How to run the FLEX-3000 RX Calibration Tests

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How to run the FLEX-3000 RX Calibration Tests

How to run the FLEX-3000 RX Calibration Tests

System Dependencies
Minimum PowerSDR Version: 1.18.0
Applicable Hardware: FLEX-3000 

Content provided by: FlexRadio Systems Engineering

NOTE:You should seriously consider backing up your EEPROM data before you perform any transceiver calibrations. Please refer to the Knowledge Center article Management of the Automatic EEPROM Backup File for instructions for creating a manual backup of your FLEX-3000 EEPROM.

Follow the instructions below for performing the basic transceiver calibration tests.
  1. Disconnect all antennas and connect a dummy load to the ANT BNC antenna connector.
  2. Use the latest released version of PowerSDR and the latest firmware. This will ensure you are using the most current version of PowerSDR with all calibration enhancements. Do not use any of the the SVN "branch" versions of PowerSDR as these versions usually contain alpha code which has not been fully tested.
  3. Run all calibration tests with a "clean" or default database. The only parameters you should modify in a "clean" database is setting the Sampling Rate to 96 kHz and audio buffers to 1024 . Make sure you change your Firewire driver's operating parameters to match PowerSDR along with setting the Operating Mode to SafeMode 1 .

    NOTE: A "clean" database is a newly created one with only the audio sampling rate, buffer size and antenna selection parameters changed. DO NOT CHANGE ANY OTHER PARAMETERS OR OPTIONS IN THE DATABASE. This is crucial to the success of running any calibration tests on the FLEX-3000. For instructions on how to create a new database, see the KC article How to Reset or Rebuild a PowerSDR Database
  4. Terminate any other programs running on your computer as well as any antivirus and firewall software that may interfere with the optimal operation of PowerSDR.
  5. Start PowerSDR and verify that the audio sampling rate is set to 96kHz and buffers to 1024 for both PowerSDR and the Firewire driver.
  6. Turn on the FLEX-3000 so that it is receiving signals.
  7. Enter <CTRL> + <SHIFT> + P to access the FLEX-3000 Production HTRX/IO Test form used to calibrate the transceiver.

    There are three classifications of tests for the transceiver (HTRX) board; General Transceiver Tests, Receiver Tests/Calibration and the Transmitter Tests/Calibrations. For this procedure, you only need to run the Receiver Level Calibration and Receiver Image Suppression test.  No other tests are necessary.

    All tests, where applicable, are run on all bands by default. To run a specific test, just left click on the button with the test name on it. Some tests will run very quickly. Others can take up to several minutes to complete.

    You will notice that if any individual bands fail their test (and its not that unusual), it might automatically re-run the individual test on the band that failed. Watch the results of the tests, you will see the calculated values for each band as it runs. Below is a table of the transceiver tests and calibrations that should be run.

    General Transceiver Tests Receiver Tests and Calibration Transmitter Tests and Calibrations
      Filter Calibration  

    Level Calibration (run before Image)

    Image Suppression

    WARNING: Do not run any of the Input/Output tests on this form. These tests require the use of specific loopback cables and connectors. If you try to run theses test without the proper connections, they will fail.

  8. After each test or calibration procedure finishes, wait several seconds before either starting the next test or closing the FLEX-3000 Production HTRX/IO Test form to allow the new calibration data to be completely written to the EEPROM

Once you have completed your calibrations, you can switch back to your previous database that had all of your configuration settings. The first time you start PowerSDR with the new calibration data, you will be prompted to update your previous database with the new calibration data. Allow your database to be updated with the new calibration data so that your FLEX-5000 will use the new calibration values.

If you experience any problems running the calibration tests, immediately contact FlexRadio Systems support directly (not using the forums or Reflector) to resolve the issues since it is imperative that your radio have good calibration data in order to operate properly.

This KB article may reference additional files that are available on the FlexRadio Systems web site Downloads page. Please use the URL(s) below to download the referenced materials.

An Adobe Acrobat Reader may be required to open the file. You can download Adobe Acrobat from here.

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Last Modified:Wednesday, March 31, 2010
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