Software Defined Transceiver
A few years ago SSB-Electronic launched Perseus as the first full-digital-compact Receiver. But time moves on. The integration of PC and Notebook was established and new products bring more and more performance into your shack.
ZS-1: Full Digital Transceiver for SW
Software defined receivers have been state-of-the art for years already; now the ZS-1 offers SDR Transceiver capabilities at “direct sampling” level. Now you can see what you hear and transmit ...
A dozen good reasons for purchasing the ZS-1:
- Best Software Definined Transceiver tested by the ARRL
- Especially clean output signal due to Predistortion
- Divisible Interface (operation / spectrum), suited for Dual-Monitor operation, very handy in combination with decoding software
- Additional window for audio signal control
- Intuitive GUI with practical user guide: left mouse button = function, right mouse button = configuration
- 1-Button-solution to switch all parameters between SSB and digital modes operation
- Storable standard texts for CW operation
- Simple integration of external control units
- Free Software Updates
- Display modes of the S-Meter: analogue or digital presentation
- Manual and customer support in German and English
- Made in Germany: The only fully digital transceiver that is completely manufactured in Germany
Changes Softwareversion 2.8.1 to 2.9.1:
- Bug fixes
- Import/Export all settings now available
- ExtIO support
- Hermes (Anan, Afedri)
- Odyssey support
- HiQSDR support
The ZS-1 is completely digital: The receiver makes use of Direct Sampling, the signal is digitized behind the antenna input, by a 16-Bit/100 MHz analog-digital converter (ADC). This guarantees highest signal purity: Forget problems with soundcard-based SDRs, the Soundcard is no active part of the demodulation process. Transmitter signals are created by Direct Digital Synthesis using a 14-bit 100 MHz digital-to-analog converter; an outstanding dynamic range is achieved, while the built-in predistortion ensures the cleanest possible output signal.
Is the ZS-1 a German product?
The ZS-1 is the only currently available Software Defined Transceiver, which is completely manufactured in Germany. This certainly has its price, but it also stands for quality "Made in Germany". The ZS-1 complies to CE norms as well as US-American FCC regulations. It was developed in cooperation with Alexandr Gromov, UB1AGD, and Yan Alexeenko (PARS LLC). Manufacturing, final tests, adaption according to national regulations, product optimising, support and manuals are provided by SSB-Electronic GmbH in Lippstadt, Germany. SSB-Electronic GmbH is responsible for the global dealer concession, as well as for worldwide distribution, with the exception of the CIS countries.
What distinguishes the ZS-1?
- 16-bit ADC with 130 dB dynamic range and 28 dB IP3
- Excellent TX predistortion with compensation of non linear behaviour also for external amplifiers
- DSP algorithms ensure the best possible quality of filtering, demodulation and noise reduction
- Stable and proofed in the field interface with great usability
- Permanent further development of the software, with new functions without any hardware modifications
- currently in preparation: Support for Tmate2 and any Midi-Interface
Which PC do I need?
The minimum requirement is a PC with Intel Core 2 Duo Processor with 1,5 GHz sampling rate, 2GB RAM and USB 2.0.
The Video card has to support OpenGL 1.5 at least. This is a command set which is implemented in the driver of a video card. It is highly recommended to download and install the latest driver software from the respective manufacturer side of your video card: Having installed a higher Open GL version than v1.5 does not guarantee that the manufacturer implemented all commands. Therefore an actual driver version provides the best guarantee of proper representation of the waterfall display. An ASIO driver is recommended, whenever available: It provides lowest latency and the best possible signal quality.
Which operating systems are supported?
Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8, both in the 32 and 64 bit versions. Operation under Linux or Apple operating systems is not possible. For Windows 7/8 one should perform installations as Administrator. For Windows 8 the driver signature enforcement has to be switched off (external link):
How can I ensure that my PC is suitable?
By downloading the Zeus Radio Software and a broadband recording. The file contains a recording of a complete 100 kHz segment. After decompressing the files and installing the software the file can be replayed with the Zeus IQ Player. All receiver functions are at your disposal: Signals can be selected for demodulation by a mouse click, demodulation modes, bandwidths, noise filters etc. can be used the same way as during realtime reception.
The waterfall is not displayed!
That's the case, if not all Open GL commands are implemented in the video card in use. If you already updated the video card driver, Zeus Radio offers an option to display the waterfall with reduced quality: Start the Zeus Radio Software, without activating the ZS-1. Under "Settings" / "Main" set "Usage FBO" to "no". Afterwards activate the ZS-1 with the green button.
Which software is compatible?
Beside Zeus Radio, also SDRMAX III may be used as operating software (both part of the delivery), as well as SDR Console v1.x. All Omnirig-based Third-Party-Software (Decoder, electronic logbooks etc.) can communicate with the ZS-1. The same applies to software that has implemented CAT commands for regular transceivers: The ZS-1 is compatible to the command set of the Kenwood TS-590. With this setting for example Ham Radio Deluxe can tune the ZS-1. A list of Omnirig-based software is provided by this external link: http://www.dxatlas.com/omnirig/CompatibleSoft.txt
What makes the Zeus Software special?
Stability, ergonomics and intuitive solutions: from a stringent operation through to sophisticated detail solutions - Zeus Radio offers interesting features to DXers, CW enthusiasts as well as to friends of digital modes. For example, the "Time Machine" replays already received signals from a 2.5 minute memory, CW text can also be transmitted via the keyboard or from memories, and various settings for digital modes can be switched by a single button.
Will the Zeus Software be developed further?
Yes. Some updates have been released already, also suggestions and wishes from users were reflected in this releases. The software will be further improved in future also. Updates for ZS-1 customers are provided free of charge for download. There are no time limitations or charged "software subscriptions".
Videos are available here:
- Zeus ZS-1, Review in Radio ZS (South Africa) 1-2/2014
- Zeus ZS-1 HF transceiver, RadCom 12/2013
- Zeus ZS-1, Review in REP 1/2014 (in Portuguese)
- Zeus ZS-1, Review in QTC 12/2013 (in Swedish)
- Zeus ARRL - QST6-2014
- Step by step Instruction from Nils Schiffhauer, DK8OK
We offer support by phone and by e-mail: technik(at)ssb-electronic.de