Bad stigma associated with SDR-in-a-box rigs

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KD2PII, Aug 3, 2018.

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  1. KD2PII

    KD2PII Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was reading some reviews and discussion about the IC-7300 radio. The sentiment was always something that it was an "SDR in a box" or "glorified SDR". I know that the IC-7300 uses direct RF sampling instead of the more traditional superhet technology. Is that basically it? Are these rigs really that bad? Everything is software defined these days- even your cell phone (it's literally an app).

    I've been interested in that particular model radio- but all the bad things said about it make me think twice and second guess.
     
  2. KK4CUL

    KK4CUL XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's the new hot rig.. It is not a contest radio by any means, but it is an exceptional value. New ones are going for $1,000 - $1,200 and are really good performers for that price range. With something as popular as it is (due to performance: price ratio), there are bound to be people who don't like it. Maybe some are upset that it is an SDR that can be operated stand alone without a computer (Flex series users), or that it performs as well as the radios they bought a few years back for that cost them >2x the price, or that it is a "shack in the box". I skipped it and found a bigger base radio because I like having more physical knobs and a large display as opposed to a lot of menu-driven settings, but the radio itself is nothing to be laughed at. Some people might call you an appliance operator, but who cares?

    SDR radios have pros and cons:
    • The main pros are direct sampling, so no conversion at multiple IF stages that can cause strange birdies or sounds on the band, the whole thing is software controlled so firmware updates can add pretty great functionality just by plugging in a flash card, and the amount of signal processing it can do is amazing.
    • The main cons would be that down or upconversion rigs usually have a smaller IF passband and can reject adjacent signals better with mechanical or actual electronic filtering. Also, they are typically easier to repair or modify since different functions are somewhat separate instead of a couple "boards" that do it all.
    Other people can expand on this, but if you want something that looks stunning, can be (fairly easily) taken portable, has a beautiful color touch screen, and is easily up-gradable, I say go for it. If you would prefer something more traditional, or something with more of an easy to learn layout / menu system, try a bigger radio. However, there are not many bigger "base" radios in the new market now that are in the same price range.
     
    NH7RO likes this.
  3. W7UUU

    W7UUU QRZ Lifetime Member #133 Volunteer Moderator Life Member Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The IC-7300 is one of the hottest selling radios in ham radio history. I own one, and I like it. It's not a "be all end all" rig - I still use other radios as well, for different reasons. But for the price, it's pretty hard to find anything better than a 7300.

    Haterz gonna hate what they hate - the 7300, IMO due to its amazing popularity, is just hated by those who don't own one because it's popular.

    It's a great radio in many ways

    Dave
    W7UUU
     
    NH7RO likes this.
  4. KB4QAA

    KB4QAA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    First I've heard of this complaint. Of course before the 7300, the complaint was "SDR? I dont' want to have to mess with computers!". You can't win with the grousers. They will find fault on either side of the fence.

    The 7300 has a very good reputation and is selling VERY well. It isnt' top of the line performance, but its darn good for the price.
     
    NH7RO likes this.
  5. WN2C

    WN2C Ham Member QRZ Page

    I own a Flex SDR and it has brick wall filtering. My friend owns a 7300 and is very happy with it. He was out of the hobby for ten years or so and when he got back in he asked me about the new radios on the market. I told him to buy a 7300 because it is the best radio out there or the most bang for the Dollar. Don't listen to the naysayers about SDR, it is the future of radio receivers and transmitters. As for the Flex radios, yes you too can have knobs or you can run remote with a computer. You can do the same (run remote) w/ the 7300 and their software.
     
  6. AA7QQ

    AA7QQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was skeptical of SDR. What changed my mind is the Ten Tec Pegasus. Looks like a 1980s mini PC. Many were in an uproar at having to "Control" a radio by computer.
    It's my main HF rig, for now. Even though not "Truly" SDR, it's an amazing radio.
    If I were to buy a radio today, it would be the 7300.

    Ed
     
  7. K1TGX

    K1TGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think when it comes to tech and a lot of other things, people break down into 3 categories.
    1st you have the Scouts. They are realtively few in number but strike out and go where others haven't gone.
    2nd you have the Pioneers. There are more of them and they will move in after the Scouts have shown the way.
    3rd you have the Settlers. They are vast majority. After all is said and done and everything is 'safe' they follow.
     
    NH7RO and AA7QQ like this.
  8. KD2PII

    KD2PII Ham Member QRZ Page

    TNX all for the feedback. It seems like the IC 7300 offers some good value. What are some of the contenders in the same price range? TS-590S? TS-2000?

    I assume a “contest radio” would be in a whole different league and way more expensive.

    My source of comparison is the old TS-830S. I got one on the cheap but due to my own stupid ass it’s having problems and I may give up on it. Trying to decide on a comparable solid state replacement.. modern or not so modern.
     
  9. KF4ZGZ

    KF4ZGZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    The TenTec Jupiter is a "SDR in a box" rig.
    Awesmome little radio by all accounts .... we've been using one for years for FD and would not consider anything else.

    Matt
     
  10. K0RGR

    K0RGR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    There are some 7300s online that you can access remotely. I think the audio is pretty amazing, but I like the sound of an SDR. Try Remotehams.
     

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