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 RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use

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Victor
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PostSubject: RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use   RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use Icon_minitimeTue Jun 15, 2021 10:00 am

Hi all,

Hope you're all keeping well and enjoying your radio. RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use 1f44d


I have a question to ask. Have or do any of you utilise an RF speech processor?


I'm not talking about 'power mics', desk mics or other means of pre-amplification that allows me to hear your dog farting in the background on your QSO Wink.....


...we're talking about those units that convert your audio into RF for processing before converting back to audio to avoid distortions from said processing.

Think old school Datong units or Daiwas, maybe even the more modern Ten-Tec Model 715.

I've seen some great designs for such units from the likes of YD1JJJ, PA0FRI and even in an old copy of Practical Wireless. (PW March 1986 to be precise - er yeah, my wife does think I'm a hoarder! Very Happy)
From the technical specifications and descriptions it would seem such an item would be worth building but I'd rather have some personal opinions on usage of such items rather than pure technicalities.


Do any of you use such a device?
Have you used such a device in the past and what where your thoughts on it?
Do they work as well as specified giving a much needed boost to your SSB signal?



Any input would be most appreciated.....

....so long as it's less than 5,000 words and doesn't encompass the existential existence or vagaries of radio communications to tier...blah-de-blah-blah. Wink


Oh, and I'll definitely give a big 'thanks' and 'like' for any useful information. RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use 1f44d 

Look forward to hearing from you.


All the best,
Victor


Last edited by Victor on Thu Jun 17, 2021 8:17 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Changed posting title to better reflect topic)

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43CT016
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PostSubject: Re: RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use   RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use Icon_minitimeTue Jun 15, 2021 10:28 am

Nope, though I do have the speech compressor in the iCom turned on, to do much the same job with boosting the overall "level" of the SSB signal....but I run very little mic gain as a result too.

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PostSubject: Re: RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use   RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use Icon_minitimeTue Jun 15, 2021 11:04 am

Cheers Jeff.

Just trying to find out as much as I can. Looks good on paper, but if it's so good....why isn't everyone using one? Wink

Did figure out some issues between electret capsules that pick up every damn thing when amplified compared to dynamic mic setups, (all my Yaesu's are dynamic). Reviews on such items are scant and sometimes perplexing with individuals moaning they don't work well on FM.....Really?!? Very Happy


Just on a quest with my recent FT290 acquisition - really impressed with the range especially VHF SSB and with it's QRP 2.5W O/P. Rather than bolting on 'linears' just thinking about processing to maybe enhance that range.


Much appreciated.

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PostSubject: Re: RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use   RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use Icon_minitimeWed Jun 16, 2021 10:33 pm

Everyone on CB uses power mics and they're of no use on UKFM.

People using ham gear will just turn on the compression.
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PostSubject: Re: RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use   RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use Icon_minitimeThu Jun 17, 2021 12:04 am

I use it on my Icom Victor, used it on my Yaesu too...  just kept to the manuals setup instructions, and all seems to work just fine.

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PostSubject: Re: RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use   RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use Icon_minitimeThu Jun 17, 2021 6:51 am

Cheers Jeff, (53Prefect).


So far no one has really given me an answer to the actual question I posed so perhaps I hadn't explained myself well enough.

Even my old FT757 has a SSB processor on it, albeit with no real settings but just a press of the button. It barely makes a difference though in reality obviously fairly limited to prevent audio distortions. It utilises a simple diode clipping audio compression method so I'm not at all surprised.

Modern radios use different compression chip methods and even DSP, (Digital Signal Processing), to boost the audio for SSB usually in the audio chain and again fairly limited. There are exceptions that do their best to process along the TX RF chain but once again in a limited form. Other examples play some jiggery-pokery methods on the RF outputs.

I know that these methods can produce some difference to your signal but not quite as good as expected or achievable.


As mentioned I am looking for a method to boost my VHF SSB on my FT290r and it doesn't have any form of compressor whatsoever. I can't simply press a button or make a menu setting change.


The method I am looking at and the units I mentioned utilise an RF method to process the audio signal. 

An audio signal when processed heavily will create distortions along the audio harmonic chain which usually shows up in the final radio signal with IMD, (Inter-Modulation Distortion), artifacts causing typical signal 'splatter'. I think this is why people avoid such methods or keep it fairly limited.

The RF method first converts your microphone audio signal to a low frequency RF, (normally 455KHz but sometimes in the MHz region), usually a DSB, (Double Side Band), signal which is then processed and filtered before being converted back to an audio signal. The idea is that any harmonic distortion occurs in the RF region and so of no consequence being filtered out when converted back to an audio signal. It is then this signal that is passed onto the radios microphone input.

All clever stuff and such units can be built small enough to fit inside a fist mic.

It all looks good on paper but I've yet to come across any examples of personal use of such items, (used correctly and not trying to boost an FM signal where such things are useless!) There should be much more boost to the signal than achievable by other methods.


I can see why manufacturers simply don't bother as most products are 'bean counted' to the N'th degree. It's usually mentioned as a method to 'keep prices low for you' guff when I know it's about final profits. (Why else would manufacturers put 16 volt rated capacitors in a radio designed to run off 13.8 volts when most electronic engineers know to 'double rate' and recommend at least 25 volts for surge current and supply ripple/variation? Maybe that's the re-capping myth issue right there! Wink)

There's also historical arguments along the typical them & us, CB vs Ham nonsense. Speech processors & power mics were often used incorrectly by FM CB users where they served no real purpose other than a perceived performance increase. Most designs offered to Hams were the limited audio path method and often not well understood.


Perhaps Datong, Daiwa & Ten-Tec were onto something but people simply didn't 'buy' into it.

Looks like I may have to look into it more myself. I had hoped someone here had personal experience.


Thanks to all anyway.

All the best,
Victor
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Alan Pilot
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PostSubject: Re: RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use   RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use Icon_minitimeThu Jun 17, 2021 8:23 am

All over my head Victor i wish i could help.
My ft991a must have loads of settings but i only turn the mic gain up and that is it.
Surprised our friend hasn't sorted you out but time yet lol.
I have every faith in you m8 you will sort it out.

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PostSubject: Re: RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use   RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use Icon_minitimeThu Jun 17, 2021 9:11 am

Ha! Very Happy

No worries Alan mate. Looks like I'll have to build one and find out for myself. RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use 1f44d 


I had hoped I could find out more 'user experience' thoughts this often being better than straight technical specs.
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PostSubject: Re: RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use   RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use Icon_minitimeMon Jun 28, 2021 6:16 am

I used the Datong RF compressor for a number years on my TS790E.

Doing tests with other hams it did have an quite an advantage over no compressor
and it gave a cleaner signal as long as it was kept within the ALC zone.

In fact I still have the beast in here some where.

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PostSubject: Re: RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use   RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use Icon_minitimeMon Jun 28, 2021 9:17 am

That's absolutely pure gold Mike!  RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use 1f44d 

A first hand personal perspective of such units and their effect on operation is exactly what I was after.

Looks like it's an avenue worth exploring more then and I appreciate your user experience input.
(Often worth way more than 'on paper' specs. Smile)


As promised in my original posting, 'Thanked' & 'Liked'. Much appreciated.

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PostSubject: Re: RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use   RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use Icon_minitimeTue Jun 29, 2021 6:26 am

I have a crap voice for SSB it never really peaks the tx like other ops.

There was a review of the Datong in RADCOM and I bought one to experiment.

Around here most of the hams on VHF were very big stations and chasing DX I just couldn't break through them, not even running 200watts.
When I got the Datong going the DX often heard me first, not all the time but often busted pileups.
The trick is don't be fooled in winding up compression to much, the Datong would go to 30db but 6db to 12db was enough to keep the ALC happy and the signal would be clean and loud at the other end.
Follow the rig makers recommendation on the ALC setting and you should not get bad reports.
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PostSubject: Re: RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use   RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use Icon_minitimeTue Jun 29, 2021 10:42 am

Cheers for the extra info Mike, again much appreciated.

The unit I'm looking at building performs a moderate compression of 6 - 12db so should all be good. RF Based Speech Processor for SSB use 1f44d
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