Optiplex GX620 - Dedicated SDR + SAT

Vipersan

Vipersan

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#1
So ..rather than bloat another thread I thought Id start fresh here ..
The GX620 arrived this morning ...and has been tested ..
It runs up with XP 64bit already installed ..
Later today I shall image this drive ...but in the meantime here is a photo..
'scuse the surrounding mess ...I am impatient when something new arrives.
 

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Vipersan

Vipersan

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#2
First job ..see if my TBS6925 card could be fitted ..
Hmm ..
Not sure here so would appreciate any input .
The back mounting tab has been removed to allow the TBS card to physically be fitted..
I will need a lower profile back mounting plate thats for sure..
Next question ..
Is it permissable to fit a pci-e card in the pci-express graphics card slot just using the front connections of the card..
The slot is X16 and obviously intended for a graphics card..
thus not the same connections as the pcb of the TBS card..
See the photos ..
This bit is important..
A fall here and the project is all but over before it began..
 

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Vipersan

Vipersan

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#3
Found this web cruising ...so may well answer my own question...but would still appreciate feedback from anyone who has actually tried it ..


"A PCIe card will physically fit (and work correctly) in any slot that is at least as large as it is (e.g. an x1 card will work in a x4 or x16 slot), and a slot of a large physical size (e.g. x16) can be wired electrically with fewer lanes (e.g. x1 or x8; however, it must still provide the power and ground connections required by the larger physical slot size)."

I worry about damaging the TBScard as it was expensive ..
;)
 
Vipersan

Vipersan

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#4
,..Just been up in the loft to locate the original box the TBS6925 came in ..
It took some finding as I'm not very organised.
Opening the box revealed the neccessary low profile mounting plate ..still in its sealed bag ..
nice ..
So thats one job I have sorted..
;)
 

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2cvbloke

2cvbloke

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#5
Yes, you can fit an x1 card into an x16 slot, which is handy... :)
 
Vipersan

Vipersan

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#6
Thanks for the confirmation 2cv
Gotta go to work soon ..but think some small progress has been made..
The TBS card is physically fitted though not installed in the O/S Optiplex GX620 - Dedicated SDR + SAT_965148 Optiplex GX620 - Dedicated SDR + SAT_965148
...with a low profile back plate ..
More to to this evening..
rgds
VS
 
battenfan

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#7
FYI You can also fit a pci-e card that is too large and it will probably work
220px-PCIe_J1900_SoC_ITX_Mainboard_IMG_1820.JPG

I've done it myself running a graphics card in a slot that has been through the dremel treatment.
I would like to know if it's possible to run a modern 3.0 pci-e ssd in an old 1.0 pci-e slot.
 
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smoggy07

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#8
Also worth noting but no good now as you're sorted, some of the earlier Dell desktops had a cage with a PCI card built on that when plugged in vertical gave 3 horizontal PCI/PCIe slots (if that makes sense)

I could pull out the cage and fit 3 PCI/PCIe cards in side ways then refit the cage into the one PCI slot on the motherboard, thus increasing the capacity
 
Vipersan

Vipersan

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#9
Ok ..removed the 80gb hard drive XP64 and cloned it to a 1TB Hitach drive I had lying around ...
Installed the cloned drive et voila ...I now have a Dell with a larger drive that boots fine..
At boot the new Hardware which is the TBS card is seen ..but not installing it as yet.
What I intend to do ..since I now have a larger HD ..is install win7 and dual boot ..
So I'll have the choice of win7 hopefully and the original XP.
This however will have to wait until I have replaced the 5 filter electrolytic caps on the motherboard ..
A job I was prepared for thanks to this :-
at least 3 of mine are suspect ..and I will be using 2200uf low esr ...but ugrading from 6.8v to 10v ..
They are a couple of mm wider diameter ..but should fit no probs.
I have a pack of 5 on order..
rgds
VS
 
Vipersan

Vipersan

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2x VboxII AZ-EL
2 m+ Alcoa PF + BSC421 C-Band lnbf...
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#10
Some progress made ..
(told you I was impatient)
I now have a dual boot system
Win7 32 bit or the original XP64 bit
Win7 installed flawlessly ..but as has already been suggested ..
No audio ..
A quick search revealed that Soundmax drivers were needed ..
These are now installed and currently listening to an MP3 on a usb stick..
 
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Vipersan

Vipersan

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My Satellite Setup
IP9000HD +
TD110 Dish and TD88 Dish in Tandem
66°East to 60°West.
AZbox PrmHD + OpnbxS9HD + Skybox + DrHD F15
2x VboxII AZ-EL
2 m+ Alcoa PF + BSC421 C-Band lnbf...
+SS2/TwHnS2-3200 pci/TBS6925 pci
1.5 Fortec Star -Gbox - HtoH Ku/Ka/C
My Location
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#11
Optiplex GX620 - Dedicated SDR + SAT_965331 The caps arrived with this mornings post ..
Now fitted ..
Original cap diameter 10mm 6.8v
I used 12 mm Panasonic caps all 10volt ..
iy never hurts to go up a voltage size ...but this usually is a trade off size wise ..so you have to make sure there is sufficient clearance aroud the larger cap when fitted..
2 of them are close but do fit ok..
4 of them are 2200uf ..so replaced with 4x 2200uf at 10volt..
the fifth is thinner and only 1800uf ..
This too was replaced with a 2200uf 10v.
again ..bigger is ok ..smaller is not.
Panasonic electrolytic caps are my favourite..
I trust them to have a long life..and these should be no exeption..rated higher by 3.2v ....and low ESR ...
This is important.

Now begins the search for my syringe of Arctic silver heat sink paste ..
which is _somewhere_ in my workshop..
??
 
smoggy07

smoggy07

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#12
While you have it in bits, if you have one lying about, replace the CMOS button battery, it might not have gone yet but it won't have much life left in it
 
Vipersan

Vipersan

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2 m+ Alcoa PF + BSC421 C-Band lnbf...
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#13
Now then ..
As you know I want to make a completely self contained SDR/.SAT pc receiver ..
I know I can physically fit a sat card ...but
I dont want the SDR floating outside the PC ..
Problem ...there is limited space inside the Optiplex ...and I dont know how the SDRplay would be affected if it was mounted internally ..
But I am going to give it a go ..
First I have to remove the SDRplay case as this definately is to big and will not fit inside ..
Next ..how would I mount the SDR pcb ..?
and finally ..how much screening will be required to stop electrical PC noise ?
The last question I haven't tackled yet ...but this is what I have come up with so far..
I have cut a shaped piece of polythene to fit into the vacant pci slot ..to which I will be able to mount the SDR play pcb ...and hopefully with a longer SMA lead bring the antenna connection external to the PC ..
Note ..nothing has been cut or damaged ..nor will it be relating the the SDRplay ...so if this part of the project fails I can resort to external use again..
rgds
VS Optiplex GX620 - Dedicated SDR + SAT_965368 Optiplex GX620 - Dedicated SDR + SAT_965368 Optiplex GX620 - Dedicated SDR + SAT_965368
 
Vipersan

Vipersan

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My Satellite Setup
IP9000HD +
TD110 Dish and TD88 Dish in Tandem
66°East to 60°West.
AZbox PrmHD + OpnbxS9HD + Skybox + DrHD F15
2x VboxII AZ-EL
2 m+ Alcoa PF + BSC421 C-Band lnbf...
+SS2/TwHnS2-3200 pci/TBS6925 pci
1.5 Fortec Star -Gbox - HtoH Ku/Ka/C
My Location
UK
#14
So ..
I'm going to have to get a longer U.FL to RP-SMA pigtail ..
Roughly 50cm ...to replace the original .
The longest I can get in good ole lighty s about 10cm (AS USUAL)..so will have to wait ..
Typical you can get a 50cm pigtail in China ..or the US ...but not here ..
Good Gawd ...no one would ever think a UK resident might actually want to extend a commercial products capabilities..or experiment with it..
Good Grief..
.but once connected I can wrap the whole thing in Aluminium tape and ground it..
It just goes to show you should never throw away that blister packaging ..
I keep all shapes n sizes ..
you just never know when it might come in handy..
rgds
VS Optiplex GX620 - Dedicated SDR + SAT_965378 Optiplex GX620 - Dedicated SDR + SAT_965378
 
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Vipersan

Vipersan

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My Satellite Setup
IP9000HD +
TD110 Dish and TD88 Dish in Tandem
66°East to 60°West.
AZbox PrmHD + OpnbxS9HD + Skybox + DrHD F15
2x VboxII AZ-EL
2 m+ Alcoa PF + BSC421 C-Band lnbf...
+SS2/TwHnS2-3200 pci/TBS6925 pci
1.5 Fortec Star -Gbox - HtoH Ku/Ka/C
My Location
UK
#15
So ..only the usb connection ...and the arctic silver ..to go ..
Found a suitable pigtail ..but had to open up a WAC700 Philips audio system to _borrow_ it ..
I have a replacement on order from China..
Here are the last pics of the night..
Certainly gonna be compact..if it works ..lol
Optiplex GX620 - Dedicated SDR + SAT_965386 Optiplex GX620 - Dedicated SDR + SAT_965386 Optiplex GX620 - Dedicated SDR + SAT_965386
 
Chris1979

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#16
smoggy07

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#17
I'd be very concerned with RFi from the Dell, when I had my Icom PCR1000 PC controlled receiver I thought about installing it inside the Dell desktop to hide it away where the CD/DVD drive sits, it didn't fit so I never installed it but I was getting 3 to 4 pound of crap (in old CB radio moneys) from the Dell with the lid/bonnet open compared to the 2 to 3 pound of static with it closed (which was the norm for that radio on that PC)
It seems that everything from the power supply used to the fans to the HDD and even the processor in those old Dells spew noise all over the HF bands

If you can, make use of many many Ferrite rings (if thats how you spell it), wrap a few round the Dell kettle lead, the monitor kettle lead, if you can I'd try and get one on the VGA cable and on the leads out of the power supply on the inside, also on your USB lead from the SDR and the antenna cable too

I'd be inclined to advise against installing inside the PC unless you can shield it very very well, maybe by making an improvised Farraday Cage, even then you will have weak points where the USB and antenna lead leave the unit

Also where the antenna socket has been installed next to the sat card, it's earthing out to the PC metalwork so I wouldn't be surprised if that caused RFi too

I really do like where you're going with this project and wish you well with it, if you get good results I might be tempted to build my own

Keep us up to date with your findings mate
 
Vipersan

Vipersan

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My Satellite Setup
IP9000HD +
TD110 Dish and TD88 Dish in Tandem
66°East to 60°West.
AZbox PrmHD + OpnbxS9HD + Skybox + DrHD F15
2x VboxII AZ-EL
2 m+ Alcoa PF + BSC421 C-Band lnbf...
+SS2/TwHnS2-3200 pci/TBS6925 pci
1.5 Fortec Star -Gbox - HtoH Ku/Ka/C
My Location
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#18
As I say Smoggy ..The SDRplay inside the Dell is very easily reversed if it fails due to RFi .
I have put an aluminium tape shield around the SDR pcb ...
All connections including the USB cable will have either ferrite rings of clip on cable ferrite filters.
The Aluminium tape screen over the SDR will be taped with more Aluminium Tape directly to the steel shield which lines the inside of the Dell case...and the entry point of the outer connection of SMA antenna connector is grounded by default in the same way the TBS card input and loop through are.
Do remember that the satellite card sits inside the Dell with nothing more than screening ...
and I do appreciate this was designed to ...
There is more than a small chance this idea will fail due to RFi ....but I have to at least try ansd satisfy my curiosity.
If it is a failure this thread will be first to know ...after me.
;)
rgds
VS
 
Vipersan

Vipersan

Emmett Browns Ghost
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My Satellite Setup
IP9000HD +
TD110 Dish and TD88 Dish in Tandem
66°East to 60°West.
AZbox PrmHD + OpnbxS9HD + Skybox + DrHD F15
2x VboxII AZ-EL
2 m+ Alcoa PF + BSC421 C-Band lnbf...
+SS2/TwHnS2-3200 pci/TBS6925 pci
1.5 Fortec Star -Gbox - HtoH Ku/Ka/C
My Location
UK
#19
Update ..
Good news ..
the PC is reassembled and is working just fine..
HSDR was quickly installed and FM radio selected as I only had access to a stubby antenna where the build is taking place..
Yes there is RFi as expected ..
..though tuning in the wideband FM radio channels wasn't an issue ...
..I guess I could say ..it is working.
However there is still too much background RFi imo ..
Here are 2 photos showing the same chunk of spectrum ..both with an antenna ...an a radio channel playing...and one without showing noise stripes at regular intervals ..
I gess terminating the antenna input would be a good idea during the hunt for noise phase.
screening is imo inadequate though IS working to some degree..
I am now thinking of improving the screening perhaps by mounting SDRplay in a small diecast box ..I will search to see if I can get one of a suitable size tomorrow..
but for now it is bath time..
..it being Friday.
rgds
VS Optiplex GX620 - Dedicated SDR + SAT_965458 Optiplex GX620 - Dedicated SDR + SAT_965458
 
Vipersan

Vipersan

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My Satellite Setup
IP9000HD +
TD110 Dish and TD88 Dish in Tandem
66°East to 60°West.
AZbox PrmHD + OpnbxS9HD + Skybox + DrHD F15
2x VboxII AZ-EL
2 m+ Alcoa PF + BSC421 C-Band lnbf...
+SS2/TwHnS2-3200 pci/TBS6925 pci
1.5 Fortec Star -Gbox - HtoH Ku/Ka/C
My Location
UK
#20
Interestingly ...I pulled the SDR play unit out of the pc and let it hang just outside the PC ..and the RFi was still present..
BUT bringing the USB cable out of the PC caused the RFi to reduce by about 90% ...so to me this is where the majority of noise is getting in ..
Hmm ...perhaps I can buy of make up a shorter screen usb A B cable ..
..as I think this would solve most of the issues..
Does such a thing already exist ?
If you spot one let me know..
rgds
VS
 
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