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Author Topic: Choosing an online SDR as a station receiver  (Read 862 times)
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Posts: 427

« on: July 22, 2023, 08:21:04 AM »

So, noise at my QTH has made this hobby frustrating.  80m is unusable, s9+20 all the time. 40m on a good day is s6-7, which means signals need to be s9 to copy with effort, 20 over for comfortable copy with light fading. On a bad day itís s9+10, then, unless thereís a big gun going at it, thereís just uncopyable mumblingÖ   Maybe others can hear better at those S/N ratios, but for me, the end result is that I rarely get on the air, because itís no fun.

So Iíve checked many SDRs. About half seem to have decent reception combined with low noise.  Many of the others suffer from BCB overload or weak signal or both.  So of the decent ones, how does one select an appropriately located remote receiver?

One thought I have is to choose one that can hear me. Another is to choose one that canít. A third is to try to figure out which ones/distances make sense for hearing the people who can hear me (which would vary if the band goes long, etc.).

Who else has made a choice here on this, and how did you choose, and how is it working?


Ed, K8DI, warming the air with RF, and working on lighting the shack with thoriated tungsten and mercury vapor...

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Posts: 577

« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2023, 12:17:13 PM »

For use as a substitute station receiver, I'd choose an SDR that has good RF performance and probably within a hundred miles, so you'd hear and be heard about the same.  Luckily, my rural QTH isn't bad except for an occasional power line insulator problem.
I have one of the earlier versions of this device and it works OK for what it is.  Connect a second antenna to the Auxiliary port and adjust amplitude and phase to take a bite out of locally generated interference.  I have placed the noise antenna near where the power service comes into the house .  It's not perfect and certainly not going to be as wondrous as the high priced active models but it's a step in the right direction.  And it gives you three more knobs to twiddle, and isn't that why we became radio amateurs in the first place ?
73 de Norm W1ITT
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