Using a SDR-1000 with PowerSDR with an Apple Mac Mini

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Using a SDR-1000 with PowerSDR with an Apple Mac Mini

Using a SDR-1000 with PowerSDR with an Apple Mac Mini

System Dependencies
Minimum PowerSDR Version:
Applicable Hardware: SDR-1000 or FLEX-5000

Content provided by: Don, W0RXX

Quite a few Hams have asked about running PowerSDR on an Apple Mac Computer. For Hams that have only a MAC computer, or who, like me, prefer to have a small, compact computer to run PowerSDR, the MAC Mini is perfect. Below is a picture of my setup.

Apple’s Boot Camp is an easy way to go, and I recently installed Windows XP on my Mac Mini (Intel Version) and have been using it with my SDR-1000 and FA-66 sound card with no problems. These same steps should work as well with any Intel based Macintosh Computer and/or any good firewire or USB sound card. (My Mini has a Core 2 Duo Intel processor running at 2Ghz with 2GB Ram.)

Minimum Requirements: Apple Mac running OS X 1.5, 24bit/96khz firewire sound card (FA-66), SDR-1000 with USB parallel Cable, and a full version CD install disc for Windows XP (Not Vista).

NOTE: You must use Boot Camp to install Windows XP on the MAC.

Step 1. - Boot Camp is a utility that is included as a part of OS X.
  • Click on “Go” at the top of your desktop, and then “Utilities
  • In Utilities, click on “Boot Camp Assistant
  • The Assistant will walk you through the process of Installing Windows on your Mac, and booting into Windows.
Step 2. - After Windows in installed, boot into Windows and Install the FA-66 Drivers from the FA-66 installation disk. Follow the instructions provided by FlexRadio for the particular sound card installation

Step 3. - Download and install PowerSDR from I’m using version 1.10.4

Step 4. - Connect the FA-66 soundcard to the Mac Firewire port if not already connected.

Step 5. - Connect the SDR-1000 to the MAC using the USB cable supplied by Flex-radio.

Step 6. - Make the Audio connections between the SDR-1000 and FA-66 as shown in the SDR-1000 set-up guide.

Step 7. - Turn on the SDR-1000 and start PowerSDR. The first time it will bring up a wizard to make sure the settings are correct. I use a 96K sample rate for the FA-66 and PowerSDR.

Step 8. - If you have an antenna connected to the SDR-1000 you should be receiving signals OK.

BEFORE transmitting with this setup, you need to install extra Ferrite Beads on both ends of the USB cable, and make sure the MAC, FA-66 and SDR-1000 are all grounded to each other and to a common Earth Ground! (I slipped a ground lug under one of the screws for the VGA Video jack on the MAC Mini) (An Antenna or a dummy load is also required!)

Step 9. - Now you should have a compact, stable and quiet rig for many enjoyable SDR QSO’s!

Apple’s website also has an excellent manual to assist with setup. See the Related Links below.

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.

KB Source Document(s):

None Referenced

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Last Modified:Thursday, July 31, 2008
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