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User Experience

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 5:39 am
by John55
A few years ago I decided to look into SDR after years of thinking about it. I lived in an apartment that was a black hole where all RF goes to die. I kept running into SDR transceivers at the $1000 + dollar prices. I ran across SDRplay and I couldn't get over the price. I checked SDRplay out everywhere I could including YouTube. I decided I would purchase the RSP 1a when I moved to a place where I could use an antenna. I received my unit and took a while to buy an antenna instead of building one. I purchased the MFJ 1886 loop variant with LNA at the antenna. I'm sitting at my computer listening to Radio New Zealand on 9.700KHz which just switched down from 13.840 KHz. On the check, I found 60dBm with S/N around 30dB; I'm getting 9+20 moving up and down a bit. I live in Kansas in the USA in a suburb of Kansas City. I recently purchased the RSP 2 for the features above the RSP 1a. I can't believe just exactly what these devices have done! Radio Havana comes in solid along with what seems to be all of South America. I moved the antenna edge to 50 degrees East of Magnetic North which pulled up RNZ Intl better for me. I lost CHU for the most part, but WWVH came in a week or so ago at 20/9 when I normally hear WWV in Colorado on 10MHz. I did hear WWV way off in the background, but Hawaii was kicking butt. I do hear Italian languages along with a bunch of oriental languages. I haven't managed to hear Great Briton, but I have heard Slovic and languages associated with Russian. I'm very, very happy I can hear the world without being limited by television, or by using the Internet. My RF Gain is midpoint and I note I lose distant SW if I turn off the LNA on the antenna. I first updated to SDRuno to V1.3 using the RSP 1a, I got the RSP 2 after the update and went to V1.31 on RSP 2. The additional tweaks for the 2 have been evident and I really like it. I turn off the LNA and shut down most of the RF Gain to listen to Broadcast FM in stereo and it is great. This small box of hardware is really something. I have power lines nearly at the back yard fence and a transformer plus nearly 5 PCs in the house, when I finish #5. I'm in the finished basement with 3 grands upstairs with my daughter and son in law as well. Three teenagers in one home is far more bothersome than any noise I can pick up and get rid of for the most part. Many thanks to SDRplay and SDRuno for getting me back on the air listening in.

Re: User Experience

Posted: Wed May 01, 2019 3:35 am
by someYguy

That sure is great! Many more listening adventures await you :). I've been in the Ham/SWL hobby since the early 1970s and I started out using hand-me-down military surplus rigs which were old even then but I was thankful to have them and had many airwave adventures. Later on I moved up into various Hallicrafters & other branded receivers & transceivers, and then throughout the years various high & low end equipment both tube & solid state. I've even had fun with various panadapters back in the day - a Hallicrafters SP-44, and a HeathKit SB-620 to name a few.

And now, just think - here we are in AD 2019 with these tiny little receivers which connect to our computers and have capabilities which we could only dream of until fairly recently and at fire sale prices too!. In my case, I get to enjoy the best of both worlds. I have (2) RSP1 receivers and use them for various purposes but when I want to travel back in time, my Realistic DX-150A and KnightKit R-100A are still there too :).

Re: User Experience

Posted: Thu May 02, 2019 5:35 pm
by John55
Now that is cool having the older receivers to mess around with too. I've got a Kaito KA 1103 that I tried using before I got the "magic box" and outside antenna. Even as a teenager nearly 50 years ago I got a SW radio that ran on D cell batteries that I listened to. I got a Ham ticket in the mid 80s and loved listening to the lower bands. I moved to where I couldn't transmit and the radio's went on the blink old Kenwood 820 that I got a transverter for 2 meter SSB. I let my license drop as I moved away from Ham Radio after the turn of the century. I got the bug for SWL again and finally can use a receive antenna. I still can't do any transmitting where I live, but I can listen all I want. I was on 160 meters just last night looking for signs of life. There was too much atmospheric noise to hear much of anything. I don't really have an antenna for LF and a long wire just won't fit the back yard. I did find some life on 80 meters and 40 meters, but lightning crashes really got in the way. I've been able to play with some Hallicrafters and a few Drake receivers. I almost bought an old International a few years back. The SDR is much cheaper than even the old tube type receivers that I would have to modify a bit to get to where I am with SDR. I much prefer hearing the band noise, QRN, and QRM over listening through a web site. I kind of miss the "woodpecker" from nostalgia and some of the other stuff. It's just way cooler picking up a signal from thousands of miles away and listening. That is the real bug in me; the internet can't scratch my itch for SW. My daughter goes cross-eyed fast when I start explaining things to her. The grand kids do not share my amazement for radio and my son in law politely listens, but that is about it. I've blabbed on long enough; thanks for the reply.