The very best $150 I've spent on ham radio

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jon
Posts: 311
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:48 am

The very best $150 I've spent on ham radio

Postby jon » Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:26 pm

More eHam reviews from February 2016:

N4JRW Rating: 5/5 Feb 26, 2016 14:53
Neat radio Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Hello to all. I got the sdrplay about a week ago and try as will I did have some installation issues but since its on a windows computer I kinda was thinking that that was the part of the problem. I am good at reading and following directions but something wasn't adding up. I posted a support request on the sdrplay.com web and Steve Brightman of SDRPlay North America answered my request the next day, he said to go over the installation and included screenshots of the the settings. Turned out that Steve got me headed into the right direction. Two parts of the install were in two sections of the program files, one was in program files and the other in program files (x86).
I had downloaded hdsdr and also SDR console as the front end of the radio. Immediately the radio was recognized and its pretty darn good. The first thing I tuned is to the broadcast fm band and I know of small powered npr station that plays jazz about 50 miles from my location and it deplayed the waveform and it was in stereo, so well I had to turn the input of my computer down so that it wouldnt overload the radio.
I can read air band and 800 mhz police transmissions and just about everything in between including hf.
The sdrplay covers 100hz to 2 ghz, the software copies am fm wide and narrow and ssb, you can also port it to fldigi and the like with a vitural audio cable(vb audio). This is very nicely designed sdr and there are mulitple support outlets including facebook and yahoo. And also how many times have a company rep also the head of the North American section replyed to problem. Thanks again Steve !
Its a real deal and its resonably priced super broadbanded receiver. The learning curve is steep but not unlearnable just get all the drivers in line and in one spot and you'll be impressed. Thanks 73
Steve N4JRW

K5ACL Rating: 5/5 Feb 23, 2016 06:15
The very best $150 i've spent on ham radio Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I started out with the usual cheap dongles everyone is finding these days online, while those were fun to tinker around with, I wanted something that could handle more bandwidth, had better filters, and most importantly a support group! Thank you to the SDRPlay team & SDRPlay Facebook support group, you guys have been great, and your product deserves a 5 star review! This little guy can be tweaked, so don't knock it until you've adjusted your station appropriately. Initially I was using it for shortwave listening with a discone antenna, but found out how to hook it up as a panadapter to my Kenwood TS-590SG, and voila! Instant panadapter through the DRV out port on the back of the radio. No IF tapping, no soldering, no headache!

The SDRPlay is the perfect little accomplice if your radio has this feature. And at the current price of $149, it can't be beat. I wasted $60 on my first RTL setup, wish I would have went with the SDRPlay initially, but it was fun to compare different dongles.

I even tried building a protective metal box around the SDRPlay, just to see how it would help with RFI, but I honestly think it's just me living in an urban setting. It didn't really help, but did look cool :)

Ensure you are using a HIGH quality USB A to USB B cable with this device. Shielded & ferrite cores are a must, and keep the length as short as possible (mine is 3ft). Tripp Lite & Belkin make some.

The SDRPlay RSP is opening up new doors in ham radio, and I'm very interested to see where it will go! Firmware updates have been steadily and continually released since I've owned the device, and there's tons of knowledge already about the SDRPlay, so ask away if you get stumped!

I ordered mine from HRO, and it was here the next day. Ensure you've got the proper adapters or cables to go with it, the SDRPlay has an SMA female on the unit, I use a PL259 to SMA Male adapter to reduce stress on the SMA adapter on the unit.

On a side note, my preferred software of choice with the SDRPlay is HDSDR (for panadapter use) & SDRConsole (for SWL).

Probably the best $150 I've spent in ham radio yet.

NG0K Rating: 5/5 Feb 21, 2016 09:11
Fun Radio Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I'm running this radio on a Win 10 laptop using SDR-Console. It really performs! It's a new way of thinking compared to the analog receivers. The gain reduction allows me to get it well controlled for the band conditions. Listening to the 2016 ARRL CW DX contest on 15 meters, I can copy very weak signals that are nudged right against big stations and the narrow filtering makes it easy. For all practical purposes, it's as good as my FT-950 plus has low internal noise and good tone making it and easy on the ears. Maybe a Flex radio is in my future!
Last edited by jon on Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am, edited 0 times in total.
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