Topics

Bring back the UDRC, alongside the DRAWS?

Chris - KC9AD
 
Edited

Given the sold-out popularity of both the UDRC and the DRAWS, and given the functionality and cost differences between the two, is there any possibility that NWDR would consider producing both products and offering two separate SKUs? The reason I ask is that I am one of those many non-APRS people. I love fldigi and direwolf but both of them run beautifully on the lower-cost UDRC-Pi combo; the extra DRAWS features do not help me. I would like to buy another UDRC or two if they would ever become available again. Thanks for the great products guys.

BTW, I use the Pi's Ethernet port all day every day to run my UDRC-Pi remotely, from across the room. Saves on keyboard, mouse, and display clutter. I also use it for a packet interface. So far, no RFI that I can detect.

BTW, BTW, I am not very technical, so I depend on the more technical members of the community to produce near-turnkey software images for me. And that sharing of software and expertise has made the UDRC-Pi very popular around here.

Thanks also to the NWDR community. 73.

Chris Doutre KC9AD

 

I second this thought. I don't need GPS accuracy or a real time clock. I am very happy with the functionality of the UDRC 1.

Bob AF9W

 

Making 2 products causes inventory issues and makes both more expensive.

After we launched the ThumbDV we still get a couple of requests per year for the PiDV but the economics don’t work out.

We spent a lot of time deciding on the GPS. With the UDRC one could add a USB GPS but that wouldn’t give you PPS, which is arguably not a necessity for Ham Radio but is pretty cool. DRAWS is also a 4 layer Board with additional features; ADC, serial port, and Expansion connector, which increases Ir’s cost.

We even did a survey and found that a majority of responders preferred the on board GPS.

By Comparison the popular Signal Link USB with Cable is $129.95 and has only 1 Radio Port and no GPS.

The best way to save Money is to do a group buy:

5% for 5 units 10% for 10. You can mix DRAWs and ThumbDV in the order.

Use coupons:

club5

club10

ve7fmn@...
 

OK, so then it begs the question, two actually...
I had a custom cable made to interface between the UDRC-2 and my KX3. Will that cable work with my new to me DRAWS?
Can the DRAWS replace a signalink USB in additional to all of the other cool things it does?
PS, mine arrived day before yesterday, thank you, and I was thoroughly spanked by Canada customs and Canada Post (not thank you).

-----Original Message-----
From: main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io <main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bryan Hoyer
Sent: Friday, December 7, 2018 8:01 AM
To: main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nw-digital-radio] Bring back the UDRC, alongside the DRAWS?


Making 2 products causes inventory issues and makes both more expensive.

After we launched the ThumbDV we still get a couple of requests per year for the PiDV but the economics don’t work out.

We spent a lot of time deciding on the GPS. With the UDRC one could add a USB GPS but that wouldn’t give you PPS, which is arguably not a necessity for Ham Radio but is pretty cool. DRAWS is also a 4 layer Board with additional features; ADC, serial port, and Expansion connector, which increases Ir’s cost.

We even did a survey and found that a majority of responders preferred the on board GPS.

By Comparison the popular Signal Link USB with Cable is $129.95 and has only 1 Radio Port and no GPS.

The best way to save Money is to do a group buy:

5% for 5 units 10% for 10. You can mix DRAWs and ThumbDV in the order.

Use coupons:

club5

club10

Steve Stroh
 

Disclaimer: Although I know the individuals of NW Digital Radio
personally, the following are my personal comments - not vetted,
approved, or even discussed with anyone at NWDR. I've followed this
"next generation packet radio" space pretty closely for a lot of years
now. Thus I think I have some perspective.

I applaud NW Digital Radio for evolving the UDRC into the UDRC II, the
DRAWS board, and eventually the packaged DRAWS. It's HARD to evolve a
product, for the reasons we're seeing in this thread. It's DAMN HARD
to evolve a product as a small, shoestring company.

My perception (perhaps they've actually said this - don't remember) is
that NWDR kind of stumbled into this market. Recall that the UDRC was
originally intended to create a controller for the Yaesu DR-1X
repeater to add D-STAR capability to it. Quite apart from that
"science project", it turns out, the UDRC met a need in Amateur Radio
for a well thought out "sound card modem" interface for the Raspberry
Pi.

It's notable that the UDRC used the normal communications methods for
Raspberry Pi that other interface boards (HATs) do, rather than the
much easier method of connecting sound card modems via USB. USB is
really nice, easy, simple, cheap... when it works, but sometimes it
doesn't, especially for very cheap consumer devices like sound cards.

It's also notable that the UDRC and its successors were (eventually)
supported under the native Raspberry Pi Linux (Rasperian) and it (most
relevant to me) is capable of 9600 bps FSK operation, which most sound
card modems are not. As NWDR went along with UDRC, they collected a
list of "wants" and "don't wants" for the product, and when it came
time for another production run, they chose to do the hard thing and
evolve the design with the long term goal of making it an "appliance".
That's tough, but it's worth doing.

In their market research leading to the final spec of DRAWS, they
ASKED their customer base if they wanted DRAWS to incorporate a GPS
receiver as standard and named an approximate price. Most of the
respondents said that they were willing to pay a small premium to have
GPS as a standard feature. It will be very, very interesting to see
what the software authors can do when they can assume the presence of
a GPS, including a stable time base. It was kind of an either / or
decision for them; again they can't afford to support and stock
different versions of the same product.

I agree with NWDR's vision - to make a turnkey, packaged DRAWS
available via normal Amateur Radio retail channels, to finally
displace the now very tired legacy TNCs that are still being sold
(much as I love them). It's going to take QUITE an effort to get DRAWS
out into the real world of Amateur Radio as opposed to reaching and
supporting us early adopters who found NWDR largely because we were
looking for such a product and largely self-support (such as these
lists).

Despite appearances :-) NWDR is a very small operation - they can't
afford to support multiple versions of the same product. Thus, they
have to FOCUS.

Godspeed Bryan, Basil, Anna, John, and Dennis! Can't wait to see
what's next from you folks!


Thanks,

Steve Stroh N8GNJ

PS - I also applaud NWDRs secondary, stealth mission - to get Amateur
Radio back into an experimental, "advance the state of the radio art"
mode by embedding a relatively inexpensive open source hardware
platform and most importantly, Linux. This is exactly the kind of
platform that Amateur Radio needs to be perceived as relevant to those
who we need to attract if Amateur Radio will continue beyond the
current generation.

--
Steve Stroh (personal / general): stevestroh@...

Richard DeLowrey
 

Bryan

I purchased one of your ThumbDV's several months back. What is the best software to use with this product? Thanks!

Richard DeLowrey KN4JWK

Sent from Rick's IPad

On Dec 7, 2018, at 11:00 AM, Bryan Hoyer <@K7UDR> wrote:


Making 2 products causes inventory issues and makes both more expensive.

After we launched the ThumbDV we still get a couple of requests per year for the PiDV but the economics don’t work out.

We spent a lot of time deciding on the GPS. With the UDRC one could add a USB GPS but that wouldn’t give you PPS, which is arguably not a necessity for Ham Radio but is pretty cool. DRAWS is also a 4 layer Board with additional features; ADC, serial port, and Expansion connector, which increases Ir’s cost.

We even did a survey and found that a majority of responders preferred the on board GPS.

By Comparison the popular Signal Link USB with Cable is $129.95 and has only 1 Radio Port and no GPS.

The best way to save Money is to do a group buy:

5% for 5 units 10% for 10. You can mix DRAWs and ThumbDV in the order.

Use coupons:

club5

club10

 

Yes, the custom cable will work. You may have to change the alsamixer settings to get the correct audio input as DRAWS has an analog mixer in the front end to select Audio or Discriminator. Seeing as HF rigs don’t have discriminator you need to set alsamixer ti IN_2 instead of the default IN_1 as on the UDRC.

Send me your cable spec and I’ll check it. I have a KX3 Online with DRAWS in my shack.

Yes DRAWS can replace a SignalLink. Now I’m not bashing the SignalLink but the transformer coupled audio prevents doing 9600 FSK on the High End and 4800 GMSK on the Loe end.

On Dec 7, 2018, at 9:03 AM, ve7fmn@... wrote:

OK, so then it begs the question, two actually...
I had a custom cable made to interface between the UDRC-2 and my KX3. Will that cable work with my new to me DRAWS?
Can the DRAWS replace a signalink USB in additional to all of the other cool things it does?
PS, mine arrived day before yesterday, thank you, and I was thoroughly spanked by Canada customs and Canada Post (not thank you).


-----Original Message-----
From: main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io <main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bryan Hoyer
Sent: Friday, December 7, 2018 8:01 AM
To: main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nw-digital-radio] Bring back the UDRC, alongside the DRAWS?


Making 2 products causes inventory issues and makes both more expensive.

After we launched the ThumbDV we still get a couple of requests per year for the PiDV but the economics don’t work out.

We spent a lot of time deciding on the GPS. With the UDRC one could add a USB GPS but that wouldn’t give you PPS, which is arguably not a necessity for Ham Radio but is pretty cool. DRAWS is also a 4 layer Board with additional features; ADC, serial port, and Expansion connector, which increases Ir’s cost.

We even did a survey and found that a majority of responders preferred the on board GPS.

By Comparison the popular Signal Link USB with Cable is $129.95 and has only 1 Radio Port and no GPS.

The best way to save Money is to do a group buy:

5% for 5 units 10% for 10. You can mix DRAWs and ThumbDV in the order.

Use coupons:

club5

club10




ve7fmn@...
 

It’s the one Mr. Churchward made. I do not have a schematic. One end goes into the UDRC2 the other into a TRRS connector as used by KX3.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io <main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bryan Hoyer
Sent: Friday, December 7, 2018 5:28 PM
To: main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nw-digital-radio] Bring back the UDRC, alongside the DRAWS?

Yes, the custom cable will work. You may have to change the alsamixer settings to get the correct audio input as DRAWS has an analog mixer in the front end to select Audio or Discriminator. Seeing as HF rigs don’t have discriminator you need to set alsamixer ti IN_2 instead of the default IN_1 as on the UDRC.

Send me your cable spec and I’ll check it. I have a KX3 Online with DRAWS in my shack.

Yes DRAWS can replace a SignalLink. Now I’m not bashing the SignalLink but the transformer coupled audio prevents doing 9600 FSK on the High End and 4800 GMSK on the Loe end.

On Dec 7, 2018, at 9:03 AM, ve7fmn@... wrote:

OK, so then it begs the question, two actually...
I had a custom cable made to interface between the UDRC-2 and my KX3. Will that cable work with my new to me DRAWS?
Can the DRAWS replace a signalink USB in additional to all of the other cool things it does?
PS, mine arrived day before yesterday, thank you, and I was thoroughly spanked by Canada customs and Canada Post (not thank you).


-----Original Message-----
From: main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io <main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bryan Hoyer
Sent: Friday, December 7, 2018 8:01 AM
To: main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nw-digital-radio] Bring back the UDRC, alongside the DRAWS?


Making 2 products causes inventory issues and makes both more expensive.

After we launched the ThumbDV we still get a couple of requests per year for the PiDV but the economics don’t work out.

We spent a lot of time deciding on the GPS. With the UDRC one could add a USB GPS but that wouldn’t give you PPS, which is arguably not a necessity for Ham Radio but is pretty cool. DRAWS is also a 4 layer Board with additional features; ADC, serial port, and Expansion connector, which increases Ir’s cost.

We even did a survey and found that a majority of responders preferred the on board GPS.

By Comparison the popular Signal Link USB with Cable is $129.95 and has only 1 Radio Port and no GPS.

The best way to save Money is to do a group buy:

5% for 5 units 10% for 10. You can mix DRAWs and ThumbDV in the order.

Use coupons:

club5

club10




Budd Churchward
 

I have not made any cables. You probably got yours from Art Miller or Robert Sears. I think it is safe to assume that if the cable worked on your UDRC it is going to work on the DRAWS. Most of us are using standard cables with mini 6 pin DINs on both ends. Your radio doesn't have that connector so a cable had to be made for it. The mini 6 pin DIN is a pretty standard connector with the pins the same from radio to radio. If NWDR made a change to its connectors they would not be compatible with many radios. My DRAWS board came with two standard, off the shelf, cables. They are not doing anything special.

Budd Churchward
WB7FHC

-----Original Message-----
From: ve7fmn@...
Sent: Friday, December 07, 2018 8:36 PM
To: main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nw-digital-radio] Bring back the UDRC, alongside the DRAWS?

It’s the one Mr. Churchward made. I do not have a schematic. One end goes into the UDRC2 the other into a TRRS connector as used by KX3.


-----Original Message-----
From: main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io <main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bryan Hoyer
Sent: Friday, December 7, 2018 5:28 PM
To: main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nw-digital-radio] Bring back the UDRC, alongside the DRAWS?

Yes, the custom cable will work. You may have to change the alsamixer settings to get the correct audio input as DRAWS has an analog mixer in the front end to select Audio or Discriminator. Seeing as HF rigs don’t have discriminator you need to set alsamixer ti IN_2 instead of the default IN_1 as on the UDRC.

Send me your cable spec and I’ll check it. I have a KX3 Online with DRAWS in my shack.

Yes DRAWS can replace a SignalLink. Now I’m not bashing the SignalLink but the transformer coupled audio prevents doing 9600 FSK on the High End and 4800 GMSK on the Loe end.

On Dec 7, 2018, at 9:03 AM, ve7fmn@... wrote:

OK, so then it begs the question, two actually...
I had a custom cable made to interface between the UDRC-2 and my KX3. Will that cable work with my new to me DRAWS?
Can the DRAWS replace a signalink USB in additional to all of the other cool things it does?
PS, mine arrived day before yesterday, thank you, and I was thoroughly spanked by Canada customs and Canada Post (not thank you).


-----Original Message-----
From: main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io <main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bryan Hoyer
Sent: Friday, December 7, 2018 8:01 AM
To: main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nw-digital-radio] Bring back the UDRC, alongside the DRAWS?


Making 2 products causes inventory issues and makes both more expensive.

After we launched the ThumbDV we still get a couple of requests per year for the PiDV but the economics don’t work out.

We spent a lot of time deciding on the GPS. With the UDRC one could add a USB GPS but that wouldn’t give you PPS, which is arguably not a necessity for Ham Radio but is pretty cool. DRAWS is also a 4 layer Board with additional features; ADC, serial port, and Expansion connector, which increases Ir’s cost.

We even did a survey and found that a majority of responders preferred the on board GPS.

By Comparison the popular Signal Link USB with Cable is $129.95 and has only 1 Radio Port and no GPS.

The best way to save Money is to do a group buy:

5% for 5 units 10% for 10. You can mix DRAWs and ThumbDV in the order.

Use coupons:

club5

club10




ve7fmn@...
 

Sorry for the false accusation Budd 😊
I was so taken by your helpful videos, really, that you name popped into my mind.
The cable was actually made by a ham who is listed as a resource in the UDRC-2 discussion. I followed the links and a cable showed up at my mail box. Too easy.
And thank you for taking time to make the you tube videos. Please make another showing how we can implement the onboard soundcard instead of a signalink or nomic (neither of which I have had roaring success with) with our KX3s to do those modes that use a soundcard to advantage.
Thank you again.
Fred VE7FMN

-----Original Message-----
From: main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io <main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io> On Behalf Of Budd Churchward
Sent: Friday, December 7, 2018 8:47 PM
To: main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nw-digital-radio] Bring back the UDRC, alongside the DRAWS?

I have not made any cables. You probably got yours from Art Miller or Robert Sears. I think it is safe to assume that if the cable worked on your UDRC it is going to work on the DRAWS. Most of us are using standard cables with mini 6 pin DINs on both ends. Your radio doesn't have that connector so a cable had to be made for it. The mini 6 pin DIN is a pretty standard connector with the pins the same from radio to radio. If NWDR made a change to its connectors they would not be compatible with many radios. My DRAWS board came with two standard, off the shelf, cables. They are not doing anything special.

Budd Churchward
WB7FHC

-----Original Message-----
From: ve7fmn@...
Sent: Friday, December 07, 2018 8:36 PM
To: main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nw-digital-radio] Bring back the UDRC, alongside the DRAWS?

It’s the one Mr. Churchward made. I do not have a schematic. One end goes into the UDRC2 the other into a TRRS connector as used by KX3.


-----Original Message-----
From: main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io <main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io> On
Behalf Of Bryan Hoyer
Sent: Friday, December 7, 2018 5:28 PM
To: main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nw-digital-radio] Bring back the UDRC, alongside the DRAWS?

Yes, the custom cable will work. You may have to change the alsamixer
settings to get the correct audio input as DRAWS has an analog mixer in the
front end to select Audio or Discriminator. Seeing as HF rigs don’t have
discriminator you need to set alsamixer ti IN_2 instead of the default IN_1
as on the UDRC.

Send me your cable spec and I’ll check it. I have a KX3 Online with DRAWS in
my shack.

Yes DRAWS can replace a SignalLink. Now I’m not bashing the SignalLink but
the transformer coupled audio prevents doing 9600 FSK on the High End and
4800 GMSK on the Loe end.

On Dec 7, 2018, at 9:03 AM, ve7fmn@... wrote:

OK, so then it begs the question, two actually...
I had a custom cable made to interface between the UDRC-2 and my KX3. Will
that cable work with my new to me DRAWS?
Can the DRAWS replace a signalink USB in additional to all of the other
cool things it does?
PS, mine arrived day before yesterday, thank you, and I was thoroughly
spanked by Canada customs and Canada Post (not thank you).


-----Original Message-----
From: main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io <main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io> On
Behalf Of Bryan Hoyer
Sent: Friday, December 7, 2018 8:01 AM
To: main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nw-digital-radio] Bring back the UDRC, alongside the DRAWS?


Making 2 products causes inventory issues and makes both more expensive.

After we launched the ThumbDV we still get a couple of requests per year
for the PiDV but the economics don’t work out.

We spent a lot of time deciding on the GPS. With the UDRC one could add a
USB GPS but that wouldn’t give you PPS, which is arguably not a necessity
for Ham Radio but is pretty cool. DRAWS is also a 4 layer Board with
additional features; ADC, serial port, and Expansion connector, which
increases Ir’s cost.

We even did a survey and found that a majority of responders preferred the
on board GPS.

By Comparison the popular Signal Link USB with Cable is $129.95 and has
only 1 Radio Port and no GPS.

The best way to save Money is to do a group buy:

5% for 5 units 10% for 10. You can mix DRAWs and ThumbDV in the order.

Use coupons:

club5

club10




ve7fmn@...
 

It was W7TUT that made the cable.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io <main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io> On Behalf Of Budd Churchward
Sent: Friday, December 7, 2018 8:47 PM
To: main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nw-digital-radio] Bring back the UDRC, alongside the DRAWS?

I have not made any cables. You probably got yours from Art Miller or Robert Sears. I think it is safe to assume that if the cable worked on your UDRC it is going to work on the DRAWS. Most of us are using standard cables with mini 6 pin DINs on both ends. Your radio doesn't have that connector so a cable had to be made for it. The mini 6 pin DIN is a pretty standard connector with the pins the same from radio to radio. If NWDR made a change to its connectors they would not be compatible with many radios. My DRAWS board came with two standard, off the shelf, cables. They are not doing anything special.

Budd Churchward
WB7FHC

-----Original Message-----
From: ve7fmn@...
Sent: Friday, December 07, 2018 8:36 PM
To: main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nw-digital-radio] Bring back the UDRC, alongside the DRAWS?

It’s the one Mr. Churchward made. I do not have a schematic. One end goes into the UDRC2 the other into a TRRS connector as used by KX3.


-----Original Message-----
From: main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io <main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io> On
Behalf Of Bryan Hoyer
Sent: Friday, December 7, 2018 5:28 PM
To: main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nw-digital-radio] Bring back the UDRC, alongside the DRAWS?

Yes, the custom cable will work. You may have to change the alsamixer
settings to get the correct audio input as DRAWS has an analog mixer in the
front end to select Audio or Discriminator. Seeing as HF rigs don’t have
discriminator you need to set alsamixer ti IN_2 instead of the default IN_1
as on the UDRC.

Send me your cable spec and I’ll check it. I have a KX3 Online with DRAWS in
my shack.

Yes DRAWS can replace a SignalLink. Now I’m not bashing the SignalLink but
the transformer coupled audio prevents doing 9600 FSK on the High End and
4800 GMSK on the Loe end.

On Dec 7, 2018, at 9:03 AM, ve7fmn@... wrote:

OK, so then it begs the question, two actually...
I had a custom cable made to interface between the UDRC-2 and my KX3. Will
that cable work with my new to me DRAWS?
Can the DRAWS replace a signalink USB in additional to all of the other
cool things it does?
PS, mine arrived day before yesterday, thank you, and I was thoroughly
spanked by Canada customs and Canada Post (not thank you).


-----Original Message-----
From: main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io <main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io> On
Behalf Of Bryan Hoyer
Sent: Friday, December 7, 2018 8:01 AM
To: main@nw-digital-radio.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nw-digital-radio] Bring back the UDRC, alongside the DRAWS?


Making 2 products causes inventory issues and makes both more expensive.

After we launched the ThumbDV we still get a couple of requests per year
for the PiDV but the economics don’t work out.

We spent a lot of time deciding on the GPS. With the UDRC one could add a
USB GPS but that wouldn’t give you PPS, which is arguably not a necessity
for Ham Radio but is pretty cool. DRAWS is also a 4 layer Board with
additional features; ADC, serial port, and Expansion connector, which
increases Ir’s cost.

We even did a survey and found that a majority of responders preferred the
on board GPS.

By Comparison the popular Signal Link USB with Cable is $129.95 and has
only 1 Radio Port and no GPS.

The best way to save Money is to do a group buy:

5% for 5 units 10% for 10. You can mix DRAWs and ThumbDV in the order.

Use coupons:

club5

club10