Answers to Frequently Asked Questions („FAQ-List“)
Which computer do I need?
For taking advantage of all options of the PERSEUS, the manufacturer recommends a computer with at least 2,5 GHz Dual Core Processor and 1 GB RAM. Who can live without the most demanding features (Display/Recording/Replay with big bandwidth), can use a less powerful computer also when choosing smaller sampling rates.
Those less powerful computers will benefit especially by using an external Firewire HD instead of a USB version. Firewire needs less ressources than USB, but is not available at every computer.
Which Operating Systems are supported?
The Perseus software versions starting with 2.1i support XP, Vista and Windows 7 and comes with one driver for 32 and 64 bit systems. The actual version 4.1a is suitable for Windows 8.
Users of Windows 2000 will have to use the old drivers (cyusb.sys + perseususb.dll from v2.1f). Some new functions of the new versions will be available (time stamps with the waterfall), others not (like multiple receiver operation and converter offsets).
Please confirm that your CPU has SSE2 (it's a processor instruction set) support. Perseus 3.0 requires less resources also because it relies on those advanced CPU instructions. As an example, the AthlonXP-M processor present in many laptops, doesn't support SSE2, so the latest version that will run on it is 2.1f. SSE2 was introducted first in year 2000 by Intel (PentiumIV), and 2003 by AMD (Athlon64). All processors made later have full SSE2 support.
As a rule of thumb: Only the USB drivers will have to be installed. This installation is menu guided.
The real Software directory that contains perseus.exe, has simply to be copied into your program file directory.
Apple users cannot operate Perseus under the Mac OS, but with Bootcamp. Bootcamp requires Mac OS 10.5, an Apple computer with Intel processor, and a Windows installation.
VMWare and VPC were reported to work also in some cases.
Linux is not supported.
The most recent software v4.0c (without drivers) can be found here for direct download.
A „trial period“ is displayed. Is the software limited in time?
Who does not own a Perseus, can use the 6 week evaluation period to test the client operation. Owners of a Perseus may test the benefits of using two Perseus simultaneously. With two units (hardware) one can permanently:
Listen 2x locally (checking parallel frequencies).
Listen 1x locally and 1x remotely, to compare signals.
Listen 2x remotely, to compare signals.
Listen 1x locally and offer 1x server.
Listen 1x remotely and offer 1x server.
Owners of one Perseus can use their unit after the trial period locally or as a remote client or as a remote server, without any time limitation.
Another evaluation period is related to the „External Down-Converter Software Option License“. When using an external downconverter, this license permits the display of the real receiving frequency, above the normal frequency range of Perseus. This license is distributed solely by Microtelecom directly and cannot be ordered at SSB-Electronic.
I don't have a PERSEUS, but would like to get one. What to do?
Nothing easier than that: simply order at SSB Electronic.
What happens then?
If this should be your first order at SSB Electronic, you will receive a pro-forma invoice. As a registered customer, you will get the receiver together with an invoice.
How long is the delivery time?
Usually PERSEUS is in stock. If not, delivery times mostly will not exceed a couple of days.
What are reasons for delivery times?
Because demand exceeds submissions. Every receiver is manufactured with great care and checked in an optical and electrical inspection. That's true for the power supply also. SSB Electronic, Germany is the most successful distributor of Perseus worldwide.
What can I expect from the software in the future?
The Software is delivered as it is („as is“). Its functionality exceeds most of all other receivers and control-software. Several new functions has been added since the first version. The latest one includes operation via Internet.
What is necessary for DRM reception?
DRM is a digital mode for radio stations that had not much success since being introduced about ten years ago. Nearly all stations can be decoded by the Freeware DREAM. For this purpose VAC (Virtual Audio Cable) by Eugene Muzychenko is needed:
When you select at your PERSEUS the DRM button, so receiver will feed the undecoded audio signal to the inpput of VAC. The output of VAC is connected to the input of DREAM. Its output will feed the input of your regular soundcard, which delivers the decoded audio at the output. Sounds complicated, but after the first configuaration everything works automatically.
Which settings are recommended for DRM at the Virtual Audio Cable VControl-Panel-Settings?
You will get good results with the following setting:
SR: 62500 .. 62500
BPS: 8 .. 24
NC: 1 .. 2
Max inst: 3
Ms per int: 5
Stream fmt: Cable format
Connected source: Line
Clock corr: 100%
Can the VAC-Software be used by other applications also?
VAC is needed every time you want to decode a signal losslessly, for any software that decodes digital modes as CW, RTTY, PSK, SSTV etc.), like RadioCom.
Please read the manual carefully and follow the instructions step by step. It fails? Then call our team for further advice.
I don't understand some buttons of the software. What should I do?
It doesn't help: Every step is explained in detail. You need to read the manual to get most out of your PERSEUS. If you understand German, the Booklet „PERSEUS – eine Kurzwellen-Revolution, die begeistert!“, can be found on the CD. There you will find many practical examples.
Does Perseus cover 30 or 40 MHz?
You can tune your PERSEUS up to 40 MHz. The Technical Specifications are related to the range up to 30 MHz.
My Perseus is not recognized any more! What to do?
You disconnected the USB cable of the Perseus, and after reconnecting you are getting an error message indicating missing files? Then you choosed a different USB connection as during installation. You will have to install the USB driver again from CD for this new USB hub. This is a requirement of Windows and effects other PC-based receivers and SDRs as well.
The Perseus Software is not displayed correctly. What can I do?
First of all: The window is not resizable with the mouse. With the fixed window size much less ressources are needed, hence the computer reqirements could be limited.
So the window size only depends on the screen resolution, the available resolutions again depend on the size and the specifications of your monitor as well as on your graphic card.
To change this settings, Open the Window Screen Properties Dialog, then click the "Settings" tab and then. Mark the appropriate monitor (if several are connected) and change the setting of "Screen resolution". Confirm and check the window size.
If parts of windows are not displayed although the total window can be seen, it's most probably a matter of DPI settings. This does not change the size of the screen but the true screen resolution. Settings exceeding 96 DPI (i.e 120 DPI) are not supported by the Perseus software.
Open the Window Screen Properties Dialog, then click the "Settings" tab and then "Advanced". In the advanced properties dialog select the "General" tab and then select 96 DPI (normal dimensions) in the DPI settings.
Ich want a real tuning knob!
We wanted the same. Hence we connected the ShuttlePro 2 to the USB-socket of the PC. SSB Electronic offers the ShuttlePro 2.
I have a lot of noise.
Who has not? To eliminate noise you will have to find the source. The booklet supplied on CD „PERSEUS – eine Kurzwellen-Revolution, die begeistert!“ will give some hints. The antenna should be placed far away from the receiver. Check power supplies, dimmers, neon bulbs and anything operated in stand-by mode. A portable radio is a good help to locate noise, especially when the noise is detected in the mediumwave band, where a directional antenna helps to find the right direction.
In Germany you may call the Bundesnetzagentur for further assistance: www.bundesnetzagentur.de or via the hotline: 0180 3 23 23 23 (Price for landline: 9 Cent/Minute).
The recorder works different to my cassette recorder. Why?
It is related to the huge amount of data. Recordings cover a range of up to 1600 kHz kHz that is tunable with the PERSEUS-Software „as live“. Therefore Perseus records in minute intervalls, that are combined jointless automatically during playback.
The preselected minute-values (Default) in relation to the choosen sampling rates are:
SampleRate Span(kHz) Variable to set Default (min) MaxLen (min)
125 KS/s 100 RecTime0125K 15 80
250 KS/s 200 RecTime0250K 15 40
500 KS/s 400 RecTime0500K 15 20
1 MS/s 800 RecTime1000K 10 10
2 MS/s 1600 RecTime2000K 5 8
These defaults cab be easily changed in the Windows-Registry.
A recorded file with 1.600 kHz (at 2MS/s) has a length of 5 minutes and a file size of 2,344 GB. „Quick Forward“ during playback of PERSEUS-wav files
Within the audio blocks you can „fast-forward“ as follows:
- select the desired file
- click with the left mouse button on the point where replay should start (the clock dispay „PLAYBACK/REC“ jumps to this time)
- Hold mouse button pressed and until the end of the desired range
This range is marked in transparent yellow now. The replay starts at this point and will loop the range permanently. The part being played is shown in a strong yellow while the rest remains in transparent yellow.
So you can choose a certain time frame for repeated listening, vary the frequency and get a „loop“ for a whole spectrum. This way you can easily check all station identifications usually transmitted nn top of the hour. It is a big help in identifying hard to copy signals.
The attenuator does not change the S-Meter value. Why?
This would be not professional. As a real spectrum analyzer, PERSEUS keeps the display of the original signal. Of course there is a attenuation of 10, 20 or 30 dB. As the display of the signal would have to be amplified by this amount, you will ntice an increase of noise on clear frequencies or weak signals. This may seem uncommon. But it shows how aber nur, wie nonprofessional this matter was handled by manufacturers up to now.
Tip: If the signal level at your antenna should overdrive the receiver, ("ADC" light in the upper right corner in the S-Meter), you should switch the attenuator to 10 dB. 20 dB or 30 dB will only be needed, if a strong transmitter is in the neighbourhood.
Preamplifier: Does it have an effect at all?
It has, but the effect is small (2 - 3 dB). Below of about 20 MHz the armospheric noise is higher than the sensitivity of the receiver. Increasing sensitivity would only mean more noise. Above all, the dynamic range would be reduced by the same amount. Therefore a preamplifier is useless here. It should be used on frequencies above 20 MHz, as it probably could improve a signal here.
Dither – what is that?
Dithering is a technique of digital, statistic signal processing. Dithering reduces spurious signals. This effect is mainly of importance when the PERSEUS is used as a analyzing tool.
AGC – can it be switched off?
Not yet. Even if you select AGC OFF. Only the NF-level will be reduced so the following decoder will not be overloaded. But this function can be recommended to receive weak signals close to a much stronger signal.
The S-Meter shows something although there is no signal – why?
Usual S-Meters may show S9 = 50µV (quite) correctly an, but they will hardly show weak signals at all. Signals up to about S5 are usually shown not according to their real strength. So what you see on the Perseus S-Meter, is atmospheric noise. If you separate your antenna from the receiver and use a Dummyload with an impedance of 50 Ohm instead, the S-Meter won't show any signal. PERSEUS has an optimal sensitivity. The S-Meter of the PERSEUS has an accuracy of +-1 dB over the total(!) range. The receiver is suitable to be used as a measurement tool.
How can I calibrate the frequency display?
PERSEUS offers tuning and display with an accuracy of 1 Hz. The oscillator is very precise, but depends on external factors like temperatur. Switch TUNING to Center. Choose a time signal station (like DCF 77 on 77,5 kHz, or RWM Moscow on 9996 kHz) in CW with a bandwidth of 0.8 kHz – the display shows 77,500 or 9996,000 kHz respectively. Select the button "Zoom". Is the top of the transmitter signal exactly on the line in the middle? If not, doubleclick the top of the signal and press the button Cal. The receiver will switch to the next xx.000-value, and the button CalClr is enabled. A further click on the button will delete this calibration again.
Tip: Frequency variations less than 1 Hz (like different carrier frequencies of several stations on the same nominal frequency) can also be analyzed on the audio level with an external Audio-Software.
Is the Synchronous Detector (SAM) usuually the best choice?
Nearly. In most cases it offers the best intelligibility of broadcast stations and the best signal-to-noise ratio. It synchronises on carriers already that are barely audible. The Synchronous Detector is of special use to reduce selective fading. If you notice a bad intelligibility although a sufficient signal level, or if you see a signal with several changing peaks, you are probably 5receiving a signal that was divided into several paths during its way to the receiver. These signals can partly or totally wipe out each other. The Synchronous Detector can stabilize these signals. However, there are situations where the detector will not help. If several stations are operating on the same frequency, the Synchronous Detector can synchronize to one station at a time only, while other signals with a slight offset may cause a disurbing tone. Offsets of more than 30 Hz will cause a deep, gurgling tone.
Simple help: Switch off SAM, choose SSB (USB oder LSB) instead and tune the PERSEUS in a way that no difference tone is audible any more („zero beat“). It's the best solution for Extreme-DX.
Bandwidths – which are available, how to select?
The according maximum Filter-bandwidth is selected with the buttons under BW, between 50 kHz and 0,8 kHz. The small Spectrum-Display will be set to this bandwidth also. Here you can reduce the bandwidth down to 50 Hz. This can be done symmetrically (Mouse wheel) or a-symmetrically (keep left mouse key pressed and drag the line to the desired place. The bright ranke shows the bandwidth to both sides. Choose it in a way that gives the best signal-to-noise ratio: As much as possible from the wanted signal while most of the unwanted signals has to be kept out. In many cases the bandwidth is choosen too small. The excellent 130 dB far-off selectivity of the filters together with their high slope steepness offers the option to tailor the bandwidth for the wanted signal. The intelligibility is improved by audible treble and bass so much that it is almost spectacular! That may sound unfamiliar for experienced listeners, but it offers new worlds regarding intelligibility.
Hint: All values are stored for a certain bandwidth. When you change the bandwidth, you fill get the setting you choosed last time.
How can I update frequency lists of the PERSEUS MEM window (HFCC, Eibi, Userlist)?
Please visit our Perseus-Software Page
How can I record demodulated audio / the NF signal?
For storing, ptp and archiving the MP3-Format is well-tried. It saves disk space and is easy to send via the internet. Different to the "big" WAV-files of PERSEUS broadband recordings, they can be edited by audio software.
The Audio-Clips on the SSB-Audio page were created as follows:
- Recorded as PERSEUS file
- Replay and optimising regarding frequency, bandwidth and AGC
- Recording with an audio software
- Level correction and removal of ticks
- save as MP3.
All "connections" in the PC are internal, neither cables nor a software as VAC are needed.
The Freeware "Audacity" did stand the test as a fexible Audio-Recorder. Available from: http://www.mpex.net/software/details/audacity.html Operation is easy, recording or replay happens the same way as you know it from a tape recorder. But you can cut, copy or correct the level ("normalize" as a first solution). Ticks can de cut manually or automatically. When editing is finished the (part of the) recording is saved as mp3.
Due to license restrictions the MP3-Encoder (necessary to convert WAV-files to MP3-files) has to be downloaded separately and integrated once (!) into Audacity. The Encoder is available here: http://www.mpex.net/software/details/lamedll.html
Have fun with your recordings!
Is it possible to operate PERSEUS together with a transmitter?
PERSEUS is a receiver that was NOT manufactured for this purpose. If you want to use PERSEUS as a receiverand spektrum-analyzer (not only at the IF-output of your transceiver!), so you have to make sure that no HF from the transmitter will get to the antenna input of PERSEUS! You will not only have to deconnect the antenna from the input, the input has also to be prtected by a 50 Ohm Dummyload. However, even then it may happen that HF comes into the receiver via earth loops or an error occurs when switching between Perseus and transceiver. Any damage will not by covered by the warranty. Get a Switch Box from SSB-Electronic to be safe.
How can I tune TX and PERSEUS simultaneouly?
First you have to enable the PERSEUS Vcom-Interface „On“, see our installation advice http://www.ssb.de/pdfs/VSPE-Settings.pdf
Then you need a software that can synchronize two units. HRD (HamRadioDeluxe) www.ham-radio-deluxe.com/ can so that. Download the latest Beta-Version. PERSEUS is selectable as receiver.
Start a second instance of HRD. If your transceiver has a CAT interface, it should be supported by HRD as well. After selecting your model, use the Synch button to define master and slave function. Usually you will use Perseus as master.
Warning: Please avoid damage by wrong configuration!
SSB-Electronic is currently developing a new switchbox for safe operation.
Can the Perseus window be adjusted in size to fit my screen?
No, but it is possible to change the size of the Perseus window by changing the resolution of the monitor. So for exampe you can achieve a nearly full screen sized window on a 17 inch monitor with 1024x768 pixels.
Can PERSEUS wav files be replayed on computers without a Perseus connected (e.g. during travels) for listening and analysis?
It is possible:
Every owner of a PERSEUS can has been having this option since Software-Version 1.1c!
You may also try Winrad as an alternative software for this task. Load you PERSEUS-Recording-file at
Winrad> Show Options> Select Input> Wav-file and listen.
Is there a forum for international users of the PERSEUS to share information?
It's here http:/groups.yahoo.com/group/perseus_SDR/
A worldmap with PERSEUS users can be found here: