Getting PowerSDR, version HPSDR, Up and Running on Windows

This post goes through the installation of the High Performance Software Defined Radio (HPSDR) specific version of PowerSDR on Windows (XP is assumed).

Preliminaries: The Windows Environment

First, it is important to ensure that your Windows system is up-to-date. If it isn’t, then it is safer to go through a system update before doing anything to avoid problems latter in the installation. On Windows XP, if you are not certain about the state of your system, then from the Start menu pick Help and Support, then under Pick a task, select Keep your computer up-to-date with Windows Update.

Several iterations may be required before your system is entirely up-to-date.

Next, you need to install the Microsoft .NET Framework version 1.1 (you may use this version, for Windows XP, or download it directly from Microsoft). After, the installation of Microsoft .NET, I highly recommend running cycles of Windows Update again. All these updates may take from few minutes to several hours, but they are worth the investment and prevent problems latter in the installation process. Microsoft .NET specific updates are likely to be applicable. Several iterations may also be needed for that. Upon completion, Windows is all set for the installation of PowerSDR.

Assumed Hardware Configuration

The unit I used to build this post includes a Metis Ethernet interface, a Mercury receive module, a Penelope transmitter module (the first three vertical cards), the Alex RF bandpass filters (grey module placed right), an  Excalibur reference oscillator and a PennyWhistle power amplifier (placed behind the vertical cards).

PowerSDR

It is recommended installing the HPSDR version of PowerSDR in the subdirectory:

C:\Program Files\FlexRadio Systems\HPSDR\

The subdirectory FlexRadio Systems needs to be created under C:\Program Files. The subdirectory HPSDR with PowerSDR can be created by expanding this file, under the subdirectory C:\Program Files\FlexRadio Systems. The official distribution of the HPSDR version of PowerSDR is available here.

The PowerSDR distribution is not complete. To complete the installation, a Skins directory needs to be created. Hereafter, I’m assuming that the user name is Administrator (it needs to be changed with the actual username your are using for your installation). Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the subdirectory c:\Administrator. Right click of the icon representing the directory. The menu Administrator Properties will pop up. Uncheck the box for the Attribute Hidden. The Confirm Attribute Changes menu will pop up. Select Apply changes to this folder, subfolders and files and click OK. Under c:\Administrator, the directory Application Data will be listed. Under the subdirectory Application Data, create the branch FlexRadio Systems\PowerSDR. Expand this Skins file under that branch.

Next, a USB driver needs to be installed. Download and run the USB driver file.

On the desktop, create a shortcut to PowerSDR. The path should be like C:\Program Files\FlexRadio Systems\HPSDR\PowerSDR.exe.

PowerSDR is now ready to run. Start by clicking on the PowerSDR shortcut. The first time you run it, the PowerSDR Setup Wizard will pop up. In the first panel, HPSDR needs to be selected among the radio models supported by HPSDR.

On the next panel, for my specific hardware configuration, the Mercury, Penelope and Alex boxes need to be checked.

Finally, when PowerSDR is loaded enter the PowerSDR Setup menu. Under the Hardware Config panel, check the Alex box, listed under HPSDR Hardware Present, and Metis, under Connection type.

If everything went well, then PowerSDR should look like the following when started.

Visit the link PowerSDR page of the openSDR wiki for more details and information related to other HPSDR hardware configurations.

See the related post Digital Communications with the High Performance Software Defined Radio (HPSDR).

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One Response to Getting PowerSDR, version HPSDR, Up and Running on Windows

  1. erich says:

    An installation of PowerSDR 2.2.5 (W5WC) for HPSDR on a clean installation of Win XP SP2 has needed the following updates:

    Windows Imaging Components
    Windows Installer 3.1
    dotnetfx
    dotnetfx v 4.0

    for the PowerSDR 2.2.5 (W5WC) installer to be able to proceed

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