Discussion in 'Software Defined Radio (SDR)' started by W4MJZ, Feb 5, 2019.
Good one !
I just picked up an RSP1A and MFJ1708BSDR with the intent of using it as a panadapter after watching a youtube video. Now that I have it I'm totally blown away by not only how complex this little black box is but how easy it was to set up with SDRuno. Compared to setting up Signalink and fldigi on my shack computer this was a cakewalk. I'm having fun playing with it. Steep learning curve using SDRuno....but enjoyable.
Had a nearby lightning strike and the RSP-1 stopped working. Bought a RSP-1a as replacement and a second RSP-1a as backup. But. Turns out the RSP-1 was fine. The USB port suddenly stopped supporting it. Checked the port and it works fine with other stuff, just not with RSP-1. But it worked fine for a year or so?
Contacted SDRPlay Tech Support. They responded quickly and clearly. The RSP series are "not supposed" to work with a USB 3.0 port. Switched to a USB 2.0 port and now it works fine again. So I have 2 x RSP-1a spares. Also bought 1 x Airspy HF but haven't tried it.
I had thought USB 3.0 was backwards compatible with USB 2.0 but apparently the SDR Play folks "do some things" that are not supported by USB 3.0
I'm very happy with my new Airspy HF+ Discovery. I'm running SDR# on Windows 10 in VirtualBox on Kubuntu Linux.
I am a happy RSP1A user but out of curiosity I got an Airspy HF+ Discovery too. From my very limited experience (only some days so far) the Airspy is a bit better in the VLF to HF range (less spurs, better dynamic range). That does not mean the RSP1A is bad, and its main advantage over the Airspy is the much larger frequency and bandwidth range.
I tested with SDR# under Virtualbox too, and it worked, but now I am running it directly under Linux with gqrx same way as I do with the RSP1A.
I changed my mind several times trying to decide whether to buy a RSP or an Airspy. I settled on the Airspy because I'm mostly interested in HF. I want to get into VLF when I do something about an antenna.
The other reason I decided on the Airspy is that I prefer Linux but RSP support for Linux seemed to be pretty much non-existent. I tried GQRX for a while but it doesn't come close to SDR#.
For anyone else playing with SDR# in VirtualBox. I was almost going to buy a Windows 10 license but then read this https://www.howtogeek.com/392080/cheap-windows-10-keys-do-they-work/ Not surprisingly, most of the cheap licenses are dubiously legal at best. I followed the advice there and simply downloaded Windows for free from Microsoft. It's not activated so it has a little "please activate" watermark and I can't customize the task bar but for this it's absolutely fine.
I tried it at first with the USB passed through to the VM. That worked best when I emulated a USB3 even though my old HP Pavilion only has a USB2. Unfortunately the audio would break up a bit when I moved the mouse. Just enough to be frustrating. I spent a lot of time playing with changing the number of virtual processors etc trying to improve it. Then I had the idea to run SpyServer on the Linux host and connect to it with SDR# through the network. That works perfectly. I'm very happy with it
I've spent quite a few hours tuning around listening since I got it a few weeks ago. I've never had panadapter or similar before so seeing the spectrum visually is a bit of a new experience for me.
The SDRPlay's are great little receivers - highly recommended.
Just remember, if you're going to have a transmitter ANYWHERE in the area make you'll want to protect the front end with a receiver guard even if you use an SDR switch. If I remember the spec correctly anything over 0dB (usually accidental) will destroy the front end. Good luck !
Jim, WQ2H / WK2XAH
that is especially true with the regular SDRplay. The SDRplay Pro, with it's metal case does not appear to have that problem. I've had no issues using it right next to my 100w Kenwood. (just be sure to never transmit into it! )
In the event you're using multiple antennas (Rx/Tx) - the receiver guard will be a life saver. I use the pro with a separate Rx antenna - and even with the receiver guard and the MFJ SDR switch - I can still see RF power getting into the waterfall at levels >100W.
I do like the Pro metal enclosure, but I not sure it will do anything if RF is somehow leaking into the SDR feedline, especially with a PA.
It's still a great little receiver.
BTW - David, these are the New England favorites (maple of course.....) : https://www.stevessnacks.com/collections/whoopie-pies
I own both SDRplay and Airspy HF+ and if HF is your main interest and can only afford one of them, the Airspy HF+ is the way to go. Airspy just does a much better job than SDRplay in the HF range. It works surprisingly well. In fact can kind of frost a many ham's pumpkin because it receives better than 90% of the transceivers out there. It will surprise you how well it works. The Airspy HF+ has dual Inputs with one of them being HF 9 Khz to 31 Mhz which has the HF per-selector filter.
Now if you rubber neck the VHF, UHF, and commercial bands SDRplay holds an advantage of covering much wider freq range.