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New SDRPlay dx receiver




 
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Author Topic: New SDRPlay dx receiver  (Read 551 times)
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ka1tdq
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« on: October 22, 2020, 09:46:05 AM »

I just bought the SDRPlaydx version yesterday but haven't played around with it much yet other than to get it working. I'm using the latest version of Juno software. My PC has been off the internet for years so it took all evening to get all the Windows updates done.

I like the metal case and supposedly it improves performance when receiving adjacent strong signals. I use these boxes as the mating receiver to my homebrew transmitters and I did notice that problem especially on AM. I'm hoping this makes things better.

For example, there's a guy in Arizona who operates 75m SSB with only Swan equipment. Swan transceivers, Swan linears, etc. I'm not sure exactly why. Maybe he had an 'Elmer experience' while using one, who knows. Anyway, he blasts and splatters everywhere. I always had to choke up the receive BW and receiver gain so that I could hear the conversation in the AM window.

Anybody have any experience with these new boxes yet?

I should be on the air this weekend, Lord willing.

Jon
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KD6VXI
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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2020, 10:33:40 AM »

The SDR won't do anything for IMD.... 

That being said, I put my SDRPlay into a metal box.  It helped with locally generated interference a bit.  My HackRF is also in a metal enclosure.

The Hermes Lite is in a metal case as well.

Never understood any receiver being in a plastic box this day and age, when we have so much crud being generated next to the receivers.


If you are running coax, put a common mode choke on the coax coming in as well.  Get rid of any noise sources.

SDRPlay makes a good rx, though I've never used the DX version.

--Shane
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W1ITT
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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2020, 11:36:15 AM »

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Metal-Case-Upgrade-for-SDRplay-RSP1A/274416923324?epid=700013633&hash=item3fe485f2bc:g:w-sAAOSwOeRbTXBI

Here's a metal case, all made up, no dangerous drilling and blasted needed.  Although it says RSP1A they state that it also works for the original RSP1 as well.  It should be here before Pearl Harbor Day.  I keep mine in with a network analyzer on field trips to check out the RF environment.  I need to look into operating it at home with an Odroid N2 little single board computer.

73 de Norm W1ITT
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KD1SH
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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2020, 11:48:57 AM »

I have one and I love it. It's my first SDR of any sort, so admittedly I lack a baseline for comparison, but with this one small box I free up a whole lot of space on the operating bench, and with the click-and-drag passband edges, notch filters, and all, I can hang in there when the band gets nasty and full of slop-bucket intrusion. I must admit that, being a boat anchor guy, I feel sort of guilty about relegating my faithful old BA receivers to the closet, but this little SDR opens up a whole new world of operating capability. That said, though, I'm not nearly ready to go SDR all the way - still a hollow-state transmitter devotee.
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ka1tdq
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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2020, 12:04:40 PM »

Thanks Shane for the choke idea. In Phoenix I was living in a very noisy RF environment but the software was able to filter everything out. My first sniff last night found that 75 meters is actually pretty quiet where I am. No noticeable noise on the higher bands.

I've paired the SDRplays with high power transmitters for some time now. Unlike hollow-state receivers, a little voltage spike would send this thing to the moon. In the past, I've used a double-relay on the receiver, but now put two 1N914's in reverse-parallel on the antenna jack and call it good.

I'll report back with some on air checks in a bit.

Jon
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KD1SH
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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2020, 12:21:30 PM »

I use a homebrew T/R switch that grounds the input to the SDR when I key the mic and won't let the transmitter key up until the relays are activated, and I also use one of Array Solutions' receive overload protectors. https://www.arraysolutions.com/surge-and-rf-protection/as-rxfep

Thanks Shane for the choke idea. In Phoenix I was living in a very noisy RF environment but the software was able to filter everything out. My first sniff last night found that 75 meters is actually pretty quiet where I am. No noticeable noise on the higher bands.

I've paired the SDRplays with high power transmitters for some time now. Unlike hollow-state receivers, a little voltage spike would send this thing to the moon. In the past, I've used a double-relay on the receiver, but now put two 1N914's in reverse-parallel on the antenna jack and call it good.

I'll report back with some on air checks in a bit.

Jon

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ka1tdq
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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2020, 12:29:34 PM »

...and, truth be told, I'm tapping the feedline directly after the low power transmitter and before the Acom amp. The receiver only needs to take bleed over from 14 watts carrier.

I haven't tried the double 1N914's directly from high power transmitters. I'll probably be less daring when the time comes and I'll go back to what you just described.

Jon
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KD1SH
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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2020, 12:48:27 PM »

Same here; SDR taps in upstream of the amp. Between my grounding relay and the overload protector, the SDR would probably be safe, but I can't see any reason to tap sensitive stuff into the raging torrent when tapping into the trickling brook accomplishes the same thing. My intent in designing my T/R box was not only to use the relatively inexpensive SDRplay, but also my much more expensive Yaesu/Icom rice boxes as auxiliary receivers, if I wish, so I try to make blitzing a receiver as unlikely as possible.


...and, truth be told, I'm tapping the feedline directly after the low power transmitter and before the Acom amp. The receiver only needs to take bleed over from 14 watts carrier.

I haven't tried the double 1N914's directly from high power transmitters. I'll probably be less daring when the time comes and I'll go back to what you just described.

Jon
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« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2020, 01:38:01 PM »

Thanks Shane for the choke idea. In Phoenix I was living in a very noisy RF environment but the software was able to filter everything out. My first sniff last night found that 75 meters is actually pretty quiet where I am. No noticeable noise on the higher bands.

I've paired the SDRplays with high power transmitters for some time now. Unlike hollow-state receivers, a little voltage spike would send this thing to the moon. In the past, I've used a double-relay on the receiver, but now put two 1N914's in reverse-parallel on the antenna jack and call it good.

I'll report back with some on air checks in a bit.

Jon


If you don't have one, a USB cable with a choke is a good idea as well.

I had birdies on my first run with SDR...  On a whim I changed the cable out for the one I use on my VNWA and magically the birdies disappeared!  Of course, the VNWA one has a ferrite choke on it Smiley


--Shane
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WA2SQQ
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« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2020, 07:40:00 AM »

They have an excellent Youtube channel that is run by a fellow ham.  KD2KOG
You will find lots of useful info here
https://www.youtube.com/c/SDRplayRSP
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ka1tdq
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« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 12:46:33 AM »

Tonight I paided the SDRplay DX with a new PC I just bought and what a differenece! At first I had paired it with my older, slow PC and the experience was ok. I couldn't believe it when the new one arrived. This thing is about the size of two cigarette boxes side by side, but very fast. Point being that you need a good computer to take full advantage of the SDRplay.

Anyway I made a quick recording of the tail end of Tim's conversation with someone. Keep in mind I'm on the west coast.

Jon


* IMG_0040.jpg (1107.53 KB, 2016x1512 - viewed 24 times.)
* SDRuno_20201123_213500_3884500HZ.mp3 (124.17 KB - downloaded 19 times.)

* IMG_0041.jpg (886.02 KB, 2016x1512 - viewed 24 times.)
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