New Guy getting SDR

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Cotts

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Hello, Forum. I'll be buying either a Perseus or a QS1R in the next few days. My interests are Hambands, especially HF, MW and LW broadcast and just general SW.

I'm sure this has come up before but.....

Perseus or QS1R?

Helpful info. I've been listening for over 50 years. I live in the suburbs of Toronto - residential neighborhood and residential noise.... will sometimes take the gear to very rural sites.... Prefer Mac to PC but have both.

Be gentle with me.

thanks

Dave
 

N0IU

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I don't use either one, but you may want to check out the reviews on eHam:

Perseus: Microtelecom PERSEUS Product Reviews

QS1R: QuickSilver QS1R Product Reviews

At first blush, the Perseus seems to have issues running under Windows8 and also a perceived issue of "less-than-stellar" customer support by some users. A couple of people have even rated it as low as 0 or 1 out of 5 stars.

OTOH, the QS1R only has 1 review that is less than a 5 out of 5 stars.
 

Token

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Hello, Forum. I'll be buying either a Perseus or a QS1R in the next few days. My interests are Hambands, especially HF, MW and LW broadcast and just general SW.
OK, what has driven your decision to narrow down to the Perseus or the QS1R? What criteria has pointed you to this set?

I have used or owned both of them, as well as a few other SDRs. I have to caveat my QS1R experience with the fact that I tried it several years ago, the same basic hardware as today, but the software has changed significantly since then.

The QS1R has a lot of potential. More than anything else on the market that I have tried. But out of the box I just did not find it as good a performer as the Perseus. If you are going to use the SDR in conjunction with ham operations (not just receiving, but with a transmitter also) the QS1R is pretty much hands-down the one to get. For listening operations the only real stand out feature it has is the multiple receiver capability (and when I tried the QS1R the multi RX was not yet a fact, still in the future). The 4 MHz display bandwidth is very good, but the QS1R is not the only SDR to offer it (this bandwidth was also not available when I tried the QS1R). The last I knew while you could display 4 MHz you could only record 2 MHz.

The Perseus did, when I compared them side-by-side, perform better than the QS1R under many conditions. Sensitivity, overload, image rejection, etc.

In raw sensitivity the Perseus was clearly superior to the QS1R. In the real world and connected to an antenna, not on the bench measuring things, at lower frequencies, say below 10 MHz, this did not really matter, but above 10 MHz it was noticeable and above 20 MHz significant. I have not looked recently but at that time there were several 3rd party RF amplifiers and band pass filters marketed to correct this issue. The Perseus also handled close signals better.

Based on my comparison of the two I did not get the QS1R.

Since then other SDRs have hit the market, widening the selection significantly. The NetSDR is excellent and has a wide 3rd party software base. The WinRadio G31DDC and G33DDC are simply fantastic performers.

Here at the house for listening DDC SDRs (meaning leaving out my Flex-5000A and any sound card based SDRs) I have the Perseus, the RFSpace SDR-IQ, RFSpace SDR-14, WinRadio G31DDC Excalibur, and WInRadio G33DDC Excalibur Pro. I have tried first-hand, and side-by-side to other SDRs, the QS1R and the NetSDR. By quite a bit I prefer the G31DDC and G33DDC to anything else I have owned or tried. Since I got the Excaliburs I never really use my other SDRs, my other SDRs are typically online for others to use remotely or they are doing scheduled recordings, but when I set down at the desk to listen myself it is almost always with one or both of the Excaliburs.

The Excaliburs have performance that are World class, they are exceptionally good receivers by almost any measurement and compare well to any type of receiver, not just SDRs. I count them in the top few receivers I have ever used in the last 40 years. That does not make them without fault, I think the front end could be a little stouter. On the negative side of the ledger is the fact that they are the least supported by 3rd party software. If you like the GUI that comes with them you will be happy with them, if you want features not already included in the WinRadio GUI you will probably never have them.

If for some reason I could only keep one of my current listening SDRs it would be the G33DDC, no ifs ands or buts. Next to performance the real-time 30+ MHz wideband display is a primary driver for me, the ability to see the entire HF band while monitoring in detail whatever segment of it I am interested in is fantastic.

All of these SDRs are very good, the QS1R, the Perseus, the NetSDR, and the Excaliburs. You really will not go wrong with any of them. Some are superior in certain ways, each with strong points to their advantage.

T!
 

Cotts

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Toronto, Ontario
Thanks for the replies, guys. I have been looking at the Perseus and the QS1R due to the price (both <$1000) and the excellent interfaces I see on YouTube videos of them. I have been away from the hobby for about 15 years - my last RX was a Japan Radio 525. It seems these SDR's are the equal of that excellent radio and have the advantage of the waterfall, recording a band, filters you don't have to buy later etc. etc.

Scott, the eHam reviews seem to show a trend in the Perseus of reduced support in the recent reviews while the QS1R reviews are almost universally excellent.

Mike, I'll be diving into that link when I'm finished this post.

Token, you've added to my list - research on these WinRadios to be done now.

Thanks!

Dave
 
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