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: Chinesium "msi sdr" (Blue dolphin)  (Read 1487 times)

Offline syfr

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 642
    • View Profile
Chinesium "msi sdr" (Blue dolphin)
« on: July 01, 2020, 1403 UTC »
I got one of these to compare to the RSP1 they're supposedly similar to.  First thing I noticed is that something was rattling inside the blue anodized case.

I took it apart (4 small screws on each end) and the board slides out of its extruded aluminum case.

That's nifty BUT what it means is there's zero electrical  connection from the board to the case.

I soldered a small piece of solder wick to the ground plane, filed off the anodizing from the mating surfaces of the housing, pinched the solder wick between one end plate and the case and tightened everything down tight. Now there's a good ground connection between the board and the case.


As usual, the Chinese ALMOST get things right.... but....

 Now, to see how it works with openwebrx.
Kiwsdr x 2. TenTec Paragon/NRD535

Offline ChrisSmolinski

  • Administrator
  • Marconi Class DXer
  • *****
  • Posts: 28384
  • Westminster, MD USA
    • View Profile
    • Black Cat Systems
Re: Chinesium "msi sdr" (Blue dolphin)
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2020, 1415 UTC »
Pride Of China  :)

Let us know how (if?) it works!

What was the price? eBay or AliExpress?
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 900 ft Horz skyloop / 500 ft NE beverage / 250 ft V Beam / 58 ft T2FD / 120 ft T2FD / 400 ft south beverage / 43m, 20m, 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop / Discone in a tree

Offline syfr

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 642
    • View Profile
Re: Chinesium "msi sdr" (Blue dolphin)
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2020, 1803 UTC »
Indeed.... pride of China. The other one I got doesn't rattle. The guy who's in charge of making sure they rattle must have missed that one.

So far, I'm pleased.  I'm running the new openwebrx and though I won't declare victory from images until I take a peek at the low end of 40M this evening.


https://imgur.com/a/xHSG9hc 

is the link. I can never remember how to post images on this board.  If you zoom in there, you can see a fair amount of detail in the waterfall.

Anyway, it's pretty decent.  I'll wring it out some more this evening.  I can already tell it's much better than the RTL-SDR, and it should, as it's got 4 more sampling bits to work with than the cheap dongle. This one is a semi-cheap dongle ~$45 delivered from an EBAY reseller.  It's a few more bucks to get the throw-away pigtail and vertical antenna.

More later, but good stuff so far.  It "chooses to identify" as a RSP1 (or 2) as far as defining it in a configuration file.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2020, 1814 UTC by syfr »
Kiwsdr x 2. TenTec Paragon/NRD535

Offline ChrisSmolinski

  • Administrator
  • Marconi Class DXer
  • *****
  • Posts: 28384
  • Westminster, MD USA
    • View Profile
    • Black Cat Systems
Re: Chinesium "msi sdr" (Blue dolphin)
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2020, 1818 UTC »
Interesting, from this page it seems like not only is it a RSP1A clone but also using fake Mirics chips  :) https://www.rtl-sdr.com/photos-of-the-msi-sdr-dongle-a-new-sdrplay-rsp1-clone/comment-page-1/
« Last Edit: July 02, 2020, 1459 UTC by ChrisSmolinski »
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 900 ft Horz skyloop / 500 ft NE beverage / 250 ft V Beam / 58 ft T2FD / 120 ft T2FD / 400 ft south beverage / 43m, 20m, 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop / Discone in a tree

Offline syfr

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 642
    • View Profile
Re: Chinesium "msi sdr" (Blue dolphin)
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2020, 1401 UTC »
Messed with this last night and this morning and I'm satisfied with the performance. It's a RSP1A in performance (I have one to compare against).  For $45 bucks it's a keeper. Listening to CW on 40M this morning. \\
« Last Edit: July 02, 2020, 1404 UTC by syfr »
Kiwsdr x 2. TenTec Paragon/NRD535

Offline syfr

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 642
    • View Profile
Re: Chinesium "msi sdr" (Blue dolphin)
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2020, 1347 UTC »
Here's a followup.

These things are not as good as the real thing (which is not stellar to begin with) when running and they don't reliably continue running on my RP3's.   They frequently latch into LaLa land when one changes the profile from one band section to another and they consume more power than the original. The latter might be related to the latchup even though I'm using a 3A Chinese supply (I know...)

When they work, they're not bad for a semi "disposable" SDR. When I have time I'll mess with it again on a more robust linear supply.
Kiwsdr x 2. TenTec Paragon/NRD535

Offline Quinta

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Chinesium "msi sdr" (Blue dolphin)
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2021, 1614 UTC »
i have both clones, boss sdr and msi.sdr.
On hf i don't see difference between them. But i got msi.sdr with wrong rf switches installed on pcb, and he start working properly only after replacing them. On radioscanner.ru user msi.sdr make schematics of msi's filter block.
Both receivers catch harmonics from 6 mhz on 0-3 mhz band.