Newbie looking for a solution to do it all has a few questions.

Not open for further replies.


Jun 6, 2020
I'm a newbie who's fascinated by radio. I've had a couple of scanners, shortwave receivers and even a Baofeng.

I have a few questions and would really appreciate the forums' guidance.

I would like to build an SDR rig that can do it all - function as a shortwave receiver, receive utilities radio, general scanner, Phase II, trunking, DRM, etc. Ideally for as little as possible.

I have a Surface Pro tablet with an i5 and 8 gigs of ram that I think should be suitable for this. This would limit me to Windows, however. I can probably find another laptop that I could dedicate to this if linux is better, but if possible I would like to stick to Windows solutions.

I'm looking at this bundle: which seems like it can do a lot of what I want.

From my understanding, listening to SW will require use of the Smart HF converter, but without it I can receive pretty much everything above that, correct? It just requires separate antennas, which are included with the bundle, or I'd build my own.

- Is this device compatible with most software?
- What software is considered the most "complete" for SDR in terms of display, receiving, decoding, etc?
- Do I need dual receivers for following trunking systems?
- How do you decode PII, DRM, etc - are these like plugins that you activate within the software, or does this require additional software that you feed the audio into?
- Are there better solutions than the bundle above?

Any additional thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you very much for your time!
Not open for further replies.