SDR.....what to choose ?

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Quebec337

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Hi,

I already have a Kenwood R5000 and enjoy it a lot. SDR seems nice with the graphics and all, but I'm not familiar at all with this technology. I already have a longwire antenna, and would like to install an SDR radio on my computer, but there seems to be so many products that I feel kinda lost in this sea of informations and have no clue about their differences. I'd like a good quality SDR radio.....any suggestions ? Is there something specific to install in the laptop (besides the cd software, of course).

Thanks in advance !
Matt
 

brettbolt

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If you have a longwire antenna, I would recommend an SDRPlay RSP2. It is one of the few SDRs that has HF reception without needing an upconverter. It also has 3 antenna inputs, including one specifically designed for longwire antennas without the need for a balun (1000 ohm input impedance).

Its main competitor is the AirSpy. But it requires an up-converter for HF use.

Brett
N6BY
 

majoco

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How much do you have to spend? What frequency range would you like to cover? Have a look at the WinRadio forum here...

https://forums.radioreference.com/s...-software-use-hints-basics-picture-heavy.html

The beauty of Winradio is they write their own software that is tailored for their equipment rather than just throwing a receiver out into the wilderness hoping you will find an interface that will or can be made to be suitable. I have two, one an early G303 that still does a brilliant job.
 

bob550

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For the budget-minded, there's the RTL-SDR Blog R820T2 V3 dongle at about $21 from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/RTL-SDR-Blog-RTL2832U-Software-Defined/dp/B0129EBDS2. This version 3 model does not require any modifications to receive HF. I use one with SDRsharp, connected to a 70' long wire. It is prone to overloading from nearby AM broadcast signals, however, and so a high-pass filter is recommended. Performance is fairly good as compared to my Icom R-71A, and with all the filters available, is often better.
 

rbm

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For the budget-minded, there's the RTL-SDR Blog R820T2 V3 dongle at about $21 from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/RTL-SDR-Blog-RTL2832U-Software-Defined/dp/B0129EBDS2. This version 3 model does not require any modifications to receive HF. I use one with SDRsharp, connected to a 70' long wire. It is prone to overloading from nearby AM broadcast signals, however, and so a high-pass filter is recommended. Performance is fairly good as compared to my Icom R-71A, and with all the filters available, is often better.
I have a few of that model. (As well as 16 others of various types.)
I'd also recommend it.
That one works very well as do most of the others I have.

One thing I think you must do, is turn off BOTH the RTL AGC and TUNER AGC and set the RF gain manually. (somewhere in the middle to start)
That goes a long way toward reducing overload. And other problems.

Rich
 
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bob550

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I have a few of that model. (As well as 16 others of various types.)
I'd also recommend it.
That one works very well as do most of the others I have.

One thing I think you must do, is turn off the AGC and set the RF gain manually.
That goes a long way toward reducing overload. And other problems.

Rich
I find that after selecting "direct sampling (Q branch)" mode necessary to tune HF, in the RTL-SDR controller, that the RF gain is grayed out and can't be adjusted. However, I forgot to mention that I've placed an old adjustable TV attenuator inline before the dongle, and that helps in reducing the overload. I've also ordered a RTL-SDR high-pass filter which will attenuate the AM broadcast band interference.
 
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