Perhaps of a little help to any real newbies

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Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:52 am
Location: SW UK

Perhaps of a little help to any real newbies

Post by Paul » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:22 pm

Firstly, may I just say that as a virtual newbie to the world of SDR radio myself, I can well appreciate some of the problems that you may experience when You start trying to use your shiny new SDRplay receiver.
Although I would like to point out that I am very much "non-technical," I have in the past used everything from radios with crystals controlling frequency, valved and sophisticated computer controlled equipment, I have never had to really understand how they worked...
I did have a winradio 1000, which was not bad for my purposes, but had to tune the bfo to access ssb transmissions - so the RSP 2 has been a bit of a revelation.
So, being a male, reading a manual doesn't come naturally, but reading (and understanding) the one for these little beauties will repay you handsomely.
There are some very knowledgeable and helpful people on this forum, who have been of great help to me (they know who they are) and will not in any way belittle your lack of knowledge, but offer good advice (if you have a real problem raise a ticket with support - it's the best example of support that I've experienced).
That preamble out of the way, when you finally get going and before you lash out some of your hard-earned, have a look at Kevin Loughlin's video of a hula-loop antenna on youtube.
It works, with or without an amplification) and would give you a starting point, receiving HF and allowing you to check at least some vhf (broadcasts/packet radio etc) to prove your system before you make up your mind just what you want in the way of antennas, bearing in mind that your radio is "at the mercy" of what and how it's supplied with signals.
Not going in to too much detail, I've had a bit of a dabble with a few antennas (longwire, discones, active mini-whips and latterly a temporary bodge-up based on Kevin Loughlin's hula-loop (it's just a go at junk-box d.i.y with what was to hand, but it DOES work surprisingly well and will be succeeded by a "properly" made one).
And just a little note on active mini-whips - I started off with a RAS0MS from Russia, which worked Ok, but wasn't much good on MF/VLF and blew it's power supply (not my faullt!) - however, it's still in use, powered via the biasT and is not discernably worse than previously.
I replaced that with one made in Ukraine, which is an entirely different and better made item, working well into the lower frequencies (much used) and also in other ranges where it is preferable to the longwire.
Lastly, I'm using the Hula-loop successfully, located in an attic room (highest point indoors) and with an atu/amplifier it's not bad at all and would certainly get you started.
The amplifier/atu is a Vectronics AT100 (powered independently of the RSP), that I purchased some time ago in Germany, but the updated model is still available on at least the American market as far as I can see.

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