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Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] Developing for different A to D's

From: Alan Gray
Subject: Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] Developing for different A to D's
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2003 16:20:10 +1000

> I was just wondering how many changes (if any) need to be made to the base
> code when using an A to D converter other than the PCI-DAS4020. I'm working
> on implementing an SDR system for my final year telecommunications
> engineering thesis, and my university has supplied me with an ICS-645 card
> (http://www.ics-ltd.com/product_catalog/ics_645.html) which has specs that
> seem comparable to the PCI-DAS4020.

Looks like it should work, and their web site indicates that there is
a Linux driver available.

> So, how much difficulty can I expect to encounter in:
> a) adapting the code to work with the above card

This shouldn't be much of a problem.  You'll need to look at their
linux driver and the interface it exports.  If it's a conventional
read/write/ioctl kind of interface, you may even be able to use the
existing VrFileSource as the interface to the board after you've
configured it appropriately using what ever ioctl's they provide.

Worst case, you build a new module, say GrICS645Source, that produces
N streams of shorts as its output, depending on how many A/Ds you've
enabled.  This shouldn't be more than a few of pages of code, most of
which will be very similar to the existing VrFileSource.

Thanks for your help Eric, I've finally got a system up and running to start work on my project (still awaiting the arrival of my SMP machine and tuner though, seems it takes a lot of time to get anything much done around here). I've acquired a second A/D card, the Adlink PCI-9812 (http://www.adlinktech.com/products/DataAcquisition/PCI-981210.htm) which seems a little better suited to a GNU radio application, and thus I'm going to try to adapt the code to suit it first, and return to the ICS-645 at a later date.

I wonder if someone could expand a little on the data flow in the program and the format of data required, a "stream of shorts" was mentioned, but I'm a little shady on how that stream is implemented, stored and processed. The PCI-9812 comes with a rather extensive set of libraries which provide functionality for double-buffering and the like, so I can easily read in values to file, however I'm unsure as to how these can be applied to processing data in real time. Basically I think I'm having trouble understanding what modules like VrSource, VrFileSource and GrMC4020Source are doing, so if someone could explain these a bit or point me towards any resources which could give me a good idea of the functionality it would be most appreciated.

For some reason I can see a lot of coding in my near future

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