SDRplay as satellite downlink receiver?

Discussion in 'Satellite and Space Communications' started by WD9EWK, Aug 24, 2015.

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  1. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page


    Has anyone used either of the new models from SDRplay, the RSP2 or RSP2pro? Other than the cases (RSP2 is in a plastic case, RSP2pro in a metal case), these new receivers are identical.

    I have been using an RSP2 for a couple of weeks, and see the improvements in it compared to my original RSP1 - which is still a decent SDR receiver. SDRplay has been listening to its customers, with what they did with the RSP2 and RSP2pro - one with a metal case and the other with a sprayed-on RF shielding inside the plastic case, more antenna ports, a TCXO, reference clock input/output, etc. Pricing is still below US$ 200 from the US distributor, Ham Radio Outlet, and SDRplay now distributes a version of the updated HDSDR program with the SDRplay API and ExtIO DLLs already in place.

  2. W5SAT

    W5SAT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Patrick, I would be interested to hear your experience with the difference in images seen on the RSP2 vs RSP1. I love my RSP1 BUT... The problem with images is a big complaint of mine. I actually bought a FM trap to knock down the FM broadcast band and that helped but I have to be careful with the gain otherwise it gets messy - especially on 2 meters with so much 150 Mhz business activity nearby.
  3. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page

    The RSP2 and RSP2pro have a 60db notch filter at 80-100 MHz, and a 30dB notch filter at 680-1550 kHz, to help deal with the two broadcast bands. That might be something to help your situation. Unfortunately, the bandpass filtering still keeps the amateur and commercial frequencies around the amateur 2m band in the same bandpass.

    Are you going to be in Las Vegas for the NVCON convention at the end of the month?

  4. W5SAT

    W5SAT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ok, thanks - sounds like it's quite similar to the RSP1 int hat regard.

    Yes, I am actually going to NVCON on Saturday April 1. You planning to be up this way?
  5. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page

    For the whole convention, helping with the AMSAT booth up there. Looking forward to being in Las Vegas for a long weekend, and some operating time around the convention and also on my drive up there & back home.

  6. W5SAT

    W5SAT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ok, great. I'll see you next week then.
  7. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page


    With Hamvention now in the rear view mirror, did any other satellite operators purchase one of the SDRplay receivers there? If so, have you tried it on the satellite downlinks? SDRplay had a nice demonstration area, as part of Ham Radio Outlet's booth in one of the buildings.


    Mike (in black, behind tablet) and Andy (in black, to the right) did a great job showing off the SDRplay and the SDRuno software. It was nice to meet both of them last weekend in Dayton.

    Now that I'm back from visiting the Hamvention and my other driving around that part of the country, it is time to get back to using the SDRplay for my downlink receiver on our satellites. The Memorial Day holiday weekend should allow for more chances to play radio. :)

    Last edited: May 27, 2017
  8. K6VUG

    K6VUG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi, I landed in this forum while searching for CAT control of SDRplay. It is amazing to read the various informative posts.

    The following may not be directly about SDRplay but I'm having a blast with SatPC32 and SDRsharp with the cheap RTL-SDR dongle. I can watch the beacon on the waterfall as the satellite rises and I can "find" my own downlink in a matter of seconds. After that, I can tune anywhere in the pass band and my downlink is exactly where it should be - needs no further correction. It is almost like work HF after the initial adjustments, on every pass. The following screenshot was taken while receiving the CW beacon at very low angles at AOS with just the vertical on the roof. With a Yagi the signal is outstanding.

    very low angle beacon with a vertical.png

    I agree you get what you pay for, in that the front end of the RTL-SDR is wide open but with a few tweaks it works pretty well. The best part is that SatPC32 (and HRD SatTrack) can steer it and keep it on the right frequency and mode. Also, the user interface is ridiculously simple.

    I can now work full-duplex with just one regular transceiver and don't even have to touch the transceiver. I also got it to work with N1MM, for logging, I'll post a screen shot about it. I'm working on an article to document the steps but I'm very interested in SDRplay mainly due to its amazing front end and switchable filters. Until there is a proper CAT interface for SDRplay, it will be RTL-SDR for now... :)

  9. K6VUG

    K6VUG Ham Member QRZ Page

  10. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page

    The receiver doesn't determine the existence of a CAT interface for use with software like SatPC32 - the software driving your receiver does that. Since SDRsharp won't support SDRplay receivers, have you tried HDSDR? HDSDR can be configured to look like a Kenwood TS-2000 for CAT control functionality, and (IIRC) other software will do that too.

    Glad to see you trying SDR for receiving satellite downlinks. The RTL-SDR dongle will probably need some sort of bandpass filter in front of it at a minimum, should you want to work satellites with it. This was a reason why I went initially with a FUNcube Dongle Pro+ for hearing satellite downlinks, and then to the SDRplay receivers. Both the FUNcube Dongle Pro+ and all SDRplay receivers have bandpass filters, and these receivers are able to work alongside a transmitter for satellite work (HTs, dual-band FM mobiles, and all-mode radios like FT-817s).


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