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Airspy SDR by SDR# author

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#21
Tantalizingly close :)

Ooh, it's getting close..

AirSpy
SDRPlay
HackRF

Thought it was a race to the finish line (product making it to mass market) between HackRF and Airspy and now we have a third contender for <$300, DC to Daylight SDR receivers.

Who's going to be successful in getting their product to market and getting our 'hard earned' first?

Have to say that the basic specs and professional packaging look good for the SDRPlay, with its 100Khz - 4Ghz coverage 10bit A/D and 8Mhz bandwidth in one compact box. Just need to see more detail on NF, dynamic range and sensitivity though before I hit the 'buy it now' trigger.
 
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#22
website sucks, difficult to navigate and get info. Why not follow the KISS principle when it comes to designing a website to market a product.

If it takes more than 15 seconds to figure out WTF is going on, you are doing it wrong.

At first glance the website should quickly provide the following info.

What it is, what it costs, how to buy it.

On one page. A picture of the product, a picture of the software in action. and a link to it in action.
Agree ^^^

Far too much fluff and bubbles and not enough pertinent info on the website.

Shame, it detracts from what looks like a promising product.

And, whats with the third degree you are subjected to, before you are even deemed 'worthy' to buy the product?
 

SCPD

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#23
For me a "sucking" website is one that asks you to fill in 200 characters of personal data, without even having the politeness to at least send you a confirmation with 10 characters in return :)

I also don't like websites of "companies" without any decent personal or business contact information.

Lasltly I do not like "companies" regarding customers as communication headaches.

Guess I was spoiled with the good old Elecraft customer approach...

73
Paul
PD0PSB
 

KC1UA

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#24
Well I have a bladeRF, already ordered and paid for a HackRF, and I will purchase an Airspy. Considering that SDRPlay wants $300 for their device I think I'll stick to the Airspy as it should be far less expensive (or the indication at least was that it would be).

Paul, I registered at airspy.com long ago but I don't recall being put through the process you describe, ASSuming that you're referring to that website. Obviously the manufacturer has expressed some "frustration" along the way, but the way I see it is he's the author of one of the two mainstream Windows based SDR software packages (the other being Simon's SDR-Console), he's very accessible, and has been around for a long time. While I'm sure SDRPlay may be a fine piece of gear it's suddenly appeared on the scene as the new kid on the block.

Bottom line? Competition is a good thing, especially for us end-users. I'm looking forward to the two I'm waiting for and to hear more about the third.
 

SCPD

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#25
Hi Scott!

I filled in a webform with all my data, never even got a simple confirmation.
I asked about this later wondering if my data had meanwhile been used for other goals.
Was expelled from the Yahoo group immediately apparently for this "extreme" criticism.
Arguments used: "We are not running a TV show" , "We are not going to comment on any fart", "We don't want these communication headaches" etc. If anything like this would happen in a real life shop I would run out for cover as fast as I could :)

No problem, Airspy as such will be pretty decent, though I don't expect miracles from the R820T without any form of preselection.
For some situations bandwidth may be more important than dynamic range.

Personally I'm totally put off by the style of communication.
You find this nowadays with quite many "solo" developers; an attitude as if you should be grateful to even be allowed to pay for their products ;-)

I'm used to the style of f.i. RFSpace, Elecraft, Elad or Simon Brown, who simply treat customers with a base of respect.
For me this defines half of any purchase decision.

73
Paul
PD0PSB
 
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KC1UA

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#27
Getting off topic a bit but speaking of RFSpace, were they to get into the VHF/UHFSHF SDR business I would jump back on that wagon in a heartbeat. The SDR-14 and SDR-IQ were and are simply phenomenal pieces of equipment.

The Airspy for me is going to be my portable device, although the HackRF with its neat looking case may serve that purpose as well. I would think Airspy would be a next logical step up for those just getting into SDR that want to get somewhat more serious about it.

I seem to recall getting a confirmation from Airspy's website when I registered. That said, Wordpress seems to be a pretty flaky platform.

I have observed some of the negative interactions and thought they were unfortunate, but I will say that I've communicated with the developer directly a few times and he has been nothing but respectful to me. I hope going forward that will continue to be the case for me and for everyone else as well.

The bottom line for me is that once bitten by this bug I don't find it even fathomable to go back to conventional receivers. I think it goes without saying that being able to see a chunk of spectrum, observing a signal, and clicking on it to tune just blows away the old 20th century technology. As you suggest Paul, different items will be better or worse depending on chipset, filtering, etc., but as I see it now my bladeRF, when properly configured, approaches the performance of the AR5000A+3 receiver I once owned. And has FAR more capability.

I think all of the developers of these devices are taking a leap of faith and sticking their necks out to bring these bleeding edge products to us. It has to be a stressful time for all of them, and they should be commended for their efforts; this is truly the future of the hobby and likely radio communications in general.
 

SCPD

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#28
Getting off topic a bit but speaking of RFSpace, were they to get into the VHF/UHFSHF SDR business I would jump back on that wagon in a heartbeat.
In that case: keep watching the horizon carefully.
Can't say more :)

73
Paul
PD0PSB

(Totally happy with your SDR-IQ btw! In daily use from Android)
 
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#29
This one seems also pretty interesting:
SDRplay

At least these guys have a proper company website and don't say they'd rather offer it to friends only ;-)
(after asking you to send in all your personal data to an anonymous website, in case of Airspy)

73
Paul
PD0PSB

Yeah, I got that nosey feeling too. IMHO, a tad arrogant the SDR/Airspy bloke. Nice that SDRsharp is free (for now) but he does get in a strop a lot. Called his future buyers "fools" a while back - still there in his Yahoo group for all to see too. He heavily moderates the group so don't expect much negativity on there but it still gets through. Success gone to his head methinks.

I'm waiting for HackRF myself and a bunch of filters :)
 

Markb

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#30
I registered to buy an Airspy, but given the ****iness/poor attitiude, I am on the fence as to whether or not I will buy his product. I have a HackRF on the way anyhow.
I know this is bleeding edge technology, but if you don't like the way he markets his product or interacts with potential customers, then don't do business with him.
SDR# is pretty far down on my list as far as software goes, anyhow.
I now expect to not receive a notification that the Airspy is for sale :)
 
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#31
I am/was on that list too. I've no interest now as no way am I putting my money in his pocket. "Hobby" or not, when you start asking for money, hobbyists become business men. Too many really decent people in this game to bother with that sort. Loving my dongles for now and really looking forward to the HackRF arriving one day. Tick Tock!
 
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#33
Looking at the screenshots 2 and 3 more closely it seems the RF images are mirrored around the center.
That is strange for direct sampling SDRs.

http://sdrsharp.com/downloads/compare.html

This mirroring shouldn't have anything to do with the RF frontend.

As if a form of "center spur reduction" algo has been turned on for BladeRF and Mirics?

Looking forward to more comparisons (and a standard RF spec sheet ;-)

73
Paul
PD0PSB
 
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#34
The "Correct IQ" is disabled for both tests, probably to emphasise Airspy performance here, though as the very one doing the comparison, is also the same one about to SELL his device, the results should be discarded,
 

fourthhorseman

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#35
Yea I've wondered if there are some diagnostic modes that can be exploited to use these like rtl dongles and take advantage of the wider bandwidth.
Any idea how one would go about finding this out?..wish I knew a lil more about the nuts and bolts of
these devices..May pick one up for TV viewing,but not sure how Id make the jump to using it as a SDR Reciever.
 

NYG

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#36
I registered to buy an Airspy, but given the ****iness/poor attitiude, I am on the fence as to whether or not I will buy his product. I have a HackRF on the way anyhow.
I know this is bleeding edge technology, but if you don't like the way he markets his product or interacts with potential customers, then don't do business with him.
SDR# is pretty far down on my list as far as software goes, anyhow.
I now expect to not receive a notification that the Airspy is for sale :)
I was on the list too but haven't really followed the development of the project. If the guy is such a dick though I won't buy it. Plenty of HW and SW options available from good people.
 
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#37
Price has been raised from $99-149 to the $200 region.

Hope this indicates design improvements (like a basic preselection stage before the R820T).

73
Paul
PD0PSB
 
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#38
An 8 bit ADC has a maximum theoretical dynamic range of 48.16dB and a 12 bit ADC would be 72.24 or 24.08dB more range than an 8 bit. Depending on how its implemented, how many bits toggle noise, etc, a 12 bit ADC will have more on screen spectrum analyzer range with more resolution or possibly a lower noise floor or higher signal input handling or all the above.
prcguy


It looks like Airspy will have a 12 bit adc, and HackRF will have an 8 bit adc; I wonder how much difference it will make in the selectivity and dynamic range. I'm mainly interested in a device that can receive 150khz to 2+ ghz and is similar in operation to the Commradio CR-1, with a lower cost; perhaps around $250. That has been the FunCube Pro dongle so far though I haven't had a chance to try one yet.


Looks like 2014 will be a good year for SDR!
 
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#39
Dynamic range will be defined by the first frontend component taking all the beatings.
More bits in the ADC *behind* an RF frontend will not improve this.
To improve such a frontend adequate preselection is crucial.

Only in a direct sampling SDR, more bits will directly translate into an improved dynamic range.

73
Paul
PD0PSB
 
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#40
I would agree a typical USB dongle SDR has a terrible front end and that may be the limiting factor of its dynamic range. A good quality analog HF receiver probably has 80dB or more dynamic range and I would hope the new breed of SDRs would like the Airspy would have at least 60dB of useable range with adequate front end design and filtering.

In that case a 12 bit or more ADC would be required and the current 8 bit ADCs would severely limit the performance to something less than 48dB.
prcguy

Dynamic range will be defined by the first frontend component taking all the beatings.
More bits in the ADC *behind* an RF frontend will not improve this.
To improve such a frontend adequate preselection is crucial.

Only in a direct sampling SDR, more bits will directly translate into an improved dynamic range.

73
Paul
PD0PSB
 
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