I’m a very happy old man. Yesterday, I sat enthralled listening to some real music – a program of jazz and song with the likes of Buddy Rich drumming up a storm. Toe tapping, heart warming entertainment that you are unlikely to find in BBC offerings these days.
I would have paid up for an SDRplay radio unit just to hear that one program. It was lovely to listen to good old amplitude modulated (AM) signals – without the garbled squeaks and rumbles you get with Sideband and DAB transmissions.
We are very lucky to have access to such a great system, which for me so far, means SDRplay using the HDSDR software.
HDSDR is based on WinRad, which in turn is a subset of LinRad. All developed over many years by the international amateur radio community. What a great job they did. In the words of Alan (AB1JX) “It is, in a word, majestic”.
Thanks to Alberto di Bene (I2PHD), who wrote the software and released it into the public domain, and Jeffrey Pawlan (WA6KBL), who helped during the development of the program. Amazing work, all beta tested by many amateur enthusiasts.
The end result is an RSP (Radio Spectrum Processor), which delivers at low cost, the equivalent of a high-spec (and inevitably very expensive) receiver.
And here I am, feeding it with a 10 year old, under eaves, non-descript dipole of unknown resonance at about 8 feet above ground.
It seems to work fine. I’ve also been able to receive wideband FM stations at 88 MHz and above on the same dipole - goodness knows how.
However, I am treating myself to cheap a VHF antenna (Skyscan Desktop Scanner antenna) to see if it works wonders for very high frequencies. I’m not holding my breath though.
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