[amsat-bb] Inexpensive tablet for SDR + CAT control to portable rig

Clayton Coleman kayakfishtx at gmail.com
Tue Feb 24 01:49:41 UTC 2015

Inspired by some Twitter traffic from WD9EWK & others discussing the
success of inexpensive Windows 8.1 tablets used for SDR, I decided to
purchase one last week.  Now that these tablets are running full
Windows and not the RT version, I felt it was time to do a little
experimentation.  I opted for an 8" tablet with 2 GB RAM and 16 GB
internal storage at an amazing price of $79.  The tablet has two USB
ports and Bluetooth.

HDSDR seems to be running fine on my tablet in parallel with SatPC32.
At the moment I have not noticed any performance issues monitoring
signals with HDSDR on the tablet paired with the FUNcube Dongle Pro+.

I've installed Virtual Serial Ports so that I can allow the two
applications to communicate via CAT commands.

My next goal is to add a Bluetooth adapter to my Yaesu FT-817's CAT
port.  Through the Bluetooth adapter, the tablet will see the radio as
a new serial port.  I will then configure it as the second transceiver
in SatPC32.  This not only eliminates a cable between the radio and
the tablet, it also keeps one of my USB ports available while using
less battery.  I've already tested SatPC32+HSDR with this combination
of FT-817+FUNcube Dongle Pro+ for many months on a several "standard"
PC environments with great success.

The end goal will be a fully computer controlled, very portable,
SDR-capable satellite station.

I'm always looking for other ideas how I might improve or do things
differently.  Anyone else trying this configuration?


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