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Technical Topics => Equipment => Topic started by: OgreVorbis on June 15, 2019, 1038 UTC

Title: Looking to upgrade - SDR or traditional?
Post by: OgreVorbis on June 15, 2019, 1038 UTC
So I spend most my time building and experimenting with shortwave transmitters, but so far my experience in the receiver department has been limited. I currently have two receivers. The Tecsun PL-360 and this Chinese SDR: https://www.ebay.com/itm/RTL2832U-R820T2-chip-Set-100KHz-1-7GHz-UpConverter-HF-UHF-VHF-RTL-SDR-Receiver/132465613216 (https://www.ebay.com/itm/RTL2832U-R820T2-chip-Set-100KHz-1-7GHz-UpConverter-HF-UHF-VHF-RTL-SDR-Receiver/132465613216)

I'm looking for something with very good receive sensitivity. I am not sure whether I want a traditional radio or a better SDR. It is nice to have that spectrum analyzer type view, but my main focus is on sensitivity. I am not looking to spend very much < $300.

The Airspy HF Discovery looks good. What would you recommend?
How does an SDR perform compared to a Double or Triple conversion superhet?

These traditional receivers look good, but they are a little above my price point: Alinco DX-R8T or ICOM IC-R75
Title: Re: Looking to upgrade - SDR or traditional?
Post by: Stretchyman on June 15, 2019, 1115 UTC
 RSP2PRO, lots of useful features. Good price.

Str.
Title: Re: Looking to upgrade - SDR or traditional?
Post by: ChrisSmolinski on June 15, 2019, 1303 UTC
AirspyHF+, SDRPlay are good value for the money, I have both. Also take a look at the AFEDRI SDRs, I have an AFE822x dual input SDR, and it is very sensitive. Their single input version should have the same sensitivity, for less money.

https://www.afedri-sdr.com/index.php/ordering-information

The KiwiSDR is also pretty nice, specially since all the processing is done in it, you don't need a super fast computer, just a web browser. And you can share it online. They are $299 but MassDrop often has them on sale for $100 off.

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/seeed-kiwisdr-kit?utm_source=linkshare&referer=CABMYN
Title: Re: Looking to upgrade - SDR or traditional?
Post by: Σ on June 15, 2019, 1404 UTC
+1 on the Afedri, I like mine a lot. I tend to use the KiwiSDR more often simply because I am not always in the radio room/workshop and the web interface allows me to be mobile anywhere in the house including by the pool and in the hammock on the patio. I also access it from work if I am spending (too much) time at my desk. I end up listening more often this way.

If you plan on listening in one place you won't go wrong with the Afedri. I use the SDR Console software from sdr-radio.com which has become my favorite.
Title: Re: Looking to upgrade - SDR or traditional?
Post by: Josh on June 15, 2019, 2128 UTC
I've seen Perseus sdrs going for only a few hundred more on the used market, they're about as sensitive as an sdr gets. Also some of the winrad sdrs are in the price range used, and they're NSA level gear, but so is the Perseus.
Title: Re: Looking to upgrade - SDR or traditional?
Post by: pinto vortando on June 15, 2019, 2356 UTC
If you want a "traditional" desktop communications RX, the Alinco DX-R8T is, AFAIK, the only one out there available new.  The Icom R-75 was discontinued a couple of years ago.
The Alinco offers a lot of value for the money.   Very sensitive and easy to use.
btw, it has an IQ output on the rear panel.