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First impressions with a SDR

Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:35 pm
by W5GIE
Right off the bat, I seem to be experiencing a lot of noise on the receiver. My HF rig receiver has much better signal to noise performance.

The rig receiver is on a 20 meter vertical, and the SDR temporarily uses a horizontal 30 foot random wire on the other side of the house.

Undoubtedly, much of the difference is from my inability to twiddle the right knobs until I get more experience.

As for the RSD handware and software....excellent!
Following the instructions on the website, the SDR was set up in just a matter of about 5 minutes. I spent more time looking for connectors than installing the software. A+++

This looks like it will be a lot of fun!

Re: First impressions with a SDR

Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:28 pm
by g1hbe
Yes, the RSP's are all good receivers and tend to work straight out of the box with no messing. There are a few things you need to know to get them working properly.
First is to set the GAIN REDUCTION slider about half way for the HF bands. Too much gain and you risk overloading the receiver, especially if you have a longwire antenna and there are strong signals on the AM band in your area. The RSP's use very wide front end filters (they have to in order to give you that nice wide display) and a very strong signal ANYWHERE can cause overloading and a high noise level. To reduce AM/MW overloading, you can press the MW/FM NOTCH button. Obviously you have to release it if you want to listen to either of these bands. These rejector buttons may vary from model to model.
Second - if you are using the 'Hi-z' input (if your receiver has one), make sure you wire it as shown in the documentation available here on the site.
Third, get used to selecting the correct mode (AM, SSB etc) and the correct bandwidth, usually 2.7 KHz for SSB and 6 or 10 KHz for AM, depending on conditions, adjacent channel occupation etc.
I've found the RSP's will easily match the s/n performance of my conventional receivers. Good luck.
Have you found the SDRPlay Facebook site yet? It's very good with lots of helpful people. Some times there's a little too much help!

Re: First impressions with a SDR

Posted: Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:52 am
by W5GIE
Thanks very much Andy. I'll try those suggestions.

I'm blown away by both the hardware and the software.
The software in particular is exceedingly well done.