Software Defined Radio-Cheating??

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by KF5UMC, Feb 5, 2017.

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  1. KF5UMC

    KF5UMC Ham Member QRZ Page

    We have been full time RV'ers for a couple of years and currently in Tombstone AZ. I need to read the Hamfest section more often, as we never heard about the Quartzsite AZ Hamfest late last month! We been here since May of 2016- two successful surgeries later the wife is ready to leave the area in April and get on the road again...

    Recently, I discovered Software Defined Radio or SRD as a matter of accident. After a QSO, I received a email from a fellow ham in the UK telling me he was listening to the QSO via the internet and KFS WebSDR

    I looked into this option and now via 3 SDR's I can have a "in the shack" copy QSO's every morning with hams on both US coasts and central US. For me having a antenna farm or even laying out several ground radials for my 5 band 26 ft Hustler antenna is not possible. The antenna works very well as it is (see my bio for more info/photos) BUT in some locations the reception is a big problem - currently been +S9 noise level since we have been here. Other locations we've visited... I've see around S4 regardless of the seasons. So the SDR really is a God send to me and others.

    Part of the hobby for some hams is to have lots of antennas (and radios) but not possible as a RV'er. So here are my questions
    1. Do you think the use of SRD as a receiver is CHEATING? This was a comment from one HAM.
    2. Is there a forum on QRZ regarding SDR?
    3. Do you use SDR?

    For those of you that want more info on SDR go here for the Worldwide SDR Directory

    Looking forward to your comments

    John KF5UMC
  2. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The notion of cheating only makes sense in the context of rules and/or competion. If you're looking for an award or entering a contest, it might or might not be cheating, depending on how the rules are written.

    If you're looking to have fun and/or learn, just obey the law and do whatever you want.
    KD8WU likes this.
  3. N0IU

    N0IU Ham Member QRZ Page

    My 2ยข... Stop listening to that guy!

    As far as forums, eHam has forums ( for Software Defined Radio and also for Shortwave Listen (which I see is another one of your hobbies) as well as several other amateur radio related categories.

    Safe travels!
  4. WA3QGD

    WA3QGD Ham Member QRZ Page

    It has caused some problems with folks that insist on receiving on it,then transmitting on their less than adequate station antenna,As with all the clever Monitazation schemes,trying to scape a buck off of an otherwise Pecuniary Interest Free Hobby,Will require the written consent of stations unwittingly being co opted into some ones SDR for pay for parade payola,to get your permission first before using YOUR Content as a means to exploit the loopholes,Have told a few of these gurus,unless it's a REAL station to station contact,Then it's not RADIO it's computer,do one or the other,Just dont try to sell Margarine as Butter
  5. KE0EYJ

    KE0EYJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use SDR to help me find DX openings, and to judge whether or not I'm getting-out into the area I'm listening. I have had a few QSO's, where I could not hear the other end, but they could hear my tranmission from Seoul. I heard them through websdr, and still wanted to give a shout-out from my own station, to say thanks for trying. I always tell them that I'm using websdr out of California (or wherever), to hear them, but transmitting from Korea.

    If it means anything, I don't record those QSO's for LOTW.
  6. KW5KB

    KW5KB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I will throw in my two cents that using a SDR on your antenna is a different beast than using websdr, so the title is a touch less than clear. Just like many pursuits, you will find some that are just happy to be talking and trying something new, and others who are purists who don't want outside data links thrown in. As long as your operating within the law, it is up to you to find where you fall on the question.
  7. N2PQW

    N2PQW Ham Member QRZ Page

    #1 - I think it's an understatement to say that having a modern, state-of-the-art receiver - as a separate unit from your transmitter - is not a new concept.

    Todd's Place KA0CEM 600x.jpg
    (Image randomly stolen from Pinterest)

    Your morals have not been compromised. Try to ignore the flaky judgements from those who don't "get it".

    #2 - N0IU has mentioned, and I'm not in that game, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were a half a dozen (or more) Yahoo groups devoted to SDR. Probably Google groups, too.

    #3 - Not my thing, yet. Perhaps someday I'll catch the bug.

    David / N2PQW
  8. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's definitely cheating to use any technology invented after 1950.
  9. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    Isn't there a 'latency' issue trying to use a web based SDR to receive?

    The few times that I've fooled with it I've tried to tune the same signal on my station receiver and noticed there is a distinct time lag. Wouldn't that be troublesome if trying to have a QSO that way?
    KA7SWP likes this.
  10. W4KJG

    W4KJG Subscriber QRZ Page

    There is a tiny, and I mean really tiny, latency if you are using WEBSDR.ORG, at least for US and Canadian receivers. I use it to check antennas. For doing so, I typically will put out about 10-100 milliwatts and monitor it on a variety of SDR receivers. The latency I see is certainly less than a half-second.

    As for "cheating" ... that never even crossed my subconscious and devious mind. I use WEBSDR and PSK Reporter to give me a good idea of what kind of propagation I'm going to experience in 4-6 hours. I'm sure somebody will have a bone to pick about this comment, but HF propagation generally moves west from the east, including where the grey-line north-south path is taking place at any given time.

    I don't have any WEBSDR stations close to either of my QTH locations, but if I did, I would certainly think about using one if I was in a noisy receive location.

    KA7SWP likes this.

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