NBSC Player / Recorder

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Re: NBSC Player / Recorder

Postby Monochrome » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:59 pm

Hi Dom,

This morning I fired-up the two laptops upon which nbsc fails to run and checked the %LOCALAPPDATA% folder while logged-in both as administrator and user (though I normally only install software while logged-in as administrator) and no log.txt file is present in both cases.

While I was at it I also performed a search on the hard disk of each machine for log.txt and while various other setup log files appeared log.txt was not found. Just out of interest, on the one laptop upon which nbsc installs/runs correctly there is also no trace of the log.txt file, would you expect that to be the case?

I also double checked the currently installed version of nbsc on all laptops which is V1.3

Just a thought regarding the absense of the log.txt file on the two machines where nbsc fails to run, could it be that the software did not run far enough to the point where the file is created?

I'll try and get some time this Sunday to finish the new DirectX-less version. It's more or less working but the recording is a bit jumpy on ScrapeNBSC...


Sounds good and I look forward to trying it out as/when its available. If you like I could try the nbsc player only part for you this w/end to see if it installs/runs if it helps?

73,s

Des.
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Re: NBSC Player / Recorder

Postby dominicbeesley » Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:06 am

Yes, please do try and get the player working. As that is the more likely to proceed.

I'm afraid it is taking me a little longer to get the ScrapNBSC program working - it's ended up being more like a rewrite - and life is getting in the way but I _am_ working on it!

D
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Re: NBSC Player / Recorder

Postby dominicbeesley » Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:30 pm

Hi Des,

I finally got a few hours this weekend to have a go at this - here's a first attempt with DirectX removed...I hope it works it's at the url below. This is very much only tested on my machine so far!

https://authorityfile.net/software/down ... erV1.4.msi

Do let me know how you get on with this. If it works for you then I'll finish it off properly and update the website...which will mean some digging through backups as I've lost the source for the website!

D
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Re: NBSC Player / Recorder

Postby Monochrome » Fri Nov 23, 2018 9:36 pm

Hi Dom,

Thankyou for posting the modified version of nbsc (v1.4) which I tested this morning on the same Win7 laptop as before.

I did the following...
Logged in as administrator, installed nbsc v1.4 and then run the software as admin.

Results (nbsc player):
It was partly successfull and upon launching the player software I was presented with the user screen control panel but when I attempted to load a test file for display I received an error (see screenshot) informing me of a missing file.

Results (nbsc scrape):
The scrape software partialy loaded the user screen and then came up with an error (see attached image) again informing me of a missing file.

I hope this is helpfull?

73,s

Des.
Attachments
NBSC_V1-4_Player_Error.png
NBSC v1.4 player error.
NBSC_V1-4_Scrape_error.png
NBSC scrape error.
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Re: NBSC Player / Recorder

Postby dominicbeesley » Fri Nov 23, 2018 10:20 pm

We're getting closer...at least its telling us something now and .Net must be installed or there wouldn't be any windows coming up at all. However, it looks like it has not installed all the components.

Please could you first try uninstalling as administrator and then installing as a normal user. Please could you also check:
a) what drive are you installing to
b) the amount of free space on all drives

Please once you've done that we need to look in the C:\Program Files (x86)\Dominic Beesley\NBSC Player directory to see what files have been installed. The screenshot below shows what's on my machine after I installed.

nbscfiles.png
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Re: NBSC Player / Recorder

Postby Monochrome » Sat Nov 24, 2018 2:58 am

Hi again Dom,

Thanks for posting a response so quickly.

I followed the instructions from your previous post and removed nbsc as admin, re-installed as an ordinary user and then run the software as the ordinary user. The errors appear to be the same as before but I took new screenshots of both the player and scrape errors to confirm. These are attached.

And to answer the two questions you asked, I am installing to drive C: as per the program defaults (C:\Program Files (x86)\Dominic Beesley\NBSC Playery) and my drive space is as follows.

C:/ 209 G/Byte free from a total of 246 G/Byte
D:/ (Used for storing stuff in the event of Windows crash/wipe etc) 140 G/Byte free from a total of 146 G/Byte
So no shortage of space :-)

I then had a look in the location C:\Program Files (x86)\Dominic Beesley\NBSC Player and took a snapshot (attached) of the installed files.

Its very strange since the very files that are reported as missing in the error messages appear to be installed correctly.

73,s

Des. (M0AYF & Monochrome)
Attachments
NBSC_V1-4_Player_Error.png
NBSC Player error.
NBSC_V1-4_Scrape_error.png
NBSC scrape error.
My_Installed_nbsc_files.png
Files installed to C:\Program Files (x86)\Dominic Beesley\
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Re: NBSC Player / Recorder

Postby dominicbeesley » Sat Nov 24, 2018 11:58 pm

Aha! I think I've got it - it looks like the C++ runtime isn't installed on your machine - another bit of stuff separate to the .Net Framework.

Please try this

https://authorityfile.net/software/down ... V1.4.1.msi

I hope this gets it! and thankyou for your continuing patience. Once we've got this licked I'll put some effort into bringing the rest of the player and interface up to date...

D
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Re: NBSC Player / Recorder

Postby Monochrome » Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:49 am

Hi again Dom,

I just downloaded the new version of nbsc and installed it on the Win7 laptop we have been using for testing.

The old version was removed first and the new version you posted today (Saturday) was installed. It appears to work as intended and I have been able to load the sample files and display them without issue.

I also gave scrape a quick test and it seems to be functioning correctly as well. Phew, looks like you have cracked it Dom :-)

I will continue to test the software and more of the functions and keep you updated on any issues. Thankyou for sticking with this and I am happy to run any addition checks/tests if it helps with the development.

73,s

Des.
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Re: NBSC Player / Recorder

Postby dominicbeesley » Sun Nov 25, 2018 5:45 am

Thanks Des for sticking with this. It always turns out to be something daft/simple in the end.

Anyway, it has given me the impetus to update the software!

Hopefully the "direct output" mode in scrape NBSC is more useful now, it can produce a "live" sound output which could be used for transmission tests, it kind of worked before but was a bit sluggish.

I'd be interested to know if you have any problems with it stuttering on sound or other performance issues. All my older machines are in storage and all I have are a quite modern high-spec laptop and my main development machine where there are no problems with speed at all.

D
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Re: NBSC Player / Recorder

Postby dominicbeesley » Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:02 pm

PS: That was me being daft - definitely not you!
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Re: NBSC Player / Recorder

Postby Monochrome » Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:06 am

Hi again Dom,

It just gets better and better. I installed nbsc v1.4 on another Win7 laptop with a slightly higher spec though in all other respects the same as the original laptop with an OEM version of Win7 and the same version of the .net framework.

Initialy it failed to work on the 2nd laptop ("System I/O, file not found" etc) but knowing it should work I persevered and found the cause of the problem. Some of the second laptops system files had not been updated in 2 years! This included the .net framework so after a lengthy update process I re-installed/tested V1.4 and I am happy to report both the player and "scrape" are working on a second laptop. This was an important test for me since I intend to do some closed circuit tests laptop-to-laptop but this required at least two machines able to run nbsc successfully.

I seem to remember that you wrote about the importance of keeping all the system files up-to-date prior to testing nbsc so this little test proves the value of that advice. Just out of interest I also tried nbsc on an old desk top PC running Win-XP but the version of the .net framework was to old and nbsc encouraged me to install a newer version but I dont think Win-XP is supported any more?

Anyway, so far so good and at the risk of repeating my comments from an earlier posting from your earlier thread entitled "Analogue Colour - explained" (Sun Nov 02, 2008) I should just ike to say the software is amazing, a superb technical achievment, well done Dom.

Dom wrote:
Anyway, it has given me the impetus to update the software!


Thats great news and I may have a few feature requests for the future but I will first learn how to use the software proficiently ;-) I also have a few additional questions about nbsc but they can also wait until the next phase.

Thanks again for sharing the software with the forum and for your patience in dealing with this computer ludite :-)

73,s

Des.
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Re: NBSC Player / Recorder

Postby dominicbeesley » Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:42 am

Thanks for Des, you make me blush.

I'd be interested to know how you get on with the laptop to laptop tests. I have been doing something similar here last week - to test scrape / player were working - and I found that the line-in on my main machine (supposedly good quality) sound card had quite a high frequency for its low frequency cut off (around 100Hz ish by the looks of the waveforms) which led me a merry dance - NBTV syncs just don't work well in such circumstances. I then tried an el-cheapo chinese usb sound card I had and that worked excellently.

Do post back with any experiences, there are all sorts of other gotchas with modern sound cards - all the effects that supposedly "improve" music definitely don't improve NBTV but once those are turned off all should be well!

D

PS: No Luddite you! You've sussed most of this out by yourself!
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Re: NBSC Player / Recorder

Postby Monochrome » Thu Nov 29, 2018 4:35 am

Hi Dom,

Re the laptop-to-laptop and laptop-to-desktop testing.

Dom wrote:
I'd be interested to know how you get on with the laptop to laptop tests. I have been doing something similar here last week - to test scrape / player were working - and I found that the line-in on my main machine (supposedly good quality) sound card had quite a high frequency for its low frequency cut off (around 100Hz ish by the looks of the waveforms) which led me a merry dance - NBTV syncs just don't work well in such circumstances. I then tried an el-cheapo chinese usb sound card I had and that worked excellently.


Interesting that the cheapo usb soundcard worked so well, I have a couple here and will try them out. Regarding the poor low frequency response of some sound cards, this topic cropped-up in an exchange with Steve Anderson a few weeks back. Steve had a couple of tips for getting the best low frequency response and to save my typing fingers I will quote him directly...

Steve Anderson wrote:
As I recall (but don't quote me) the output coupling caps on my HP desktops were 100uF, with a 32 ohm load that's a -3db point of 50Hz - pretty crappy even for music let alone NBTV. They usually have a series resistor of a similar value to protect against short-circuits on the output. This brings the -3db point to a more respectable 25Hz or so. When the load is 1k or greater that internal resistor can be forgotten about. I tend to go for a 10k minimum input impedance to NBTV stuff followed by a unity gain (Av +1) op-amp (though a non-inverting op-amp with gain will be OK) or a transistor emitter-follower.


While on the subject of connecting laptop-to-laptop and laptop-to-desktop I should just like to throw in a cautionary note. Many experiments have been performed here using various soundcard-to-soundcard and soundcard to radio combinations mostly related to amateur radio digital modes and/or SDR and one problem crops-up quite frequently when using laptops (and sometimes desktops as well) in which an AC pottential difference exists between the two machines being interconnected. This can happen for a number of reasons but in my experience the two most common causes are transformer leakage and/or the decoupling capacitors used to reduce RFI in the SMPSU's.

At best this AC Voltage difference can cause unwanted "noise" to appear at the input of the soundcard and at worst it can give you a nasty "belt" if you happen to touch the laptop/desk top and the interconnecting audio cable. While the "belt" has never been what I would call life threatening its enough to be anoying and my feeling is that it could also cause damage to the solid state components in one or both machines. In one particularly bad example I had a look on a scope and found the noise was over 50 V pk-to-pk and was a combination of 100 Hz and around 60 kHz from the switching supply of the laptop in question.

We radio hams normally avoid this noise/pottenial difference issue by using an audio transformer and this is fine for typical 300 to 3000 Hz frequency response of the average communications tranceiver but for NBTV or SDR radio it would need to be a very high grade transformer. I found a better (and much cheaper) solution is the use of a cheap "generic" opto-coupler which offers total isolation of any pottential differences between the two items of equipment and also offers a supperior frequency response.

The reason I "waffle on" about this is because I have encountered this problem yet again while looking at coupling two laptops together for nbsc testing. Indeed, I got quite a "tingle" while lifting one of the laptops over the bench while holding the audio lead in my hand. So I am currently in the process of cobbling together a revised opto coupler with extended freqency response for nbtv use. I may be wrong but I would imagine a fairly flat gain/phase relationship would be desirable for nbsc in order to prevent spurious phase changes of the colour subcarrier components?

Thats planned for the w/end so I will let you know how it goes. BTW I tested "scrape" in combination with the output of the webcam as displayed on the laptop screen and had the audio output routed to the loudspeakers. Using the slightly higher performance laptop I heard no signs of choppy audio but will hook-up a CRO to the output at the w/end and take a closer look since the human ear can be quite tollerant of shorts breaks in audio.

Cheers for now,

Des.
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Re: NBSC Player / Recorder

Postby dominicbeesley » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:13 pm

A good point about the tingles. I had an older laptop that exhibited that behaviour. On the better made laptops and desktops with proper earthing there is still the issue of ground loops and hum. I have a few of these in a box somewhere in storage

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00KNNSKV0/ ... 0901111033

When I ran into any noise problems I ran them from a battery! I seem to remember I also broke them open and beefed up the output capacitors.

The other option but slightly more expensive was an amplified / isolated USB cable I got from somewhere I'm not sure how it worked but I needed to connect a computer to a USB printer and they were on different supplied and there was an earthing issue.

Please post up your isolator, or maybe an article in the newsletter? It would make a good mini project?


D
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Re: NBSC Player / Recorder

Postby Steve Anderson » Sat Dec 01, 2018 1:54 pm

Virtually without exception all PCs (laptops and desktops) use switched-mode power supplies/chargers. These can generate a lot of switching noise which can travel 'in reverse' up the power cord and potentially affect other appliances or radio/TV reception. To mitigate this the better quality ones have a filter on the power input to 'mop up' most of this.

These usually comprise of two capacitors between line/phase and earth plus neutral and earth. Between each pair of caps is a series inductor forming a pi-filter. If the ground/earth isn't connected the capacitors form a potential divider which means the ground/0V of the PC is roughly at half of the nominal mains supply voltage (120V in the UK). The current is limited by the value of those capacitors but it's enough to give you a case of the 'tingles'. It also means the filter cannot work as effectively.

If one of those line/phase-to-earth caps goes short your PC is now possibly live and lethal! If the earth IS connected the breaker/fuse/RCCB/ELCB in the house electrical system will blow or trip protecting you and alerting you that something is very wrong.

Those appliances with only a two conductor power cord are double insulated and have a better filter that doesn't require an earth.

This however means there is a small current flowing in the earth conductor, domestically this usually isn't a problem, but in a large office with many PCs, monitors, printers etc. this earth current adds up leading to 'nuisance tripping' of ELCB/RCCBs.

Domestic ELCB/RCCBs trip when there is a difference of 30mA in the live and neutral currents, i.e. there's a total earth current of 30mA. How they get around this in a large office I don't know - I'm no electrician.

Steve A.

Sorry, I realise that this is off-topic, but it is worth raising as it does concern everyone's safety.
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