Using Spectrum Lab with PERSEUS

PERSEUS is a direct sampling, software defined receiver covering 10 kHz to 30 MHz (or, without preselector, to 40 MHz). Technical details about PERSEUS are on the Microtelecom website .  

Since March 2008, Spectrum Lab directly supports this radio, based on the SDRDK (Software Defined Radio Development Kit), (c) Microtelecom s.r.l., Pavia di Udine, Italy . So thanks to IV3NWV, you don't need a bandwidth-limiting "virtual audio cable" between the original Perseus software and Spectrum Lab.

Installation

To use Spectrum Lab with PERSEUS, you will need a PERSEUS interface DLL and a few other files installed on your system. But if you have a PERSEUS connected to your PC, you will most likely already have the software which you receive with the radio (by Microtelecom) installed. If not done yet, it is highly recommended that you use the latest (WinUSB-based) drivers, which are available on the Micotelecom website (see link at the top of this document).

As an alternative to the built-in support for Perseus in Spectrum Lab, you may be better off (especially with future windows versions) with the Winrad-compatible ExtIO-DLL for this receiver. Copy all files from the 'PERSEUS RECEIVER CONTROL DLL FOR WINRAD' (!) into the directory where Spectrum Lab is located (otherwise, the ExtIO-DLL may be unable to locate a few other files which are required for the operation of Perseus).

For various reasons, the files required to operate PERSEUS from SpecLab are not part of the installation archive. Download them from Microtelecom, or copy them from the CDROM which you received with the hardware. A list of the files which must be copied into the Spectrum Lab directory is in this readme-file . As a bare minimum, the files perseususb.dll and all *.sbs files must be copied into the same directory where Spectrum Lab (the executable) was installed. Again, those files are not part of the Spectrum Lab installer.

After the Perseus USB driver is installed, and all necessary files are copied / extracted, Spectrum Lab can talk "directly" to the radio, or via the ExtIO-DLL. Because the USB connection to the radio can only be occupied by ONE application at a time, it is impossible to let Spectrum Lab and the original Perseus software running side-by-side (at least, not yet ;-)

To select PERSEUS for input (instead of the soundcard), open the "audio settings" tab in SL's configuration, and select "PERSEUS" in the list of "Audio Input Devices".
Note: SL doesn't check if the radio is really connected to the USB port in advance !

Alternatively, you can select one of the preconfigured PERSEUS settings in SpecLab (this is easier than configuring everything yourself):

In this configuration, SL acts as a back-end for a software defined radio, including waterfall display and audio output (through the soundcard). How to set the receiver frequency is explained in the next chapters of this document. How to adjust the audio filter is explained in another document... but in short form, there are a few diamond-shaped controls on the frequency scale, which you can move around to change the audio bandwidth (for SSB and CW), the audio center frequency ("pitch"), and the RF center frequency ("VFO") within the current IF bandwidth.

SDR Control / Configuration Panel

Note: This chapter only applies to the native support for Perseus !
If you use the ExtIO-DLL for Perseus instead, you will see a completely different, and much larger control panel which is built inside the ExtIO-DLL.

To open the following control panel for the PERSEUS, select View/Windows / SDR Control Panel in SL's main menu:

SDR VFO tab / main control panel

screenshot SDR control panel

Note: The control panel may look a bit different, because there are different radios, too ;-)

You can modify the radio's NCO (numeric controlled oscillator) in the "VFO" field. Either type the number, or click on one of the digits to place the cursor there. You can then increment / decrement the frequency with the cursor up/down keys, or with the mouse wheel (unlike SpectraVue, just pointing the mouse above the edit field isn't sufficient ! ).
The RF gain combo changes the preamp gain / attenuator. Some less frequently used settings (which are specific to the radio) must be set on the "cfg"-tab (config):

SDR Config tab

The radio's IF bandwidth (and, at the same time, the sampling rate) can be set on the "CFG" (config) tab of this control panel :

SDR config tab

Notes:

Other options on the SDR configuration tab are:


Because the output sampling rates of PERSEUS are not integer multiples of the soundcard's standard sampling rates (like 11025, 22050, or 44100 Hz), you need Spectrum Lab's output resampling function if you want to send the (demodulated) signal to the audio output of the soundcard.