Convince me to stay with SDRPlay (or the opposite)

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Toontje
Posts: 65
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2015 8:36 am

Convince me to stay with SDRPlay (or the opposite)

Postby Toontje » Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:41 am

My RSP1 has gone deaf without any obvious reaon. It just stopped listening one day. Sent it to SDRPlay for review. I have been VERY happy with this device for the last three years, but technology moves on and maybe this is an opportunity to get a different device.
I have been looking around on the web and on YouTube, but it's very hard to get non-biased comparison of the RSP1A, RSP2 against something else. I read/hear/see that the main competitor is the Airspy HF+.

So this is what i understand:

RSP1/2
Pro: Large frequency range, bigger bandwidth, cheap (specially the 1A)
Con: Less dynamic range, higher noise floor

Airspy HF+
Pro: Better readability of weak signals (this, i value A LOT!)
Con: Limited frequency range (no 6m, for example), limited bandwidth, price

80-90% of my time i use the SDR as panadapter for my HF radio and i mainly explore the HF amateur bands.
Occasionally i do a spectrum sweep, just for fun and just because i can.

Now, if i don't consider the price (RSP2 and HF+ are more or less similarly priced) it all comes down if i want to trade wide spectrum use against better readability of weak signals.
I really don't know what to do. Can someone who maybe has both devices shine a light on it?

Thanks,

Ton.

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CaptainNemo
Posts: 146
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:22 pm
Location: Genoa - Italy

Re: Convince me to stay with SDRPlay (or the opposite)

Postby CaptainNemo » Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:49 pm

Suggestion: you can do the comparison by yourself using a "spyserver" (see AirSpy website for reference and guidance).
(be patient, sometimes those devices are off line, unreachable etc. etc. but worth while a try...)
I gave it a try. Do not expect miracles.

I'm a proud owner of a "vintage" gray/blue box RSP1. It gave me (and still give) a lot of fun.
I also have a couple of RTL-SDR and a FCDP+.

According to me
-- one big "PRO" of SDRplay is SDRplay ltd itself with the staff of technical and administrative support (competence, speed, honesty, good manner etc. etc. etc.).
-- a "CON" is the "missing" support of SDR# (with his easy of use/easy to re-learn after some time of inactivity, plus his rich environment of plugins)
(of course this is NOT a "fault" of sdrplay ltd, this is an other old story...)

Bye
Gio

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Roger
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:59 pm

Re: Convince me to stay with SDRPlay (or the opposite)

Postby Roger » Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:47 pm

Toontje wrote:80-90% of my time i use the SDR as panadapter for my HF radio and i mainly explore the HF amateur bands.
Occasionally i do a spectrum sweep, just for fun and just because i can.


For your application I would recommend an RSP1A. It is a very good performer on HF and has more filters than the RSP2. It works well as a panadapter and has all the sensitivity you need for the HF bands. Noise (atmospheric and local RFI) is the limiting factor for reception on HF, not receiver sensitivity.

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Toontje
Posts: 65
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2015 8:36 am

Re: Convince me to stay with SDRPlay (or the opposite)

Postby Toontje » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:31 pm

Thanks, Roger!

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someYguy
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:12 pm

Re: Convince me to stay with SDRPlay (or the opposite)

Postby someYguy » Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:16 pm

Can't imagine why your RSp went deaf. I use both an RSP1 and an RSP1A and they are working flawlessly. I too contemplated buying an Airspy HF+ but I don't think that I will because of the frequency coverage limitations. I use HDSDR and older (rev 1361) SDR# with my RSPs and they work nicely. I always control the RSP gain manually via the device control panel and never use AGC and so weak signal detection is very good also.....

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Max99
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:04 pm

Re: Convince me to stay with SDRPlay (or the opposite)

Postby Max99 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:28 pm

I spent a lot of time on servers doing A/B comparisons between HF+ and RSP2. There were tiny (mostly no detectable) differences between the HF+ (which I was keen to buy after the glowing RadCom review) and the SDR Play offerings. The main man behind the HF+ (Yousef) has a very strange manner (mostly confrontational) when dealing with customers and/or critics, and worst of all the HF+ has big hole across 6m which I wanted to listen to having never given it a go in my previous 40 years of listening! Seems a very odd technical compromise, but then again he claims the HF+ (as per it's name) is optimised for HF so fair enough (if you don't consider 50MHz as HF, which I do!)

Opted for RSP2Pro and no regrets at all. Few odd spurii here and there but nothing you would not expect for price/versus performance and really overall it is a real marvel. At the moment I'd stick with the SDR Play offerings, with just one proviso...... (and to be fair this is only my personal opinion, so no offence meant to anyone) but I find the software of choice is very much Simon Brown's SDR-Console. It's easy to learn, very powerful and ergonomically excellent. Sorry folks, but to me that's the complete opposite of SDR Uno. I've tried to like it I really have but I actually end up giving up for many reasons. Maybe I didn't try hard enough but really well designed software should not have you struggling to perform the most basic functions (and I have lifetime of technical background operating complex software).

If you just want to hook up, dial in a frequency and quickly adjust the visuals and basic controls in a completely instinctive manner then try SDR Console, it can't be beaten (again, as I say it's my opinion..... sure many others will disagree, so each to their own!). I operate SDR-Console on two screens with the main window on the left and a large number of 'receivers' stacked up in the RX Matrix grid on the right screen. Looks impressive and it's superfast and easy to monitor several frequencies simultaneously and also switch quickly between bands and settings. Also instant recall of sets of receivers from stored personalised memory setups. Simon really has done a fantastic job. Advert over! But hardware..... stick with SDR Play!

73, Max
Last edited by Max99 on Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am, edited 0 times in total.
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Toontje
Posts: 65
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2015 8:36 am

Re: Convince me to stay with SDRPlay (or the opposite)

Postby Toontje » Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:19 am

Thank Max, for this honest review. He lack of 6m in the HF+ is also something I am struggling with. And as for software, I'm a Mac user so I will be doing either CubicSDR (easy to learn, but for general listening only, no "fancy" features), SDRdx (same complaint as you have for SDRuno, steep learning curve) or the Pothos or gnuradio family.
Nah, I'm not going to virtualization in any shape of form, you are only throwing away CPU cycles for nothing.
My RSP has arrived at SDRPlay on Thursday, let's see if it can be repaired and if not I will make a decision.

Cheers,

Ton.

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G6EJF
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:35 pm

Re: Convince me to stay with SDRPlay (or the opposite)

Postby G6EJF » Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:58 pm

Totally agree with MAX99, I have an SDRPlay RSP2 and an AirSpyHF+ and have been using both with SDR Console V3. I open two instances of SDR Console, and have the RSP2 on one screen and the HF+ on the other screen and I see very little difference between either of them, audio wise they sound very similar. I would stick with SDRPlay I'm very happy with mine.

73....Rog
Last edited by G6EJF on Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am, edited 0 times in total.
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Toontje
Posts: 65
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2015 8:36 am

Re: Convince me to stay with SDRPlay (or the opposite)

Postby Toontje » Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:20 pm

Thanks, Rog. Let's see what SDRPlay tells me about my RSP. If it's recoverable, great. If not, let's see. I don't really need the multiple antenna ports, so I would end up with an RSP1A. Any advantage of the RSP2 over the 1A except for the antenna ports?

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