Talk About Getting Stiched Up August 29th, 2013
It is amazing how phrases and words take on different mean as time goes by. Take the word “stitch.” The picture of an elderly lady doing needle work might have been appropriate forty years ago – I hope that does not offend elderly ladies who might read this! More recently it has been a phrase familiar with photographers. Once upon a time, panoramic cameras were very expensive and you got about four shots on a length of film. Today my Sony camera can take a Panoramic picture of quite amazing width and does not seem to worry how accurate I am as I pan around. It achieves this remarkable feat by using software stitching within the camera.
Today I had a phone call from Justin, G0KSC, who owns one of the new Apache Labs transceivers. It seems that in the software, there is provision for stitching 2 x 192kHz sample together in order to obtain a panoramic screen display of 384kHz. That means that you can display the whole of each HF band on the screen apart from 21MHz and 28MHz. That’s a pretty smart piece of software engineering.
But Justin has gone one better than this. Within the menu system there is a box to tick if you are only using one receiver. (I should explain that Justin is using the top range ANAN-100D that has dual receivers.) He unticked this box and suddenly everything is multiplied by a factor of 4. This results in a panoramic display of around 1.5MHz. That means that you can not only display the whole of every HF band on the screen, you can also see the entire DX and beacon portion of 6m. And just think what that would do for VHF and UHF transverting.
There is no obvious downside to all this apart from a heavier demand on CPU, It does all sound very exciting, and certainly those that are at the cutting edge of software design can offer performance and features that we could never have dreamt of a few years ago. What is more, a lot of this is being done in open source software, with some of the best brains in the world working on things that would cost a fortune if done for profit. I remember my early days when I was giving club talks promoting FlexRadio and the associated open source software. Today that seems so basic, but it provided the basic foundations for what we are now seeing emerging. Its all exciting news and helps ham radio to continue to break new ground.
Oh, and for those who have emailed me asking, have I really got such a simple station, the photo above shows my current 15W “DX” station located on a coffee table in my conservatory. Yes it really is that basic! An ANAN10. But I get a lot of fun from it. Tomorrow I am off to Scotland with my little KX3 – 5W from 8 AA cells! Hopefully I will see some of you at Glenrothes on Saturday at Jaycee’s Open Day. Peter G3OJV