• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

Perseus or Bonito 1102S Upgrade?

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Feb 22, 2011
Messages
7
Location
Dallas PA
#1
I am currently using a SDRPlay RSP1. While it is a great all around receiver the front end can get overloaded and is not great with alot of weaker signals. I have tried various filters both purchased
or built DIY style but they only offer minor improvements. So it's time to upgrade. I know the Perseus
is great at shortwave with it's built in filters and used one go in the $600 range. But I am also very
interested in the Bonito 1102S Radio Jet which is not a true SDR But an IR Receiver. The 1102S's
seems to be good at pulling out those weak signals and from what I have read is the best at decoding
DRM with it's built in decoding software. The software while not very user friendly to a newer user looks
to be the complete package. You can also buy an extra decoding software program that decodes most
signals with just the click of a mouse. Has anyone had experience with either of these receivers and
can you give me some input as to help with my decision making. Both in used condition go in the $600
range which is where I want to stay in terms of pricing. Thanks
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
21,694
Location
Bowie, Md.
#2
I wouldn't buy any radio based on DRM performance. There are very few DRM broadcasts for North America, and you need a particularly good, strong signal to receive it.

Re the decoding software; the modes that this software covers are very limited. There are LOTS of other signals out there that this software won't touch (ALE decoding - probably the most reported mode on the UDXF Yahoo group - isn't mentioned, but fortunately there's lots of other options). I would not base my purchase on this, either.

Best to compare the performance between the Perseus and the RadioJet, and since they're two different kinds of receivers, a valid comparison between the two would be difficult to make.

There are a few decoding programs that have Perseus support, and even the master SWL frequency list put out by NASWAn Dan Ferguson has a Perseus file option. Just in the way of third party support, the Perseus wins hands down.

Mike
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 22, 2011
Messages
7
Location
Dallas PA
#3
Thanks for the advice. My main use is DXing MW and
Shortwave. I really don't get into alot of decoding. I am leaning towards the Perseus. I found a new one for $599. The guy had it for sometime and only used a couple of
hours. Sounds like a good deal? Thanks
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
21,694
Location
Bowie, Md.
#4
Before you go making an expensive investment, let's hear a little more about your RF environment, antennas, software and so forth. It sounds like you're getting overloaded from nearby MW and/or FM stations, and while filters will help, often that's only one part of the solution. And what about your antennas? What software are you using on the SDRPlay? Have you reduced your gain or otherwise played with other settings? I don't have one, but know from reading that they can have a marked effect on what you can or can't hear.

Really, there's an awful lot of possibilities here...Mike
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2011
Messages
7
Location
Dallas PA
#5
Perseus?

Hi, I am using SDR Console v3 most of the time. Sometimes SDRUno although not a big fan. I have
tried HDSDR and also SDR Sharp but find I get best
results this Simon's v3. The v2 crashes on my older
Laptop? Not to sure why. My antenna is a 30 meter
Long wire. I live in the country and don't have to
much around me. My house is old but I keep the
SDRPlay away from electronic's as far as possible.
I did put the SDRPlay in a heavy aluminum box
to shield it from RF interference. Also have a
special USB cable to help with noise from the
laptop. I have had my antenna in a couple of
different places but where it is now I am getting
really good reception on most bands. I do have
a 9:1 balun un un but didn't install it yet. Not sure
if it will help? Thanks again for your help.
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
21,694
Location
Bowie, Md.
#6
Thanks for the advice. My main use is DXing MW and
Shortwave. I really don't get into alot of decoding. I am leaning towards the Perseus. I found a new one for $599. The guy had it for sometime and only used a couple of
hours. Sounds like a good deal? Thanks
The last time I saw a Perseus in a listing, it was just shy of USD900, so I'd say that's a decent price.

Mike
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
21,694
Location
Bowie, Md.
#7
Before you discard the SDRPlay - did you turn off the LNA when you were having the overloading issues? If not, you're missing an obvious possible cause of your problem...Mike
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2011
Messages
7
Location
Dallas PA
#8
Perseus

Thanks,. I would not be getting rid of the SDRPlay. It would still hold a spot on my desk. Just be adding the Perseus to my growing collection of radio's. I have fiddled a little bit with the Plays settings. Sometimes I think it helps and then others makes it worse. How is the Perseus at DXing weak signals. The SDRPlay is not so good it what I have heard. I find alot of signals I should be able to get but can't seem to get them in no matter how much I fiddle around with notches or the Plays gain. Would you recommend the Perseus over the Bonito for pure reception performance? Thanks
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
21,694
Location
Bowie, Md.
#9
I'm afraid I have no experience with the RadioJet - however I have played a bit with the Perseus, and you can too- there is an online Perseus network that you can play with. You can find it here

Perseus Servers Map - Microtelecom s.r.l.

I'm biased - I talked at length with a ham friend of mine who has had the Perseus for a long time now, and he's an avid SWBC DXer. He's told me that most things he can hear on his other radios, he can hear on his Perseus.

Mike
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2011
Messages
7
Location
Dallas PA
#10
Perseus

Thanks for the link. I will check it out later tonight.
One thing. Should I try hooking up the 9:1 on my
Long wire and see if it helps or would that not work?
Thanks again for all your help.
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
21,694
Location
Bowie, Md.
#11
If it's correctly installed, it should cut down at least some of the noise that you may be getting. Without knowing what antennas you are using, it's rather hard to quantify (what kind of antenna, how long. etc.)

As you mentioned that you didn't see much improvement when you were fooling around with the SDRPlay settings, I think it's time to do a little homework. We still don't know anything about what you are overloading on (MW, FM, etc.) and the fact that you also said that various filters you built didn't help strongly suggests that you might have one or more cables acting as inadvertant antennas, picking up the signal and re-radiating it. If you are that close to the source of your overloading, it's time to consider putting chokes on all your cabling, as well as the USB cable for the RSP (and I read at least one review where that was strongly recommended). If you completely disconnect your antenna, do you still hear your overloading? If so, this is at least 1 step to take

If not, it's time to learn a bit more about how the software works, and/or reduce the size of the antenna. SDRs are not plug and play - the more I read about them, the more I realize that it's very much something of a learning curve. We're not in the good old days of just plugging in the desktop and bang, you are off.

The reason I say this is whether you get a Perseus or a RadioJet, if you have other RFI problems that are locally caused (like by havng unshielded cables, for example), the problem will likely still be there, only magnified

Mike
 
Last edited:

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
21,694
Location
Bowie, Md.
#12
There is the other possibility that whatever is overloading you is blasting right through the plastic case that the SDRPlay is in. That might be a tougher nut to crack

I see that SDRPlay has a community forum, Facebook and Twitter. Did you dig through these, and ask questions there? You might find more constructive answers...Mike
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2011
Messages
7
Location
Dallas PA
#13
Perseus

My SDRPlay is my modified. I took it out of the plastic case and remounted in a nice heavy aluminum box made for electronics. I am using a USB cable that has 3 ferrite cores I installed to cut out the noise from the laptop. My antenna coax is less than 10' and is made of low loss cable. My antenna is mounted on my house and runs out 30 meters from 30' high at the house to 15' at the other end. I was looking at my settings again last night and found some relief in the SDRPLAY's gain settings. Still struggling with weak signals. I called an old friend of mine who used to run the local Ham chapter. He was wondering why I would want to use an SDR for what I want to do. He suggested that if I am going to spend that much money why not buy a really good Shortwave base radio which has far superior selectively and sensitivity than an SDR. He said they even make software for the pc to control the radio. He suggested a nice Drake 8 I think that is what he said. He thinks SDR's take a lot of the fun and mystery out of SWLing. He said even the best SDR is no better that a mid priced Base unit which can be bought used for around $500-700. Does that sound about right to you? Makes me think of changing things up a bit. THANKS
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
21,694
Location
Bowie, Md.
#14
Your friend is not very informed on the advantages of an SDR; he sounds like an old know twirler. Nothing wrong with that, frankly- SDRs are not for everyone. A well running Perseus will test any good desktop, any day. Problem is that hardly anyone is making them anymore. Icom recently discontinued their R75 ( a real workhorse), and Drake is long gone out of the business. The R8 was a great machine in its day, but you can't do things like show a whole display and tune or record it like you can with a SDR. That price range is about right, if a tad on the low side.

But to bring this back to the topic of SDRs (this is this forum's topic after all) did you look at the Commradio CR1A? Universal Radio still has them for about the same price as your price range. It's a SDR that doesn't require marrying it to a PC (although the free software they supply for a spectrum display does). It's in your price range, and more likely to be supported than the R8 would be.

We have a dedicated thread on the CommRadio in this forum, and I would encourage you to make like a gopher and dig out the research; find all the reviews, etc. And I would do the same with your SDRPlay. You will learn more from folks that have the same gear you do who have spent more time with it and have more experience with it.

Mike
 

Token

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
2,009
Location
Mojave Desert, California, USA
#16
I called an old friend of mine who used to run the local Ham chapter. He was wondering why I would want to use an SDR for what I want to do. He suggested that if I am going to spend that much money why not buy a really good Shortwave base radio which has far superior selectively and sensitivity than an SDR. He said they even make software for the pc to control the radio. He suggested a nice Drake 8 I think that is what he said. He thinks SDR's take a lot of the fun and mystery out of SWLing. He said even the best SDR is no better that a mid priced Base unit which can be bought used for around $500-700. Does that sound about right to you? Makes me think of changing things up a bit. THANKS
Your friend is simply wrong. However, he is not alone, a lot of people feel that way about SDRs.

Once you get up into about the $450 and above price SDRs they compete with very good traditional receivers. The FDM S2 can hear everything my NRD-535 can on the same antennas, and the filters are more adjustable on the SDR, so that I can often hear things on the SDR that I cannot on the NRD. And the FDM S2 is about the bottom end SDR I run regularly. My Perseus, WinRadio G31DDC, G33DDC, and NetSDR compete with the best receivers I have ever owned, and I have owned pretty much all the top brands and models.

And testing bears that out, looking at the numbers resulting from third party tests, like the Sherwood Engineering Receiver tests, show that in every important factor, dynamic range, ultimate close and far signal blocking, phase noise, etc, the better SDRs are up there with and above the best receivers you can get.

In the ham radio realm radios like the Elecraft K3, Yaesu FTdx-5000, etc, are SDRs with a front panel (the core technology is SDR). And these radios are top shelf. But better yet (based on performance) are things like the Flex 6700 series, which are SDRs without a front panel.

Many SDRs have exceptionally good dynamic range. For example the Drake R-8 you mentioned has a narrow spaced dynamic range of about 71 dB, while the Perseus SDR has about 99 dB. That means that comparing the Drake to the Persus under the same conditions the Perseus can handle a close signal (close in frequency to the one you are trying to hear) that is well over 500 times stronger without adverse affect on the signal you are trying to listen to.

However once you do exceed the DR of the SDR the ADC starts to clip, much like overloading on a traditional receiver. But when the ADC clips every received signal in the range suffers. So SDRs are less graceful once their performance limits are met. You may have to use the attenuator a bit more, depending on your specific situation.

Now, SDRs are not for everyone. You are tied to a computer. And 15 years down the road, after 3 or 4 OS changes, will you be able to run the software for the specific SDR you might have? I can still fire up my Hallicrafters SP-600 or Collins R-390 and they are well over 50 years old, 50 years from now (probably half that time) I am certain my SDRs will not still be usable. Cables, OS's, data interfaces, something, will no longer be supported.

So maybe SDR does not fit you, that is fine, but don't dismiss them on performance. Cheep, low end, SDRs are low performance, of course, but compare apples to apples. If you are talking a $500+ used traditional receiver (probably over $1000 new) make sure to compare it to an SDR in a similar price range.

T!

PS, you might be able to tell I have drunk the SDR koolaid. I basically converted from traditional radios to SDR 7 or 8 years ago, including o the ham side, using a Flex-5000A as my primary transciever. If it is any indication, I still have all my traditional radios, I almost never get rid of a radio, and I almost never use the traditional rigs. Typically the traditional radios set on one or two freqs for specific stations or services, while the SDRs do the grunt work of digging out new and hard to hear signals.
 

Token

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
2,009
Location
Mojave Desert, California, USA
#17
I can still fire up my Hallicrafters SP-600 or Collins R-390 and they are well over 50 years old
DOH! Typing while drowsy, don't do it. I was thinking of the Hallicrafters SX-28 and the Hammarlund SP-600, so I combined the names in my head. I meant Hammarlund SP-600 in this sentence, as Hallicrafters was not the maker of the SP-600.

;)

T!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top