Q: "Malachit" SDR receiver"??

Discussion in 'Software Defined Radio (SDR)' started by WB2GCR, Mar 13, 2021.

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  1. W1TRY

    W1TRY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The second harmonics of 2 meters. For foxhunting, it helps to check 2nd and 3rd harmonics to find the target.
    With a spectral display, this receiver seems like it would really be a great tool since you'd have not only audio, but also visual at 293.1 MHz from a fundamental of 144.55 MHz.
  2. N2DTS

    N2DTS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hard to use, only two knobs and the touch screen is too small to really use.
    I had 3, two broke within a week, I gave the 3rd one away, it may still work, who knows.
    The screens stop working.
    Also, the ones from China seem to be missing things in software.
    The original radios seem to work quite well.

  3. W9WQA

    W9WQA Ham Member QRZ Page

    slow learner here, my 2 nd. hear some music on fm.
    noise,hiss on am/ssb. cant really tune it. makes no sense...
    got a free return if i can print the xxxx label...
  4. WB2GCR

    WB2GCR Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Chinese version uses DEMO SOFTWARE!!

    That's the bottom line.

    You can get the update code from the Ruskie who designed it, and it will do all the
    proper tricks (apparently). It's $55.00 So I guess he does not care if the ChiComs make
    clones or not - he makes his $55.00.

    PROBABLY WORTH IT, if you can figure out how to connect it to your computer - there
    are yooohoootoobe vids on it.

    BTW, if you have the CLONE, hold the VOLUME KNOB pushed in for a number of seconds,
    the MODE options will pop up. That's a plus.

    Tapping the left or right of the spectrum display will move you up or down in freq - anywhere
    on it will move freq. No idea how to CENTER freq!!

    Mine seems to "work" - not good front end on a test lead in the house on BC band. Mmmmm.

    Have to look more closely at what the RUSKIE shaftware actually will do. I see no scales
    on the pan display... no RF level set, no way to defeat the LCD dim (guess I can bring the dim
    level UP - yeah, will try that), stuff like that... would LOVE to be able to KILL the waterfall and
    have more spectrum...

    So, bottom line for ME, is that for the <$100 I paid for mine, without batts and without an enclosure
    it looks like it will SUFFICE for my receiver IF output monitoring and maybe for sleuthing digital
    noise as a portable spectrum/audio display. Does not look at this point as it is a really top notch
    SDR receiver.

    Again the Hermes-Lite probably gives top notch receive performance, but it's not portable, similar
    price point to some of these small SDR boxes... Me, doubt I will go for the extra $55, but maybe if
    it starts to make sense.

    PS. some have figured out how to use it with various computer based SDR softwares (mo better display
    and controls).

    There is a Facebook group on the Chinesium Malachit Clone. For more info!

  5. W9WQA

    W9WQA Ham Member QRZ Page

    im done for good, it goes back...
  6. WB2GCR

    WB2GCR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Update - the FB group is semi useless. There is some information to be had, but mostly the advice
    is repeated: upgrade to the Ruskie software.

    Straight answers about details of how to run the thing? Not happening, so far.

    However the developer has responded to an email... we'll see what comes of it.
    I've got 80 bux into it - so it will do well enough for a random "sniffer" of RFI with a
    spectral display + audio.

  7. WB2GCR

    WB2GCR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well to help anyone else falling into this Rabbit Hole...

    I was able to obtain a unit with the "real" software working. So I could do some evaluation.

    It's not half bad.
    I have yet to dork all the internal level sets yet.
    But it overloads badly with just a test lead into the antenna input on BC band.

    Have it running right now off the 455kc IF on the R-390A.
    Does a credible job as an SSB demodulator, so far.
    Need to install an inline 20dB or more attenuator to handle the level from the IF out.

    Eventually will move to a spot closer to the output of the mixer that supplies the IF strip.
    Then we'll see if it does what I want.

    It's not clear how well it does on AM just yet. Does have a sync detector. Will know more
    later or tomnrrow when signals are up...

    The "manual" is worthless, frankly.
    It does not yet work with most computer based SDR client softwares.
    But I only wanted a small panadapter AND an RFI "sniffer".
    It will run up into the GHz, but I have yet to try that.

    It does have keypad freq input - once you figure out how to find it. (ha!)

    DOES NOT seem to have a way to defeat the "DIM" feature on the display. :(
    That is a show stopper for me, as I want to run it on a wallwart all the time when
    connected to the 390A.

    I would NOT suggest this over most of the other highly regarded SDR units that interface
    WITH a computer. Unless you want what I did - a small panadapter display.

    In cruising around the internet I saw people running dongles on smart phones, and on
    Android tablets. Better displays there...

    So, this is a simple (same chip as the SDR Play), small portable radio with basic features, its own display, and decent
    functionality. Looks like it may suffice for my application. I would NOT recommend it at
    the higher prices it is been sold, given the $55 for the "official" software added on!

    IF you do not get the software from Georgy, in Russia, even if it is "registered" it is probably NOT.
    Aka, no upgraded versions...

    Mine was barebones, $<100 by a bit, delivered, and with few expectations. Someone said they were
    being sold dirt cheap from Ali Express - but since they don't take payment in a way that you can
    have any recourse here in the USA, caveat emptor. But if you get one dirt cheap, and then spend $55
    for the software (and it works), then it's a deal.

    In reality IF someone has shown you THIS at a hamfest in 1995, your eyes would have fallen out
    of your head! ha ha ha! o_O

    Be prepared to hunt for info and where to push, and what to turn, and what higher and lower numbers
    do and mean in the settings... not much support, fyi.


    PS. This took essentially three days elapsed of poking, prodding, looking, asking, and watching youtoobe vids to get to this point. Ain't no single source.
  8. N2DTS

    N2DTS Ham Member QRZ Page

    The actual Russian version of this radio seems to be much better.
    I thought there was a preamp on/off or a gain option in the menu....
    I used a small variable attenuator with it when it actually worked, about 5 db seemed to help.

    The new airspy hf+ discovery is a $160.00 dongle that seems to work as well as the best sdr receivers.
    It runs sdr sharp, hdsdr and sdr-console, sharp works well with it.
    It seems to be the best of the sub $200 dongles.
  9. WB2GCR

    WB2GCR Ham Member QRZ Page

    ...thanks for the info.

    The new airspy hf+ discovery is a $160.00 dongle that seems to work as well as the best sdr receivers.
    It runs sdr sharp, hdsdr and sdr-console, sharp works well with it.
    It seems to be the best of the sub $200 dongles.[/QUOTE]

    My interest is limited to small, portable, lowest possible cost SDRs with integral display.
    As far as a general purpose receiver, it would be my suggestion to go with something that is not
    the Malachit.

    I've since figured out how to keep the DIM from forcing the brightness down, and other
    "tricks". The "DEMO" version software is not very good, fwiw. The "official" is far more
    feature rich. Imperfect, but ok for my uses.

    It's working on my 390A IF out as I type, and it does a great job as an SSB demodulator! Requires 30dB
    of attenuation to handle the level out of the 390A. If it keeps working, I'll be satisfied at this point.

    Anyone interested in more in-depth specific detail than I can give here, please email me, if you wish.


    PS. unclear what the preamp does or doesn't actually DO on the Chicom units!
    May or may not even exist? But either way it's OFF.
  10. EI4HWB

    EI4HWB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I ordered a version with an optional board with additional RF filters and an attenuator. Will see how it works when it gets here.

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