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Perhaps we should have an SDR forum on QRZ.com?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W4RAV, May 13, 2014.

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  1. W4RAV

    W4RAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    We should have an SDR forum. I guess "homebrew" works, but it really is a different category. Radioreference and eHam do, for what that's worth.

    With the $20 SDR now as common as it is, really a booming sub-culture of amateur radio, I'm surprised it's not covered much here.
    rtlsdrdongle001.jpg
    It's amazing that for less than cost of lunch, you can have 90% of what a $3000 radio does in the size of a thumb-drive. All mode, from 24mhz to 1.7ghz. Add the up-converter for HF (less than $50).

    If you've been under a rock for the past 3 years or so, start here:
    http://www.rtl-sdr.com

    I recommend you get your dongle and up-converter here:
    http://www.nooelec.com

    One of many free apps, here's what the latest release of SDR# looks like.

    sdrsharp1254.PNG
    (click to enlarge)

    Granted, no transmit with these, but most of what I do is outside ham bands anyway. Just the fact that I can see 3+ MEGS of waterfall blows me away. We only get about 4K in DM780, so it looks like a tiny sliver on the new waterfall. I'd have to spend big $$$ (like a Flex 6k) to get that in a rig and even then my choices would be limited. SDRConsole gives you six slices across whatever sample rate you use. Trunking, digital voice (P25, D-Star, etc.), satellite tracking, all kinds of great plug-ins and apps available. Many thanks to those smarter than I am who've provided such great works for us to use! So much to do, I haven't missed my Flex3k at all.

    If you're a fan of digital-modes, be sure to check out the couple dozen or so videos I've posted since buying this little gem. Even if you're not a digi-mode fan, you might still be interested in what a cheap "scanner" can do. http://www.youtube.com/user/k2nccvids/videos

    Not sure "Discussion" is the best place for this post, but if I had an SDR forum, I wouldn't be as confused. ;)
     
  2. KB2NHW

    KB2NHW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nice Ad, Nobody fooled.

    Maybe youll sell a few.
     
  3. W4RAV

    W4RAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Guessing it fooled you, as I'm not selling anything. Buy it where you like, but NooElec has treated me well across several orders.

    But, in spite of your confusion, that's hardly the point of my post.
     
  4. KI6LZ

    KI6LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for info. If someone wants to pay more go to Amazon.
     
  5. W4RAV

    W4RAV Ham Member QRZ Page

  6. AD0EC

    AD0EC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I just picked up an SDR dongle last week. It's pretty sweet! Works like a charm even with the small antenna.

    Here is my set-up. The antenna is now up on a bookcase sitting on top of a stapler. (The antenna base is magnetic!)

    [​IMG]
     
  7. W4RAV

    W4RAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nice Doug! I hooked up an A/B switch so I could go back-n-forth to my 2m/440 transmitter. Allows me to use 1 antenna for both. I thought about getting a splitter, so I can run two or more dongles at a time, but haven't got around to that yet.
     
  8. KA9MOT

    KA9MOT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Don't be fooled by the various RTL SDR Dongles. I've tested a bunch of these and even had dealings with Nooelec. We'll start with Noelec. Their RTL Dongles (marked Noelec) are just rebadged $10 RTL DOngles. They heat up and drift, and are subject to ESD problems. They also sell Newsky brand Dongles. These are much better, don't heat up and don't drift. Newsky dongles can be had for around $17. Noelec tells you they upgrade the ESD protection but they already come with the upgraded chip (Diode).

    The Ham It Up Upconverter is pretty decent, but it to tends to drift and the upconversion adds allot of noise.

    Problems with Noelec.

    There is no documentation for their products. Need help with the software? The setup? Too bad. Nothing in writing. Call and/or email Nooelec and nobody there willing to help. So you have to ferret the information out on your own. Very poor customer service.

    If you want one on HF, I recommend avoiding NooElec and doing the Direct Sampling Mod (Use the one that utilizes a transformer) with a QUALITY Dongle...again, so far Newsky has been the most stable for me. Use a stable dongle and do the correct mod and you'll be good to go. Either way, RX will not be as good as a Ham receiver, but what the heck... it's cheap and it looks cool.

    Nooelec is no prize.
     
  9. KI6LZ

    KI6LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Can't get my funcube to display more than 300 kHz with SDR console. The wider spans are greyed out and can't be selected. Seems like sdr# can't be downloaded at present time, oh well. Any advice?
     
  10. KA9MOT

    KA9MOT Ham Member QRZ Page

    SDR Console is very good. HDSDR is outstanding. I'm not trying to sound like Negative Nancy, but SDR# isn't one of my favorites.
     
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