SDR "Dongle" Graduation

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tip

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Given the time of the year, I was wondering what the next best device would make sense, graduating from an SDR USB dongle (the EZCAP's, TERRATEC's, etc).

What, in your opinions, is the next best thing to go to (receive only, dc to daylight).

Thanks for your suggestions.

Tip
 

jdobbs2001

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The upcoming Airspy seems the best in terms of what you get, 12bit ADC 25-1.7Ghz

I would recommend the FDM-S2 for the VLF to 60Mhz range.

You would be covered on all bands.
 

Token

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Given the time of the year, I was wondering what the next best device would make sense, graduating from an SDR USB dongle (the EZCAP's, TERRATEC's, etc).

What, in your opinions, is the next best thing to go to (receive only, dc to daylight).

Thanks for your suggestions.

Tip
Totally depends on your goals and budget. If you honestly want DC to daylight, or even DC to microwave, in one package, that will not be cheap. The better AOR and WinRadio offerings with this bandwidth can run to $3000 and up.

A more cost effective solution would be multiple devices to give that coverage.

Below 50 MHz the options are many. From $60 sound card based units to multi thousand dollar SDRs. In general you get what you pay for. That is not to say some of the lower cost units don’t perform well, but it is pretty universal that they do not perform as well as higher cost models. Only you can decide where, for you, the cost / performance curves cross acceptably, but with an idea of budget others can make recommendations.

Above 25 MHz the options are few. Of course it starts at the SDR Dongle end with sub $20 cost, but can rapidly increase to, again, the multi thousand dollar level.

Another thought is how much of a turn-key solution do you want? Some of the lower cost options are very capable for the investment, but tend to be a bit more “tinkerer” oriented. Meaning the software or hardware might take a bit more effort to set up / make do what you want. If you are comfortable working with scripts and drivers at a more intimate level there are some cool potential devices out there.

T!
 
S

screamin72

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I've been looking at the Funcube Dongle Pro+ but not so sure as to the availability and if I actually wanna take the risk of it going thru customs to get delayed a long time or worse...lost. You have to look at how long you are willing to wait for a shipment to arrive coming outside country. FCD comes from UK. I would order it from a USA based company with many in stock.
 

tip

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I was thinking baby steps... the two device approach makes sense since something that could do it all would be out of my league.

Maybe in the $150 to $250 price range, with an absolute cap at $500 for that something I just could not resist!

Thanks for the thoughtful responses.

Tip
 

br0adband

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If you're willing to go to $250, then spring the $300 for the HackRF 'cause that's pretty much the one I'd recommend above all others at this point. Airspy has potential based on specs but, it's still basically vaporware to me at this moment, I sure hope something happens with it soon.

But HackRF is "out there" now (preorders being taken and shipping in June, they're covering the Kickstarter backers presently) and ready to roll, has great specs and possibilities including the ability to transmit (half-duplex, it can receive or transmit but not both at the same time) with limited output power of something like 30-50mW. Not much but, it's better than not being able to transmit at all I guess.
 
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