Over Christmas, I got busy with some radio shack updates, including a MIDI controller and firmware update for the ANAN.
It’s nice to have a few knobs and buttons on a receiver, even if it is an SDR running on a PC. So, I pulled out my Behringer CMD Micro Midi Controller and hooked it up to the ANAN-7000 DLE MKII. I bought this MIDI DJ controller a few years ago and used it with my Afedri radio running PowerSDR.
A MIDI controller provides you with a variety of buttons, knobs, sliders and wheels that connect to a computer over USB. With the right software, these provide an excellent extension for a software defined radio. Thetis software for the ANAN radios does a particularly good job of routing MIDI controls to common radio functions.
You can see the two big tuning wheels on the Behringer controller above. I am using the left wheel to tune the radio’s frequency, with the two lower left buttons hooked up to increase or decrease tuning steps. And, I use the big wheel on the right to control the phasing between the two diversity receiver channels. I have also hooked up controls to adjust diversity level, antenna selection and reference antenna for the phasing.
Other features I can now control with the MIDI box are volume, AGC threshold, mute, and noise reduction. Works great. Thetis software allows you to map almost all of the MIDI controls to specific radio features, and then save your configuration.
Of course, I used my 3D printer to make good mounting brackets for the Behringer box, which is bulky but not that heavy. Raising it off the operating desk is the way to go.
Radio Shack Updates – Protocol 2 Firmware for ANAN
Previously, I had complained that I could not get more than 192,000 samples-per-second to flow out of the radio. Also, I was frustrated that the ANAN only showed up as a 100 megabit network device rather than one gigabit.
With a bit of digging, I discovered that ANAN ships their radios with the older Protocol 1 firmware, but does not tell you this. I needed the newer Protocol 2 firmware to get full performance. With a bit of guidance from the Apache Labs Community site, I was able to install Protocol 2 firmware in a matter of minutes. Good stuff.
My new firmware is much more efficient, and I am able to get up to 1.536 Mega-samples per second on Ethernet.