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software defined radio---Soft66lc2

Discussion in 'Homebrew and Kit Projects' started by WA9WWW, Feb 18, 2011.

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  1. WA9WWW

    WA9WWW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've seen these on ebay. Has anyone had or knows of someone using this receiver? The description in the ad is hard for me to understand. Would appreciate any help you can give me. Thanks Paul
  2. K9FV

    K9FV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I found the webpage - finally. That is a RX only? You wanting to play with SDR stuff some? Have you looked at any of the softrock stuff? I'm thinking the specs on those are a LOTS better than this will be due to the way the BPF is built, and he really doesn't show much about how he's getting rest of circuit. He is cheap.

    SDR stuff is fun.

    Ken H>
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011
  3. WA9WWW

    WA9WWW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes I'm aware of softrock but can't get a kit at website. Can you help?
    I've tried to join the yahoo softrock group but seem to be going in circles trying to correct my email address,change passwords,etc.etc.etc. Do you know where one could find out what all is going to be asked to join?
    Yes I'm interested in SDR and thought would start with an receiver and ultimately get a transceiver. Thanks Ken. Paul
  4. AE5YJ

    AE5YJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have this SDR receiver. It is really impressive for the price. Dead below 2mhz, so 160m is out. It is kind of a PITA to get setup but works like a champ now on winrad. You have to download the ext_IOsoft66 .dll file and manally place it in your winrad directory. After that, select it though the winrad input select feature and also I had to select the "swap I/Q channels" function. Other than that, my only complaint about the receiver is the bandwidth, but that is a byproduct of my subpar sound card and not the receiver. I ordered mine from ebay and it arrived 9 days later. It really is a no fuss system, and I wouldn't even use the crappy control software that they recommend for it. Just download and install that dll file in winrad and go for it. It works with HDSDR (winrad hd) just fine, just remember to manually place the dll file in that directory as well.

    Oddly enough, I was able to get the receiver to output audio through powerSDR by emulating a softrock, but couldn't tune, naturally. Would love it if I could use powerSDR to control this rig. Any codemonkeys up for the challenge?

  5. AE5YJ

    AE5YJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    OK, been using this for almost a couple weeks, and my opinion of it has declined a bit. You get what you pay for: mirror images, birdies, and general noise plague this receiver. Also, you really need a soundcard sampling at 96khz to get the most out of it, of course the higher the sample rate the broader the "panadapter" bandwidth. Performance doesn't seem rock solid, varying with session and length of session.

    This unit is a good gateway drug for sdr, as I expect I will be ordering a FLEX-1500 in the next week or so.
  6. VK3XPT

    VK3XPT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi all,

    I purchased a Soft66LC2 from eBay a few weeks ago now, and I thought I should let you know my thoughts on it.

    Over all, I am VERY impressed with this receiver for the price. Used with a 192Khz soundcard, you get 192Khz of usable, visible bandwidth! I am using an Asus Xonar D1 soundcard with great results. The best software I have found for the Soft66LC2 is "HDSDR", a better version of "WinRad". (The ExtIO_Soft66ADD.dll works with HDSDR too). The Soft66LC2 gets its power from the USB port, so no external power supply is required.

    Mine DOES work below 2Mhz, in fact I can RX down to about 500Khz with mine, BUT you MUST enable the "DAC" tick box on the ExtIO control interface first. I have no idea exactly what this DAC option does, however if it is enabled, you will notice MANY birdies and mirror images above 2Mhz. In other words, only select DAC when working below 2Mhz!

    When compared to my FT-847, the Soft66LC2 is very close. So close, its actually scary that this thing can work so well for such a few components and small cost. The downside when compared to the 847 is that there are more "birdies" and you could overload the RX fairly easily if you were in a high RF environment (this is not really a problem for me). But to have a second receiver in the shack with 192Khz panadapter capability for around $100 AU is just awesome!

    Also, the Soft66LC2 comes completely assembled and installed in the box, with no holes to drill or anything! It is supplied ready to go (despite the confusing add that says you must drill the holes yourself)!

    I have a Softrock RX Ensemble 2, and a Softrock RXTX on order and no doubt they will perform better (due to the proper filters), however I think for anyone who is thinking about SDR and had a budget, I think you will be impressed. No matter how good the Softrocks are, I will still have a use for the Soft66LC2.


    Perrin VK3XPT
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