Originally Posted by w6or
- No preamp that I can find.
- SSB reception plagued by audio popping. More pronounced when recorded. This is not present on the Flex.
- DRM reception very sensitive to signal level. Receives TDPradio at s9 just fine but RNZI or Radio Canada Int. at s5 is a no go.
- Noise reduction seems non-existent, but that may be my inexperience with the software. However, it's a push button function in PowerSDR.
If I can't solve the SSB issues, then I will seriously consider sending it back. I've tried different headphones, different connection setups but I can't find a solution.
Anyone else with an Excalibur out there have these issues?
I have been using an Excalibur since a few days after release. I also have most of the other SDRs on the market.
- Re: No preamp. True, there is no selectable pre-amp, but are you sure you need one?
The sensitivity of the Excalibur, with no selectable preamp (specified at –130 dBm @ 10 MHz and 500 Hz BW, and I have measure more like –134 dBm or even a bit better), is in the realm of most radios with preamp on. In fact the Excalibur, sans selectable preamp, is more than 5 dB more sensitive than the Perseus SDR with the Perseus preamp selected. And the Excalibur has the same sensitivity without preamp as the Icom R-75 does with the R-75 preamp turned on.
True, the Excalibur is a few dB less sensitive than the absolute best receivers made today (such as the Yaesu FTdx-5000D, the Elecraft K3, or for SDR the Flex-5000), but it exceeds anything else in its price range and many things costing a good deal more.
But, the Excalibur does have selectable attenuators, in 3 dB steps from 3 to 21 dB. So, you might view the Excalibur as having the preamp always on, and to “turn it off” you just select attenuation.
Becaused of the very wide dynamic range of the Excalibur and similar SDRs the advantage that a traditional receiver gains by having a selectable preamp is simply not needed. With a more traditional design you want to be able to apply the preamp only when needed, to avoid two-blocking the RX with strong signals. With the exceptionally wide dynamic range of most DDC SDRs that simply is not an issue any longer.
- Re: SSB popping. Are you using the most recent version of the software from the WinRadio web site? Early versions of the software had more noticeable audio popping.
Also, some users, with some sound card combinations, have noted more popping than other users. I have no idea why that might be.
My own installation of the Excalibur I notice a slightly more enhanced propensity to pop in SSB mode than say my FT-5000, my FT-2000, or my Flex-5000, but really not much at all. And the pop is normally well controlled by using adjustments under the “Gain” tab, particularly with the latest version of the software. I do not see any difference between recorded and “live” audio and popping.
And WinRadio has improved the audio pop in software updates, but users need to keep WinRadio notified of objectionable operations or they are not likely to change things. In other words, have you asked WinRadio about the pop you are having?
- I cannot comment on DRM operation, I do not use DRM for SW stuff, the closest I do is some amateur radio digital modes, and the Excalibur does fine for those.
- Re: Noise reduction. This is indeed a problem with the Excalibur, in my opinion. The noise reduction (Noise Blanker) just does not do much, either that or I do not understand how to use it. By the way, WinRadio has responded to customer recommendations for other items, some of them very rapidly, but this one is still hanging on.
I have had success in using the noise reduction in the ADS with the Excalibur, but really there needs to be a better option in the basic software.