software recievers?

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Brandenburg

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OK, so I'm a noob but love to learn....

Although I recently picked up a scanner, I'm actually interested in shortwave and have long wanted to get into SW listening.

Anywhooo -- I found the Grundig Satellit 750 at RadioShack for only $300 and thought it might be a good starter radio. However, I really love the idea of using my computer to control my radios as I'm much more of a computer geek than a radio geek.

I've found several radio systems which seem to fit the bill -- such as the

SRL QuickSilver QS1R Receiver (which seems to have some really awesome SDR Max software) QuickSilver

and I found the RFspace recievers SDR-IQ,SDR-IP, SDR-14 at Home


I'm attracted to the software recievers because I think I'll learn the systems much more quickly and because it's so visual.

I was wondering what opinions you all have on these systems? I really don't know much about any of it, but I'd be happy to invest a little money to learn. I'm afraid I'd wind up getting bored with one of the smaller, more simple recievers.
 

ka3jjz

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As well as...

NASWA Journal Columns · Equipment Reviews, May 2008

and our wiki article has some additional Winradio review links...

WinRadio - The RadioReference Wiki

This is the wave of the future, no doubt about it. Of all of these, the Perseus, WinRadio and FlexRadio seems to enjoy the largest number of software options, at least right now. I happen to have played with the Perseus during the Winterfest last year, when my friend Al Johnson N4LUS brought one - and I was very impressed.

For the Perseus, software support includes Ergo, Shortwave Log and SysLabs RadioControl along with its own native software. These links (and more for the other SDRs) can be found here...

Receiver Software Applications - The RadioReference Wiki

Amateur Radio Transceiver Control - The RR Wiki

Keep in mind that a good antenna, preferably outdoors and away from the PC, is an absolute must for running a PC controlled HF radio. The antenna you choose is influenced greatly by the amount of space you can use. You can get by with an indoor antenna, but you will risk hearing the PC and anything else that can cause noise in the vicinity. If you need to stay indoors, then loops are a good bet. In an indoor situation, the attic is a real possibility, unless you have a lot of Romex up there (my attic doesn't, thank heaven). We have a number of articles linked in our wiki on the topic..

Loops - The RadioReference Wiki

HF Antennas - The RadioReference Wiki

Lastly, HF isn't on 24x7 like scanners. It is greatly influenced by solar conditions, the time of day and the seasons. I would read up on the AE4RV website as linked here to get a good start on understanding this. The link, along with many other related ones, are found here...

HF Propagation - The RadioReference Wiki

You really don't need to have a degree in geophysics to understand these principles - a basic understanding of the mechanics is key, however, to knowing when and where to listen.

That should give you enough to chew on for now. Ask more questions when you have them - lots of folks here can jump in and get you answers...73 Mike
 
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N0IU

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Don't forget about Flex-Radio. They have a number of software controlled radios. You might not like
the price, but they will do everything you want as well as have a TX in them.

Jim
But you will need an appropriate amateur radio license in order to transmit!
 

Brandenburg

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Thanks for all the information and advice. Although the $300 radio sounds nice to my pocket book, I'm really wanting to get something more high end. The SDRs seem so very awesome. I'm reading the wiki page now...hopefully will make a choice soon.

Unfortunately, as of right now, I'm in an apartment and would only be able to have an indoor antenna. I plan on moving by summer, though, and should be in a much better situation.
 

ka3jjz

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The RX320 is not considered SDR because the audio section is a conventional audio amp and not DSP serviced. However, it's a good little black box nevertheless

One can say that the radio is software driven but it isn't software defined which is what SDR means in the first place

73 Mike
 
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Brandenburg

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Based on what I've read and the video reviews I've seen, I'm really liking the QuickSilver QS1R.... the SDRMAXIII software seems incredible and the tech behind the QS1R seems really modern and simple. Does anyone here have this system? Any possibility of finding this for less than one grand?
 

ka3jjz

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As for reviews from other users, if you checked the eHam link I supplied, there are 4 user-level reviews there for the Quicksilver...

QuickSilver QS1R Product Reviews

Any other way to get it less than a grand? Dunno - time to join the Yahoo group that's mentioned in the reviews and see what develops

73 Mike

[edit] I just added a few Yahoo groups - including one for the QS1R - to the wiki article
 
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bagmouse7

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You may also want to join the Yahoo groups for each of these SDR receivers. They are very active groups and many people on these groups own more than one of these receivers and can give you good advice on which one would fit your needs.
 

Brandenburg

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Thanks for all the replies. I think I have finally settled on the QS1R....but now I'm debating if I want to spend a grand on a new hobby :)

I'm sure I'll break down and order it next week lol
 

brandon

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I picked up an SDR-IQ this week and wow, what an amazing advancement in radio technology! SDR is definitely the way of the future. It's awesome to view the waterfall and snoop out signals that would otherwise go unmonitored.

For anyone with an SDR-IQ I find the SpectraVue software is great for viewing the waterfall, but horrible for reception. If you want to listen to signals, Winrad is much better. The noise reduction is simply amazing! The signal to noise ratio is absolutely fantastic.

Let us know how the QS1R performs. This is next on my list, but unfortunately won't be for a while unless I win the lotto :)
 

Brandenburg

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Thanks you all for the various responses, suggestions, and general help about the SDRs available. I finally decided on the QS1R and just ordered it a few minutes ago. I can't wait for it to come in as it will be my first ever receiver. I'm sure I'm going to have a blast with it.

The down side is that buying it means I won't get a new, cool and loud exhaust for my car :( haha...I had to choose one or the other lol
 
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Hey guys, maybe this is a stupid question, but with these recievers your talking about, do they allow you to listen to SSB, LSB and USB??

I've been looking into HF listening a bit, and some have said I would need something that would allow me to listen to those 3 modes..
 
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