We seek to understand and document all radio transmissions, legal and otherwise, as part of the radio listening hobby. We do not encourage any radio operations contrary to regulations. Always consult with the appropriate authorities if you have questions concerning what is permissable in your locale.

Author Topic: The KiwiSDR is back on MassDrop for $199, for a $100 discount  (Read 637 times)

Offline ChrisSmolinski

  • Administrator
  • Marconi Class DXer
  • *****
  • Posts: 24057
  • Westminster, MD USA
    • View Profile
    • Black Cat Systems
The KiwiSDR is back on MassDrop for $199, for a $100 discount

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/seeed-kiwisdr-kit?utm_source=linkshare&referer=CABMYN
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 58 ft T2FD / 120 ft T2FD/ 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop / Discone in a tree

Offline curious george

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 359
    • View Profile
Re: The KiwiSDR is back on MassDrop for $199, for a $100 discount
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2018, 1521 UTC »
Chris, can you please comment on the HF performance of the KiwiSDR vs. the Airspy HF+?  With the drop, they're both priced at $199, and I'm thinking of buying one of them.  I know the KiwiSDR is probably the easiest and cheapest way to get an SDR online, but I'm mainly interested in how they compare to each other as a stand alone receiver.  If you (or anyone else) have experience with the two of these, I'd appreciate some feedback, particularly how they handle nearby strong signals from AM stations.  My only SDR is the SDRPlay RSP1, and it's prone to images due to strong signals. 

Offline Σ

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 182
    • View Profile
    • ΣSDR KiwiSDR online
Re: The KiwiSDR is back on MassDrop for $199, for a $100 discount
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2018, 1719 UTC »
My online SDR - http://sigmasdr.ddns.net:8073 - gets wacked occasionally by AM overload. The closest AM tower is over 12+ miles away and it isn't a powerhouse so that isn't the one causing it. Haven't located the exact offender yet because it is so intermittent.

As a quick workaround, I bought a 40dB band stop filter for $15 which seems to help:
https://www.amazon.com/Flamingo-AM-Broadcast-Bandstop-Applications/dp/B079CMB44V/

I bought the KiwiSDR specifically to share it online. I also have an Afedri that I like which has more features but it was twice the price of the KiwiSDR.



Σ
CT/MA border
Afredri SDR-Net with multiband dipole at 65 ft.
KiwiSDR online - http://sigmasdr.ddns.net:8073/
ΣSDR Blog - https://sigmasdr.blogspot.com/

Offline ChrisSmolinski

  • Administrator
  • Marconi Class DXer
  • *****
  • Posts: 24057
  • Westminster, MD USA
    • View Profile
    • Black Cat Systems
Re: The KiwiSDR is back on MassDrop for $199, for a $100 discount
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2018, 1720 UTC »
I have both the AirSpyHF+ and the KiwiSDR.

The AirSpyHF+ does sometimes produces images from MW stations, although the recent library updates seem to have (mostly) fixed/reduced that.  The AirSpyHF+ tunes some of the VHF band, FM and VHF-Hi if that is of interest to you (it does not do Vhf-Lo or 6 meters).   Right now the AirSpyHF+ mostly sits on 14230, decoding SSTV.  The AirSpyHF+ may be slightly more sensitive than the KiwiSDR, but not by much. If you want to be able to record sections of HF as IQ files for later use, such as the overnight SDR recordings I do, then this is where the AirSpyHF+ would be better than the KiwiSDR.

The big advantage (to me) of the KiwiSDR is that you can easily put it online to share. And there's zero setup or software issues, you use a web browser. It "just works". And, I find it is great for doing antenna work. I take a tablet outside with me (you can use a laptop also) and can see the effects of my antenna tweaking in real time.  I've also been known to take a tablet downstairs to access it when cooking, and I can use a browser on a computer in the basement workshop to listen as well. The ability to use it from anywhere in the house is (to me anyway) huge.  It does however suffer from images if you feed it too strong of a signal, there is no attenuator. At night, my 670 ft sky loop overloads it, and I see MW images throughout HF.  If you have a more modest antenna, that will likely not be a problem. I now have my 350 ft LoG (loop on ground) connected, and have zero overloading issues. If you connect a smaller HF resonant antenna, say a 43m dipole, I doubt there will be any overloading issues.

This is where a (much more expensive) SDR like the netSDR shines. It has multiple bandpass filters, and does not overload or produce images. But we're talking an order of magnitude more expensive.

If I had to choose between the two, I would probably pick the KiwiSDR, unless I did not have another SDR *and* being able to record overnight was important, then I'd pick the AirSpyHF+.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 58 ft T2FD / 120 ft T2FD/ 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop / Discone in a tree

Offline Josh

  • DX Legend
  • ******
  • Posts: 3520
    • View Profile
Re: The KiwiSDR is back on MassDrop for $199, for a $100 discount
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2018, 2050 UTC »
"Chris gave you $10 to spend on your first purchase on Massdrop! Sign Up to learn more."
Conveniently located near Vincennes Indiana.

Offline ChrisSmolinski

  • Administrator
  • Marconi Class DXer
  • *****
  • Posts: 24057
  • Westminster, MD USA
    • View Profile
    • Black Cat Systems
Re: The KiwiSDR is back on MassDrop for $199, for a $100 discount
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2018, 2213 UTC »
"Chris gave you $10 to spend on your first purchase on Massdrop! Sign Up to learn more."

There's advantages to using the link I provided  ;D
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 58 ft T2FD / 120 ft T2FD/ 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop / Discone in a tree

Offline curious george

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 359
    • View Profile
Re: The KiwiSDR is back on MassDrop for $199, for a $100 discount
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2018, 1851 UTC »
Thanks Chris and Sigma for your helpful replies.  I've already ordered that AM bandstop filter from Amazon.  For now, I think I will wait until AirSpy release their pre-selector board for the HF+.  I like Chris' use of a tablet for listening to his KiwiSDR around the house and the backyard, so I'll probably buy the KiwiSDR now while the drop is available.

Offline HF_ATL

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: The KiwiSDR is back on MassDrop for $199, for a $100 discount
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2019, 1552 UTC »
With the latest firmware for AirspyHF+ how do you compare it now to the kiwiSDR?
I have the airspy and wonder if I should get the kiwiSDR. The main issue with the Airspy (at least for me since I use the receiver remotely) is the lack of flexibility of listening experience. I need to have a computer running the SDRsharp and for instance I can't listen remotely via my mobile (which can be done in the kiwiSDR).

Thanks

I have both the AirSpyHF+ and the KiwiSDR.

The AirSpyHF+ does sometimes produces images from MW stations, although the recent library updates seem to have (mostly) fixed/reduced that.  The AirSpyHF+ tunes some of the VHF band, FM and VHF-Hi if that is of interest to you (it does not do Vhf-Lo or 6 meters).   Right now the AirSpyHF+ mostly sits on 14230, decoding SSTV.  The AirSpyHF+ may be slightly more sensitive than the KiwiSDR, but not by much. If you want to be able to record sections of HF as IQ files for later use, such as the overnight SDR recordings I do, then this is where the AirSpyHF+ would be better than the KiwiSDR.

The big advantage (to me) of the KiwiSDR is that you can easily put it online to share. And there's zero setup or software issues, you use a web browser. It "just works". And, I find it is great for doing antenna work. I take a tablet outside with me (you can use a laptop also) and can see the effects of my antenna tweaking in real time.  I've also been known to take a tablet downstairs to access it when cooking, and I can use a browser on a computer in the basement workshop to listen as well. The ability to use it from anywhere in the house is (to me anyway) huge.  It does however suffer from images if you feed it too strong of a signal, there is no attenuator. At night, my 670 ft sky loop overloads it, and I see MW images throughout HF.  If you have a more modest antenna, that will likely not be a problem. I now have my 350 ft LoG (loop on ground) connected, and have zero overloading issues. If you connect a smaller HF resonant antenna, say a 43m dipole, I doubt there will be any overloading issues.

This is where a (much more expensive) SDR like the netSDR shines. It has multiple bandpass filters, and does not overload or produce images. But we're talking an order of magnitude more expensive.

If I had to choose between the two, I would probably pick the KiwiSDR, unless I did not have another SDR *and* being able to record overnight was important, then I'd pick the AirSpyHF+.

Offline ChrisSmolinski

  • Administrator
  • Marconi Class DXer
  • *****
  • Posts: 24057
  • Westminster, MD USA
    • View Profile
    • Black Cat Systems
Re: The KiwiSDR is back on MassDrop for $199, for a $100 discount
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2019, 1615 UTC »
The AirSpyHF+ Discovery is more sensitive than the KiwiSDR, no doubt about that. While I would not call the KiwiSDR "deaf" it does struggle with very weak signals.

The advantages of the KiwiSDR are: multiple receivers, easy to share online, handy for testing antennas (take your laptop outside to the antenna and see the results of changes in real time), and super simple setup.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 58 ft T2FD / 120 ft T2FD/ 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop / Discone in a tree

Offline HF_ATL

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: The KiwiSDR is back on MassDrop for $199, for a $100 discount
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2019, 1720 UTC »
Thanks for the quick reply.
I have an antenna switching as I have three different HF antennas: one loop, one LOG, and one skywire loop antenna.
Do you think that I should get a kiwiSDR or it's not worth the cost and simple stay with the Airspy Discovery? I'm really happy with the Discovery but lacking android support and needing a software to be running (instead of a website) is a shame.

Offline ChrisSmolinski

  • Administrator
  • Marconi Class DXer
  • *****
  • Posts: 24057
  • Westminster, MD USA
    • View Profile
    • Black Cat Systems
Re: The KiwiSDR is back on MassDrop for $199, for a $100 discount
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2019, 1827 UTC »
I think it's a personal choice, based how you want to use the SDR, vs a performance increase.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 58 ft T2FD / 120 ft T2FD/ 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop / Discone in a tree