SDR# DSD+ and VB-Cable

Forum for DMR, dPMR, NEXEDGE, Mototrbo, MARC, Tetra & all other DIGITAL modes

SDR# DSD+ and VB-Cable

Postby G4RMT » Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:56 pm

Over the months (maybe even years) people have had endless grief with getting these three items to play with each other. So much so, I didn't bother until today.

Two computers to try it on, and in the end- success, so I thought I'd mention some of the grief I got.

SDR# works fine, so I downloaded the DSD+ and it's associated dll package, extracted them all and popped the lot into one folder. Once the dlls were in the same folder (because they extracted originally somewhere totally different) the 4 DSD+ windows opened. VB-cable downloaded, and I love the way not one user or 'expert' thought that a small diagram showing how the signal flow works would be worthwhile. I personally have over the years got used to input and output being swapped if some users expect their viewpoint as to what is an input to make sense. Is the input the point in the chain 'expecting' an input, rather than being the place the 'input' comes from? I had no luck with any decoding, so tried both, just in case. In the end, the secret on one computer was to make sure that in SDR# the output was set to the vb-cable input, as the vb-cable output goes to the DVD+. Getting these right in the sound section (as in right clicking the volume icon in the task bar and selecting play or record) was the next thing.

Clearly my other computer was not going to play ball. Same files downloaded, same processes followed but it would NOT allow me to select the vb-cable output from SDR#. No idea why. The other thing I discovered wasn't covered very much was to make sure all the audio settings are the same 48K works, but having the computer sound card stuck in 44.1K mode doesn't!

The net advice is to adjust all the levels - so that's RF gain and output volume in SDR#, and the levels in the sound settings box, until it decodes. I tried all the annoying digital signals listenable to hear. Not being expert in identifying all digital modes, I picked what I thought was probably mototrbo, some other data streams that are intermittent, and nothing. I continued riffling with the settings and routing. Then I noticed in the intro text in DVD+ that it mentioned Kenwood's digital system, and as one was sitting there - I fired it up pressed transmit and tuned SDR# to it. Immediately, the decode screen started to fill up. Obviously my problem was simply none of the signals I was receiving were in a format DSD+ can resolve. I tried for a test on the same frequency DMR from a 380, and dPMR from anothe radio but these produced no response from DSD+.

So my conclusion is that until you have a valid digital signal, all the routing and tweaks are pointless as you have no way of testing it. Now I know it works - I can hunt for noises that might produce useful audio - or even a scrolling screen with some info in it. Trial an error also revealed DSD+'s keyboard adjustments to what it does. It's strange that nobody ever seems to mention these, and what they do. I can now understand why some people have endless issues - it's a bit like trying to adjust equaliser settings on your hifi without any CDs to play. Fruitless. I've also come to the conclusion that none of the youtube videos are helpful to newcomers at all, and some are amazingly bad. The software doesn't seem to point anyone to proper specs or details of how and why parameters can be adjusted. If somebody puts time and effort into creating a great bit of software - why don;t they supply some basic operational instructions. There must be some somewhere, but if they are available, they're not easy to find.

I did find out about the laptop that wouldn't work - SDR# and DSD+ at the same time are too much for it. Running SDR# alone is very near it's processing limit.

So many things to fiddle with - but by trial and plenty of error I got there. I do understand why other give up though because all the steps are different on other people's computers - drop down boxes have different contents and simple things like the routing and volume panels do not look exactly the same.
G4RMT
 
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Re: SDR# DSD+ and VB-Cable

Postby stanogs68 » Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:24 pm

plus g4rmt you need a decent aerial ,i am having problems with my new laptop because its on windows 10 which im not to good at using but its true you do need to set the basic sound systems up then find a decent signal to be able to tweek the settings ,its very tempremental !!! but spot on what you have said there should be instructions off the programmers but as there seperate programmes your stuck :thumbup:
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Re: SDR# DSD+ and VB-Cable

Postby G4RMT » Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:59 pm

Aerial wise Stan, I'm fine for - all sorts for the bands I like.

Oddly, I've found mostly DMR systems, then just one NXDN, and then this evening found a DMR and a D-Star in the 70cm band from Beccles 10 miles away. I have a MD-380 that has never received a peep - and tried this on the DMR, and nothing! That's what it's all about - experimenting until you get it right! I didn't realise D-star sounds just like a hiss.
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Re: SDR# DSD+ and VB-Cable

Postby stanogs68 » Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:37 pm

what are the keyboard settings i know ive pressed a few by accident like v for volume and such but there no list G4RMT :smiles:
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Re: SDR# DSD+ and VB-Cable

Postby G4RMT » Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:35 am

Stan - if you are on the screen that shows the data, you have hot keys - so pressing P changes the polarity of the signal, in case it is inverted, other keys change the windows displays and some other parameters - my problem is I have no idea what actual effect these have because I cannot find any explanation anywhere?
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Re: SDR# DSD+ and VB-Cable

Postby stanogs68 » Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:43 pm

i know even on the rtl ,sdr site :sad:
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Re: SDR# DSD+ and VB-Cable

Postby stanogs68 » Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:22 pm

you press s/s and i gives you a list of options ,i still dont know what half of them mean though !! :huh: :huh:
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