Electronics > RF, Microwave, Ham Radio

SDR overload

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Not nearby signal overload, options overload.

I'm interested in getting a quality SDR receiver that will not break the bank or frustrate me with narrow sampling b/w, birdies, low snr, etc. I have a handful of RTL-SDRs, which have been kinda fun, but a disappointment when really digging in. I also have a Fun Cube Dongle Pro+, which works nicely, but is limited to 192kHz b/w. Under $500 (including potential upverter) would be my range.

My main interest is casual HF / SWL listening using ready made software (HDSDR,SDR#,gqrx,etc), as well as some simple decoding projects using gnuradio or raw handling of the buffers -- so a clean SDK+API is desirable, too.

I cam across this list of devices: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_software-defined_radios#cite_note-65 and it made my head spin.

I notice also that many won't tune to HF, so that means using an upverter, so I'd guess I'd be looking for a cheap, good one of those, too. :-)

What do you guys like?

I would get a SoftRock RX III, and a cheap $11 RTLSDR for VHF.

I agree-  the combination of RTLSDR and upconverter is just not adequate for serious HF listening and you can spend endless amounts of time trying to fix it, but you're far better off starting with a better HF sdr, but not spending a lot of money.

The ultimate determinant of your ability to receive weak signals with a softrock style radio will then become your sound card.

 Especially if your computer has decent internal sound, you'll have better results with something like a softrock, once you get it all set up right. Its literally like day and night.

I could show you how hugely different it is visually, if you want.

What kind of signals do you want to listen to?

 I'll be following your progress. I just pulled the trigger on a SDRplay RSP, a $150 job with seemingly impressive specs.



I'm sure we would all be interested in hearing your impression of it once you get it.


--- Quote from: cdev on January 16, 2016, 10:06:46 pm ---I would get a SoftRock RX III, and a cheap $11 RTLSDR for VHF.

--- End quote ---

Already have the RTLSDR, as well as 2m/7cm transceiver that also receives over a range much broader than its bands, so VHF/UHF are covered.

--- Quote from: cdev on January 16, 2016, 10:06:46 pm ---What kind of signals do you want to listen to?

--- End quote ---

I'm fairly new to the hobby, so I don't know. For now, just SSB voice over 80/40/20/10, but also going to try to learn CW. I didn't understand the popularity of CW until I started listening and realized that you can make out a CW signal much farther away and weaker than an equivalent power SSB. Hearing is believing. I'm also interesting in writing and testing decoders for various digital modes.


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