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Amateur Radio Projects and Software Defined Radio

Icom 7300 Review

Introduction

Last summer Icom announced a new radio that caused quite a stir in the amateur radio community. The new Icom IC-7300 was the first SDR HF / 6M direct sampling transceiver available produced by one of the “big three” manufacturers of  amateur radio equipment. The announcement of the IC-7300 caused quite a bit of buzz, controversy, and anticipation amongst the amateur radio community. After approximately 8 months of waiting, the Icom 7300 finally landed on US shores in the later part of March of this year. The IC-7300 has made into the hands of eagerly awaiting amateurs to be put through its paces. So far the reports from early adopters have been nothing short of stellar. Some users are reporting that the  IC-7300 easily matches or bests the performance and features of their existing high end “legacy” transceivers costing 2 to 3 times more than the IC-7300. Speaking of price the US version of the IC-7300 currently comes to $1499. The IC-7300 is considered to be an “entry level” transceiver, but that is really not the best description. The IC-7300 is really more of a high end transceiver in a lot of ways that offers a huge bang for …

Elad FDM-DUO – SDR Done Right!

Introduction
The SDR-DUO has been on the bench in day to day use for about 2 months now so it’s time to talk about how it works out in “real world” use. The Italian made FDM-DUO has to be the most versatile, well designed, and well thought out SDR system currently on the market. With some of the major amateur radio manufacturers beginning to bring SDR systems to market, they would do well to take a look at what Elad has done here. The FDM-DUO can be used as a very pleasant and capable standalone transceiver as well as a very powerful SDR system when coupled with Elad’s brilliant FDM-SW2 SDR software. The FDM-SW2 software has to be hands down the best SDR programs out there featuring a wide array of useful features currently unmatched by other entries. It’s also nice to know that Elad isn’t resting on their laurels when it comes to software. Elad is continuously making improvements and adding new features to the FDM-S2 software. The FDM-DUO concept is exactly what a lot of radio hobbyist have been looking for. A pleasant easy to use standalone direct sampling SDR transceiver for times when you just want to …

Best SDR Radios of 2015 and 2016 (so far)

Looking back over some SDR Radio products that were reviewed here and some that were not. Here is our picks of the litter so far:

Best “Dirt Cheap” SDR – $25
RTL Dongle – The venerable old RTL Dongles are still hard to beat for the price. The dongles are still one of the best ways to get your feet wet in SDR for a pittance. With free software, a wide VHF/UHF coverage range, a decent sized sample rate, and tons of projects based around them, what’s not to like. However, once you do get your feet pretty wet, you will probably be ready to move up.

Best “Bang For the Buck” – SDRPlay – $149
The recently reviewed SDRPlay is the perfect step up from the RTL-Dongles. Matter of fact if you decide to skip the dongle phase you may want to go straight to this one. With very wide coverage from 0.1MHz to 2GHz you can listen to just about anything. The very wide bandwidth up to 8MHz will you to view large swaths of frequencies at once in the SDR software client or even set up multiple VFO’s to monitor several frequencies at once. Easy to set …

SDRPlay Review

Introduction
After having the SDRPlay around in daily use for a few months, it’s time to talk about this little gem. Good things indeed come in small boxes. The SDRPlay wideband receiver (0.1MHz to 2GHz) is a great example of what can be done to produce an easy to use and fun inexpensive wide coverage SDR receiver. On top of that throw in top notch customer support and you wind up with an excellent product all for the lowly sum of $150. While not entirely perfect, it’s really hard to complain too much given the cost and the hard work the SDRPlay development team has put in to continually improve the product. The SDRPlay would make a great product for radio hobbyist looking to get involved with their first SDR receiver due to it’s ease of setup or if you have been using RTL dongles and need something that packs a little more of a punch. More advanced users will find something also since the SDRPlay is pretty tweakable as well as far more sensitive on the upper end of its frequency range. The other advantage with the SDRPlay is that now you can order or pick one up from …

Anan 10E First Look

Introduction
After a month evaluating the Anan10E SDR, there is only one word to describe this little guy, “WOW’! No doubt that the Anan10E is one of the best rigs to come through the Ham Radio Science shack, if not the very best. Probably most Apache Labs SDR owners already know this, but now for those us who would like to try one, admittance to the Apache Labs club has just got a whole lot cheaper. With a street price of $965 from US dealers such as Gigaparts , Ham Radio Outlet and Cheapham, this puts the 10E in a price range that is very competitive with other entry level conventional HF / 6M transceivers. This includes such rigs as the Icom IC-7200, Yaesu 450D, Kenwood TS-480SAT, Alinco DX-SR9T, and the Elecraft KX3. Now some may argue that SDR radios do cost a little more because of the need of a computer system to use them, but then again these days computer equipment had gotten very inexpensive. Another thing to keep in mind is that Anan 10E output power is around 15 to 20W on HF and 8 to 10W on 6M. With the exception of the Elecraft KX3, …

Anan 10E Unboxing Video Up

The HRS unboxing of Apache Lab’s new Anan 10E video is up. Stay tuned for a “First Look” article and video over the next few days. So far the Anan 10E has been pretty impressive. It looks like it will be a game changer for SDR Transceivers in the sub $1000 range. Keep checking back…

Anan SDR Radios Now Available from US Dealers and a New Entry Level ANAN SDR

Some good news for you that have been interested in the generally highly regarded Anan series of SDR transceivers. First off, the Anan SDRs can be currently purchased from two us dealers, Gigaparts and Cheapham. The warranty on these radios are for 2 years against manufacturing defects with a US service center in Arkansas. Also earlier in the year Anan started shipping the Anan 10E. The Anan 10E is basically and entry level version of the Anan 10. The Anan 10E is pretty much the same radio as the Anan 10 with a few compromises to cut the cost to a more attractive price point for some radio hobbyists. Here is what you loose over the Anan 10 :

Differences between the ANAN-10 & the ANAN-10E
1. The ANAN-10E uses a 14 bit ADC while the ANAN-10 uses a 16 bit ADC
2. The ANAN-10E uses an EP3C25 FPGA while the ANAN-10 uses a larger EP3C40
3. The ANAN-10E supports 2 receivers while the ANAN-10 supports 7 receivers…