[amsat-bb] Cross Country Sentry 10 Info

Stefan Wagener wageners at gmail.com
Fri Aug 8 17:18:38 UTC 2014

See, sometimes I miss something especially if I ask the question directly
to the developer.


".......Thanks for your enquiry about the Sentry 10.

It has been designed with a single local oscillator so it is a simplex

Once the transceiver is in production we intend to develop an optional
second receiver board to allow duplex operation. This will be made
available as a retro-fit option for existing transceivers.

I know that the HDSDR SDR program can be connected to external data mode
programs to control the transceiver frequency via CAT or DDE connections.
I've just checked in HDSDR and Options[F7], DDE to HDSDR commands bring up
a pop-up window.

To quote from the window:

HDSDR can get controlled in frequency and mode over a DDE interface. Ham
Radio Deluxe (HRD) gets synchronised from HDSDR too.

A list of option buttons follow for:


It appears that support for external program frequency and mode control is
already available.

I'm in contact with most of the SDR authors arranging support for CCW
products. If you have contacts with other software authors please ask them
to contact me as I'm happy to help beta test any software changes

Hope this helps,

Stefan VE4NSA

On Thu, Aug 7, 2014 at 9:43 PM, Stefan Wagener <wageners at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Les,
> Thanks for the info. It actually substantiates my initial comments.
> Limited panadapter spectrum because of built in sound card limitation, no
> full duplex, very limited software support. Don't know why you still think
> this is a real winner for satellite operation. Not holding my breath. But
> hey maybe I missed something.
> Stefan, VE4NSA
> On Thu, Aug 7, 2014 at 8:57 PM, Les Rayburn <les at highnoonfilm.com> wrote:
>> First of all, I should state that I have no financial interest in the
>> Cross Country Sentry 10 SDR, nor any ax to grind against competitors. But I
>> have gotten some additional information from it's developer that I think
>> will be of interest to VHF operators. Overall, this product sounds like a
>> real winner for both weak signal and satellite operators. The ability to
>> have output on all VHF bands from 6 Meters thru 1.2 GHz would be perfect
>> for rovers, and really simplify station design for the rest of us.
>> Here are the comments I've received from Chris, G4HYG.
>> ===============================================================
>> I'm also a VHF/UHF weak signal enthusiast so I appreciate your kind
>> comments.
>> We are in the final development phase of the transceiver and are planning
>> to start a KickStarter project in about a month to put the transceiver into
>> production.
>> To give you an idea of the technology used in the transceiver the RF
>> front end device is a PGA-103+ low noise amplifier with a LTC5584 as a
>> mixer. The PA stage uses the new BLP10H610 device from NXP. This NXP device
>> is due to be released this month so it should be available when we are
>> ready to start production.
>> The transceiver will work at 222 and 902/903 MHz for U.S. customers. Our
>> intention is to supply different firmware and filter options depending on
>> the customers location. For example the E.U., U.S, and Japan have different
>> frequency specifications for imported amateur radio equipment. For in-house
>> testing and any potential military customers we do have wideband firmware
>> but I wouldn't like to release that firmware for general use for obvious
>> reasons.
>> The approach we have taken with our existing SDR receivers is to try to
>> design them so that they can use as many SDR programs as possible. The
>> Sentry transceiver is somewhat different in that it doesn't divide the LO
>> frequency by 4 to generate the 90 degree phase shift for the IQ LO
>> injection. Programs will have to use the direct LO frequency without
>> division. So far HDSDR and Quisk are the only programs I know of so far
>> that will operate directly with the Sentry transceiver on both transmit and
>> receive. SDR Radio and SDR Sharp work OK on receive. I'm in regular contact
>> with most of the SDR software authors as I try to help them to add support
>> for our products so I'll be in contact with them before launch to ask if
>> they can add support for the Sentry transceiver.
>> Regarding the question about bandwidth the internal sound card has a 48
>> kHz sampling rate so the span bandwidth is limited to 48 kHz, The
>> transceiver will have a IQ output to drive external sound cards up to 192
>> kHz. The transceiver is designed as a near zero IF (typically 100 Hz to
>> avoid the AM and FM carrier appearing at DC). This helps prevent hams
>> unintentionally transmitting out of band. The transmitter IQ chain is
>> filtered with a 8.5 kHz filter to reduce the wideband noise that can be
>> transmitted along with the wanted signal. We realize that many users will
>> want to drive external high power amplifiers and transverters.
>> Recently I've been testing one of the the prototype transceivers during
>> the weekly Tuesday night 4, 6, 2 and 70cm contests run by the RSGB. My
>> local club (Bolton Wireless Club) have around 25 members who take part in
>> the contest and as they are line of sight with my station it's a tough test
>> of any receiver or transmitter during the contest. The latest tests have
>> even included using unmatched antennas such as a HF dipole as a VHF antenna
>> to see how the RF filtering worked in extreme mismatch conditions. A lot of
>> the development time over the last two years has been dedicated to ensuring
>> that the receiver is as good as we can make it and that the transmitter is
>> clean with regard to wideband noise. All these on-air tests confirmed what
>> had already been proved in the lab tests and proved that the design is good
>> and now ready for production.
>> The original YouTube video and the photographs on the web page show an
>> early prototype. The production version will have a different case more
>> suited to fitting underneath a laptop PC. We are planning to add a new
>> video showing a working prototype in action in a week or two.
>> Thanks for your kind comments about the plan for a KickStarter project.
>> I'll update the web page and the CCW Yahoo group forum with regular
>> progress reports.
>> Regards,
>> Chris, G4HYG
>> ============================================================
>> ==============
>> --
>> --
>> 73,
>> Les Rayburn, N1LF
>> 121 Mayfair Park
>> Maylene, AL 35114
>> EM63nf
>> 6M VUCC #1712
>> AMSAT #38965
>> Grid Bandits #222
>> Southeastern VHF Society
>> Central States VHF Society Life Member
>> Six Club #2484
>> Active on 6 Meters thru 1296, 10GHz & Light
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