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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-12-2018, 9:27 PM
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Default Airspy HF+ vs Mini with spyverter

Considering which to get...

I live in an urban area with only indoor-antenna option (So no long wires outside)

For reception of airband (Around 120-140 MHz), CB band (27 MHz) and single-digit MHz frequencies (From 11 MHz and all the way down to the kHz range)...

...Would the HF+ be overkill compared to a mini with spyverter combo?

Thanks
jacob.
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Old 03-12-2018, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JELAIR View Post
Considering which to get...

I live in an urban area with only indoor-antenna option (So no long wires outside)

For reception of airband (Around 120-140 MHz), CB band (27 MHz) and single-digit MHz frequencies (From 11 MHz and all the way down to the kHz range)...

...Would the HF+ be overkill compared to a mini with spyverter combo?

Thanks
jacob.
"Overkill" depends on your personal need, desire, and cost. I would go for the HF+ (note I have one, AirSpy, Spyverter, Mini AirSpy, and SDRPlay). However, it you should want full military UHF air (you did not mention) and also HF, then I think you should probably go for the Airspy and Spyverter (or may be an SDRPlay though not my choice).
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Old 03-12-2018, 10:47 PM
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I have an R2 and a spyverter at the moment. I'm thinking about adding the mini or the HF+ because I'd like to avoid screwing the spyverter on and off the R2 everytime I want to go above or below 25 MHz.

So initially I was thinking the mini...

But then, with the poor reception-conditions I have, I thought maybe (Just maybe) I could pull some more stuff down from the air with the HF+...

Then I read some bad reviews on the HF+, saying there was better reception with the R2 and spyverter combo...

And that brings me to now... and being confused at which investment makes more sense.

So the R2 covers everything above 25 MHz. It's mostly just with the stuff below I wonder which combo has better reception (In an urban indoor environment, with tons of computer/electrical noise present)

With the one caveat that I'm mostly interested in the airband, which the HF+ also covers. I get fair reception with the R2 of that band, but if the HF+ can do better here... then that's my preferred choice.

If the HF+ matches the R2 at the airband, then it's only the low frequencies that matter to the decision.

And if the HF+ is only a tiny bit better at the low freqs, then the mini will have the benefit of being able to go high whenever I want to do that (For example, doing ADS-B and Airband both at the same time)

So both have pros and cons for me
I'm just wondering how much the added sensitivity, the HF+ is advertised to have, will be useful in a noisy urban apartment. But you think it's significant enough to make a real difference? (For example, on HAM-voice around 7 MHz? The LSB-stuff done there. Or how about AM-broadcast around 1 MHz? Or SW broadcast around a few hundred kHz?)

I'm kinda missing some more youtube videos of the HF+, but I suppose it's too new still (And the firmware-updates on the airspy-website are many... which concerns me a bit also. I prefer to go with stabile systems that don't need updating all the time)
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Old 03-13-2018, 12:42 AM
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[QUOTE=JELAIR;2897419]I have an R2 and a spyverter at the moment. I'm thinking about adding the mini or the HF+ because I'd like to avoid screwing the spyverter on and off the R2 everytime I want to go above or below 25 MHz.

So initially I was thinking the mini...

...
So both have pros and cons for me
I'm just wondering how much the added sensitivity, the HF+ is advertised to have, will be useful in a noisy urban apartment. But you think it's significant enough to make a real difference? (For example, on HAM-voice around 7 MHz? The LSB-stuff done there. Or how about AM-broadcast around 1 MHz? Or SW broadcast around a few hundred kHz?)
...QUOTE]

I would look at it this way...You may move to an apartment with lower noise, or (not so likely) your noise may decrease, or you might find a way with the current apartment to place a lower noise antenna. My experience it that if I only get "good enough", I waste money, as eventually I will want better (I also own top of the line ICOMs for that reason). I would heavily base your consideration also on the future, what bands may you be interested in later...if UHF military aero, then the HF+ is out. You should assume that your interests will possibly change if for no other reason that eventually you will want to listen to some other things. Mine have with over 40 years of tuning. You also did not mention SDRPlay 2. I have one, but generally, I do not use it, but if I were in your case, I would also consider it though initially installing software confuses some till they succeed. As I use different radios for HF and VHF/UHF on their own antennas, my considerations are a little different. Currently, I have 4 radios running next to this PC (and it sometimes is up to 6) and I am recovering from outpatient inquinal hernia surgery 9 hours ago with 3 cuts in my abdomen!
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Old 03-13-2018, 3:01 AM
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I hope you have a speedy recovery (And thanks for taking time to reply)

I gather from your experience with the different radios that the HF+ is really a step up from a mini+spyverter combo.
So it's definitely pointing in that direction at the moment.
Whatever I end up choosing, when I've given this some more consideration, should obviously be the best I can choose (Well, the best within the limits of possibility at least )

I am currently only considering SDR# compatible radios, which is why I'm only looking at the 2 mentioned.

Thank you for your input.
jacob.
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Old 03-13-2018, 4:56 AM
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Hello Jacob,
The Airspy HF+ works well at HF, but has problems in Band III VHF. I get strong Tetra images in the Air band. I believe that this occurs because there is inadequate RF filtering and the 3rd/5th etc harmonics of the LO mix UHF signals in band. Airspy seem to acknowledge the issue and recommend adding extra RF filtering when operating above band II. The Original Airspy does not suffer from this problem.

Best

Geraint
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Old 03-13-2018, 6:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JELAIR View Post
I hope you have a speedy recovery (And thanks for taking time to reply)

I gather from your experience with the different radios that the HF+ is really a step up from a mini+spyverter combo.
So it's definitely pointing in that direction at the moment.
Whatever I end up choosing, when I've given this some more consideration, should obviously be the best I can choose (Well, the best within the limits of possibility at least )

I am currently only considering SDR# compatible radios, which is why I'm only looking at the 2 mentioned.

Thank you for your input.
jacob.
Thanks (I took no pain killer but still slept--I have a friend who became a heroin addict who started with a prescription pain killer). I think the HF+ for HF or FM broadcast is better. However, I mostly use these for VHF and UHF above 137 MHz, I prefer the AirSpy when I use one since the HF+ does not go high enough in frequency. although I have an AirSpy Mini, I usually use my AirSpy r2 instead as it will show a wider waterfall display which is important to me.

I use other radios usually for HF (high end ICOMs) as I like to spin a dial there. But the HF+ works well on HF.
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Old 03-13-2018, 6:38 AM
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The HF+ is a TERRIBLE receiver for VHF.

See this thread.

https://forums.radioreference.com/so...-air-band.html
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Old 03-13-2018, 4:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VHFgeraint View Post
Hello Jacob,
The Airspy HF+ works well at HF, but has problems in Band III VHF. I get strong Tetra images in the Air band. I believe that this occurs because there is inadequate RF filtering and the 3rd/5th etc harmonics of the LO mix UHF signals in band. Airspy seem to acknowledge the issue and recommend adding extra RF filtering when operating above band II. The Original Airspy does not suffer from this problem.
Ok, thank you very much for that heads-up, which is pretty significant to me, since that makes the HF+ only relevant for lower freqs.
And since I already have the spyverter, the mini is half the cost of the HF+ (Which would save me about 170 US$)



Quote:
Originally Posted by dlwtrunked View Post
Thanks (I took no pain killer but still slept--I have a friend who became a heroin addict who started with a prescription pain killer). I think the HF+ for HF or FM broadcast is better. However, I mostly use these for VHF and UHF above 137 MHz, I prefer the AirSpy when I use one since the HF+ does not go high enough in frequency. although I have an AirSpy Mini, I usually use my AirSpy r2 instead as it will show a wider waterfall display which is important to me.

I use other radios usually for HF (high end ICOMs) as I like to spin a dial there. But the HF+ works well on HF.
Well, one has to be careful in life

Yes, the R2's wide-view is great when scanning the airband. Makes it very fast.

When I'm down in the low freqs I always end up using max-decimation though, since lots of signals are so narrow down there. So the mini's smaller width would not be a problem for that particular use. But of course, if weak signals are lost on the mini down there, relative to what the HF+ can pull through, then the mini would obviously not be very useful.

I can't find any direct comparison-videos (mini or R2, vs the HF+ on various bands) on youtube, so I'm still finding it difficult to access how different they truly are.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatliner View Post
The HF+ is a TERRIBLE receiver for VHF.

See this thread.

https://forums.radioreference.com/so...-air-band.html
Thank you very much.
I have strong tetra bands near me, so a closed airband obviously makes the HF+ irrelevant for that particular use.
I am leaning toward the mini at the moment.
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Old 03-13-2018, 4:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JELAIR View Post

I can't find any direct comparison-videos (mini or R2, vs the HF+ on various bands) on youtube, so I'm still finding it difficult to access how different they truly are.
.
Regardless of the marketing BS from Airspy (and boy, had it been thick, until actuall delivery), there isn't a huge difference between the R2/Mini with the HF converter, and the HF+. Once you decimate the R2 right down (to the similar tiny bandwidth of the HF+) there is only a few dB in it - around 6dB. Maybe that matters to you, but IMO it's not enough for what you will lose, The Mini + Spyverter is the best value. It's nowhere near the value for money as a RSP1a however, but if you want an Airspy (and "Air spat at" by the cocky developer) then IMO, that's the way to go.
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Old 03-13-2018, 8:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatliner View Post
Regardless of the marketing BS from Airspy (and boy, had it been thick, until actuall delivery), there isn't a huge difference between the R2/Mini with the HF converter, and the HF+. Once you decimate the R2 right down (to the similar tiny bandwidth of the HF+) there is only a few dB in it - around 6dB. Maybe that matters to you, but IMO it's not enough for what you will lose, The Mini + Spyverter is the best value. It's nowhere near the value for money as a RSP1a however, but if you want an Airspy (and "Air spat at" by the cocky developer) then IMO, that's the way to go.
I hear you.

The RSP1a was actually my initial choice of SDR, until I learned it wasn't supported in SDR#.

I did try SDRuno (Version 1.22) but it crashed on me several times and I really didn't like the user-side of it at all.

SDR# runs plugins I use and the user-side of it just matches my way of thinking almost perfectly, so that, unfortunately, leaves the RSP1a out of the question for me.
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Old 03-13-2018, 9:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VHFgeraint View Post
Hello Jacob,
The Airspy HF+ works well at HF, but has problems in Band III VHF. I get strong Tetra images in the Air band. I believe that this occurs because there is inadequate RF filtering and the 3rd/5th etc harmonics of the LO mix UHF signals in band. Airspy seem to acknowledge the issue and recommend adding extra RF filtering when operating above band II. The Original Airspy does not suffer from this problem.

Best

Geraint
Can you (or more precisely, will you) list what frequencies are associated with what bands? You reference Band III VHF and Band II. I'd just like to know the correlation between frequency and "band" that you are indicating.

Thanks

Mike
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by mtindor View Post
Can you (or more precisely, will you) list what frequencies are associated with what bands? You reference Band III VHF and Band II. I'd just like to know the correlation between frequency and "band" that you are indicating.

Thanks

Mike
The wiki has some pages on the various band-numbers (They list them as being different between US and Europe)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Band_III
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by JELAIR View Post
The wiki has some pages on the various band-numbers (They list them as being different between US and Europe)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Band_III
Thank you. That is helpful

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Old 03-14-2018, 2:09 AM
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This is a quote from the Airspy Website:

"◦While the in-band performance of the Band-III tuner is excellent, it will require some filtering for very strong out of band signals at multiples of the tuned frequency."

As I see images of Tetra signals (not particularly strong ones) in the Air Band, I think that this issue must affect all frequencies above the BCFM band, so I don't think that the issue is technically confined to band III only.

This second quote from the A/S website seems to confirm that the performance outside of the BCFM band is degraded:

"Excellent FM performance is also achieved by using optimized signal paths composed of band filters, high linearity LNAs with a stepped AGC, a polyphase harmonic rejection mixer and IF filters optimized for the FM broadcast bands.
The amplifier gain is switchable in 3 dB-steps and fully controlled by the AGC running in the DSP. The RF signal is converted to baseband by a high linearity passive mixer with a polyphase harmonic rejection structure. The low-IF signal is then converted into the digital domain by the same IF ADC used in the HF chain.
Extended VHF coverage is assured by a second Band-III tuner up to 260 MHz, but with reduced performance."

It draws a distinction between the performance in the FM bands and "extended VHF coverage"

Geraint
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