When you start the PowerSDR software without a radio attached, it will default to "demo" mode which will allow you to operate the radio by using pre-recorded digitized RF files. In this mode you are using all of the radio features just like you would be if a real radio was connected to your PC. The pre-recorded digitized RF spectrum is not processed data, but true IQ data that would be generated as if you were using actual FlexRadio Systems hardware connected to your PC, so the PowerSDR software is fully functional on receive.
One word of caution. In order to "play" these pre-recorded digitized RF files by doing an digital to analog conversion, it requires a sound card in your PC. Not all PC sound cards will work with PowerSDR, so there is a chance that PowerSDR will not "play" them correctly. This is a limitation of the PC sound card. This issue is not a problem when you have one of our radios connected to your PC because we use the digital to analog converter inside the radio and not the PC sound card.
The following steps will help you setup and run PowerSDR in Demo mode.
Step 1. Down load the latest version of PowerSDR from the “Current Version of PowerSDR Software and Documentation” table on the FlexRadio Systems web page and save it to your hard drive.
Step 2. Run the PowerSDR Installer program using the default settings to load the software on your PC. Do not try to run the installation directly from the web site as any network issues would affect the installation of PowerSDR.
Step 3. After PowerSDR has been installed, click on the desktop icon to start PowerSDR. You will see a "One Time Optimization" screen appear. Just click on the OK button and let it finish optimizing the FFT engine for your PC.
Step 4. Next your should see the “Welcome to the Demo” screen (see below). Click on OK to continue.
Step 5. The PowerSDR console should be displayed (see below).
Step 6. Before clicking the “Start” button, we need to make some configuration changes. Click on Setup in the menu bar to display the Setup screen. Click on the Audio tab and then click on the Primary tab. Change the Sample Rate to 48000 (see below). Some PC sound cards are not able to run fast enough to decode the Analog to Digital signals for PowerSDR. Also, if you have a microphone connected to your PC's sound card, this may interfere with operating PowerSDR in demo mode, so please disconnect your microphone.
Step 7. The next step is to download a pre-recorded digitized RF spectrum file referred to as an IQ "wave" file since it is in the wave audio format.
You can find these I/Q wave files by searching the “Downloads” section on the FlexRadio Systems web page. After you have opened the Downloads web page search for the IQ wave files by typing “I/Q” in the Keyword box and clicking on the Search button.
Select a file name for an IQ wave file and save it to a folder on your computer. NOTE: these are large files and can take a while to download on slower Internet connections.
You can find additional I/Q wave files on the Internet, just by doing a Google search for “PowerSDR I/Q wave file”or by going to the WA5QPZ web site, where you can download several other I/Q wave files.
Step 8. Playing the IQ wave file. Select the Wave in the menu bar to display the Record/Playback screen. Select “Add” to select the previously downloaded IQ wave file. Navigate to the location where the I/Q wave file was saved to your computer and select it. Click on the Loop button to keep the file running in an endless loop. If your PC sound card is compatible with PowerSDR, you should hear the recording being played back through your computer speakers and see RF spectrum in the PowerSDR Panadapter (see below).
Now you can select the filtering, tune with your mouse and listen to the RF spectrum as if you had an actual radio connected to your PC.
Should you have any problem, submit a support ticket via our HelpDesk so we can assign you a case number for a support incident. For details on how to submit a HelpDesk support ticket, please refer to the following URL: http://support.flexradio.com/