Many thanks to the RSGB who have given us permission to share Mike Richards’ review of the RSP1A which was published in last month’s RadCom – Click here to read the article
Posts by Jon Hudson:
The latest update of SDRuno (Version 1.22) released this weekend has updates and features which should please users old and new.
For the newcomer to SDR radio, whose only experience may be from using a traditional hardware communications receiver, we’ve made it much more obvious how to turn the radio on and off with a very clear, colour coded Play/Stop button which toggles. We also realised it wasn’t clear to everyone where the AF Gain/Volume control was – this is now much clearer. Building on the popularity of providing pre-set frequency ranges of certain ham bands which we introduced in V1.2., this time we’ve gone a step further by adding pre-sets for all the ham bands and also the most popular LF/MF/HF broadcast bands as well.
Above: Play/Stop, Volume control and Frequency Band selection which brings up a choice of 3 sets of bands as shown below
The documentation has all been updated to reflect the latest version. This includes both the SDRuno user manual which can be downloaded from our Documentation page, under ‘Software’ and ‘SDRuno User Manual’ as follows:
and also the highly popular SDRuno Cookbook hosted by Paul NN4F which has a link to it from our Documentation page, under ‘Community Guides’ and ‘SDRuno Cookbook’ as follows:
For the existing users, here is the full list of enhancements made, followed by an update to our roadmap for future upgrades.
• Support for 1366×768 default layout
• ADC overload detection in AGC off mode
• ADC overload acknowledgment system to avoid lockout condition
• Custom step size for each mode
• Band Button Groups (Ham Lower, Ham Upper, Broadcast)
• Two additional SP1 width presets (2560 and 3840)
• Additional menu option in memory panel to reset column widths (helps when upgrading)
• Scheduled Recording
• Auto update
• Registry reset now only clears 1.2+ entries
• SP1 Window max size supports 4K displays (3840×2160)
• Small improvements to the memory panel (panel width and field width changes)
• Improvements to the IF output mode
• UTC time fixed to 24 hour format
• Play!/Stop button colour coordinated
• Move MUTE button to make way for VOLUME label
• Moved Squelch value display to the right
• Log10 SING error
• Aero support detection to try to prevent rendering issues
• Freezing when switching to HiZ port in gain mode
• Gain “pumping” issue when in gain mode
• Settings panels not displaying properly when “un-minimised”
• Zoomed in frequency scale drag out of bounds bug
• Noise floor measurement bug
• Improved RSP error handling
• Sample rate change causing spectrum display issues
• Device selection bug
• SP2 CWAFC drift issue (Zoom/window size/freq display) – will be addressed in 1.23, workaround for now is to zoom out fully in the SP2 window and then the CWAFC feature will work.
• IF output mode disabled SP1 spectrum mouse clicks – temporary issue until LO is separated from the VFO (see plans below)
Following on from the 1.21 release where we outlined the features for coming releases, we have updated our plans, as shown below. The purpose of publishing this information is to give people an insight to the development plans but it is NOT a guarantee of the exact feature line-up and we cannot give release dates.
1.23 Intermediate update
• Recording of selected signal only (either I/Q or audio) to WAV file format
• Selected signal piped to VAC in I/Q format
1.3 Major update
• Separation of VFO and LO frequency control
• Frequency scanning
1.31 Intermediate update
• Remote client for network based streaming I/Q server applications
1.4 Major update
• Addition of new API for third party plugins
Download link: https://www.sdrplay.com/downloads
Finally – here’s a video guide to the changes: https://youtu.be/4q7YI4J5TXw
Many thanks to all those of you in the community who have helped shape our ongoing improvements to SDRuno with comments and suggestions – keep them coming!
We have had quite a few people blowing up their RSPs over the past few months. Most people understand that there is a practical limit as to how much RF energy can be allowed to enter from the antenna socket to the delicate circuitry within. We try to make sure everyone understands that this must not exceed 0dBM ( 1mW) of RF power – a higher level of 10dBM (10mw) is acceptable for short periods. Most people know not to connect the RSP to a transmitting antenna.
However, what is sometimes less well understood is this:
- Disconnecting the USB while leaving an antenna connected which is presenting signals stronger than 10dBM to the RSP antenna input, does not help matters – if anything it makes it worse since the RSP is designed to have the USB connected to ensure the antenna switches are powered up in a known state.
- Tuning the RSP to a different part of the RF spectrum than the frequency of a potentially damaging transmission makes no difference whatsoever since the damage is caused by heating effects which will exist at any frequency (it’s not like adding a traditional attenuation as would be the case if you were mechanically switching in say, a chunky resonant LC circuit tuned away from the transmitter frequency).
Please take care to use proven protection techniques such as using protected RF or IF outputs from transceivers when using the RSP as a Panadapter, using a protection device or ensuring if connected to a dedicated receiver antenna that it is positioned such that the total energy received by the RSP remains below the oDBm level.
There are lots of discussions on our forum on the topic – just go to www.sdrplay.com/community/index.php and search with words like “protection” to find comments on the subject and links to recommended techniques.
Or join the Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sdrplay and describe what you are trying to do, to get real advice from other users who have found successful ways of ensuring they don’t fry their RSPs.
The support team will be available over the weekend, throughout Christmas week and into the new year, to help with any problems you may have if you are lucky enough to receive an RSP as a gift!
Please be patient since it may be a busy time, but all support tickets will be followed up as soon as possible. The first steps are to check the documentation (download from https://www.sdrplay.com/downloads/ ) and to look at the video guides on our YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/c/SDRplayRSP but if you still need help, raise a support ticket by going to http://www.sdrplay.com/support/
By the way, this excellent video by SevenFortyOne is fully up to date showing the “out of the box” experience in for a newcomer setting up a new RSP with our SDRuno software – start watching 4 minutes into the video – https://youtu.be/9cxkwF1Dp6k
If your problems relate to specific radio applications or wider technical questions, the Independent Facebook Group and the Community forum are excellent sources of help from other SDRplay users. With over 7000 members you can usually get a helpful response very quickly.
Akos, author of the popular “RadioForEveryone” blog site, has published what he calls an “Unadulterated and highly personal review” of the SDRplay RSP2 after quite a personally turbulent year for him. This is written in a very different style from the normal reviews you see published but what shines through so strongly is the absolute joy he has experienced with this SDR during the past year since it was introduced. This makes a great read for those who like to decide on what to purchase using their heart as well as their head! Go to http://www.radioforeveryone.com/2017/12/ode-to-sdrplay-rsp2.html
Akos enthuses about the multiple antenna ports of the RSP2
Over on YouTube, Mike Kokotov has released a video comparison of the RSP1A in action on VLF, LW and NDB bands using actual signals received in Macedonia. The RSP1A is seen to perform really well in comparison to other popular SDRs – this is particularly significant when you consider that the RSP1A can process up to 10 MHz of spectrum, anywhere between 1kHz and 2GHz. The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/kZy3TaodeMs
“The RSP-1A is now a very attractive proposition for those wanting a wideband, budget, SDR. The RSP-1A is significantly better than any of the RTL based alternatives. The combination of the new filter banks and the 10-step RF gain control make it easy to tame the incoming signal for best overall performance. Also, don’t forget the bonus of RF level measurement. “
Mike Richards checks out the amazing accuracy of the RF power measurement facility which means (like its big brothers the RSP2 and RSP2pro) you can justify one for work and one for play!
Apologies to those of you who have been waiting for the availability of the second batch of RSP1As . Since launching the RSP1A in November, we have been overwhelmed with orders and we, together with our 4 channel partners and their resellers ran out of stock last week. Our manufacturing subcontractor has been busy and we are now getting more units which are being shipped out to our channel partners as quickly as possible – those who ordered stock should have stock by early next week at the latest. Those who pre-ordered directly from SDRplay.com should get their transactions completed and units shipped by then as well.
We are encouraging our resellers to make sure they place orders either on us or one of our channel partners for January deliveries now, so if you are thinking of buying an RSP in early 2018, please tell your stockist so they can reserve stock via us for you.
Our channel partners are HAM Radio Outlet (USA Amateurs), SDR-Kits, ML&S (UK Amateurs) and RS Components. The full list of SDRplay resellers can be found here: https://www.sdrplay.com/distributors/
RSP2s and RSP2pros are also selling fast during this holiday season. It seems the world is waking up to SDR receivers 🙂
We wish all our customers, old and new, a very Happy Christmas!
Mike and Andy from SDRplay and Katie Allen from Ham Radio Outlet, were guests on last night’s popular Tuesday night “Amateur Round Table” on W5KUB.com in the USA. The whole show can be downloaded from:
The SDRplay session starts after 57 minutes in
Links to the SDRuno Video Guides Mike refers to in the programme can be found at: https://www.sdrplay.com/video-guides/
The SDRplay YouTube channel can be found on: www.youtube.com/c/SDRplayRSP