What fun!

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WhoaNellie
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2015 12:37 pm

What fun!

Postby WhoaNellie » Thu Oct 22, 2015 1:18 pm

As a long-time SWL (not a ham, although my Dad was) I like turning knobs and dials. But after less than a week with SDRPlay and HDSDR I'm pretty much converted to SDRs! Now I'm afraid my small collection of SW radios is going to be just collecting dust...even my CommRadio CR-1 is liable to sit idle.

I had some experience using HDSDR with my Alinco DX-R8T but it was cumbersome and for whatever reason I just stopped using it, not seeing much real benefit and having only limited bandwidth. But now I am happily diving in to the SDR world thanks to the SDRPlay.

The SDRPlay receiver is much more sensitive and I definitely have to turn the gain down, with any of the three switched antennas I have - an RF Systems MLBA-MK1, a 100' long wire and a Wellbrook ALA1530.

With the SDRPlay I first used a small inexpensive Windows 10 tablet, a 7" Vulcan VTA0703 with a Z3735 quad-core processor. It's a neat little setup and handles the load just fine but because the only port, a micro USB, is used for charging, it has to run on battery - and that only gave about 2 hours of power!

So I installed the software on several other computers with proper full-size USB ports in the "radio room" - one an older Windows XP with an AMD quad-core processor, the other a Windows 7. Both run fine, the Windows 7 computer with a fairly high-powered Intel Core i7-3770 CPU barely noticing the load, showing only 1-2% CPU usage for HDSDR! But I decided I needed a dedicated portable computer for SDRPlay, a smaller laptop not a tablet or desktop, and I've got an Asus X205TA with an 11" screen on the way also with a Z3735 processor.

I can see I need to understand better how the EXTIO settings affect performance - I have sometimes gotten muddy or garbled reception, sometimes cutting off completely and although the problem mostly seems to be too much gain, it would help if SDRPlay had a short tutorial on how to adjust the EXTIO settings (my apologies if that already exists, I've searched but can't seem to find).

Thanks to everyone at SDRPlay for this neat little black box that works magic!
Last edited by WhoaNellie on Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am, edited 0 times in total.
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mikexeno
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:18 am

Re: What fun!

Postby mikexeno » Sun Nov 01, 2015 5:24 am

With your setup and antennas i would recommend the following setting in the EXT/IO

Turn off the AGC
Ride your gain control in the 60 (high)- 70 (low) per conditions per band. Usually 65-60 is the sweet spot.

Later i will post a my complete tutorial on optimizing the SDRPLAY with HDSDR.


All the best
Mike
Last edited by mikexeno on Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am, edited 0 times in total.
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mikexeno
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:18 am

Re: What fun!

Postby mikexeno » Mon Nov 02, 2015 4:03 am

As promised this is my document I made for new user on Facebook. I uploaded the PDF to an online viewer. Hope this helps you.

http://docdro.id/0cofV9h

Mike
Last edited by mikexeno on Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am, edited 0 times in total.
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WhoaNellie
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2015 12:37 pm

Re: What fun!

Postby WhoaNellie » Mon Nov 02, 2015 1:39 pm

Thanks, Mike! I will take a look (even though I'm at work!)...I find the more I use HDSDR and just play with the settings to get a good sound and to dig out weak signals, the more intuitive it becomes, even if it is just by trial and error so far... :D
Last edited by WhoaNellie on Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am, edited 0 times in total.
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mikexeno
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:18 am

Re: What fun!

Postby mikexeno » Mon Nov 02, 2015 5:16 pm

Personally i spend a lot of time on the unofficial sdrplay FB group helping anyone who needs it. If you have any questions about the sdrplay married with HDSDR please let me know in this thread. I will check back every so often to see how i can help you. SDR-Console is a great app but cant touch HDSDR as far a speed and efficiency. If you use the CSV browser app along with HDSDR ohh man it's unstoppable. I have been using HDSDR for about 4/5 years now. Long before the RSP was a thought. I don't know everything but i know enough to handle most technical issues and as i said i will help you any way i can.

http://www.df8ry.de/htmlen/csvub/ovHDSDR.htm
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