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Author Topic: KiwiSDR discontinued  (Read 2999 times)

Online Shortwave_Listener

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KiwiSDR discontinued
« on: October 05, 2022, 1533 UTC »
http://www.hard-core-dx.com/swb/2012.pdf

“If you want to purchase a KiwiSDR better do so soon. Because when the current distributor stock is sold there will be no more.
The Kiwi is a victim of the global semiconductor shortage. Parts have not been available in more than a year. And there is no guarantee when this situation will end, if ever. There are other reasons as well. But they're secondary and don't re- ally matter at this point.
I don't want to get into a big discussion about this. There's not much to say really. All the ideas and possibilities you might be thinking were already considered many months ago. There is simply no reasonable way forward. Not for me any- way.
After 9 years, 6 years since the Kickstarter, I am tired. I've had no income from the project since March. I am losing money every month now in OpEx costs. Some support and development will continue. But mostly on things I consider interesting or easy to implement. I've been working on other projects for some time.
I'd like to thank everyone for their kind support over the years. Through the good times and the bad.”

(via Steve Whitt, Medium Wave News Editor, York, England)
(WORLDWIDE DX CLUB Top News #1518 Sept 30th, 2022)

Very sad news  :'( I was always hoping to see more of them pop up in different places, but I guess this means we probably will not be seeing many new ones anymore.
Lucas Bandura
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Offline ~SIGINT~

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Re: KiwiSDR discontinued
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2022, 1705 UTC »
Indeed, a very sorry demise. For one, I have been trying to purchase one for several years but have not been able to do so due to the parts shortage issue. Now, the scary thing is, as we have seen in the past, the Kiwis have a dependency on a back-end infrastructure which is hosted over the Internet to stitch everything together (receiver listings, map, features / extensions, software updates etc...). If support for the back-end vanishes there is a good chance the Kiwis may become extinct.

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: KiwiSDR discontinued
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2022, 1904 UTC »
Indeed, a very sorry demise. For one, I have been trying to purchase one for several years but have not been able to do so due to the parts shortage issue. Now, the scary thing is, as we have seen in the past, the Kiwis have a dependency on a back-end infrastructure which is hosted over the Internet to stitch everything together (receiver listings, map, features / extensions, software updates etc...). If support for the back-end vanishes there is a good chance the Kiwis may become extinct.

Even without any of that, existing KiwiSDRs would continue to mostly function as they are. We'd lose TDoA, but most other features would continue to function.
Chris Smolinski
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Offline Charlie_Dont_Surf

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Re: KiwiSDR discontinued
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2022, 0638 UTC »
Yes, even though they may stop manufacture, the existing receivers will obviously still work. The network will continue to exists, etc.

They said in 2020 that the semiconductor supply issues wold be largely resolved in 2022. I'm here to tell you that it's not even close to being fully resolved in late 2022.
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Every minute Charlie squats in the bush, his signal gets stronger."

Offline Zoidberg

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Re: KiwiSDR discontinued
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2022, 0514 UTC »
That's a shame. SDRs in general have been terrific for the hobby. In the early 2000s we had to queue up for a crack at a single channel remote controlled Drake R8 or Ten Tec receiver, or just listen while someone else was parked on the frequency. I remember some internet drama over whose turn it was to retune those receivers.

I've seen some market gurus speculating on whether the current shortages in electronics and inflation may promote a return to domestic production. I kinda doubt it. We're spoiled by low prices. And electronics manufacturing is environmentally dirty. That's a tough ask in the US.
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Offline Pigmeat

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Re: KiwiSDR discontinued
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2022, 0015 UTC »
Odd. I never had to worry about what frequency the R-8 was on. It was always on the one where I last turned the knob to. All my Drake receivers worked that way. You must have been taken in by a radio huckster

Offline MDK2

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Re: KiwiSDR discontinued
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2022, 1612 UTC »
That's a shame. SDRs in general have been terrific for the hobby. In the early 2000s we had to queue up for a crack at a single channel remote controlled Drake R8 or Ten Tec receiver, or just listen while someone else was parked on the frequency. I remember some internet drama over whose turn it was to retune those receivers.

I've seen some market gurus speculating on whether the current shortages in electronics and inflation may promote a return to domestic production. I kinda doubt it. We're spoiled by low prices. And electronics manufacturing is environmentally dirty. That's a tough ask in the US.

Sounds like the global tuners site. I used to frequent that one (everyone seemed to have a Kenwood R-1000 for some reason - I came to suspect it was a default setting nobody bothered to correct) and do recall some of the issues where you'd be there, then someone else would come along and retune. It was weird. OTOH, there was one in South Korea where a bunch of us who wanted to copy the South Korean numbers station V24 well could do so reliably. The chat would fill up with people from all over (though largely other young South Koreans such as the person who operated it - I think he was a 19 year old college student at the time) and it was fun. But that one disappeared suddenly. Never got the story, but I suspected that the parents put their feet down because he was spending more time trying to hear North Korea on shortwave (which isn't jammed, unlike MW broadcasts) than studying. I've also heard that you can get in trouble south of the DMZ if you're trying to copy broadcasts from the North, so it could have been that. Now of course there's no more V24 either.
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Offline Charlie_Dont_Surf

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Re: KiwiSDR discontinued
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2022, 1825 UTC »
I've seen some market gurus speculating on whether the current shortages in electronics and inflation may promote a return to domestic production. I kinda doubt it. We're spoiled by low prices. And electronics manufacturing is environmentally dirty. That's a tough ask in the US.

I work in "the business".  At the moment, approximately 75% of the world's wafer fab capacity is in East Asia. (https://anysilicon.com/semiconductor-wafer-capacity-by-geographic-region-2020/) The CHIPS Act in the US will have some effect but it will take some time (years) to have any effect. (Construction has started on many projects as a result of it.) The other consideration is that manufacturing is not strictly fabrication of wafers, it is also wirebonding/assembling/encapsulating them into plastic packages or adding solder bumps and virtually 100% of that worldwide capacity for high-volume is in East Asia as well. The CHIPS Act doesn't do much about that. (Some but not much.) So there will be more domestic US production eventually but I also don't see it as a magic wand changing everything.

As for the economics, they are making it more competitive to do it in the US but a large part of that calculation is a) the more defensive posture that the US government is taking toward the PRC, making it more difficult to do business with them on grounds of national security (I believe that the concerns are well-founded) and b) the PRC threatening the entire world's supply of electronics by taking a more aggressive stance toward Taiwan. I don't see a) and b) changing anytime soon though so it's not a bad investment.

As for the KiwiSDR, I guess we have to hope that someone will step up to design the next generation of KiwiSDR or similar open-source project. It won't be me.  ;D
I don't STRETCH the truth.

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Every minute Charlie squats in the bush, his signal gets stronger."

Offline BoomboxDX

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Re: KiwiSDR discontinued
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2022, 0445 UTC »
I've seen some market gurus speculating on whether the current shortages in electronics and inflation may promote a return to domestic production. I kinda doubt it. We're spoiled by low prices. And electronics manufacturing is environmentally dirty. That's a tough ask in the US.

I work in "the business".  At the moment, approximately 75% of the world's wafer fab capacity is in East Asia. (https://anysilicon.com/semiconductor-wafer-capacity-by-geographic-region-2020/) The CHIPS Act in the US will have some effect but it will take some time (years) to have any effect. (Construction has started on many projects as a result of it.) The other consideration is that manufacturing is not strictly fabrication of wafers, it is also wirebonding/assembling/encapsulating them into plastic packages or adding solder bumps and virtually 100% of that worldwide capacity for high-volume is in East Asia as well. The CHIPS Act doesn't do much about that. (Some but not much.) So there will be more domestic US production eventually but I also don't see it as a magic wand changing everything.

As for the economics, they are making it more competitive to do it in the US but a large part of that calculation is a) the more defensive posture that the US government is taking toward the PRC, making it more difficult to do business with them on grounds of national security (I believe that the concerns are well-founded) and b) the PRC threatening the entire world's supply of electronics by taking a more aggressive stance toward Taiwan. I don't see a) and b) changing anytime soon though so it's not a bad investment.

As for the KiwiSDR, I guess we have to hope that someone will step up to design the next generation of KiwiSDR or similar open-source project. It won't be me.  ;D

I recently read a news article stating that much of the world's high tech chips are made by one company in Taiwan, and that any crisis (or war) would curtail production of something like 50-90% of the chips that our tech depends on worldwide. How much does that figure in?

Here's the article:
https://www.businessinsider.com/tsmc-us-china-tensions-may-dictate-fate-of-global-economy-2022-10

Guess we radio people should stock up on radios, etc., now as opposed to later -- just in case.
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Offline cyphermatic

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Re: KiwiSDR discontinued
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2022, 1840 UTC »
There's a section in a the book, "KiwiSDR: 21st Century Radio..." speculating on the future of these radios. It seems that we'll certainly be in the realm of continuing software refinement without hardware changes.  FlyDog and Raspberry SDRs will still be around, and may see development. I would expect those projects to also have a hard time getting semiconductor components.

I have a soft spot in my heart for GlobalTuners, but they are archaic AF.
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Offline Josh

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Re: KiwiSDR discontinued
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2022, 2152 UTC »
With regard towards Kenwood R-1000, for the time they were and still are great hf rigs.
A lot of guys used them for digital mode work with a few mods such as fine hfo/bfo tuning. On the wikis, waiting for china to make a knockoff that works well.
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Offline Charlie_Dont_Surf

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Re: KiwiSDR discontinued
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2022, 0844 UTC »
I recently read a news article stating that much of the world's high tech chips are made by one company in Taiwan, and that any crisis (or war) would curtail production of something like 50-90% of the chips that our tech depends on worldwide. How much does that figure in?

A lot. This is what I was alluding to here:
Quote
As for the economics, they are making it more competitive to do it in the US but a large part of that calculation is a) the more defensive posture that the US government is taking toward the PRC, making it more difficult to do business with them on grounds of national security (I believe that the concerns are well-founded) and b) the PRC threatening the entire world's supply of electronics by taking a more aggressive stance toward Taiwan. I don't see a) and b) changing anytime soon though so it's not a bad investment.

I scanned through the article but there isn't anything new to me in there. TSMC has hoovered up a lot of the business by being a good vendor. (I've worked with them.) Their next largest competitor in the foundry space (Global Foundries, "GF") isn't nearly the same size. Having that much business concentrated in one company on one island always concerned me and I'm obviously not the only one.

My opinion is that the PRC would be very stupid to disrupt the world economy in this manner. You see how the war in Ukraine has caused hunger and disruption to grain supplies around the world. Now imagine the disruption if the PRC shut down Taiwan. It would be far worse than what has happened to grain.

The PRC knows this, they see what has happened to grain, they see the ill will that has caused and they are already not fully on board with Mr. Putin's folly at the moment anyway.

But, I dunno. Maybe they have some magic plan to make it all work, or so they think. You see how ruthless they are in enforcing their zero-COVID policy on their own people.  I would expect nothing less in the cruelty department if they took over Taiwan too.

/end of rant
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Every minute Charlie squats in the bush, his signal gets stronger."

Offline Josh

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Re: KiwiSDR discontinued
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2022, 2223 UTC »
If you go far enough back you can find where some old chicom general is giving a speech where he says Taiwan is only the stepping off point for invasions of Australia and the US and subsequent colonisation. If accurate, the world economy is inconsequential to that end.
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Offline Charlie_Dont_Surf

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Re: KiwiSDR discontinued
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2022, 0459 UTC »
If you go far enough back you can find where some old chicom general is giving a speech where he says Taiwan is only the stepping off point for invasions of Australia and the US and subsequent colonisation. If accurate, the world economy is inconsequential to that end.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. The opinion of one PLA general does not a policy make.
I don't STRETCH the truth.

"Every minute I spend in this room, my signal gets weaker.
Every minute Charlie squats in the bush, his signal gets stronger."

Online RobRich

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Re: KiwiSDR discontinued
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2022, 0649 UTC »
Red Pitaya clones have arrived for under $350. The RP is small Linux system running on an ARM proc and FPGA. Right now software already exists to run up to eight concurrent HPSDR-compatible receiver feeds, though AFAIK each feed has a 192kSPS max data rate.

Perhaps the the most prevelant difference would be the need for another system if trying to setup a browser-based SDR receiver interface, along with the needed software for doing so. OpenWebRX apparently has RP support via the HPSDR 1.0 protocol, though it mentions needing to use the experimental repos or building the connector utility separetely. YMMV.

https://github.com/jketterl/openwebrx/wiki/HPSDR-(including-Hermes-Lite-2)-device-notes

Admittedly, I have no clue as to real-world RF performance other than the listed specs and a couple of quick video demos, as I have not used one.... yet?

« Last Edit: November 17, 2022, 0651 UTC by RobRich »
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