesday and had it in the mailbox on Thursday. Impressive delivery time I must say. It came in a small box with a mini cd that included Winrad 1.6.1 and the control software for the LD-1B.
Construction is excellent. It is in a black aluminum chassis and has an on/off button on the front and two led’s. The back consists of a usb connector, three 3.5mm connectors and a power connector for a wall wart.
I got out my newer Lenovo Thinkpad that is running Windows 7 64bit and installed Winrad and the LD-1B control software with no problems. Then I realized the new laptop had no discernible mic jack which is needed to feed the output from the LD-1B to the pc for processing by Winrad. So I got out a USB dongle sound card that I had and plugged it in. I turned on the LD-1B and Win7 recognized and configured it right up. Off we go.
I used it that way for awhile. It was ok and I started to familiarize myself with Winrad and the controls for the LD-1B. I found that to bring up the LD-1B control panel you just hit the H key twice. I played with it this way for a couple of hours, but began to realize that since I was using a really low end sound card, the image rejection wasn’t very good.
So I pulled out a Creative Labs E-MU 0202 USB sound card that I had purchased to work with another SDR I am building. That’s when the fun began. I have spent the last two days trying to get the 0202 working.
First the cd for the 0202 doesn’t include Win7 64 bit drivers. After a search on the internet, I found some beta drivers for it and downloaded them. Fine, they installed ok and I thought great, here we go. I would just plug the audio cable from the other sound card in to the input on the back of the 0202. Doesn’t work.
After many hours of searching the internet, I finally found information that says you can’t use the 3.5mm jack on the back of the 0202 for input, you only get one channel. I searched a bit longer and finally found this link: http://www.genesisradio.com.au/G40/11assemblyG40.html that shows you how to make a cable for an 0202 that works for SDR. After two trips to the local Radio Shack, I get the correct components and the cable is made.
I can now use the LD-1B at a sample rate of 192k with good rejection I believe. I need to work with the sound card and Winrad more to get the feel of everything. One thing I have learned is there is a learning curve to SDR. It’s not the same as firing up the old Icom 746Pro and tunning the dial. Not harder, just different.
Now I have one problem. Again with the 0202. I will go along just fine and then the audio coming from my headset will just stop. I still see the images on the screen, just no audio out of the head set. So I am not sure if that is a software issue, or a hardware problem with the 0202.
My first impression of the LD-1B is that it is a well built little unit. It was pretty much plug and play. The E-MU 0202, not so much. So far for me, it has been finicky with documentation in short supply.
More later as I have more time to play with it. But it does seem like the LD-1B is a good rig to get your feet wet in SDR!