How to tell what FPGA thus firmware goes on Orion MK-III board

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N7CXI
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How to tell what FPGA thus firmware goes on Orion MK-III board

Postby N7CXI » Tue Nov 07, 2023 7:04 am

Greetings, all.

Long story short, I have what started life as an Andromeda, but turned out to not be usable due to thermal issues.
I pulled the front panel off thinking I'd revert it to something like a 7000DLE-MKII. It works for the most part, but there are some things I'll detail later on in this message that are a little "strange" without the front panel.

My main reason for posting is that the chassis has a "Orion MK-III HF & 6M 2W SDR Transceiver" board. I apparently need to know what FPGA it has before I change the firmware. Why change it? My assumption is that the behavior(s) below have something to do with the firmware loaded. Please note the radio does NOT have a serial number on it that I can find. The Thetis version (just) installed on my bench PC is 2.10.0 . According to the Setup screen, the firmware is 2.1.26, which I haven't found any reference to - so assume it was part of the Andromeda program. ??

Behaviors:
(1) When first started, the radio speaker output will not fire until the "Radio Model" is toggled to Anan G2 then back to Anan 7000.
(2) When run as a "G2" RX2 does not operate and reads an impossibly low level, something in the -400's. (note I fixed RX2 (an oops with a bias tee fried the ADC2 packaged LPF) RX2 works fine when other models are selected.
(2) The S-meter runs 5-6dB or so "hot" on all bands when run as a 7000 or 8000DLE
(3) PTT on the "extender" board (sorry, don't know what else to call it) doesn't work unless PTT is activated in the "Hardware Options" - and even then if used it will cut TX audio applied to the 3.5mm socket on the Orion MK-III board. Un-check PTT again from the Hardware Options and use the Thetis MOX button and TX audio from the 3.5mm socket is fine.

There may be other oddities, that's just what I've noticed so far.

I suppose the bottom line is "Is there a way to positively identify what FW I should load on the board?"
If a new "extender" board needs to be designed I can handle that, I just need a known place to start from.

Thanks,
Jim N7CXI
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w-u-2-o
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Re: How to tell what FPGA thus firmware goes on Orion MK-III board

Postby w-u-2-o » Tue Nov 07, 2023 3:10 pm

Changing firmware will not fix any of the problems you are experiencing.

You can back into what type of FPGA you have by noting the current firmware version and looking at this topic: viewtopic.php?f=32&t=4462

It's obvious, then, that you have a EP4CE FPGA. Note also there is a small update to this firmware to fix a problem with QSK operation: viewtopic.php?f=32&t=4588

Only the right type of firmware will run on a given FPGA. If you load firmware for a different model FPGA it will simply refuse to run. If you make that mistake you can use Bootloader to load the right stuff.

Behaviors:
(1) When first started, the radio speaker output will not fire until the "Radio Model" is toggled to Anan G2 then back to Anan 7000.

Can't help with that one, that is odd.

(2) When run as a "G2" RX2 does not operate and reads an impossibly low level, something in the -400's. (note I fixed RX2 (an oops with a bias tee fried the ADC2 packaged LPF) RX2 works fine when other models are selected.

You can't run it as a G2. Thetis expects a substantially different hardware environment. You can only run it as a 7000 or an Andromeda.

(2) The S-meter runs 5-6dB or so "hot" on all bands when run as a 7000 or 8000DLE

You can use a calibrated signal generator to adjust the level calibration.

(3) PTT on the "extender" board (sorry, don't know what else to call it) doesn't work unless PTT is activated in the "Hardware Options"

That is correct behavior.

- and even then if used it will cut TX audio applied to the 3.5mm socket on the Orion MK-III board. Un-check PTT again from the Hardware Options and use the Thetis MOX button and TX audio from the 3.5mm socket is fine.

That is indicative of an improperly wired mic cable. When PTT is enabled there can be absolutely no connections to the selected PTT pin (tip or ring, it's the opposite of the mic tip/ring setting) that go to the mic. The selected PTT pin can ONLY go to a PTT switch to ground.
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n1gp
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Re: How to tell what FPGA thus firmware goes on Orion MK-III board

Postby n1gp » Tue Nov 07, 2023 3:12 pm

Hi Jim,

If your current firmware is 2.1.26, I would say that is a
EP4CE115F29C8N Cyclone IV series FPGA.

That is the latest Protocol 2 firmware for that board although I had posted
some older ones in this thread:

https://community.apache-labs.com/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=4292

UPDATE: I see Scott beat me to the reply punch and I'm wrong. I guess I did
post a newer one for that board!


-Rick / N1GP
N7CXI
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Re: How to tell what FPGA thus firmware goes on Orion MK-III board

Postby N7CXI » Tue Nov 07, 2023 3:22 pm

Thanks, gents.
I thought I had searched, but I was way off.

FWIW, if I select G2 the RX1 level is within 1 dB with default calibration. It appears I read something into it that wasn’t there.

—jim
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n1gp
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Re: How to tell what FPGA thus firmware goes on Orion MK-III board

Postby n1gp » Tue Nov 07, 2023 5:48 pm

Jim,

You might want to install the Latest Thetis and maybe do a database reset.
https://github.com/ramdor/Thetis/releases/tag/v2.10.3.3

You should definitely use Radio Model ANAN-7000DLE not ANAN-G2.
N7CXI
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Re: How to tell what FPGA thus firmware goes on Orion MK-III board

Postby N7CXI » Tue Nov 07, 2023 6:00 pm

>You might want to install the Latest Thetis and maybe do a database reset.
>https://github.com/ramdor/Thetis/releases/tag/v2.10.3.3

Thanks! I'll do that tonight. I'll make sure the XML files are all gone before I install 2.10.3.3 .
And yes - I'll quit making references to G2. :-)

--jim
N7CXI
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Re: How to tell what FPGA thus firmware goes on Orion MK-III board

Postby N7CXI » Wed Nov 08, 2023 6:41 am

Scott, Rick -

I updated the FW (just because, I'm not much of a QSK guy) and installed v2.1.26 of Thetis.
All appears to be well - thanks for the assist!

The only thing that remains is that the RX level is still off farther than I've ever seen one of these rigs go, but I haven't owned a Orion MK-III board before either.

RX1 is 5dB "Hot" (reads -65dBm at 10MHZ)
RX2 is 6dB "Hot" (reads -64dBm at 10Mhz)

As Scott pointed out I can calibrate that difference out easily enough. I'm probably going to wonder about it until the next toy comes along, though.

So far, so good.

--jim
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n1gp
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Re: How to tell what FPGA thus firmware goes on Orion MK-III board

Postby n1gp » Wed Nov 08, 2023 10:43 am

Jim,

Just to confirm, you installed v2.1.26 of the firmware and v2.10.3.3 of Thetis?

There is a protocol 2 firmware newer than v2.1.26, that would be v2.1.27G:
https://community.apache-labs.com/download/file.php?id=3477

You could also try using the latest (only) protocol 1 firmware for that board to see
if that makes a difference in your noise floor:

https://github.com/TAPR/OpenHPSDR-Firmware/blob/master/Protocol%201/ANAN-7000DLE_ANAN-8000DLE-Andromeda/Orion%20MKII%20Cyclone%20IV%20EP4CE115F29C8N%20FPGA/Metis_Orion_MKIII_rev5.rbf

You input a signal directly to the RX1 & RX2 (J5 & J10) SMA connectors off of the MkIII board and
check to see how that makes a difference.
N7CXI
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Re: How to tell what FPGA thus firmware goes on Orion MK-III board

Postby N7CXI » Wed Nov 08, 2023 11:03 am

Rick,

Sorry, I should have phrased it differently.
AFAIK the receivers work fine, but the S-meters read -65 and -64 dBm respectively when a -70dBm signal is injected at 10 mHz. They behave normally, just have that extra s-unit of gain.

As Scott mentioned I can calibrate that out in Thetis, it’s just that I’m curious. I don’t get to play radio much, but I’ve had I think five ANAN rigs now going back to the 100D, and I’ve never seen the as-manufactured receiver gains to he off that far. Of course it could be dumb luck on my part to get radios that were within a dB or so of being right on the money.

And yes - I installed both the FW revision and the Thetis version specified. I’ll take a look at the link you just provided and see where it leads.

Thanks,
—jim

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