SDR Recommendation

Status
Not open for further replies.

thomast77

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
304
Location
Santa Rosa County, Florida
So what SDR does everyone recommend? I would need full coverage from 0-30 mhz mainly for Shortwave Broadcast, Amateur SSB and some Utility listening. Just wanted to see what everyone else is using and how you like it. Price tag should be under $1000.
 

Token

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
2,162
Location
Mojave Desert, California, USA
So what SDR does everyone recommend? I would need full coverage from 0-30 mhz mainly for Shortwave Broadcast, Amateur SSB and some Utility listening. Just wanted to see what everyone else is using and how you like it. Price tag should be under $1000.
This question has so many layers to it, and the answer is not really all that simple. And opinion is going to play into the answer more than a little.

By setting $1000 as the top end you have defined the hardware field, that is a good starting point.

Are you going to be using this in association with a transmitter? I mean, is this an SDR to augment other radios primarily used for ham radio? In that case either the SDR-IQ or the QS-1R are probably the answer. Both are easy to integrate, both allow muting of the RX, and both allow software to control the ham radio while seamlessly allowing SDR control. In my opinion, unless you need the wide band capability of the QS1R, the SDR-IQ is the better of the two for this application. It is also the less expensive. Sound card SDRs like the SoftRock Ensemble II and the Soft66 series would also work in this application, but more of the interface would be up to the user to build/design.

However, if this is going to be a standalone receiver for listening on its own, there are a few things to consider.

Do you want the best possible hardware in your price range, right out of the box with nothing for you to do but load the software and turn the radio on? Or are you willing to use the SDR as a building block and add preamplifiers and filtering as needed? Do you want the least expensive? Do you want the least expensive that exceeds certain performance values? Etc, etc.

Let me throw a few out that are on the market today. All of these will do what you have described, over the range you want.

Sound card based SDRs. These are items like the SoftRock Ensemble II, the Soft66XXX, the SDR-1, Cross Country Wireless, LD-1, etc, etc. These SDRs require the IQ output to be brought into the PC via an audio cable and the PC sound card. They are very low cost and big bang for the buck. High end units, assembled and ready to run, are $300 or less, some a lot less. But they have performance limitations compared to DDC SDRs (SDRs that do not use the PC sound card). Of these all the SoftRock Ensemble II is probably the best deal. It is the lowest cost and one of the better (but not absolute best) performers. However, in general, I do NOT recommend sound card based SDRs for people just starting out. The software support is somewhat scattered, and most of these end up being “tinkerers” toys, always having to mess with it a little bit, trying to find the best combination of hardware, software, and settings to get good performance.

The lowest cost non-sound card based SDR that I know of is the RFSpace SDR-IQ. I have 2 of them here. They are very trouble free to run, there are several pieces of software that support them, and they are OK performers. Not the greatest performers, but not bad at all. The bandwidth is a little limited by today’s standards at 190 kHz max, but hey, that is why they are the lowest cost on the market. And 190 kHz when these units first came out was outstanding. I am happy with mine, that is why I have 2 of them and use them every day, but freely admit they are not the “best” SDRs I own.

Quicksilver QS1R. $900 and it is the technically most capable SDR that you can find for under $1000. However, this does not mean it is the best in my opinion, only that it has the potential to be the best. Out of the box, as you receive it from the vendor, its performance level is about on par with or slightly behind the SDR-IQ, except it can see a much wider bandwidth and use multiple receive windows. With the addition of other hardware, such as preamplifiers and filters, the QS1R really takes off. But those parts push it well over your $1000 mark. Also, the software selection that supports it is limited.

WinRadio G31DDC Excalibur (not to be confused with the G33DDC Excalibur Pro). Also $900, although I have seen it for as low as $850. This is the most capable SDR for under $1000 just as it comes out of the box. The noise floor, sensitivity, etc is number 1 in its price range. It is the only option that allows you to see the entire 0-30 MHz span on one display while looking at a smaller subset band on another display (the QS1R is limited to 20 MHz I think, depending on the latest software). This last feature makes it simply the best radio I have ever used for utility listening. The Excalibur regularly outperforms my Perseus SDR, a unit that costs $1200 and has been called technically excellent. A potential big “gotcha” here is that there is only one piece of software that supports this radio fully today, the software that WinRadio ships with the unit. However, this software is very capable and relatively complete, presenting one of the more “finished” GUIs in my mind. If WinRadio ever adds a couple of features to the GUI that are found on other SDR software it will easily be the ruler to measure all others against. Two notably missing features in the G31DDC software are clock based time tagging on the waterfalls and scheduled DDC recording. There is nothing to do about the first, but a third party software can take care of the later shortcoming. Or, using the G33DDC Pro software to run the G31DDC hardware takes care of both shortcomings, however that might not be 100% kosher with regards to software licensing.

The WinRadio Excalibur currently does not support remote operation over network, while both the SDR-IQ (via SDR-Radio.com) and the Perseus (via supplied software) do support such operation. But that is probably not much of a negative for the average user.

That kind of finishes off most of the commercially available SDRs in your price range, sub $1000 USD. There are a few low production number other brand units out there in the price range, but data on them is less easy to find and I have not tried many of them personally. I own or have used all of the units I described above. The current dedicated listening only SDR line up at the listening desk in the house is: SoftRock Ensemble II, Soft66LC, 2x SDR-IQ, SDR-14, WinRadio Excalibur, and Microtelecom Perseus. I also have a Flex-5000 in the ham shack. I have played around with several other of the sound card based SDRs, as well as the QS1R Quicksilver, the G33DDC Excalibur Pro, NetSDR, and some professional level digitizers (SDRs). Yeah, you could say I have adopted the technology. I have many traditional receivers at the listening bench also, but to tell the truth they seldom get turned on anymore.

In my opinion, and by most advertised and confirmable specifications, the best sub $1000 SDR for a listener today is the G31DDC Excalibur. In fact, I would say it was the best short wave receiver for under $1000 today, regardless of technology used, and one of the best receivers ever aimed at the hobby market. Since getting the Excalibur (right after launch) it has been my primary receiver, with all of the others taking secondary rolls.

T!
 
Last edited:

thomast77

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
304
Location
Santa Rosa County, Florida
To Carmelof: I have not decided on an antenna yet. Maybe a g5rv or a random wire cut for 80 meters. Do you have any other suggestions?

And to Token: Thank You for the detailed info. It will not be used in association with a Transmitter. I want it as a dedicated receiver only. I found a site i have been using sdr-radio.com. Many users have the SDR-IQ and the Ensemble II. They sound like very good receivers. And I have been going back and forth between the 2. The price and performance of the Ensemble II has me looking really hard at it. But I will be looking at some of the other Receiver suggestions you have made..Thank You for the write up I found it very informative.

Tom
 

Token

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
2,162
Location
Mojave Desert, California, USA
To Carmelof: I have not decided on an antenna yet. Maybe a g5rv or a random wire cut for 80 meters. Do you have any other suggestions?
I know this was to Carmelof here, but I will chime in.

The G5RV is a compromise antenna primarily designed as a multiband transmit antenna. It is not particularly good as a receive antenna, or a transmit antenna, for that matter. If you have the room for a G5RV you have the room for several better receive antenna designs, such as a T2FD.

And a random wire cut for 80 meters would not be random on 80 ;) But, an end fed random wire is a pretty decent starter antenna, if you can get some real length out there, say 60+ feet at a minimum, and 100+ preferable.

And to Token: Thank You for the detailed info. It will not be used in association with a Transmitter. I want it as a dedicated receiver only. I found a site i have been using sdr-radio.com. Many users have the SDR-IQ and the Ensemble II. They sound like very good receivers. And I have been going back and forth between the 2. The price and performance of the Ensemble II has me looking really hard at it. But I will be looking at some of the other Receiver suggestions you have made..Thank You for the write up I found it very informative.
If you have ever used the “Token/SWL” (Mojave Desert, California) node on SDR-Radio.com you have used one of my SDR-IQs, I generally keep my second one available on that network 24 hours a day. If you have ever used “Token, Mojave Desert” on the Perseus network that would be my Perseus, I generally keep it signed in on that network.

Many users (by that I mean node hosts, not the people listening to the radios) on SDR-Radio.com have the SoftRock and the SDR-IQ because those are among the lowest cost units that the SDR-Radio.com software supports. The NetSDR and the SDR-IP are better performers but several times the cost of the SDR-IQ, and more than 10 times the cost of the Ensemble, so you see fewer of them. The numbers on SDR-Radio.com are skewed toward the SDR-IQ and the SoftRocks by cost, not by performance. And in my case, for example, am I going to put my best radio on the network 24/7 for others to use? Or am I going to put a spare on the network and use my best one myself? Keep in mind, if you are using a radio on SDR-Radio.com the owner of the node cannot use it at the same time. Only one person at a time can use the radios, either the owner or one remote listener. We put our radios on SDR-Radio.com so others can use them, as a free service, and the node host (the radios owner) gets nothing out of it, other than knowing that others are enjoying the radio also.

Also remember all nodes on SDR-Radio.com are not equal. Just because they have the same SDR does not mean the local noise situation is the same or that the antennas are the same. A junk receiver connected to a great antenna will often perform better than an excellent receiver on a poor antenna.

Again I will say, I do not recommend the Ensemble II for a first receiver unless you like to tinker with stuff and know the shortcomings and pitfalls up front. I have seen more than one person discouraged out of listening, driven away from the hobby, by selecting one of the sound card based SDRs, like the Ensemble II, as their first or only receiver. The effort required in setting the unit up to work optimally, the search for a “best” sound card to support the unit, and similar issues end up exasperating some users. And the cost is not all that low once you get it done.

The Ensemble II might be low cost up front, under $60 for the kit, $85 if you get one assembled. But, you have to add a case and a power supply. This realistically pushes the price up to the $120+ range. And then many users (at a guess more than half) find that their existing sound card results in mediocre performance, or does not work with the SDR at all, and end up going after another sound card. Naturally, if you are going to do that you might want a good one, and figure that pushes another $100 or there abouts. So that you often end up with around $220 into something that looked like it was going to run about $60. And you still have to put up with the LO spike (and associated inability to use that region) in the middle of the sampled spectrum and the imaging issues that all sound card SDRs have to some level.

And then there are the settings issues. Sure, you can run it right out of the box with the auto detected audio levels and such. But to optimize performance with your specific hardware you will need to adjust levels, inputs and related, until you get just the right balance, this is more difficult than it would first seem. Some people never get there, and some are OK never optimizing, just running at defaults.

With all of that said, you will not find another $220 (or less) setup or radio that has the potential to work better. Just be aware it can be frustrating to some people, my above was not a bash on the Ensemble II, just a warning of the potential issues.

The SDR-IQ will work better than the Ensemble right out of the box, but at over twice the price. And it will work better, with regards to imaging and filtering, than the best optimized Ensemble II setup possible. And it does not care what soundcard you have, the sound card only makes the sound, it is not part of the processing in the SDR-IQ, the cheapest, built in, on motherboard audio is just fine…as long as your ears are OK with the audio quality.

However, I will also tell you the SDR-IQ is not a great receiver (I said that in my first post). Yes, it is decent, fairly good even, but not in the same class as what you can get in your stated price range.

With the G31DDC Excalibur I regularly, as in almost every time I set down at the radios, receive signals that the SDR-IQ cannot even detect out of the noise floor using the same antennas at the same location. The Excalibur has an advertised noise floor that is more than 10 dB below that of the advertised noise floor of the SDR-IQ. And in actual measurements I have conducted on the test bench the noise floor of the Excalibur is more than 12 dB lower than the SDR-IQ. The MDS of the Excalibur is also more than 10 dB below the SDR-IQ. This means, in real world use, a signal that is 6 to 10 dB above the noise floor of the Excalibur, and 100% copiable, is at or below the noise floor of the SDR-IQ and undetectable, or possibly not seen as more than just a vague “something might be there” signal.

The above means that the Excalibur user can detect and make usable low level signals the SDR-IQ user sometimes does not even know are present.

If you are in a high natural noise area, or an area of high RFI, this ability to detect low level signals may not matter. At lower frequencies it probably will not matter for many users, but in the upper half of the HF range it probably will. For higher level signals, things significantly out of the noise floor, there is no real performance advantage in the Excalibur over the SDR-IQ on any single given signal.

But, the SDR-IQ does not have the 0-30 MHz (or 0-50 MHz if you select that setting) wideband lower display. The ability to see short duration transient signals (such as most things that are not SW Broadcast stations) on this display is a huge advantage. In my opinion even if the Excalibur had no other performance advantage over the SDR-IQ this feature alone would be worth the cost delta between the two. Of course, if your primary interest is SW Broadcast stations or similar predictable transmission time/frequency stations then this is no real advantage at all.

Let me put it this way, a simple example from my position having used all of the hardware being discussed. If I had to replace my receive only equipment right now and I had to get only one SDR and it had to be $1000 or less, what would it be? The immediate answer, without hesitation, would be the G31DDC Excalibur. Is it the best radio ever made? Of course not, but it is the best radio I have tried that is currently available new for under $1000. If that was not possible for some reason the next answer would probably be the SDR-IQ. I would go to a traditional superheterodyne receiver like the Icom R-75 before I would go to the Softrock (or any sound card based SDR) as my primary and only radio. The Softrocks, in my opinion, are great second radios, or tinkering devices. Maybe even every radio listener should have one, try one out, but it should not be the primary tool.

T!
 

SCPD

QRT
Joined
Feb 24, 2001
Messages
0
Location
Virginia
Before buying the Excalibur, I would download their software and play with the trial version. There are recordings you can d/l to see how the software functions.

The software user interface for the Excalibur is not very "user-friendly" -- and imho could be a lot better.

The Excalibur does have high-end hardware but it's a closed system -- meaning there no 3rd party programs you can use with it. i.e. You're stuck with whatever software WinRadio provides.

The SDR-IQ is very open and the Perseus is somewhere in-between the two. HDSDR is a popular 3rd party SDR application that can be used with the SDR-IQ and Perseus. There's also another 3rd party program coming out very soon (end of March.)

Also, depending on your RF noise environment, an outdoor loop antenna takes up very little space and rivals a much larger antenna. A loop can compliment a higher-end SDR very well. Check out PixelSatRadio's Pro-1B or the Wellbrook loops.

I own a Perseus and am very happy with it. If you're very lucky, you can sometimes find one on E-Bay for 20% off (or more) the retail price. A SDR-IQ shows up every now and then as well.
 

cabletek73

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 10, 2006
Messages
9
Location
NJ
Great info

T,

Thanks for your input, I had a flex 1500 which was my first taste into SDR, I sold it as seasons changed which is typical for me and regret doing so ever since. I heard and SAW stations with that I've never been able to hear.. In my quest to see what else is available Ive been keeping an eye on this forum and enjoy the comparisons. I guess I'd like to ask, what are your thoughts on the flex 5000 you have vs the Excalibur ?
Aside from being able to transmit which is something I won't do or have the freq spread differences between the two.

Thanks
Rod
 

Token

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
2,162
Location
Mojave Desert, California, USA
Before buying the Excalibur, I would download their software and play with the trial version. There are recordings you can d/l to see how the software functions.

The software user interface for the Excalibur is not very "user-friendly" -- and imho could be a lot better.
On the other hand I find it easier and much more versatile to use than the Perseus software. The Perseus software waterfall is far too small (820 x 250 for waterfall area) and cannot be resized by the user, the entire Perseus control panel is a fixed 1020 x 580 size. All of the windows in the Excalibur software can be made any size you want above a certain minimum.

Because of this factor the Excalibur waterfalls can show more detail than the Perseus software can. It is also possible to save a “raw” waterfall image, the native size of the waterfall disregarding your selected screen size. This allows images with literally 20+ times the resolution of the largest waterfall that can be saved or viewed in Perseus or HDSDR software.

The Excalibur software does not, however, have a very good help file. It needs to be more detailed.

In my opinion the Excalibur software is far better than the Perseus software in almost every way, but the learning curve is indeed steeper. For example the hotkey capability, many operations needed can be achieved with a single key click, and you can change the default keys to whatever you like, but the help file says little more than this function exist, you have to look at the hotkey editor to really see how many functions can be done.

More options = more to learn, and the poor help file just does the program no justice. Also, the GUI of the Excalibur is very “busy”, lots of things being shown at one time. But once you learn them they present…well…more usable data at one time.

The Excalibur does have high-end hardware but it's a closed system -- meaning there no 3rd party programs you can use with it. i.e. You're stuck with whatever software WinRadio provides.

The SDR-IQ is very open and the Perseus is somewhere in-between the two. HDSDR is a popular 3rd party SDR application that can be used with the SDR-IQ and Perseus. There's also another 3rd party program coming out very soon (end of March.)
The Excalibur is not a closed system. The SDK can be downloaded from the WinRadio web site, and is just as freely distributed as the Perseus SDK.
WiNRADiO G31DDC - Software Developer's Information

Anyone is free to make software to support the Excalibur and how to do so is well documented by WinRadio, although WinRadio does have some limitations or controls on using their SDK for profit…as does Microtelecom on the Perseus SDK.

3rd party support for the Excalibur is very thin, I think at this time only LINRAD ( Linrad home page ) supports it other than the WinRadio supplied software. This is not because of WinRadio but rather because no one has built any software yet. Keep in mind the Excalibur has been out for far less time than the other SDRs we are talking about, and for the first couple years that the Perseus existed no 3rd party stuff (other than LINRAD) supported it either. And the SDR-IQ is the oldest SDR on the market, so 3rd party developers have had lots of time to start supporting it.

However, WinRadio hardware has never been widely supported by 3rd party software developers for some reason. It has been this way since the first WinRadio receiver, the WR-1000. So a buyer does have to look at the very real possibility that no other software will ever work with the Excalibur other than the one WinRadio publishes today.

Also, while WinRadio is pretty good about updating their software because of performance or compatibility issues, they almost NEVER add new features for free. If the software does not currently support something you want it to do it is unlikely WinRadio will add that feature to the GUI. They might come out with a plug in that does what you want (like remote control or something) but it will possibly be a for-pay option, at least based on past history.

If the WinRadio software is not comfortable for the individual user then that user should pick another piece of hardware/software, because that may, or may not, be the only software that ever supports the hardware. But, the user needs to give it a fair chance, and make sure they understand specifically what they do not like about the software. And if you don’t like something find out for sure if whatever it is can or cannot be changed.

T!
 

Token

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
2,162
Location
Mojave Desert, California, USA
T,

Thanks for your input, I had a flex 1500 which was my first taste into SDR, I sold it as seasons changed which is typical for me and regret doing so ever since. I heard and SAW stations with that I've never been able to hear.. In my quest to see what else is available Ive been keeping an eye on this forum and enjoy the comparisons. I guess I'd like to ask, what are your thoughts on the flex 5000 you have vs the Excalibur ?
Aside from being able to transmit which is something I won't do or have the freq spread differences between the two.
Two different critters.

The Flex-5000 has a more robust front end. It is less susceptible to clipping or overdriving the DDC (A/D). This is at least partially because it has a much narrower IBW, and better filtering. It also has better image rejection (although the Excalibur is still very good). The IP3 of the Flex is superior, although both are very good. The Flex-5000 receives up to 60 MHz, while the Excalibur only goes to 50 MHz, and actually starts to fall off in performance at around 45 MHz (this falloff is not documented by WinRadio, but has been a fact on all three of the Excaliburs I have had).

But in many other ways, as a receiver only, the Excalibur is superior to the Flex-5000. It has better sensitivity (0.16 microvolt vs 0.3 microvolt). It has a lower noise floor (-138 dBm vs –133 dBm). It has a lower phase noise (-145 dBc/Hz vs 123 dBc/Hz). In my opinion the squelch systems available work better, but not a big factor at HF. I don’t have numbers to support it but it seems to me that the filtering of the Excalibur on close signals is better than the Flex for most of the range, but is less good as the signal approaches signal strengths close to clipping.

Unless you are in a high RFI environment, strong signals nearby, the Excalibur will be the better performing radio. In a high RFI area the –5000 will be the better. As a SWL/Ute receiver the Excalibur has several features the –5000 does not have, and so would be the better selection.

But, as I said before, they are really two different critters and comparisons betweent hem are unfair to one or the other in several ways.

T!
 

cabletek73

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 10, 2006
Messages
9
Location
NJ
Thanks T! Good information. Cost plays into all of this as well. Appreciate your taking the time to reply.

Rod
 

kfcrosby

Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2004
Messages
66
Location
Memphis, TN
Great info here, thanks gentlemen !

I am just beginning this journey as well after being away from the hobby for 25+ years, a lot has changed :)
 

OHIOSCAN

Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2001
Messages
657
Location
Lorain Cnty, OH
Token hit all the marks and sold me on the Excalibur last year, it is a great utility receiver. My other HF receivers are the ICOM 8500 & DRAKE SW-8 both great radios but my goto HF rig is the G31. The software is G31 only and lacks free digital mode support but for nailing utility HF it does the job.

Mike
 

n2pqq

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
949
Well I have a Perseus with the Studio one software , also use ham radio deluxe to control it.
I enjoy it very much.

There is also a new kid on the block
Bonito 1102S RadioJet Radio Receiver

Good luck and please let us know what you choose.
 

Token

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
2,162
Location
Mojave Desert, California, USA
Well I have a Perseus with the Studio one software , also use ham radio deluxe to control it.
I enjoy it very much.

There is also a new kid on the block
Bonito 1102S RadioJet Radio Receiver

Good luck and please let us know what you choose.
Except that “new kid” is not a very new technical approach. Let me be the first to say, I have not tried the RadioJet hardware, I am only going from the hardware block diagram and the descriptions from the web site. Also, my comments below regarding bandwidth must be recognized as opinion, you cannot honestly quantify the usefulness of such a thing. I cannot comment on the RadioJet GUI, but it does look interesting.

The 1102S RadioJet uses a hardware configuration very similar to the old (introduced in 2004) WinRadio WR-G303x series of radios. Even the IFs selected are the same, although the 303 has an RF pre-amp and the 1102S makes a big point of not having an RF amplifier. The 1102S also makes a big point of claiming no AGC, however this is not an uncommon thing for SDRs (for example, where is the AGC of the old SDR-IQ?), and there must be some kind of AGC like action in software, even if no hardware amplifiers use an AGC.

The 1102S might be a pretty good receiver, the numbers seem to indicate it is fairly good with regards to sensitivity and similar specifications. Not top shelf, but pretty good, when compared to traditional radios like the Icom R75 and the Alinco DXR8T. Why do I compare it to traditional radios instead of other “SDRs”? Because as an SDR the 1102S comes up a little lacking.

The 1102S has among the smallest instantaneous bandwidth (IBW), at 24 kHz, of any radio currently advertised as an “SDR”. The long-of-tooth WinRadio WRG305/313/315 is the only family of radios that is advertised as an “SDR” with a smaller IBW, and it has always been my contention that to call these radios SDRs is to stretch the meaning of the term. The next narrowest banded “SDR” is more than 3 times as wide as the 1102S, and most are 5 or more times as wide, with 75, or more, times the IBW being not uncommon.

This very narrow IBW means the use of the 1102S as an SDR is pretty limited. You cannot see several wide spaced channels at the same time. You cannot record multiple stations at the same time (unless they are so close together as to cause probably interference). You cannot easily find (by seeing them on a waterfall) transient signals that are on frequencies you are not tuned to. You cannot monitor the audio of more than one frequency at a time.

In short, in my opinion, the RadioJet 1102S will make a pretty good SW or MW broadcast listening receiver but will probably come up short for ham and utility listening. If you are looking at the Icom R75, the Alinco DXR8T, or the Palstar R30A for SWL BC or MW BC it is a good contender, being roughly in the same price and performance range as those units. If you compare it to SDRs like the Perseus, the Excalibur, or the Net-SDR it brings nothing to the competition other than lower price…at the cost of significant performance limitations. When compared to the SDR-IQ it has a few better performance numbers and less capability, at significantly higher cost. (In the interest of full discloser I do own the Perseus, the Excalibur, the Net-SDR, and the SDR-IQ, as well as other SDRs, so if I sound biased it could be because I like them, but I have tried not to allow that to happen.)

Again, just my opinion, but I think solidly supportable.

T!
 

NYG

Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
247
I posted this in the Amateur area and it got absolutely no response at all....

In any case if you're the type that likes to tinker you may want to look at the Hermes board from the openHPSDR project. It's just about to go into production.

HERMES - HPSDRwiki

I'd like to see the spectrum size of the receivers improved from a s/w standpoint but the hardware appears to be very good.
 

SCPD

QRT
Joined
Feb 24, 2001
Messages
0
Location
Virginia
Except that “new kid” is not a very new technical approach. Let me be the first to say, I have not tried the RadioJet hardware, I am only going from the hardware block diagram and the descriptions from the web site. Also, my comments below regarding bandwidth must be recognized as opinion, you cannot honestly quantify the usefulness of such a thing. I cannot comment on the RadioJet GUI, but it does look interesting.

The 1102S RadioJet uses a hardware configuration very similar to the old (introduced in 2004) WinRadio WR-G303x series of radios. Even the IFs selected are the same, although the 303 has an RF pre-amp and the 1102S makes a big point of not having an RF amplifier. The 1102S also makes a big point of claiming no AGC, however this is not an uncommon thing for SDRs (for example, where is the AGC of the old SDR-IQ?), and there must be some kind of AGC like action in software, even if no hardware amplifiers use an AGC.

The 1102S might be a pretty good receiver, the numbers seem to indicate it is fairly good with regards to sensitivity and similar specifications. Not top shelf, but pretty good, when compared to traditional radios like the Icom R75 and the Alinco DXR8T. Why do I compare it to traditional radios instead of other “SDRs”? Because as an SDR the 1102S comes up a little lacking.

The 1102S has among the smallest instantaneous bandwidth (IBW), at 24 kHz, of any radio currently advertised as an “SDR”. The long-of-tooth WinRadio WRG305/313/315 is the only family of radios that is advertised as an “SDR” with a smaller IBW, and it has always been my contention that to call these radios SDRs is to stretch the meaning of the term. The next narrowest banded “SDR” is more than 3 times as wide as the 1102S, and most are 5 or more times as wide, with 75, or more, times the IBW being not uncommon.

This very narrow IBW means the use of the 1102S as an SDR is pretty limited. You cannot see several wide spaced channels at the same time. You cannot record multiple stations at the same time (unless they are so close together as to cause probably interference). You cannot easily find (by seeing them on a waterfall) transient signals that are on frequencies you are not tuned to. You cannot monitor the audio of more than one frequency at a time.

In short, in my opinion, the RadioJet 1102S will make a pretty good SW or MW broadcast listening receiver but will probably come up short for ham and utility listening. If you are looking at the Icom R75, the Alinco DXR8T, or the Palstar R30A for SWL BC or MW BC it is a good contender, being roughly in the same price and performance range as those units. If you compare it to SDRs like the Perseus, the Excalibur, or the Net-SDR it brings nothing to the competition other than lower price…at the cost of significant performance limitations. When compared to the SDR-IQ it has a few better performance numbers and less capability, at significantly higher cost. (In the interest of full discloser I do own the Perseus, the Excalibur, the Net-SDR, and the SDR-IQ, as well as other SDRs, so if I sound biased it could be because I like them, but I have tried not to allow that to happen.)
It looks like they also put some actual thought into their software as well. It's funny how good software can really make a difference in the perceived hardware quality. :)
 

perseus68

Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2011
Messages
32
Location
Tenerife - Spain
G31DCC how to schedule DCC recording ?

....
...Two notably missing features in the G31DDC software are clock based time tagging on the waterfalls and scheduled DDC recording. There is nothing to do about the first, but a third party software can take care of the later shortcoming. Or, using the G33DDC Pro software to run the G31DDC hardware takes care of both shortcomings, however that might not be 100% kosher with regards to software licensing.

T!

Hi Token

So which 3rd party application does support DCC scheduled recording for the G31DCC ?

Actually I have to decide which HF receiver to buy.

I'm still undecided if buying a classic old-fashioned rig like the R8500 or pull the trigger for a SDR for HF. My Alinco DJ-X11 would then cover V/UHF.

For sure I want to have the possibility of recording HF utilities if I buy a SDR...


73s
Marco
 

SCPD

QRT
Joined
Feb 24, 2001
Messages
0
Location
Virginia
Hi Token

So which 3rd party application does support DCC scheduled recording for the G31DCC ?

Actually I have to decide which HF receiver to buy.

I'm still undecided if buying a classic old-fashioned rig like the R8500 or pull the trigger for a SDR for HF. My Alinco DJ-X11 would then cover V/UHF.

For sure I want to have the possibility of recording HF utilities if I buy a SDR...


73s
Marco
Marco,

Before buying the Excalibur, I would suggest you download the Excalibur software and use it in their DEMO mode. Search the internet for a DDC recording to play back so you can see how the software actually works. The Excalibur hardware may be the "latest" but the software is what is lacking, imho. Try before you buy.

Download here: http://winradio.com/home/download-g31ddc.htm

PS. If you can't find a recording let me know and I can link one.
 

perseus68

Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2011
Messages
32
Location
Tenerife - Spain
Marco,

Before buying the Excalibur, I would suggest you download the Excalibur software and use it in their DEMO mode. Search the internet for a DDC recording to play back so you can see how the software actually works. The Excalibur hardware may be the "latest" but the software is what is lacking, imho. Try before you buy.

Download here: WiNRADiO Software Download for Windows

PS. If you can't find a recording let me know and I can link one.
Thanks man.
I'm just doing it and I'll let you know about recordings.

73s
Marco
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top