Tried SDR?

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Tried SDR?

Postby lhuchison » Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:19 pm

I was just wondering if anyone has tried SDR radio and gone back to their hardware rigs? I've tinkered for a year or so but now I,ve returned to my icom 8500
It was great having the bandwidth on show etc but the constant messing about to stop over loading was a pain.
I could run both but I like to concentrate on one only. Maybe the new icom R8600 might persuade me? if it was a bit cheaper!
Icom IC-R8500 + SDRplay + Diamond discone
bhi DSP noise cancellation speaker . 10 meter long wire . 9-1 balun, Howes CTU9 ATU
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Re: Tried SDR?

Postby Scan125 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:01 pm

Well 1st here is my SW listening experience: all date approximate

1972-1974: Army Type 19 Set and Eddistone ?
1995-current: Lowe HF150 (with a few years absence)
2012-current: Newsky TV28T DIN DVB-T Stick Freeview DAB DAB+ FM USB Dongle RTL SDR
2015-current: Alinco DX-R8

So a long history of real hardware based kit. And to be honest being a electronics engineer (retired) I like nobs, dials, buttons etc.

What I liked about SDR is the band scope/waterfall, or better put, the VISUAL presentation of what is about. I'm NOT really sure I got the hang of SDR intricacies tuning, offsets etc.

My DX-R8 has SDR capability so is a cross between pure SDR only and "real" hardware with SDR capability.

A full hardware rig with band scope would be my dream (like the R8600). I assume one can punch in freqs, spin the tuning knob just as though it was a traditional receiver etc.

I appreciate computer driving of kit, hence my development of DriveR8 for my Alinco DX-R8, but personally I find *full* SDR a little too virtual for my liking.

At least with traditional kit you can turn it on, tune in and not have to have a computer up and running.

My personal view is that SDR is better integrated into a true hardware based receiver, but if you want band scope graphics displays etc. then you have to have a big wallet!
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Re: Tried SDR?

Postby milly » Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:13 am

Years ago almost all screws I used were slot types but then posidrive became common. I added posidrive to my toolset but didn't throw away the flat drivers. Then along came the star types and some new tools into the toolbox. I didn't throw any of the other tools away.

I've found that trying to use the same tool for everything isn't a solution that works well for me.
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Re: Tried SDR?

Postby lhuchison » Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:28 am

I think an integration of hardware and sdr would be the way forward, like the icom 8600 etc .
I like to surf the net while scanning the waves at the same time. For me, I like to use my ears for radio scanning.
I would have thought an sdr based receiver would be cheaper to produce but that doesn't seem to be the case at the moment. Maybe it's early days and they will become more reasonably priced in the future.
Icom IC-R8500 + SDRplay + Diamond discone
bhi DSP noise cancellation speaker . 10 meter long wire . 9-1 balun, Howes CTU9 ATU
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Re: Tried SDR?

Postby G4RMT » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:14 am

The thing with SDR radio has so many flaws, the main one being that the critical component is forgotten about in all the bells and whistles - the actual dongle. If you had a hardware radio on the market with the same performance as the typical dongle, it wouldn't sell because the performance is awful. The software is what we like. We can see the signals, we can spot new ones and go there instantly, we can see the difference we are hearing. We can see the interference we can even make a damn good guess what mode a signal is. All great, but if you have a really strong signal on 165.200, then your weaker one on 165.2125 is not going to be usable. All those strange sproggies the device produces where there IS no signal can mask a real one on that frequency. Plus of course the fact that a dangling dongle makes using them anywhere away from home a pain. One USB socket on my 2 USB socketed mac now doesn't work because the weight of the cable and dongle bent the socket. Give me a SDR and a real radio every time for best of both worlds, but not once have my 3 SDR dongles ever given me a better result than any of my real radios cheap or expensive. I wouldn't dream of getting rid of the SDR system but for what I do, my yaesu ft60 is much better.
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Re: Tried SDR?

Postby mickydt » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:27 pm

i like a mix of both but i too would like to see a radio with sdr incorporated.
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Re: Tried SDR?

Postby deadite66 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:03 am

Had 2 handheld scanners for years and had given up on using them, rtlsdr was what renewed my interest in scanning.
Airspy R2 on a Discone
rtlsdr v3 on a choc bloc copper dipole.
Windows 10 and Antergos Linux.
Yupiteru MVT-9000 MKII telescopic ant.
RSP2 Pro currently unused.
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Re: Tried SDR?

Postby lars » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:43 am

I've never (knowingly) used SDR. My computers all run Linux -- is there software available? What would be the minimum equipment I needed to try it out?
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Re: Tried SDR?

Postby lhuchison » Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:43 am

I believe Gqrx runs on linux, any cheap dongle should get you started. about £10 - £30
Icom IC-R8500 + SDRplay + Diamond discone
bhi DSP noise cancellation speaker . 10 meter long wire . 9-1 balun, Howes CTU9 ATU
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Re: Tried SDR?

Postby deadite66 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:29 pm

CubicSDR is also available on linux, you can have multiple channels monitored but no recording available.
gqrx only single channel but with gqrx-scan will act like a scanner and can record wav files.

i'd recommend an rtlsdr v3 dongle.
http://www.rtl-sdr.com/buy-rtl-sdr-dvb-t-dongles/

my favorite app atm is RTL-Airband it does NFM too, using it to simultaneously monitor 7 marine channels and record to mp3, all running on a raspberry pi 2
https://github.com/szpajder/RTLSDR-Airband
Airspy R2 on a Discone
rtlsdr v3 on a choc bloc copper dipole.
Windows 10 and Antergos Linux.
Yupiteru MVT-9000 MKII telescopic ant.
RSP2 Pro currently unused.
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