SDRUno going well on Mac, a couple of minor nits

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franko
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:33 pm

SDRUno going well on Mac, a couple of minor nits

Postby franko » Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:35 pm

Yesterday I bought an SDRplay RSP2 and installed SDRUno in Windows 10 under Parallels 13 on my MacBook Pro laptop running macOS 10.12.5 at my home in the Los Angeles, California area. For an antenna, I have a roughly 50-foot longwire strung outside with a plain wire as a lead-in, and bought a couple of connectors at the shop to attach it to the SDRplay. On the recommendation of the shop staff, I installed a ground rod outside and connected this to the SMA plug going into the SDRplay.

After a few minutes of getting oriented, the SDRplay and SDRUno seem to be running fine. Commercial FM stations came in quite fine (though I had to tweak the FM settings), though interestingly I couldn't pick up any of the stations running HD Radio (which I gather uses a proprietary scheme). Local NOAA weather station also came in well, as did several channels of Family Radio Service. What I could find on the 2-meter amateur band didn't seem to be human-listenable transmissions.

As for HF, I'll have to keep working with it a bit before drawing conclusions. As is well-known, propagation conditions right now are not great. WWV and WWVH seemed to be under more noise than I've remembered the past few days with my Sony ICF-2010 receiver, but I haven't done side-by-side comparisons with them yet. I did notice across the HF spectrum that at times I consistently heard a single station playing music in the background even when I changed frequencies and bands. I suspect this is probably a commercial broadcaster close to me.

So I'll keep working with the SDRplay. At this point the issues I'm working:

-- How to suppress the interfering station and/or improve signal strength relative to noise in the HF spectrum. Maybe a balun or tuner for the antenna? Or a better antenna in general (keeping in mind that my horizontal space is limited to about 50 feet overall)? Or are there SDRUno settings to play with?

-- Changing the frequency digit by digit seems to rely on use of a scroll wheel on the mouse. I'm just using the touchpad on my MacBook, and I haven't figured out alternates if any.
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AussieSusan
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:50 am

Re: SDRUno going well on Mac, a couple of minor nits

Postby AussieSusan » Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:31 am

I have basically the same setup (except Parallels V11 and MacOS 10.12.6, I'm running the 32-bit windows in this case for the SDRUno operation) and that seems to be working well for me too.
For the frequency setting I just use the keyboard (yes, using a trackpad is virtually impossible) for the major changes and the drag/click functions in the waterfalls etc..
Susan
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franko
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:33 pm

Re: SDRUno going well on Mac, a couple of minor nits

Postby franko » Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:34 pm

Thanks for the info. That's basically what I've been doing as well to tune in frequencies -- either typing in all the digits in the RX window, or dragging in the main SP window.
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franko
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:33 pm

Re: SDRUno going well on Mac, a couple of minor nits

Postby franko » Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:17 am

franko wrote:As for HF, I'll have to keep working with it a bit before drawing conclusions. As is well-known, propagation conditions right now are not great. WWV and WWVH seemed to be under more noise than I've remembered the past few days with my Sony ICF-2010 receiver, but I haven't done side-by-side comparisons with them yet. I did notice across the HF spectrum that at times I consistently heard a single station playing music in the background even when I changed frequencies and bands.

With some experimentation I was able to get this worked out. I'd initially attached the long-wire antenna to the SDRplay RSP2 via the latter's Antenna A port. Inserting a NooElec 9:1 balun didn't help with general HF performance or the interference issue, nor did toggling on the MW/FM notch in SDRUno's main window. However, I then moved the antenna lead-in to the SDRplay's Hi Z port. This resulted in excellent performance across the HF spectrum -- decidedly better than my Sony ICF-2010 -- and resolved the bleed-through from the local MW broadcaster. So overall the performance seems great, although I'm still very interested in experimenting with different antennas such as an active mini-whip.

That's basically what I've been doing as well to tune in frequencies -- either typing in all the digits in the RX window, or dragging in the main SP window.

While frequency entry has been working well enough (in SDRUno under Windows in Parallels on a Mac), it would be great to have some way to tune up and down in small increments (for example, when closing in on an SSB signal). As it is, entering all the digits of the desired frequency can be a shot in the dark, and dragging the frequency pointer in the main SP window can be difficult to control precisely. I guess I'll have to do some research on the Parallels or Mac side to see if there is a way of emulating the mouse wheel without actually attaching a mouse.

Apart from that, time to hit the SDRplay manual again and learn more about its capabilities. Performance seems very impressive at this point.
Last edited by franko on Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am, edited 0 times in total.
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